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Chag Sameach! Eight Days of Giving (3)

Chag Urim Sameach! This year we are celebrating Hanukkah by introducing our readers to a new member of our incredible staff each night as we reflect on the work we’re most proud of from 2022.

We believe something amazing is happening here at Jewish Currents, but we can’t make miracles without your help. We don’t depend on venture capital to fund our work and we don’t accept paid advertising. Rather, it’s your engagement and support that makes the labor of our writers, editors, artists, and fact-checkers possible, and allows us to continue exploring the questions that are most vital to today’s Jewish communities. We’re excited to shine a light on the people behind Jewish Currents, to share with you exactly who and what you are supporting when you read, listen, donate, and subscribe to our magazine.

Alex Kane, senior reporter

Hi, my name is Alex Kane, and I’m a senior reporter at Jewish Currents.

I was hired last year as a reporter, but occasionally I find myself in a different role: host for our podcast, On the Nose. In that capacity, I’ve learned how challenging it is to effectively guide a conversation, which is why I’m in awe of my colleagues who have excelled in that role.

Ari Brostoff, our senior editor, recently hosted a discussion about Dave Chappelle’s Saturday Night Live monologue with a brilliant group of guests: Rebecca Pierce, Jasmine Sanders, and Sam Adler-Bell. Ari’s moderation set the stage for a funny and thought-provoking podcast that moved among such wide-ranging topics as comedic principles, the relationship between class status and identity politics, and how we should understand antisemitism today. It was the best thing I consumed on the subject.

I also appreciated contributing editor Joshua Leifer’s stewardship of the debate between Naftuli Moster and Frieda Vizel about the politics of secular education in Hasidic yeshivas, following the New York Times’s findings that students who graduate from New York City yeshivas without basic English or math skills risk being trapped “in a cycle of joblessness and dependency.” Naftuli and Frieda articulated two very different views about how to advocate for change in the Hasidic world, and Josh asked questions that helped the listener get a full picture of each position, while illuminating the broader contexts concerning the relationship between Hasidim and modernity.

Joshua and Ari—as well as editor-in-chief Arielle Angel, who has also moderated several great podcasts—host conversations that exemplify what I like about podcasts: They offer intimate, smart, funny discussions that inspire learning and enliven debate about nuanced (and often fraught) topics. It’s the kind of conversation you hope to encounter at a party, and something that I aspire to emulate when I host On the Nose.

To continue producing bold, challenging conversations like the ones Alex mentioned above, we rely on our community of supporters and subscribers. Please consider sustaining our work by making a donation or subscribing to Jewish Currents today. Our subscriptions also make great gifts!

As a small token of our appreciation for our community of readers and contributors, we are also offering newsletter subscribers 36% off of anything in our online store if you use the code GELT2022. Shop Jewish Currents gifts—like our tote bags, back issues, and special editions—for your friends and family (or yourself!).

Thank you for your continued support, and we wish you a relaxing and peaceful holiday season, no matter what you celebrate.