Jews and Campaign Buttons: A Time-Honored Tradition

a selec­tion of Jew­­ish-themed cam­paign but­tons 1940–2016

A briefer ver­sion of this blog post, with few­er illus­tra­tions, was pub­lished as “Ten Min­utes of Torah” on Octo­ber 27, 2016 on

Strangers don’t often inter­act on New York’s streets. Yet, this elec­tion sea­son, I am often stopped and asked about my polit­i­cal lapel but­ton.

Gen­er­al­ly, I have found that while […]

#blogelul — hear

women should be seen & heard

wow, and how!

Briefly put. Sup­port Women of the Wall (and the New Israel Fund).

Be sure you can…hearwomen’svoic­es!

women of the wall mem­bers blow the sho­far at the back of the west­ern wall plaza dur­ing its month­ly rosh chodesh ser­vice, aug. 7, 2013. (miri­am alster)

Here’s a Yeshi­va world per­spec­tive.

And an appro­pri­ate but­ton:

women should be seen & heard­new […]

#blogelul — be

you don't have to be jewish to oppose the war in vietnam

mad man

Ad man William Bern­bach devel­oped a num­ber of famous cam­paigns. For our pur­pose today, his most impor­tant is that for Levy’s bak­ery.

Cor­rec­tion (Jan­u­ary 14, 2014): the woman behind the man!

Judy Por­tas died Tues­day, Jan­u­ary 7, 2014 at the age of 91. As the sto­ry in the New York Times reports:

As Ms. Pro­tas, a retired adver­tis­ing exec­u­tive […]

#blogelul — do

what would maimonides do?


What would you do?

stat­ue of mai­monides in cor­do­ba, spain

Mai­mon­des’ “Hil­chot Teshu­va” (The Rules of Repen­tance) is avail­able at Mechon Mam­re: הלכות תשובה. It was trans­lat­ed from the Hebrew and post­ed at scribd by Rab­bi Yaakov Feld­man.

You can read an excerpt and intro­duc­tion at My Jew­ish Learn­ing:

If a man trans­gress­es, wit­ting­ly or unwit­tingly, any pre­cept of […]

#blogelul — know

now, i know.

what might know­ing change?

What does this (from a recent arti­cle in the For­ward) mean?

…aggres­sive pre­na­tal genet­ic test­ing has effec­tive­ly erad­i­cat­ed dev­as­tat­ing con­di­tions such as Tay-Sachs…

a friend knows

I asked my friend Jane Her­man who has the BRCA muta­tion why it is impor­tant to know.

I under­stand in your case, as an adult, know­ing you car­ry a BRCA muta­tion, you have […]

#blogelul - prepare

just jew it

the upcom­ing event

You’ve invit­ed a num­ber of friends over. Even if it is a pot-luck din­ner, there’s much you need to do in advance of the meal. You, as I do, prob­a­bly have lists with sub­lists encom­pass­ing all the projects that go into mak­ing your event a suc­cess: write out and send invi­ta­tions, clean the apart­ment, make sure not […]


kindness counts

let me count the (w/d)ays

The peri­od between Pesach and Shavuot was one of seri­ous ten­sion in ancient Israel. The bar­ley har­vest began at Pesach and the wheat har­vest end­ed near the time of Shavuot. More was at stake dur­ing the peri­od of the count­ing of the Omer than our spir­i­tu­al growth. The future year’s wealth, […]

#blogelul : faith

faith obama 2008

what does it mean to have faith?

When some­one pro­duces the same lapel but­ton for com­pet­ing can­di­dates, all that indi­vid­ual is inter­est­ed in is the dol­lar. So encour­ag­ing us to [have?] faith in either can­di­date from the 2008 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion is very odd.

Is faith some­thing you can have in some­one? We say: “I have faith in […]

#blogelul : trust

trust me, i'm a rabbi


It is often hard to know whom to trust.

Each of the fol­low­ing but­tons were sold as nov­el­ty items. The first sug­gest­ing we trust Bernard Mad­off is very sad. The sec­ond is intend­ed for fun.

I’ve nev­er worn the first.

The oth­er I wear at rab­binic con­ven­tions.

a shon­da!



Pin Form:

Print Method:



trust me, i’m a rab­bi



Pin Form:

Print […]

#blogelul : counting


the num­bers’ game
[Note: not all of the but­tons used to illus­trat­ed this game rep­re­sent the con­cept expressed in the num­bers; some are used because they dis­play that num­ber.]

The chil­dren played by the shore, allow­ing the ball to bounce light­ly on their fin­ger tips before they popped it over to the oth­er side of the line. […]