Camp Packing Blues

Oy, it’s that time of year again when I crawl into the attic to shlep down the plastic drawers and the duffel bags large enough to hide several dead bodies.

The Yenta children are off to Jewish camp next week, and as usual, no one is anywhere near ready. The nice people at camp always provide a handy-dandy checklist to follow, yet somehow, I remain farmisht.

Who owns 25 pairs of freakin’ underpants? Why must I send two bars of soap when it takes three months to disappear a shared one? Does a hoodie count as a jacket or is it a long-sleeved shirt?

Plus, Little Yenta Girl’s feet have basically doubled in size this year, and it turns out that clown-sized sport sandals are expensive and hard to find. Also, Young Yenta Man now uses a vast arsenal of hair products that may require its own Hoffa-sized duffel (I suspect the Gum Tresses Wax Gristle may contain unkosher ingredients.)

What this family needs is several pairs of extra socks and a whole lotta luck.

PRO_AL_1355499206_MTov_500_compactOh, what’s this?! Mazel Tov knee socks from! If I send each kid to camp with a pair, does that make up for only sending one toothbrush?

I bet they help Lil’ Yenta Girl crush it in the gaga court.





T-Shirt of the Week: Keep Calm and…WTF Where’s My Rescue Remedy??

i-don39t-keep-calm-cuz-i39m-a-jewish-mother-long-sleeve-t-shirt_red_long_sleeve_tshirts_thumb_a92100clHappy Mother’s Day!

Look, I’m all about blasting the stereotypes about Jewish mothers, and I really don’t appreciate being called neurotic and overbearing and dammit if someone tells me to JUST RELAX one more damn time I’mma gonna slap…

Um, right. Carry on then.


T-Shirt of the Week: Talk to the Hamsa

talk_to_the_hamsa_tee_shirts-r5b5372bc0acd4d979d28323bbf0bf94d_8nhmi_512I haven’t done a “T-shirt of the Week” post in a while, as the demand for snarky Jewish t-shirts seems to have waned in the world.

Which is a real shame, because I really miss the idea that I might see someone rocking a Guns N’ Moses shirt one day. (Eat, Pray, Kvetch was pretty classic, too.)

But in today’s interweb travels I came across this adorbs “Talk to the Hamsa” shmatte from and rejoiced!

First off, I believe that “talk to the hand (’cause the face ain’t listening)” is one of the best linguistic contributions of the ’90s. (Well, besides “your mom” jokes.)

Also, I’ve been obsessed with hamsas as my Jewish symbol of choice for some time now. They’re amulets shaped like hands with an eye in the middle and supposedly bring good luck and protection not only in Jewish traditions but also as Islam’s Hand of Fatima, and I dig anything that builds bridges between faiths.

Also, as hamsas are associated with Torah shero Miriam and Muhammed’s awesome daughter Fatima, they are inherently feminine symbols, the perfect representation of the shekinah, or Sacred Feminine. What better emblem for a post-modern Jewish feminist who loves pretty things, I ask you?!

Apparently I’m far from the only one enamored with hamsas: Our little Semitic hands are enjoying quite the cultural tsunami as of late. (See: Etsy.)

Though when you can buy a  5000 year-old icon meant to stave off the Evil Eye at Urban Outfitters, does that means it’s jumped the shark?


Suck it, Hobby Lobby

hobbylobbySo, it was reported this week that chozzerai peddler Hobby Lobby won’t carry Chanukah or Passover decorations because it conflicts with CEO Steve Green’s “Christian values.”

“We don’t cater to you people,” a clerk told some nice Jewish lady last year, according to New Jersey blogger Ken Berwitz, and boy, did THAT cause some tsimmes.

The Hobby Lobby damage control trolls are already at work, sort-of-apologizing on Facebook and pretending that someday, they might consider carrying some cheap crap made in China that could pass for Chanukah decorations:

“Hobby Lobby is currently working with our buyers over our merchandise selection. Our customers have brought this to our attention, and we are currently evaluating our holiday items and what we will carry in the future,” wrote a representative.

Herm, I’m bowled over by the sincerity, yeah. Listen, Hobby Lobby, don’t do us any favors. We don’t need you to dust off a shelf of moldy yarn in the back and stock it with some blue tinsel and crap cardboard menorahs and call it redemption. Chanukah is the Festival of Lights, and all we Jews ever need to make it a joyous holiday is a chanukiah and box of candles, both available in the gift shop of our local synagogue.

And maybe just a few strings of blue twinkly bulbs from Home Depot.

Not-the-T-Shirt of the Week: Badge of Dishonor

Last week the world went apesh*t over this t-shirt on the Urban Outfitters website, for damn good reason.

The Anti-Defamation League came out with its usual “strongly-worded” chastisement of any use of a six-pointed star that could be construed as offensive, demanding an immediate apology from the so-hip-it-hurts clothing purveyor. Considering last week was Yom Ha’Shoah (that’s Holocaust Remembrance Day for the rest of y’all), it was a prime time callout.

Urban Outfitters (heh, I was going to write UO, which so super close to OU, standing for the Orthodox Union that would certainly NOT place a kosher hecksher on this shirt, or on this blog, for that matter) has removed the shmatta from the site and replaced it with a plain yellow shirt of a similarly hideous hue.

The Danish designer of the shirt promises that the star wasn’t intended to evoke a anything about “judaism, nazism or the holocaust” (do they not use proper nouns in Denmark?) and that “the graphic came from working with patchwork and geometric patterns.”

The designer, Brian SS Jensen, who should really ditch those middle initials if he doesn’t want people to think he’s a Nazi, claims the shirt on the Urban Outfitters site was an early prototype and they were never actually for sale in the first place.

Fine, I believe you, UO and earnest Danish t-shirt person. You didn’t mean to be assh*oles by unwittingly marketing Holocaust swag to hipsters. Which leads us to the true outrage: Why in the world would a barf-colored t-shirt cost A HUNDRED DOLLARS?

Either its woven with tail hair from a unicorn or Mr. “SS” Jensen is raising funds in anticipation of more legal battles with the ADL.

“Sack Religious” and Other Greetings

A rousing “challa!” to my favorite Eco-Girl and cousin Patricia Dines for turning me to Tuba Loons Kosher Greeting Cards!

Nothing like some offbeat Jewish hilarity to lighten a heavy week—especially when combined with chicken humor (“Altar Cocker”? heheheheh.)

I spent a good portion of the morning chortling over these and wondering when the Tuba Loonies will get busy with a silkscreener: I haven’t found a decent T-shirt of the Week in months. What self-respecting yenta wouldn’t want to sport a “Ms. Shegoss” schmata around town?

If six pages of synagogue silliness gives you a few giggles but you’re still feeling overwhelmed by the alarming state of the world, check out EcoGirl’s latest column about how to keep on keepin’ on with joy.

A restful Shabbos and delightful weekend to all!

T-Shirt of the Week: That Ol’ Black Magic

I don’t practice Santeria, I ain’t got no crystal ball…but that Supermoon still has me feeling all mystical. Or maybe it’s just that I’d like to stick pins in a roughly-sewn, doll-like effigy of my enemies.

In any case, guess what? The connection between Judaism and Voodoo isn’t as meshuggeh as you might think. I think I’ll look up Manbo Sallie (née Sallie Ann Glassman) when I visit New Orleans this fall for my 40th—who knows? Maybe I’ll come home a priestess for my mid-life crisis.

Jewdoo schmata available at

Mensch-Of-The-Month Club

Generally, I don’t do wall calendars. Most of them seem to feature kittens or half-naked photos of neighborhood firemen and such images do not help me reflect positively on the sucking passage of time that leads me closer and closer to my own mortality. Besides, I use my iPhone.

But, this, THIS is worthy of wallspace and any kvetching from El Yenta Man about how even little tiny nails make holes in the plaster. The Nice Jewish Guys Calendar is the brainchild of NJG Adam Cohen and features fully-clothed eligible bachelors who like Weird Al Yankovic and hipster dive bars and possess just the right amount of self-deprecation and of course, the absolutely fundamental quality in a sexy man: A sense of humor.

All the singles ladies should be swooning, I’mma tellin’ ya.

But “nice” doesn’t just mean they’ll pretend to like your new chop haircut: The NJG calendar donates its proceeds to charity and recently wrote a big fat check to, a Jewish hunger relief agency “that allocates donations from the Jewish community to prevent and alleviate hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds.” Tzedakeh is HOT, people.

It’s been selling like hot latkes after a BBYO dance (rumor has it that it’s HUGE in assisted living common rooms) but there are still a few 12″x12″ units to be had. January’s not even over yet, so take down that hideous Garfield calendar and pass 2011 with some guys who think nerd glasses are sexy and would never, ever leave the seat up.

“Like” Nice Jewish Guys on Facebook; they’re hilarious (of course they are!) The calendar’s available at


To soothe my New Year’s blues, I popped over to City Market on my lunch hour yesterday to visit my favorite accessories shop in the whole wide world Twinkle.

Proprietor Joa Kelly has always impressed me with his facile command of Yiddish words (second only to Brian Williams as my favorite shaygetz who can rock the mamaloshen.) Even so, it was an unexpected delight to see this fantastic hamsa ring on display, all shiny and sparkly in its Jewishy glory.

Of course, it looks even better on my hand:

A wonderful way to bling in the New Year, nu? Comes in black, too.

Be Twinkle’s Facebook friend for plenty of eye candy and arching wit.

T-Shirt of the Week: Fair Labor Or It’s A Hammer to the Kishkes

Look, Purim is coming in a coupla weeks and you know what that means: 12-hour days in the kitchen spreading poppyseed paste on six thousand pointy little cookies. Don’t the hard-working balabustas deserve a few perks, like fresh coffee in the kitchen and a ban on aprons that make a girl look hippy?

I’m not sure what a Jewish Teamster looks like, but many thanks to the new Jewnion Label for organizing some new shmatas for the Yenta to share. Say, can you folks help me negotiate some blogger’s benefits?

Be sure to rise up and join the International Order of Challah Makers and the mighty n’ able Union of Jewish Handywomen (or Handymen, as it were.)