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ICYMI: Catch up with the Forward’s coverage of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death

We know many Forward readers were offline for Rosh Hashanah and may not have seen our coverage of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death over the weekend. So we put together this guide to the stories we have published — and some of our favorite Jewish stories from while the justice is alive.

Like most news outlets, we posted an obituary shortly after Ginsburg’s death was announced on Friday night. Ours probably had a little more Jewish content than most — noting, for example, that in 1948, 15-year-old Ruth Bader served as Camp Rabbi at Can Che-Na-Wah.

Jane Eisner, the former Forward Editor-in-Chief who interviewed Justice Ginsburg live at a Washington, D.C., synagogue in 2018, wrote a moving personal reflection about her death. (You can also watch that interview here, read a transcript here, and read Eisner’s 2018 essay about what she learned from doing the interview here.)

Jodi Rudoren, our current Editor-in-Chief, weighed in with an editorial noting that the High Holy Day season is an auspicious time to die, according to Jewish tradition, and highlighting Ginsburg’s approach to dissent and relationship with her intellectual opponent Justice Antonin Scalia as critical values for this polarized time.

We had a roundup of early reactions from Jewish leaders and celebrities.

J.J. Goldberg wrote about what he called Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s tragic mistake: “Her one great mistake was to overestimate her vitality and underestimate the national abyss that lay ahead. In so miscalculating she let her own needs, immediate and urgent, supersede a theoretical future threat that might unmake her legacy, undo the good she had wrought for Americans and threaten the future of American democracy.”

And a look at how some Jewish clergy quickly adapted Rosh Hashanah services to include special tributes to Justice Ginsburg, including Rabbi Angela Buchdahl’s Hebrew rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” with a slideshow of photographs (watch video), and Rabbi Marc Katz and Cantor Meredith Greenberg’s special “haftarah” putting some Ginsburg’s own words to the trope (watch video).

One of our contributing writers, Abigail Pogrebin, also reflected on her personal experience not only interviewing Ginsburg — for her book, “Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish” — but also turning that interview into a song for a musical (!), which Ginsburg herself enjoyed.

Talya Zax, our deputy culture editor, also had an insightful essay — starting with a face mask and ending with a commitment to hopefulness even when it’s really hard.

Rob Eshman, our National Editor, offered his thoughts on carrying forth the justice’s legacy.

Benjamin Ivry had a take from the cultural vantage point — yes, in recent years she had a rap-inspired nickname, Notorious R.B.G., but the justice was a lifelong opera lover.

Carly Pildis, who writes a Friday food column in the Forward as well as occasional OpEds, explained why Ginsburg was so important to millennial Jewish women, especially working mothers of young kids — like her.

You’ll be hearing a lot of Jews say of Ruth Bader Ginsburg “May her memory be for a blessing.” But what exactly does that mean? “The blessing implied is this: May you be like Ruth,” writes Molly Conway.

Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback, of Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles, shared his sermon about Justice Ginsburg on our Scribe platform for community voices.

If that’s not enough for you….

Of course, Ginsburg has been a frequent subject in the Forward for years. Here are some of our favorite older stories to savor as we mourn her death, celebrate her life, and brace for the fight over her replacement.


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