Friday, February 27, 2009


That rockin' annual festival of all things Jewish begins today!

We're there, of course, sharing the love by giving away hundreds of copies of Cool Jew.

LA Blueprint described the Festival in these words:

Whatever flavor of Jewish-ness you consider yourself, you’re likely to have a rockin’ time at the Jewlicious Festival 5.0, Feb 27 – March 1 2009, in Long Beach, California, dubbed “an event unlike any other weekend in Jewish history”. Will it compare to the splitting of the sea? I can’t say for sure, but from the music lineup and endless list of activities and programs, it does stand a good chance. Essentially, a Jewish Woodstock, Jewlicious Festival is a three-day gathering to unite Jews from all backgrounds to share a gigantic Shabbat sleepover complete with inspiring discussions and yummy food, rock out with the biggest names in the Jewish music scene, and celebrate all things Jewish.

And the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, which also published an amazing piece this week about my work by David Suissa -- thank you so much, David! -- wrote this about the festival:

When the first Jewlicious festival, Jewlicious @ The Beach, launched in April 2005, co-founder Rabbi Yonah Bookstein and his team rented out a few rooms at the Alpert Jewish Community Center in Long Beach to host about 100 participants. Four years later, they are booking the entire facility to hold Jewlicious 5.0, which is expected to attract 800 Jewish students and young professionals… At the Saturday night concert, Y-Love, a black Orthodox rapper, will be spitting rhymes on the same stage as Moshav, a Los Angeles-based alternative folk-rock band, and Rav Shmuel, a 6-foot-5 Chasidic rabbi who is popular in New York City’s anti-folk scene. On Sunday afternoon, Inbar Bakal, a secular but traditional Sephardic Jew, will sing her own versions of biblical texts set to old Yemenite melodies. The fact that the bands have very different backgrounds, but all perform over the same weekend, speaks to the festival’s goals of promoting Jewish unity and celebrating Jewish diversity.

Come join the fun!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Great Week Ahead

It's a big week at Cool Jew Incorporated... I'm presenting at a Cool Jew celebration timed to coincide with Rosh Chodesh Adar at Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley, Calif. on Tuesday at 7 pm. This event is free and all are welcome. Arrive early for a complimentary goodie bag!

This week, the Contemporary Jewish Museum debuts my seder plate-inspired Heebster installation in San Francisco as part of the show, "New Works/Old Story: 80 Artists at the Passover Table." The exhibit runs Feb. 27-June 2. And this Wednesday, a private reception, at which all of the invitational works will be available for sale, will be held 6-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $60 for museum members, $100 for the general public. For more information, call (415) 655-7821 or visit

On Thursday, I jet to Long Beach, Calif. for the opening of the Jewlicious Festival on Friday... The first 500 arrivals receive a free copy of Cool Jew! More info is available here.

More good news: today, Cool Jew ranks No. 6 on Amazon's bestsellers list of Humor/Religion titles.

It's Almost Purim!

ModernTribe has teamed up with Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe, to create the Cool Jew Gift Box, available exclusively at

The Cool Jew Gift Box contains

* Cool Jew, a 2008 National Jewish Book Award Finalist.
* No Limit Texas Dreidel, Standard Edition for up to 4 players
* Dreidel Hustler keychain doll, Heeb magazine's Dreidel Hustler in 3D!
* Two 2.5 oz bags of kosher goodies to fulfill mishloach manot, the mitzvah of sending food to friends
* Masquerade Mask to "Recycle, Reuse, Reshmooze any time you go undercover
* All boxed in hip packaging (unlike those mini laundry baskets)
* Valued at $54, you can send this bonanza of fun to your loved one for $45.

Purim starts Monday, March 9th at sundown! Wanna win a free Cool Jew Gift Box? Send us your thoughts to lisa (at) on all the cool ways you're celebrating Purim this year! We'll choose the winning post. So start clicking and enter to win!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cool Jew Cabaret II

This weekend, I'm heading to Limmud LA, that awesome festival of Jewish learning, community and volunteerism. I'm presenting a pair of sessions on my book, Cool Jew, and the Jewish Cultural Revival.

Meanwhile... in parts north, Limmud Toronto is taking place this Sunday.

This year, you can study Torah and liturgy, go green with a panel on eco-Judaism, learn to write your family memoir, sing along with an instant choir, join a drum circle, improvise and analyze scenes from Tanakh, speak your Jewish experience in poetry, and more!

The day of learning will be capped off with Cool Jew Cabaret II, inspired by my book. The first Cool Jew Cabaret was part of my book tour at the Koffler Centre of the Arts.

The 2nd Cool Jew Cabaret sponsored both by the Koffler and Limmud Toronto features

The spoken word stylings of Ariel Platt & the man at the centre of TO's Poetry Slam scene, David Silverberg.

A new musical project with a Brazilian flare from Eric Stein together with his music buddies.

And, its a multi-generational Schlanger acoustic set with the always fun & funky, Soozi Schlanger and her fabulous mother, Miriam.

Then get ready to shake your tuchas to the Sephardic sizzle of Ibtissam, the city's best bellydancer
Date: February 15, 2009
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Latvian House, 491 College Street
Fees: $12

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jewish Earth Day

Today is Tu B'Shevat, the New Year of the Trees.

As the Jewish tradition teaches, the human being is the tree of the field.

If you've never heard of this, you might be wondering, how are we like trees? When we stand upright, arms outstretched above, our limbs resemble branches, extending to the ground, and our arms reach upward, extending to the heavens. Our toes become our roots, our fingers our leaves. Yogis call this mountain pose, which can extend into tree pose.

Some say our fingers and toes are likened to tzitzit, the traditional Jewish ritual fringes adorning the four-cornered prayer shawl that remind us of our connection to Source. Our corners, the extensions of our limbs, are likewise adorned with our human version of tzitzit, digits that allow us to ground ourselves and to reach higher through positive, productive action.

Happy Tu B'Shevat people. Take action. Love the planet. Go eco.

As we say in Cool Jew,
Recycle, Reuse, Reshmooze!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Cool Jew's ranking today on Amazon's humor/religion list is solid.

#5 in Books > Entertainment > Humor > Religion
#41 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism
#94 in Books > Entertainment > Humor > Satire, General

Mazal tov all around!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Up Next?

What's new for this Jew?

I'm teaching two sessions at Limmud LA next weekend all about Cool Jew and what I call the "Jewish Cultural Revival."

I'm also presenting about my book at the Jewlicious Festival in Long Beach, Calif. at the end of the month. A whopping 500 copies of Cool Jew will be presented as free gifts to the first 500 guests to arrive at the Jewlicious Festival as part of a rockin' gift swag bag. Thanks so much to the generosity of Allen and Deanna Alevy for sponsoring the biggest Cool Jew giveaway in history!

And I'm exhibiting my first art installation at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco starting Feb. 25th. It's all part of a show entitled, "New Works, Old Story: 80 Artists at the Passover Table." Naturally, my piece, which combines music, light and flying holograms of Jewish stars, is right in tune with the Heebster vibe. If you're in SF, you can catch the show on view from February 27 through June 2. So come on over and shine your Hebraic loud and proud!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

More Mazal Tovs

More mazal tovs go to the winners of the current Erma Bombeck Humor Book Giveaway.

Each issue of the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop newsletter includes a giveaway of a humor book or a book on writing to select subscribers to the newsletter. This issue's winners are

*Terrie Carter
*Gary Brady-Herndon
*Susan Hintz

Each has won a copy of Cool Jewwhich, the newsletter announces, as "the cover assures us, 'is not just for Jews.'"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Awards Recap

It's not every day you're poking around for URLs of recent media coverage on the web and you suddenly discover that you actually placed in an awards competition... in June!

I'm delighted to announce (belatedly) that Cool Jew won Honorable Mention in the "Wild Card" Category at the 2008 New York Book Festival. This annual competition celebrates "books deserving greater recognition from the world's publishing capital."

That's the third (or first, depending on how you look at it) honor that I have received recently (recent being a very relative term). The New York Book Festival comes before, or after, being named the Erma Bombeck Humor Writer of the Month in October/November, and placing as a finalist in the 2008 National Jewish Book Awards in the category of Contemporary Jewish Life.

I guess you just never know what good news lurks out there in cyberspace...

Rock on, Heebsters!

More Fun Coverage

Today's Shout Outs go to the Jewish Studies Department at University of Wisconsin at Madison. Thanks for sharing the news about the honor Cool Jew took in the 2008 National Jewish Book Awards.

Another shout out to Bookopolis, who awarded a giveaway of Cool Jew today to Waldman for his thoughts on multi-culturalism.

"Multiculturalism, tolerance is very important. I believe all cultures have value and it is important to respects everyone's belief. Mutual respect, non violent tolerance we need reasons to get along, not reasons to hate each other"

Monday, February 2, 2009

Shout Out

Goes to the Conney Project on Jewish Arts for announcing the honor Cool Jew received in the 2008 National Jewish Book Awards.

Cool Jew has been receiving all kinds of awesome exposure lately.

Cool Jew is ranking No. 8 right now on Amazon's best selling list of humor religion books, which means it's been appearing on that list for months now.

#8 in Books > Entertainment > Humor > Religion

Last week, Interfaith Voices aired the program we recorded while I was in D.C. during inauguration week. If you'd like to receive the MP3 of the show, e-me at lisa (at) cooljewbook (dot) com.

On the Bookopolis blog, there's been an active discussion of late on my multiculturalism campaign and Tolerant Nation project.

And The Baltimore Jewish Times ran this piece on January 16th, in advance of my talk at Breathe Books.

Cool Jews: Heebsters, Sheebsters, Kabba Lah Lah

Author offers irreverent insights into the life, times and essence of the modern ‘Heebster.’

Barbara Pash
Associate Editor

OK, let’s get it all straight. So there are “Heebsters” and “Sheebsters.” There are also “frumsters” and “the Yiddish impaired.” And there is “Kabba Lah Lah,” not to mention “Pesach jTunes” and “Shmatte Land.”

If you’re not sure what any of these strange and exotic terms actually mean, you are so out of the contemporary Hebraic loop, according to writer Lisa Alcalay Klug. For a remedy, what you need is Ms. Klug’s “Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide For Every Member Of The Tribe,” an irreverent compendium of the newest and hippest on “Planet Jewish.”