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  • afikomen

    n. A piece of matzah from the Pesach seder traditionally hidden by adults, found by the children (or vice versa), and then ransomed for gifts after the meal.

  • antisemitism

    n. Hatred against Jews.

  • Ashkenazic

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

  • bagel

    n. "A leavened, firm, doughnut shaped roll" (JPS).

  • bar mitzvah

    n. Jewish coming-of-age ceremony/celebration for a 13-year-old boy; the boy who has come of age.

  • bat mitzvah

    n. In gender egalitarian communities, the ceremony of a 13- (or 12-) year-old girl's first calling up to the Torah, symbolizing her adulthood in Jewish life. can also refer to the girl herself. In Orthodox communities, refers to celebration of girl turning 12. "Celebration of a Jewish girl's coming of age; a girl who has reached that age." (Glinert)

  • BCE

    adv. 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.]"

  • blintz

    n. A folded thin pancake filled with cheese, fruit, or potatoes.

  • bris

    n. Circumcision ceremony; the celebration surrounding it.

  • bupkis

    adv. Nothing.

  • burekas

    n. A Turkish pastry filled with potatoes, other vegetables, and sometimes cheese.

  • chag sameach

    interj. "Literally, 'Happy Holiday.' The traditional, all-purpose greeting exchanged on almost any Jewish holiday" (JPS).

  • challah

    n. "The braided egg bread that traditionally is eaten on almost every Jewish holiday and [the Sabbath]" (JPS).

  • charoset

    n. Sweet, mushy mixture that represents mortar at the Passover seder.

  • chuppah

    n. "The Jewish wedding canopy; that is, the cloth under which the Jewish wedding ceremony is conducted." (JPS)

  • chutzpah

    n. Guts (positive).

  • Cohen

    n. "A male descendent of the family of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi. Aaron and his descendants were consecrated to the service of God... in the Tabernacle... in the desert and later the Holy Temple" (Steinmetz). Often poorly translated as "priest," though the term "Levite" or "Aaronite" is more accurate, especially due to Christian usage (Steinmetz).

  • Conservative

    adj. Of, relating to, or affiliated with Conservative Judaism.

  • Conservative Judaism

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

  • Diaspora

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