The Trentonian published a letter from B'nai B'rith International President Charles O. Kaufman condemning the use of the anti-Semitic phrase "Jew her down" by a member of the Trenton City Council.
I am sickened to read that Trenton City Council President Kathy McBride publicly used the term “Jew her down.” The use of this word as a verb is worse than offensive. And for Council members Robin Vaughn and George Muschal to follow up by supporting the use of the phrase is a pure confession of personal ignorance. Vaughn’s pivot of “We really need to get a more acute meaning and understanding of “anti-Semitic” is political folly. Her own comment acknowledges “an acute sense of ignorance.”
Muschal completes the trifecta of hate speech practitioners by saying the phrase is a “statement of speech.” It’s nothing “vicious?” Well, certainly not to anti-Semites.
There’s much work to be done in educating the public about hate speech. It’s hard to imagine that such a void of understanding could possibly exist in these callous times, but it does. I hope these officials connect much better with their constituencies and vice versa.
McBride, Muschal, Vaughn and no doubt others may want to ask their Jewish friends about the use of “Jew” as a verb. They also may want to contemplate terms that are offensive to any racial or ethnic group. I won’t get into specific references out of respect for diverse groups and cultures. However, trust me, the use of Jew as a verb is offensive.
Please refrain from using this expression in the future. It’s embarrassing to anyone who uses it, and really shameful by elected officials of a major American city.
— Charles Kaufman, President, B’nai B’rith International
Students at Seton Hall University helped residents at two senior living communities dig out their cars after recent snowstorms.
The volunteer effort came through SOS—South Orange Seniors—who reached out to the Seton Hall University Division of Volunteer Efforts to shovel out cars at South Orange B’nai B’rith Federation House on South Orange Avenue and Village Apartments of the Jewish Federation on Vose Avenue.
Eight students showed up with shovels in hand on Saturday, Jan. 31 and on Tuesday, Feb. 3 to clear snow from residents’ cars in the communities’ parking lots.
The students enjoyed some warm-up time afterwards with grateful seniors over hot chocolate and cookies. The Seton Hall University volunteers were Jack Yang, Daniel Chemey, Sahil Trivedi, Alyssa Morrissey, Jenna Copperwhite, Marissa Hutton, Veronica Beck and Amanda Cavanagh.
In preparation for the 2014 New Jersey Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge, Mary Kate Donahue from Cherokee High School spent a month writing and illustrating her masterpiece.
The finished product, "If No One Was Different," won first place in the New Jersey contest, earning her a $5,000 college scholarship and her very first published title.
The Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge is an education and awareness initiative created by B'nai B'rith International as one of its programs that promote tolerance and communicate a message of equality among all citizens, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation. The New Jersey event was sponsored by Atlantic City Electric.
Speaking to the Burlington County Times, Donahue said that the story took about one month to create, from conception to finished product.
In addition to the scholarship and certificate she received at the B'nai B'rith Awards Ceremony, Donahue has also been honored by the Camden County Board of Freeholders, Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Borough of Avalon and the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly for her published piece.
Congratulations to Mary Kate Donahue, who was awarded first place in the 2013-14 Southern New Jersey Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge.
Her winning masterpiece, "If No One Was Different," embodies the purpose of the challenge: promoting tolerance and communicating a message of equality among all citizens, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation.
The finished product was a story that imagines life without variety, arriving at the conclusion that "you are you" for a reason. For her efforts, Donahue received a $5,000 college scholarship and held her first official book signing at the Stockton College Kramer Hall Art Gallery.
Here is a gallery of photos from the awards ceremony:
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