Author: Zoe Fertik

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The White House and Pirkei Avot

On June 2, the White House’s first-ever Cabinet-level science advisor Eric Lander was sworn in using a volume of Pirkei Avot. Pirkei Avot, sometimes translated as “Ethics of the Fathers,” is a unique section of the Mishna. Unlike the rest of the Mishnah’s legal precepts, Pirkei Avot is a collection...

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Yom Ki(Purim): Purim’s Secret Twin Holiday

This article was originally published on the website of BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change and can be found here. It is easy to understand why Purim might be someone’s favorite Jewish holiday. There are costumes, noisemakers, jam-filled triangle cookies, and even a theological justification for drinking without inhibition!...

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Women, Social Justice and Jewish Peoplehood

“Women see texts differently than men do, ask different questions and bring different answers.” This is a quote that has inspired the Kol Isha learning cohort throughout their study, community-building and social justice work. This week, OFJCC Director of Jewish Content Tova Birnbaum and I along with 13 participants from Palo...