Tag Archives: judaism

True Story: I’m Planning My Bat Mitzvah And My Inter-Faith Wedding At The Same Time

True-Story--I'm-Planning-My-Bat-Mitzvah-And-My-Inter-Faith-Wedding-At-The-Same-Time

Six weeks ago, when I sat down with my Rabbi in anticipation of my upcoming Bat Mitzvah, I was most nervous to tell him that I was in love with a WASP—who happens to be the kind, caring person I’m marrying.

Before I could be officially accepted into the religious education program—which would consist of six sessions with Torah discussions, guest speakers, lots of falafel, one community service project, one full, 24-hour Shabbos, and the option for a (very reform) Bat Mitzvah (something I, while Jewish, had never had)—I had to get the Rabbi’s approval.  Keep reading »

Jew Learn Something New Every Day: On Mitzvah Campaigns And “Bageling”

If you live in New York City, or if you’ve ever paid a visit to the fair metro during a Jewish holiday, there’s a good chance you’ve witnessed this fairly common practice: an Orthodox Jewish man, or perhaps two or three, dressed in traditional garb, stands on a street corner, asking select passersby if they’re Jewish. More often than not, they are — New York, for whatever reason, attracts a high concentration of Jews all over the spectrum, from the unobserving reform to the extremely religious Hasidic.

Having lived, worked, and otherwise existed in Manhattan and Brooklyn for the past few years means I have been called on my heritage by these guys (“mitzvah campaigners,” to be proper) many, many times. I’m never surprised, because although I’m only half Jewish, my dad’s Russian genes are hella dominant — I have thick, dark hair, dark almond-shaped eyes, fair but not freckled skin, and a prominent nose. Y’all have seen me. These features, in conjunction, add up to what any Orthodox Jew on the corner of Bedford Avenue would call a safe bet to shake the lulav during Sukkot. (Sorry guys, I’m in a rush.) But I’ve seen them also make some pretty damn good calls on Jews that, well, don’t look as obviously Ashkenazi as I do. Keep reading »

Yep, “Jewtopia” Is A Real Movie Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt And Some Other Jews

Yep, "Jewtopia" Is A Real Movie Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt And Some Other Jews
Oh, Good, Just What Judaism Needs!

Oh, good, just what Judaism needs: more fetishism and bizarre cultural misappropriations! Because that whole Holocaust thing wasn’t enough persecution. No, we need more. More, I say! And it must involve Jennifer Love Hewitt. I’m going to tell you the truth; I haven’t deigned to watch the trailer for “Jewtopia”. I’m just going to put it here and let you guys tell me what you think before I even consider it. Quoth Jezebel, “Ivan Sergei plays Christian O’Connell, a man who wants to marry a Jewish girl ‘because I never want to make another decision for as long as I live.’” My great-grandpa Abraham is rolling in his grave. Let me tell you, we did not leave Russia for this shit.

Pray Tell: On Jerusalem’s Feminist Activists, Women Of The Wall

If you go to to the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, you might see men singing loudly and dancing in circles. What you might not notice right away are the women, who are quietly murmuring and praying. The men’s side looks way more fun – plenty of my male friends have stories about that time they hung out at the wall with a Jewish celebrity. My boyfriend danced the hora there with Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. The total disparity in the fun department isn’t a personal preference – it’s actually Israeli law.

But a group of brave female activists, The Women of the Wall, are working to change that. Keep reading »

Sarah Silverman’s Rad Sister Rabbi Susan Silverman Detained For Jewish Feminist Activism

Marriage Is "Gross"
Sorry, boys, but Sarah Silverman is not interested in marriage. Read More »
Vote Bro-Choice!
sarah silverman
Confused how to vote, bro? Sarah Silverman's got your back. Read More »
Sarah Gets Spanked
Her mom noticed some marks from a BF on her butt in a dressing room. Read More »
  • We knew we loved Sarah Silverman — but it turns out her sister Susan Silverman is kinda rad, too. Silverman’s sister and niece were detained at the Western Wall, a holy site in Jerusalem where only men are allowed to pray [Update: Commenters have clarified men and women are segregated at the Wall and the section for women is much smaller. Also, the protesters were wearing traditional garments worn by men. You can read more about it in this New York Times article.], for staging a civil disobedience protest with the group “Women Of The Wall.” Silverman tweeted she is “SO proud” of her sis and niece. [Yahoo]
  • A man’s guide to lingerie shopping this Valentine’s Day. Don’t screw this up, dudes. [Yahoo Shine]
  • Skype has some beauty tips if you’ll be spending V-Day Skype-sexing. [Racked]
  • This chick tried corset training and lived to tell about it. [The Gloss]
  • Madonna is on Instagram, y’all. [PopCrush] Keep reading »

Pray Tell: What The Brooklyn Hasidic Rape Trial Tells Us About Religion Colliding With The Modern World

In Brooklyn, a 17-year-old girl just testified against the man accused of sexually assaulting her. On the surface, this case is sadly too familiar: she and her accused rapist are both members of a strict right wing sect of ultra-Orthodox Judaism, known as the Satmar Hasidim.

Extreme groups exist in every religion, and Judaism is no exception. However, the Satmar Hasidim are a fringe group within a fringe group. Though they are ultra-Orthodox Jews (meaning that they keep kosher, observe the Sabbath, and follow all the other rules), they differ from other super-religious Jews in that they don’t support the nation of Israel. Like other ultra-Orthodox Jews (this isn’t really a thing in the more liberal branches of Judaism), they keep strict gender segregation, sending boys and girls to different schools that teach different subjects and keeping men and women separated in synagogue. But the rape case currently happening in Brooklyn could blow the roof of the place. Keep reading »

The Perfect Holiday Beauty Supplement For Any Good Nail Art-Loving Jew

Kelly's $250K Nails
A slightly cheaper way to invest in black diamonds. Read More »

I went to Hebrew school for three years, and every single second of it was unequivocally lame. I was, of course, really terribly behaved, because that’s the family legacy. (My dad was ejected from the same establishment for riding a bike through the halls 30+ years earlier.) But maybe if I had Rabbi Yael Buechler as a teacher, I would have retained more from the experience than the Shabbat Candle Lighting prayer and a latent love of coconut macaroons. The 26-year-old Jewish day school teacher captured media attention last year for her unorthodox religious teaching methods. Read: manicures. Buechler started the Midrash Manicures (referring to “the deep textual interpretation of the Bible, with every word examined for meaning”) club at Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, where she teaches sixth, seventh, and eighth grade girls how to paint their nails in designs inspired by weekly Torah portions. Keep reading »

5 Things I’m Atoning For This Rosh Hashanah

On Saying "No"
Ami talks about how she needs to learn how to say, "No." Read More »
Be Kind
Eight ways to be kinder to yourself this year. Read More »
Fear Of Being A Fraud
Ami confronts her fear of being a fraud. Read More »

I’m not the most devout Jew. Obviously, if I were, I’d be sitting in temple right now listening to the rabbi blow a shofar until I was half-deaf. But instead, I’m here reflecting on what I’ll need to ask forgiveness for. I figure, at least attempting to self-reflect, whether I do it in a house of worship or not, is enough to keep me cool with God. Or at least to keep me cool with myself, which I personally find more important.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is a supposed to be a day of judgement, where you stand before God and yourself and allow an honest assessment of how you’ve behaved in the previous year to take place. From now until Yom Kippur (which falls about 10 days after Rosh Hashanah), all Jews are meant to engage in a process of repentance for the sins of the previous year. That’s just a little light Judaism lesson for you. My thought is that you don’t need to be Jewish, or a religious Jew, or believe in the concept of sin (I don’t), to take some time to reflect on your year. After the jump, what I’m atoning for. Keep reading »

A Woman’s Guide To Hasidic Street Harassment

Jewish Matchmaking
WTF comments from an Orthodox Jewish matchmaker. Read More »
Free Nose Jobs
nosejob photo
Plastic surgeon offers free nose jobs for Orthodox Jews. Read More »
Dating Ex-Orthodox
orthodox jewish man photo
What happens when ex-Orthodox Jews need to learn how to date? Read More »
Street Harassment
How do you respond? Read More »
Hasidic Man

Living in New York City means getting used to street harassment. In the past few years, my name has been Baby, Sexy, Bitch, and Hey You, Why Don’t You Smile? I’ve learned when to give the finger and when to hide. My friend Jen Dziura, a life coaching columnist, advises women that the best way to counter street harassment is to walk calmly up to the whistler or catcaller in question and politely let him know that he needs to learn how to speak to women in a respectful way.

It’s because of her that I finally said something to the Hasidic men who harass me in my neighborhood. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Planning My Lesbian Jewish Wedding

Jewish Matchmaking
WTF comments from an Orthodox Jewish matchmaker. Read More »
Drew Converting?
Drew Barrymore and other celebs who've converted for love. Read More »
Lesbian Vs. Straight Sex
lesbians kissing photo
Lesbian sex changed the writer's definition of "straight sex." Read More »

In my mid-twenties, I came out as a lesbian. But the hardest part wasn’t even coming out: it was realizing my wedding would be different and therefore I was different. It took me a few years to come to terms with the fact that my wedding wouldn’t have a groom or any of the other stuff that goes along with heterosexual weddings.

A few months ago, my girlfriend of three years proposed. A couple of weeks after we got engaged, Chriss told me she was thinking about converting to Judaism.  So as we started planning our wedding, we began attending synagogue together and Chriss enrolled in an Introduction to Judaism class. When we became full-fledged members of our synagogue and reserved the chapel for our wedding it dawned on me: I have no idea what a lesbian Jewish wedding would look like. Keep reading »

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