Testimony in favor of excused absences for Jewish holidays

Today I testified in front of the WA Senate Commerce and Labor Committee in support of SB5173, a bill which would provide for excused absences at work or school for "days of faith or conscience"--i.e., in our case, Jewish holidays that conflict with work or school. I joined a panel with a representative of the …

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It’s Blintzapalooza!

Today is Blintzapalooza day at Temple Beth Hatfiloh, at once the most counter-intuitive and the most appropriate day for a Jewish congregation.Blintzaplooza was started by TBH members 25 years ago as a means to give back to the community, when it was felt by some that the congregation was not engaged enough outside its walls. …

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What Came First, the Harlem Shake or the Egg?

The Internet meme of the moment (or perhaps already past) is the Harlem Shake, a video meme in which a group of people dance crazily to a song by artist and producer Baauer. It has a bit of a "plot"-the videos open with the beginning clip of music with one person dancing while others around …

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FaceBikkur Holim

As our lives become more and more dominated by social media--Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.--much is being discussed about the role of these media vis-à-vis human relationships. Are we becoming more distant from each other? Do we take more liberties and neglect social mores when we are sitting behind a keyboard or the touch screen of …

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Lincoln, Spielberg, Kushner and Strouse

While much of the post-Oscars buzz is about host Seth MacFarlane and charges of racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism in his shtick—about what is subverting stereotypes and what is upholding them—there was another moment during the awards show that also got me thinking. When Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for his monumental portrayal of Abraham …

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Banana Joe, why were you not Banana Joe?

Any doggie (as in "foodie") would know that last week was the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the premier dog show in the country. Hundreds of purebred dogs compete to be named Best in Show, the highest honor for a show dog. This year's winner was an Affenpinscher named Banana Joe. I hadn't heard of …

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