Chai Fashion

A Rosh Hashanah greeting from Iran, plus writer and model Julia Frakes and our new favorite Yiddish phrase, courtesy of Wordnik’s Erin McKean

September 17, 2015

This week on Unorthodox, we’re ringing in 5776 with the latest news of the Jews: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s Rosh Hashanah tweet, and a controversial New York Times feature that listed the Democrats in the House and Senate who voted against the Iran nuclear deal—and indicated which of those politicians were Jewish. (The “Jewish?” column was quickly ​removed from the chart, and a correction was issued.)

Many people in New York City this week are observing a High Holiday besides Rosh Hashanah: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Keeping with that tradition, our Jewish guest is writer, model, and Twitter phenom Julia Frakes, who describes getting her start in the fashion world when she was 16. She talks about​ where to find smart fashion writing, how she ended up on the runway, and how she felt when she got to college (Yale, natch).

Our non-Jewish guest is Erin McKean, lexicographer, word-lover, and founder of, the “world’s biggest online dictionary.” She asks what Hebrew words we should be importing into English, and shares a​ little-known​ Yiddish term she ​feels is much deserving of a comeback. (Love words? You can adopt one of your own on Wordnik.)

Like us? Hate us? Can’t get enough of us? Email [email protected] with comments, questions, or voice memos. We’ll share our favorites on the air.

Unorthodox is a smart, fresh, fun weekly take on Jewish news and culture hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, and Liel Leibovitz. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.

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