Everything’s coming up Jewish. Or if not Jewish per se, Jewish-ish. Or Jewtastic.

Take VH1’s latest talking headsfest titled All Access: SO JEWTASTIC. I got a press release yesterday, and they were supposed to be sending me a screener of the show today, but I’ve known about the show for months. Why? Because my brother’s one of the talking heads.

The irony…nay, the travesty, of my having been omitted from this project is not lost on me. I know what you’re thinking: who is a bigger Jew than Esther? I’ve got Yiddish in my blog name, I write for other sites where there’s a big “J” after “Generation” and before “datersanonymous,” and I’m named after the frickin’ queen of Persia who managed to save her people because she was a Jewess in the right place at the right time! The only way I could be more Jewish is if I wrote for a site called Jewlicious that co-sponsored student conferences on Jewish identity in California. (Hey, wait a minute…)

Let us, for a moment, delve into the complex language of the press release. Let us read aloud from our hymnals:


In an age when Madonna demands to be called “Esther,” Jon Stewart is a sex symbol and seemingly everyone speaks a little Yiddish, it’s never been hipper to be a Jew. VH1’s “All Access Presents: So Jewtastic” celebrates everything you knew– and lots of stuff you didn’t about being Jewish.

Even were we to stop right there, let us parse the first line of text on its own, by running down a checklist: Madonna…check. Esther…check. Jon Stewart…check. Also, let us note how nice my name looks next to Jon’s. Indulge a punctuation change, and replace the comma and end quote with an ampersand: Esther & Jon Stewart. It just makes some kind of crazy sense, doesn’t it? (Note to Jon’s lawyers and Daily Show writers: It’s a free country and a grammatical alteration does not constitute a violation of the restraining order. I am more than 100 feet away from Mr. Stewart right now, and would never rip him out of the bosom of his burgeoning family as he expects another lil’ Leibowitz. So there.) Sigh.

My point, and I did have one, is that I oughta be in pictures: generally speaking, and specifically, here. And even though I’m not in it, I’ll watch it. Because lil’ brother’s in it (look for Simmy Kay, writer/comedian), and because I’m so Jewtastic that I couldn’t avoid it if I tried. (When the screener copy arrives, I’ll watch it, and will post the review as an update to this post…)

And then, when it’s time for the inevitable sequels (“Jewtastic 2: The Jews Strike Back in 3D”; “The Jewish Surreal Life,” “The Real World: Upper West Side,” “Blind Shidduch Date,” “Shulmates,” “More Bar, Less Mitzvahs” etc), I’ll be primed, of the right sarcastic vintage: I’ll have practiced my laugh-Torah and I’ll be fully ready for my Snark Mitzvah.

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

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


  • Oh they are sooo Jewtastic. Here, allow me to quote from their site:

    Thanks to a mensch-laden panel of pundits, yentas and a Rabbi or two, So Jewtastic! will also circumcise the old ideas about Jewish mothers, ridiculous stereotypes and whether or not Jews know how to play sports (they do!) So put down that gefilte fish and pop open some Manichewitz (sic), it’s time to get your Jew on…VH1 style.

    First of all, they misspell Manischewitz. Secondly, their panel is entirely Ashkenazic, thus completely ignoring the fact that the first Jews to settle in America were Sephardic – this omission is striking especially since they settled in New York and started Shearith-Israel, the oldest Congregation in the US. So, yes… they ought to have included Esther, but really, they ought to also have included Brakha, my Mom, the greatest Sephardic cook to have ever been mentioned on a Jewish blog. She would have shown them from friggin gefilte fish? Feh!

  • When they call to invite me to be on the panel for the sequel, I’ll be sure to recommend Brakha. Shabbat shalom…

  • I don’t think so. He’s big into movies, but I don’t think he’s seen Avalon. As far as I know, it’s just a spelling out of our last initial: K.

  • So why did they have to name the show after my Jewtastic doman – jewtastic.com

    couldn’t they have called it Jewlicious or dare, i say it Jewschool…


  • here’s what we have done, there is now a link section called Jewtastic blogs, so starting with Jewlicious and Jewschool as links. Anyone else want to get linked, get in touch.

  • I also love Jon Stewart! For some reason, he just wouldn’t be as hot if he wasn’t a member of the tribe. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive him for marrying a shikse. Such a cute hot little Jewish guy!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Leslie, we would be so grateful to have a link or three on thy website. Are you from the Bunders of Miami? Shavua Tov!

  • Hey Rabbi Yonah, just send me an email with your links and we will sort that out for you.

    Nope, not related to the Bunders in Miami, but once meet Miles and his wife for dinner when I was there a few years ago. Nice folks.

  • As a jewish person who is not “thin skinned” I felt that this program showed jewish people in a
    way that would not make me proud to be a jew. I resented all the connotations made. Please change this to show jewish people in a “good” light. I was very offended. Carol Bernstein

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