Ep. 264: Celebrating the Festival of Lots with special guests Kylie Unell, Abigail Pogrebin, Anna Solomon, and Shaina Trapedo
This week on Unorthodox, we’re celebrating Purim and breaking the mold.
First, Stephanie welcomes two special Purim co-hosts, friends of the show Kylie Unell and Abigail Pogrebin, who help her tell the story of Purim and offer their takes on some of the holiday’s larger themes.
Next, Stephanie is joined by Anna Solomon, author of The Book of V., a fictionalized reimagining of the story of Vashti. She explains that the binaries we’ve been taught—“that Vashti is wanton, wicked, selfish; and Esther virtuous, brave, selfless”—don’t match up with what we actually find in The Book of Esther.
From Vashti to Esther: Liel sits down with English professor Shaina Trapedo, who wrote about Purim-inspired beauty pageants for Esther in America, a new collection edited by former Unorthodox guest Stuart Halpern. She tells us about the surprising history of Jewish beauty pageants in America, and explains why the Esther aesthetic is more complex than it may seem.
And finally, Mark checks in with former guest Shay Khatiri to find out what it’s like to be named after Ahasuerus.
There’s just one week left to enter our Jewish Name of the Year bracket! Do you have a great Jewish name or know someone with a great Jewish name? Email your suggestions to [email protected].
Join us Tuesday, March 2, at 2 p.m. EST for Zibby Owen’s next virtual book club. Stephanie will be joining Zibby to talk to Melissa Gould about her memoir Widow-ish, her story of young widowhood, grief, and finding love again. Sign up at zibbyowens.com/virtualbookclub.
As always, let us know what you think of the show. Send us comments and questions at [email protected], or leave us a voicemail at (914) 570-4869. You can also record a voice memo on your smartphone and email it to us.
We’ve got virtual events!
Tuesday, March 2: Stephanie will be discussing Tablet’s first book, The 100 Most Jewish Foods: A Highly Debatable List, at the Springfield, Massachusetts, JCC at 7 p.m. EST; Register here.
Wednesday, March 10: Mark, Stephanie, and Liel will be returning to the Washington Hebrew Congregation virtually to discuss The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia at 8 p.m. EST. Register here.
Thursday, March 25: Stephanie will be interviewing Menachem Kaiser about his new book, Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, at 7 p.m. EST. Register here.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get new episodes, photos, and more.
Check out all of Tablet’s podcasts at tabletmag.com/podcasts.
Kol Foods has everything you need to create a kosher, ethical, sustainably sourced Passover Seder spread, from delicious briskets to 100% grass-fed lamb shank bones. Use promo code UNORTHODOXPESACH for 10% off your entire Passover order at KOLFoods.com.
- UnorthodoxEveryday HeroesEp. 391: Bernard-Henri Lévy’s new film about Ukraine, and Brooke Eby on raising awareness about ALSNovember 30, 2023
- UnorthodoxSitting TogetherEp. 390: A Beautifully Jewish Thanksgiving, featuring an iconic folding chair and a conversation with knitwear designer Inbal GrossNovember 22, 2023
- UnorthodoxDark Times, Bright LightsEp. 389: Reporting from the March for Israel in Washington, D.C.; Etgar Keret’s writer’s block; LeElle Slifer on advocating for her kidnapped Israeli cousins; and Tablet’s Hanukkah BazaarNovember 16, 2023
- UnorthodoxWords of WisdomEp. 388: Dan Senor on ‘The Genius of Israel’ and Gila Sacks on the legacy of her father, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, in this momentNovember 9, 2023
- UnorthodoxJewish PrioritiesEp. 387: A trip Across the JEW.S.A to Miami, plus timely conversations about Jewish identity, Israel, and more recorded live at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish HistoryNovember 2, 2023
- UnorthodoxClosely KnitEp. 386: Israeli actress Swell Ariel Or on living in the U.S. while Israel is at war, Tablet’s audience editor Ani Wilcenski on speaking up on social media, and artist Jeanette Kuvin Oren on teaching art to displaced children in IsraelOctober 26, 2023
- UnorthodoxMoving Forward, TogetherEp. 385: Rabbi Ari Lamm on what Jewish ethics says about freeing hostages and more; actress Lisa Edelstein on her new PBS series, ‘Little Bird’October 19, 2023
- UnorthodoxTime for ShabbatEp. 384: After a painful week, we’re embracing one of the most beautiful and steadfast Jewish traditionsOctober 13, 2023
- UnorthodoxVoices From IsraelEp. 383: Am Yisrael ChaiOctober 10, 2023
- UnorthodoxThe Good BookEp. 382: Co-host Liel Leibovitz on ‘How the Talmud Can Change Your Life,’ plus Israeli journalist Leore Dayan on his semi-autobiographical TV series ‘Normal’October 5, 2023
- UnorthodoxUnder the StarsEp. 381: Celebrating Sukkot in styleSeptember 28, 2023
- UnorthodoxTalking the TalkEp. 380: Linguist Deborah Tannen on ‘cooperative overlap,’ Peoplehood founder Julie Rice on creating community through conversation, and Mitchell Silk on communicating across languages and culturesSeptember 21, 2023
- UnorthodoxStealing the ShowEp. 379: ‘Golda’ director Guy Nattiv and ‘You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ writer Amanda SternSeptember 14, 2023
- UnorthodoxBeautifully JewishEp. 378: Starting the new year with a celebration of the objects that enrich our Jewish livesSeptember 7, 2023
- UnorthodoxWe Could NoshEp. 377: Jake Cohen’s new cookbook; the Jewish story behind PLNT Burger; New York’s rugelach king; and a trip Across the JEW.S.A. to the kosher Catskills August 31, 2023
- UnorthodoxSounds of the SeasonEp. 376: High Holiday music prep with Rabbi Josh Warshawsky, plus Ladino singer Sarah Aroeste, and the music archive of the National Library of IsraelAugust 24, 2023
- UnorthodoxEntering Elul Ep. 375: Diving into the month leading up to the High Holidays with Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin, Rabbi Diana Fersko, and moreAugust 17, 2023
- UnorthodoxRocky Mountain High NotesEp. 374: Song Exploder host Hrishikesh Hirway’s new single, plus a trip Across the JEW.S.A. to ColoradoAugust 3, 2023