What’s Going to Happen to American Democracy?

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: How Democracies Die, by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. Penguin/Random House, 2018, 320 pages.   THESE DAYS, all sane Americans are wringing their hands over the threats to our democracy posed by the Trump presidency and the Republican power monopoly in Washington. Two thoughtful Harvard professors of government have now […]

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MESA’s Fresno State Conspiracy Theory

by Steven Lubet   ONE COMMON attribute of conspiracy theories is the belief that powerful forces, operating behind the scenes, are responsible for otherwise inexplicable adversities and misfortunes. These unseen antagonists’ reach extends into realms such as government, finance, culture, and education, and the absence of actual evidence of their existence or influence is simply taken as  proof of […]

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“Where Are Your Guns?” A Story by Howard Fast

From the July 1948 issue of Jewish Currents (then Jewish Life), reprinted from our Sid Resnick Archive. To see a scanned copy of the article as originally published, click here. WHERE ARE YOUR GUNS? by Howard Fast IN THE LAND of the goyim, my father traded with the Indians. We traded for beaver, and my father’s word was as good as his bond, […]

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The Rosenbergs Go On Trial

The trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg began on this date in 1951. Charged with conspiracy to commit atomic espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union, they would become the first civilians executed as spies in U.S. history — on June 19, 1953. Opposition to their sentence became an international cause, with Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert […]

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Danny Kaye from Brownsville

Actor/comedian Danny Kaye (David Daniel Kaminsky), a marvelous song-and-dance-and-everything man, died on this date in 1987. Kaye was born in 1911 in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, NY, to Ukrainian immigrant parents who called him “Duvidelleh.” After getting his start as a Borscht Belt entertainer, he would go on to star in seventeen movies, including The Secret […]

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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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Judge Polier

Activist judge Justine Wise Polier retired from New York family court on this date in 1973, after thirty-eight years of service. When, in 1935, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia appointed her to the city’s “Domestic Relations Court” (as it was then called), she was the youngest city judge in the U.S. (age 32) and the first woman […]

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Some Jews No Longer Qualify . . .

by Allan Lichtenstein   SINCE I AM an Israeli citizen, Israel’s recent decision last March to ban entry to members of certain Jewish activist groups will not affect me. When the ban passed the Israeli Knesset, therefore, taking aim at the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS), I did not pay much attention. The law forbids “granting entry visas […]

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Bella Lewitzky

Bella Lewitzky, a pioneer of modern dance who founded, with Lester Horton, the Dance Theater of Los Angeles, was born on this date in L.A. in 1916. A child of Jewish Russian parents, Lewitzky spent part of her youth in a utopian socialist community in the Mojave Desert. In her teens she moved to the […]

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