Lisa Alcalay Klug

Promised Land? Some Jews in the Pacific regard Hawaii as an escape from capitalism.

Let’s Talk Hasidic in Hawaiian

No one knows exactly how many Jews live in Hawaii. But those who do live there have worked hard to create their own version of paradise on earth.

King David Kalakaua

Of Rosanne Barr, King David Kalakaua and 9 Other Things About Jewish Hawaii

Some Hawaiian Jews became friends with the king, others served in the IDF. The members of the tribe in Aloha State are a diverse bunch.

8). The first time Christopher Campbell converted to Judaism, he changed his name to Yisrael and got circumcised. He became a Reform Jew. The second time he converted to Judaism, he became a Conservative Jew. He got circumcised again. The next and final time he converted to Judaism, he became an Orthodox Jew. And yes, he got circumcised one more time. At that point, he says, ?Circumcision is not a religious covenant. It?s a fetish.? If that doesn?t deserve the eighth candle, what does? Campbell?s poignant and funny one-man show, ?Circumcise Me,? plays off-Broadway at Manhattan?s Bleecker Street Theatre through January 3., tickets available at Telecharge, $66.50. An eponymous documentary on DVD is also available for $25 by writing

Giving the Gift of Kitsch

When it comes to the Festival of Lights, there is no shortage of gift schmaltz. Since the Forward first published festive holiday picks under the headline “Give the Gift of Kitsch” in 2005, schlock options have grown exponentially. The phenomenon originally explored in these pages has expanded to include such winners as the new Latka Spatula — the kitchen implement that sounds like Yiddish.

Sound It Out: The Magic Yad software application captures handwritten notes and links audio to them. (click for larger)

A New Yad for the Bar-Mitzvah Set

A ceremonial yad, or Torah pointer, is a traditional gift for a bar or bat mitzvah. But a new technological innovation aimed at helping children learn their Torah and Haftarah portions represents a new kind of competition for this classic ritual item.

More Flack: Seth MacFarlane, left, and Alex Borstein perform during a Fox show.

MacFarlane?s Not-So-Funny Jew Joke

The animated sitcom ?Family Guy? isn?t exactly high art. The Sunday night, 30-minute program, which airs on the Fox television network, is filled with off-color jokes. Nonetheless, many fans were disappointed when the show?s creator, Seth MacFarlane, took things to a new extreme November 8 during a variety special titled ??Family Guy? Presents: Seth and Alex?s Almost Live Comedy Show.?

Open Dialogue: Jon Gosselin, right, announced at a forum on November 1 that he will seek counseling from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

Jon & Shmuley Plus Another Media Circus

Reality star Jon Gosselin, who has been plagued by a storm of ugly tabloid rumors, has been seeking to avoid more media attention. So, his recent decision to participate in a public forum — or as many media outlets are referring to it, an “apology show” — with yet another personality known for cultivating the spotlight came as a surprise. Gosselin, 32, joined Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at the West Side Synagogue in Manhattan on November 1 for an event titled “Fame: Blessing or Curse?” Run by Boteach, the discussion was billed as a “raw and intimate dialogue on the ethical challenges and moral responsibility of celebrity.”

Keeping It Cool

California journalist and Forward contributor Lisa Alcalay Klug has authored the new book “Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe” (Andrews McMeel Publishing), a funny compendium of Jews in pop culture, holiday survival guides, fashion and style tips, crash courses in “Kabba Lah Lah” and more. Klug’s self-proclaimed “pride in Jewish culture, schmaltz and a reverent irreverence” shines through on every page. The Forward’s Josh Richman caught up with Klug on topics ranging from her own upbringing to her love of the Mani-Tini (a concoction involving vodka, fruit juice and Manischewitz Blackberry) and more.