progressive communities

anonymous asked:

We found out recently that my father is ethnically Jewish. It had been kept secret, but his mother's mother mother, etc. was Jewish. He doesn't consider himself to be Jewish, though. Would I still be permitted to refer to myself as half Jewish if my father doesn't think of himself as Jewish? I don't want to offend anybody.

Hi anon,

I would recommend only referring to yourself as Jewish if you are a practicing Jew although the term “practicing” is ambiguous.  According to the traditional community, one is Jewish if they have a Jewish mother.  In the Reform / Progressive Jewish community, one is Jewish if they were raised Jewish and have at least one Jewish parent.  If your father does not consider himself Jewish and you were not raised Jewish, your situation would not meet either criteria as Jews do not use the term ‘half -Jewish’.

It might make sense to refer to yourself using the same phrasing that you mentioned in your ask.  “My father does not consider himself to be Jewish, but his mother’s mother was Jewish.”

If you are interested in learning more about Judaism, the culture and traditions, the holidays and Shabbat, our blessings and prayers, our history and food, please feel free to reach out!  I’d love to chat!


anonymous asked:

Hello! I'm in a religious studies class and I've taken up an interest in Judaism, I'm 17 and my family is loosely catholic but not entirely so I have religious freedom at home. I want to find a synagogue that will allow me to go but I just get really worried because I'm gay and I've had a hard time finding places of worship because of it and I was just wondering if you thought I'd have trouble finding one. Thank you!


Although there are many more traditional synagogues around the world that are not very welcoming to the LGBTQ community, most Progressive Shuls are incredible beacons of light.  The Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative Movements all perform same sex marriage cerimonies, are extremely inclusive to LGBTQ families, working to develop welcoming bathrooms (and alternatives for other genders who might feel uncomfortble using public bathrooms).

As Jews, we believe that everyone is created in the Image of God (betzelem elohim) and therefore, we need to respect every human being for who they are.

If you’d like help locating a Synagogue, please feel free to reach out.  I would love to help you find the correct place for you! Just send me a direct message.


So let’s talk about the side of weight loss that isn’t always discussed. First picture was before my health journey (~140-145) and the middle picture was about 2 years about when I was dropping weight. I was ~105-110 lbs here 😳 I looked really good, really thin and healthy but I wasn’t. I was restricting calories to 1000-1200 everyday. I was terrified of gaining an ounce bc I didn’t want to go back to “old josie” ways. I went weeks, sometimes an entire month, without any sort of cheat meal. My hands and feet were constantly freezing and numb. I was incredibly cranky and short tempered.. you know bc I was starving myself.. (sorry about that robby!). I stopped going to any social events bc again, I was scared about gaining a pound. I was so boney that it was uncomfortable to sit in a hard chair bc it felt like my spine was being directly pressed against a hard object. I couldn’t lay on my side bc my knees laying on top of each other was painful and irritating. Then I lost my period. For months. The doctor said my body stopped ovulating and menstruating to protect against pregnancy during extreme physiological stress and to use any available energy to support my basic physiological processes. You know, like a staying awake, a heart beat, functioning organs. That’s when I realized I went from one unhealthy extreme to another unhealthy extreme and I needed to find a balance. Luckily I was only in that dangerous state for a few months. But girls who lose weight can get lost in this mindset that the thinner the better. That’s when scary shit like chronic eating disorders can develop. It’s not about being so thin you disappear, it’s about feeling good, being happy, eating healthy, eating donuts, exercising, spending all day Netflix binging, it’s about balance. and here I am today a health coach, helping people do it the right way AND about 10 lbs heavier PLUS SO MUCH HEALTHIER 👌🙏💪

It’s important to understand, whether it’s growing up with women, whether it’s growing up with other ethnic groups, it’s important to experience anything different from what you know. To encourage and cultivate compassion and understanding. Certainly growing up with women helped me, but growing up in the theatre helped me, growing up in a progressive community helped me. I think it’s really important to put faces to the situations that we’re navigating as a society. 


This Shouldn’t Be a Political Statement (CC)

It’s important to understand, whether it’s growing up with women, whether it’s growing up with other ethnic groups, it’s important to experience anything different from what you know. To encourage and cultivate compassion and understanding…So certainly growing up with women helped me, but growing up in the theatre helped me, growing up in a progressive community helped me. I think it’s really important to put faces to the situations that we’re navigating as society… So yeah, growing up with sisters was a big influence for me, and I have a deep connection to not only human rights but specifically women’s rights.
—  Chris Evans on his activism

There was a post I made about a year ago where I essentially tried to divide liberals into two camps: a milquetoast centrist camp that is fully supportive of capitalist hegemony, and a more left-leaning camp that recognizes class society as more insidious but may not have the tools needed to make the leap from liberal to leftist; I called the former “liberal” and the latter “progressive”. I think these are good labels, especially since that’s how much of the world outside the Untied States would understand these terms as well. “Liberal” is centrist in much of the world, whereas “Labor” or “Progressive” is generally seen as an actual center-left position. 

Anyway, when I’ve said recently that we need to pull liberals to the left now, typically the implied meaning would be that we’re pulling progressives to the left. While I don’t think centrist liberals are always a “lost cause” with regard to turning them into leftists, let’s just say it’s significantly easier to convince a progressive of the need to abandon capitalism than it is for a hyper orthodox Occupy Democrat who thinks Obama and Clinton can do no wrong. 

Focus on the progressives. The Green Party hopefuls; those sympathetic to the struggles of labor; the liberals who will actually go to protests and listen and not make smug declarations for “unity”. It also goes without saying that many working class districts with populations of people decimated by capitalism need help, solidarity, and a way out of false consciousness that gets them thinking Trump will solve their problems. Socialism needs a focus on labor and worker self-management again, probably more so than its calls for a $15 min. wage and reestablished welfare system (a la Socialist Alternative and Bernie Sanders). There are so many ways we need to win people over across the political spectrum. The coming years will be defined by our success on this front.  


Speaking generally, Communism is the ideal of human equality and brotherhood. It considers the exploitation of man by man as the source of all slavery and oppression. It holds that economic inequality leads to social injustice and is the enemy of moral and intellectual progress. Communism aims at a society where classes have been abolished as a result of common ownership of the means of production and distribution. It teaches that only in a classless, solidaric commonwealth can man enjoy liberty, peace and well-being.
—  Emma Goldman
The thing is, butterflies and blushing and nervous giggles don’t last forever. Pretty faces and toned bodies don’t either & I know money will always come and go. Waking up to your best friend’s face every morning, making them a cup of coffee or tea, laughing at the same inside jokes for years at a time; these are things that won’t desert you. Visiting your favorite picnic spots & catching fireflies are frivolous, but timeless, pastimes. Dancing at midnight in the kitchen light right before you spoon feed each other Ben & Jerry’s are things you can just make up. Marry your best friend.
—  Me - Marry your best friend
  • Sufjan Stevens: I went to the MFA program here in New York [at The New School] and it was great. I had a good time.
  • Rick Moody: And of what did your thesis consist?
  • Sufjan: I guess the requirements were 100 pages--or 120 pages of fiction. I was writing stories, so I had a collection of stories that were about this fictional town in northern Michigan. It was actually two towns--Pickerel Lake Town and Pickerel Lake City, and they were always sort of at odds. Pickerel Lake Town was really small and kind of washed-up and full of these Christian Fundamentalists, and then Pickerel Lake City was kind of up-and-coming and was really beautiful and wealthy and had a progressive community college. And I'd spent years writing stories about all these weird people in these towns and the cities and... yeah, that's what I wrote about.
  • Rick: What was happening musically at the same time while you were doing that?
  • Sufjan: Nothing. I mean, I gave up music. I kind of stopped doing it.
  • Rick: Really? Wait, when did you get your degree? What year?
  • Sufjan: 2000. It was a while ago. And yeah, I wasn't doing any music then. I mean, I really made a decision to not be a musician. And so I came here to be a writer. And there was a great community that I was a part of there and I really enjoyed it. I think something happened where music became like, a very serious distraction soon after I graduated. I don't really know what happened but I stopped writing and I started writing songs. I think a lot of the stories that I was writing in my thesis actually kind of became songs and became part of the Michigan record, actually. That's what happened. So that's a thesis, I guess.