Archive | August, 2011

Andy Bachman strikes again: “regrettable” that Reform truncated Shma

Andy Bachman, senior rabbi of the Reform Beth Elohim in Brooklyn always has smart things to say at his blog, Water Over Rocks. I saw this post from him this morning about the Reform excision of the second paragraph of the Shma. Here’s part of it:

In Reform Judaism, for the better part of the last century, Reform Jews have recited the Shma while standing as a public expression of faith, doctrine, pronounced creed.  And Reform prayerbooks have, additionally, eliminated from the liturgy the paragraph following the Shma (the original Torah text of which appears in next week’s Torah portion) mostly because in its articulation of why one ought to observe God’s commandments, there is an explicit articulation of the Biblical doctrine of reward and punishment, to wit, if you follow My commandments, I will give rain in its proper season, God warns; but if you don’t, the earth you hope to cultivate for sustenance will not yield its fruit in its proper season.

It’s always struck me as a regrettable loss that the early Reformers excised such ideas, depriving generations of Reform Jews the opportunity to engage prayer and Torah text as metaphor, and especially in our own day with fears and threats of global warming, of engaging the notion of how we treat the earth with a sense of the sacred.

Here’s the rest of it.

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Jewish Outlook makes an ‘appointment’ with me

I do love that my job is newsworthy in The Jewish Outlook, my hometown Jewish paper.

However, just so we’re clear, JSPS was founded in 1971, not 1970. And it used provide “content for campus Jewish publications around the U.S.” but there are very few of those left and they do not get their content from JSPS. Nowadays, JSPS is really just the organization that publishes New Voices Magazine.

Speaking of New Voices, it’s not “a monthly online student publication.” It’s just an online student publication–nothing monthly about it.

Also, if they’d consulted their AP Stylebook, they would’ve found that publications are italicized, rather than set in quotation marks.

Not that I’m complaining. All publicity is good publicity.

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Help me hire some student journalists!


Who says there are no paying jobs left in journalism?

By day, I’m the editor of New Voices, the national Jewish student magazine, and the director of the 40-years-young organization that publishes it, the Jewish Student Press Service.

Since the JSPS was founded (New Voices itself is 20 years old), we’ve been a home for independent Jewish journalism–written and published entirely by college students.

We operate on the most shoestring of budgets, but occasionally, we get the exciting the chance to actually hire someone. In this case, I’m looking for 10 someones! If you know a student journalist who might be interested in this, let me know in the comments or by emailing me at david(at)

Here’s my full pitch:

Jewish Student Journalists: We Want to Pay You!

New Voices Magazine, the national Jewish student magazine, is seeking student journalists to do paid reporting from their campuses this fall!

As a National Correspondent for New Voices Magazine, you will write one reported article per month and will also be able to contribute to the New Voices blog. (Some correspondents may also file video or photo pieces instead of or in addition to written articles.)

Each correspondent will report once a month throughout the fall semester (which, for our purposes, will consist of September, October, November and December) in exchange for a $250 stipend. Many will be rehired for the spring semester.

Every month, there will also be a topic that each correspondent will be asked to do some reporting on. That material will be knitted together into articles that will feature reporting from several campuses.

New Voices is hiring writers for these positions from a geographically diverse selection of campuses.

For full details on how to apply, head over here.

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