February 19, 2019, New York, NY – ReformJudaism.org, the flagship website of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), reaching more than three million visitors annually, has launched a new podcast titled Wholly Jewish. Reform Judaism is the largest, most diverse movement in Jewish life.
Wholly Jewish explores what we all have in common as we live and balance complex and nuanced identities. It’s these varied identities that, when braided together, make us wholly ourselves – and “Wholly Jewish.”
For the podcast’s first season, April Baskin, the URJ’s former Vice President of Audacious Hospitality, speaks with fellows from the JewV’Nation Fellowship’s Jews of Color Leadership Cohort who share their experiences, insights, frustrations, and triumphs, as well as how their multi-faceted identities enrich and create a more vibrant Jewish community.
“These conversations express both what makes Judaism wonderful and beautiful, and also what can be deeply challenging within Jewish communal life for members of our community,” said Rabbi Leora Kaye, the URJ’s Director of Program and the Executive Producer of Wholly Jewish. “The podcast’s interviews seek to uncover and explore who we are as a Jewish community, and who we can be when we are our best and most inclusive selves.”
In an upcoming episode, Alexandra Corwin, a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, says, “…‘Oh you're 50% Ashkenazi Jewish and you're 50% Latina’ and I always didn't agree with that in a lot of ways – ethnically yes, those are my ethnic percentage breakdowns, but I am 100% Jewish and 100% Latina. Those things fill me, those identities fill me spiritually and culturally and they’re really hard to cut up. I don’t think that’s the way that identity works.” Corwin adds, “I don't like it when Ashkenazi is used as a synonym for white, because that erases Ashkenazi Jews of Color.”
Yolanda Savage-Narva, the Executive Director of Operation Understanding in Washington, D.C., says, “Every single person walking this earth has a story and it’s gonna be different from yours and it’s gonna be different from mine.” Savage-Narva adds, “I want people to know that Jews come in all hues.”
ReformJudaism.org’s other weekly podcasts, On The Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah, hosted by Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, and Stories We Tell, are consistently among the most popular religion podcasts on iTunes.
Since its launch in March 2013, ReformJudaism.org has reached more than 13 million users, becoming a popular destination for people seeking information about Jewish life, practice, learning, culture, and social justice from a modern Jewish perspective. ReformJudaism.org offers “how-to” videos, holiday guides, recipes, Torah commentaries, blessings, information about Israel, articles on parenting, Jewish practice and rituals, social justice and advocacy, and a lively blog. Visit ReformJudaism.org to find answers to questions, educational information on Jewish practice and holidays, a directory of Reform Jewish congregations, listings of Judaism classes across North America, and more.
About the Union for Reform Judaism
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.
Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the largest and most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 900 member congregations and work that inspires, connects, and educates millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations.
Visit us at www.URJ.org to learn about our social justice initiatives, camps and programs for young Jews, services for congregations and communities, and how you can work with us to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. Enjoy related content at ReformJudaism.org and connect with URJ on Twitter and Facebook.