“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.

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This episode is sponsored by Harry’s. Get $5 off a shave set from Harry’s with code UNORTHODOX at Harrys.com.





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