30 2022

Hate crimes, history and banning books: we're better than this-but are we?

10:45AM - 12:00PM  

This Federation event takes place at Knesset Israel 16 Colt Road
Pittsfield, MA 01201


Contact Jewish Federation of the Berkshires
413-442-4360 x10

Please note: Proof of vaccination for those eligible is required.  Masks are optional but encouraged.

Drawing on her perspective as a long-time journalist, editor, and novelist Ruth Bass will examine the timely issues linking the rise of hate crimes with the burning of books and the role of social media.  Although the manifestation of hatred through the banning or destruction of literature is not new, digital media creates new opportunities and challenges for the free exchange of ideas. Have these new forms of communication made information more accessible or do they ultimately attempt to restrict the freedom to read?  Is the impulse to cancel online really different from the impulse to burn books? And do both book burning and censoring electronic information lead ultimately to hate crimes?

This presentation will consider the question “we're better than this -- but are we?” and what we can do about it.

Born in Amherst, MA, a long time ago, Ruth Bass attended public schools, Bates College and Masters from Columbia Journalism School.  She became a reporter at The Berkshire Eagle, took 15 years off to raise children, and was later the editor of the Berkshire Sampler and, later, Sunday editor of The Eagle. 

She says she didn't mean to stay but fell in love with the arts and entertainment editor and was married 54 years until his death in 2014.  She is the author of four novels, eight herbal cookbooks. Besides editing Storey's Fresh from the Garden Cookbooks, Ruth Bass is also a columnist and features editor for the award-winning Massachusetts daily newspaper The Berkshire Eagle, and has written for other publications that include The Boston Globe, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Yankee magazine. 

This free program is part of the Federation’s Connecting With Community Series and will be followed by a kosher hot lunch. Lunch is a $3 suggested donation for adults over 60 years of age or $7 for all others. Advance reservations are required for lunch and can be made by calling (413) 442-2200 before 9 a.m. on the day of the program.