Editor’s Notes: Schmooze Issue 4

Steven Stein: Editor

Welcome to our fourth edition of Schmooze, the newsletter of the Association of Jewish Psychologists. The antisemitism happening at our colleges continues to get worse as time goes on. Separating legitimate protest from hateful rhetoric, verbal, and physical abuse and assaults, and deliberately violating rules of conduct has become a challenge for university campuses throughout the country. Let’s hope that administrators and legislatures are able to enforce campus rules that are already in place.

In this issue, we want to change focus a bit. As Jews, we have often identified with our guilt. Is it biological, learned, or cultural? Who really knows? I’m already feeling guilty that I may have offended you by not including your favorite theory of guilt. In any event, we can start the discussion with Simon Dein’s look at three prominent theories applied to Jewish guilt: psychoanalytical, theological, and cultural.

Ever wonder how to diagnose someone in Yiddish? I’m sure you’re familiar with some of the idioms, such as meshuggeneh or dreykop as David Shapiro describes in his article looking at how Yiddish has been used over the centuries to describe what we now see in the DSM. Some familiar – for those of you brought up in a home where Yiddish was spoken – or enlighteningly new terms – for those never exposed to Yiddish – will be presented in this well-crafted glimpse of psychopathology as bubbie used to describe it. Fortunately, David was astute enough to have paid attention to the Yiddish speakers in his household growing up and is eager to share his knowledge with members of the Association of Jewish Psychologists.

We’re also releasing the first call for grant proposals from the American Psychological Foundation Fund. If you have a research idea related to antisemitism that fits within their criteria, don’t hesitate to send it in.

As always, I like to include something on Jewish humor. You may be familiar with the infamous town of Chelm in Poland. I’ve been told it was actually a real shtetl. It was famous for the people there always thinking they were smarter than anyone else, but in reality, let’s just say they were ……. challenged. I won’t give away any more, just check out the video vignette by Andrew Silow-Carroll.

I’d really like to start receiving some book reviews from members. I know we now have about 950 members out there, mostly psychologists. I also have a very strong feeling you’re reading some interesting books. In the meantime, I’m recycling reviews I’ve written for another organization. This issue it’s one of Tuvia Tenenbaum’s books, The Taming of the Jew. As in all his books, he takes a light-hearted, yet sad look at how Jews are perceived in different countries and cultures. One could say he uses a raw, unfiltered, embedded journalist’s view of reality.

I’ve included the AJP Board approved statement on EDI. This has been a controversial topic, and we know our members represent different points of view on this. We respect all points of view, and we will continue to listen, but this is where we have landed at this time as a board.

Finally, I want to alert all of you who are still APA members to please support and vote for our own Dr. Beth Rom-Rymer for President of APA. Spread the word to all your colleagues and through your social networks.

Please send in any articles, letters, or information you want to share with our members. You can send them directly to me at steven.stein@mhs.com. (or do we have an editor@schmooze email address?)

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