Dec 3, 2021 • 36M

Kim Schrier on What We've Done Right—and Wrong—on Covid

The pediatrician and congresswoman talks about those elusive rapid tests, vaccines, public trust, and finding middle ground in a time of hyper partisanship.

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Dr. Kim Schrier represents Washington’s 8th district. She talks with me about the good and the not-so-good of the government’s Covid response, what she brings to the other Washington as a pro-choice woman doctor, and where we can seek bipartisanship while it can be found. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!

Further reading and show notes:

Opening audio credit: NCW Life

“It Was Probably the Bravest Thing I’ve Ever Done,” Jewish in Seattle magazine

Roberts Searches for Middle Ground in Abortion Case, New York Times

Here’s Why Rapid COVID Tests Are So Expensive and Hard to Find, ProPublica


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I received a comment from Linda Seltzer of Redmond about ethnic studies in Washington schools. (See The Trouble with Ethnic Studies.) The following is a testimony she shared with the Board of Education regarding the role of ethnic studies in the classroom. Thanks, Linda, for sharing this with the community.

(1) I am concerned that enough information will be provided concerning how ethnic studies is being developed and decided upon in each school district. 

(2) I still need to finish listening to the video on your website. I am concerned about how Ethnic Studies, as discussed for public schools, differs from Ethnomusicology at top universities. This is the subject I want to give a presentation about. I view ethnic studies as a means for people to appreciate each other's cultures. I am concerned about how the public school version may be politicized.

Indigeneity / conquest is by far not the only paradigm of international or cultural relations in the field of ethnomusicology. For example, ethnomusicologists are aware that musical transmission does not always reflect politics. Musicians are affected by politics, but musicians have also had their own travel, migrations and cultural exchanges regardless of politics.  For example, the lute of Europe, the ud of the Middle East, the sarod of India, the pipa of China and the biwa of Japan are all related. Musicians traveled over the silk route and influenced each other. Before Queen Isabella expelled the Jews and the Muslims from Spain in 1492, Christians, Jews and Muslims were all playing music together in Spain. The Jewish form of this music is called Ladino music. People still perform it in the United States today. Recently an excellent group livestreamed from California. 

(3) Specifically, the term "indigineity" concerns me. The model of indigenous people invaded by foreigners is descriptive of the history of Native Americans and brutal conquests by Europeans. It may be applicable to China and Tibet. However, it is not applicable to many other cultures. I am concerned that a very persistent movement in the United States to destabilize and overthrow the Israeli government is appropriating the Native American paradigm and superimposing it onto Middle East policy. The Bible is clear that both Jews and Arabs are indigenous to various areas of the Middle East. It is also factual that about 700,000 Palestinians were displaced from Israel and 800,000 Jews were displaced or expelled from Arab countries since 1948. It is also factual that the majority of Jews in Israel are from the families that remained in Israel and nearby areas through the millennia and were not part of the diaspora. It is also a fact that Jews were brought to Europe as slaves by the Romans and other conquerors.  

The indigeneity model is also not transferable to India. Muslim invaders conquered and ruled India for centuries. There was a prohibition of the arts under Aurangzeb, but the Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan. As the centuries passed, Muslim culture became rooted in India. Carnatic (South Indian) music is almost completely Hindu, but there are both Muslim and Hindu traditions in North Indian music, and musicians from the two religions sometimes perform together. Both cultures have ragas and talas (rhythmic patterns), with musical forms starting with slow, unmetered music and progressing to fast music with a regular meter, the latter accompanied by a drum.  

How does the indigenous model apply to China, where, under Communism, Russian musicians ran the conservatories and replaced traditional Chinese aesthetics with those of Russian melody, harmony, rhythm and dance?

Indigeneity does not accurately describe the various forms of co-existence, migration and trade that affected music. I am concerned that the indigeneity paradigm in Ethnic Studies is becoming another front for the anti-Israel movement to promote its propaganda.

(4) My concerns are based on waves of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic disinformation (deliberate disinformation) that have occurred in the Seattle area in recent times.  In 2019, Ilhan Omar gave a speech in Seattle, hijacking an event for Rep. Jayapal with one false or delegitimatizing statement after another about her Jewish constituents (American Jews), such as a claim that American Jews don't have "actual relatives" in Israel. 

In 2020 the same organization that promotes the anti-Israel boycott movement launched a successful cyberbullying campaign against a Hindu member of the Redmond City Council, falsely accusing her of being involved in a hate group.

In the late spring of 2021, a photo of children in a war became the basis of an outcry against Israel on social media and by televisions celebrities such as Trevor Noah. It turns out that the photo was from Syria, not Gaza. But most people never learned that their outcry to end US funding of Israel was based on fake news. 

Through August and most of September, the Seattle City Council debated and researched a bill introduced by Kshama Sawant to end the so-called "Deadly Exchange." The original accusation, promoted by the Councilmember, was that The Seattle Police Department was being trained by Israel and that Israel influenced its response to protests in 2020. Only after weeks of council time and staff time and hours of public testimony took place, Council Member Lewis found that there was almost no communication between the SPD and Israel, and certainly no trainings from Israel since 2017. Therefore the entire effort was based on a smear campaign and a lie, a false accusation that Israel was training the SPD for its response to the riots in 2020.

(5) The man hired by the Northshore School District as a consultant for ethnic studies has a history of authoring anti-Israel articles. 

(6) References to anti-Israel opposition were found in the Native American Studies curriculum and had to be removed.

Community Announcements

Check out the Seattle Jewish community calendar and the virtual calendar.

This week’s parasha is Miketz.

Candlelighting in Seattle is at 4 p.m.!

Check out the preview for Loolwa Khazoom’s latest single, I Love My JewFro!


Mazel Tov to Emily Alhadeff on the Cholent reaching its first 100 subscribers! What a lucky community we are to have access to this rich, interesting, informative and educational content. —Nancy Greer

Cliff and Cathy Reiner Godwin and family wish the community a Happy Hanukkah! 

May Their Memories Be a Blessing

In memory of Tara Halfon Franco a"h —Melissa Rivkin & David Cohanim

Marvin Reiner of Olympia died May 28, 2021 at the age of 97.5, as he liked to say. 

He left behind his wife, Mary-Lynne Grossman Reiner, and four children, Cathy Reiner Godwin (Cliff Godwin), Cynthia Spencer (Ken Phillipson), Jeff Reiner (Sue White) and Wendy Reiner, plus 13 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. 

Marv was an Olympia and Aberdeen businessman for more than 70 years. In Aberdeen he grew a small surplus company into Reiner's Sporting Goods & Honda, which sat on the corner where tourists made the choice to go to Ocean Shores (straight) or Westport (left turn). Many of them stopped in to see Marv for a fishing license, a clam gun, wader boots or maybe a motorcycle! He sold the business to his son Jeff in the late 80s and "retired" to run Black Lake Trees, a Christmas Tree farm in south Olympia.

Marv was a staunch supporter of Judaism in both Aberdeen and Olympia where he served as president of several synagogues, as well as Camp Solomon Schecter in Tumwater. He was a Rotarian and spent much of his free time hiking and caring for his beloved trees. He was a graduate of the University of Washington and the University of Chicago (MBA), and an avid traveler, visiting Israel several times. He was very proud of his two grandsons, Josh & Jeremy Reiner, who are serving in the Israel Defense Force.

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