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Letters

Despite rising antisemitism, now is the time for a film on the crimes of Harvey Weinstein

‘She Said’ does necessary work of affirming survivors of gender-based violence and discrimination

Re “Did ‘She Said’ really need to talk about Harvey Weinstein at this particular moment?” by Mira Fox

To the editor:

In her recent opinion piece on She Said, a film that tells the story of the two journalists that exposed Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual misconduct, Mira Fox implies that people are willing to prioritize mitigating one type of harm over another. Unfortunately, the Jewish community has demonstrated a consistent pattern of identifying antisemitism as its highest concern and sexism as an injustice of much less importance. As two rabbis, we can say firmly that pitting one justice cause against another is the antithesis of Jewish values which teach that we are all equal. 

It is not anti-Jewish to expose the wrongs of a man who is Jewish; it is anti-Jewish to avert our eyes from injustice. She Said, both the book and the movie, is an engaging story but more so it shows how productive perpetrators — those who do much harm but also create much value in communities — are protected over their victims and are not held accountable for their wrongs. We cannot sacrifice educating the public about misogyny and gender-based discrimination, especially sexual harassment and abuse, out of fears of antisemitism. 

By claiming that we need to be careful not to publicize the Harvey Weinstein case, we replicate the undermining of victim-survivors and the denial of their experiences. With this approach, we are in danger of silencing victim-survivors who have yet to come forward with their truths.

As Jews and rabbis, we believe the whole project of Judaism is to better ourselves and humanity. To censor ourselves would be to fail this mission; to neglect our Jewish values would be to let the antisemites win.

— Rabbi Jill Maderer
Senior Rabbi, Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia

— Rabbi Mary L. Zamore
Executive Director, Women’s Rabbinic Network

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