|Intro||American journalist and opinion writer|
|Is||Journalist Opinion journalist|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||25 March 1984, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA|
Bari Weiss (born March 25, 1984) is an American opinion writer and editor. In 2017, Weiss joined The New York Times as a staff editor in the opinion section. She left The New York Times in July 2020.
Early life and education
Bari Weiss was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Lou and Amy Weiss. She grew up in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, and graduated from Pittsburgh's Community Day School and Shady Side Academy. She attended the Tree of Life Synagogue and had her bat mitzvah ceremony there. After high school, Weiss went to Israel on a Nativ gap year program.
A 2007 graduate of Columbia University, Weiss was a Wall Street Journal Bartley Fellow in 2007, and a Dorot Fellow from 2007 to 2008 in Jerusalem.
As a student at Columbia, Weiss founded the Columbia Coalition for Sudan in response to the war in Darfur. She was also a co-founder of Columbians for Academic Freedom. The group said that professors were intimidating students who expressed pro-Israel sentiments in classroom discussions that the professors disagreed with. Weiss said that she felt intimidated in a class by Joseph Massad. A committee at Columbia charged with investigating these claims concluded that "no evidence of any statements made by the faculty that could reasonably be construed as anti-Semitic." The New York Civil Liberties Union said it was actually Weiss' group, the Columbians for Academic Freedom, who threatened academic freedom at the university, by leveling baseless accusations against Muslim professors and pushing the University to fire critics of Israel.
This episode at Columbia remains important for Weiss in her analysis and her personal reflections. In her 2019 book How to Fight Anti-Semitism, Weiss cites the incident at Columbia with Massad as her first anecdote when talking about how, "[she] had a front row seat to leftist anti-Semitism" at Columbia.
Weiss was news and politics editor at Tablet from 2011 to 2013. She was associate book review editor at The Wall Street Journal from 2013 until April 2017, when she moved to The New York Times as an editor in the opinion section. In 2018 she criticized the #MeToo Movement. In 2018, Weiss was a guest panelist on Real Time with Bill Maher on three episodes during which she discussed social justice issues. She made a fourth appearance that season, as a solo guest, to discuss the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. Weiss grew up in that synagogue and knew some of the victims.
In 2019, The Jerusalem Post listed Weiss as one of the world's 50 most influential Jews.
She announced her departure from The New York Times as a columnist on July 14, 2020, publishing a resignation letter on her website in which she criticized the Times for capitulating to criticism on Twitter and for not supporting her when she was "bullied" by her colleagues.
Weiss has been described as conservative by Haaretz, The Times of Israel, The Daily Dot, and Business Insider. She describes herself as a "left-leaning centrist." According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, "her writing, which includes criticism of the right and the left, doesn't lend itself easily to labels." According to The Washington Post reporter Avi Selk, Weiss "portrays herself as a liberal uncomfortable with the excesses of left-wing culture." Vanity Fair describes Weiss as "a provocateur" and an "ardent Zionist".
Weiss has expressed support for Israel and Zionism in her columns. When writer Andrew Sullivan described her as an "unhinged Zionist", she responded saying she "happily plead[s] guilty as charged." In 2018, she said she believed the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but that they should not disqualify him from serving on the Supreme Court because he was 17 when he allegedly committed the assault.
From 2013 to 2016, Weiss was married to environmental engineer Jason Kass, the founder of Toilets for People, a company designing and manufacturing waterless self-contained composting toilets. While attending Columbia University, she dated then-future Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon.
- The New Seven Dirty Words. scheduled for publication 2020