Watch activist rabbi’s 6-year-old daughter demand justice from New Yorker cartoon contest

Gabe Friedman

New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff in his office holding a letter from Jill Jacobs' daughter. (Screenshot from The New Yorker)

New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff in his office holding a letter from Rabbi Jill Jacobs’ daughter. (Screenshot from The New Yorker)

Conservative Rabbi Jill Jacobs is known for her social activism, and her young daughter is already fighting injustice too.

Six-year-old Lior Jacobs’ cause: The New Yorker cartoon contest doesn’t accept submissions from minors.

“It isn’t fair. Seriously,” she wrote in a letter to The New Yorker cartoon editor Robert Mankoff.

Clearly cowed by the young revolutionary, Mankoff immediately pledged to look into the issue in an adorable video published on the venerable magazine’s website Friday.


Mankoff explained that the problem lies with the prize money The New Yorker awards to winners of the popular contest, in which readers compete to give the best captions to cartoons, and said the magazine was working to change this practice so that anyone can enter.

Soon after the video was published, Jill Jacobs made a proud Facebook post in support of her daughter.

“Kind of insanely proud of L’s first appearance in the New Yorker, and her insistence on fighting injustice–including ageism. And really grateful to the New Yorker for this amazing, unexpected video. We were kind of just hoping for a letter. . .this is so much more,” she wrote.

With the help of New Yorker cartoonist and Upper West Side kindergarten teacher Avi Steinberg, Mankoff was able to decipher Lior’s handwritten letter. It reads:

“Dear New Yorker editors,

I am six and here is some news that’s not fair in your magazine. Anyone should be allowed to enter in the caption contest. Think about kids all over New York. How do you think them [sic] and their parents feel? If you ask me, they’re sad. Why shouldn’t kids be allowed to enter? It isn’t fair. Seriously.”

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