Menachem Wecker

Menachem Wecker is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Menachem Wecker

Is religious kitsch offensive? The answer is in the eye of the beholder

By Menachem Wecker — May 10, 2019
(RNS) — The line between well-intentioned kitsch and bad taste, experts in religious artwork say, can be blurry.

The Satanic Temple is a real religion, says IRS

By Menachem Wecker — April 25, 2019
(RNS) — The Satanic Temple says it was recently recognized as a church by the IRS. The group, which is nontheistic and argues religion can be 'divorced' from superstition, has said it should have the same rights and protections as other religious groups.

Cantor regains his lost voice by composing Jewish music

By Menachem Wecker — March 11, 2019
WASHINGTON (RNS) — When his singing voice failed, former cantor Arnold Saltzman reinvented himself as a composer and rabbi. His latest symphony recently debuted in the nation's capital.

Video stokes fears of anti-Semitic backlash in N.J. suburb

By Menachem Wecker — February 1, 2019
(RNS) — A video from a group called Rise Up Ocean County that paints Orthodox Jews as invaders has raised concerns in suburban New Jersey communities where the Jewish population is increasing.

‘The Prophet,’ ‘10 Commandments’ and other religious works enter public domain

By Menachem Wecker — January 28, 2019
WASHINGTON (RNS) — A number of books and films with religious themes — like ‘The 10 Commandments’ and ‘The Prophet’ — entered their literary afterlife this month. Published in 1923, the works are now in the public domain.

Jews of African descent ‘unnerved’ by comparisons to viral video group

By Menachem Wecker — January 24, 2019
(RNS) — Many different groups and congregations around the country have taken on the term “Hebrew” or “Israelite." Many are more mainstream and say they object to the angry street preaching shown in a viral video.

Why Andy Warhol’s Brillo pads — and a million other things — are kosher

By Menachem Wecker — January 7, 2019
NEW YORK (RNS) — The mark for kosher certification often turns up in unexpected places — including Andy Warhol's Brillo pads.

Have yourself a boozy little Christmas

By Menachem Wecker — December 20, 2018
(RNS) — The connection between Christmas and liquor has been institutionalized of late in 'carols and cocktails' events that, while concerning to some, are deeply consistent with the holiday’s history.

Museums’ mislabeling can leave visitors with misconceptions of biblical proportions

By Menachem Wecker — December 6, 2018
(RNS) — Mistaken identification of religious imagery is more common in museums than many might think, misleading a public already less biblically literate than ever.

In the wake of Pittsburgh, houses of worship ask how much security is enough

By Menachem Wecker — November 1, 2018
(RNS) — 'I’m tired of being afraid to go to synagogue,' one worshipper posted on Twitter this week.

Bible museum is first in US to show mile-long illustrated Bible

By Menachem Wecker — October 25, 2018
WASHINGTON (RNS) — Working in obscurity, a German artist created an accordioning illustrated Bible that, fully expanded, would stretch more than a mile.

Data mining gets religion as campaigns target voters of faith

By Menachem Wecker — October 15, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. (RNS) — Powerful data-mining tools allow today's campaigns to connect religious voters with their political viewpoints and to micro-target ads to fit their particular brand of faith.

The true story of a Jewish news agency that peddled fake news to undo Hitler

By Menachem Wecker — October 1, 2018
(RNS) — A subsidiary of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency also reportedly tried, in vain, to work with the FBI to plant anti-Nazi stories, and may have collaborated with the KGB.

Last-minute invite appears to treat White House call with rabbis as an afterthought

By Menachem Wecker — September 5, 2018
WASHINGTON (RNS) — Sent 10 days before the start of Rosh Hashanah, an invite to an already controversial call to celebrate the Jewish holidays may draw only the Trump administration's closest allies in the Jewish community.

A pocket watch turns back the clock on Jewish life aboard the Titanic

By Menachem Wecker — August 21, 2018
(RNS) — Sinai Kantor's watch, which goes on the auction block Saturday (Aug. 25), is a relic of the broader but little-known Jewish experiences aboard the British passenger liner that sank in 1912.
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