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Nuclear is NOT an “Option”

Apr20

by: Lynn Feinerman on April 20th, 2017 | 2 Comments »

Digging in my tiny Jewish library this Passover season, I came across a short contribution to a published symposium, made by Rabbi Nehemia Polen, a well-known scholar, author and congregational rabbi.

Polen wrote his short piece in 1986, for the literary publication New Traditions. But his words were ominously current for me, discovered as if by what we Jews call “hashgachah pratit,” a kind of destined timeliness.

He was considering the phrase in Jewish prayer liturgy, “hem yevoshu ve’yehatu mi’gevuratam,” translated “may the nations of the world be put to shame and crushed despite their power.” He meditated on the meaning of this phrase, and its intention in prayer:


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Anthology Double Exposure, Editor’s Preface

Apr12

by: Samah Sabawi and Stephen Orlov on April 12th, 2017 | No Comments »

Double Exposure: Plays of the Jewish and Palestinian Diasporas is the first English-language anthology worldwide in any genre of drama, prose or poetry by Jewish and Palestinian writers. Playwrights Samah Sabawi and Stephen Orlov address in this slightly updated anthology preface the artistic and political challenges they faced on their journey across the cultural divide to edit this groundbreaking collection of plays about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

How do two strangers, a Boston-born Jew in Canada and a Gaza-born Palestinian in Australia, come together to choose seven plays for such a groundbreaking anthology about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

The starting point for us was trust, something we felt from the moment we read each other’s plays about the issue. What made our process work were mutual respect, honest exchange and guiding principles.

Diaspora writers outside the conflict zone offer a distinct viewpoint. Many of us live in multicultural societies that accord us both privilege and perspective, enough that we view the conflict through a more diverse prism and experience its impact differently.


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Job Opening at Tikkun: Managing Editor

Apr4

by: on April 4th, 2017 | No Comments »

You Probably Know Someone Who’d Love This Job as Managing Editor to Tikkun magazine! So spread the word on social media and to your friends, contacts, students, colleagues, etc. 

Please read this thoroughly to the end because if you are interested in this job, this note sets forth several steps in the application process.

Tikkun magazine is looking for a managing editor to produce its award-winning print magazine and manage its lively online content–someone who is aligned with our goals (described in the articles mentioned below) to heal and transform the world. Ideally, you have prior editorial experience, but we would be open to hiring an academic, a social change activist, a religious leader, a social change theorist, a psychotherapist, or someone who has the intellectual sophistication and also has editing skills even without previous journalistic training to fill this role. But it would be someone who is deeply aligned with the ideals and vision of Tikkun magazine.


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“Get Out”: the Hidden Injuries of Race and the Horror Genre

Apr4

by: Martha Sonnenberg on April 4th, 2017 | 1 Comment »

James Baldwin’s essay “Stranger in a Village” was written more than sixty years ago.  In that essay he described his feelings of extreme alienation as the only black person in the all-white Swiss village home of his white lover, but the essay really spoke to his feelings about being black in America. He wrote, “People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.”  The essay is an uncanny precedent to the new film “Get Out”, written and directed Jordan Peele, and described as a “social thriller.” Having just seen the documentary “I am Not Your Negro” about James Baldwin’s exploration of the civil rights martyrs and his incisive perceptions of America’s pervasive façade about race, I had Baldwin on my mind when I saw “Get Out”, almost as if he was sitting next to me as I watched the film.  This film is brilliant and challenging—to see its horror genre as diminishing is to miss the whole point of the film.


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Join Us for A Liberation Passover Seder on Tuesday, April 11th (the 2nd Seder night) at 6:00 pm Special Guests: Emma’s Revolution

Mar31

by: on March 31st, 2017 | 1 Comment »

 

Register now:www.beyttikkun.org/seder. Registration closes Monday, April 3rd

We survived Pharaoh in Egypt–we can survive and even triumph over the contemporary Pharaoh’s in Washington D.C. and Wall Street, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, China, Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Turkey, Korea, the Philippines, and many other places around the world!

The ancient Israelites didn’t believe salvation was possible, but it was–and so it will be in our own times, though things look dark and discouraging at the moment as we enter another month of the Trump Administration (most recently dismantling the environmental protections that so many of us campaigned for years to get our government to create). Come participate and revive your hopeful energies for the struggles ahead!!!!

This Seder is for people of all faith traditions who wish to recommit to the struggles for liberationand re-affirm your commitment to a world of love, generosity, justice, environmental sustainability and nonviolence.

We are especially pleased and honored to have Pat Humphries and Sandy O. (Emma’s Revolution) joining us at the Seder and enriching the experience with their music and teaching. So much of their music has become a “staple” in the repertoire of songs of freedom, peace and liberation. Hopefully you’ve seen and heard them, most recently in a knockout concert at the Freight and Salvage.

The Seder focuses not only on our own liberation from slavery, butalsoon celebrating the liberation struggles of all people through history and continuing in our own lifetimes, while including all the traditions of Passover.

Led by Rabbi Michael Lerner, Cat Zavis, Ami Goodman and Abby Caplin with special guests Emma’s Revolution (Pat Humphries and Sandy O.) http://www.emmasrevolution.com/

Please share this onFacebookandTwitter-you probably have some people on your lists that would love this event if you were kind enough to let them know about it. This seder is not only for Jews–everyone is welcome.

UN: Syrian Refugees Now at 5 million!!!

Mar31

by: Kale Malely Rachameem on March 31st, 2017 | 1 Comment »

[The number of refugees who have fled the war in Syria now exceeds
five million with millions more displaced internally, according to the
UN.
Syrians have poured across their borders since anti-government
protests in 2011 spiralled into a full-blown conflict between rebels,
government troops, and foreign backers.
The first three months of 2017 saw more than 250,000 additional
Syrians register as refugees bringing the total to 5.1 million, the
UN's refugee agency UNHCR said on its website, without providing an
explanation for the apparent surge.
...
As fighting in Syria continues, UNHCR estimated another 6.3 million
people are internally displaced]

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/number-syrian-refugees-passes-million-170330132040023.html

SYRIA’S CIVIL WAR15 HOURS AGO

UN: Number of Syrian refugees passes five million
UN report says Turkey now hosts nearly three million Syrians, with
47,000 more coming since February alone.

The number of refugees who have fled the war in Syria now exceeds five
million with millions more displaced internally, according to the UN.

Syrians have poured across their borders since anti-government
protests in 2011 spiralled into a full-blown conflict between rebels,
government troops, and foreign backers.

The first three months of 2017 saw more than 250,000 additional
Syrians register as refugees bringing the total to 5.1 million, the
UN’s refugee agency UNHCR said on its website, without providing an
explanation for the apparent surge.

“It’s not about the number, it’s about the people,” said UNHCR
spokesman Babar Baloch, noting the conflict had now lasted longer than
World War II. “We’re trying to look for understanding, solidarity and
humanity.”

Turkey continues to host the highest number of Syrians displaced by
the conflict – nearly three million people. It saw an increase of
47,000 more refugees since February, Baloch said.

READ MORE: The harrowing evacuation of east Aleppo

The five-million milestone came a year to the day after UNHCR asked
other countries to start resettling at least 10 percent of the most
vulnerable Syrian refugees. So far only 250,000 places have been
offered.

“We’re asking for more legal pathways for Syrians to travel to other
countries so that they don’t end up dying in the seas like in the
Mediterranean,” said Baloch.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Geneva, said the “enormity
and colossal suffering” of the refugees is evident from the UNHCR
report.

The total number of Syrian refugees abroad stood at 4.6 million at the
end of 2015 and rose to 4.85 million by the end of last year,
according to the agency’s data.

The agency estimated another 6.3 million people have been internally displaced.

As fighting in Syria continues, UNHCR estimated another 6.3 million
people are internally displaced [Reuters]
Financial aid falling short

Lebanon has more than one million Syrian refugees, while Jordan has
657,000, with others spread across Iraq, Egypt and other North African
countries.

Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher, reporting from Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, said
the actual number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon is much higher than
the official figure, with more people streaming into the country in
the last few weeks.

UN cuts financial help to Syrian workers in Lebanon
He said most of the new arrivals have not yet registered with the UN,
and shortages of food and water is common.

War-torn Iraq also hosts 233,224 Syrian refugees in the Kurdish north.

Iraq itself has an estimated 3.5 million people internally displaced,
according to Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel Hamid, reporting from east of
Mosul.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have also fled to Europe, but not all
have been granted refugee status.

Syrians have also fled to Europe in large numbers, making 884,461
asylum claims between April 2011 and October 2016. Almost two-thirds
of the claims were in Germany and Sweden.

Hundreds of thousands more live in Gulf countries that are not party
to the 1951 Refugee Convention, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the
United Arab Emirates, so they are not recorded as refugees.

A UN-led humanitarian appeal to help Syrian refugees and support host
communities has received only six percent of the money needed this
year – $298mn out of $4.6bn target.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Martin Luther King + 50: Toward a Year of Truth and Transformation

Mar30

by: Rabbi Arthur Waskow on March 30th, 2017 | 1 Comment »

Fifty years ago, on April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King spoke his most profound and most prophetic sermon. At Riverside Church in New York City, with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel at his side, he addressed a group called Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam with a speech he entitled, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence.”

The public face of his speech was a strong denunciation of the U. S. government’s war in Vietnam. More than half the speech took up, case by case, aspects of the war that King argued were immoral U.S. actions – lethal to the Vietnamese and to American soldiers, destructive to the War on Poverty that had been President Johnson’s domestic program, and a violation of the best American values.


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Humor From Tikkun

Mar24

by: David Tell, Tikkun Managing Editor and Chief Satirist on March 24th, 2017 | 2 Comments »

It’s not our fault, Trump declares. It never is, adds Spicer.

As the GOP-controlled House retreated from voting on an Obamacare replacement bill for the second day in a row Friday, Donald J. Trump, who had said today was do-or-die for the legislation, called the New York Times to blame the Democrats.

“If they had stood up and voted to replace the disaster that is the ACA, we wouldn’t have needed unity among our ranks” to do it, Trump said. “Nancy Pelosi is a bad, or sick, woman for opposing our offer of health care coverage to many younger, healthier and higher-earning Americans. Such a nasty woman – a terrible, low-energy leader.”


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Asleep in a Prison: Reflections on Pacific School of Religion’s “Borders and Identity” Lectures

Mar24

by: Paige Foreman on March 24th, 2017 | No Comments »

“Why, when God’s world is so big, did you fall asleep in a prison of all places?”

~Rumi

The day after attending Pacific School of Religion’s “Borders and Identity” 2017 Earl and Boswell lectures on March 17th in Berkeley, I swam from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco. The island and its infamous prison looked desolate and lonely surrounded by an iron sea and a gray sky. I shivered in my bathing suit on the deck of the boat that was approaching the island and stared wide-eyed at the 58-degree water I would have to dive into soon. Doubt crept into me like the cold – I was not sure I would make it across.

Alcatraz Island surrounded by the sea and clouds.

When it comes to immigration, America has confined itself in a prison. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas gave the keynote lecture the evening of March 17th. He is the founder and CEO of Define American, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing the stories of immigrants in order to elevate the conversation around immigration.


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The MillionYear Picnic and Other Stories

Mar24

by: Paul Buhle on March 24th, 2017 | No Comments »

Illustrated by Will Elder. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 2017. 216pp, $29.99.

The Will Elder story is legendary in the history of comic art, but with the passage of generations, the legend is in danger of receding into a distant past of less-than-iconic popular art. Elder, like most of the brilliant artists who emerged within a temporarily booming comic book industry of the later 1940s, did not script his own work, or find himself a late life celebrity in graphic novels. Worse in some ways, in collaboration with his near-lifelong workmate Harvey Kurtzman, he turned from wildly creative satire to drawing “Little Annie Fanny” for Playboy, over several decades, with blue pencil editor Hugh Hefner further limiting a limited protagonist-titillator. It was a living, with health benefits.

But Elder (born Wolf Elder Eisenberg, 1921) had genius days, or rather genius decades, and the millions of readers who have delved Mad Comics reprints in paperbacks endlessly reprinted since later 1950s have encountered the consistent, voluminous best of his work. As Mad founder and savant Kurtzman put it, Elder would get a free hand with the schmaltz method of strip completion: he could smear around as many details as came to mind while he was working furiously from scripts, very often Kurtzman’s scripts and sometimes outlined figures. Intermittently, these included Yiddish phrases, Lower East Side scenes and most poignantly, Elder’s own mother, caricatured for humor.


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