Really though, White Ashkenazi Jews ARE White

[Editor's note: The following article, as noted within, is a response to the recent article by blogger Hila Hershkoviz. As such, although we here at JN Magazine are fully aware that not all ethnically Ashkenazi Jews are monolithically "White", we have adopted Hershkoviz's definition so as not to obfuscate the issue under scrutiny.]

When I was a freshman in college, my Introduction to Sociology professor, Dr. Chi asked us all a question:

“What are you in this class to learn?”

Dr. Chi is a terrifying–but brilliant–professor. She could reduce you to tears with a single glare and the snappiest of remarks if you weren’t careful. Her class was sink or swim – either you realized that you were living in the Matrix, or you ended up hating her by Fall Break, and probably getting a D in the class.  Continue reading Really though, White Ashkenazi Jews ARE White

Be The Example

The old saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is one of my favorites.

I sometimes sit in amazement and think about how much power adults have over who their children grow to be. Whether our children decide to learn religiously all day or to become explorers of outer space, we have the ability to inspire greatness in them. Proverbs 1:8 states “Heed, my son, the discipline of your father and do not forsake the guidance of your mother”.  Continue reading Be The Example


Something I struggled with at the beginning of my Jewish journey was maintaining my Irish identity in a sea of Eastern European Jewishness. I like a lot of the so-called “traditional” Jewish foods like gefilte fish and blintzes, but I also recognize that making them an integral part of our Shabbosim is unnecessary appropriation. Why didn’t my Shabbos reflect more of my Irish heritage?  Continue reading O’Hanukkah

Couch To College

At the beginning of each new year (and I do mean each – Rosh Hashana, January 1st, Tu B’Shevat, the season premier of American Idol) I make a resolution to get in shape. Sometimes the focus is on my stomach, in the metaphorical sense, and I make drastic changes to my diet plan. South Beach, Long Beach, Fast Beach… My favorite was the “Beaches” diet, where you hang out with a childhood friend and alternate between gossiping about other people and catfights for so long that you forget to eat.  Continue reading Couch To College

The Tradition That Didn’t Carry Over

One thing that I was asked by the beit din when I converted was how my family would react to my decision. I thought it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Maybe a big shock initially with my mother, but I was sure that she’d come around to accept my choice. I knew I’d have no problems with her family, but with my father’s family, I did expect perhaps some surprised reactions. But then again, one of my cousins has Jewish family on her father’s side, and one uncle is married to a Jewish woman. All in all, I figured things would be fine in the end.

I was wrong.

Continue reading The Tradition That Didn’t Carry Over

The Eric Garner Aftermath

This has been a very trying couple of weeks for us here at JN Magazine. Covering the Michael Brown verdict drained us to nearly the very last, and then the Eric Garner verdict came around and kicked us while we were down. We’re angry. We’re hurt. We’re disappointed. And each and every single one of us has been exhausted from having the same conversation across every social media platform imaginable.  Continue reading The Eric Garner Aftermath