Writings Grid

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    Reflections on Conversion and a Trip to Israel

    May 2, 2017Alan Rutkowski

    by Alan Rutkowski I CAME of age in the United States during the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. Although I certainly never put my life on the line as some did in those struggles, as a university student I participated in them, especially the anti-war movement, and they contributed to my core values and political orientation. In the process, I abandoned the Catholicism I was raised in. In my fifties, I converted to Judaism. While I cannot articulate the exact reasons for my taking th...

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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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    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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    Passing Over and Out of India

    March 31, 2018Lawrence Bush

    An India Travelogue, Part 13 by Lawrence Bush Click for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.   WE ARE CUTTING SHORT our trip to India, with one week left (which would have involved a trip to Varanasi, the "holy city" on the Ganges River, and to Khajuraho, a city famous for its erotic temple sculptures). Our son has been hospitalized in St. Louis with a sudden, serious condition, so we're flying to Delhi tonight and back to the States the following night so that we can be with him....

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    The Uncivil Servant: German Cinema in Nazi Times

    April 5, 2018Mitchell Abidor

    by Mitchell Abidor   OCCASIONALLY DERIDED for being too broad and hasty in its estimation of individual films, Siegfried Kracauer’s 1947 study, From Caligari to Hitler, nevertheless stands as a classic of film criticism. Its old-fashioned, Old-World vision of German cinema from its beginnings until the arrival in power of Hitler, and its focus on the unity of vision in works across countless directors and on the ways they expressed German inter-war psychology, were both ambitious and fruitful....

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    The Uncivil Servant: Where the Hell Did We Come From?

    April 1, 2018Mitchell Abidor

    by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: The Origin of the Jews, by Steven Weitzman. Princeton University Press, 2017, 408 pages.   AT THE END of Steven Weitzman’s Origin of the Jews, a scholarly but eminently accessible account of the search for the origin of the Jews (which we should not confuse with their beginnings), the author writes: “At the end of the day . . . it is not clear what we can say with any degree of confidence about the origin of the Jews.” There are certainties: “At som...

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    Going to Temple

    March 30, 2018Lawrence Bush

    An India Travelogue, Part 12 by Lawrence Bush Click for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.   INDIA'S MANY BEAUTIFUL PALACES, forts, and temples start to merge into one another after a few weeks of travel here, but this morning, in Udaipur, the "City of Lakes" (seven of them, man-made over the past four centuries), we had an exceptional experience of a Hindu service at the Jagdish Temple, an ornate building that has been in continuous use for worship since 1652. We arrived only ten m...

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    OpEdge: Making of Our Tables One Table

    March 29, 2018Marc Jampole

    TRUMP AND THE FEAR OF DIFFERENCE by Marc Jampole   SOMETHING QUITE WONDERFUL happened to my wife and me the other day during our annual public humiliation, which is how we refer to our one trip a year to buy sweet kosher wine -- always for our seder. We entered the neighborhood liquor store near Hunter College and sheepishly asked a group of employees gathered in front, “Where’s the sweet kosher wine?” I added, as if telling a joke, “You know, once a year…” to which the store manager answered ...

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    Remembering the Battle to Integrate Levittown

    March 28, 2018Zachary Solomon

    by Zachary Solomon   LAST YEAR, George Clooney's Suburbicon, the sixth film that the actor has directed, bombed at the box office. Suburbicon was a combination of two scripts, one a neglected crime romp penned by Joel and Ethan Coen in the mid-1980s, the other a drama loosely informed by the notorious 1957 documentary, Crisis in Levittown. Suburbicon turned out to be a bloated, mediocre mess, lacking in the Coen brothers’ signature snappy quirk and pathos, and guilty of relegating the story of...

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    Class Struggle in Portugal and Other New Film Themes

    March 27, 2018Mitchell Abidor

    by Mitchell Abidor   THE ANNUAL FESTIVAL of works by new and newish directors, New Directors/New Films, will be running from March 29 – April 8 at the film Society of Lincoln Center. I had the opportunity to see a few of those on view in advance. The crisis that has crushed workers in Europe and America has unfortunately resulted in few films that address its class struggle aspects. Rather, it is the rise of racism within the greater societies and, more narrowly, within native working classes...

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    "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend": What's the Allure?

    March 25, 2018Elliot Gertel

    by Elliot B. Gertel   THE CW NETWORK'S Crazy Ex-Girlfriend began with Jewish lawyer Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) running into her irresolute summer-camp crush, Filipino-American Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III), and then leaving a high-powered New York job in order to stalk him in his home town of West Covina, California. Rebecca is obsessed and devious, but it’s all in the name of comedy, right? Maybe this is not the best image of a Jewish woman -- nor is the depiction of Rebecca’s obnoxiou...

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    Hanging with the Idolaters

    March 23, 2018Lawrence Bush

    An India Travelogue, Part 10 by Lawrence Bush Click for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.   IT'S INTERESTING being an American Jew in India, where most of the folks I speak with associate Jews exclusively with Israel, period -- meaning that they associate us with conservatism, occupation of the Palestinian people, and cooperation with the U.S. military machine. The subject comes up, of course, when people ask what I do, and I say, "I'm a writer and magazine editor," and they say, "What maga...

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    Rethinking the Exodus Story

    March 23, 2018Bennett Muraskin

    A Curmudgeonly, Skeptical Look at Those Miracles by Bennett Muraskin   THE PASSOVER HAGODE celebrates the liberation of the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt, but provides few details. Its source document is the Book of Exodus — which on this holiday deserves a closer look. Because Pharaoh fears that the burgeoning Israelite population will become a threat to his rule, he summons two Hebrew midwives and orders them to kill the newborn boys that they deliver from Hebrew women. Assuming ...

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    Next Year in New Jersey

    March 23, 2018Rebecca Boroson

    by Rebecca Boroson   "THIS IS A NIGHT for Elijah,” says 7-year-old Bram. The wind is battering the trees and sending the clouds running for cover. And it does, indeed, seem like a night for the biblical prophet, for whom Bram will open the door during the seder — and who may invisibly, if he deigns, take the chair we’ve provided for him and drink from his own cup. But it turns out to be more like a night for the Keystone Kops. First up is my ancient uncle, a recent widower who does not know...

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    Ahed Tamimi Sentenced

    March 22, 2018Noah Kulwin

    by Noah Kulwin Photo: Haim Schwarczenberg, https://schwarczenberg.com   AHED TAMIMI WILL BE GOING TO JAIL for 8 months, as part of a plea bargain announced by the 17-year-old’s lawyer on Wednesday. According to her lawyer, Tamimi was staring down a three year sentence for 12 charges, stemming from a December viral video in which Tamimi was filmed slapping an armed Israeli soldier present on her family’s property. Counting time already served, Tamimi is expected to be released back to her home...

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    What's Going to Happen to American Democracy?

    March 22, 2018Dusty Sklar

    by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: How Democracies Die, by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. Penguin/Random House, 2018, 320 pages.   THESE DAYS, all sane Americans are wringing their hands over the threats to our democracy posed by the Trump presidency and the Republican power monopoly in Washington. Two thoughtful Harvard professors of government have now come along to teach us lessons from history about how other democratic governments have slid into authoritarianism. Steven Levitsk...

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    While My Sitar Gently Screeches

    March 21, 2018Lawrence Bush

    An India Travelogue, Part 9 by Lawrence Bush Click for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.   I BROUGHT a guitar on this trip to India, a $250 instrument with a resonator plate, which plays loud, has good action, and sounds excellent for the blues — but it's a cheap instrument, so if anything happens to it, I will not be grief-stricken. Still, I'm liking the guitar more and more, as, in between watching Susan teach, doing my magazine work, and investigating India baby-step by baby-step, I've spe...

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    The Uncivil Servant: Richard Wagner, Made (Too) Simple

    March 20, 2018Mitchell Abidor

    by Mitchell Abidor   Discussed in this essay: Being Wagner: The Story of the Most Provocative Composer Who Ever Lived, by Simon Callow. Vintage, 232 pages, 2017   IN THIS AGE of doorstop biographies, the actor and biographer Simon Callow’s breezy 200+ pages on Richard Wagner, Being Wagner, appear to be a quirky, quixotic venture. How to squeeze so tumultuous a life and oeuvre and philosophy into so short a volume? In fact, in this book Callow succeeds in taking us on a rapid trip through th...

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    The Horse in Jewish Religious Text

    March 19, 2018Paul Devassy

    by A.D. Paul   THE TORAH's attitude to horses reveals a range of perspectives, based on the different experiences of the ancient Jewish people. Unlike the pig and the dog, which are not only forbidden as food but are widely scorned throughout the Torah, the horse, also forbidden as a food, often symbolizes great strength and courage, as well as spectacular beauty. After the excruciating suffering that has befallen Job, for example, he asks God the perennial question, Why do innocents suffer? I...

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    The Freewheeling Jonathan Lethem

    March 19, 2018Pam Black

    by Pam Black   A Gambler’s Anatomy, Jonathan Lethem’s tenth and most recent novel (2016), is a romp of a read, laden with lush language, cynical wit, and bizarre twists. It follows Alexander Bruno, a jaded, 50-ish backgammon ace and ladies’ man, to secret, international, high-stakes gambling parlors, where he fleeces the rich with his superior gaming skills, keen psychological insight, and a dash of telepathy. Abandoned by a drug-addled, hippie mother in San Francisco, Bruno has worked his wa...

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    Elijah at the White House, 2018

    March 17, 2018Joel Schechter

    Another Short Play by Joel Schechter Characters: Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Melania Trump, Jared Kushner, Secret Service agents, Children 1, 2, 3, Stormy Daniels and other guests. Setting: A Passover dinner table in the White House. We hear the Trump family singing a song about Elijah.   Jared: It's time for the prophet to enter. Open the door, please. This year we need Elijah more than ever. Donald:  If his papers are in order, it shouldn't be a problem. Although with my new tax plan, eve...

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    MESA's Fresno State Conspiracy Theory

    March 17, 2018Steven Lubet

    by Steven Lubet   ONE COMMON attribute of conspiracy theories is the belief that powerful forces, operating behind the scenes, are responsible for otherwise inexplicable adversities and misfortunes. These unseen antagonists' reach extends into realms such as government, finance, culture, and education, and the absence of actual evidence of their existence or influence is simply taken as  proof of the tremendous extent of their power. Some conspiracy theories are based on religion ("the Jews")...

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    OpEdge: Truth vs. Republican Whitewashing

    March 16, 2018Marc Jampole

    by Marc Jampole   A SPOKESPERSON for U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) just resigned rather than tell a bold-faced lie that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other ICE officials have been floating. They have been complaining that about eight hundred undocumented immigrants escaped arrest because Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned the community that ICE raids were coming. ICE’s San Francisco spokesperson James Schwab knew the real number was much, much lower and recommended that ...

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    Warning: Irrationality

    March 15, 2018Alan Rutkowski

    BUT RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISTS AREN’T THE ONLY PROBLEM By Alan Rutkowski   AN UNAPPRECIATED but dangerous consequence of the Trump era is widespread liberal/secular oversimplification of the emerging danger. In their attacks on religion, for example, the so-called New Atheists — Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens (RIP), and Sam Harris — have fostered the notion that the most primitive, science-denying fundamentalists are representative of all religious believers. The danger th...

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    Quick Takes: Prof. Jan Gross and Polish Holocaust Revisionism

    March 14, 2018Ralph Seliger

    by Ralph Seliger   IT WAS the evening of February 22 when Prof. Jan Gross spoke to a packed hall at New York’s Center for Jewish History to discuss the newly amended Polish law “for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation” as well as other efforts of the current rightwing Polish government to outlaw references to the complicity of Poles in the Holocaust. (An English translation of the entire law, passed in January 2018, can be read here. The part of the law recently amended is Arti...

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    Intermarriage Grew the Jewish Community

    March 8, 2018Paul Golin

    Now how to sustain it? by Paul Golin   THREE LOCAL JEWISH COMMUNITIES released population studies in recent weeks, including two of the five largest Jewish communities in the country, and though the results are not shocking to anyone who follows such things, the numbers are still profound. In over a decade since their previous studies, the San Francisco Bay Area saw its overall number of Jews holding steady or growing slightly. In Greater Washington DC and Pittsburgh, the community saw drama...

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    Notes from a Small Planet: Too Soon for Geo-Engineering?

    March 7, 2018Aaron Dorman

    by Aaron Dorman   “MASSIVE TOOL.” That’s how a professor of mine characterized David Keith, the author of a 2013 book, A Case for Climate Engineering, which touts certain proposals for geo-engineering. We’d been asked to read Keith’s book as part of a graduate course on geo-engineering and other high-concept techno-solutions to global warming. One particular approach, “solar radiation management," or SRM -- the category of engineering that includes seeding the stratosphere with sulfate partic...

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    "Where Are Your Guns?" A Story by Howard Fast

    March 7, 2018admin

    From the July 1948 issue of Jewish Currents (then Jewish Life), reprinted from our Sid Resnick Archive. To see a scanned copy of the article as originally published, click here. WHERE ARE YOUR GUNS? by Howard Fast IN THE LAND of the goyim, my father traded with the Indians. We traded for beaver, and my father's word was as good as his bond, and we never carried a weapon except for our knives. From the lakes in the north to the canebrake in the south and as far west as the great river -- t...

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    Jews in the Mughal Empire (Just Kidding)

    March 7, 2018Lawrence Bush

    An India Travelogue, Part 4 by Lawrence Bush Click for Parts 1, 2 and 3.   I REMEMBER the first time I saw Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, after years of seeing it in photographs. You couldn't drive very close to the mountain, so it seemed like a post card, even in "real life," and I experienced disappointment. Rather than the moment seeming more vivid, I felt dulled and a bit dissociated. Not so at the Taj Mahal, which is ten times more magnificent in real life, in real sunlight, with real ...

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    The Uncivil Servant: French Cinema on Display

    March 6, 2018Mitchell Abidor

    by Mitchell Abidor   THE ANNUAL FESTIVAL of French cinema that is now known as Rendez-Vous with French Cinema has been with us for decades, under different names and in different venues. This year’s edition, running from March 8-18, will be at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York. Here is a sample of some of what will be on display. There have been countless films about Joan of Arc, at least two of them classics (Dreyer’s La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc and Bresson’s Le Proces de Jeanne ...

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    Inside the Israeli-Government-Sponsored Settler Party Too Extreme for AIPAC

    March 5, 2018Noah Kulwin

    by Noah Kulwin Image credit:  Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock.com   CRAMMED INSIDE THE BASEMENT of the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. on Monday afternoon, the leading lights of the Israeli settler movement and their allies had a little celebration. Just a few blocks from the comparatively moderate 2018 AIPAC Policy Conference, the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs, an umbrella group for settlements called the YESHA Council, and the Jordan Valley Regional Council he...

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    White Hollywood, Black Films

    March 4, 2018Alessio Franko

    by Alessio Franko   IF JORDAN PEELE'S socially conscious horror film Get Out wins this year’s Best Picture Oscar, I will cringe — not because the film doesn’t deserve the win (quite the contrary), but because, in that moment, the white members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will all become versions of that film's patriarch, Dean Armitage (Bradley Whitford), gushing to his daughter’s black boyfriend, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), that “I would have voted for Obama for a third term...

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    Caste, Class, and Hierarchy in India

    March 3, 2018Lawrence Bush

    A Travelogue, Part 3 by Lawrence Bush Click for Parts 1 and 2.   WHERE IS IT SAFE TO GO in Delhi, and where shouldn't you go? Hard to say. I've just found my way on foot to a large park, and whether it's like a park in New York City circa 1980 or circa 2018, I dunno. And what does "safe" mean to me — free from robbery, or free from panhandling? No matter, it's Saturday afternoon, time to sit on a park bench in the blessed shade and scribble in a notebook. Guidebook warnings aside, I've been i...

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    From NYC to Tel Aviv: Becoming Israeli, Staying Progressive

    March 2, 2018Ron Skolnik

    A Q&A WITH HILLEL SCHENKER by Ron Skolnik BORN IN BROOKLYN, New York, in 1942, journalist Hillel Schenker arrived by boat in Israel in November 1963. Since the 1970s, he has been a major participant in the Israeli peace movement, including as a co-founder of Peace Now, and today serves as Israeli co-editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal, the only independent, joint Israeli-Palestinian publication to be produced in the region. We asked Hillel to discuss life, culture, and politics in Israel...

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    Quick Takes: Supreme Court to Devastate Organized Labor?

    March 1, 2018Ralph Seliger

    by Ralph Seliger photo credit: AFSCME Council 31   A CASE now in consideration before the U.S. Supreme Court threatens to undermine the right of public employees to be represented in collective bargaining.  Officially known as Janus vs. AFSCME Council 31, the case takes the form of a lawsuit brought by an Illinois state employee named Mark Janus, who objects to the requirement to pay his “fair share” fee to the union that negotiates his contract with the State. Under current law, unions have...

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    Emma Goldman's Ice Cream Shop

    February 28, 2018Zachary Solomon

    by Zachary Solomon   IT WAS JOHANN MOST, the anarchist who popularized the phrase "propaganda of the deed" to describe leftwing terrorism, who helped inspire Emma Goldman and Alexander ("Sasha") Berkman in their attempt to assassinate steel magnate Henry Clay Frick in 1892. Yet by the time the attack would become news (and Berkman would spend fourteen years in prison for it), Most was its outspoken critic, dumping on both Goldman and Berkman (in the German-language newspaper Most edited, Freih...

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    The Test of Great Music Is to Make the Spine Tingle

    February 27, 2018Jacob Perl

    A CONVERSATION WITH MUSICIAN GARY LUCAS Interview by Jacob L. Perl I do not know if everybody gets it. A lot of people don’t, because they do not listen deeply into music. They just treat it as a background or adjunct to other activities, like eating or talking. Or they use it to mask sounds from the neighboring apartment. Whatever. They would not really see these connections or hear them. But I do. I feel them. So I just keep working on projects where I feel connected, and hope that people wil...

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    The Uncivil Servant: Céline's Antisemitism -- Censored!

    February 27, 2018Mitchell Abidor

    by Mitchell Abidor   YOU CAN OPEN almost any page of Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s Bagatelles pour un massacre and find a passage like this one: “You always have to be wary of Jews, even when they’re dead.” Or this one, about Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution: “In Russia, the kikes, as soon as they assumed command, didn’t exactly wear mittens when they decimated the Aryan.” In 1932, the same Céline had published Journey to the End of the Night, one of the classics of the 20th century, a novel t...

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    A Bundist Talks About the Bund

    February 25, 2018Dvora Zylberman

    by Dvora Zylberman   I HAVE ALWAYS wondered what qualifies someone to write an article on a given topic. I had always assumed that one needed to be an expert in a given field to give an interesting and insightful angle on a given issue. It is fair to assume that an expert qualified to write an article has taken their time to research and prepare an informative and accurate response. Then I read Ralph Seliger’s article “The Bund is Gone, but its Anti-Zionist Critique Remains,” and it became cle...

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    Daniel Ellsberg on Nuclear War

    February 25, 2018Dusty Sklar

    by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, by Daniel Ellsberg. Bloomsbury, 2017, 424 pages.   WE ARE ALL NERVOUS about the current possibility of nuclear warfare, but Daniel Ellsberg has decided to do what he can to prevent it from happening. His recent book, The Doomsday Machine, reveals his own role in the past as a nuclear war planner. What was his role, exactly, and why did he take so long to reveal it? In 1958, more than a decade ...

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    The Jewish Chicken Farmers of Petaluma: Why Remember?

    February 23, 2018Kenneth Kann

    Part 2 by Kenneth Kann To read Part 1, click here.   I CONDUCTED hundreds more interviews in the years ahead: the children of the immigrants, the grandchildren, and the new suburban settlers who inherited the community. The immigrant children were the generation of my own American-born parents. Here was an assimilation drama. They grew up in an ingrown little immigrant chicken ranching community in the 1920s and '30s, surrounded by a small-town gentile world at once beckoning, strange, and h...

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    The Bund Is Gone, But Its Anti-Zionist Critique Remains

    February 21, 2018Ralph Seliger

    by Ralph Seliger   ALTHOUGH I define myself as a (leftwing) Zionist, I was drawn to a YIVO seminar in New York on the Jewish Workers’ Bund, the famously non-Zionist radical socialist movement that began in Russia in 1897, the same year that Theodor Herzl launched the World Zionist Organization. CUNY political scientist Jack Jacobs led 18 diversely-aged students, seated around a conference table, through five stimulating two-and-a-half hour sessions. My experience was not without some moments ...

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    The History Behind Trump's Attack on SNAP

    February 20, 2018Jonathan Paul Katz

    The SNAP Box is a bad idea. Jewish history tells us why. by Jonathan Paul Katz Photo credit: usda.gov   IF YOU HAVE NOT yet heard, the Trump administration last week came out with one of its most pilloried and dehumanizing ideas: to replace half of the benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with a box of preselected dry goods. Of course, the Republican Party has had SNAP -- colloquially known as “food stamps” -- in its crosshairs for a while now. The myth that people...

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    We Are All Jews, But Where's the Party?

    February 20, 2018Marty Roth

    by Marty Roth Discussed in this essay: Feeling Jewish (a Book for Just About Anyone) by Deborah Baum. Yale University Press, 2017, 296 pages.   "Modernization . . . is about everyone becoming Jewish [and no one] is better at being Jewish than the Jews themselves." —Yuri Slezkine, The Jewish Century DEVORAH BAUM'S Feeling Jewish is a subtle and canny postmodern spin on Jewish exceptionalism. How could it be otherwise, when the author claims that self-hatred, envy, guilt, hysteria, paranoia an...

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    OpEdge: The American Grand Guignol

    February 16, 2018Marc Jampole

    MASS MURDER AT A SCHOOL ONCE AGAIN WHILE RIGHTWING POLITICIANS MAKE EXCUSES FOR NOT TIGHTENING GUN LAWS by Marc Jampole TO BLAME MENTAL ILLNESS as the reason that Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old boy, used his legally purchased automatic weapon to kill 17 people at a Florida high school is to commit the logical fallacy to which conservatives often fall victim: to focus on the individual and not the group in analyzing a social issue. For example, Tyler Cowen, the mediocre rightwing economist lionize...

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    Five Days in Palestine

    February 15, 2018Dina Heisler

    by Dina Heisler and Susan Nobel   PEOPLE around the world and across time crave similar things. They want the chance to raise their families within a peaceful and fair environment, one that affords a decent quality of life without fear of one’s fellow man. This was the main takeaway from our voyage into another world: Middle Eastern, Muslim, working class, rural, and “occupied.” We visited a family on the West Bank/Palestine through a connection with their oldest son who now lives in Jordan. ...

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    Of Hoops and Hebrews

    February 14, 2018Mikhail Horowitz

    HOW JEWS CHANGED BASKETBALL by Mikhail Horowitz   Discussed in This Essay: The Chosen Game: A Jewish Basketball History, by Charley Rosen. University of Nebraska Press, 2017, 208 pages.  Seven-foot Jews in the NBA, slam-dunking! My alarm clock rings.     —Anonymous haiku on the Internet   FOR THE MOST PART the Jewish hoopers chronicled by Charley Rosen in The Chosen Game did not play above the rim, going head-to-head with the game’s Goliaths. But from about 1900 until the mid-1950s, Jews we...

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    Arthur Szyk, a "Soldier in Art"

    February 14, 2018Bennett Muraskin

    by Bennett Muraskin   ALTHOUGH ARTHUR SZYK (1894-1951) is best known today for his Illuminated Hagaddah (1940), still widely used at Passover seders, he was in many ways a political artist, a self-described "soldier in art," who used his talents to attack fascism, call for the rescue to European Jewry from Nazi-occupied Europe, promote the American war effort and make the case for a Jewish state in Israel. At the same time, he was a commercial artist  and book illustrator whose illustrations a...

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    Writings Grid

    "Trump's Parade"

    February 14, 2018Joel Schechter

    A SHORT PLAY by Joel Schechter   Characters include: Donald Trump . . . Army Sergeant  . . . Private . . . Kim Jong-un . . . White Horse . . . Big Button . . . White House Hairdresser . . . Chocolate Cake (kosher) . . . Miss Universe   Trump:  I want a parade with a million soldiers saluting their Commander-in- Chief. Kim Jong-un:  The man suffers from parade envy! Trump: I don't care what it costs, spare no expense to the taxpayers. We'll take it out of their Social Security and Medicare...

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