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Joseph Rotblat

Sir Joseph Rotblat, a physicist who received the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on nuclear disarmament, was born in Poland on this date in 1908. Prior to World War II, the mostly self-taught Rotblat conducted experiments in nuclear fission. When World War II broke out, he was working at Liverpool University under James […]

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October 14: Elie Wiesel’s Nobel Peace Prize

Romanian-born writer and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on this date in 1986 as “one of the most important spiritual leaders and guides in an age when violence, repression and racism continue to characterize the world,” according to the Nobel Committee. “Wiesel is a messenger to [hu]mankind; his message is […]

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August 2: Israel’s Old Man

Shimon Peres, who was the world’s oldest head of state when he retired as Israel’s president in 2014, was born in Poland on this date in 1923. Peres has served twice as country’s prime minister (and twice as interim prime minister), and was a member of a dozen Israeli cabinets. In 1994 he shared the […]

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Einstein and Freud on “Why War?”

by Dusty Sklar ALBERT EINSTEIN had two sons with his first wife, Mileva Maric. The youngest, Eduard, studied medicine at Zurich University and planned to become a psychiatrist. Sigmund Freud’s picture graced his bedroom wall. Eduard often wrote discourses to his father on the helpfulness of Freud’s theories in unraveling aspects of music and film. […]

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October 6: Sadat’s Assassination

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated on this date in 1981, the eighth anniversary of the 1973 war that was known in Israel as the Yom Kippur War. His assassins were members of Islamic Jihad, and their motivation was Sadat’s signing of a peace agreement with Israel in 1978, for which both he and Israeli […]

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June 7: Keeping the World’s Heart Beating

Heart doctor Bernard Lown was born in Lithuania on this date in 1921. Lown is the inventor of the direct current defibrillator and the co-founder with Soviet cardiologist Yevgeny Chazov of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. His other pioneering contributions to cardiology […]

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Peace as an “Existential Issue”

An Editorial From the Winter 2013-2014 issue of Jewish Currents WE ALL KNOW THAT BARACK OBAMA’S 2009 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE was less a recognition of any actual accomplishments than a sigh of enormous relief by the Nobel Committee that George W. Bush and his disastrous “preventive war” doctrine no longer ruled America the Superpower. Yet […]

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Turning Away from Militarism

An Editorial From the Spring, 2012 issue of Jewish Currents The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached… must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey…. For if we lose that faith — if […]

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February 3: Gertrude Stein

Writer and patron of the arts Gertrude Stein was born on this date in 1874 into a wealthy family in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. She was a psychology student at Radcliffe, where she became interested in stream-of- consciousness writing, and she also spent two years in medical school at Johns Hopkins. From 1903 to 1914 Stein lived […]

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