It is never pleasant to learn of a premature death, this time of Marilyn Henry, at the depressingly early age of 57. Notwithstanding her name, Henry was the wife of Teaneck, N.J. Rabbi. Marilyn Henry, journalist and reparations authority, dies JTA.org March 2 2011:
Journalist Marilyn Henry, an authority on German reparations and the recovery of Jewish properties looted and displaced in Europe during the Nazi and communist eras, has died… Marc Masurovsky, co-founder of the Holocaust Art Restitution Project, in a message posted on the website of the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art, called Henry "one of the most extraordinary journalists of the Jewish community who stood for the rights of Holocaust survivors throughout her active and dynamic existence." "She will be always remembered for her relentlessness, her tenacity, her love of all things Jewish... Masurovsky said.
VDARE.com readers will remember Henry with less enthusiasm for her raucous screech of triumph about an anti-Christmas court decision in 2009: Metro Views: A War on Christmas? By Marilyn Henry The Jerusalem Post 12/12/2009. I wrote in War against Christmas: Getting Serious of her
…celebration of the eradication of Christmas acknowledgement in American public schools, recently upheld by anti-Christmas U.S. Third District of Appeals in rejecting a suit by the valiant Thomas More Law Center. (See the Center’s comment: A Christmas Insult to Christians –Third Circuit Approves School’s Ban on ”Silent Night”, November 25, 2009). Henry...happily notes the Court paused to gloat that it was, in effect, legislating a change: The federal court acknowledged that ”those of us who were educated in the public schools remember holiday celebrations replete with Christmas carols, and possibly even Hannuka songs, to which no objection had been raised.” More importantly, she names her view of the stakes: the Thomas More Law Center referred to the federal court decision in the New Jersey case as a ”Christmas insult to Christians.” Had the decision gone the other way, we would be writing about a holiday insult to American Jews. We would? Is repressing Christmas necessary to show appropriate politeness to American Jews? Is that really a wise way to frame this debate?
Henry, it seems, saw Christian/Jewish relations as a zero-sum struggle for property and privilege. Ironically, one of Henry’s last columns for the Jerusalem Post was a complaint that her home of Teaneck is being overrun by ultra Orthodox Jews,( the ”Frum”) who are of course famous for their domineering intolerance — including towards other Jews:
It’s a very cozy place for the frum. The question is whether other residents — blacks, Muslims, Asians and Reform Jews — are comfortably at liberty to express concerns or grievances about the Jewish presence without being branded as bigots…. We are diverse, yes, but no longer the liberal town that resisted the rampant racial segregation of the 1960s and that made Teaneck such a welcoming community for an Orthodox flock.