On Tuesday night, I sat at the Livingston table for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s 100th anniversary. As I blogged a few weeks ago, the ADL was started to fight antisemitism by my great grand uncle Sigmund Livingston. The keynote speaker was his excellency Rosen Plevneliev, president, Republic of Bulgaria.
Part of the evening included a retelling of Bulgaria’s resistance against Nazi Germany during World War II, an effort that saved its population of 48,000 Jews. Bulgaria saved these lives, not by direct conflict, but through red tape dallying and eventually exposing Nazi demands to export the Jews through the American media.
This commitment to basic human rights in the face of the greatest evil and bully we have seen in modern times just stuns the mind.
Frankly, if you care about change, if you believe that people can make a difference, this sterling example of principle stands out. It’s what we live for, a beautiful testimony to what unwillingness to yield to wrongness can achieve.
Last week we talked about antisemitism, hate and intolerance, and this week Boston suffered a brutal terrorist attack, an act of hate. Then we witnessed the fallout online with the autotweet debates, which took some pretty uncivil turns. Today, let’s focus on beauty and positive action.
Every year I make the journey down to the tidal basin to visually record the brief yet stunning presence of the cherry tree blossoms. These are some of my more popular photos when I share them, usually marking the arrival of Spring
Today, you will find a collection of 10 of my cherry blossom photos from the past five years as curated by Jess Ostroff. Please enjoy their simple beauty.
If you want to go further and take action against hate, I’ve installed the Cafepress PressIt plugin, which allows you to scroll over any of these images, click on the “PressIt” button, and buy something with your preferred cherry blossom image. I receive 10% of the sale, and will donate all of my proceeds to the Anti-Defamation League, which per my antisemitism post, is a cause that fights racial intolerance, and was started by my great grand uncle Sigmund Livingston. To further incentivize you to make a purchase for tolerance today, I will match up to $1000 in proceeds.
Read More »Cherry Blossoms for Tolerance
Last week I received two off-color remarks about Jews. It didn’t surprise me, I’ve experienced periodic antisemitism throughout my life in the United States.
Perhaps last week’s remarks were spawned by my beard, a salty rabbinical looking thing that I usually shave. Maybe they had nothing to do with me at all. It really doesn’t matter what spawned them, they revealed an ignorance that’s existed through millenia.
I grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia called Glenside between the ages of 2-8. We were the only Jewish family in an Irish Catholic neighborhood.
Things did not fair well for us. Our cars were vandalized, a swastika was painted on our door, our house egged periodically, and yes, my sister and I were bullied ceaselessly by neighborhood children, our supposed friends, who teased and beat us regularly, turning trips to the playground into an anxiety ridden game of Russian Roulette.
Read More »Antisemitism in the United States
It’s what top bloggers and community managers say when they interpret criticism to be nasty and inappropriate.
In the case of trolls that deliver aggressive comments that border on threats or worse, you have to agree with them. This post is about the haters, the ones that deliver criticism in harsh ways that irks the recipient, but doesn’t necessarily equate to trolldom.
Brands and bloggers alike need to listen to harsh critics. Sometimes these people are right in spite of their methods.