In these extremely difficult times, we at Jewish Currents have been asking ourselves how we might bring our readers together into community, conversation, and relationship. Such community is, of course, not the only thing we need right now. There are protests, campaigns, and actions. But we know that wherever we go in the weeks and years ahead, we are going to need each other.
To that end, we invite readers in the NYC area to two gatherings next week. In the coming weeks, we hope to have more events in various cities across the US, as well as virtually. We hope you’ll join us.
The Uses and Abuses of Grief
On Wednesday, October 25th at 7pm ET, in Manhattan:
What role does grieving have in response to Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7th, and to Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza? How best to grieve Jewish lives lost, when such grieving can be utilized to justify Israeli war crimes? What constructive role might grieving have in our politics, beyond mere catharsis?
Join Jewish Currents contributor and professor at University of Illinois Chicago Raffi Magarik for an evening of learning, discussion, and reflection.
We will read biblical, rabbinic, and modern Jewish texts, exploring rich, positive accounts of the uses of grieving, while exploring the dangers as well. If we succeed, our learning together will also be an attempt to mourn together, on our terms. The learning will be in English and accessible regardless of educational background.
This event is for subscribers only, with two guests for each subscriber. (Subscribe today for as little as $2/month.) Snacks will be served.
A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Author Nathan Thrall in Conversation with Michelle Goldberg
On Thursday, October 26th at 7pm ET, in Brooklyn:
In the past weeks, as the violence in Israel/Palestine has escalated so terribly, we have grieved losses so huge that they can be difficult to grasp. A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy, a new book by essayist and journalist Nathan Thrall, renders the struggle over Israel/Palestine at the human scale by way of the heart-wrenching story of an accident that killed Abed Salama’s five-year-old son. Situating the personal narrative in the context of structural forces, A Day in the Life of Abed Salama elucidates the daily injustices faced by the roughly 3.2 million Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and details the painful realities of life in the region. Join Thrall in a conversation with New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg at Congregation Beth Elohim.