Checklist Judaism, Feckless Journalism

Publication Date: July 2009

Publisher: National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (U.S.)

Author(s): Andrew Silow-Carroll

Research Area: Culture and religion

Keywords: Jewish Identification; Jewish Values; Media

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


The author, a former editor of a Jewish weekly newspaper, reflects on his frustration with how journalists assess the "Jewishness" of a celebrity they are profiling. He asserts that there seems to be a checklist of vague, stereotypical qualities that seem to create the overall profile of a Jew. Instead of journalists probing their subjects to find out meaningful aspects of Judaism in the individual's life, they seem to only ask about where they celebrated their Bar-mitzvahs, or whether or not they went to Hebrew school. The author asserts that such checklist questioning undermines the true value and impact that Judaism has on one's life.