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If Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David could make a show about nothing… we figured we could make a Jewish podcast about everything. How does Judaism intersect with contemporary culture and illuminate how people live their lives? What are the trends defining the present and shaping the future? We don’t profess to have answers, just a host of questions, some profound, some rather idiosyncratic. Along the way we’ll learn about Judaism, the arts, politics, living a good life, and the interconnectedness of all things. Join Reconstructing Judaism's Bryan Schwartzman and Rachael Burgess for a weekly podcast about everything Jewish.

If Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David could make a show about nothing… we figured we could make a Jewish podcast about everything. How does Judaism intersect with contemporary culture and illuminate how people live their lives? What are the trends defining the present and shaping the future? We don’t profess to have answers, just a host of questions, some profound, some rather idiosyncratic. Along the way we’ll learn about Judaism, the arts, politics, living a good life, and the interconnectedness of all things. Join Reconstructing Judaism's Bryan Schwartzman and Rachael Burgess for a weekly podcast about everything Jewish.
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Location:

United States

Description:

If Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David could make a show about nothing… we figured we could make a Jewish podcast about everything. How does Judaism intersect with contemporary culture and illuminate how people live their lives? What are the trends defining the present and shaping the future? We don’t profess to have answers, just a host of questions, some profound, some rather idiosyncratic. Along the way we’ll learn about Judaism, the arts, politics, living a good life, and the interconnectedness of all things. Join Reconstructing Judaism's Bryan Schwartzman and Rachael Burgess for a weekly podcast about everything Jewish.

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 27: Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen

7/10/2019
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All good things must come to an end. In this final all-banter episode of #TrendingJewish, Bryan and Rachael go behind the scenes of podcast production. Highlights are reviewed, kudos are given, and take-aways are taken away. And last but not least, stay subscribed to this feed for a new podcast coming in September: Evolve. Subscribe by Email This podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism. Visit us at ReconstructingJudaism.org (https://ReconstructingJudaism.org).

Duration:00:25:09

Episode 26: The Jewish Camping Brand

6/18/2019
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This is the second of a two-part series in which we explore contemporary trends in the Jewish camping world. In this episode, Jeremy Fingerman, CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, shares his journey from corporate executive, working for well-known brands Campbell’s Soup and Manischewitz, to building the collective brand of Jewish day and overnight camps. He discusses ways the foundation has sought to raise the profile of some 160 Jewish camps, while offering training and leadership...

Duration:00:53:07

Episode 25: Life Without Screens

4/15/2019
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Rabbi Isaac Saposnik, executive director of Havaya Summer Programs, discusses the latest trends in Jewish camping, from shorter sessions to the rise of specialty camps like Havaya Arts. Saposnik makes the case for the valuable role of Jewish overnight camp in developing campers’ Jewish identities and overall sense of self. The discussion focuses on ways to make camps welcoming and embracing for children of all different gender identities and sexual orientation. And yes, he proudly outlines...

Duration:00:50:37

Episode 24: The New American Judaism

3/14/2019
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Noted historian Jack Wertheimer, who is affiliated with the Conservative movement, discusses his newest book The New American Judaism: How Jews Practice Their Religion Today (https://www.amazon.com/New-American-Judaism-Practice-Religion/dp/0691181292). Wertheimer discusses his research into how “ordinary” Jews are experiencing Judaism in the 21st century. He talks about synagogue efforts to revitalize services, the emergence of new communities and the observance of Judaism in unconventional...

Duration:00:50:16

Episode 23: Forming Rabbis

2/26/2019
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Bryan and Rachael sit down with Elsie Stern, Ph.D, vice president for academic affairs at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Stern, who is the daughter, granddaughter, sister and sister-in-law of rabbis, discusses her surprisingly circuitous route to leading a rabbinic training program. Stern explains that rabbis are formed rather than made, and that while some methods to training rabbis are constant, others are being reimagined. Stern also recounts her fascination with the Bible, how...

Duration:00:50:05

Episode 22: Leave Your Solution At The Door

2/13/2019
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What does social entrepreneurship look like in a Jewish context? How can concepts honed in a business context be employed in a spiritual fashion? And can the beit midrash, the traditional Jewish house of study, be reinvented for a new generation of spiritual seeker and Jewish learner? Bryan and Rachael raise these questions and others with guests Cyd Weissman, Reconstructing Judaism’s assistant vice president for innovation and impact, and rabbinical student Bec Richman. Cyd, who also...

Duration:00:50:40

Episode 21: Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations

12/13/2018
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Rabbi Jacob Staub, Ph.D., who directs Reconstructing Judaism’s new Evolve project, explains why the website came into being. Structured around a series of essays that tackle questions that rabbis said were most pressing to their congregants, Evolve is meant to serve as a model for civil discourse at a time unprecedented societal divisions. As the former editor of the Reconstructionist, he explains how he hopes Evolve can emulate the level of discourse and innovative thinking that existed in...

Duration:00:45:58

Episode 20: Don’t be the Frog: Technology and Our Spiritual Lives

9/26/2018
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Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., president of Reconstructing Judaism, and Rabbi Nathan Kamesar, associate rabbi of Society Hill Synagogue in Philadelphia, discuss the ubiquity of technology and the opportunities and challenges they bring to Judaism. The two recently authored an in-depth essay, “Harnessing Technology (http://evolve.reconstructingjudaism.org/harnessing-technology)” that asks, “how can we sanctify our online lives by acting according to our values? How can we use the resources on...

Duration:00:50:52

Episode 19: Old School Reporting

8/28/2018
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Zoe Greenberg talks about what it is like to be a reporter and researcher for the New York Times. The 26-year-old tells talks about working with noted columnists like Nicholas Kristof; she once researched the number of Americans who die annually in bathtub accidents. We also hear about her original reporting, particularly for the Metro section, and how her colleagues broke the Harvey Weinstein story. Zoe recounts why she got into journalism at a time when the traditional business model for...

Duration:00:35:10

Episode 18: The Luxury of Not Having to Share

8/16/2018
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This interview with Rabbi Sandra Lawson was meant to focus on the intersection of Judaism and technology. But no illuminating conversation completely goes as planned. Rabbi Sandra explains how it is impossible to discuss her adoption of social media and technology without delving into questions of race, identity and sexuality. In this frank interview, Rabbi Sandra explains how fear, fear of failure, and fear of having others define her according to race and sexual-orientation, that prompted...

Duration:00:42:46

Episode 17: Why Jewish Ethics Matters

7/30/2018
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Rabbi Mira Wasserman delves into the ethical questions raised by the dramatic emergence of the #metoo movement. Rabbi Wasserman discusses the ongoing challenge of speaking up against wrongdoing and shifting a culture that casts doubt on victims who have shared stories of abuse. The conversation focuses less on egregious cases of abuse and more on everyday encounters. We also ask: What can Judaism teach us about how to shape a world in bystanders routinely stand up to ensure the human dignity...

Duration:00:42:12

Episode 16: The Greatest Teacher, Failure Is

7/16/2018
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Yes, Star Wars fans, our title is taken from a line that Yoda says to his troubled former pupil, Luke Skywalker, in The Last Jedi. In more traditional syntax, Rabbi Shira Stutman says something very similar. The senior rabbi of Sixth & I, a thriving Jewish arts and cultural center in Washington, D.C., talks about learning from failure, and how Jewish organizations must take risks to change and grow. Rabbi Stutman discusses how Sixth & I was both inspired by, and a departure from, Mordecai...

Duration:00:42:38

Episode 15: The Disruptor

6/25/2018
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Rabbi Brian Field discusses Judaism Your Way, which, in case you were wondering, is not a congregation. The organization was formed to serve Jews in the Denver area who’d felt marginalized by existing congregations. In particular, Judaism Your Way was created to serve intermarried families. By offering a catered, individualized approach to Jewish experience, the organization has grown large enough that it could be considered a disruptive force in the Denver area. How has Judaism Your Way’s...

Duration:00:45:41

Episode 14: Thirteen Million Minutes

6/12/2018
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BimBam, a nonprofit Jewish media studio, has created more than 350 animated video for children and adults. Youtube analytics reveal BimBam’s content has been viewed online for thirteen million minutes, or 24 years. BimBam’s founder, Sarah Lefton, and executive director, Jordan Gill, explain how they have sought to revolutionize Jewish education through digital storytelling and meaningful screen time. Sarah and Jordan explain how they approach funders and the challenge of cultivating for...

Duration:00:42:37

Episode 13: Turning the Crisis Narrative on Its Head

5/29/2018
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This episode introduces another theme we’ll be exploring over several episodes: How is technology impacting Judaism and vice versa? The hosts of Judaism Unbound, Daniel Libenson and Lex Rofeberg, argue that the internet has revolutionized the Jewish landscape and made Jewish texts and knowledge radically accessible. They argue that, rather than entering a period of decline, Jewish life is migrating into an era that is at least partially defined by digital connections. Subscribe by Email This...

Duration:00:52:54

Episode 12: Talkin' 'bout my Generation

5/22/2018
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Like a number of upcoming episodes, this show focuses on how Jewish communities are evolving. Rabbi Sid Schwarz, author of Jewish Megatrends, discusses the phenomenon of “tribal Jews” and “culture Jews” and the how the two groups, which largely break down along generational lines, view Jewish life very differently. He also shares lessons learned from his nearly 40 years in the rabbinate. Subscribe by Email This podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism. Visit us at...

Duration:00:41:38

Episode 11: The Accidental Rabbi

2/19/2018
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Taking a page from the Judaism Unbound podcast, Rachael and Bryan ask the questions: What does Judaism do and what it is for? What does it do for those who don’t feel compelled by God to live life according to Jewish law? Rabbi Maurice Harris fields these questions, and also explains why he avoids “outing” himself as a rabbi while he’s a passenger on a commercial flight. Subscribe by Email This podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism. Visit us at ReconstructingJudaism.org...

Duration:00:48:33

Episode 10: One Man’s Crusade Against Chosenness

1/26/2018
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Filmmaker Joshua Gippin discusses his antipathy to the idea that Jews are the chosen people and his journey that led him to embrace Reconstructionist Judaism, which rejects the idea of chosenness. The directory of The Chosen People? A Film About Jewish Identity also examines the challenge of presenting multiple perspectives on chosenness while holding such a strong personal perspective. Subscribe by Email This podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism. Visit us at...

Duration:00:34:08

Episode 9: Welcoming the Stranger

1/5/2018
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David Lubell discusses what brought him to Ecuador, how we’ve unwittingly taught our children to fear immigrants, and why he’s dedicated his professional life to making America more welcoming to immigrants. Subscribe by Email This podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism. Visit us at ReconstructingJudaism.org (https://ReconstructingJudaism.org). Special Guest: David Lubell.

Duration:00:38:27

Episode 8: May God Bless and Keep the Tsar

12/5/2017
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Too often, people overlook the blessings of being alive. Judaism has, it seems, a blessing for every occasion. Bryan and Rachael are joined by Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D., and storyteller puppeteer Marilyn Price to discuss the relevance of Jewish blessings today. Teutsch and Price read from their new book From Gratitude to Blessings and Back (https://wipfandstock.com/from-gratitude-to-blessings-and-back.html) and put up with Bryan’s invocation of Fiddler on the Roof. Subscribe by Email This...

Duration:00:46:51