260 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, 913 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.

    The Conversion Episode, 2020: Ep. 230

    The Conversion Episode, 2020: Ep. 230

    This week on Unorthodox, we're proud to present our third annual conversion episode. On Shavuot, the Jewish holiday that starts tonight at sundown, we read the Book of Ruth, which tells the story of a Moabite woman who converts to Judaism and becomes the great-great-grandmother of King David. Shavuot is the perfect time to celebrate those who convert to Judaism, and on today's episode you'll hear a variety of stories featuring Jews by choice and their different journeys. (Listen to our 2019 episode here and our 2018 episode here.)

    First, we hear from Lynn Hyde, a resident of Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, who was living a Jewish-adjacent life but was moved to undergo conversion following the Tree of Life shooting in 2018.

    Stephanie talks to two of her Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sisters—her 'little little' and her 'little little little'—who are both in the process of converting. (One of them even sent Stephanie the mezuzah that she mounted on her doorpost in a previous episode)

    David Ben-Moshe shares his complex journey to Judaism, exposing some of the injustices within the American criminal justice system as well as the Israeli rabbinate’s standards for who is a Jew.

    We also hear from Rabbi Shira Stutman of Sixth and I in Washington, D.C., who has overseen more than 300 conversions in the DC area and for 10 years has led Jewish Welcome Worship, a year-long course designed for people in their 20s & 30s who want to learn more about Judaism and/or convert. She takes us behind the scenes on the other side of the conversion process, telling us about the different types of people she's encountered, why they want to convert, and why the Jewish partners can sometimes be a real pain.

    And finally, Alix Wall brings us the moving story of Vy Nguyen, who at 25 was diagnosed with an extremely rare soft-tissue cancer. She was raised Buddhist, but met with every chaplain at the hospital to see what their religion had to say about her predicament. Moved by the words of the hospital's Jewish chaplain, Dr. Bruce Feldstein, she began an Orthodox conversion, a process that continued throughout many hospitalizations and surgeries, and finally took her to the mikveh and then the chuppah.

    If you like what you heard today, please consider making a donation to Unorthodox. Your generous support allows us to continue bringing you ambitious episodes and reported features, and we're deeply grateful.

    Tell us what you thought of the show: Email us 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.

    Join our Facebook group to get more Unorthodox and connect with other listeners. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.

    Follow Unorthodox on Twitter and Instagram.

    Get your Unorthodox T-shirts, sweatshirts, and baby onesies here.

    Shalom, friends.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Mad Mensch: Ep. 229

    Mad Mensch: Ep. 229

    Description: Join us this Saturday, May 23 at 9 p.m. for a virtual Unorthodox live show! It's part of the Great Big Jewish Food Fest, and we'll be joined by Bon Appetit's Sarah Jampel. RSVP at bit.ly/unorthodoxjff.

    This week on Unorthodox, we're heading to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

    Our guest is Matthew Weiner, creator of the TV series 'Mad Men' and 'The Romanoffs,' and an executive producer on 'The Sopranos.' He joins us to talk about why everyone seems to be binge-watching 'Mad Men' lately, as well as what the show had to say about Jewishness in 1960s America, and how it was influenced by his own Jewish upbringing in Los Angeles.

    Be part of our upcoming special episodes! Do you have a story to share about a lesser-known Jewish community for our Jews Around the World episode? Send us your story as a voicemail at (914) 570-4869, or record a voice memo on your phone and email it to unorthodox@tabletmag.com.

    Our Spring and Summer 2020 tour events have been postponed. Stay tuned for updates on rescheduled dates, and join our Facebook group to see much more of us and connect with other listeners. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.

    Follow Unorthodox on Twitter and Instagram.

    Get your Unorthodox T-shirts, sweatshirts, and baby onesies here.

    Sponsors:

    Harry's: Get a free Harry's trial shave set—complete with a 5-blade razor with a weighted ergonomic grip, rich lathering shave gel, and a travel blade cover—at harrys.com/unorthodox.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Safe at Home: Ep. 228

    Safe at Home: Ep. 228

    This week on Unorthodox: How to build an eruv in Animal Crossing, and saying goodbye to Jerry Stiller.

    Our first guest is former Israeli Member of Knesset Einat Wilf. Well known in Israeli politics for her left-wing positions and advocacy of education and women's rights, she joins us to talk about her shift in thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which culminated in a book she co-authored, newly published in English, called The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace.

    Next we talk to Adam Zucker, the filmmaker behind American Muslim, and Mohamed Bahi, one of the activists in the film. Bahi—who was inspired to learn more about his Muslim faith after 9/11, when his high school football teammates stopped calling him "Mo" and started calling him "Mohamed"—tells us about his organization Muslims Giving Back, and how he helps New York's Muslim community through food banks, volunteer work, and refugee assistance.

    Be part of our upcoming special episodes! Do you have a story to share about conversion, and what books or movies helped you along the way? Want to tell us about a lesser-known Jewish community for our Jews Around the World episode? Send us your story as a voicemail at (914) 570-4869, or record a voice memo on your phone and email it to unorthodox@tabletmag.com.

    Our tour events for Spring 2020 have been postponed. Stay tuned for updates on rescheduled dates, and join our Facebook group to see much more of us and connect with other listeners. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.

    Follow Unorthodox on Twitter and Instagram.

    Get your Unorthodox T-shirts, sweatshirts, and baby onesies here.

    Sponsors:

    The Great Courses Plus is offering a free month of unlimited access to their entire library of online courses. Start your free month at thegreatcoursesplus.com/unorthodox.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Chai Fidelity: Ep 227

    Chai Fidelity: Ep 227

    This week, it's vinyl records vs. Spotify playlists.

    We talk to Nick Hornby, the English author of High Fidelity, Fever Pitch, About a Boy and many other books that were also adapted into feature films. We chatted with him about the new Hulu adaptation of High Fidelity starring Zoë Kravitz as a record store owner in Brooklyn, what music means to the kids today, and how his puzzle hobby is keeping him busy in quarantine.

    Then, Stephanie talks to Rachel Rosenthal, who teaches Talmud at the Jewish Theological Seminary and writes frequently about the intersection of Jewish text and modern life. She discusses stories of infertility in the Hebrew Bible, as well as her own experience with infertility as a Modern Orthodox woman.

    Finally, we check back in with filmmaker Rachel Myers and her grandmother Roberta Mahler, the director and star of Wendy's Shabbat, a documentary about a group of seniors who meet each week for Shabbat dinner at a local Wendy’s fast-food restaurant. Rachel and Roberta, who were guests on Unorthodox back in 2018, tell us about adjusting to life in quarantine, and the surprising new Shabbat traditions their family has created.

    Join us for Tablet Live, a series of Zoom conversations with some of the most interesting artists, writers, and thinkers around. On Thursday, May 7 at 7 p.m., Stephanie and Liel will be in conversation about Liel's new book, Stan Lee: A Life in Comics, and on Sunday, May 10 at 2 p.m., Stephanie will be joined onscreen by Israeli chef (and former Unorthodox guest) Einat Admony, as they make a recipe from Einat's cookbook, Shuk. More info at bit.ly/tabletlive.

    Be part of our upcoming special episodes! Do you have a story to share about conversion, and what books or movies helped you along the way? Want to tell us about a lesser-known Jewish community for our Jews Around the World episode? Send us your story as a voicemail at (914) 570-4869, or record a voice memo on your phone and email it to unorthodox@tabletmag.com.

    Our tour events for Spring 2020 have been postponed. Stay tuned for updates on rescheduled dates, and join our Facebook group to see much more of us and connect with other listeners. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.

    Follow Unorthodox on Twitter and Instagram.

    Get your Unorthodox T-shirts, sweatshirts, and baby onesies here.

    Sponsors:

    The Great Courses Plus is offering a free month of unlimited access to their entire library of online courses. Start your free month at thegreatcoursesplus.com/unorthodox.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Shining a Light; Ep 226

    Shining a Light; Ep 226

    This week on Unorthodox: Anne Frank the vlogger.
    Our guest this week is Michael O’Loughlin, a reporter at America Magazine and the host of their new podcast 'Plague: Untold Stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church.' We set down with him in early March to talk about the history of gay Catholics and the AIDS epidemic, the unexpected stories he spotlights on the podcast, and whether the Catholic church was prepared to handle the COVID crisis.

    A.J. Jacobs also returns to give us an update on a homework assignment.

    Then, we hear a new song by Israeli-born, New Jersey-bred musician Eef Barzelay, of the band Clem Snide.

    We've got (virtual) events!

    Join us for Tablet Live, a series of Zoom conversations with some of the most interesting artists, writers, and thinkers around. Check out the full schedule at bit.ly/tabletlive.

    Stephanie will be in conversation with Keith Gessen and Esther Safran Foer on Thursday, April 20th at 7 p.m. as part of the Unpacking the Book Series with the Jewish Book Council and The Jewish Museum. RSVP and get the Zoom info at  https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/events.

    Be part of our upcoming special episodes! Do you have a story to share about conversion, and what books or movies helped you along the way? Want to tell us about a lesser-known Jewish community for our Jews Around the World episode? Send us your story as a voicemail at (914) 570-4869, or record a voice memo on your phone and email it to unorthodox@tabletmag.com.

    Our tour events for Spring 2020 have been postponed. Stay tuned for updates on rescheduled dates, and join our Facebook group to see much more of us and connect with other listeners. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.
    Follow Unorthodox on Twitter and Instagram.
    Get your Unorthodox T-shirts, sweatshirts, and baby onesies here.
    This episode is sponsored by Harry's, a great shave at a great price. Get a free trial set with a 5-blade razor, shave gel, and a travel blade cover at harrys.com/unorthodox.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr
    Queen of Quarantine: Ep. 225

    Queen of Quarantine: Ep. 225

    This week on Unorthodox, we're talking about why everyone seems to be talking about Anne Frank these days.

    Our first guest is comedian Ophira Eisenberg, who tells us about hosting NPR's usually-live game show Ask Me Another remotely, and how humor is helping her through these strange and scary times.

    Stephanie talks with Israel Story host Mishy Harmon about Israpalooza, the day-long virtual celebration of Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Log on Wednesday, April 29 to hear from Itkhak Perlman, David Broza, Joan Nathan, Moshe Safdie, and more. More info at israpalooza.org/.

    Then, we talk to our super secret special guest. It's ... Liel! He joins us to discuss his brand new book, Stan Lee: A Life in Comics. This wonderful book offers a spiritual biography of the Marvel Comics legend, and makes a compelling case for just how deeply spiritual—and deeply Jewish—Lee's work was. Plus he tells us which Marvel character was inspired by which biblical figure. (P.S. Get 25 percent off the book price and free shipping when you use the code STAN LEE at www.jewishlives.org)

    We've got (virtual) events!

    Join us for Tablet Live, a series of Zoom conversations with some of the most interesting artists, writers, and thinkers around. The series kicks off Thursday, April 23 7 p.m. at bit.ly/tabletlive with hear Liel talk to Israeli-born musician Eef Barzelay, the lead singer and songwriter of the band Clem Snide.

    Stephanie will be in conversation with Keith Gessen and Esther Safran Foer on Thursday, April 20th at 7 p.m. as part of the Unpacking the Book Series with the Jewish Book Council and The Jewish Museum. RSVP and get the Zoom info at https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/events.

    Be part of our upcoming special episodes! Do you have a story to share about conversion, and what books or movies helped you along the way? Want to tell us about a lesser-known Jewish community for our Jews Around the World episode? Send us your story as a voicemail at (914) 570-4869, or record a voice memo on your phone and email it to unorthodox@tabletmag.com.

    Our tour events for Spring 2020 have been postponed. Stay tuned for updates on rescheduled dates, and join our Facebook group to see much more of us and connect with other listeners. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.

    Follow Unorthodox on Twitter and Instagram.

    Get your Unorthodox T-shirts, sweatshirts, and baby onesies here.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
913 Ratings

913 Ratings

dliebschutz ,

Gets Better and Better

I was there at the beginning and am still here. Love the weekly conversation!!

Via Customer ,

Joyous part of my Jewish life

Since I discovered “Unorthodox” a few years ago, it’s become a segment of my week I look forward to with anticipation. Mark, Stephanie, and Liel have such delicious command of language; just listening is truly a pleasure. They and Josh Kross bring interesting and topical guests. Each year’s conversion episode and apology episode have become integral parts of my Shavuot and Yom Kippur. Keep doing it!

PCAS_PA ,

Refreshingly “present”

This show has been renaissance for my Jewish spirit.

Being present as a Jew today can be lonely sometimes-this show provides me with a connection.

Top Podcasts In Judaism

Listeners Also Subscribed To