Friday, September 30, 2011

Profile: Lyndon Johnson

Well, at least this profile gave us the return of the Internet Gremlins...

LBJ was suggested by Kristine from NJ, Ben from NY, Yosef from Eilat, Cara from NJ, and Alan from Illinois.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Profile: Mordechai Spiegler

Spiegler also led Israel to the Asian Cup in 1964 and to the Olympic quarterfinals in 1968.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Profile: Ed Jew

Here's a full chronicle of Tapioca Ed's many adventures...

Thanks to Mitchell from Lancaster, PA for the terrific suggestion.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Profile: Philadelphia Sphas

One of Sphas' rivals were the Cleveland Rosenblums, but perhaps my favorite sports team name of all time is the Newark Mules...

The Sphas were suggested by Rafael from Rio de Janeiro.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Help needed: Mark Blum

We've never done this before... but what the hell:

Perhaps someone has information about actor Mark Blum (Desperately Seeking Susan, Crocodile Dundee, Broadway). He was born in Newark in 1950, so that, as well as the last name, point to Jewish. Any help will be appreciated.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Profile: Count von Count

Dear Billy from Detroit,

We know. We know. You really wanted us to say that the Count is Jewish. Alas...

But at least he beats Michele Bachmann's score...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Profile: Michele Bachmann

Ugh. Had to be done. She's not Jewish, folks!

Bachmann was suggested by Pat from Fairfield, CT, Carol from Fresno, CA, Michael from Canada, Yaakov from Jerusalem, Leslie from Racine, WI, Zvi from Israel, Jake from Brooklyn, Liz from Connecticut, Doris from Miami Beach, Solomon from the Netherlands, Sandra from Massachusetts, and Mitch from Lancaster, PA.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Profile: David Berglas

Another terrific suggestion by Joe from Scranton... More about the trick here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Settling the Score: Peter the Great

Upon further review, Peter the Great's Jewish ancestor is possible... but not clear. The Slavic Encyclopedia calls him a Crimean Tatar, not a Karaite. And all the Karaite sources seem to be a copy-and-paste of the same text, with no accreditation. So switching to "Not a Jew", until further notice. Thanks, anon poster!

Profile: Princess Diana

Well, the Kate Middleton obsession has subsided, but she is near the top of our most-read profiles. Princess Di? Doubt she'll make it that high, but we'll see...

Thanks, Liba from New York!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Profile: Neil Simon

In the recently-published Jonathan Silverman profile, Yakov called Simon "the Jewish icon of the play". Hmmm. Maybe. Arthur Miller? Close call?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Even more on the iPhone app

From Taki's Magazine:

And except for the fact that it’s a mobile-phone application, “Jew or Not a Jew” isn’t exactly breaking any new ground. Back in 1989, a Saturday Night Live sketch co-written by certified Jew Al Franken was called “Jew, Not a Jew” and played much the same game. Howard Stern, who despite his prominent proboscis claims to be only half-Jewish, regularly featured a game called “Guess Who’s the Jew” on both radio and TV. And since 2006, the website has played the “Who’s a Jew?” game with far more wit and panache than the new iPhone app. The site issues each celebrity a “Jew Score” based on three variables: “How Jewish they are internally, how Jewish they are externally and how much we want that person to be a Jew in the first place.” A post on the site’s Facebook page seems miffed at the publicity the new app is garnering and claims Johann Levy stole much of their data and 100 percent of their concept. It’s hard to argue: The mobile app’s “Random Jew” link performs exactly the same function as’s “Surprise Me!” tab—click on it, and up pops a new Jew for you to review.[1]

Friday, September 16, 2011

Profile: Mickey Cohen

Cohen was suggested by returning suggester Jason from Vancouver, as well as Nachman from Montreal. We guess they revere American Jewish gangsters in Canada?

Thanks, France 24!

We mentioned the interview we did with French media about the iPhone app. Here it is, we are towards the bottom. They did get our visitor numbers wrong, but that's not important. This is:
[Levy] says, admitting that his app was inspired by an American website with the same name.

"Inspired"? What a crook.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Profile: Joe Dassin

With all the love we're getting from France recently, Joe Dassin got moved up in the rotation.

Dassin was suggested by Vanda from London, Mila from Alexandria, and Paul from Boston.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More on the iPhone app

Apparently, it's causing quite an uproar in France, as we've just been contacted by French media with our take on it. Meanwhile, here are two stories that compare our website with the app, and my attempt to unscramble Google's translation:

Bon, d’abord, le gars n’a rien inventé. Et le site Jew or not jew du Web US amuse les Américains de toutes obédiences depuis des lustres sans que personne n’ait eu l’idée saugrenue d’y voir une quelconque mise en fiches.[1]

("Well, first of all, the guy did not invent anything. The US site Jew or Not Jew has amused Americans of all faiths for ages...")

Il est insupportable qu'un concepteur, fut il juif, ait pu concevoir de gagner de l'argent avec ce "bidule". Il savait très bien quelle controverse ça allait déclencher, et il a joué la dessus.

D'autant que ce qui s'est passé crêve les yeux, "juif ou pas juif" a piqué le nom et l'idée à un site existant depuis 5 ans, "" (et peut être du jeu

Il se trouve que le site original "jew or not jew" fondé il y a 5 ans est un petit bijou d'humour juif new-yorkais.

Un tel site ne peut évidement que se concevoir bâti sur un très délicat échafaudage humoristique woody-allenien. C'est de la dentelle faite main de qui n'a jamais été destinée a être vendue.[2]

("It is intolerable that a designer, if he was a Jew, could conceive of making money with this 'thingy'. He knew what it was going to cause controversy, and he played it.

Especially since what happened was blindingly obvious, "Jew or not Jew" has stolen the name and the idea of an existing site for 5 years, (and maybe the game

It turns out that the original site "Jew or Not Jew" was founded 5 years ago is a little gem of New York Jewish humor.

Such a site can be understood because it's built on very delicate Woody-Allen-like humor. It's handmade lace(????) that was never intended for sale.")

Profile: Adam Duritz

When we discuss our lives, we usually mask people's names... But not today. For if Albino Matt ever reads this profile and figures out it's about him... more power to him, wherever he is...

Duritz was suggested by Len from Boston, Rick from Philadelphia, and Asher from Amsterdam.

The iPhone app is NOT ours

Dear readers,

we have been alerted that there is an iPhone app out there which shares (stole?) our name. Just want to make it clear that we have NOTHING to do with the app.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Profile: Jeff Garlin

Well, there's always Tom Arnold to fall back upon...

Garlin was suggested by Matt from New York.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Profile: Phish

Ah... the summer camp profile. Yes, again!

Gordon and Fishman were suggested by Mike from Victoria, BC.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Profile: Georges Simenon

Simenon's promiscuity was mentioned in Vonnegut's "Hocus Pocus", which led to this profile.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Profile: Jean-Marie Lustiger

From Aaron to Jean-MARIE? What a terrible change...

Lustiger was suggested by Inna from France, David from New York, Joel from London, and Ella from New Jersey.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Profile: Mikhail Mil

Mil was suggested by returning suggesters Mila (no relation, nacht) from Alexandria, VA and Adam from Indiana.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Profile: Jonathan Silverman

If I would have written this profile, it would have been a 10-paragraph-long discussion of "Weekend at Bernies" and its sequel. The winners here are you, our readers.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Profile: Hyman Rickover

Ugh. Somehow missed an important point: Rickover became Episcopalian. Score and verdict adjusted.

Rickover was suggested by Dan from Maryland, Scott from Minnesota, Harold from Irvine, CA, Bruce from Silver Spring, MD, Steve from California, and Travis from South Carolina.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Profile: Susie Essman

Just a terrific season of "Curb" this year. And so Jewish! The Palestinian Chicken episode was just sublime.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Profile: Adam Mickiewicz

So yes, the Lithuanians tack on an ending to everyone's name. For example, just to pick a random one, Mel Gibson becomes Melas Gibsonas. Oh, Lithuania!...

Another terrific suggestion from Alex in Maryland.

Top 10 Profiles: August

1. Steve Jobs (+16)
2. Ben Affleck (+1)
3. Jesus Christ (+2)
4. Mel Gibson (0)
5. Adolf Hitler (+2)
6. Bill Gates (+10)
7. Kate Middleton (-5)
8. David Letterman (+130)
9. Charlie Chaplin (+3)
10. Harrison Ford (-2)