Unorthodox LIVE in Tidewater

February 27, 2020

What’s Happening

Liel Leibovitz, Mark Oppenheimer and Stephanie Butnick, hosts of Unorthodox.

Thursday, March 19, 7:30 pm, Zeiders American Dream Theater

Podcasts are a new pulpit for Jewish conversation, and one of the most popular, Unorthodox, a Tablet Magazine production, will be in Tidewater for a live taping. The hosts, Liel Leibovitz, Stephanie Butnick, and Mark Oppenheimer will be joined by Alana Newhouse, editor-in-chief of Tablet magazine, and two local guests.

Since its first episode in 2015, Unorthodox has been downloaded more than 4 million times throughout the world, making it one of the most successful Jewish podcasts produced. With two new guests each week, one Jewish and one gentile, the hosts give listeners the opportunity to connect in new ways with Jewish topics.

“Unorthodox” is defined as “contrary to what is usual, traditional, or accepted,” and that is exactly what the Unorthodox podcast aims to do with Jewish conversations by inviting listeners to expand their perspectives. The three hosts have different relationships to Judaism, political beliefs, and backgrounds. They welcome and encourage their guests and audience to join them in considering a range of perspectives.

Alana Newhouse, Tablet Magazine’s editor-in-chief and author of The 100 Most Jewish Foods.

“We’re trying to show that there are a thousand ways to be Jewish. There are so many incredible, important things about this tradition that you can discover,” says Leibovitz, speaking about this podcast and the book that he and his co-hosts recently wrote; The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia. By approaching Jewish news, politics, history, and even cultural topics such as food and films, with an intelligent sense of humor, Leibovitz, Butnick, and Oppenheimer have created a podcast that is fun and easy to listen to.

“I enjoy the modern Jewish humor that goes with it, the updates and commentary on Jewish news, their sometimes prominent/sometimes obscure Jew of the Week, and their respectfully playful and insightful Gentile of the Week interviews,” says Paul Weiner, an Unorthodox fan. “I am looking forward to seeing them in person, as their live audiences get to ask questions or offer their own “mazel tovs” as shout outs to friends and family.”

Jewish guests of the podcast have included David Duchovny, who is best known as Fox Mulder from the X-Files, Judith Viorst, author of the children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, psychotherapist Lori Gottleib, and author Christopher Noxon, who recently visited Tidewater as a part of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival through the Simon Family JCC’s membership in the Jewish Book Council.

“Unorthodox LIVE is a chance to share in our Jewish culture but in a way that’s modern, current and fresh. We’re lucky to have the podcast come to our community!” says Danny Rubin.

- Sierra Lautman


$18 Admission/$50 Admission and both books. Special bundle of admission and both signed books ends March 12. Limited seating. Advance tickets strongly suggested. Purchase tickets at Jewishva.org/tidewatertogether.


The Milton “Mickey” Kramer Scholar-in-Residence Fund of the Congregation Beth El Foundation’s Tidewater Together series is a collaboration between the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and area synagogues to provide opportunities to connect Jewishly on a variety of topics, offering something for everyone. To learn more about Tidewater Together, or to register for upcoming events, visit JewishVA.org/TidewaterTogether, or contact Sierra Lautman, director of Jewish Innovation, at slautman@ujft.org or 757-965-6107.

Letter to the Editor