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October 13: Alan Slifka and the Abraham Fund

Alan B. Slifka, a philanthropist who co-founded (with Eugene Wiener) the Abraham Fund Initiatives in 1989, the first nonprofit organization outside Israel dedicated to furthering coexistence between Israeli Arabs and Jews, was born along with his twin sister in New York on this date in 1929. Slifka was a product of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School […]

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September 10: Jared Diamond

Science writer and scientist Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997) as well as The World Until Yesterday (2012), Collapse (2005) and The Third Chimpanzee (1992), among other books, was born in Boston on this date in 1937. He earned a degree in history and anthropology from Harvard in 1958 […]

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August 15: The Shocking Stanley Milgram

Stanley Milgram, the social psychologist who responded to the Eichmann trial and the Holocaust by designing an experiment about human obedience to authority, was born in the Bronx on this date in 1933. Milgram received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University before teaching at Yale, Harvard, and the Graduate Center of the City […]

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July 14: Henry Hurwitz and the Menorah Journal

Henry Hurwitz, who founded and edited The Menorah Journal, one of America’s foremost Jewish publications, was born in Lithuania on this date in 1886. Hurwitz came to the U.S. with his family at 5. He organized the Harvard Menorah Society in 1906, which by 1913 grew into a multi-campus organization, the  Intercollegiate Menorah Association. Louis […]

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The Jewish Jefferson

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet, by Jeffrey Rosen. Yale University Press, 2016, 266 pages. YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS, as part of its “Jewish Lives” series, has just published Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of his Supreme Court confirmation. It’s not a full-blown biography, but […]

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July 6: Basic Books

Arthur Rosenthal, who took over a psychoanalytic book club in 1952 and turned it into Basic Books, an imprint that he sold to Harper and Row twenty years later for $4 million, died at 93 on this date in 2013. The New York Times called him “a publisher of intellectual masterworks in an era of […]

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May 10: Daniel Bell

Daniel Bell (Bolotsky), one of the most well-known sociologists of post-war America, who once described himself as a “socialist in economics, a liberal in politics, and a conservative in culture,” was born in New York on this date in 1919. Bell was educated at City College and taught at Columbia and Harvard, from which he […]

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April 13: The Undeserving Poor

Social theorist Michael Katz, author of The Undeserving Poor: From the War on Poverty to the War on Welfare (1990) and founder of the urban studies program at the University of Pennsylvania, was born in Wilmington, Delaware on this date in 1939. With a Harvard Ph.D. and a thirty-six-year career at Penn, he wrote more […]

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American Eugenics and German Nazism

by Dusty Sklar THE AMERICAN EUGENICS movement aimed at improving the human race through ethnic cleansing well before the Nazis did. The pseudo-science became popular here in the late 19th century. The emancipation of black slaves, their increased mobility, and widespread immigration of Jews, southern and eastern Europeans, Hispanics, and Asians prompted a good many […]

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Ivy-League Washington: Is It Good for America

by George Salamon “THEY’RE FINISHED. The Ivy League Schools are finished,” said President Richard M. Nixon on May 18, 1972. Boy, was he ever wrong. But he could not have sensed just how wrong. That was revealed in the startling warning issued by the just-deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in his June 26, 2015 […]

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