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Podcast: The News on Jews

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Siddur, Jewish Prayer Book
A yad, pointer, rests on top of a Siddur, a Jewish prayer book.

Education is the key to preventing the cycle of violence and hatred” -Elie Wiesel

 

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported a 48% increase in anti-Semitic incidents between 2016 and 2018. In the past two years, the ADL has identified 6,430 incidents of extremism or anti-Semitism in the United States, with 35 of those occurring in Nebraska.

 


The Southern Poverty Law Center tracked eight hate groups across the state of Nebraska in 2018. Three of those were, specifically, neo-Nazi groups. In early November, vandals toppled and broke around 50 headstones, causing more than $50,000 in damage at Temple Israel Cemetery in Omaha, one of only six Jewish cemeteries in the city. With the continuously rising incidence of anti-Semitism across not just the US, but the entire globe, there is an increasing need to combat the hate, and, as Wiesel said, education is a major avenue to contest this. This sentiment is one objective of this podcast.

It is important to note, though, that these people who have a prejudice towards Jews are in the minority. A majority of the population does not regard Jews with antipathy. Therefore, the goal of this podcast is not just to educate in the face of discrimination, but, to do so, too, for people who simply don’t have a high degree of knowledge about Judaism. As of 2018, there were approximately 9350 Jewish people in the state of Nebraska, a majority of them living in Omaha and Lincoln. With an overall estimated population of 1.9 million people in the state, according the US Census Bureau, Jewish people make up just 0.5% of the population. So, realistically, a majority of Nebraskans likely have limited knowledge surrounding the religion. This podcast aims to break some of those barriers, one subject at a time.

 

Keeping Kosher or Can I Eat That?

For this bit of News on Jews, I delve into the complicated laws of kashrut, or keeping kosher, with the help of a few Jews.

The Mitzvah of the Mikvah

For this bit of News on Jews, I delve into the mitzvah, or commandment, of the mikvah and its process and purpose, with the help of a few Jews.

The (C)habits of Chanukah 

For this bit of News on Jews, I delve into the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, its origins, traditions and, most importantly, its foods, with the help of a few Jews.

B’nai Mitzvah: The Jewish Coming of Age 

For this bit of News on Jews, I delve into Bar or Bat Mitzvahs as a Jewish coming of age ceremony through conversations about both the services and the parties, with the help of a few Jews.

I am a senior at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln graduating in December of 2019 with degrees in journalism and sociology. Following graduation, I plan to pursue further education through law school or graduate school.