So, I am not Jewish... but damn this book is great!
Oct 5, 2010
Pros: excellent read, very funny, great pictures
The Bottom Line: This is probably one of the best books that make fun of any particular culture. I absolutely loved it and had a ton of fun with it.
About a month ago, one of the guys that I work with, who happens to be from Israel was telling me about his country and about the relationship between the United States and Israel. The conversation was pretty interesting, but I realized that I didn't know all that much about his country and I sort of felt like I should put in the effort. So, I found myself on the internet looking around for books about Israel, and sort of came across more humor than anything else. I figured the best bet would be to talk to him specifically about it. He recommended that I should read a book by the name of Jewtopia. He told me that if I didn't understand Jewish life by the time I was done reading that book, then there wasn't anything more he could do to help me out.
I of course went to Borders and made the purchase of the book without really looking at it or paying much attention to the fact that I found the book in the humor section. I just figured it was a book filled with all sorts of Jewish knowledge and I was definitely in for a surprise.
About the Book Essentially Jewtopia: The Chosen Book for the Chosen People was written to sort of humorize the Jews. The authors, Sam Wolfson and Bryan Fogel take their entire culture and break it down until they came up with more Jewish humor than you could ever imagine. The funniest part is that if you really think about it, so much of it is very true about a lot of your Jewish friends and neighbors. The best part is that they find a way to make light of the Jewish stereotype in a way that is hilarious for people that come from any walk of life and regardless of what they know about Jewish people.
What is in the book The book covers most everything in Jewish culture, but a couple of random sections in the book that I found to be pretty humorous, even though most of the book is absolutely hilarious...
In one section of the book they have Jews: Always Freezing. In this section they show a freezer box of a Jew in which they highlight some of the dumb things that they froze. They say that Jews believe that they should freeze everything just out of economics and because they fear that they could possibly go hungry the next day. The funniest thing is that they have items in the freezer that you normally wouldn't find in one, such as garlic seasoning, tater tots from a birthday party, and things of that nature. Most of the items are all of course from decades past.
Another section that I found to be quite hilarious is called Guide to Manscaping. This section talks about how a jewish man should take care of their hair. They have actual pictures of how a man should shave his chest, legs, lower arms, upper arms, pubic area, shaft/scrotum, anus, and back.
Other parts of the book have different games that Jews can play such as Hollywood Agent Chutes and Ladders, Match the nose to the Jew, etc. They also have the Jewish Kama Sutra, Jewish Travel, Jewish people at a hotel, how to eat Kosher, and all sorts of completely random aspects of the Jewish life.
The best thing is that the whole book is filled with loads of pictures that really add to the humor in the book. I think in most instances the pictures truly make the humor happen. The nice thing is that the majority of the book is nothing but pictures, so it makes it a quick and easy read. Definitely a good book to read while you are on a plane trip or if you need to blow half a day.
Final Thoughts Personally, even though I'm not Jewish I absolutely love Jewtopia. I found it to be incredibly hilarious, and I really can't stress just how much fun I had reading it. I ended up getting several copies of it for my Jewish friends, because I figured they would get a big kick out of it. I am pretty sure that they will definitely get a good laugh out of it and will probably pass it along to their friends and family in the process. I just don't think you can go wrong with this book.
You might however want to keep in mind that there is some adult humor and situations throughout the book, so I wouldn't give this book to a younger child. This is definitely a book for the somewhat more mature Jew with a good sense of humor. A more traditional Jew might find it to be horribly offensive.
Fogel, Bryan and Wolfson, Sam. "Jewtopia: The Chosen Book for the Chosen People", Warner Books, 2006. Funny Jewish Humor Amos Lassen One of the great traits of the Jewish people is our ability to laugh at ourselves "Jewtopia" gives us just that outlet. The book is somewhat based on authors Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson's play which they created in 2003. They look at Jewish life and at themselves and have great fun laughing. The jokes … more