August 31, 2006

Black Sabbath

Aaron Freeman, author, speaker and comedian—and self-proclaimed Funniest Black Jew on National Public Radio—produces a Jewish cartoon series called 52 Partias with partner Sharon Rosenzweig for your weekly portion pleasure. Each week, Freeman posts a new cartoon lesson on his blog, with whimsical characters and morals to be learned. The artwork has evolved since the beginning of Freeman's project, when his cartoons took form as live-action photos stylized in a comic book format. His more recent editions are designed with delightful illustrations and brilliant colors, makes me want to read them all!

Thanks for the tip, Esther K!

August 29, 2006

PresenTense Moment

PresenTense Editor-in-Chief, Ariel Beery, with hip cat Avi Fox-Rosen

Last week I attended the first meeting for contributors of the exciting new Jewish publication, PresenTense Magazine, headed by natural-born leader and fellow ROI participant, Ariel Beery. From the PresenTense mission statement:
As an open marketplace of ideas, PresenTense seeks to serve young Jews by providing them with a space to encounter and engender innovative ideas, initiatives and communities. Using three dimensions of engagement—print magazine, website and a writing workshop series—PresenTense aspires to create a structured forum to channel the creativity and passion of the next generation of thought-leaders while exposing the larger community to emerging writers, thinkers and artists. This forum will also serve as an access point for young Jews to explore trans-denominational thinking and visions.

Issue One is set for release in October, and will feature, among the article contributions of many talented writers, a full backpage cartoon by me.

Esther Kustanowitz, David Dabscheck and Mordechai Levy-Eichel

An enthusiastic Lindsay Litowitz

The pilot issue of PresenTense reached a worldwide audience, with distribution in New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Seattle, Moscow, Warsaw, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. If you are interested in sponsoring the magazine by advertising to an audience of more than 15,000 readers, please feel free to contact me or Ariel Beery for more information on special introductory ad rates.

After the meeting, Beery and I headed to the JDate End-of-Summer Rooftop Party at China Club in Manhattan. Mind you, we weren't there to swing ... this was official business! Thanks to our supporters in JDate Media Relations, who provided us with press passes, we were able to mingle amongst the crowd, taking notes while conducting research on a future Jewish singles article, as well as a cartoon for the magazine.

Deep undercover: Jewish Robot with notepad and beer in hand, shirt unbuttoned to blend in with the crowd, and reel in the ladies for Ariel Beery (who really needs no help in that area at all)

Click Alert!

August 25, 2006

Jackie Mason Sues for Jesus

Jewlicious reports that Jackie Mason is suing Jews for Jesus in a $2 million lawsuit for using his name and likeness on a pamphlet aimed at converting Jews to Christianity.

According to the article, the lawsuit calls for the immediate destruction of the pamphlet that has been widely distributed in the streets of New York City. I wonder if this also includes the PDF version of the pamphlet, titled Jackie Mason ... a Jew for Jesus?, which is still available as a download on the Jews for Jesus website.

I suspect that this digital record of the offending material may soon be removed from their server, so I've converted the 3-page pamphlet (first page above) into the images here. Click on each to see a larger view.

I suppose I may be guilty of the same crime, having used the likeness of 50 Cent in my Seda' Club cartoon, in which he muses, "Yo, bros, it's all good ... I'm Jewish, yo!" Of course, I believe my work is just a parody, and I've never been contacted by 50 Cent's attorneys, so if he's seen it, I'm assuming 50 is cool with the cartoon. But if 50 ever decided to sue me, I wonder if he'd have a case?

August 22, 2006


About-to-be bride Rachel Feinerman circles her chasan, Canonist Steven I. Weiss, under the huppah

A few months ago, with a ragtag posse of uninvited, dope-smoking misfits in tow, I crashed fine fellow blogger and renowned journalist Steven I. Weiss's engagement party. Tonight I had the honor of witnessing Steven follow through with his commitment, as he married his lovely and talented fiancee, Rachel Feinerman, at the Sephardic Temple in Cedarhurst, New York.

Rabbi Eliyahu Stern preaches to the choir

After a sweet smorg with more meaty hors d'oeuvres than you could shake a leg of lamb at, Beliefnet's Rabbi Eliyahu Stern conducted his first wedding ceremony. As a close friend to Weiss, Stern delivered a heartfelt and down to earth sermon.

Once the couple were happily wed, we made our way to the reception area for dinner and dancing. Sitting at my Table #7, I was introducing myself to the fellow sitting to my left, Fodor's travel guide author, Mark Sullivan. When I mentioned my comic strip about a Jewish robot, the fellow next to Mark smiled as he introduced himself as Wayne Hoffman, Managing Editor for Forward who sent me my first Shabot 6000 syndication rejection letter! He also offered plenty of useful advice about where and how to pitch my comic strip, and it was a pleasure to meet Wayne in person.

JR with Rivka Bukowsky of CampusJ

Steven and Rachel amused

Steven I. Presley

Fodor's author Mark Sullivan and Forward's Managing Editor, Wayne Hoffman

Alyssa Abrahmson of 14th Street Y with founding editor Daniel Septimus on the LIRR back to Flatbush

The entire evening was a blast, and who knows, maybe video footage of the Jewish Robot actually doing the robot in the middle of a Jewish Bloggers' hora will surface on YouTube one day.

August 21, 2006

Baby's Got Blue Eyes

Eyelashes with baby attached

Blue eyes
Baby's got blue eyes
Like a deep blue sea
On a blue blue day
Blue eyes
Baby's got blue eyes
When the morning comes
I'll be far away
And I say

Lola's got Blue Eyes

I just got back from visiting my baby niece Lola! Both of Lola's parents--my sister, Sandy, and brother-in-law, Todd--have brown eyes, but both of Lola's grandfathers have blue eyes. Lola lucked out with the recessive gene.

August 10, 2006


My friend, Aharon Horwitz, fellow ROI120 conference participant and contributor for Blogs of Zion, has been called to Miluim, the IDF Reserves. Aharon and his wife, Alieza, who recently celebrated the first anniversary of their aliyah, graciously hosted me in their home during my stay in Jerusalem.

For my Israeli friends, I'm sure this is a familiar scene. But for me, this is the first time a friend has been called to duty in a time of war. Aharon, thank you for everything you are doing for us.

Esther K. posts on the ROI120 Blog:
The rest of us, in Israel and abroad, continue to grapple with how we define our relationship with the Jewish State; if we are not serving in the IDF, if we do not live in Israel, if we do not volunteer in Israeli hospitals, if we do not rush north into the eye of the storm to support our extended family who have been displaced by rocket attacks, if we are too poor to support the country and IDF efforts in any meaningful way from the comfort of our homes, if we visit the land but always return to another country we call ‘home,’ if we contribute our time to creating meaning for Diaspora Jews, is it all lip service to the idea of Zionism? Or is it the extent of our current capacity for action? Does it represent laziness? A lack of conviction or commitment? And what lack of action is and isn’t acceptable/forgivable?

August 06, 2006

Mel Hates Jews

Five four three twos, it's every news:

Mel hates blacks, browns, yellows and blues
Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists and Hindus

He hates y'all the most of all
Mel hates Jews

From the top of their Jew hat
To the bottom of their shoes

Are you a Jew? Cause if you're a Jew
Mel hates yous

There's one thing Mel don't hate
Mel loves booze

Mel loves to drink and drive in Malibus
Don't offer Mel a ride home cuz Mel will refuse

Mel hates the train,
Mel hates choo choo

Mel hates his alarm clock
Mel hates to snooze

Mel hates the whole cast of Winnie the Poohs
Tiggers, Rabbits, Piglets and your Kangas and Roos

George bush hates black people
Mel hates them too
But most of all Mel hates Jews

Mel hates Jews
Mel hates Jews
But most of all Mel hates them Jews

August 01, 2006

A Decade of Change

To coin the phrase, "A penny saved ..."

I've been living in the same apartment in Brooklyn for ten years, during which time I've seen a lot of change. Not in the neighborhood, and not in my life, but in plastic jars, into which spare coinage has been routinely deposited and tucked into the back of my closet to be forgotten.

But this week I remembered all the change in my life, and decided it was time for a change. So I loaded the six jars of coins into a roller suitcase and wheeled it to the closest Commerce Bank, where they have a free Penny Arcade service for counting change and exchanging for notes.

The machine first asks you to guess how much change you've got. If you guess within $1.99 of the actual amount, you win a prize of some sort. I don't know what that prize is, because I guessed I had amassed $457 in change.

The actual sum: $600.68!

That $405 represents quarters, and $21.63 is the pennies. So I'm more of a quarter-pinching Jew.

I walked out of the bank with an empty suitcase and a slim pocket of hundred dollar bills. Sure, I've now got an extra $600 to put toward the rent, but the best thing to come of all this is that now when homeless people ask me if I have any spare change, I can tell them "no" without lying.