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.