January 19, 2007

Itche Goldberg’s Dream For Journal Came True

The passing of Itche Goldberg should not pass without the following note (“Journal Editor, 102, Devoted to Yiddish,” January 5). The obituary for him in The New York Times contained this quote from the paper’s 2004 article on his 100th birthday:

“I only have two dreams. One dream is that someone will knock on the door and I will open it and they give me a check for $150,000 for the magazine. Second dream is that someone knocks at the door and I open it up and he gives me a corned beef sandwich. Those are my only two dreams. I’m not asking for much. Really, I’m not. And I think they’re both reachable.”

Goldberg’s first dream, more funding for Yugntruf, was realized through the generosity of my aunt, Ita Taub, who died in 2003. The following is from a Yugntruf newsletter:

“All her life, Ita tried to ensure, both spiritually and financially, the survival of Yiddish language, literature and culture. Without her help dozens of Yiddish books would have gone unpublished. Her ideals and memory live on in the generous legacy she left for the organizations whose goals she held near and dear.”

Focus on Both Genders

We agree with opinion writer Rona Shapiro that any focus on boys should not be made at the expense of girls (“The ‘Boy Crisis’ That Cried Wolf,” January 5). At the same time, we believe that conversations about gender should be about both girls and boys, and those conversations should enrich one another, not detract from one another.

Moving Traditions is interested in moving Judaism and the Jewish community to incorporate and reflect a more contemporary and nuanced understanding of gender — one that is about boys as well as girls.

We want boys and girls, and men and women, to be able to realize their full potential as human beings. That requires an exploration of what it means to function in all spheres of life, as well as our relationships, and the systems in which we operate.

With a more complex understanding of femininity and masculinity, Jewish communities could help all young Jews handle the complicated identity and responsibility components of what it means to be an adult in today’s world.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.
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January 19, 2007

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