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February 17: The First Jewish Woman in Congress

Florence Prag Kahn, at age 58, became the first Jewish woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on this date in 1925. She beat two other candidates in her San Francisco district to succeed her husband, Representative Julius Kahn, who had died after being reelected to his 13th term. Florence Kahn would herself be […]

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Lee Sharkey’s Walk into the Jewish Depths

by Anna Wrobel Discussed in this essay: Walking Backwards, poetry by Lee Sharkey, Tupelo Press, 2016, 89 pages. “I found a fruitful world, because my ancestors planted it for me. Likewise I am planting for my children.” –Talmud LEE SHARKEY has been a midwife of sorts, drawing profoundly compelling poetry from disadvantaged Maine women. She […]

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In Memoriam: Irwin Corey

by Bennett Muraskin “THE WORLD’S FOREMOST AUTHORITY,” Irwin Corey, has died at the ripe old age of 102. His shtik was to impersonate a professor spouting intellectual gibberish. He typically started his shpil with “However,” and, after a barrage of wordy non-sequiturs, ended it by asking “What was the question?” Typically in the course of […]

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A Yiddish Moment with Irwin Corey

by Hershl Hartman THE NEW YORK TIMES’ obituary for “Professor” Irwin Corey, “the world’s greatest authority” (February 7) recalled his “unrepentant leftist view,” his “admiration for Fidel Castro,” his being an “enthusiastic member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union” and describing himself as a “short Jewish atheist.” It also noted that “some network executives […]

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