News and Politics

Courtesy of Charles Clymer, @cmclymer

Hey You, Are You Confronting Jewish Racism? Ferguson, Race & Public Space

August 15, 2014

As the civil unrest in Ferguson re-launches much-needed conversations about race — and racism — US Jews must see this as a call to action on injustice broadly as well as a time to kickstart difficult conversations within the Jewish community. And not just around the kind of explicit, hate-filled racism we heard from Donald Sterling this spring, but pressingly, around the more subtle undercurrent that enables more explicit racism but often goes, unnoticed, unremarked upon, and thus, unchecked.

In Memory of Leonard Fein: Social Justice Again....

August 14, 2014

Editor’s Note: Our hearts are heavy with this morning’s passing of Leonard “Leibl” Fein. In his honor, we republish this 2008 ZEEK essay, “Social Justice Again…” “The question that the heirs to a tradition of rachmanut, compassion, must in every generation answer,” he writes, “is whether they, in turn, will be the compassionate parents of compassionate children.” He was. And, speaking for my own generation, we shall try. –-Erica Brody

Social Justice Again… By Leonard Fein

SOCIAL JUSTICE, AGAIN? No. Social justice still.

The current talk of the American Jewish community’s abandonment of its traditional passion for social justice is exactly that–talk. Read More

Morning Jew: Heather Gold, Katie Halper & Special Guest Josh Gondelman

August 8, 2014

The Morning Jew duo is joined by Josh Gondelman (‪Last Week Tonight with John Oliver & ‪@SeinfeldToday), taking a brave stand against apologia.

The verdict? This week’s news is bad for the Jews: Israel bombs another UN school, infant herpes, Woody Allen, genocide talk & more.

Morning Jew: Heather Gold, Katie Halper & Special Guest Michael Wex

July 21, 2014

This week: Circumcision debate, Auschwitz selfies & chain stores selling concentration camp décor.

Get behind the headlines with comics Heather Gold and Katie Halper, joined by special guest Born to Kvetch author Michael Wex. Nu, is it good for the Jews?

Morning Jew: Oy, Ben Stein, Hobby Lobby, and Ruth “Greatest” Bader Ginsburg

July 6, 2014

Katie Halper and Heather Gold tackle the headlines, asking, Nu, is it good for the Jews?

This week: “Why do all these old Jewish men get caught paying for sexy things with young women who don’t want them, and why are they publically so racist yet so obsessed with trying to shtup someone who’s not their race?” Plus, Hobby Lobby, the all-time greatest Supreme Court justice, the Facebook study, and more.

Supreme Fireworks: Reflections on Independence Day 2014

July 3, 2014

This Fourth of July, I’ve got a front-row seat to the fireworks set off by the Supreme Court’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, a strong body blow to some very basic democratic values — equality, religious liberty, voting rights.

Interfaith, In Good Faith

June 26, 2014

“Mississippi is still the poorest state in the nation, and we have a 35% child poverty rate. We’re grappling with issues of economic and social justice: poverty, health disparity, discrimination, education.”

Committed to community engagement and social justice, Malkie Schwartz of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life wants to “create opportunities for other Jewish activists to be involved with this milestone, and to stay involved.” That’s why she’s spearheading a Jewish activists’ summit in conjunction with Mississippi Freedom Summer 50.
Read Now.

Standing Up for Voting Rights: Jewish Voices (Still) Needed

June 19, 2014

The right to cast a vote is deeply cherished.

That’s one thing I learned 10 years ago when I went door-to-door, trying to engage heartbroken seniors in Florida who felt they had been cheated of their rights in previous elections. Next week – on June 25 – the Senate Judiciary Committee will at long last hold a hearing on this legislation. A large coalition of civic groups and faith groups is working to send a message that day and the days before and after. You can be part of that, too. Read More

Morning Jew: World Cup Fever! Naked Soccer Players! Favela evictions!

June 19, 2014

World Cup fever with a special guest, Brazilian journalist Mariana Rebua Simoes – but is there a Jew on the pitch?

Morning Jew: Mark Cuban & More Deep Thoughts about Jews Owning Sports Teams

June 13, 2014

Not exactly comforting: New takes on safety blankets, Jewish cardinals, milk and more on this week’s edition of Morning Jew! Watch now!

Morning Jew: Dissecting Rev. Louis Farrakhan on Jews and Sports

June 6, 2014

Zeek enjoys partnering with comics Katie Halper and Heather Gold to bring you Morning Jew, a takedown of morning news shows, talking heads, and the news itself. Nu, they ask, are the headlines good for the Jews?

Morning Jew: You Think Your Divorce Was Torture?

May 30, 2014

Eyes on Jewish Education, Beyond East Ramapo — Why We Need More than Oversight as Schools Under Hasidic Control Fail NY Children

May 25, 2014

When Cosmos debuted, my husband was in awe. He had taken a biology course as an undergraduate, but that had been his first and only encounter with science. Newton, physics, history of science, evolution — none of those had existed for him before the age of 21. He had attended Belz Yeshiva — first in Brooklyn’s Borough Park, then in Israel. Read More

Two (Jew)Faced: Katy Perry & Macklemore: Should We Be Willing To Be Mocked More? -- Morning Jew, with Guest Jessie Kahnweiler

May 25, 2014

This week Macklemore and Katy Perry decided to see if pop culture would accept “Jew face.” This and more with our fabulous guest, the very funny filmmaker Jessie Kahnweiler @shegotchutzpah.

A People-First Approach to Climate Justice: Thinking Jewishly About Change

May 20, 2014

If you are among the despairing would-be climate activists of the world — overwhelmed by the scope of the problem, frustrated by lack of political will, horrified by the ever-more-dire predictions of climate scientists, and simultaneously consumed with both the urgency and the hopelessness of the situation — you are not alone. But here’s the thing. Our climate crisis isn’t just bad for frogs or whales or polar bears. It is bad — really bad — for people. Especially poor people, and people of color. When our main focus is on nature, habitat, and the suffering of creation, then we are just depressed. But if we focus instead on creating just, healthy, and sustainable local communities, then we open incredible opportunities to create tzedek-centered communities. READ MORE

Morning Jew: Donald Sterling and Jewish Racism

May 16, 2014

Waking Up to Justice: Rabbi Ellen Lippmann on the Fast Food Workers’ Strike (In NYC, 150 cities, 30 countries)

May 15, 2014

May 15, 2014. 4:30 am. The alarm rings. Groggily, I rise and dress, and head into midtown Manhattan to meet a motley crew of clergy and fast food workers and organizers, coming together at the beginning of a day of strikes by fast food workers here – and across the country and the world. I join one rabbi, several ministers, lots of workers, flags, banners, an organizer who grew up in my congregation, and curious onlookers still half-asleep before 6 am. The streets are half-empty, unheard of in New York. Soon they are filled by wave after wave of workers, determined that today is the day McDonald’s will change its tune or the governor of New York will grant our city and others the right to set our own minimum wage.

Morning Jew: Reminiscing about 1st Amendment with Guest Dahlia Lithwick, Supreme WASPs, George Clooney, Monica Lewinsky

May 9, 2014

This week, special guest Dahlia Lithwick, legal expert and editor at Slate and Newsweek, joins us to talk about how there used to be a separation of Church and State before this week’s Town of Greece case, how there are no more WASPs on the Supreme Court, George Clooney, Monica Lewinsky, Rob Ford and Principal Schmutz! And we do a lightning round. Watch now!

Dear Tal: An Open Letter About American Jewish Privilege

May 7, 2014

I read your op-ed in The Princeton Tory, Checking my Privilege: Character as the Basis of Privilege, making waves since Time reprinted it last week.

Like you, I am Jewish and my family came here fleeing anti-Semitic violence in Europe. They worked in the sweatshops of Lower Manhattan, and eventually built an upper-middle-class life for themselves. I am a living, breathing testament to the American dream, and it no coincidence that I am white and Jewish. This is not to say that all whites or Jews are well off, nor that all Jews are white or all whites Jewish. Rather I’m trying to point out that our families were able to move up in the world largely because American society gave them many of the literal and proverbial tools one needs to be upwardly mobile.

A Blocked Senate Vote on Minimum Wage, A Moral Call to Action Against Poverty Wages

May 2, 2014

I learned a lot from my experience with hunger, lessons I wish more of our Senators understood before making their frustrating decision not to vote for an increase in the minimum wage this week, blocking a vote on the Minimum Wage Fairness Act.

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