There are two important, but seemingly contradictory, takeaways from this laundry list of anti-Semitic incidents from May of 2020. First, we are experiencing a resurgence of extreme right anti-Semitic rhetoric in the United States. Second, don’t let anyone tell you that the danger from anti-Semitism in the United States (or most other countries) comes largely from the racist, xenophobic or white supremacist right. This past month the right-wing version of anti-Semitism was most ubiquitous. Next month it may very well be another manifestation of anti-Semitism that dominates the headlines. This disease shapeshifts over time and place, maximizing the damage it can inflict.
Aimee Ginsburg Bikel, Theo’s wife and director of the Theodore Bikel Legacy Project, gives us an up-close and personal look at the man behind the legend. Aimee shares stories about Theo’s life, from his acting roles to a sampling of his folk music, as well as his passion for tikkun olam (repair of the world). Aimee also presents an excerpt from her recently released book, Theodore Bikel’s: The City of Light, which recounts moments from Theo’s childhood in Vienna.
Jewish Americans have always been reliable allies in civil rights battles and have consistently led advocacy and legislation aimed at helping minority communities and denouncing injustice and inequality. It’s no surprise that the community is once again standing up for African Americans in their struggle for justice and for reforming the way police forces deal with black Americans.
Where can the Jewish community play a part this time around?
History was made Sunday in an over-crowded, bare-walled room in Jerusalem’s district court building. A defendant, facing charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, took his seat and acknowledged, in front of the three-judge panel and the entire State of Israel, that he had read the charges and fully understood them.
The kiss could have been in a movie. Fun, spontaneous, performed in a crowded room for everyone to witness. Unfortunately, I was not the recipient. With horror, I watched as my Russian uncle, newly arrived in the United States, grabbed my future husband’s face with both hands and planted a heavy lip-on-lip kiss blaring in Russian, “Hello, I am your uncle!”