In late October, we received a letter: “In almost every conversation I have with young Jews on the left, I find that we are all currently struggling with the same question: What do we do with our families? How do we relate to our parents and grandparents or relatives who are supportive of and complicit in pogroms and genocide? These conversations are feeling fruitless. I’m going home this weekend to visit my family and don’t know what I’ll do.”
Around Thanksgiving, we asked listeners to call in and tell us about how they’re navigating conversations with their families, friends, and communities in this moment. What has worked in getting through to loved ones who are attached to a destructive Zionist politics, and what hasn’t? We wanted to know how people are managing these relationships or coping with their feelings about them.
On this episode—a collaboration between On the Nose and Unsettled—editor-in-chief Arielle Angel, associate editor Mari Cohen, and Unsettled producer Ilana Levinson listen to clips from callers describing the ruptures in their families, their attempts to repair relationships while sticking to their values, and their strategies for getting through to stubborn loved ones. We explore questions of when it is our obligation to keep arguing, and when it’s better to take a break—or give up completely. And we zoom out to think about what this moment says about the future of Jewish American institutional life.
Thanks to Max Freedman, Ilana Levinson, and Jesse Brenneman for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”