Lillian Wald and the Henry Street Settlement

Lillian Wald co-founded what would become the Henry Street Settlement House (its original name was Nurses’ Settlement) on this date in 1893 — which was also her 26th birthday. Wald, the daughter of immigrants from Germany, enjoyed a relatively affluent upbringing and, after training as a nurse, became the greatest champion of public health services in […]

Read More

“Marshall” — Civil Rights and Old-Fashioned Shul Jews

by Elliot B. Gertel Discussed in this essay: Marshall, a film directed by directed by Reginald Hudlin and written by Michael and Jacob Koskoff. THE WELL-WRITTEN and finely-acted movie Marshall may have taken some liberties in depicting Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) and Samuel Friedman (Josh Gad), the Bridgeport, Connecticut Jewish attorney who helped out with a noted […]

Read More

If It’s Not Genocide, What Word Should We Use?

A DISSENT FROM OUR EDITORIAL ON THE BLACK LIVES MATTER PLATFORM by Dorothy Zellner From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   I TAKE ISSUE with the Jewish Currents editorial, “Supporting the Black Lives Matter Platform, Its Slander of Israel Notwithstanding” (Autumn, 2016), in which the magazine unfortunately joined the pack of the hands-in-the-air-I’m–shocked-and-horrified Zionist […]

Read More

December 18: Hal Kanter and Diahann Carroll

Hal Kanter, a screenwriter, director, and producer who created “Julia,” the first television sitcom (1968-71) featuring a black professional character (Diahann Carroll), was born in Savannah, Georgia on this date in 1918. Kanter worked on films with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, and Elvis Presley. For many years he was […]

Read More

October 6: Editor of “Jewish Child”

Elma Ehrlich Levinger, the editor of Jewish Child magazine and author of more than thirty books for children about Jewish history and identity, was born in Chicago on this date in 1886. “Levinger used both drama and the short story as a means of educating young people and women about Jewish history and traditions, hoping […]

Read More

August 22: Dorothy Parker

Writer and public wit Dorothy Parker was born in Long Branch, New Jersey on this date in 1893. She was the daughter of a Jewish father, whom she hated, and a Scottish Protestant mother, and she married (for the first time), she said, to escape her Jewish name (Rothschild) — yet the memorial garden dedicated […]

Read More

May 22: A Reform Jewish Giant

Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch, who headed Chicago’s Sinai Congregation for forty-two years and led Reform Judaism into the Progressive movement and down social justice pathways, was born in Luxemburg on this date in 1852. One of several Jews involved in founding the NAACP, Hirsch was married to the daughter of abolitionist rabbi David Einhorn and […]

Read More

March 17: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise

Reform rabbi and Zionist leader Stephen S. Wise was born in Budapest on this date in 1874. He came to New York as an infant when his rabbi father took the pulpit at Congregation Beyt Israel Anshei Emes in Brooklyn and then Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan. Wise earned a Ph.D at Columbia before pursuing rabbinical […]

Read More

November 12: Against the Death Penalty

Norman Redlich, dean of the New York University Law School, a member of the Warren Commission (which investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy), and a strong opponent of the death penalty, was born in the Bronx on this date in 1925. Early in his career, Redlich was active in the National Emergency Civil Liberties […]

Read More