The shattered stained glass windows of the Zerrennerstrasse synagogue after its destruction on Kristallnacht. Pforzheim, Germany, ca. November 10, 1938. (USHMM/Stadtarchiv Pforzheim)
“Kristallnacht, literally, “Night of Crystal,” is often referred to as the “Night of Broken Glass.” The name refers to the wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms which took place on November 9 and 10, 1938, throughout Germany, annexed Austria, and in areas of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia recently occupied by German troops.”
“Kristallnacht figures as an essential turning point in Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews, which culminated in the attempt to annihilate the European Jews.”
Both of my paternal grandparents had arrived safely in the United States before the Kristallnacht of November 1938. And yet, among the stories my grandmother told over the years, the tale of how her parents and other loved ones back in Germany experienced the horrific events lodged in my mind and in my heart. Continue reading ›
People are talking about “A Portrait of Jewish Americans: Findings from a Pew Research Center Survey of U.S. Jews.” I’ve tried to keep up with what they are saying, refraining, for the most part, from commenting. (There are many blessings that accompany having a full-time job; in my case, the luxury of focusing quickly, thoughtfully, and in writing on matters of great personal interest isn’t one of them.)
So, over the past several days, I’ve read and listened to others. I’ve found myself agreeing with plenty that some commenters, including Rabbi David Wolpe and Jane Eisner, have had to say. But when I read Elissa Strauss’s “Give Us Our Gen-X Judaism,” disagreement—and a sense of depression—ensued.
And this troubled me, not only because Strauss and I have had numerous agreeable exchanges in the past (even if we haven’t ever met face-to-face), but also because, unlike Wolpe or Eisner, I’m actually part of the cohort on whose behalf Strauss is ostensibly speaking, those “Gen Xers” who were born, as the Pew survey indicates, between 1965 and 1980. And “our” Gen-X Judaism, at least as outlined in Strauss’s post, is definitely not mine. Continue reading ›
My Machberet is proud to serve as September 2013 host for the Jewish Book Carnival, “a monthly event where bloggers who blog about Jewish books can meet, read, and comment on each others’ posts.” The posts are hosted on a participant’s site on the 15th of each month.
Herewith, this month’s goodies-which also mark the first Carnival of the new year 5774! Continue reading ›