what would dad think?

poli­ty not piety™

Yes, that’s a “trade­mark” sym­bol there. Why not? I con­tin­ue to tell peo­ple that I came to the rab­binate out of “poli­ty” not “piety”. My involve­ment was as a com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­er. A quick check on Google indi­cates that I’m near­ly the only per­son to have used it… and, at that, sig­nif­i­cant­ly more fre­quent­ly.

nathan hurvitz

Our father died 25 […]

first they came for the canary

what are the police doing in egypt?

At a cer­tain point dur­ing the recent (2011) Egypt­ian rev­o­lu­tion it was not always clear with which side the police iden­ti­fied. These Police are dif­fer­ent. They’re singing about canaries in coal mines. They offer a per­son­al­ized vari­ant of the old metaphor.

First to fall over when the atmos­phere is less than […]

swann song

jews and judaism in amer­i­can pop­u­lar cul­ture .01
now, …with har­vey and sheila!

There was a time, it feels strange to write this… a gen­er­a­tion ago, when being Jew­ish was very “in”. The thing to be in Amer­i­ca. Amer­i­cans con­tin­ue to, even increas­ing­ly, con­vert to Judaism in the 2000s. How­ev­er, back in “The Six­ties” some forms of Jew­ish cul­ture […]

for multiple transgressions of…

The words of Amos, who was among the writ­ers of Tel Aviv, which he saw, con­cern­ing Israel in the days of Cas­tro, Sartre, Rus­sell and all the rest…

The fol­low­ing text appeared in the Octo­ber 1968 edi­tion of Mid­stream mag­a­zine. It was dis­trib­uted very wide­ly as a long leaflet in the late 1960s. Jay tracked down a copy […]

Faye Avrunin Hurvitz ז

…from the archives (with minor updat­ing), repost­ed on what would be her 4th Yahrtzeit

Faye Hurvitz cel­e­brates her 90th birth­day a bit ear­ly with her fam­i­ly gath­ered, August 2003

21st of Tevet 5674 — 8th of Tam­muz 5765
Decem­ber 20 1913 (the win­ter sol­stice) — July 14, 2005

Our moth­er, Faye Hurvitz, died July 14, 2005 (8th of Tam­muz […]

th Century Jewish Cultural Hero">19th Century Jewish Cultural Hero

I col­lect (Amer­i­can) Juda­ic lapel but­tons.
I have approx­i­mate­ly 3000 unique items. Each one rep­re­sents a dif­fer­ent moment in the Amer­i­can Jew­ish expe­ri­ence.
Peri­od­i­cal­ly I share them here.

My uncle was named after Mendele Mocher Sforim (the “Grand­fa­ther of Yid­dish lit­er­a­ture”). His old­er broth­er, my father was always called Nathan or Nate, though he was named Nechemia. I’ve not found any­one […]