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“Jewish Women Call for Change”

On this date in 1972, a Jewish feminist study group, Ezrat Nashim (named for the women’s section of synagogue), submitted a manifesto to the Rabbinical Assembly, the rabbinic arm of the movement for Conservative Judaism, at the RA’s national convention. The document, entitled “Jewish Women Call for Change,” petitioned the Conservative movement to count women in […]

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The Emancipation of Hungary’s Jews

The Jews of Hungary were granted complete political and civil rights on this date in 1849 by the First National Assembly, which had been established by a revolution led by Lajos Kossuth (1802-1894). Their civil liberation lasted for just two weeks, however; after the Austrians (with Russian assistance) had suppressed Kossuth’s revolution, the Jews were harshly sanctioned with onerous taxes, imprisonment, and […]

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Impressions from J Street, 2017

by Ron Skolnik BERNIE SANDERS, SUPERSTAR EVERY J STREET conference has its rock star, that one figure whose presence elates the crowd and gives them hope amidst the gloomy reality. In 2013, for example, it was VP Joe Biden: The appearance of the man a “heartbeat away from the presidency” signaled to J Street’s activists […]

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American Jews Line Up Against the Trump Ban

by Ron Skolnik WITH NOT MUCH to smile about since Inauguration Day, it has been heartening to see the nearly undivided reaction of the American Jewish community to Donald Trump’s January 27 Executive Order (EO) on immigration and refugee admission – widely considered to constitute a Muslim ban. With one or two glaring exceptions — […]

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November 17: The Pittsburgh Platform’s Radical Judaism

The 1885 gathering of leaders of the movement for Reform Judaism in the U.S. entered its second day of proceedings on this date at the Concordia Club in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Platform, signed by eighteen rabbis, became an influential document for the next half century or more, particularly in shaping Reform Judaism’s rejection of Zionism […]

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Supporting the Black Lives Matter Platform

ITS SLANDER OF ISRAEL NOTWITHSTANDING An editorial from the Autumn 2016 issue of Jewish Currents WHEN THE BLACK Lives Matter movement (#BLM) emerged two years ago in angry protest over police racism in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, Maryland, and other localities across the U.S., a new phase of the American civil rights movement began. It was […]

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O My America: The Black Lives Matter Platform

YOU DON’T HAVE TO AGREE WITH ALL THE RHETORIC TO GIVE IT SUPPORT by Lawrence Bush THE BLACK LIVES MATTER Platform, issued at the very end of July by a coalition of some thirty organizations based in the African-American community and endorsed by sixty, is a spirited, radical, impressive mix of universalist politics and black-identity […]

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The Last Resort: A Century of Demagogues

by Al Vorspan THE CLICHE that truth is stranger than fiction is sometimes really right. About thirty years ago, my brother-in-law Sid was en route from New York City to Hillsdale, New York to visit with me and my family at our country place. He stopped off at a diner and, sitting at the counter, […]

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