Cool Jews

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Ann Imig
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Cool Jews evokes my first experience with Jewish overnight camp in the 1980s--Jews outside of the small circle I grew up with in Madison, Wisconsin(who seemed more like third cousins at the family reunion kids’ table than actual friends). Intoxicated by the overnight camp "Cool Jews," I marveled at and mimicked their multiple-Swatch Watch and Hard-Rock Cafe t-shirt wearing, 20 minute memorized Hebrew prayer-spouting selves. Regardless of how much I focused on the aesthetics of these Coolio Jewlios, being immersed in a wholly-Jewish experience for the summer drew out a sense of pride about my otherness I’m not so sure would’ve been cultivated otherwise.