A Bundist Talks About the Bund

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 […]

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The Sun Has Not Risen Yet, the Dutch Are Still Asleep

Translated by Sarah Prais   Helene Khatskels was an extraordinary Yiddish educator, author and translator. A life-long socialist, she fought to secure Jewish national rights in the diaspora, and was a leading figure in the Bund, involved in smuggling books and other undercover activities and was eventually arrested by the Tsarist authorities. After Lithuania was annexed […]

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The Bund at 120

A CONFERENCE REPORT by Bennett Muraskin Illustration by Aharon Varady TWENTY YEARS AGO, in honor of the centennial of the Jewish Labor Bund, a day-long conference took place in New York City. Among the speakers were a surviving Bundist leader, Motl Zelmanowicz, and a prominent historian of European Jewry and the left, Abraham Brumberg. Other speakers […]

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Splits in the Yiddish Socialist Movement

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THEIR HISTORY by Hershl Hartman Published in the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents MY BOLSHEVIK MOTHER in 1929 named me Hirsh Naftoli — not after departed grandfathers or uncles, but after two assassins of the diverse Socialist movements in Eastern Europe. You may have heard of one or both of them: […]

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Isaac Deutscher Redux

THE NON-JEWISH JEW REVISITED by Michael Mirer Discussed in this essay: The Non-Jewish Jew, and Other Essays, by Isaac Deutscher. Published in a 50th anniversary edition by Verso, 2017, 176 pages.   WHAT MAKES a Jew a Jew? Are we an ethnic group? Religious? Racial? These questions of identity and politics (if not identity politics) are often […]

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The Jewish Bund at Its Peak

by Diana Scott from the Autumn 2016 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: Twenty Years with the Jewish Labor Bund: A Memoir of Interwar Poland, by Bernard Goldstein, translated and edited by Marvin Zuckerman. Purdue University Press, 2016, 345 pages. IF THE NAME Bernard Goldstein rings few bells today in discussions of Jewish […]

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O My America: Being an Agendanik

by Lawrence Bush I JUST SPENT the weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan at a reunion of some ninety veterans of New Jewish Agenda (NJA), the national, chapter-based, multi-issue Jewish organization that was launched in 1980, lasted until 1992 — and transformed my life. I attended the inaugural NJA conference in Washington DC. I was 29, […]

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December 29: A Socialist in Congress

Meyer London, one of only two Socialist Party members elected to Congress (the other was Victor Berger), was born in Lithuania on this date in 1871. He came to New York at age 20 and worked as a tutor and printer while acquiring a law degree. London was a fundraising activist for the Jewish Bund […]

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