Second to Monopoly, Jewish Geography is an all-time favorite game. We just can't resist bonding over shared acquaintances after wandering in the desert for 40 years and then experiencing The Diaspora.
For those who aren't familiar with Jewish Geography, but want to get in on the fun, we've broken down how to play the game in this handy-dandy guide. Because Jewish Geography isn't exclusively just for Jews - like kosher meat, it can be enjoyed by everyone! Think of it as your new drinking game only every time you have a mutual friend in common, you drink!
"From California to the New York island Tri State Area, from the Redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters (wait, Jews don't live there?), this land was made for Jews and Me!"
Disclaimer: I am Jewish and this is tongue-in-cheek, so don't get your panties in a twist.
Text The Group Chat The Evening Plans: Pregame At Your Camp Friend's Ex-Boyfriend's Best Friend's Apartment (But You Know Him Personally From Rein Teen Tours)
Yes! There's nothing we Jews love better than a mingle sesh where we all stand around holding red cups, identifying individuals we recognize from Facebook and calling it "meeting new people."
Once You Finally Decide It's "Time To Be Social," You Approach Someone At The Party Who's Dressed Exactly Like You Are - Twinsies!
This person will likely be your new girl crush for the evening. The next morning you will tell your friends about the "cool girl" you just met, but everyone else already knew her from Hebrew school, a summer program, a friend of a friend, college or all of the above.
The Conversation Will Go Something Like This: Opening Line - Where did you go to school?
Up to this point, you have nothing in common, so you figure you should ask a basic, but still very revealing question. Where people went to school will tell you A. How smart they are B. What kind of partier they are and C. If they are Jewish, like you.
If she responds with, "Villanova, UMass, Boston College or Notre Dame"
Stop. Do not pass "Go." Do not collect $200. In Monopoly, this would be a straight to jail card. Girlfriend is definitely not Jewish, and you definitely don't have friends in common.
If she responds with, "Wisco, Mich, Indy, 'Cuse, Penn, PSU, Cornell, Maryland, 'Zona"
Congrats! You've found a match! Now you can officially begin playing "Jewish Geography" with your new player. The name of the game is to find out just how many friends you have in common. Sounds stupid? It is! Then what's the point? Duh, knowing who she's bffs with will allow you to better judge her ( = FUN!).
Follow up question: What sorority were you in?
Sororities did the dirty work of sorting out Jews from non-Jews and then further organized us according to "cool" factor. Therefore, revealing your sorority affiliation will better enable us to place you in the appropriate JAP bucket.
If she responds with, "Pi Phi, Kappa Delta, Zeta or I wasn't in one"
Ew, aren't they like uncircumcised there? If she's repping a "G-d Damn Independent" t-shirt, then she's totally not Jewish, bro! (And, she's also taking the Lord's name in vain. Not okay.)
If she responds with "SDT or AEPhi"
Jackpot, yay! Two for two! You're officially one step closer to pinpointing exactly who this girl is. Now is when things really start heating up...
"Ehmagod! Do you know (INSERT Cohen)? She's a year older than us, but I think she was in your sorority at Indiana!
...But she offers up a new question in exchange, "What town are you from?"
Phew, good save - the game almost ended too abruptly! When you discover that you're both from Long Island and went to sleepaway camps 45 minutes away from each other (OMG! We played each other in tennis!), you immediately launch into a back-and-forth name dropping competition.
AH!!! We both know John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt - Berg!!! His friend is my friend, too! He was my best friend's ex-boyfriend from Junior year!!!! And I might have slept with him!!!
She used to hook up with him, too! Wow, this world really IS small (or are we just hanging out with the same people over and over again?). Laughs ensue over his secretly small penis and douchey frat brothers. Wait, that means you BOTH know his frat brothers -- score! More mutual friends to bond over!
Pretty soon there's less conversation and just names, like "Mambo No 5"
You two are dropping so many names that the floor needs to be swept.
- Ashley Leibowitz? - Yeah, high school. Greg Levy? - Blackout made out with him like, two years ago. Laura Argintar? - She's the coolest girl ever. And she's really funny. I'm obsessed with her. - OMG. SAME! (er...Hint hint...)
Twenty minutes later, you've exhausted your Rolodex of Jews
Well, that was fun! Who knew you two had so many shared friends? Did you remember to pretend you know someone really well, when in fact you only know them from Instagram? Did you act like you loved your arch enemy when your opponent said she was her best friend (don't worry, she'll find out the truth later)? I hope you didn't forget to name drop the guy you're crushing on to gauge his social status based on one stranger's opinion!
But wait! You must take a photo together and upload it on Instagram, so you can tag all the people you two know in common.
How could you not take a photo together?!
Later, you tell your friends about the new girl you just met...
They remind you that this girl actually sucks, and then it clicks: you both already know each other! And that, my friends, is Jewish Geography at its finest.
Thanks For Playing! Come Again Soon.
Top Photo Courtesy of IWITOT