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Itche Goldberg and Yiddishkayt

Yiddish scholar, literary critic and educator Itche Goldberg died at 102 on this date in 2006. Goldberg founded and kept alive the  Yiddish literary journal, Yidishe Kultur, from 1964 to 2004, and was an eloquent and important theorist and cultivator of secular Jewish culture. From 1937 to 1951, he was the educational and cultural director of the Jewish People’s […]

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The Folk Music Manager

Harold Leventhal, music manager for The Weavers, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Theodore Bikel, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Peter, Paul & Mary, Tom Paxton, Arlo Guthrie (shown with Leventhal above), and numerous other folk musicians, was born in Ellenville, New York on this date in 1919. Leventhal joined the American Communist movement as […]

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Among Young Communists in the Bronx

by Marissa Piesman Discussed in this essay: A Distant Heartbeat: A War, a Disappearance, and a Family’s Secrets, by Eunice Lipton. University of Mexico Press, 2016, 176 pages. I WILL WILLINGLY read any book in which “YCL” (Young Communists League) and “Tremont Avenue” appear in the same sentence — and Eunice Lipton’s family memoir was […]

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The Sheep Were Legend, the Wolves Were Real

A Fighter in the Minsk Ghetto Recounts the Resistance by Hirsh Smoliar Translated from the Yiddish by Hershl Hartman From the Autumn 2015 special issue of Jewish Currents on the theme, “Honoring the Jewish Resistance.” Originally published in 1959. I CAN REMEMBER it clearly: It was that wonderfully good person and great writer, Der Nister […]

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