Benji Lovitt
Because the Middle East is Funny
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New poll: US Jewry going to hell in a handbasket

Other results found American Jews surprisingly unified on the taste of bagels

A new survey released earlier this week presented major shifts in American Jewry, with one rabbinic leader calling the community “farkakte.” The poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center (PRC), also concluded that 71% of the population had no idea what “farkakte” means. 

This survey, the first of its kind conducted in over a decade, presented findings which took the Jewish world by surprise. “In addition to increases in intermarriage and decreases in synagogue membership, the results affirmed what we already suspected: We’re totally screwed,” said Brooklyn rabbi Moshe Levenglick. “We had a good ride but it’s over. Goodbye, American Jewry.”

Levenglick claimed that his views did not represent those of his ultra-Orthodox community; however, the PRC was unable to reach a critical mass of his constituents, as they would not take phone calls from female pollsters.

Seventy four percent of Reform Jews were found to really enjoy eating cheeseburgers. Surprisingly, this number rose to 86% among the rabbinical community. However, the margin of error on these questions was thought to be quite large, with Reform Jews interpreting the poll questions in whatever way they wanted.

“I didn’t understand what they meant when they asked how many times I have attended temple this month,” said Maria Hernandez-Cohen, rebbetzin of the Simchat Beit HaDimSum congregation in Santa Cruz, California. “I mean, I do Bikram yoga in my studio like every other day, so I guess that means a lot, right?”

Despite major declines in religious identification, most American Jews said that bagels are delicious and that they would have sex with an Israeli soldier if Israel was in need. Also, 54% of Jews believe that a Christmas tree has no place in a Jewish home between January and November.

One unnamed Israeli Cabinet minister was unconcerned with the conclusions. “The results demonstrate the continued importance of programs such as Taglit-Birthright in fostering Jewish identity. And guarantee my continued kickbacks from Taglit.”

Fifty-seven percent of responders who identified themselves as Conservative Jews claimed to have no idea what they stand for and had no further comment. Survey results were inconclusive with Reconstructionist Jews as nobody was sure how to define the questions. And more than any other stream, Messianic Jews tended to show up on the doorsteps of pollsters and bug the living crap out of them.

Comedian Benji Lovitt will be in North America this month. Contact him for a show or workshop about life in Israel.

About the Author
Since making aliyah in 2006, Benji Lovitt has performed stand-up comedy and educational programs for groups including Jewish Federations, Chabads, synagogues, Masa Israel Journey, and Birthright Israel. His perspectives on aliyah and Israeli society have been featured on Israeli TV and radio and in publications such as USA Today, Time Magazine, the BBC, and more. Benji has worked as a cross-cultural trainer with groups including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Masa Israel and is a popular presenter on the Limmud International circuit. During 2014's Operation Protective Edge, his humorous observations on the war led to his being called in Israel "the only reason to go on Facebook.”
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