Secrets of Shiksa Appeal: Ms. Avi’s Anti-Assimilation 101

Since Seinfeld first introduced the idea of the ‘Shiksa Appeal,’ Jewish girls everywhere have marveled at the power of the shiksa. But what is it about gentile women that causes them to hold so much power over Jewish men? Enter Avi Roseman, with her eight-step guide to attaining every Jewish girl’s goal: becoming the shiksa he’s always wanted without giving up the latkes.

In Secrets of Shiksa Appeal, Ms. Avi (as she is referred to in her book) guides her readers through an eight-step program that she promises will help Jewish girls everywhere shed the shackles of those awful Jewish-girl stereotypes and bring them to find their ‘Shul-Mate.’ These eight steps include dressing like a shiksa, acting like a shiksa, and hooking a guy like the mother of all shiksas: the preacher’s daughter.

In this handy, roughly 120-page instruction manual for hooking a Jewish man, Ms. Avi throws around phrases like “Prince Menschin” and “Jew-dar,” not to mention bagel references too numerous to count. But contrary to this writer’s first impressions, the book is not just a cream puff filled with Yiddish vernacular and bordering-on-offensive stereotypes. Ms. Avi actually has something important to say, and she manages to say it in such a down-to-earth and straightforward way that even the most rebellious Jewish girl is bound to sit up straight and pay attention.

That message is this: prevent assimilation. No matter what your annoyingly nagging Jewish mother, your Sunday school teacher, or your Rabbi says, the reason to sally forth on the somewhat quixotic battle against the shisksas is to keep as many of our Jew-fro adorned men as possible within the faith. Ms. Avi preaches that “There are so many smart, educated, beautiful and athletic Jewish women out there who defy the negative stereotypes, and I want them to be able to attract quality men.” By quality men, she means Jewish men who still care about being Jewish while still respecting women. So why the ‘Shiksa Appeal’ method? Because according to Avi, as assimilation rates continue to creep upward, the blonde, blue-eyed, and cross-sporting girl gains more and more power, while the dumpy, curly-haired, socially awkward Mama’s Jew-girl sits in the corner eating – you guessed it – bagels and lox.

Read Secrets of Shiksa Appeal, but caution yourself before taking it too seriously. Between the copious cubic zirconium, you will find a few real gems of advice – perhaps wearing a “Jewish t-shirt” to attending gentile events – but the book is primarily aimed at girls without much more than a Bat-Mitzvah-level knowledge of Judaism. Despite this, Ms. Avi is sincere in encouraging Jewish girls to fight for their “kosher beef” in a largely gentile world, and I commend her for writing about it.