Jewish vs Goyish

Melissa Broder, author of the forthcoming When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother (February 6th), is guest-blogging all week for MyJewishLearning and the Jewish Book Council. Visit her website at

rabbi niles goldsteinAllow me to excavate my favorite Lenny Bruce schtick — the Jewish vs. Goyish litmus test — and apply it to some of the cultural, uh, gems of our time.

Remember, in Bruce-speak, Jewish and Goyish do not depict the religion of a person, place or thing, but rather, connote an essence.

All apologies Mr. Bruce.

Conan is Goyish and Jay Leno is Jewish.
Gossip Girl is Goyish (save for Dan Humphrey and Henri Bendel—they’re big-time Jewish).
Mad Men? Goyish. (Though Burt Cooper is Jewish.)
Dancing with the Stars? Jewish.
Idol? Goysville.
MTV’s Jersey Shore must be taken piecemeal. Snooki, Sammi “Sweetheart” and The Situation are Jewish. J-WOWW, Ronnie and Vinny are Goyish. Pauly D is Goyish, but his haircare is Jewish.
The Biggest Loser is very, very Jewish.
Twitter and Facebook are both Jewish.
The Kindle is Goyish.
iPhone? Goyish.
Blackberry? Jewish.
BPA-free water bottles are Goyish.
The Underwear Bomber is Goyish (but his underwear are Jewish).
Healthcare Reform is Jewish. (Sorry Lieberman.)
Bailouts are also Jewish.
John and Kate are both Goyish.
The Octomom is Jewish.
Brangelina is Goyish (but her lips are Jewish).
Brittany Murphy was Jewish in Clueless, but turned Goyish with Ashton and the weight loss. Simon Monjack, however, is Jewish.
Charlie Sheen is Jewish. Brooke Burke is Goyish (though technically Jewish).
Bernie Madoff is Jewish, but his sons are Goyish.
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren are a pair of golfin’ Goys.
Taylor Swift? Goyish.
Carrie Underwood? Goyoyoy.
Lady Gaga? Jewish.
Beyonce and Jay-Z make a nice Jewish couple.
Rihanna, yeah, I was basically Bat Mitzvahed with her.
Twilight series? Goyish.
The Hangover? Jewish.
Julie and Julia is Jewish as a kreplach.
Avatar is Goyish.
Michael Jackson is — discuss.

when_you_say_one_thing.JPGMelissa Broder is the author of When You Say One Thing But Mean Your Mother. She is the curator of the Polestar Poetry Series and the Chief Editor of La Petite Zine. She is the winner of the Jerome Lowell Dejur Award and the Stark Prize for Poetry. Broder received her BA from Tufts University and is currently in the MFA program at the CCNY. By day, she works as a literary publicist. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including: Opium, Shampoo, Conte and The Del Sol Review. She lives in Brooklyn. Visit her website at She will be blogging all week for MyJewishLearning and the Jewish Book Council.


Discover More

The Most Essential Kitchen Gadgets for Jewish Cooking

For everything from chicken soup to latkes, we can't live without these useful tools.

CRISPR, the Eclipse and Rabbi Soloveitchik

The fact that we can even think about changing genes to let blind people see is an incredible achievement in and of itself

When The History of Anti-Semitism and Racism Come Together

How the grandchild of Holocaust survivors and mother of an African American navigates the history of hate.