Details on ‘The Rise of the Hot Jewish Girl’

I have a confession to make: I’m a magazine junkie. For years, I thwarted all offers of book group invitations because I feared joining one would cut into my magazine reading time. As that goes, my taste runs fairly ‘broad’ — literally and figuratively –which is probably why the men’s fashion and lifestyle magazine Details was never on my radar. Until now.

The December 2009 issue, with John Mayer on the cover, features the article “The Rise of the Hot Jewish Girl — Why Men Are Lusting After Women of the Tribe.” According to the article, written by Christopher Noxen, “Jewish women have become the ethnic fetish du jour.” The piece goes on to say that the “Fran Drescher rep has given way to a more smoldering image. Think cultural mutts like Rachel Weisz, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Rachel Bilson – women who have little in common beyond sultriness and Star of David necklaces.” Frankly, I’m still having trouble with the notion that there was anything wrong with Fran Drescher.


In the Jewish feminist blogosphere, an apparently small but vocal subset of the “truly tiny minority — 2.2 percent American Jewish population” as noted in the Details article, terms such as “anti-Semitic,” “objectification,” “misogyny” and “poor taste” have, predictably, been batted around, along with other terms I cannot include in this newspaper. Further stoking the dander is reference to “frum porn,” described in the article as “photos of religious Jews getting busy” and an interview with a Jewish porn star named Joanna Angel who says she grew up in an Orthodox home, still fasts on Yom Kippur and often finds herself mothering the entire crew on the porn set.

If the article has any point (and besides titillation and button pushing I’m not sure it does), it’s that the Jewish religion is comparatively more open to sex. “From the racy Purim story of hottie concubine Queen Esther” to the fiction of Philip Roth and Erica Jong to “everything that comes out of Sarah Silverman’s mouth, the Jewish tradition is a veritable orgy compared with the Christian culture,” writes Noxen. “Rabbis exhort their congrega tions to get busy on Shabbat, telling them it’s a ‘double mitzvah.'”

Regardless of what you think about all of this, one thing is for sure: “Hot Jewish Girl” has been the most viewed, most emailed and most commented article among all of Detail’s December offerings, including “John Mayer Thinks With His Pick,” “How Internet Porn is Changing Teen Sex” and “The Five Creepiest Substitutes For a Woman.”

Native St. Louisan Brad Friedman, who attended Ladue Horton Watkins High School and celebrated his bar mitzvah at B’nai Amoona, will be in town next week to take part in a Q &A session after the film Murder, Spies and Voting Lies is screened at Webster University at 7: 30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15.

The documentary is about the true story of Clint Curtis, a mild mannered computer engineer working for a Florida software company who gets caught between a vote rigging scandal, a powerful legislator, and a murder. Friedman said in an interview from his Los Angeles home that he spent years investigating this story, which was made into the documentary by Patty Sharaf. He initially broke the story in 2004 on his blog, www, and has a featured role in the film.

Friedman has continued to track this story while paying great attention to the 2008 election, reporting various voting irregularities and complaints throughout the country. Examining the facts presented in the film surrounding the death of Florida’s Inspector General Raymond Lemme, who was actively investigating Curtis’ allegations of wrong-doing, brings into question the extent of what is presented as a high-level coverup.

The film will be screened at the Winifred Moore Auditorium, 470 E. Lockwood, Webster Groves. General admissions tickets are $6. For more information, go to

Just in time for Hanukkah, Tootsie Rolls and other Tootsie products (Tootsie Fruit Rolls, Frooties and my favorite, DOTS) have become kosher-certified by the Orthodox Union, the world’s largest kosher certification agency. New packaging bearing the “OU” symbol (a U inside a circle) will be distributed nationwide beginning in the next few weeks.

And in other kosher-related news, the Associated Press has reported that a group of Orthodox Jews has withdrawn a federal lawsuit alleging a northwest Indiana convenience store chain illegally used a trademark for kosher food.

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America recently filed a motion to dismiss its complaint against Luke Oil Co. Inc. in U.S. District Court in Hammond, Ind. Court documents say the two sides reached a settlement.

The Jewish group had alleged that Luke Oil used the kosher trademark — the “OU” symbol — as part of its logo. Their attorney said people rely on the symbol to determine which food is prepared according to Jewish dietary law.

A Luke Oil attorney said the resemblance was unintentional and the company agreed to modify its logo without admitting any liability.

Chabad of Santa Cruz, Calif. may not be able to erect a menorah as it had in the past after the municipality introduced a new requirement.

The city of Santa Cruz recently informed Rabbi Yochanan Friedman of Chabad by the Sea in Santa Cruz that the organization would be required to hire a private, round-the-clock security guard this year in order to receive a permit to erect its 15-foot-tall gold menorah, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The organization has been lighting a menorah in downtown Santa Cruz since 2006.

City Hall staffers told the newspaper that they had been issuing the wrong permit to the organization for the past three years. Under the appropriate permit, the organization must provide 24-hour private security during the eight days of Hanukkah, which would cost $5,000 — money the organization does not have, Friedman told the newspaper.

Local atheists have been lobbying City Hall since the end of last Hanukkah not to allow the menorah to be lit on public property, the Mercury News reported.