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 JewsByChoice.org: 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: Signposts & Channelmarkers

In my first “Turning Aside” post, “The Burning Bush,” I mentioned the special obligation “that each of us has, as human beings and especially as Jews, to turn aside from all manner of popular cynicism, groupthink, and bad behavior, and to strive through our actions and our study to elevate – to ‘make holy’ – every day.” I take this responsibility seriously; I strive to be conscientious, kind, ethical, curious, and open-minded….and I’m forever falling well … [Read more…]

A light in the darkness

I am HaShem; I have called you with righteousness; I will strengthen your hand; I will protect you; I will set you for a covenant to the people, for a light to the nations (Isaiah 42:6) We as Jews are commanded to be a “light unto the nations” (לאור גוים). As such, it is our obligation to bring Torah and the truth of G-d to the world through our actions, behaviors, and teachings. Part of this process is teaching the world about the Sheva Mitzvot (seven mitzvot of the nations). This … [Read more…]

Video: Jerusalem “Within These Walls”

A few days ago I stumbled across an online version of a an old National Geographic documentary (which I’m sure was part of a larger series) on Jerusalem. It was produced back somewhere around the mid 80s, so it’s a little dated now but interesting nonetheless. It basically presents a snapshot of what the city means spiritually to people of different faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and more importantly how they came to call Jerusalem home. To be honest I didn’t really have any … [Read more…]