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Judaism Unbound

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English


Episodes

Episode 84: The Jewish Catalog, Then and Now - Riv-Ellen Prell

9/20/2017
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Dan and Lex are joined by Anthropologist Riv-Ellen Prell, author of Prayer and Community: The Havurah in American Judaism. Prell outlines the evolution, impact, and legacy of an important work called The Jewish Catalog, patterned after The Whole Earth Catalog and designed as a "Do-It-Yourself Kit" for living a Jewish life. She discusses the broader political and social context within which it was published, comparing and contrasting the era of the late 60s and early 70s with the times in...

Duration: 00:53:35


Episode 83: The Exodus - Richard Elliott Friedman

9/15/2017
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Duration: 00:46:12


Episode 82: The Happiness Prayer - Evan Moffic

9/8/2017
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Evan Moffic, author of the new book The Happiness Prayer: Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Best Way to Live Today, joins Dan and Lex for a discussion of how a text that is over 1,000 years old aligns closely with the findings of positive psychology. The conversation moves beyond positive psychology into an exploration of the shifting role of American synagogues and even, of all things, the Chicago Cubs' recent World Series victory.

Duration: 00:52:59


Episode 81: Diaspora Boy - Eli Valley

9/1/2017
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Artist and writer Eli Valley joins Dan and Lex for a conversation about his newly-released book Diaspora Boy: Comics on Crisis in America and Israel. Valley brings the insight and passion that is well-known to readers of his comics to the episode, as we discuss the politics of American Jewish life, Israel, and more, all through the lens of his provocative comics.

Duration: 00:45:48


Episode 80: Feeling the Burn

8/25/2017
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Dan and Lex deepen their exploration of how Burning Man might expand our thinking about 21st century Judaism. They look at the concept of pilgrimage as it manifests at Burning Man and in Jewish life, and they return to the question whether Judaism is best compared to an operating system or an app, as well as exploring other potential analogies.

Duration: 00:48:04


Episode 78: Burning Man - Jon Mitchell, Allie Wollner

8/11/2017
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What is Burning Man? Why might it be particularly relevant for those who are thinking about the present and future of Judaism? Dan and Lex are joined by guests Jon Mitchell and Allie Wollner, longtime "burners" who help us think about those questions and many others. This episode is the first in a three-part series on Burning Man, which will continue with Judaism Unbound's next two episodes.

Duration: 00:42:08


Episode 77: Folk Judaism

8/4/2017
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Who determines what "counts" as genuine Judaism today? Those who serve in official leadership capacities of the Jewish world, or can ordinary Jews (the "folk") determine for themselves what what forms of Jewish life are "authentic" and what Judaism fundamentally "is"? In this episode, Dan and Lex wrestle with this basic question while looking back on a fascinating series of conversations with guests over the past few weeks.

Duration: 00:48:13


Episode 76: The Project of Jewish Education - David Bryfman

7/28/2017
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What are the goals of Jewish education, and what should they be? David Bryfman, Chief Innovation Officer of The Jewish Education Project, joins Dan and Lex to discuss the challenges ahead as we consider how to recalibrate education to shifting Jewish realities.

Duration: 00:47:26


Episode 75: The Myth of Apolitical Judaism - Lila Corwin Berman

7/21/2017
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Is it possible for Judaism, or its institutions, to ever be apolitical? Is it even desirable? Lila Corwin Berman, the Murray Friedman Chair of American Jewish History and Director of the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History at Temple University, joins Dan and Lex to engage with those questions, as well as questions about Jewish peoplehood, intermarriage, and the funding of Jewish institutions.

Duration: 00:48:00


Episode 74: Beyond Jewish Identity - Ari Y. Kelman

7/14/2017
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Jewish communal conversations often take for granted that the goal of Jewish education and other endeavors is to develop or enhance "Jewish identity," but what does that term really mean? Stanford professor Ari Kelman, a leading scholar of Jews and Judaism in contemporary America, joins Dan and Lex to explore the language and concepts that are most helpful in thinking about American Judaism today.

Duration: 00:43:59


Episode 73: Being Both - Susan Katz Miller

7/7/2017
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Dan and Lex are joined by writer and journalist Susan Katz Miller, author of Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family. [1] In their conversation, they explore the growing phenomenon of families raising children in Judaism along with another religious tradition (families who are "being both") and consider the unique gifts these families may bring to Jewish life and to the wider world, as well as the challenges and barriers they face.

Duration: 00:44:47


Episode 72: The Power of Popular Culture - Randi Zuckerberg

6/30/2017
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Randi Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur, investor, public speaker, and media personality, passionate about the intersection of technology and our modern lives. She is also deeply passionate about her Jewish identity. In this episode of Judaism Unbound, Randi Zuckerberg joins co-hosts Dan and Lex for a conversation about the digital world, popular culture, and how the two intersect with Jewish life today.

Duration: 00:42:13


Episode 71: What's Judaism For?

6/23/2017
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What's the point of Judaism? What's it for? In this episode of Judaism Unbound, Dan and Lex examine that question and try to provide some answers to it. In doing so, they discuss and debate the role of rabbis in contemporary life, explore the idea of "religion," and reflect on recent conversations with Rebecca Sirbu, Rami Shapiro, and Shulem Deen.

Duration: 00:48:46


BREAKING NEWS - Intermarriage: Changing the Rules - Amichai Lau-Lavie

6/20/2017
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Amichai Lau-Lavie, the founding spiritual leader of Lab/Shul, made national headlines by authoring Joy: A Proposal, which outlines his choice to begin performing interfaith marriages. Hear directly from Lau-Lavie as he engages in a conversation with co-hosts Dan and Lex about marriage and the rapidly shifting landscape of American-Jewish life. Joy can be accessed at Amichai.me/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Welcome_Book_2017.pdf.

Duration: 00:45:29


Episode 70: After Ultra-Orthodoxy - Shulem Deen

6/16/2017
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Shulem Deen, author of All Who Go Do Not Return, a National Jewish Book Award-winning memoir that tells the story of his exit from ultra-Orthodox Judaism, joins us to understand the people who do and do not leave ultra-Orthodoxy, the needs and hopes of those who do leave, and the roles formerly-Orthodox people might play in the rest of the Jewish community and in re-imagining the Jewish future.

Duration: 00:57:44


Bonus Episode: Judaism Unbound Meets History in the Bible

6/12/2017
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Judaism Unbound co-host Dan Libenson and Garry Stevens of The History in the Bible podcast discuss a range of topics related to Judaism, Christianity, and the Bible.

Duration: 01:02:44


Episode 69: Holy Rascals - Rami Shapiro

6/8/2017
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Writer, philosopher, and mystic Rami Shapiro brings a wealth of knowledge about Judaism, along with a lifetime of experience immersed in interfaith spaces, to this episode of Judaism Unbound. In this conversation, he discusses a variety of important issues with Dan and Lex, including the strengths and weaknesses of Judaism, religion as a means to an end, and alternative conceptions of God, beyond the supernatural.

Duration: 00:47:32


Bonus Episode: Shavuot Part III - What's the Deal with the Dairy?

5/28/2017
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But why is cheesecake part of Shavuot? Countless people have asked this question over the last few centuries, and a variety of answers have been provided. What are these answers? Why are dairy products considered by many to be an essential part of Shavuot? Dan and Lex look at this strange ritual, along with the (perhaps even strangers) arguments for it that have been discussed in Jewish texts. They also explore how we can create our own meanings for this quirky practice, along with the...

Duration: 00:12:40


Bonus Episode: Shavuot Part I - What The Heck is Shavuot?

5/28/2017
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So you might have heard the name -- "Shavuot" -- but what exactly does this holiday commemorate? How is it celebrated? In this first mini-episode in a series of four on Shavuot, Dan and Lex provide a basic overview of the history of Shavuot. They look at early iterations of it described in the Torah, shifts in its observance that came in the early rabbinic period, and further updates that occurred leading up to the present day.

Duration: 00:14:31


Episode 67: Seven Weeks in Silicon Valley

5/26/2017
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Dan and Lex close out their seven-episode series looking at the seven weeks of the Omer, the period between Passover and Shavuot, as an especially resonant symbol of our own time, which might be described as a time in between Judaisms. Looking back on our interviews drawing inspiration from Silicon Valley, the landscape of experimentation and innovation in our own day, Dan and Lex discuss the democratization of Judaism embodied and facilitated by the internet and revisit the question of...

Duration: 00:44:15

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