Thanks to the generosity of our contributing writers, the engagement of our readers and, to some extent, the randomness of the universe, Nu?Detroit managed to publish around a hundred pieces in our first 100 days.
So far, some 16,000 users have found their way to nu-detroit.com, delighting (presumably) in more than 40,000 page views.
Nu? It turns out lot can happen in 100 days, both in the world and in the way we try to make sense of it. To mark this auspicious milestone – let's call it our Ten-Cent Centennial – we asked a hundred FONDs (Friends of Nu?Detroit) to pick their favorite piece so far.
But you don't have to take our word for it...
Here, in roughly chronological order, are some of the #nu100 recommendations:
"Seder on the Train gives a powerful example of another time (besides now) when we celebrated Passover under adverse conditions. This is why history matters!" –Risha Ring
"My favorite Nu? work is “Grandma Obama and Me,” which details Mark Jacobs’ extraordinary visit with President Obama’s grandmother at her Kenyan home. Mark steers us from away from the familiar to the extraordinary. – Kelly Goldberg
"A beautiful and insightful article about the healing power of words and pictures. Rachel Goldberg has highlighted books I knew and many I did not that remind us that the role of adults is to help children find the courage and strength to live in a world that is almost never child friendly." – Rabbi Aaron Bergman
"While I might be slightly biased, I love this article. It is honest and raw, not to mention creative and insightful. Thanks Benji and Gen Z for reminding us about how hard the teen years are, and that we were all there once. Love your insight on 'firsts.' Here’s to your first Nu Detroit article. Looking forward to many more. – Rabbi Marla Hornsten
"Of all the diverse, passionate, ethical, thoughtful, and fun articles on Nu?Detroit, this story about Aaron and the Photographer is the one I know will inhabit my heart for a long time. It's a simple vulnerable story of human connection and the transformation from strangers to friends. The second grade teacher in me reads it and sees many lessons and values to teach about, and the still pretty new transplant to Detroit sees an interaction I hope to have myself many times over in the year to come. Aaron, thanks for sharing." – Rabbi Jeff Stombaugh
“When I joined the Nu? Team, my dream was that we would be able to find and amplify the diverse voices of Jewish Detroit. Ben has always been a brilliant mind, but he has never been a published writer. This piece really resonated with me. When Ben talked about feeling like an outsider, it reminded me of how much we all struggle with being an insider versus being an outsider. Nu?Detroit is about reminding us – all of us – that we are both insiders and outsiders to different Jewish experiences and Ben’s piece exemplifies this.” – Alicia Chandler
"Read these side by side. Ellen’s piece provides historical background for Omarion’s mother’s powerful letter. And Omarion’s mother’s letter illuminates what is at stake if teachers are prevented from talking meaningfully about historical and present-day social, cultural, legal, economic, and structural racism. Bam! Enlightenment in 5 minutes. This is what I love about Nu." – Catherine Cangany, PhD
"One of my favorite Nu?Detroiters is Stephanie Steinberg, Executive Director of Coaching Detroit Forward. In her April 23 post Stephanie recalled how, during the worst of the pandemic, she and her team of 30 local photographers and journalists opened a virtual national journalism camp where young Detroiters could share their work with fellow storytellers from New York City, Jersey City, Dallas, Atlanta and Boca Raton. How could she not?
"'Storytelling is at the root of our religion,' Stephanie reminded us. 'My Jewish upbringing influenced my decision to become a journalist — and to help other young writers learn the power of the press.'" – Harvey Ovshinsky
"I loved the original version as a sermon and I loved the slightly modified version as an article. Rabbi Yedwab did something all-too-uncommon these days: he concisely and unambiguously tackled some of the biggest issues of the day – Israel, Civil Rights, Ecology, Women’s Rights and others. 'Rabbis cannot avoid politics,' he declared, stating that 'there are several areas where we, as Jewish leaders, must take strong stands.'
"That seemingly obvious point was courageous and I found it refreshing to see a prominent local Jewish leader have the guts to speak with such bold candor. We all need to hear more of that from our leaders." – Mark Jacobs
"I couldn't pick between these two – because I haven't been able to get either out of my head since I read them. Both hook you with a potential punchline (Maccabee table tennis/Faygo Red Pop, nu?). Then, just when you think they might coast on cheap nostalgia ... ping-pong-pop ... pathos. The power of place and the unexpected ways we carry experiences with us across decades and state lines."
"Roz Keith wrote a moving article about Stand with Trans, the youth group she founded when her son came out as transgender. Nu?Detroit is curating content that gives visibility and voice to every segment of Metro Detroit’s diverse Jewish community. – P.J. Cherrin
"Walking Mysteries: The Integration of Oak Park Schools by Mark Jacobs was especially compelling to me. I am not a native Detroiter, having emigrated here from points east at the age of 21. Consequently, I have no history with Dexter-Davison, Oak Park or Southfield. I didn’t go to Mumford or Central High School, or any college in Michigan. In fact, I knew no one here when I first arrived, Jewish or otherwise, besides my colleagues at Chrysler Corporation (remember that company?). Reading about the history of these communities through essays like this, I continue to find interesting and revealing." – Charles Paul
"David Lewis’s article on his baseball team and the catcher’s mitt brought back a time when youngsters grew up in neighborhoods, walked or road their bicycles to their friends’ houses or a park and didn’t need their parents to be involved in every minute of their childhood." – Robert Brown
"I'm really enjoying hearing about Jewish Detroit through the lens of different ex-pats. This one in particular was such a stupendous flash back to a simpler time – just loved it!" – Daniella H. Mechnikov
"I very much enjoyed reading Professor Lupovitch’s articles We are All Kaplanites: Parts I and II. Professor Lupovitch’s homage to Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan was well argued and illustrated in a warm history of our people’s evolution here in the U.S. I am so proud to be a member of the Jewish Diaspora community in the United States. What great contributions we have made to this country! Thank you Rabbi Kaplan and Professor Lupovitch for guiding and educating us. – Seth Gould
"As a fan of both Prof. Howard Lupovich and Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, z”l, I thoroughly appreciated Dr. Lupovich’s great two-part post on Rabbi Kaplan. I have taught Kaplan’s version of humanism for many years. When I do so in the future I will absolutely include this wonderful introduction to one of the most compelling figures in modern Jewish history." – Rabbi Jeffrey Falick
"Rabbi Bergman reminded us that children face the same tough world we do despite our attempts to shelter them and deserve credit for navigating it. We can all do our children a service by acknowledging their worries, fears and traumas, and help them process those rather than sweep them under the rug. Sendak/Bergman for the win!" – Joyce Krom
"As a high school history teacher, I try to emphasize to my students that historical figures are complicated and this story does a lovely job of illustrating this. We want to celebrate Detroit's first Jew, but what if he's a slaveholder? I also love learning about the Jewish history of Detroit. – Ben Salba
"Cogent, persuasive, impactful liberal Pro-Israel voices are getting harder and harder to find. Thankfully, Mark Jacobs has one of those. This is the article that got me hooked on Nu?Detroit. It spoke to the moment perfectly….indeed cogently, persuasively and impactfully. Kol haKavod! – Rabbi Paul Yedwab
"Senator Jeremy Moss is a great writer and speaker. He is also one of the most effective legislators in Lansing. This article is about just one example (out of too many to count) of his hard work and advocacy in Lansing. I am honored to call Jeremy Moss my Senator, and more importantly, my friend." – Robert Wittenberg
"I really enjoyed reading Gates & Doorposts, which started by exploring the relationship of working in the nonprofit sector and Judaism...a concept that I have often reflected on and can strongly relate to. However, I truly appreciated how Yehuda's writing took a deeper look at how Judaism leads to social justice work in an effort to live in a world based on an interconnected society." – Rachel Klegon
"Activists are horrible at marketing! We tend to berate people into social justice, rather than inviting folks in by sharing the pleasures of doing this work. I love Beth's piece because she shows us that while learning about injustice is painful, it also opens up the possibility of deeper community and renewed joy." – Rabbi Alana Alpert
"Beth reminds us that when we challenge ourselves and our surroundings, we progress as a people. It is our great honor to have Beth as a member of the Coalition for Black and Jewish Unity, and I am thankful to Nu?Detroit for creating a place where voices are heard." -- Ashira Solomon
"The article that stayed with me was by Lindsay Madison entitled Choosing the Chosen People. She spoke of her deep and abiding connection to Judaism, despite her family’s connections to another faith. She felt her Jewish-ness in her kishkas and took it upon herself to choose what so many of us never had to: to choose Judaism.
"I often reflect on how I marvel, and sometimes even envy, the enthusiasm of people who convert to Judaism. Their thirst for knowledge, excitement to participate in ritual and community are palpable and moving. I think it is easy for those of us who were fortunate enough to be born Jewish to forget to choose Judaism every, single, day. Lindsay reminded me of that I too have a choice. We all have a choice. I think she reminded each of us that we should all choose Judaism every day." – Rabbi Jennifer Kaluzny
"I loved it because I knew Dave, though not well.I learned more about him through Ben's words.I loved imagining Joe reading this andremembering it all through smiles and tears." – Debra Darvick
"Where does one get said 'game-board rotating table'?" – Ted Cohen
"I really liked Eli Newman's piece on Gabe Leland. Eli knows Detroit city government inside and out, and Nu gave him an opportunity to channel that knowledge into a meaningful, thoughtful introspective piece on Jewish identity in the city and in the highest halls of local power. Where else could one have such an opportunity?" – Andrew Lapin
"This piece by Eli Newman was a powerful indictment of of a corrupt politician and an espousal of Jewish values. Very glad it was published." – Aaron Mondry
"I really connected with Eli Newman's essay on covering former Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland. I've been thinking about the Jewish community's history with the city of Detroit lately, as events like Leland's transpired or my classmates move into the city. It's comforting to know that other young Jews are thinking about similar questions of legacy and tribe." – Maya Goldman
"The Kosher Sex collection is one of my favorites on the site. It is amazing that Nu?Detroit can create a space for Jewish topics that might be considered to racy for most traditional media. I think that’s what makes N?D so special, and what keeps me coming back for more." – Sam Appel
"I identified with the writer's perspective on her parenting approach to adjusting to the new normal. As parents, we need to make the best decisions based on the information we know at the time." – Jodi Gross
"The joy is contagious. Each one speaks to something that is both personal and relatable. I can't wait to read more (hint hint)." – Ellen Cogen Lipton
"There have been so many fantastic pieces written for Nu?Detroit by an array of smart, prescient, witty and thoughtful authors. I chose this essay by Rabbi Aaron Bergman because he put into words some of my discomfort with Maurice Sendak's work...only now I realize that it wasn't discomfort I was feeling but strained familiarity.
"When my kids were little, we read In The Night Kitchen incessantly. As much as they loved it, I struggled with the nightmare them and the Oliver Hardy- or Hitler-like characters. Rabbi Bergman explains this as Sendak's way of recognizing the Holocaust and the reality that, sometimes, the world is scary. Thankfully, in our family and In The Night Kitchen, love prevailed and everyone went to bed safe and sound." – Wendy Rose Bice
"What’s not to like about this?! It’s about the iconic Maurice Sendak (and not just highlighiting his 'blockbuster'), by the brilliant and prolific Aaron Bergman, tangentially addresses Jewish issues, and has the word “Dangerouser” in its title." – Perry Ohren
"When I first started in public radio, Travis Wright showed me the ropes. He's always made it clear that art and politics are intrinsically connected.
"Wright meditates on what he knows best in this piece, exposing the fissures of our most storied institutions by dismantling the iconography surrounding our everyday lives. Public art always has something to say about the most significant issues of our time. When it comes to millages and murals, there's personal accountability on what that message is." – Eli Newman
"I have so many great memories from the Landmark Main Art theater and I was terribly sad to see it go. I am glad Nu?Detroit was able to highlight this." – Mitchell Barnett
"The arts in Detroit are so important – it's sad to see theaters close in Metro Detroit and it was nice to have this one remembered." – Paul Thomas, MD
"As a recent convert to the Jewish faith, I am always on the lookout for, shall we say more 'seasoned' Jews whose example I can follow. Reading this piece that highlights the way Representative Levin has advocated for peace, without dismissing the difficult realities we face, provided another exemplar I can look to. – Lindsay Madison
"Refreshingly honest and precise framing of an issue so many of us still don't know how to talk about it." – Zak Rosen
"I couldn't agree more with Hayley in her choice to lift up Andy Levin as a leader who represents our Jewish Values as he fights for equity and dignity for ALL." – Beth Goldstein
"This was a beautifully written article that asked poignant questions. I can appreciate her challenge in asking questions that can also feel like she is betraying her faith and community. This is a challenge many face in a variety of different contexts." – Albiona Rakipi
"I enjoyed Steve Cash’s story. Although the subject was serious, he managed to maintain a sense of humor, which we all need more of in this crazy world." – Howard Dembs
"In today’s rapidly changing world, we can either obsess about things we are uncomfortable with or resistant to, or we can be dynamic contributors to the reality we face and the sensibilities of the new generation. That doesn’t mean agreeing with everything, but we need to pick our battles and fight for the things that are really important- for all generations and for generations to come. Mark – with his beautiful wife Linda on the cover picture – demonstrates in this humorous but serious article that those of us over 40 (and 50…) can be part of a contemporary conversation if we just learn to 'Deal with it!'" – Asher Lopatin
"To the point, well written and engaging." – Hannan Lis
"Do All Jews Go to Camp? NO. My mom asked if I wanted to go, and I said no. Dirt, water, heat, bugs, dirty toilets, ugh. A pro-camp friend of hers kept pushing. My mom said, “she doesn’t want to go and that's it!” My daughter went to Interlochen for a couple of summers, and I think some of the sand is STILL in my house after ten years. It has always been hard for me to believe that a people who spent 40 years wandering in the desert would want to do it again." – Cindi Brody
"Nu?Detroit has been a delightful addition to my reading. It is the only entity that features great local writers on varying topics including Israel, race relations, current events, Jewish history, and personal reflections. I love Mark Jacobs’ pragmatic optimism, Ben Falik’s witty, unique style, and our knowledgeable historians Catherine Cangany and Howard Lupovitch. Looking forward to more of the same." – Jeannie Weiner
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