Tenth Annual Misunderstanding Judaism Conference Kicks Off
New York, NY (AP) – The Jacob Javits Convention Center was filled to capacity on Sunday as thousands of non-Jews came to attend a four-day conference to deepen their misunderstanding of one of the world’s oldest faiths.
The General Organization of Yiddish Ignorance Movements (GOYIM), an umbrella group of gentile organizations devoted to misapprehending Judaism, sponsored the event in conjunction with SoundBite, an advocacy group that promotes superficial treatment of complex, nuanced social and political issues.
GOYIM set up dozens of booths, each one devoted to disseminating misinformation about Jewish tradition, characteristics and practice, with an entire section of purveyors selling “kosher-style” food next to the booth devoted to mischaracterization of Jewish dietary rules.
Several large Christian congregations sent delegations to the fair to reinforce the myths their communities have always assumed to be true, and the entrance hall was lined with posters of famous individuals whose Judaism was of marginal importance to them but given outsize emphasis by the uninformed public. A special section portrayed many famous real-life and fictional figures who were not Jewish but everyone assumes were, such as Ebenezer Scrooge, the protagonist of the Dickens novel A Christmas Carol. No pains were taken to disabuse the attendees of those notions.
At the “kosher style” food court, Mary Entwistle of Mahwah, New Jersey, commented that the frankfurters tasted just like the ones she could get anywhere else. “What’s so special about kosher food, then?” she wondered.
Her companion, Michelle Powell, went to investigate at the relevant misinformation booth, and came back triumphantly to announce, “Kosher means it was blessed by a Rabbi,” satisfying herself and Entwistle with a complete corruption of a complex system aimed at promoting Jewish awareness of the sanctity involved in eating.
They finished their pork sausages and found themselves at a display of bed sheets with holes in the middle, where the booth attendant was explaining that the sheets are the kind used by Ultra-Orthodox Jews for sexual intercourse, so that the husband and wife can minimize contact with each other in the name of modesty. The audience oohed and ahhed, taking at face value the complete opposite of the level of marital intimacy that Jewish law encourages. The sheets were for sale at $35.99 each for twin size, and $44.99 for king.
Elsewhere in the hall, a pair of caricature artists were busy sketching customers’s faces and whimsically adding horns to the images, in keeping with the popular, hilariously off-base image of Jews as anatomically different from other people. Artists George Lamont and Nina Cassidy let visitors know that the once or twice they had encountered Jews in their home town of Pottsville, Iowa, they tried to find an excuse to feel the sides of the Jews’ scalps for the small protrusions. They warned their clients that they clearly exaggerated the horns’ size, but, rest assured, it’s as real as could be.
GOYIM Director Paul Gregory said he had hoped to find other sponsors for the event among wealthy Jewish businesspeople, considering his bizarre assumption that Jews control the banks and finance industry, but to no avail. “I was dumbstruck – here they have this global fund that sponsors every Jew’s entrepreneurial initiatives, and they can’t spare a few grand?” He stared at a poster of the allegedly Jewish symbols on the American dollar bill before adding, “I guess if they’re the Chosen People that means they get to be elitist and all,” completely missing the sense of ethical purpose and mission to which the term refers.
Not everything at the conference was purely misinformative or commercial; some displays were overtly altruistic. One booth solicited contributions to a fund for nose jobs so that Jews would not have to walk around all sporting unattractive hook noses. Another asked for blood donations, encouraging passers by to give so that Jews would not have to slaughter a gentile child to make their Passover matza. The proprietor, Mustafa Isfahan, was unsure exactly how to get the donated material to the appropriate destination, but was confident he would find a way. “All I have to do is call up a Jewish temple and they’ll be able to direct me to the proper people,” he said.
“I mean, all Jews know one another, so it’s not like that should be a problem.”
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