Why Be Anything? Why Be Jewish?

THE JEWISH-UNIVERSALIST DILEMMA by Adam Chalom from the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   ONE HUNDRED and thirty years ago, a new language was born. It had regular rules and simple grammar, and could be learned in one tenth the time it takes to learn English. The inventor of Esperanto was a Polish Jewish doctor […]

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March 16: Herb Kurz: Life Insurance and Civil Liberties

Herb Kurz, the founder of Presidential Life Insurance in 1965 and a progressive supporter of civil liberties activism, was born on this date in 1920. Kurz was the key funder of the NYU Tamiment Library’s Frederic Ewen Center, named for his uncle, a Brooklyn College professor who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. The Center […]

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The Prophetic Tradition: Is It Ours?

by Bennett Muraskin MORRIS U. SCHAPPES WAS of the long-time editor Jewish Currents and an American Jewish historian. A progressive secular Jew from the old school of Jewish communists and socialists who came of age before World War Two, he once wrote about the prophetic tradition: There are… two traditions in Jewish life and history. […]

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December 14: Philip and Jack Foner

Two of the four Foner brothers who were leaders in the American labor movement and progressive academic circles were born on this date in 1910. Philip Foner wrote and edited more than 110 books, many involving groundbreaking research: on American slavery, on black history, on women and social activists as agents of change in America, […]

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July 2: The Bakers’ Strike

A seven-week strike by 1,000 Jewish bakers in New York ended on this date in 1909. According to Morris U. Schappes, our magazine’s long-time editor, the bakers were “the most downtrodden of Jewish workers,” working “18 hours a day, six days a week for wages of $8 to $11.” By the strike’s end, they had won […]

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Footprints: The Black-Jewish Connection

Jewish Currents Has Always Cultivated Solidarity between Blacks and Jews. Is that Bond Still Vital and Real? by Lawrence Bush This article is one of a series reflecting on the history of Jewish Currents on the occasion of our 65th anniversary. You can find the other entries here. JEWISH CURRENTS HAS ALWAYS capitalized “Black” in […]

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