Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kveller post: How My Holocaust Survivor Grandmother is Helping Me Stay Young Forever

Hey OOTOB readers!  Hope everyone is having a nice summer - albeit tempered by all the frightening news out of Israel.  I've been doing some traveling but I'm back, and I'm on Kveller today, talking about how my Holocaust survivor grandmother is helping me stay young forever.

I was the Peter Pan who was never going to grow up. 
I drank regular Coke well into my 20s, loved roller coasters when everyone else my age turned green thinking about them, went back to camp as a grown up for five years, and preferred surprise birthday parties well past adolescence 
Then, somewhere along the way, I changed. 
I think one reason I didn’t want to change was because, to me, the moment I stopped loving roller coasters, I was old. And by “old” I don’t mean mature, responsible, wise, or even physically less capable. I meant the kind of “old” I promised myself I’d never be: boring, pessimistic, jaded, Debbie Downer.  Read the rest here...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Weird Pew Stats

I know I'm about a bajillion years late to the Pew party, but sometimes you see stats in a new format and it just grabs you in a different way.  Ya know?  I saw this little chart in the OU (as in Orthodox Union) magazine.  And I was like, huh?  Let's go through the categories one by one.


I know anecdotally that for many non-Orthodox Jews, identity as kids was all about the Holocaust.  I get that.  But Orthodox kids are far more likely to be children and grandchildren of European Jews than American ones, and therefore more directly affected by the Holocaust.  So I wonder how this question was posed for the study.  Was "remembering the Holocaust" measured only when expressed in societally-organized, institutional ways?  For me, having survivor grandparents means I am cognizant of my transiency in the USA in a way that seeps into daily life, although my Jewish identity and schooling as a child wasn't really about the Holocaust.


Again, I'm not really sure what an "ethical life" is measured by.  Volunteerism outside of the Jewish community?  Not surfing the web at work?  Returning the extra change at Nordstrom?  Creating chessed organizations?  In any event, the Modern Orthodox community leads the way here, at a whopping 90%.  Reform does pretty well as compared to Conservative which is probably due to their emphasis on tikkun olam as a value and as a form of Jewish expression and observance.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Blog Roundup: Female Orthodox Clergy, Israel's Special Unit, Oprah on Shabbat, and more

Although the Jewish world is still reeling from the murders of the three Israeli boys, there have been lots of other things cooking on the interwebs.

1. Rabbah Sara Hurwitz

Orthodoxy's first female [fill in word of choice here] came to Cleveland to speak recently, sparking locally a huge wave of controversy that is brewing within the larger Orthodox world. Here's another response to the issue in general.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Was All That Praying a Waste?

My friend Andrea is our guest blogger today. See end for Andrea's bio.

What horrible news we had yesterday, about Eyal, Gilad and Naftali A"H, the boys murdered in Israel 18 days ago. As Jews and non-Jews everywhere reel from the news, I am starting to see the question pop up, on my Facebook feed,  in blog entries and on a bulletin board that I frequent: questioning what the point was to all that praying everyone did.

Monday, June 30, 2014


As I sat down to blog, the news reports starting flying in. Unconfirmed rumors at first, quickly morphing into verified news reports with the worst.

The boys were gone.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Eli Talks #4: Can't Buy Jewish Continuity?

Our fourth and final installment of our Eli Talks summer series. It's been a great partnership!

This piece is in a way the lightest of the four, and in another way completely radical and riveting. I have been thinking about its message since viewing it back in May (ages ago).

Monday, June 23, 2014

Rude Orthodox Men

Hi Ruchi,

Was wondering what your thoughts were on this. 

The woman that I work for, who is an unaffiliated Jew, went into the local kosher takeout place yesterday to pick up an order. I go out socially with her and some other friends once a month. They are so respectful and accommodating and want me to be able to eat. They either order from a kosher restaurant or check with me before they buy something from the grocery, and serve on all paper/plastic.