The Hegemony of Facial Hair


| 4/7/2008 6:19:46 PM


RabbisConservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Judaism all ordain both women and men. People of color can be rabbis as well. And, since the invention of the electric shaver, even Orthodox rabbis don’t necessarily have to wear long beards. 

Why, then, when a design contest at Pixisha site that connects image designers with buyersasks for images of a “friendly cartoon rabbi,” are all the submissions of bearded white guys? Danya Ruttenberg raises this question over at Jewschool, noting also that each rabbi also looks quite old.

Since Ruttenberg’s post, a couple younger-looking rabbis have joined the contest. (One has a guitar and rainbow-striped pants.) Still, three white-bearded white guys and two brown-bearded white guys hardly represent the diversity of the modern Jewish clergy.

Steve Thorngate



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