Jewschool.com apparently does not have bloggers. It has an "editorial board."
Who came up with that term? Could it be the founder of Jewschool.com, the Orthodox Anarchist Dan Sieradski?
Jewschool consistently gets about half the traffic of this blog despite its vaunted "editorial board."
Judaism has always been revolutionary. It seems though that every few decades the tradition becomes ensnared in a rigidity and conservativism which defies its radical roots. Jew School is an open revolt. Offering the latest and greatest from the bleeding edge of Jewish cultural and communal life, Jew School’s more than just a weblog. It is an ever-expanding network of websites, projects, and events which promote critical thought and provide engagement opportunities for disenfranchised Jews alienated — and bored to death — by the Jewish mainstream.
Jew School represents The New Jew precisely because you cannot confine us to traditional categories and delineations. We defy existing archetypes and forge new ones in their stead. We are spiritually devout and worldly. We are proud and ashamed. We are scholarly and sophomoric. We are traditional and radically opposed to our traditions. We are queer hasidim and tzenuah feminists, Orthodox maskilim and secular hareidim, anti-Zionist Zionists and diaspora enthusiasts longing for geulah, talmud chochams who don’t believe in God and atheists who want to throw rocks at cars on Shabbos. We embrace the contradictions. And we relish in our freedom to be true to who we are without having to fill whatever mold you may wish to cast for us without ever really getting to know us.
Jew School dares to be what others can not: It pries Judaism from the lifeless fingers of the Jewish establishment and serves it up to the public with the insistence, “This belongs to you.”
One thing I love about Daniel Sieradski is that he does not suffer from the sin of excessive humility.
Today’s my last day at JTA.
After two years of making my mark and proving my worth to “the establishment,” I’m moving on to a new position with Repair the World, a recently launched Jewish service initiative that aims to make doing community service as ubiquitous as having a bar or bat mitzvah.
Though I’m very excited to begin my new job, I am also very grateful to both JTA’s board of directors and its executive director, Mark Joffe, for taking a risk with this punchy blogger and giving me an opportunity to make a truly valuable contribution to both the field of Jewish journalism and the American Jewish community itself.
And while, of course, none of these were solo efforts — I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without a great team, great content, and a great web design & development firm — here’s just a smattering of what I’ve achieved during my tenure:
Heart be still. I’m in the presence of genius.
A graduate of both Brown and Los Angeles’s Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, Ruttenberg has written several other books, including “Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism,” and currently serves on the editorial board at Jewschool.com. She said that the idea for The Passionate Torah came to her after she had an idea for an essay related to the topic.
“Sex is Torah,” she said in her address to the audience of around 30, mostly composed of older Cambridge locals and a few students. “It’s part of our spirituality and part of our connection to the divine.”
Ruttenberg summarized some of the issues in her book at yesterday’s talk, working her way easily from the presence of homoeroticism in sexually segregated communities to the role of female masturbation in Jewish sacred texts.
“Sex toys are mentioned in the Talmud, but female masturbation is not,” she said.
After reading a steamy passage from the thirteenth century about the sexual effects of circumcision, Ruttenberg looked up from her notes, asking the audience, “See how great it is to be a Jew?”