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Antisematism, hate crimes, and an apology – emailד sent at Rutgers university

 Wendsday, May 26, 17:36

Dear Rutgers–New Brunswick Community, We are saddened by and greatly concerned about the sharp rise in hostile sentiments and anti-Semitic violence in the United States.  Recent incidents of hate directed toward Jewish members of our community again remind us of what history has to teach us.  Tragically, in the last century alone, acts of prejudice and hatred left unaddressed have served as the foundation for many atrocities against targeted groups around the world.    Last year’s murder of George Floyd brought into sharp focus the racial injustices that continue to plague our country, and over the past year there has been attacks on our Asian American Pacific Islander citizens, the spaces of Indigenous peoples defiled, and targeted oppression and other assaults against Hindus and Muslims. Although it has been nearly two decades since the U.S. Congress approved the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act, the upward trend of anti-Semitism continues.  We have also been witnesses to the increasing violence between Israeli forces and Hamas in the Middle East leading to the deaths of children and adults and mass displacement of citizens in the Gaza region and the loss of lives in Israel.  At a time when the ravages of the pandemic and the proliferation of global conflict are leading to death, destruction, and ethnic strife, the university stands as a beacon of hope for our community.  We have the opportunity amidst the turmoil to serve as a model for institutions that respect and value the dignity of every human being. This recent resurgence of anti-Semitism demands that we again call out and denounce acts of hate and prejudice against members of the Jewish community and any other targeted and oppressed groups on our campus and in our community.  Our commitment to creating a safe learning environment that is inclusive of difference requires that we hold ourselves and each other accountable for our behaviors.  Therefore:We call out all forms of bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, xenophobia, and oppression, in whatever ways they may be expressed.We condemn any vile acts of hate against members of our community designed to generate fear, devalue, demonize, or dehumanize. We embrace and affirm the value and dignity of each member of our Rutgers community regardless of religion, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender, and ability.  If you have been adversely impacted by anti-Semitic or any other discriminatory incidents in our community, please do not hesitate to reach out to our counseling and other support services on campus.  Our behavioral health team stands ready to support you through these challenging times.  In addition, our Student Affairs Office is already working in close partnership with leaders of the Rutgers Jewish community, and meetings have been held with students to assess and respond to their needs. If you are aware of hate incidents on campuses or places that have been made unsafe due to expressed bigotry and other unacceptable and insensitive acts, please report them using the bias reporting system.   Although we face many challenges and may have differing perspectives, we must condemn acts of violence and all forms of bigotry.  We will continually strive to realize the aspiration embodied in President Holloway’s articulation of a vision for Rutgers as a ‘beloved community’—a community where we welcome and affirm humanity and find strength in our diversity.

 Sincerely, Christopher J. MolloyChancellor Francine ConwayProvost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs 
Thursday, May 27, 18:50
Dear Rutgers–New Brunswick Community,
 
We are writing today as a follow-up to the message sent on Wednesday, May 26th to the university community. We understand that intent and impact are two different things, and while the intent of our message was to affirm that Rutgers-New Brunswick is a place where all identities can feel validated and supported, the impact of the message fell short of that intention. In hindsight, it is clear to us that the message failed to communicate support for our Palestinian community members. We sincerely apologize for the hurt that this message has caused.  
 
Rutgers University-New Brunswick is a community that is enriched by our vibrant diversity. However, our diversity must be supported by equity, inclusion, antiracism, and the condemnation of all forms of bigotry and hatred, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. As we grow in our personal and intuitional understanding, we will take the lesson learned here to heart, and pledge our commitment to doing better. We will work to regain your trust, and make sure that our communications going forward are much more sensitive and balanced. 
 
Our goal of creating a beloved community will not be easy, and while we may make mistakes along the way; we hope we can all learn from them as we continue this vital work together. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Christopher J. Molloy
Chancellor, Rutgers University­­­-New Brunswick
 
Francine Conway
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
 
Tuesday, May 29, 2021, 12:43
 
Rutgers deplores hatred and bigotry in all forms. We have not, nor would we ever, apologize for standing against anti-Semitism.
 
Neither hatred nor bigotry has a place at Rutgers, nor should they have a place anywhere in the world. At Rutgers we believe that anti-Semitism, anti-Hinduism, Islamophobia, and all forms of racism, intolerance, and xenophobia are unacceptable wherever and whenever they occur. 
 
Jonathan Holloway
President and University Professor

Never forget your reusable shopping bags again – How to.

Beach art made of plastic debris (Bonaire, 2013)

I am, and many of my friends are, thinking about plastic pollution and the cost to the environment of one-time-use plastic shopping bags and what we can do to reduce their use. So we have reusable bags, and we keep them in the car… but when we go to the store we forget to take them with us… Many times I walked back to the car to fetch the bags I forgot… And I know I am not alone. In a recent survey about plastic use in my town (East Brunswick NJ) 85% of those who are concerned about plastic pollution use disposable plastic bags because they forget to take the reusable bags with them to the store.

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My solution – reminders on the phone. Reminders to remember the bags, reminders that go off at a location such as the supermarket’s parking lot.

Here is how: Set up a reminder on your phone ‘DON’T FORGET SHOPPING BAGS’ and chose the option ‘remind me at a location‘. Chose your favorite food store as the first location. Duplicate this reminder for other stores – Target, Walmart, Costco, etc. – you shop at. Voila! your phone will alert you when you approach the store and remind you to take shopping bags with you.

Let me know in a comment if this works for you!

Kelly’s Power Bars (aka Granola Bars)

In a food processor combine and mix:

0.5 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

0.75 cup butter or margarine

add:

1 egg

0.25 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend well.

In a bowl mix:

pinch salt

3 cups oats

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

Blend dry ingredients with the wet mix.  Add half a bag of chocolate chips. Stir together.

Spread into a 9×13″ oiled pan. Bake 20-25 minute at 350F.

Notes – I only use a total of 1 cup of sugar and whole wheat flour. I blend the wet ingredients in the food processor and add the dry ingredients directly into the food processor to mix together. I add nuts (pecans are really good) and seeds.