Did you hear one about the guy explaining Jewish humor? Really, this is no joke

Defining what Jewish humor is and is not.


Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

Seriously now, this is no joke. Back in 2020, a survey from the Pew Research Center found that 5.3 million of the nation’s religious and cultural Jews cited humor as essential to their Jewish identity.

Half of U.S. Jews say continuing family traditions is an essential part of their Jewish identity (51%), and 45% say caring about Israel is essential. But a full 1/3 of American Jews said having a sense of humor (34%), was just a bit more important than being part of a Jewish community (33%), eating traditional Jewish foods (20%) or observing Jewish law (15%) as essential aspects of their Jewish identity.

| RELATED: Visit our Jewish Humor section

Defining Jewish humor, understanding what it means, and where Jewish humor is going in 2023 is the focus of an upcoming six-part series beginning this week. “Inside Jokes: Explore the Essence of Jewish Humor,” begins June 28th and will be hosted and taught by Andrew Silow-Carroll, managing editor for ideas at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and editor at large at New York Jewish Week.

This thought-provoking exploration will take you on a journey through the history and essence of Jewish humor. Prepare to laugh, learn and gain a deeper understanding of the cultural significance and underlying messages within our cherished Jewish jokes.

In each unit, Silow-Carroll 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.

The virtual classes will take place on Wednesday evenings from 5 to 6 p.m. (central time), making it convenient for you to join from the comfort of your own home. Come for the laughs — stay for the wisdom.

Course Details

When: 5-6 p.m. central time June 28, July 5, 12 and 19, Aug. 2 and 9

Where: Zoom, to secure a spot and embark on this laughter-filled journey, simply click here and register today.

How much: $60 plus processing fees (that’s just $10 per session)

More info: No class on July 26 due to Tisha B’Av. Class recordings will be offered to all registrants, so you won’t have to worry about missing a session.

If you have any questions or need further information, you can email [email protected].