18 thoughts on “WTJ?

  1. I agree with OJ that the cartoon is offensive.
    As for Ben’s comment, it is offensive to deceive people about what you’re looking for but as long as someone’s open about why they are on jdate or whatever I don’t see the problem.

  2. While you’ll likely find more people in the Reform movement who know very little about Judaism and therefore don’t hold it very close to their heart, you’ll also find many within the Conservative and Orthodox expressing the same sentiment as well. Furthermore, there are plenty of people within the Reform movement who are extremely knowledgeable, proud Jews.
    But the question begs to be asked Ben – why do you go out with these goils if they’re not expressing much interest in the tribe?

  3. Oh my lord it’s a cartoon!
    Stop being offended by the dialog of characters that aren’t meant to be heroes anyway!

  4. CR, I think you’re confusing me with the robot 😉
    But, in all seriousness, I’ve gone on three dates who have all confessed they’re only trying to meet a Jewish man to make their parents happy. There’s nothing wrong with that, nor is there anything wrong with poking fun at it. Actually, pleasing one’s parents makes more sense than pleasing G-d, because your parents are not invisible.

  5. As a Reform Jew, I was at first slightly upset, but then remembered all the times I laughed at the Shabot strips when Orthos are being lampooned. It is supposed to be a bit off color, get over it.

  6. By which I mean, in what way does it add to the conversation, or encourage Jews to love each other and Judaism? I don’t think it should even be posted on Jewschool. Imagine if I put up a cartoon slamming the Hasidic movement. Jesus.

  7. i agree that it was in poor taste, but we’ve slammed hareidism, modern orthodoxy, conservative judaism, zionists, anti-zionists — everyone takes a hit. we’re equal opportunity offenders.

  8. Oh good grief!
    Yeah, as a Reform Jew who cares, I bristle at Ben’s punchline a bit. I’d like to think we’re giving our kids better reasons to date Jewish than that, but if we’re not, then let’s thank Ben for the rebuke and act on it.
    I will note that people in my cohort who grew up Reform is producing young adults that are more engaged that we ever were. This is a step in the right direction, but we don’t know what to do with engaged kids once the Tipty years are past. BZ has written extensively and eloquently on this.
    But please, let’s not prove the worst stereotypes about Reform true by pleading offense at a legitimate criticism, and thus avoiding any need to deal with it.
    And no, asking the non-Jewish spouses they have brought into our shuls to convert after the fact, as Eric Yoffie and Kerry Olitzky seem to advocate is not “dealing with it.”

  9. Sarah, who’s Will? 😉
    In fact most of my comics involve humor at the expense of more Orthodox movements, and I’ve never seen any non-Orthodox readers step up to defend them, so it seems people only get offended if it’s something they can relate to personally.
    And this particular strip makes no generalizations about an entire movement–it’s just a robot and a rabbi commenting on some amusing dates.

  10. I was offended that you singled out “reform” as associated with the “pleasing the parents” meme. Sure, there’s plenty of Jews who want to marry or date Jewish to please their parents, but why single out reform Jews for that? You’re just buying into the whole “Oh, I don’t know anything or doing anything because I’m reform line” In my opinion, those people don’t really represent what reform is about. They’re just people who call themselves reform. In sum, though it’s true and maybe funny that not all Jews date to have jewish spouses and a marriage with Jewish content, but for parental pressure, it was inappropriate, in my mind, to paint this as a specifically “reform movement” issue. If you had said “I”m sick of jdate. my last three dates seem to think the j is for just…” then I’d of laughed free and easy

  11. Ok folks. I can’t believe this has gone on this long. It is supposed to be offensive. I am a Reform Jew, I live with a Reform Jew and we will have Reform Jewish babies one day and they will grow up to be Reform Jews. So I know what J stands for: JOKE. (I will be here all week, try the veal)
    This is cartoon is funny and it is supposed to be offensive. Mobuis said it best, it is equal opportunity offensive here. Rich you are right too, that it is a new time in a new place for Reform Judaism and we should be proud of producing engaged Reform Jews but who are kidding here? There are many people who still say “I am not religious, I am a Reformed Jew.” I would argue that a majority of the “reformed” Jews aren’t Reform at all, many may have grown up in Conservative or Orthodox homes. The fact remains that Reform Judaism is misunderstood by many folks; people who are more traditional and those who are lazy asses don’t really get it.
    However, the point of a three frame cartoon is to make a joke based on stereotypes. I remember laughing at the Shabot strip about Chabad and checking the website during Shabbat for when to have Havdallah. That is rude and offensive because it assumes Chabanicim are checking the Internet on Shabbos. I also find the one from June 8th where it calls non-Jewish women “dumb bitches” offensive but I didn’t see anyone jump to their guns on that one. Or most notably the one on April 15 that says amputees don’t believe in God. I don’t like being made fun of either, but if we only protect ourselves what good are we to the rest of the world? I see no light from this defense of Reform Jews or this cartoon.
    It is however funny.

  12. this is funny and appropriate.
    No good jokes are “tasteful”, its the ones that prod a little, push the envelope, challenge, and sometimes take a shot at someone.
    it isn’t “funny” unless the jab has some truth – otherwise, you just stare and wonder the heck was that about.
    Jdate, if you’ve ever been on it and been on a few dates, is a pretty interesting experience and you tend to run into a a lot of people who are just on it to please their parents, have no intention to do anything jewish in their life, including a bunch of non-Jewish people looking to marry Jews (whether it be for financial or looks, the reasons are abound).
    Merely browsing some “reform” profiles on the site, it is loaded with people who talk about everything but jewish stuff, and while many omit any reference to their current observance or plans on future observance in any type of jewish/israel/religious/cultural practices, A BUNCH even explicitly disclaim interest in those things… I found one profile where the girl’s dad was jewish, was brought up Chrisian, said she wanted to continue living Christian and raise her kids Christian, but she’s on jdate because she is attracted to jewish men…. (intentional pause)…
    There’s nothing wrong with that, as in, she has a right to say that and believe it and/or want it to be her reality – BUT IT’S funny! It’s funny because it contradicts, it is a wonder of logic and because it is a reality among the jews of our generation, and we all know it, it’s hilarious (just look at all the humor of george carlin, all based on making fun of the regular things we do that make little logical sense)… over half of all american jews intermarry (meaning, no conversion, b/c there’s then its not intermarriage)… that fact isn’t funny, but it is that fact, plus the common Jdater experience, that makes the cartoon effective.
    It’s clear there is a significant portion of the young jewish generation that can give two sh$ts about any cultural, religious aspect of judaism, yet they are still looking for jewish men! Hey, that’s pretty funny… and if you ask me, there’s the flipside positive element to that negativity – if people like that are still looking to marry other Jews, then something must be going right (most people aren’t going to marry someone prely for their parents, especially if they aren’t observant!) These people are at least looking in the right place – at least they may not intermarry, and who knows if their attitudes about judaism may change in the future …
    as a final caveat, I was brought up reform, reform camp, reform hebrew school, bar mitzvahed, all that (so I was an observant reform jew), and I’m not offended – most reform jews are not observantin any traditional sense, I was among the minority who grew up with what, many people would call, yiddishkeit. Forget the differences in observance that discern the movements, there are critical things to be said about all religious jewish movements…. BUT, there is something to be said about a movement that has not, as a whole, moved people toward the fold.. but instead, is moving our parent’s generation and our generation away, towards intermarriage. To be critical of the movement’s failure to our generation (those who grew up reform), failure to instill many of us with strong jewish heritage (whatever you want to define that as) should be allowed, tolerated, and open for lively discussion and yes, the same could be said about other streams of judaism, but to lesser degrees).

  13. I’m with OJ. The joke is really about JDate, not about Reform Jews, and the joke could have stood up just fine if the first panel had said simply “So how is it going with dating on JDate?”
    Yes, it’s possible that this could be very subtly mocking the fact that many of the apathetic Jews discussed in this comment thread, on JDate and elsewhere, identify as “Reform” despite having little or no idea what that means, but I’m not seeing that level of sophistication here.

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