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Abie’s Irish Rose

Abie’s Irish Rose, a play about a young Irish woman and a young Jewish man who marry despite the objections of their families, premiered at Broadway’s Fulton Theater on this date in 1922. It would run for  2,327 performances until October 1, 1927, a record that would not be broken until Hello, Dolly! came to the stage in […]

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November 13: The Intermarriage

Sammy Davis Jr. married May Britt at a star-studded wedding on this date in 1960 — a “mixed race” marriage that evoked an enormous racist reaction at a time when such marriages were illegal in thirty-one American states. Davis was confronted by Nazi fascists while performing in London; 20th Century Fox declined to renew Britt’s […]

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A Symposium on the Jewish Future

AT ONE OF THE SITES WHERE THAT FUTURE WAS CREATED by Elliot B. Gertel THIS IS THE THIRD and (at least for now) final installment in a series I’ve done about noteworthy discussions of Jewish religion and culture found on internet videos of valuable symposia. The first installment was a look at milestones at New […]

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The Terror and Trauma of Being Black

by Mark Naison Discussed in this essay: Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Spiegel & Grau, 2015, 176 pages LET ME SAY at the outset that I cannot be objective in reviewing Ta-Nehisi Coates new book, Between the World and Me, which is addressed to his 15-year-old son, who burst into tears when learning […]

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April 28: Muhammad Ali’s Grandson

Jacob Wertheimer, grandson of American boxing champion Muhammad Ali, became a bar mitsve on this date in 2012 at Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia. The young man is the son of Khaliah Ali, the champ’s daughter, and her husband Spencer Wertheimer. “I was born and raised as a Muslim,” the mother said. “But I’m not into […]

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February 9: Alice Walker and Mel Leventhal

Alice Walker, whose many accomplishments include a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, The Color Purple (1982), was born in a sharecropping family in Georgia on this date in 1944. In 1967, Walker married the activist Jewish civil rights attorney Mel Leventhal, with whom she lived in Jackson, Mississippi. They were very possibly the first legally […]

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October 6: Mark Twain Gains a Jewish Son-in-Law

Mark Twain’s only living daughter, Clara Clemens, a contralto concert singer, married her pianist, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, on this date in 1909. The following year, her father died, leaving her his entire estate in a will (dated prior to her marriage) that provided for quarterly interest payments to keep her “free from any control or interference […]

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December 31: Rabbi Kaiman and Interfaith Marriage

Reform Rabbi Arnold Kaiman, who conducted numerous interfaith marriages in the Midwest during the 1970s, at a time when few rabbis would do so, died at 74 on this date in 2007. Kaiman, raised Orthodox, served congregations in Philadelphia, Larchmont, N.Y., and Los Angeles before settling in for two decades at Chicago’s Congregation Kol Ami. […]

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January 17: Two-Tenths of One Percent

Haaretz reported on this date in 2006 that as many Jews live in Israel as in the United States, with the Tel Aviv metropolitan area exceeding New York in Jewish population. The international figure for Jews was set at 13 million, under .20 percent of the world population (that is, two Jews out of every […]

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