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The Conspiracy - September 30, 2015 0 Comments

Messy Jewish identities: A High Holidays meditation, part II

Two years ago, I wrote my first blog post for New Voices. I invited young Conservative Jews, unhappy with the current situation within their movement, to enter into conversation with me and the many other young Jews I know who grew up Modern Orthodox. We, too, were discontented with what we perceived as our movement’s shortcomings. That post marked the beginning of a process that occupied much … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy, Torah With Attitude - September 16, 2015 1 Comment

Reclaiming “off the derekh:” A High Holidays meditation

As a child, my rabbis and Judaic studies teachers cautioned me against straying “off the derekh,” which almost literally translates to off of the Orthodox straight-and-narrow. If we did, though, then the High Holidays were a time when we could return to once again being on the straight, singular path that Orthodoxy provided. As a child, I bought into that idea. I davened with special … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy - July 31, 2015 1 Comment

Yes, Orthodoxy is still to blame

Yesterday, I was reminded that the world in which I grew up — the Orthodox world — is one toward which I feel a sense of affinity, but also fear. The stabbing at Jerusalem Pride, carried out by a man who committed a similar crime a decade ago, confirmed this for me. I can love the Orthodox world, I can owe it a debt of gratitude, but I still can never feel safe there. That is an alarming … Keep Reading >>

New Voices Editorial, Opinion, The Conspiracy - June 26, 2015 1 Comment

Nice Jewish girl seeks same for legal wedding

On October 11, 2009, I woke up in my best friend’s apartment at 5 a.m. We had a bus to catch to D.C. We were going to the National Equality March. Before that, though, we had something to do. Together we’d decided we would come out on Facebook, in honor of the march and National Coming Out Day. But we were in 12th grade at a high school that, despite its location in one of the nation’s most … Keep Reading >>

Arts & Culture, The Conspiracy - June 18, 2015 1 Comment

BirthWrong explores Jewish culture outside Israel

In May, BirthWrong gave students the opportunity to travel to Spain to learn about communism, the Spanish Civil War, and Jewish culture outside of Israel. BirthWrong was founded by the left-wing British organization Jewdas as a response to Taglit-Birthright Israel, an organization that takes Jews aged 18 to 26 on a free trip to Israel. In 1999, Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt — then 65 … Keep Reading >>

New Voices Editorial, Opinion, The Conspiracy - June 11, 2015 1 Comment

Student journalism is no joke

Two Jewish nonprofit employees walk into a Christmas store. Then what? This isn’t the set-up for a joke. There’s no punchline here. If you’re me, you walk around feeling divided between a sense of familiarity and a feeling of foreignness. If you’re my predecessor Derek, maybe it all just feels foreign. But it doesn’t matter what Derek and I did, because there are more than two paths to … Keep Reading >>

Op-Ed, Opinion, The Conspiracy - June 4, 2015 0 Comments

Let’s All Be Traitors

Treason has been on my mind a lot the past few weeks. In the Jewish world, the website Canary Mission – which seeks to create a “blacklist” of pro-Palestinian activists – has caused a controversy. Many of those profiled on the site are Jewish – including New Voices contributor Tom Pessah; those of our brethren profiled on the site were castigated as somehow false in their Judaism, or … Keep Reading >>

Campus & Community, The Conspiracy - June 3, 2015 1 Comment

Life as a Jew at Catholic U

Choosing a college was the first big choice I had ever made. I knew Seton Hall University gave away good scholarships, was close, and I figured I had nothing to lose. Two months later, I was accepted to their six year B.S.E. Elementary/Special Education/M.S. Speech Pathology program. The first time I set foot on campus, I was with my parents at the reception for accepted students. I was worried … Keep Reading >>

Campus & Community, The Conspiracy - June 2, 2015 0 Comments

Jewish Students Will Not Stand Idly By

American students are more likely to die from gun violence than car accidents. It seems as if we serve as potential targets wherever we go. The horror that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School is still remembered around the world, but perhaps the most tragic thing about it is that almost 100 school shootings have taken place in the two and a half years since. With school shootings becoming … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy - June 1, 2015 8 Comments

Modern Orthodoxy: Stop Appeasing Orthodoxy

 In January 2014, Rabbi Avi Weiss’s conversions were called into question by the Israeli Rabbinate. At the time, this was the most prominent example of the differences between the Orthodoxy’s left and right wings, as well as the growing gulf between American and Israeli Jewries. This gulf widened last week when news broke of the Israeli Rabbinate’s decision to call Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy, Torah With Attitude - May 28, 2015 0 Comments

Losing My Monarchism: A Jew in the Motherland

Some people go to the United Kingdom and develop a love for the royal family. I went to the U.K. and became strongly anti-monarchist. Don’t get me wrong: the current Queen is fantastic, and the British monarchy is one of the most fascinating traditions alive today. But there’s something I find utterly ridiculous about a hereditary institution that not only represents a lasting legacy of … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy - May 26, 2015 2 Comments

Can I Eat Meat and Be an Environmentalist?

As a child who had made the decision—to my parents’ chagrin, at least in part because for the better part of my childhood I ate little other than various combinations of dough, tomato sauce, and cheese — to become a vegetarian, Shavuot was one of my highlights of the Jewish calendar. It was the one Jewish holiday where I, one of the pickiest eaters I had known growing up, would be able to … Keep Reading >>

Arts & Culture, Campus & Community, The Conspiracy - May 21, 2015 0 Comments

A Magazine for All ’70 Faces’ of Our Community

It started over a cup of coffee. I had just gone to Israel and was eager to continue learning about that illusive country I had just been exposed to. Courtney Strauss had just started her new job as Director of Engagement of the Hillel Jewish University Center at the University of Pittsburgh and was eager to help students connect Judaism to other parts of their lives. I am an English major and … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy - May 18, 2015 1 Comment

Reanalyzing That Damn Survey Again…Again

  “American [Jew]s are fleeing organized religion.” This was the big takeaway from the Pew Report in 2013 (I feel a not insignificant embarrassment that we are still quoting it) and another report released last week on the state of American religion in general, both of which found that many Americans are affiliating less and less with organized religion. The call to action this new report … Keep Reading >>

Campus & Community, The Conspiracy - May 5, 2015 1 Comment

How Guilford Hillel Became Guilford Chavurah

At 8:17 a.m. on a rainy Thursday morning, a group of nine Jewish students at Guilford College decided to make a change. Rather than continuing to label themselves as a Hillel, the students decided to dub themselves Guilford Chavurah, meaning “group of friends” in Hebrew. “I want it to be a very flexible club,” said sophomore and president of Guilford Chavurah Leah Whetten-Goldstein. “If … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy, Torah With Attitude - May 4, 2015 4 Comments

Dear Orthodox Leaders: LGBTQ Jews Don’t Need Your Sympathies

The Shabbat of Parashat Akharei Mot-Kedoshim— the Torah portion that was read in many synagogues this past Saturday morning — is always a painful one for me and many other queer Jews. The verses it contains concerning the prohibition of male homosexuality have long been used as justification for excluding queer people from religious life. This past week, the United States Supreme Court heard … Keep Reading >>

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