Dear Jewschool Readers

I know there are a lot of you out there. Web stats rarely lie. As do fan letters, t-shirt sales, and word-of-mouth. So I gotta wonder — with all you über-brilliant progressive super-Jews out there reading this site — why do you let the bigots, the haters, and the socially inept rule the comment threads? Why do you rarely pipe up?
I’ve been hard at work re-envisioning Jewschool and trying to get the funding necessary to really turn the site into a valuable tool for the progressive Jewish community. But you know what “the establishment” tells me? My audience doesn’t exist. We don’t have a community. We’re “too fringe.” And then they say “No money for you,” and send out e-mails to their constituents as to why Jewcy (of all G-d forsaken sites) is hip and cutting-edge.
The truth is, as long as the silent majority reading this site stays silent, y’all are just proving ’em right. Thus, I’m calling on you now to prove them wrong. Step up. Speak up. And show us you care. Show us you’re out there. For G-d’s sake, give us some demographic data!
Jewschool takes a lot of work. There’s a time committment, a financial committment, and an emotional committment. And I’m not the only one putting in. We have a dozen regular contributors who are taking time out to keep this project going.
Please, show us your love. Speak up. Make yourself heard. Make yourself known. And make Jewschool yours. We’re counting on you.
Apart from getting more involved in the conversations on the site, we’d like you to get more involved in the direction of the site itself. Tell us what you like, tell us what you don’t like. Tell us where you see the line being crossed, tell us where the line isn’t be crossed enough. Tell us which issues are most important to you and which are irrelevant. Tell us what you’re looking for. B’li nader, we’ll do our best to accomodate.
Finally, if any of you are feeling charitable, please shoot me an e-mail and I’ll tell you what we have in the works and how your tzedakah can help make it happen. Serious inquiries only, please.

59 thoughts on “Dear Jewschool Readers

  1. YOU are fringe, mobius. Although, I wouldn’t consider the site fringe. I like a lot of the stuff on here, and I am fairly liberal, I’m pro-disengagement, I’m anti priveleges set aside for the Orthodox. However, you step to the point of anti-Israel. And I can see why the mainstream groups don’t think that type of rhetoric is worth providing funding for.

  2. The reason we don’t post is BECAUSE of the many raving nutcases in the comments here. They can’t go two posts without hitting godwin’s law. And it seems they have nothing better to do than post here. I’m kind of a casual commenter dropping one here one there. These people post the heck out of every single story. And it’s really a waste of energy trying to talk to them.
    The other thing is that if you post something, people who agree aren’t likely to post. It’s the people who disagree who are going to feel the urge to say something.
    The last thing is that the site is about a religion. That means that a lot of discussion comes down to a faith-based logic. You can’t really argue against someone who believes something without evidence for or against that belief. It’s simply not fun. Even compared to a place like slashdot, at least you can argue about technology which is not faith based.
    If you want us to post you have to reach some tipping point where when some goofball yells anti-semite! at everything 5 people will come down on him like a ton of bricks.

  3. You cannot be serious. There’s a way larger issue at hand here. I was brought up with the firm belief that as long as you have nothing good to say towards a fellow Jew (or his music, or his art, or his political stance) then you shouldn’t be saying anything at all. YET, right below this plead for help you publish a hateful rant by one Jewish publication against another… Both publications have gone to great lengths to get up and running and a rant on something as menial as a new feature in a rival publication is petty and pointless. How dare you ask for assistance.
    Additionally, it has been the trend on this website and for the moderators with posting priviledges to define what’s hip and cool… the point of a comment section is exactly that. All those Haterz? They’re just voicing THEIR opinion. OMG I am a hater 2, LOLERZ.
    Seriously man, get your feckin’ head out of the clouds and start using this site as a source of diversity instead of forcing those who graciously read your posts to conform to your personal tastes and idealogies. If this continues you will lose all credibility and probably a good portion of your readership.

  4. Personally, I would like to hear more about what’s happening amidst Israeli society. Anything would satisfy me really. And, more pictures of what’s going on in Israel would be appreciated such as events, etc.

  5. I come to Jewschool seeking interesting/hip commentary on contemporary Jewish life, and especially seeking a fellow progressive voice in the online wilderness.
    But I don’t usually comment here because the vitriol I see in the comment threads depresses me. Life’s too short to argue with people who hate my guts for the beliefs I hold dear, so I don’t bother. Which means usually I read Jewschool in my blog aggregator, and I don’t click over to the site.
    You raise a fair point that people like me are, in a sense, part of the problem — if we let the people who hate us rule the internet, then we’re relinquishing an important communication and community-building tool. But on the whole, I try to do my part to shape the Jewish internet over at my own blog, and not here.
    I’ll give this more thought, anyway. Thanks for bringing it up.

  6. Its been said that the internet was a G-dsend to schizophrenics, but I suppose that’s true for people with lesser disorders too. Its just a place where (to borrow from darwin) the selective forces favor the persistant and the aggressive. One or two such can bring any place down, especially if you pay too much attention to them.
    But its all just opinion. I disagree a lot with some of the stuff you post, but that isn’t a big deal. I drop by looking for diversity, because I don’t like echo chambers. That’s all.

  7. I think the main problem you have here is your are trying to destroy the system and build a new one, hence, orthodoxanarchist.
    But any system is against this concept you have been promoting, so you are really defeating yourself in the process.
    I think it would be much better to choose sides, then improve in the system that is in place on that side, in whatever capacity it is which needs improvement.
    eg. openmindedness for orthodox-right.
    realistic stances for the left (these are just my ideas)
    this way you can use your obvious talents to make real change in the world instead of trying to create your own movement to compete with the ones already in place (hence “fringe”).
    good luck!
    btw. email me your ideas and i will consider helping out!

  8. i agree with Ian/Yitz that you should “start using this site as a source of diversity”, I get the feeling that only north american-Jews are able to understand most of the stuff you publish on the site, you get way too local on allot of the subjects.
    I’m a venezuelan jew so I bet this statement wont come as a surprise, but you have to undesrstand that internet allows diversity, and jews are very diverse. Sometimes, I get the feeling that jews that are not from New York, are not taken into consideration on this site.

  9. My question is a technical one: you say “give us some demographic data,” but how? I mean how are the comments sections used to generate demographic data? Particularly how are the comments sections used to generate demographic data with regards to how many “progressive Jews” are on the site? Is it really possible to gauge anything useful from the comments? I, for instance, say a lot of things in the comments (on the rare occassion that I post) that don’t really give a full picture of my beliefs and opinions, e.g. playing devil’s advocate, etc.

  10. There is definitely a silent majority and the most vocal are a small number (like in life, politics generally). How bout some online polls? If you could get all or most of the people visiting the site to answer some real simple questions about each post you could generate more accurate data. Most people don’t take the time to post comments and those that do are obviously a self-selecting bunch. But a simple thumbs up/thumbs down on each post/topic could give a better idea of how many people visiting the site actually agree or not with the direction in which it’s going.

  11. Please forgive this comment, but you asked for a suggestion. My first experience on the many “first” times I’ve visited your site is that my eyes hurt from all the excitement and all the colors. Everything is moving around, and there are so many ads everywhere that it felt completely disorganized and stressful for me to read your content. Plus, even though I’m 28 and my eyes are fine, the writing is so small and you quote such large chunks of stuff that it gets stressful to read your full articles. Anyway, I do love that you have the tee-shirts and the other marketing tools, and your site immediately has the “big” feeling to it, but the content lacks YOU in it.

  12. I recently found this blog, so, I haven’t read much in the comments threads. In general, the people who are most likely to rant are the extremists on any side.
    There are some things you can do:
    – Get rid of that awful blue-to-black-circle-co lored background. Have you ever tried to read this page at 1024×768 or above? Usually, I read it by XML digest because of that. An optical illusion makes it look like it’s moving around you.
    – Moving ads: Another thing that helps convince me not to actually view your site. The more animations on a page, the more likely I am to turn off it quickly or ad-block them. If you need ad revenue, try text-ads (best) or static graphics only.
    – Use your counter/Technorati. You’ve got a site-meter on there and you can tell who’s reading you and where they’re being referred from; what blogs they read = a sense of your audience’s interests. Technorati will also show you where you’re being talked about.
    – Original content. There are quite a few J-blogs that feed off each other. I really don’t have to read the same digest of the J-press from 10 different blogs. I would rather see fewer postings and more commentary.
    Just some constructive criticism that I hope helps you.

  13. If Jewcy is such a terrible site then why do they have Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz writing for them? why don’t you try and get some people with pull writing or posting to your site?
    the main problem with your site is that you suffer from a bleeding heart liberalism and that is not popular right now.
    i do enjoy checking your site from time to time to see what’s going on, but i really disagree with some of your left-leaning posts…but, i read them anyway.

  14. Two quotes, then a reply.
    1. “never argue with a fool in public because no one will know who the real fool is.” (Soetho phrase)
    2. “never bring blood to a man’s face.” (my grandfather quoting a Jewish source)
    The fundemental difference between the acerbic neanderthal we meet in this fine virtual debating room and the liberal speciman whom you wish to rile into action is this: open-minded people by their very nature want to “live and let live”. They BELIEVE people are allowed to have their views, matter how stupid. That’s the fucking point of being liberal! You’re Yoda to their Darth!
    It is scary what physical anonymity does to certain peoples sense of politeness though.. Clearly some people have as much venom stored up as their IQ, not to mention time to burn. There was this one guy on here who always wrote mini-novellas of right wing-meets-Talmud manifestos to make his point and embarrass others. Life’s too short and far more interesting offline.
    Bottom line: you can’t pry open a closed mind. It ain’t your job and not within your human jurisdiction. Plus, to arrogantly believe “you are right and they are wrong” is already a right-wing hater character trait.
    The hater asks himself: would you rather be right or wrong?
    The liberal asks himself: would you rather be right or happy?
    The choice is simple.

  15. there’s gotta be some way of inviting ideas to be developed, without inviting foolishness and vitirol, or at least of being able to ignore it. more questions and invitations?

  16. I still consider Jewschool and Nextbook the perfect yin and yang for my Jewish culture fix. I read it via bloglines, so I don’t have to deal with all the crazy grafix/ads. Also, I don’t even bother to read the commentary, b/c of all the raving nutjobs who take up the bulk of the space. But that’s OK, because I come for the info, not the discussions.
    My main complaint? I’ve sent Mobius half a dozen tips in the past year, and he has yet to even REPLY to one of my emails – even a form-letter “no thank you” would be better than total (and rude) silence. There’s no greater satisfaction than showing your favorite blogs a little love by forwarding a juicy link or post so they can pass it on to fellow readers. Plenty of other big-timey blogs (not just Jewish ones) are very responsive when it comes to responding to, and usally posting, users’ input. I guess if you’re not in Mobius’ posse, then you don’t exist? If you don’t even have a “contact us” page on your site, and only give out your email on when you want to solicit funds? That’s more fringy than a tzitzit factory…

  17. I’ve been visiting Jewschool for almost 2 years on a day to day basis. I haven’t spoken up until recently because of all the debating and constant bitching from the bloggers and readers about how this or that sucks because they don’t agree with it.
    In truth, a blog post is just one person’s perspective on whatever it is they’re posting about. So between all the poitics and saying how much everything you don’t like sucks, there isn’t much open mindedness round these parts.
    I like Jewschool alot. Hearing opinions is cool. Not being open minded to other people’s opinions and choices is not cool. Lighten up guys. We’re all Jews in the same boat.

  18. I want to second Ben-Yamin’s brilliant parody of liberals and commend him on how many internal contradictions he managed to fit into a mid-sixed post. I especially loved the hater – liberal dichotomy. Great post.

  19. … picking up on J’s riff on bin-yamin. Hey binny, you wrote:
    You can’t pry open a closed mind.
    – – – – – – – – – —
    – is this chestnut meant to explain why liberals don’t post? It would seem that open minds take to debate, while liberals who “just wanna be happy” may not be open to having their ideas questioned…
    Mobileh, I know you wanna be progressive and all, but… for the past 30 years the American Jewish establishment has been desperately trying to locate/attract non-Orthodox Jews… why should your track record be any better than theirs? What use do most “progressive” people of Jewish descent have for Judaism?
    My guess is the vast majority of American Jews who hold your blog’s beliefs about, say, Israel’s “apartheid wall” wouldn’t want to be caught dead affiliating with a Jewish website… you have an Israeli connection, which makes you an exception in this crowd. The rest are long gone and assimilated.
    You’re stuck with us – orange ribbons and all – because we are rapidly becoming the center of gravity of (what is left of) the Jewish people.

  20. I second Azek’s opinion on the ‘diversity’ of the site–Jewschool smacks of inbred NY modern orthodox twenty-somethings arguing about how many seraphim can dance on the head of a pin. It’s hard for me to take it seriously, and I’m from a Conservative background in Connecticut!
    I can only imagine how people with a bit more distance from the NY metro area find it. It would be great to have more regional diversity among the contributors–maybe a couple Jews from France or the UK. How about representing South America (Argentina? Venezuela? Peru? Chile?), maybe someone on the ground in Israel who’s not an Ashkenazi North American transplant. You don’t even have to go off-continent to get geographic diversity. A mere six hours north of NYC you could recruit somebody in Montreal’s massive Sephardi community who’d probably have very interesting things to say…
    Geographic diversity isn’t the only kind you could look for, but it’s a start. C’mon, diverse Jewschool readers! Put Mobius to the test and email him if you think you have something the Jewschool needs.
    Ms. Krieger

  21. I subscribed to Jew*School last week, to see what I think of it. It seems like you cover unique stories, but you’d get more comments if you push the most interesting detail of each blog entry into the headline or first sentence. For example, I tried, but my blog attention span still couldn’t figure out why I should care about Chayke Belogorodsky.

  22. Mobius – I think you are right about the silent majority. I occasionally comment when I think someone has made a statement that is blatanly false, but most of the time when you are being attacked, and I am more sympathetic to your side of the argument, I remain silent. I think it is largely a result of apathy (i don’t want to take the time to read all the long posts) and futility (a feeling that many of the people engaged in the argument don’t actually consider what the others are saying).

  23. I’m an avid reader of your page, and I just want to write that I really like what you’re doing and the community that you’re trying to set up.

  24. I comment on here sometimes, but I agree with the previous respondents that scrolling down the comments page is frequently cringeworthy. I guess part of that is just the nature of the Internet, but I also think Jewschool should continue trying to be more diverse in its progressivism, if that makes sense… not just snarky and super-liberal and attacking other Jewish groups/people/sites. I think there’s a lot of positivity in the new progressive/intellectua l/religious/spiritual Jewish movement that Jewschool is part of, and it would be nice if that was tapped into more than the negative stuff. Basically, I think it would be a good strategy to be less elitist and to welcome different kinds of people to make their voice heard. Otherwise they’ll keep watching from the sidelines because they’re afraid of being greeted with self-righteousness and even maliciousness.

  25. Q: If I am appalled by all this oozing sanctimony, does that make me a ‘hater’?
    p.s. I love non-hippocrites.

  26. Ben-David said: What use do most “progressive” people of Jewish descent have for Judaism?
    Just had to reply to a comment like this one. I consider myself progressive and committed to traditional Judaism, and it’s just so sad that religion of all stripes continues to be affiliated with the political right. I sense that a lot of people now are trying to change that situation, from evangelist Jim Wallis on down. There are a lot of things that Judaism shares with modern progressive ideology — the belief in a shared future, a concern for the world at large, a passion for justice, for fairness, for democracy and the poor, for our environment and the need to SLOW DOWN and THINK rather than gleefully plunge into the postindustrial abyss.
    It’s really just a huge untapped “market” (I hate having to use business terms) of progressive, passionate Jews who have been alienated by Judaism as it has been presented to them, for whatever reasons. But the point is, the market is definitely there. Whether people are speaking up now or will do so in the future, it will not go away.

  27. Flurry says
    “There are a lot of things that Judaism shares with modern progressive ideology — the belief in a shared future, a concern for the world at large, a passion for justice, for fairness, for democracy and the poor, for our environment and the need to SLOW DOWN and THINK rather than gleefully plunge into the postindustrial abyss.”
    Which of these items is not shared by conservatism? (I’ll concede that for a while conservatism was behind in formulating its response to environmental issues, but it’s getting there.) Maybe a better understanding of your opponents is required. It may feel good to believe that you are concerned, love justice and the poor, etc. while others are not, but the price of that feeling is that you miss out on reality.

  28. “give us some demographic data”
    As far as I know, I’m the only black Jewish woman who consistently reads your blog.

  29. I wonder if I’m one of the ‘raving nutcases’.
    Gotta do a search for ‘godwin’s law’ someday.
    Okay I did. Now middle has something to describe people other than the favoured ‘buffoon’.
    I can only wonder if I’d be here had the internet and this blog been around when I was growing up in Canada, younger, orthodox but non-religious, eating ‘kosher’ food but not certified, and avoiding the folks in Hillel, the Y, federation, etc . I dunno.

  30. J: It may feel good to believe that you are concerned, love justice and the poor, etc. while others are not, but the price of that feeling is that you miss out on reality.
    I didn’t mean that conservatives don’t necessarily care about those issues, just that those are the things liberals have traditionally rallied around and that those are the aspects of Judaism they should be attracted to. I concede, though, that I’m not as openminded about conservatives as I could, and should, be.

  31. Two issues — autocracy and homogeneity.
    Autocracy because this doesn’t feel like a participative site, it feels like one guy’s ego trip. There is way too much self-promotion, cross-linking, we-got-the-most-hits bullshit going on. The cues from Mobius make it unsure whether this site is an “I” or a “we”. Very often, it’s the former, which is why at least certain posters from a while back quit caring.
    Homogeneity because this feels like a conversation between Ashkenazi Americans who have discovered Judaism out of a prior commitment to a political philosophy. More non-Ashkenazis, more non-Americans, more non-assimilated folks would make this a dialogue. Assuming all of these folks felt it was their Web site — not squatting on someone’s promotional vehicle.
    Sorry to sound harsh. But, then, maybe I shouldn’t be apologising: the criticism of policies is welcomed and encouraged, right?

  32. I read daily on my aggregator, but I don’t have the patience to reply because I like keeping my blood pressure in the normal ranges, and there’s too many raving conservative nutjobs who do post, who will jump on you and insult you, for commenting to be worth the effort/investment. So not only do you have the problem, but your problem is standing in the way of the solution. I honestly don’t have the time for a flame war, and my BP goes up when I see the asinine comments that the anti-disengagement, anti-liberal, anti-everything nutcases post here. So I just avoid the comments.

  33. If this were a neighborhood bar, and we were sitting around and discussing, say, the age of internet message-boards loving and enduring, then , suddenly, one guy decided to knock a bottle over my head. The result of such and outburst would either be; 1)instigator immediately removed, or 2)a huge fight would ensue till both sides where down.
    Anonymous replies, those that are directed at a specific post are sucker punches. Free speech is liberating, but better to conduct this as a Talmudic debate for the sake of one truth. Identify your selves. If not for the sake and vitality of jewschool, and readers tired of angry anonymous rants, but to bring peace within, become a light unto the nations, and establish peace throughout the world. Amen.

  34. J: “I want to second Ben-Yamin’s brilliant parody of liberals and commend him on how many internal contradictions he managed to fit into a mid-sixed post. I especially loved the hater – liberal dichotomy. Great post.”
    You again. And you’re still surprising me. First, you didn’t pick up my description of you in my post. Or maybe you did and felt compelled to stoop to poorly disguised sacrcasm.. And i thought you were smart.
    No parody at all. And zero contradictions. But YOU wouldn’t get that. And boobie, i ain’t gonna try help you.
    (that offer to come over to the Light Side is still open but you’ll need to renounce your Klan membership and the, y’know, “mental warpath”..)

  35. I found this website while scrolling through Rushkoff, and have been visiting weekly since. It is fascinating enough, but indeed suffers somewhat from monodiet: Usualy on the menu is one Left-leaning psychadox with a talent for marketing being booed by a whole slew of impatient, intolerant, and slightly ethno-paranoids goodfellas. Most threads deteriorate fast and if they don’t hit the Godwin mark they end in a whimper –
    The do-gooders run out of steam, while the ranters are frothing at the mouth… In my experience, anytime I tried to make a point it ends up in a ferocious argument between Joe Schmo and myself about whether Kahane was a racist or not (here is to your health, Joe). I’m pretty sure we bore all others to death.
    Nevertheless, it is a noble effort – Judaism is in somewhat of an identity crisis – the kind of which self introspection could help. But ho we have so many different self-s, and so stunningly different! So any medium that helps inter-community dialogue is brilliant. I would have never had the chance to argue with some of the people I clash cyber-swords with here, or indeed learn of their lives and their views. I dare say that is commendable that we can, and we do.
    Maybe some creative tagging can help. Each commentator gets to classify her/his comment with a colour: blue and orange are taken, yep?; red for the commies; green for the hippies and their ilk (from religious ecstasy to magic mushrooms?) yellow for the paranoid doomsayers (they are so sour anyway) and purple for those who are angry with anyone that does not agree with their view point. Only three people can use the same colour and are only allowed to use it until a thread hits full rainbow three times, then it shuts done (anyway, most people loose interest by the third day).
    Seriously, yes, more posts from more types. I for one would love to hear from the One Before the Last of the Jewish Niggers and the one before her. Why don’t you have three monthly guest posters and rotate between countries or something? Anyone popular can stay on with one post a month thereafter. The question is, are you Mobius ready to let go of this boat down the river of not-so-common denomination?
    BTW, this comment is coming from Cambodia.

  36. what I like about Jewschool: that it doesn’t try to justify the status quo after the fact. Too much jewish stuff is about how wonderful we are cause we’re jewish, vchulei vchulei, more about justifying the old than trying to articulate something honest, genuine, and meaningful (which can be discovered in the old, for sure)
    The site is kinda hit or miss- sometimes wonderful stuff, sometimes couldn’t care less.
    I comment only occasionally, possibly b/c I’m not extremist enough, and often see both sides of an issue. Also, it’s hard to rant if your still trying to figure out what you really believe.
    Sometimes there is also a “cool” hip-hop culture thing dominating that I dont’ relate to.
    All in all a worthwhile site, keep it up.
    And Rav Steinsaltz writes for Jewcy? I’ll have to check that out

  37. Ben Yamin does it again! And, no, I had no idea that I was being honored by a mention in his gem of a post. But whether he was describing me or not, I love how he describes anyone who disagrees with “him” (I mean his liberal parody character) by using arguments and sources as motivated by a desire to embarass people rather than legitimately prove a point. It is so typical of so many liberals to insult their opponent’s intelligence (“And i thought you were smart”), claim the opponent just doesn’t get it (“But YOU wouldn’t get that. And boobie, i ain’t gonna try help you.”), and make wild accusations in semi-jest (“but you’ll need to renounce your Klan membership and the, y’know, “mental warpath”..”) (Why Klan, dude, just go for it and call me a Nazi…). All of this is fine, but actually making an argument is bad because it might embarass someone.
    Another great post. The liberals must be squirming. But ease up a little. Not all liberals are as childish and empty-headed as your’e making them out to be.

  38. Hello ….
    I personaly like this web , I read it everyday…..the topics are interesting….I must admit that I’d like to hear more about whats happening in Israel and in the Palestinian regions .More pictures ….and why not more life stories. ^-^
    peace to all.

  39. I hear ya. And despite the fact that I think you and your posters are dicks sometimes, I hook you up (speaking of which, I have some cash for ya – send me an email at jewlicious [at] gmail). Over at Jewlicious we often have ridiculous ammounts of comments – but as has been noted it usually just us and 10 of our friends debating minute points ad nauseum.
    Frankly I think it’s admirable that you have the patience and dedication to your mission to grovel before the money people. Me? I’m too lazy and too busy on tachliss – you know, making things happen (trips, conferences, book reviews!). I also do not want to be beholden to anyone. And I think that when you stick to your principles and focus on getting things done rather than, you know, sticking your tongue up someone’s jewel encrusted anus, that’s when you are at your best. Let the money people come to you, and then tell ’em to wanker off because you don’t need them.
    So in summary, corner prophets, awesome! Good posts that knock the establishment, super! Grovelling for cash, undignified! Poopy one line posts, boring!
    Stick with what you know. Be yourself. You’ve touched a nerve and despite being so infuriating sometimes that I just wanna give you a wedgy, what you’re doing is important, so FOCUS. Know what I mean? Oh, and send me an email if ya wants some moolah.

  40. Tell us what you’re looking for. B’li nader, we’ll do our best to accomodate.
    Could you maybe be a little more like Jewlicious?

  41. just for the record, although i know i’m not the MOST prolific poster in the world. i’m also not a NY modern orthodox gal. sarah lefton comes to you live in 1024 lines of resolution from san francisco, the great fringe of the american diaspora. i don’t affiliate with a denomination (although i know that’s more and more common with many of you guys) but rather directly with the sources. yeah, sure, i love a lot of modern ortho discourse, but i also work at a marginally observant jewish summer camp.
    if people want a broader focus, i’m happy to pipe up more about jewish views and news from the bay area, but no doubt that will start a whole new confrontation with the so-called haters. anyways, point taken, and i’ll try to be more vocal, and more local.
    also, m0b, you should know that i have a tremendous amount of success with grantwriting and schmoozing, and if there’s anythign ican do to help on on the left coast, you should take advantage…

  42. Mobius, maybe the error comes is regarding comment threads, which are well compared to billboards, to actual shouting-matches or something like that. Besides, isn’t it a constant in all societies that reasonable people stay quiet because they think of themselves as not needing the work? Avnery had a bit on how the ribbons and wristbands (both types) are a noisy minority. Ominously, in both wings of USrael noisy rightist minorities enjoy disproportionate power and attention. One of the most destructive and disturbing things is an idea rampant in the States, that politics is dirty, that political discussion is a wasteful and boring activity for self-righteous cultists, and that everything’s always going to be pretty much the same no matter who’s proposing what.

  43. “with all you über-brilliant progressive super-Jews out there reading this site — why do you let the bigots, the haters, and the socially inept rule the comment threads? Why do you rarely pipe up?
    Herein lies your problem. I myself, am conservative, but I, as well as most people reading this board are aware of the large number of liberal, progressive jews who are exactly as you describe: uber-brilliant. Unfortunately for you, however, you are not one of these jews.
    Now this may seem like another silly personal attack, but you should hear me out, and you will understand the problem with your site.
    Most of your knowledge involves the social/hip world of young jews today that many readers are unaware of, and about which, your posts are quite informative. However, it is clear to any intelligent reader that you really lack understanding and appreciation of politics, history, economics and law, yet you constantly comment on these topics, and attempt to come off as some kind of authority.
    Most of your posts on the above topics consist of sophomoric bush bashing, and the usual party rhetoric. You still sound like the passionate college freshmen who just took his first political science class. There has been no progression since. This is why you attract the loud right wing element. This site isnt intellectual liberalism, its moveon.org.
    These uber brilliant liberals you speak of, don’t jump on every anti-u.s. conspiracy theory they hear, and don’t engage in petty bush bashing. Most of them think youre the type of spokesperson who gives their cause a very bad name, and don’t even consider you or your posts pseudo -intellectual, let alone insightful or informative.
    Unless you can attract some intelligent, well educated (read elite universities) people to join your site, you are resigned to attract mostly people who enjoy fighting with you.
    I hope this helps.

  44. “However, it is clear to any intelligent reader that you really lack understanding and appreciation of politics, history, economics and law, yet you constantly comment on these topics, and attempt to come off as some kind of authority.”
    just because i don’t subscribe to same consensus hallucination subscribed to by the graduates of “elite(ist) universities” that doesn’t mean that i’m ill-informed or ignorant. it means i don’t buy your interpretation. i know that interpretation is the dominant paradigm, but i also know it’s bullshit and 9/10ths of what you say is going on is simply what we’re “supposed” to believe without it actually being the truth. i refuse to play within the parameters of what you deem “legitimate discourse.” it’s a form of thought and information control and i, personally, refuse to capitulate.
    i’d also have to say that the dorot foundation would be pretty offended by your suggestion that i’m not amongst the brightest young progressives of my generation. i spent the last year on a fellowship they sponsored with 14 other people who graduted at the top of their class from “elite universities.” i’m the only college drop-out to ever be accepted to the program, which has been running for something like 20 years.

  45. “i’d also have to say that the dorot foundation would be pretty offended by your suggestion that i’m not amongst the brightest young progressives of my generation.”
    OOh, the dorot foundation. do you mean the dorot foundation that i or anybody i know has never heard of??
    I read your stuff- you are mediocrity incarnate. You hide behind the life of “Jewish academics” because you know good and well you can never make it in a top/ competitive academic or professional program outside your little Jewish circle. Why don’t you try and prove me wrong.
    “i know that interpretation is the dominant paradigm, but i also know it’s bullshit”- you are in no position to make such a determination, mr. dorot foundation.

  46. Yikes Mr. Sorry dude!
    I’ve spent a fair bit of time at elite academic institutions, so I feel qualified to qualify your criticism of our friend moby here. Up until this very moment I had no idea what his academic background was. Now that I know he’s a college dropout, my opinion of him doesn’t change a bit.
    Yes, I often want to give him a wedgy. Yes, I often think he’s flipped his lid. However, you do have to give him credit for putting himself out there and actually doing something about what he believes in. Had Mr. Mobius graduated from some elite academic institution, it’s less than likely that he’d be here putting out his blog and doing other work on behalf of Jewish organizations and challenging notions that many of us take for granted.
    Maybe he’d be in the Hamptons right now, mixing drinks with his other often insufferable elite academic institution graduate friends. What a great contribution to the world he’d be making now. Woohoo. Anyhow, I’ve got to run, Muffy’s waiting for me in her Dad’s library with a gram of coke and a bottle of Grey Goose. Ciao ciao!

  47. “you know good and well you can never make it in a top/ competitive academic or professional program outside your little Jewish circle.”
    i dropped out of college stricty for financial reasons. i was an honors student but couldn’t get financial aid. by the time i found out my loans hadn’t come through, it was too late to apply for scholarships.
    a year later i landed a job with a $50,000 salary, and in the four and a half years at that organization, i was promoted twice.
    you think i chose the jewish community because it’s the only place i can excel? i chose the jewish community because it’s the only place i care to excel.
    seriously, you can just take it and shove it. i have no interest in continuing this petty game with you. if you don’t like what i have to say, don’t read it. but don’t tell me what i am and what i don’t know just because you view the world through dollar signs.

  48. oh, and you can think of dorot like skull n’ bones. just because you never heard of it doesn’t mean it’s not there and profoundly significant behind the scenes. you’d be surprised to find out who’s been a dorotnik.

  49. actually, what i find most amusing about this is that, if i were educated at an “elite university” you’d be complaining that i’d been brainwashed by the liberal establishment which is persecuting conservative academics.
    who’s history is the right history that i’m clearly unaware of? is it joan peters’ or norman finkelstein’s? if i had an islamic professor who was anti-zionist but i learned at columbia, would that put me in a better position to speak as far as your concerned?
    douchey mcdouche douche.

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