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So one guy says to another guy, "Mandelbaum and Rosenstern were talking one day..."
Right away, his friend interrupts him,

"Always with the Jewish jokes! Give it a rest! Why do they always have to be about Jews?
Just change the names to another ethnic group for once!"

So he starts again, "Hashimoto and Suzuki were talking one day at their nephew's Bar Mitzvah..."

Some jokes are just Jewish jokes. Period.

Rec.Humor.Jewish is their home.

You don't have to be Jewish to join us...

You do have to have a sense of humour.

The Quiz
A Bit of Background
Posting Guidelines
General FAQ (frequently asked questions)
Copyright FAQ
Charter and Moderation Policies
How to Contact Us
Hebrew, Yiddish, and other Jewish Diaspora Language Glossary
RHJ Netiquette

For more information, contact

The Quiz

Fortunately, as a free public service we provide a basic test for sense of humour (answer below):

Do you find the following image:
a) Tasteless
b) Funny
c) Realistic
d) Other: _______________________________

A Bit of Background

On May 18, 1998, the voting for the creation of Rec.Humor.Jewish closed. On March 21, it was announced that we won with 395 yes votes!

moderated group rec.humor.jewish passes 395:27
There were 395 YES votes and 27 NO votes, for a total of 422 valid
votes.  There were 2 abstentions and 16 invalid ballots.

The newsgroup "alt.humor.jewish" was sadly being overrun by "Aryan" supremicists and other types of hatemongerers. And most of the non-hate postings to this NG contained messages urging others not to respond to the hatemongerers. These well-intentioned posters further decrease the signal-to-noise ratio. Their content was less offensive, but it is still off-topic, takes up space on servers worldwide, and bothers visitors to the NG who are looking for humour postings.

The goal here is to "start fresh", with a dedicated team of moderators to maintain certain minimum standards for postings. We only ask that they be vaguely on-topic and do not feature "hate" material. Almost anything else of a non-commercial nature goes, as long as the intention is humourous. Naturally, we do not attempt to judge the nature of humour itself; anything that looks harmless will be posted, regardless of our personal taste in jokes.

Posting Guidelines

For people who say "I'm new to this group and I hope I'm doing this right."

General Information

Rec.humor.Jewish is a moderated newsgroup. This means no one may post to it without the assistance of the moderation team and robo-moderator. It is moderated to keep it true to its charter.

The charter specifies the focus of newsgroup is Jewish Humor. We also accept non-Jewish humor (Not Jewish, Just Funny - "NJJF"), the discussion of humor.

Informational and Administrative articles are posted monthly as approved by the moderators.

The Moderators: A group of dedicated volunteers, the moderators endeavor to post whatever meets the qualifications as stated in our charter. We are human and do make mistakes. If you feel we have erred, please let us know nicely.

Required format: Posts should conform to Usenet style guidelines and will be returned for editing if they contain lines with more than 78 characters, excessive quoting, excessive signature files, or errors that render them undecipherable. The subject of the post should be clearly descriptive of the post.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions


Welcome to Rec.Jewish.Humor, the *new* home for Jewish humor on the Usenet! RHJ is for anyone who wants to share and discuss humor, primarily humor as it pertains to Jews, their culture, Israel, and the Jewish religion. Non-Jewish humor will also be accepted. The whole idea is to make people laugh!

*How do I post?

Rec.humor.Jewish is a moderated newsgroup. This means no one may post to it without the assistance of the moderation team and robo-moderator. It is moderated to keep it true to its charter. The charter specifies the focus of newsgroup is Jewish Humor. We also accept non-Jewish humor and the discussion of humor.

*What should I do before I post?

Users are strongly encouraged to read the informational postings in the newsgroup news.announce.newusers to familiarize themselves with USENET. It is also customary to "lurk" (view without posting) for a short period to get an idea as to what’s appropriate in the group.

*Do I need to put a "tag" on my joke?

Tags help the readers choose what to read or filter out. Posters are requested to use tags and descriptive subject lines when posting the types of material listed. The moderators may insert tags when appropriate. Put them in the beginning of the subject line (just the all-caps part).

The following tags are in use in RHJ

NJJF - Not Jewish Just Funny
NFJJ - Not funny, just Jewish
MAY-OFFEND - May contain offensive language
ANNOUNCE - Announcement from the moderators
INFO - Information post from anyone
ADVERT - Advertisement  (note: advertisements for Jewish-related events and goods are being accepted during a trial period subject to review by the moderators)

*Why don't you allow only Jewish humor?

It's difficult to judge what makes a joke Jewish. Is it that the names of the characters are Jewish-sounding -- or that the characters are engaged in a Jewish custom? Rather than force posters to go thru the charade of "Jewishizing" generic jokes or creating the "Joke Police", the moderators encourage mostly Jewish jokes to be posted. But any jokes will be accepted.

*Problems, rejections, appeals:

The moderators are a group of dedicated volunteers. We approve whatever meets the criteria as stated in our charter. We are human and do make mistakes. If you feel we have erred, please let us know *nicely*.

Each moderator works at his or her own pace. Just because you haven't seen it, don't assume it wasn't posted. It may have been posted and it hasn't propagated back to your site yet. On Shabbat and Jewish holidays, the delay can be 3-4 days. You will be notified if your submission was rejected.

If you have posted and do not see your article within a week, instead of resubmitting, email us asking about its status. All submitted posted receive an acknowledgement (ack) when our robo-moderator receives them. If you haven’t received an ack within a day, we haven’t received your post! The net is not 100% efficient and not all articles make it to all sites. We're not 100% efficient either, and on occasion, we'll lose a file or delete something by accident.

*A post of mine was rejected, but I think it should have been posted. How do I appeal this?

  1. Please see our charter for a list of acceptable/unacceptable behavior
  2. If you believe that it is within the charter, email the *original post* with a brief explanation to the board of moderators to the address below.

*How do I contact the moderators?

*Are the moderators the "funny filter?"

No. As you can see from the postings, we post humor and the discussion of humor, mostly Jewish. By sending a submission to a moderated newsgroup, your are acknowledging that real people (the moderators) will be reviewing it prior to posting. Our goal is, of course, to approve posts, not reject them. But if you don’t like this arrangement, don’t post to this newsgroup. There are over 40,000 newsgroups; only a handful are moderated.

*What would cause my post to be rejected: (see the charter for more information)

Who are the moderators?

There are eight of us, all dedicated volunteers, who try our best to make you - the participants - laugh! We read posts, answer questions, and along with RHJ’s technical wizard, divvy up the huge sums we make on this venture. (Whaddaya mean they post for free? Where’s the profit in that?!?).

Rev. 7/21/98


The Jewish people have always been able to laugh at their lives and culture. Rec.Humor.Jewish, is for anyone who wants to share and discuss humor, primarily humor as it pertains to Jews, their culture, Israel, and the Jewish religion. Non-Jewish humor will also be accepted. The whole idea is to make people laugh!

Unacceptable postings: (Postings *must* follow these guidelines. Posts which do not will be returned to the sender with a copy of the charter.)

1.) Anti-Semitic - i.e. those which call for genocide and violence against Jews, and derogatory or false characterizations which would tend to perpetuate anti-Semitism.

2.) Revisionist - i.e. those which deny the Holocaust.

3.) Postings from individuals and/or groups who, in submissions to RHJ, have openly advocated harm against the Jewish people.

4.) Website announcements which are not related to Judaism, except for website announcements for "not Jewish, just funny" (NJJF) humor, unless those websites feature anti-Semitic "humor".

5.) Excessively crossposted Articles - articles posted at the same time to four or more newsgroups.

6.) Trolls and off-topic spam - messages which, in the moderator's judgement, would have the primary effect of disrupting the newsgroup.

7.) Personal messages - posts which contain comments directed at an individual and would be best if communicated directly to him/her.

8.) Threads which are no longer on topic as determined by the board of moderators. Once a thread or subject has been discontinued, future postings to the thread will be rejected. The poster(s) will be encouraged to move continued discussion to a more appropriate newsgroup or private email.

9.) Conversionists - Posts which offer or promote conversion to another religion. This would also include posts that promote so-called "Messianic Judaism" or "Hebraic Christianity".

10.) Any of the following: Large binaries; posts over 400 lines long, or more than 75 characters per line of original text, or those with executable or macro attachments; ROT13 encoded; and other non-standard formats which are incompatible with the RHJ robo-moderator and/or most newsreaders. PGP-type signatures would be permitted.

11.) Postings with explicit sexual content (XXX-rated), or which imply access to explicit sexual content are unacceptable.

12.) Submissions that are exact duplicates (other than header, sig, formatting) of posts submitted within the past 2 days.

13.) The official lingua franca of RHJ is English. Posts submitted in languages other than English will not be accepted. See "General Behavior"(below) for further information on this.

14.) Advertising policy: The moderators have adopted a *temporary* experimental advertising policy: The moderators will post all Jewish related advertisements, both profit and non-profit. We review on an as-need basis and a 'formal' discussion on the first day of every other month to identify any issues/concerns (next on 1 September 1998). We will not approve the posting of messages discussing this policy, but your comments via email are welcome. Please send them to <>.

15.) Copyrighted works: (see RHJ's copyright FAQ). Apparently copyrighted materials will be rejected. Please do not submit copyrighted materials or portions thereof.

General Behavior: (All postings are *encouraged* to follow these guidelines. Postings which fail to follow these guidelines will be forwarded a copy of the FAQ and charter, but the message *will* be still be posted.)

1.) Posters are expected to maintain a basic tone of civility.

2.) Posters should not make derogatory remarks about religious practices or the lack of them.

3.) Posters should refrain from making derogatory comments about other religious, racial, or ethnic groups.

4.) Identifying Tags: Posters of the following categories are encouraged to use the following tags:

NJJF - Not Jewish just funny
NFJJ - Not funny, just Jewish
MAY-OFFEND - May contain offensive language or reference
ANNOUNCE - Announcement from the board of RHJ
INFO - announcements from others than the board
ADVERT - Advertisement
META - discussions of policy
If posters fail to use these tags, the moderator(s) reserve the right to insert them without prior consent. Additional tags may be created should the need arise.

5. Use of languages other than English: Use of Hebrew, Yiddish, or other Jewish Diaspora languages is acceptable as long as a translation is provided. Translations of common non-English words (shmoe, boychik, kaddish) appear in the groups FAQ. If they don't, please provide equivalents.

6. Although HTML posts are currently accepted, we urge posters to refrain from using HTML encoding. Using HTML is considered bad netiquette.

Rejected Messages and Appeals

The Board of Moderators will try to make sure that actions listed above will not be applied to users who commit infractions inadvertently or because they have misunderstood our policies.

A poster whose post has been rejected or whose name has been placed on the auto-reject list has the right to appeal to the moderators of this newsgroup. The poster may then e-mail the moderator(s) at the appeals address (see below). The decision of the moderators is final.

Moderation Policy

The moderation of RHJ combines robo-moderation and a moderation panel to set standards for civil discourse and provide guidance for newcomers, but also allow express posting. The group will provide a supportive atmosphere for newcomers to RHJ and/or Usenet by issuing periodic postings listing the groups charter and posting guidelines.

The robo-moderator searches every submission to rec.humor.jewish for certain trigger words, forwarding any submissions containing these trigger words to the panel of human moderators for review. The list of trigger words is maintained by the moderators, who add words as needed.

Submissions from people on the express poster list are scanned for trigger words, as described above. Any messages including such trigger words will be referred to a moderator. All other posts from express posters will be accepted and posted by the robo-moderator without human review.

Submissions from those not on the express poster list which clearly fall into one of the categories referenced in the Charter under "unacceptable postings" will be automatically rejected. A note will be sent to the author (or apparent author) including the rejected post and explaining the reason(s) for rejection. All other submissions from non-express posters will be referred to the moderation queue.

Posters can get on the express posting list two ways. First, they can choose to register by sending e-mail to the newsgroup address listed below (general contact address), agreeing to follow the posting guidelines. Second, they can simply post to the group; their posts will be reviewed by the moderation panel, and after four acceptable posts, *and* upon request, *and* unless the board decides otherwise, they will be placed on the express posting list and sent a notification of this change in status.

If a moderator accepts the article, it is posted to the newsgroup. If the moderator feels the article should be rejected, that moderator writes a comment explaining why and notifies the sender of the rejection. Any moderator who is unsure about the appropriateness of a post may poll the moderation board for additional opinions.

The number of active moderators in the moderation panel is currently eight. Additional moderators may be recruited from the readership as demand warrants. If a moderator wants to retire from the moderation panel, he or she agrees to make a public statement at least one month prior to retirement so that a replacement moderator may be found. When vacancies occur, anyone may volunteer to become a moderator or advisor with the consent of more than half of the current moderation panel. Moderators or advisors may be removed by a vote of two-thirds of the moderation panel. Moderators may request to be put on inactive status due to personal demands. If this inactive status exceeds six months, the moderator position will be considered vacant, and a replacement may be sought.


- The moderators of this newsgroup are not responsible for truthfulness or legality of any of the posts.
- The approval of a post by a moderator is NOT an endorsement by the moderator or board.
- Posters assume full responsibility for the content of their posts
- Readers using information that appears in the newsgroup do so at their own risk.
- Posters agree that by posting items to this newsgroup they indemnify and hold harmless the directors and service providers.
- The copyright for all posts remains with the poster, the poster's source, in the public domain, or as appropriate.

How to Contact RHJ:

Rev. July 19, 1998

RHJ's Frequently Asked Questions About Copyright

Can I post copyrighted material?

No, do not post copyrighted material. That means that you should not buy a Jewish humor book, type in the jokes, and post them, nor should you post the lyrics to a song. Copyright means that only the author or copyright holder has the right to copy it.

What are examples of items which are copyrighted?

Can't I post under Fair Use Law?

There is *no* such thing as "fair use law" when it comes to republishing others' works . "Fair use" is not a law, but an interpretation by the courts (aka "case law") that has occasionally allowed brief quotations for purposes such as reviews.

Copyright facts:

However, do note that many Jewish humor compendia are compilations of jokes in circulation. Once a joke is in circulation, publishing it does not give copyright protection for all the jokes to the book's "author". The author has only a "compilation copyright" preventing anyone from copying the work, significant subset, or superset. So, if the joke you've been telling since your Bar/Bat Mitzvah suddenly appears in the book "More Jewish Humor", keep telling it.

An excellent synopsis of copyright is at Brad Templeton's site:

rev 7/21/98

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The Answer to the Quiz
The correct answer is d) Other, but only if you filled in your response on the line in permanent marker.