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  • Children of Intermarriages Fight for Right to Be ‘half-jews’

    The Jewish world has a problem with the way Renee Kaplan defines herself: half-Jewish. Kaplan, a television producer in her mid-30s, is the daughter of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother who was raised Jewish. “I ve had endlessly to defend my half-Jewishness resist rabbis who wanted to convert me, resent Jewish men who… More ▸

  • As Israel Baseball League Drafts Its Players, Charities Draft League

    The inaugural player draft for the Israel Baseball League started with a 22-year-old Jewish prospect and ended with a 71-year-old Jewish Hall of Famer. With the first selection in the six-team draft on April 26, the Modi in Miracles chose Aaron Levin, a power-hitting outfielder from Contra Costa Community College in California. The Miracles had… More ▸

  • Conversion for Those Raised Jewish? Rabbis Address Patrilineal Problem

    When David Levine stepped into the mikvah last year, he believed he was affirming what he already was, not converting to something new. "I was raised Jewish, was always told I was Jewish," says the 35-year-old Californian, who did not want his real name printed. "I went to Jewish camps, even had a bar mitzvah."… More ▸

  • Converting Patrilineal Jews Requires Special Sensitivity

    Most young adults with non-Jewish mothers who seek conversion end up in the Conservative movement. That makes sense: Many were raised in Reform, Reconstructionist or Renewal communities that accept patrilineality, and then their parents, or they themselves, switched affiliation to a Conservative congregation that requires the conversion of those with non-Jewish mothers. But Reform and… More ▸

  • Rachel Crossley: Sukkah Sowed Jewish Seed

    When Rachel Crossley was growing up in Ohio, her family celebrated her father’s Christian holidays and her mother’s Jewish ones. But she knew that she and her twin brother were Jewish her mother always told them so. Then why, Rachel asked when she was 12, didn’t the family go to synagogue? Why did they put… More ▸

  • Children of Intermarried Find They’re off Community’s Radar

    Joelle Berman was shocked the first time someone suggested she wasn t Jewish. “I was 12 or 13, and I went with a friend to a Young Judaea meeting,” says Berman, whose intermarried parents were raising her Reform in New Jersey. When the leader of the day s program asked about her family, Berman thought… More ▸

  • For Children of Intermarriage, Decisive Influences Can Vary

    Robin Margolis was in her 30s when she found out her late mother was Jewish. It was 1984 and she was cleaning out her mother’s closet when she found a bag of old documents. The woman she knew as Marie Margolis was born Marie Levine. The revelation, though sudden, was somehow comforting. "I’d been drifting… More ▸

  • Behind the Headlines Murder of Jewish College Students

    Communities in New York, Arizona and Maryland are reeling after two Jewish college sophomores were gunned down at Arizona State University. Carol Kestenbaum and Nicole Schiffman, both from Long Island, had been best friends since high school and were out celebrating Kestenbaum’s 20th birthday at ASU, where the Bellmore resident was an education major. Schiffman,… More ▸

  • Focus on Issues Feminist Group Marks Progress,

    With strident calls for action and threats of “taking to the streets” if the issue is not soon resolved, participants in the 10th anniversary conference of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance ratcheted up the rhetoric around the plight of agunot, “chained women” whose husbands refuse to grant them a religious bill of divorce. “Let this… More ▸

  • Arts & Culture Former Playgirl Editor May Be

    At a bookstore in Brooklyn, Ronnie Koenig and I are searching the stacks for the latest edition of Playgirl magazine. Koenig, the magazine’s former editor in chief, points to the women’s interest section and implores me to search toward the back, but all we can find is a lonely copy of Well Hung Hunks, a… More ▸