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Remembering the Battle to Integrate Levittown

by Zachary Solomon   LAST YEAR, George Clooney’s Suburbicon, the sixth film that the actor has directed, bombed at the box office. Suburbicon was a combination of two scripts, one a neglected crime romp penned by Joel and Ethan Coen in the mid-1980s, the other a drama loosely informed by the notorious 1957 documentary, Crisis in Levittown. Suburbicon turned out to […]

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America’s First Shokhet (Ritual Slaughterer)

Solomon Etting was licensed on this date in 1782 to serve as America’s first kosher slaughterer. In 1797, Etting and Bernard Gratz petitioned the Maryland Assembly to revoke the law that required swearing a Christian oath in order to take office, and they continued petitioning the legislature every year for twenty-nine years. When Maryland’s so-called […]

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September 24: The National Farm School

The Board of Commissioners of Public Charities in Pennsylvania visited the National Farm School in Doylestown, Pennsylvania on this date in 1899. The school, on 122 acres, had been chartered three years earlier under the leadership of Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf (1958-1923), the spiritual leader of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, the oldest reform synagogue in Philadelphia, “to […]

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