When I was young-er, our name, address, social security number, X-rays, and strange hobbies were known only to: the IRS, the DMV, our accountant, our allergist, our nest of relatives and friends, and of course, the shul. Did we worry that, say, our pharmacist, Doc Goldenstein was part of a global international conspiracy selling our prescription info to some evil stranger in Dubai? Doc Goldenstein couldn’t eat his soup without leaving shmutz on his white coat and never made a call outside of his area code in Brooklyn.

He’ll get subscriptions to 250 Jewish dating sites.

But since the digital world became the “new” us, now anyone of a billion people can be us. Between legit sites with 12-year-old techies fluent only in Kashmiri, and an underground network of “networks” out to “make us a partner in a five million bitcoin windfall deal” to get our vitals, face it. We nice Jewish people don’t stand a chance. I knew it was hopeless when I got an online courtesy coupon for “I-COLDFLASH” the minute I got a hot one.

These online chazzers, not only have us dangling like puppets, hocking us with groups (“Based on your tastes, we suggest you join The Jewish Jedi for Jerusalem”), strange insurance companies (“So, Marnie, since you rear-ended a police car on Thursday …”), and deals (“In 2002 you viewed an aqua slimming belt. It’s still here”) but the gonifs and thieves are stealing our identities.

Terrible, a horror, it is. Then again, I wish they would email ‘us’ so I could learn as much about me as they do. Then I thought: “What shmendrick would want to be me? Not only am I not entirely sure who me is, but from what I do know of me, I’d steal someone else.”


1. The Identity Gonif Assumes My Hobbies

Serves Him Right! He’ll get subscriptions to 250 Jewish dating sites with men emailing:“Sincere rabbinical student. Enjoys Yom Kippur and Tish’a B’Av seeks companion for living life in the ‘fast’ lane” or “You’re probably wondering why a retired senior citizen desires female companion 70+ with no personality. I’m a mieskeit. Under 30 is also OK.” Wait, that’s not all. He’ll also get 10 books a month, used, from Amazon on things like Multiple Personality Disorders, and fascinating Jewish facts such as the universe is shaped like a bagel. (We’re not sure if it’s onion or poppy seed.)

2. The Identity Gonif Assumes My Memberships

Serves Him Right! He’ll be inundated with requests for donations from 20 organizations we may have, might have Googled once by accident, for example, TMPS (The Matzo Preservation Society). The gonif will get 300 cards imprinted with sad, leftover, broken matzo pieces marching into Hefty bags. Then there are the renewals. He’ll have the pleasure of seeing my bank account dissolve between my dues to Curvy Yiddle Ladies, automatic withdrawals for Frizz Begone, AFD + (arm flab dissolver), Ginko Biloba, FiberFast, Belly Burner – and the Kosher Cheesecake of the week club.

3. The Identity Gonif Assumes My Jobs

Serves Him Right! As for work, he’ll get emails from my editor asking “him” to send him 1,000 words on Yiddish curses by Monday and make sure I spell “Im hayu samim et hamo’ach shelcha b’tarnegol, hu haya ratz yashar l’shochet tafsik lezyen” right for a change. (If they had to put your brain in a chicken, it would run straight to the butcher.)

4. The Identity Gonif Assumes My Financial Accounts

Serves Him Right! Not only will he receive six year old ER bills, notices from places with three letters (IRS, DOE, VEY) but good luck finding my tiny pushke in a vault in Natanya that my third cousin’s son-in-law, Herbie-the-lawyer has set up for me – and his other Jewish relatives. He will learn that “my dog ate the check” doesn’t work with my bank. I’ll leave a note: “My darling IG (Identity Gonif) … it’s all yours, mamala. Enjoy!” He’ll owe them, I figure, with overdrafts, maybe 300 a month.

5. The Identity Gonif Assumes My Telephone Number

Serves Him Right! He’ll be on automated re-dial from every telemarketer west of the Rockies, also east. Such friends he’ll make! For starters, there’s Marv from Mutual of Miami Hurricane Insurance. A lovely person who calls twice a week, even though the State in which I live, Nevada, never had one. Then there’s Sylvia who thinks I should pay 15K to learn early Aramaic. For me, she’ll discount 10 per cent. Ethel from the clinic checks in about once a month when her colitis isn’t acting up. Better, he’ll love my deaf phone with the Closed Captioning run by a company whose translators are either fluent only in Chinese … or braille. Don’t ask how they spell the word “Sukkot.”

Yes! Should the yutz pick many Jews or worse, me, he’ll no doubt get out of “gonifing” and turn his talents to making Jewish apps from which he’ll make a fortune. Will he cut me in? Feh … people don’t change!