May 5, 2011 By 2 Comments
There are several interesting recent developments on the JBC.org site. Here are some highlights for May 2011/Iyar5771:
One conversation of special note is the “Why did you convert?” thread in the Conversion group. Several site regulars are or will be sharing the reasons they decided to become Jewish or to start the conversion process. Whether you are a Jew, are studying with a rabbi, or just interested in Judaism, you will find the various stories shared interesting.
In the Jewish Audio and Video group a new conversation has begun about a podcast from the “Three Rabbis Walk into a Room” series offered by the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. Three rabbis, one Orthodox, one Conservative, and one Reform, who are clearly friends and enjoy one another’s company, engage timely issues in this series. In this particular podcast, conversion is one of the topics. Give it a listen, then share your thoughts!
The Conversion group also has an interesting thread going regarding tattoos, appropriately titled “Pre-conversion tattoos”. As readers may or may not know, Jewish Law traditionally forbids tattoos on the skin, but obviously those who come to Judaism may have their roots in cultures in which tattooing is either accepted or even encouraged. Something so visible and permanent can be a constant reminder of pre-Jewish life and a hurdle that can present a challenge for those trying to formulate a Jewish identity; moving forward as a Jew with body art is an unfolding topic here.
The same group offers a look at the question of “Non-Orthodox Jews by choice at Orthodox Jewish events and settings”. The conversation provides a range of views on how one should respond in the case where one’s own Jewish status may be in question. This issue is an important one for any potential Jew By Choice to consider.
The Jewish Audio and Video group has an discussion underway on “Favourite podcasts” (Avi, my spellchecker says your “favOUrite is wrong…:)!). In this discussion, community participants are providing links to their favorite Jewish audio available for regular download.
The most recent feature article on the site was written by Paul Golin, the Associate Executive Director of the Jewish Outreach Institute, and is titled “How Can We Raise Awareness in the Jewish Community for the Unique Issues Facing Jews-By-Choice”. The article discusses what the author describes as “Born-Jewish Privilege”, defined as the unequal expectations, struggles, and experiences which tend to favor of those born to Judaism at the expense of those who join through conversion. The idea is an interesting one and anyone who has become a Jew though the conversion process has recognized this difference at one time or another. Check out the piece and visit the JOI to see what they are about.
Most Recent Podcast
The most recent JBC Talk Podcast is up and ready for listening. The episode is called “Rabbis 101 – An Interview with Rabbi Adam Kligfeld”. Rabbi Kligfeld is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, and in the interview he and Avi discuss the roles rabbis play in Jewish communities as well as the many different hats and responsibilities that go with being a rabbi (depending on the context in which one circulates). The discussion is very informative, and it sheds light on what rabbis do and why we need them. Have a listen and share your thoughts as well!
Latest Reader Feedback
Last but not least, don’t forget to check-out our “What People Are Saying” page. It’s a relatively new thing on the site, so some of you may not be aware of it.
As always, we encourage you to GET INVOLVED on the forum, comment on the articles and podcasts, share your thoughts, ask questions, and participate. Don’t just be a lurker!
Thanks, Yair, for picking this up since I’ve been too swamped at work and home to get around to it myself. I’ll have lots more time once the school year wraps up. Then I’ll have seven straight weeks with no kids at home to have to chauffeur, nag, etc while they are both away at Jewish summer camps in Wisconsin.
As always, thanks for this collection of site goings on! It’s a handy reference.