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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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Jewish Troublemakers in America, Part 2

A History and An Analysis by Lawrence Bush From the Winter, 2014-15 issue (art calender) of Jewish Currents To read Part 1, click here. THE HISTORY OF JEWISH EXCLUSION and adaptability sketched in Part One of this article provides only half an explanation for the enduring nature of Jewish liberalism in America. Another element to […]

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January 7: Shulamith Firestone

Author of The Dialectic of Sex (1970) and one of the most radical leaders of the feminist movement of the late 1960s, Shulamith Firestone (Feuerstein) was born into an Orthodox Jewish family in Ottawa on this date in 1945. She studied Judaism and art before moving to New York in 1967, where she co-founded New […]

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Joe and Me: Two Generations on the Left

by Kenneth Kann WE SAT ARGUING AT JOE’S KITCHEN TABLE, with my tape recorder ready for an interview session. Joe had called our publisher to demand that they replace me with another writer for his autobiography. I flung pencils at the wall in exasperation. We were fighting about an attack on Ukrainian peasants. By Jews. […]

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February 21: Revolution in Bavaria

Kurt Eisner, a socialist journalist who led a revolution that overthrew Bavaria’s monarchy in November, 1918, was assassinated on this date in 1919. Eisner had been jailed for treason the previous year for helping to lead a strike of 6,000 munitions workers. He had been opposed to World War I and had leaked documents showing […]

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Visiting David Gilbert in Prison

by Leonard Lehrman Discussed in this essay: No Surrender: Writings from an Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoner, by David Gilbert. Abraham Guillen Press and Arm the Spirit, 2004, 282 pages; Love and Struggle: My Life in SDS, the Weather Underground, and Beyond, by David Gilbert, PM Press, 2012, 336 pages; Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and […]

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The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Labor Bund

Nazism and Stalinism Delivered Blows; Ideology Did the Rest by Philip Mendes From the Autumn, 2013 issue of Jewish Currents The Jewish Labor Bund was one of the most important leftwing Jewish political organizations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It played a key role in the formation of the Russian Social Democratic […]

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Sons and Daughters of the Revolution, Part 3

Why Jews Lean Left — And Should Stay That Way by Lawrence Bush “We Jews are, as it were, the sons of the revolution, the daughters of the revolution. We should be aware of it.” —Leo Baeck, Judaism, 1949 For the past three years, I’ve been sending out a daily e-mail called Jewdayo, which chronicles, […]

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