Thursday, July 31, 2008

La Pena!

Don't forget, tonight get a sneak peak at Cool Jew and Jewish Blues.

Saul Kaye unveils his Jewish Blues Music at 8 pm at La Pena in Berkeley.

A talented singer-songwriter, Saul has graciously invited me to share snippets from my book.

Be the first in your crew to get Cool Jew.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Map It!

Using the nifty (geeky?) travel map on my Facebook page, I've finally done that geeky (nifty?) how-many-countries-have-I-visited count.

Who knew? My total: 24 countries in four continents.

How can I top that? With a 30-stop tour that keeps growing!

Houston, St. Louis, Ann Arbor and West Palm Beach are just some of the stops on the 2008-2009 Cool Jew Book Tour!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yiddish Carries The Day

You know you've landed in Facebook hell when your favorite Scrabulous dies an early death due to a legal battle.

Then to make things worse, the beta substitute of Hasbro's Scrabble crashes and burns.

However, you know you've landed in Heebster heaven when Yiddish rules the National Scrabble Championship.

On NPR's program, "All Things Considered," the Wall Street Journal's Stefan Fatsis reported the tie-breaking bubbeleh.

But first, a recap. Says Fatsis, more than 660 players played for four days in 28 games in Orlando. Nigel Richards, a security engineer from New Zealand, who lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was holding steady in a tie-breaker at 370 points against Brian Cappalletto (look at all those double letters!), an options trader from Chicago and a former national and world Scrabble champion. There was nary a tile left in the bag.

Brian played words like scerrying and sarcine, Fatsis reports. Nigel played
innerve and penates.

Nigel's winning word?

Shuln. The Yiddish plural for shul.

That's right, folks. Shuln aka synagogues.

Could you be more Heebster?!


Cool Jew Matisyahu searches for some freedom in the

Burma: It Can't Wait campaign.

Free the captive.

Play the video.

Join the

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jewish Blues and Cool Jew

This Thursday night, at 8 pm in Berkeley, Saul Kaye unveils his Jewish Blues Music. A talented singer-songwriter, Saul has taken a journey into his roots and dipped them into the African American Blues Tradition. Come out this night to La Pena and hear what he discovered. And get a sneak peak at Cool Jew... Saul has graciously invited me to share the stage and some snippets from the book.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


So it's like this.

We're holding this awesome book launch event in San Francisco on November 13th at 111 Minna Gallery, sponsored by The Hub at the SFJCC. We're having a Heebster panel of Cool Jews, films, He'Brew, live performances of book excerpts, world music, a dj AND a charity raffle to benefit One Family Fund, Israeli victims of terror. It's gonna be super hype.

Meanwhile, I've been shnorring around for contributions for the raffle. And my publisher sent me a box of books for raffle prizes. I get that "Ah, a box just arrived from UPS happy feeling." I tear open the box and there they are.

Books galore.

New books.

Fresh books.

Books I've not read.


I know these books are not for me. I repeat, they are not for me. NO, THEY ARE NOT FOR ME.

But would it really hurt anyone if I at least crack one open and see what's inside?

Behold the message the universe sends me from Mo' Urban Dictionary, the book I chose to sample.

To write a blog entry just for the sake of posting an entry, not because you have done anything interesting today.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Rebecca Honig Friedman

On the Lilith blog, Rebecca Honig Friedman shares her dismay at the recent prisoner exchange and gives a shout out to my campaign for Gilad Shalit.

…And there are still Israeli soldiers missing. Negotiations over the release of Gilad Shalit, who has been held hostage by Hamas and its allies for over two years, appear to be at a standstill.

As the fast of Tisha B’Av approaches, historically a very bad time for the Jewish people, author Lisa Alcalay Klug is spearheading “a campaign to focus our collective energy, thoughts and prayers on bringing about [Gilad Shalit’s] freedom.” Klug writes in a Facebook message...

Thanks, Rebecca. Let's hope it makes a difference...

More information on Israeli MIAs appears here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Jewcy blogger Jessica Miller got a hold of da book. In her words:

Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe by Lisa Alcalay Klug: A step by step how-to guide to transforming yourself into the ultimate cool Jew, or "Heebster." Includes lots of great graphics.

Winning clip: "Yarmulke, shmarmulke. When it's so jewcy, why only wear it on your head? Sew leather shoelaces on a matching pair to create a sexy string bikini top for your next Jewish singles cruise."

Big ups Jessica!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cool Jew Countdown

40 days to the big reveal.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bring Back Gilad Shalit

On Sunday, the fast day known as the 17th of Tammuz, I couldn't help but think of Gilad Shalit, who is being held in captivity by enemies of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

Please join me in a campaign to focus our collective energy, thoughts and prayers on bringing about his freedom.

In your own way, whatever way that is, please put your mental and spiritual attention on bringing about his safe return--alive--to his family, his country and his people.

This year, Tisha B'Av falls on August 10th. When/if you fast, in addition to the traditions of the day, please also have in mind the safe return of a live and well Gilad Shalit.

The power of collective fast and prayer is believed to have saved the Jewish people from genocide during the time of Queen Esther.

The redemption of the captive is one of our most compelling missions as a people and as brethren on this planet. Years ago, our collective efforts brought Natan Sharansky out of bondage. Together, we can redeem Gilad Shalit.

Spread the word!

B'achdut--in unity,

Amazon Bestseller's List

Once again, Cool Jew landed on Amazon's Bestseller's list for Humor/Religion.

Today's spot: on No. 14. Whoo hoo!

Monday, July 21, 2008


It's time for a shout out to all who have responded to the early call for donations to the Cool Jew book launch party bonanza at the stylin' 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco on Nov. 13th, sponsored by The Hub at the JCCSF. The raffle benefits the One Family Fund, Israeli victims of terror.

Thanks to Cleis Press -- publisher of Matthue Roth's Heebster memoir, Yom Kippur A Go-Go.

Thanks to Thou Shall Snack -- makers of yummy Latke Bits and Babka Bites.

Thanks to the fabulous chanteuse Chana Rothman -- talented rocker, rapper and folksinger.

Thanks to the incomparable Rabbi Yosef Langer of SF Chabad -- Grateful Yid t-shirt and Rally Rabbi Bobblehead doll

And thanks to my publisher, Andrews McMeel -- publisher of Cool Jew, Urban Dictionary, The Blue Day Book and more.

Keep it coming people!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Where Cool Jews Roam

There are cool Jews and there are cool Jews.

And then there are those, like fellow penster Ruth Andrew Ellenson, who blow my mind. I finished my book and sent it to my publisher last August. In November, Ruth wrote a piece for Sh'ma. Her article
miraculously channeled many of my own thoughts on the whole "cool Jew" phenom.

But Ruth hadn't read my unpublished manuscript. And I hadn't read her piece. Heck, we didn't even know each other. But the good folks at the Jewlicious Festival were already working their magic to make that happen... we did finally meet at 4.0 and I knew I had found a fellow traveler.

As you can read here, the lovely and talented editor of the Modern Jewish Girls Guide to Guilt clearly has telepathic powers or a spy chip inside my brain. Or maybe we just share some bizarre tuning fork to the zeitgeist.

November 2007

Kislev 5768

Reflecting on Cool

By Ruth Andrew Ellenson

Let me begin by pointing out the

irony of my authorship of this article. Really

folks: is there anything that ensures your

status as a geek more than writing an article

on Jewish coolness for Sh’ma?

My four younger siblings would love

nothing more than to confirm this impression

of me and how utterly unqualified I am

to write anything that even contains the

word cool in it. But because this is a public

record of sorts, I’d like to point out that I’m

not the only one in my family who suffers

this fate. When my sister was twelve she

listed for my father all the reasons he was

uncool. Chief on her list of complaints was

that he called his jeans, dungarees. The girl

had a point.

Besides, “Jewish cool” is something

of an oxymoron. The first word connotes

community, tradition, and following moral

and religious dictates; the second word

praises life beyond rules and conventions,

not being beholden to anyone else’s

standards. All that said, it doesn’t mean that

the concept of “cool Jews” didn’t grab hold

and is still very much afoot.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Countdown: Day 45

Everyone is getting in on the act.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Good Day

Is when you find out you have no cavities.

Is when your prophy tastes like a cherry coke Slurpie instead of vile baby aspirin that makes you wanna hurl.

Is when you find out you're going to Canada!

Yes, it's true. I had a good check up.

Whoops, I mean, yes, it's true. Cool Jew Comes to Canada.

We're talking a Montreal - Toronto two-fer.

Details to follow!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Top Ten Jewish Neighborhoods

Ch-ch-check out the cover story on the current issue of Jewish Living magazine.

The Top 10 Jewish Neighborhoods in North America

By Lisa Alcalay Klug

With more Jews per square inch than some parts of Israel, there's no denying that Manhattan's Upper West Side is about as Jewish a neighborhood as you'll find anywhere. But in compiling Jewish Living's list of the top 10 'hoods, it's not merely size or even longevity that counts. Along with quantifiable criteria like the number and variety of synagogues, proximity to kosher restaurants, and options in day schools‚ all of which are included in our descriptions‚ we unearthed the qualifiable, as well.

We have identified neighborhoods across the continent that are growing, rebuilding, reinventing themselves, unifying their disparate parts, and exploring our traditions in unconventional ways. Our hope was to be more than a little surprising and to find dynamic Jews wherever they roam. Within these locales, members of the tribe of any and all stripes are putting down roots and putting up pillars of community.

The key word that defines all 10 neighborhoods is‚ "vibrant." There is energy surging forth in every one. Together they form a mosaic of diverse pieces‚ mixing old and young; singles and families; suburban and metropolitan settings; affordable to pricey housing; Reform to Conservative to Orthodox to Renewal and more. They are the new melting pots, bubbling with all the forms of self-expression that represent the Jewish people today.

Our listing‚ presented alphabetically, not in any order of preference or precedence‚ is multipurpose. It's fascinating to see where we are thriving. And should you be thinking of moving somewhere that you'll feel comfortable and find like-minded brethren, we hope to give you some new places to consider. More...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Delicious Peace

Last year, I wrote about the Jewlicious Festival for the San Francisco Chronicle. The piece included the story of J.J. Keki, a Ugandan Jew who runs a peace cooperative of Jewish, Muslim and Christian coffee growers in his native country. The coop is called Mirembe Kawomere, which means delicious peace in the Luganda language. At Jewlicious, J.J. shared the story of Mirembe Kawomere and sang some of his amazing Grammy-nominated music over Shabbat and jammed at the annual Saturday night extravaganza.

Now J.J. has landed in the pages of O magazine, in the forthcoming August issue. As J.J. says, you don't need PhDs to make peace when you have coffee. You can order the joe, watch the movie and support the cause at

Mirembe Kawomera Coffee is the first Fair Trade Certified™ Ugandan coffee to reach the U.S. market. It's also the first to win the cool Jew stamp of approval. Two elbows up!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The First Big Book Event

LOVE FEST '08 - Tu B'Av Celebration is 30 days away!!!

When? Thursday, August 14 @ 8:30pm

Where? Fu's Palace
8751 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles 90035

What? Love Fest of Heebster Fun

* World Music performance by Moshav

* Spoken word performance by Smooth-E

* Drum circle

* Heebster marketplace

* DJ spinning the Jewke Box

* Mouth watering eats

and, naturally!

* Book signing with this here author

Why? Because it's never been so much fun to be you, Jew!

Cost: $20 in advance or $25 at the door (price includes 1 free drink)

Pre-pay at

Info: Call Michal @ 310-405-2336 or

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Count Down to Launch!

With September 1 as the official launch of Cool Jew, today marks 50 days to blast off.

Let the countdown begin!

Friday, July 11, 2008

You're All Invited! donate to the big charity raffle we're holding Nov. 13th at the big SF launch party. It's going to be an awesome event with a panel discussion, live performances, a band, a DJ and more all at 111 Minna Gallery, conveniently located at 111 Minna Street. The charity raffle will benefit the One Family Fund, Israeli victims of terror. Are you a musician, author, entreprenuer, innovator, extreme shopper? Got some new CDs, t-shirts, books or other cool Jewie swag you'd like to donate? Click contact and give a shout out!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Book Expo

The industry debut of Cool Jew at Book Expo America was fun, fun, fun.

Props to Sandy, Morty, and Sheryl, the oh so gracious LA tribespeople, who put together a fabulous lawn party, complete with Manischewitz cocktails, egg creams, black & whites, cheesecake, and-- yes, Zohan--hummous in honor of the occasion. Props also to actress Barb Heller who demo'd the making of said cocktails!

Read and see more here on the blog of Jean Roth.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

An Amazon Bestseller!

It's not out yet but that doesn't mean it's not selling. Cool Jew landed on an Amazon bestseller's list... No. 9 in humor/religion!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Join the club! Join the Cool Jew Group on Facebook!

Having trouble connecting?

Try this:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Jewish Book Network and other events

This just in... Travels begin in August and continue through January.

Check it out.

And check back periodically for updates and news!

2008-2009 Cool Jew Book Tour (subject to change)

8/14: LA, Jewlicious/JConnect LA Tu B'Av Celebration, co-presented with Birthright Israel NEXT--Los Angeles, Jewcy, Jewish Agency, and

8/25: SF Giants, Jewish Heritage Night Tailgate Party sponsored by

9/9: Las Vegas, private event

9/11: San Francisco, Calif., private event

9/15: San Francisco, Calif. , SF Federation, Diller Tikkun Olam Awards

9/16 Colgate University, New York, Jewish Book Network

9/23: West Palm Beach, Florida, Jewish Book Network

11/5 Scottsdale, Arizona, Jewish Book Network

11/6 UCLA Hillel and Center for Jewish Studies Launch Party and Panel Discussion

11/12 Davie, Florida Jewish Book Network

11/13: SF The Hub of SFJCC Launch Party, co-presented with Birthright Israel NEXT--San Francisco and Jewlicious.

11/16 Ann Arbor, Michigan, Jewish Book Network

11/18 New York City

11/19 New York City, American Sefardi Federation Young Artists Panel Discussion

11/20 New York City, JCC of Manhattan Lit Cafe Launch Party and Jewish Rock Showcase

11/21 New York City -- TBC

11/24 New York City -- TBC

12/7: Toledo, Ohio Jewish Book Network

12/8 Cleveland Ohio

1/7 Kansas City, Missouri

1/8 Kansas City, Kansas

1/13-14 New York City, Shmooze Conference