Wednesday, November 26, 2008


My NYC friends have taken to calling the upcoming Dec. 3 event at the Tenement Museum "Pickles." As in, nu, are you coming to Pickles???



December 3 at 6:30 PM

"Cool Jews"
The author of Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe, the author of Up, Up and Oy Vey and a singer/comedian from "Good for the Jews" ponder Jewish humor.

Light (kosher) refreshements served: He'Brew Beer and kosher pickle tasting.
Please RSVP to

Free & held at 108 Orchard.

Located 2 doors south of Delancey, the Museum Shop is where tours start and tickets are sold. The Museum Shop carries a selection of books and gifts about New York, immigration and tenements. It is also home to Tenement Talks, a regular series of free readings, performances and book release parties.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Tour Resumes Dec. 1!

Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe
Monday, December 1
7:00 p.m.

Jew got questions? Jew got answers! Imagine an updated combination of the beloved Jewish Catalog meets the The Joys of Yiddish with a hip-hop spin that captures the spirit of the times. A hallmark of the current Pan-Jewish cultural revival, Cool Jew does for matzah balls and gefilte fish what The Official Preppy Handbook did for plaid and polo, only with much more chutzpah! Award-winning author/journalist Lisa Alcalay Klug will come to Sixth & I to discuss her new book and “decode” contemporary Judaism and its hippest forms of cultural and creative expression. Co-sponsored with Birthright Israel NEXT, Moment and Zeek. This is a free event.

Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, 600 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, 202-408-3100. 600 I Street, N.W. ì Washington, DC 20001 ì Telephone: 202/408-3100

Monday, November 24, 2008

Good News!

Cool Jew is a "Top Seller" at Virgin Mega Stores!

Cool Jew made an appearance on New York's public television's Channel 13 WNET on Sunday.


Cool Jew is featured in this video interview with Jian Ghomeshi on QTV. Yeehaw!

Thanks, Chicas!

As I recover from The Wild Week of Touring, it's time to take care of business and give proper props to the holy sistahs who blogged 'bout the big New York partee:

Naomi Less of Jewish Chicks Rock

And Monica, Founder/Editor of Find The Jew Spot

Yo, thanks for the awesome shout outs! (Shouts out?)

Rock on, Sheebsters!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mazal Tov!

The University of Dayton's Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop just named me Humor Writer of the Month. I'm honored. Thanks so much UD EBWW and mazal tov all around!

I'm sneaking in a quick post before today's flight, writing from the Radisson University Hotel in Minneapolis. Today caps off a tremendous week on the road, with a new event each night in a new venue:

Sunday was Hillel at U of M Ann Arbor as part of the annual Jewish Book Fair. 'Twas
cozy, collegiate, and frankly, quite snowny.

Monday wasthe 3rd Annual Jewish Book Festival at the Alpert JCC in Long Beach, Calif. with a super friendly crowd and signature Manitinis. (See p. 41. Sounds gross. Tastes yum!)

Tuesday was a joint event with Gesher City and St. Louis Hillel at the annual St. Louis Jewish Book Fair. Simcha Weinstein and I laughed it up on stage at Wash U. We're going for more soon at a Tenement Talk on the Lower East Side...

Wednesday was the exuberant Young Artists Panel Exploring Our Heritage at the American Sefardi Federation in Manhattan. Sarah Aroeste, Erez "Diwon" Safar and I got Sefardi wid it, moderated by Michelle Ishay-Cohen. Da crowd of Sefardim of all ages loved it. So did we!

AND Thursday... ahhhhh Thursday, was the blow-out New York Launch Party with an amazing artists showcase at "Extreme Book Signing" the JCC of Manhattan. A night for the Annals of Heebster History... this rockin' list of Heebros and Holy Sistahs rocked da house: recording artists Michelle Citrin, Rav Shmuel, Sarah Aroeste, Naomi Less, Chana Rothman and Dov Rosenblatt and Avi Hoffman of Blue Fringe as well as actors Naomi Less and Franny Silverman of Storahtelling, performance poet/novelist Matthue Roth, and a last minute surprise: stand-up comedian Yisroel Campbell. Amidst an exhibit of historic Heebster signage assembled by Rabbi Michael Strassfeld of the original Jewish Catalog, it was a terrific night, filled to the rafters with about 200 guests,, Zeek and more!

To cap it all off... Friday night Shabbat dinner at Hillel at the U of Minnesota in Minneapolis at the annual Milgrom Shabbat program in memory of the superlative Rabbi Louis Milgrom. I woke up Shabbos morning to layers of new snow, just as the week began...

And what a week it was! Thanks so so much to the fabulous Heebster hosts, friends, guests and students who made all these events such a great success.

It's back to NYC today for the wedding of sweet friends, Judy and Marc. Up ahead? Shearith-Israel, the historic Spanish-Portugese Shul in Manhattan on Tuesday. Deets at the link and here:

Tuesday, November 25th - Lisa Alcalay Klug, Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe – This book serves as field manual for the 21st century Jew. It decodes contemporary Judaism and its hippest forms of cultural and creative expression, covering everything from identity, rituals, clothing and cuisine, to holidays, spirituality, diversity, and language. It is an updated combination of the beloved Jewish Catalog meets the Joys of Yiddish with a hip-hop spin that captures the spirit of the times; a hallmark of the current Pan-Jewish cultural revival. Ms. Klug is a journalist, comedian, and much more. She will join us to discuss her book and the multifaceted face of Jewish culture today. This program will be co-sponsored with Birthright NEXT.

Stay tuned for more posts, photos and recaps as the tour continues!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Tour Blizzard Continues

Word From the Road

In a groggy jetlag fog, I'm writing from Ann Arbor today, where, from my room at the Michigan League, I have a view of the blanket of snow that blew in last night during my book talk at Hillel. When the talk began, there was nothing on the ground and when it was over, there were inches of white covering everything but the street. The League is located in the heart of the downtown campus area... The League reminds me of the inn where I stayed much earlier in the tour when I visited Colgate University. It is a practical extension of campus, originally built as a student union for women enrolled at U of M. Ann Arbor has that good ol' college town charm. It's too bad I've got to make like a storm and blow myself out of here myself in a few minutes.

In the blur of book tour, today it's back to California, where I was just yesterday morning and where I'm headed again to parts south. Then it's off to St. Louis and New York for events a go-go, culminating in the New York Launch Party at the JCC of Manhattan. Click below for links...

For the record: TSA has officially shredded the zipper on the carrying case for my spider banner... a six foot high sign of the cover of the book provided by my publisher. Baruch Hashem for duct tape.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tour Blizzard

I'm fresh from the Bay Area, LA, Arizona, Toronto and Montreal, the Bay Area, and LA... in that order!

I'm posting today from Florida, where I'm appearing at the annual Girls Night Out in Davie at the Pasternak JCC.

From here, I head back to the Bay Area for the big launch party Thursday at 9 pm on Nov. 13th at 111 Minna Gallery sponsored by the Hub of the SFJCC.

In New York on Nov 20th, there is another huge launch party at the JCC of Manhattan.

Next week is my busiest of the entire tour. I'm in Ann Arbor on Nov. 16th, Long Beach Nov. 17th, St. Louis Nov. 18th, New York City for two events at the American Sefardi Federation on Nov. 19th and the aforementioned launch at the JCC of Manhattan on Nov. 20th. And finally, on Nov. 21st, I'm off to Minneapolis for a Shabbaton at Hillel at the University of Minnesota
and racing back to NY for the wedding of friends on Nov. 23rd. Whew!

The week after, I'm back to NYC for an event Nov. 25th at Congregation Sherith Israel, the historic Spanish-Portugese Shul, as part of their author series. I'm thankfully off for Thanksgiving and then down to DC for an event with Politics & Prose at the Sixth and I Shul, back up again to the Tenement Museum for a Tenement Talk and He'Brew Beer & Kosher Pickle Tasting and on to Westport, Connecticut and Toledo for more...

So click on Events, get all the deets and come on out for some fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Ranking!

It's another first! Cool Jew has captured the # 8 position on Amazon's list of bestselling Judaism titles. And in continued good form, Cool Jew is again ranking #4 on Amazon's bestselling humor/religion list. Endless thanks for your continued support!


Last night's event at the Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at UCLA Hillel was a wonderful celebration of contemporary Jewish culture with JDub tunes, the Cool Jew show and a panel discussion with Rabbi Yonah, educator and creator of the Jewlicious Festivals, award-winning filmmaker Dan Katzir and moderator UCLA History Professor Ra'anan Boustan. And a full martini bar with the Cool Jew signature Mani-tini and scrumptious eats... Thanks so so much to Mary Pinkerson at UCLA's Center for Jewish Studies, Perla Karney at Hillel's Dortort Center, Daniel Inlander of UCLA Hillel Alumni Association and Rachel Bookstein of Long Beach Hillel.


Celebration of Jewish Books Sunday Festival at American Jewish University, with more than 30 authors. I present 12:30 - 1:15 pm in room 307.

(I'm up just after Heebster pal Matthue Roth, who is also slated to appear at my upcoming New York launch party at the JCC of Manhattan on November 20th.)

Tickets, more information and the day's full schedule of authors, entertainment and more listed at or call (310) 440-1246, AJU Familian Campus, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air, CA 9077. Tickets $15. During the Sunday festival, complimentary shuttle service is available from dedicated parking lots at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino and the Federal Building at 11000 Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood (Lot C off Veteran Blvd.) Limited pre-paid premium parking is available for $10 in lots near the University. To obtain a placard with lot location, advance reservations are required. Call (310) 440-1246 for handicapped and premium parking arrangements.

RECENT COVERAGE in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

October 29, 2008

Hey, Hipster Jew—you probably think this book is about you

By Jay Firestone

You're sporting a Batman yarmulke on your head and a cubic-zirconia-studded Star of David pendant around your neck that would put Flavor Flav to shame. A plastic Moses figure stands posed next to your computer, ready for some sea-splitting action.

If you count yourself among the Heebsters and Sheebsters, you're proud to be a Jew and have no reservations when it comes to flaunting your J-bling. If this is all new to you, welcome to the world of hipster Jews.

That's the thinking behind Lisa Alcalay Klug's new book, "Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe" (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $12.99), which seeks to catalogue hip Jewish trends, from He'BrewBeer to Heeb magazine, while looking at Judaism and its culture through a post-denominational lens.

Also referred to as "The Heebster Handbook," Klug describes "Cool Jew" as "a field manual for 21st-century Jews." With chapters ranging from "Heebster, Know Thyself" to "Heebster Spoken Here," the book captures the social and cultural zeitgeist that defines modern cool Jews. "Cool Jew" picks up where the do-it-yourself "Jewish Catalog" series left off, aiming its content at the iJew who feels no shame in giving the gift of a virtual matzah ball to a Facebook friend. (more)

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I'm in the thick of a phenomenal whirlwind across North America and haven't yet had a chance to recap the amazing adventures of the Canada Tour. Click here for a podcast interview from Q, the CBC Culture, Arts and Entertainment hour with Jian Ghomeshi. And stay tuned for a Q-TV interview more exciting tales of the Montreal Shabbaton and the ground-breaking Cool Jew Cabaret in Toronto...

Recent coverage in the Canadian Jewish News is available here, with snippets below...

Meanwhile, I'm racing from my last event in Scottsdale to LA for tonight's bonanza. Come on out for more celebrating who you are!

"Cool Jews: Books, Films, Festivals." Panel discussion and dessert reception in honor of the release of Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe at UCLA Hillel. Panelists include Cool Jew author Lisa Alcalay Klug, Israeli filmmaker Dan Katzir ("Yiddish Theater: A Love Story," "Out for Love, Be Back Shortly") and Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, co-founder Jewlicious Festivals. Book signing, film glimpses, kosher martini bar (I.D. required) & dessert reception. Co-sponsored by Hillel at UCLA Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts, UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, Long Beach Hillel and UCLA Hillel's Alumni Association, 7 pm - 9:30 pm. Free.

Advance registration required (310) 267-5327
or email


UCLA Lot 2 - $9.00

Directions to UCLA Parking Structure Number 2

  1. From the 405 Freeway, exit on Wilshire Blvd, East. Proceed EAST on Wilshire Sunset Blvd. to Westwood Blvd.
  2. Make a LEFT turn on to Westwood Blvd. and proceed to Weyburn Avenue.
  3. Make a RIGHT on to Weyburn Avenue then LEFT onto Hilgard Avenue.
  4. Proceed on Hilgard Avenue to Westholme Avenue. Make a LEFT on Westholme Avenue to Parking Structure 2.
  5. From Parking Structure 2; Take West Elevators to Street Level. Exit towards Westholme Avenue. Walk across Hilgard Avenue and turn LEFT or NORTH on Hilgard Avenue. Hillel is on the East Side of Hilgard Avenue.


Defining the hipster Jew for the new generation

Staff Reporter
On Sept. 1, award-winning U.S. journalist
and proud Heebster maven Lisa Alcalay
Klug released her book Cool Jew: The Ultimate
Guide for Every Member of the Tribe
(Andrews McMeel Publishing).
Described as “a field manual for 21stcentury
Jews and the people who love
them, [it] decodes contemporary Judaism
and its hippest forms of cultural expression,”
Cool Jew is 250 pages of new
Jewish lingo and imagery and has been
on’s Top 10 bestseller list
for humour/religion since its release. It’s
now in its second print run due to heavy
demand, according to Klug.
Though she’s been living out of a suitcase
for the last month while promoting
the book on a whirlwind North American
tour, Klug kindly took time out for an
e-mail Q&A last week with Heebonics to
kibbitz about how it came together and
her thoughts on the new Jew. Now that’s
And before you ask, Klug has decided
to coin the term “Heebster,” defining it as
Heebster \heeb-stur\, noun (circa now) :
1 : A cool Jew.
2 : An honorary Member of the Tribe.
3 : Those who not only know what it is to be
Jewish, they know it, flaunt it, dig it and love it.
Heebonics: Why write Cool Jew?
Klug: I wrote Cool Jew because I love being
Jewish and I care passionately about how we
relate to our identity, tradition and community.
H: How did you go about researching it? How long
did it take?
K: About 15 years crammed into two. I’ve been
collecting and noticing fun and innovative forms
of Jewish expression for a long time. I spent a
much shorter period actually writing the book,
gathering images, working with an illustrator,
designing the cover and working on the layout. I
share the design credit on the book. (more)