Jo Ellen Green Kaiser


‘The Roundtable’ Is Offered A Seat

By Jo Ellen Green Kaiser

‘The Roundtable’ Is Offered A Seat
You have to get used to acronyms quickly in the world of Jewish social justice (and it helps if you like the letter “j”.) There’s the venerable JCUA in Chicago, PJA on the West Coast, the surprisingly well-organized JCA in Minnesota and a very active JCRC in Boston. National organizations include JCPA, JOI, JFSJ and AJWS. And that’s just the start of a much longer list.Read More


Jewish LGBT Leaders Meet, But Can’t Yet Find a Vision Shared by All

By Jo Ellen Green Kaiser

A social justice activist from Oakland, Calif. A party planner from New York. The leader of a small havurah in Detroit. These were some of the 93 people who were invited to Berkeley, Calif., to help build a more cohesive movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews.Read More


Rabbi and Editor Michael Lerner's Home Found Vandalized

By Jo Ellen Green Kaiser

Rabbi and Editor Michael Lerner's Home Found Vandalized
The home of Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the left-wing Jewish magazine Tikkun, was vandalized sometime during the night of Sunday, May 2.Read More


Wandering Jews, This Time With a Purpose

By Jo Ellen Green Kaiser

Wandering Jews, This Time With a Purpose
Passover in the desert. Shavuot on the mountaintop. Sukkot on the farm. The three primary festivals of the Jewish calendar weave their rituals and stories around very particular settings. How would our understanding of Judaism change if we made these spaces, as well as these times, holy? This is the question that Wilderness Torah, a new California-based Jewish organization devoted to both spiritual and ecological rebirth, seeks to answer.Read More


Renewal Raises Its Sights While Resisting Any Label

By Jo Ellen Green Kaiser

Renewal Raises Its Sights While Resisting Any Label
The denominations that make up mainstream American Judaism — Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist — all seem to be struggling with organizational issues while clinging fiercely to their separate identities. But not Jewish Renewal, a small movement based on the teachings of Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Renewal is facing the exact opposite problem: It is struggling to mature as a movement without becoming a denomination.Read More






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  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
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  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
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