Jewish Journal


November 23, 2007

Chicago’s cops have big troubles, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make videos about Jews


The problems of the Chicago Police Department are well-known— a history of brutality and corruption and problems at the top—but, hey, that doesn’t mean they can’t make educational videos!

This one—entitled ‘Gaining A Better Understanding of Judaism Educational Video’—was uploaded to YouTube with the following description:

Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Assistance. Diversity Series: Religions, Cultures and Communities (NCJ 212664). The Chicago Police Department. Producer: Chicago Police Department. usdoj.gov. Creative Commons license: Public Domain.

I guess it’s better than racially profiling Muslim neighborhoods, like the LAPD proposed, but it raises a few questions:

  1. Are Chicago Jews so exotic they need a National Geographic travelog about their obscure customs?
  2. Are Chicago cops so uneducated about the world around them that they need a video like this?
  3. Who else got the special Chicago treatment; the Police Chaplain narrator mentions a total of three—Muslims? Sikhs? Hindus? Mormons?  What are they like?

On the other hand, maybe it was a good idea, especially after cops questioned a man davening with tefillin on a train to Chicago because they thought he might have been wearing an explosive device on his head.

Update:  The rest of these USDOJ-funded videos can be found here, covering the mysterious worlds of Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and the Eastern Orthodox. 

I love the Eastern Orthodox chanting.  Puts the Gregorians to shame!  ;-)

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