Blog

Blog topics range from experiencing the Jewish holidays to studies on Jewish life to reviewing a recent books and film. We create and curate content especially for this site with our blog content, even as we create new content for specific publications regularly.

Feel free to skim through the list until you find something of interest to you, or type a specific search into the search box above to see what we have available.

Apple Cake (from the Jews for Jesus Cookbook)
May 18, 2017

3 eggs 1 ¼ C vegetable oil (safflower or corn—no canola, it’s fake) 1 ¾ C sugar 3 C sifted flour 2 tsp baking soda 2 tsp vanilla ¾ tsp salt 3 C diced apples (Granny Smith & Gravenstein are the best) 1 C chopped walnuts * ½ tsp cinnamon * you can substitute the […]

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A Response to “Jesus Didn’t Eat A Seder Meal”
April 11, 2017
Author: Rich Robinson

Rabbis Yehiel Poupko and David Sandmel’s recent article, “Jesus Didn’t Eat a Seder Meal,” in Christianity Today was written in response to the increasing interest of Christians in Passover and the celebration by some of Christian seders. Certainly, this phenomenon deserves exploration and comment. But I am not so sure that Rabbis Poupko and Sandmel’s […]

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Jesus the Jew as Told by his Brother James
March 10, 2017

Theater Review Jesus the Jew as Told by his Brother James Playing now through March 26 at the Greenhouse Theater, Chicago I received an unexpected call from the marketing director of Greenwood Theater, a local theater here in Chicago. The owner of the theater, William Spatz, wrote a play called Jesus the Jew as Told […]

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Movie Review: Denial (2016)
January 4, 2017
Author: Stan Meyer

Following the surrender of Nazi Germany, a parade of SS officers testified before an international tribunal and described the details of their systematic plan to eradicate European Jewry. No story was more astonishing than the candid testimony of Rudolph Hoess, the commander of Auschwitz. He provided an international assembly of judges, reporters and witnesses the chilling details of how two million Jews had been murdered under his watchful eye.

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Movie review | The Pianist
November 16, 2016
Author: Diane Halm

The movie opens during the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. By October 31, 1940, the Nazis have forced all the Jewish residents to abandon their homes and move to the ghetto. The family has to sell its prized possession, the piano, for next to nothing.

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He Said then She Said: Helping Jewish-Gentile Couples Find Spiritual Harmony
September 21, 2016

Over the last decade and a half, my ministry with Jews for Jesus has focused on working with Jewish-Gentile couples.

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Movie review | Life is Beautiful
July 29, 2016
Author: Diane Halm

Life is Beautiful, written, directed and starring Roberto Benigni (who won the Best Actor Oscar for this role), captures the power of love, family and imagination to conquer all.

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Movie review | Septembers of Shiraz
Author: Stan Meyer

Septembers of Shiraz is an adaptation of Dalia Sofer’s 2008 novel of the same name.

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The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal

Book Review: The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness
April 21, 2016
Author: Diane Halm

(New York: Schocken Books, 1998) 289 pp. In his book, The Sunflower, renowned Jewish Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, recalls his encounter with a terminally ill Nazi officer. In doing so, Wiesenthal poses the moral dilemma of atonement and forgiveness. This subject has prompted debate amongst theologians, political and moral leaders and writers […]

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The Day Purim Wasn’t Happy
March 14, 2016
Author: Rich Robinson

The day before Purim is traditionally a fast day in remembrance of Haman’s plot to kill the Jews. Purim itself is supposed to be a happy occasion, celebrating the subsequent deliverance of the Jewish people from genocide during the days of King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther.

It was different for some Jews in March of 1942.

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A Permanent Egalitarian Prayer Space at the Western Wall
February 12, 2016
Author: Susan Perlman

A recent controversial decision by the Israeli government will affect men and women who pray at the Western (Wailing) Wall

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What the L?
January 18, 2016
Author: Matt Sieger

WHAT THE ‘L’? SINCE SUPER BOWL V IN 1971THE NFL HAS USED ROMAN NUMERALS TO NUMBER THE GAMES. UNTIL NOW. THE NFL SAYS, “‘L’ ISN’T PLEASING TO THE EYE.” I GUESS WE BETTER GET RID OF ALL THOSE L-SHAPED HOMES, KITCHENS AND SOFAS SO… THIS YEAR THE NFL IS SUBSTITUTING THE # 50 FOR THE […]

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Christmas and the Jewish People
December 21, 2015

The Jews and Jesus… Christmas concerns. Jews and Jesus seem to live in two different worlds. They appear to be representing two different religions.

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It’s Chrismukkah Season! Huh?
Author: Stephen Katz

Is the made-up holiday Chrismukkah a good idea? Does it meet the needs of kids growing up in mixed marriage homes? The writer suggests there’s a better way.

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It Could Have Been Me
November 24, 2015
Author: Joshua Turnil

It could have been me. Right there next to the bullet-ridden door and behind the police tape that now decorates what was once the Bataclan café. 

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A Paris Reflection
Author: Joshua Turnil

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea…” (Psalm 46).  The Lord reminded me of these words when our cherished city was attacked.

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Thanksgiving: A Jewish Holiday
November 20, 2015
Author: Stan Meyer

There is a surprising “back story” behind the Pilgrims’ celebration of the first Thanksgiving in the New World.

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Wartime and the Ultimate Sacrifice
November 9, 2015
Author: Stephen Katz

A quick look at the American holiday Veterans Day and what it has to do with Yeshua of Nazareth. Is there common ground between the soldier who sacrifices his life to save his friends and Jesus’ death?

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A Jewish Halloween?
October 27, 2015

Jewish kids celebrate Halloween, but why? Is it just for the candy? And what would have happened if Halloween had become a Jewish holiday? It’s interesting to think about!

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The Blessing of Animals
October 13, 2015
Author: Ruth Rosen

Attention Jewish animal devotees: would you like to have your dog, cat, hamster or parakeet blessed, synagogue-style? You can! In fact, you don’t even have to be physically present at the synagogue to receive said blessing.

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Simchat Torah – A complex journey
October 5, 2015
Author: Josh Sofaer

Yes, I’m Jewish, but truthfully, for most of my early life I had no idea what Simchat Torah was…

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May You Be Inscribed with Possibility
September 21, 2015

Whether you’re Orthodox, a “High Holiday Jew,” a self-proclaimed “bad Jew,” “Jew-ish,” or just have a Jewish relative or friend, you might find this season a suitable time to reflect on some spiritual possibilities.

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Put Up Or Shut Up
September 16, 2015
Author: Stephen Katz

I recently learned that the meaning of the phrase “Put up or shut up” comes from boxing, when one fighter would challenge another and require him to put up money for a match or stop his fighting words. I’m guessing that’s the same origin for another expression, “Put your money where your mouth is.”

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If You Make Brisket, They Will Come
September 11, 2015

When you think of past High Holidays celebrations, what do you remember most? Chances are, it’s your stomach that possesses the best memory.

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Re-Booting Is Not Just for Tech Devices
August 28, 2015

Everything needs a re-boot every once in a while.

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