“Hi, are you Jewish?” It’s a question you may have been asked in any number of towns or cities by a smiling bearded man wearing a yarmulke. It’s one of the trademarks of Chabad, the Hasidic movement that dispatches its young men around town to help Jewish strangers perform a mitzvah—Jewish women are offered Shabbat candles, and Jewish men are encouraged to put on tefillin.
We’ve always been fascinated with this practice, with some of us finding it charming and others, frankly, terrifying. So we did the only thing we could do: We went to Manhattan’s crowded Union Square during lunchtime, accompanied by our very own Chabad Sherpas, to see what it was like to talk to absolute strangers about religion.
While we’re asking questions: Is it OK to say “JAP”? That’s what we’ll be discussing at our live show Wednesday, July 18 at the JCC Manhattan. Broadway legend Tovah Feldshuh and Jill Kargman of Odd Mom Out will join us to screen a short film we made about the persistence of the Jewish American Princess stereotype. There will be a lively discussion, audience questions, and much more. Get your tickets here.
Our donation drive is live! We have fun prizes for all levels of giving, including a special Camp Unorthodox T-shirt, an Unorthodox enamel pin, an ‘Unorthodox Approved’ laptop sticker, and more. And this year our hosts are upping the stakes with a contest: When you give, include a note with the name of your favorite host. The host who gets the least love will have to face a very creative and amusing penalty on air. Visit tabletmag.com/donate to be part of the fun.
We love hearing from our listeners! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com or leave a message at our new listener line: 914-570-4869. We may share your note on the air.
Want more Unorthodox in your life? Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and join our Facebook group to chat with the hosts and see what happens behind the scenes! Show your love for Unorthodox with our new T-shirts, sweatshirts, and baby onesies. Get yours here.
This episode is sponsored by Harry’s. Get $5 off a shave set from Harry’s with code UNORTHODOX at Harrys.com.