Shabbat shalom from sunny Palm Springs! And greetings to our new subscriber, Jamie Agins, friend of Phyllis and glass artist extraordinaire. Link to Jamie’s website
Last Thursday was International Holocaust Remembrance day which was pretty widely noted by the mainstream media, and of course, The Forward and other Jewish media. I don’t usually get a chance to mention the Pope in my scribblings, but I do like this Pope (relatively speaking) and I found this photo of the Pope meeting with a holocaust survivor especially poignant.
If you think we have made progress at combating anti-semitism, think again. As I have noted in just about every edition of the JNR, the reports of anti-Semitism around the world, and recently here in the United States have been on a steady and worrisome rise. Growing up Jewish, I do not recall going to synagogue and worrying about where the exits are, nor do I recall Rabbis getting trained in “active shooter” responsiveness. These are all recent and horrifying phenomena that should worry Jews and non-Jews alike.
The responsibility to rectify this terrifying trend is our own. Each of us has an obligation to say something and/or do something. And we must continue to educate the younger generations to make sure a Holocaust never happens again. A 2020 survey of Millennials and GenZ’ers in the United States is particularly scary. Amongst those cohorts, there is a clear lack of awareness of key historical facts; 63 percent of all national survey respondents did not know that six million Jews were murdered and 36 percent thought that “two million or fewer Jews” were killed during the Holocaust. Additionally, although there were more than 40,000 camps and ghettos in Europe during the Holocaust, 48 percent of national survey respondents could not name a single one. The work to educate must continue. Enough said.
In the secular world, I am happy to report that, in my humble opinion, the Orange Turd’s popularity and power over whatever is left of the “Republican Party” has reached a tipping point, and should steadily continue its descent into the primordial muck and cesspool of its origins. In a recent survey, 27% of Republicans say Trump should not run again and 21% say they would vote for Florida governor Ron DeSantis instead of The Orange Turd. And as the news of the Orange Turd’s guilty hand in his depraved coup attempt continues to unfold, those negative numbers should grow even higher. Of course, DeSantis is not much better.
So, that wraps up my good news for this week. What about the news of the Jews you may be asking? Well, here is a carefully curated selection from The Forward and Times of Israel I hope you find interesting.
- A Tennessee school board voted unanimously to remove “Maus,” the iconic graphic novel about the Holocaust, from its curriculum – Board members had raised objections about curse words, nude drawings and “not wise or healthy” content within the book by Art Spiegelman, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. “It shows them killing kids,” one board member said. (JTA)
- A group of Orange Turd supporters, some identifying themselves as “Christian veterans,” gathered outside the Ohio home of Rep. Casey Weinstein, a Democrat who accused them of antisemitism – They held signs that read “Stand for the flag, kneel for the cross.” They were “trying to intimidate me,” Weinstein said. The ADL is investigating the matter. (Columbus Jewish News)
- Bradley Cooper confirmed he will be portraying the Broadway composer Leonard Bernstein in an upcoming biopic – Cooper, who has been researching the subject for more than four years, also revealed that Steven Spielberg was initially attached to the project, but that Cooper decided to direct it himself. (Variety)
- On this week in history: J.D. Salinger – war vet, author, recluse – died on Jan. 27, 2010. He was of Lithuanian origin and the grandson of a rabbi of the Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Louisville, Kentucky. Salinger was later described in biographies as the son of a New York businessman who imported, quizzically, kosher cheese and ham. After his “The Catcher in the Rye” was published, comedian Jerry Lewis wanted to star in a movie version, calling himself the “Jewish Holden Caulfield,” but Salinger, thankfully, refused to sell him the rights.
- Joni Mitchell to join Neil Young in protest over Spotify antivax podcast – Young was the first to challenge Spotify in their support and airing of Joe Rogan’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast for his continuous airing of Covid mis-information. The streaming service has pulled thousands of podcast episodes that carry Covid mis-information, but seem to draw a different standard when it comes to Rogan’s hugely popular show. Click here for more details
Well, that’s all I’ve got this week. And hey, let’s remember to be safe out there.
And Daniel, please don’t forget to shovel the driveway, the front walkway, the back patio and clean off the roof.