Photocollage: Tablet Magazine

Sleepless in Seattle

Ep. 169: Advice columnist Dan Savage and Rabbi Will Berkovitz of Jewish Family Service Seattle

February 14, 2019
Photocollage: Tablet Magazine

This episode was recorded live at the Stroum Jewish Community Center’s Arts+Ideas Stage in Mercer Island, Washington.

Our Jewish guest is Rabbi Will Berkovitz, CEO of Jewish Family Service Seattle. He tells us why helping to resettle refugees is rooted in more than simply “Jewish values,” describes the surprising pushback he’s received from some Jews over his social activism, and explains how he was inspired to become a rabbi after attending a Catholic college.

Our gentile of the week is Dan Savage, the Seattle-based sex-advice columnist and host of Savage Lovecast. He returns to the show to answer love and relationship questions from Unorthodox listeners just in time for Valentine’s Day (or as we call it, secular Tu B’Av). (For the uninitiated, Dan is very open and uncensored in his discussion of sex and relationships, so we really mean the obscenity warning this week.)

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This episode is sponsored by Hebrew College. The Jewish community needs rabbis who are creatively engaging with Jewish tradition, and Hebrew College’s rabbinical school is currently accepting applications. Visit to find out more.

Unorthodox is hiring! We’re looking for a part-time associate producer to handle guest booking, episode scheduling, live show planning, and more. Check out for more information. To apply for the position, email [email protected] with the subject line “associate producer.”

The 100 Most Jewish Foods: A Highly Debatable List comes out March 19! Featuring the biggest names in food—Jewish and not—and recipes for some of the most beloved, polarizing, and enduring Jewish foods, it’s the perfect gift to bring to this year’s Passover Seder. Preorder your copy today and you could win a $150 gift card to Russ & Daughters: To enter, forward a copy of your receipt or confirmation to [email protected].

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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