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Bernard Starr, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at the City University of New York (Brooklyn College) where he directed a graduate program in gerontology and taught developmental psychology in the School of Education. He is also the main United Nations representative for The Institute of Global Education (IGE) that founded Radio for Peace International and the Mucherla Global School in Mucherla India. IGE is an NGO with consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
His latest book is "Jesus, Jews, and Anti-Semitism in Art: How Renaissance Art Erased Jesus' Jewish Identity and How today's Artists Are Restoring It." He is also author of "Jesus Uncensored: Restoring the Authentic Jew," and is organizer of the art exhibit "Putting Judaism Back in the Picture: Toward Healing the Christian/Jewish Divide."
Other credits:Founder, and for 25 years, the managing editor of the cutting edge Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics. He was also the editor of the Springer Publishing Company series Adulthood and Aging and another series Lifestyles and Issues in Aging. For three years he wrote commentary and op-ed articles on healthcare, the boomers, and issues of an aging society for the Scripps Howard News Service. And for seven years he was writer, producer, and host of the award winning radio feature The Longevity Report on WEVD-AM radio in New York City. He currently produces and hosts television documentaries on meaningful, active and productive living in the third age of life (Active Aging Stories) for Phoenix Rising Television Productions Starr's op-ed commentaries for the Scripps Howard News Service have appeared in major newspapers throughout the United States. Currently, his articles are published at OpEdNews and the Huffington Post. He has also written for Salon, Barons Financial Magazine, the Algemeiner, and UPI's Religion and Spirituality section. His earlier book, "Escape Your Own Prison: Why We Need Spirituality and Psychology to be Truly Free," published by Rowman and Littlefield, explores spirituality as a psychology of consciousness. From 2007-2010 he was president of the Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy.
Friday, September 30, 2016(4 comments)
Zika, Pandemics, and the Market Model: Till Death Do Us Part?
Recent international responses to pandemic threats have been slow, widely dispersed, and fragmented. This makes no sense given warnings about potentially devastating effects of pandemics that could kill millions Much of the response to threats subscribe to a market model that funds pharmaceutical companies, university research centers, and independent contractors. A model based on the Manhattan Project would be far better.
Thursday, September 8, 2016(6 comments)
What Would Jesus Say About Distortions of His Teachings?
Throughout history religious leaders have distorted the teachings of the founders. Since historically illiteracy was rampant, populaces only knew what religious leaders told them--and often these teachings were the opposite of the true teachings. Even today various forms of illiteracy persist, enabling pundits to twist religious doctrines to conform to their ideologies, not the founders'.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016(3 comments)
Harnessing 'Senior Power' to Boost Our Economy
"The unprecedented gains in life expectancy of the longevity revolution will have profound effects on the future, not only of our older citizens but of younger ones as well. Indeed, their fates are intertwined." To create a society that will be viable for all age group--older adults will have to contribute to GDP--and there's a way to painlessly accomplish that.
Friday, June 3, 2016(5 comments)
The Longevity Revolution: The Danger of Thinking It's Just About Social Security and Medicare
For the first time in human history, older adults are becoming the largest demographic group. The gap will grow exponentially as the elderly population continues to expand and the younger working population shrinks. This poses challenges that can destabilize us economically, politically,and socially.Yet politicians refuse to address the big picture while pretending that the issues are limited to Social Security and Medicare.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016(5 comments)
The Transformation of the Virgin Mary: How a Jewish Girl From Nazareth Became a Christian Icon
The New Testament offers a handful of sparse citations about the life of Mary, mother of Jesus.Despite this paucity of information, an astonishing trove of books throughout history have been written about her.The one fact about Mary that stands out in the bible depictions is her dedication to Judaism. Yet Mary's Jewish identity is the one thing glaringly absent in Medieval and Renaissance art representations of her.
Thursday, April 21, 2016(12 comments)
Why Christians Should Celebrate Passover
While Passover is a celebration of the exodus of Jews from slavery in Egypt, the quest for freedom is a universal theme. Furthermore, if not for the exodus from Egypt it's doubtful that Christianity ever would have arisen. More specifically, though, Passover, is a major event in the life of Jesus.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016(1 comments)
Students Should Demand Their Colleges Produce Free Open Textbooks to End the Textbook Racket
There is a simple and doable answer to how colleges can end the price gouging on textbooks ($150 and more).Colleges should require their junior and nontenured faculty to contribute chapters to department open textbooks that can be offered to students at no cost. Before new faculty engage in academic publications under the "publish or perish" dictum, demand that they first contribute to free open textbooks for their students.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016(7 comments)
How the "Dumbest" Country Became the Leader in Technology and Innovation
National rankings on student performance place the U.S. below most industrialized nations based on mean (average) scores. Yet the U.S. is the leader in many intellectual domains including technology and innovation. How to explain this puzzling paradox? Compare the upper ten percent of American students with the same of other countries and the rankings and conversation will take a sharp turn.
Thursday, February 25, 2016(3 comments)
Art Historians Miss the Mark: Follow the Money Trail for Surprising Revelations About Renaissance Art
Patron's who commissioned Renaissance artworks are rarely mentioned by art historians, curators,and critics in discussions, reviews, and critiques of paintings and exhibits.Yet recent research reveals that patrons played a dominant role in overseeing the artworks they commissioned.They specified almost every detail. Patrons should emerge from the shadows and their contribution to the creative process acknowledged and reported
Wednesday, January 6, 2016(1 comments)
Bible Expert's Surprising Findings About Jews and Judaism Revealed in the New Testament
This interview with biblical scholar Professor Lawrence Schiffman reveals citations in the New Testament that are the earliest or sole mentions of those facts or events. These revelations confirm that the New Testament as an important source and document about Judaism in the time of Jesus and the apostles. It also reminds us of the Jewish Foundations of Christianity.
Friday, November 27, 2015(1 comments)
For Bernie Sanders: A Practical Plan for Free College Education That Can Work Now!
Bernie Sanders'proposal for free tuition at public colleges and universities is bold and necessary to insure an educated competitive workforce ready for the 21st century global marketplace. Given the legislative paralysis of Congress, Sanders'proposal is not likely to be enacted soon. But there is a way to provide free college education now that does not require government support or endorsement.It's based on a proven model.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015(1 comments)
The Election Campaigns Need Fresh Acts. Will the New Ones Make Us Laugh and Spin?
The candidates have run out of steam from over-exposure. They desperately need new material. But their positions are fixed. So where can they turn for freshness? The media may have pushed them to compete with humor and other entertainment forms rather than substance. Will the candidates now be heading to "Dancing With the Stars"?
Monday, November 9, 2015(3 comments)
The Holocaust: A Homework Assignment for Ben Carson
Ben Carson has repeatedly stated his incredulous belief that if Hitler's Nazi government had allowed Jews to own guns they could have stopped or greatly diminished the Holocaust. Not only does Carson's deeply flawed view show ignorance of the Nazi savagery and the pervasive anti-Semitism in German society and throughout Europe, it dishonors the Jewish men and women Partisans who fought courageously against the Nazis.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015(18 comments)
A Psychologist Replays the Trials of Jesus and Paul, and Uncovers Surprising Revelations
It's widely believed that either Jesus, Paul,or both defected from Judaism and launched a new religion called Christianity. In revisiting the trials of Jesus and Paul with a role playing technique commonly used by psychologists, startling revelations emerge casting light on the origins of Christianity and at the same time raising an intriguing question.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015(8 comments)
Ben Carson Still Insists Jews Could Have Gunned Their Way out of the Holocaust
Guns in the hands of ordinary Jewish citizens in Germany would have stopped or "lessened the Holocaust says Ben Carson. His statement may please gun lovers but it reveals deeply flawed logic, ignorance of historical facts and a lack of understanding of despotic governments. Several armies could not stop the German war machine so how could armed Jewish civilians have taken down the Third Reich? Frightening flawed thinking!
Thursday, October 15, 2015(7 comments)
Who Was the Most Destructive Jewish "Messiah"? It Wasn't Jesus
Jesus was not the first or the last of Jewish "Messiahs." Jews reject all of them because they did not deliver the promises of the messiah prophesy. Many of these false messiahs did great damage to Jews and Judaism. Yet some are still revered. Jesus was a dedicated Jew who did no damage, yet he is shunned and condemned by Jews.It makes no sense. It's time for Jews to drop the Jesus phobia.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015(21 comments)
"Dumb and Dumber": An American Political Trademark?
Frightening ignorance among many candidates seems to dominate the American political landscape. Some candidates seem to be mired down in beliefs and ideologies that resist facts and reason. The current political scene reflects what the constitution allows: that anyone can be president if he or she is 35 or older born in the U.S.and a resident for 14 years.Will we demand more to combat dumb and dumber?
Thursday, July 23, 2015(4 comments)
Art Can Inspire Faith. It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies. Renaissance Art Depictions of Jesus Did Both
A vast trove of Renaissance paintings omit Jesus Jewish heritage and identity. Presenting Jesus as a Renaissance Christian served the desire of the Christian leadership to promote the faith and separate Christianity from its Jewish roots. But most puzzling is the failure of modern day art historians, curators, and critics to acknowledge or comment on the falsification of biblical history in these artworks.
Thursday, June 25, 2015(4 comments)
Destroying Ivory to Save Elephants: Is it Working?
At the present furious rate of elephant poaching, these majestic mammals may soon be gone from the planet. To stop the lucrative ivory trade governments have been pulverizing their vast collections of seized ivory. But is this strategy stopping the killing of elephants? The evidence says no. Other measures appear more promising for crushing the ivory trade and saving elephants from extinction .
Tuesday, April 21, 2015(1 comments)
Passion Plays and Oratorios, 'Christ Killers,' and the Magic Trick of 'Deus Ex Machina'
Passion plays and Oratorios depict the mission and crucifixion of Jesus. Traditionally these productions blame the Jews collectively for the death of Jesus. Some modern performances delete or revise ant-Semitic passages but many do not.Charging all Jews Christ Killers who called for the crucifixion should be expunged not because it is politically incorrect but because the accusation is false, as detailed evidence will confirm
Saturday, April 4, 2015(13 comments)
Picturing the Jewish Jesus: Bill O'Reilly and the National Geographic Channel Get It Right.
In the Film "Killing Jesus," adapted from Bill O'Reilly's book "Killing Jesus," the images are in sharp contrast to previous film depictions of Jesus, and other Jews. In the dramatization these figures are pictured as dark skinned Semites, typical of the Middle East region. They are also steeped in Judaism-- in tune with who they really were.The film expresses the two sides of the Jesus story: Jewish and Christian.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015(9 comments)
Should the Swastika be Rehabilitated or Forever Damned? A Surprising Debate
The swastika is an ancient symbol that is revered in a number of cultures. The Nazis tarnished the swastika by adopting it thus making it in the eyes of many around the world a symbol of murder and genocide. Can it be redeemed? The intensity of revulsion to the swastika suggests that that it has a difficult if not impossible road to redemption.
Friday, February 20, 2015(5 comments)
Five Stages of Anti-Semitism in Art -- From Medieval to Modern Times
Art historians have attributed obvious anti-Semitism in Medieval and Renaissance artworks to technical developments and advancements in painting, not ideology. Mounting evidence, though, cited in this article, challenges that view with powerful illustrations of the deliberate and willful inclusion of anti-Semitic iconography covering many centuries of artworks.
Thursday, February 12, 2015(8 comments)
In Rejecting Measles Vaccination Are You Defying God's Will?
Despite ample evidence to the contrary, many fundamentalists insist that the healing of illness is strictly in the hands of God, not man or his science. But man and his creative innovations are part of God's creation. Thus rejecting vaccination and other miraculous inventions and discoveries is rejecting God's creations and defying God. Shouldn't that be called blasphemy?
Thursday, February 5, 2015(10 comments)
Why We Know So Little About Moses and Jesus
The sharp difference between modern views of personality development and ancient understandings explain why so little was reported about the early lives of great figures. Today we place emphasis on personal experience to explain the shaping of behavior.In biblical times destiny or inborn traits were thought to determine who a person would become.Thus childhood experiences were ignored by biographers through much of history.
Friday, January 23, 2015(1 comments)
A New Play, Looking for Parcifal, Tackles Death -- With Humor
in her new play, "Looking for Parcifal," playwright Brenda Shoshanna explores the full range of mechanisms different people employ in coping with the death of a loved one. Shoshanna's entertaining and provocative play raises the question:is love the antidote to fear?
Wednesday, December 24, 2014(4 comments)
Jesus: Rambo or Prince of Peace? A Commentary on 'The Crucifixion Rule Book'
Many biblical experts and pundits have assumed that since the Romans crucified Jesus,he (Jesus) must have been an insurgent who was promoting armed rebellion against Roman occupation. Why else would they crucify Jesus, since that gruesome type execution was supposedly reserved for insurrectionists, escaped slaves, and perpetrators of heinous crimes. But was a strict crucifixion rule book rigidly followed? Highly doubtful!!
Wednesday, December 3, 2014(49 comments)
Christian or Jewish Gospel Figures? The Answer Will Surprise You
Renaissance art erased Jesus Jewish heritage and identity. The book "Gospel Figures in Art" exemplifies this identity theft with over 300 images that convert Jesus,his family,and followers into later era Christians without a hint of any Jewish connection for these figures, who,in fact, were all dedicated practicing Jews. This article calls on the art world to finally redress the falsification of biblical history in artworks.
Saturday, October 25, 2014(3 comments)
Ebola and Public Health Versus the 'Bottom Line'
Ask honestly the best approach for finding a cure and vaccine for Ebola,the answer would not be the for profit model of "leave it to the market." Proof of that is the fact that we could have had a vaccine for Ebola years ago but haven't because there was little profit in it for the competitive "leave it to the market" model.Yet we do have a model that would work if our main interest was saving lives rather than financial gain.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014(6 comments)
Two Crises Cry Out for a 'Manhattan Project': Climate Change and Ebola
We are currently facing two crises that threaten life on this planet. The business as usual model, leaving it to the competitive for-profit marketplace to address these crises is not the most effective approach. We have already seen the failure of this model for the Aids and climate change crises, despite decades of huge expenditures. We must adopt the proven cooperative Manhattan Project model if we value life over ideology.
Saturday, September 6, 2014(2 comments)
Authentic and False Images of Jesus in Artworks
The triptych, with its altered images that puts Judaism back in the picture, exposes the identity theft of Jesus in artworks. It starkly illustrates the falsification of biblical history in Jan Swart Van Groningen's original iconic sixteenth-century image of Jesus. Moreover, the same falsification would be dramatically revealed if altered images of other Renaissance paintings were placed next to the original ones.
Friday, August 22, 2014(10 comments)
Images of Jesus as Christian, Jew, Criminal, and Divine: Conception Drives Perception
Christians and Jews have sharply different views of Jesus. Christians embrace him, Jews shun him. Surprisingly, both groups are largely New Testament illiterate. Their differing perceptions of Jesus are derived from culturally conditioned assumptions that ignore the common foundation of the two faiths.
Friday, August 15, 2014(14 comments)
Jewish Jesus and Identity Theft in Renaissance Art
Renaissance artists typically depicted Jesus as a Christian without a hint of his Jewish identity and heritage. And art historians and art critics have failed to acknowledge this falsification of biblical history. An upcoming exhibit at tsinghe National Gallery of Art is a good opportunity for the curators of the exhibit to tell the truth about the identity theft in Renaissance artworks.
Saturday, July 19, 2014(12 comments)
Response to Bill O'Reilly: Jesus Didn't Start a New Religion
Bill O'Reilly insists that Jesus defected from Judaism and started a new religion.Yet according to the consensus of biblical scholars and theologians, both Christian and Jewish, Jesus was a dedicated practicing Jew throughout his life.Based on his view, O'Reilly
dismisses my critique of Renaissance artworks which picture Jesus as totally christian without a trace of his Jewish heritage.
Friday, July 11, 2014(2 comments)
Does Conspiracy Account for the Absence of Jesus' Jewish Identity in Renaissance Art?
Search Renaissance depictions of Jesus his family and disciples and you will not find even a trace of their Jewish identities and heritage. These omissions were far worse than a conspiracy. They reflected assumptions that were woven into the very fabric of Medieval and Renaissance society's marginalization and persecution of Jews. Pope Francis though is leding a new era of reconciliation of Christianity and Judaism
Saturday, June 28, 2014(12 comments)
Our Oceans Are Dying: Mobilizing an Indifferent Public to Confront This Crisis
Another devastating report about the destruction of our environment and planet. Despite warnings from a consensus of leading scientists that we are approaching the point of no return, the public remains indifferent while placing immediate personal concerns first. Rather than new studies and more bad news we need behavioral scientists to study and discover how to get the public to make saving the planet our number one priority
Thursday, June 19, 2014(9 comments)
Jewish Jesus in Renaissance Art and the Roots of Anti-Semitism
The announcement that the mother of the late Cardinal O'Connor was Jewish shocked many. Fact is that the mothers of all the founders of Christianity were Jewish. More surprising is that Renaissance artists in depicting Jesus and his followers erased their Jewish identities--a phenomenon that contributed to anti-Semitism over many centuries--and art historians continue to neglect to acknowledge these falsifications.
Thursday, May 15, 2014(15 comments)
Bill O'Reilly's 'Killing Jesus' Illustrates the Problem With the Gospels
Bill O'Reilly's Tea Party spin the on Gospels reminds us that others throughout history did the same, especially during per-printing press centuries when reproductions of the bible were done individually by scribes. Not only were there errors in these reproductions, but scribes may have altered the "words of God" to suit their own beliefs and ideologies--just as Bill O'Reilly has done in "Killing Jesus."
Saturday, April 12, 2014(1 comments)
Movie Review: The Railway Man Starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman Will Take You on an Unforgettable Trip
Based on the true story of Eric Lomax, a British officer who, along with other prisoners of the Japanese during world war II, worked as a slave laborer forced to help build the "death railway" from Thailand to Burma. The unspeakable torture inflicted on Lomax has lasting and crippling effects after liberation. His eventual remarkable transcendence of his inner torment is an inspirational message about the path of redemption.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014(4 comments)
Jesus and Paul Chose to Die as Dedicated Jews--According to the New Testament
Both Jesus and Paul were charged with blasphemy against Judaism by the Sanhedrin,which only had authority over Jews.If Jesus and Paul had defected from Judaism and intended to start a new religion,as many maintain,why didn't they say that when they were facing execution? “Sanhedrin:I'm not a Jew any longer. I'm a Christian.You have no authority over me."But they didn't take that obvious defense Why? They were dedicated Jews.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014(6 comments)
The Cut that Divided Jews and Christians--And the Mystery of the Missing Circumcision in Artworks
Why did Christianity celebrate Jesus’ circumcision when circumcision was a key issue that split Judaism and Christianity? Why do several paintings show Jesus about to be circumcised but none depicting Jesus actually circumcised? The reasons for these omissions, and the failure of art historians, curators, and critics to address the issue of falsification of biblical history in artworks are explored in this article
Friday, February 7, 2014(11 comments)
Tribute to the Beatles -- and Sid Bernstein (Not Ed Sullivan) Who Brought Them to America
The amazing story of how a homework assignment in a Journalism class in 1963("read a British newspaper")led to Sid Bernstein's chance discovery of the Beatles at a time when they were virtually unknown in the U.S.His risky booking of the Beatles to come to America the following year at first seemed a disaster-ticket sales limped along.But then the Beatles' popularity in Europe spilled over to the U.S.-and the rest is history.
Friday, January 17, 2014(5 comments)
Why Have Art Historians Been Silent About the Falsification of Biblical History in Artworks?
Art depictions of Jesus his family and disciples omit their Jewish origins and identities.These falsifications of biblical history have significantly contributed to the historic rift between Christianity and Judaism that is just recently in the process of reconciliation.A new art exhibit will offer renditions of classical Medieval and Renaissance artworks that restore the Jewish connection to tell two sides of the Jesus story.
Friday, December 13, 2013(30 comments)
Jewish Jesus, 'Christ Killers,' and the Hidden Code of Hatred
The charge that Jews were collectively responsible for the death of Jesus resurfaced recently in a Harvard University student newsletter. A careful examination of the Gospels' account of the crucifixion reveals that the persistence of this accusation charging the Jews is a code for hatred that has many historical roots that contributed to the alienation of Christianity and Judaism, including artworks.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013(7 comments)
The Return of the Blood Libel: Can Art Stop the Hemorrhaging of Hate?
Along with the surge of the far right Jobbik party in Hungary,anti-Semitism is on the rise. A Parliamentary leader of the far right has resurrected a shameful blood libel charge against Jews that took place in a village in Hungary in 1882
Thursday, October 17, 2013(17 comments)
Jesus in Jewish Art: The Missing Pieces
Many Jewish artists have been drawn to producing artworks about Jesus and the crucifixion to express a common connection through the theme of suffering: Jesus on the cross and other Jews through persecutions, and particularly the Holocaust. An important exhibit of Jewish Jesus artworks at a 1942 exhibit in NYC (Puma Gallery) has slipped into oblivion.Hopefully, these artworks can be found and resurrected for public viewing.
Friday, October 4, 2013(3 comments)
"Love Your Neighbor as Yourself": Failing Grade for Religious America
Income inequality is widening,the rich are richer than ever, corporate cash is at an all time high, poverty is increasing, huger is on the rise, many working poor live in shelters, homelessness is rampant--and Congress passes a bill calling for deep cuts in the food stamp program.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013(29 comments)
Jewish Jesus Visits the Jewish Museum
This exhibit, which focuses on Chagall's images of the crucifixion, reminds viewers of Jesus' Jewish origins and the common ground of suffering: Jesus on the cross and the suffering of Jews in persecutions, and especially during the Nazi era.
Friday, September 20, 2013(2 comments)
Art Contributed to the Christian-Jewish Divide, and Art Can Heal it
The process of Christianity separating from Judaism was a long and bumpy road Once a unified Church was established in the fourth century efforts at separation from Judaism accelerated on a number of fronts. Medieval and Renaissance art contributed to the process by totally Christianizing Jesus and his family while erasing their connection to Judaism. Today, reconciliation is underway and art can contribute to that effort.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013(9 comments)
Rembrandt, Jews and Jesus: Putting Judaism Back in the Picture
Rembrandt's natural realistic religion neutral images of Jesus are not an antidote to Renaissance paintings that commonly pictured Jesus,his family and community as blond fair-skinned Northern Europeans residing in palatial settings surrounded by saints,church officials and Christian artifacts-and not hint of a Jewish connection.That's why I've invited artists to repaint classical artworks that put Judaism back in the picture.
Friday, August 9, 2013(17 comments)
Reza Aslan: Why Aren't You a Jew?
Born Muslim Reza Aslan embraced Christianity as a teenager. Later in studying Christianity in college he lost faith in the divinity of Jesus but continued to embrace him as a mortal--and called himself a disciple of the Jewish Jesus. His words beg the question: Why aren't you a Jew?
Wednesday, August 7, 2013(18 comments)
Will the Real Jesus Please Step Forward: Many Stories, Few Facts
The scant facts about Jesus and the gaping gaps in his biography have invited imaginative inventions. Nevertheless, narratives along with controversial alternative Gospels that have been uncovered have had little impact on the beliefs of Christians. The Church sanctioned twenty-seven books of the New Testament have had almost exclusive impact in shaping the views of Christians about Jesus, Christianity, Jews and Judaism.
Thursday, July 25, 2013(2 comments)
Will 'Schmekelgate' Stop the Rise of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer?
The history of infidelity and sexual indiscretions show that redemption and forgiveness often prevail, especially if followed by good deeds and control of the "restless penis syndrome." With the latest revelations, Anthony Weiner has violated the control factor making his fate uncertain.
Saturday, July 13, 2013(23 comments)
Taking the Jew Out of Jesus---and Putting It Back
Classical artworks picture Jesus, his family and followers as latter-day Christians. In erasing Jesus' Jewish identity these representations fostered anti-Semitism by feeding the belief that Jesus and Jews were of different ethnicities and religions. TO correct this falsification of biblical history this article proposes a contest and exhibit in which Jesus' Jewish identity would be restored.