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[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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Apr 21, 2016

This week on Unorthodox, we’re searching for chametz and waiting for the Red Sea to part. Our Jewish guest is comedian David Tuchman, who hosts the lively and irreverent-er OMGWTFBIBLE podcast, which each week features a guest reading from Tuchman’s own translation of the Bible, while he chimes in with jokes. He tells us how getting started in comedy unexpectedly brought him back to his yeshiva roots. Our Gentile of the Week is Irish journalist Maitiú Ó Coimin, who took issue with Mark Oppenheimer’s characterization a few episodes back of Irish as a language no one speaks anymore. He schools us on the vibrant and large Irish speaking community, and curses Mark out in Irish.

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast. Come see us live at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina, on May 16.

This episode of Unorthodox is brought to you by Harry’s. Stop overpaying for a great shave. Go to Harrys.com and enter the code UNORTHODOX at checkout for $5 off your first order.

Apr 14, 2016

This week, Unorthodox heads to Palo Alto, California, for a special live taping at the Oshman Family JCC. Our Jewish guest is Eddan Katz, a cyber-crime lawyer who founded Sudo Room, a hackerspace in Oakland. Our Gentile of the Week is Amanda Bradford, founder and CEO of The League, an invite-only dating app that uses data from Facebook and LinkedIn to match its highly selective pool of ambitious singles.

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast. Come see us live at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina, on May 16.

Apr 7, 2016

This week on Unorthodox: Tel Aviv, so hot right now. Our Jewish guest is writer Jillian Keenan, whose first book, Sex with Shakespeare, explores her dual passions for the Bard and BDSM. She tells us why she identifies with Caliban from The Tempest, and who she thinks is the most underrated Shakespeare character. Our Gentile of the Week is Jeff Yang, editor and publisher of aMagazine, an Asian American periodical, whose son, Hudson Yang, stars on ABC’sFresh Off the Boat. He tells us about his enduring love for comic books, and what it’s like having his 12-year-old son star on a sitcom.

This episode of Unorthodox is brought to you by Harry’s. Stop overpaying for a great shave. Go to Harrys.com and enter the code UNORTHODOX at checkout for $5 off your first order.

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.

Mar 31, 2016

This week on Unorthodox: Scottish Jews get their own official tartan. Our Jewish guest is L. Jon Wertheim, executive editor of Sports Illustrated and the co-author of the book, This is Your Brain on Sports: The Science of Underdogs, the Value of Rivalry, and What we Can Learn from the T-Shirt Cannon. He tells us how he got into sports journalism, and what he thinks the least Jewish sports are. Our Gentile of the Week is Imani Perry, professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton. She tells us why she thinks Bernie Sanders should have more support from African American voters, and what she really thinks of Drake.

 

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.

 
Mar 24, 2016

This week on Unorthodox: Israeli actress Gal Gadot proves she’s Wonder Woman off-screen, too.

Our Jewish guest is Ladino singer-songwriter Sarah Aroeste, who tells us what Ladino is, and why it’s so important to keep the Sephardic language and culture alive. She performs a song from her new Ladino children’s album, and (warning!) even gets the hosts to sing along. Our Gentile of the Week is ACLU lawyer Gillian Thomas, whose new book, Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women’s Lives at Work, explores the impact of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibited gender discrimination in the workplace. She tells us how much progress we've actually made in the 50 years since the trailblazing women she profiles took their fight for workplace equality to the Supreme Court.

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.

 
Mar 17, 2016

This week on Unorthodox: Name-calling at a basketball game between a Catholic high school and a heavily Jewish public school in a Boston suburb takes a weirdly dark turn. Our Jewish guest is Jessamyn Hope, whose debut novel, Safekeeping, tells the intertwined stories of several strangers who find their way to a kibbutz in the summer of 1994, and was partly inspired by her own brief stay on a kibbutz. Our other Jewish guest (we are short a Gentile of the Week–forgive us!) is legal scholar Lawrence Douglas, whose latest book, The Right Wrong Man: John Demjanjuk and the Last Great Nazi War Crimes Trial, chronicles the dramatic effort to try the former Nazi known as Ivan the Terrible.

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.

Mar 10, 2016

This week on Unorthodox: Israeli settlers and Palestinians working together… to grow marijuana. Our Jewish guest is Eric Weiner, author of the new book, The Geography of Genius. He tells us the cities throughout history most conducive to breeding genius, how he really feels about Silicon Valley, and whether cats are smarter than dogs. Our Gentile of the Week is Katherine Connor Martin, editor of the Oxford English Dictionary and the New Oxford American Dictionary. She tells us why "Trumpmentum" doesn’t hold a candle to "Joementum," and asks about the difference between the words kippah, yarmulke, and skullcap.

Mar 3, 2016
This week on Unorthodox: the Oscars' Jewish highlights (and lowlights). Our Jewish guest, Adam Kantor, plays the tailor Mottel Kamzoil in the Broadway revivial of "Fiddler on the Roof," which opened in December. He made his Broadway debut in 2008 as Mark Cohen in "Rent." Our Gentile of the Week is writer and comedian Mandy Stadtmiller. She discusses her new Unwifeable column for New York magazine (and her recent wedding) and the mysteries of Kabbalah.
 
We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.
Feb 25, 2016

Our Jewish guest this week is Ben Ostrower, whose design firm created Bernie Sanders’ logo. He tells us how campaign logos have evolved over time and how the Obama campaign catapulted branding and logos to the forefront of election-season consciousness.

Our Gentile of the Week is Chris Eigeman, who made his acting debut as preppy New York City teen Nick Smith in Whit Stillman’s 1990 film, Metropolitan. He tells us about playing an Upper East Side WASP despite being from Denver and his latest directing project.

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.

 
Feb 18, 2016

This week on Unorthodox: Klezmer aerobics and the strangest bris story you've ever heard. Our Jewish guest is Daniel Oppenheimer, author of the new book, Exit Right: The People Who Left the Left and Reshaped the American Century. He’s also—you guessed it—the brother of our host Mark Oppenheimer. Our Gentile of the Week is novelist and essayist Roxane Gay, whose latest book, Bad Feminist, cleverly tackles issues in contemporary feminism alongside considerations of culture, identity, and race.

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.

Feb 11, 2016
This week on a special Valentine’s Day episode, Unorthodox plays Yenta. Our Jewish guest is Jill Kargman—creator, writer, producer, and star of the Bravo comedy Odd Mom Out, a thinly-veiled satire of life and motherhood on the Upper East Side, a world the lifelong New Yorker is no stranger to and isn’t afraid to lampoon.
 
A few weeks ago we put out a call for listeners who wanted to be set up by Unorthodox, and we were so overwhelmed by the amount and quality of the submissions we received that we enlisted the help of an expert: professional dating coach Nancy Slotnick. She preps us for our first Unorthodox matchmaking session, in which we meet Shira Ginsburg, a cantor and singer based in New York City who’s looking for her beshert.
 
Know a great guy for Shira? Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.
 
This episode of Unorthodox is brought to you by Harry’s. Stop overpaying for a great shave. Go to Harrys.com and enter the code UNORTHODOX at checkout for $5 off your first order.
 
 
Feb 4, 2016

This week on Unorthodox: Miley meets Woody. Our Jewish guest is word maven Lizzie Skurnick, whose book, That Should Be A Word, is based on her popular New York Times Magazine column of the same name. In 2013 she founded Lizzie Skurnick Books, which reissues classic young adult literature. Our Gentile of the Week is Bill Schulz, former co-host of Fox News Channel's 3 a.m. satirical talk show, Red Eye. He claims Amy Schumer, a frequent guest on Red Eye, based the terrible character Schultz in her hit film Trainwreck on him. 

 

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.

 

This episode of Unorthodox is brought to you by Harry’s. Stop overpaying for a great shave. Go to Harrys.com and enter the code UNORTHODOX at checkout for $5 off your first order.

Jan 28, 2016

This week on Unorthodox:  Bloomberg, Bernie, and Trump, oh my! Our Jewish guest is Mark Seidenfeld, vice president and deputy general counsel at Scholastic, publisher of the wildly successful Harry Potter and The Hunger Games series. He tells us about traveling to Scotland to pick up a manuscript from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling—and then sitting on it during the flight back to New York to keep it safe. Our non-Jewish guest is bioethicist and writer Alice Dreger, whose new book, Galileo’s Middle Finger, explores the at-times contentious clashes between scientists and activists throughout history.  

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.

This episode of Unorthodox is brought to you by Harry’s. Stop overpaying for a great shave. Go to Harrys.com and enter the code UNORTHODOX at checkout for $5 off your first order.

Jan 21, 2016
Our Jewish guest this week is Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization whose mission includes ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, and which supports the controversial Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. She explains why she believes her organization's work is more important now than ever, and spars with Liel over the merits of BDS. 
 
Our Gentile of the Week is Mike Albo—writer, performer, and humorist—whose next project is an off-Broadway performance based on his 2015 memoir, 'Spermhood: Diary of a Donor.' His question for the panel is simple: Why are gay Jewish men so good in bed?
 
We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.
Jan 14, 2016

This week on Unorthodox: Bar Refaeli baby watch begins, and Mel Gibson returns (shudder). Our Jewish guest is painter Archie Rand, whose new book, The 613, is the culmination of his most ambitious project yet: painting visual representations of each of Judaism’s 613 mitzvot, or commandments. Our Gentile of the Week is Catherine Burns, the longtime artistic director of the hit storytelling series The Moth. Her question to the panel is about Jewish burial traditions, and, characteristically, takes the form of a story.

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.

Jan 7, 2016

This week on Unorthodox: kosher marijuana, the great bagel scooping debate, and one very WASPy cardigan. Our Jewish guest is Bethany Mandel, author of the Convert's Bill of Rights, which she wrote after learning she was one of the women videotaped by Rabbi Barry Freundel while using the mikveh, or Jewish ritual bath. (The Orthodox rabbi was sentenced in May 2015 to 6 1/2 years in prison for filming more than 150 women, many of them converts, using the ritual bath.) Our Gentile of the Week is writer Rand Cooper, who asks the panel the ever-important question, "Is Jewdar real?"

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast.

 

Dec 31, 2015

From Drake to Bernie Sanders, Amy Schumer to the presidential election—and, of course, Israeli cats—we’ve covered a lot this year on Unorthodox. We’re ringing in the new year with a special compilation of our favorite moments from 2015, including never-before aired segments, highlights from our live shows, and guests Simon Doonan, sex therapist Bat Sheva Marcus, comedian Dave Hill, lexicographer Erin McKean, and more. 

Want more Unorthodox? Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com, and sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast

Dec 24, 2015

This week, Unorthodox celebrates Christmas—or as we call it, Christian Hanukkah—the only way we know how: binge-watching Netflix (the new ‘going to a movie’) and eating Chinese food. We’re joined by Orange is the New Black’s Yael Stone, who tells us about playing the memorable Lorna Morello, a compulsive shopper and lovable stalker, on the hit Netflix show. Her newest role is as Peretta Jones on the SyFy series Childhood’s End, which you can binge-watch after you finish Season 3 of Orange is the New Black. She tells us about moving to the U.S. from Australia, where she grew up, and directs us to watch her new show using that distinctive Morello accent.

​We’re also joined by Jennifer 8. Lee, whose book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles explores, among other things, the relationship between Jews and Chinese food. She tells us why chow mein is “the chosen food of the chosen people,” and how Chinese food on Christmas became a veritable Jewish American tradition. She also tells us about the Dumpling Emoji Project, her campaign to get a dumpling added to the canon of emoji available on your smartphone. While you’re Netflix-ing on Christmas Day, check out the excellent documentary she produced, The Search for General Tso.

We wish you a merry, Unorthodox Christmas, no matter how you celebrate. Now pass the lo mein.

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast
 
You can watch SyFy's Childhood's End online at http://www.syfy.com/childhoodsend/episodes, and Orange is the New Black on Netflix at https://www.netflix.com/mx-en/title/70242311. For more on Jennifer 8. Lee, check out http://www.jennifer8lee.com/, and http://fortunecookiechronicles.com/. Show your support for the dumpling emoji campaign at https://www.change.org/p/unicode-consortium-we-need-a-dumpling-emoji
Dec 17, 2015
This week on Unorthodox, a special live taping from the nation's capital featuring Jewish food maven Joan Nathan and New Republic writer Elizabeth Bruenig, and much, much more
 
This week, Unorthodox heads to our nation's capital for a special live episode at  the Washington DCJCC. Our Jewish guest is food maven and Tablet contributor Joan Nathan, who discusses her Yemenite chicken soup recipe and explains why we're all missing out on Libyan Jewish cuisine. She tells us about her favorite chefs, visits to the White House, and which president she considers the 'most Jewish.' 
 
Our non-Jewish guest is Elizabeth Bruenig, who writes about Christianity, politics, and poverty for the New Republic. She tells us how a Methodist from Texas ended up at Brandeis University—and then converted to Catholicism. Her question for the panel is whether Bernie Sanders' campaign has been exciting for Jews to watch. 
 
For more Joan Nathan, visit http://joannathan.com/, or get her Tablet recipes at http://www.tabletmag.com/author/jnathan. You find Elizabeth Bruenig's articles athttps://newrepublic.com/authors/elizabeth-bruenig. For more of our in-house Jewbadour, Jim Knable, check out jimknable.com
 
We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast
Dec 10, 2015

On this week's episode: America’s most badass Supreme Court Justice and TV’s most visible rabbi.

 

Our Jewish guest is MSNBC reporter Irin Carmon, whose new book, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is a smart, entertaining biography of the Supreme Court justice. She tells us about RBG’s recent turn as a feminist pop culture icon, her important role on the Supreme Court today, and the octogenarian’s impressive workout routine.

 

Our non-Jewish guest is actress Kathryn Hahn, who tells us what it’s like to regularly play Jewish characters (see: Transparent, Afternoon Delight, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days). She explains how she prepared for her latest role as Rabbi Raquel Fein on Jill Soloway’s Amazon hit Transparent, which returns Friday for Season 2. She asks the panel about Judaism’s earliest female rabbis.

 

Our next episode will be a live taping on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Washington DC JCC, in Washington, D.C. You can buy tickets at http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar?id=151257&view=Detail.

 

To buy Notorious RBG, go to http://notoriousrbg.tumblr.com/book. For more Transparent, check out amazon.com/transparent.

 

We love to hear from you! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast

Dec 3, 2015
This week, we're, we’re ringing in the Festival of Lights with a special episode filled with Unorthodox holiday cheer, Adam Sandler’s updated “Hanukkah Song,” and a whole lot of latkes.
 
We’re joined by Jewish competitive eater Don Moses Lerman, who comes out of retirement to see how many Russ & Daughters potato latkes he can eat in five minutes on the air. Tablet columnist Marjorie Ingall, who previously gave us a crash course in pre-Yom Kippur apologies, stops by with some advice on how not to make Hanukkah all about the presents for kids, and recommends the best new Jewish children's books. Tablet’s art director Esther Werdiger also returns this week with a tale of Hanukkah Down Under—where the holiday falls smack in the middle of summer, and instead of snowflakes and fireplaces there are arbecues and beach parties.
 
We're recording a live show December 15 at 7 p.m. at the Washington DC JCC in Washington, D.C. You can buy tickets here: http://thejdc.convio.net/site/Calendar?id=151257&view=Detail
 
Let us know what you really think of Unorthodox! Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.comYou can sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast
 
For more about Don Lerman, check out his website: http://www.donmoseslerman.com/. You can find Marjorie Ingall's list of the best children's books of 2015 here:http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/195314/best-jewish-childrens-books-2015.  
Nov 25, 2015

This Thanksgiving, we're thankful for good health, cats, and Drake. But mostly, dear listeners, we're thankful for you.

Over the past 17 weeks, you've not only listened to our humble podcast, you've gotten your friends to listen, showed up at our first live taping, and, best of all, written to us to tell us exactly what you think of the show. A lot. 

We so appreciate you taking the time to write us (even when it's to tell us we talk too fast, or don't know what we're talking about) that we've dedicated this special Thanksgiving episode to your letters. We speak to several listeners who have written us, hear from comedians Jo Firestone and Connor Ratliff as they read your letters aloud, and get singer-songwriter Jim Knable to turn your emailed words into the catchiest song you'll hear all day. 

Happy Thanksgiving, and keep those letters coming at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com. You can sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast

 

For more Jo Firestone, check out http://www.jofirestone.com/. Follow Connor Ratliff on Twitter at https://twitter.com/connorratliff. You can hear more of Jim Knable's work at http://www.jimknable.com/

 

Nov 19, 2015
Our Jewish guest, Bat Sheva Marcus, is a sex counselor, podcast host, and president of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She tells us about the most common issues her patients face, the challenges of finding rabinically-approved erotica for observant Jews, and the importance of maintaining a sexual connection in long-term monogamous relationships. 
 
Our non-Jewish guest is Mallory Ortberg, founder and editor of feminist literary website the Toast, and Slate's new Dear Prudence advice columnist. She talks to us about her bestselling book, Texts From Jane Eyre, her evangelical pastor father, and the difficulties of dispensing advice. Her questions for the panel are whether lox is different from smoked salmon, and why there aren't as many Jewish denominations as there are Christian.
 
For more Bat Sheva Marcus, check out her podcast, The Joy of Text, here: http://jpmedia.co/podcasts/joy-of-text/. You can read Mallory Ortberg's Slate columns here: http://www.slate.com/authors.mallory_ortberg.html. Check out The Toast at http://the-toast.net/
 
We love hearing from you. Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com, and sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast
Nov 12, 2015

This week on Unorthodox: Preaching to the unconverted.

Our Jewish guest is our very own editor-in-chief, Alana Newhouse. She talks to us about Tablet’s new print magazine and shares exclusive details from the first issue, which comes out next week. Our non-Jewish guest is Dr. Albert Mohler,  president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a prolific writer and podcaster. The evangelical macher poses two questions to the panel: Why are Jews are so reliably Democratic? And what are the best Jewish-themed movies?

We love hearing from you. Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com, and sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast
 
You can subscribe to our print magazine here: imsnews.com/tablet. For more about Dr. Mohler, check out his website at http://www.albertmohler.com/.
Nov 5, 2015
This week on Unorthodox, our Jewish guest is journalist Alyssa Katz, a member of the New York Daily News editorial board. Her new book, "The Influence Machine," is about the vast political influence—and lobbying money—wielded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She tells the panel what the Chamber of Commerce actually is and how it got so powerful, and explains why, in today's social media-filled political climate, newspaper editorials still matter. 
 
Our non-Jewish guest is poet and high-school English teacher Emily Moore, who discusses high schoolers, country camp music, and motherhood. She asks the panel whether there are various levels of horas danced at different types of Jewish wedding, and how American Jews get their other, Hebrew names.
 
We love hearing from you. Email us at  Unorthodox@tabletmag.com, and sign up for our weekly newsletter at http://bit.ly/UnorthodoxPodcast
 
For more about Alyssa Katz's book, see here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Influence-Machine-Commerce-Corporate/dp/0812993284. You can find Emily Moore's poetry here:"http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/emily-moore
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