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What to Do When You're Dating a Jew : Everything You Need to Know from Matzah Balls to Marriage Paperback – September 12, 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Learn everything you need to know about the holidays, traditions, beliefs, and culture of the Jew you love . . . and his or her family. From what to order in a Kosher deli to what to wear to a Purim party, this book answers all the questions you'll face as the love interest of a nice Jewish boy or girl.

What to Do When You're Dating a Jew will:
give you a quick overview of the basics of Judaism
prepare you for meeting your significant other's Jewish family
brief you on Jewish holidays, ceremonies, and rituals
alert you to potentially embarrassing situations and show you how to avert them
entertain you with "It happened to me" stories from interfaith couples

Peppered with definitions of Yiddish terms, historical facts, jokes, quotes, and even recipes, this is essential reading for any woman or man involved with a Jew, whether looking for a deeper understanding of the Jewish faith or simply looking to survive a first seder at Bubbe's house.

About the Author

Vikki Weiss and Jennifer A. Block are authorities on this subject, as they have been Jews all of their lives and have been dating outside the tribe almost as long. They are currently mixing it up (and trying not to break their parents' hearts) in San Francisco.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (September 12, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609806394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609806395
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I first saw this book, I was conflicted, maybe even insulted. But in reality, as a member of the Jewish faith, I am not the book's target. With an American rate of intermarriage that grows higher each decade, this book can't hurt. It can only help to make non-Jewish partners and spouses more comfortable among members of the North American, culturally Jewish tribe. The authors, 31, know a tad about their chosen subject. They have dated non-Jewish men most of their adult lives. Jennifer Block married a non-Jewish spouse, while Vicki Weiss' three siblings all married non-Jewish spouses. The authors witnessed first hand the questions these dates and spouses raised, and the social faux pas they made in front of older family members (you know, like ordering cheese and ham in a kosher deli, bringing bread to a seder, using mayo, buying retail, etc.). If the preceding line in parentheses irritates you, then this book will just enrage you. The book provides an overview and fingernail sketch of the basics of American Jewish practice, a briefing on the rituals and major Jewish observed holidays, and painfully entertaining stories from interfaith couples. You can tell it is a Jewish book, cuz it is peppered with Yiddish terms (sorry, no Ladino), and includes a recipe for chicken soup, and some Jewish jokes. The book has a translation of the Shema prayer, some other prayers, and some quotes, like that of Rabbi Hillel (If I am not for my self...) But a Jewish reader might find these perfunctory, since although there is a translation of the Shema, don't expect to find a deeper explanation or meaning of why the prayer or other quotes are central to the Jewish faith. The authors write that "shiksa" should not be viewed as a pejorative word. Yeah ..Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This book is loaded with information about not only Jewish laws, but the little traditions and rituals that aren't exactly covered in most text books. It is often these family traditions that catch the non-Jew off guard and end up putting them ten steps behind in the battle to win the family over.
More than just teach "what" the rules are, the authors do a briliant job of explaining "why". What I really loved was that they present the information in a very easy to read format that allows readers to dive into an issue or simply get a few quick tips.
But this book does more...while it is helpful to learn about the basics of Judaism, it is also wonderful to know that you are not alone "What to do when You're Dating a Jew" is enriched with stories from the front line of those involved in interfaith relationships. Often it is these types of stores and how those involved reacted that offer the best advice. The authors have done a great job of finding a perfect balance of stores that cover issues as light as what to bring for dinner and as intense as preparing for a wedding.
Probably the best part of the book is the use of humor. Those involved in interfaith relationships know how difficult they can be, but if we can't at least find a way to laugh at the situations, then too often the relationship can go sour. "What to do When Dating a Jew" does a perfect job of allowing the readers to laugh at themselves and those involved, yet does not take it too far and lose sight of the seriousness and difficulties involved.
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By A Customer on November 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is a non-Jew and is dating a Jew. My friends bought this for me as a joke when I (a nice Irish-Catholic girl) started seeing a Jewish guy....and here we are 2 years later in a very serious relationship.
This book helped me understand so much about Judaism. I knew what to bring to shiva calls and I knew not to blow out the candles on my boyfriend's menorah! And my boyfriend even read the entire book...he said it was a refresher course for him. There was some things in there that he had either forgotten or had never even known.
Trust me - this book is worth reading. I always keep it on hand in case I need to look anything up. And there are some great stories in there about other interfaith couples that you can really relate to.
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Format: Paperback
Let a Jew read this book, they will laugh out loud. It's full of jokes that ring so true, you may even blush. However, it's also an extremely useful guide for non-Jews looking to learn a bit about Jewish religion and culture.
That said, please don't misunderstand. This is a fun readable book, not a serious reference work. If you need training in Talmudic interpretation, this isn't the book for you.
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Format: Paperback
For a Catholic Girl, about to be engaged to a Nice Jewish Boy, this book saved me countless questions at every family meal! I read the book right before Passover and it was a wonderful source of info for that and all the High Holy days! My boyfriend laughed out loud at some of the narrative, and agreed with all the facts. In all seriousness, I was lost the first time I went to a Sabbath. I was so out of my element I was shy, and afraid to speak for fear of making an unforgivable error. That made for a very uncomfortable evening for all concerned. But after reading this book, not only did I lighten up, but I understood why we were doing certain things, and I was confident enough to really participate in the reading of the Haggadah. For a girl who is used to Amen's and Hail Mary's it was a delight to be able to participate. Sharing in my Fiancé's culture was even more wonderful! I have no intention to convert, but I can certainly use this book as a reference guide for our wedding as well!
Dating a Jew? Pick this up!
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