December 26, 2006

Leading Up North

Today I am leaving once again for Israel, this time with the Center for Leadership initiative, Leading Up North. As a participant in the ROI120 summer conferences, I have been invited to join a group of 500 young Jewish leaders for ten days to do community service in the north cities of Israel that were affected in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. Projects will include restoring shelters and eco-restoration.

This time I am bringing my laptop, so I should be able to post updates on the ShaBlog more often than last time, as well as some ShaBot comic strips if I have time. I will also be traveling throughout Israel after the Leading Up North initiative for about two weeks, returning to New York on January 16.

And, for your enjoyment, here is a voice message left by my wacky old neighbor, Bob, wishing me a bon voyage in his own special way.

Happy New Year, more in 2007!

The Jewish Robot

December 22, 2006

More Kosher Spam

I've been receiving so much spam with seemingly Jewish targeted Subject headers that I've created a special folder to catalogue them all. Here are just a few examples of the kosher spam Subjects that end up in my inbox:

From: Phillip Porter
Subject: Take the border of the his hands to Jerusalem they were

From: Allen
Subject: Levi, and of the a good unto Moses and the people the west side,

From: Jennie
Subject: However the Bible rarely records the Levites adherence to there call.

From: Juan Johnson
Subject: them molten images, and all the son of Moses,

From: Bobby Parker
Subject: Israel out of the them all the air: to his stature to him).

From: Israel Atkins
Subject: it's me Israel

Have you received any Jewish spam? Tell us about it.

December 20, 2006

In the (Server) Closet

Speaking of cartoons from the Artist Formerly Known as Macboy, here's an old Flash cartoon greeting card for the holidays, Xmas, made especially for hardcore Macintosh nerds. The cartoon depicts a server closet with thirty, count 'em, thirty stacked Apple Xserve rackmount computers, and what might happen when the office shuts down for the holiday break. And for the server stickler, I programmed the light show to correspond exactly with the actual LED layout of the original Xserve computers. All illustration, animation, and music arrangement by me.

Happy Holidays from Macboy, a.k.a. The Jewish Robot!

GAG me with a toon

Dad, getting ready to go to minyan, in Dad vs. AOL

A few years ago, before all this Jewish Robot business, when I was known simply as Macboy, I figured a good way to promote my Macintosh consulting business would be to post cartoons about Macintosh computers on my web site,®.

Now, several years later, with all the attention on ShaBot, and my MacToons all but forgotten, I am pleased to announce that two of my old cartoons have resurfaced and will be featured in The Graphic Artists Guild's New York Chapter "Wanna See Our Shorts?" 2006 Animation Festival.

Dad vs. AOL, my personal favorite, is a cartoon animation featuring a an actual, desperate phone message from my dad, asking for tech support. And NYMUG, which stands for New York Macintosh Users Group, is a true story and interview with my friend, Heath Gill, who was mugged for his Macintosh computer. Both of these cartoons were produced when I was just learning to animate, and they each took several weeks to produce. Nowadays I could knock them out in less than a week, so these old works are truly a labor of love.

If you are in NYC and would like to check out the show, here's the info:

The Graphic Artists Guild's 2006 New York Animation Festival

December 21, 2006, from 7-9 PM --reception with the filmmakers to follow.
Pratt Manhattan Campus
144 West 14th St., Room 213

$15 members
$20 non-members
$10 seniors (65+)
$5 Student member*
$10 Student non-member*
*Students must show current school ID
Free to Pratt students, faculty and staff. You must bring your Pratt ID.

If you can't make the show, don't worry, you can still see my old Macboy MacToons online.

December 18, 2006


From: Polinski

Date:Nov 28 2006 5:33 PM Flag spam/abuse [ ? ]
Subject:Just saying hi :-)
Body:If I was jewish I wouldnt Be shouting about it - Why don't you take a shower you penny pinching kike shylock jew! It's a shame you lot didn't get wiped out in the holocaust!

Very nice e-mail I received on MySpace.

December 15, 2006

MySpace ParTAY!

Why be a part of a Jewish community when you have thousands of friends on MySpace? This is the premise of MySpace ParTAY, a new cartoon I produced for BCI at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute.

Check out the cartoon, let me know what you think. And if you like it, let BCI know, maybe they'll hire me to make some more!

Flash Mirrored at The BBI, video on MySpace and YouTube

December 13, 2006

Sacred Drift

My photographer friend, Joshua Kristal, shot a series on cultural decay in the Orthodox Jewish community on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Josh was selected as one of ten photographers to be featured in the first issue of STORY Magazine. His work, titled Sacred Drift, can be viewed on exhibition through this Saturday night, with artists' reception and closing party to follow. Details below.

Exhibition through December 16, 2006

Artist Reception and Closing Party
Saturday, December 16, 2006, 7-11pm

The Gallery at 3rd Ward
195 Morgan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY (Williamsburg)
L to Morgan Ave. station

December 11, 2006

Sam's ShaBot Mitzvah

It isn't every day that a robot gets invited to a bar mitzvah. So when Sam's mom told me that ShaBot 6000 is her son's favorite funny (second only to Ali G), I was happy to produce this animated short, which played on the big screen at Sam's bar mitzvah party on December 9, 2006. The cartoon was presented as part of a video compilation of all Sam's friends who could not attend. See Shabot, Moti, a special guest appearance by 50 Cent, and even that delivery boy from A Very ShaBot Christmas, in Sam's ShaBot-Mitzvah!

If you are interested in having ShaBot and gang featured in a personalized animated greeting for your special occasion, bar mitzvah, wedding, birthday, anniversary, engagement announcement, birth announcement, or anything, really, please contact me.

Go Sam! It's your bar mitzvah!

December 06, 2006

Oy Vey! The Rabbi is Gay!

In light of the Conservative movement's decision to allow commitment ceremonies for gays and the ordination of gay rabbis, Rabbi Daniel Brenner of Reb Blog posted his original story, Oy Vey! The Rabbi is Gay!, "A Children's Tale for All the Conservative Synagogue Educators Who Might Need a Little Extra Help Next Week":
"Who is that tall man?" Mr. Birnbaum asked Sarah. "And why is he in the Rabbi's house?"

"Shhh! Keep quiet," Sarah said, "the Rabbi's car just pulled into the driveway!" Mr. Birnbaum and Sarah Spitzer watched through the window as the Rabbi walked into his new house.

The tall man got up. He put down his book and gave the Rabbi a long hug and a kiss. A long kiss.

"Oy vey!" Mr. Birnbaum exclaimed, "the Rabbi is gay!'

"Well, I guess I won't be giving him my niece Karen's phone number!" Sarah joked

Read more on the Reb Blog.

December 04, 2006

Jewish Blog night with a Chinese Shabbat dinner: December 8

Join us at a Synaplex Shabbat Downtown where you will meet JEWISH BLOGGERS ... including the Jewish Robot.

Jewlicious, Jewschool, Kesher Talk, Blogs of Zion, My Urban Kvetch, JDaters Anonymous, Shabot6000 – these blogs are all part of a vibrant virtual community that is reinvigorating the conversations and connections among Jews. Come hear and meet "famous" Jewish bloggers as they share some of their favorite posts and talk about the impact of the Internet on Judaism.

Services at 6pm, dinner at 7, roundtable at 8...
RSVP required to or 212-677-8090 x26, by Monday, December 4, with advance payment of $20/adults, $15/young adults & students, $10/children under 13.

At Town and Village Synagogue – 334 East 14 th Street

December 03, 2006

Frog Bar Mitzvah

In response to my quest for Jewish-themed spam, Shabot 6000 reader, Tova, forwarded me the best Jewish spam yet:

From: "Cecil"
Subject: frog bar mitzvah

Other than a pitch for the stock symbol MAKU.ob, there was nothing of relevance in the e-mail body itself, except for the odd recurring sentence, "He grew up with blacks". I wonder if this statement refers to the Frog Bar Mitzvah Boy?

UPDATE: I just received another stock spam e-mail for CNHC.PK with the Subject "my hebrew". Is this just a coincidence, or is there a deliberate effort out there to target folks with known Jewish affiliation by sending contextually relevant Subject headers?

November 28, 2006


Visiting my grandparents at the Alliance Cemetery in Vineland

For the first time in a while, my entire family were together in my hometown, Vineland, NJ. That includes my parents, my sisters Sandy and Michelle, Sandy's husband Todd, and their baby LOLA, with special guest appearances by hot Jewish author P.D. Berger (not shown, because he was the Man with the Camera) and the infamous Shansta!

I was born and raised in Vineland, NJ, a town known for its poultry and farms. In fact, just down the street from my sister's place is a little family of llamas and donkeys. I know llamas can be kept for their wool, but I'm not sure what the advantage is of keeping donkeys. Maybe they're trying to crossbreed ... llonkeys?

Llamas and donkeys down the street

Thanksgiving was relaxing, and every time I visit home I wonder why I don't do it more often.

Then, by Sunday, I'm always scrambling for the earliest ride back to Brooklyn.

Sandy, The Shansta, Michelle, Lola, and the Jewish Robot

Photos by Paul Berger

November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Tov

I'm heading home to Vineland, NJ to visit my family for Thanksgiving. Sorry no new comics this week, but I'll resume a normal schedule when I get back.

Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy your Empire Kosher turkeys!

November 19, 2006


Boy, these stock spammers are getting trickier and trickier. First I was bushwhacked with the seemingly innocuous, Jewish-relevant e-mail header "Yarmulke" which turned out to be pure spam. I swore they would not bamboozle me again.

I was wrong.

Today I received an e-mail from "Paulo SP" with the following header:

Subject: Holidays Chanukah Tu BShvat

Looked legit enough, so I opened it. Of course, it was stock spam, cleverly disguised as an e-mail for Jewish interests. Even the stock symbol, TORA, has its obvious appeal!

Is anyone else getting Jewish spam? If so, please post your examples here.

November 15, 2006

God Hates Robots

Yes, we all know that God Hates Robots, but the question is when? This "coming soon" announcement was first posted about three years ago, and I've been racking my positronic matrix with anticipation, waiting for the site to go online. The original scheduled launch date was October 31, 2004. That changed to October 31, 2005 with a question mark. Now it's almost 2007, and I have not yet felt the wrath of God.

Why does God hate robots, but refuse to launch His site? If anyone knows, please enlighten the Jewish Robot by posting here.

November 13, 2006

Boy on a Schtick

As a fan of Steven L. Cloud's comic series, Boy on a Stick and Slither, I found this recent strip particularly relevant. Not only have I abandoned the doldrums of a normal daytime job to produce cartoons about a robot, but, as BOASAS suggest, I have actually become a real-live robot!

Image posted with permission

November 12, 2006

Marty Over Here!

Marty Markowitz and the Jewish Robot

I'm not one for politics, but I've always liked Jewish Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, especially since he sponsored an outdoor screening of Star Wars here in Prospect Park last year. He also supported local indie musicians by organizing a Battle of the Bands at Grand Army Plaza.

So on the way back to my apartment today, saw the Prez in the new Tempo Presto cafe on my corner. He didn't look busy so I stepped out of the rain to introduce myself.

Thanks for the photo, Marty!

November 10, 2006

PresenTense Issue One Launch

Last night I attended the PresenTense Magazine Issue One Launch at the Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at New York University, featuring "Forgotten Heritage: Uncovering New York's Hidden Jewish Past," the work of photographer and PresenTense photoessayist Julian Voloj. Plenty of people turned up, including the usual suspects (see photos below). If you can pick up a copy of the magazine, you'll find my full-page cartoon "Marine Ecology of the Middle East" on the back page.

PresenTense Editor-in-Chief Ariel Beery and Heeb contributor David Kelsey

The Robot and Executive Editor Beth Pollak

New Jewlicious contributor Phoebe

The real reason Beery started a magazine: GROUPIES

November 07, 2006

Well, Gali!

I am pleased to present "The Best Chanukah Gift Ever", the latest Flash cartoon produced by Jewish Robot for Gali Girls!

Gali Girls, created by Aliza Stein, are dolls for young Jewish girls. Unlike their underdressed counterparts, like Barbie and Bratz, Gali Girls keep the laws of tznius, dressing modestly and representing positive Jewish values and tradition.

This cute cartoon commercial, being released in time for the Chanukah rush, is appropriate for all ages, and features the voice talent of Jessica Wachsman, music by Shlock Rock, and character design and illustration by Sara Weissman. Concept by Aliza Stein of Gali Girls, and everything else—backgrounds, voices, sound design, and animation—by the Jewish Robot.

Mirrored at

November 03, 2006

Spam for Jews

Every day my e-mail inbox is saturated with tons of spam containing benign stock alert attachments like the one on the left. Usually I can identify them before even opening them, and they end up going to the trash en masse.

But today they got me. I fell for it. What made me open this particular spam stock trading tip, sent by "Richard Fulton"? It was the header:

Subject: Yarmulke

Boy, these spammers are clever!

November 01, 2006

A Night of Whores and Borats

Does your Magen David hang low, does it dangle Jew and fro? (I was really trying to snap the flight attendant in the background.)

Last night was Halloween, or the Pagan Purim if it pleases you. I went to the HavaLight Halloween Party at Cielo in the West Village of Manhattan, the city where, for one night, hundreds of women dressed as whores were matched by an equally strong army of men dressed as Borat.

I decided to go as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran. Look at the photo to the left, can you tell who is Ahmadinejad and who is the Robot? Most folks at the party knew who I was supposed to be, especially since I had printed a name tag on the colors of the flag of Iran. But some people didn't quite get it, and when they read the name "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad", they said knowingly, "Ah, I get it, you're a terrorist!"

Among the other anti-Semitic characters self-hatingly portrayed by Jews that night was Borat. I ran into a few of them, but the Borat in this photo was the friendliest. He warmed up to me when he saw my name tag, and broke character to ask me something in Farsi. Embarrassed by the mixup, I confessed that I didn't speak Iranian.

"In my country there is problem, and that problem is the Jew."

The Shansta was da' Bomb of Iran

A vanilla Flavor Flav and, I don't know, maybe the road manager from Rock Star?

He had moves like the Hebrew Hammer, but Alan Z. claimed to be someone else

Blog Bog

You may notice that the helpful navigation bar usually found at the top of my ShaBlog is missing, as well as the advertisements and other nice bits normally adorning the sidebars throughout This is because I have switched my website to a new server, and I'm in the process of working out the kinks.

In the meantime, if you've reached this page with no way to navigate, here's a link to the home page.

Update 4PM EST - Problem fixed

October 31, 2006

Marine Ecology of the Middle East

It's finally here: PresenTense Magazine Issue One has been released to the public and is available now! This premier issue is full of colorful photographs, essays, and reviews, and if you flip to the end, you'll find my full backpage cartoon illustration, "Marine Ecology of the Middle East".

You can see the complete cartoon online here, but don't miss out on the rest of the issue! Visit PresenTense to find out where you can pick up a copy for yourself, or subscribe and support this new publication.

October 30, 2006

a zsidó robot

Zsidó is the Hungarian word for Jewish, and today the zsidó robot is happy to learn that my fellow ROI120 travel companions Bruno and Brigitta of Budapest will be translating my weekly ShaBot 6000 comic strips into Hungarian for their blog,

This week's strip is too punny to be translated into Hungarian and still make sense, but future episodes will be fully translated.

Incidentally, you can also read ShaBot 6000 in Portugese and German.

October 17, 2006

Baby Chat

I saw my baby niece Lola yesterday, and I didn't even have to leave Brooklyn to do it. Finally, I was able to video conference online, cross-platform from Macintosh to Windows, using Skype for Mac 2.0 Beta.

What does this have to do with Jewish or robots, you may ask? Nothing, except that I suspect Lola may be a human-Cylon hybrid.

October 11, 2006

An Issue with Food

Whaddup, Shansta?

Heeb Magazine celebrated their eleventh issue, The Food Issue, with another kick-ass party last night. Held at Fat Baby on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the usual suspects made their appearance and posed for the ShaBlog.

Beth Pollak of PresenTense thinks PINK

Heeb's David Kelsey and Sarah Lefton of Jewish Fashion Conspiracy

Avi, David, and Adam Baruchowitz

Fellow ROI120ers Sarah Lefton and Rebecca Wiener, Senior Editor for Heeb

PresenTense Editor-in-Chief Ariel Beery obscured by powerful pre-party host E.V. of Jewschool

West coast's Sarah, and Yoseph of Cannabis Chassidis

Storahtelling David Wolkin and bright-eyed Lindsay of PresenTense and ROI120

Esther K., the Bot, and an encore appearance by Sarah Lefton

October 01, 2006

Rate the Crap

I got a promotional e-mail announcement for Rate the J.A.P., a disappointingly content-deprived website where you can rate the attractiveness of a scant few Jewish American Princesses on a scale of 1 to 10. Nothing great about the concept or site, but I did find the "Rate My Clit" Google Ad interesting ...

September 22, 2006


The Conan O'Brien minyon is not complete without Cyberg!
I got an e-mail from my friend Threebrain last week, casually informing me that he'd be appearing on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in a bit role as ... the JEWISH ROBOT!

How could Threebrain have been so "Oh, by the way" cavalier with his announcement? He knows that I'm the Jewish Robot, but he mentioned this character as if it were any of the other roles he's played, like Masturbating Bear or an astronaut. He didn't use nearly enough exclamation marks, either.

In this skit, Conan was celebrating his 13th year on air. He considered it his bar-mitzvah episode. So in order to make it kosher, he summoned a minyon of Jewish characters, including the rabbinical robot, Cyberg, played by Threebrain. I suppose it was funny because, well, any time you mix something Jewish with pop culture, it's sure to be a hit, and rein in those wayward Jews.

Conan and rabbi stare in disbelief at Cyberg