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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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Behind the Demonstrations in Morocco

by Richard Greeman ON WEDNESDAY October 26, the well-known Moroccan historian and human rights activist Maâti Monjib and five of his colleagues were hauled into the High Court at Rabat to answer charges of “attacks on national security” and “receiving foreign funds.” They are facing up to five years in prison for their activities as […]

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October 19: Fannie Hurst

Bestselling novelist and short story writer Fannie Hurst — known to later generations primarily through film adaptations of her fiction (notably Imitation of Life and Young at Heart), was born in Hamilton, Ohio on this date in 1885. Hurst wrote on social themes of sexism and women’s rights, racism and racial justice, and economic opportunity, […]

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Is a New New Deal Possible?

ONLY THROUGH OUTREACH TO THE DISENFRANCHISED WORKING CLASS by George Salamon “American society is a sort of flat, fresh-water pond which absorbs silently, without reaction, anything which is thrown into it.”  –Henry Adams AT LONG LAST, the silence voluntarily imposed on itself first by the “Silent Generation” of the 1950s and then through the “Silent […]

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OpEdge: Hillary vs. Trump, Issue by Issue

by Marc Jampole AMERICANS in the 21st century judge their presidential candidates on many parameters: issues, party, character, demeanor (presidentialness, if I may coin a phrase), trustworthiness, and experience. Often how the candidates say what they’ll do is as important as what they say they’ll do. Let’s set aside all other aspects of the voting […]

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Stat$: The State of America, Income Inequality

by Allan Lichtenstein WITH ABOUT eight weeks before the presidential election, the conversation has changed radically from that heading into the Democratic Party’s convention a few weeks back. Many had hoped that Bernie Sanders “revolution” would pull the Democratic Party to the left, paving the way for a progressive agenda if Hillary Clinton is elected. […]

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Is Social Democracy Un-American?

THE NEW DEAL AND THE GREAT SOCIETY IN RETROSPECT by Marc Jampole from the Summer 2016 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics, by Jefferson Cowie. Princeton University Press, 2016, 438 pages. HISTORIAN JEFFERSON Cowie’s The Great Exception: The New Deal and […]

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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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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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June 19: Bessie Margolin and Labor Law

Bessie Margolin, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Labor from 1939 to 1972, who argued twenty-four times before the Supreme Court and prevailed in twenty-one cases, died at 89 on this date in 1996. Raised from the age of 4 as an orphan at the Jewish Children’s Home in New Orleans, Margolin attended Tulane […]

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