You Do You

James Franco’s star-studded bar mitzvah, plus Shulem Deen talks life after ultra-Orthodoxy and Wall Street Journal sports columnist Jason Gay asks about a modern-day Koufax

October 22, 2015

This week on Unorthodox, James Franco’s star-studded bar mitzvah for charity (seriously, it raised $2.5 million); a viral video celebrating—with spoken word poetry—the diversity of the Jewish people; and how Malcolm Gladwell can help us understand the recent rash of violent stabbing attacks in Israel.

Our Jewish guest is Shulem Deen, whose moving memoir, All Who Go Do Not Return, describes his journey out of the Skverer Hasidic sect. Deen—who’s now on the board of Footsteps, an organization that offers support and community for people leaving ultra-Orthodoxy—tells us about the different challenges faced by men and women who leave the community, what the secular world can learn from the close-knit Haredi world, and the first movies he ever watched.

Our non-Jewish guest is Wall Street Journal sports columnist Jason Gay, whose new book, Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living, offers a humorous blueprint for living a slightly more relaxed and fulfilling life. He asks what the reaction would be today if a Jewish pitcher declined to play in the World Series because of Yom Kippur, as Los Angeles Dodger Sandy Koufax famously did in 1965.

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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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