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Inside Jokes: Explore the Essence of Jewish Humor

Hosted By: Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)

“The purpose of Jewish existence is not to eat Jewish food, or tell Jewish jokes… It is to fight evil and reduce suffering in the world. It is a source of deep pain to me to recognise how few people know this.”

– Dennis Prager & Joseph Telushkin, “Nine Questions People Ask about Judaism” (1991)

With all due respect to Prager and Telushkin, what if there were a higher purpose to telling, and enjoying, Jewish jokes?

Join us for a captivating six-part series as we delve into the world of Jewish humor. In this thought-provoking exploration, we will approach Jewish humor with the same analytical lens applied to other Jewish texts, such as the Torah as we aim to decipher the underlying messages embedded within jokes and, perhaps, gain insights into the purpose of Jewish existence.

In each unit we will look at Jewish humor on a particular theme, and how that theme illuminates an aspect of the Jewish experience — in particular, the North American Jewish experience shaped by Ashkenazi culture in Eastern Europe, immigration to the United States, and the process of assimilation and acculturation.


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Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) is the definitive, trusted global source of news and analysis on issues of Jewish interest and concern.  Our reporting reflects the wide spectrum of religious, political and cultural identity that exists among Jews today. With correspondents in New York, Washington, Israel, Europe and cities around the globe, JTA provides extensive coverage of political, economic and social developments affecting Jews all over the world. JTA reporting also shines a spotlight on the cultural happenings, influential thinkers and leaders and milestone events defining the Jewish experience today.
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