The Schmooze

Author Blog: One Missing Yarmulke, Several New Friends

Earlier this week, Stefanie Pervos Bregman, the editor of “Living Jewishly,” wrote about engaging 20- and 30-somethings in the Jewish world. Today, we hear from one of Living Jewishly’s contributors, Rabbi Jason Miller. Their blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:


We tend to see the differences that separate us from other religious groups rather than the commonalities. That sounds so cliché, but it’s true.

When some Jews hear of an Islamic religious school, called a madrassa, they make assumptions about what might be taught there. They don’t take the time to even consider that the Arabic word madrassa is very closely related to the Hebrew word midrasha, a Jewish religious school.

And when some Jews see a Muslim man wearing a skullcap called a kufi, they make assumptions about his religious views, political sentiments, and opinions on a range of social issues. They tend to forget how similar the kufi is to our kippah, or yarmulke.

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Author Blog: One Missing Yarmulke, Several New Friends

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