Why All Should Care about Supreme Court Rulings on School Prayer, Religious School Funding

How will educators in the upcoming school year make sense of the recent Supreme Court ruling on public school prayer? As longtime First Amendment scholar Charles C. Haynes told me for my commentary for the Boston Globe Magazine, the Kennedy v. Bremerton ruling has blurred the lines separating church from state. Continue reading

As Faith Ed nears its 6th birthday, author appears on two podcasts and works on new book


Greeting, Faith Ed subscribers! I know it’s been a long time – perhaps nearly two years – since I’ve sent out a newsletter. I thought this was a good time to reconnect, given the state of our world and continued concerns about a rise in religious bigotry and racism in America.Faith Ed turns six years old this summer, and I still hear from new readers who have discovered the book and want to learn more about how religion is taught in … Continue reading

Going to Temple the First Shabbat after Pittsburgh

Fb-Button November 3, 2018 Like Jews around the world, I spent Friday night at services at my temple last night, surrounded by family, friends and non-Jews who wanted to show their solidarity with us at the first Shabbat services since 11 Jews were murdered in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

I sat in between my husband and my 10-year-old son. We wanted to be there with our Jewish community last night. We often go to Shabbat services, anyway, but there was a pull to show our Jewishness in a very visible way by … Continue reading

Grooming a Religiously Literate Next Generation: Faith Ed Heads to #2018PoWR Parliament of World Religions


The need for improving religious literacy is higher than it’s ever been, given frequent reports of acts of religious bigotry, whether they’re aimed at Jews, Muslims, Sikhs or others, in the United States.

The Boston suburb of Reading recently had a rally against hate in response to swastikas found in the town’s high school. Someone had drawn them on a science table. This was just the latest in a … Continue reading

Speaking as a Religious Minority in Mormon Country

Our stories were different, and yet Ossama, Sahar, Haroon and I had a commonality in our experiences. We all were religious minorities in America. Each of us had dealt with being stereotyped or maligned because we were not Christian and because those around us knew so little about our faiths. We knew too of incidents that had affected Muslims, Jews and other religious minorities in our own communities or nearby towns. Continue reading

How Can Teachers Navigate Religion Without Controversy? Faith Ed Tour Continues

In the aftermath of the 2016 election and the rise in Islamophobic rhetoric, many educators have become well aware that they have to work even harder to educate themselves and the communities they serve about why they teach about world religions and how they’re doing it. Using Faith Ed and the reporting trips I did around the country, I prove some tips on how to avoid landing in controversy when teaching about religion, especially when Islam is on the lesson plan.
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Coming up: Workshops for Teachers on Navigating Religion in the Schools

 May 16, 2017

Greetings to new and old subscribers,

As our country becomes increasingly polarized, it becomes even harder for teachers who teach about touchy topics like religion. Sometimes, parents get nervous if they just hear the word ‘religion’ combined with education.

In general, Americans are fairly ignorant about what’s legal and what’s not regarding religion and public schools.

In July, I’ll conduct two workshops for Chicago-area teachers interested in teaching about the world’s religions. I’ll use lessons learned from … Continue reading

Faith Ed Makes National TV & Other News

Church/state battles rage on in America, and last week, author Linda K. Wertheimer spoke about religion and public schools on Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield. Read more Faith Ed related news in the newsletter. Continue reading

Writing for Change in Trump’s America


Greetings to new and old subscribers,

When you don’t hear for me for quite a while, it’s usually because I’m busily writing this and that. Our country’s polarization has made me even more determined to write commentaries and articles that will provoke thought and ideally, prompt change in some way. That’s not that unusual, I guess, for a long-time journalist, but these times make the job of a writer more urgent.

In the past few weeks, I’ve published a few pieces. One continues the themes I wrote about in … Continue reading

Making Our Voices Heard Through Workshops & More


Like so many around the country, I have been dismayed by the tone of anti-Muslim, anti-women, anti-fill-in-the-blank rhetoric during the 2016 presidential campaign and afterward with the election of Donald Trump as president. I have been torn about how much to weigh in, given I remain a journalist committed to not publicly endorsing politicians. With the publication of my first book, Faith Ed, however, I put myself firmly in the position as an advocate for social justice, as an advocate … Continue reading