Religion & Jewish Life

For ex-baseball players, Israel a place to learn and teach

Nate Fish, director of the Israel Association of Baseball, demonstrating pitching to Israeli kids. (Margo Sugarman/IAB)Nate Fish, director of the Israel Association of Baseball, demonstrating pitching to Israeli kids. (Margo Sugarman/IAB)

  (JTA) – Out of baseball after four years playing in the minor leagues, Brent Powers, a Christian from Texas, took a tour of Israel last year with his wife. He was smitten with the country and considered how to return. The Masa Israel Journey will provide his path.… Read more »

Berlin and Omaha’s incredible new synagogue-mosque-church

From left, Pastor Gregor Hohberg, Rabbi Tovia Ben-Chorin and Imam Kadir Sanci. (Courtesy of the House of One)From left, Pastor Gregor Hohberg, Rabbi Tovia Ben-Chorin and Imam Kadir Sanci. (Courtesy of the House of One)

 A priest, a rabbi, and an imam walk into a bar… Actually, this isn’t a joke or a bar. It’s an extraordinary new building called the House of One, which will combine a mosque, a synagogue and a church in Petriplatz, also known as “the medieval birthplace of Berlin.” Yes,… Read more »

How to not spoil your interfaith kids during the holiday season

Susan Katz MillerSusan Katz Miller

(Kveller via JTA) — “We get twice the presents!” Most interfaith kids will utter this classic, and rather obnoxious, boast at some point during childhood. And I have to admit, it makes me wince and grit my teeth a little. As an interfaith child myself, I understand all too… Read more »

SEEKING KIN Joan Nathan cookbook brings families together

The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. (JTA) – When Brazil native Fabio Rosenfeld brought up launching a search for his grandfather’s sister who had survived the Holocaust, I opened my “National Geographic Atlas of the World” to locate her hometown of Reghin. A… Read more »

Amid identity crisis, Conservative Jews pay for rebranding

More than 200 members of United Synagogue Youth came to the opening session of the conference of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism in Schaumburg, Ill., Nov. 15, 2013. (Courtesy of USCJ)More than 200 members of United Synagogue Youth came to the opening session of the conference of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism in Schaumburg, Ill., Nov. 15, 2013. (Courtesy of USCJ)

NEWS ANALYSIS SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (JTA) – Conservative Judaism is at a crossroads. The movement’s constituents increasingly are leading lives at odds with the core values and rules of Conservative Judaism, especially when it comes to intermarriage. The number of Conservative Jews has shrunk by one-third over the last 25 years. And even some… Read more »

Pigeon, chicken soup chips and other new kosher debuts

Pelleh Poultry CEO Eliezer Franklin holding squab, or pigeon meat, at Kosherfest in Secaucus, N.J., held on Nov. 10-11, 2015. (Uriel Heilman)Pelleh Poultry CEO Eliezer Franklin holding squab, or pigeon meat, at Kosherfest in Secaucus, N.J., held on Nov. 10-11, 2015. (Uriel Heilman)

SECAUCUS, N.J. (JTA) – Walking around the exhibitors’ hall at Kosherfest, the annual kosher food trade show, is like finding yourself at the most intense synagogue kiddush reception you could ever imagine. There’s plenty of food of every kind, from blintzes to hot dogs to nutritional supplements. There are… Read more »

Giving thanks for a fight-free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving at the author's house. Just because the meal is largely a secular one for Jews, don't assume our adherence to tradition is given the day off.  (Edmon J. Rodman)Thanksgiving at the author's house. Just because the meal is largely a secular one for Jews, don't assume our adherence to tradition is given the day off. (Edmon J. Rodman)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — As my family — and families across the country — begin preparations for the Thanksgiving feast, I started to wonder what kind of family tsuris could rend this day of plenty, pilgrims and, well, pigskin, asunder. Even in this season of presidential candidate debates, I… Read more »

How to make a turkey-shaped challah for Thanksgiving

Turkey-Shaped-Challah-main

(The Nosher via JTA) — Thanksgivukkah has come and gone, but over here at The Nosher we think it’s always fun to bring Jewish dishes into our holiday celebrations. Kugel for Thanksgiving? Absolutely. Leftover turkey soup with matzah balls? You bet. And so we wanted to combine one of… Read more »

At Reform biennial, focus on social justice and tradition

Left to right, Beth Schafer, Julie Silver, Peri Smilow and Michelle Citrin sing "If I Had a Hammer" at the Union for Reform Judaism biennial conference in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 6, 2015. (URJ)Left to right, Beth Schafer, Julie Silver, Peri Smilow and Michelle Citrin sing "If I Had a Hammer" at the Union for Reform Judaism biennial conference in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 6, 2015. (URJ)

ORLANDO, Fla. (JTA) – Growing up in a traditional Jewish household, Joan Cubell didn’t really know much about Reform Judaism. But after obtaining ordination a few years ago from a little-known rabbinical institute in suburban New York, Cubell decided to make her home in the Reform movement. First she got a… Read more »

5 questions for the first woman to chair the Union for Reform Judaism

ORLANDO, Fla. (JTA) — Last week was a big one for Daryl Messinger. A resident of Palo Alto, California, and an active board member of several organizations, Messinger was installed as chair of the Union for Reform Judaism, becoming the first woman to hold that post. And she chanted Torah… Read more »

Finally, a kosher restaurant with Michelin acclaim in Paris

: Edward Boarland, sous chef at Le Rafael in Paris, on Nov. 3, 2015. (Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA): Edward Boarland, sous chef at Le Rafael in Paris, on Nov. 3, 2015. (Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA)

PARIS (JTA) — With 84 Michelin-certified restaurants and a combined total of 115 stars, the French capital offers a dazzling gastronomic selection to anyone willing to stomach the bill. Anyone but observant Jews, that is. For years, the kosher-keeping community has been limited to budget pizzerias or moderately priced… Read more »

Did a Jewish woman blaze a new path for women in pro baseball?

Justine Siegal, prior to coaching for the Oakland Athletics, had already made baseball history by throwing batting practice for the Cleveland Indians in 2011. (Norm Hall/Getty Images)Justine Siegal, prior to coaching for the Oakland Athletics, had already made baseball history by throwing batting practice for the Cleveland Indians in 2011. (Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(JTA) – For Justine Siegal, attending Opening Day games of the Cleveland Indians with her grandfather led to a lifelong passion for baseball – and dreams of one day playing for the Tribe. “Heaven,” she called the outings, where she sat in the best seats in the house —… Read more »

How a Holocaust legacy helped launch the Kind bar brand

Daniel Lubetzky, CEO and founder of Kind Snacks, with members of his team at the company's New York City headquarters. (Poon Watchara-Amhaiwan)Daniel Lubetzky, CEO and founder of Kind Snacks, with members of his team at the company's New York City headquarters. (Poon Watchara-Amhaiwan)

NEW YORK (JTA) — In many respects, the Manhattan headquarters of Kind Snacks — the purveyors of the omnipresent fruit and nut bars found everywhere from health-food stores to office-supply emporiums — are pretty much what you’d expect: Scads of casually dressed millennials mill about sleek, brightly colored rooms adorned… Read more »

Op-Ed: On Conservative Judaism, why all the talk about failure?

(JTA) — “In the United States, ‘Conservative Judaism’ is a synonym for failure.” So writes the Israeli journalist Yair Ettinger after interviewing a spectrum of American Jewish religious leaders. If, as it seems, this judgment has become the new conventional wisdom, we reject it as both inaccurate and destructive.… Read more »

Hurricane Joaquin: Can Jews take down their sukkahs for a storm?

(JTA) — As Hurricane Joaquin gained steam off the southeastern coast of the United States, the question has begun to circulate online: Are Jews allowed to take down their sukkahs in the case of a storm? Sukkot, which began Sunday, runs through this Sunday evening. Hurricane Joaquin, the first… Read more »

For Jewish boxer ‘The White Tiger,’ toughness is a birthright

Boxer Dustin Fleischer hopes to be the first world champion who is the descendant of a Holocaust survivor. (Rich Kane/Roc Nation Sports)Boxer Dustin Fleischer hopes to be the first world champion who is the descendant of a Holocaust survivor. (Rich Kane/Roc Nation Sports)

Editor’s note: this article was written before Dustin Fleischer’s bout on Sept. 26, which he won with a first round knockout.  (JTA) – When welterweight Dustin Fleischer enters the ring on Saturday evening, he’ll will be wearing his late grandfather’s gold Star of David necklace with a red jewel… Read more »

Curry Pumpkin Corn Soup

Curry Pumpkin Corn Soup (Shannon Sarna)Curry Pumpkin Corn Soup (Shannon Sarna)

(The Nosher via JTA) — When you think of pumpkin and spices, your mind likely jumps to pumpkin pie spices like ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. But did you know that pumpkin and curry also pair perfectly? A quick Google search for pumpkin curry will reveal an array of recipes… Read more »

Meet Joc Pederson, the Jewish rookie powering L.A. Dodgers’ run to playoffs

Joc Pederson taking a swing against the Washington Nationals, Aug. 12, 2015. (Hillel Kuttler)Joc Pederson taking a swing against the Washington Nationals, Aug. 12, 2015. (Hillel Kuttler)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Ask Los Angeles Dodgers’ rookie outfielder Joc Pederson how his season is going, and he’ll talk about the team. “We’re playing great baseball, and that’s something we’re looking to continue to do,” a shy and wary Pederson told JTA recently following a spirited game of dice with… Read more »