Photocollage: Tablet Magazine

Jews Across America, 2019

Ep. 187: Jewish dog-sledder Blair Braverman, plus Houston’s Jewish archivist, Santa Fe’s British rabbi, a former South Dakota state senator, and more

July 4, 2019
Photocollage: Tablet Magazine

In honor of the 4th of July, we present our second annual Jews Across America episode, celebrating the diversity of Jewish life throughout this great nation. (You can listen to last year’s episode here.)

We have a bunch of star-studded guests for you! Blair Braverman, the second Jewish woman to complete the Iditarod, joined us at our Chicago live show with her dog, Flame, to tell us about how a Jewish girl from California becomes a dog-sledding phenom. (Check out her memoir, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube, too)

Stanford M. Adelstein, a former state senator from South Dakota and the subject of the new book The Question Is “Why?”: A Jewish Life in South Dakota, tells us how Jews got to South Dakota, and how Jewish life there has changed in his 87 years.

Melissa Untereker, a lawyer with Frontera Immigration Law in El Paso, Texas, explains how Judaism informs her work, and how local religious groups are stepping up to help refugees. (If you’d like to help, she recommends starting here.)

Rabbi Neil Amswych of Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe tells us about how a British rabbi came to helm a New Mexico synagogue, and what makes his adopted community so special.

Joshua Furman, a historian at Rice University who runs the university’s Houston Jewish History Archive, talks to us about preserving Jewish items in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and his favorite item in the collection.

We’d love to hear what you thought of this week’s show. Email us at [email protected] or leave a message at 914-570-4869.

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

This episode is also brought to you by The Franciska Show, a podcast about Jewish women in the arts. Neshama Carlebach will be a guest on the July 9th episode. Subscribe today.

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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