S2Ep9: MLK Weekend, White Privilege, and the Exodus - Parshat Va'eira

As Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend draws to a close, Jenna reflects on the admonishment by our Jewish sages that we reflect on our people’s Exodus from slavery in Egypt not just once a year, but every day.  What does the Torah say a free society looks like, and what role are we commanded to play in building it?  

S2Ep8: Let My Women Speak

As we start the book of Shemot--the Book of Exodus--Jenna looks at the misogyny in present-day America and how it is and is not like the structural misogyny present in the Torah and the history of Jewish intellectual thought.  In her reading of Parshat Shemot, she studies the unsung heroes of the Exodus: Shifrah and Puah, the Hebrew midwives; Pharaoh’s Daughter, and Zipporah, Moses’s wife.

S2Ep6: Jews on Christmas, Jerusalem, and Drawing Closer

Jenna gives a special shout-out to all Jews who have family celebrating Christmas and honors the memory of her late Catholic great-aunt.  Jenna also spits fire at Jared Kushner and the idiocy of moving the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  The Torah portion from this past Shabbat offers some good tips on how to reconcile after a family feud. 

Midrash, Storytelling and Loving Kindness, with Special Guest Michael Bauer

After weeks of relying on the midrash to make sense of the weekly parshah, Jenna investigates the history of midrash and the role it plays in Judaism today.  She then interviews Israeli educator, storyteller and tour guide Michael Bauer about exploring Israel, why hearing multiple version of a story is a positive thing, and what makes a place holy. 

S2Ep2: Halloween Edition: Demons, Ghosts and Monsters in Judaism

In honor of Halloween, Jenna explores the appearances of Satan, demons, ghosts and monsters in Judaism, and then tells a Jewish ghost story of her own.  In this past week’s parshah, we learn about everyone’s favorite body-altering covenant. 

S2Ep1: Harvey Weinstein, Noah, and the End of the World

It’s season 2 of Bad Jew Weekly!  Jenna grapples with her overbooked schedule, Harvey Weinstein’s pathological sexual harassment finally coming to light, and how the lessons of this can be applied to Judaism (yes, really).  In the Torah this week, we read the story of Noah. 

Episode 42: Life, the Universe, and Everything (or, Rosh Hashanah and Love of Torah)

Jenna explains how she used cats to out-troll a neo-Nazi on Twitter, and what the experience taught her about being Jewish on the internet (and in her heart).  In anticipation of Rosh Hashanah, she also discusses some nuts and bolts of synagogue etiquette.  In the Torah this week, we get an epic mic drop.      


S1Ep41: Change Your Life in 40 Days

Jenna investigates the significance of the number 40 in Judaism, and why the sages say we can change our life in 40 days.  (If she'd been smart, she would have done this segment last week.)  The parshah this week, Ki Tavo, is thought to be one of the most challenging in the Torah.   

S1Ep40: Progressive Zionism in Action, with Special Guest Rabbi Ephraim Pelcovits

What does being a progressive Zionist mean in practice?  What does the political and social landscape of Israel look like today?  How do we take a stand to end the Occupation of Palestine?  Jenna chats with Rabbi Ephraim Pelcovits, SoCal Regional Director of the New Israel Fund.  Learn more about this organization at nif.org.  Also, the Torah portion this week is a hot mess.    

S1Ep39: Getting Angry for Good, with Special Guest Samuel Chu


“I know you’re mad.  What are you gonna do about it?”  Jenna discusses the Jewish concept of gemilut chasadim, acts of loving kindness, and then interviews MAZON’s Samuel Chu about righteous anger, feeding the hungry, and the true definition of allyship.  The Torah portion for this past week is uncannily apt. 


S1Ep38: The Jewish Response to Charlottesville, with Special Guest Rabbi Sharon Brous

“…We all know by now that racism is at the heart of this country.”  Jenna talks with Rabbi Sharon Brous about strength in the face of anti-Semitism, and bringing Torah and moral courage back to the heart of Judaism.  Watch Rabbi Brous’s Ted Talk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/sharon_brous_it_s_time_to_reclaim_and_reinvent_religion

S1Ep37: The Power of Repetition

What do we get out of hearing the same story over and over again?  How can we make every retelling a new experience?  Jenna looks to this week’s parshah to investigate.