JBC Talk: Ep 3: Making Prayer Real Part 1 – An Interview With Rabbi Mike Comins

Episode Synopsis In this episode of The JBC Talk Podcast, we bring you Part One of our fascinating (and we should add, very long) interview with Rabbi Mike Comins, author of Making Prayer Real – Leading Jewish Spiritual Voices On Why Prayer Is Difficult and What To Do About It , published by Jewish Lights. If you aren’t already familiar with Making Prayer Real, you may want to check out Yair’s recent review of the book, which can be found here. Also, if you would like to have a peek at … [Read more…]

JBC Talk Ep 2 Part 2: Rabbis 101- An Interview With Rabbi Adam Kligfeld

Note: This is the second truncated (yet still long!) part of the original Episode 2 recording. Why is that?, you might be wondering. Despite our going into this episode with the intention of keeping things short, it ended up running nearly two hours.  So we have decided to split Episode 2 into two, separate podcasts which will air (well you know, go live!) a week apart. As a result, there are a few breaks in continuity.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Podcast … [Read more…]

How Can We Raise Awareness in the Jewish Community for the Unique Issues Facing Jews-by-Choice?

Editors Note: The following is a guest post by friend and supporter of Paul Golin, Associate Executive Director of the Jewish Outreach Institute. I recently posted an essay on the Huffington Post about the complicated relationship between intermarriage and Jewish conversion.  In it, I mention just a few of the challenges that many Jews-by-choice face in their interaction with born-Jews.  I have a sense of what some of the other challenges might be, thanks to my position as … [Read more…]

Turning Aside: Rambam’s Test

Is My Theology Truly Jewish (Or Jewish Enough)? Liberal Jewish denominations officially reject the Orthodox contention that, in order to be a good Jew, one must embrace a traditional cosmology and accept the whole of halacha.  Nevertheless, I think it incumbent upon liberal gerim to take both theology and halacha seriously; we should know what it is that we selectively accept or reject (and why).  In this “Turning Aside” post, I address my relationship to a traditional Jewish … [Read more…]

Turning Aside: The Orchard’s Harvest

I often describe myself as a “closet academic.” The label is misleading, however; there isn’t much “closet” about the pleasure that I derive from studying. Not surprisingly, then, one of the many reasons that I look forward to Shabbat is because part of the day is dedicated to Torah study. Mind you, my conception of Torah study is more liberal than some Jews will accept. I consider Torah to be the written and oral traditions of Judaism, of course, but I extend the term to encompass human … [Read more…]