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, 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, 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, News of the Jews, and so much more.




The Decoders: Ep. 270

This week on Unorthodox, Stephanie is out and Liel and Mark are podcasting from their man cave. Our Jewish guest is author Walter Isaacson, known for his biographies of Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci, whose latest book is The Code Breaker Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race. We talk to him about the Jewish implications for the CRISPR gene editing technology, and the way that Jewish history can be mapped onto the history of scientific developments in America over...


Star Treatment: Ep 269

This week on Unorthodox, we’re down to the championship round of our Jewish Name of the Year bracket. Our Jewish guest is Israeli actress and activist Noa Tishby, whose new book is Israel: a Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth. Tishby, who describes herself as “100% Israeli and 100% American,” tells us about bringing the Israeli show In Treatment to American audiences, her first experience in bridging Israeli and American culture. She also explains how her pro-Israel...


In Good Company: Ep. 268

This week, we’re filling up on matzo and revealing the Final Four competitors in our Jewish Names of the Year bracket. Our first guest is actress Emmanuelle Chriqui, who starred as Sloan in Entourage and Dalia in You Don’t Mess with The Zohan. She tells us about growing up in Canada to Moroccan Jewish parents, her latest TV role, and her involvement with the Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance . Then, Orthodox sex therapist Bat Sheva Marcus returns to the show talk about her new book, Sex...


The Markisode: Ep. 267

This week, it’s the full Oppenheimer. First, Mark interviews McKay Coppins, a staff writer at The Atlantic who recently wrote an article about the future of Mormonism—“the most American religion”—and America. He talks about his own Mormon faith, confirms Mark’s assessment that Jews and Mormons have a lot in common, and asks how to ready his home to invite kosher-keeping Jewish friends over for a meal. Then, it’s everything you’ll ever need to know about what Jewish law says about pets! Mark...


Passover Prep: Ep. 266

This week, we’re kicking off our Passover celebrations, live from the Oppenheimer home. Mark is joined by four of his children as they sit around the Seder table and wonder where, exactly, all these Passover traditions came from. Helping them along the way are co-hosts Stephanie and Liel, and a near minyan of all-star guests. First, historian and Tablet columnist Jenna Weissman Joselit expounds on the material culture associated with the home-based holiday—Seder plates, matzo covers, and...


Work and Pray: Ep. 265

This week on Unorthodox, Charles Barkley does the hora. Our Jewish guest is Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer, who stars in the new Apple TV+ psychological thriller Losing Alice, Israel’s latest international TV export. Zurer tells us about being part of that other hit Israeli show, Shtisel, and about the unlikely acting role that got her cast by Steven Spielberg in his 2005 film, Munich. Our Gentile of the Week, Father James Martin, joins us again on the show, this time to tell us about his...


Presenting ‘Hearing with Tali Farhadian Weinstein’

This week on Unorthodox, we’re sharing an episode of “Hearing with Tali Farhadian Weinstein,” a podcast from Pushkin Industries. Tali is an Iranian-Jewish prosecutor running for District Attorney in Manhattan, and her show features interviews with policy experts, journalists, and community members. In this episode of Hearing, Tali talks to former Unorthodox guest Rabbi Angela Buchdahl of Manhattan's Central Synagogue about the points of intersection around faith, personal identity, and the...


Reimagining Purim: Ep. 264

This week on Unorthodox, we’re celebrating Purim and breaking the mold. First, Stephanie welcomes her special Purim co-hosts, friends of the show Kylie Unell and Abigail Pogrebin, who help her tell the story of Purim and offer their takes on some of the holiday’s larger themes. Next, Stephanie is joined by Anna Solomon, author of The Book of V., a fictionalized redefining of the story of Vashti. She explains that the binaries we’ve been taught — “that Vashti is wanton, wicked, selfish; and...


Language of Leftovers: Ep. 263

Ep. 263:This week on Unorthodox, we’re waiting for our Israeli Pizza Hut delivery by drone. Our first Jewish guest is actress Jackie Tohn, host of the Netflix cooking competition Best Leftovers Ever! She tells us about understanding the importance of leftovers from a young age as the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, and also about using that real-life identity to inform her character Melrose on the hit Netflix series G.L.O.W. Then we’re joined by linguist Sarah Bunin Benor, who returns to...


Hear Ye, Hear Ye!: Ep. 262

This week on Unorthodox, we’re giving you a taste of some other podcasts we’ve been working on. First, you’ll hear an episode of Liel’s daily Daf Yomi podcast, Take One, featuring special guest Sister Helen Prejean, a passionate advocate against capital punishment, as they discuss a page of Talmud that references the death penalty. Next, you’ll hear Stephanie’s interview with Tablet’s newest podcast hosts, Aimee Friedman and Lisa Sandell, about their show Anxiously. Each week Lisa and Aimee...


Laser Focused: Ep. 261

This week on Unorthodox, we’re firing up our Jewish space lasers. Mark and Liel talk to legendary actor Ed Asner about his latest project, The Tattooed Torah, an animated short about the inspiring journey of a Torah scroll and the little boy who swore to rescue it from the Nazis, about great TV and why they don't make shows like they used to, and about standing up to your political beliefs, even when you have to pay the price. Then Liel talks with author Cambria Gordon about her YA book, The...


Booking It: Ep. 260

This week on Unorthodox, two Jewish guests and a whole lot of books. Our first guest is Zibby Owens, host of the podcast “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.” She tells us about tirelessly promoting book authors during the pandemic, even as she dealt with her own family’s COVID-19 trauma (and planned two Zoom bar and bat mitzvahs). The resulting quarantine anthology, Moms Don’t Have Time To, features essays from more than 60 writers, including a few Unorthodox guests. Our second guest is...


Primary Sources: Ep. 259

This week on Unorthodox, we’re live (virtually) from Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park, PA. Our special guests this week are Jamie and Brian Stelter. Jamie Stelter, who had her bat mitzvah at Beth Sholom, is the traffic reporter for NY1, and Brian Stelter is the chief media correspondent for CNN and host of Reliable Sources. They talk to us about filming their TV appearances from their apartment during the pandemic, the first rule of Challah Club, and why they love Shabbat. We’re...


Q’ing Up: Ep. 258

Our Jewish guest is Mike Rothschild, a conspiracy theory researcher and debunker who is writing a book about the QAnon conspiracy theory. He tells us what QAnon is and explains the anti-Semitism inherent in the conspiracy theory, confirming for us that all conspiracy theories have Jew-hatred at their core. He also confirms that everyone he interacts with in these worlds asks if he’s one of those Rothschilds. Our Gentile of the Week is NPR and Slate sports commentator Stephen Fatsis, author...


Dunk Contest: Ep. 257

This week on Unorthodox: the full Luxembourg. Our first guest is essayist and critic William Deresiewicz, whose new book The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech. He tells us about getting kicked out of Jewish day school as a teen, his work since then, and why it’s so hard to be an artist today. Our second guest is sportswriter and Tablet contributor Yaron Weitzman, author of the book Tanking to the Top: The Philadelphia 76ers...


Shalom, 2020: Ep. 256

This week on Unorthodox, we’re celebrating the other New Year. Our Jewish guest is Rabbi Tiferet Berenbaum of Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, Massachusetts. She tells us about her path to the rabbinate, her passion for Jewish education, and what she’s learned running TBZ’s Hebrew school. Our Gentile of the Week is Peter Sis, the Czech-American illustrator, author, and MacArthur genius. He tells us about his latest picture book, Nicky and Vera, which tells the story of Nicholas Winton, the...


Baby, It’s Tevet Outside: Ep. 255

This week on Unorthodox, we’re celebrating the very 2020 calendar crossover of Christmas and the 10th of Tevet, a minor Jewish fast day. Our Jewish guest is writer and comedian Merrill Markoe, whose new graphic memoir is “We Saw Scenery: The Early Diaries of Merrill Markoe.” Our Gentile of the Week is Phillipe Etienne, the French ambassador to the United States, who gave us a lesson in the French notion of secularism and discussed rising anti-Semitism in France. Join us Monday, Jan. 11 at 6...


A Whole Latke Love: Ep, 254

This week on Unorthodox: Hallmark Hanukkah movies, puppies for Hanukkah, and so much more. First we talk with linguist Sarah Bunin Benor, who made her first Unorthodox appearance all the way back on Ep. 102. She returns to the show to explain why some people say “lat-key” instead of “latke,” and settle other holiday pronunciation debates. Then it’s time for some music to get us in the holiday spirit! Jazz guitarist Peter Curtis tells us about being so inspired by the fact that Jewish...


Rocky Mountain Chai: Ep. 253

This week on Unorthodox, one Mark Oppenheimer is not enough. Our first guest is Colorado Governor Jared Polis, who is the state’s first Jewish governor and the first openly gay governor in the U.S. He tells us about his Jewish upbringing, extolls the many virtues of the State of Colorado, and explains why he’s got his eyes on 2022, not 2024. Next we talk to the other Mark Oppenhemer: the South African advocate, podcaster (our own Mark Oppenheimer was a guest on his show, Brain in a Vat), and...


A Little Bit of Turkey and Latkes: Ep. 252

This week, a mini-holiday mashup. First, associate producer Robert Scaramuccia brings us the story of Aaron Hartman, a Jewish man from Atlanta, GA with Williams Syndrome, and his very unique pandemic birthday present. We also bring you a Hanukkah gift guide that includes products our listeners make themselves! Find these suggestions and more by joining our Facebook group. Join the hosts Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. E.S.T. for the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s Generation to Generation event,...