296 episodes

Unorthodox is the world’s leading Jewish podcast™ - but you don’t have to be Jewish to love it! Hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, and Liel Leibovitz of Tablet Magazine, each episode we bring you interesting guests, News of the Jews, and so much more.

Unorthodo‪x‬ Tablet Magazine

    • Judaism
    • 4.8 • 54 Ratings

Unorthodox is the world’s leading Jewish podcast™ - but you don’t have to be Jewish to love it! Hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, and Liel Leibovitz of Tablet Magazine, each episode we bring you interesting guests, News of the Jews, and so much more.

    Reimagining Purim

    Reimagining Purim

    This week on Unorthodox, we’re celebrating Purim and breaking the mold.

    First, Stephanie welcomes her special Purim co-hosts, friends of the show Kylie Unell and Abigail Pogrebin, who help her tell the story of Purim and offer their takes on some of the holiday’s larger themes.

    Next, Stephanie is joined by Anna Solomon, author of The Book of V., a fictionalized redefining of the story of Vashti. She explains that the binaries we’ve been taught — “that Vashti is wanton, wicked, selfish; and Esther virtuous, brave, selfless” — don't match up with what we actually find in The Book of Esther.

    From Vashti to Esther: Liel sits down with English professor Shaina Trapedo, who wrote about Purim-inspired beauty pageants for Esther in America, a new collection edited by former Unorthodox guest Stuart Halpern. She tells us about the surprising history of Jewish beauty pageants in America, and explains why the Esther aesthetic is more complex than it may seem.

    And finally, Mark checks in with former guest Shay Khatiri to find out what it’s like to be named after Ahasuerus.

    There’s just one week left to enter our Jewish Name of the Year bracket! Do you have a great Jewish name or know someone with a great Jewish name? Email your suggestions to unorthodox@tabletmag.com.
    Join us Tuesday, March 2 at 2 p.m. EST for Zibby Owen’s next virtual book club. Stephanie will be joining Zibby to talk to Melissa Gould about her memoir Widow-ish, her story of young widowhood, grief, and finding love again. Sign up at zibbyowens.com/virtualbookclub.
    As always, let us know what you think of the show. Send us comments and questions at unorthodox@tabletmag.com, or leave us a voicemail at (914) 570-4869. You can also record a voice memo on your smartphone and email it to us.
    We’ve got virtual events!
    Tuesday, March 2: Stephanie will be discussing Tablet's first book, The 100 Most Jewish Foods: A Highly Debatable List, at the Springfield JCC at 7 p.m. EST; Register here.
    Wednesday, March 10: Mark, Stephanie, and Liel will be returning to the Washington Hebrew Congregation virtually to discuss The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia at 8 p.m. EST. Register here.
    Thursday, March 11: Stephanie and Mark will be discussing The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia as part of the Mandel JCC of the Palm Beaches' Book Festival at 7:30 p.m. EST. Register here.
    Thursday, March 25: Stephanie Butnick will be interviewing Menachem Kaiser about his new book, Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, at 7 p.m. EST. Register here.
    Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.
    Get a behind-the-scenes look at our recording sessions on our YouTube channel! Join our Facebook group, and follow Unorthodox on Twitter and Instagram.
    Get your Unorthodox T-shirts, mugs, and baby onesies at bit.ly/unorthoshirt. Want to book us for a live show? Email producer Josh Kross at jkross@tabletmag.com.
    Check out all of Tablet’s podcasts at tabletmag.com/podcasts.

    Sponsors:

    Kol Foods has everything you need to create a kosher, ethical, sustainably-sourced Passover Seder spread, from delicious briskets to 100% grass-fed lamb shank bones. Use promo code UNORTHODOXPESACH for 10% of your entire Passover order at KOLFoods.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 54 min
    Language of Leftovers

    Language of Leftovers

    Ep. 263:This week on Unorthodox, we’re waiting for our Israeli Pizza Hut delivery by drone.

    Our first Jewish guest is actress Jackie Tohn, host of the Netflix cooking competition Best Leftovers Ever! She tells us about understanding the importance of leftovers from a young age as the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, and also about using that real-life identity to inform her character Melrose on the hit Netflix series G.L.O.W.

    Then we’re joined by linguist Sarah Bunin Benor, who returns to the show to tell us about the strange trend of anti-Semites adopting Yiddishisms, plus her research into the world of Jewish summer camp Hebrew.

    Do you have a great Jewish name or know someone with a great Jewish name? Enter our Jewish Name of the Year bracket! Email your suggestions to unorthodox@tabletmag.com.

    As always, let us know what you think of the show! Send us comments and questions at unorthodox@tabletmag.com, or leave us a voicemail at (914) 570-4869. You can also record a voice memo on your smartphone and email it to us.

    Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.

    Get a behind-the-scenes look at our recording sessions on our YouTube channel! Join our Facebook group, and follow Unorthodox on Twitter and Instagram.

    Get your Unorthodox T-shirts, mugs, and baby onesies at bit.ly/unorthoshirt. Want to book us for a live show? Email producer Josh Kross at jkross@tabletmag.com.

    Check out all of Tablet’s podcasts at tabletmag.com/podcasts.

    Sponsors:
    Harry’s: Get a starter shave set plus a free body wash for just $3 when you visit harrys.com/unorthodox.
    Hebrew Union College: Discover HUC’s new series of free public programs that offer a scholarly Jewish lens on issues that shape our identity today. Find out more and sign up at huc.edu/HUCconnect.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

    Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

    This week on Unorthodox, we’re giving you a taste of some other podcasts we’ve been working on.
    First, you’ll hear an episode of Liel’s daily Daf Yomi podcast, Take One, featuring special guest Sister Helen Prejean, a passionate advocate against capital punishment, as they discuss a page of Talmud that references the death penalty.
    Next, you’ll hear Stephanie’s interview with Tablet’s newest podcast hosts, Aimee Friedman and Lisa Sandell, about their show Anxiously. Each week Lisa and Aimee grapple with one of their anxieties—from the trivial to the existential—in a humorous and heartfelt way, helped along by smart and entertaining guests who offer perspective and advice. After the interview you’ll hear the pilot episode of Anxiously, and you can listen to the second and third episode as well.
    Subscribe to Anxiously and Take One wherever you listen to podcasts, and please consider rating and reviewing both shows (and Unorthodox!) on iTunes.
    We’re getting our Jewish Name of the Year bracket ready for March Madness!
    Do you have a great Jewish name or know someone with a great Jewish name? Email suggestions to unorthodox@tabletmag.com.
    As always, let us know what you think of the show! Send us comments and questions at unorthodox@tabletmag.com, or leave us a voicemail at (914) 570-4869. You can also record a voice memo on your smartphone and email it to us.
    Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.
    Get a behind-the-scenes look at our recording sessions on our YouTube channel! Join our Facebook group, and follow Unorthodox on Twitter and Instagram.
    Get your Unorthodox T-shirts, mugs, and baby onesies at bit.ly/unorthoshirt. Want to book us for a live show? Email producer Josh Kross at jkross@tabletmag.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Laser Focused

    Laser Focused

    This week on Unorthodox, we’re firing up our Jewish space lasers.
    Mark and Liel talk to legendary actor Ed Asner about his latest project, The Tattooed Torah, an animated short about the inspiring journey of a Torah scroll and the little boy who swore to rescue it from the Nazis, about great TV and why they don't make shows like they used to, and about standing up to your political beliefs, even when you have to pay the price.

    Then Liel talks with author Cambria Gordon about her YA book, The Poetry of Secrets, which tells the story of a young Jewish woman in Inquisition-era Spain whose family was forced to convert to Catholicism, but continue to practice Judaism in secret.

    Do you have a great Jewish name or know someone with a great Jewish name? Enter our Jewish Name of the Year bracket! Email your suggestions to unorthodox@tabletmag.com.

    As always, let us know what you think of the show! Send us comments and questions at unorthodox@tabletmag.com, or leave us a voicemail at (914) 570-4869. You can also record a voice memo on your smartphone and email it to us.

    Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.

    Get a behind-the-scenes look at our recording sessions on our YouTube channel! Join our Facebook group, and follow Unorthodox on Twitter and Instagram.

    Get your Unorthodox T-shirts, mugs, and baby onesies at bit.ly/unorthoshirt. Want to book us for a live show? Email producer Josh Kross at jkross@tabletmag.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Booking It

    Booking It

    This week on Unorthodox, two Jewish guests and a whole lot of books.

    Our first guest is Zibby Owens, host of the podcast “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.” She tells us about tirelessly promoting book authors during the pandemic, even as she dealt with her own family’s COVID-19 trauma (and planned two Zoom bar and bat mitzvahs). The resulting quarantine anthology, Moms Don’t Have Time To, features essays from more than 60 writers, including a few Unorthodox guests.

    Our second guest is poet David Beispiel, whose recent memoir is A Place of Exodus: Home, Memory, and Texas. He tells us about being kicked out of Hebrew School as a questioning teen in Houston’s heavily Jewish Meyerland community, and ultimately being pulled back to Jewish Houston after years of spiritual and physical wandering.

    We’re looking for two new hosts for our kids game show podcast Hebrew School! All you need to do is record a short video introducing yourself and telling us why you'd make the perfect host, and send it to hebrewschool@tabletmag.com.

    Do you have a great Jewish name or know someone with a great Jewish name? Enter our Jewish Name of the Year bracket! Email your suggestions to unorthodox@tabletmag.com.

    As always, let us know what you think of the show! Send us comments and questions at unorthodox@tabletmag.com, or leave us a voicemail at (914) 570-4869. You can also record a voice memo on your smartphone and email it to us.

    Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.

    Get a behind-the-scenes look at our recording sessions on our YouTube channel! Join our Facebook group, and follow Unorthodox on Twitter and Instagram.

    Get your Unorthodox T-shirts, mugs, and baby onesies at bit.ly/unorthoshirt. Want to book us for a live show? Email producer Josh Kross at jkross@tabletmag.com.


    The Branch is a podcast that shares stories about Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians who are breaking barriers, creating bonds, having tough conversations, and demonstrating what equal, shared society can look like. Listen to the branch wherever you get your podcasts or at hadassah.org/thebranch.
    American Jewish World Service grantees are leading the effort to promote human rights, empower women and girls to fight for equal rights, and advance environmental justice in the face of climate change. AJWS is currently twice-matching all donations; find out more and make your donation at AJWS.org/unorthodox.
    Harry’s is a great shave at a great price. New customers can get a Harry’s trial shave set for just $3 at harrys.com/unorthodox.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Primary Sources

    Primary Sources

    This week on Unorthodox, we’re live (virtually) from Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park, PA.
    Our special guests this week are Jamie and Brian Stelter. Jamie Stelter, who had her bat mitzvah at Beth Sholom, is the traffic reporter for NY1, and Brian Stelter is the chief media correspondent for CNN and host of Reliable Sources. They talk to us about filming their TV appearances from their apartment during the pandemic, the first rule of Challah Club, and why they love Shabbat.

    We’re looking for two new hosts for our kids game show podcast Hebrew School! All you need to do is record a short video introducing yourself and telling us why you'd make the perfect host, and send it to hebrewschool@tabletmag.com.

    Do you have a great Jewish name or know someone with a great Jewish name? Enter our Jewish Name of the Year bracket! Email your suggestions to unorthodox@tabletmag.com.

    We’ve got virtual events! See our full schedule here.

    As always, let us know what you think of the show! Send us comments and questions at unorthodox@tabletmag.com, or leave us a voicemail at (914) 570-4869. You can also record a voice memo on your smartphone and email it to us.

    Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.

    Get a behind-the-scenes look at our recording sessions on our YouTube channel! Join our Facebook group, and follow Unorthodox on Twitter and Instagram.

    Get your Unorthodox T-shirts, mugs, and baby onesies at bit.ly/unorthoshirt. Want to book us for a live show? Email producer Josh Kross at jkross@tabletmag.com.

    Sponsors:
    American Jewish World Service grantees are leading the effort to promote human rights, empower women and girls to fight for equal rights, and advance environmental justice in the face of climate change. AJWS is currently twice-matching all donations; find out more and make your donation at AJWS.org/unorthodox.
    The Beren Summer Fellowship is the Tikvah Fund’s premier summer program for undergraduates or recent graduates in New York City. Fellows will partake in intensive academic seminars led by world-class teachers and will conduct their own research projects. Visit TikvahFund.org/college for more information and to apply.
    Harry’s is a great shave at a great price. New customers can get a Harry’s trial shave set for just $3 at harrys.com/unorthodox.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
54 Ratings

54 Ratings

MalSydney ,

Love this podcast. Such great content

The 3 hosts gel so well together. They all bring such different backgrounds and thoughts and styles. I can’t wait for this podcast every week and I absolutely relish every word. Such a great rundown of what’s been happening in the J-world. Also interesting guests. My only suggestion would be of including suggestions/comments and questions from people around the world, not just Americans to make it less USA-centric in terms of looking at fun stuff from Jews around the world.

luv abc ,

Unorthodox

Stephanie’s podcast on investigating history/ holocaust stories was powerful and beautiful. Thank you.

Siobhan TM ,

VERY INTERESTING AND INFORMATIVE PODCAST

Isaac Mizrahi, Simi Polonsky and Chaya Chanin showing us that fashion and faith can and does go together. All three have very strong work ethics.

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