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Shtick Shift: Jewish Humor in the 21st Century Paperback – January 25, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Barricade Books; 2nd edition (January 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569803528
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569803523
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A Wikipedic collection of humorous solutions, Bill Moyers, Charlie Rose, Brian Lamb and C-Span take note."
--Jerry Stiller

"The freshest, boldest, and funniest voice writing about American Judaism today."
--Bruce Feiler

"The most intelligent, ground-breaking book on Jewish comedy Ive ever read."
--Jonathan Kesselman

"Extraordinarily knowledgeable and insightful about the current state of Jews, humor, and America."
--Joseph Telushkin

About the Author

Simcha Weinstein is an internationally known, best-selling author. His first book Up, Up and Oy Vey!, received the Benjamin Franklin Award for the best book of 2007. He has appeared on CNN Showbiz Tonight and NPR, and has been profiled in leading publications, including The New York Times, The Miami Herald and The London Guardian. He chairs the Religious Affairs Committee at the renowned New York art school, Pratt Institute.

More About the Author


Simcha Weinstein is an internationally known, best-selling author. He has appeared on CNN Showbiz Tonight and NPR, and has been profiled in leading publications, including The New York Times, The Miami Herald and The London Guardian. He chairs the Religious Affair's Committee at the renowned New York art school, Pratt Institute.

Simcha holds a bachelors degree in Film History from the Manchester Metropolitan University, England. Following graduation, he became an associate for the British Film Commission and coordinated the production of hundreds of feature films throughout the United Kingdom. They say that "when man makes plans, God laughs" as his path veered from show business to the yeshiva, and he eventually became a rabbi.

Simcha's unique background and life experiences have led him to reconsider the popular culture of his youth through the lens of his commitment to Jewish ethics and spirituality. This one-of-a-kind perspective, along with his wit, makes him an entertaining and much sought-after public speaker.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
An absolute pleasure to read!
Will
His ability as a writer lies in the authors capability to deftly deal with the overload of contemporary information.
E. Moed
The informative literary wit of Simcha Weinstein is in an "un-put-downable" book.
Shkoyach

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sonia Beker on March 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Reb Simcha doesn't disappoint in his second book about Jewish humor, "Shtick Shift." It's a rollicking read, full of historical anecdotes, fascinating moments of comic nostalgia and loaded with laughs! Couldn't put it down! It's a light-hearted way to pick up all kinds of interesting tidbits about the Jewish comics of yesteryear who we grew to know and love as we were growing up -- Jack Benny, the Marx Brothers and Mel Brooks -- and brings their influence into the present with Seinfeld, Costanza and Sandler, among many others. Forget those failing equity funds! Pick up a copy of "Shtick Shift" and enjoy!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James on November 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a Jew who has never considered himself very Jewish (engaged to a tall shiksa goddess and having underwent a very anglicized name change), I didn't expect to recognize so much of myself in this book. Weinstein very adeptly approaches the subjects of Jewish identity, assimilation and, of course, humor in the face of everything and nothing. Shtick Shift has been, at least for me, a mirror into my inner-jew, revealing aspects of my identity that I never thought of as particularly Jewish. After being taken on a tour of self-discovery, led by Weinstein's easy-going and humorous writing style, I can honestly say, for the first time in a long time, that I feel a little closer to the tribe. This book is a must read!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Moshe on October 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Simcha Weinstein has a pulse on contemporary Jewish culture. His ability to analyze the "shift" in modern Jewish humor while blending in traditional Jewish values, is a treasure.
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Format: Paperback
Schtick Shift - what the grown-ups have missed
By Michael M. Bast
The 2000 year old man was asked if there was anything in the modern world he recognized from the cave man days. He answered, "Yes, the jokes." I always fancied myself a connoisseur of Jewish jokes, and it never dawned on me that I was missing any. Up until last week, there were about five standard jokes, and I heard them all from my father. This verity remains, but the presentation has changed. But because I don't watch any channel besides ESPN, it turns out I have missed a few things. I thank Rabbi Simcha Weinstein for bringing these to my attention.
Weinstein's nifty little manual Shtick Shift updates all of us alte-kockers, and I heartily recommend it to those of us who thought we knew it all. We don't.
I did not know about the bag of Jew gold all Jews carry in a bag around their necks. If I had known about it, I myself could have invented the corollary, which is that Jews also carry a second bag, this one with fake gold, in case of robbery. So maybe what I was missing here was not the joke, but the premise upon which to build the joke. It's not a new joke. It's a new fabrication about the Jews. We have been here for centuries, and at long last there is something new to believe about us. The joke itself is not much different than the one about the innkeeper who tries to charge Rothschild 40 rubles for a boiled potato.
The concept of fake news having a real impact (the chapter on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show) was also previously unknown to me. Many of us born in the 1900's still get our news from newspapers while eating breakfast, seated at a table. I myself circle items of interest in the newspaper with a pen for later reference.
I'll bet this Jon Stewart fellow is very funny. But what should I circle?
I think I'll circle my calendar for the publication date of Weinstein's next book, because this one was terrific.
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By Rick on December 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Where a lot of Torah scholars avoid pop culture like the plague, Rabbi Simcha Weinstein dives right in, and comes up with a thorough and poignant analysis of the evolution of American Jewish humor, some keen moral insights taken from Jewish tradition, all the while keeping it funny. Personally, I just think it's really cool to see a rabbi address a topic that's a part of so many of our lives (any of us who, for example, watch television), that most simply won't touch, or at least, won't give such a thoughtful treatment. Modern Jewish humor, from a timeless Torah perspective - a rare find, and a great read!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Roth on October 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
Name your favorite comedian. Seinfeld? Crystal? Rickles? Their all Jewish! Weinstein's offering takes us through the ins and outs from the Lower East Side to Vaudeville to the movies and the sitcoms. His insights enhance everything you thought you already knew and his research illuminates all the rest. If you love to laugh, if fun is your thing and if you have the slightest curiosity about where all this humor came from, you must pick on Shtick Shift. It'll shift your comedic appreciation into overdrive!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Moed on November 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simcha is an extremely perceptive individual. However this book goes far beyond a visceral reading of contemporary affairs. His ability as a writer lies in the authors capability to deftly deal with the overload of contemporary information. The book goes deeper than analyzing and observing current trends; ideas and ideals are carefully filtered into pointed humorous and meaningful channels that make this book a must read. I am a very critical individual and, yet, I highly recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T.Perel on October 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Simcha Weinstein has done it agian, this is best book of the year by a mile - no joke!!

Shtick Shift tackles the very serious questions of anti-Semitism, intermarriage and Jewish survival, all through the study of how Judaism is presented through our TV screens, stand up humorists, and the film industry.

Read this book, you wont regret it.
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