Friday, October 30, 2009

Profile: Stephen Breyer

The order we post the profiles is pretty much the order we write them in... But to have a Supreme Court judge follow Daphne Rosen? That was intentional.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Profile: Daphne Rosen

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous suggested Ms. Rosen a while back. You'd think that a porn star profile would basically write itself and you'd be right. The problem is, it wrote itself in June 2008. So, Daphne sat around the queue, gathering dust, till we figured out the solution above.

Ordinarily, at this point, we'd link some photos or video or whatever of our profilee's work, but in this case we'll just leave it to you, our intrepid reader, to satisfy your own curiosity...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Profile: Danny Elfman

Danny Elfman is related, but not by blood, to actress Jenna Elfman, who, for those wondering, and if you're reading this, you most likely are, is not Jewish.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Profile: Dolph Schayes

The NBA season starts today, so seems a perfect time to profile arguably the best Jewish player in NBA history.

Schayes was suggested by Joel from California, Howard from Washington DC, and Andrew from San Francisco.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Profile: Michael Douglas

Here's the podcast, the Jew or Not Jew talk starts about 25 minutes into the discussion. Yakov was actually on the airplane when he heard this, and it took two stewardesses to calm him down.

Oh, and Bill? Scarlett Johansson.

Jews in the News: Ivanka Trump is a Jewish wife

We get a lot of requests to profile Donald Trump from the "rich = Jewish" crowd. Ummmm. No. Donald Trump = Not a Jew.

But his daughter, Ivanka, is! Ivanka converted to Judaism for fiance, and now husband, Jared Kushner.

If only this happened when "The Apprentice" was at its peak, she would have made a worthy profile. Now... meh.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Profile: Christoph Waltz

When I said I can get half a dozen profiles from Ingolorious Basterds, little did I know that Christopher Waltz would be one.

So once again, a profile which would not have been possible without help from a reader. This time, Joe from Scranton.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Profile: Nadira

When consulting an Indian co-worker on exactly why all Bollywood movies burst into song, he said one of the reasons is to... relieve sexual tension. Hmmmm.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Profile: Arthur Eichengrun

What is this, obscure Jews named Arthur week? One of the toughest photo finds in JONJ history.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Profile: Artie Ziff

Yakov is proclaiming Artie the most obscure JONJ profile ever. I'm still going with Alan Veingrad.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Profile: Napoleon Bonaparte

A big thanks to Mara from Kansas for finding the link between Napoleon and Jews.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Profile: Lou Boudreau

We finally have our shortstop--and contradicted our Ben Zobrist profile--so we should be happy right? Yeah, not so much. We still need a current shortstop (heck, we'll settle for one that's still alive) to complete our All-Jew Baseball Fantasy Team. Until then, we're convinced that Jews and shortstops mix like pastrami and mayonnaise.

Thanks so much to Bill from Miami (for the initial suggestion) and to Jim from Tampa (for the suggestion in response to Zobrist) for making sure Boudreau made it onto our lineup card.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Update: The Dylan War

Oooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh Bobby!

Since the profile was posted, Bob Dylan has probably been our most contentious verdict.

How many times has a dedicated reader sent us the same YouTube clip of Bob Dylan at temple? Or playing Jewish music on stage? Or the articles about his attendance at Long Island shuls? How many times has Moishe himself said to me, "You have to rewrite the profile. You have to change the verdict. You must re-score the score?" And every time I resisted. "Not enough evidence," I said. "Never converted back," I said. And oh how they laughed—silly stubborn Yakov.

Therefore, you can call this newly released (as of October 13) album "Christmas in My Heart" by Bob Dylan.

But, in my mind it will always be known as "I Told You So."

Profile: Paul Erdos

If college projects counted towards the Erdos numbers, mine would be 4. Yeah, it's a cheat, but it beats my Bacon number...

Thanks to Karyn from Montreal for the suggestion.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Profile: George Michael

We've had a neat little streak going here at JONJ: Monday was Leonard Cohen, Tuesday was George Cohen and today is George Michael. The next step would be to have someone named Michael run for tomorrow and keep the streak alive but sadly, looking at the next six weeks of profiles (and yes, we've actually got that many written and waiting to be published), there isn't one Michael waiting to take that spot.

Oh well.

Thanks to Liz from Lexington, MA for the suggestion!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Profile: George Cohen

I'm sure we'll be able to find a real Jew among the 32 participating teams at next year's World Cup... Right? Right?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Profile: Leonard Cohen

Believe it or not, Leonard Cohen is the most-requested profile in JONJ history. Among the requesters (and what an international group!): TS from Toronto, Chris from Leeds, Mal from Tel Aviv, Jesse from Brooklyn, Abby from France, Simon from Liverpool, and Sten from Germany.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Profile: Larry Brown

For the record, I only have one uncle, and he's been happily married for 35 years. Also for the record, this is the second Jewish uncle analogy we've made (Larry King).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Profile: Antonio Sabato Jr.

Reader Marcia from Westchester suggested we profile Mr. Sabato, Jr. One of those absurd suggestions, we immediately thought... Little did we know. Thanks, Marcia!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jews in the News: Ada Yonath wins the Nobel

The Nobel Prizes are given out this week, and we have our first Jewish winner of 2009: Ada Yonath of Israel, who shared the Chemistry prize with Thomas Steitz (Not a Jew) and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (Definitely Not a Jew).

Profile: Lois Griffin

How's THAT for service? We complain about the lack of good Family Guy Jews on a Friday and—voila—we get the revelation that Lois Griffin is Jewish that very Sunday. There's a Family Guy joke that goes with this kind of wish fulfillment that involves a naked, crab walking Lindsay Lohan, but I'm pretty sure no one wants that anymore.

In a (somewhat) related note, image searches for Lois lead to some...interesting discoveries. People clearly have too much time on their hands and not enough contact with actual, three-dimensional women. NSFW, indeed...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Profile: Harvey Levin

On NYC's Channel 5, TMZ is on at 6:30, preceding Simpsons at 7. So quite often you can't help tuning in at 6:58 and seeing two minutes of Harvey discussing stalking celebrities. I learned my lesson; the mute button is now used immediately.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Profile: Jon Hamm

We're not kidding either... Reader Meredith from Rhode Island wanted us to profile Hamm "just cause he's hot!"

Jews on Mad Men: no, not Don Draper... Hmmm. Well, creator Matthew Weiner, but as far as characters and actors are concerned... Rachel Menken from Season 1, of course, and Maggie Siff, the actress who played her. And... That's it?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Update: Peter Griffin is Jewish!(?)

How is this for timing? With Mort Goldman still the lead profile on JONJ, "Family Guy" runs with a "Peter becomes Jewish" episode. We'll have more on the subject soon.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Settling the Score: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

So, yes, our website has been flooded with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad queries today. The reason is this article, entitled "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed to have Jewish past".

Well, the title sounds definitive. But let's read on.

So it looks like the Ayatollah son's original claim (and the source of our profile) that Ahmadinejad was once Sabourjian just might be true. But what does that mean?

Well, the article claims that "Sabourjian" means "weaver of the Sabour", a step up from simple "thread painter" that was the previous translation. And a Sabour is "the name for the Jewish Tallit shawl". Ahmadinejad is Jewish, QED. Right?

Not so fast. Point one: remember the source. This is coming out of Iran, and we all saw how much truth came out during their current election. So one has to take everything with a grain of salt, especially anything involving Iran's major players.

Point two: interesting change in translation. So a Sabour is a Jewish shawl? And now, let's say... a section of Pakistan, a country neighboring Iran? We don't claim to be experts on Iranian last names, but shouldn't this version be considered?

Point three: OK, so let's say that his father's last name was Sabourjian, and let's say Sabourjian is a Jewish last name. Fine. Is there any proof his father was Jewish? No. So how many generations back does that go? Let's compare Sabourjian to a recent blog topic, NFL wide receiver Julian Edelman. Yes, Edelman is a Jewish last name. Yes, Edelman has Jewish ancestry. But is he himself Jewish? No. If (when) we profile Edelman, he will get a "Barely a Jew" verdict.

But that's because his Jewish roots are an admitted fact. Ahmadinejad's aren't. They are, until further notice, conjecture. So the score stays at 1 (that I of 1 allows for the possibility that he might have Jewish roots), and Ahmadinejad stays at "Not a Jew"... Until further notice.

However, we doubt that he will ever acknowledge his supposed Jewish roots... be they real or imagined.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Profile: Mort Goldman

In case I haven't been clear enough in the above profile, let me just say that I really and truly hate Mort Goldman in the kind of angry and and definitive way that only happens with a fictional character.

There's nothing wrong with making fun of Jews—we're doing it every weekday, after all—but at least try to say something unique or interesting instead of just regurgitating the same dumb jokes that everyone else has done a thousand times. Then again, that's what EVERYONE gets after Family Guy for and while it's the truth, somehow that lack of originality doesn't make the show any less funny.

I just wish it had better Jews.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Profile: Sidney Franklin

We're not usually fans of Anglicizing one's name... but Frumkin -> Franklin? It's a good change.

It's a nice profile from Ernie, but... well, it doesn't delve into Franklin's Jewishness as much as we usually like. Oh well. With some people, you can't ask for everything...

Top 10 Profiles: September

1. Ringo Starr (+6)
2. Adolf Hitler (0)
3. Mel Gibson (-2)
4. Ben Roethlisberger (+2)
5. Sandra Bullock (0)
6. Daniel Craig (-2)
7. Sean Penn (+15)
8. Harrison Ford (+2)
9. Joseph Stalin (+3)
10. Kevin Bacon (-2)