Collage: Tablet Magazine

Motherhood, Burgers, and Bacon

Episode 135: Peninah Lamm Kaplansky on infertility and miscarriage in the Jewish community, Sister Julia Walsh on giving up motherhood for the church, and the granddaughter-grandmother duo behind the new documentary ‘Wendy’s Shabbat’

May 10, 2018
Collage: Tablet Magazine

This week, a very unorthodox Mother’s Day episode of our podcast. Our Jewish guest is Peninah Lamm Kaplansky, who in 2015 wrote a candid and moving account of her miscarriage, at 21 weeks, and the need for more resources and discussion surrounding infertility and miscarriage in Jewish communities. Our Gentile of the Week is Sister Julia Walsh, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration and a Catholic youth minister. Sister Julia tells us about the painful decision to give up motherhood, something she had always dreamed of, when she entered the life at 24, and the unexpected freedom she found in her work for the church. We also sit down with filmmaker Rachel Myers and her grandmother Roberta Mahler, the director and star of Wendy’s Shabbat, a documentary about a group of seniors who meet each week for Shabbat dinner at a local Wendy’s fast-food restaurant. Rachel and Roberta tell us what they learned about each other while making a film together, Roberta’s newfound celebrity status, and the ways Jewish community can be forged in the unlikeliest places.

We love hearing from our listeners! Email us at [email protected] or leave a message at our new listener line: 914-570-4869. We may share your note on the air.

Want more Unorthodox in your life? Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and join our Facebook group to chat with the hosts and see what happens behind-the-scenes! Show your love for Unorthodox with our new T-shirts, sweatshirts, and baby onesies. Get yours here.

This episode is sponsored by One Day University, which brings together the greatest professors from the world’s top schools to present special versions of their best lectures live. Register for upcoming events at using the code UNORTHODOX for 30 percent off.

This episode is also sponsored by Harry’s. Get a free trial shave set when you sign up at

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.

More Unorthodox
See all
Join Us!

Become a member and unlock exclusive access to events, conversations with Tablet personalities, and more.