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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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

The Conspiracy - December 8, 2015 1 Comment

Trump, Sanders, and the rhetoric of Jewishness

There seems to be many ways for presidential candidates to pander to Jews. One might look to the 2012 election, during which Republican candidate Michele Bachmann said she loved Israel so much that she put aside her fiscally conservative values to join a utopian socialist kibbutz when she was …

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