Scary!The Year in (Jewish) Fear
Yeah, sure, The Forward 50 presents us with an almost ho hum list of the 50 most important Jews in America. Most of the people on the list are undoubtedly important (Steven Spielberg #2, Lynn Schusterman, ), but perhaps a tad uninspired (Abraham Foxman, Philip Roth). Some of the choices are questionable (Matisyahu #5???) while others are interesting (Jessica Coen and Jesse Oxfeld of I mean, the editors did an admirable job, but you know, important Jews? Yawn-o-ramma, no? Certainly from my perspective anyway. As a poster on a Jewish blog, every day, all I read about is important Jews.

But scary Jews! Now that’s something you don’t hear about every day. No reputable Jewish publication has undertaken a definitive compilation of the scariest Jews around. However, the November/December issue of Radar Magazine compiled a list of the year’s 371 most terrifying people, places and things and the Jews didn’t fare too badly.

Under the heading Formerly Scary, Now Sad, we have Leona Helmsley, Mike Ovitz, Peggy Siegal, Ron Perelman, Michael Eisner and Kabbalah. Under Formerly Scary, Now Soft we have Harvey Weinstein, while under Both Scary and Soft we have Ariel Sharon. Woody Allen is listed as the sole Jew under the Scary Parent category, testifying to Judaism’s (somewhat) continued respect for the institution of family. The category of Formerly Endearing, Now Scary includes the following Jews: Paula Abdul, Beck and the cast of Seinfeld. The aforementioned Gawker, considered by Forward to be “a pluckily legitimate voice in media criticism,” is listed by Radar under the category of Only Think They’re Scary, along with Mr. Burns (C’mon, he is SO Jewish) and Barry Diller.

Radar’s scary list also included the State of Florida (“361 days of sunshine, but it’s terrifying all year long”) and Hillary Clinton (“She could win the NASCAR Nextel Cup, legalize drunk driving, cure rickets and still not carry a single southern state. If she’s the best the Dems can do, we should skip the election and swear in Jeb.”). Neither of these are Jewish, but they are kinda Jew-ish and besides, if a previous Forward 50 list can include Madonna/Esther, then I can certainly include Hillary.

Uh… yeah. Sorry, I don’t know. This post seemed like a good idea. I think I was trying to show what bad asses Jews can be. Or something. How about you let us know who you think the scariest Jews are?

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Paula Abdul?

    She’s a Yid?

    Dammit, I need to get out more or something.

  • Technically, I think that Madge/Me was #51 on the list, left off ultimately because she was not actually Jewish by anyone’s definition. And I have a love/hate relationship with her anyway,
    since she stole my name and all.

  • And thinking about it, I suppose you didn’t want to mention that JDate’s head honcho made the list, too…

  • No she isn’t. Some random relative of her is a Yid but mommy ain’t a yid and so she ain’t one either.

  • 50 Shekel and maybe Mobius. Also the Rabbi from my Bar Mitzvah classes… put the fear of G-d in me, he did.

  • Seriously unnecessary to make a list of scariest Jews. Why don’t we start our own celebratory list of the people who didn’t make the list, but who nonetheless, we think will figure prominently in the Jewish future and why?

  • Well, figuring prominently in the Jewish future is kinda scary no? A scary list can allow us to be snarky and ironic, whereas what you are suggesting would actually require us to be serious and stuff. I don’t know if I c an do it …

  • Also… go visit the good kotel cam. In about 40 minutes I’ll be there with Laya. We’re stalking the Clintons. Should be fun!

  • Oh, OK. I mean, it wouldn’t bother me particularly if Paula were an MOT, but I just get a little unnerved at all of the Yids coming out of the woodwork. Next time I turn around somebody is going to be telling me that Mick Jagger is one of us. That’s enough to freak anybody out, that is.

    Still, this just shows you what kind of a list it is when somebody contemplates putting Ma-fucking-donna on it.

    But I did find out that the black woman who lives next door is Jewish (for real). Kind of a Lisa Bonet situation.

    You just never know.

    Oh yeah, while we’re on the subject, what’s the deal with Yaphet Kotto? Is he really a Jew like he says he is?

  • Yaphet Kotto’s parents are Jews from Cameroon and he is a practicing (sort of Jew) Jew. He played Idi Amin in the 1977 movie, Raid on Entebbe. In 1998, he marrried a Catholic woman, Read all about in the Forward or just Google it.

  • Wow, there’s some pretty incredible ignorance here. I like this one the best:

    “No she [Paula Abdul] isn’t. Some random relative of her is a Yid but mommy ain’t a yid and so she ain’t one either.”

    Well, yes. Those ‘random relatives’ of hers who are Jewish are her mother and father. Lemme see, does that make her Jewish? Yup.

    And Yaphet Kotto’s been married multiple times…. what about the others?

  • guys like Bugsy Siegel are examples of SCARY jews. None of these people on this should actually be considered frightening except in a comical way.