The Uncivil Servant: Where the Hell Did We Come From?

by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: The Origin of the Jews, by Steven Weitzman. Princeton University Press, 2017, 408 pages.   AT THE END of Steven Weitzman’s Origin of the Jews, a scholarly but eminently accessible account of the search for the origin of the Jews (which we should not confuse with their beginnings), the […]

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Intermarriage Grew the Jewish Community

Now how to sustain it? by Paul Golin   THREE LOCAL JEWISH COMMUNITIES released population studies in recent weeks, including two of the five largest Jewish communities in the country, and though the results are not shocking to anyone who follows such things, the numbers are still profound. In over a decade since their previous […]

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The Short Season, Part 2

HUSTLING FULL-TIME IN THE CATSKILLS by Elliot Podwill   To read Part 1, click here.   THE SOCIAL DARWINIAN universe we inhabited filtered down to adolescent social mores. A friend in high school was on several occasions turned down for dates by girls because his family car was dingy. (No subways or buses ran in South Fallsburg.) […]

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February 10: Soviet Deportations Begin in Poland

The Soviet Union began deporting Polish citizens to Siberia on this date in 1940 following the Soviet takeover of eastern Poland. The Nazis had already moved on western Poland; six out of ten of Poland’s 3.3 million Jews were now living and dying under the German occupation, while four out of ten were in the […]

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The Long History of Chinese Jews

by Dusty Sklar ONE OFTEN HEARS the Chinese, especially those who live in the huge international Chinese diaspora, being referred to as the “Jews of the Orient” and labelled with stereotypes similar to those that have been used to insult Jews. According to Christopher Hale, a media producer in Singapore, a book of that title […]

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May 13: A Survey of Anti-Semitism

On this date in 2014, the Anti-Defamation League released the results of a survey about anti-Semitism involving over 50,000 people in 101 countries as well as the occupied Palestinian territories. The survey used belief in the following statements as a measuring rod of anti-Semitism; respondents who said at least 6 out of the 11 statements […]

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The Uncivil Servant: In Protest of Ultra-Orthodox Jews

Am I Being Anti-Semitic, or Do They Deserve It? by Mitchell Abidor Some time ago, I spent several months translating the correspondence of the French novelist Louis-Ferdinand Céline, a ferocious Jew-hater and Nazi collaborator. Reading his rants, I felt a certain unease. That unease returned while reading, for a future review article for Jewish Currents, […]

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The Uncivil Servant: The Other Other New York

by Mitchell Abidor The theme of Bill de Blasio’s wildly successful mayoral campaign was “A Tale of Two Cities,” the New York of the wealthy and the New York of the rest, whose differences were accentuated during Michael Bloomberg’s twelve years in office. But a look at the electoral map reveals that alongside the two […]

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March 23: Jewdayo’s First Mathematician

Paul J. Cohen of Stanford University, who won Fields Medal for Outstanding Mathematical Achievement in 1966 for proving that the continuum hypothesis was not provable (!), died on this date in 2007 at the age of 72. The continuum hypothesis states that there are no sets bigger than the integers and smaller than the real […]

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March 22: Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim, described by the New York Times as “the greatest, and perhaps best-known artist working in musical theater,” was born in New York City on this date in 1930. The child of disturbed and divorced parents, he was mentored as a teenager by Oscar Hammerstein II, whose son was his school chum; Sondheim wrote […]

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