Investigate Mayor de Blasio

On Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that city parks will reopen on Monday. This is a sharp about-face for a mayor who opposed reopening parks on Tuesday and wouldn’t commit to “Phase II” reopening on Wednesday. New Yorkers should likely thank Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jews for the change. City park closures have inconvenienced families … Continue reading

Germany’s Misleading Classification of Antisemitic Hate Crimes

The German government recently announced that 2019 saw the most antisemitic hate crimes since it began collecting data in 2001. In all, 2,032 antisemitic incidents were reported to German police last year, marking a 13 percent increase over 2018. That certainly fits with the steady drumbeat of stories about rising global antisemitism. However, the German government’s … Continue reading

Iowa’s King is dethroned

The advantage of incumbency is so strong, it’s rare for a congressional primary to have any real drama. And yet, there were true fireworks in Iowa’s 4th District last week as Republican voters decided to ditch Rep. Steve King, their representative for the last nine terms.  Four Republicans vied to replace King in the ruby-red … Continue reading

COVID-19 Complicates Grieving

Spring is typically a gentle season known for its renewal, which makes spring deaths feel incredibly discordant. Yet over a 15-day period this May, my extended family lost two relatives to COVID-19. There will be no hugs at the funerals, burial is delayed, and Shivah will be observed remotely. What began as an international news story happening … Continue reading

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

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