Making Service Fundamental to Jewish Life

by Ruth W. Messinger As 21st century American Jews, we enjoy affluence and influence that are unique in Jewish history. At the same time, as members of an international people, Jews have an instructive role to play in helping Americans to understand that our world is interconnected: that poverty, hunger, disease and oppression anywhere on […]

Read More

Jewish Women in the Catskills

by Ruth Lehrer Summer in the Catskills, circa 1935. In a crowded bus, a hired hack, or Uncle Benny’s new DeSoto, my family escaped from our hot apartment in the Bronx to the healing luft (air) of “The Mountains.” We trekked up Old Route 17, stopping when any of us kids became carsick, or for […]

Read More

Radicalism and Jewish Values

This essay is adapted from the keynote address delivered by Lawrence Bush at the Jewish Currents Luncheon on May 4, 2003. Once upon a time, the word “radical” evoked in my mind such figures as Emma Goldman and Abbie Hoffman, Clara Lemlich and Allen Ginsberg. Simply by conjuring the names of a dozen landmark Jewish […]

Read More

Challenging Bush, Challenging Ourselves

There’s a Yiddish proverb (found in Nathan Ausubel’s A Treasury of Jewish Folklore) that applies well to the blanket news coverage of the war in Iraq: “When there’s too much of something, something is missing.” The “too much” in this case is the close-up, overwhelming military reporting, which has flooded America’s senses and emotions. What’s […]

Read More

Treason and Patriotism in Today's America

On the 50th Anniversary of the Rosenbergs’ Execution, Their Younger Son Reflects on the Implications of Their Case by Robert Meeropol As the 50th anniversary of my parents’ execution approaches, I am encountering far too many reminders of 1953. President Clinton’s signing in 1996 of the Anti-Terrorism and More Effective Death Penalty Act may have […]

Read More

Jewish Cultural Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto

Each year, the commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – which began on the eve of Passover, April 19th, 1943 – makes us feel astonished by the fact that the revolt took place at all. The Second World War was in its fourth year. The Nazis had been carrying out their plan to annihilate Jews […]

Read More

Pharaoh in the White House

It would be impossible for a bimonthly magazine, only 40 pages in length, to keep up with the outrages of the Bush Administration. While the shattering of the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 was a wake-up call for everyone in the U.S. — including those on the left who suddenly recognized that the […]

Read More

Baby Boomers and the Bomb

My mother loves to tell of a time from my childhood in the 1950s when she eavesdropped on a conversation I was having with another kid. “Do you believe in God?” I asked, to which the girl replied: “Yes, and in Mighty Mouse, too.” Like a snapshot in a photo album, Mom’s repeated telling of […]

Read More

Demographics and Democracy in the Jewish State

Do demographics predict destiny? Probably the most common argument made by Jewish Israelis against annexation of the Occupied Territories is that it would “endanger the Jewish character of the state” by extending citizenship to millions of non-Jews. In the early 1990s, Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, a progressive American Zionist, opposed the building of Jewish settlements in […]

Read More

Jews in Latin America: Past and Present

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 […]

Read More