Given the rate of intermarriage in America, which hovers at slightly over fifty percent, it would seem there is little need for Grish’s Shiksa’s Guide to Dating Jewish Men—everyone is succeeding just fine on their own, thank you very much! An overall poorly researched and distasteful piece of writing, the book is not without specks of humor and realism. Boy Vey! comes complete with recipes for latkes and Nana’s chicken soup, a glossary of popular Yiddish words and phrases, and advice about what to wear on the Jewish holidays. Grish employs stereotypes with abandon, including the overbearing and neurotic Jewish mother and the always-tactless J.A.P. The book, as a whole, is characterized by a mocking and patronizing tone; it is not recommended for the Jewish reader.
Additional Review by Daniel Grushkin
A how-to guide on snagging a Jewish man, Grish’s controversial book draws ire from Jewish women and “I told you sos” from their counterparts. The book is an ode to Jewish men’s openness, sexual prowess and all-around excellence. But it best serves as a snarky survival guide to our cultural mores. Both funny and provocative, the book draws from extensive interviews and Grish’s own Hebrew-centric dating life. Unfortunately her model Jewish man is a not-too-distant cousin of Woody Allen, a character we love and love to loath. Justifiably, male readers will alternate between feeling flattered and harassed. Of course, the reading experience depends wholly on tolerance for interfaith dating and wisecracks coming from across the religious divide. Either way, Grish’s admiration of Jewish culture shines through.