Hi, I’m Jesse Paikin. I’m an educator, designer, facilitator, and rabbi. I teach internationally, with a focus on Jewish Spirituality, Talmud, and experiential education. My strategic and consulting work involves curricular design, staff training & culture, and branding & communications strategy.

Right now, you can find me on the short-form explainer podcast, Shoot!, which I created and produced. It answers one big Jewish question each episode, with the untold stories behind the questions. My writing and work have also been featured in Maclean’s, Fast Company, Jewschool, Sh’ma, My Jewish Learning, and Times of Israel.

Want to work together?

Let’s talk! I’m available for teaching engagements, design projects, curricular development, and consulting in staff training & culture

Episode #5: Why is Judaism Called Judaism? Shoot!

When a student asked about the nature of Judaism – about why it’s called Judaism – the stakes, for her, had suddenly grown very high. The Washington Post had recently published an article with the provocative headline: “Is Judaism an ethnicity? A race? A nationality? Trump signs an order and provokes an identity crisis,” and people began asking: “if other people who aren’t even Jewish are going to tell us about the very nature of Judaism, we should probably know ourselves.” To answer the questions: "Is Judaism an ethnicity?" and "Is Judaism a nationality?" we uncover the roots of why Judaism is called that, and what it means for our understanding of the very nature of Jewishness. We also learn about what Life of Pi can teach us about how to think about truth, history, and facts, and why memory is what makes Jewish stories good. Read a transcript of this episode.  Credits Shoot! is written, hosted, and produced by Jesse Paikin. You can always say hi, share your thoughts, or ask your own questions at hello@shootpodcast.com  All audio credits for this episode can be found on our website. Shoot! is supported in part by a grant from the Hadar Institute.
  1. Episode #5: Why is Judaism Called Judaism?
  2. Episode #4: What's a Jewish Response to Crisis?
  3. Episode #3: Is Judaism a Religion? (Part II)
  4. Episode #2: Is Judaism a Religion? (Part I)
  5. Episode # 1: The 1,200 Year Old Question

From my blog…