Articles written by Andrew Silow Carroll

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Deportation of Nazi ignites a fight between right and left-you're surprised?

(JTA)—In the Trump era, even the deporting of Nazis can’t bring Americans together. A number of Jewish organizations and lawmakers were quick to thank the Trump administration for deporting Jakiw Palij, a former SS guard at the Nazis...

 

The non-misogynist, non-hypocritical case for Jewish continuity-with music

(JTA)—This is Leonard Bernstein’s centennial summer, and the Tanglewood Music Center in the Berkshires is staging a series of outdoor performances to celebrate its favorite son. I’m not saying that everyone who goes to Tanglewood is Jewish,...

 

How I learned to stop worrying and love an Israeli dance company

(JTA)-In the quiet opening of "Naharin's Virus," an hour-long dance piece by the famed Israeli choreographer Ohed Naharin, an onstage narrator tells you what the evening won't be about. You the...

 

Is 'non-Jew' an insult?

NEW YORK (JTA)—A few months ago I wrote a humor piece titled “Don’t eat off the seder plate, and other tips for non-Jews attending their first seder.” It drew a miffed response from a rabbi friend who often works with interfaith families and...

 

How Holocaust comparisons are muddying the immigration debate

(JTA)—Let me start by stating what should be obvious: Holocaust comparisons are lazy and more often than not hysterical. They diminish Nazism and genocide by making them synonyms for “very bad things.” You may regard the Trump...

 

The ADL's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week

(JTA)—Last week, Shabbat couldn’t come soon enough for the Anti-Defamation League. On Wednesday, Starbucks announced that the Jewish group’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, seemed to have been demoted from top adviser to a supporting role in the cof...

 

'Nobody is talking about anti-Semitism.' You're kidding, right?

NEW YORK (JTA)—Slate podcaster Mike Pesca has a theory that whenever President Donald Trump says “everybody” it means “almost nobody,” and when he says “nobody” or “anybody” it means “almost everybody.” Try it: When Trump...

 

Does the Obama-Farrakhan photo matter? Does anything?

(JTA)—“Nothing matters.” You hear that a lot these days. You hear it when The Wall Street Journal reports that the president’s personal lawyer paid a porn actress $130,000, at the height of the presidential campaign, so she would stay sile...

 

How do you define anti-Semitism? It's complicated.

NEW YORK (JTA)—JTA doesn’t give out Person of the Year honors, but if we did I’d be tempted to nominate Michael Kadar, the Israeli-American teenager accused of making hundreds of bomb threats against Jewish community centers in early 2017. As...

 

What we talk about when we talk about Jerusalem

(JTA)—E.B. White famously wrote that there are “roughly three New Yorks”: the one of the native New Yorker, the one of the commuter, and the New York of the “person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something....

 

NY Times article shows how not to write about neo-Nazis

NEW YORK (JTA)—Did The New York Times just normalize an American neo-Nazi? That’s the charge being flung at The Newspaper of Record over its Saturday profile of Tony Hovater, 29, a “polite,” “low key” Ohio man who is a “committed foot...

 

Jews make news, but when is it Jewish news?

NEW YORK (JTA)—“Is So-and-So Jewish? How Jewish is she? Find out if she’s Jewish.” I often joke that JTA reporters and anti-Semitic bloggers write the same stories, only with different headlines. We proudly search down Jewish celebrities to...

 

Federations rally around pluralism-but wish they didn't have to

LOS ANGELES (JTA)—Leaders of North America’s Jewish federation movement kicked off their annual conference here Sunday with a tribute to the 1987 march on Washington that brought out hundreds of thousands of people in support of Soviet Jews. The...

 

Larry David's Holocaust joke was an offense against comedy

NEW YORK (JTA)—In a famous episode of “Seinfeld,” Jerry is upset that his dentist, a recent convert to Judaism, is already telling Jewish jokes. He complains to the dentist’s former priest. “I wanted to talk to you about Dr. Whatley,...

 

Why we waited before publishing that story about Elie Wiesel

NEW YORK (JTA)—If a woman called the JTA office and said she wanted to tell her story of sexual harassment by a prominent community figure, we’d have questions. Would she put her name to the accusations? Can she corroborate them? Can she provide...

 

Breitbart, racists and the dirty work of laundering the 'alt-right'

NEW YORK (JTA)—Stephen Bannon, whose anti-globalist insurgency at Breitbart News was interrupted briefly by his tenure as chief adviser to the Leader of the Free World, has always been adamant that his right-wing news site and worldview is neither...

 

Conan and 'Transparent' give Israel the normalcy it craves

(JTA)—“It looks just like L.A.” A character in the Amazon series “Transparent” says this as she gets her first glimpse of Tel Aviv, and if you work for the Israeli government, or any of a number of pro-Israel groups, you probably...

 

Self-hatred: It's not just for self-haters! 

(JTA)—I used to joke that I am not a self-hating Jew: It’s all those other Jews I can’t stand. Like I said, I used to tell that joke. In the current political climate, self-hatred is no laughing matter. Calling another Jew “self-hating” is...

 

Our president just asked us to be fair to white supremacists

NEW YORK (JTA)—There was a moment in his “neo-Nazi, neo-Shmazi” news conference where you might have found yourself thinking, maybe President Trump is right. On the narrow question of who was responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, a...

 

American Jews really care about pluralism-but it's not just about pluralism

(JTA)-The Great Jewish Revolt of 2017. The Bar Kotel Rebellion. The Diaspora Strikes Back. Whatever you call it, last week's clash between American Jewish leaders and the Netanyahu government felt...

 

Tel Aviv is the 'home of Judaism.' So is Boston, Sao Paulo, Marseille...

(JTA)—Donald Trump and his staff may have left Israel feeling pretty friendly to the Jews, but man, we don’t make it easy for them. Flying with reporters from Saudi Arabia to Israel on Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that they...

 

Jewish life, like college campuses, could use more free speech

(JTA)—Sunday night in Teaneck, New Jersey, Daniel Kurtzer and Ruth Wisse spoke at separate synagogues, roughly at the same time, about a quarter mile apart. Kurtzer, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and a professor of Middle East studies at...

 

The last Passover countdown checklist you will ever need

(JTA)-The 30-day period between Purim and Passover is often fraught, especially for Jews-especially if, against all sound advice, they insist on hosting a Passover seder. To ease the challenging...

 

Is Trump owed an apology after the JCC bomb threat arrest? Is anybody?

NEW YORK (JTA)—Literally within seconds of the news of the arrest in Israel of an Israeli-American teenager for the bulk of the JCC bomb threats, Twitter lit up with Jewish anxiety. “[I] fear the inevitable backlash from haters who we whipped...

 

JCC bomb threats are weapons of fear

(JTA)—The “fear itself” thing? FDR was on to something. The rash of JCC bomb threats and cemetery desecrations, combined with a general sense that the country is becoming more intolerant, has Jews on edge in ways they haven’t been in years....

 

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