Taking Jewish Humor Seriously

The Pew survey recently found that 42% of Jews identified Jewishly through their humor, a larger percentage than through observance or affinity with Israel. Using the Pew survey as a starting point, Rabbi Dan Bronstein examines the place of humor within Judaism, the Jewish community, and society at large. Highlighting humor’s value in dealing with traumas like the Holocaust and its unifying effect among Jews, Rabbi Bronstein makes a strong case for taking Jewish humor seriously by arguing for the importance of developing and expanding the employment of humor to engage Jews, increase Jewish literary, keep Jewish identity strong.

Rabbi Dr. Dan Bronstein is a writer and educator. He has served as a congregational rabbi and taught every age bracket from pre-school to the elderly. As Congregational Scholar at Congregation Beth Elohim of Brooklyn, he directed the high school and award-winning adult learning program. He is also the author of Our Journey: Congregation Beth Elohim at 150 Years. Rabbi Bronstein’s other scholarly work examines Jewish humor and popular culture, and has contributed to several publications including the Forward, and Jewniverse, and the books Jews and American Popular Culture, Jewish Theology in Our Time, The Cambridge Dictionary of Jewish Religion, History and Culture, and the forthcoming Jews and Comics. Rabbi Bronstein holds an MA from Brandeis University, a PhD in Jewish History from Jewish Theological Seminary in Jerusalem (JTSA), and received rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College.

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