The shtick making your Jewish dad a Facebook phenomenon
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.”