“Faking” Jewish


While still a high school student, Ariel Schrag became famous for publishing a series of comic-book memoirs. Some were funny, others were racy, but they all had a breathless immediacy.

In the short comic “The Chosen,” Schrag becomes confessional about her status as a Jew–her father’s Jewish; her mother isn’t. She’s trying to unload a choice Brooklyn apartment, and meets a Hasidic broker who casually asks if she’s Jewish. When she replies “yes,” he starts wishing her “Shabbat shalom” on Friday afternoon and complimenting her family pictures. Which instantly makes Ariel feel like she’s “faking it.”

In spite of its heavy subject matter, the comic is light and fun and funny, with a surprise ending that’s laugh-out-loud and melancholy all at once.

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