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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Neal Schindler

A native of Detroit, Neal Schindler has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2002. He has held staff positions at Seattle Weekly and The Seattle Times and was a freelance writer for Jew-ish.com from 2007 to 2011. Schindler was raised in a Reconstructionist Jewish congregation and is now a member of Spokane's Reform congregation, Emanu-El. He is the director of Spokane Area Jewish Family Services. His interests include movies, Scrabble, and indie rock. He lives with his wife, son, and two cats in West Central Spokane.

Ask A Jew: Will my child be accepted into a Jewish community? Will I?

If a child’s mother is Jewish, the vast majority of Jewish communities will accept that child as Jewish. If a child’s father is Jewish but the mother is not, then Reform and Reconstructionist congregations, and other Jewish progressive communities (Renewal, Humanistic, etc.), will accept the child as Jewish if he or she is being raised Jewish.

Ask a Jew: Why don’t Jews “play the Holocaust card”?

But at least we aren’t living in a place where genocide happened to us. As a people, we got the benefit of a fresh start in a new country.

The Crude Colossus — a satiric poem, with apologies to Emma Lazarus

He doth permit few immigrants to breach Our shores.

This year’s Jewish film festival asks tough questions

So what makes this year’s films special? To me, it’s their willingness to ask tough questions, avoid easy answers, and take risks. That approach is certainly part of the Jewish intellectual tradition going back millennia.

A response to Stephanie Cates’ #MeToo op-ed

Stephanie Cates, the chair of the Spokane County Republican Party, contributed an op-ed about the #MeToo movement to the Dec. 14-20 issue of the Inlander.

Ask a Jew: What’s the Biggest Threat to the Jewish People?

Neal Schindler lists some possible threats to Judaism, from within and without. However, he wonders if Jews are too fixated on the idea of existential threat.

Ask a Jew: What’s the Jewish story behind the Vulcan salute on “Star Trek”?

The “V” gesture, he explained in the interview, was meant to imitate the shape of the Hebrew letter shin. That letter begins the Hebrew word shekhinah, a concept Nimoy described as “the feminine aspect of God who supposedly was created to live among humans.”

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