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Interview: Jamie Sneider, The Sexiest Menorah Ever

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Jamie Sneider is, for all intents and purposes, a nice Jewish girl. She grew up Reform Jewish outside of Boston, went to NYU, and lived in New York for years working as a writer and performer before moving to L.A.

Once here, Jamie decided to combine her love for all things nice and all things Jewish (particularly the snacks, natch), and created the best Hanukkah gift we've ever seen. She is both the mind and the booty behind The Year of the Jewish Woman, a calendar that finds her in the buff and cozying up to, among other things, a noodle kugel, some bagels, and a challah (look it up).

Jamie talked to us about the intersection of overt sexuality and traditional Judaism, what it feels like to get the girls out in public, and of course, what her parents think of her project.

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LAist: What inspired the idea for the calendar?

Jamie Sneider: A few things. There was Jewish culture that I feel very close to, which had a lot to do with food. It’s spread out in very little tiny pockets in New York and kind of fading a little bit in Boston, but in L.A. it’s a little bit more vibrant. It kind of reminds you of Miami. I live in the Fairfax area so I started going to Canter’s and to all these Russian and Jewish bakeries, and I felt very excited in way because it reminds me of my grandparents and all the foods [I grew up with]. It’s very comforting.

Then you know, L.A. also is a place where women are presented in a lot of different ways. You don’t see a lot of Jewish women presented in the media as sexy, smart, funny, all that in combination, and I started writing about that on my blog. How there aren’t any women in Playboy identified as Jewish. So I started talking about Playboy, and how I have this desire to do a Jewish photo shoot, and people wrote in telling me that I should do it. I got a lot of feedback. And so I posed with a challah, naked, and then I just got into this idea of, what’s the most traditional form of a pinup kind of woman? A calendar. And with the holidays, I can include all the foods.