One day last spring, I got a call from a woman I didn’t know, asking if I objected—as she did—to a work of mine being included in The New Jewish Canon: Ideas and Debates 1980-2015 along with works by men identified as notable abusers by the #MeToo movement.
In the year since the Harvey Weinstein case hit the headlines and the #MeToo movement exploded in every direction, I’ve felt increasingly distressed by the number of prominent Jewish men among the accused. Aside from the obvious names—from Senator Al Franken to conductor James Levine, from actors and journalists to Judge Alex Kozinski—one that particularly troubles me is scholar-macher Steven M. Cohen, the sociologist whose in-depth surveys have helped American Jews understand ourselves better, and who happens to be my long-term acquaintance.
The Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv recently announced a new play, titled It’s Me, featuring songs by popular Mizrachi artist Eyal Golan, bringing familiar social tensions back to the forefront in Israel.
Inspired by Jewish biblical texts and themes, the music also comments on a variety of modern American political issues, including environmentalism, women’s empowerment and LGBTQ rights.
In the Jewish communal world, addressing systemic harassment and abuse comes with its own complications.