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Neal Schindler

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 and also works as a copy editor at the Spokesman-Review. His interests include movies, Scrabble, and indie rock. He lives with his wife, baby son, and two cats in West Central Spokane.

Planning an interfaith wedding

At times, planning an interfaith wedding feels like owning an obscure make of car. You go all around town trying to find parts for it, only to discover that no one has them. As it turns out, you need to make them yourself, in your garage.

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Being Jewish at Christmastime

A recent discussion at my shul, Congregation Emanu-El, introduced me to Sue Fishkoff’s essay “My Family Tree is Loaded with Tinsel.” In this short but insightful piece, Fishkoff cracks open a quiet taboo of American Jewish life: what some Jews do at Christmastime.

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“Jew” as a noun: offensive or merely descriptive?

Most of my friends agreed that the intention behind the use of “Jew” is what matters most. (They also shared the opinion that “jew” as a verb is always pejorative.) A friend who is especially knowledgeable about Judaism made the key distinction between “Jew” as a noun and the same word as an adjective. The latter is plainly offensive.

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Religious charity: uniter or divider?

The image I most closely associate with the Jewish concept of tzedakah (charity) comes from my childhood. I remember little boxes, emblazoned with the Israeli flag, at my Hebrew school. Each had a small slot for coins on top — a kind of Zionist-looking piggybank.

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Being Jewish in Spokane

Back when I lived in Seattle, I wrote for a blog called Jew-ish.com. My editor there, Leyna Krow, moved to Spokane in the fall of 2010 for graduate school. A few months later, she posted a brief essay titled “Feeling way too Jewish in Spokane."

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