Articles & More
“The Minyan: LGBTQ Jews”
Tablet, June 23, 2022
This is the first installment of The Minyan, a series of moderated roundtable discussions about the state of the Jewish community in America from a variety of perspectives. By bringing together at least 10 people from a shared demographic or background—“everyday” people with personal opinions, not “experts” or titled professionals who earn their salaries by crafting statements on these issues—we hope to foster conversations that will illuminate how different kinds of Jews think about the larger community, and their own place in it.
“Why Is This Year Different From All Other Years?”
The Atlantic, April 12, 2022
I’m struggling this year to reconcile the lessons I’ve taken from the holiday: to help the world, but also to remember how often the world has turned on us. Maybe the seder needs to be a call not only for empathy but also for vigilance. And yet if I reorient my prayers, will the directive I’ve always most valued—to care and to act—be applied chiefly to my family, so that we forget the stranger?
“Ritual and Jewish Life”
The Remix Judaism Podcast, June 11, 2021
Holidays and the rituals associated with them are the backbone of Jewish life. On episode 11 Abigail Pogrebin joins hosts Dr. Roberta Kwall and Rabbi Avi Finegold to discuss these rituals and how Remix Judaism is a key part of ritual in modern life.
Unorthodox, February 25, 2021
Cohosting alongside Stephanie Butnick and Kylie Unell, Abigail Pogrebin helps tell the story of Purim and offers her takes on some of the holiday’s larger themes.
“A Personal Conversation About The Jewish Future With Abigail Pogrebin”
Are You Coming Back Podcast, February 22, 2021
“For those who say ‘how redundant is this tradition…’ For me, it is the excitement of how this thing changes… Judaism meets you where you are.”
Abigail Pogrebin on Deuteronomy 15:7-10 – “Compassion is a Requirement”
The Rabbi’s Husband Podcast, December 18, 2020
“Compassion is not necessarily an emotion, it’s a requirement.”
Like a Prayer: ‘The Daily’ podcast helps me get through the day
Forward, October 28, 2020
“Who knew a podcast could feel like a spiritual practice?”
The Unexpected Power of a Virtual Jewish New Year
Vogue, September 24, 2020
“In a year of firsts, I logged one more on Rosh Hashanah: sobbing—out loud—during a livestream synagogue service.
In a normal year, the start of a new Jewish calendar cycle and ten days of introspection and repentance feels like a soul-satisfying reunion with fellow congregants, friends, and family. But there was no reuniting this year, given that the pandemic is entering its seventh stubborn month and social distancing remains the order of the day.
So every synagogue and prayer community had to reinvent itself, figuring out how to gather without gathering, to pray without community, to embrace technology when we usually leave it behind.”
I wrote a song about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and she gave it her ‘hechsher’
Forward, September 19, 2020
“The 8×11 tan envelope came via regular mail, which felt old-fashioned, even archaic. Because most of what arrives snail mail is junk mail at this point, I didn’t pay attention at first. Then I saw the return address: Supreme Court of the United States. Inside I found a document I’ll treasure to this day: the handwritten, penciled, scribbled notes of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — instructing me on what I had to change in a lyric I’d written and sent to her in hopes of getting her blessing.”
Identity/Crisis Podcast Interviews Abigail Pogrebin
Identity/Crisis Podcast, September 15, 2020
Host Yehuda Kurtzer sat down with Abigail Pogrebin to discuss her wide-ranging series of conversations on Jewish theology, Still Small Voice
Jewanced Interviews Abigail Pogrebin
Jewanced, August 13, 2020
“We talked for what felt like the shortest two hours of our lives about being a part of a presidential campaign, American politics, Abigail’s current and most recent book projects on God and the Jewish holidays, rediscovering Judaism and Jewish literacy, how Covid-19 is affecting Jewish life, working on CBS’s 60 Minutes and much more.”
Bloomberg finds ‘family’ in politically moderate Miami Jews
The Forward, January 27, 2020
“For a Boston boy who spent most of his life in New York, where he made a vast fortune and was thrice elected the city’s mayor, Mike Bloomberg’s pitch for the American Jewish community’s support in South Florida felt like he was playing for the home team — the ethnically diverse, politically moderate Jews of Miami.”
Abigail Pogrebin Named Director of Jewish Outreach for Mike Bloomberg Presidential Campaign
The New York Jewish Week, November 26, 2019
“Writer Abigail Pogrebin is joining former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign as director of Jewish outreach.”
A Talmudic Debate About Ramekins: Taking On My Parents’ Clutter
Forward, November 25, 2019
“The ramekins stayed. I put back every one. And as I made this walk of shame, from the living room to the kitchen and back, so much became clear: Clutter is history. Platters are memory. Ramekins are possibility — I may make that chocolate mousse again.”
Jewish Communities Around the World ‘Reset’ in Song
Spectrum News – NY1, September 30, 2019
“This is not a Hallmark Card. We are living… in an age where meanness and divisiveness seem to be the order of the day. I think this song is the antidote to all of that… You’re supposed to see the new year as a chance to start again. And that doesn’t just mean a celebration; it means introspection. It means reflection.”
Yes – It Was a Kiss (Take it From Me – I’m a Twin)
929: Tanakh B’yachad, August 28, 2018
“As an identical twin, it’s difficult for me to read the reunion of twins Jacob and Esau without personalizing their reconciliation… Having seen first-hand the unmatched intimacy of twinship — the effortless shorthand between those of us who started life together in cramped darkness — I believe this biblical reunion is loving, not vindictive. Despite the twins’ estrangement, or maybe because of it, there is relief in seeing each other again after 20 years apart.”
Judaism and the Art of Bicycle Riding
Tablet, August 13, 2018
“I never planned to mountain bike with my rabbi.
Nor did I expect that our 74-year-old Native American guide would, while coaching us—or more accurately, berating us—down a steep rocky ravine, end up imparting so much Jewish wisdom.
But that’s what happened. I can’t get the words of George-the-self-described-Apache out of my head. And as Elul approaches, I’ve realized why.”
A Prayer for RBG’s Long Life—And Our Pursuit of Justice
The Lilith Blog, January 29, 2018
“We still look to you, Ruth Bader Ginsburg—yeshiva-girl-turned-legendary-justice, RBG icon, fighter for the powerless and wronged. / May you go from strength to strength because you have been ours. / May you live many more years because you make the world brighter, fairer, kinder… Because we need you.”
Discovering A Sense Of Belonging
The New York Jewish Week, November 28, 2017
Abigail Pogrebin, Jewish Week’s ‘Community Leader Award‘ recipient, came to Jewish tradition late in the game, but she’s found a richly rewarding home.
“Abigail Pogrebin’s entryway to Judaism is through study — finding teachers, asking questions, engaging in conversations. If there’s a thread connecting her books, articles, public interviews and volunteer work, it’s her tremendous curiosity.”
Why We’re Not Ranking Rabbis
Daily Beast, July 12, 2017
The authors of the top 50 list explain how a well-meaning idea got out of control.
“To be clear, we were always queasy about ranking rabbis, first because it could be unseemly to rank people of faith, and second because the point from the beginning was not to create a competitive hierarchy (who can really delineate #32 from #45?) but rather to identify 50 important, interesting Jewish clergy in America. Nevertheless, we followed the advice from every magazine editor who told us that rankings matter: if you want people to pay attention, you need a scorecard. The Rabbis needed standings.”
The Purim Report: Mirth and Melancholy
Tablet, March 9, 2017
A holiday filled with cookies, storytelling, and the wisdom of Jackie Mason
“I set my alarm for 5 a.m. so that I can have a quick breakfast before the Esther fast begins at daybreak (6:26 a.m.) on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. I honor Elvis by eating his favorite sandwich—peanut butter and banana—because The King is the theme of the Purim Spiel at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, where, a week earlier, I had sat in on an intensive rehearsal.”
3 Generations on the March: Were All of Us Rallying Behind One Message?
Forward, January 22, 2017
“I was very focused on the food, the cold and the crowds. And did I mention a terrorist bomb or crazed shooter?
Though I was entirely sure of my philosophical, visceral desire to sign on for the Women’s March in Washington, the notion of hordes amassing in one location triggered every one of my Jewish fears: being cold, hungry, or trampled. Or better yet, all three. And with my daughter at my side, no less, whom I’m ostensibly supposed to be protect.”
Hanukkah at the Bedside
Hadassah Magazine, December 2016
“Sitting in the Chicago hospital room where my father-in-law, Milton Shapiro, has often resided since November crystallizes the meaning of Hanukkah. So many rabbis have talked to me about light. And I see it there.”
How Being Part of A Rare Sondheim Flop Taught Me Lessons for Life
Forward, November 16, 2016
“I have on my wall a large black-and-white photograph of the legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim and the famed director Harold Prince, from the fall of 1981.”
Wondering Jew – Series
Jewish Daily Forward, May 26, 2015
18 Holidays: One Wondering Jew follows Abigail Pogrebin’s unpredictable foray into a Jewish year, with all its demands and revelries. You will be provoked, inspired and entertained.
Is God a Given?
The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, May 4, 2014
“How refreshing it would be if our institutional leaders—be they rabbis, cantors, or educators— would actually press us to ask the hardest questions of ourselves: Is it possible to be a Jew without God? Might you have already communed with God without even knowing it? Do you accept the role that God supposedly has played in our collective story? How do you conceptualize the God to whom you pray?”
Yom Kippur 5774 – Will Apathy Be Our Legacy?
American Jewish World Service: Yom Kippur Chag V’Chesed, September 14, 2013
In this American Jewish World Service commentary on the high holidays and social justice, Abigail Pogrebin looks to Yom Kippur 5774 and wonders whether apathy will be our legacy.
High Holiday Services Are Boring. Here’s How We Can Fix Them.
Tablet, August 27, 2013
How much sweeter could this New Year be, how much more profound our penance, if rabbis choose to rethink business as usual and if we congregants do a little homework. More Jews might fall in love with Judaism and actually forget the time.
Never Too Late
“Never Too Late” is Abigail Pogrebin’s unique contribution to this collection in which women look at the relationships between mothers and daughters through a new lens: a daughter’s story of a gift from her mother that has touched her to the bone and served as a model, a metaphor, or a touchstone in her own life. The contributors of these thirty-one original pieces include Pulitzer Prize winners, perennial bestselling novelists, and celebrated broadcast journalists.
Consultant: Top Rabbis 2013
The Daily Beast-Newsweek, March 21, 2013
‘Stars of David’ turns words into a musical
The Inquirer, October 14th, 2012
[Stars of David] is based on the popular 2005 book of 61 interviews with famous and influential American Jews. Its author, Abigail Pogrebin, was inspired by a powerfully personal question (and a deep well of chutzpah that allowed her to ask it): When you say you’re Jewish, what does that mean?
How Do You Spell Ms.
New York Magazine, October 28th, 2011
Forty years ago, a group of feminists, led by Gloria Steinem, did the unthinkable: They started a magazine for women, published by women—and the first issue sold out in eight days. An oral history of a publication that changed history.
Coming of Age
Tablet Magazine, October 12, 2011
“My son’s bar mitzvah was two years ago. My daughter’s bat mitzvah will take place this spring. What, I’ve often thought to myself, will happen to their Jewish identity once they leave home? How do I make the case to stay in this–to discover the charge for themselves that I’ve found in studying Jewish text, going to synagogue, defining very personally what it means to live Jewishly?”
I’ve Drunk the Kool-Aid: Gratitude works.
The Huffington Post, September 22, 2010
“I never thought I’d say it, let alone do it: I’m keeping a gratitude journal. It’s hard for me to even write those words because I know they conjure a lemming-like embrace of the latest self-help stunt. We’ve all heard the guarantee: ‘Write about gratitude and you’ll start feeling more grateful…which will then change your perspective on life.’ Pablum, right? Well, this is one time I’ve embraced my inner pablum. Because that’s exactly what happened to me. I started writing down sweet moments. And life started feeling lighter.”
The Rabbi and the Rabba
New York Magazine, July 9, 2010
“Rabbi Avi Weiss looked ebullient. He was facing the congregation on a Sunday morning in March of last year, at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, the synagogue he founded nearly 40 years ago. His white yarmulke was bobby-pinned to his white hair, a broad smile lifting his jowls. In a few minutes, he would ordain the first woman in American Orthodox Judaism.”
Psychology Today, February 23, 2010
“[E]verything is ephemeral. Nothing sustains. It could be a deflating message, or one that liberates. If it’s true that everything is transient, if happiness, suffering, success, and missteps are fleeting, we should learn to savor what we hold in our hands, because it’s ultimately all there is. We should live a little more freely, speak a little more truthfully, choose a little more passionately.”
“Clash of the Kindles”
Huffington Post, March 29, 2009
My husband and I are in love with our Kindles. But the little hand held machines are straining our marriage. I should start with the arc of the romance: It all began with Kindle One. My husband brought the gadget home and I salivated as he began to wirelessly receive…
“Power in a Poem”
Huffington Post, February 4, 2009
Two days ago, I sat in a typical, hulking public school in the Bronx, in a sunny library with grates on the windows, and heard vigorous poetry. I’d shown up feeling tired, distracted, my Blackberry overrun with unreturned emails. But suddenly I was jarred by the raw…
Huffington Post, January 30, 2008
I believe that Kennedy decided Obama was the better person to heal this country at a critical time. NOW’s rebuke is exactly what allows …
“Confessions of a South Pacific groupie?”
Huffington Post, June 12, 2008
I’m a Type A, over-scheduled, super-rational person who has suddenly become a simpleminded, starry-eyed sap. The reason? I recently saw the revival of South Pacific at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater. I’ve been trying to keep my obsession in check. I haven’t written a fan letter or stalked…
“Victoria Joins the Anti-Role Models”
Huffington Post, July 17, 2007
Stupidity is in. I realize that’s not a revelation. Paris, Brittany, Nicole, and Lindsay have made stupidity seem stale by now. But then, last night, Victoria arrived. As in Beckham: The British siren who was a pop music success for five minutes in the 90s and went on…
“Recipe for a Happy Life”
Good Housekeeping, September 2006
Profile of Anna Quindlen
Ladies Home Journal, March 2005
Profile of David Bloom’s wife, Melanie
“Lost and Found”
Good Housekeeping, June 2005
Adopted Chinese sisters are reunited
“The Kids Stay Out of the Picture”
Radar, Summer 2005
Piece on the gay children of anti-gay conservatives
“An Illicit Yoga Love Story”
New York Magazine, May 23, 2005
New York Magazine, August 2, 2004
“Mom, why don’t we have a Christmas tree?”
Salon, December 18, 2003
“The Father They Adored”
Good Housekeeping, October, 2003
Interview with Klinghoffer daughters
“Hippos and Chickens and Pigs—Oh, My!”
Good Housekeeping, November 1, 2002
Profile of Sandra Boynton
“Don’t Ignore Our Son”
Parents Magazine, August 2002
Family coping with autistic child
“How Much is Dad Drinking?”
More Magazine, November 2002
Alcoholism among the elderly
“What’s in a Name?”
New York Sun, April 17, 2002
Profile of Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Brill’s Content, Fall 2001
Katie Couric’s next move
“The Cult of Bloomberg”
Brill’s Content, 2001
“Isn’t It Rich? Aren’t They a Pair?”
Brill’s Content, May 2001
Bobby Zarem and Denise Rich
“Andrew Cuomo’s Quest for Camelot”
Talk Magazine, August 2001
“Every Mother’s Nightmare”
Talk Magazine, May 2000
Shaken baby case
“The Son Also Rises”
Brill’s Content, December 2000/January 2001
Profile of Bob Guccione, Jr.
Brill’s Content, June 2000
Richard Blow’s book about JFK Jr
Sweet on Sugar
Brill’s Content, November/December 1999
“The Politics of Personality”
Brill’s Content, March 1999
Interview with John Kennedy, Jr.
“Head to Head: Their Fight for your Morning”
Brill’s Content, April 1999
Diane Sawyer pitted against Katie Couric
“The Last Supper”
Brill’s Content, May 1999
Accompanying Ruth Reichl as she reviews her last restaurant for the NY Times
“Not the First time”
Brill’s Content, August 1998
With Rifka Rosenwein