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Philanthropy Begins at Home

We all know the stereotypes about Jews and money, but what if you’re Jewish and you don’t have any money to speak of? It’s one thing to help the UJA/Federation raise money for Jews facing persecution in third world countries, but what about when the need for charity lies closer to home? My son attends… Read more »

“From the Stone to the Rocket”

It is not a great time for Israel right now. The military has pulled out of northern Gaza, and it’s not looking too good. Fawzi Barhoum, the spokesman for Hamas, had this strategic planning to share: “What we learned from Hezbollah is that resistance is a choice that can work.” Great. On what could perhaps… Read more »

Orthodox Slam Safe Sex Campaign

Looks like Agudath Israel has taken a cue from Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger. As the JTA reports, the “leading U.S. umbrella group of fervently Orthodox Jews” (the fervent equivalent to the more moderate Orthodox Union), “accused New York City of promoting casual sex”: In a letter to the New York City Department of Health’s… Read more »

Amelia Bedelia marries a Babylonian

As a child, I was a big fan of the Amelia Bedelia books. This popular series featured a dark stocking and apron-clad housekeeper who was famous for her silly but well-intentioned errors. In Amelia Bedelia Plays Baseball, the eponymous heroine is instructed to run home and so she runs all the way to her house.… Read more »

Achievements in Inclusiveness

In all the post-show analysis of this year’s Oscars, someone has finally noticed that the traditional gender-segregation of awards is not, well, natural. Sarah Churchwell writes in the Guardian, “Although supposedly we no longer believe that separate is the same as equal, we still segregate entertainment awards along gender lines. Imagine the uproar if we… Read more »

Memory: Banishment or Salvation

I’ve been getting really into forgotten histories lately. In my academic life, it’s taken the form of some real decided interest in Yiddish literature from America, which I think has a lot to teach us about the development of Jewish identity in America. Every time I hear about second-versus-third-wave feminism throwdowns, I worry that we’ve… Read more »

Chief Rabbi to Singles: No Pre-Marital Sex, And We Really Mean It This Time!

The latest “trend” in premarital sex amongst modern Orthodox singles has garnered Chief-Rabbinical condemnation: In an attempt to stem a trend of quasi-condoned premarital sex among young modern Orthodox men and women, Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger has issued a prohibition against allowing single women to use mikvaot (ritual baths). In a letter dated… Read more »

Baby Bites

There’s a lot going on out there in foodie land these days – a giant, mostly symbolic meat recall by Westland/Hallmark Meat Company (ahem, 143 million pounds), the OU declaring that food from a cloned animal is kosher (seriously? yep.), Martha Stewart acquiring (eating up?) chef Emeril Lagasse’s media properties – it can put your… Read more »

Costco Lessons

My husband and I decided that what was missing in our lives was a Costco membership. And so we went, babes in the woods, with our two babes in tow. Here is what we learned: 1. Costco on a weekend afternoon is the suburban equivalent of a mosh pit. 2. It costs a minimum of… Read more »

Movin' On Up

Well, the primaries are a-passin’, and while the outcome’s definitely still up for grabs, it sure feels like a picture is coming into focus, doesn’t it? Some candidates are movin’ on up a little bit faster than others, I think. And so we, the nation, must move our thoughts along as well. I enjoyed the… Read more »

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