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Unorthodox is the world’s leading Jewish podcast™ - but you don’t have to be Jewish to love it! Hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, and Liel Leibovitz of Tablet Magazine, each episode we bring you interesting guests (one Jewish and one gentile), News of the Jews, and so much more.

Unorthodox is the world’s leading Jewish podcast™ - but you don’t have to be Jewish to love it! Hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, and Liel Leibovitz of Tablet Magazine, each episode we bring you interesting guests (one Jewish and one gentile), News of the Jews, and so much more.
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Unorthodox is the world’s leading Jewish podcast™ - but you don’t have to be Jewish to love it! Hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, and Liel Leibovitz of Tablet Magazine, each episode we bring you interesting guests (one Jewish and one gentile), News of the Jews, and so much more.




Telling Truths: Ep. 137

This week on Unorthodox, Liel prepares for his role as honorary grand marshal at New York City's Celebrate Israel Parade on June 3. Our Jewish guest is Yossi Klein Halevi, senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and the author of 'Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor.' He tells us how he, as a religious Jew in Jerusalem, came to understand the Palestinian perspective, why he framed the book as a letter to an imagined interlocutor, and the crucial need to recognize that both...


The Conversion Episode: Ep 136

On Shavuot we read the Book of Ruth, which tells the story of Ruth, the first convert to Judaism, who ultimately becomes the great-grandmother of King David. In Ruth's honor, this week we're talking about conversion to Judaism, and hearing stories from people around the globe who have chosen to become Jewish—starting with our listeners. Reporter Abby Holtzman travels to Savannah, Georgia, to bring us the story of a 13-year-old girl who has taken the plunge, literally, to convert to...


Motherhood, Burgers, and Bacon: Ep. 135

Our Jewish guest this week is Peninah Lamm Kaplansky, who in 2015 wrote a candid and moving account of her miscarriage, at 21 weeks, and the need for more resources and discussion surrounding infertility and miscarriage in Jewish communities. Our Gentile of the Week is Sister Julia Walsh, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration and a Catholic youth minister. Sister Julia tells us about the painful decision to give up motherhood, something she had always dreamed of, when she entered the...


Checks and Balances: Ep. 134

It's Lag Ba'Omer, aka the 33rd day of the Omer, aka the period between Passover and Shavuot! Our Jewish guest is Sen. Joe Lieberman, whose new book, 'With Liberty & Justice: The 50-Day Journey from Egypt to Sinai,' explores the importance of the Omer. He tells us about being one of the most publically observant Jews in politics, why he never wore a yarmulke in the Senate, and whether the Gore White House would have had a kosher kitchen. Our Gentile of the week is Skylar Inman, the host of...


Knocked Out: Ep. 133

Natalie Portman won't accept 'Jewish Nobel Prize' in Israel, plus Jewish artichoke drama in Italy. Our Jewish guest is Rachel Simmons, the author of Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Lives. Rachel explains the pressures facing young girls in America today, how we can support our daughters and nieces and friends, and whether things are any better at Jewish schools. Our gentile of the week is Linda Curtis,...


Sabra Cadabra: Ep. 132

This week on Unorthodox, we're celebrating 70 years of Israeli food, music, and culture in honor of Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's independence day. First, we're joined by writer and comedian Periel Aschenbrand, who tells us what it's like to be married to an Israeli man. Next We check out the newest outpost of Israeli chef Eyal Shani's pita empire, Miznon, here in New York, and chat with Shani over his world famous cauliflower pita. We also chat with Israeli singer and activist Yael Deckelbaum,...


Walk With Me, Unorthodox: Ep. 131

This week on Unorthodox, a crossover episode! We're joined by Joshua Malina and Hrishikesh Hirway, hosts of The West Wing Weekly podcast, an episode-by-episode discussion of one of television's most beloved shows. Malina, who played Will Bailey on The West Wing, currently stars in Scandal, which will air its series finale later this month. Hirway, a musician and composer, is the creator and host of the Song Exploder podcast. We talk about revisiting the glory days of early aughts TV...


Ask Unorthodox: Passover Edition: Ep. 130

Download your free copy of the Unorthodox Haggadah! This week on Unorthodox, everything you ever wanted to know about Passover. We answer listener questions, writer Roya Hakakian tells us about Persian Passover traditions, including scallion whipping at the Seder, and producer Josh Kross’s mother-in-law Elsie Apfelbaum shares the magic of Mimouna, the Moroccan festival celebrating the end of Passover (with some help from Josh’s daughter Stella). Jay Miah tells the story of how his father...


Snowfu: Ep. 129

Proof that Jews don't control the weather? Our live show was cancelled due to snow in the New York area. But thanks to a pre-Passover miracle we were able to record an interview with our gentile of the week, Bart Campolo, in producer Josh Kross' living room. (With everyone's kids, since school was cancelled.) Bart is evangelical royalty—his father, Tony Campolo, is one of the leaders of the Evangelical left—but from a young age he knew he didn't believe in god. He talked the talk for 30...


Leading the Pack : Ep: 128

Our Jewish guest this week is Leah Sarna, a student at Yeshivat Maharat, the first yeshiva to ordain women as Orthodox Jewish clergy. She explains the institutional conflict over female ordination in the Orthodox community and tells us what her role will be at an Orthodox congregation in Chicago after graduation —and what title she’ll go by. Our Gentile of the week is writer Lauren Oyler, who tells us why honest cultural criticism is more important than ever, and recommends some books for...


Candy for Salome: Ep: 127

Be part of our next Ask Unorthodox episode, airing during Passover. Send us your burning questions about Jewish ritual, culture, or traditions by March 9. Email them to Unorthodox@tabletmag.com or leave us a message at 914-570-4869. Our first guest is Israeli food writer and tv personality Gil Hovav, whose new memoir, Candies from Heaven, is about growing up in Jerusalem in a close-knit family (and not just any family: Hovav's great grandfather is Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, who revived the...


Winner's Circle: Ep. 126

This week, we're getting our grogger on for Purim. Returning to the show is film critic Jordan Hoffman, who preps us for the Oscars this weekend and offers his picks for the big winners. We're also joined by former FBI counterintelligence agent Asha Rangappa, now a CNN analyst an senior lecturer at Yale, who tells us how being an FBI agent is not what it looks like on TV. Be part of our next Ask Unorthodox episode, airing during Passover. Send us your burning questions about the holiday,...


Netflix and Phil: Ep. 125

Our Jewish guest is Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal, whose new Netflix series 'Somebody Feed Phil' chronicles his eating adventures around the word. He tells about the episode filmed in Tel Aviv—with cameos from chefs Michael Solomonov and Uri Buri—and why he thinks food is such a unifying force. Our gentile of the week is June Thomas, managing producer of Slate podcasts and one of the hosts of the Double X Gabfest. She explains why podcast hosts like talking to other...


Israel Story: King of the Hill

We're bringing you a special treat in our feed, a taste of our sister podcast, Israel Story. First, we talk to the creator of Israel Story, and then we share one of our favorite episodes, King of the Hill. From the top of Tell El-Ful, an abandoned hilltop in East Jerusalem, you can see all the way from Amman to Tel Aviv, from Jerusalem to Ramallah. And you can also travel back and forth in time, moving between the biblical King Saul and the bearded King Hussein. Along the way, we'll hear...


The Kids are Alright: Ep. 124

This week, we talk to writer Molly Lambert, who shares the story of her grandmother Margaret Bergmann Lambert , a German-Jewish high jumper barred from the 1936 Olympics. We're also joined by Annette Ezekiel Kogan and Jeremy Brown of Golem, the klezmer-rock band behind our theme music. They perform a few favorites for us, including 7:40, a song based on the "Hava Nagilah of Russia." But wait, there's more! We visited the Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School, a diverse...


Across the Pond: Ep. 123

Recorded live at at the Limmud Festival, an international celebration of Jewish learning and culture, in Birmingham, U.K. over Christmas. Mark hosted the show with writer and challah maven Sarah Klegman. Our guests are Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell, a vocalist, composer, and arranger specializing in Yiddish art and folk song, and Gabby Edlin, the founder of Bloody Good Period, which provides sanitary supplies to asylum seekers, refugees & those who can't afford them. Tablet is conducting...


Leaving the Nest: Ep. 122

Our guest this week is Tova Mirvis, whose memoir, The Book of Separation [http://tovamirvis.com/author/books/book-of-separation/], tells the story of her decision to leave Modern Orthodox Judaism, a world she recreated vividly for readers in the novels Visible City, The Outside World, and The Ladies Auxiliary. Our next live show is Wednesday, March 21 at the JCC Manhattan. Tickets here...


The Golden Rule: Ep. 121

This week's episode was recorded at the Manhattan JCC. Our Jewish guest is comedian and actor Judy Gold, host of the podcast Kill Me Now. Our gentile of the week is Father James Martin, Jesuit priest and editor at large of America magazine. Missed the live show? Join us Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. for an intimate, off-the-record chat with Rabbi Sara Luria at Beloved in Brooklyn. Tickets here. Want more Unorthodox in your life? Join our Facebook group to chat with the hosts and see what...


A Helping Hand

This week, we've got something a little different for you. In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan 27, we sat down with Sandy Myers and Desiree Nazarian of Selfhelp Community Services, an organization that provides assistance to Holocaust survivors in need in the New York area. We talked about the particular needs of aging Holocaust survivors, and how to help them. Our next full episode will drop on Monday, Jan 29. Some announcements: Come hang with us on Tuesday,...


The Big Q&A: Ep. 120

Come see us live at the Manhattan JCC on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m., with special guests comedian Judy Gold and Father James Martin! More info and tickets here. And on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m., we’ll be joining Rabbi Sara Luria for an intimate, off-the-record chat at Beloved in Brooklyn. Tickets here. This week on Unorthodox, Mark calls up Roy Moore's 'Jewish lawyer,' and Stephanie sits down with Jeffrey Masters, host of the podcast LGBTQ&A, which documents stories of the LGBTQ...


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