Hello, I'm Howard Lovy
Hello, and welcome to my newsletter! Thank you for subscribing. Many of you know me only from my Twitter feed, where I post my opinions about Jewish issues, a subject I’ve been writing about all my life.
But why should you read, or listen to, anything I have to say? It’s a good question. I’ll give you a brief bio, with links, and you can decide for yourself.
I am a descendant of the Maharal of Prague, Rabbi Judah Loew, who took a lump of clay and created the legendary Golem. This is where the name of this newsletter comes from. Old great-great-grandad placed the word “Emet,” (Truth) on his forehead and the Golem came alive. I know this through the stories of my grandfather, who escaped the Holocaust with my grandmother and my then four-year-old father. I am working on a book about my grandfather, excerpts of which you can read here, or click on the image below. It begins with a pogrom my grandpa witnessed as a child in Hungary.
I was born in 1965 and spent much of my early childhood in Georgia, a deeply racist area of the country, where I learned that Jews were also not classified as “white.” Incidents of racism and antisemitism in the South helped solidify my identity. I wrote about a couple of them for The Forward.
My Jewishness has always been wrapped up into other aspects of my personality, which has to do with my obsessiveness. If I become obsessed with a topic, I immerse myself in it. It has to do with my OCD, but I also like to think of it as my superpower.
My obsessiveness eventually made me a pretty decent reporter. I've been a journalist since my college days in the early '80s, when I wrote so many controversial things about Mideast politics in my school newspaper, the entire “anti-Zionist” student body came out to protest my application for editor-in-chief. You can read more about this in my essay for JTA. Yet, my best friend was a Palestinian woman and I spent a great deal of time learning about all points of view. It's complicated.
In the late '90s, I was managing editor for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and led coverage of Mideast peace talks, Birthright Israel, and the quest to find a way to make Judaism relevant to younger people.
With the breakdown of peace talks and the launch of the Second Intifada, I began questioning what I was doing. I was burned out on covering Judaism and the Mideast, so I quit my JTA job, moved back home to Michigan, and began a new career writing about business and science. Unexpectedly, I became a leading blogger about nanotechnology. Go figure.
It wasn’t until 2016, and the rise of antisemitism on both the right and left that I began to write about Jewish issues once again. You can see links to all my Jewish-related writing here, including author interviews for Publishers Weekly.
And I am working on a Jewish-themed memoir that combines my grandfather's experiences in Hungary before and during the Holocaust with my own Jewish journey and the ghosts of my family's past. I’ll probably print excerpts of my work-in-progress from time to time in this newsletter.
So, that’s who I am. If you’ve read to the bottom of this email, mazel tov! What you can expect in this newsletter is some timely commentary, book reviews, interviews, a podcast, and maybe even a Jewish Horoscope. Right now, it’s all free, but feel free to contribute if you enjoy my work. Happy Holidays, everyone, and I’ll see you after the New Year.