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    Running for Congress at 24

    May 1, 2017Ron Skolnik

    AND GETTING ATTACKED BY NEO-NAZIS A CONVERSATION WITH ERIN SCHRODE From the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents Erin Schrode, 25, has been an environmental activist her entire life. In 2005, at age 13, in response to skyrocketing cancer rates in Marin County, California, she and her mother Judi Shils co-founded Teens for Safe Cosmetics and set out to campaign against hazardous chemicals in beauty and personal-care products. Notwithstanding her precocious activism, Schrode was far from a publ...

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    Rod Serling and the Conscience of a Generation

    November 2, 2009Marek Breiger

    Rod Serling and the Conscience of a Generation

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    Yiddish in the Age of Identity

    May 7, 2017Lina Morales

    It’s a rare occurrence when I present all my identities without someone expressing shock and wonderment at the idea that these identities can coexist.

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    "The Russians Are Coming" and Other Poems

    February 2, 2018Sparrow

    by Sparrow From our 2018 art calendar, dedicated to the theme of music   THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING The Russians are coming; the Russians are coming. They stole our election, and they are drumming. The Russians are drumming; the Russians are drumming. The president hears them, and he is humming. The president’s humming; the president’s humming. He is in love with the Russians’ drumming. The Russians are drumming; the Russians are drumming; I hear their music and it is numbing. O Russians, O...

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    Tales of the Hasidic Jazz Masters

    January 31, 2018Mikhail Horowitz

    Text and Visuals by Mikhail Horowitz from the Winter 2017-18 issue of Jewish Currents, our art calendar   I WHEN LESTER YOUNG had finally become Lester Altacocker, he rued having worn a porkpie hat for so many years. After giving it away to a Polish trombonist, he asked his rebbe, “What should I wear in its place, Lady Mordecai?” The sage answered, “Nu? Try a hat made of bacon fat.” Said Lester, “But isn’t that the same thing, man, the same kind of treyf?” Reb Mordecai replied, “Honey, anyon...

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    Zemirovsky's Flight from the Juif

    January 7, 2018Zelda Gamson

    ASSIMILATION AND DISSIMULATION by Zelda Gamson Discussed in this essay: The Nemirovsky Question: The Life, Death and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in 20th-Century France, by Susan Rubin Suleiman. Yale University Press, 2016, 376 pages. from the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   THE LIFE could have made a good novel, and she might even have written it — had she lived to do so. But Irene Nemirovsky died before she could live that life. She was hiding in plain sight, wearing the yellow star, i...

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    Inclusion and the Soul of a Synagogue

    January 2, 2018Lawrence Bush

    by Rabbi Jeremy Kridel From the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents "WE DON'T REALLY think we can do that.” So ends my wife’s phone conversation with staff at a Jewish camp and after-school program. What they could not do was include our son, then 8, in their activities. They were unprepared to provide services for an autistic child. My family’s story is hardly unique, either to us or to the Jewish community. In 2014, Sheri Dacon and her husband were informed by a children’s minister at the...

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    Bridging the Israeli-Palestinian Divide

    December 18, 2017Helen Engelhardt

    NOA BAUM CAPTURES HER STAGE PERFORMANCE IN A BOOK by Helen Engelhardt Discussed in this essay: A Land Twice Promised: An Israeli Woman’s Quest for Peace, a theater performance and a book by Noa Baum. Familius, 2016, 264 pages. From the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   A VIVACIOUS woman with dark, curly hair and a warm smile on her expressive face stands alone on the stage and invites us to join her. In a low, compelling voice she begins her performance: “Jumana and I met on the green g...

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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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    Turkish Delight

    December 4, 2017Sarah Aroeste

    THE SEPHARDIC IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE IN FICTION by Sarah Aroeste From the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   Discussed in this essay: His Hundred Years, A Tale by Shalach Manot. Albion-Andalus Books, 2016, 208 pages.   IT IS WITH BOTH pride and curiosity that I spent my childhood years staring daily at a photograph of my grandfather as a boy, his uncle Max beside him dressed up in a fez and Balkan uniform. The photo was prominently displayed in the hallway of my family’s house in Princeto...

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    MIDRASH: The Stories We Tell

    November 28, 2017Reba Carmel

    WHY THE TORAH REMAINS AN OPEN BOOK by Reba Carmel   Moses received the Torah at Sinai and he transmitted it to Joshua,  and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets, and the prophets transmitted it to the Men of the Great Assembly . . . [who] said three maxims: Be measured in the legal process, raise up many students; make a fence for the Torah.  —Ethics of the Fathers 1:1 WHY DOES A TEXT called “Ethics of the Fathers” (Pirkei Avot), compiled and edited in its final form in approx...

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    The "Double Genocide" Theory

    November 22, 2017Dovid Katz

    THE NEW AND OFFICIAL FORM OF HOLOCAUST DENIAL by Dovid Katz from the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents Photo at top: A scene from the June 1941 Lietukis Garage Massacre in Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania. An eyewitness wrote: “The behavior of the civilians present (women and children) was unbelievable. After each man had been killed they began to clap and when the national anthem started up they joined in singing and clapping.”   AMERICA WAS JOLTED this past summer not only by a neo-Nazi eve...

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    Unionized Public Schools Do a Better Job

    November 21, 2017Marc Jampole

    BUT POVERTY TRUMPS TEACHERS EVERYWHERE by Marc Jampole from the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   IN DEFINING what constitutes a leftist perspective on education, let’s rely on a number of foundational principles that have defined the American left for more than 150 years: The left favors unions; the left believes in public education; the left believes in the ability of government to address societal needs; the left wants to create a level playing field which includes equal educational o...

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    Radical or Liberal in 2017?

    November 19, 2017Raina Lipsitz

    REGARDING FEMINISM AND LOTS MORE by Raina Lipsitz from the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   WHEN I WAS 17, I yearned for the “real” feminism of my mother’s era, the kind chronicled in Susan Brownmiller’s In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution, which came out in 2000, during my senior year of high school, and Robin Morgan’s 1970 anthology, Sisterhood is Powerful, which I devoured that same year. I remember admiring how committed those women were, how they wanted to change not only their own...

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    In Defense of Marxism

    November 7, 2017Michael Zweig

    by Michael Zweig From the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents To read Sam Friedman’s recent “Why I’m (Still) a Marxist” in Jewish Currents, click here. To read Lawrence Bush’s “Why I’m Not (Still) a Marxist,” click here. To read about Jewish Currents’ communist history, click here.   UNTIL I RETIRED in 2016, I taught an undergraduate course on Marxist economics at SUNY Stony Brook for many years. Each first day of class, in addition to sharing the usual logistical information, I wrote four ...

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    The Rise and Fall of the Russian Revolution

    October 30, 2017Mitchell Abidor

    LOOKING BACK A CENTURY LATER by Mitchell Abidor From the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   Discussed in this essay: October by China Miéville, Verso, 2017, 343 pages; The Dilemmas of Lenin by Tariq Ali. Verso, 2017, 371 pages; Lenin on the Train by Catherine Merridale, Metropolitan Books, 2017, 354 pages.   AT FIRST GLANCE, the notion of a science fiction author writing a volume on the Bolshevik Revolution, as is the case with China Miéville’s October, might seem bizarre. How can a non...

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    Stories of Activist Victories

    October 22, 2017Jacob Perl

    WHAT WORKS AND WHY by Jacob L. Perl Discussed in this essay: When We Fight, We Win: Twenty-First Century Social Movements and Activists That Are Transforming Our World, by Greg Jobin-Leeds and AgitArte, The New Press, 2016, 208 pages. Artwork, above: Maggie Crabapple; below: Melanie Cervantes -- from When We Fight, We Win   IN 2012, we were going to lose: Voters in North Carolina were going to ban gay marriage. A lot of people were working their hearts out to beat the ban, but it wasn’t enou...

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    Erich Fromm's Humanistic Judaism

    October 18, 2017Sam Rodin

    THE MODERN MEANING OF IDOLATRY by Sam K. Rodin From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   FOR THE GREAT humanist thinker Erich Fromm, the Hebrew Bible was a revolutionary book. “Its theme,” he wrote (in You Shall Be As Gods, 1966), “is the liberation of [humanity] from the incestuous ties to blood and soil, from the submission to idols, from slavery, from powerful masters, to freedom for the individual, for the nation, and for all [hu]mankind.” A psychoanalyst, sociologist, public intel...

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    The Fight for Labor in the Public Sector

    September 2, 2017Alex Bloom

    LESSONS FROM AN ENDURING LOCAL, SSEU 371 by Alexander Bernhardt Bloom From the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents THE PHONES rarely stopped ringing in the wing of the union’s headquarters assigned to Grievances. This was a good place for me to begin, explained Shirley. Here I’d get to know the members and their work through their voices on the phones. This proved true: Most spoke their piece to me, even after I explained that I was just an intern and a grievance representative would be ready...

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    Living Communally as Teens in Israel

    September 1, 2017Marah Birnbaum

    IF THIS IS SOCIALISM, WHERE’S THE BATHROOM? by Marah Birnbaum From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   ALMOST EVERY DAY, I walk into the living room to find two to six young men in the assumed position: sunk into the couch, fixated on their phones or computers, necks tucked and backs hunched. The staccato clicking of video-game controllers and the obscene exclamations of Youtube commentators fill the room. Although this moment consistently fills me with dread, I hope that someday I’ll...

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    Bye, Bye, Boys' Club

    September 1, 2017Raina Lipsitz

    WOMEN IN AN EXPANDING COMEDY SCENE by Raina Lipsitz From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   COMEDY has become for the millennial generation what rock and roll was for baby boomers — the fantasy career option. Thousands of people pay upwards of $50 a class for improvisational and sketch comedy classes (organizations such as New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade require eight-class courses, meaning each student pays at least $400). Netflix, Amazon, Comedy Central, and other networks have...

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    Canada's Father of Reproductive Rights

    August 26, 2017Ruth Miller

    DR. HENRY MORGENTALER'S SACRIFICE by Ruth Miller From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents THE STORY of Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s life (1923-2013) and his effect on Canadian society and legal landscape is a rich and compelling one. He was a hero to many, and a villain to those who refused, and still refuse, to acknowledge the agency of women and their right to control their bodies and their fertility. I met Dr. Morgentaler in the early 1970s, and followed and supported his efforts to make ab...

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    Why I'm (Still) a Marxist

    August 20, 2017Sam Friedman

    THE ANSWER, MORE THAN EVER, IS BARBARISM From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents by Sam Friedman LAWRENCE BUSH, the editor of Jewish Currents, asked me to write this essay. He did so because we’ve had a few conversations about Marxism as an important current in Jewish culture, politics, and history. Marxism is also an ideological touchstone for many of the magazine’s readers, despite the fact that events over the last century have made many people on the left skeptical about Marxism. I m...

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    Why I'm Not (Still) a Marxist

    August 20, 2017Lawrence Bush

    BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE, NO MATTER THEIR CLASS by Lawrence Bush   I AM A SOCIALIST. I want to see the social and cooperative capacities of human beings cultivated at least as much as our individualistic and competitive tendencies, and I want to see an economic system developed that reckons justly with the reality that all wealth-creation, all economic activity, is deeply social, and that human beings thrive when treated with compassion and generosity instead of pressure and punishment. Still...

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    Hitler and the Art of the Deal

    August 17, 2017Mitchell Abidor

    HIS RISE TO POWER AS A MASTER MANIPULATOR by Mitchell Abidor Published in the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939, by Volker Ullrich. Alfred A. Knopf, 998 pages, 2016; On Hitler’s Mein Kampf, by Albrecht Koschorke. MIT Press, 78 pages, 2017. IT IS DIFFICULT when reading Volker Ullrich’s brilliant and absorbing Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939, to cast away thoughts of how it relates to our world today. The rise of the right everywhere forces us to v...

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    The Enemy Within

    August 9, 2017Alessio Franko

    INTIMACY VS. COLD WAR POLITICS IN THE AMERICANS by Alessio Franko From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents "THIS MIGHT HELP you understand them a little bit, ” says Pastor Tim (Kelly AuCoin), handing the teenaged Paige Jennings (Holly Taylor) a copy of Karl Marx’s Capital. The pastor is privy to a secret that Paige and almost no one else on The Americans knows: that her parents, Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell), are KGB agents posing as a typical American coup...

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    Splits in the Yiddish Socialist Movement

    July 28, 2017Hershl Hartman

    WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THEIR HISTORY by Hershl Hartman Published in the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents MY BOLSHEVIK MOTHER in 1929 named me Hirsh Naftoli -- not after departed grandfathers or uncles, but after two assassins of the diverse Socialist movements in Eastern Europe. You may have heard of one or both of them: Hirsh Lekert (Leckert) and Naftoli Botvin (Botwin). First, Hirsh Lekert: On May Day, 1902, the newly-appointed tsarist governor of Vilna (Vilnius), Baron Viktor von Wahl...

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    Betting on the Dodgers and Organizing for Spain

    July 13, 2017D. Zhonzinsky

    by D. Zhonzinsky From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   IN A CANDY STORE in Brownsville on the corner of Saratoga and Livonia Avenues in 1938 (it could’ve been ’37, probably not ’39), my father placed a bet on a doubleheader being played at Ebbets Field the same day. Seventy-five bucks on each game, Dodgers to beat Cincinnati in both. It was a Sunday, had to be a Sunday, double-headers were played on Sundays. $150, an enormous sum at the time but that was the number he remembered twe...

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    From Job Loss to Guaranteed Basic Income

    July 6, 2017Dusty Sklar

    AUTOMATION AND THE POST-SCARCITY ECONOMY by Dusty Sklar From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   THE IDEA of providing a universal basic income (UBI) to all families has begun to take root in the U.S. among both conservatives and liberals. For the former, it’s a way actually to shrink the welfare state by folding poverty-relief programs into a single, universal, basic income program. For the latter, it’s a path to more economic equity and an end to dire poverty. For both, it’s a way of...

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    If It's Not Genocide, What Word Should We Use?

    June 30, 2017Dorothy Zellner

    A DISSENT FROM OUR EDITORIAL ON THE BLACK LIVES MATTER PLATFORM by Dorothy Zellner From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   I TAKE ISSUE with the Jewish Currents editorial, “Supporting the Black Lives Matter Platform, Its Slander of Israel Notwithstanding” (Autumn, 2016), in which the magazine unfortunately joined the pack of the hands-in-the-air-I’m–shocked-and-horrified Zionist groups that condemned the Movement for Black Lives — a very large coalition of which Black Lives Matter is ...

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    Immigration -- Legal or Illegal -- Is Good for the Country

    June 25, 2017Marc Jampole

    by Marc Jampole From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   LIKE MOST of the battles between left and right in contemporary America, the fight over the role of immigration and immigrants has strong ideological and emotional components. Most people on the left believe that the United States is and should be a secular and pluralistic nation built on immigrants. We leftists rejoice in the diversity of beliefs, customs, cuisine, music, and cultural experiences that each new wave of immigrant...

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    Fifty Years, and No End in Sight

    June 22, 2017Ron Skolnik

    HAS ISRAEL EVER TRULY INTENDED TO WITHDRAW FROM THE WEST BANK? by Ron Skolnik From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   ON THE EVENING of November 4, 1995, I walked home happily to my small Tel Aviv apartment, having just been part of the massive crowd that had come out in support of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the Oslo peace process that he was leading. It was one of many similar pro-peace actions, organized by Peace Now and other groups, in which I took part during the Oslo years...

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    Jewish Identity Without "Otherness"

    June 6, 2017Michael Mirer

    RESISTING THE LURE OF "WHITENESS" by Michael Mirer From the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents TO DEFINE Jewish American identity is to invite disagreement. Each definition threatens to efface or minimize some aspect of the American Jewish experience that may be essential to someone else. Religious Jews, perhaps, can agree to a narrow definition: Jews are the people of the Jewish faith. But I’m one of the 32 percent of American Jews born after 1980 who identify, to use the recent Pew polls t...

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    EARTH to Trump

    June 1, 2017Lawrence Bush

    WHEN IT COMES TO THE ENVIRONMENT, CITIES, STATES, AND PEOPLE ARE IN MOTION An Editorial from our Summer 2017 issue THE UNITED STATES  is the oldest constitutional republic in the world  (except for the tiny Italian microstate of San Marino). Given that durability, it’s not wishful to believe that the country’s basic political system is strong enough to withstand four years of ignorant, erratic, authoritarian rule by Donald Trump and his rightwing mob. Our electoral system, although deeply com...

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    Community Plus: Moving Beyond "Jewish While Doing Something Else"

    May 30, 2017Lex Rofeberg

    by Lex Rofes from the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents WHEN YOU'RE in your mid-twenties, as I am, and work for a Jewish non-profit organization, as I do, you hear a lot of questions from your elders. “What do millennial Jews want?” “Will young Jews continue to support their local Federations?” “How can our congregation recruit new, young members?” Then there’s the big one: Are millennial Jews interested in Judaism and Jewishness . . . at all? In fifty years, will our children look out at ...

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    The New-ish, Jew-ish Economy

    May 17, 2017Kate Poole

    REPARATIONS, SUSTAINABILITY, DEMOCRACY by Kate Poole and Jessica Rosenberg Published in the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents.   WHAT ARE our roles and our responsibilities, as Jews, in the economy? Hand in hand with the economic, political, scientific, and agricultural change that we are seeking, we believe that we must also be working towards a revolution in values -- a fundamental change from the scarcity, competition, and fear that govern so much of our culture and economy. We’re activ...

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    O My America: Will Jews Still Be Liberal in 2050?

    May 10, 2017Lawrence Bush

    by Lawrence Bush from the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents 1. AS FUTURE GENERATIONS OF JEWS TAKE OVER, SO MAY ORTHODOXY IF THERE IS any solace to be found after the Republican takeover of the U.S. government, it is in the hope that this will be a short burp in history before the rising generations of America restore us to sanity and progress. Bernie Sanders’ pollster, Ben Tulchin, nearly says as much in our recent interview with him: “What we learned through all our research is that millenn...

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    A Conversation with Bernie's Pollster, Ben Tulchin

    May 6, 2017Lawrence Bush

    From the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents BEN TULCHIN, 43, became pollster for the Bernie Sanders for President campaign in October 2015, as the Vermont senator’s surprisingly effective run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination was pulling in millions of dollars in small contributions and drawing tens of thousands of supporters at campaign rallies. Tulchin played a key role in shaping the messaging of a campaign that ultimately raised more than $250 million from...

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    Wednesday Night Fiction: The Rabbi and the Shark

    May 3, 2017Dan Grossman

    by Dan Grossman from the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents THE RABBI was terrified. Just minutes before Kol Nidre he stood in his office chanting the prayers under his breath, worrying for the twentieth time that his sermon was too high-minded, and flipping through the tall, gold-spined books on his shelf, as if he might cure his dread with a passage from the Midrash or Talmud. Not only was he the youngest rabbi in the history of Beth Shalom, an old and venerable synagogue trying to breathe...

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    "The Miracle of My Life" — and Jewish Solidarity Now

    April 27, 2017Jonah Boyarin

    A TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE TO A HOLOCAUST MEMOIR by Jonah Sampson Boyarin from the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   I WAS IN BETWEEN literature classes and field chores at Yiddish Farm in the summer of 2015, sipping tea in the informal little library in upstate New York, when my eyes were drawn to a book with a simple chess board on the cover, black and white on a field of dark green. It was a Holocaust memoir entitled Shakhmat: der nes fun mayn lebn — that is, “Checkmate: The Miracle of My...

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    A Taxonomy of Stupid Shit the Jewish Establishment Says to Millennials

    April 26, 2017David Wilensky

    by David A.M. Wilensky and Gabriel T. Erbs from the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents ALL SORTS OF ARTICLES have been written and published about the millennials, with headlines that ask “Are Millennials Killing (fill in the blank)?” Bar soap. The diamond trade. Network television. It has also been widely reported that we are lazy and self-centered, and somehow that we are simultaneously more hard-working around the office and more engaged in social justice. Just as Big Soap, Big Diamond, a...

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    Embracing Technology

    April 19, 2017Ezra Jampole

    AUTOMATION AND A POST-SCARCITY SOCIETY by Ezra Jampole From the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   The fear of losing one’s job permeates the minds of many Americans, and resulted in the election of the most terrifying threat to democracy the nation has seen. While Republicans unfairly blame immigrants for the destruction of jobs and job security in the United States, the true culprit is automation -- shifts in industries and economies brought about by technological advances and the widen...

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    Israel's One-State Movement in the Spotlight

    April 12, 2017Ron Skolnik

    PLANS, OLD AND NEW, TO ANNEX THE WEST BANK by Ron Skolnik from the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents FOR DECADES, the right wing has been Israel’s version of the “Party of No.” Just as Republicans in America threw up a wall of obstruction to prevent President Obama from advancing his policy agenda for eight years, so has the bevy of rightwing activists, parties, and organizations in Israel, since the 1993 Oslo Accord, pursued a “Strategy of No” meant to stymie the efforts of the internation...

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    Aiming Beyond the Status Quo

    April 1, 2017Lawrence Bush

    Breadth of Resistance! Unity of Purpose? An Editorial from the Spring 2017 issue of Jewish Currents FOR THE MAJORITY of Americans who voted against Trump, his lies, his appointments, his executive orders, and his all-around autocratic ugliness have been so appalling that it is easy to infer a broad sense of unity rooted simply in a shared revulsion. Even George W. Bush recently stepped away from his easel to chastise his bizarre successor for being hard-hearted on the immigration issue and disr...

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    Our Red Rosa

    March 3, 2017Helen Engelhardt

    ROSA LUXEMBURG'S JEWISH LIFE AND COMPLICATED LEGACY by Helen Engelhardt from the Summer 2016 issue of Jewish Currents “If they expect us to murder our French or other foreign brothers, then let us tell them — under no circumstances!” A SHORT, frail woman with a clumsy limp had taken the stage at Fechenheim, a district within the city of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on September 25, 1913. Her warm and vibrant voice, her confident and urgent arguments, aroused her listeners. This was their belov...

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    Footprints: Our Communist Past

    February 22, 2017lawrencebush

    JEWISH CURRENTS BEGAN ITS LIFE AS A COMMUNIST-ORIENTED MAGAZINE. WHAT SHOULD I MAKE OF THAT HERITAGE TODAY? by Lawrence Bush This article is one of a series reflecting on the history of Jewish Currents on the occasion of our 65th anniversary (2010). You can find the other entries here. When Jewish Currents and the Workmen’s Circle joined forces in 2004, I heard through the grapevine that a muckety-muck at the American Jewish Congress had described me as a communist. While I was tickled that th...

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    Yiddish Vilna Before the Destruction

    February 20, 2017Martha Roth

    COLORFUL SKETCHES FROM THE INTERWAR YEARS by Martha Roth From the Autumn 2016 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: Vilna My Vilna: Stories by Abraham Karpinowitz, translated from the Yiddish by Helen Mintz. Syracuse University Press, 2016, 216 pages. WHAT A PLACE it  must have been — the Jerusalem of Lithuania,  the Paris of  the Jews, cradle of the Yiddish theater. When Ben-Gurion said that Israel wouldn’t be a real country until there were Jewish whores on the streets of Tel A...

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    Celia Adler's Advice to the Players

    January 30, 2017Joel Schechter

    by Joel Schechter WHEN I DELIVER an introductory lecture on Yiddish theater at San Francisco State University, not all of the students in the class are Jewish, far from it; they come from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicities. Once, after I finished discussing a few Yiddish actors and writers, a student asked me to explain the meaning of “putz.” I had not mentioned this word, which was perhaps the only Yiddish term the student knew, but he wanted to know more about it. Other more knowing ...

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    The Jewish Bund at Its Peak

    January 1, 2017Diana Scott

    by Diana Scott from the Autumn 2016 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: Twenty Years with the Jewish Labor Bund: A Memoir of Interwar Poland, by Bernard Goldstein, translated and edited by Marvin Zuckerman. Purdue University Press, 2016, 345 pages. IF THE NAME Bernard Goldstein rings few bells today in discussions of Jewish Bund activism in Poland and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, perhaps that’s because survivors are less well-known than martyrs; or because his well-known face in ...

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    Janusz Korczak’s Child-Centered Philosophy

    December 22, 2016Joel Shatzky

    THE WARSAW GHETTO MARTYR WAS A RENOWNED EDUCATOR by Joel Shatzky From the Autumn 2016 issue of Jewish Currents JANUSZ KORCZAK (pen-name of Henryk Goldszmit, July 22, 1878-August 7, 1942) is remembered primarily as a martyr of the Holocaust who accompanied the Jewish children of his Dom Sierot Orphanage in Warsaw to the Treblinka death camp when he could have had an exit pass. He is far less remembered as one of the most eminent educators of early 20th-century Europe. Noted in the English-spe...

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