What will the new year bring?
Sadly, we do not have a crystal ball here at Unpacked, but after working in the Jewish media space in 2021 we picked up on a few trends.
We got together as a team to write down our ideas for the year. Here’s what are we paying attention to and what we expect to see in 2022.
Rise in antisemitism
A fraternity house at GW was broken into & vandalized. Their replica Torah was ripped apart & had detergent poured over it. Then this happened:♬ Runaway by Kanye Piano – Henry Cantu
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we expect antisemitism to continue its rise in 2022. In fact, a rise is so certain Israel actually budgeted for it. Nearly every statistic released in 2021 pointed to rampant antisemitic activity and there is no indication that it will stop in 2022. Already this year in New York visibly Jewish people have been attacked in the streets and a top tech CEO in Utah had to resign for emailing out a manifesto blaming the Jews for the pandemic. It’s not going to get better in 2022 and that should concern everyone.
The rise in antisemitism should worry us all because it’s a sign of an intolerant society and a broader license to hate. By joining forces and supporting each other, we can work to fight it.
-John Kunza, Publisher
Self-Care for the Jews
It’s exhausting to be a Jew [online] right now. We spent most of 2021 shouting into the void that we didn’t feel safe, that antisemitism was rising in a big way. After a year like that, Jews are feeling burnt out and are hungry for lighter, supportive content. Content that makes them feel proud and connected to their Judaism/Jewish heritage, not alone and afraid.
– Abigail Ellis, Social Media Manager
How will media outlets portray Israel?
I think 2021 was a watershed year in terms of how Israel is portrayed in the news and on social media. In May, when fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas, many celebrities were highly critical of Israel and took to various platforms to share their views. For example, Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show,” dedicated nearly nine minutes of the popular show to the subject, and argued that Israel and Hamas are morally equivalent, despite the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization that fires rockets indiscriminately at Israelis.
A few months later, when Ben & Jerry’s announced that it was withdrawing ice cream sales in the West Bank, the popular podcast host Joe Rogen observed the “shift” in public perceptions of Israel, adding his own perspective:
“It was always that Israel is the good guys and the Palestinians are the bad people,” he said. “The mainstream perception now has very much shifted…This is kind of a crazy situation. One side has this insane technology, and the other side is kind of in an open air prison camp, in a way, like you can’t go anywhere.”
In 2022, I’ll be watching how the conversation on Israel continues to unfold in media. Will more celebrities and influencers express intense criticism of Israel, or will we see a courageous backlash to this and more voices for real, genuine peace between the two sides? I’m hoping it will be the latter.
-Sara Himeles, Editor
Bonus: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The last season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” graced our TV screens before Covid started (i.e. an eternity ago), so this is a “trend” I will be literally watching in 2022. Season 4 is scheduled to be released on February 18, and based on the trailers, it looks like this will be the same kind of diversion that we have come to love and expect from the show.
According to the brief plot synopsis released by Amazon Prime, Season 4 will focus on the ongoing tension between Midge’s career and relationships: “Season 4 begins in 1960, and looking to hone her act, Midge finds a gig with total creative freedom, but her commitment to her craft creates a rift between her and her loved ones.” After two years of a pandemic and quarantining, the return of the costumes, humor, excitement and wit of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and the period of the 1960s is something I’m looking forward to in 2022.
-Sara Himeles, Editor
Originally Published Jan 9 2022 01:47PM EST