Jonah Profile picture
7 Oct, 8 tweets, 2 min read
Followup thread: I’ve been talking to epidemiologists & health justice activists. Here are some tips to destigmatize Orthodox Jews, particularly Haredi (traditionalist Orthodox) Jews, & to address the greater COVID surge in NY, which includes some Haredi neighborhoods: [1/8]
1) Pay attention to unsexy risk factors like dense housing--Haredi Jews have similar lower-income & family size profiles to many COVID-vulnerable PoC NYC immigrant families & so need similar whole-family, community-partnered rapid testing like was piloted in Sunset Park. [2/8]
2) Religious extremism might not be the lede. Political context: Half the country is dangerously not masking. Only *some* of the BK clusters are heavily Orthodox--but *all* are heavily pro-Trump. As explained in this editorial by @LienaZagare. [3/8]…
3) People have gotten complacent & confused. Many in NY, Haredi and otherwise, faltered in mask & distancing this summer, & yet cases stayed flat or went down, & reopening continued. Educate the public on why cases are now rapidly going up, & why masking & distancing help. [4/8]
4) Educate yourselves. NYC’s “Orthodox Jews” are very diverse. Some are Hasidic, some not. Some use the internet, some don’t. Some speak Yiddish at home, some, Arabic, Russian, Hebrew, etc. Some complied w/ guidelines only early on, others until recently, others still are. [5/8]
5) Enforcement is a last resort--it stigmatizes & discourages testing & reporting. Haredim very reasonably fear backlash vigilante antisemitism. Test and tracing needs to work closely with community partners, have bilingual competence, and offer strong privacy protections. [6/8]
6) Build long term relationships with Haredi community leaders, activists, & health providers. Cultivate your solidarity against antisemitism. Invite solidarity back. Listen. Find the values you can live with, the ones you can’t, and the points of shared values and interests.7/8
Haredim have been branded/scapegoated as the face of the virus surge in NY. But cases are going up again across the world, & we need to learn why. Yes, Haredim are responsible for reducing their risky behaviors, w/ public help. And--this thing is way bigger than them. [8/8]

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More from @JonahNYC

6 Oct
It’s time to talk about antisemitism against Orthodox Jews, particularly Haredi (traditionalist Orthodox) Jews. How Orthodox Jews are getting blamed for the rise in COVID in NY, and why that’s bad for all of us. It’s time to destigmatize: Thread. [1/9]
First: Orthodox, particularly Haredim (traditionalist Orthodox Jews), *are* a stigmatized population. They are subjected to regular antisemitic harassment and violence. Last year there were antisemitic assaults throughout Chanukkah. They culminated in armed killings. [2/9]
This didn’t come out of nowhere. One Haredi acquaintance of mine told me last year, “I’ve had it good compared to others, baruch hashem. Only spit on a couple times, shoved and threatened at the subway, at the beach. Called names, sure. Nothing really.” [3/9]
Read 9 tweets
24 Jun
We Jews often wonder about antisemitism in liberation movements. Is it really there? What happens when it shows up? What do we do about it? It’s actually pretty simple. Of course it’s there (it shows up everywhere, Right, Left, and Center). & Here's what we do about it: [1/10]
When antisemitism shows up in our liberation movements, 1) We invest in long-term, mutually accountable relationships; 2) We call in, not out; and 3) We lift up the voices of Jews of color. [2/10]
Antisemitism is a violent, dehumanizing conspiracy theory that blames Jews for all our problems. Even worse? Every one of us has been socialized into some aspect of this ideology. It’s like racism or sexism in this respect: It shows up everywhere. [3/10]
Read 13 tweets

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