Teaching “Never Again” as the Holocaust Fades from Living Memory

I was in elementary school when I first learned about the Holocaust. Every year at my Jewish day school, we had a school-wide, student-led memorial for Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). Memorial candles marked the six corners of a Jewish star made of masking tape on the wooden floor, recalling the six million Jewish lives … Continue reading

Bill de Blasio is Playing With Antisemitic Fire

It has been clear for some time that antisemitic hate crimes have been rising in New York City. The Jewish community has worked hard to bring attention to the increasingly commonplace verbal and physical attacks, many of which aren’t even officially reported. For his part, Mayor Bill de Blasio has tried equally hard to ignore the … Continue reading

The harmful impulse to stifle coronavirus discussion

When did we stop caring what our fellow citizens think? If ever there were a time to remind us that no person is an island or that other people’s choices directly affect us, it’s now. With a pandemic upon us, the only way out of this crisis is through it — together. But you wouldn’t … Continue reading

For Generation X, Midlife Bites: A Review of Why We Can’t Sleep

Jan Brady, Gen X TV’s quintessential middle sibling, appears in the introduction to Ada Calhoun’s Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis. Like Jan, Calhoun believes that Gen X (those born from 1965-1980) have been overlooked by the world, in favor of the more numerous Baby Boomers and Millennials. Calhoun makes some noise on behalf of … Continue reading

Why This Passover Will be Different From All Other Passovers

Every year at the Seders, Jews read the words of Rabban Gamliel, who instructed, “In every generation, a person must regard himself as though he personally had gone out of Egypt.” Envisioning oneself as a former Israelite slave witnessing the Ten Plagues and leaving Egypt as part of the Exodus has always been possible on … Continue reading

Seven changes coronavirus will have on contemporary life

Coronavirus  feels more like a sci-fi movie than real life, and yet, here it is. COVID-19 has taken over everything. We email, text, and talk about it.  It’s widely feared. And if you look at any news source, there really is no escaping it. Looking longer term, there’s reason to believe that this season of … Continue reading

What It’s Like To Have The National Guard Shutting Down Your Town Over Coronavirus

It’s not every day you see a detailed map of your hometown splashed across the news. Then again, the National Guard was never asked to set up a containment area there — until now. So if you’re wondering what it’s like to have my New York hometown figure prominently in the story of a virus … Continue reading

How Bad Is Antisemitism In Europe? Surveys Suggest It’s Rampant

The Belgian city of Aalst celebrated this year’s Carnival with grotesque displays of overt antisemitism. Revelers mocked the Wailing Wall, with some dressed as ants in Hasidic hats and others as Nazis. That theme continued in Campo de Criptana, Spain, where Carnival participants dressed up as Nazis and concentration camp prisoners, flanked by chimneys. The … Continue reading

The United Nations Releases An Anti-Israel Blacklist

If there’s one group you can count on, it’s the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Their members are not terribly concerned about human rights, particularly within their own borders, but they sure are consumed by hatred for Israel. In March 2016, UNHRC decided the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights should release a blacklist of companies … Continue reading

Why Does The Oxford English Dictionary Say Some Ethnic Slurs Are ‘Derogatory’ But Not Others?

The next time you hear someone describe antisemitism as a problem of the uneducated, suggest they flip through the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). The august dictionary recently published a slew of new words for inclusion, many with a Jewish connection. That would all be ho-hum, if it weren’t for the way some of these words … Continue reading