Channel Esther: BOBST, a Serial Novel, Part XIV

by Esther Cohen To read earlier installments, search “BOBST” at right.   A young Jewish girl named Rivka comes to New York City at the beginning of the 20th century. She meets a woman named Clara at the garment factory where she works. CLARA, eight years older than Rivka, Clara, soon after immigrating to the United […]

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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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The Khanike Rebellion, Before and After

by Yankl Stillman IT ALL STARTED over 2,300 years ago. Alexander of Macedonia (aka Alexander the Great) conquered an empire that stretched from the Aegean Sea to the Indus River. It might have been even bigger had he not died in Babylonia in 323 BCE, at the age of 32. When you have an empire […]

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October 25: Sir Martin Gilbert and the Holocaust

Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill (about whom he wrote 30 books!) and an important historian of the Holocaust and Jewish resistance to Nazism, was born in London on this date in 1936 and evacuated to Canada as World War II began. At Oxford in 1962, he was approached by Randolph Churchill to […]

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January 30: Barbara W. Tuchman

Popular history writer Barbara Wertheim Tuchman, the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for her books The Guns of August (1962) and Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911–1945 (1972), was born into a prominent and wealthy family in New York on this date in 1912. Her father was an international banker, head of the […]

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July 18: Thomas Kuhn and the “Paradigm Shift”

Historian and philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn, author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), was born in Cincinnati on this date in 1922. His immensely influential book claimed that the progress of science is marked by periodic “paradigm shifts” that open up new understandings of reality unimagined based on previous scientific knowledge, and that […]

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History, Herstory, Ourstory: A Sea Voyage, 1645

A Glimpse of the TransAtlantic Life for Jews and Others in New Amsterdam by Leo Hershkowitz On March 30, 1645, Arent van Curler (1619–1667), chief agent for Kiliaen van Rensselaer (J. Franklin Jameson, ed., Narratives of New Netherland 1909), one of the wealthiest Dutch patrons, with property that covered a vast territory in the upper […]

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History, Herstory, Ourstory: Choosing Sides in New York, 1776

by Leo Hershkowitz Whig or Tory, radical or conservative, which side do you choose? This was a basic question facing the residents of New York City during the time of crisis, 1763-1776, when ties with Great Britain were being tested and, eventually, unwound. The city’s small Jewish population, perhaps 400 of some 30,000 total, faced […]

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