Life, Judaism and Fighting Antisemitism with Bari Weiss

In this video, learn from Bari Weiss, former staff writer and editor for the Opinion Section of The New York Times, who has become one of the loudest voices in the fight against antisemitism. Tragically, antisemitism, which she calls a “thought virus” hit close to home in 2018 when 11 Jews were murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh; the synagogue where Weiss celebrated her Bat Mitzvah. Weiss is the author of the 2019 book How to Fight Anti-Semitism. The Jerusalem Post named her the seventh most influential Jew in the world and she regularly appears on The View, Morning Joe and Bill Maher. In this episode of Game Changers, we speak to Weiss and learn from someone who knows how to survive and fight antisemitism. After watching the video, use the prompts below to learn more and get your students thinking.

  • Review
  • Discussion
  • Activities
  • Reflection
  • Further Learning
  1. Weiss says that the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue (her childhood synagogue) woke her up from a “holiday from history.” What is a holiday from history? What are some suggestions to becoming active participants rather than passive observers in history?
  2. In the Game Changers episode, Weiss explains the different kinds of antisemitism that exist. What is the value in articulating different types of antisemitism?
  3. Weiss writes that the Coronavirus preys on the Jews’ biggest strength which is community and togetherness. Do you agree with her assessment about community and togetherness being the Jewish people’s greatest strengths? What else would you list?
  4. When asked the best way to combat antisemitism, Weiss argued for Jewish pride. Why is fostering Jewish pride a key ingredient in the battle against antisemitism?
  5. In the interview, Weiss used the analogy of a virus to describe anti-emitism, one that the world is not inoculated against. What analogy would you use to describe antisemitism? Have you ever been affected by antisemitism in your own life?
  1. In this episode of Game Changers, Bari Weiss shares a photograph of herself that holds special significance to her. The photograph depicts her family at a rally to free Soviet Jewry when she was a young girl. Weiss explains that this photo taught her to always “walk the walk” when standing up for what she believes in. Find a photograph of your own that is significant to you that reminds you to “walk the walk” and stand up for what you believe in.
  2. When asked to tell the Jewish story in one sentence, Weiss said “the story of a people born into slavery who showed the world the power of human freedom and dignity and the ability to renew, revive and rebuild.” Create your own one sentence summary of the Jewish story and share it with the group.
  3. Weiss’s advice to young writers and journalists is to think about what they are uniquely suited to write about. Reflect on this idea. What are you uniquely situated to write about?

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