Kosher tested, bubbe approved

Published: Saturday, April 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 31, 2006 at 4:17 p.m.

A group of bitching beauty queens, backstabbing and a strong desire to win…oy vey. All these traditional stereotypes were lacking in this particular pageant. This year’s first annual “Nice Jewish Boy, Nice Jewish Girl Pageant” utilized a Jewish student’s strongest weapon: humor. Armed with sarcasm and clever one-liners, 10 contestants engaged in a battle of wit at Hillel on March 30. The laughter that filled the room for the duration of the event would lead any observer to think the audience members (and participants) were ferschnooshked.

An event sponsored by Jewish Awareness Month, the pageant sought the ideal Jewish mate to bring home to mom. Judges evaluated participants on Yiddishkeit, Shabbat wear, Jewish talent, UF spirit wear and above all parental appeal.

“I’m doing this because they held me down at gunpoint and said if I didn’t they’d make me eat as many matzo balls as possible,” said Phil Bottfeld, contestant number two. (Oddly enough this was contestant number six Josh Pollock’s talent choice).

Fuputzed in their best Shabbat wear, complete with a tallit and kippa, contestants strutted down the runway, utilizing their religious accessories in an attempt to appeal to the three judges, Evan Tyroler, Anne Imanuel and Joe Goldberg.

Still decked in their Shabbat wear, the contestants moved on to the talent portion of the “competition.” Instead of baton twirling, these students showcased their knack for comedy, opera and guitar through a unique display of Jewish stereotypes.

Max Weiss, contestant number 10, graced the stage area first with a parody of Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song.” Weiss incorporated Jews from the Gainesville area in the place of celebrities in the song. To add extra comic effect, in the middle of his performance Weiss accepted a call from his mom and an “awww” sounded from the audience.

Following Weiss’ performance, Jen Shorstein, contestant number nine, sang an original operatic piece entitled “How to get what you want from Daddy.”

“It was never about the competition, but hanging out with some cool Jews and raising money at the same time,” said Shorstein. “Every one went up trying to get laughs.”

Girls with designer purses, large sunglasses and shirts with sayings including “Everybody loves a Jewish Girl,” “Kosher,” or “You don’t like me but your boyfriend does” seem to be proving the stereotype of the Jewish American Princess.

Sharon Fieldman, contestant number three, recited “the Plight of the JAP,” a tongue-in-cheek guide on how to maintain the appearance and demeanor of a Jewish American Princess. While the talent required a great deal of chutzpah, since she presented it before a room full of all Jewish audience members, Fieldman assured that she did not want to perpetuate the Jewish stereotype but utilize it in a comedic fashion. The uproar of laughter from the audience proved no one was insulted.

Have you ever been JAP-ped? Audience volunteer Sable received a complete makeover onstage by contestant number one, Linda Burns. The sure signs you’ve encountered a JAP include frivolous use of daddy’s credit card, a Prada purse (Vera Bradley is no longer the preferred style), black clothing (JAPs fear color), large sunglasses (to avoid eye contact with anyone on campus) and a headband to complete the all-black outfit.

Then, in a failed attempt to schmooze the only female judge, contestant number four Andrew Brown, “spit game” on how to talk to nice Jewish girls. “I like long walks to shul and matzo balls,” Brown said with a surprisingly straight face as he nudged Imanuel to accompany him on a date.

Round three, the question and answer portion, continued the evening’s hilarity.

“If I were a Jewish dessert I would be the afikomen – because I have a hidden treasure,” said Max Weiss.

Not the typical contestant’s response at a pageant, but if the responses were atypical, the questions were even more so.

Sandy Klickstein, the event’s co-MC, asked Justin Stone, contestant number eight, “If you could put together a band of Jewish people, who would play which instrument?”

With the help of audience member Josh Weiss, Stone put Moses on the guitar, Jesus on the bongos, Abraham on the xylophone and Ron Jeremy “blowing the shofar.”

The evening concluded with the crowning of Max Weiss and Abbey Gadinsky Snyder. Instead of filling her eyes with tears and crying like a blithering meshugene while thanking her mishpacha and all those who supported her throughout her years of pageantry, this year’s nice Jewish girl joked, “my Bubbe would be so proud, my mother, everyone in my Israel class and my Zeide.”

Yiddish 101

Schmooze - intimate chat [n]; persuade [v]

Yenta - gossipy one [n]

Bubbe – grandmother

Zeide - grandfather

Oy vey - "Oh, no!"

Tuchus - A Jewish slang word referring to the buttocks

Meshugene – crazy person

Mishpacha – family

Nudge - pest [n], to pester [v]

Chutzpah - sass, moxy; nerve, gall

Yiddishkeit - Jewishness

Ferpitzed - (Yid.) dressed up

Ferschnoshked - (Yid.) drunk

Afikomen - last bit of matzah, eaten at end of Seder

The Plight of the JAP

By Sharon Fieldman

1. The phrases "OMG," "btw," "j/k," and "brb" are all legitimate forms of speech. Use them whenever possible.

2. When referring to your father, you may say "my dad." When referring to your father's money, you must call him "daddy." (Example: My dad made me run errands, but daddy bought me a new purse!)

3. For every three conversations you have, one must be about clothes or beauty products, one must be whining about the complaint of your choice, and one must be talking behind the back of a fellow JAP.

4. Hair cannot just be "straightened," you must use a Chi.

5. Jewelry from daddy or an ex-boyfriend (or that Tiffany's bracelet from your bat-mitzvah) should be worn during the day. At night, you may only wear oversized beads.

6. When in doubt of what to wear, a small Abercrombie shirt, gaucho pants, and huge sunglasses work wonders.

7. Although you may have only 200 friends, 199 of those are mutual friends with one another... got to love that Jewish geography!

8. Speaking of, you're a member of at least 2 of the following groups: Sexy Jews, USY Alumni, Camp Ramah Darom, BBYO, Gators for Israel, JAM 2006

9. While wearing your Juicy sweats on the treadmill, you think you're cleverly burning extra calories by talking on your cell phone.

10. If you're a Boca or South Florida JAP, you come to UF!

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