Menachem Wecker

Menachem Wecker is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Menachem Wecker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Billy Graham drew less from Old Testament as years went by, new exhibit shows

August 14, 2018

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Poring over some 1,300 sermon notes from ‘America’s pastor,’ Museum of the Bible associate curator Anthony Schmidt has tracked Graham’s evolution as a preacher from the Cold War into the 2000s.

Celebrating a medieval ‘Miracle of Amsterdam’ in city better known for its vices

April 6, 2018

AMSTERDAM (RNS) — Walking quietly past strip clubs, sex shops, restaurants and expensive clothing stores, the writer was struck by the 673-year-old celebration’s endurance and power against all odds.

5 things Netflix’s ‘One of Us’ won’t teach you about Hasidic Jews

November 9, 2017

(RNS) — A new documentary falls short in its portrayal of an often misunderstood community, writes Menachem Wecker.

Orthodox rabbi to host ‘alternative Yom Kippur’ service in beer garden

September 25, 2017

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Jews are supposed to abstain from food and drink on the most holy day of the Jewish year. So why is this rabbi holding services in a bar?

Jewish Trump supporters resist calls from other Jews to renounce the president


August 28, 2017

(RNS) — Calls from Jewish critics to Jewish supporters of Trump to renounce the president have created rifts within families and the larger community.

Despite smuggled antiquities purchase, some say criticism of Bible museum is unfair

August 3, 2017

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Questionable artifacts haven’t cast doubt on the reputations of other museums and institutions in the same way as occurred after the Museum of the Bible’s acquisition of thousands of items from Iraq in a sale that was ‘fraught with red flags.’

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