Mae Singerman

Mae Singerman lives in Brooklyn, NY, and writes Zeek's Leftist Ethicist advice column. She is originally from Miami Beach, FL, and misses eating mangoes that have fallen straight from the tree. She is operations and events manager at Caring Across Generations, the former coordinator at the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable and founding collective member of the Community/Farmworker Alliance-NYC. She wrote regularly for the now-defunct Jspot and has written for Jewcy, Off Our Backs, and Left Turn Magazine.


Life and Action

Leftist Ethicist: Advice to Help “Offset” Gentrification in Chicago

My husband and I are thinking about buying a property in Chicago, but we are in a bit of a quandary. Knowing that we will be gentrifying, we would like to “offset our footprint” if you will, like one might offset one’s carbon footprint by planting a tree or carpooling. Are there ways to “offset our footprint”?

Life and Action

Plight of a Mentor: Cutthroat Vs. Collaborative for NextGen Women Leaders: The Leftist Ethicist

I am a senior staff member at a progressive Jewish nonprofit with many young(er) staff people. I am a mentor for a few women who are early in their careers. In my organization, there are many women, but men still occupy most of the top positions. I sometimes find myself encouraging cutthroat attitudes that I don’t really believe in because I know it is part of what these young women will need to advance. Is this ethical? —Mentoring Against My Values

Inequality between men and women in the Jewish communal world is a hot issue, especially around pay and leadership, two issues I’m sure you discuss with your mentees. READ MORE

Arts and Culture

Racism in the Art World: Avoid or Act? The Leftist Ethicist

I am an artist living in Chicago. When I go to an opening and see all white artists showing with a 99% white crowd or hear about residencies where it seems everyone accepted is white, I tune it out. As a white person, I am more myself in multi-racial settings. I’m not sure how to change this fact or even sure if I want to change it. Why force myself to connect in spaces that exclude people of color? Is my viewpoint “problematic,” as an activist friend claims? –Anti-Racist & Ambivalent in Chicago

Life and Action

A-Listers for a Cause, Relative Creepiness, and Ethical Realtors: The Leftist Ethicist

Dear Leftist Ethicist, I have a distant family member who has turned from a C-list to an A-list celebrity because of a role on a popular TV show. We hardly know each other. I am a passionate employee of a grassroots organization and would like to ask him to support us. He is apolitical as far as I know, but probably leans conservative. What is the best way to approach him without being creepy? Or is it even worth reaching out since we’re pretty removed?

Life and Action

Moral Money Tips for Newlyweds, Avoiding Activist Burnout: The Leftist Ethicist

The Leftist Ethicist closes out 2013 with advice for a newlywed couple rethinking how they use and view money, and on being a good friend when you’re worried a fellow activist is fighting too hard, facing burnout and a possible breakdown.

Life and Action

Where, When, Who? Workplace Activism & Healthcare Access --THE LEFTIST ETHICIST

I have seen the same primary care doctor for about five years, and she gives me good care. Unfortunately, I just saw her, and she told me — not without a guilty look in her eye — that expenses and regulations were just too much, and she had decided to close up her current shop and open a concierge practice. My blood ran cold: I mean, sure, I could afford it (I make a good living), but what about all the people who can’t? Is my doctor making an unethical decision? Should I stick with her?

Life and Action

To Help or Empower? Midwife at a Career Crossroads — Leftist Ethicist, September Edition

A white Jewish woman finishing up her certification as a nurse midwife wants to honor her commitment to racial and economic justice. And provide quality care to all women without compromising her commitment. Now what?

Life and Action

The Leftist Ethicist, R-E-S-P-E-C-T (August Advice)

The Leftist Ethicist is an advice column for Zeek readers who envision a more just world and act to create it.

I have a guy friend that I haven’t seen for a few years. We used to be close, but from what I see on Facebook, he is now hardcore Orthodox. When we were in high school, we would hug and even cuddle on a couch. I’m a girl. Normally, when I see a friend I give them a hug or a kiss, but I don’t know what to do when I will see him at an upcoming reunion. I don’t want to treat him differently, but I want to respect him.

Life and Action

The Leftist Ethicist — July Edition

I believe the criminal justice system is completely broken and racist. I want to make a difference for good as a jury member. Is it ethical to lie about my negative beliefs regarding the police to up my chances of getting selected?

Life and Action

The Leftist Ethicist — June Edition

In her June column, the Leftist Ethicist tackles public displays of affection, queer solidarity, and how to combat Islamophobia: “You’re not horrible,” she says, “but you might not be very compassionate, either.”

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