Conversation bubbles and the Star of David

As a perpetual minority through two millennia of dispersion, Jews know a little something about dissent. They have not only differed from the majority religion but also sometimes been at odds with elements of the moral and political cultures in which they built their lives. Within the Jewish world, too, fragmentation and fracture have been as frequent as any unity borne of shared success or tribulation. The saying "two Jews, three opinions" may describe the characteristic that most unifies Jewish experience: the tendency to occupy, and sometimes seek, positions of difference and opposition.

"Cracked Voices" explored these dimensions of Jewish life, past and present, through six individual stories. The program highlighted those who have stood up to be heard, created alternative movements, or decided to go it alone rather than accept the unacceptable. Together, these stories did not cover Jewish history—nor did they sample from the most famous or influential moments of Jewish resistance. Rather, they narrated personal experiences in order to get at the full complexity of fracture: what dissent means to a single person or a community, what it costs, and what it can lead to.

Speakers included:

  • Sam Brody, Katz Center fellow and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of Kansas
  • Lital Levy, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Princeton University
  • Daniel Mark, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Villanova University
  • Keren Soffer Sharon, Mizrahi educator and organizer and Member Leader at Jews for Economic and Racial Justice
  • Eli Valley, Writer and Artist published in the Village Voice, New Republic, The Nation, and more
  • Carole Zabar, of the famed Zabar's family, photographer, prosecutor, and founder of the Other Israel Film Festival