November 12: Jews Acquire Family Names

In a decree promulgated on this date in 1787, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II ordered all Jews in the Hapsburg Empire to acquire family names. The decree came five years after the Edict of Tolerance, which permitted Jewish children to attend schools and universities, eliminated vocational restrictions for Jewish adults, abolished stigmatizing rules of dress […]

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Strike Debt: Rolling Jubilee

by Alyssa Goldstein So here’s an awesome thing that’s happening: Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee. Strike Debt is an Occupy-affiliated group that views “debt as a global system of domination and exploitation of the 99% by the 1%.” The Rolling Jubilee (which takes its name from the ancient Jewish/Christian tradition of the universal forgiveness of debt […]

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