From Publishers Weekly
Forget the Borscht Belt and the shtickJewish humor seems to be undergoing a rebirth with a cool new generation of irreverent writers like Rushkoff. Author of the zine Plotz in the late 90s, Rushkoff now presents this idiosyncratic and very funny take on Jewish holidays with the stated motivation of demystifying the holidays and rituals for non-Jews who, annually at Christmastime, "cautiously asked about my whereabouts on December 25th, as if that was the day I set aside to do human sacrifice." In fact, though, her satire will appeal, and make sense, more to insiders. Take, for instance, her comment on the sartorial customs of synagogue-goers on the Jewish new year, which comes in September: "It was still blazing hot out but that didnt stop most of the Sisterhood from showcasing their new fall wardrobes on this Rosh Hashanah." Her sales catalog full of different style sukkahs for the fall harvest festival includes an inflatable one for city dwellers and an organic one for the "earthy-crunchy" set. And perhaps only a Jew frustrated by endless Christmas specials on TV will fully appreciate her guide to what television on December 25 would look like "if Jews really did own the media." Her hip narrative of the story of Ruth (she "was born a shiksa but now practiced Judaism with real gusto") and her hip-hop account of the story of Esther are strictly unorthodox. Rushkoffs humor is refreshing, if not downright chutzpahdik.
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About the Author
A researcher and journalist, Barbara Rushkoff started her Jewish-themed zine, Plotz, in 1995 and it immediately garnered national attention in The New York Times, The Daily News, and The Washington Post.