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What was Kellyanne Conway trying to say when asking a Jewish reporter, “What’s your ethnicity?”

During a press gaggle on July 16 at the White House, Breakfast Media correspondent Andrew Feinberg asked the White House counselor a question about President Donald Trump’s recent tweet condemning four Democratic congresswomen for “loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.”

In the same tweet, Trump suggested that the lawmakers, all woman of color, should “go back” to the “places from which they came.”

At the subsequent press gathering, Feinberg asked Conway which countries she thought the president had in mind.

Conway responded with a question: “What’s your ethnicity?” When Feinberg responded, “Um, why is that relevant?” she continued, “No, no, because I’m asking you a question. My ancestors are from Ireland and Italy.”

Feinberg later said he hadn’t a clue why Conway asked the question.

So what exactly did she mean?

Twitter liberals played this as Conway trying to “other” a Jewish reporter, or at least insinuating that perhaps Feinberg had an ethnic affinity for “The Squad,” as the four freshman lawmakers have come to be known.

“It feels as though Conway is asking for proof of some sort of lineage before she is willing to answer the question from Feinberg,” wrote CNN’s Chris Cillizza.

Feinberg, for the record, didn’t see it that way.

Although he felt Conway’s question was “bizarre,” he tweeted, “No, I don’t think she was being anti-Semitic.” (Trump, meanwhile, has been defending his own remarks by saying all four of the congresswomen are anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.)

In a sorry-but-not-sorry follow-up tweet, Conway tries to explain, “This was meant with no disrespect. We are all from somewhere else ‘originally.’ I asked the question to answer the question and volunteered my own ethnicity: Italian and Irish. Like many, I am proud of my ethnicity, love the USA & grateful to God to be an American.”

Conway no doubt was prepared to defend Trump from what had become the widespread critique of his remarks: That they were racist, and/or a signal to nativist followers that, as columnist Charles Blow interpreted them in a New York Times essay condemning Trump, this is “a white country, founded and built by white men, and destined to be maintained as a white country.”

Why else, after all, would he single out four women of color in this way?

By acknowledging that Americans are “all from somewhere else ‘originally,’” Conway seems to suggest that the president didn’t care which countries the women come from. It was their criticism of America that stung. 

(For the record, Rep. Ilhan Omar, a refugee from Somalia who came here at age 12, is the only one of “The Squad” who is not native-born. Rep. Rashida Tlaib is a Detroit-born Palestinian-American; New York native Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s father was born in Puerto Rico; and Rep. Ayanna Pressley is an African-American who hails from Chicago.)

In a quick pivot from her exchange with Feinberg, Conway went on to say of Trump, “He’s tired, a lot of us are sick and tired of this country — of America — coming last to people who swore an oath of office.”

In other words, the president doesn’t see ethnicity. He just sees a lack of patriotism. He would have directed his remarks at any lawmakers who, in his words, “loudly and viciously” attacked the government.

Bess Levin, writing in Vanity Fair, interpreted Conway’s reply that way.

“The point Conway seemed to be trying to make was that Trump, who does not have a racist bone in his body, might have told any Democratic critic to ‘go back’ to the ‘crime infested places from which they came,’” she wrote. “The fact that none of the four women he targeted are white, and that two of them are Muslim, had nothing to do with it!”

If that was what Conway was trying to say, she’s likely to get some pushback back at home. In an essay for The Washington Post, her husband of 18 years, George Conway, an attorney and frequent Trump critic, expressed his own opinion about the president’s remarks.

“Telling four non-white members of Congress — American citizens all, three natural-born — to ‘go back’ to the ‘countries’ they ‘originally came from’? That’s racist to the core,” he wrote. “It doesn’t matter what these representatives are for or against — and there’s plenty to criticize them for — it’s beyond the bounds of human decency. For anyone, not least a president.”

Andrew Silow-Carroll is JTA’s editor-in-chief. 

The post Why did Kellyanne Conway Ask Jewish Journalist Andrew Feinberg about his Ethnicity? appeared first on JMORE.

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Johnny Clegg, a groundbreaking South African musician, human rights champion and cultural anthropologist known for his high-energy performing style, died yesterday, July 16, of pancreatic cancer. He was 66.

A Grammy Award-nominated artist nicknamed the “White Zulu,” Clegg — who in 1996 headlined Baltimore’s Artscape festival — died peacefully at home in the South African city of Johannesburg with his family by his side, according to Roddy Quin, Clegg’s manager.

“Condolences to Family and Friends of Johnny Clegg — one of South Africa’s most celebrated sons,” the South African government tweeted. “He was a singer, a songwriter, a dancer, anthropologist whose infectious crossover music exploded onto the international scene and contributed towards social cohesion #RIPJohnnyClegg.”

The son of an English father and a Jewish mother whose parents were immigrants from Poland, Clegg was a seminal figure in the anti-apartheid and world music movements.

With such African superstars as Congo’s Tabu Ley Rochereau and Nigeria’s King Sunny Ade, Clegg was highly instrumental in bringing Afro pop music to a global audience in the 1980s, attracting the likes of such Western musicians as Peter Gabriel, Sting and Paul Simon. (The latter’s seminal album “Graceland” was greatly influenced by the earlier works of Clegg, among others, and Simon thanked Clegg in the record’s liner notes.)

South African music star and human rights champion Johnny Clegg headlined Baltimore’s Artscape festival in 1996. (Facebook)

A native of the English town of Bacup, Lancashire, Clegg moved with his divorced mother to her native Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and then to South Africa when he was 6. He also spent part of a year in Israel during his childhood.

Clegg received a secular Jewish upbringing but did not become a bar mitzvah, and he learned about Zulu music, dancing and culture as a teenager.

“I stumbled on Zulu street guitar music being performed by Zulu migrant workers, traditional tribesmen from the rural areas,” Clegg recalled in an interview. “They had taken a Western instrument that had been developed over six, seven hundred years, and re-conceptualized the tuning. They changed the strings around, they developed new styles of picking, they only use the first five frets of the guitar — they developed a totally unique genre of guitar music, indigenous to South Africa. I found it quite emancipating.”

Later in his career, Clegg, a multi-instrumentalist, explored “crossover” music with such multi-racial bands Juluka and Savuka while South Africa was under white minority rule. He later became a solo artist.

Clegg was known for his wild, high-kicking performing style and his frequently controversial lyrics that criticized the policies of the South African government. In the 1970s and 1980s, Clegg performed and recorded in defiance of racial barriers imposed under the nation’s apartheid system, but eventually celebrated its new democracy under President Nelson Mandela.

During the apartheid era, Clegg was heavily restricted by South African censors from performing and arrested for some of his anti-apartheid songs, but he “never gave into the pressure of the apartheid rules,” said Quin.

“[Clegg] impacted millions of people around the world,” Quin said. “He played a major role in South Africa getting people to learn about other people’s cultures and bringing people together.”

He called Clegg an “anthropologist that used his music to speak to every person.”

One of Clegg’s most famous songs was “Scatterlings of Africa,” which he released with Juluka in 1982. The song appeared on the soundtrack of the 1988 Academy Award-winning movie, “Rain Man,” directed by Baltimore-born filmmaker Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman.

In 2015, Clegg was diagnosed with cancer, which required two six-month sessions of chemotherapy and an operation.

“I don’t have a duodenum and half my stomach,” he told the media two years ago. “I don’t have a bile duct. I don’t have a gall bladder and half my pancreas. It’s all been reconfigured.”

Clegg performed as late as 2017 during a tour called “The Final Journey” while his cancer was in remission. At a Johannesburg concert, Clegg said that “all of these entries into traditional culture gave me a way of understanding myself, helping me to shape a kind of African identity for myself, and freed me up to examine another way of looking at the world.”

In a recent interview, Clegg said the highlight of his career came while performing one of his best-known songs, “Asimbonanga,” in Germany in 1997 and having Mandela surprise him by coming onstage and dancing. (The Zulu phrase asimbonanga means, “We’ve never seen him,” and the song alluded to Mandela’s lengthy imprisonment by South African authorities before his release in 1990.)

At the conclusion of the song, Clegg and Mandela walked offstage, holding hands.

“That was the pinnacle moment for me,” Clegg said. “It was just a complete and amazing gift from the universe.”

Clegg is survived by his wife of 31 years, Jenny, and their two sons, Jesse and Jaron. Quin said a private funeral will be held for Clegg’s family and close friends, and a public memorial is being planned.

The post Jewish South African Music Star Johnny Clegg Dies at 66 appeared first on JMORE.

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When President Donald Trump recently told four Democratic congresswomen to “go home,” nobody needed simultaneous translation. It’s a hurtful taunt that says, “This is my America, not yours. You don’t belong here.” The taunt goes back years and years.

How many years?

The unveiling of this week’s version of presidential racism, which led to congressional condemnation of Trump, made me think of an African-American civil rights icon named Clarence Mitchell Jr.

And it made me think of a Jewish civic leader named Walter Sondheim.

And it made me think of a local Italian-Catholic political leader named Tommy D’Alesandro Jr., who gave us the House Speaker named Nancy Pelosi. She showed the whole country this week that we’ve had enough of this Trumpian bigotry.

In the ‘40s, it was D’Alesandro who told Italian-Americans that they were first-class U.S. citizens when the world sometimes told them otherwise. As a young man trying to gain a foothold in Baltimore politics, the future three-time mayor of Baltimore went to one political club after another when he was starting out, back when those clubs meant all the real power in a city run by political machines.

Go home, he was told. It was Trump’s message, three-quarters of a century earlier. Go back to your own neighborhood. Go back to Italy, for all we care. So D’Alesandro started his own club, and made history.

Tommy was mayor when the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the racial integration of America’s public schools. The president of the Baltimore City school board back then was Walter Sondheim, who openly backed integration.

For his trouble, vandals burned a cross on Sondheim’s front lawn. Go back to your own, they were telling him with their fiery religious symbol. Sondheim stood his ground. On the day of the Supreme Court decision, he went to D’Alesandro. Leaders in the surrounding counties were already indicating they’d drag their feet before integrating their schools.

“What do you want to do with it?” Sondheim asked D’Alesandro.

“The priests tell me it’s the right thing,” Tommy said. That’s all he needed. That, and a whole history of being told he was an outsider, that he should “go home.” He knew what it meant to be marginalized.

When the schools opened the following fall of 1954, Clarence Mitchell Jr. took his son, Keiffer, to Gwynns Falls Park Junior High, where he’d enrolled as one of eight blacks among 300 whites.

Hundreds of white adults stood outside the school. It was awful, the abuse they screamed at young Keiffer. They yelled, “Go home, nigger. Go home.” Some had signs, which said, “Go back to Africa.” But Africa wasn’t home. Home was Druid Hill Avenue, in America.

Keiffer went into the school, and his father faced down the furious crowd outside. He had a sign of his own, and he marched up and down the sidewalk and silently faced the onslaught. The sign said all he needed to say.

It said, “I am an American, too.”

Somebody needs to make that case to the president of the United States, who says those who disagree with him “hate America.” He tells them, “Go home.”

Nancy Pelosi, daughter of Tommy D’Alesandro and a witness to the courage of Walter Sondheim and Clarence Mitchell Jr., tells Trump his words are “disgraceful and disgusting and racist.”

The history books will now tell everyone that this president was condemned by the U.S. Congress for racism.

If this president ever read a history book, he might have understood the pain caused by his words, and why so many declare him, and his language, racist.

A former Baltimore Sun columnist and WJZ-TV commentator, Michael Olesker is the author of six books, most recently “Front Stoops in the Fifties: Baltimore Legends Come of Age” (Johns Hopkins University Press).

The post Trump’s Racist Tweets Evoke Memories of Baltimore’s Painful Past appeared first on JMORE.

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Battalion Chief Lawrence H. Goldberg passed away on Thursday, July 11, at the age of 50. A Baltimore native, he was a 28-year veteran of the Baltimore City Fire Dept. who began his firefighting and paramedic career with the Pikesville Volunteer Fire Co. in 1988. He ultimately became a chief officer and life member of the PVFC. Among his awards was the PVFC Firefighter of the Year Award for 2019. 

Battalion Chief Lawrence H. Goldberg

The following are excerpts from a eulogy for Chief Goldberg delivered by his friend and colleague, PVFC Capt. Scott Goldstein, at Chief Goldberg’s funeral on July 16 at Sol Levinson & Bros.

While I am representing the Pikesville Volunteer Fire Company, I was Larry’s friend outside of the station. I was his best man at their wedding (fortunately, Debbie finally moved past the bachelor party pictures), and spent countless hours teaching, debating and riding with him.

So, how does one define a man? Perhaps we start with numbers:

• 50 years old
• 1 devoted wife
• 2.5 wonderful kids
• 31 years in the fire service
• 20 years as an officer
• 30 years as a Paramedic.
• several thousand runs with Pikesville over a 30-year career
• Several thousand more with Baltimore

Nope, numbers don’t help here. Perhaps we use words:

  • Husband;
  • Father;
  • Son, brother, uncle, nephew, friend;
  • Buffy’s owner.

If you don’t believe people and their pets look like each other, look at the pictures of Larry and Buffy. Both have that droopy, puppy-dog face; both cannot contain their excitement at the scent of food; and both of their bellies scrape the ground when they walked.

Many of you in the City Department have scars on their scalps from Larry’s climb up the chain of command. He does not apologize for them.

As an instructor, this is where we have the most impact on the fire service. How many lives have been saved by each Instructor who sends 20-30 disciples out into the world each semester?

Larry led four to five classes per year for 20-plus years. You do the math.

Call him whatever you want, just never call him late for dinner.

Perhaps we use imagery of Larry in his Chief Buggy chewing on his cigar. He rolls up. “Hey guys, what’s going on?”

As an incident commander, the sheer number of fires, shootings and rescues that occurred on his City watch was quite impressive. When he would walk into Pikesville Volunteers, the chances of a working incident increased exponentially. While on duty in the City, it was “Ol’ 2nd Alarm Larry.”

Now when he did participate as a crew member, it was equally as entertaining. Imagine you are. Lt. Mike Smith, conducting secondary search of a house fire, a house still well charged with smoke, you open the door the bathroom and look for the tub to look for victims, then your light catches some reflective trim, your light and eyes follow the image, and there is Larry, breathing from the air pack on the sink, and Larry sitting on the commode.

Mike is still in therapy. Thank goodness for positive-pressure breathing apparatus. …

So, what tidbit of information did Larry impart that got you out of a situation?

Photo courtesy of Michael Schwartzberg/Pikesville Volunteer Fire Company”

As much as I loved to torment him (and he made it so easy and fun), he loved to teach. And through his teaching, this man has impacted hundreds of lives of first-responders of all levels, ultimately saving thousands of lives.

And for many of us here, that is his legacy.

But for two of us in this room, his legacy is just you.

Micaela, the female personality of Larry. Thank God you look like Mom. Sometimes with you two, it was like watching magnets trying to connect. At times, it was hard for Larry to face himself, and he saw a lot of himself in you, and sometimes that made it hard to face you. He loved you dearly nonetheless.

Zach, apples don’t fall far from the tree. Within two years, you earned your EMT, FF, HazMat, Rescue, and cleared to ride all of our apparatus. Your dad also quickly trained and progressed through the ranks. But he allowed you to do it on your own (while hovering through the eyes of your instructors). You have started applying to fire department academies. Remember to continue training and higher and higher levels. Our job is beyond complex, and society’s demands and expectations require us to be on top of our game.

Your dad would tell students that being a professionalhas nothing to do with a paycheck. It has to do with how one performs.

And that was Larry, no matter which helmet he wore.

Malcolm, Zach’s brother from another mother, you adopted the Goldbergs as your extended family quitesome time ago. And with Larry’s guidance you ended up in our world. Honor him by continuing to train and stay involved.

As the best man at the wedding, I got to see how much Larry adored and lusted after you, Debbie. He worked tirelessly to provide for the family, booked many, many weekends on family camping trips.

Like many of us in the fire service, the service frequently takes up way too much time, usually at the most undesirable times. Please do not ever compare his sense of duty to service vs. his sense of duty to family.

Both were sacred to Larry.

And like the rest of us in the fire service, we sometimes made the difficult decision to jump into action and temporarily leave our family when the bells rang or pager sounded, and another family needed our life-saving skills more. That is selflessness at its best. And for that you should be proud.

We are.

Rest easy, Chubby. We got it from here.

Chief Goldberg is survived by his wife, Deborah A. Goldberg (nee Yale), children, Micaela E. Goldberg and Zachary A. Goldberg, siblings, Sharon (Steven) Solimini, Debbie (Mark) Palardy, and Patricia Lamond (Rafael Torres), parents Barbara N. Goldberg, and Marvin and Mary L. Goldberg, brothers and sisters-in-law, Jonathan (Suzanne) Yale, Catharine (George) Abid, and Carolyn (Robert) Monko, mother and father-in-law Marjorie and Robert Yale, and many loving nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Baltimore City Fire Foundation, 401 E. Fayette St.m Baltimore, Md. 21202, or Fight Colorectal Cancer, 1414 Prince St, #204 Alexandria, Va. 22314. 

The post A Tip of the Helmet to Battalion Chief Lawrence H. Goldberg appeared first on JMORE.

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It’s Emmy season again, and Jews in the TV industry have plenty of reason to celebrate.

Out of all the nominees announced on Tuesday, July 16, here’s a roundup of the Jewish picks on the list. Winners will be announced on Sept. 22 at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which follows the life of feisty comedian Midge Maisel from the very Jewish 1950s Upper West Side, was nominated for outstanding comedy series. Rachel Brosnahan was nominated for best comedy actress for her role as the titular role, while Tony Shalhoub also got a nod for playing her father. Marin Hinkle and Alex Borstein both were nominated for best supporting actress in a comedy series.

Luke Kirby, Rufus Sewell and Jane Lynch were all nominated for best guest actor and actresses for their roles. The series won eight Emmys last year.

“Russian Doll” — about a Jewish New Yorker named Nadia Vulvokov who finds herself in a pickle, a la “Groundhog Day” — was also nominated for best comedy series. Natasha Lyonne got a nod for best comedy actress for the lead role.

Ilana Glazer, left, and Abbi Jacobson were nominated for outstanding actress in a short for comedy or drama series for their web videos titled “Hack Into Broad City.” (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Comedy Central)

“Schitt’s Creek,” which had a notable episode about celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah, also got a nomination for best comedy series. Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara both got nominated for their roles as married couple Johnny and Moira Rose.

Patricia Arquette, whose mother is Jewish, was nominated for best actress in a limited series or movie for her role in “Escape at Dannemora.”

Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman‘s show I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman” was nominated for best variety sketch series.

Maya Rudolph, whose father is Jewish, was nominated for best guest actress in a comedy series for her role in “The Good Place.”

Canadian-Jewish actress Sarah Goldberg got a nod for best supporting actress in a comedy series for her role in as Sally Reed in “Barry.”

Adam Sandler was nominated for best guest actor in a comedy series for hosting “Saturday Night Live.” He also was nominated for best writing for a variety special for his standup special “100% Fresh.”

Amy Schumer was nominated for best writing for a variety special for her standup show “Amy Schumer Growing.”

Sacha Baron Cohen and three of his co-directors were nominated for outstanding directing for a variety series for the Showtime series “Who Is America?

Filmmamkers Julie Cohen and Betsy West were nominated for outstanding documentary directing for “RBG,” their documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Tim Wardle also got a nod for directing “Three Identical Strangers,” a documentary about a pair of Jewish triplets who were split up at birth without their knowledge. Both films also got nominated for exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking.

“Love, Gilda,” a film about the late Jewish comedian Gilda Radner, was nominated for best documentary program.

The production team behind Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” was nominated for outstanding informational series.

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson both were nominated for outstanding actress in a short for comedy or drama series for their web videos titled “Hack Into Broad City.”

Michael Douglas was nominated for best lead comedy actor his role in “The Kominsky Method,” while Alan Arkin got the nod for supporting actor.

Josefin Dolsten writes for the JTA international news agency and wire service.

The post Jewish-Themed Shows Well-Represented Among Emmy Nominations appeared first on JMORE.

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U.S. Attorney General William Barr called anti-Semitism a “cancer” at a Department of Justice summit on the topic held on Monday, July 15.

The Summit on Combating Anti-Semitism, held at the DOJ headquarters in Washington, D.C., featured panel discussions and an audience of about 150, mostly men representing various Jewish organizations and government agencies that deal with some aspect of hate crimes and civil rights. Among those in attendance were top leaders of the departments of Education, the Treasury and the FBI.

The conference was bracketed by speeches by Barr and three other top officials of the Trump administration: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Elan Carr, the State Department’s Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism, said the lineup was a sign of how seriously the administration is taking what he called a “time of striking growth in anti-Semitism around the globe.”

He said that growth extends from Europe to the United States, “where vandalism in New York and other cities, according to the Anti-Defamation League, occurs on a fairly regular basis, and campuses have become hostile places for Jewish and pro-Israel students.”

Anti-Israel activity — at colleges and by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel — was perhaps the major theme of the summit, with two of the four panels largely devoted to aspects of the topic: “Anti-Semitism on Campus” and “Combating Anti-Semitism While Respecting the First Amendment.”

Carr noted at least three sources of present-day anti-Semitism: the “white supremacist far right,” the “anti-Zionist far left” and “radical Islam.”

But he drew particular attention to what he called “the new anti-Semitism,” which he said “attempts to disguise its Jew hatred as hatred for the state of Israel and the anti-Zionist endeavor.”

DeVos said that “BDS stands for anti-Semitism.” She described her department’s investigations into incidents of alleged discrimination aimed at pro-Israel students at Williams College in Massachusetts and at a pro-Palestinian event sponsored by departments at Duke University and University of North Carolina.

She also invoked President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as did Mnuchin, as a sign of U.S. support for Israel.

In his remarks, Barr referred to the wide landscape of anti-Semitism, including a rise in reported hate crimes, the deadly shootings at synagogues in Pittsburgh and southern California, conspiracy theories and cemetery vandalism.

Describing anti-Semitism as a “cancer,” he said he wants to “assure the Jewish community that the Department of Justice and the entire federal government stands with you and will not tolerate these attacks.”

The conference, scheduled for weeks, was held following a news cycle dominated by accusations that President Donald Trump had himself courted bigotry, first in hosting a meeting at the White House for right-wing social media figures and then saying in a tweet that four Democratic members of Congress, all women of color, should “go back” to their countries of origin.

Josh Rogin, a columnist for the Washington Post who moderated a panel on “Prosecuting Hate Crimes,” referred to this tumult in a question to the three law enforcement officials on the panel. Asked to what they attributed the rise in hate crimes, and if they considered Trump’s often polarizing behavior as one of the causes, all three — representing the Attorney General’s civil rights division, the FBI’s criminal investigation division and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia — declined to offer any reasons.

All three focused their answers instead on their efforts to prosecute purveyors of hate crimes and their work with local communities on prevention.

Andrew Silow-Carroll writes for the JTA international news agency and wire service.

The post Trump Officials Express Concern about the ‘New Anti-Semitism’ appeared first on JMORE.

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The chief editor of The Jewish Press, an Orthodox newspaper, has repeatedly used his Twitter account to make racial comments and excoriate the gay rights movement for glorifying what he calls sinful behavior.

Elliot Resnick’s comments were the focus on July 13 of a piece published on Medium by Chaim Levin, an advocate for LGBTQ acceptance in the Orthodox community. 

Resnick has in social media posts over the last year called African religions “primitive” and the gay rights movement “evil.” He also questioned the existence of white supremacists and asked how an adult having sexual relations with a teenager constitutes assault.

“If blacks resent America’s [sic] so much, let them discard Christianity (which the ‘white man’ gave them) and re-embrace the primitive religions they practiced in Africa,” Resnick wrote last month.

“Can someone give me a coherent reason why blackface is racist?” he asked in a tweet in February.

In another tweet, the context of which is unclear, Resnick asked, “How is it assault to commit a consensual immoral act with a 17-year-old? The notion that a 17-year-old in this century is an innocent child is laughable.”

The Jewish Press’ publisher told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that its editor’s tweets were “unacceptable.”

Resnick defended his tweets in an email to JTA on July 15.

“Calling my tweets ‘vile’ is a smear tactic designed to avoid addressing my Facebook post on the Torah’s views on homosexuality,” he wrote. “Chaim Levin is a radical activist determined to push immoral beliefs down the throats of society and will trample on anyone who stands in his way.”

On July 11 Resnick wrote a Facebook post on gay activists. It was subsequently removed by Facebook for violating its “Community Standards against hate speech.”

When asked about his comment on African religions, Resnick said, “According to the Torah, the closer a religion is to pure monotheism, the more advanced it is.”

He defended his tweet about relations between an adult and a minor by writing, “A 17-year-old is an adult according to the Torah.”

The Jewish Press describes itself as “the largest independent weekly Jewish newspaper in the United States.” It has a print and online circulation of 95,000, according to its publisher, Naomi Mauer.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based paper describes itself as championing “Torah values and ideals from a centrist or Modern Orthodox perspective.”

Mauer said that Resnick, who has been serving as chief editor since early 2018, had written the posts in his personal capacity and that they did not represent the views of the publication.

“I’m sorry for these tweets, but there is such a thing as freedom of speech and freedom of him to express it,” Mauer told JTA on Monday. “And it’s not done as the chief editor of The Jewish Press and The Jewish Press does not carry that viewpoint.”

Mauer said she told Resnick that the tweets were “unacceptable,” and he in turn said he would no longer share such posts. The paper is not taking any further action, Mauer said.

Levin, the activist, and Resnick have history. Levin said the two first met when he was a camper and Resnick was a counselor at Camp Gan Israel, a summer camp affiliated with the Chabad Lubavitch movement in Parksville, N.Y.

Years later, Resnick found out about Levin’s sexuality and wrote an article in The Jewish Press in 2011 attacking him for speaking about his sexuality in a video.

Resnick’s article did not mention Levin by name but the following year Levin penned a response in The Press in which he acknowledged that the article had been about him.

Levin told JTA that he has been aware of Resnick’s social media posts for years but that he was moved to take action after The Jewish Press published an article last week which criticized participants in New York’s Gay Pride parade, saying people who engage in homosexual relations are giving into their desires like animals.

“He’s not a random person on Twitter, he’s the chief editor of a very big newspaper, a newspaper that’s in my parents house every weekend without exception,” Levin said. “I think it matters and I think the world should at least be aware that these are statements he is making.”

Josefin Dolsten writes for the JTA international news agency and wire service.

The post Orthodox Newspaper’s Editor Calls African Religions ‘Primitive’ and Gay Rights Movement ‘Evil appeared first on JMORE.

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President Donald Trump’s comments on July 14, calling for some Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to their countries of origin, have been widely condemned as racist.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” the president wrote on in one of a number of tweets aimed at what he called “‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen.”

Despite not naming them all, most have assumed Trump was referring to four women of color: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

They are all U.S. citizens and only Omar was born abroad, in Somalia.

In a series of follow-up tweets, Trump said the representatives all “hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion” and have “made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.”

The president presumably was referring to the rising wave of Israel criticism in the Democratic Party that some of these congresswomen have helped to spearhead.

Omar specifically came under fire earlier this year for some comments about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that some took to be anti-Semitic. Tlaib took heat as well for comments on Israel’s founding after the Holocaust, which some saw as revisionist.

“We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of Communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own Country,” Trump wrote.

For Jewish groups and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, Trump’s comments have struck an intense chord. Here’s how many of them have responded.

The Republican Jewish Coalition said it agreed with a comment by Sen. Lindsey Graham in response to Trump’s tweets calling the Democratic congresswomen “a bunch of communists” and saying “They hate Israel. They hate our own country.”

Halie Soifer, the executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, called Trump “America’s ‘Racist in Chief’” in a statement denouncing the comment. 

Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called the comments “flat-out racist” and “xenophobic.” He also criticized Trump for “using Israel to defend his blatant racism.”

Abraham Foxman, the former longtime director of the ADL, called the tweet “one of the oldest xenophobic prejudiced comments expressed by bigots in our country.”

The American Jewish Committee praised diversity in response to Trump’s comments. “Surely we can have policy debates in this country without resorting to potshots at our opponents’ identities or origins,” the organization said.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center said “Every American came from somewhere. Time for everyone in #WashingtonDC to drop the identity politics #racism.”

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action called Trump “a racist and white supremacist” and criticized Republicans for not condemning the remarks.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. asked on Twitter, “Is the Republican silence over President @realDonaldTrump’s racism agreement or embarrassment?”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., described the president as “a liar, a fraud, a narcissist and a bully” in response to the comments.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., called the comments “racist and hateful.”

“Telling a group of American women of color to go back to their country is fundamentally un-American,” she wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., condemned the comments on Twitter, calling them “xenophobic.”

The post Jewish Groups React to President Trump’s Controverial Tweets appeared first on JMORE.

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“How much time should I spend looking for a job?”

Good question! Most job hunters are not spending nearly enough time doing the many tasks required to land the jobs they desire.

If you are currently unemployed, looking for a job is your new full-time job.  The time you spend doing a job search is an investment in yourself and your career, so you need to think of your job search as a structured, real job.

That means devoting 5-8 hours per day — during business hours, five days a week — with an hour off for lunch each day. Finding a job is hard work, and you want to do everything in your power to make that new position happen.

The good news is if you can stick to this plan and apply for 5-10 job opportunities per day, you are more likely to find a job much sooner.  

If you are employed but looking for a better job, obviously you have less time to devote to your search, so you must use your limited time more wisely. You will still need to do the same tasks as your unemployed counterparts, just more efficiently.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to clarify your career goals, skills, values, strengths; research and identify openings and opportunities; develop your cover letters and resume; apply online and network to find hidden opportunities; prepare for interviews and follow up with hiring managers — and to do all of this with persistence in an enthusiastic, professional and organized manner. 

Devoting 10-15 hours per week to your job search may be the commitment you need to make to succeed in finding a better position.

Regardless of your current situation, make sure to incorporate these 6 strategies into the time you spend on your job search:

  • Plan Your Day: Make a schedule and stick to it. Keep a calendar with appointments and deadlines. Perhaps keep a tally of all your job search activities and accomplishments each week.  If you are not attaining the results you desire, change your strategy the next week.
  • Get Up: Sure, it is tempting to go to bed late, then sleep in and stay in your pajamas all day.  Even if your work space is in your home, it’s a good idea to dress for work each day, to maintain a routine. Just dressing the part puts you in a better frame of mind where you think of yourself as a professional engaged in the work world. You will also be prepared in case you get called on short notice to interview with an employer.
  • Get Out: Don’t spend all your time at home where you may be distracted or tempted to do other activities unrelated to your job search. Working online is necessary, but getting out of the house, even if it is just a trip to the library or other public spaces, may clear your head, expand your perspective and lead to unexpected opportunities.
  • Keep Growing: Take a workshop to refresh your interview or computer skills, participate in webinars related to your field of interest, or consider enrolling in classes to gain new knowledge and skills that will make you more marketable.  
  • Make Connections: Set aside time daily or weekly to network – online and in-person – with your existing contacts and to build new ones. Join a job club, go to meet-ups or attend an event held by a professional association. Use LinkedIn to expand your online network and to market yourself. It can also be helpful to have an accountability partner who can motivate and support you through your job search.
  • Take Care of Yourself: Try to spend time each day doing physical activity. Whether you enjoy going to the gym, taking a walk or swimming, exercise helps you feel energized. Stay on a healthy sleep cycle and eat right. Show yourself some kindness by rewarding the efforts you make along the way.

You have to find your own rhythm. The more important question to consider may not be how much time are you spending on your job search, but are you using your time wisely? 

If you get discouraged and feel like you have hit a brick wall in your job search, it may be time to take stock. Has your self-discipline waned making it hard to stick to a daily or weekly plan? Are you frustrated because you’ve submitted countless applications and resumes but don’t get called for interviews?

Or have you been on countless interviews but never receive an offer? It may be time to consider consulting a professional such as a career coach who can help by analyzing your cover letters or your resume, doing some role-playing or mock interviewing, giving you constructive feedback, and support you in staying on track. A bit of professional advice and guidance might be the boost you need.

When it comes to a job search, investing the right amount of time and using that time wisely may be the key to landing your dream job.

The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment services to help job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment or change their career. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resumes, interview preparation, and connections to employers who are hiring. For information, call 410-466-9200 or visit jcsbalt.org.

The post Finding a Job Requires Hard Work, Determination and an Investment of Time appeared first on JMORE.

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Fifty years ago this week, when men from Earth first landed on the moon, I was somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where it was the middle of the night. So naturally, despite all the drama, I fell asleep.

This puts me in something of a minority, since there were an estimated 500 million people all over the world, thrilled to watch and listen as Neil Armstrong said, “This is one small step for man … one giant leap for mankind.”

I landed in London a few days later, where I couldn’t believe the British newspapers. They were filled with color photographs (still quite rare, in those days, for American papers), and scads of articles applauding the achievement.

As an American, about to spend the next 10 months working for a British paper, I felt enormous pride in the moon landing. But I also felt a disconnect. I wanted to know more about these astronauts, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins.

They should have been the most fascinating men in the world. But they were not. They seemed to be withholding something from us. They seemed to be speaking in a language that avoided normal English. In all the commotion of those days, I missed hearing the beating of the human heart.

At a press conference a few days before Apollo 11 left Earth, a puckish reporter asked Armstrong if he might “keep a piece of the moon for yourself?”

“At this time,” Armstrong replied stiffly, “no plans have been made. … That’s not a prerogative we have available to us.”

As Norman Mailer noted a few weeks later in a piece written for The London Observer, headlined, “The Mind of An Astronaut, ” “The computerese style of response continued. ‘Doing our best’ became ‘obtaining maximum advantage possible.’ ‘Ability to move’ was a ‘mobility study.’ You could not break through computerese.”

Aldrin was no better. As Mailer observed, “Of the tense moment when ready to ignite for ascent from the moon’s surface, Aldrin merely spoke of the ‘various contingencies that can develop,’ and of ‘a wider variety of trajectory conditions.’

“He was talking about not being able to join up, wandering through space, lost forever to life in that short eternity before they expired of hunger and thirst … [But] the heart of all astronaut talk [was] like the heart of all bureaucratic talk, a jargon which could be easily converted to computer programming.”

Even as we appreciated the technicians who helped put these men on the moon, and cheered the courage of the astronauts, we longed to know what the whole experience felt like – so we could measure it against our own courage and fear.

Surely there was some poetry to be mixed into the experience, something to translate the humanity behind the physics and math.

The journalist Oriana Fallaci had Mailer’s reaction. After interviewing another team of astronauts given to the same stiff language, she wrote, “I was so jealous of the astronauts. I asked them, ‘Why you and not me? You are going upstairs with no eyes to look, no ears to listen, no tongue to tell. I would have gone upstairs with all my eyes, all my ears, all my tongues. If I could, I would step on the moon and plant a tree.’”

Plant a tree, write a poem. It’s the same instinct. Tell us, please, what it felt like to be one of us, an earthling, a human, when you went where no other human had ever gone before.

A former Baltimore Sun columnist and WJZ-TV commentator, Michael Olesker is the author of six books, most recently “Front Stoops in the Fifties: Baltimore Legends Come of Age” (Johns Hopkins University Press).

The post Remembering the Achievement of Apollo 11 and the Need for Poetic Description appeared first on JMORE.

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