Showing posts from July, 2015

Kal Holczler and Voices of Dignity. Surviving Child Abuse In The Jewish World. (Full Transcript)

The following is my own transcription of the video, "Surviving Child Abuse In The Jewish World," by Kal Holczler and Voices of Dignity. - Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal
KH: I grew up in a town 40 minutes north from the city called New Square. It's a Chasidic, Orthodox, as extreme-it-gets Jewish group of people.

Narrator: The people of New Square are part of a Chasidic sect that originates from a town in the Ukraine called Skver. After the Holocaust, its survivors came to America to rebuild their community, and founded the village of New Square.

KH: When you drive through the streets of New Square, you'll see signs on the right and left. On the right there's a red sign that says "Freuen," which is "women."And on the left you have a blue sign that says "Maner," which is  "men." So men and women walk on two different sides of the street.

Just for people to have a context of how different from the community that I grew up in (is) …

The Fallacy Of Channeling George Orwell

"So I said, 'Think of me as a professional moron,'" I told my friend. "That's how you want to be remembered by them?" she said. "Oh, goodness." "Well that's what I said." "What do you mean, 'That's what I said?'  Now moron is your brand." For a time I thought it somehow daring to insult myself.  But then I witnessed people far, far more senior than myself doing exactly the same thing.   "Tell it to me like I'm stupid.""Pretend I'm simple.""Imagine that you're talking to your mother." By reducing a senior communicator to a less intimidating level, statements like this can help a subject matter expert improve their communication. Often, however, a dialogue about better words doesn't help anything at all. Because in some organizations, what seems like "poor performance" - including bad communication - is exactly what's required. Words that confuse, mislead, obf…

Has The Modern Workplace Become A Prison?

Today, you have to give up a lot for a career. But have we given up too much? Workers nowadays are routinely expected to do at least these five things for the sake of a job.  Be available outside traditional working hours, often late at night, sometimes all night.Tolerate harassment, abuse, and sometimes even behavior that would clinically be described as insane. Accept contract, part-time, on-call, temporary, or other impermanent arrangements so as not to face a loss of income.Socialize with coworkers, effectively eliminating their right to a life outside workplace scrutiny.Open their social media activities to scrutiny from their employer.All of these things impinge on one's right to a life outside the job. They impinge on people's freedom. Worse than that, people are expected to somehow pledge a kind of personal allegiance to the work that they do. You must "live the brand" - if you work at a Dunkin' Donuts, it's not enough to just serve donuts anymore. This s…

Jewish Sex Education

"Sit down, sit down!!!"
"Oh, what is that smell?"
"That's Newark, dope!!!"
It was maybe 10 a.m. and someone had opened the windows. The fumes from the chemical plants blew in, reliably.
"Good morning, girls." 
The year was 1986 and I was in eleventh grade. Our principal (a"h) was about to give us "the talk."
Woo-hoo! The room was rustling with excitement.
Maybe a little uncomfortable. 
It was hot and our skirts were too long that day. 
That kind of skirt is called a prairie skirt. It was popular back then - it was allowed.
It wasn't a revealing skirt. 
Like this. 
Skirts like this were a "no."

I would have liked to wear jeans. But we were not allowed to. 
"Do you know what comes between me and my Calvin's? Nothing."
Come to think of it I would have also liked to look like Brooke Shields.

Pants meant you were dressing like a man. 
"Does Brooke Shields look like a man to you?" I would som…

To My Sister Faigy Mayer, Who Wanted To Write A Book

Last week I had a dream. Is it okay if I share it with you?
In the dream my mother called me on the telephone. "Your sister killed herself," she said, and I said, "What? What? That can't be." I was in shell shock.
In the dream, I felt like screaming, "I can't believe she's gone, and what a wasted life."
Because in the real world my sister does "everything," but somehow "everything" is never enough, at least not in her mind.
It was 2:30 on Shabbos morning. I wanted to call my mother and make sure she was alive. I knew that was probably silly. But something seemed very terribly wrong.
So I stood up and went to the living room, just stood there, feeling a terrible sense of foreboding. It felt like blackness.
Less than ten days later, you did a running sprint off a rooftop bar in Manhattan. I found out about it yesterday morning, on Facebook. 
You did a 20-foot dive. 
And the people kept on drinking.
I did not know you, Faigy, not…