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All About Khanike-Hanukkah-Chanukah

A RESOURCE FROM JEWISH CURRENTS’ SCHAPPES CENTER FOR CULTURAL JEWISH LIFE (Sponsored, in part, by the Kurz Family Foundation. Illustration [above] from Richard Codor and Lawrence Bush’s Babushkin’s Catalogue of Jewish Inventions.)   KHANIKE (that’s the YIVO-style transliteration of the Yiddish pronunciation for Hanukkah, which we use to honor Yiddish culture) is one of the […]

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The Six Holiday Components of Khanike

by Judith Seid Adapted from her God-Optional Judaism, Blue Thread Books, 2017. Statue of Liberty Menorah by Mae Rockland Tupa. KHANIKE IS RICH in meaning, with all six classic holiday components: primitive, seasonal, historical, religious, national, and ethical. The primitive and seasonal components have to do with the winter solstice. Like many cultures, the Jews […]

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Splits in the Yiddish Socialist Movement

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THEIR HISTORY by Hershl Hartman Published in the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents MY BOLSHEVIK MOTHER in 1929 named me Hirsh Naftoli — not after departed grandfathers or uncles, but after two assassins of the diverse Socialist movements in Eastern Europe. You may have heard of one or both of them: […]

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Harry Kelber, a Forgotten Labor Activist

by Bennett Muraskin HARRY KELBER (1914-2013) was a union organizer, journalist, publisher, educator, and dissident who capped his career by writing an autobiography, My Seventy Years as a Labor Activist. Yes, seventy years! His career included union activism and developing the first labor studies program at Cornell University, a program that eventually evolved into Empire […]

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Publications for Secular Jewish Kids: A History

by Bennett Muraskin Discussed in this essay: Raising Secular Jews: Yiddish Schools and Their Periodicals for American Children, 1917-1950 by Naomi Prawer Kadar. Brandeis University Press, 2017, 282 pages. READERS of Jewish Currents should already know something about the history of secular Jewish/Yiddish education in the U.S. from Barnett Zumoff’s review in Jewish Currents of […]

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The Jewish Jefferson

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet, by Jeffrey Rosen. Yale University Press, 2016, 266 pages. YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS, as part of its “Jewish Lives” series, has just published Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of his Supreme Court confirmation. It’s not a full-blown biography, but […]

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December 15: The American Jewish Congress

The American Jewish Congress held its first meeting on this date in 1918, which was also the anniversary of the 1791 ratification of the Bill of Rights, a document that AJCongress in its hey-day expended much of its energy and legal expertise defending and expanding. As a membership organization with local chapters, AJCongress aimed to […]

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My Jewish Question, My Father

by Dale M. Kushner TWENTY YEARS AGO, I was completely unaware of any relationship between my writing and my experience of being Jewish. Ten years ago, I might have felt a vague stirring of the connection, but had no sense of its depth. Now, working on a second novel, I look back at what I […]

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