Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

PodCast: Tobin Belzer on the Mission Minyan

Posted by Oyster on November 23, 2008

It’s happened to me several times in the past where I relent to be interviewed, only to find that the journalist or researcher cut out my heart-felt commentary. Well, it’s nice to finally see the fruits of my labor, ladled out between mouth-fulls of cholent on a Shabbat afternoon to Tobin Belzer (notice the other Tobins on that page, oh, and hi Maya & Esther!), finally published. You see, Tobin attended the Independent Minyan Conference in Brookline, MA, to present her anthropological findings from a few weeks of kibbitzing, noshing, kvetching, and shmoozing up the creme-a-la-creme of the Mission Minyan. Here’s the link to the MP3, and the webpage with the entire conference agenda & other MP3’s to listen to.

Overall, it’s a really interesting sociological look into the Mission Minyan, the context from which it sprung forth, and the inner make-up of the most dynamic young community in the Jewish Bay Area.

Some of her findings, ridiculously over-simplified:

  • Sarah Lefton is witty (well, duh)
  • MM Jews are less likely to have gone to Orthodox day-schooling than their lame East Coast counterparts
  • MM Jews are more likely to have goyishe friends
  • Formal Jewish learning, and skills related to ritual observance, are highly prized. For example, I can spin a dreidl very well, so I was asked to become their fearless leader, entitled, “Le Big Mac”.
  • Poly-cheitza’s can lead to split personality disorders when of order greater than 5. Or, just for Jews to split.
  • Stop reading this, and go listen to the real deal! 🙂

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