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Dinah always knew that she wanted to immerse in a mikveh (ritual bath) before marrying Roi. It was a traditional rite of passage that many of her friends had gone through, one that would give her time for self-reflection and spiritual preparation for her wedding day.

She chose to immerse in a mikveh called Sh’vilei Or (“Paths of Light”), not only because it was located close to her home in Haifa, but also because it had a reputation for being welcoming to non-Orthodox Jews. Dinah soon discovered, though, that the reputation was not so well deserved. 

When she called to...

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"You intend that the religion of Israel will be an independent force, with which the government will have no involvement; therefore I will never agree to the separation of religion and state. I want the state to hold the religion in its hand!" (David Ben Gurion, as reported by Isaiah Leibovitz)

Recently, we attended still another wedding not conducted by a rabbi, but by a friend of the couple, or by a freelance “ceremony facilitator.” Although such ceremonies are not recognized by the population registry, and thus have no legal standing, the ways around this obstacle have gotten...

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Smashing the glass: It’s the most recognizable and iconic of rituals at the Jewish wedding, and while the explanation for this most tangible of Jewish customs has been interpreted by many, the most common one reminds us that even in times of joy we must remember that which is broken in this world.

On October 2nd, however, the act of breaking the glass by Tom Roese and Bill Franklin made the most glorious of sounds, and heralded shouts of joy in our synagogue's chapel. It was the first time in the 170-year history of Fairmount Temple in Beachwood, OH, where partners of the same sex...

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Reform Jewish author Anita Diamant’s latest best-selling novel The Boston Girl is now out in paperback. She’s best known for her 1997 blockbuster novel The Red Tent, which has been published in 25 languages and adapted into a Lifetime network miniseries. Diamant and her husband, Jim, live in Boston and are members of Temple Beth El, a Reform Jewish congregation in nearby Sudbury, MA. You’ve written five novels and six guides to contemporary practice. Have you always aspired to be a writer?

Anita Diamant: My childhood goal was to become an actress. Later,...

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