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Campus & Community, The Conspiracy - October 20, 2016 0 Comments

High Holidays and Midterm Season Survival

Original version published in The Daily Californian.  When I was preparing to come to UC Berkeley, my biggest fear wasn’t the academic rigor of college, making friends, or getting used to the sometimes-unidentifiable food at Crossroads dining hall – though those were definitely all high up on my list. It was observing Jewish holidays, including Shabbat, and explaining them in a way that … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy, Torah With Attitude - October 14, 2016 0 Comments

The Western Wall Taught Me a Lesson – And It Wasn’t What You’d Expect

There it was – the Western Wall, hakotel hama’aravi.  The sun was hanging over the top of the wall, reflecting off the stones at my feet. As I stood in front of the holiest sight in Israel, I realized I was waiting for something, some reaction to the realization that I was finally at the Kotel, where so much history lives in the stones, if only they could talk! I wanted to feel something … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy - May 31, 2016 0 Comments

In defense of organized religion

There’s a stereotype that engagement programs for Jewish young adults are geared solely at producing the next generation of Jewish children. Many stereotypes exist for a reason — and this one is no exception. Many efforts to engage youth make a desire to produce the next generation of engaged Jewish youth explicit — and that’s no accident. Especially given the perceived demographic crisis … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy, Torah With Attitude - May 23, 2016 0 Comments

Modern Orthodoxy must act on inclusion

Unlike many other people I know who grew up in but have since left the Modern Orthodox community, I don’t look back on my childhood religious experiences with sadness. Instead, many of the decisions that I have since made in my religious life have been because of — not despite — having been raised in the Orthodox world. My leaving the Orthodox world was due not to disdain, but because I … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy, Torah With Attitude - May 6, 2016 1 Comment

My queerness is more than just a Bible verse

On this weekend, five years ago, a community member of the synagogue in which I’d grown up stood up at the podium of my teen minyan, and talked about the verse in this week’s Torah portion — one that’s served as the basis for discrimination against queer Jews for decades. I had just come out to my parents. Even if many Jewish communities have taken important and concrete steps to welcome … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy - April 28, 2016 1 Comment

When rabbis fail

When Rabbi Steven Pruzansky released a column on his personal blog at the end of March, he claimed that the solution to college campus rape culture is abstinence. If more women abstained from sex, he wrote, as his Judaism warrants, then campus rape culture will magically vanish. I am grateful to have seen so many Orthodox Jews from different speak out against the victim-blaming that this arguments … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy - April 12, 2016 0 Comments

Why progressive Jews should be outraged about Hasidic schools

When news broke back in September of the systematic and egregious lack of regulation of secular studies curricula in Hasidic and Haredi schools, there was little outcry from the rest of the Jewish community over the fact that a large segment of our population — already growing up cut off from the rest of the world — is being denied their right to a basic fundamental education. There has been … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy - March 25, 2016 1 Comment

It’s time for Jews to become intersectional

“Is _________ good for the Jews?” This question seems to be asked any time a major political development is revealed, especially in the Diaspora. One might ask, for example, if Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is good for the Jews; many asked if Obama’s election in 2008 was good for the Jews; and there have been any number of pieces questioning whether or not Syrian refugees are … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy - March 15, 2016 0 Comments

Jewish pluralism — and its limits

The Jewish community has always been in the project of negotiating itself — what people are part of the Jewish community, what opinions are acceptable, and what are not. We also have a tradition of ideological pluralism which dates back centuries — indeed, to some of the earliest rabbinic literature. Throughout all that tradition, some views were always seen as too far outside the pale, too … Keep Reading >>

Campus & Community, The Conspiracy - March 9, 2016 0 Comments

Intermarriage isn’t the problem

Ever since the Pew Report was released in late 2013, intermarriage has been a constant topic of Jewish conversation. It’s been over two years and it hasn’t stopped. Since the report was released, there have been any number of blog posts, op-eds, and long-form pieces on the best ways to counter and combat intermarriage, and the ways in which some of the mainstays of today’s Jewish … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy, Torah With Attitude - February 23, 2016 0 Comments

Why I choose to be queer — and why that’s inseparable from being Jewish

I am queer — and my decision to be queer is a conscious decision. There were times in my life when I wasn’t queer, but it’s been a process through which I have grown into my identity as someone who identifies not as gay, but primarily as queer. And, as I’ve grown into it, that distinction has become all the more important to me. When I first wrote a blog post in 2013 talking very … Keep Reading >>

The Conspiracy - February 16, 2016 0 Comments

Stop analyzing Bernie Sanders’ Jewishness

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Bernie Sanders makes the decision to talk about his Jewishness, specifically how it contrasts starkly with the ways in which Donald Trump talks about Jewishness. Since then, Bernie Sanders has gone on to nearly tie the Iowa caucus with Hillary Clinton and, last week, defeat her in the New Hampshire primary. Since then, the Jewish community has been frantically … Keep Reading >>

Op-Ed, The Conspiracy - February 1, 2016 0 Comments

Talking about not talking about Israel: Or, addressing the Israel problem

  We, the American Jewish community, have an Israel problem, and we need to talk about it. It’s not the fact that Israel exists. It’s not the fact that it’s a politically fraught topic to discuss — although that’s certainly part of it. It’s the mere fact that Israel and Zionism as abstract concepts are so difficult to discuss within the American-Jewish community. I wrote my piece … Keep Reading >>

Op-Ed, The Conspiracy - December 22, 2015 0 Comments

The left-wing double standard on Israel

When the documentary “The J Street Challenge” was released in 2014, one of its main arguments was that while certain Israel advocacy groups who claim to be bipartisan are acceptable political advocates, left-wing political groups, like J Street, should be condemned as beyond the pale of acceptable conversation about Israel for disagreeing with the Israeli government. When Israeli right-wing … Keep Reading >>

Campus & Community, The Conspiracy - December 17, 2015 0 Comments

Zionish challenges readers to find nuance in Zionism

There seem to be two choices in mainstream Jewish life: Either you’re pro-Zionism, or you’re anti-Zionism. A new online publication, Zionish, rejects that binary. “Our stance is to reject the traditional stances,” Zionish editor Aaron Simons told New Voices via email. “People conceive of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one where you have to be either super-Zionist pro-Israel in … Keep Reading >>

Campus & Community, Op-Ed, The Conspiracy - December 10, 2015 0 Comments

Is there a Jewish Agenda on campus?

When a UC Santa Cruz student leader is instructed to abstain from a BDS vote due to his allegiance to a “Jewish Agenda,” the proper response from the Jewish community is very simple: Such activities are anti-Semitic, and do not belong on diverse, pluralistic campuses. This is only the latest case of anti-Semitism that has hit California campuses this year. Daniel Bernstein’s … Keep Reading >>

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