Top Ten Villains in Judaism

From the jokers at

10. Lox Luther – Only weakness is bagels
9. Pareve Dishes – Surreptitiously slips into milk and meat meals undetected
8. Oddball Hasgacha – Scams unassuming foods into pretending to be kosher
7. Over-Priced – Can’t help marking up anything and everything
6. Pitum Breaker – can crush your entire Succot experience with a simple flick
5. The Pen(flipper)guin – his pen flipping during a shiur is both mezmorizing and annoying!
4 The Mad Hatter – Wears his back hat only in the most inappropriate places (beach, Great Adventure, sleep)
3. Sefira Face – After six weeks, his wild rat beard in the office makes you reconsider your faith
2. Shabbos Freeze – Makes all shabbos food taste like leftovers
1. Bad Joker – Guy who won’t leave you alone at synagogue kiddush

Hot Jewish Chick calendar? Yawn.

So SavannahRed thinks Heeb’s swimsuit calendar of hot Jewish women would irk this feminist.

Let’s be clear: I abhor exploitation of all humans, especially young women. There are horrible, disgusting things happening in the modern slave trade and child porn industries. And yes, a hipster magazine touting a bunch of high-paid models as the standard of Jewish beauty is sad, and a little uncreative. (Now, a spread on hot Jewish moms – there’s something new!)

Sorry to disappoint, SavRed, but I just don’t find chicks in bikinis all that offensive. People like to look at pretty ladies, even (especially?) if every mole, wrinkle and dimple has been Photoshopped to oblivion; this has always been and will never change – why shouldn’t Jewish women like Bar Rafaeli be slobbered over like everyone else? May the Heeb calendar adorn bathroom stalls of Jewish tattoo parlors everywhere.

I’m not much into visual stimulation myself and consider the mind the only true erogenous zone, but here’s a photo I consider REALLY hott:

Future presidents in yarmulkes – sexxxxxxy.


Thank God It’s Shabbat. (Yes, I know, heathen woman spells out G-O-D. I know some folks use a dash instead of an ‘o’ because we’re not supposed to write God’s name anywhere it could be erased or something, but I figure the word “God” isn’t God’s real name anyway, just a word we’ve all agreed to use in place of the actual holy word none of us actually know. Disagree with me later.)

S’sorry for the slow week in Yentaland, folks – it’s been a doozy.

My day job has been more of nightmare: The woman who takes care the advertising end of the magazine had her (gorgeous boy) baby over the weekend, right in time for our August deadline. This put me in charge of chasing down sales contracts, arranging ads in the layout so that Boutique Y who hates Salon X was happy and getting the whole puppy uploaded to the printer.

Let me reiterate something to y’all: I am the editor of a women’s magazine. I like free make-up, blueberry martinis and using neat words such as “fierce” and “sartorial.” My job is to write funny copy about cool people, be a cheerleader for the saleswomen and look pretty. Dealing with clients who don’t like the color purple and anything to do with money makes me want to hide under my desk and eat chocolate (which is how I got freakin’ rug burn on top of my foot.) But, by the grace of Grammatica, the Guardian Angel of Publishing, the issue went to bed without me experiencing the “dead” in “deadline.”

Outside of my personal dramas, the week also brought actual tragedy: Steve Shoob, a local TV reporter and part of the regular morning minyan of Agudath Achim, the Conservative synagogue, was killed Monday morning while covering a traffic accident on I-95. I didn’t know Mr. Shoob, but by all accounts he was a wonderful person, someone who covered the graveyard shift of Savannah’s news with compassion and kindness, a doting father and grandfather and a good Jew. His death is a loss for the entire community. The Family Yenta offers its deepest sympathies to his family.

(In better news, Sarah Silverman finally got rid of her shaygetz boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel. Anyone know any nice Jewish guys who dig a woman with pervy sense of humor and likes to say “poop”?)

Many thank-yous to the lovely energetic counselors at the JEA, where the Yenta children have been attending day camp while their mother has been going bat sh*t. These kids are so sweet, so attentive – it’s a parent’s dream to drop off their kids every day to smiling faces and “Hatikvah.” Plus, they cook lunch on Fridays so I didn’t have to pack PB&J’s this morning. Anyone have any good suggestions on end of the summer gifts for them?

Documentation of this asinine week must contain a big shout-out to my parents, celebrating 40 years of marriage in Paris on Wednesday. Their secret? Separate vacations. May they continue to inspire us all. My Brother The Doctor turned 35 the same day, which is probably why he got to go to Paris too, while I, merely Bearer of the Grandchildren, toiled away on the floor of my cubicle, surrounded by foil wrappers. Happy Berfday, bro.

The painting above is by a Yenta favorite, Canadian artist Martina Shapiro. (Read more about this gorgeous Czech-born Jewess here.)

So long to a super-juicy six days of work – I’m ready for some rest. So much so that instead of the usual home-cooked Friday night meal, we’re hitting the new organic takeout joint and heading out to the beach. Shabbat Shalom, y’all!

Jewish Writer? Terrific Opportunity in Savannah

Got a little writing experience? Dig the Jewish Federation? Like chicken, children and old people? Then the Savannah JEA wants you!


The Savannah Jewish Federation and Jewish Educational Alliance (JCC) are seeking to hire an individual to assist with all aspects of our programming including fundraising, community programs and the Savannah Jewish News and Centerpiece. The ideal candidate will possess excellent communication and organizational skills to help plan and provide logistical support for all community programs, will be flexible enough to change roles depending on current initiatives, will have the creativity to initiate change and will demonstrate understanding of the missions of the JEA and SJF.

Basically, there’s a full-time job in sunny Savannah (just named one of the Top Ten cities in the U.S.!) for a person (Jewish or Judeophilic) who can help with the editorial duties of a monthly newspaper, shoulder some of the load from the hard-working directors and hit folks up for a little tzedakeh. I don’t know what the salary is, but I’ve been told it’s competitive enough to draw from the entire country.

I’d be going for it myself if I didn’t already have a fabulous job. Though I think at this point with both kids at camp using their outside voices indoors, me and the mother-in-law yukking things up at the Thursday Senior Lunch Bunch and El Yenta Man taking over the gym with his bubbemintzen, they’ve had enough of the Family Yenta over there…

Southern Jewish Life in the News, Part 2

My dear former colleagues at the j. in San Francisco saw fit to publish my op-ed this week on – what else? – the being Jewish in the South. Some days I sure do miss taking the ferry across the Bay and walking to work through the Financial District…

Friday July 11, 2008

Y’all wouldn’t believe the good life of a Southern Jew

by jessica leigh lebos

We Jews are an adaptive bunch. Put us beyond the Pale, in the dusty Negev or on the streets of San Francisco, and we’ll set up shop and shul and do just fine. Yet a couple years ago when I informed my Bay Area friends that my family and I were moving from the foothills of Mount Tamalpais to Savannah, Ga., I got some pretty freaked reactions.

Some folks were mystified: “They allow Jews in the Deep South?”

Some had watched “Deliverance” too many times: “If you find some people burning a cross on your lawn, don’t panic. Just start speaking in tongues, and they’ll think you’re one of them.”

Some were just clueless: “Georgia? Like, Russia? Dude, the housing prices are gonna be so cheap.”

My husband grew up Jewish in Savannah, so I knew better than to think our neighbors would expect us to have horns. Still, I had reservations about leaving. Where else but the Bay Area can the entire family dress in drag for Purim? Would taschlich ever feel as meaningful as it did under the redwoods? Would I be able to find a corned beef sandwich as good as the one at Saul’s?

Read the rest at!

Good Shabbos from the Family Yenta!

Southern Jewish Life in the News, Part One

There’s a fab article in the current NY Jewish Week by Carolyn Slutsky on Jewish Savannah’s 275th anniversary, calling the city “an island of stability in a boom-or-bust South.”

Maybe I’m a little sensitive, but that sounds like a veiled blow to the sloooow pace of the Hostess City. I hear all kinds of comments about how nothing ever changes in Savannah, and I’m sure that’s how it seems to a fast-paced New Yorker. But I have to say, plenty of things have changed – for the better – since I moved here two years ago (to the month!)

First off, mid-week Hebrew for grade school students has been efficiently reduced from two afternoons to one (more time for Yenta Boy to practice piano.) And the city’s green movement is flying – the new organic farmer’s market headed by Jewish hipster agrarian Farmer D Joffe at Trustee’s Garden was packed last week. Plus, the meshuggeneh-making intersection of Derenne and Abercorn (one could spend a half an hour trying to get home from Publix before the ice cream melts) is buzzing with bulldozers to make a right turn lane as I write! How can anyone accuse this place of resisting progress?

No, for real, it’s super exciting to be a part of the 275th festivities at Mickve Israel this weekend. Yenta Boy is reading a section at tomorrow’s Shabbat service (we’ve been practicing how to pronounce “iniquity”) and I’m particularly proud of how gorgeous the glossy commemorative journal turned out. I volunteered to edit all the articles on the congregation’s history and first families, and now I feel like I’ve been bestowed insider status – which don’t come easy ’round these parts. My father-in-law likes to joke he’s still a newcomer to Savannah because he’s only been here 40 years. I feel pretty blessed to have been welcomed into this community so quickly.

Well, it might be that I pushed my way in. But no matter, I’m here to stay!

Read the NY Jewish Week article here.

Off With His Head!

I’ve never been a fan of Madame Tussaud’s, or wax museums in general.

When I was eight, my father thought it would be fun to to screen House of Wax on our brand-new VCR (obviously, the original with creepy Vincent Price; as if the Paris Hilton version could ever hold a candle!) right before a family vacation to the wax museum at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. The Shaun Cassidy exhibit was cool, but I got so hysterical in the chamber of horrors that we were asked to leave – which we did, but not before I grabbed a fistful of hair of the partially decapitated figure under the guillotine, just to make sure it was fake. I still can’t eat clam chowder without seeing blood.

Do you think this guy‘s dad had the same slightly sadistic streak?

Less than three minutes after the doors of Berlin’s new Madame Tussauds Waxworks opened to the public on Saturday, the figure of Hitler had been decapitated by a former policeman. The assailant, a 41-year-old self-professed leftwing activist identified only as Frank L, who was second in line for the museum, was being hailed as a national hero after witnesses described how he ran past guards and leapt on to the figure, ripping off its head while repeatedly shouting: “No more war!”

Many Germans had already expressed disgust that Madame Tussauds would have the poor taste to put up a display in the first place and lauded Frank. L for his “artistic activism”:

“Seventy-five years after he seized power, and 63 years after the end of the Third Reich, finally someone has succeeded in assassinating Adolf Hitler,” wrote the essayist Henryk M. Broder in Der Spiegel. “It’s good news – the bad news is it happened rather too late.”

In spite of the accusations, the museum is already reattaching the wax Adolph’s head to its body and plans to reopen the display as soon as possible. Frank L. faces charges of vandalism and assault.

Should you ever decide to take the kids to Berlin, maybe you’ll fire up some Vincent Price and set ’em loose at Tussauds…?

T-Shirt of the Week: Have A Crackin’ Holiday

I mean firecrackers, man. We’re clean here. Except for the occasional Benadryl.

As for the sex part, well, I’ll you what I told Yenta Boy when he busted in our bedroom last Shabbos morning and told us we were being “inappropriate” (for real, his word): “First off, the door was CLOSED. Second, your father and I are MARRIED and that means NOTHING consensual can ever be inappropriate. Now give me back the handcuffs.”

This is also homage to dear Yenta friend Leon Bristow who sits in with the fabulous New Orleans Klezmer Allstars… missin’ ya, Elwood!