A Wide-Open Conversation about Antisemitism with Jonathan Greenblatt and Robert Siegel

In 2021, the United States saw a 34% increase of antisemitic incidents―a record high. ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, author of It Could Happen Here: Why America Is Tipping from Hate to the Unthinkable―And How We Can Stop It, will join us to talk about the current landscape and how individuals can join the fight against hate. In conversation with Robert Siegel, Moment special literary contributor and former senior host of NPR’s All Things Considered. 

This program is part of a Moment series on antisemitism supported by the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation.

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What Would God Say? A Comedy Date with David Javerbaum and Michael Krasny

How would God spin 21st-century problems? Emmy award-winning comedy writer David  Javerbaum, former head writer and executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, has a few ideas! Javerbaum serves as “God’s ghost writer” in his new book, The Book of Pslams: 97 Divine Diatribes on Humanity’s Total Failure and is a veteran of other “God collaborations”—the Broadway show An Act of God and the popular twitter account @TheTweetofGod. He is in conversation with Michael Krasny, an award-winning journalist and retired public radio host of KQED Forum and the author of Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It All Means. Come prepared to laugh your heart out!

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Nadine Epstein, Clarence Page, and Eric K. Ward to discuss Black and Jewish issues

The Black Jewish Relationship: Triumphs and Tensions with Eric K. Ward, Nadine Epstein and Clarence Page

Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page is a longtime observer of the Black and Jewish relationship in America. Nadine Epstein, Moment editor-in-chief and Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Center, host him for a wide-ranging conversation covering pivotal moments of that relationship, exploring the shared history, and triumphs and tensions. Topics include the civil rights partnership, Black Panthers, Norman Podhoretz’s 1963 essay “My Negro Problem-And Ours” essay, the rise of Louis Farrakhan and much more. *Please note special day.

This program is part of The Wide River Project, a joint initiative of Western States Center and Moment that takes a deep dive—and fresh look—into the art, history and issues that both unite and divide the Black and Jewish communities.

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Panel image of speakers for the George Soros seminar

George Soros Is a Holocaust Survivor, not a Nazi with Nadine Epstein, Leon Botstein and Humphrey Tonkin

How did George Soros become targeted by the right— blamed for the world’s ills and even accused of being a Nazi? Moment editor-in-chief Nadine Epstein in conversation with Bard College president Leon Botstein, a contributor to the new book George Soros: A Life in Full and former University of Hartford president Humphrey Tonkin, translator of Soros’ father’s memoir, Masquerade: The Incredible True Story of How George Soros’ Father Outsmarted the Gestapo, discuss the false claims and antisemitism surrounding Soros as well as efforts to support democracy throughout the world.

This program is part of a Moment series on antisemitism supported by the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation.

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The Story of Art Rupe and Specialty Records with Nadine Epstein and Billy Vera

Art Rupe, who died in April at the age of 104, was an independent record producer known for launching the musical careers of Lloyd Price, Little Richard, Sam Cooke and others, paving the way for Black music to crossover to White audiences and the new genre of rock n’ roll. Moment editor-in-chief and Billy Vera, a singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, Grammy Award winning music historian and author of Rip It Up: The Specialty Records Story is in conversation about Rupe’s impoverished childhood in a Pennsylvania town, his early affinity for gospel music, and how he turned down a scholarship to become a rabbi and instead headed to Hollywood, his legendary career, life philosophy and more.

This program is in celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month.

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Blacks, Jews, Jazz & Blues with Loren Schoenberg, Eric K. Ward and Nadine Epstein

In the 19th century Black spirituals were inspired by biblical stories in the Old Testament, especially those we remember during Passover. In the early decades of the 20th century, Black and Jewish musicians, often living side by side in the same impoverished neighborhoods, connected through legacies of oppression. With the music industry one of the few fields open to them both, it’s no surprise that blues and jazz became rich, crossover genres. Join Loren Schoenberg, senior scholar at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Center and Nadine Epstein, Moment editor-in-chief, for a conversation about these musical connections, the bonds and tensions, and a taste of the music itself including Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho and Go Down Moses to Bei Mir Bist Du Shein.

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The Jews of Iran: Antisemitism and the Great Exodus with Roya Hakakian and Sarah Breger

While Jews have lived in Iran for centuries, today’s Jewish community numbers around 10,000, down from 100,000 Jews prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Roya Hakakian, author of Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran and A Beginner’s Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious, shares what life was like prior to the revolution, the antisemitism that caused most Jews to flee and what life is like now for the Iranian Jewish community. Hakakian is in conversation with Moment editor Sarah Breger.

This program is part of a Moment series on antisemitism supported by the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation.

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Black and Jewish views on Critical Race Theory with Janet Dewart Bell, Mia Brett, Eric K. Ward and Nadine Epstein

Nothing shines a light on the political divide in the United States more than three words – critical race theory. What is CRT and why has it become a lightning rod issue at school board meetings, state capitols and around dinner tables across the country? Is systemic racism something we should be worried about, even in the Jewish community? What are memory laws and are they a threat to our democracy? And shouldn’t we all feel uncomfortable when learning about uncomfortable issues? Dr. Janet Dewart Bell, author of Race, Rights, and Redemption: The Derrick Bell Lectures on Law and Critical Race Theory and writer Dr. Mia Brett, joins Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Center and Moment editor-in-chief Nadine Epstein to discuss how intellectual conversations about the intersection of race and law developed in the 1970s have been misunderstood and led to this latest buzzword tearing communities apart. Our thinkers also discuss how CRT fits into the Black – Jewish conversation.

This program is part of The Wide River Project, a yearlong, joint initiative of Western States Center and Moment that will take a deep dive—and fresh look—into the art, history and issues that both unite and divide the Black and Jewish communities.

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Memories and Stories of RBG on What Would Have Been her 89th Birthday with Nina Totenberg and Nadine Epstein

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s birthday was March 15th. To remember her, NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg, author of the forthcoming book Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships, and Moment editor-in-chief Nadine Epstein, author of RBG’s Brave & Brilliant Women: 33 Jewish Women to Inspire Everyone, will share their memories of the late Supreme Court Justice and discuss her legacy.

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Zoominar speakers for Leonard Cohen

God, Sex and Politics in the Lyrics of Leonard Cohen with writers Erica Jong, Marcia Pally and Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Five years after singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen’s death, his lyrics and legacy still speak to us with special urgency. Marcia Pally, author of From This Broken Hill I Sing to You: God, Sex, and Politics in the Work of Leonard Cohen, and Erica Jong, author of Fear of Flying, is in conversation with Moment columnist Letty Cottin Pogrebin, a founding editor of Ms. magazine, about Cohen’s probing of Jewish theology and his doctrine of relationship and personal responsibility and its relevance for the present moment. They also explore his legacy through a Jewish, feminist lens.

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