Bari Weiss is an American journalist who has worked as an opinion editor and writer at various newspapers and tabloids including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. She mostly writes about culture and politics.
Bari Weiss was born on Sunday, March 25, 1984 (age 36 years; as in 2020), in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. While growing up in Squirrel Hill, a residential neighborhood in the East End of Pittsburgh, Weiss had her “bat mitzvah” ceremony at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle Bari graduated from Pittsburgh’s Community Day School. Thereafter, she attended Shady Side Academy in the Borough of Fox Chapel. In an interview, she revealed that at her traditional high school, she felt excruciatingly nerdy and alienated. Vanity Fare After high school, she didn’t attend college immediately and took a gap year. She spent the gap year in Israel where she contributed to building a medical clinic for Bedouin while working in the Negev desert. Vanity Fare During her stay in Israel, Bari Weiss studied at a feminist yeshiva and Hebrew University, where she took to musical theater. Vanity Fare In 2007, Bari Weiss graduated from Columbia University in New York City with a major in history. At Columbia University, she formed a group, Columbians for Academic Freedom, along with a handful of fellow students. Bari also founded the student paper, The Columbia Spectator, and she used this paper to express her views over the students’ right to expression without any fear of teachers’ intimidation. While at Columbia, Weiss also ran a journal, The Current, which encompassed contemporary politics, culture, and Jewish affairs. Arizona Jewish Life Bari Weiss was a Dorot Fellow in Jerusalem from 2007 to 2008. The Wall Street Journal In 2007, Bari was also a Wall Street Journal Bartley Fellow.
Height (approx.): 5′ 4″
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Light Brown
Family & Ethnicity
Bari Weiss comes from a Jews family. While growing up in Squirrel Hill, she ate bacon and went to synagogue only on Yom Kippur along with her family. Vanity Fare
Parents & Siblings
Her father, Lou is into the carpet business and has also contributed op-eds to The Wall Street Journal. Bari’s father is considered a conservative. Her mother, Amy helps her husband Lou at the family company. Amy is considered a liberal, and before joining the family business, she worked as a makeup buyer for Kaufmann’s Department Store.
Bari Weiss has three younger sisters, Casey, Suzy, and one more.
Relationships & Husband
While attending Columbia University, Bari Weiss dated the future Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon. Both dated each other on and off for several years. Vanity Fare
While working at The Wall Street Journal, Bari met Jason Kass, an environmental engineer and the founder of Toilets for People, and she got married to him in 2013. Later, they separated in 2016. While describing Jason Kass, she says,
He’s a wonderful person, and I think the world of him.” Vanity Fare
After dating the Saturday Night Live star, Kate McKinnon, the curiosity became rife to know the sexual identity of Bari Weiss; however, she never disclosed it. 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
In 2007, the 23-year-old Bari Weiss joined The Wall Street Journal as a baby op-ed editor. Before joining the Journal, she worked for the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, and the Jewish newspaper, The Forward. From 2011 to 2013, Weiss worked as the senior news and politics editor at the online Jewish magazine, Tablet. Arizona Jewish Life Weiss returned to The Wall Street Journal in 2013 as an editor of the book review. The Wall Street Journal When Trump’s candidacy was announced for the 2016 US Presidential elections, Weiss shifted from book review section to the intersection of politics and culture at The Wall Street Journal. During this time, Bari also realized that she was one of the most left-wing people at the Journal. According to Weiss, she wasn’t allowed to draft a piece of news about Steve Bannon, and she was also stopped when she tried to write about Melania Trump’s hypocrisy with her cyber-bullying issue. Vanity Fare Describing the morning after Trump won, Bari 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.”
When the Pulitzer Prize winner and deputy editor Bret Stephens resigned from The Wall Street Journal, Bari Weiss also left the Journal in April 2017 to join him at The New York Times. Talking Biz News Under James Bennet, Bari Weiss joined The New York Times as both a staff editor and writer for the Times’s opinion section. The New York Times
Resignation From The New York Times
Bari Weiss resigned from The New York Times on July 14, 2020. She published her resignation letter on her website.
In her resignation letter, Weiss explained how the staff at the paper used Twitter to bully her. She also criticized the senior officials at the paper to remain silent when she was bullied by her colleagues. In the letter, Weiss accused her former employer of “unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge,” she 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.”
While criticizing the paper for taking the Twitter route to target her, she wrote –
Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times, but Twitter has become its ultimate editor.”
Many public figures including Donald Trump Jr. and U.S. Senators Ted Cruz praised the resignation letter of Bari Weiss. Fox News
Although Bari Weiss considers herself as a “left-leaning centrist,” she has been described as conservative by various newspapers including Haaretz, The Times of Israel, The Daily Dot, and Business Insider. The Washington Post Bari has supported Israel and Zionism through her various columns. When Andrew Sullivan described her as an “unhinged Zionist,” Bari responded –
happily plead[s] guilty as charged.”
Following the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, Bari Weiss appeared as a guest on “Real Time with Bill Maher” in early November 2018 where she talked about Trump’s policies and anti-semitism.
- When Bari was studying at Columbia University, she launched a movement against professor Joseph Massad and a few more along with a handful of fellow students, complaining that their pro-Israel views were unwelcomed in some classes. Later, a committee was set up to investigate these claims, which found –
no evidence of any statements made by the faculty that could reasonably be construed as anti-Semitic.” The New York Times
- During her stint at The New York Times, Bari’s article about the Chicago Dyke March received criticism by playwright Eve Ensler, and Susan Celia Swan, a feminist activist and filmmaker. In her article, Weiss 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
- While working at The New York Times, she was criticized by digital storytelling editor Jamal Jordan for not welcoming her black colleagues and refuting their concerns as a “woke civil war.” Vox
- After the Times editorial page editor, James Bennet’s resignation from The New York Times on June 7, 2020, Weiss characterized the internal controversy as an ongoing “civil war.” She was heavily criticized by many staff members in the Times for this characterization of her. The Hill
- Bari Weiss was also criticized when she spoke against the #MeToo Movement.
- While growing up, Bari had a busy household with neighbors coming in and out. According to Bari, they would discuss the Clinton impeachment, or whatever issue du jour, and she enjoyed these debates. Vanity Fare
- She grew up in Squirrel Hill, an area that mostly housed the intellectual Jewish community, and where opposing viewpoints were able to exist in harmony. Vanity Fare
- Bari Weiss was the student council president in high school. Vanity Fare
- For her literary acumen, Bari Weiss gives credit to her parents who made her keep journals. According to Bari, her parents would pay her five dollars to read a book and write a report, and whenever she committed a mistake, they would punish her by making her write a lengthy apology letter to whoever was offended. Vanity Fare
- According to Bari Weiss, she accidentally turned into an activist and writer as she had entered college as a theater nerd.
- The Jerusalem Post listed Bari Weiss as one of the world’s 50 most influential Jews in 2019. The Jerusalem Post
- Bari Weiss published her first book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism in September 2019.
- Her next book, “The New Seven Dirty Words” is slated to be published in 2020.
- She loves to enjoy alcoholic beverages while she hangs out with her friends.
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|