It’s Thursday, which means the latest episode of Unorthodox is here. Tablet’s newest podcast, part of Slate’s Panoply network, is a smart, fresh, fun take on Jewish news and culture. (If you missed our first episode, it’s here–what are you waiting for?) Episode 2, I can assure you, does not disappoint.
To start, Tablet staffers Mark Oppenheimer, Liel Leibovitz, and I sound off on the latest headlines. This week, it’s the quadrennial European Maccabi Games—an offshoot of the World Maccabi Games, the so-called ‘Jewish Olympics’ established in 1929—which are currently taking place at Berlin’s Olympiastion. You know, the one Hitler built for the 1936 Olympics. We also tackle Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee’s ill-advised Iran nuclear deal/gas chamber analogy (come on, dude), and the New York City Department of Education’s investigation into more than 30 Orthodox yeshivas. Yikes.
Our first guest is celebrity ghostwriter Hilary Liftin, who has collaborated on memoirs with Tori Spelling (including the perfectly titled sTori Telling), Miley Cyrus, Tatum O’Neal, and other boldfaced names. She discusses her new novel, Movie Star By Lizzie Pepper, a tell-all written by a fictional starlet swept away by an older Hollywood heartthrob involved in a strange cult. She doesn’t name names, in the book or on the air. She’s that good.
We’re also joined by Simon Doonan—Barneys’ creative ambassador at large, writer, and fashion world staple—who explains his lifelong affinity for the Jewish people, and why he credits the start of his lengthy fashion career to being a “mitzvah recipient.” He also regales us—in wonderfully descriptive detail—with a story about the adult circumcision he “theoretically” considered before his wedding to ceramicist and retailer Jonathan Adler, the nice Jewish boy who made mod Judaica a thing. All this before he schools us, the so-called panel of Jewish “experts,” with his Yiddishisms.
Let us know what you think of Unorthodox. Email us at Unorthodox@tabletmag.com.