The first time that I agreed to serve on the local Holocaust Remembrance Day Committee was painful, even after almost seventy years since the end of World War II. I agreed to assist in promoting the event beyond our Jewish community and I agreed to participate in the reading of the names of the victims. Given my cyberspace skills, I created an invite to the community on Face book. And I resigned myself to being an usher the day of the event, not my favorite thing. What I didn’t bargain for was a seat on the stage and internal upheaval. << MORE >>
The foremost issue in the field of Art Law today, even more prominent than antiquities looting, is the restitution of artwork looted by the Nazis to Holocaust
survivors or their descendants. Many may wonder why this matter has seemingly arisen only recently, decades after the end of World War II. The reasons are primarily political.
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As the editor of the American Diversity Report, I’ve long included Green articles in our Impact section. I focus on the economic juggernaut which Going Green is unleashing and the impact on our world, our workplace and our lives. When I considered doing an article on the iconic Greenpeace movement which started so much of our environmental activism, I thought it would be an intellectual and historical project. Imagine my surprise when my 86-year old Aunt Polly informed that my Green-ness runs in the family and that Greenpeace is closer to me than I realized.<< MORE >>
Recent mammoth storms brings me to revisit an article in Wired Magazine entitled, Inconvenient Truths: Get Ready to Rethink What It Means to Be Green. The article makes the case for 10 ways to turn around global warming that will drive environmentalists crazy. Calling for Greens to unite around the issue of greenhouse gases, the article makes the case for nuclear energy and urban density. The outcry from readers was sharp with outcries about the single mindedness of the article, its lack of supporting data, its in-your-face sensationalism and overall creepiness.
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The academic study of ethics, in light of the experience of the Holocaust, has witnessed rapid development in the last decade. In addition to research into ethical decision making during the Holocaust itself in such volumes as Rab Bennett's Under the Shadow of the Swastika: The Moral Dilemmas of Resistance and Collaboration in Hitler's Europe, more general reflections on the significance of the Holocaust for contemporary ethics have come to the fore from Jewish and Christian scholars alike. There have also been voices such as Herbert Hirsch who have questioned whether we can learn anything from the Holocaust in terms of the moral challenge facing us today given the sui generis nature of that event as well as the immense complexity of a modern, global society.
I personally stand with those who do find the experience of the Holocaust significant for ethical reflection in today's global society. But Hirsch's pessimism does serve a purpose in reminding us that there is no simplistic transition from the situation of the Shoah into today's complex social situation.<< MORE >>
Every April, I write about domestic terrorism in the U.S. and the neo-Nazi, white supremacist movement. My articles began with the 168 people who died in the Oklahoma City bombing almost twenty years ago. I became the community and media liaison for Oklahoma's Tulsa Jewish Federation shortly after the bombing so that I could see what led to the deadliest bombing, prior to 9/11, on our native soil. The violent hatred that I saw then has not only continued, but blossomed in recent years with spring surges. In April 2013, the result was the Boston Marathon bombings. April 2014 has been marked by shootings at a Jewish Community Center and Jewish Seniors Home in Kansas City by a former KKK Grand Dragon and White Supremacist. Here in Chattanooga, the most prominent neo-Nazi group in the US is planning its 40th anniversary rally on the steps of our Court House on April 26, the weekend of Holocaust Memorial Day. Where was their most recent rally just months ago? Kansas City. We cannot, and should not, overlook past lessons, current momentum, and future consequences.<< MORE >>
Passover is the root story of Judaism. It is a story of religious freedom reliving the Exodus from Egypt, and the struggle to emerge from slavery to freedom. The quest for religious freedom, for the right to practice Judaism, is an ongoing struggle that the Jewish people re-live each year at Passover as Christians re-live the story of Easter.
Passover and Easter come at roughly the same time every spring. Some of the rituals and symbols of the two celebrations overlap: the Seder table, the egg, the wine and the wafer-like matzo. The Jewish heritage of Jesus is especially apparent at this time.<< MORE >>
A haze hovers around the border of the valley,
smoke trees blazing into bloom, a line of cherry
blushing in between. Pollen lazes on bridges, cars.
A brown thrasher lingers on the gate outside my house
Here I am Here I am haha hahaha
and a nuthatch widens his wings and sways
his ruffled body, warning an uncertain squirrel
from flung crumbs.
Access denied, the squirrel nips across the porch,
acorn husks scattering under bony feet.
Nuthatch and goldfinch reclaim the feeder,
beaks wide, new song rising.<< MORE >>
Yes, I shared my story at the Women Ground Breakers event holding my broken arm. I had a kerfuffle with a department store floor and the floor won. Lying on that floor, all that went through my mind was, “How am I get everything done for our Women’s History Storytelling celebration?” Part of me muttered,“We’re doomed!” But part of me said, “Ah, the Broken Bone Factor! This isn't a disability - this is diversity at work! ”
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Human beings are generally fearful of the unknown, the strange and the unusual. We rightfully warn our children to be aware of and avoid strangers. We place things of an unfamiliar nature in boxes labeled beware, dangerous, harmful or not to be trusted.Thus, a stranger is to be feared. This sets the stage for hatred. To a large degree, people of all ethnic groups tend to be xenophobic, very often without really recognizing it. Xenophobia causes fear, and sometimes fear naturally generates hatred.
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