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  • antisemitism

    Hatred against Jews.

  • Aramaic

    Judeo-Aramaic, a northern Semitic language related to Hebrew.

  • ark

    "the cabinet at the front of an Ashkenazic synagogue that houses the Torah scroll." (JPS)

  • Ashkenazic

    Adjectival form for 'Ashkenazim', "The name given to the group of Jews who were originally from Germany and France, and their descendants" (JPS)

  • BCE

    Before the Common Era (used in place of B.C.). Steinmetz: "...recently, a new awareness of the Christian character of these abbreviations have led many Jewish writers and editors to replace them with [C.E. And B.C.E.]"

  • Borscht Belt

    region in the Catskill Mountains with many summer resorts frequented by Jews, especially in the mid twentieth century

  • boychick

    "A young boy...equivalent of the American expression 'buddy'" (JPS)

  • Bujew

    a Jew who practices Buddhism; a Jew interested in Eastern spirituality

  • candle lighting

    "the custom of lighting candles to welcome the Sabbath" (JPS); the exact time at which holiday and Shabbos candles are supposed to be lit by according to Jewish law.

  • Chabad house

    a synagogue/residence/outreach center operated by Chabad-Lubabvitch, usually run by a Rabbi and wife, and often their children.

  • Conservative Judaism

    originally known as "historical positive Judaism," a denomination that combines observance with an idea of "halachic process." See further comments below.

  • day school

    Jewish grade school, where students learn both Jewish and secular subjects. "The general name given to private Jewish schools" in the United States and Canada (JPS)

  • Diaspora

    "The term for Jewish communities and their residents who live outside of the State of Israel" (JPS).

  • glatt

    Showing consistency of reason (Weiser).

  • Hagiographa

    The formal English name of the Ketuvim, usually translated as "the Writings."

  • Jew by Choice

    A convert to Judaism.

  • matzoh ball

    dumpling made with matzah meal and eggs and generally served in chicken soup

  • Modern Orthodox

    'Modern Orthodox'. Observant, but open to the outside world, general culture and education; not 'Yeshivish' or 'Haredi'.

  • Reform

    a Jewish movement founded on principles of the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah), which rejected the binding nature of the Law and attempted to concentrate on the prophetic message; it is now the largest movement in the United States, and has an additional 1 million adherents worldwide.

  • Reform Judaism

    A liberal, progressive branch of Judaism that emphasizes choice through knowledge.