Jewish Conversation Starters
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Jewish Conversation Starters

What’s “Most Passover” — chocolate-covered matzah, falling asleep at the table, the third cup of wine or counting pages until the meal actually begins?

MostPassover is the holiday-themed version of MostJewish (www.mostjewish.com), a new online game that hopes to launch a vibrant conversation about what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century.

Created by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College with the help of Blue State Digital, the consultants behind MyBarackObama.com, MostPassover and MostJewish offer players a set of four words or phrases to choose from. Players click on the words that strike them as being “most Jewish” and find out what percentage of people agree. They are then invited to post an explanation on their Facebook profile or Twitter feed, as well as view the responses offered by others.

“It’s a great game to play with groups of people,” says Rabbi Deborah Glanzberg-Krainin, assistant vice president for community and rabbinic engagement at the RCC, as well as the director of this project. “It starts an interesting conversation and gives people the chance to think about what being a Jew means to them.”

“Doctors,” “chopped liver” and “Brooklyn,” currently top the site’s Top 10 “Most Jewish” Terms list, a decidedly unscientific list that features the words that have received the most clicks. “We’re hoping to dethrone ‘doctors,’” jokes Rabbi Glanzberg-Krainin. “‘Doctors’ has been reigning No. 1 since we started [the last week in December]. There’s something to learn from that, but we’re not sure what it is.”

Other top 10 picks include “guilt,” “bargain hunting” and “comedians.”

When asked whether the game is perpetuating stereotypes, Rabbi Glanzberg-Krainin said that, “In no way do we want to be propagating stereotypes.” Still, there’s something to be learned from stereotypes, she told The Jewish Week. “If we are playful with them and poke them around the edges, we might be able to come up with food for thought and be able to explore them in a thoughtful manner.”

With the exception of matzah, none of the 500 featured terms are Hebrew or Yiddish. This was a deliberate decision. “The concern was that if we used words like Torah or borscht, there would be such a clear winner each time and it wouldn’t generate thoughtful conversation and reflection in the same way,” she says.

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