funky hebraica that sells
November 19, 2004 11:17 AM   Subscribe

NYC's oldest matzo factory is getting this fashion trend. Oy vay!
posted by subpixel (20 comments total)
is it terrible that I want the 'challah hu akbar' shirt?
posted by scrim at 11:34 AM on November 19, 2004

Gefilte fish makes me think of this.
posted by mic stand at 11:34 AM on November 19, 2004

I want a Robin colored shirt emblazoned "Goy Wonder."
posted by jonmc at 11:39 AM on November 19, 2004

They could have kept "ghetto fabulous" as is, really.

But the shlemiel shirt, that's good.
posted by kenko at 11:46 AM on November 19, 2004

Old world cred. Nice
posted by tank04 at 11:53 AM on November 19, 2004

is it terrible that I want the 'challah hu akbar' shirt?

No, but it will be when half the users on FreeRepublic start posting it in their "Religion of peace, HUH?" threads. As they like to say, this is why we can't have nice things...
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:14 PM on November 19, 2004

the "shiksa-riffic" t-shirt made me laugh
thanks for the link
posted by matteo at 12:20 PM on November 19, 2004

The "Bad Vacation Tees" are great.
heh, Baghdad.

Oh, and NYFilter
posted by jono at 12:33 PM on November 19, 2004

My mother grew up across the street from the Streits factory in the 1940's: 1 of 6 kids, 4 beds for a family of 8, 10 stray cats running through 3 rooms, and 1 bathroom in the middle of the kitchen. I fail to understand what's so terribly hip about the legacy of immigrant LES jews.
posted by naxosaxur at 12:36 PM on November 19, 2004

Yeah, these kinds of T-shirts have been popping up everywhere lately. There's also Rotem Design Studio (which also carries apparel for non-Jews who still want to wear Jewishy sayings) and the better-known, which is awesome. Their "Shalom Motherfucker" T-shirt is rivaled only by the "Yo Semite" T-shirts over at Jewish Fashion Conspiracy ("putting the racy back into conspiracy").

Also, Rabbi's Daughters is a company started by three sisters out here in Los Angeles--started on a whime but selling like gangbusters--and I see their Yiddish-emblazoned wifebeaters being sold in stores all around town.

And much like the Japanese/Chinese tattoo craze among non-Asians, there are even T-shirts for the wannabe-Jews that mean something offensive-ish that the t-shirt wearer probably didn't intend. (I'm thinking of "Chozzerai" on that page, in particular, but they watered down the translation of "Alter Kocker" too.)

I also know of at least one really, really offensive T-shirt being sold by a Jewishy t-shirt company, but dare not link it here. For people in the know, it's the one with the black background and white letters spelling a two-word phrase that would earn the wearer a well-deserved ass-kicking by any remotely-religious Christian...

Oh, and shout-outs to the crew at, who run the already-mentioned And, which has their own merchandise to hawk, including some inspired by The Big Lebowski.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:42 PM on November 19, 2004

I fail to understand what's so terribly hip about the legacy of immigrant LES jews.

it is maybe the way that many of our families, you know, overcame those circumstances and now have wonderful things like, oh, computers. to look at silly links with.
posted by scrim at 12:43 PM on November 19, 2004

I fail to understand what's so terribly hip about the legacy of immigrant LES jews.

I read somewhere that something like 80% of American Jews have ancestors who lived on the Lower East Side (I refuse to use realtor acronyms) so that legacy is an awful big one. People in rough circumstances create reslient and unique communities and cultures, and that culture has enriched the rest of our society as well. This goy certainly likes his yiddish curses, his Mordecai Richler and his mother-in-laws matzoh ball soup.

And hip is a silly concept, anyway. This is simply cool.
posted by jonmc at 1:00 PM on November 19, 2004

I'm thinking of "Chozzerai"

it's something like "crap", right?
posted by matteo at 1:02 PM on November 19, 2004

his Mordecai Richler

wasn't he Canadian?
posted by matteo at 1:03 PM on November 19, 2004

Yes, but he's still Jewish and urban and his writing and attitudes are very similar to New York Jewish folk I've known.

and Chazzerai means "trash," more or less. Chazerim means "pig." Haven't you read your Phillip Roth?
posted by jonmc at 1:11 PM on November 19, 2004

Jon, that shirt rulez. You know where the cafepress is - make with the designin' awreddy.

Or maybe one of the fine entrepreneurs out there will jump on this in the spirit of the LES street vendors of days gone bay and run wid it.

Either way, keep me posted, 'cause I want one too.
posted by mwhybark at 4:56 PM on November 19, 2004

At the Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, we were very tempted to buy shirts that said "Shalom, y'all". They were too big though. ;)

Fun links, thanks.
posted by livii at 6:52 PM on November 19, 2004

What kenko said--I always get intellectual indigestion when someone says "Jewish ghetto", because, er...

I love "Shalom, y'all" even more since I heard someone say it for real, and not ironically (in Alabama). The same person said "Gut yontif, y'all," which was one of the high points of my life.

However, even that pales by comparison to a conversation we were having a few years ago with my husband's aunt, who is the daughter of an English wonder rabbi. We were talking about a time when we could get together with them for dinner, and Mr. Sidhedevil suggested the evening of December 24.

"Oh, that's not going to be good," said Aunt Ruth. "It's Erev Christmas."

This is why I love my beautiful interfaith marriage. In my half Irish-American/half Mayflower-American, our only signs of ethnic identity are big glasses of whiskey and large dogs that drool too much. My late aunt was famous for her saying, "It's five o'clock somewhere!" as she poured her third or fourth martini of the day in the early afternoon.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:06 PM on November 19, 2004

There are also hip clothes and toys for your doggie friends.

My favorite is the talking gefilte fish, who delivers a raspy "Oy VEY!" and bubble sounds when squeezed (or chomped).
posted by crythecry at 8:49 PM on November 19, 2004

My dog has this and this, except the fish says GEFILTE instead of LOX.

I want too many of these shirts. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 11:03 PM on November 19, 2004

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