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 being … Continue reading

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


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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 string of … 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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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


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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 Faith … Continue reading

December Dilemma v. Thinking Broadly about Religion in Schools


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As I write this, K-12 schools are wrapping up classes or may have already finished them for winter breaks. In elementary schools, no doubt, many teachers have felt compelled to mention Christmas and Hanukkah in some way.

Look at the photo above, though. First-grade teacher Debbie Fagg at the Minneha Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary School in Wichita, KS, is teaching about Hanukkah in early November as part of a multi-week unit on three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. She brought … Continue reading

Reflections from a Religion Writing Conference, Plus Major Award for Faith Ed

Faith Ed wins a national religion book award and the author’s reflections on a national religion writing conference. Continue reading

Faith Ed Book Review, Interview Round-up


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Here are links to book reviews, when available online, and interviews:

Jewish Book Council review.

Boston Globe review by Kate Tuttle.

Wichita Eagle Review by former religion editor Tom Schaefer.

New York Times Sunday Book Review by Naomi Schaefer Reilly.

 Religion & Education has reviewed Faith Ed. and given it a nod in a foreword, too. Many thanks to the journal editor Mike Waggoner and reviewer Nicholas Piediscalzi. Here’s a snippet from the review, which also included Dr. Piediscalzi’s wonderful … Continue reading