What a kippa really tells you about its wearer
Pew recently released a kippa explainer on what the covering may say about the person donning it
Andrew Silow-Carroll is the editor-in-chief of JTA
JTA — The Pew Research Center this week repackaged its recent findings on Israeli Jews into an explainer about what a kippa tells you about its wearer.
“In Israel, the type of kippa – or lack thereof – worn by an Israeli Jewish man often is strongly correlated with his religious identity as well as some political views,” Pew noted.
For example, a large black fabric kippa is typically worn by a ultra-Orthodox Jew. A colored or patterned crocheted kippa usually adorns the dome of a modern Orthodox Jew. And a black crocheted or knitted kippa-wearer is most likely “traditional.”
Pew does not exhaust all the possibilities for the kinds of kippahs worn and what they mean, however. Below is our research department’s guide to some styles that Pew left out.
If you’ve ever donned a kippa, even if only for your third-cousin’s bat mitzvah, we’ve got a category for you.
Colorful beaded yarmulke
You are a Jewish feminist.
You are LGBTQ or LGBTQ-friendly.
Large pink satin kippa
You are attending Stacie’s bat mitzvah.
Puffy kippa that sits on your head like a dumpling
You are a politician visiting a synagogue for the first time.
Elaborate Bukharan kippa
You are a Bukharan Jew – or a New Age rabbi.
Matching kippa-tallit set
You wore it once – at your bar mitzvah.
Crocheted kippa that looks like a slice of watermelon
You were the class clown in Hebrew school.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kippa
You were bar mitzvahed in 1989.
Donald Trump kippa
You want to piss off your family at the seder.
Giant red kippa
You are a macher in the Catholic Church.