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Antisemitism at a Massachusetts middle school + Evan Gershkovich and Judy Blume on Time 100

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Opinion | Harlan Crow collects Nazi artifacts. The reason why could be even darker than it seems. Crow, a billionaire whose gifts to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas have come under scrutiny in recent days, owns paintings by Adolf Hitler and a signed copy of Mein Kampf. Crow has said the collection is testament to his hatred of communism and fascism, and some conservatives have suggested it memorializes Hitler’s victims. But Sam Weinberg, who runs a think tank for Generation Z, says that if that is Crow’s intent, “he is doing a very bad job.” The display in Crow’s Dallas home “indicates a bizarrely simultaneous disconnect with the legacy of the Holocaust,” Weinberg argues, “and also a deep fascination with its horrors, almost to the point of reverence.” Read the essay  

 

Nashville university community responds to white supremacist graffiti. After the home of Andrew Patrick, a history professor at Tennessee State University, was vandalized with swastikas and hateful slogans, his neighbors stepped up. Doorbell camera footage showed the vandals tearing down a “Black Lives Matter” flag in front of the house — so Patrick’s community painted more than 100 signs expressing support for his family, Black Lives Matter and the Jewish community to replace it. Read the story

 

A ‘Harry Potter’ reboot is coming — here are our unsolicited ideas for Jewish plotlines. The famous child wizard is getting a televised remake — and after years of scrutiny of J.K. Rowling’s record on Jews, along with her harmful comments about trans people, our PJ Grisar stepped up to suggest some ways to help Hogwarts mirror the diversity of 2023. Afikomen in the room of requirement? An Israeli magic academy? The wizarding world is wide open. Read the story

 

Jews at Massachusetts school faced widespread harassment. Dozens of students at Jabish Brook Middle School are accused of doing Nazi salutes and making taunting references to the Holocaust to their Jewish classmates. Our Arno Rosenfeld notes that experts have warned that antisemitic sentiments promoted by celebrities like rapper Kanye West and basketball star Kyrie Irving “often correspond to increased bigotry in school settings.” Read the story  

 

Quick takes: 

 

• The 21-year-old Air National Guard member arrested Thursday for one of the biggest leaks of classified information in American history also reportedly posted antisemitic content online

 

• Deborah Lipstadt, Judy Blume, Evan Gershkovich, Nathan Fielder and Natasha Lyonne were named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2023.

 

• As Passover ended, we looked at a new exhibit focused on Juan de Pareja, the artist once enslaved by the uber-famous Diego Velázquez, and how the threat of the Spanish Inquisition tied the two men’s art together

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WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

👀  Israeli expatriates called on the Jewish Federations of North America to rescind an invitation for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address its annual conference in Tel Aviv this month. The letter also calls for disinviting Simcha Rothman, a Knesset member credited as the mastermind behind the government’s judicial overhaul plan. (Unxeptable)

 

⚖️  A Jan. 6 rioter who openly admired Hitler was sentenced to three years in prison on separate weapons charges. Hatchet M. Speed, 41, has already been convicted for his role in the siege on the Capitol; the new charges stem from a yearlong FBI investigation after the insurrection showing he stockpiled $40,000 in weapons and ammunition while predicting to others that the government would fall. (Washington Post)

 

😔  A renowned Jerusalem girls’ school came under fire for a March video in which several students donned brownface for Purim to dress as Mizrahi Jews. The Horev Girls School apologized for the video, which was made on school property with administrators’ approval, and said it was meant as a holiday parody. (Haaretz)

 

📷  Poland’s Jewish history museum unveiled an exhibit of previously-unseen photographs of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the 80th anniversary of which is next week. The existence of the photos was announced in January, after they were found by the son of the Polish firefighter who took them. (Haaretz, JTA)

 

😢  One Israeli died and dozens of others were injured in a tour-bus accident in South Korea. The bus, which was carrying 33 Israelis, overturned while navigating a bend. (Haaretz)

 

🕵️  U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the New York Democrat who is now minority leader of the House, has long distanced himself from antisemitic comments his uncle Leonard Jeffries, a Black Studies professor, made in the 1990s.Now, CNN journalists have uncovered an editorial Jeffries wrote in his college newspaper defending his uncle — who had made comments about the involvement of “rich Jews” in the African slave trade and blamed a “conspiracy” of Jewish executives in Hollywood for denigrating Black Americans in film — as well as Louis Farrakhan. (CNN)

 

What else we’re reading  Some, er, plausible explanations for why someone might collect Nazi memorabiliaAntisemitic Easter traditions are still practiced all over Europe … In Israel, a wave of religious women DJs is taking over the party scene.

SHABBAT READING

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In this weekend’s edition of our print magazine: A visit to YIVO with Ben Platt; a familial chat with the co-writer of A Rugrats Passover; and the translator of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, the book Evan Gershkovich is reportedly reading in Russian prison, weighs in on the novel’s contemporary relevance. Download your copy here ➤

ON THE CALENDAR

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Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. (Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

On this day in history (1917): Marvin Julian Miller, the former head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, was born to Jewish parents in the Bronx. Miller revolutionized the sport by introducing free agency when he led the union from 1966-82. He was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021 — but the ceremony was on Rosh Hashanah, which angered Jewish fans.

It’s National Pecan Day, and these Southern-style pecan macaroons are so good you should make them even though Passover just ended.

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Thanks to Benyamin Cohen, Sarah Nachimson and Arno Rosenfeld for contributing to today’s newsletter. You can reach the “Forwarding” team at editorial@forward.com.

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The post Antisemitism at a Massachusetts middle school + Evan Gershkovich and Judy Blume on Time 100 appeared first on The Forward.

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