Lisa Alcalay Klug’s ultra-hip Hebraic survival guide is the book that should have been my go-to textbook during the six years of my elementary Jewish day school education. Alas, I was taught much of what’s found in Klug’s irreverent book with much less humor. The Jewish learning that could be achieved utilizing Cool Jew would have made my youngster-self ecstatic to learn about Jewish celebrities, mitzvot, holidays, and everything in between. Topics range from the origins/basics, life-cycle events, food, prayer, and holidays to celebrities, super heroes, and what cars are “Heebster” rides. Also included are easy to read charts for holidays, Dos and Don’ts, and even a type of Fashion Police.
While Cool Jew is light-hearted there is a wealth of information conveyed in its pages. Klug has a charming way of spinning goyish things into their Jewish equivalents as well as shining light on overlooked Heebster tidbits. There’s also a healthy amount of Yiddish that will make your bubbe happy too. I’m not sure Cool Jew will make you actually “cool” but it will certainly allow you to brush up on knowledge you may have lost years ago, while putting a smile on your face.