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Are Affiliations Necessary?

I was asked to explain two things this weekend, and the more I think about them, the more I wonder how related they might be, and how useful it may or may not be to treat them as comparable. Those two things were the term “post-denominational” and what I think about voters who don’t affiliate… Read more »

"Orthodox Feminist": An Oxymoron?

The current issue of Lilith magazine includes a conversation between our own Melanie Weiss and London-based author Sally Berkovic, titled “Orthodox and Feminist: The Dreaded ‘F’ Word,” about this year’s Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance conference. This brought to mind two other recent articles in other publications: Noah Feldman’s by-now infamous NYT Magazine piece “Orthodox Paradox”… Read more »

Food, Love, Blogs…and Envy

I have a confession. I am addicted to food blogs. Every other day or so I start to itch, craving the updates from my blogger friends at Orangette, Chocolate and Zucchini, Obsession with Food, Gluten Free Girl, Smitten Kitchen, Baking and Books, etc… Without fail, I check these sites to find out what amazing dishes… Read more »

Divestment as Tzedaka

The Torah mandates that every Jew give a portion of her harvest to the poor as a form of tzedaka (Leviticus 19:9-10). Whereas our ancestors reaped their annual harvest, many people today reap the dividends from their annual investments. If the Torah were written in 2007 when people learned how to invest in stocks, I… Read more »

Democracy on (Internet) Prime Time

I’m all about free video clips on YouTube, but the recent Democratic debates constitute a category of their own. CNN and YouTube teamed up to bring questions to the candidates straight from you, webcammed America. It may have been tacky, it may have been a ploy that let the candidates continue to mouth their stale… Read more »

A Woman's Place…Is in the Workplace

A Woman’s Place…Is in the Workplace An article in last week’s Contra Costa Times discusses what some consider to be the “stained-glass ceiling” for female clergy in many religious denominations: “More women are graduating from seminaries, but in most faiths few are senior or solo clergy.” This phenomenon is particularly true in Reform Judaism, which,… Read more »

When Food Attacks: Food Safety and the Farm Bill

This week, a couple in Indiana and two children in Texas were hospitalized with serious outbreaks of botulism. In both cases, the sickness is most likely tied to tainted chili sauce produced by Castleberry’s Food Co. In both cases, the situation caused the families suffering and probably hefty hospital bills. Sadly, neither of these cases… Read more »

Midwifery as Activism

Fleeing the Janjawid isn’t the only way that Darfurian women are fighting for their lives—they are also struggling to prevent maternal mortality by becoming midwives. Sudan has the fifth-highest maternal mortality rate in the world, with 17 out of every 1,000 women dying while giving birth. This startling figure is partially caused by a lack… Read more »

On Religion, Politics and Middle Eastern Outsiders

One big story in the international department this week is sure to be Turkey’s recent election. I’ll own up to a minor obsession with Turkey’s history and politics, but I do think this election has, in its own peculiar way, implications for Israel. (For a great wealth of information on the Turkish election, check out… Read more »

What I Learned at the Hadassah Convention

This week I had the privilege of attending the closing brunch and plenary session of the 93rd Annual Hadassah National Convention, in which newly elected president Nancy Falchuk was officially installed. I went as a reporter rather than as a member of Hadassah, as I am not one, nor did I grow up in what… Read more »

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