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    O My America: What the Redwood Said

    January 26, 2018Lawrence Bush

    For Tu B'Shvat 2018, The New Year of the Trees by Lawrence Bush When God created Adam, God led him around the Garden of Eden and said to him: “Behold my works. See how wonderful and beautiful they are. All that I have created, for your sake did I create it. Now see to it that you do not spoil and destroy my world, for if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you.” —Kohelet Rabbah 7:13          ...

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    Why Be Anything? Why Be Jewish?

    December 11, 2017Adam Chalom

    THE JEWISH-UNIVERSALIST DILEMMA by Adam Chalom from the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   ONE HUNDRED and thirty years ago, a new language was born. It had regular rules and simple grammar, and could be learned in one tenth the time it takes to learn English. The inventor of Esperanto was a Polish Jewish doctor named Ludwik Zamenhof. In his words: In Bialystok the inhabitants were divided into four distinct elements: Russians, Poles, Germans, and Jews; each of these spoke their own langu...

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    Eight Ideas for Khanike Gelt

    December 8, 2016Lawrence Bush

    by Lawrence Bush KHANIKE GELT (gifts of money) has roots in days of Jewish poverty, when children rarely had a penny of their own. In contemporary times of Jewish prosperity, perhaps it is the whole family's turn to give gelt. Here are some suggestions for Khanike-season giving. FIRST CANDLE: The "Miracle of Oil" -- one day's worth burning for eight days -- is a wonderful metaphor for how resources can be stretched and shared for the benefit of all. Have a discussion about your community -- ...

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    Remembering the Waistmakers General Strike, 1909

    May 3, 2015Morris Schappes

    In Memoriam: Clara Lemlich Shavelson (March 28, 1886 — July 25, 1982) Originally published in the November, 1982 issue of Jewish Currents. Read the original, in PDF with footnotes. WHEN CLARA LEMLICH SHAVELSON DIED in a Los Angeles nursing home July 25th, the death notice of the family in the New York Times July 30th and August 1st identified her as the "loving Mother and Grandmother who sparked 1909 Shirtwaist Makers' Strike." That action of hers has assured her a place in the history of the A...

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    When I First Met Sh. Ansky

    December 1, 1990admin

    by Khayim Zhitlovsky Translated from the Yiddish by Max Rosenfeld Originally published in the December, 1990 issue of Jewish Currents; Translated from an essay first published in 1940 IT WAS ON THE MORNING of my bar mitzva, in the spring of 1878, that I first met Shloyme Zanvl Rapaport, who later became famous as Sh. Ansky (1863-1920), author of The Dybbuk (1920). We were both playing in the street and I invited him to come hear my "speech" and then come to the party afterward. From that day ...

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    African-Americans & Jewish-Americans: A New Agenda for an Old Alliance

    July 1, 1990admin

    by Mayor David N. Dinkins Originally published in the July-August, 1990 issue of Jewish Currents This address was delivered April 3 at the opening of an important photographic exhibit, “Blacks and Jews: The American Experience, 1654—1989” at the Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. The exhibit was sponsored by the American Jewish Committee and a number of African-American and other Jewish organizations, and will continue until August 17, 1990. The report of Mayor Dink...

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    Kindertransport Reunion

    December 1, 1989admin

    London, June 20-21, 1989 by Olga Drucker Originally published in the December, 1989 issue of Jewish Currents HALF A CENTURY HAS PASSED since the ships crossed the English Channel from Hook of Holland to Harwich (pronounced Harrich), England. They steamed across in the dark of night. Their cargo: children — a few hundred at a time. The ships made the same voyage again and again, between early December, 1938 (after Kristallnacht) and August, 1939. By then, the eve of the outbreak of World War II...

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    Jews in Latin America: Past and Present

    September 1, 1981admin

    Facing Problems of Social Transformation by Paul Horowitz Originally published in the September, 1981 issue of Jewish Currents Reviewed in this Essay: Jews of the Latin American Republics, by Judith Laikin Elkin. University of North Carolina Press, 1980, 313 pages. IN THE EARLY 1970S THE EARLY CHILEAN RIGHT Tried to focus middle-class and elite anger, unleashed by the Popular Unity government’s efforts radically to transform Chilean society, on the “Jews surrounding Allende.” Individual Jews ...

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    Is There A Future For Jewish Secularism?

    January 5, 1976admin

    by Marc Lowenthal Originally published in the January, 1976 issue of Jewish Currents THERE IS A CRISIS TODAY FACED BY JEWISH SECULARISM. It is not a problem that is going to go away and it may well determine the composition of Jewish progressives in the next generation. If there is going to be a future at all, we must realize there are in fact, two crises: The first is the failure of Jewish secularism to make an impact on the Jewish community; the second is the present inability of Jewish prog...

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    Reparations to Jews By Lutherans?

    October 1, 1971admin

    From Lutheran Forum (New York), June-July, 1971, column by Editor Glenn C. Stone, "What If..." Originally published in the October, 1971 issue of Jewish Currents A RECENT VOLUME OF LUTHER'S WORKS, the last in a series on the Christian in society, prompts us to wonder what would have happened if Martin Luther had died before 1540? For one thing, his most vicious tirades against the papal Church, the Turks and the Jews would not have been written. For that favor, we all would have been better of...

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    Jews & Negroes: Unity from Collision

    January 1, 1969admin

    by Coretta Scott King Originally published in the January, 1969 issue of Jewish Currents This address was delivered by Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr., at the Presidential Inaugural Spiritual Service at Brandeis University, October 4, 1968. THE QUESTION, “CAN THERE BE ONE AMERICA?” is one which requires careful thought and analysis. This is essentially a question dealing with unity. Is America a nation of one people, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all? America was founded on the princi...

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    A Secular View of Bar Mitzva

    June 1, 1964admin

    by Hershl Harris Originally published in the June, 1964 issue of Jewish Currents ONE OF THE MANY ASPECTS of Jewish education on which secularists tend to disagree is the question of bar mitzva. To some, the very idea of a bar mitzva ceremony as part of secular Jewish education is a fatal compromise with religious ritual. To others, celebration of bar mitzva (and bas mitzva for girls) is a benevolent evil, necessary in the competitive scramble among varied Jewish schools in the community, but e...

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    Emma Lazarus & Jewish Secularism

    November 1, 1962June Gordon

    For the 75th Anniversary of the Death of Emma Lazarus, November 19, 1887 by June Gordon Originally published in the November, 1962 issue of Jewish Currents Dear Editors: Thank you for inviting me to comment on M.L.G.’s letter (September, 1962), in which he asked, “Henrietta Szold epitomizes Hadassah; how does Emma Lazarus reflect secular Judaism?...” His question is doubly welcome on the eve of the 75th anniversary of Emma Lazarus’ death, November 19, 1887. The question often encountered, “Wh...

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    A Blighted Passover

    April 1, 1961admin

    A Reminisence by Sam Liptzin, translated from the Yiddish by Max Rosenfeld Originally published in the April, 1961 issue of Jewish Currents IT WAS THE DAY BEFORE Passover, 1910 or 1911. I was working on Mangin Street on the lower East Side in New York, in a shop that belonged to two partners, Goldstein and Latov. The spring sun shone warmly over the roofs. Wherever the trees and grass found enough freedom, light and sunshine they burst into greenery. Everywhere you could sense the coming hol...

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    Women Unite for Desegregation

    May 1, 1960admin

    Washington Conference of National Organizations Plans Action for Equality by Billie Portnow Originally published in the May, 1960 issue of Jewish Currents The sit-down demonstrations by Negro students against discriminatory lunch counters which began Feb. 1st in Greensboro, N.C., were spreading rapidly throughout the South when a historic conference dealing with the same basic issue took place in Washington, D.C., at the Shoreham Hotel, Feb. 17-19. Attended by over 300 delegates from 24 state...

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    Parents' Corner: Rosh Hashona and Yom Kippur

    September 1, 1958admin

    Originally published in the September, 1958 of Jewish Currents A READER, RUTH SIMON, WRITES: Rosh Hashona and Yom Kippur have always posed a difficult problem to Jews with a progressive, secular approach to Jewish living. These holidays have been essentially religious in ritual, centered in the synagogue and unrelated to any major historic event in the Jewish past (as is the case with Hanuka, Passover, etc.). As a result progressive, secular Jews have at times tended to adopt a hostile attitude...

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    Pilgrimage to Atlanta

    February 1, 1954admin

    Negro & White Women, United, Travel to Petition Governor Talmadge to Free Mrs. Rosa Lee Ingram, Victim of Oppression Originally published in the February, 1954 issue of Jewish Life   IT WAS A COLD DECEMBER MORNING when 23 of us, white and Negro women, marched onto the train at New York's Penn Station with our banner, "Free Mrs. Rosa Ingram." We were on our way to Atlanta, Georgia, to meet delegations from other states and together to see Governor Herman Talmadge to petition him to pardon M...

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