Feminism and J Street

The grassroots lobbying organization J Street has a main goal to find a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. A lot of focus has been given at this conference to the plight of the Palestinian people, the humanity on both sides of the conflict, and the desire from both sides for peace. To feel so strongly for peace, not just for Israel’s sake but for Palestine’s, requires a keen sympathy from J Street supporters for The Other. J Street as an organization doesn’t focus on women’s rights, but that ethos of sympathy for the Other extends not just from Jews towards Palestinians, but also from men towards women, and it’s been evident everywhere at this conference.

Minnesota J Street at the National Conference

Now in its fourth year the 2013 J Street National Conference attracted around 3,000 people from all over the country. Late yesterday we sat down with two Minnesotans: Ron Garber, Chair of J Street Minnesota, and Aaron Rosenthal, Steering Committee Member of J Street Minnesota.

Questioning God and Torah with an Orthodox Rabbi in Tzfat

My friend Jake and I went on a tour of Tzfat, but after finding it boring we headed back to the hotel and joined the “Stump the Rabbi” program. When we arrived we found a group of 8 teens gathered around a 20-some year old “rabbi” acting like every word out of his mouth was […]

First Day Coverage of J Street Conference

Welcome to TC Jewfolk’s coverage of the 2013 J Street National Conference. We’ll be covering the ups and downs, highs and lows, talls and shorts, heavens and hells and all the other size-related metaphors for the entire conference. Your fearless reporter did this kind of thing once before at the AIPAC conference in March, so while I’ll try as much as possible to talk about the J Street Conference as its own thing, I’ll likely sink into comparing the two quite a bit.

The Choices We Make

We have so many choices to make in our lives. This is both a blessing and a curse. Personally, I was able to choose the college I wanted to attend, the country where I wanted to study abroad, the city I wanted to live in after graduation, the profession I wanted to pursue. When I was ordained I was able to take the job that was the best fit regardless of the location. In my personal life I can choose to date or not to date, I can choose whether or not to get married and if I want to have children. I can choose to be vegan or vegetarian, to eat only organic or only unprocessed foods that are not GMO. At the grocery store there are endless options for everything I want to buy from toothpaste to shampoo to nut mixes. We are very lucky to have all of these choices, but they could drive a person crazy.

Yiddish: It's Not Just For Old People

Today Yiddish is a language now spoken by less than half a million people worldwide. So why would the Sabes JCC host three weeks of Yiddish related festivities? And why would the community, even teens and young adults like me, be interested in hearing a speaker like Aaron Lansky, the famous preserver of Yiddish books? The bigger question is – Why, in 2013 should anyone care about Yiddish at all?


I’ve now been in Israel for over a month and it’s crazy to see how much has changed since I got to Petah Tikva. I’m still not used to living here and I don’t know if I’ll ever fully be the complete sabra I had thought I could be before adventuring here. In a way […]

Syria, Power of Speech, Importance of Human Dignity

We are here tonight to measure ourselves against a cosmic yardstick as our planet has turned once more around the sun. We are here to notice how we have been buffeted, dented, shaped, polished by the world this year, and to notice the dimensions of the imprint that we have left in the world this time around.

Uncle Vanya: Chekhov With a Laugh

It is hard to imagine a Chekhov play where the audience gets to laugh in every scene, but Uncle Vanya at the Guthrie, in a version by Brian Friel and directed by Joe Dowling, does just that.