June 24, 2002


JEWISH ELITISM WATCH: I've long been on record as saying that among the greatest threats to American Jews these days is our tendency towards elitism (I am working on an article to that effect, soon to be published), and no where is that more true than here in New York. It would be a lot easier for us to counter negative stereotypes if an element among us didn't spend so much time making them look true. Case in point: I attended services last Friday night at a West Side synagogue, and in the synagogue's program was an advertisement for a promotion a local car-rental operation was running, in which congregation members were invited to rent cars and a portion of their fee would go to a charity of the synagogue's choice. The first line of the item: "Summer is the time when all New Yorkers rent cars and get out of town on weekends." All New Yorkers? Maybe "all" well-to-do Jewish Upper West Siders who use rental cars to make a beeline to the Hamptons every Friday, but I don't think those Puerto Ricans in the Bronx who sleep 12 to an apartment, or any of the numerous out-of-work ex-dotcommers throughout the Village and Brooklyn, are all renting cars every weekend. And they're certainly New Yorkers too.

Posted by Stephen Silver at June 24, 2002 12:04 AM
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