Advertisement

All About Khanike-Hanukkah-Chanukah

A RESOURCE FROM JEWISH CURRENTS’ SCHAPPES CENTER FOR CULTURAL JEWISH LIFE (Sponsored, in part, by the Kurz Family Foundation. Illustration [above] from Richard Codor and Lawrence Bush’s Babushkin’s Catalogue of Jewish Inventions.)   KHANIKE (that’s the YIVO-style transliteration of the Yiddish pronunciation for Hanukkah, which we use to honor Yiddish culture) is one of the […]

Read More

What Is the Sin that Will Land Me in Hell?

by Lawrence Bush Discussed in this essay: Lincoln in the Bardo, a Novel, by George Saunders. Random House, 2017, 343 pages.   WHAT IS THE SIN that will land me in hell when I die? What is the shortcoming, illusion, mental script, that keeps me living in two dimensions instead of three, four, or five? I asked my […]

Read More

The “Israelite with Egyptian Principles”

Judah P. Benjamin was confirmed as Secretary of War of the Confederacy on this date in 1861. Benjamin was a plantation owner, slaveholder and attorney who had served as U.S. senator from Louisiana (the second Jewish senator in history after David Levy Yulee of Florida) and had twice declined appointment to the Supreme Court. Republican Senator […]

Read More

How to Watch a Confederate Statue Fall

by Joel Schechter 1) CONSIDER IT ART CRITICISM While I applaud the decision of local governments and activists to remove statues of Confederate soldiers and leaders from public spaces,  insofar as the statues represent defenders of slavery, I also want to note the curious spectacle of an American President verbally defending these statues against their critics […]

Read More

The Jews’ Hospital

New York’s 45-bed Jews’ Hospital opened for patients on this date in 1855. It would change its name to the Mount Sinai Hospital after the Civil War. Founded by Sampson Simson, a philanthropist, on land that he owned on 28th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in Manhattan, the hospital found its resources  especially taxed by […]

Read More

Medals of Honor in the Civil War

Two Jewish soldiers in the Union Army received the Congressional Medal of Honor for the heroism they showed on this date in 1864 during the four-day Battle of the Wilderness, the first attempt by Ulysses S. Grant to use consolidated forces of the Union to destroy Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Abraham […]

Read More

The Baltimore Slavery Riot

Pro-slavery forces in Baltimore, a city that had given Abraham Lincoln only 1,100 of more than 30,000 votes cast the previous November, rioted on this date in 1861 as Union soldiers from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts arrived to secure the town, situated dangerously close to Washington, DC. The riot erupted only six days after hostilities had […]

Read More

February 1: The First Black Secretary of State

Francis Lewis Cardozo, the son of a free black woman and a Sephardic Jewish father who became the first African American in history to hold statewide office when he became South Carolina’s secretary of state in 1868, was born in Charleston on this date in 1836. Cardozo’s parents were forbidden by law to marry but […]

Read More

December 17: General Grant’s General Orders

General Ulysses S. Grant’s General Order No. 11, ordering the expulsion of all Jews in his military district in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky, was issued on this date in 1862 as part of his effort to crack down on black-marketeering during the Civil War. The order would be revoked at President Lincoln’s insistence on January […]

Read More