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Black and white hand holding a Jewish star

The Silence That Frightens Me

Jessica Primus

For me, being pro-Israel is about valuing the lives of Jews everywhere, despising antisemitic actions and rhetoric, and ensuring that Jews will always have a homeland to go to avoid religious persecution.

Topics: Antisemitism, Israel

Episode 105: Hear Their Voices: Sexual Violence on October 7

When Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on October 7, they raped, tortured, and mutilated women’s bodies in unimaginable ways. News about the sexual violence emerged within days, but few women’s organizations spoke up to condemn it. Some even questioned whether the claims were true. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we discuss the sexual violence of October 7, the effort to collect evidence, and the international response—or lack thereof.  We speak with Hadas Ziv, who co-authored a Physicians for Human Rights Israel paper on the crimes, and Sheila Katz, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, one of the sponsors of a recent event at the United Nations aimed at calling attention to the sexual assaults. We’ll also hear excerpts of testimonies given at the UN by people who saw evidence of sexual violence on the bodies of women killed by Hamas. 

Please note, this episode contains graphic descriptions of sexual violence.

Episode 103: Kugels and Collards: The Southern Jewish Table

Food can be a vehicle for telling stories, connecting with people, and understanding our history—including the uncomfortable parts. In this episode of Can We Talk?, Jen Richler heads to Charleston, South Carolina to learn about Southern Jewish history through the lens of food. Over a home-cooked meal, Jen talks with Rachel Gordin Barnett and Lyssa Kligman Harvey, co-authors of the new book Kugels & Collards: Stories of Food, Family, and Tradition in Jewish South Carolina. She also talks with Dale Rosengarten, a scholar of Southern Jewish history, and Kim Cliett Long, a scholar whose rich family story weaves together Jewish and African American identities.  

Woman with puppets on each hand staging a puppet show

Women Shaping Jewish Life in Germany

Donna Swarthout
Doris H. Gray

Women are at the forefront of efforts to change the perception and reality of Jewish life in Germany. 

Sol Hachuel

Sol Hachuel, or as she is also known Lalla Soulika or Sol ha-tsaddeqet, was a Moroccan Jewish martyr from the first half of the nineteenth century. Hachuel was born in Tangier and beheaded in Fez at the age of sixteen or seventeen. Her story has inspired countless versions among North African Jews and Muslims as well as Europeans, and her tomb remains a prominent pilgrimage site in Morocco.

Outline of a woman sitting on the ground on pale yellow background

The Warning Light

Olivia Gnad

The problem with Jews distancing ourselves from anxiety is that it doesn’t go away when we do.

Borscht Belt Historical Marker - placard with info about Monticello

Bringing the Borscht Belt Back to Life

Jen Richler

JWA talks to Marisa Scheinfeld, founder and director of the Borscht Belt Historical Marker Project. 

Donald and Fran Putnoi

Soviet Jewry

Gabriel Weinstein, Tamar Shachaf Schneider, and Aaron Hersh interviewed Donald and Fran Putnoi in Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Fran and Dr. Donald Putnoi share their involvement with Action for Soviet Jewry, discussing their experiences with Rabbi Mehlman, missions to the USSR, treating patients, and their efforts in supporting Soviet Jews resettling in the United States.

Anna Charny

Soviet Jewry

Gabriel Weinstein Tamar interviewed Anna Charny in Massachusetts as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Charny shares her experiences growing up in Moscow, encountering antisemitism, becoming a refusenik, and eventually immigrating to the United States, highlighting her family's Jewish identity, her activism, and the challenges of assimilating into a new country.

Alla (Hannah) Aberson

Soviet Jewry

Alla Aberson was interviewed in Framingham, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Aberson discusses her parents' "refusenik" jobs, life under KGB surveillance, participation in hunger strikes, antisemitism in the FSU, and their path to leaving the Soviet Union.

Collage of Alexa and Brennon Lemieux from Netflix's Love is Blind on purple patterned background

Celebrating An Inter-religious Couple on Love Is Blind

Sonia Freedman

Although I was somewhat unimpressed by Love Is Blind’s surface-level coverage of inter-religious relationships, it was beautiful to watch the Lemieux fall in love despite their very different backgrounds.

Collage of Lily James in The Exception on purple patterned background

The Exception's Antisemitism Is, Unfortunately, Not An Exception

Olivia Gnad

Between using atrocities as a way to create romantic drama and its rush to excuse antisemitism, The Exception is a movie that never should have left the writer's room.

Line drawings of a book and pens on light blue background

Interpreting The Sun Also Rises

Maya Viswanathan

Reading The Sun Also Rises was the first time I encountered depictions of antisemitism as an almost normal part of conversation and interaction. I didn’t know how to react to it.

Image of the hebrew letters samech, tav, resh on one row, followed by tav, resh, samech, on the row underneath

Esther and Teresa: A Play on Words for Purim

Ellen Kanner

This Purim, learn all about Teresa de Lucena, a conversa who revered Queen Esther. 

Topics: Purim, Antisemitism

Sheila Decter

Soviet Jewry

Sheila Decter was interviewed on October 7, 2016, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Decter recounts her role in the Simcha Torah awareness truck drive, her work with the Kennedy Administration, the Jewish Agenda in Washington, and the ongoing importance of the Soviet Jewry cause.

Ary Rotman

Soviet Jewry

Ary Rotman was interviewed on October 25, 2016, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Rotman shares his experiences of discovering the official process to leave the USSR for Israel, his struggles in securing a visa and becoming a refusenik, his arrest and time in jail, his eventual successful visa acquisition, and his adjustment to life in the United States.

Roy Einhorn

Soviet Jewry

Gabriel Weinstein, Tamar Shachaf Schneider, and Aaron Hirsch interviewed Cantor Roy B. Einhorn on November 10, 2016, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Cantor Einhorn recounts his involvement in the Soviet Jewry Movement, including mission trips to the USSR with Temple Israel to support refuseniks, and drawing parallels to current refugee crises.

Bernard H. Mehlman

Soviet Jewry

Tamar Shachaf Schneider, Aaron Hersh, and Gabriel Weinstein interviewed Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman on November 1, 2016, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Rabbi Mehlman shares his experiences delivering a heart valve in the USSR, arranging the evacuation of a refusenik, fundraising for Soviet emigre families, and providing support and education programs for newly arrived emigres at Temple Israel of Boston.

Collage of Rachel Sassoon Beer on black and white background

Reporting the Truth with Rachel Sassoon Beer

Samantha Berk

In her own way, in her own time, Rachel Sassoon Beer fought against misinformation. She’s a role model for modern feminists as well as for that little girl who yearned to hold the pages of the newspaper just right.

Karina Urbach and the Cover of her Book

Reclaiming Europe’s Jewish Past and Present

Savoy Curry

The Nazis stole Alice Urbach’s cookbook. In her new book, her granddaughter, Karina, reclaims Alice’s story—and Jews’ rightful place in European life.

Woman talking and standing in front of slide presentation

I Will Not Hide my Judaism in Progressive Spaces

Adriana Leigh

In naming the nuances of my Jewish experience, I hope that other progressive and feminist Jews feel seen, supported, and empowered.

Collage of various images of Emma Goldman on green background

Emma Goldman and A Jewish Approach to Liberation

Miriam Stodolsky

Goldman drew upon her Judaism as a source of radical moral guidance and held fiercely to her Jewishness without limiting herself to it.

Diana Shklyarov

Soviet Jewry

Gabriel Weinstein and Aaron Hersh interviewed Diana Shklyarov on November 10, 2016, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Shklyarov discusses her desire to leave the USSR, her family's struggles with denied exit visas, her Jewish identity, experiences with antisemitism, her arrival in the United States, and the importance of Jewish identity in her life now.

Ronne Friedman

Soviet Jewry

Gabriel Weinstein, Tamar Shachaf Schneider, and Aaron Hirsch interviewed Ronne Friedman on November 15, 2016, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Rabbi Friedman discusses Temple Israel's involvement in the Soviet Jewry movement, missions to the USSR, a tense encounter with customs agents, reconnecting with the Charney family, outreach efforts by Temple Israel, and a meaningful encounter in St. Petersburg.

Minna Shavitz

Weaving Women's Words

Marcie Cohen Ferris interviewed Minna Shavitz on March 22, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, for the Weaving Women's Words series. Shavitz details her upbringing in the South, encountering antisemitism, her family dynamics, college life, marriage, owning a deli, and the challenges and joys of her personal and professional life.


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