An Open Letter to Ivanka Trump

Dear Ivanka,

I wrote to you on this, the day after your father signed an Executive Order that blocks 134,000,000 people from entering our country.

On this, the day after your kids get to play in a playground, just as you did with your mother, an immigrant to America.

💞

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I ask, how can you sit idly by?

You can see Lady Liberty from your Manhattan penthouse. What do these words mean to you?

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I ask you as a human, as a mother, as a Jew; how can you ignore the words of Bana Alabed, the seven year old who beseeched your father to aid the people of Syria?

“Can you please save the children and people of Syria? You must do something for the children of Syria because they are like your children and deserve peace like you,” according to the letter sent to NBC News by Bana’s mother, Fatemah.

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On this, the day after Holocaust Remembrance Day, on a morning when you get to kiss and snuggle your three young children from the comfort of your home in Manhattan, or from your new house in Kalorama.

On this, the day when you go to temple to share and practice your faith.

New Year's Eve + Last Night of Chanukah

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What will you say to your children about their grandfather’s role in blocking the poor huddled masses from dreaming they could come to this great nation?

What will you tell them about their great-grandparents who survived the Holocaust? What will you tell them (in their father’s own words) about their great-great-aunt Esther who was killed in Novogrudok?

I write this letter as a woman, a mother, and a fellow New Yorker of Jewish ancestry who today feels powerless.

I write this letter to ask you, so close to the man in power making these decisions, is there not something you can do so that history does not repeat itself?

 

Thank you,

Stephanie

Why I Marched

A family friend recently told my dad that he didn’t understand why all of these people (not just women) turned out on Saturday the 21st in marches all around the world. Why are they doing this? Why is this important? Why does it matter?

It’s a great question, so here’s my explanation:

I marched for my children. I marched because I’m raising two boys and only recently have begun to understand that they will/could/may float through life on a cloud of white privilege. I want them to know that their parents are fighting for and believe in the rights of all people. That electing an immoral person into office is NOT normal and we will speak out against injustice when we see it. I want my boys to know that their mom is a fierce and proud feminist who is making it her mission to raise the next generation of feminists right here in this house.

I marched because after the election I was filled with despair, dread, and anxiety for the state of this country and our collective future. I marched because I knew there were many other people who felt the same way, but I wanted to stand beside them and feel some catharses in their presence. I marched because I wanted to be surrounded by positivity, and, for the first time since November 8th, I felt love and hope.

I marched because I wanted our elected officials to see and hear that their constituents are fired up and not going to stand idly by for the next four years. I marched because, as Aziz Ansari just eloquently put in his SNL opening monologue, I’m waxing nostalgic for George W. Bush. A man who I worked 60-80 hours/week in 2004 to not get re-elected. THIS IS NOT NORMAL! We can’t call it the new normal- that expression infuriates me. None of this is normal- we need to rise up and make sure that everyone we voted into office knows that.

I marched because in a few months I’m moving away from this beautiful city that I have lived in, or lived near, for the last 11 1/2 years. I bristle at the “drain the swamp” comments. I have so many friends who have devoted themselves to public service- who make 80% of what their peers could in the private sector because they believe in America and want to devote their careers to helping out fellow Americans. They believe in open government, in protecting our public spaces, in health care, in affordable housing. These are not just the ideals of the Democratic party- they are core American values.

I could go on, but I’ll stop there. This was a day that filled so many of my friends up with energy. With the fire they needed to push back on Congress. With the tiny inkling that maybe, they too, could run for public office. It’s a cliche, but with the nudge to be the change they want to see in the world.