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

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 […]

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The Plague and the Jews of Strasbourg

On this date in 1349, the city of Strasbourg, located along today’s French-German border, arrested its Jews and charged them with poisoning wells to cause the Black Death (in reality, bubonic plague), which was sweeping through Europe and ultimately killed between one-third and sixty percent of the continent’s population. The next day, according to Jakob […]

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The Codex Theodosianus

On this date in 439 CE, the Codex Theodosianus (Code of Theodosius II) was established in the Byzantine Empire. The Codex, a compilation of the laws promulgated since the time of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor (he converted in 313 CE), systematized the process that stripped Jews of citizenship rights and repressed Judaism as a […]

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The Darker Truth of “Shithole-Gate”?

by Dick Flacks   SOME PEOPLE are defining “Shithole-Gate” as a minor scandal involving a president’s use of an exceedingly vulgar epithet. That would, however, hardly count as a scandal; we assume that all his predecessors used profanity. Even the seemingly prudish Richard Nixon — we know from his tapes — was freely profane, particularly […]

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Stalin, Mikhoels, and the Doctors’ Plot

Solomon Mikhoels, the Soviet Union’s foremost Jewish actor and theater director, was arrested and murdered on Stalin’s orders on January 12-13 in 1948. Mikhoels was the artistic director of the Moscow State Jewish Theater and chaired the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, which had traveled widely to rally international Jewish support for the Soviet Union during World […]

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Antisemitic Faculty: What Is To Be Done?

by Steven Lubet   WHAT SHOULD BE done when a respected professor is discovered circulating vile antisemitic images on social media and endorsing profoundly anti-Jewish conspiracy theories? Should the administration impose sanctions? How should the broader academic community react?  These questions have arisen in recent years on campuses across the country, most recently in the cases […]

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Spy vs. Spy: Anti-Nazi Undercover Work in L.A.

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots against Hollywood and America, by Steven J. Ross. Bloomsbury Books, 2017, 432 pages.   ADOLF HITLER’S determination to wipe out the planet’s Jews was aimed at America as well, according to Steven J. Ross, professor of history at the University of […]

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Argentina’s “Tragic Week”

The first pogrom in the Americas took place during the Semana Trágica (“Tragic Week”) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which began on this date in 1919 when the army violently attacked metalworkers who had been on strike for decent working conditions. A general strike began two days later. Rightwing paramilitary groups began to hunt down union leaders, anarchists, […]

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Samplings from the New York Jewish Film Festival

by Mitchell Abidor   THE ALWAYS INTERESTING New York Jewish Film Festival will be running from January 10 to January 23 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Information on screenings can be found at nyjff.org. What follows is just a sample of the riches on view. The Romanian director Radu Jude is one of the […]

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Dreyfus Found Guilty

On this date in 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus of the French military was found guilty of having sold French military secrets to Germany. The verdict was based on antisemitic innuendo and paltry evidence. Dreyfus was sentenced to life imprisonment and spent two years in solitary confinement on Devil’s Island off the South American coast. Although evidence […]

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