A Walk Across the Border

by Elaine Steinmetz I HAVE GROWN accustomed to my story. I have through the years shaped it – like a bird building a nest, I have enlarged the narrative, put layers of gathered soft material to pad the unknown. Now, at age 92 (how is that possible!?), I own the story of my walk across […]

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October 24: Algerian Jews

Jews of Algeria, numbering more than 33,000, were granted French citizenship on this date in 1870, a little more than three decades after France colonized the North African country. Algerian Jewish communities dated back to Roman times and the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and were reinforced by the influx of Sephardim after […]

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OpEdge: The American Contradiction

Democracy Needs Informed Citizens; Consumerism Needs Self-Centered Dolts by Marc Jampole THAT A FAILED real-estate developer turned reality TV star and brand marketer could win enough votes in Republican primaries to become the presumptive GOP nominee confirms the essential contradiction of a consumerist capitalist society organized as a representative democracy. Democracy requires well-informed, well-read, well-adjusted […]

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October 6: Napoleon’s Sanhedrin

On this date in 1806, the Jewish Assembly of Notables, convened by Napoleon Bonaparte, issued a proclamation to all the Jewish communities of Europe, inviting them to send delegates to a Grand Sanhedrin, convening on October 20. The Sanhedrin would rule on the answers given by the Assembly of Notables to twelve questions posed by […]

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O My America: Citizenship at Monticello

by Lawrence Bush Returning from my now-annual foray into the American South to visit my daughter in South Carolina, I happened upon a marvelous event: a July 4th naturalization ceremony for 77 new citizens (from 44 countries) at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. This was the 49th annual naturalization event there — next year, I imagine, Obama […]

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Educating for Democracy

No Citizen Left Behind by Joel Shatzky The well-known failures of American education today have less to do with the absence of solutions than with our school system’s inability, or unwillingness, to implement them. John Dewey, after all, gave us fundamental insights about the importance of active, participatory learning some seventy years ago.

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