Morning Jew: 1st Amendment Issues, Jack the Ripper, Gwyneth Paltrow, and More (Joan Rivers)

September 15, 2014

This week, it’s a mega-Morning Jew! Comics Heather Gold and Katie Halper take on religion-state separation in the Air Force, Jack the Ripper’s Jewish roots, agnosticism & Judaism, and Gwyneth Paltrow, plus more (Joan Rivers).

The Truth About the “Border Crisis”: How Partisan Politics Hurt Children

September 8, 2014

This weekend, the White House announced that President Obama will not seek to fix our broken immigration system before the November elections. These children are fleeing peril and seeking safety in the US, yet their stories are quickly muddled with political rhetoric. This is a letdown for Americans and aspiring Americans alike.

On Despair and Hope: A Jewish Call for Climate Action

September 7, 2014

It’s an unusually cool late July night in Philadelphia. I’ve just returned home from a planning meeting with a group of Jews organizing to join the upcoming People’s Climate March, taking place September 21 in New York City. The march is expected to be historic, and coincides with the latest UN Climate Summit. Though I’m not much of an organizer, and tend to get impatient at committee meetings, I left that meeting feeling something I haven’t felt in a long time when it comes to climate change: hope.

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Morning Jew: The Joan Rivers, Ben Stein & Elvis Edition

September 7, 2014

This week, comics Heather Gold and Katie Halper tackle Ben Stein’s racism, Elvis’ Judaism, and Joan Rivers’ legacy!

Labor Day: Who Steps Up for Justice in the Death of Maria Fernandes & Too Many Other Innocent Workers

August 29, 2014

Maria Fernandes was a hard worker. Not just at her job. At her three jobs, including shifts at three different Dunkin’ Donuts. Our sacred text is clear: “measure the distance to the cities which are around him who is slain.” Measure the distance. The cities of the slain are our cities. The responsibility is on our elders. On our judges. On our leaders. On us. Who will step forward?

Morning Jew: Lady Parts, Princesses & Funerals

August 29, 2014

Get behind the headlines with comics Heather Gold and Katie Halper. This week, the comic duo talk about women’s bodies and take a fresh look at that super-loaded ‘80s-girl stereotype: The Jewish American Princess, but also their male counterparts.

Should Rabbis Proselytize Non-Jewish Spouses? A Response to JTSA Chancellor Arnold Eisen

August 20, 2014

Responding to “Wanted: Converts to Judaism,” Shaul Magid proposes an alternative to proselytizing, calling for creativity in crafting a new Jewish strategy for inclusive liturgy and rituals in a “post-ethnic” America.

Morning Jew: Tackling Rhetoric (and Anti-Semitism)

August 19, 2014

Get behind the headlines with comics Heather Gold and Katie Halper. This week, how American Jews talk about the Middle East and the Eggshell Walk, including acronyms like PEP, short for “progressive except on Palestine.”

Hey You, Are You Confronting Jewish Racism? Ferguson, Race & Public Space

August 15, 2014

As the civil unrest in Ferguson re-launches much-needed conversations about race — and racism — US Jews must see this as a call to action on injustice broadly as well as a time to kickstart difficult conversations within the Jewish community. And not just around the kind of explicit, hate-filled racism we heard from Donald Sterling this spring, but pressingly, around the more subtle undercurrent that enables more explicit racism but often goes, unnoticed, unremarked upon, and thus, unchecked.

In Memory of Leonard Fein: Social Justice Again....

August 14, 2014

Editor’s Note: Our hearts are heavy with this morning’s passing of Leonard “Leibl” Fein. In his honor, we republish this 2008 ZEEK essay, “Social Justice Again…” “The question that the heirs to a tradition of rachmanut, compassion, must in every generation answer,” he writes, “is whether they, in turn, will be the compassionate parents of compassionate children.” He was. And, speaking for my own generation, we shall try. –-Erica Brody

Social Justice Again… By Leonard Fein

SOCIAL JUSTICE, AGAIN? No. Social justice still.

The current talk of the American Jewish community’s abandonment of its traditional passion for social justice is exactly that–talk. Read More

Morning Jew: Heather Gold, Katie Halper & Special Guest Josh Gondelman

August 8, 2014

The Morning Jew duo is joined by Josh Gondelman (‪Last Week Tonight with John Oliver & ‪@SeinfeldToday), taking a brave stand against apologia.

The verdict? This week’s news is bad for the Jews: Israel bombs another UN school, infant herpes, Woody Allen, genocide talk & more.

A Conversation: Why Fiction Matters in an Unjust World

July 30, 2014

A conversation between Sarah Seltzer and Chanel Dubofsky launching ZEEK’s Summer Fiction series.

Fiction: Angels Out of America

July 30, 2014

As he leaned on the banister, breathing unevenly, shifting his weight to his forearms, marveling that he had walked sixty blocks, the tree exploded into flames.

Hellish light distorted the faces of the ice skaters and the tourists, carving jack-o-lanterns of them. Jay told himself to keep calm even as a low frightened moan slipped out of him and he knew he could never keep calm; howling fire stripped the word calm of meaning.

Fiction: Sholem Wrestles an Angel

July 30, 2014

To a man with hearing loss, the world can present some strange playlists. For instance, the intolerable screech of the BART car on its tracks can approach the sublime. Wind across the brushed aluminum surface of the car can sound like a choir singing a note and its minor third simultaneously, moving up and down a ghostly atonal scale as the car speeds up and slows down. The symphony is released into the atmosphere when the train moves on elevated track, and then strangulated within tunnels where it is forced to ever higher pitches.

Towards a New Tzniut

July 25, 2014

My third day of rabbinical school, a male colleague ran his finger slowly up my arm to my shoulder and said, in a voice that was somewhere between flirtatious and downright creepy, “You’ll be wanting to cover up, then.”

Fiction: If You Looked Better, I'd Take You

July 23, 2014

At school I passed out Tootsie Roll Pops. It was something a normal kid from a normal family would do. I worked hard at that, because at Holy Family nobody knew my dad wasn’t living with us or that he was Jewish.

Fiction: Buying the House Twice

July 23, 2014

On Sunday mornings there was whitefish and lox and halvah so sweet it hurt your teeth. There were loaves of challah and cheese and slices of purple onion. The dining room seated our family, my aunt Ruth and her family, my aunt Bella, my grandmother, and Ada Rappaport and her boyfriend. Everyone talked at once. Annie took the sliced head of the whitefish and removed it from the scaly body. She pressed her lips against skull and sucked the eyeballs whole.

Morning Jew: Heather Gold, Katie Halper & Special Guest Michael Wex

July 21, 2014

This week: Circumcision debate, Auschwitz selfies & chain stores selling concentration camp décor.

Get behind the headlines with comics Heather Gold and Katie Halper, joined by special guest Born to Kvetch author Michael Wex. Nu, is it good for the Jews?

Fiction: In The End

July 16, 2014

In the beginning of the End, God saw that what He had created needed uncreating.

Leftist Ethicist: Advice to Help “Offset” Gentrification in Chicago

July 9, 2014

My husband and I are thinking about buying a property in Chicago, but we are in a bit of a quandary. Knowing that we will be gentrifying, we would like to “offset our footprint” if you will, like one might offset one’s carbon footprint by planting a tree or carpooling. Are there ways to “offset our footprint”?

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