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Was James Gandolfini Jewish?

He was such a powerful acting persona, sure we’d like to claim him as a member of the tribe. But no James Gandolfini was not a Jew. Shockingly, he passed away at age 51. He was a superlative actor who made his biggest hit in the Sopranos on HBO, considered by many critics to be […]

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Queer Identity: More Questions than Answers

I didn’t realize it would be so hard to be queer after I got married. Seems like it should have been obvious to me, right? Marry a heterosexual cis-man, turn in queer club card, do not pass go, still collect hundreds of dollars of apparently-straight privilege. Is that how it has to be? I had […]

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Am I Dead Yet? NYTimes Warns of Dire Consequences of “Cheating Ourselves of Sleep”

From The New York Times, a poorly argued article, “Cheating Ourselves of Sleep,” concludes that, “Failing to get enough sleep night after night can compromise your health and may even shorten your life.” I shared the article with a friend who knows that often I do not get enough sleep and the response was that […]

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Abigail Heyman: A Feminist & Photographer

While organizing our library of photography books, my partner asked me a simple yet loaded question, “out of your entire collection of books—what percentage are by women photographers?” My mind cycled through the women photographers who have influenced and inspired my own work … I paused before I answered, “not enough.” Being a photographer is […]

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Looking Through Google Glass at Jewish Education

How will Google Glass affect Jewish education? This is the blog post I recently published on The Jewish Week’s “Jewish Techs” blog on that subject: In 1982 when I was in first grade at Hillel Day School, a Jewish day school in Metropolitan Detroit, my father brought in our family’s Apple II computer for show-and-tell. […]

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Princesses of Long Island: Not Good For The Jews (Or, Really, Anyone)

Chanel: Well, here we are again. I don’t like saying things like this, but watching this show makes me feel like a traitor to the Jewish people. Jordyn: The show starts with quick shots of Hebrew, images of Jewish Texts, and folks milling around a Temple. Amanda, one of the shows princesses, quotes an old […]

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Waze Will be the Wikipedia of All Maps and the Search Bar for the Real World

Forbes has a background article on Waze in the aftermath of the news that Google will buy the company. What Waze Adds To Google: A View From Waze’s CEO It turns out that Waze is not just a GPS app for your car on your smartphone. Waze is a community of users who will contribute […]

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What, No Jewish Father Jokes?

We Jewish mothers have always suffered this maligned stereotype: That we’re neurotic, we’re overprotective, we’re kvetchers … Nevermind, I’ll just sit shivah in the corner until you apologize. Hence all the jokes. (Here’s my current favorite: Non-Jewish mother: My child is tired and thirsty, he needs some juice! Jewish mother: My child is tired and […]

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Jewish History Through Baseball

I was recently asked to review Irwin Cohen’s new book, Jewish History in the Time of Baseball’s Jews: Life On Both Sides of the Ocean, for the Michigan Jewish Historical Society’s upcoming annual journal. Cohen, who writes for the Jewish Press, is a baseball maven and a history buff who has chronicled Detroit’s Jewish history and […]

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Hot Dads, Privilege, and Fairness

Let’s be honest: fair or not, I’m a pretty privileged parent.  True, being a single gay Jewish dad in a relatively gay-less and Jewishly deprived region occasionally makes me feel like an exotic animal at a religious petting zoo or some interactive exhibit at a sexual orientation museum.  But moments like these pass quickly and […]

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Download the Soncino Talmud in English Online Free at Halakhah.com: 25,000+ a Month

The Soncino Babylonian Talmud English translation is online - at a site that is not anti-Semitic or polemical. Download the Talmud in English free at http://www.halakhah.com/ - 25,000+ downloads each month! 300,000+ each year. TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH WITH NOTES, GLOSSARY AND INDICES UNDER THE EDITORSHIP OF RABBI DR. I. EPSTEIN B.A., Ph.D., D. Lit. FOREWORD BY […]

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Fatherhood Greatness

The Father’s Day I was pregnant I ditched my husband, Charles, to spend the day with my father and grandfather in New York City.  I left him a green construction paper card I’d drawn with a cartoon sperm on front. The text read “Happy Inseminator’s Day!” and I wrote inside about what a fabulous dad […]

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The Faces of Boston Pride

They say there’s nothing like a parade—and they’re right. This weekend I marched in my first ever Pride parade, proudly carrying my JWA bag, a Keshet sign reading “another Jew for LGBTQ equality,” and my camera. The weather called for rain, but I wasn’t about to let that get me down. I packed my raincoat […]

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Google Will Buy Israeli Waze App for > $1 Billion

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Google is buying Waze - an excellent GPS and traffic app that I have used on my Samsung Galaxy S3. I use it as a second source of traffic information as I make my way across America’s worst road - the Cross Bronx Distressway. It’s fairly accurate and offers creative alternative routes when needed. Join […]

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Whatever Happened to the Shidduch Crisis?

They say that the shidduch crisis is only as bad as your personal life, they say that once you get married you begin to realize that the shidduch crisis you faced was only your own crisis. If that’s the case, where have all the forums, articles, bloggers, blogposts, interviews, and videos gone? It seemed like […]

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How Do You Relate to the Word “Feminist”?

At the Jewish Women’s Archive, the word feminist comes up a lot.  I, personally, am proud to be a feminist. To me, the word conjures images of fighting for equality for all, and a long history of strong women who acted to change the status quo.  One of the reasons I was so excited to take […]

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Are Dirty Tricks in Negotiations Kosher?

Day after day we see ill will and bad faith in the negotiations in our marketplace and workplace. No, dirty tricks are not kosher. But you ask, exactly what are dirty tricks and how can you deal with them? Several years ago we took one course in Negotiations in the MBA program at Rutgers. Each […]

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May his Memory be a Blessing — and a Song

Savannah is still reeling from the sudden loss of its greatest musical ambassador, Ben Tucker. The man with the mighty jazz hands was killed Tuesday as he was playing his other favorite thing, golf: He was driving his golf cart across an abandoned race track on Hutchison Island when a Texas man illegally racing his […]

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Claiming our Inheritance at the Boston Dyke March

In the Babylonian Talmud Tractate Pesachim there is a series of discussions about Shabbat, its entrance and exit, and the role of people in marking those transitions.  In one particular story, a group of friends are sitting around eating a late lunch on a Friday afternoon and they ask an elder to go outside and […]

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Finally, a Chillul Hashem Caused by Modern Orthodox People

In a rare moment of achdus, Ultra-Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews rejoiced at the news that a Modern Orthodox group had finally made a chillul hashem. Apparently, the Yeshiva of Flatbush class trip took a detour when the students and chaperone were kicked of the plane to Atlanta for not cooperating or listening to the general […]

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Is it Kosher to Bring a Gun to the Swim Club?

Unless we are talking about a super-soaker toy, no, not in my backyard. It is not kosher to bring a gun into my swim club. I don’t really care what the gold old boy yahoos in West Virginia do - see the story below. Just don’t bring any gun to the Teaneck Swim Club or […]

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Dear R’ Heshy: Are Vegans Going Against Halacha?

I know we’re friends on Facebook, but I’m not sure if you saw the tumult on HaRav HaGaon Eliyahu Finks Facebook beis medrish today. He asked his chassidim, whether or not Heimishe Vegans were a possibility. Naturally, being classifying as heimishe myself, I instantly became incensed that anyone would even have the hava mina that […]

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“I Struggle.”

“I struggle.” This is my boss’s favorite phrase to express disagreement. While not Jewish herself, she’s an outspoken fan of Jewish culture, so it’s no surprise to me that this catch-phrase of hers is one loaded with Jewish meaning. And that’s how I feel about mechitzas; I struggle. Growing up, my discomfort derived from the […]

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Frum Feeding Frenzies

Jews clearly have a something attached to their Jew Gene that makes them lose their minds whenever they see a table of food. I don’t think there’s any real mystery to how this began, and it has been carried on largely with assistance of FFBs. The stories of starvation that come from parents and grandparents […]

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There’s More To This Story

Two weeks before Boston Pride last year, having recently broken up with my girlfriend of several months, I texted my friend Jamie: “I need to see everyone. There’s more to this story.” Many of my close friends from Framingham High School gathered at Ruby Tuesday’s for one of our longest dinner outings in years. Jamie […]

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Discover Mindful Jewish Meditation

The benefits of Jewish meditation are accessible to every type of Jew through acts of Jewish piety. People tend to think that the Orthodox and Hasidic Jews are really pious, the Conservative Jews less so, and the Reform and Reconstructionist even less. Not so. Piety is individual. You decide how pious you wish to be. […]

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Little Women’s Jewish Roots, The Inquistor’s Wife and More

Completely obsessed with this week’ article in the Forward about Louisa May Alcott’s Portuguese Jewish history. (I read Little Womenat least ten times as a child, and I always knew Jo and I had to be from the same DNA somehow!) Eve LaPlante traveled to Portugal recently to research a biography about the Little Women […]

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Dear Rabbi Controversy on Angels and Prayers

Here are this week’s Dear Rabbi Responses and Discussions from the Jewish Standard. Rabbi Zahavy’s response to my letter of May 23 (“Kaddish, Kedushah and Angels”) concerning the efficacy of the Kaddish and the meaning of the Kedushah, is both confusing and incomplete. On the one hand he admits that our prayers, specifically the Kaddish, […]

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Spelling Knaidel and Bravo’s Princesses Reality TV Show

We Jews have arrived! That seemed to be the general sentiment on my Facebook news feed last night as word traveled around the social network that the winning word in the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee was “knaidel” - the Yiddish word for matzah ball. Most excited Facebook users chimed in on the variant transliterated […]

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Plastic Surgeon Michael Gray Reconstructs the Social Network

I jumped at the opportunity as soon as I received the press release from Jackie Headapohl, the editor of The Detroit Jewish News, asking me if I’d like to interview Dr. Michael Gray, the well-known plastic surgeon here in Michigan. The press release described a new social network called Pegged that Dr. Gray had created. […]

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