Judaism Unbound

244 EpisodesProduced by Institute for the Next Jewish FutureWebsite

Listen in as Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg analyze pressing issues for 21st century American Judaism. Mixing their own analysis with interviews of leading thinkers, practitioners, and even "regular Jews," Dan and Lex look to push past the bounds of what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century.You … read more

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Bonus Episode: Elul #7 - Autumn

September 15th, 2019

14:51

Lex Rofeberg and Wendie Bernstein Lash talk about the “holi-month” known as Elul, directly preceding the Jewish New Year. It is observed through a …

Episode 187: Child-Centered Jewish Education - Rebecca Milder

September 13th, 2019

42:07

Rebecca Milder, Founding Director of the Jewish Enrichment Center in Chicago, joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for a conversation about rooting Jewish education in empathy, text study, and creative expression.

If …

Bonus Episode: Elul #6 - Take a Breath

September 8th, 2019

15:01

Lex Rofeberg and Wendie Lash talk about the “holi-month” known as Elul, directly preceding the Jewish New Year. It is observed through a journey of …

Episode 186: Re-Imagining Jewish Education - Miriam Heller Stern

September 6th, 2019

47:16

Miriam Heller Stern, National Director of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion School of Education, joins Dan Libenson and Lex …

Bonus Episode: Elul #5 - No Suitcase Required

September 1st, 2019

17:25

Lex Rofeberg and Wendie Lash talk about the “holi-month” known as Elul, directly preceding the Jewish New Year and observed through a journey of …

Episode 184: Disorganized Religion - Dan and Lex

August 23rd, 2019

44:26

Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg call for future forms of Judaism that will be less institutional and more disorganized.

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Episode 183: Intentional Community - Sara Levy Linden, Shira Rutman

August 16th, 2019

46:18

Sara Levy Linden and Shira Rutman, two members of San Francisco’s Urban Kibbutz, join Dan and Lex for a conversation about what constitutes an intentional community.

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Episode 182: Judaism On Our Own Terms - Tal Frieden, August Kahn

August 9th, 2019

51:06

Tal Frieden and August Kahn, two leaders of Judaism On Our Own Terms (a new national network of student-led Jewish communities) join Dan and Lex for a conversation about how Jewish campus life today can help us build …

Episode 181: The New Synagogue Project - Joseph Berman, Lauren Spokane

August 2nd, 2019

48:40

Joseph Berman, founding rabbi of The New Synagogue Project (NSP), and Lauren Spokane, NSP’s “lead instigator,” join Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for a conversation about how their intentional community is looking to …

Episode 180: The Ritual Design Lab - Margaret Hagan, Kursat Ozenc

July 26th, 2019

51:19

Margaret Hagan and Kursat Ozenc, co-creators of the Ritual Design Lab, based at Stanford University’s Institute of Design (the “d.school”), and …

Episode 179: The Jewish Polymath - David Zvi Kalman

July 19th, 2019

50:19

David Zvi Kalman founded and owns Print-O-Craft (an independent publisher of Jewish books), co-founded Jewish Public Media (a podcasting platform), …

Episode 178: I-Wish-I-Had-This-Itis - Shira Stutman Part 2

July 12th, 2019

45:07

Shira Stutman, who serves as Senior Rabbi at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington D.C, joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for the second half of a 2-part conversation. [1] Together they ask some big questions …

Episode 177: Spreading the Good (Jewish) News - Shira Stutman Part 1

July 5th, 2019

41:47

Shira Stutman, who serves as Senior Rabbi at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington D.C, thinks that Judaism has a ton to offer the world. In the first half of a 2-part conversation with Dan Libenson and Lex …

Episode 176: Wilderness Torah - Zelig Golden

June 28th, 2019

50:48

Zelig Golden, the Founding Director of Wilderness Torah, joins Dan and Lex for a conversation about nature, roots, education, and the Jewish future.

Episode 174: Tidying Up Judaism - Dan and Lex

June 14th, 2019

52:25

Marie Kondo isn’t Jewish. But Dan and Lex think her ideas are relevant to the Jewish future. In this conversation, they tell you why!

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Bonus Episode: Humanistic Judaism at 50

June 11th, 2019

1:03:11

Dan Libenson joins the Society for Humanistic Judaism at its movement-wide celebration and summit, to mark 50 years since its founding in 1969. He …

Episode 173: Fragments of The Brooklyn Talmud - Andrew Ramer

June 7th, 2019

43:59

Andrew Ramer, an ordained Maggid (storyteller) and author of Fragments of the Brooklyn Talmud, among other works, joins Dan and Lex for a …

Episode 172: Judaism with Purpose(s) - Ayalon Eliach

May 31st, 2019

47:35

Ayalon Eliach, Director of Learning and Strategic Communications at the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, joins Dan and Lex for a conversation that re-imagines forms of halachah (traditionally defined as …

Episode 171: Digesting Judaism - Rachel B. Gross

May 24th, 2019

49:56

Rachel Gross, the John & Marcia Goldman Professor of American Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University, thinks that food is “the world’s …

Episode 167: The Meaning of Mussar - David Jaffe

April 25th, 2019

48:39

David Jaffe, author of the National Jewish Book Award-winning book Changing the World from the Inside Out, joins Dan and Lex for a conversation about Mussar -- both what it is, and the transformative potential that it …

Episode 166: The Freedom Seder - Arthur Waskow

April 19th, 2019

55:33

Arthur Waskow, noted activist, author, and rabbi, joins Dan and Lex for a conversation about 1969’s Freedom Seder. They look at the process that led to Waskow’s invention of that Passover observance, and the impact it …

Episode 165: SecularSynagogue.com - Denise Handlarski

April 12th, 2019

54:57
Denise Handlarski, rabbi and founder of SecularSynagogue.com, joins Dan and Lex for a wide-ranging conversation, looking at digital Judaism, interfait

Episode 163: Collective Effervescence - Lizzi Heydemann

March 29th, 2019

48:35

Lizzi Heydemann, the rabbi and founder of Mishkan Chicago, joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg in conversation about creating a 21st Century Jewish spiritual community. In their discussion, she calls for embodied …

Episode 162: 100% Black, 100% Jewish - MaNishtana

March 22nd, 2019

44:31

MaNishtana joins Lex Rofeberg and Dan Libenson for a conversation about race and intersectionality in contemporary Jewish life. As a jumping off point, they discuss these issues through the lens of the protagonist in …

Episode 161: The Zohar - Daniel Matt

March 15th, 2019

57:52

Daniel Matt is a scholar of Kabbalah who translated and annotated the Zohar — a central text of Jewish mysticism — into English. He joins Dan …

Bonus Episode: Museums and the Creative Challenge (Council of American Jewish Museums Conference)

March 12th, 2019

57:52

Dan Libenson, one of Judaism Unbound’s co-hosts, heads to the annual Council of American Jewish Museums conference in Los Angeles and moderates a panel featuring recent podcast guests Ivy Barsky, Aaron Henne, and Yishai …

Episode 160: Open Temple - Lori Schneide Shapiro

March 8th, 2019

42:40

Lori Schneide Shapiro joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for a conversation about Open Temple, an emerging Jewish community she founded in Venice, California.

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Episode 158: Curating the Jewish Story - Ivy Barsky

February 22nd, 2019

47:30

Ivy Barsky, the CEO and Gwen Goodman Director of the National Museum of American Jewish History, joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for a …

Bonus Episode: Levy's Jewish Rye - Beth Wenger (American Jewish History #3)

February 20th, 2019

10:34

Beth Wenger, the Moritz and Josephine Berg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, joins Judaism Unbound on the ground at the …

Bonus Episode: B'nai B'rith - Deborah Dash Moore (American Jewish History #2)

February 20th, 2019

13:52

Deborah Dash Moore, Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of History at the University of Michigan, joins Judaism Unbound on the ground at the National …

Bonus Episode: Jews in the Confederacy - Adam Mendelsohn (American Jewish History #1)

February 20th, 2019

14:56

Adam Mendelsohn, Director of the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Capetown, joins Judaism Unbound on the ground at the National Museum of American Jewish History. In conversation with Dan Libenson, …

Episode 157: Painting the Unpaintable - Yishai Jusidman

February 15th, 2019

41:38

Yishai Jusidman, the painter behind a series of paintings called Prussian Blue — looking at the Holocaust, questions of memory, and representation — …

Episode 156: Creating Jewish Theatre - Aaron Henne

February 8th, 2019

49:59

Aaron Henne, Artistic Director of Theatre Dybbuk, joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for a conversation blurring the lines between art, education, …

Episode 155: The Women's March - April Baskin, Yavilah McCoy, Abby Stein

February 1st, 2019

43:04

April Baskin, Yavilah McCoy, and Abby Stein, the three Jewish members of The Women’s March steering committee, join Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for a conversation about intersectionality, coalition-building, and …

Episode 154: Ten New Commandments - Dan and Lex

January 25th, 2019

48:37

Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg get a bit revolutionary, introducing (and debating) 10 New Commandments for contemporary Judaism.

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Episode 153: Fiction Between Worlds - Ruby Namdar

January 18th, 2019

45:53

Novelist Ruby Namdar, author of the award-winning The Ruined House, which interweaves the stories of an American-Jewish professor and an ancient Judean priest, joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for a conversation that …

Episode 150: "Jews" of "No" "Religion"

December 28th, 2018

51:32

Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg dig into conceptions of "Judaism,” “Jewish identity,” “Religion,” and a wide variety of other terms that should …

Episode 149: Judaism? - Daniel Boyarin

December 21st, 2018

42:50

Daniel Boyarin, author of Judaism: The Genealogy of a Modern Notion, joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg to ask whether Judaism exists (!!), and to explore what that question means — both for the study of Jewish history …

Episode 148: Pennies for Heaven...and Building Upkeep - Dan Judson Part II

December 14th, 2018

41:57

We continue our conversation with Dan Judson, Dean of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, in the second part of a two-episode series, turning …

Episode 147: From Selling Pews to Temple Dues - Dan Judson Part I

December 7th, 2018

45:32

Dan Judson, Dean of the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College, joins Judaism Unbound for the first of two episodes on the story of how synagogues have …

Episode 146: The Jewish American Paradox - Robert Mnookin

November 30th, 2018

42:51

Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg are joined by Harvard Law School professor Robert Mnookin to discuss his new book, The Jewish American Paradox: …

Episode 145: Studying Jews Differently - Tobin Belzer

November 23rd, 2018

42:52

Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg are joined by Tobin Belzer, an applied sociologist, for a conversation about why it might be time to re-conceptualize …

Episode 144: Beyond Chrismukkah - Samira Mehta

November 16th, 2018

45:52

Continuing their exploration of the families Jews are creating in the 21st Century, Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg are joined by Samira Mehta, scholar …

Episode 143: Milk and Honeymoons - Avi Rubel, Mike Wise

November 9th, 2018

45:07

Returning to our exploration of the 2013 Pew Study of Jewish Americans, Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg are joined by Avi Rubel and Mike Wise, co-founders and leaders of Honeymoon Israel, the only major national …

Episode 142: After Pittsburgh

November 2nd, 2018

46:04

Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg mourn the devastating murder of 11 Jews, during Shabbat services, at the Tree of Life - Or L'Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh. They explore the ways that this moment requires Jews to stand …

Mid-Week Episode: Antisemitism, Nativism, and Immigration - Eli Lederhendler

October 29th, 2018

26:29

After 11 were murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Judaism Unbound pre-emptively releases a conversation that initially wasn't going to be available for a few weeks. Eli Lederhendler, the Stephen S. …

Episode 141: Federations Facing the Future - Danny Grossman

October 26th, 2018

50:11

Danny Grossman, CEO of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, joins Judaism Unbound to look at the Bay Area as a case study for how Jewish federations address demographic and other changes in the Jewish …

Episode 140: The Pew Study, Five Years Later - Leonard Saxe

October 19th, 2018

46:32

Len Saxe, Director of Brandeis University’s Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg, to kick off a unit of episodes reflecting on the Pew Research Center’s landmark 2013 Jewish …

Episode 139: The Future of God

October 12th, 2018

42:32

Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg close out their multi-episode series on God by asking what role God might play, and might not play, in the future of …

Episode 138: God and Gender - Rachel Adler

October 5th, 2018

44:40

Theologian Rachel Adler, of Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion, explores Judaism through lenses of metaphor, liturgy, theology, and …

Episode 137: God of Love - Shai Held

September 28th, 2018

54:02

Shai Held, the President, Dean, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Hadar, joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for a conversation about God, love, and …

Episode 135: Putting God Second - Donniel Hartman

September 14th, 2018

47:13

Donniel Hartman, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute, joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for a conversation about religion's "auto-immune …

Bonus Episode: Yom Kippur Unbound - Afternoon Haftarah Reading

September 12th, 2018

18:08

In honor of Yom Kippur, Dan and Lex are looking at the four major Biblical readings associated with the holiday. They ask how these texts can apply …

Bonus Episode: Yom Kippur Unbound - Afternoon Torah Reading

September 12th, 2018

12:16

In honor of Yom Kippur, Dan and Lex are looking at the four major Biblical readings associated with the holiday. They ask how these texts can apply …

Bonus Episode: Yom Kippur Unbound - Morning Haftarah Reading

September 12th, 2018

11:57

In honor of Yom Kippur, Dan and Lex are looking at the four major Biblical readings associated with the holiday. They ask how these texts can apply …

Bonus Episode: Yom Kippur Unbound - Morning Torah Reading

September 12th, 2018

12:35

In honor of Yom Kippur, Dan and Lex are looking at the four major Biblical readings associated with the holiday. They ask how these texts can apply …

Episode 134: God on a Desert Island - Andrew Hahn

September 7th, 2018

42:39

Continuing our exploration of a variety of views of God that might resonate with today's Jews, Andrew Hahn, known as The Kirtan Rabbi, joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg in a conversation that introduces and explores …

Bonus Episode: Rosh Hashanah Unbound - Day 1 Haftarah Reading

September 6th, 2018

12:33

Dan and Lex explore the book of 1 Samuel, a text traditionally read on the first day of Rosh Hashanah.

If you're enjoying Judaism Unbound, please help us keep things going with a one-time or monthly tax-deductible …

Bonus Episode: Rosh Hashanah Unbound - Day 2 Torah Reading

September 6th, 2018

13:10

Dan and Lex explore Genesis 22, a text traditionally associated with the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

If you're enjoying Judaism Unbound, please help us keep things going with a one-time or monthly tax-deductible …

Bonus Episode: Rosh Hashanah Unbound - Day 1 Torah Reading

September 6th, 2018

10:17

Lex and Dan explore Genesis 21, a text traditionally read on the morning of the first day of Rosh Hashanah.

If you're enjoying Judaism Unbound, please help us keep things going with a one-time or monthly tax-deductible …

Bonus Episode: Rosh Hashanah Unbound - Day 2 Haftarah Reading

September 6th, 2018

11:44

Dan and Lex explore Jeremiah 31, a text traditionally associated with the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

If you're enjoying Judaism Unbound, please help us keep things going with a one-time or monthly tax-deductible …

Bonus Episode: Elul #4 - Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

September 2nd, 2018

19:00

Lex Rofeberg, Dan Libenson, and Wendie Lash close out the month of Elul by looking at forgiveness -- a central and challenging component of the High …

Episode 133: God is One - Art Green

August 31st, 2018

49:52

Art Green, theologian and historian of Jewish religion, joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for the third episode in Judaism Unbound's series …

Bonus Episode: Elul #3 - What's Love Got to Do With It? - The Song of Songs

August 26th, 2018

18:38

Lex Rofeberg and Wendie Lash connect the month of Elul to love and even (don't tell anyone) sex. They do so by looking at the Biblical book of The …

Episode 132: The God Gap - Eliana Light

August 24th, 2018

52:12

Musician and educator Eliana Light joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for the second conversation in our series on the role of God in American …

Bonus Episode: Elul #2 - A Wrinkle in (Jewish) Time

August 19th, 2018

19:46

Lex Rofeberg, and guest co-hosts Wendie Lash and Estee Solomon Gray, explore what Elul helps to teach about the broader flow of Jewish time, in the …

Episode 131: Protesting God - Dov Weiss

August 17th, 2018

47:28

As we launch a series of episodes on the subject of God, Dan and Lex are joined by Dov Weiss, associate professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and author of the National Jewish …

Bonus Episode: Elul #1 - Why is This Month Different From All Other Months?

August 12th, 2018

17:48

In the first of four bonus episodes, Dan, Lex, and guest co-host Wendie Lash argue that Judaism can be a technology of self-improvement. They explore …

Episode 130: Israel-Optional Judaism

August 10th, 2018

49:05

Dan and Lex close out their unit on the relationship between American Jews and Israel. In their conversation, they explore a wide range of issues, ranging from the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, to civil …

Episode 129: Women of the Wall - Lesley Sachs, Susan Silverman

August 3rd, 2018

41:52

Dan and Lex are joined by Lesley Sachs, the executive director of Women of the Wall, and by rabbi and author Susan Silverman, a member of Women of the Wall's Board of Directors and an activist on behalf of African …

Episode 128: Zionism 3.0 - Zack Bodner

July 27th, 2018

47:24

Dan and Lex welcome back Zack Bodner, CEO of the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, California. In their conversation, they explore his organization's "Zionism 3.0" conference, along with broader questions regarding the …

Bonus Episode: Unbounding Elul - Wendie Lash

July 22nd, 2018

21:08

Dan and Lex are joined by Wendie Lash, to announce an exciting project of envisioning, and re-visioning, how the observance of Elul -- the month …

Episode 127: A Synagogue Without Flags - Brant Rosen

July 20th, 2018

44:09

Dan and Lex are joined by Brant Rosen, founding rabbi of Tzedek Chicago, an intentional congregational community based on core values of justice, …

Episode 126: Open Hillel - Rachel Sandalow-Ash, Eva Ackerman

July 13th, 2018

40:27

Dan and Lex are joined by Rachel Sandalow-Ash and Eva Ackerman, two organizers with Open Hillel, an organization that works for pluralism and open …

Episode 125: Complementary Zions - Zachary Schaffer

July 6th, 2018

48:59

In our ongoing exploration of the relationship of American Jews and Israel, Dan and Lex are joined by educator and activist Zach Schaffer, whose work focuses on helping Jewish federations and similar organizations talk …

Bonus Episode: Judaism Unbound on #TrendingJewish

July 3rd, 2018

53:40

Dan and Lex visit #TrendingJewish, another Jewish podcast, and they shape-shift from their usual role of co-hosts into that of featured guests. In a …

Episode 124: IfNotNow - Ilana Levinson, Jill Raney

June 29th, 2018

39:56

Dan and Lex are joined by Ilana Levinson and Jill Raney, two members of IfNotNow, a national campaign led by young Jews, working to end American-Jewish support for the occupation and promote freedom and dignity for all …

BREAKING NEWS: A State of Moral Emergency - Stosh Cotler

June 22nd, 2018

38:14

Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc Jewish Action, joins Dan and Lex for an urgent conversation on the family separation crisis at the US borders. …

Episode 123: The Religion of Israel

June 22nd, 2018

49:43

Looking back at the first part of our series on American Jews and Israel, Dan and Lex discuss various topics, including the past, present, and potential meanings of Zionism and the "red lines" that some Jewish …

Episode 122: Let's Talk About Israel - Sharon Kleinbaum

June 15th, 2018

43:19

To get a sense of the Israel conversation from the point of view of a congregational rabbi, Dan and Lex are joined by Sharon Kleinbaum, Spiritual Leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST), in New York City. In …

Episode 121: Homecoming and Arrival - Yehuda Kurtzer

June 8th, 2018

47:24

Dan and Lex are joined by Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, for the 5th episode in Judaism Unbound's series …

Episode 120: A Less Toxic Conversation - Melissa Weintraub

June 1st, 2018

50:15

Dan and Lex are joined by Melissa Weintraub, Founder and Co-Executive Director of Resetting the Table. 1 In their conversation they examine ways in which conversations about Israel in Jewish communal life can often …

Episode 119: The Histories of Zionisms - Noam Pianko

May 25th, 2018

43:58

To help us better understand and think about the role that Israel might play in the future of American Jews, Dan and Lex are joined by Professor Noam …

Episode 118: Trouble in the Tribe - Dov Waxman

May 18th, 2018

49:35

Dan and Lex are joined by Dov Waxman, Professor of Political Science, International Affairs, and Israel Studies at Northeastern Universityand author …

Episode 117: Israel and American Jews Today - Peter Beinart

May 11th, 2018

44:11

As we launch a new series considering the role that Israel might or might not play in the future of American Judaism, Dan and Lex are joined by …

Episode 116: Passion

May 4th, 2018

45:48

Dan and Lex look back at their recent episodes, featuring guests that are part of Clal's Glean Incubator for spiritual innovators. They reflect on the ways in which fundamentalist practitioners of religion (Judaism and …

Episode 115: Beloved - Sara Luria, Isaac Luria

April 27th, 2018

50:15

Dan and Lex are joined by Sara and Isaac Luria, founders of Beloved, a home-based spiritual community in Brooklyn. Their conversation covers a wide …

Episode 114: Sinai & Synapses - Geoffrey Mitelman

April 20th, 2018

46:56

Dan and Lex are joined by Geoffrey Mitelman, the Founding Director of Sinai & Synapses. Together they discuss the realms of science & religion, perceived by many as entirely separate, and the ways in which …

Episode 113: Embrace the Weird - Miriam Terlinchamp

April 13th, 2018

50:03

Dan and Lex are joined by Miriam Terlinchamp, the spiritual leader of Temple Sholom in Cincinnati. In their conversation, they explore the radical …

Episode 112: The Flourishing Synagogue - Aaron Bisno, Harlan Stone

April 6th, 2018

46:34

As we continue to dig into various approaches to "spiritual innovation," Dan and Lex are joined by Aaron Bisno and Harlan Stone, rabbi and president, respectively, of Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh, …

Episode 111: Unaffilliated Affiliation - Debbie Bravo

March 30th, 2018

45:40

Dan and Lex are joined by Debbie Bravo, spiritual leader of Makom NY: A New Kind of Jewish Community, located in Nassau County, Long Island. 1 They discuss how and why Makom NY's outside-the-box model has succeeded in …

Episode 110: Glean - Elan Babchuck

March 23rd, 2018

49:00

Dan and Lex are joined by Elan Babchuck, Director of Innovation at Clal and founder of the Glean Incubator, a program that combines coaching and a course in entrepreneurship aimed at helping new spiritual initiatives …

Bonus Episode: Dan Discusses The Orchard on The History in the Bible

March 20th, 2018

1:00:59

Dan returns to History in the Bible, hosted by Garry Stephens. This time they discuss best-selling Israeli author Yochi Brandes' novel “The Orchard”. Dan translated the book into English. The novel centres on Rabbi …

Episode 109: Open Doors

March 16th, 2018

48:01

Dan and Lex reflect on their conversations with members of The Open Dor Project's first cohort. They reconsider how Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs relates to the challenges of. contemporary Judaism, explore how issues of …

Episode 108: The Jewish Studio Project - Adina Allen, Jeff Kasowitz

March 9th, 2018

47:57

Dan and Lex are joined by Adina Allen and Jeff Kasowitz, founders of the Jewish Studio Project, which bills itself as "part urban art studio, part house of Jewish learning, part spiritual community," as part of our …

Episode 107: Because Jewish - Dan Ain

March 2nd, 2018

42:05

Dan and Lex are joined by Dan Ain, Founder and Spiritual Leader of Because Jewish. In their conversation, they discuss the ways in which music can engage people spiritually, the tension between "inspiration" and …

Bonus Episode: The Orchard - Dan Libenson

March 1st, 2018

47:45

In honor of Purim, when everything goes topsy-turvy, Dan's role flips around from host to guest! He speaks with Lex about Yochi Brandes's book, …

Episode 106: Cohere - Ari Moffic

February 23rd, 2018

46:52

Dan and Lex are joined by Ari Moffic, Founder of Cohere, a Chicago-area organization that brings customized Jewish educational experiences into people's homes, along with other outside-the-box locations. Their …

Episode 105: The Well - Dan Horwitz

February 16th, 2018

48:13

Dan and Lex are joined by Dan Horwitz, Founding Director of The Well, an inclusive Jewish community-building initiative geared towards young adults …

Episode 104: The Open Dor Project - George Wielechowski

February 9th, 2018

41:37

As we begin an exploration of "spiritual entrepreneurs" who are working to develop new organizations focused on meaning and spirituality in forms other than a typical synagogue, Dan and Lex are joined by George …

Episode 103: The People's Judaism

February 2nd, 2018

51:34

It's hard to believe, but Judaism Unbound has been around for 2 years! Dan and Lex take this episode to look back on major themes from their conversations about American Judaism. Taking on abstract conceptions like …

Bonus Episode: Trefa Banquet 2.0 - Alix Wall

January 29th, 2018

40:27

Dan and Lex are joined by Alix Wall, an award-winning journalist, founder of The Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals, and organizer of its "Trefa Banquet 2.0." The banquet (Trefa …

Episode 102: Studying Happiness - Tal Ben-Shahar

January 26th, 2018

43:48

Dan and Lex are joined by Tal Ben-Shahar, a lecturer and writer who specializes in the field of Positive Psychology. He describes what "studying …

Episode 101: Not Your Rabbis' Judaism - Barbara Thiede

January 19th, 2018

46:48

Dan and Lex are joined by Barbara Thiede, who is both a Teaching Professor of Religious Studies at UNC-Charlotte and an ordained rabbi who serves as …

Episode 100: The Third Era - Irving "Yitz" Greenberg

January 12th, 2018

53:46

In celebration of Judaism Unbound's 100th episode, Dan and Lex are joined by Rabbi Irving ("Yitz") Greenberg, an important thinker whose ideas laid the foundation that Judaism Unbound and many of our previous guests …

Episode 99: Regular Jews

January 5th, 2018

47:07

Many Jewish institutions present the perspective that Jewish leadership requires mastery of a certain set of ideas and practices, discouraging anyone lacking that mastery (implicitly and explicitly) from creating the …

Episode 98: The Future of Torah - Brett Lockspeiser

December 29th, 2017

55:25

Dan and Lex are joined by Brett Lockspeiser, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Sefaria for the last interview in this series exploring the …

Episode 97: "Bad Jews" - Jenna Reback

December 22nd, 2017

44:06

In our continuing series on "regular Jews" creating important new initiatives, Dan and Lex are joined by Jenna Reback, a television writer based in …

Bonus Episode: Hanukkah Night 8...Unbound

December 19th, 2017

4:07

This Hanukkah, Dan and Lex are bringing you fresh ideas to enrich your Hanukkah experience every night of the holiday. In this episode, hear what …

Bonus Episode: Hanukkah Night 7...Unbound

December 18th, 2017

5:32

This Hanukkah, Dan and Lex are bringing you fresh ideas to enrich your Hanukkah experience every night of the holiday. In this episode, hear what …

Bonus Episode: Hanukkah Night 6...Unbound

December 17th, 2017

5:42

This Hanukkah, Dan and Lex are bringing you fresh ideas to enrich your Hanukkah experience every night of the holiday. In this episode, hear what …

Bonus Episode: Hanukkah Night 5...Unbound

December 16th, 2017

5:10

This Hanukkah, Dan and Lex are bringing you fresh ideas to enrich your Hanukkah experience every night of the holiday. In this episode, hear what …

Bonus Episode: Hanukkah Night 4...Unbound

December 15th, 2017

4:16

This Hanukkah, Dan and Lex are bringing you fresh ideas to enrich your Hanukkah experience every night of the holiday. In this episode, hear what …

Episode 96: ModernTribe - Amy Kritzer, Jennie Rivlin Roberts

December 15th, 2017

46:50

Dan and Lex are joined by Amy Kritzer and Jennie Rivlin Roberts, the President and Founder (respectively) of ModernTribe, "a Judaica store for people with innovative minds, spirits, and style." In our continuing …

Bonus Episode: Hanukkah Night 3...Unbound

December 14th, 2017

4:05

This Hanukkah, Dan and Lex are bringing you fresh ideas to enrich your Hanukkah experience every night of the holiday. In this episode, hear what …

Bonus Episode: Hanukkah Night 2...Unbound

December 13th, 2017

4:35

This Hanukkah, Dan and Lex are bringing you fresh ideas to enrich your Hanukkah experience every night of the holiday. In this episode, hear what …

Bonus Episode: Hanukkah Night 1...Unbound

December 12th, 2017

6:34

This Hanukkah, Dan and Lex are bringing you fresh ideas to enrich your Hanukkah experience every night of the holiday. In this episode, hear what …

Bonus Episodes: Hanukkah 2017

December 11th, 2017

45:46

Dan and Lex offer up 5-minute mini-episodes for each night of Hanukkah. This "long version" packages all of the episodes together so that you can …

Episode 95: Doing Jewish For Yourself - Fredric Price

December 8th, 2017

49:22

Dan and Lex are joined by Fredric Price, the founder of Fig Tree Books and a facilitator of multiple discussion groups focused on Jewish topics, in …

Bonus Episode: The Hebrew Hammer vs. Hitler - Adam Goldberg, Jonathan Kesselman

December 5th, 2017

39:12

Dan and Lex are joined by the star (Adam Goldberg) and director (Jonathan Kesselman) behind The Hebrew Hammer, the 2003 Hanukkah film that became a …

Episode 94: Reform Reflections

December 1st, 2017

44:43

In the final episode of our series exploring Reform Judaism as a concept and as a movement, Dan and Lex reflect on the interviews that were part of …

Episode 93: Community of Communities - Rachel Timoner

November 24th, 2017

46:31

Dan and Lex are joined by Rachel Timoner, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Elohim (CBE) in Brooklyn, New York. As the final interview in our exploration of Reform Judaism, we learn how a synagogue can be built out of a …

Bonus Episode: The Jewish Comics Anthology - Steven Bergson, Andy Stanleigh

November 20th, 2017

28:54

Dan and Lex are joined by Steven Bergson and Andy Stanleigh, Editor and Publisher, respectively, of The Jewish Comics Anthology, Volume 1. They are …

Episode 92: Reinventing Synagogue - Matt Gewirtz, Ben Spratt, Blair Albom

November 17th, 2017

49:53

Dan and Lex are joined by three guests, Matt Gewirtz, Ben Spratt, and Blair Albom, who have helped to shape Tribe, a Jewish organization co-founded by a partnership of two Reform synagogues that is devoted to …

Episode 91: Is This The Fast That I Have Chosen? - Jonah Pesner

November 10th, 2017

56:59

Jonah Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center (RAC) of Reform Judaism, joins Dan and Lex for a conversation about social justice, Judaism, and the many ways that the two intertwine. They discuss the RAC's …

Episode 90: Audacious Hospitality - April Baskin

November 3rd, 2017

58:22

April Baskin, Vice President of Audacious Hospitality for the Union for Reform Judaism, joins Dan and Lex for an in-depth look at ideas of welcoming, empowerment, inclusion, and hospitality in contemporary Judaism. 1 We …

Episode 89: Reform Judaism Today and Tomorrow - Rick Jacobs

October 27th, 2017

1:05:29

Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, joins Dan and Lex for a conversation about what the Reform Movement looks like today and how its leadership is thinking about its future. The discussion explores …

Episode 88: Reform or Revolution? - Daniel Freelander II

October 20th, 2017

46:08

Daniel Freelander, President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, joins Dan and Lex for the second segment in a two-part conversation about the history of Reform Judaism. In today's episode, Freelander walks us …

Episode 87: Reforming Judaism - Daniel Freelander I

October 13th, 2017

49:15

Daniel Freelander, President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, joins Dan and Lex for the first of a two-part conversation about the history of Reform Judaism. In today's episode, Freelander tells the story of …

Episode 86: We're the Jews We've Been Waiting For

October 6th, 2017

42:00

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker once published a book entitled We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For. In this conversation, Dan and Lex …

BREAKING NEWS: Yom Kippur...In a Beer Garden? - Aaron Potek

October 4th, 2017

57:52

Aaron Potek, Community Rabbi for GatherDC, joins Dan to talk about a Yom Kippur event he recently co-organized. Garnering national news coverage in the Washington Post, The Forward, and Religion News Service largely due …

Episode 85: B-Mitzvah Revolutions - Isa Aron

September 29th, 2017

43:54

Isa Aron, Professor of Jewish Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, joins Dan and Lex to re-think a ritual that has turned …

Bonus Episode: Yom Kippur Unbound

September 25th, 2017

51:37

Dan and Lex give their thoughts on the Biblical readings associated with the holiday of Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). They provide historical …

Episode 84: The Jewish Catalog, Then and Now - Riv-Ellen Prell

September 20th, 2017

53:35

Dan and Lex are joined by Anthropologist Riv-Ellen Prell, author of Prayer and Community: The Havurah in American Judaism. Prell outlines the …

Episode 83: The Exodus - Richard Elliott Friedman

September 15th, 2017

46:13

Richard Elliott Friedman, scholar of the Hebrew Bible and author of the best-selling work Who Wrote the Bible?, joins Dan and Lex to discuss his …

Episode 82: The Happiness Prayer - Evan Moffic

September 8th, 2017

53:00

Evan Moffic, author of the new book The Happiness Prayer: Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Best Way to Live Today, joins Dan and Lex for a discussion of …

Episode 81: Diaspora Boy - Eli Valley

September 1st, 2017

45:49

Artist and writer Eli Valley joins Dan and Lex for a conversation about his newly-released book Diaspora Boy: Comics on Crisis in America and Israel. Valley brings the insight and passion that is well-known to readers …

Episode 80: Feeling the Burn

August 25th, 2017

48:05

Dan and Lex deepen their exploration of how Burning Man might expand our thinking about 21st century Judaism. They look at the concept of pilgrimage as it manifests at Burning Man and in Jewish life, and they return to …

Episode 79: Burning Mensch - Joel Stanley

August 18th, 2017

43:38

We continue our exploration of Burning Man and potential connections to re-imagining Judaism with an interview with Joel Stanley, who serves as Senior Director of House Programs at Moishe House. Joel has attended …

Episode 78: Burning Man - Jon Mitchell, Allie Wollner

August 11th, 2017

42:09

What is Burning Man? Why might it be particularly relevant for those who are thinking about the present and future of Judaism? Dan and Lex are joined …

Episode 77: Folk Judaism

August 4th, 2017

48:13

Who determines what "counts" as genuine Judaism today? Those who serve in official leadership capacities of the Jewish world, or can ordinary Jews …

Episode 76: The Project of Jewish Education - David Bryfman

July 28th, 2017

47:26

What are the goals of Jewish education, and what should they be? David Bryfman, Chief Innovation Officer of The Jewish Education Project, joins Dan …

Episode 75: The Myth of Apolitical Judaism - Lila Corwin Berman

July 21st, 2017

48:00

Is it possible for Judaism, or its institutions, to ever be apolitical? Is it even desirable? Lila Corwin Berman, the Murray Friedman Chair of …

Episode 74: Beyond Jewish Identity - Ari Y. Kelman

July 14th, 2017

44:00

Jewish communal conversations often take for granted that the goal of Jewish education and other endeavors is to develop or enhance "Jewish identity," but what does that term really mean? Stanford professor Ari Kelman, …

Episode 73: Being Both - Susan Katz Miller

July 7th, 2017

44:48

Dan and Lex are joined by writer and journalist Susan Katz Miller, author of Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family.  In their conversation, they explore the growing phenomenon of families raising …

Episode 72: The Power of Popular Culture - Randi Zuckerberg

June 30th, 2017

42:13

Randi Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur, investor, public speaker, and media personality, passionate about the intersection of technology and our modern …

Episode 71: What's Judaism For?

June 23rd, 2017

48:46

What's the point of Judaism? What's it for? In this episode of Judaism Unbound, Dan and Lex examine that question and try to provide some answers to …

BREAKING NEWS - Intermarriage: Changing the Rules - Amichai Lau-Lavie

June 20th, 2017

45:30

Amichai Lau-Lavie, the founding spiritual leader of Lab/Shul, made national headlines by authoring Joy: A Proposal, which outlines his choice to …

Episode 70: After Ultra-Orthodoxy - Shulem Deen

June 16th, 2017

57:45

Shulem Deen, author of All Who Go Do Not Return, a National Jewish Book Award-winning memoir that tells the story of his exit from ultra-Orthodox …

Bonus Episode: Judaism Unbound Meets History in the Bible

June 12th, 2017

1:02:44

Judaism Unbound co-host Dan Libenson and Garry Stevens of The History in the Bible podcast discuss a range of topics related to Judaism, Christianity, and the Bible.

If you're enjoying Judaism Unbound, please help us …

Episode 69: Holy Rascals - Rami Shapiro

June 8th, 2017

47:32

Writer, philosopher, and mystic Rami Shapiro brings a wealth of knowledge about Judaism, along with a lifetime of experience immersed in interfaith spaces, to this episode of Judaism Unbound. In this conversation, he …

Episode 68: Rabbis Without Borders - Rebecca Sirbu

June 2nd, 2017

47:23

What does "rabbi"  mean in today's world? What should it mean? Rebecca Sirbu, Director of Rabbis Without Borders and founder of RabbiCareers.com, …

Bonus Episode: Shavuot Part IV - The Book of Ruth

May 28th, 2017

16:28

Traditionally, many of the books from the "Writings" section of the Hebrew Bible are associated with various holidays from the Jewish calendar year. …

Bonus Episode: Shavuot Part III - What's the Deal with the Dairy?

May 28th, 2017

12:41

But why is cheesecake part of Shavuot? Countless people have asked this question over the last few centuries, and a variety of answers have been provided. What are these answers? Why are dairy products considered by …

Bonus Episode: Shavuot Part II - The Future of Shavuot

May 28th, 2017

16:14

In part two of Judaism Unbound's Shavuot mini-series, Dan and Lex do what they enjoy most -- they look to the future! In part one they looked at various forms of Shavuot observance that have manifested in the past and …

Bonus Episode: Shavuot Part I - What The Heck is Shavuot?

May 28th, 2017

14:32

So you might have heard the name -- "Shavuot" -- but what exactly does this holiday commemorate? How is it celebrated? In this first mini-episode in …

Episode 67: Seven Weeks in Silicon Valley

May 26th, 2017

44:16

Dan and Lex close out their seven-episode series looking at the seven weeks of the Omer, the period between Passover and Shavuot, as an …

Bonus Episode: Dan and Lex on Bad Jew Weekly (S1Ep25)

May 22nd, 2017

1:18:24

What is the Haftorah?  Why do we read it?  Why is it so inaccessible?  Jenna Reback, host of Bad Jew Weekly, chats with Dan and Lex about all of this this--and what it means to be a Jewish prophet. To support "Bad Jew …

Episode 66: Jewish? Community? Center? - Zack Bodner

May 19th, 2017

47:04

Zack Bodner, CEO of the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, joins Dan and Lex in our Silicon Valley series to explore the shifting role of Jewish …

Episode 65: Investing in the Future - Oren Zeev

May 12th, 2017

41:41

Oren Zeev, Founding Partner of Zeev Ventures, gives us a window into the mind of a Silicon Valley investor, as we continue to explore how the mindset of Silicon Valley might help us think about getting from the Jewish …

Episode 64: Judaism By Design - Jesse Dorogusker

May 5th, 2017

44:21

In the fourth episode of Judaism Unbound's seven-part series exploring Silicon Valley and the period between Passover and Shavuot known as the "Omer," Jesse Dorogusker, Hardware Lead for Square Inc, brings ideas from …

Bonus Episode: Lex's ELI Talk (Migrating Judaism: The Internet Movement)

May 2nd, 2017

35:14

Is the internet a place, among others, in which Judaism now "lives?" In this special, mid-week episode, Dan and Lex ask that question, using a recent ELI Talk given by Lex as a springboard into the conversation.

If …

Episode 63: JewTube - Oona King

April 28th, 2017

50:09

Oona King, former member of the British Parliament, currently on leave from the House of Lords, and now Director of Diverse Marketing at YouTube, takes us on a deep dive into the democratization that new internet-based …

Episode 62: The Geography of Jewish Genius - Eric Weiner

April 21st, 2017

46:36

What factors can cause a particular location to be one where "genius" thrives? How could perceptions of Judaism change such that Jews feel they can …

Episode 61: Wandering in the Wilderness - Zack Bodner, Tova Birnbaum

April 14th, 2017

44:48

Dan and Lex are joined by guest co-hosts Zack Bodner and Tova Birnbaum, from the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, California. In this episode, they explore the Torah's narrative of the wandering in the wilderness, asking …

Holidays Unbound Episode 4: Passover Part III - The Passover Seder (Abigail Pogrebin, Amichai Lau-Lavie, Vanessa Ochs, Justin Goldstein)

April 7th, 2017

57:42

Dan and Ruth dive into the history of the seder and ideas about how to use—or not use—the traditional haggadah. They also explore how to experiment with new seder rituals that resonate with us, with our guests, and with …

Episode 60: The Future is Already Here

April 7th, 2017

41:36

Dan and Lex apply a famous William Gibson quote to the Jewish world. They reflect in particular on their recent conversation with Juan Mejia, on …

Holidays Unbound Episode 3: Passover Part II - Did the Exodus Really Happen? (Steven Weitzman, Richard Elliott Friedman)

April 4th, 2017

50:05

Dan and Ruth speak with scholars Steven Weitzman of the University of Pennsylvania and Richard Elliott Friedman of the University of Georgia (author …

Holidays Unbound Episode 2: Passover Part I - What is Passover For? (Shai Held, Rachel Kahn Troster, Abigail Pogrebin)

April 4th, 2017

42:06

Dan and Ruth begin the discussion of Passover by asking what the point of the holiday is! In answering, they consider the ideas of guests Shai Held, …

Episode 59: Jewish Futurology - Hayim Herring

March 31st, 2017

45:19

Dan and Lex are joined by Hayim Herring, expert in Jewish entrepreneurship and self-identified "Jewish futurist." They discuss challenges faced by synagogues and opportunities available to them in today's ever-shifting …

Holidays Unbound Episode 1: Introductions (Abigail Pogrebin)

March 29th, 2017

47:53

Dan Libenson and Ruth Abusch-Magder introduce a new podcast series exploring the Jewish Holidays, aimed at helping "regular Jews" get more creative …

Episode 58: Jewish Economics - Carmel Chiswick

March 24th, 2017

40:42

How do Jews decide how (and whether) to invest their time and money in Judaism? Economist Carmel Chiswick joins Dan and Lex for a conversation about that question and more in this episode of Judaism Unbound.

If you're …

Episode 57: Becoming Jewish On the Web - Juan Mejia

March 17th, 2017

51:05

Juan Mejia, the Southwest/Latin America Regional Director for Be'chol Lashon, who grew up Catholic, converted to Judaism, and became a rabbi, joins …

Episode 56: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva - Benay Lappe

March 10th, 2017

44:23

In celebration of our one-year anniversary as a podcast, Dan and Lex are joined by the very first guest we ever had on the show, Benay Lappe, making her third guest appearance on Judaism Unbound. In this episode, we do …

Episode 55: The 365th Day

March 3rd, 2017

46:13

1 year. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. It seems like just yesterday that Judaism Unbound launched a wild experiment -- this podcast -- designed to …

Episode 54: Judaism's Job - Irwin Kula Part II

February 24th, 2017

46:57

How does our approach to Jewish life change when we suggest that Judaism can be "hired" to accomplish various jobs? What are the "jobs" it can be …

Episode 53: Death and Rebirth - Irwin Kula Part I

February 17th, 2017

47:40

What does it look like when one version of Judaism dies and another is born? Irwin Kula, President of CLAL: The National Center for Learning and …

Episode 52: Nothing Sacred - Douglas Rushkoff

February 10th, 2017

48:14

Douglas Rushkoff, media theorist, writer, and graphic novelist, joins Dan and Lex for a conversation reflecting on the decade since he published his book Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism, in which he advocated …

Episode 51: Being Jewish in the Era of Trump

February 3rd, 2017

50:12

What does American Judaism look like as we enter the Trump era? How might the new political reality of the United States alter the landscape of …

Bonus Episode: Dan and Lex on RIJ (Really Interesting Jews) Podcast

February 1st, 2017

59:41

Dan and Lex were lucky enough to be featured as guests on a recent episode of RIJ (Really Interesting Jews), a podcast hosted by Evan Schultz, a …

Episode 50: Bending The Arc - Jason Kimelman-Block

January 27th, 2017

47:53

Jason Kimelman-Block, Director of Bend The Arc: Jewish Action, joins Dan and Lex to discuss the ramifications of Donald Trump's presidency for …

Episode 49: The Prophetic Voice - Shai Held

January 20th, 2017

47:23

Shai Held, President and Dean of Mechon Hadar, joins Dan and Lex on the day of Donald Trump's inauguration to discuss what Jewish ideals have to say about the incoming president and what his rise means for contemporary …

Episode 48: Jewish Funding - Bound and Unbound

January 13th, 2017

45:38

Dan and Lex reach back to the beginnings of the Judaism Unbound podcast, providing a look back at some of our foundational concepts for those who may have started listening recently. They also ask big questions about …

Episode 47: The Jewish Funders Network - Andres Spokoiny

January 6th, 2017

45:25

Andres Spokoiny, the President and CEO of Jewish Funders Network, joins Dan and Lex for a deep dive into questions of Jewish philanthropy. Spokoiny takes on big-picture questions like "what is Jewish giving" and also …

Episode 46: How Hanukkah Explains Everything - Jay Eidelman

December 30th, 2016

47:04

Jay Eidelman joins Dan and Lex to explain his theory of "How Hanukkah Explains Everything." Through a comprehensive encapsulation of the historical …

Episode 45: Hanukkah Unbound - Ruth Abusch-Magder

December 23rd, 2016

52:39

Dan and Lex are joined by guest co-host Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder, Rabbi-in-Residence and Director of Education at Be'chol Lashon, for a discussion …

Episode 44: A Secular Humanistic Hanukkah - Adam Chalom

December 16th, 2016

42:58

Adam Chalom is the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism's Dean for North America and serves as rabbi of Kol Hadash Humanistic …

Episode 43: Hanukkah in America - Dianne Ashton

December 9th, 2016

43:42

Dianne Ashton, Profession of Religion Studies at Rowan University and author of the book Hanukkah in America: A History, joins Dan and Lex to …

Episode 42: Aphrodite and the Rabbis - Burton Visotzky

December 2nd, 2016

46:04

Burton Visotzky, the Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary, joins Dan and Lex to discuss the …

Episode 41: History and Memory - Yehuda Kurtzer

November 25th, 2016

46:54

How should the Jewish present and future relate to the Jewish past? Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and …

Episode 40: What Should Stay and What Should Go?

November 18th, 2016

1:15:42

Wrapping up our discussion of Jewish and "extra-Jewish" sensibilities, Dan and Lex begin an examination of which concrete elements of present-day Judaism will likely be retained in the next Jewish future, and which …

Episode 39: The Pico Union Project - Craig Taubman, Zach Lasker, Jason Chu

November 11th, 2016

49:09

Craig Taubman, acclaimed Jewish musician and founder of Pico Union Project in Los Angeles, Zach Lasker, the organization's new Executive Director, and Jason Chu, its Chief Storytelling Officer, bring their insights to …

Episode 38: Judaism and Evolving Dharma - Jay Michaelson

November 4th, 2016

47:02

Jay Michaelson, legal affairs columnist for The Daily Beast, contributing editor to The Forward, and teacher of Buddhist and Jewish meditation, joins …

Bonus Episode: TanakhCast on The Secret Book of Kings

October 31st, 2016

45:08

Judaism Unbound co-host Dan Libenson visits TanakhCast, hosted by past Judaism Unbound guest Dan Mendelsohn Aviv. They dive deep into Yochi Brandes's recently released book, The Secret Book of Kings, exploring the …

Episode 37: Jewish Sensibilities - Jonathan Woocher and Lee Moore

October 28th, 2016

48:47

Jonathan Woocher and Lee Moore of the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah join Dan and Lex to kick off a series of episodes beginning to discuss the content of the Judaism of the future by introducing the idea of …

Episode 36: What Jewish Looks Like Today - Benay Lappe

October 20th, 2016

44:40

Is being "welcoming" and "inclusive" enough? Is pain a necessary prerequisite to the successful implementation of radical, new, Jewish ideas? Benay …

Bonus Episode: UpStart Unbound

October 19th, 2016

1:00:45

UpStart Unbound is our first-ever collaborative podcast episode, recorded in front of a live studio audience in Silicon Valley. UpStart has been the …

Episode 35: Twice Blessed - Joshua Lesser

October 14th, 2016

45:08

Rabbi Joshua Lesser, of Bet Haverim (House of Friends), a Gay- and Lesbian-founded synagogue in Atlanta, joins Judaism Unbound for a discussion on being Jewish and Queer, reflecting on the history of Queer Jews in …

Episode 34: The Snapchat Rabbi - Sandra Lawson

October 7th, 2016

46:46

Sandra Lawson, described in a recent article as "an African-American lesbian who converted to Judaism, eats vegan, and is now studying to be a rabbi …

Episode 33: JewAsian - Helen Kim and Noah Leavitt

September 30th, 2016

46:28

Professor Helen Kim and Associate Dean of Students Noah Leavitt (both of Whitman College) join Judaism Unbound for an episode on their book, entitled …

Episode 32: The Art of Judaism

September 23rd, 2016

40:47

How can the methodology of an artist shape or re-shape Judaism in new ways? How can we begin to understand Judaism as a material of art in and of …

Episode 31: Designing OneTable - Aliza Kline

September 16th, 2016

46:02

Aliza Kline, Executive Director of OneTable and former Executive Director of Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh, joins Judaism Unbound for the third episode in a four-episode series on Judaism's relationship …

Episode 30: Seder Masochism - Nina Paley

September 9th, 2016

42:52

How might Judaism, atheism, and art blend together into a deep exploration of the meaning of a key Jewish practice today? Celebrated comics artist and animator Nina Paley, creator of the highly regarded animated feature …

Episode 29: Lab/Shul - Amichai Lau-Lavie

September 2nd, 2016

43:16

What role do art and artists play in contemporary Judaism? Amichai Lau-Lavie, founder, Executive Director, and Spiritual Director of Lab/Shul, joins …

Bonus Episode: The History in the Bible Podcast, Featuring Dan Libenson

August 30th, 2016

52:09

We are proud to release our very first bonus episode of Judaism Unbound! Listen in as Garry Stevens interviews our co-host, Dan Libenson, about The Secret Book of Kings, a new novel by Yochi Brandes. This episode was …

Episode 28: The Secret Book of Kings

August 23rd, 2016

45:04

In an act of role reversal, Lex enters the role of solo host of Judaism Unbound and welcomes Dan onto the show as this week's featured guest! In this …

Episode 27: Who Wrote the Bible? - Richard Elliott Friedman

August 19th, 2016

44:12

Professor Richard Elliott Friedman joins Dan and Lex for a conversation about modern Biblical scholarship, which his book Who Wrote the Bible? …

Episode 26: Six Months In

August 11th, 2016

43:36

It's hard to believe, but this episode marks Judaism Unbound's six-month anniversary -- 26 weeks! In honor of the occasion, Dan and Lex look back at what they've learned from the topics we've covered thus far, and offer …

Episode 25: Unbundling Judaism

August 5th, 2016

42:22

Dan and Lex close out a series of episodes entitled "Emergent Judaism," which featured Rachel Barenblat and David Markus (of ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal), Noa Kushner and Yoav Schlesinger (of The Kitchen), …

Episode 24: BimBam - Sarah Lefton

July 29th, 2016

43:34

What does it look like to start a Jewish organization that functions almost entirely in the digital world? Sarah Lefton, the founder and executive director of BimBam (formerly G-dcast), an organization that produces …

Episode 23: Hello Mazel - Noa Kushner and Yoav Schlesinger

July 22nd, 2016

43:45

The Kitchen, an emergent Jewish spiritual community in San Francisco, made waves earlier this year when they launched their Hello Mazel initiative -- a "quarterly box of Jewish stuff" sent to people's homes, which …

Episode 22: Jewish Renewal - Rachel Barenblat and David Markus

July 13th, 2016

47:57

Rabbis Rachel Barenblat ("The Velveteen Rabbi") and David Markus, co-chairs of the board of ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal, join us for the first episode of a four-episode series entitled "Emergent Innovation." …

Episode 21: jOS 4.0 - A New Jewish Operating System?

July 8th, 2016

42:24

Might we learn something about Judaism from the cell phones that we carry in our pocket every day? In this episode, Dan and Lex explore whether Judaism's "operating system" is functioning properly. If not, they ask …

Episode 20: Jewish Without Walls - Beth Finger

July 1st, 2016

46:04

Beth Finger, founder of Jewish Without Walls (JWOW) joins Judaism Unbound for the third episode in our "New Platforms in Jewish Life series." We …

Episode 19: Moishe House - David Cygielman

June 24th, 2016

44:21

David Cygielman, founder and CEO of Moishe House, joins Dan and Lex for the second episode in the four-episode series entitled "New Platforms for Jewish Life." Moishe House's mission is to provide vibrant Jewish …

Episode 18: How We Gather - Angie Thurston and Casper ter Kuile

June 16th, 2016

44:36

Angie Thurston and Casper ter Kuile, experts on the emerging group of Americans known as the religious "nones," join Judaism Unbound for Episode 18. Thurston and ter Kuile are co-authors of two monographs, entitled How …

Episode 17: Intermarriage - A Fact of 21st Century Judaism

June 10th, 2016

44:47

Dan and Lex close out their three-episode series on Intermarriage: The New Normal in this episode. They explain why they don't think intermarriage is bad for American Judaism, explore questions of what it means to be a …

Episode 16: Intermarriage and the Future - Paul Golin

June 3rd, 2016

47:21

Paul Golin, formerly the Associate Executive Director of Big Tent Judaism, joins Dan and Lex for the second episode of our Intermarriage: The New …

Episode 15: Men, Women, and Intermarriage - Keren McGinity

May 27th, 2016

46:46

Dr. Keren McGinity joins us for a conversation about intermarriage and gender. McGinity is the author of Still Jewish: A History of Women and Intermarriage in America and Marrying Out: Jewish Men, Intermarriage, and …

Episode 14: Putting the "American" in American Judaism

May 20th, 2016

45:59

For the final episode of our "Judaism in America" series, Dan and Lex build on key ideas that emerged in the three previous conversations in the …

Episode 13: American Post-Judaism - Shaul Magid

May 13th, 2016

47:04

Professor Shaul Magid joins Dan and Lex for the third episode in our four-episode series, entitled "Judaism in America: Evolutions, Revolutions, or …

Episode 12: Minhag America - Anita Diamant

May 6th, 2016

40:48

Anita Diamant, author of The Red Tent and founder of Mayyim Hayyim Community Mikveh, visits Judaism Unbound for a discussion about trends in contemporary American Judaism.

If you're enjoying Judaism Unbound, please help …

Episode 11: American Judaism - Jonathan Sarna

April 28th, 2016

46:34

Dan and Lex welcome pre-eminent American Jewish historian Jonathan Sarna to the podcast for the first episode of a series entitled "Judaism in …

Episode 10: Deuteronomy II

April 22nd, 2016

46:10

Our Judaism Unbound podcast kicked off with five sets of two episodes, each of which connected to one book of the Torah. In this episode, connecting to Deuteronomy, we reflect on our previous episodes. We also provide a …

Episode 9: Deuteronomy - Dan Mendelsohn Aviv

April 14th, 2016

43:30

How do all the pieces fit together? In episode 9, we synthesize key ideas from the previous episodes' conversations and try to lay out the lens through which we will be looking in future episodes. To help us, we welcome …

Episode 8: Numbers II

April 8th, 2016

43:47

You might be familiar with these questions: How many Jews are there in the United States? How many Jewish children are they having? How can we ensure there will be more Jews in the future? In this episode, we critique …

Episode 7: Numbers - Barak Richman

April 1st, 2016

48:29

How do Jewish institutions change? How do they resist change? Those are the key questions we wrestle with this week as Professor Barak Richman of Duke University joins us in conversation.

If you're enjoying Judaism …

Episode 6: Leviticus II

March 25th, 2016

45:45

What do science and art have to do with Judaism? That's the core question of this week's episode. Listen in as we answer it as best we can, while exploring related questions as well.

If you're enjoying Judaism Unbound, …

Episode 5: Leviticus - Vanessa Ochs

March 18th, 2016

47:16

What does it mean to "invent" Jewish ritual? Aren't rituals something we inherit or learn? Professor Vanessa Ochs, author of Inventing Jewish Ritual, helps us answer these questions and more.

If you're enjoying Judaism …

Episode 4: Exodus II

March 10th, 2016

44:00

What, in Judaism, has crashed? Last episode, Rabbi Benay Lappe outlined her "Crash" Theory and in this episode, Dan and Lex engage with it further.

If you're enjoying Judaism Unbound, please help us keep things going …

Episode 3: Exodus - Benay Lappe

March 3rd, 2016

46:16

Lex and Dan welcome Rabbi Benay Lappe onto the show to discuss ways in which Jews respond to various "crashes" throughout Jewish history. More than that, they analyze the question of whether we are in fact in the middle …

Episode 2: Genesis II

February 26th, 2016

43:57

Lex and Dan look back at Jewish history, using a historical lens to analyze contemporary American Judaism and its institutions.

If you're enjoying Judaism Unbound, please help us keep things going with a one-time or …

Episode 1: Genesis

February 25th, 2016

45:23

Co-hosts Dan Libenson and Lex Rofes introduce listeners to their new podcast: Judaism Unbound. They discuss their framework of understanding 21st …

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