by Mirit Markowitz Santos
Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Erev Rosh Hashana. For all the non-Jews reading this, that is the evening of the first night of the Jewish New Year, a kick-off holiday to a time of great reflection that ends with another important holiday, Yom Kippur. When I heard that Ruth had passed away, I felt many things, as did the rest of the nation. I felt sad, I felt grief that it happened before the election (although I am not sure that would have mattered, I am sad to admit). But mostly, I felt a sincere hope that she passed peacefully coupled with an anxiety that perhaps she did not. This latter emotion was the most pronounced — to have an elder in my community potentially not die peacefully because we were hanging all our progressive hopes and dreams on her surviving, despite her multiple struggles with various cancers during the era of Trump, well … that’s not good.
Continue reading OPINION: Thoughts on RBG’s passing and a New Era of Queer Mutual Aid by a Trans and Jewish Millennial
by Carolyn Bick
Every year, Karen Treiger and her husband gather together with their family from across the world to celebrate Passover. They all unite from as far away as Israel, and spend a little more than a week together, she said, eight days that begin with two huge Passover seders, the name for the holiday’s feasts. It’s usually a joyful, warm affair, filled with quality family time, and opportunities to catch up with one another in person.
But the global outbreak of COVID-19 has changed all that. This year, Passover, which begins April 8, will be a smaller, quieter affair. Familiar faces will be absent. They’ll still hide the afikomen, but it won’t be as much fun, without kids to look for it alongside adults. The couple will not get to see some of their own children and other family members. It’s just not safe. Still, Treiger counts herself lucky, because she has family in the area.
“It won’t just feel like me and my husband sitting at the tables by ourselves, which, I think, for some people, it will be. And that is going to be really hard,” she said.
Continue reading With Passover around the corner, Seward Park’s Orthodox Jews feel the impacts of COVID-19
by Carolyn Bick
Thousands of years ago, Esther fought to keep a marginalized group of people from being murdered. And though her bravery is celebrated with costumes, pastries, and parties today, modern Purim celebrations still center those who are under siege.
That’s what Kadima Reconstructionist Community’s annual Purim party aims to do, Stefanie Brendler said. Brendler is a member of the synagogue, and is coordinating and planning the event.
Continue reading Kadima Reconstructionist Community to Celebrate Purim in Columbia City
by Carolyn Bick
“Jesus. Active shooter at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.”
Surrounded by shadows created by the early Saturday morning light filtering into the bedroom, I stare at my mother’s text. Grief sticks in my throat like a bone. She doesn’t say it, and neither do I, but I say it later to my husband: “I’m not surprised. I was just waiting for it, that’s all.”
Continue reading Anti-Semitism Didn’t Die with the Holocaust