The shtick mak­ing your Jewish dad a Face­book phe­nom­e­non

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY KEREN DAVID

YOUR DAD al­ways has an emer­gency kip­pah in the glove com­part­ment… even if your dad could af­ford to live in Hamp­stead Gar­den Sub­urb he wouldn’t want to… your dad can only re­verse the car if he puts his left arm around the pas­sen­ger seat’s head­rest.

Sounds fa­mil­iar? More than 7,000 peo­ple this week signed up to a Face­book group called Your Jewish Dad Talk UK/EU for ban­ter about the be­hav­iour of Bri­tish Jewish dads, por­tray­ing them as neb­bish, em­bar­rass­ing, so­cially and tech­ni­cally chal­lenged and gen­er­ally a step or two be­hind their off­spring.

The group was set up by two Cam­bridge stu­dents, Adam Goott and Alex Szleszinger, both aged 19 and mem­bers of Radlett United Sy­n­a­gogue in Hert­ford­shire.

The pair have just stepped down as joint pres­i­dents of the univer­sity’s JSoc and had been en­joy­ing a gen­eral Face­book group called Your Dad Talk, and pri­vately swop­ping ob­ser­va­tions about their own fa­thers’ idio­syn­cra­sies. “We re­alised they were funny in a sim­i­lar way,” said Mr Goott.

“So we set up a group about Jewish dads. We thought it wouldd just be for a few of our friends. But within three hours we had 1,500 mem­bers. We’d un­der­es­ti­mated how sim­i­lar Bri­tish Jewish dads are.”

So, what were the com­mon traits they iden­ti­fied?

“Slightly out of touch,” said Mr Szleszinger. “Not think­ing the way we think. En­dear­ing, while also be­ing of­fen­sive.”

Luck­ily, their own dads, Searle Goott

and Sam Szleszinger, love the group.

Mr Goott Snr, ac­cord­ing to his son, “never re­ally did Face­book be­fore, but now he’s avidly on it, lik­ing ev­ery post in the group and mak­ing up his own.

“It’s re­ally con­nected him with his Jewish­ness.”

Mean­while, Mr Szleszinger Snr is un­der con­stant scru­tiny.

“My dad goes out to buy bagels and smoked sal­mon, and I put up a post say­ing just that, and loads of peo­ple like it. Ba­si­cally, I’m just tak­ing notes on his life,” his son ex­plained.

Both sets of par­ents have — typ­i­cally — sug­gested their sons find a way of turn­ing their Face­book suc­cess into a busi­ness. The pair be­lieve Lord Sugar is among those who has signed up as a mem­ber.

They agree that a group about their Jewish mums would not have been as suc­cess­ful.

“Jewish moth­ers have been done to death. It wouldn’t be so funny, as it’d be about how neu­rotic they are.”

The key to their suc­cess, they think, is the way the group has picked up the es­sen­tial one-ness of Bri­tish Jewish dads.

“They went to the same schools. They’re sec­ond or third gen­er­a­tion im­mi­grants. They use Yid­dish in an angli­cised way.

“And they all say the same sort of things.”

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