January 20, 2015
I have a piece in the NY Post today on the lunacy of testing 4-year olds for giftedness and then having that test decide their school for the next 9-13 years.
January 16, 2015
If you’re sitting next to my kids and me on an airplane, don’t expect chocolate or earplugs, my latest piece for Time.
January 5, 2015
This is my favorite article of 2015 and it’s only January 5th: Health Care Fixes Backed by Harvard’s Experts Now Roil Its Faculty
Come for the “For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar.”
Stay for the “In addition, some ideas that looked good to academia in theory are now causing consternation.”
November 19, 2014
I had a piece in the Post a few days ago on competitive parenting and it may be my most popular piece ever. It’s gone “viral” as the kids say.
September 9, 2014
I’ve got a piece in the NY Post today refuting the idea that family dinners are tyrannical. Yes, you read that right.
August 15, 2014
I have a piece in Time about how limited the world has become for Jews. I’m a big traveler but I have no interest in going to, and certainly no interest in taking my children to, places where casual anti-Semitism goes unchallenged. Looking at you, Europe.
August 5, 2014
I’ve got a piece in the Post today on how there is no more room for discussion on whether Israel should exist. It’s here and it’s not going anywhere. But the real point is this:
The fact is, Palestinians’ supporters do a disservice to the people they want to most help when they question Israel’s legitimacy.
The idea that Palestinians just can’t live next door to Jews isn’t a pro-Palestinian position: It makes them seem infantile, unable to accept a reality that, sorry, isn’t changing.
Giving hope to the far-out idea that Jews will simply go away, that Israel will cease to exist, does nothing but extend the conflict. The sooner Palestinians accept Israel, the sooner everyone can live in peace. But that means their supporters have to stop arguing for something that’s not going to happen.
August 1, 2014
I’ve got a piece in USA Today on being a Jew outside of Israel while Israel is at war. I was feeling hopeful when I wrote it but with the news that the Palestinians have captured an Israeli soldier this morning I’m back to rage.
July 22, 2014
Sunday was 36 years that I’m in America.
For those new to me or this site I was born in the Soviet Union. In a lucky twist of fate, and this is a sentence you don’t hear that often in human history, I was born Jewish. Everybody had it rough in the Soviet Union but Jews uniquely so. With religion banned Russians could still be Russians even without their church. Not so for Jews. You could take away everything that made someone Jewish, seize the synagogues, outlaw the customs, but still, in the eyes of the state, you are a people apart. Your Jewish identity, etched on all of your official documents, kept you from getting certain jobs or living in certain places. You would never be Russian- and in a place where sameness and assimilation was the law, this was a challenge. The lucky part of this unlucky-for-everyone situation is that across the world there were American Jews fighting to get us to freedom. In 1975, during the brief 1000 days Gerald Ford was president, he signed the Jackson-Vanik Amendment which used trade to pressure the Soviet Union to issue exit visas to Jews. In a blink, our situation at the bottom of the Soviet food chain was altered. We were out of there! See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya!
Except, well, things aren’t always that simple. In the time while you waited for the US to accept you, you were in a no-man’s land. It was bad being an “other” before, now there was indisputable evidence that you didn’t belong. It was a society built on the idea that everyone must have the same beliefs, belonging was key. It was tough then to be overtly happy that you were leaving, ahem, the worker’s paradise to go to that awful America where there was racism, homelessness, old people eating cat food! Friends dropped you, family who was staying behind feared you. Association with you could mark someone a traitor. Family who couldn’t or wouldn’t leave was left behind to likely never been seen again.
I try not to make these yearly posts too political, though obviously they sometimes inadvertently can be. With Russia and Israel in the news so much in the last week (if you’re reading this in the future, this was the week Russian rebels allegedly shot down a Malaysia Air passenger plane over Ukraine and Israel has launched a ground offensive in Gaza, this go-round beginning with three dead Israeli boys) I’ve been thinking more than ever about identity. I have a lot to say about both countries and their current situations but I’ve been writing and deleting my thoughts for three days now and my Americaversary post just doesn’t seem like the right time.
Identity is difficult for people like me. I was born in Russia but, frankly, I have no love for Russia at all. I have never lived in Israel but the homeland of Jews is very special to me. I want my children to be all-American while still teaching them Russian, the language of a people who hated me (and Hebrew too but that seems right). When someone asks me my background I say I’m Russian though, as I wrote above, I never was, and my father’s side of the family is from the Ukraine though at no point were they considered Ukranian either. It’s complicated.
I’ve written before about being among the luckiest Jews in history. There’s no doubt that it’s America that made us lucky. Looking around the world today I feel that more than ever. The theme in all of my Americaversary posts is gratefulness and I remain so thankful for the opportunity that made me an American (love you President Ford, mean it). The only people I consider luckier than me are the ones lucky enough to have been born here. Today that includes my two children who will never have any doubt about who they are, will never have to explain about places that don’t exist anymore or people they don’t relate to, will never feel anything but the Americans they are.
My American family:
Previous July 20th posts:
2003 (scroll down a little to July 18).
July 1, 2014
I have a piece in the NY Post today about the brief patriotic moment we just experienced around the World Cup. Shame it can’t last.
(I also had a piece last week about Dana Milbank, the lying liar at the Washington Post who invents stories and gets away with it.)
May 9, 2014
I’ve got a piece in the New York Post today against the idea that we’re “wasting” our lives on our phones.
March 11, 2014
I’m participating in an America’s Future Foundation’s discussion on “Economic Liberty Under a DeBlasio Administration” in NYC this Thursday, March 13, 2014 7:00pm-10:00pm. Come on by. More info here.
The Irish Exit
978 2nd Avenue, between 52nd and 51st
7:00 – 10:00 pm
Free Appetizers and Cash Bar!
February 7, 2014
Last week, I wrote this piece on the trouble with Sochi.
Now my piece seems entirely too tame.
January 17, 2014
I’ve got a piece in the New York Post today on the acceptability of envy in our culture.
I hear Rush Limbaugh talked about it on his show but I haven’t had a chance to listen yet.
Update: The Rush transcript is here.
November 27, 2013
Want to shop on Thanksgiving? I want to wear sweatpants and overeat so let’s not judge each other. My latest in the New York Post.
(I also forgot to link my “no, these Halloween costumes aren’t racist” piece in the Post from a few weeks ago.)
October 21, 2013
I’ve got a piece in the NY Post today about letting kids stand up to bullies. You’d think this was obviously something we’d allow. But you’d think wrong.
Follow me on twitter: @karol
October 10, 2013
I have a piece in the New York Post today asking the question on many a New Yorker’s mind: where were the cops during the motorcycles vs. SUV chase?
Follow me on Twitter: @karol