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An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One)

October 8, 2017

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 15.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Eleven)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain:

Individual Publication Date: October 8, 2017

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2017

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,729

ISSN 2369-6885

Pardes Seleh


An Interview with Pardes Seleh, B.S. She discusses: linguistics, geographic, and cultural family background; daily life for parents in Iran; core values of Orthodox Judaism; false claims about values of Orthodox Judaism; family background influence of personal development; definition of God; and stability and family structure.

Keywords: Campus Reform, Daily Wire, Independent Journal Review, Pardes Seleh, The Bruin Standard.

An Interview with Pardes Seleh, B.S.: Former Writer, Independent Journal Review; Former Staff Writer, Daily Wire; Former Editor-in-Chief, The Bruin Standard; Former California Campus Correspondent, Campus Reform (Part One)

*Footnotes in & after the interview, & citation style listing after the interview.*

*This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: In terms of geography, culture, and language, where does your familial background reside?

Pardes Seleh: My parents emigrated from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Los Angeles, California by way of Vienna, Austria in the 1980’s. My four siblings and I were raised speaking English and Farsi at home, and Hebrew and Spanish in school. We practice Orthodox Judaism.

2. Jacobsen: In the Islamic Republic of Iran, for your parents, what was daily life?

Seleh: From what they described, they both had very different lives, but they both lived in Tehran. They described it as very different from what it was like before the Revolution. It was more westernized. They went to cinemas. That was popular. Fashion was trending. Post-Revolution, there were different school systems and curricula being introduced for students.

Boys were being drafted into the army during The Gulf War. Their lives changed after it. It was then a question of when and how the children would be able to step out, when the parents would be able to send their children out of the country, e.g. avoid being drafted, be able to go to university outside of the country, and so on.   

3. Jacobsen: What was the age kids were drafted?

Seleh: I believe 18-years-old. My father said as early as 13-years-old. In his school, they were taught to shoot. They have training for the army. All of the boys did, at his age. I don’t remember what age he said he was. The kids were taught at a young age. My mom was really young when it started. Her school, they had regular daily songs, which kids would sing. It would be songs that were anti-Shah and anti-United States. It was down with the USA, the “Great Satan,” and down with the Shah.

They both lived in Vienna first. You couldn’t get a visa to the US from Iran. They went to Vienna and got a visa from Vienna and moved from Austria to Los Angeles after that.

4. Jacobsen: What was their description of life comparing time in Iran and living in Vienna and in Los Angeles?

Seleh: They said it was simpler in Iran. My dad, he never once thought of living back in Iran. My mother wanted to go back to visit family members. Unless the situation changes, they may never go back. They said it was nice to have things simpler, which was different than Austria and the United States. There wasn’t a lot of mobility in people’s social classes.

Work wasn’t the biggest priority. There was one breadwinner for the home. Everything else was taken care of. It was a traditional lifestyle at home. They love LA.

5. Jacobsen: If practiced in the right way, what core values does Orthodox Judaism inculcate in adherents?

Seleh: I currently don’t practice Orthodox Judaism. The way I was raised. If followed properly, it would be the letter of the Law and following Rabbinic Statutes. That was the main thing that was emphasized. It was following the letter of the law as dictated by the Old Testament, but as interpreted by Rabbinic scholars. Their word was the last word. If you had a disagreement with something written in the Old Testament, it always goes by what the rabbinic scholars of the time interpret it to be.

6. Jacobsen: Some make false claims about values espoused by Orthodox Judaism. What individuals and groups tend to make false claims about Orthodox Judaism? What are the false values some claim Orthodox Judaism teaches and espouses?

Seleh: I think Orthodox Judaism is similar to other sects of Judaism. Even the Ultra-Orthodox community is isolated from the rest of the Jewish community because it is so isolated, people assume they are Liberal like other Jews. It is definitely a very communal religion, so it is like other sects of Judaism in that respect. To me, it is similar to Catholicism, more so than mainstream Judaism or the way mainstream Jews are.

7. Jacobsen: What are some of the complex social and cultural consequences of the differences in theology?

Seleh: There are so many. One example would be Orthodox Judaism saying, “We don’t eat certain meats because they are not Kosher. They don’t have a Kosher certification. They weren’t manufactured in a Kosher enough way.” The reason will be the Law, because this is what the Law says. If you further ask them, they will tell you more technicalities of the Law and why this doesn’t benefit you.

Liberal Judaism is more interpretive, “I do humanitarian things. I don’t hurt animals or eat animals in this certain way because God doesn’t want us to harm animals. The difference would be differences between the Catholic Church and Protestantism.

8. Jacobsen: How did the family background influence development for you?

Seleh: My siblings and I grew up in a traditional home centered on God and family. We attended gender-specific private schools with rigorous Yeshiva-centered curricula that focused mainly on biblical and scholarly Hebrew texts. Because of our religious and cultural influences combined with an isolationist community philosophy, we were somewhat immune to external contemporary influences evident in most American public schools. We were trained to plan for marriage from a very early age.

My parents tried to encourage us to become well rounded with extra-curricular activities such as travelling, music lessons, and physical sports. Sometimes I question whether my religious upbringing caused me to be naïve, characteristically awkward, and culturally unprepared for the ‘real world.’ However, I acknowledge that more than everything, it imbued my siblings and me with a sense of family structure and stability.


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  6. Seleh, P. (2015, November 16). 4-year-old leads chant at UCLA Black Lives Matter walkout. Retrieved from
  7. Seleh, P. (2015, November 18). An Interview with Anti-Abortion Activist Lila Rose. Retrieved from
  8. Seleh, P. (2015, November 27). Animal research stirs up controversy at UCLA. Retrieved from
  9. Seleh, P. (2016, April 5). Anti-Cop Activists at UCLA Declare “Cop Free Zone”. Retrieved from!AntiCop-Activists-at-UCLA-Declare-Cop-Free-Zone/cjds/570368f30cf2e0dbcac4b721.  
  10. Seleh, P. (2015, May 13). Berkeley students protest for cows’ rights on Mother’s Day. Retrieved from  
  11. Seleh, P. (2015, December 1). Brown Students Can Finally Discuss Topics Freely… In a Secret Facebook Group. Retrieved from  
  12. Seleh, P. (2015, November 16). Cal Berkeley to open minority themed house next fall. Retrieved from
  13. Seleh, P. (2016, March 3). Calling Out in Kind: Students for Justice in Palestine. Retrieved from!Calling-Out-in-Kind-Students-for-Justice-in-Palestine/cjds/5700eed90cf2b279cdbc97e3.
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  15. Seleh, P. (2015, September 25). Cubans Not Pope Fans. Retrieved from
  16. Seleh, P. (2015, December 16). Daily Wire Reached Out to Academics Who Ripped ‘Racist’ Scalia. Here’s What They Said.. Retrieved from  
  17. Seleh, P. (2015, October 1). Featuring the Bernie 2016 Supporter. Retrieved from    
  18. Seleh, P. (2015, November 4). Feds to Pull $6 Million from School for Not Allowing Boy in Girls’ Showers. Retrieved from   
  19. Seleh, P. (2015, August 6). Harvard project tackles ‘gender bias’ in teens, parents. Retrieved from
  20. Seleh, P. (2015, November 18). Here’s How the Left Manipulates Research to Prove Your Wife is a Lesbian. Retrieved from
  21. Seleh, P. (2015, September 25). Hillary Says Obamacare Is A ‘Moral Issue’, Americans Disagree. Retrieved from
  22. Seleh, P. (2015, November 4). Hillary Wants to Force Employers to Hire Ex-Cons. Retrieved from    
  23. Seleh, P. (2015, March 9). Hillel At UCLA Takes Credit For Publicity Of The Rachel Beyda Incident. Retrieved from   
  24. Seleh, P. (2015, October 23). If Radical Islam and Gender Dysphoria Had a Child, It Would Look Like This. Retrieved from
  25. Seleh, P. (2015, June 26). Illegal immigrant graduate flies Mexican flag at graduation. Retrieved from  
  26. Seleh, P. (2015, September 10). Is a Berkeley student not diverse enough to fight sexual assault?. Retrieved from
  27. Seleh, P. (2015, July 6). Kinky sex club rises at USC. Retrieved from
  28. Seleh, P. (2015, October 28). Los Angeles Times Refuses to Reveal Criteria for Reporting Race in Crime Stories. Retrieved from
  29. Seleh, P. (2014, November 19). Major UCLA Donor Pledges to Pull Funds If Administration Backs BDS. Retrieved from
  30. Seleh, P. (2015, October 17). Media Misrepresent ‘Gay Gene’ Study Without Contacting Lead Author. Retrieved from  
  31. Seleh, P. (2015, November 17). Mizzou Administration Refuses To Identify Swastika Pooper. Retrieved from
  32. Seleh, P. (2015, May 12). Mizzou dining services apologizes for employee’s ‘insensitive’ Cinco de Mayo costume. Retrieved from   
  33. Seleh, P. (2015, November 12). Mizzou Student VP ‘Tired’ of Free Speech. Retrieved from
  34. Seleh, P. (2015, November 3). Momentum Grows on Tarantino Boycott. Retrieved from
  35. Seleh, P. (2015, October 21). Museum of Tolerance: State Department Responsible for Unfair Coverage of Israel. Retrieved from    
  36. Seleh, P. (2015, September 22). New York Jews Backlash Against Politicians Supporting Iran Deal. Retrieved from
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  39. Seleh, P. (2015, October 30). Planned Pregnanthood Discriminates Against Trans Men: No Contraceptives Because Male Pregnancy ‘Not Popular’. Retrieved from    
  40. Seleh, P. (2015, March 10). Pro-Israel Groups At UCLA Address Anti-Semitism While Openly Supporting SJP at UCLA. Retrieved from  
  41. Seleh, P.  (2016, February 29). Prof. under investigation for sexual assault to continue teaching at UCLA. Retrieved from
  42. Seleh, P. (2015, April 15). Professor Tormented At Connecticut College For Criticizing Hamas. Retrieved from   
  43. Seleh, P. (2015, July 22). Protesters at UC Berkeley get nude for trees. Retrieved from   
  44. Seleh, P. (2015, September 22). Republican Congressman Champion for Planned Parenthood. Retrieved from
  45. Seleh, P. (2015, November 24). Satirical ‘White Student Union’ Receives Death Threats for Protesting Anti-White Racism. Retrieved from
  46. Seleh, P. (2015, November 20). ‘Scream Queens’ Beats Up Antonin Scalia Physically. Retrieved from    
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  50. Seleh, P. (2015, April 8). SFSU President Leslie Wong Bans School-Funded Travel To Indiana. Retrieved from    
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  56. Seleh, P. (2014, November 11). TruthRevolt Students Protest SJP, Supposedly Pro-Israel Groups Undercut. Retrieved from
  57. Seleh, P. (2015, November 8). UC Berkeley Dems to frame GOP as racist during Tuesday’s debate. Retrieved from
  58. Seleh, P. (2015, November 23). UC Berkeley housing co-op establishes safe space guidelines. Retrieved from
  59. Seleh, P. (2015, October 28). UC Berkeley study links economic inequality to climate change. Retrieved from
  60. Seleh, P. (2015, November 6). UC Files Amicus Brief Supporting Affirmative Action. Retrieved from  
  61. Seleh, P. (2015, November 10). UC Merced Attacker Was A Radical Muslim. The University, Police, and Media Covered It Up. Retrieved from
  62. Seleh, P. (2015, April 21). UCLA Activist Over Screening of American Sniper: “Death to America”. Retrieved from  
  63. Seleh, P. (2015, April 22). UCLA Activist: “What’s Wrong with Death to America???”. Retrieved from  
  64. Seleh, P. (2014, December 11). UCLA Adds Cuba To Its List Of Study Abroad Programs. Retrieved from   
  65. Seleh, P. (2015, March 18). UCLA Chancellor Compares Anti-SJP Posters To Swastikas. Retrieved from   
  66. Seleh, P. (2014, November 24). UCLA Donor Reverses Decision To Pull Funds After Administration Bucks BDSe to Chancellor’s rejection of divestment resolution. Retrieved from  
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  73. Seleh, P. (2015, October 8). UCLA Students Cry Racism Over White Kids Dressing Up As Kim and Kanye. Retrieved from    
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  76. Seleh, P. (2015, December 7). UCSB Administration ‘Triggered’ by White Student Union, to Offer Counseling Services. Retrieved from    
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  81. Seleh, P. (2015, October 8). University of Toronto Dumps Transgender Bathrooms After Peeping Incidents. Retrieved from    
  82. Seleh, P. (2015, February 22). UPDATE: NY Taxi Driver Yells ‘All Jews Must Die’. Retrieved from
  83. Seleh, P. (2015, March 25). USAC President Avinoam Baral Blames Netanyahu for BDS. Retrieved from
  84. Seleh, P. (2015, October 8). Victims of Sharia Mandate Respond to Ben Carson’s Comments. Retrieved from
  85. Seleh, P. (2015, May 23). Was a landmark study on gay marriage faked? Looks like it. Retrieved from  
  86. Seleh, P. (2015, September 22). Was McConnell’s Revote on the Iran Deal a Hoax?. Retrieved from

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Former Writer, Independent Journal Review; Former Staff Writer, Daily Wire; Former Editor-in-Chief, The Bruin Standard; Former California Campus Correspondent, Campus Reform.  

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 8, 2017 at; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2018 at

[3] Santa Monica College (2012-2014); B.S. (2014-2016), Human Biology and Society, University of California, Los Angeles; Lifeguard Instructor, American Red Cross.

[4] Photograph courtesy of Pardes Seleh.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One) [Online].October 2017; 15(A). Available from:

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2017, October 8). An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One)Retrieved from

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A, October. 2017. <>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2017. “An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A (October 2017).

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A. Available from: <>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A.,

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 15.A (2017):October. 2017. Web. <>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One)[Internet]. (2017, October; 15(A). Available from:

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In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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