Is the Jewish Community a Mean Girl?

“The organized Jewish community is nothing more than the mean girls from high school.” What?! I think I literally stopped breathing for a moment. Could it be true? I knew this lovely person across from me believed what she was saying. So I wondered, “Could this community that brings me so much joy and comfort […]

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Objective Social Science?

This post originally appeared on www.edumundcase.com and is reprinted with permission. Michelle Shain, a researcher at the Cohen Center at Brandeis, has written a very damaging article about the Cohen Center’s game-changing study, Under the Chuppah: Rabbinic Officiation and Intermarriage, about which I’ve said, “The many rabbis who don’t officiate at weddings of interfaith couples because they think […]

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Resolutions Your Synagogue Can Make This Rosh Hashanah

By Rabbi Robyn Frisch and Rabbi Malka Packer Just like the approach of the secular new year, the approach of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is a great time to reflect on the past year and to make resolutions about how you can be better in the year ahead. (Click here to read how Jewish […]

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Hybrid Identity, Every Person Counts, Shifting Boundaries and Intermarriage on TV

This post originally appeared on www.edumundcase.com and is reprinted with permission Rabbi Darren Kleinberg has written a very important essay published in eJewishPhilanthropy this week, Hybrid Judaism: The Transformation of American Jewish Identity. Kleinberg was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi in 2005 but describes himself as no longer Orthodox. He writes that identity is not a psychological […]

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Things Toddlers Say At Services

With the drama of the High Holidays receding into the past, I find myself thinking about the charms and challenges of bringing a toddler to synagogue services. This past summer, our family moved to a different, nearby suburb, one that’s full of as many synagogues as we could reasonably hope to shop around. With the business […]

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Do We Need an Interfaith Community?

Where do Jewish-Christian interfaith families turn to find a community of like-minded souls? A church and a synagogue? A third-space option such as Unitarian Universalism, or an interfaith Sunday school that includes both traditions? What about muddling through without religious community, either due to living largely secular, busy lives or an inability to find out […]

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Intermarried Rabbis Are Not the Problem

By Rabbi Keith Stern Temple Beth Avodah, Newton, MA My friend Marcus and I were in rabbinic school together. He was a rebel, a guy who reflexively said no when anyone said yes. No one could tell him what to do. He was raised in a predominantly Jewish community in New Jersey that unceremoniously fled […]

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Jason Segel: “The Dumbest Thing You Can Do For a Kid”

In Marc Maron’s recent podcast “WTF,” he interviews Jason Segel (of How I Met Your Mother fame) at length and touches on his interfaith upbringing early on. (The interview itself begins at 14 minutes in, and the conversation turns to religion at about 15 ½ minutes.) Segel’s father is Christian and his mother is Jewish, […]

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Chicago Synagogues Are Showing Their Support

I love synagogues, in theory and many in reality. I have blogged before about my enduring connections with the congregation where I grew up, even though I haven’t lived in that community for over twenty years. I have written about just stopping in to congregations and hanging out there. Most recently, I wrote about my […]

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Time to Junk Jewish Jargon?

You’re at a social or family gathering when someone starts throwing around a bunch of Jewish gobblygook you don’t understand. One guy is talking about a cool, new “minyan” in town and you’re picturing this guy. Someone else is talking about her “boobie” and you wonder if this is really too intimate a conversation for […]

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