In September 2018, I had the honor of attending the NYC premiere of the film All About Nina, where I met director Eva Vives and lead actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The film was an incredible directorial debut for Vives, and I was captivated by Winstead and her award-worthy performance as a comedian and survivor of sexual assault (inspired by Vives’ own experiences).
Through their powerful, moving film, released during the #MeToo movement, Vives and Winstead inspired me to write about the Jewish imperative to listen to survivors, but I felt compelled to do more. Soon after, I...Read More
When the #MeToo movement began in 2017 – when countless women and non-binary individuals came forward as survivors of sexual abuse and assault – the notion of “toxic masculinity” became a widespread point of discussion.
Maya Salam of The New York Times defines this term as “what can come of teaching boys that they can’t express emotion openly; that they have to be ‘tough all the time’; that anything other than that makes them ‘feminine’ or weak.”
Taking note, Gillette recently released a new ad campaign addressing toxic masculinity. Titled “The Best a Man Can Be,” it...Read More
“For you are dust and to dust you shall return.” – Genesis 3:19
Most of us know the pain of losing a loved one. While Judaism provides us with a centuries-old method of mourning, each person grieves and reckons with loss in their own way. To Dust, the latest film by Reform Jewish filmmaker Shawn Snyder, discusses mourning in a way I’d never seen.
From the film’s website:
Shmuel (Géza Röhrig), a Hasidic cantor in Upstate New York, distraught by the untimely death of his wife, struggles to find religious solace, while secretly obsessing over how her body will decay...Read More
In 2018, I wrote about "Process Theology," which sees God and the universe in a constant state of evolution and views us as God’s partners in creating a better world. While my belief in God can admittedly vary by the day (sometimes even by the time of day), Process Theology helped me overcome a lot of theological hurdles and provide a blueprint for connecting with the Divine. That first essay was intended as a perspective for those who see God less as an all-knowing, all-powerful being in the sky and more of the cohesive bond that unites us and propels us to live just, merciful, humble...Read More
Whenever I enter Jewish spaces, whether it’s my first time or my fiftieth, I make a conscious effort to bring one or all of the following: my kippah (head covering), my Sh’ma bracelet, and my Magen David (Star of David) necklace.
I wear these items because I love being Jewish, and physical reminders of my Judaism help me feel more at home while attending Shabbat services, festivals, etc. – but I also bring them because, as a black person entering majority white Jewish spaces, I feel like I have to.
When I attend Jewish events without these totems, my past experiences nag at...Read More
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