All posts by Shoshana Ne'orah Rishon

German Jewish mom + Black Catholic dad = Biracial advocate, interracial & inter-religious family adviser, general race conversationalist. I blog, I speak publicly, and I run classes for interracial families on socio-racial identity development (or, how to make sure your kids are secure in themselves without sacrificing your own identity). I'm also re-learning how to knit.

I Think I’m Finally A Baal Teshuva

I’ve had a lot of issues with the term baal/baalat teshuva over the past 5+ years.

It means “master of returning”, and usually indicates a person who grew up with Jewish ancestry but not Torah observant, or at least not fully. Sometimes it’s used in common parlance to refer to someone who was “religious”, and then stopped being religious, and then came back to Orthodoxy. These terms: “religious” “Orthodox” and “baal teshuva”…they’re so self righteous. I hate the way they’re used in every day life, and in Orthodox communities.

But that’s not the point. Continue reading I Think I’m Finally A Baal Teshuva


An Inspired Shabbat

Last night, I was present for the presentation of a Guinness World Record. Project Inspire now holds the official record for “longest loaf of braided bread,” with a 20 foot, oven-baked, perfectly seeded 6 braid challah. Somehow, though, the over 2,200 women and girls I was sharing the space with weren’t an official record on our own. It would’ve been something like “most people simultaneously kneading and braiding challah.” Or, maybe, “most unified Jewish event.” Who would’ve ever thought that Brooklyn Jews could pull that one off?

Well, Project Inspire is certainly the group to make it happen. Continue reading An Inspired Shabbat