Ben Murane, aka Kung Fu Jew, is President and a Senior Editor of Jewschool and has spent ten years with the most innovative Jewish initiatives at the intersections of Israel, justice, prayer, and young leadership. He is a Dorot Fellow alumnus and a martial arts practitioner.
His views and those of Jewschool do not represent those of his current or past affiliations.
Dear readers, this weekend our site is launching a much-needed redesign! Hang tight with us while the site is migrated and our contributors oriented about our new bells and whistles.
Recognize a familiar handiwork? Yep, that’s our founder Daniel Sieradski behind the coding keyboard! And more announcements to come…
The organizers behind Israel-Loves-Iran, a social media project combating hatred between Jews and Muslims, bring us some much-needed heartwarming in the aftermath of the terrible attacks in Charlie Hedbo magazine and a kosher market in Paris. Reposted with permission, here are evidence that Jews and Muslims are friends and heroes to each other.
As one of the captions says, “these crazy killers have one agenda: for us to start pointing fingers, for us to hate each other. separate and conquer. Our answer is simple: we ♥ each other” [sic]. Like their Facebook page here and visit their Peace Factory here.
Above: Lassana Batily, a 24-year-old Muslim from Bali, saved the lives of 15 people at the kosher market by hiding them in the freezer room and escaping to inform the police. His video interview here. Read more »
Courtesy of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JREFJ), video via activist Micah Weiss:
Late at night on December 4, 27 people, including four rabbis, were arrested following an Upper West Side protest in which demonstrators blocked traffic on 96th street. The protest was organized by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) in responses to the growing national outrage over the systemic lack of accountability for the killing and discriminatory and abusive targeting of people of color by the police. New Yorkers demonstrated last night as part of a national movement with five key demands to ensure#ThisStopsToday: Read more »
Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, is promoting his new film Rosewater and seems to feel comfortable with a dust up over his long-running lampooning of pro-Israel dogma. After being silent on Israel except in the scope of carefully-crafted skits on the show, it’s notable to see him finally let loose a little on the ridiculous way the Jewish community treats criticism of Israel. Read the whole interview here, the juicy bits excerpted below:
How does that make you feel? Is [Iran’s calling you a Mossad agent] humorous to you?
Of course. Because it’s ridiculous. It’s humorous to me in the same way that a lot of what happens in the movie is humorous to me. There is an absurdity in dogma and rigidity and even that question has dogma, but on the other side. It’s so interesting to me that people want to define who is a Jew and who is not. And normally that was done by people who weren’t Jewish but apparently now it’s done by people who are, and I find that very interesting. It’s more than nationalism.
You can’t criticize Israel, right?
No. And you can’t observe (Judaism) in the way you want to observe. And I never thought that that would be coming from brethren. I find it really sad, to be honest.
I know the feeling.
Yeah, and you see it and it is pretty vicious. And how are you lesser? How are you lesser? It’s fascistic. And the idea that they can tell you what a Jew is. How dare they? That they only know the word of God and are the ones who are able to disseminate it. It’s not right. And it’s something that they’re going to have to reckon with.
And it will only improve The State if they do.
You’re absolutely right. I always want to say to people when they come at me like that: “I would like Israel to be a safe and secure state. What’s your goal?” So basically we disagree on how to accomplish that but boy do they, I mean, you would not believe the sh-t. You have guys on television saying I’m a Jew like the Jews in the Nazi camps who helped bring the other Jews to ovens. I have people that I lost in the Holocaust and I just … go f-ck yourself. How dare you?
Stewart’s albeit comedic treatment of Israel and Palestine with equanimity has been a breath of fresh air for so many of us younger Jews. As the Pew research study told us, the majority of American Jews and especially young Jews are with you, Jon. Keep it up. And thank you!
Brought to you by Ilana Sumka and other experienced leaders in Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, comes this delegation overcoming the divides between Jew and Palestinian:
In February 2015, join The Center for Jewish Nonviolence and T’ruah for a tree replanting delegation to the Tent of Nations in the West Bank. The Center for Jewish Nonviolence is a new project committed to developing a culture and practice of Jewish Nonviolence in North America and the EU, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Led by long-time educator and activist Ilana Sumka, the Center will train and mobilize members of the international Jewish community to join Israeli and Palestinian nonviolent activists seeking to secure human and civil rights. To watch the promo video or help plant a tree, click here. The deadline to apply is November 14. To apply now, click here.
More details on their Facebook page.