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April 11: Buchenwald Liberated

Today is the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp by U.S. troops in 1945. When the Americans arrived, the camp had just been seized by prisoners, some of whom had been forcibly marched there from Auschwitz and Gross-Rosen (a sub-camp of Sachsenhausen) in January as Soviet forces were sweeping through Poland. […]

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April 4: Dr. King

The 20th-century prophet Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on this date in 1968 at age 39. Among white Americans participating in the movement that Dr. King led, Jews played a brave and disproportionate role. More than a third of the young white Northerners who participated in the Freedom Summer of 1964 were Jewish, […]

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March 19: Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf

Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, a staunch anti-war and pro-civil rights activist, was born on this date in Chicago in 1924. From 1957 until 1972 he held the pulpit at a synagogue he founded, Congregation Solel in Highland Park, where Martin Luther King, Jr. and defendants in the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial were invited to speak. […]

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February 19: Barnard's Founder

Annie Nathan Meyer, the key founder of Barnard College, was born on this day in 1867 into an illustrious colonial Sephardic New York family (Emma Lazarus was among her cousins). Although Meyer was an active opponent of women’s suffrage — which brought her into direct conflict with her activist sister, Maud Nathan — she personally […]

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February 12: NAACP

Social activist Henry Moscowitz was one of a small committee who launched the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) with a call to action on this day in 1909, the centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Among the signatories were Jane Addams, WEB Dubois, John Dewey, Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch, Julius Rosenwald, Lincoln […]

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Ocean Hill-Brownsville Reexamined

When Black Power Collided with the Teachers’ Union by Jane Anna Gordon ON SEPTEMBER 9th, 1968, outside of a junior high school in the northern tip of Manhattan, two lines of students formed, one mostly African-American, the other entirely white. The white students were waiting for escorts to take them to a nearby synagogue where […]

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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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“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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Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972)

by Yankl Stillman Last year marked the hundredth anniversary of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s birth and the 35th yortsayt of his untimely death. For Jewish secularists, his meaning lies in his deep involvement and eloquent statements on the passionate issues of his day, which are similar to the passionate issues of our day: race and […]

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