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.

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”?

Morning Jew: Oy, Ben Stein, Hobby Lobby, and Ruth “Greatest” Bader Ginsburg

July 6, 2014

Katie Halper and Heather Gold tackle the headlines, asking, Nu, is it good for the Jews?

This week: “Why do all these old Jewish men get caught paying for sexy things with young women who don’t want them, and why are they publically so racist yet so obsessed with trying to shtup someone who’s not their race?” Plus, Hobby Lobby, the all-time greatest Supreme Court justice, the Facebook study, and more.

Supreme Fireworks: Reflections on Independence Day 2014

July 3, 2014

This Fourth of July, I’ve got a front-row seat to the fireworks set off by the Supreme Court’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, a strong body blow to some very basic democratic values — equality, religious liberty, voting rights.

Not Just Another World Cup Special with Morning Jew

June 29, 2014

The Morning Jew Duo Mouths Off About the Bite Felt Round the World & More

Katie Halper and Heather Gold tackle the headlines in this World Cup special edition: Suarez’s big mouth, a Dutch soccer team with a Hava Nagila ringtone, and even a Theresienstadt tie-in – no joke. But very funny.

New Depths in Jewish-Muslim Dialogue: Jewish Privilege

June 27, 2014

I’m deeply invested in the transformative possibilities of Jewish-Muslim engagement. But until those of us with privilege recognize the inequity and take steps to fix it, the disparity in our circumstances can get in the way of conversation.

Interfaith, In Good Faith

June 26, 2014

“Mississippi is still the poorest state in the nation, and we have a 35% child poverty rate. We’re grappling with issues of economic and social justice: poverty, health disparity, discrimination, education.”

Committed to community engagement and social justice, Malkie Schwartz of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life wants to “create opportunities for other Jewish activists to be involved with this milestone, and to stay involved.” That’s why she’s spearheading a Jewish activists’ summit in conjunction with Mississippi Freedom Summer 50.
Read Now.

Standing Up for Voting Rights: Jewish Voices (Still) Needed

June 19, 2014

The right to cast a vote is deeply cherished.

That’s one thing I learned 10 years ago when I went door-to-door, trying to engage heartbroken seniors in Florida who felt they had been cheated of their rights in previous elections. Next week – on June 25 – the Senate Judiciary Committee will at long last hold a hearing on this legislation. A large coalition of civic groups and faith groups is working to send a message that day and the days before and after. You can be part of that, too. Read More

Morning Jew: World Cup Fever! Naked Soccer Players! Favela evictions!

June 19, 2014

World Cup fever with a special guest, Brazilian journalist Mariana Rebua Simoes – but is there a Jew on the pitch?

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