In her class, Benor teachers a short story in which a bagel-eating Chinese immigrant girl living in the largely Jewish community of Westchester, New York meets a recent Japanese immigrant boy.When she finds out that his name is Sherman, she asks: “What kind of name is that for a nice Chinese boy?
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In her bestselling novel The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., author Adelle Waldman paints a darker, more complex portrait of the modern Jewish male.
Her protagonist, Nathaniel Piven, is “in some sense an NJB,” she says—but it depends how you define “nice.” “The niceness can coexist with smugness, self-satisfaction and a host of other traits.” Outwardly, Nathaniel P.
“Because the Yid is ugly, sickly, and lacks decorum, we shall endow the ideal image of the Hebrew with masculine beauty.
The Yid has accepted submission and, therefore, the Hebrew ought to learn how to command…
In Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, Alexander Portnoy rails against his overbearing Jewish mother by becoming a deviant obsessed with shiksas and sex. ” Norman Mailer, too, struggled to throw off the curse of the Jewish weakling. In his 1968 book Armies of the Night, Mailer describes himself (also the protagonist) as a “radical intellectual, existential philosopher, hard-working author, champion of obscenity, husband of four battling sweet wives, amiable bar drinker, and much-exaggerated street fighter, party giver, hostess insulter.” And yet, in the end, he cannot escape “a fatal taint, a last remaining speck of the one personality he found absolutely insupportable—the nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn.” Perhaps Roth and Mailer need not have tried so hard.
“Enough being a nice Jewish boy, publicly pleasing my parents while privately pulling my putz! Mailer “spent his entire life trying to extirpate what he himself called the ‘nice Jewish boy’ from his soul…to overcome that lifelong terror of being a sissy,” according to Norman Podhoretz, former editor-in-chief of Commentary Magazine. Today, a surplus of Jewish and gentile women covet an NJB of their own.
Jewish dating site JDate draws a significant number of non-Jews—5 percent of its 750,000 members.
“For whatever reason, Jewish men tend to value warmth, humor, good food, and great libidos—all prime qualities for what most women consider boyfriend material,” says Kristina Grish, author of Boy Vey! Emboldened, some Jewish men are reclaiming the term.
Go to JDate.com, and you’re guaranteed to find one: “I’m just a nice Jewish boy who loves his mother’s cooking.” “Message me if you are looking for a nice Jewish boy who values family, respect and loyalty.” “I’m a nice jewish girl looking for a nice jewish boy lol, now how cliché does that sound?