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The Jewish Chicken Farmers of Petaluma: Why Remember?

Part One by Kenneth Kann   FIRST, ASTONISHMENT. Then outrage. Mine. I was viewing “California Dreaming,” a 2013 exhibit on Bay Area Jewish history at San Francisco’s eminent Contemporary Jewish Museum. The exhibit included the story of an extraordinary Jewish chicken ranching community in Petaluma, thirty-five miles north of San Francisco. This museum exhibit was false: […]

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The Uncivil Servant: Refugee Children and Their Teacher

by Mitchell Abidor   NICOLAS PHILIBERT’S 2002 To Be and To Have was a moving documentary about the students and teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in rural France. This lovely film, a deservedly huge success, was in a way a vision of both France past and the mythical eternal France — the students white, the teacher dealing, at worst, with […]

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Channel Esther: BOBST, a Serial Novel, Part XVIII

by Esther Cohen To read previous installments, search “BOBST” at right.   FIVE WOMEN from the meeting walked home in the same direction. They all lived on the Lower East Side,  near one another, in crowded tenements full of immigrants, young people and old.  Many spoke Yiddish. Bella, the oldest, a married mother, spoke to Rivka gently. “I’m sure […]

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Writing for Children about the Holocaust

AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHELLE BISSON, AUTHOR OF “HEDY’S JOURNEY” by Jacob L. Perl   “She and I talked about the Holocaust a lot over the years, but I, also for many years, did not understand. I just thought that she was obsessive and talked too much about it. And then when she died … Something […]

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Channel Esther: BOBST, a Serial Novel, Part XI

by Esther Cohen To read the earlier installments of BOBST, search at right under “Bobst.” Shmuel Feigenbaum wrote to Rivka from South Africa. Both from Bobst, in Lithuania, they met briefly in Rivka’s uncle’s lending office. She was 14 and he was 11 years older. The year was 1903. Shmuel was working in a clothing […]

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Splits in the Yiddish Socialist Movement

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THEIR HISTORY by Hershl Hartman Published in the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents MY BOLSHEVIK MOTHER in 1929 named me Hirsh Naftoli — not after departed grandfathers or uncles, but after two assassins of the diverse Socialist movements in Eastern Europe. You may have heard of one or both of them: […]

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