[MOVED] Unorthodox

Tablet is the web's top destination for Jewish news and culture, and on Unorthodox its writers say stuff their editors can't edit out. From Israel to American elections, from Drake (yes, he's Jewish) to Amy Schumer, host Mark Oppenheimer and guests—including a special Gentile of the Week—offer frank, funny takes on the news of the Jews.
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[MOVED] Unorthodox


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Now displaying: September, 2015
Sep 24, 2015
This week on Unorthodox, host Mark Oppenheimer and Tablet staffers Stephanie Butnick and Liel Leibovitz discuss Ann Coulter's ill-advised tweet during the Republican presidential debate about "f---ing Jews"; the Pope's visit to the U.S.; and a campaign to end the little-known Jewish practice of Kapporos, in which chickens are ritually slaughtered before Yom Kippur. 
Our Jewish guest is defense lawyer and former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, whose latest book is "Abraham: The World's First (But Certainly Not Last) Jewish Lawyer." He talks about his former research assistant Natalie Portman, and explains why some critics of Israel are bigots while others are not.
Our non-Jewish guest is Muslim comedian Negin Farsad, who is currently suing the MTA for pulling ads publicizing her documentary, "The Muslims Are Coming," just before they were scheduled to run. One such ad reads: "The Ugly Truth About Muslims: Muslims Have Great Frittata Recipes." Farsad asks the panel why some Jewish men are so ready to court and date non-Jews, only to dump them as things start to get serious because they're not Jewish.
You can get Alan Dershowitz's book on Abraham here: For more of Negin Farsad's work, check out her website, Watch the trailer for her film at
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Sep 17, 2015
This week on Unorthodox, host Mark Oppenheimer and Tablet staffers Stephanie Butnick and Liel Leibovitz ring in the year 5776 with the latest news of the Jews. They sound off on a controversial New York Times feature that listed the Democrats in the House and Senate who voted against the Iran nuclear deal--and indicated which of those politicians were Jewish. (The 'Jewish?' column was quickly
removed from the chart, and a correction was issued.)
Our Jewish guest is writer, model, and college student Julia Frakes, who describes getting her start as a writer in the fashion world when she was 16. She talks about
​ where to find smart fashion writing, and how she ended up on the runway.
Our non-Jewish guest is Erin McKean, lexicographer, word-lover, and founder of, the "world's biggest online dictionary." She asks what Hebrew words we should be importing into English, and shares a
​ little-known​
 Yiddish term she 
​feels is much deserving of a comeback.
You can follow Julia Frakes on Twitter here: Check out Wordnik's adopt-a-word fundraiser here:
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Sep 10, 2015
Host Mark Oppenheimer and Tablet staffers Stephanie Butnick and Liel Leibovitz sound off about public schools closing for Jewish holidays, and discuss a New York Times opinion piece about how some of the most violent West Bank extremists are from the United States. Rabbi Avi Shafran explains why he dislikes like the term ultra-Orthodox, why secular Jews shouldn't feel hostility towards more observant Jews (and vice versa), and why he doesn't accept reform conversions.  
Guest non-Jew Alex Sheshunoff describes his new book, A Beginner's Guide to Paradise, which chronicles his year living on the South Pacific island of Pig reading the 100 books he's always wanted to read. He asks the panel about the fishing wire strung from electrical poles in areas with large Jewish populations. (Known as an eruv, the string denotes an area in which items may be carried by observant Jews for Shabbat.) 
To learn more about Avi Shafran, check out his website, You can read the first chapter of Sheshunoff's book at
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Sep 3, 2015
This special Yom Kippur episode of Unorthodox features stories about apologies from host Mark Oppenheimer, writer and Harvard Divinity student Shira Telushkin, and Tablet's Esther Werdiger. What happens when an apology goes wrong? What happens when we’ve done something so awful we can’t face the other person? What happens when somebody apologizes to us—and we can’t forgive?
Special guest Marjorie Ingall, who blogs at, offers her five rules for what makes a good apology.
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