Jewish Journal

VH-1 Declares Jews ‘So Jewtastic’

by Keren Engelberg

Posted on Dec. 15, 2005 at 7:00 pm

It's official. According to VH-1, it is now hip to be Hebrew. The music television channel premieres "VH-1 All Access: So Jewtastic" on Dec. 19, making a case for the current trendiness of our tribe.

From Madonna's rip-off of kabbalah to "The O.C.'s" dreamy Jew teen heartthrob Seth Cohen, the evidence could not be clearer -- not that VH-1 is the first to point it out. Articles about Jewish cool have graced various publications over the last year or so. But as trend-spotting goes, a nod from the entertainment and pop culture-driven cable channel isn't small potatoes. What it may indicate is just how big we've gotten.

"America fetishizes ethnicity. We saw it a few years ago with Latinos," Heeb magazine editor and publisher Joshua Neuman told VH-1 cameras. "We're at the point now where there's a bull market for Jewish culture in America."

In exploring this phenomenon, the show, much like the trend, pays irreverent homage to Jewish culture, featuring Jackie Mason teaching "Yiddish 101" "for all the goyim and shiksas out there," and comedian Elon Gold asking pointed questions of Canter's Deli customers, like "Why is there a hole in the middle of a bagel?"

Jewish stars of film and television, comedians, musicians and journalists also chime in with cheeky commentary about the Jewish role in music, comedy and sports, as well as the truth and fiction behind stereotypes about Jewish mothers, neuroses and sex.

And thankfully, the links between Jews and hip-hop are finally confronted, offering answers to long-held questions like: "Are Jews crunk?" and "Why do so many rappers dress like your bubbe from Boca?"

"VH-1 All Access: So Jewtastic" premieres on VH-1 (www.vh1.com), Dec. 19, 9 p.m.

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