The 40 Things Jewish Girls Absolutely Can't Live Without


Oy, it’s not always easy being part of the tribe. 

As the Chosen People, our ancestors wandered around the desert for 40 years, hence the significant number included in the headline of this article (613 was not going to happen).

Forget biblical floods, near-fatal sacrifices and the whole slavery in Egypt thing, this generation just feels like it has it the hardest.

Jewish girls today have to contend with terrible Jewish men, avoiding blond, good-looking guys because they’re probably not marriage material, while finding time for the copious amounts of exercise needed to work off the weekly challah binge.

To make up for these trials and tribulations, there are a number of things to help us get through life unscathed. We’ve become so accustomed to these things, we can no longer live without them.

Jewish girls know what they want, and generally know how to get it, and it often involves their dad’s credit card.

Through 23 years of experience as a Jewish girl, having met plenty of Jews on two different continents, behold: 40 things Jewish girls just can’t live without.

1. Gossiping

All day, every day. If there’s no gossip, we’ll make it up. But given that we’ve known our friends forever and exactly who they’ve dated since birth, there’s normally plenty of discussion material.

2. Sushi.

Nothing says a group dinner of five Jewish girls more than heading to a Japanese restaurant and over-ordering on the special rolls and sashimi salad.

3. Keratin straightening treatment.

Because, the struggle is real and so is the frizz. We’re not sure why Jews are afflicted by this more than other girls, but just like our tribe prayed to the Golden Calf, we’re willing to pray to the Gods of expensive grooming for sleek and shiny hair.

4. Hummus.

We love mushed-up chickpeas because we think it’s healthy and it reminds us of Israel. Plus, it goes with crackers and crudités, our other favorite snacks.

5. Israel.

A country reminiscent of Birthright, family holidays and Clara in the summer. Jewish girls particularly love Tel Aviv, a place where they can get tan, party with people they’ve known for fifteen years and come up with great hashtags... all in the name of Zionism.

 6. Dieting over Passover.

It’s basically a carb-free eight days anyway. Most Jewish girls would like to lose 3 lbs over this holiday, but cheese blintzes and macaroons make things harder. Also, potato vodka is totally allowed.

 7. Bagels.

On a Sunday morning, with smoked salmon and cream cheese. We choose the lowest-carb bagel, obviously, to make up for the full-fat cream cheese.

8. Jewish men.

Our parents would kill us if we ended up without one, so we may as well start the hunt now. Plus, deep down, we know they’re the best and the only guys who’ll be able to put up with us.

 9. Turquoise Hamza necklace.

Because we bought it in the souk and totally bargained for it. Though still aren’t quite sure of the dollar to shekel exchange rate. Also, it goes well with our diamond Star of David.

10. Diet coke.

If a girl doesn’t have diet coke and fat-free yogurt in her fridge, she’s probably not Jewish. DC is calorie free and we’re in denial about the aspartame thing. Our ancestors survived millennia of persecution, we’re probably OK.

11. Wearing leggings as pants.

Lululemon all the way. We know they’re kind of see-through, but safety in numbers makes it acceptable.  We left Egypt as one, and we’ll carry on wearing our overpriced workout clothes as one, thanks very much.

12. Different groups of best friends.

You have your camp friends, your high school friends, your college friends. They sometimes overlap, but you distinguish in your head. They’ve all seen you at various unattractive stages of life, so it’s important to keep them close.

13. Complaining.

No Jewish girl is ever at the right temperature, it’s always way too hot or freezing cold. And who would sit at the first table that the restaurant gives them?

14. Only knowing men who work in real estate, law, medicine and finance.

Because your dad worked in one of those fields, you’re comfortable BS-ing your way through understanding it.

You can pepper conversation with things like, “I hear the property bubble is imminently imploding,” and refer to bull and bear markets, with no real understanding at all.

God knows what would happen if you dated someone who worked in the arts.

15. Randomly using Yiddish words.

“Aren’t you schvitzing?” “Totally, I need a shluf.” "God, the chutzpah.” “I know, he’s a schmuck.” Yiddish perfectly encapsulates our sentiments in just one word, which Jewish girls love. We enjoy abbreviations, in general, obv.

16. Knowing which celebrities are Jewish.

Adam Brody, Scar-Jo, Mila Kunis (maybe) and Anne Hathaway’s husband. Finding out Drake had a Bar Mitzvah was a great day for Jewish girl’s worldwide. He lained his Haftarah like no other.

17. Disowning the Jewish celebrities we don’t like.

I mean, Madoff wasn’t religious. And Spitzer barely counts.

18. Your Big 10 school football team.

Because nothing will ever be as fun as the pregames, dressing up with your sorority sisters and going to a crowded bar full of everyone you know, to cheer on the team. #GoBlue

19. Nose jobs.

For the unfortunate among us who inherited our fathers' noses, just say you have a deviated septum and get birthday surgery for your Sweet Sixteen.

20. Leather jackets.

Uniquely handmade for you and everyone you know on your semester abroad in Florence.

21. Filters.

Of the Instagram variety. Choosing between X Pro II or Hudson can be a huge dilemma for your average Jewish girl, and entirely depends on if it’s a picture of a sunset or food.

22. Jewish geography.

Best played internationally, so you realize your sister’s camp best friend lived with your British cousin in Paris. Jewish girls tend to know everyone, so this game can take a while. There are also very strict rules.

23. Hebrew writing tattoos.

Nothing proves you were just in Israel more than that "Chai" henna tattoo on your wrist and your red Kaballah string bracelet. Because Jewish girls are, like, deep.

24. Claiming to love curvy bodies.

We say Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez have the ideal body because that’s the closest celebrity our body could ever possibly resemble. Really, we wish we looked as waif-like as the Olsen twins, but genetics and rugelach don’t allow for that.

25. Looking like everyone you know.

Straight hair? Check. Is it brown? Of course! Are you wearing high-waisted shorts or a bodycon dress? Yes! Mazal Tov, you’re one of us.

26. Bat Mitvah photos.

It’s one of the great Jewish misfortunes, along with the destruction of both temples, that the second most photographed time of a Jewish girl’s life (wedding being the first) comes at her least attractive phase. Bat Mitzvah photos are a delightful memento of those special pre-waxing, mid-braces years. The true misfortune of Judaism? The Chanukah oil lasted eight days, ugly photos last a lifetime.

27.  The skinny arm pose.

This takes a great deal of time and practice, but most Jewish girls have got it down, Baruch Hashem. Hand on hip, body angled sideways, arm pushed out and forward. All evidence of the Soul Cycle class we missed because we went to dinner at our grandparents is instantly hidden.

28. Israeli soldiers.

Any Jewish girl who has ever been to the Holy Land (#tbt) has invariably fallen for one of these tanned, dark, gun-wielding and khaki-wearing men. They start off charming with their accent and Kibbutz knowledge, but the appeal wears off when you realize Israeli women are insanely beautiful and a little scary.

29. Being Kosher when it suits you.

Jewish girls can justify their Kashrus levels very easily. When you’re feeling a little bloated, you’re totally Kosher and could never eat a regular steak. When you’re hungover and want a bacon sandwich, values are less important. When you’re on a diet, you can’t eat dessert because it’s mixing milk and meat. When you want gelatin-filled Haribo candy, God will understand.

30. Snapchat.

How else could you send all your friends a photo of you “dying” at work in one easy swoop? If you make a duckface in said photo, literally everything else in this article applies to you.

31. Accumulating about $1,500 worth of Tiffany jewelry for your Bat Mitzvah.

Wearing your dog-tag bracelet to school with pride, and then somehow losing all this jewelry over the past 10 years. This is actually a genuine mystery. Who cares where the Lost Ark of the Covenant went, where the hell is my Bean necklace?

32. Saying L’Chaim.

When you take a shot, or just whenever. Same goes for Mazal Tov. We do love a good Simcha, but we also love inappropriately using Jewish words.

33. The Great J-Date debate.

A highly personal Jewish girl decision. Is it social suicide? Should you wait to be over 27 to use it? Or, screw it, YOLO, you might meet your bashert?

34. Eating off his plate.

Jewish girls have no problem reaching over at the dinner table to eat off a family member’s, friend’s or perfect stranger’s plate. Everyone knows calories don’t count that way. Maybe it’s a remnant from our great grandparents' ghetto days, but other people’s food scraps just taste better.

35. Long goodbyes.

Fact: No Jewish girls have ever been able to say goodbye to one another in less than 19 minutes. You think it’s over, and then it starts again. Leaving Synagogue on Rosh Hashanah takes a good half hour.

36. Bar Rafaeli.

Because we share a bloodline (kind of), she provides universal Jewish girl hope that we, too, can look like that and get Leonardo DiCaprio.

37. Going to trendy new restaurants.

To be seen at the latest scene, of course. No Jewish girl has ever found ceviche stodgy enough to her liking. But when Peruvian food is cool, we have to be there.

38. Exaggerating.

Jewish girls are masters at this skill of relaying stories in the best, most stretched-out version of the truth. The line was never 10 minutes long, it was an eternity. She hadn’t put on 2 lbs, but “maybe 20 lbs.” And, of course, you didn’t eat a cookie, you ate 40 of them.

39. Only seeing “the best.”

Sure, there are a million experts in the world, but Jewish girls claim to be seeing the very best of anything, from doctor to nutritionist to yoga instructor. And they literally couldn’t live without this person’s help. We’d recommend him, but we don’t want you taking our appointment slot.

40. This article.