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Living Communally as Teens in Israel

IF THIS IS SOCIALISM, WHERE’S THE BATHROOM? by Marah Birnbaum From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   ALMOST EVERY DAY, I walk into the living room to find two to six young men in the assumed position: sunk into the couch, fixated on their phones or computers, necks tucked and backs hunched. The staccato clicking […]

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David Ben-Gurion and the Arabs

by Dusty Sklar DAVID BEN-GURION — born David Gruen 130 years ago on October 16 — was the George Washington of Israel. The man who became Israel’s first prime minister and is widely seen as the “father” of the modern state seemed to have held contradictory views about Arab-Jewish relations — but he was hardly […]

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June 15: The Great Yiddish Critic

Shmuel Niger (Charney), a leading Yiddish literary critic who helped to launch the careers of Sholem Asch, Peretz Hirshbein, and Der Nister, among other Yiddish writers, was born into a khasidic family in the region of Minsk on this date in 1883. Coming into contact with leftwing Zionist ideas while preparing for rabbinical ordination at […]

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August 11: Pinski the Playwright

Yiddish writer David Pinski, whose plays brought the lives of urban Jewish workers to the Yiddish stage, died at 87 on this date in 1959. Pinski was a Talmudic wonder-child but became a secular Jew and socialist Zionist in his early adulthood. He was encouraged as a writer by the great I.L. Peretz, with whom […]

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Socialist Zionism for the 21st Century

by A. Daniel Roth WHEN I MOVED TO ISRAEL THREE YEARS AGO, one of the questions asked of me was “What kind of Jew are you?” My answer was “Shomer” — that is, a member of Hashomer Hatzair, the Socialist Zionist movement. A few bureaucrats along the way tried to get me to change my answer […]

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December 19: The Third Aliyah

The third wave of Jewish emigration to Palestine began on this date in 1921 with the arrival in the port of Jaffa of the SS Ruslam with 671 people aboard. This Third Aliyah, which lasted for four years and brought more than 35,000 Jews to Palestine, mostly from Russia and Poland, was prompted by the […]

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June 21: A Father of Socialist Zionism

Dov Ber Borochov, a key founder of the Socialist Zionist movement and an important Yiddish philologist, was born in Zolotonosha, Ukraine on this date in 1881. At age 20, he led in the establishment of the Zionist Socialist Workers Union (Poale Zion), which helped to pioneer Jewish self-defense against pogroms, and he began to write and […]

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May 8: Commander of the Uprising

Mordecai Anielewicz, the 23-year-old commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, was killed by the Nazis with several of his comrades in their bunker at Mila 18 on this date in 1943, twenty days after the start of the rebellion. A leader within Hashomer Hatzair, the socialist Zionist youth movement, Anielewicz was among a group that […]

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