FDA OK’s AZT

On this date in 1987, the Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of AZT (azidothymidine, also known as Zidovudine or ZDV) to inhibit the development of HIV-AIDS. The approval period was the shortest in FDA history — twenty months. Originally created by Dr. Jerome Horwitz (1919–2012) as a cancer drug in 1964, AZT proved to […]

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Leo Hirshfield and the Tootsie Roll

According to Tootsie Roll Industries company lore, Tootsie Rolls were first offered for sale on this date in 1896 at a candy shop in New York City at a price of one penny. (For a version that disputes this accounting, click here.) The Tootsie Roll was created by Leo Hirshfield (or Hirschfeld, pictured left), an Austrian-born […]

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Senda Berenson, Mother of Women’s Basketball

Senda Berenson (Valvrojenski), the first woman inaugurated into the Basketball Hall of Fame, died on this date in 1954. Known as “The Mother of Women’s Basketball,” she was the first physical education instructor at Smith College, and in 1893 she conducted the first women’s basketball game — sophomores against freshmen. Six years later, she modified […]

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“Financier of the Revolutionary War”

Haym Salomon, often referred to as “the financier of the Revolutionary War,” died on this date in 1785. Born in Poland (circa 1740), but a descendant of Jews who had fled the Spanish Inquisition, he immigrated to New York City in 1775, became a financial broker, and joined the Sons of Liberty. Believed to have been […]

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Turkish Delight

THE SEPHARDIC IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE IN FICTION by Sarah Aroeste From the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   Discussed in this essay: His Hundred Years, A Tale by Shalach Manot. Albion-Andalus Books, 2016, 208 pages.   IT IS WITH BOTH pride and curiosity that I spent my childhood years staring daily at a photograph of my grandfather as […]

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Channel Esther: Bobst XX (The End – For Now)

by Esther Cohen To read previous installments, search “BOBST” in our search box, or click here. Dear Jewish Currents Readers, Last week’s Bobst installment was the story’s secret ending, for now. Here’s another one, a wrap-up. What happens next will be another story. Esther Cohen RIVKA CAME to America. Like many, she found herself in the […]

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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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Channel Esther: Bobst, a Serial Novel, Part IX

by Esther Cohen To read parts I-VIII, please search at right under “Bobst” NEW YORK was difficult for Rivka. Nothing looked or felt familiar. Especially smells. When she walked on the street to the subway, when she was on the subway itself, she didn’t know the words to say. Confused was probably closest. She was always confused. […]

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