For her May column, the Leftist Ethicist offers sensible solutions for dilemmas dealing with anti-Semitism, race and class and being an ethical employer at home.
This year’s project began with a scratch of an idea. In preparation for Sinai, the receiving of the Torah, I wanted to explore what it means to hold on to something.
Five years ago one of the worst workplace raids in American history took place in Postville, Iowa — with 389 individuals detained, many deported and a town devastated. If ever there was an event that proved why comprehensive immigration reform and worker protections are needed, it was this raid.
However, for the two of us, the story in Postville started almost two years earlier, when we met with the owners of Agriprocessors, workers from the plant, and community and religious leaders.
Fiction + Poetry
Three poems from “The Sacrifice of Abraham,” a series of re-tellings of the biblical story of Isaac and Abraham. In each section, a group of rabbis gathers to re-tell and offer commentary on the story, and with each re-telling transforms it into a broader and broader vision encompassing Greek gods, revolutionaries, insurgents, love affairs, and photographic details from current events.
Can spiritual growth be found in the “tension between one’s own cherished beliefs and someone else’s contradictory beliefs”? Absolutely.
As we mourn for Boston, we share this small roundup of early Jewish responses.
The American conversation around immigration has taken its rightful place, center stage. Today, Abby Levine – 33 — is once again bringing Jews and social justice together to support comprehensive immigration reform, this time at the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable.
From The Archive
Yossel Birstein (1920-2003) was a significant talent, “on par with Kafka and Agnon,” according to critic Menachem Perry. Birstein’s wanderings, and his ideological convictions cut through with irony, make him an intriguing symbol of the vagaries of modern Jewish life.
“East Flatbush is calling for calm,” said Marjorie Dove Kent, executive director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), on Sunday. The killing of Kimani Gray coincides with Floyd v. City of New York, a federal class-action lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights against the NYPD, challenging its practice of “suspicionless and race-based stops” against “hundreds of thousands if not millions of people.” Opening arguments for the trial were heard on Monday. This Wednesday, March 20th, Kent hopes the Jewish community will pack the courtroom in downtown Manhattan, then celebrate with Seder in the Streets, the latest installment of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice’s trademark boldness.
Recently, I read a status update from an intelligent person who asked all of their friends who disagreed on their assessment of Israel as a terrorist state to hit the de-friend button. Is this really what we’ve come to?
A poem by Samuel Menashe (1925-2011)
The Jewish community needs innovative responses and approaches to foster engagement in our future. In order to create leaders who create Jewish experiences rather than merely consume them, we need to engage youth around Jewish issues that have meaning and purpose.
Finding words for postpartum depression, Rabbi Rachel Barenblat bravely reflects on her difficult adjustment to motherhood, sharing a deeply personal journey and the poetry that helped her navigate this new terrain, ultimately savoring both the bitter and the sweet. This Mother’s Day, she tells struggling new moms: It gets better.
As domestic drones become increasingly common (cheap, too) and more states build them into public safety strategies for law enforcement, we need to think not just about public safety, but about protecting privacy and creating safeguards against abuse.
“We are graduate students and organizers. We are Jewish folks and others who believe education is a Jewish value and a human right. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the CPS school board have proposed massive school closings throughout Chicago’s most struggling neighborhoods.”
The Icarus Project founder talks to an old punk pal, journalist Jennifer Bleyer, “about madness, social justice and his recently sparked Jewish identity on the eve of his cross-country book tour for Maps to the Other Side.”
The Leftist Ethicist is an advice column for Zeek readers who envision a more just world and act to create it. With a commitment to justice and progressive Jewish teaching (and a loving nod to the Bintel Brief), the Leftist Ethicist provides a space to raise questions, without judgment, and receive sensible solutions. Zeek presents the first installment here.
As a wedding present, a distant family member bought my wife and I stock in a company whose treatment of workers I strongly disagree with. I thanked the family member politely, but now I don’t know what to do. Should I keep the stock?
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