Mah Nishtanah Ha-MaNishtana Ha-Zeh?

Hi, I’m MaNishtana, and it’s time for something new. Again.

Yesterday saw the unveiling of Jewnited Nations Magazine, a project I’ve been working on for a little while and so far has gotten a pretty good reception. And today I’m closing the doors on MaNishtana’s Musings, making way for my brand spanking new old site, Again.

Yep, it’s a little bit of a flashback to 2010, and there’s a reason for that.

I started my blog in 2009 to put my voice out there. And in putting my voice out there, in certain ways I became the de facto voice for everyone experiencing the highs and lows of JOC-life. For a little while, that was great.

When I moved from my WordPress to and made it a niche social network, there was now a space for people, in the groups and in the forums, to create their own conversations, a concept that was carried on into the later MaNishtana’s Musings.

But it was always the “MaNishtana” name slapped on the front. My voice was THE voice, it dominated everything, and everyone else was sort of just my backup choir. And that’s nearly as backwards as not having a voice at all. Because for all my well-meaning, I’m not the mouthpiece of every JOC in the world, nor does my experience mirror every JOC experience in the world. It was time for the voices of other JOCs to be…the voices for other JOCs.

And so JN Magazine was born.

Will I still be blogging? Yes. Right here. On my personal blog. Because, despite their resonance across the greater JOC continuum, they are my personal thoughts given my personal experience, not the end-all and be-all of all JOCThought everywhere.

But even moreso than that, JN Magazine, and the articles that I contribute to it, is about non-reactionary thoughts.

JOCs do need visibility, but “visibility” doesn’t always necessarily jive with “reactionary”. That’s just negative space that never defines what the space is. And I think it’s high time we defined what the JOC space is.

What we think. Not what we want other people not to think.

Because, crazily enough, we actually do have thoughts, opinions, philosophies, and ideologies that exist outside the context of “Hey, JOCs are this month’s flavor, so what do you think about THIS?” or “Hey, this White Jewish person said/did THIS stupid thing, so what do you think about it?”.

Our ability to feel some type of way doesn’t disappear when you’re not asking us anything, nor does our ability to write eloquently not exist whenever we’re not showing up in a “mainstream” Jewish mag to win them points on diversifying their color palette.

We don’t disappear just because you’re not looking at us.

But don’t be surprised when we’re looking at you. And don’t be surprised when we’re not.

And before I sign off I’d just like to give credit where credit is due, to the godfather of online magazines for and by JOCS, Kehila Magazine by Tali Adina. She blazed the trail already, I’m just walking through what she already cleared away. Check out an interview with her here.

Just, y’know, ignore the photo attached to that article. It’s a Hebrew Israelite congregation (of course unrelated to the actual content of the actual Black Jew being interviewed). So, yeah, we all know how I feel about those.

Anyway, check out JN Magazine. Feel free to write for it, even.

And come back here whenever you want a good ol’ two-fisted reactionary bitchfest. You know I’m good for it. 😀

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