This article was originally published by MyJewishLearning on November 14, 2018
Jewish& is a blog by Be’chol Lashon, which gives voice to the racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of Jewish identity and experience. The original multicultural people, Jews have lived around the world for millennia. Today, with globalism and inclusion so key in making choices about engaging in Jewish life,Jewish& provides a forum for personal reflection, discussion, and debate.
Black hair is a contentious and highly personal topic. Whether we address its beauty and versatility or mock its propensity to stand out, the question remains: What do you do with it? The black hair question was never more spiritually apparent to me than in the days before my conversion to Judaism.
The final act for one to halachically (according to Jewish law) become a part of the Jewish community is to be questioned by a beit din—a panel of at least two rabbis and another Jewish witness—and then, after receiving their approval, thrice fully submerge yourself in a mikvah, or ritual bath. It seems pretty straightforward.
SFSU student leaders Jack C. Weinstock and Brenda Ellizabeth Robles attended the David Project's Inaugural Interfaith Summit in Washington DC from November 9th - 11th. Joined by 30 other students from 10 schools across the United States, the cohort represented 5 different faith traditions. The weekend created space for student bonding, learning best practices in interfaith outreach and making plans for new initiatives on campus.
Student Spotlight – For Jewish Students On Campus, The Pittsburgh Shooting Was Tragic — And Unifying
This article was originally published by The Forward on November 8, 2018
In response to the horrific synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, we asked three of the Forward’s Campus Ambassadors to tell us how they are dealing with the tragedy in their universities and home communities. Their responses are below.
What was your reaction when you heard the news of the shooting in Pittsburgh? Where were you and what were your initial thoughts?
Eden Lichterman (Northwestern Class of 2020): When I heard the news of the Pittsburgh shooting, my thoughts immediately went to my Uncle Avi, who served as the Rabbi of the Tree of Life Synagogue years ago. That synagogue was the childhood home of my cousins, the place where one of my cousins had her baby naming. As I sat in the library, scouring the Internet for updates and texting my family, my heart was broken and my gut was tight. I was scared; I was angry; I was confused. I couldn’t believe that this was happening, and I just wanted to wake up from this terrible nightmare.
Cameron Katz (Emory Class of 2021): As much as I hate to say it, when I heard the news of the Pittsburgh shooting, I was not as shocked as some of my fellow students. Because of the astounding number of shootings and the uptick in anti-Semitism in this country as a result of this Administration, I felt more numb to it than anything. How are we supposed to feel the depth of a tragedy such as the one in Pittsburgh when violence and hatred surround us every day? My feelings were consumed by numbness and pessimism. For so long, I think that we felt things had changed and that our society was moving forward with the fight against terror. But, as we have seen throughout the history of this country, whenever we take two steps forward, we always seem to take one step back.
Ocean Noah (San Francisco State University Class of 2021): I discovered the news on social media. My response was cerebral. I put the “fighting against anti-Semitism” banner on my Facebook profile picture. Some of my friends and family checked in on me. “Yes, I’m okay,” I said, “crazy isn’t it?” “Crazy” is the most detached thing I can say about something I am unable to process. I avoided feeling the pain of this shooting by diving into my schoolwork and extracurriculars. I feel afraid to approach it. I feel guilty for having the privilege to ignore it. I feel proud of my community for taking the pain and channeling it to make a change.
This article was originally published by Golden Gate Xpress on November 7, 2018
SF Hillel and other Jewish student organizations shared personal anecdotes on Monday, Nov. 5 during a vigil at Malcolm X Plaza held for the 11 worshippers murdered in an anti-Semitic shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Oct. 27.
Student Spotlight – Being An Ally Is Bigger Than Thoughts and Prayers: A Response to Modern Anti-Semitism and The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting, by Antonia Ford
This article was originally published by Tech Inclusion on November 6 2018
I grew up in a bubble of privilege and ignorance that had me thinking anti-semitism was something that only existed on the pages of history books. When I went away to college in the Bay Area, I had the opportunity to study the Middle East and the origins of Judaism. More importantly, I witnessed the very real and very current discrimination against and marginalization of Jewish students and professionals. Jews seemed to be held in some special “other” category, where their status as a religious and ethnic minority was ignored because many of them were white-passing. Jews of color, LGBTQ+ Jews, and Jews motivated to fight for social justice were and still are excluded from intersectional gatherings based on prejudice and false assumptions about their political leanings. What happened last week in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania shone a harsh light on the very real anti-semitism that still pervades our society.
This article was originally published by The Times of Israel on October 31, 2018
“I continue to warn you incessantly that a catastrophe is coming closer…my heart bleeds, that you dear brothers and sisters, do not see the volcano which will soon begin to spit its all consuming lava.”
These words were spoken by one of the most fundamental Zionist revolutionaries in the history of Israel, lawyer and guerrilla warrior Ze’ev Jabotinsky, in his 1938 speech “Tisha B’Av.” He was addressing the Jewish diaspora in Poland and referring to the largely unforeseen coming of the Holocaust, yet his words ring as true today as they did then. A catastrophe is indeed coming closer: Britain’s Labour Party has engaged in openly antisemitic behavior to the point that some British Jews are considering moving to Israel, France has been peppered with murders of Jewish citizens, and antisemitic attacks on Jewish citizens of the United States have seen their largest increase in the previous year since 1979. The latter point has been made in striking detail with the recent shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With 11 people killed and six wounded, this would be a crucial opportunity for the Jewish people to express unity and solidarity with one another across nations and communities. However, discord has only increased, both within the State of Israel and across the Atlantic Ocean, between Israeli Jews and the Jewish Diaspora.