Why I took my Children to Palestine: Raising Ethical Jewish Children in the Age of the Zionist Empire

this is how parenting is done. #class.

"And you shall teach this to your children"


Many Jewish families take their children to Israel to strengthen their children’s Jewish identities. I, as a Jewish mother, instead took my children to Palestine. Rather than touring the modern Israeli city of Tel Aviv, we toured the heavily occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Rather than going to Israeli resorts to float in the dead sea, we took infrequent “Arabic showers” where water for bathing is heated on the stove because fuel is too expensive to have continuous running hot water. Instead of going to the Ayalon Institute, a Tel Aviv museum of munitions productions from 1945 to 1948, we picked up the tear gas canisters and rubber bullet casings that scatter the ground in West Bank villages.

Why, as a Jewish mother would I choose this option for my children? Isn’t this a terrible choice for a children’s vacation and shouldn’t adolescent American Jewish children be shielded from…

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No such thing as bad publicity

So it’s 3am and I was watching some deleted scenes from the sixth season of Castle when all this occurred to me.

It’s funny, how publicity strategies can be so very drastically different. especially for television. For instance, Shondaland shows (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and the new How To Get Away With Murder) are notorious for keeping things to themselves. The new seasons for these shows all premiere next week, and NOTHING has been let slip from the writers room. Even with this lack of knowledge, their humongous fan base wait in anticipation to be left as emotional wrecks at the end of the hour (or 3 hours if you plan on watching all three shows). So this strategy obviously works.

Even on the same network (ABC), the publicity strategy is different. Castle has a sizable fan base, and they are offered more access than those of Shondaland. These fans are less oblivious, plot lines and sneak peeks are released regularly. The fans don’t know everything, but just enough to keep them interested. So far it seems to be working. Personally, I cannot wait for the season seven premiere.

Then there are shows like Arrow where the cast (mostly just Stephen Amell) tease fans on social network with set pics. This gives fans more access to the actor, but not necessarily the show. Seems more a tactic in placating the over eager masses. Still works though. Just head on over to Amell’s Facebook page if you don’t believe me. There is also The Flash route which is to just leak the whole damn thing months before the premiere date is even announced. To be honest, I don’t know if the leaking of the pilot was intentional or not, but I’d say it paid off. Spin offs don’t usually do as amazing as the parent show, mostly due to the heavy amounts of fan skepticism. But The Flash pilot was so freaking good, that I for one am super jazzed.

So which method works the best? Having a small slice of the cake? being fed breadcrumbs? total darkness? Just food for thought. I’ll leave it for the experts to decide. But the most important question is, which one do YOU prefer?

Leave a comment below, who knows, maybe a studio or network exec. might (for reasons unknown) come across this insignificant part of the interweb and heed our collective advice.

Kay. Wishful thinking I know, but still, feel free to sound off below :)

 Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder premieres Thursday, September 23rd and Castle premieres on Monday, September 29th, on  ABC. Arrow premieres on Wednesday, October 8th and The Flash premieres on Tuesday, October 7th on the CW.

Mark your calenders.

cousin, meet cousin.

So my cousin “Abe” texts me one day asking me when I’m going back to Bangladesh. I gave him my standard reply: “I have no idea”. There was nothing odd about that in itself, except perhaps that I had just gotten back like 3 months ago. I just thought my cousin was missing me (hey people miss me okay!). What piqued my curiosity was when he replied with “You have to come! We have to tell you what we did!”

I should probably tell you a little about my extended family at this point. Though the maternal and paternal branches of my family tree hail from opposite ends of the country, my maternal grandfather settled in Chittagong, where incidentally, dear old dad is from. bangladesh-political-mapThis makes family visits wonderful! Everyone together. So the 2 sides of my family see a lot of each other, even when we’re not there. Abe is my uncles kid from my mom’s side. Tess on the other hand, is my uncle’s kid on my dad’s side. They are in no way related. The only common blood between them is me and my 2 siblings. That’s it. I didn’t lead with that since it might have come off as semi-incestuous. Which it is not! I assure you. So yes. This is the story about how 2 of my first cousins (from different sides!) fell in love and decided to get married. Only one of society’s biggest taboos keeping them apart. Only.

Arranged marriage me!

So I’m planning to do a series on arranged marriages. Not just the superficial “its bad, we should stop it” but a more personal ride. This is gonna be a story about my cousin, and how the girl he fell for is at what society deems a marriageable age. So he lives in the constant fear that she will one day be married off to someone that is not him. You’ll also be hearing my inadvertent role in this debacle. For privacy’s sake, we will call my cousin “Abe” and the girl “Tess”.

Hopefully by tomorrow, since it’s 5am now and I have an 8am class tomorrow, I will have the basics about the story up. And then each update will be up with every new development.

Stay tuned!