In Memoriam: The Woman Who Popularized “Ms.”

by Bennett Muraskin   ALTHOUGH Ms. magazine is most identified with Gloria Steinem, the woman who most popularized the term “Ms.” was Sheila Michaels (1939-2017). The word enabled women to be identified as their own persons, rather than according to their marital status (Mrs. or Miss). Michaels’ career included a variety of jobs including cabdriver, technical editor, co-owner […]

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O My America: Can the Left Repair Itself?

by Lawrence Bush Discussed in this essay: The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics, by Mark Lilla, HarperCollins, 2017, 143 pages.  Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together, by Van Jones, Ballantine Books, 2017, 233 pages.   IS THE UNEXPECTED VICTORY of Doug Jones over Roy Moore in Alabama’s Senate race in […]

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Blacks and Jews Together

The massive March on Washington at which Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his most famous speech, “I Have a Dream,” took place on this date in 1963. Immediately before Dr. King took the podium, Rabbi Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Congress, spoke to the 200,000 demonstrators as follows: “I speak to you as an […]

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Why Single Israel Out?

by Alan Rutkowski   WHY SINGLE ISRAEL OUT? This is a question often posed to those of us, Jews and non-Jews, who oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and advocate for Palestinian rights. After all, Israel is, as they say, the “only democracy in the region.” Of course, calling Israel a democracy glosses over the roughly […]

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February 2: Judge David Finkel

David Finkel, a judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court and a city council member in Santa Monica, California, was born in Newark, New Jersey on this date in 1932. Finkel was a lifelong progressive who participated in Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964 and stayed to work as a civil rights attorney throughout the following […]

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October 23: Leonard Freed, in Black and White

Magnum photographer Leonard Freed, who documented the realities of racial segregation and ghettoization — and the struggle against them — was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1929. Freed moved to Amsterdam in 1958 and began to document the life of the city’s Jewish community. In the 1960s he captured the energies of the […]

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Belafonte’s Uncompromising Career

A Fearlessly Progressive Star by Paul Buhle From the Spring, 2015 issue of Jewish Currents Reviewed in this Essay: Becoming Belafonte: Black Artist, Public Radical, by Judith E. Smith. University of Texas Press, 2014, 221 pages. LAST NOVEMBER, when Harry Belafonte accepted the “Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award” from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and […]

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Jewish History for Teens

Four Millenia of Great Diversity — In 300+ Pages by Gerald Sorin From the Spring, 2015 issue of Jewish Currents Reviewed in this Essay: The Veterans of History: A Young Person’s History of the Jews, by Mitchell Silver. Center for Jewish Culture and Social Justice, 2014, 334 pages. MITCHELL SILVER IS A CONSUMMATE STORYTELLER, and […]

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March 3: Jews in Florida

Florida was admitted to the United States as its 27th state on this date in 1845. Fewer than a hundred Jews lived in Florida at the time (out of a white population of some 66,000) — including David Levy Yulee, one of the new state’s first two senators and the first Jew in the U.S. […]

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