18Forty Podcast
18Forty Podcast
Jul 4, 2023
Sarah Hurwitz and Alex Edelman: On Introducing Judaism [Books II 2/4]
Play • 1 hr 51 min
This series is sponsored by an anonymous lover of books.

This episode is sponsored by Twillory. Use the coupon code 18Forty to get $18 off of all orders more than $139.

In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we talk to returning guest comedian Alex Edelman, whose show has made it to Broadway, and his chavrusa, Sarah Hurwitz, former White House speechwriter and the author of Here All Along, about how to introduce people to a Judaism that is both inclusive and rigorous.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How does Alex Edelman write a one-man show “chavrusa-style”?
  • What, according to Sarah Hurwitz, is the difference between “writing to be read” and “writing to be heard”?
  • How does a writer bring a rich and relevant body of Jewish knowledge to the masses?

Tune in to hear a conversation about the “neon entrance signs” of Jewish life and how every Jew can find a way into appreciating their inheritance.

Alex Edelman interview begins at 13:32.
Sarah Hurtwitz interview begins at 54:09.

Alex Edelman is a product of Massachusetts’s Maimonides School and has been featured on Conan and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In 2020, he was the head writer and executive producer of the “Saturday Night Seder” YouTube extravaganza, which raised over $3.5 million for the CDC Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. His show Just For Us is running on Broadway! While nights tend to sell out quickly, tickets are available here.

Sarah Hurwitz is an American speechwriter. Sarah was a senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama in 2009 and 2010, and head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama from 2010 to 2017, and was appointed to serve on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council by Barack Obama shortly before he left the White House. Sarah is the author of Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life—in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There).


Failure Goes to Yeshivah: What I’ve Learned From the Failure Narratives of My Students
by David Bashevkin

This Is My God
by Herman Wouk

People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present
by Dara Horn

For the Relief of Unbearable Urges: Stories
by Nathan Englander

White nights: The story of a prisoner in Russia
by Menachem Begin

The Lonely Man of Faith
by Joseph B. Soloveitchik

God in Search of Man : A Philosophy of Judaism
by Abraham Joshua Heschel

Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories
by Etgar Keret

From Text to Tradition, a History of Judaism in Second Temple and Rabbinic Times: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism
by Lawrence H. Schiffman

To the End of the Land
by David Grossman

My Name Is Asher Lev
by Chaim Potok

Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life—in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There)
by Sarah Hurwitz

As a Driven Leaf
by Milton Steinberg
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