Bari Weiss is an American opinion editor and writer who mostly writes about culture and politics. She has worked as an Op-Ed staff editor at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Bari Weiss was born on Sunday, March 25, 1984 (age 36 years; as of 2020), in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. She grew up in Squirrel Hill, a residential neighborhood in the East End of Pittsburgh. She had her “bat mitzvah” ceremony at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill. Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle After graduating from Pittsburgh’s Community Day School, Bari Weiss attended Shady Side Academy in the Borough of Fox Chapel. According to Bari Weiss, she felt excruciatingly nerdy and alienated at her traditional high school. Vanity Fare After high school, Bari Weiss took a gap year in Israel where she worked in the Negev desert, giving her contribution to building a medical clinic for Bedouin. Vanity Fare While in Israel, she also studied at a feminist yeshiva and Hebrew University, where Bari inclined towards music and took to musical theater. Vanity Fare Later, she headed to Columbia University in New York City where she graduated with a major in history in 2007. While attending Columbia University, Weiss, along with a handful of fellow students, formed a group called Columbians for Academic Freedom. At Columbia, Weiss also founded the student paper, The Columbia Spectator in which she started expressing her views that students had the right to express without any fear of teachers’ intimidation. While at Columbia, she also founded a journal, The Current, which covered contemporary politics, culture, and Jewish affairs. Arizona Jewish Life From 2007 to 2008, she was a Dorot Fellow in Jerusalem. The Wall Street Journal She was also a Wall Street Journal Bartley Fellow in 2007.
Height (approx.): 5′ 4″
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Light Brown
Family & Ethnicity
Bari Weiss belongs to a Jews family of Pittsburgh. While talking about her Jewish upbringing, she says that while growing up in Squirrel Hill, she, along with her family, ate bacon and went to synagogue only on Yom Kippur. Vanity Fare
Parents & Siblings
Her father, Lou, is a successful carpet salesman who has contributed op-eds to the Journal himself and is considered a conservative. Bari’s mother, Amy, is considered a liberal who worked as a makeup buyer for Kaufmann’s Department Store before joining her husband Lou at the family company.
Bari Weiss is the oldest of four sisters, Casey, Suzy, and one more.
Relationships & Husband
While attending Columbia University, she met a woman, Kate McKinnon (the future Saturday Night Live star), and fell in love with her. Bari dated her on and off for several years. Vanity Fare
In 2013, she got married to Jason Kass, an environmental engineer and the founder of Toilets for People. They remained in the marriage for three years until 2016 when they separated. While talking about her husband, Bari Weiss says,
He’s a wonderful person, and I think the world of him.” Vanity Fare
Although Bari Weiss dated the Saturday Night Live star, Kate McKinnon, she hasn’t disclosed her sexual identity. While talking about it, she says,
I’ve been in love with both men and women. I’ve been ghosted by both men and women. I don’t trade on my sexual identity in that way for political points. I think that’s lame and it’s not my style.” Vanity Fare
After graduating from Columbia University, Bari Weiss worked for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, and then the Jewish newspaper The Forward, before joining The Wall Street Journal as a baby op-ed editor in 2007 at the age of 23. Later, she worked as an editor at the online Jewish magazine Tablet where she was senior news and politics editor from 2011 to 2013. Arizona Jewish Life In 2013, Weiss returned to The Wall Street Journal as an editor of the book review. The Wall Street Journal During the 2016 US Presidential elections and Trump’s candidacy, she realized her real passion and shifted from book review section to the intersection of politics and culture at the Journal. It was during this time that she realized that she was one of the most left-wing people at the Journal. According to Bari Weiss, when she tried to draft a piece of news about Steve Bannon, she was told that she “didn’t have the standing.” When she tried to write about Melania Trump’s hypocrisy with her cyber-bullying issue, she wasn’t allowed to. Vanity Fare While talking about the morning after Trump won, she says,
I was sobbing, openly, at my desk. I wanted people to see how I felt about this, and what I thought it meant for the country. I realized I had to leave.”
In April 2017, Bari Weiss followed the footsteps of Pulitzer Prize winner and deputy editor Bret Stephens to leave The Wall Street Journal and join The New York Times. Talking Biz News In April 2017, she joined The New York Times as both a staff editor and writer for the Times’s opinion section, under James Bennet. The New York Times
Resignation From The New York Times
On July 14, 2020, Bari Weiss announced her departure from The New York Times by publishing a resignation letter on her website.
In her resignation letter, Weiss criticized the paper for taking the route of Twitter to criticize her. She also blamed the paper for not coming to her rescue when her colleagues bullied her. While accusing her former employer of “unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge” in the letter, Weiss wrote –
Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions.”
In her resignation letter, Bari Weiss also criticized the paper for using Twitter to malign her reputation, she wrote –
Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times, but Twitter has become its ultimate editor.”
Her resignation letter was lauded by a diverse section of public figures including Donald Trump Jr. and U.S. Senators Ted Cruz. Fox News
Although Haaretz, The Times of Israel, The Daily Dot, and Business Insider have described Bari Weiss as conservative, she considers herself as a “left-leaning centrist.” The Washington Post Her support for Israel and Zionism has been reflected in her various columns, which was also reflected when writer Andrew Sullivan described her as an “unhinged Zionist,” and she replied –
happily plead[s] guilty as charged.”
In early November 2018, Bari Weiss appeared as a guest on “Real Time with Bill Maher” in which she talked about anti-semitism and Donald Trump’s policies. She appeared in the show following the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh.
- While attending Columbia University, Weiss, along with a handful of fellow students, lobbied against some professors, especially Joseph Massad, and they complained that their pro-Israel views were unwelcomed in some classes. Later, a committee, which was formed to investigate these claims, found –
no evidence of any statements made by the faculty that could reasonably be construed as anti-Semitic.” The New York Times
- While working at The New York Times, she was condemned by playwright Eve Ensler, and Susan Celia Swan, a feminist activist and filmmaker for her article about the Chicago Dyke March in which she wrote –
intersectionality is a “caste system, in which people are judged according to how much their particular caste has suffered throughout history.” The New York Times
- During her stint at The New York Times, digital storytelling editor Jamal Jordan criticized her for ignoring her black colleagues and dismissing their concerns as a “woke civil war.” Vox
- Following the resignation of the Times editorial page editor, James Bennet on June 7, 2020, Bari was criticized for characterizing the internal controversy as an ongoing “civil war.” She received flaks from fellow journalists for this characterization. The Hill
- She has also been criticized for criticizing the #MeToo Movement.
- Squirrel Hill, where Bari grew up, is considered to house the intellectual Jewish community where opposing viewpoints were able to exist in harmony. Vanity Fare
- During high school, Weiss was the student council president. Vanity Fare
- Bari grew up in a busy household with neighbors coming in and out, where passionate disagreements on the Clinton impeachment, or whatever current issue at the time, were constant, and according to Weiss, she relished these debates. Vanity Fare
- According to Bari Weiss, she had a literary environment at her home while growing up as her parents made her keep journals, and they would pay Bari five dollars to read a book and write a report. Whenever Bari committed any mistake, the punishment was to write a lengthy apology letter to whomever she had offended. Vanity Fare
- In an interview, Bari revealed that she had entered college as a theater nerd but accidentally turned into an activist, writer, and lightning rod.
- She is occasionally spotted enjoying alcoholic beverages.
- In 2019, Bari Weiss was listed as one of the world’s 50 most influential Jews by The Jerusalem Post. The Jerusalem Post
- In September 2019, she published her first book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism.
- Bari’s another book titled “The New Seven Dirty Words” is slated to be published in 2020.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle|
|2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 22, 23, 24, 25.||↑||Vanity Fare|
|5, 11.||↑||Arizona Jewish Life|
|6, 12.||↑||The Wall Street Journal|
|14.||↑||Talking Biz News|
|15.||↑||The New York Times|
|17.||↑||The Washington Post|
|18.||↑||The New York Times|
|19.||↑||The New York Times|
|26.||↑||The Jerusalem Post|