Arts and Culture

Yeshiva University rejects LGBTQ club, saying it will support students in other ways

Israelis take part in the annual Israel's Gay Pride parade hosted by Jerusalem on June 25, 2009. Photo Nati Shohat /FLASH90

(JTA) — Yeshiva University rejected the formation of a campus group for queer students but said it was putting in place new policies to help LGBTQ students feel safe. The flagship Modern Orthodox college in New York sent a statement to students Thursday addressing a yearlong battle over whether… Read more »

They thought a Jewish school in Oakland would be able to accommodate their gender-fluid child. It wasn’t that simple.

Meg Keene and David Mishook said their son, left, was rejected from Oakland Hebrew Day School for being gender-fluid. (Kenzie Kate)

(JTA) — A Jewish day school in Oakland, California, is committing to making changes this week after a local family said the school had declined to accept their gender-fluid child. Meg Keene, an Oakland mother who runs a prominent wedding planning website, encouraged her thousands of Instagram followers to… Read more »

Jewish educator’s ‘Yo Semite’ T-shirt back in spotlight following Trump gaffe

Sarah Lefton, creator of the "Yo Semite" T-shirt, with her son, Levi. (Courtesy of Lefton)

(J. the Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — When Berkeley resident Sarah Lefton awoke on Tuesday morning, her phone was lit up with notifications. While she was sleeping, President Trump had signed the Great American Outdoors Act, a piece of legislation that will protect the nation’s parks… Read more »

Seth Rogen: Israel should exist, but I’m not sorry for my critique of Jewish education

Seth Rogen speaks onstage at The Workers Circle 2019 benefit in New York City, where he was honored, Dec. 2, 2019. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

(JTA) — In a new interview, Seth Rogen said his comments about Israel being a bad idea for a state were made in jest but affirmed that he found his childhood education about the country, which he received through Jewish schools and camps, to be problematic. “I don’t want… Read more »

SF Giants’ first home game blessed by seafaring ‘Rally Rabbi’

Rabbi Yosef Langer on a yacht before the San Francisco Giants’ home opener, July 28, 2020. (Gabriel Greschler)

(J. the Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — While the ballpark Tuesday night at the San Francisco Giants’ home opener may not have been filled with fans because of COVID-19 restrictions, nearby McCovey Cove had a familiar guest. Standing on a 75-foot yacht docked in a part… Read more »

Confused about Judaism’s view on the afterlife? Start by watching ‘The Good Place.’

William Jackson Harper as Chidi and Kristen Bell as Eleanor on "The Good Place." (Screen shot from YouTube)

Social distancing and staying inside is hard. Thankfully, accessing good things to watch during this time is not. This is the latest installation of a weekly column on Jewish movies and TV shows that you should stream in quarantine. The Good Place Streams on: Seasons 1-3 are on Netflix, Season… Read more »

An enduring feature of the pandemic so far: Jews are flocking to online classes

Israeli poet Rachel Korazim has been surprised by the popularity of her online classes during the pandemic. (Screenshot)

(JTA) — Israeli poetry scholar Rachel Korazim had been thinking about cutting back on travel when the coronavirus pandemic made the decision for her. “I said I really want to shift my teaching to distance learning because, you know, I’m not getting any younger. Travel is tiring,” she said… Read more »

Tucsonans’ ‘Way to Be’ designed to help people examine, transform lives

Shari Gootter, left, and Tejpal are coauthors of ‘Way to Be: 40 Insights and Transformative Practices in the Heart of Being.’ (Courtesy Shari Gootter)

With all the chaos and uncertainty in the outside world in recent months, many people are looking for ways to stabilize their inner lives. Tucson-based authors Shari Gootter, MA, LPC, CRC, and Tejpal, MA, MBA, have written a book, “Way to Be: 40 Insights and Transformative Practices in the… Read more »

Esther Becker’s annual book event for women takes on a new format

Esther Jungreis speaks during the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, Feb. 14, 2012. (Photo: U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tristin English via Wikimedia Commons)

For the past 16 years, hundreds of women have spent summer hours reading books selected by Esther Becker of the Women’s Academy of Jewish Studies in advance of her annual book brunch. Her selections have included novels, mysteries, biographies, essays, autobiographies, and prayer. Although the format will be different,… Read more »

Online programs aid Southern Arizona community connections

synagogues and Jewish agencies offer an assortment of virtual engagement programs for long summer days spent sheltering from the heat and the coronavirus. The list below includes some items that have crossed our desks recently but it is by no means exhaustive; check with other local organizations for additional… Read more »

A new ‘Dirty Dancing’ film could be in the works

(JTA) — Jennifer Grey, the Jewish actress who starred in the original “Dirty Dancing” film, is collaborating with Lionsgate on an untitled dance movie in which she will star and executive produce, Deadline first reported Tuesday. Lionsgate holds distribution rights to the original “Dirty Dancing” films, which include the 2004… Read more »

Jewish NFL players say education, not ‘cancellation,’ is the right response to DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic posts

Jewish football players participated in an online conversation July 12, 2013. Clockwise from upper left: Anthony Firkser, conversation organizer Michael Neuman, Geoff Schwartz and Greg Joseph. (Screenshot from virtual event)

(JTA) — Former professional football player Geoff Schwartz wasn’t surprised when he heard about Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic Instagram posts. “I just thought to myself it’s ignorance — someone who has no idea whatsoever what anti-Semitism is, why his quote could be hurtful to Jews, or… Read more »