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January 2: The Wilderness Preservation Movement

Bob Marshall, the founder of the American wilderness preservation movement, was born in New York to the constitutional lawyer and Jewish activist Louis Marshall and his wife Florence on this date in 1901. A product of the Ethical Culture movement, Marshall was a committed nature writer (author of the bestselling 1933 book about Alaska, Arctic […]

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Jobs, Politicians, and the Media

“You Cannot Be Serious” “You cannot be serious.”  —Tennis star John McEnroe to an umpire at Wimbledon, 1981 THE WAY POLITICIANS talk about job creation in America should elicit outbursts of disbelief. The way the media fail to cover political promises or boasts should as well. Here’s what our two major candidates in the 2016 […]

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The Last Resort: Trump and the Jewish Vote

by Albert Vorspan DEAR DONALD, The pundits are scoffing at you for playing musical chairs with your campaign manager, but I think you are very clever and, indeed, I suggest that you switch campaign managers daily to one specially qualified to awaken a sliver of the voting population that you need to resurrect ASAP. Now […]

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August 13: The Riegner Cable

The following telegram was sent by Gerhart Riegner, secretary of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva, to diplomats in the U.S. State Department and the British Foreign Office on August 8, 1942: “Received alarming report stating that, in the Fuehrer’s Headquarters, a plan has been discussed, and is under consideration, according to which all Jews […]

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Is Social Democracy Un-American?

THE NEW DEAL AND THE GREAT SOCIETY IN RETROSPECT by Marc Jampole from the Summer 2016 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics, by Jefferson Cowie. Princeton University Press, 2016, 438 pages. HISTORIAN JEFFERSON Cowie’s The Great Exception: The New Deal and […]

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July 12: The Screen Actors Guild

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) was founded on this date in 1933 with the aim of lessening the contractual power of Hollywood’s movie studios over the lives of actors. Jewdayo locates no Jews among the union’s founders, but it was Eddie Cantor who sparked the growth of membership from eighty to more than 4,000 when […]

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Make Her Do It

Can Bernie’s Movement Pressure Clinton to Tack Left? An editorial from the Summer 2016 issue of Jewish Currents THE STORY GOES that President Franklin Roosevelt, at the conclusion of a 1940 meeting with A. Philip Randolph about overturning racial discrimination in the defense industry, told the black labor leader: “I agree with you. Now go […]

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June 24: The Infiltrator

Jan Karski, a non-Jewish Polish resistance fighter against Nazism who in 1942 infiltrated both the Warsaw Ghetto (twice) and a transit camp near the Bełżec death camp and reported the information he gathered to the Polish government-in-exile as well as the British and American governments, was born in Lodz on this date 1914. Karski was […]

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May 11: Turning Post-War Germany into a Giant Farm

Henry Morgenthau, Jr., who operated a Christmas tree farm neighboring the New York State estate of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and became U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in 1934, was born in New York City on this date in 1891. Morgenthau was a champion of American farmers, who constituted some 25 percent of the American […]

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March 17: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise

Reform rabbi and Zionist leader Stephen S. Wise was born in Budapest on this date in 1874. He came to New York as an infant when his rabbi father took the pulpit at Congregation Beyt Israel Anshei Emes in Brooklyn and then Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan. Wise earned a Ph.D at Columbia before pursuing rabbinical […]

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