Mar 7 2012
On Monday, I taught my weekly Jewish Thought and Culture class to adults at the 92nd Street Y. My subject was, predictably, Purim. We explored the historical context, the story, the celebration. But mostly, I used the Purim story as an example of Jewish oppression over the ages. How a personal antipathy (in this case, Haman’s towards Mordechai) can generalize to become public policy towards an entire group (the massacre of the Jewish population of the Persian Empire.)
We have many examples of how antipathy towards one or a small group of Jews takes on a life of its own resulting in prejudice, intolerance, and violence. Mordechai and Dreyfus, Jewish radicals and Communists, and the “Jewish liberal media,” all had profound effects on the entire Jewish population. We were lucky if we just got bad PR and didn’t get killed.
I was thinking about this a lot when one of my students asked me about the recent memoir by Deborah Feldman, Unorthodox. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 15 2011
Yesterday, we reported on a shortage of infant formula among Hasidic Jews. Last night, Materna, the makers of the formula, posted this on their website:
Please note: Materna formula is temporarily not available to ship. Orders will begin to ship again once the formula is available.
As the exclusive distributor of Materna to the USA we are working around the clock to resolve this. As the sellers of baby formula we understand the importance of our formula being available at all time, unfortunately we ran into some issues that are beyond our control.
Kveller just spoke to a representative of the Food and Drug Administration, who told us that
[T]he FDA issued an import alert to our field inspectors on Materna infant formula, which means that they may detain infant formula from Materna Laboratories that was produced in both Post Maabarot, Israel and New Delhi, India.
Further, they said that
The product can be detained without further testing or inspection.
It’s still not clear whether the formula isn’t being allowed in because of specific unsanitary conditions that developed or because no dairy products from Israel or India are permitted. Sit tight; we’re asking the questions.