Today is Women’s Equality Day–by Ayala Emmett

XMBBqEIa9Pl6k2a0Ga2rEg665kqNoVVWWZe-z6Z6-gGlVf0dgmdSTBKiGonXwVvpBjD38j0=s85Today, August 26, is a celebration of a long journey for women’s equality marked by the many who fought for it.

The list is long, but the thrust of the struggle for women’s rights began in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848. It witnessed Susan B. Anthony’s clarion call for women’s right to vote, which was finally granted in 1920. Women’s Equality Day was conceived by Representative Bella Abzug to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

images-129Abzug led the successful act in the U.S. Congress in 1971 to designate August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.

read more

An Open Letter to My Republican Cousin Joel–by Lisa Klein

An Open Letter
An Open Letter

This is my response to a political email you sent me supporting Trump.

I must say that it astonishes me that any Jewish person, observant or not, could support Trump’s views. Only a short time ago in Germany, Italy and the Soviet union, demagogues arose who started out with Trump’s exact rhetoric. They demonized minorities of all sorts, including Jews and other ethnic groups, disabled people, LGBT, people of different political philosophies.

Have you seen the propaganda posters of Jews as vermin and thieves? Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini blamed Jews for the economic ills of the time. Those leaders also said, as Trump says daily that they were the only one who could save humanity. The logical conclusion for their policy of vilification was the Gulag and Auschwitz.

read more

Heaven on Earth– by Molly McDonald

letter to the editor
letter to the editor

In your article, Keeping the Marriage and Splitting the Vote, you could not have hit it more on the head, if your pen so to speak, was a hammer!

Is there a biological imperative that demands this sort of power play we see between men and women, where men have to be in control? Yet, I do know personally a few, who call themselves feminists; I know them, and not all of them are gay. They see a natural equality and seem to be not at all interested in power and control but are interested in understanding and making the world a better place. Maybe they had better relationships with their mothers I don’t know.

read more

Keeping the Marriage and Splitting the Vote—by Ayala Emmett

splitting the vote
splitting the vote

I did not pay much attention to the intertwining of love and voting, until I had a conversation with some friends, working class women.

I was aware that research indicated that in 2016 working class white men tended to vote for Trump, yet he was losing working class women. I have not however, explored or questioned the domestic dynamics of husband and wife who split their votes.

I have known this group of women friends for a number of years; they are all remarkably hardworking, often holding two or three jobs. I have been meeting with them quite frequently and we have shared personal stories and recipes, and exchanged holiday gifts; we mostly stayed away from politics. But in the last few months we have been talking about the rise of Trump in the political arena.

read more

How will we Mourn Our Mother Earth?–by Deborah Kornfeld

images-9The destruction of Jerusalem as remembered by Jews all over the world on the 9th of Av is somber and dramatic. Unlike the mourning practices for bereaved individuals which starts with intense mourning and morphs slowly into a new reality, mourning for the holy temple and city of Jerusalem grows in intensity.

As the three weeks before Tisha B’av commence we refrain from merriment, live music , haircuts and weddings, in the nine days we don’t eat meat or swim and we begin to neglect ourselves and then on ninth of Av itself we sit on the floor, read the vivid description of the destruction of Jerusalem in the book of Lamentations, rejecting food, drink, and the comfort of friendship itself.

read more

Letter to the Editor: White Privilege, Women Rabbis and Larger Issues of Equality—by Cathy Harris

th-1The recent Forward article, “Disturbing Sexist Trend in Interfaith Work” is not surprising, just disappointing. Our progressive congregations continue to push equality and respect across genders and racial and ethnic boundaries, but the many invisible privileges of white men can be an elusive target, so deeply woven as they are into our culture.

For a more concrete grasp of what this means, check out the full text of the classic essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh below. It’s a tough challenge.

read more

Fighting for Social Justice, Ending the Occupation: Presentation Proposal– by Maya Haber

images-1
Presentation Topic: A recent Pew survey shows a distinct gap in thinking about Israel
between Israeli and American Jews. While four‐in‐ten Israeli Jews cite economic issues (inequality, rising housing costs, etc.) as the single biggest long‐term problem facing Israel (this number is higher among Arabs), when U.S. Jews were asked the
same question, almost none (1%) mentioned economic problems, and two‐thirds cited various security issues as the biggest long‐term problem facing Israel.

read more

For Love of Country: Bloomberg’s Peer Review of Trump—by Ayala Emmett

Reviewing Trump
Reviewing Trump

Michael Bloomberg spoke last night at the Democratic National Convention about patriotism, leadership, and hope and found Donald Trump failing in all categories.

Bloomberg’s message was one of several eloquent, compelling, and significant speeches, each deserving attention and admiration.

I single out Bloomberg because he offered what few could, a peer review of Trump.

Bloomberg, who by all accounts is far wealthier than Trump, did not speak about his own fortune; instead he reminded Trump of the riches of the American legacy. Bloomberg called on the American Framers to spell out the nation priorities, “When the Founding Fathers arrived here in Philadelphia to forge a new nation, they didn’t come as Democrats or Republicans, or to nominate a presidential candidate. They came as patriots who feared party politics.”

read more

Vigilante Justice and Mob Violence—by Ayala Emmett

Crowd turns Mob
Crowd turns Mob

Since Monday, the Republican National Convention has featured a historic spectacle of vigilante justice.

In a mere two days it has demonstrated how in an instant an ordinary crowd could become an ugly screaming mob. Each day of the convention has been punctuated by mostly law-abiding and mostly nice people morphing into a mob screaming with hatred and glee, “jail Hillary.”

A Former Prosecutor
A Former Prosecutor

Whatever people may think of Hillary Clinton’s use of email, last night’s mob at the convention didn’t sound like the Law and Order slogan the Republicans keep claiming as their property. The convention sounded more like the French mob screaming outside the Dreyfus trial, like the mobs that attacked Jews in pogroms in Europe and like the historic mobs breaking into prisons to lynch black Americans.

read more

Did the Color of His Skin Kill Philando Castile? How not to talk about racism*- by Barbara J. Fields & Karen E. Fields

Outside the Minnesota Governor's Mansion in St Paul following the killing of Philando Castile. Fibonacci Blue / Flickr
Outside the Minnesota Governor’s Mansion in St Paul following the
killing of Philando Castile. Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

This time it was President Barack Obama who used the formula “because of the color of their skin,” after a police officer killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop for a broken taillight: “When incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our citizenry that feels as if, because of the color of their skin, they are not being
treated the same.”

He was not the first and will not be the last to cast matters in that topsy-turvy way. Martin Luther King Jr’s reference to “the color of their skin” in his “I Have a Dream” speech has normalized the formula in Americans’ ears, though King probably considered it a reductio ad absurdum rather than an explanation.

read more