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Benyamin Cohen
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Blog Entries by Benyamin Cohen

'Kosher Nation': An Interview with Sue Fishkoff

Posted November 27, 2010 | 20:41:12 (EST)

There's a shocking statistic in Sue Fishkoff's new book, Kosher Nation: The majority of people who buy kosher products are not even Jewish.

Fishkoff, a national correspondent for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, made full use of her journalistic toolkit to deliver what is a fascinating look...

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An Interview With Novelist Joseph Skibell

Posted October 19, 2010 | 16:17:33 (EST)

Joseph Skibell's recently released third novel, A Curable Romantic, is hard to define. On the one hand, its premise couldn't be simpler: Boy falls in love. On the other hand, it's a complex narrative that stretches from Austria in the late 19th century to the Warsaw Ghetto. Not...

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The Drama Unfolds When Modern Orthodox Jews Compete on Reality TV

Posted September 21, 2010 | 16:52:00 (EST)

The religious blogosphere has been all atwitter as of late over the news that a Modern Orthodox Jew gave up her orthodoxy to compete on the new season of America's Next Top Model.

When asked by host Tyra Banks if she would break the Sabbath in order to...

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Nonreligious Parents: How to Answer Kids' Questions

Posted July 8, 2010 | 13:22:59 (EST)

Andrew Park and his wife were nonbelievers, but when their three-year-old son started asking questions about God, that got Andrew thinking.

Park, a former correspondent for BusinessWeek, focused his trained journalistic eye on the problem. The result? His debut book, entitled Between a Church and a Hard Place:...

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Jack Abramoff Working At Kosher Pizzeria, Still A Putz

Posted June 22, 2010 | 20:08:00 (EST)

Jack Abramoff, he of felonious fame, is now working at a kosher pizza joint in Baltimore. As part of his "community service," Abramoff will spend six months working at Tov Pizza. I've eaten at Tov Pizza, before and I can say that its greasy environs surely qualify as community service.

...
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Death of a Salesman: Moishe Rosen, Jews for Jesus Founder, Is Dead

Posted June 3, 2010 | 20:39:00 (EST)

Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus, died last month.

His group, often referred to as Messianic Judaism, attempts to merge Jewish and Christian beliefs by convincing Jews to believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ while still remaining Jewish. The group is an inauthentic...

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On the Scene: Protesting with the Westboro Baptist Church

Posted May 13, 2010 | 14:45:00 (EST)

It's not everyday you find yourself standing next to a man holding a sign that reads "Rabbis Rape Kids."

But that's where I found myself. What's even odder, the conversation I was having with this man was not about the veracity of his sign's claim. Rather than being offended, I...

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Questions for Stephen Prothero, Author of God Is Not One

Posted May 7, 2010 | 03:48:00 (EST)

Stephen Prothero is the bestselling author of Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know -- And Doesn't and a professor of religion at Boston University. His latest book is God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World -- And Why Their...

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Stephen Baldwin Needs a Bailout -- And Why We Should Give It to Him

Posted April 29, 2010 | 14:28:00 (EST)

Is Stephen Baldwin too big to fail? I certainly hope so.

Despite his pop-culture status as the youngest and least famous of the acting Baldwin brothers, Stephen has always held a special place in my heart. I've followed his acting career (which peaked with 1995's The Usual Suspects) and his...

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What If Jesus Was Divine But the Pope Was Not?

Posted April 21, 2010 | 18:16:00 (EST)

Christian scholar Philip Jenkins has written more than 20 books, which have been translated into a dozen languages.

His controversial new book, Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years, was just released. In it, he...

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Six Questions for an Evangelical Leader Who Became an Orthodox Jew

Posted March 26, 2010 | 13:14:50 (EST)

The first thing you need to know about Penina Taylor is that she was actually born a Jew, albeit to a couple of secular parents. As a kid, one of Taylor's friends introduced her to Jesus and her life would never be the same. She went to a Christian college,...

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Three Ways Synagogues Can Learn From Churches

Posted March 22, 2010 | 13:42:00 (EST)

I grew up with a synagogue inside my house and a church across the street. My dad and most of my siblings are rabbis. I married the converted daughter of a former Christian minister. Not to mention I spent a year going to 52 different Bible Belt churches.

...
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Jewish America, One Book Tour Stop At A Time

Posted March 16, 2010 | 14:29:00 (EST)

I'm writing this essay on a U.S. Airways flight from Tucson back to Atlanta, where I live. I'm on my way back from a speaking gig at the Tucson Festival of Books, the final stop on what has become a whirlwind 18-month book tour traversing more than 20 cities and...

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6 Questions for an Atheist Undercover in an Evangelical Church

Posted March 8, 2010 | 11:19:33 (EST)

I know what it's like to be a Jew jonesing for Jesus -- at least for the purposes of a memoir. I spent a year going to 52 different churches each Sunday. So I was quite happy to find out I was not alone. Gina Welch's new book,...

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The Schadenfreude of CBS' Undercover Boss

Posted February 25, 2010 | 19:00:36 (EST)

In these tough financial times, when Wall Street bankers are villains and unemployment hovers around 10%, seeing a boss belittled to toilet cleaning is the equivalent of watching porn. And that's exactly what nearly 40 million people watched as they stuck around after the Super Bowl for America's #1 new...

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