Lisa Listen
Lisa’s 37, Ivy-League-educated, single for the first time in over a decade, and is looking for a nice Jewish boy. She wears glasses (not unlike the ones I just paid a fortune for on the Upper West Side), and happens to be the living embodiment of nerdy sexy, thanks to the aforementioned spectacles. She prefers to date and marrry a Jew, she tells The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. So far, could be any Jewish Lisa.

But this Lisa’s got a new reality show on E!, because she’s Lisa Loeb, the singer-songwriter known for a soft, sweet voice and sophisticatedly emotional lyrics. (She’s best known for “Stay,” from the Reality Bites soundtrack, or “Do You Sleep,” but my favorite song is one that appeared on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is titled “How Does Your Heart Beat.” I challenge you to listen to it and not be moved. Unless you have no heart.)

With her legion of loyal fans, and with her show garnering mostly good reviews from major papers, Lisa’s now poised to become the public face of the Jewish single woman on a search for love in the big city (or big cities, since Lisa has apartments in both L.A. and New York).

She’s looking for a “highly intellectual” man who can cry at movies, eschews fake hair and “is Jewish or not seriously something else.” “Judaism, for me, is a serious avocation,” she tells The Jewish Journal of why she added the religious requirement. When she is at home in Studio City, she regularly attends Ohr HaTorah, a traditional yet progressive synagogue that emphasizes interpreting text. It’s a perfect fit for Loeb, whose songs tend “to be very analytical; to ask questions and to over-question,” she says.

I’m pretty sure that “fake hair” comment is about extensions or artificial weaves, as opposed to sheitels.

Lisa grew up Reform (and made her acoustic guitar debut at Dallas’ Camp Chai), where, she says in the piece in the Jewish Journal, “the message was ‘you should start focusing on marriage as soon as you graduate from college, and by the time you’re in your 30s, you should definitely have a family,’ she says.

So Lisa had long relationships, first with with a Catholic record producer, and atheist Dweezil “the Muffti” Zappa, son of Frank Zappa. Dweezil used to date Molly Ringwald. Frank’s other son, Ahmet, married Jewess Selma Blair in a Jewish ceremony at Princess Leia’s pad in 2004 after announcing his engagement on Friendster. True story, at least according to E!. That’s a lot of name dropping. I’m exhausted.

While the non-Jewish boyfriends did not thrill her parents, they ultimately brought the agnostic Loeb back to Judaism. “I realized throughout both relationships I was thinking about getting married and having kids and I wanted my kids to be raised Jewish,” she says. She began consulting rabbis, avidly reading books and shul shopping around Los Angeles. Eventually she forged an identity from a stew of Jewish influences, including sentimental memories of cooking with mom; texts as diverse as Chabad treatises and Rabbi Ted Falcon’s “Judaism for Dummies”; and the Ohr HaTorah congregation. (She says she’s hesitated to introduce dates to her synagogue, however, lest they stick around after a breakup.)

Then she should definitely not live on the Upper West Side. Cause that happens ALL THE TIME.

She also worried the cameras would ruin her life, but she changed her mind upon realizing she could reach out to other single 30-somethings. Of course, celebrities like Loeb encounter atypical dating woes: At a JDate party some time ago, for example, some people recognized her and “stopped treating me as a peer,” she says.

A local NYC celebrity will be in Los Angeles in February and hopes that Lisa will make time to treat her as a peer. Or at least show her how to make her famous kugel.

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see, and


  • In a tangentially related note, as much as I love Frank Zappa, he was not the world’s loveliest man. But somehow, Dweezil came out a fuckin’ hottie, in that burly Mediterranean kind of way. And he looks Jewish anyway. Maybe Lisa should reconsider.

  • Hey, I went to Brown with her! But I don’t remember her hanging around Hillel – she was usually playing guitar on the Green with her musical partner Liz (they were known as Liz and Lisa then – don’t know what became of Liz). Esther, I think you have much to teach her.

  • Uhm, where do I sign up?

    Sure, she’s 15 years older than I am… but I’m cool with it if she is.

  • I love Lisa, always have. She did a show at a reform shul in Baltimore a few years ago. It was great–her brother’s a famous conductor, and they did the show together. They have some ties to the shul apparently. She was really cute, but unfortunately the audience was composed of about 400 people over seventy who had no idea what was going on.

  • Muffti, I was actually going to say, “unless you have no heart…Muffti, this means you,” but decided to instead give you the benefit of the doubt.

  • There WILL be retribution for that uncalled-for Madonna reference come June Birthright, Esther.

  • Not really a big fan. Let’s hope she doesn’t fall for the demonic Aish crap. Even Madonas Kabbala is 1000% better than the Aish level.

  • Cry at movies?

    Does he need to like sunsets and long walks on the beach where they can talk about their feelings and shit too?

  • Wait, stop the presses…a cute, successful Ivy- League Jewish female looking for a jewish guy who likes cats and chinese food and wants to have a serious realationship. …how unusual…NOT!!!

    Yah know, let her freakin’ get in-line behind the rest of us. Didn’t anyone tell her that a serious shortage of heterosexual, educated and employed jewish penis is going on in the tri-state Metro area? (pun intended)

    That beautiful, accomplished women now have to get themselves blogs and reality shows to find a spouse is just inexcusable. Now, not only does a woman need to be absolutely physically perfect and brainy, she needs to know how to promote and market herself above all the competition?

    Is there any hope for the non-Grammy winners amongst us?

  • Muffti is a heterosexual, educated Jewish Penis in the tri-state area! If only he could get himself employed…

  • there are only a few requirements: heterosexual, educated, employed and jewish with a fully functioning penis. I didn’t even say well educated or well employed. why the shortage ???

  • Sad- a modern artistic woman letting superficial religious considerations influence her mating and child-rearing choices. Will people ever shake off surface identity, and learn to focus deeper? One would have thought this very talented woman would be one. As for analytic questions and answers, what would she tell her children if they asked the following: “Mommy, Moses said in the Ten Commandments “Thou shalt not kill and Thou shalt not steal”, right? But then just after THAT, coming down from the mountain, everybody went into Canaan and, and I guess with Moses’ blessing, robbed and stole and killed all the people living in Jericho. And did they steal their land there? And in other cities? And kill a lot of people? Is that terrorism in the BIBLE mommy? Why, mommy, why?

    Paging reform rebbe….

  • hahah…Muffti likes Pygmy! But a few things to clear up
    1) She’s not THAT talented unless you really like girl music about such deep topics as ‘I really miss you and I thought I was stronger but I’m not’, or, for a sampling of lyrics:

    i didn’t come this far for you to make this hard for me.
    and now you want to ask me “how?”
    it’s like – how does your heart beat, and why do you breathe?
    how does your heart beat, and why do you breathe?

    2) The Commandments are clearly restricted in application: ‘though shalt not kill’ does not mean though shalt NEVER kill…there are circumstances where you can kill and if God says ‘Go kill those damn caananites in Jericho and I’ll giv eyou a hand in doing it’, well, then that’s what ya gotta do. Is that terrorism? No…that’s one nation’s army invading another nation. Muffti thinks these days we call it an unlawful violation of sovreignty.

    This is one of the things that makes Muffti an atheist.