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Rabbi Sandy Sasso

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso became the first woman ordained as rabbi by the Reconstructionist movement on this date in 1974. She was also the first woman to serve as rabbi in a Conservative congregation (Indianapolis’ Beth-El Zedeck), and she and her husband Rabbi Dennis Sasso were likely the first rabbinical couple in Jewish history and certainly […]

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Rediscovering Ezra Jack Keats

by Helen Engelhardt From the Autumn, 2011 issue of Jewish Currents EZRA JACK KEATS IS KNOWN to many of us as the author of the modern classic children’s book, The Snowy Day, in which a young boy named Peter wakes to find his urban neighborhood transformed by a snowfall in the night. He puts on […]

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March 11: Ezra Jack Keats

Ezra Jack Keats (Jacob Ezra Katz), who transformed children’s literature with his colorful collage-and-ink style and his introduction of African-American children as central characters, was born in poverty in Brooklyn on this date in 1916. His artistic talent was well-recognized by the time he was in high school, but poverty beset him at several junctures […]

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October 3: William Steig

Cartoonist, sculptor and children’s book author William Steig died in Boston at 95 on this date in 2003. He drew cartoons for The New Yorker for more than 70 years and produced some 120 of the magazine’s covers. At age 61, he produced his first of more than 25 children’s books, including Roland the Minstrel […]

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June 10: Let the Wild Rumpus Start

Maurice Sendak, creator of Where the Wild Things Are (1964) and other classics of children’s literature, was born on this date in 1928. He was the child of poor Polish Jewish immigrants and lost nearly the entirety of his extended family in the Holocaust. Sendak’s drawings were filled with craft, detail, and cross-hatched grotesquerie; his […]

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