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Thursday, May 17, 2007


Blogs / Opinion
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  • About the Blogger:
    Esther D. Kustanowitz is a freelance writer and senior editor of PresenTense Magazine . She has two blogs of her own, My Urban Kvetch and Jdaters Anonymous, and is a regular contributor to Jewlicious and Beliefnet's Idol Chatter blog. Esther is also the author of The Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Teens Who Hid From the Nazis (Rosen Publishing, 1999), and has contributed to and edited several other books.

    Previous Postings:
    Do Jews need a mascot to build buzz?
    posted 05/17/2007 @ 02:16PM
    One commercial always gets to me. It's the spot for Folgers where the grownup kid hitchhikes back to his parents' house before Christmas, surprising them and awakening them with the brisk smell of coffe [2.19 kbytes more ]
    Arrested development: is all activism equal?
    posted 04/26/2007 @ 03:53PM
    Jews are vocal people. If we think it, we speak it – either literally, raising our voices to protest human slavery in Darfur, or online, signing petitions and typing our names at the bottoms of letters to elected officials that express our anger, indignat [3.05 kbytes more ]
    Va. Tech and a culture of memory
    posted 04/24/2007 @ 05:23PM
    It’s been a week since the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech, and the world continues to react. We know about the students who died and the disturbed killer. We know how Professor Liviu Librescu, who survived the Holocaust era and years of living under th [2.33 kbytes more ]
    Reflection and Remembrance
    posted 04/18/2007 @ 05:07PM
    In years past, I've gone to community commemorations of Yom Hashoah out of obligation – kind of what self-proclaimed "High Holy Days Jews" must feel on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. But this year I didn't go. Not to hear survivors speak, or to hear people [4.25 kbytes more ]
    North American Jewry and the "Mac and PC" ads
    posted 04/08/2007 @ 03:36PM
    From the minute we saw them, we were entertained, and the marketing message was clear. PCs are stodgy and so yesterday;today is the era of the shiny, all-inclusive Mac. PCs require maintenance and upgrades; Macs are always au courant and ready for action. [2.27 kbytes more ]
    Virtually Jewish: Second Life's Jewish community now open
    posted 03/29/2007 @ 01:47PM
    If you aren't a regular reader of tech mags like Wired and Business 2.0, you might not know what Second Life is. But people in the know are aware that Second Life is a 3-D virtual reality world that lives online – it's completely user-generated and is [2.71 kbytes more ]
    Rabbis make the list; let's check it thrice
    posted 03/27/2007 @ 05:41PM
    Now that 50 rabbis have made Newsweek's list of "Most Influential Rabbis," let's check that list thrice – first by concept, then by criteria and finally by content. (Casting call for TV show on interfaith identity
    posted 03/26/2007 @ 12:29PM
    One could argue that religion has made a comeback the last several years -- what with a commander-in-chief who sometimes claims God is whispering to him, and with entertainment offerings like "The Passion of the Christ" and "The Lion, The Witch and the Wa [2.94 kbytes more ]
    Technorati blog search engine link to this blog
    posted 03/25/2007 @ 05:14PM
    Technorati Profile
    Jewlicious festival draws student enthusiasm and communal questions
    posted 03/21/2007 @ 10:53AM
    [See below for full disclosure on the blogger's connection to Jewlicious.]

    Last weekend, a group of 500 undergraduates, graduate students, presenters and performers descended on the Alpert JCC in Long Beach, CA, for Jewlicious Festival 3.0, [5.46 kbytes more ]

    Which Jewish story to ban?
    posted 03/05/2007 @ 11:57AM
    According to CNN, the AP imposed an experimental blackout on news about Paris Hilton last week. (This is because, of course, very little that she does [2.50 kbytes more ]
    "For the Sake of My Brother"
    posted 02/27/2007 @ 01:30PM
    This past summer's Lebanon War claimed many lives, precious to the people who knew them, sad to those who didn't but who feel human loss acutely. The faces of the abducted soldiers may be familiar to those "outside the immediate family," and there are ind [2.47 kbytes more ]
    Intermarriage: Why Not?
    posted 02/05/2007 @ 04:08PM
    Demographers are concerned: According to simpletoremember.com , among non-Orthodox American Jews, "72% of the Jewish people today are intermarrying, and we lose appro [2.72 kbytes more ]
    Dealing with Difference
    posted 02/01/2007 @ 03:00PM
    If worrying about intermarriage, dwindling birthrates and "the singles crisis" isn't providing enough neurosis for American Jews, we can always look to our dual identity--being Jewish and American--to provide us with ample conflict and agita. Ame [3.38 kbytes more ]

    Good for the Jews?
    Intermarriage destroys Judaism - does intramarriage equal racism?
    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    We're all familiar with the people who claim the secret to Jewish continuity is twofold: Step One: Marry Jewish (preferably really young). Step Two: Crank out Jewish babies (with the conventional wisdom that when it comes to bringing babies into the world, you give until it hurts and worry about Jewish
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    education later). This implicates anyone who is a) not married b) not married to a Jew or c) married to a Jew but not reproducing for some reason as party to "Hitler's posthumous triumph."

    There are also people who claim that proponents of intramarriage are the ones who are ruining everything, and that it's nothing more than racism to suggest that Jews should only marry Jews. "Judaism should be open to anyone! Why don't you just take the sentence and replace 'Jews' with 'whites' and you'll see how elitist you are," they scream. (As Chanan Tigay noted in his Culture Schlock post from earlier this week, non-Jews are even looking to Jdate to provide them with Jewish spouses. This also leads us to be unsure as to whether we should celebrate at early reports – currently denied by publicists – that Leonardo DiCaprio had impregnated his Israeli girlfriend model Bar Rafaeli.)

    Then there are the larger communal issues – like how one defines a Jew in this day and age, or whether families who are already interfaith should be reached out to, welcomed, or rejected from synagogue and Jewish community life. And then there are the journalists, who create a vast number of posts and articles in the Jewish press about this issue. We (and yes, I'm a party to this as well) express hopes that our Jewish celebrities should date within the tribe, not because of happy accident, but because it is important to them. But does that make us elitists? Racists? And do we gain anything from the debate other than intellectual exercise?

    Beneath this admittedly incendiary post title lies a language infused with violence, paranoia and blame. And whether you're destroying Judaism or advocating racism, no one wins.

    [full story/permalink]

    Good point and you're not the first to notice the inconsistency here. European whites who insist it it wrong to miscreate with other races are called "racists" - yet we are only agreeing with sound Jewish logic. I'm all for Jews marrying only Jews, and Jews living in their own land without any aliens. And I'm also for that last sentence with the word "Jewish" replaced with "White" - - if we'd all just keep to our own kind the world would be a far better place with stronger families and more community harmony.

    05/10/07 @02:13 | Matt
    Is this comment inappropriate?

    There is nothing wrong in trying to marry within your own kind, be you white, black, purple, or Jew, Christian, Moslem...

    When he stops noticing the differences between people, he becomes blind, which is different from being a racist. One becomes a racist when he starts treating them differently in daily life, and denies them respect and dignity that they may deserve, solely because of external characteristics.

    Marrying and having children with someone is a much more personal thing - when choosing a spouse, one looks (or shood do so) not only for the qualities of the other person, but also for compatibility with their own. This is where the religion should come in. It is regrettable that so many people today, including many Jewish celebrities, do not regard their own religious background important enough to factor it into the equation.

    And by the way, the real victims of the intermarriage are the children of the intermarried couples, being unable to connect to a religious heritage, should they want to do so at some point in their lives (such as for practicing the religion, religious education, or during a religious marriage of their own).

    05/11/07 @11:43 | Anonymous
    Is this comment inappropriate?

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