Nerdy American Jews. Pushy Israelis. Last week, I went to a Yom Ha’atzmaut party with over 3000 New York area Jews and Israelis of all political and religious stripes. That party, which ran in co-sponsorship with most of the Jewish organizations in New York, was created and planned by Dor Chadash, a relatively new organization founded by David Borowich, 35, who was “troubled by the lack of contact between American Jews and Israelis living in the United States.” (Quotes and information from Ha’aretz)

“Dor Chadash is an expression of who I am and the identity crisis that is part of my life,” he says. “When I’m here, I feel Israeli, and when I’m in Israel, I feel American. So I thought: Why not combine the two?”

“Actually, both sides are to blame,” he says. “American Jews have this negative stereotype of Israelis, and Israelis have this negative stereotype of American Jews. The Jews here make a distinction between Israel and Israelis. Israel is considered an ideal, the homeland of the Jewish people. A lot of them are very supportive of Israel. They’ll give money. But Israelis are perceived as pushy and aggressive. Not that there isn’t some truth in that. All these Israelis who came to New York and got jobs as movers gave the community a bad name. For the Israelis, the Americans are nerdy. They’re perceived as too polite, too law-abiding. So when you have two groups that have such negative ideas about one another, how can you expect them to connect?” he says.

Borowich, an MBA and former tech guy, also makes some interesting suggestions:

“For some people in Dor Chadash, Israeliness is a substitute for Judaism,” says Borowich. “I don’t agree with that. Israeliness is not what kept the Jewish people alive for thousands of years.”

“I think it’s important that American Jews and Israelis living in the States do a kind of reserve duty. If Israel is criticized at their workplace, they need to get up the courage to explain what Israel means to them. That is a more important service than anything Arieh Mekel and [Israel U.N. ambassador] Danny Gillerman are doing, combined.”

The idea of American Jews and Israelis living abroad doing a “reserve duty” as PR people for Israel is a really interesting one. As American Jews, we’re told by Israeli citizens (or we feel it ourselves) that we have no right to express opinions for or against Israeli political policies unless we live there. While that still may be true in the strictest sense, regardless of where we live, we should feel an obligation to Israel.

It seems like a new expression of that song many of us learned as kids: “Lo alekha ham’lakhah ligmor, v’lo ata ben horin lehivatel mimenna…” The task is not yours to complete. But that doesn’t mean that you’re exempt of all responsibility.

Miluim (reserve duty) in North America to create an “Americani Brigade,” a veritable army of information officers and PR gurus who can help boost the image of Israel. Creating a nation of “Ambassadors” for Israel is very Jewlicious. And Isralicious.

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.

36 Comments

  • I dunno. Call me simple, but I look at this way: American Jewish guys dig hot Israeli chicks, cuz they’re so thin and sexy – and then of course they turn out to be so crazy you can’t even think straight with all of THEIR MISHUGAS!!!! and you wind up thinking…OMG what on earth was I thinking when I wanted to go out with this bad-accented hot looking girl who is so crazy I can’t even think straight with her OVER EMOTIONALITY and INSANE ideas about the world and how it works…..

    And then American Jewish girls just want to be VIOLATED REPEATEDLY by Israeli guys, cuz, somehow, they’re TALL, thin, cut, and of course served in the army, so they know how to be ROUGH WHEN THEY HAVE TO….until, of course, they actually do something so stupid as to actually MARRY one of these guys, and lo and behold, what do our American Jewish sisters learn? Yikes! He doesn’t do the dishes, ever, or actually care about me, and he’s all hard and not nice and doesn’t have time to listen to me complain and also won’t tolerate my getting fat! But of course, as an American girl, well, there’s always that lurking threat—and

  • SORRY- GOT CUT OFF and so, then our American Jewish sisters start thinking. OMG what was I thinking…..

    UNTIL, everyone gets smart and understands: White Ashkenazi girls need white ashkenazi guys (and please no inundations with how many “mixed” Israeli American marriages you know that “worked”) and Israeli Guys need Israeli girls and good fences make good neighbors, so live next to each other, but no, God no, don’t go out with each other and don’t marry each other and don’t sleep with each other’s wives and everyone will live happily ever after…

    Plus, it helps to keep shabbos!
    Jsirpicco. Exhausted. Speaking the Truth. And over and out!

  • ๐Ÿ™„

    Is it time for me to debate the silliness of that long, screaming comment, or should I just let this nascent love affair between ck and jsirpicco blossom?

  • TM, Esther…lame..lame riposte…
    My words on Israeli American thing are so deeply true that it’s shocking…frightening…awe inspiring!

  • Listen, there’s nothing to be scared of if you just Know there’s a Jsirpicco. Know there’s No OTHER Jsirpicco; No Jsirpicco is ONE. Love Jsirpicco. Fear Jsirpicco and dont go straying after any other bloggers who aren’t me!

  • Jsirpicco,
    wouldn’t this be better on the orthodox-sex mega-post?

    Nonetheless, definitely right. If you want a mixed marriage to happen it has to be explicitly stated from the beginning that both parties will need to be extremely flexible and the more so the older the relationship starts. Either that, or one side has to be a total pushover so that they accept they tolerate the other’s rule. My Israeli wife thinks she has me beaten, but then again I hav not done the bathroom once in the past 5.5 years and will never ever do that either. In return, I do everything else…

    As for the yordim…very sad, very sad. I could easily generalize over this group of estimated 500 000 dishes, but how can you understand seeing and living in Israel and actually finding an excuse to leave? My old elementary and high school use to have only shlichim, now apparently mostly yordim. Where’s the Zionism in that? I owe most of my Jewish pride and chutzpah to being around these fine shlichim, I do not know what kind of Israeli role model can enjoy ‘American’ luxuries and teach Zionism.

  • Plus – one more thing: American chicks age WAY BETTER THAN ISRAELI GIRLS….Israeli girls are so hot when they are young it takes your breath away, and then they turn 20!

    Okay, actually, it’s more like this: by the time the average Israeli girl is in her 30s adn 40s, (thinking long term for marriage, people), well, they just start to dry out and the thinness tightens on them like bad leather…so all you’re left with is this chain smoking, raspy voiced, once beautiful woman who still is crazy and all that (and believe me I LOVE Israeli chicks in a certain way, except that they’re crazy and besides I never did the army, never had one – nope, there you go, never had an Israeli girl, so yeah, sour grapes and all that, but big deal!)

    Whereas, American girls, well, they begin to get it after a while,…so they lose that weight, and so they AGE better….

    just food for thought, dudes…
    NOW – of course, my American sisters have their own baggage…the materialism, the fact that they didn’t grow up with bombs going off around them means they have to look fo different problems, like not BEING UNDERSTOOD, ETC.

    But, in the end, we’re all stuck with each other, cuz, only Jewish chicks can understand how COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY NEUROTIC JEWISH GUYS are and still not be freaked out – Oh, that’s Marc, he’s just having one of his neurotic tantrums again….don’t worry. You know what I’m talking about?

  • Not to interrupt the private discussion of hotness and spring lust, but we went to a couple of Israeli music shows in North Miami when we were in the area last year, and even the 40 and 50-something Israeli women looked hot. Although the chain-smoking part sounds right.

    Let’s just say that it had the side benefit of getting a certain American Jewish wife to hit the elliptical for nearly an hour the day after the show!

    Parenthetically, her very thin and somewhat chain-smoking cousin is dating an non-tall Israeli guy — so we’ll have a live case to see if you’re right, jsirpicco.

  • Yes, that is a benefit…when the American chicks see that IT CAN AND MUST BE DONE to get thin and in shape when they’re Israeli sisters just crush them into dust with their hotness and thinness and only salad eating habits, well that’s call doing the work of the CREATOR!

  • jsirpicco wrote: Fear Jsirpicco and dont go straying after any other bloggers who arenรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt me!

    Dude. No matter what anyone says, never change. You slay me every day.

    However, the following point is non-negotiable. We all know that in the Jewish blogging world, one team of bloggers rules the roost. No need to mention any names, but should you choose to stray after them, surely good and loving kindness will follow you all the days of your life.

  • TM- I’m married…it doesn’t matter any more….yes, happily married…to a nice white Ashkenazi girl from the suburbs (thin, too!) who’s gone the path…I was in Israel…for many, many moons…God in his infinite Mercey saw fit that I should NOT SO MUCH AS FREAKING TOUCH AN ISRAELI GIRL IN THAT COUNTRY OF HOT, HOT HOT WOMEN!!!!!!! aaaaaaaaaaahHHHHHHHH!

    Well, I’m basically over it now, cuz as I said, they’re all crazy anyway and He saved me so that I would serve him in Purity. Yeah, baby!

  • Jsirpicco, I’m glad to hear you’re married. Now please listen to Rabbi Yosei’s advice about how to procure boys and girls because the stress level over on your end seems to require some, um, relief.

  • Sorry, guys, if you want women who age well, you must go to Japan.

    My wife was carded a couple of years ago, and the woman is in her late 50s.

    Dudes.

  • first – TM- Naaaah…..I mean ya gotta LIVE THE TENSION, LOVE THE TENSION, BE THE TENSION!!!! (PLUS -lo Sasuru dudes! Where’s your struggle for purity holiness, truth justice and the American way/??????

    And yes, BELIEVE IT OR NOT!! Jsirpicco ALSO knows about Asian girls. Yes. Is there NOTHING I DO NOT KNOW (yeah, how to change a tire, but that’s another story – still Jewish, and American, you know, so didn’t do the Army, didn’t get the Israeli chicks etc. etc.)

    Asian girls, yeah, so what. Thin, ageless, docile in a certain kind of way…and you know what BORING AS A BLOCK OF WOOD! Yeah, they’ll do stuff in bed, I guess ( I mean there are two types, but Jews only date the sweet ones, not the hardcore slutty ones who SMOKE and get tatoos…no we date the clean nice ones, with good families…RIGHT? See Esther, competition on all sides!)…but you know what…there’s no there there….and ya gotta deal with the fact that your whole life you’re wondering, “Well, maybe the THIN, PRETTY, normal Jewish girl would have come along if I just waited a teensy bit longer….so IxNay on the Asian-ay irlsgay!

  • Ephraim, you are right on.
    That’s why I am dating a Chinese girl right now.
    We should promote Judaism in Asia. All those beautiful Japanese, Chinese, and Korean women! Heaven!

  • Oh NO! Jsirpicco was going to withold comments about Asians, but now I see the virus is spreading and has been spreading and is likely to continue to spread until Jsirpicco Himself steps in and TELLS IT LIKE IT IS!

    Okay…so first, Jsiripicoo knows of Asian women (IS THERE ANYTHING JSIRPICCO DOES NOT KNOW?????) And here’s the deal: first – there are 2 types of Asians, and Jews only date one of them. First type, we don’t go near, cuz they’re scary! You know the ones, the ones that smoke, have tatoos, date Black guys for some reason and are just BAD GIRLS. BAD BAD GIRLS. Nope. Not for nice Jewish guys and you know it…They wind up doing weird kung fu stuff on your mind, probably and don’t even know how to cook. Low SAT scores, too!

    Okay. But the second kind is the nice, sweet, CLEAN, smart somewhat subserviant Asian girl that’s got a good familyand is ALMOST like a nice Jewish girl except for one thing: BORING AS A BLOCK OF WOOD!!!! And you know it. Been there, dudes.

    Okay, so yes, they’re thin, petite little bodies and all that. Will do most stuff in bed, big deal, but there’s no THERE THERE! And as a Jewish guy you wind up lying awake at night, wondering, OMG what the hell am I doing with this person? She’s not Jewish! We’re not connected! She’s not even neurotic, for God’s Sake!!!

    Plus, you start to worry. She’s taking care of me! Feels good! Mylife is simple, too simple. Doesn’t ANYTHING MAKE her tick?

    (Esther – they attack from all sides, don’t they!)

    And then, and then, you start to wonder….maybe, just maybe, the Jewish girl you’ve been hoping for, the sweet Jewish girl from Next store, with the brown hair and the good skin and the smile and the THINNESS, somehow (without being Israeli – see previous posts :)) and the whole get out…who gets what you’re about KNOWS YOUR”RE FREAKING NEUROTIC, but GETS IT. Gets the whole deal, the whole Jewish thing, cuz she’s from the TRIBE too, and your DNA is like, meshed from 3000 years ago, from the TRIBE and when you touch, it’s something different, deeper, better, MORE CONNECTED and you’re thinking maybe she’s out there, and why am I with this Asian chick and it’s all too simple and boring and blah?????

    That’s what happens to you when you date an Asian chick…And no, they don’t really convert that often either, and then ya gotta worry abou tthe Asian thing and will the kids be accepted yada yada yada….And it’s really just easier to get the Jewish girl, the one that drives you crazy and gets your jokes if you treat her right and knows you, dude, REALLY knows you cuz you’ve known each other in 17 different lifetimes and here you are again, destined to be together, to build that yummy Jewish home, if only, if only, YOU STUPID JEWISH GUYS WOULD WISE UP! And see her for what she is, and if only, if only you JEWISH CHICK WOULD MAKE IT JUST A TAD EASIER ON US TO PICK YOU!!!!!

  • Yes, they do attack from all sides. Especially when it comes to instituting “French benefits,” which “for all intensive purposes,” are granted by “the sweet Jewish girl from Next store.”

    And I think I can say with all certainty that the original point of this thread has been utterly lost. As am I in Jsirpicco’s comments.

  • Had something to do with Israelis and Americans…but hey, that’s blogging, Esther…

    Ummm, okay, one thing jsirpicco doesn’t know…what are “french benefits?”

  • One mixed marriage that definitely works most of the time:
    American Jewish man with Yemenite/Morroccan Jewish woman.

    The man thinks he’s being treated like a king – fresh food, incredibly clean home by sloppy American standards. And when he does the bare minimum around the house that he was enculturated to do – the woman feels like a queen.

    There’s a deep secret in there about ALL successful marriages….

  • Well, Jsirpicco, I guess I am not looking for a neurotic girl.
    I have enough work making a living.

  • I don’t really now what to say except that Jsirpicco needs to wash his mind out with something a lot stronger than soap. Either that or he needs to be beaten within an inch of his life.

    My wife of 30 years is neither a block of wood, nor subservient, nor any of the other exceedingly insulting stereotypes that seem to exist in Jsirpicco’s Yellow-fevered imagination. I have no idea who he had the misfortune to meet for him to jump to these strange conclusions, but I feel a lot sorrier for her than I do for him.

    As far as acceptance goes, my children have had no problems within the Orthodox community. People are interested, of course, but no one has questioned the validity of their gerut, if that’s what he’s getting at.

    A few al hets would be appropriate right about now, I think.

  • Relax Ephraim – touchy touchy! But in the name of fairness JSIRPICCO IS GRACIOUS ENOUGH to clarify:

    I WAS DEFINITELY TALKING ABOUT NON-JEWISH ASIANS! I did NOT mean to imply that ONCE A SINCERE, ORTHODOX Jewish conversian has taken place – then of course, all bets are off.

    I was speaking – though I know it can be construed as the opposite – I was speaking about to the mythical single Jewish guy out there, wondering if he can make it work with the non-Jewish Asian girl. And in that case, yes, usually it’s not someone who is Orthodox going out with this girl, and he starts to think about “conversions” – and so it is a question lurking out there what will be with the kids…

    BUT WHEN IT’S ORTHODOX AND THE FAMILY IS ORTHODOX, OF COURSE OF COURSE OF COURSE IT’S 100% kosher. Jsirpicco is not yellow-fevered.

    And, you’ll be happy to know, that since the person acquires a Jewish soul, she usually becomes as neurotic as the rest of us, so there!

    In a moment of rare contrition for any possible conclusion, I humbly declare myself: JSIRPICCO GRACIOUS TO ALL WHO DESERVE SUCH GRACE; KNOWER OF ALMOST EVERYTHING, EXCEPT HOW TO CHANGE A TIRE AND WHAT ‘FRENCH BENEIFTS ARE!

  • “Either that or he needs to be beaten within an inch of his life.”

    Judging by Jsirpicco’s reaction to critical posts on Jewlicious, your post did just that.

  • Shtreimel, Baby! Howahya Howahya Howahya….

    wondering where you’ve been…just get out of the drunk tank?????

    NO, you see, shtreimel, my posts are not cruel or ill-willed! They are carefully constructed NEAR PROPHETIC VISIONS of how it really is, safe in blogosphere to speak a certain part of my mind….

    And so what if I’m a fraidy cat?

  • jisrpicco, I am awed by your wisdom… Are u selling something??cause by it….. You’ve summed it all up so well, I am amazed…

  • Oh but the playing field is evening out. Israeli girls are getting heavier and those low really low cut jeans with their sides spilling out isn’t helping either.

  • The most interesting combination I think I’ve ever seen is a male Hasidic Jew with a black Caribbean (probably, though she could be a North American, or even African black… but she had that Caribbean look to her, somehow – definitely *not* Ethiopian) woman. I suspect she had converted, since she was wearing a veil-type headpiece. They looked happy together. I watched them for a while, it was the first (and only) time I saw that particular combination. Indeed, it’s the only time I’ve seen a Hasidic Jew with a non-white woman (black, asian, etc).

    For those in Toronto, it was at the Fortino’s at Lawrence West… the place where you can buy Kosher food (including on Saturday!), Italian breads, Caribbean specialty vegetables and where veiled orthodox Jewish women cross paths with veiled Somali women, looking, to me, very similar in an eerie sort of way. An altogether interesting place to shop & people-watch. A very Toronto moment, but even more so than usual.

  • Love the post by Mike and all the kvetching above by Scirpico (spelling!).

    I am in Israel now just made Aliyah from London and living in Tel Aviv. I’m 37, just for completeness!

    My mum converted to Judaism, Reform… (my dad an orthodox then reform Jew) and since my teens i’ve started coming to Israel to check out where i fit into the tribe.

    I loved it from day one of landing. Many trips later and now in my 30s i have completed the dream of making Aliyah and of course being single am aiming myself at all the hot, dark beautiful girls that seem to be on every street corner. My goal – a dark sephardic / yemeni wife and some kids…maybe 3 or 4. I reckon that could be a good mix of my non Jewish blond looks.

    I am curious about the culture clash of Israelis and Western, often Askenazi Jews. But here i seem to fit in… with my spontaneous, informal and direct personality which is just considered “rude” in snobby/uptight London.

  • pizza and trees. I just sent money to plant a tree in israel and to send a pizza to an israeli soldier. I read the ad in jerusalem post and immediately whipped out my mastercard and contributed. Do israel soldiers really get my pizza? And what about all those trees? Am i a gullable american jew ? My nonjew friends said that osrael must be weak if it can feed its soldiers. My american jew friends are afraid of making aliya cause who wants to move to a country that imports trees and cant feed its soldiers pizza?

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