Rachael has an unquenchable curiosity and has a passion for learning about people and culture. She packed up her '96 Ford Crown Victoria and drove from her home town of Sierra Vista, Ariz. to the East Coast where she studied film and radio production at Rowan University in New Jersey. While she served as the college radio station’s public affairs director, she won a Gracie Award (an award presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation) for her radio interview with Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron.
Rachael has dedicated her career to helping other curious Jews connect to each other and to a movement that opens doors rather than shut them. She has also helped provide resources and consulting for Reconstructionist communities looking to reach the success they want to achieve.
But when she’s not burning the midnight oil at 1299 Church Road, she is spending time with friends and family, posting too many pictures of her cat on social media, practicing her Hebrew or looking for something else to learn.
February 19th, 2018 | Season 0 | 48 mins 33 secs
Taking a page from the Judaism Unbound podcast, Rachael and Bryan ask the questions: What does Judaism do and what it is for? What does it do for those who don’t feel compelled by God to live life according to Jewish law? Rabbi Maurice Harris fields these questions, and also explains why he avoids “outing” himself as a rabbi while he’s a passenger on a commercial flight.
January 26th, 2018 | Season 0 | 34 mins 8 secs
Filmmaker Joshua Gippin discusses his antipathy to the idea that Jews are the chosen people and his journey that led him to embrace Reconstructionist Judaism, which rejects the idea of chosenness. The directory of "The Chosen People? A Film About Jewish Identity" also examines the challenge of presenting multiple perspectives on chosenness while holding such a strong personal perspective.
January 5th, 2018 | Season 0 | 38 mins 27 secs
David Lubell discusses what brought him to Ecuador, how we’ve unwittingly taught our children to fear immigrants, and why he’s dedicated his professional life to making America more welcoming to immigrants.
December 5th, 2017 | Season 0 | 46 mins 52 secs
Too often, people overlook the blessings of being alive. Judaism has, it seems, a blessing for every occasion. Bryan and Rachael are joined by Rabbi David Teutsch, Ph.D., and storyteller puppeteer Marilyn Price to discuss the relevance of Jewish blessings today. Teustch and Price read from their new book “From Gratitude to Blessings and Back” and put up with Bryan’s invocation of Fiddler on the Roof.
November 28th, 2017 | Season 0 | 30 mins 56 secs
Abigail Pogrebin, a noted print and broadcast journalist, isn’t an observant Jew but spent a year observing the major and minor Jewish holidays and writing about her experiences. Abigail discusses with Bryan and Rachael about what each holiday asks of each of us, and how the Days of Awe challenge us to consider our own mortality and think about how will prioritize our lives and spend our time and energy.
November 21st, 2017 | Season 0 | 37 mins 9 secs
Bryan, Rachael and guest Rabbi Jordan Gendra go medieval, medieval history that is. The Barcelona-born Gendra delves into Spanish history, including the 15th century roots to the recent standoff surrounding Catalan separatism. Bryan and the rabbi get into a friendly debate whether there are analogies between the independence movement in Barcelona and the secession of the South that led to the American Civil War. Oh, and he also charts his own journey from converso to Reconstructionist Rabbi and how that’s helped him reach Jews outside the mainstream.
November 14th, 2017 | Season 0 | 40 mins 22 secs
First, Cosmo Kramer made a coffee table book about coffee tables. Now, we record a podcast about a podcast. In this episode, Bryan and Rachael chat with Emily Cohen, a rabbinical student and creator of Jew Too: Tales of the Mixed Multitude. They discuss the podcast medium, the influence of Star Wars in Bryan’s moral development, and the profound role that non-Jewish families have played in Jewish lives.
November 7th, 2017 | Season 0 | 36 mins 15 secs
What happens when a rabbi and a spiritual seeker carpool to work, stick a camera on the dashboard, and invite the world to watch? You get “Carpooling with Rabbi”, a 36-part Youtube series. Rabbi Seth Goldstein and Kirsten drop by #TrendingJewish to talk about the power of talking and the challenge of driving safely while discussing weighty philosophical topics.
October 31st, 2017 | Season 0 | 33 mins 23 secs
It was not easy to find faith for Jennifer Janes after years of chronic illnesses. But this spiritual hospice social worker from San Antonio has used Judaism as a guide help her help others in difficult times. How does someone raised as a nominal Christian find a Jewish path in the middle of Texas? Bryan and Rachael will find out!
October 24th, 2017 | Season 0 | 40 mins 43 secs
Rabbi Jon Cutler had an incredible career as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy. After celebrating his recent retirement, Jon tells Bryan and Rachael about his challenges being a gay man in rabbinical school and the U.S. military while also being a voice for minority soldiers. Jon also unveils his secret plans for Bryan’s fitness routine!
October 10th, 2017 | Season 0 | 40 mins 35 secs
Rabbi Leiah Moser has two passions: studying Talmud and composing electronica music. In this episode, Bryan and Rachael uncover the links between Jewish tradition and funky modern music.