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It Gets Better for Jews, Too
It has been one month since the suicides of ten LGBT teens prompted a national debate on the adverse effects of homophobic bullying in our schools. One of the more positive results of this dialogue has been the It Gets Better Project. Started by advice columnist Dan Savage, this initiative has grown rapidly through videos submissions, lectures, and rallies. The message is that–although it may be difficult at the moment–life does get better for LGBT youth and it is worth sticking around to experience it. To hear this statement from prominent figures like President Obama or Ellen Degeneres is powerful; for LGBT teens to know that they have allies in our government and media can give hope in dark times.
Yet where do the Jewish voices emerge in this dialogue?
E-Judaism and the Online Shtetl
Those of us who have a Facebook roster full of Jewish friends are used to it: “Shabbat shalom” status updates, photos of apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah, and viral articles or videos that are reposted ad infinitum (this week’s was Judd Apatow’s clip for the American Jewish World Service’s twenty-fifth anniversary). For many of us, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs are our main channels of news, particularly with regards to the Jewish world. Thanks to the Internet, the international Jewish community has become closer than ever.
At Sanity Rally, Sense Through Satire
In the weeks leading up to last Saturday’s Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, the media world was practically falling over itself trying to analyze, explain, and dissect the event before it even happened. Pundits were asking each other, what it will it mean for the midterm elections, what did it mean about the state of centrist politics, is Jon Stewart preparing for a political campaign, will it draw more crowds than Glenn Beck’s Rally to Restore Honor, and most importantly, will it be a success? Today, having almost fully recovered from being crushed morning ‘til night by 214,000 of my closest friends, I can unequivocally answer, I don’t know, I don’t know, I certainly hope so, and it seems that way. As for the rally’s success, the answer is yes.