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Coolest Website of the Week

Ride the Trans-Siberian railway courtesy of Google! Through the power of the internets you can travel, virtually, from Moscow to Vladivostok. Listen to music, a Russian novel, or the radio. The great Trans Siberian Railway, the pride of Russia, goes across two continents, 12 regions and 87 cities. The joint project of Google and the […]

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Yiddish Tish Pariz

I wanted to point you all toward the website for Yiddish Tish Pariz: yidish tish iz an umformele grupe far mentshn vos voynen in pariz (oder noent tsu pariz, oder vos forn geveyntlekh keyn pariz) vos redn yidish, oder vos haltn zikh in lernen yidish. mir zenen umophengik, nisht farbunden mit keyn shum organizatsyes, un mir […]

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Black History Month: The hidden history of Communists in the Civil Rights movement in Alabama

In honor of Black History Month, NPR’s Tell Me More program has an interview with historian Robin D.G. Kelley. Kelley, now the Harmsworth Chair of American History at Oxford (the first African-American to hold the position), talks about the history of Communists in the civil rights movement in Alabama. He wrote about this history in […]

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A Tradition of Solidarity

Black-Jewish Relations in the Pages of Jewish Currents by Rokhl Kaffrisen I VOTED FOR OBAMA. If you’re reading Jewish Currents, you probably did, too. Throughout the past century, American Jews have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, and in this election, more than three-quarters of American Jews did so. The surprising statistic is that my so-called peers, […]

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Vilne, Whispering

by Rokhl Kafrissen At the end of July, I flew to Lithuania for a month-long Yiddish program at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute. Right before leaving New York, I learned that prosecutors in Vilnius were investigating elderly Jews, former anti-Nazi partisans, for war crimes against Lithuanian civilians. The news seemed a joke that no one would […]

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“The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere”

April Rosenblum’s Progressive Broadside on Leftwing Anti-Semitism by Rokhl Kafrissen Many moons ago, before my current incarnation as the Rootless Cosmopolitan — capitalist corporate lawyer by day, socialist by night and on the weekends — I was a lowly administrative assistant, making coffee for smart people in a newly opened fellowship program headquartered in the […]

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Enge Benge Revisited

by Rokhl Kafrissen Conversations among New Yorkers, they say, focus on one topic only: real estate. Too true. Now more than ever, young people are looking at a city in which it is almost impossible to find an affordable home. If you’re single and willing to live in a sketchy neighborhood, maybe with a roommate, […]

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Benkshaft (Longing)

by Rokhl Kafrissen I love to complain about my time as an undergraduate at Brandeis, and the recent barrage of 10th-year reunion mail isn’t exactly letting the sleeping dogs of bitterness lie. Yet I did have some consolations during my college career. One was a CD I picked up the summer before my senior year, […]

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A Jewish Cultural Manifesto

by Rokhl Kafrissen I’m a busy woman with no time for nostalgia. My grandparents didn’t have a shop on the Lower East Side, my great uncle didn’t play in a Catskills swing band, and my parents never, ever threatened to disown me if I didn’t marry a Jewish man. Perhaps that’s why I don’t find […]

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