Passing Over and Out of India

An India Travelogue, Part 13 by Lawrence Bush Click for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.   WE ARE CUTTING SHORT our trip to India, with one week left (which would have involved a trip to Varanasi, the “holy city” on the Ganges River, and to Khajuraho, a city famous for its erotic temple sculptures). Our son has been hospitalized […]

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Hanging with the Idolaters

An India Travelogue, Part 10 by Lawrence Bush Click for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.   IT’S INTERESTING being an American Jew in India, where most of the folks I speak with associate Jews exclusively with Israel, period — meaning that they associate us with conservatism, occupation of the Palestinian people, and cooperation with the U.S. military machine. The […]

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The Rambam

Maimonides (aka “the Rambam,” the Hebrew acronym derived from his full name, Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon) died on this date in 1204, at age 69. His Guide for the Perplexed helped bring Judaism into contact with science and Aristotelian philosophy and greatly fortified the intellectual integrity of Jewish philosophy. Born in Muslim-ruled Spain toward the end of a period […]

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March 29: Mother of Charities

Frances Wisebart Jacobs, who created Denver, Colorado’s nondenominational Charity Organization Society, the first federation of charities in the U.S., which evolved into the national Community Chest and then the United Way, was born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky on this date in 1843. She was a school teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio before she married Abraham Jacobs, her […]

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Footprints: Our Communist Past

JEWISH CURRENTS BEGAN ITS LIFE AS A COMMUNIST-ORIENTED MAGAZINE. WHAT SHOULD I MAKE OF THAT HERITAGE TODAY? by Lawrence Bush This article is one of a series reflecting on the history of Jewish Currents on the occasion of our 65th anniversary (2010). You can find the other entries here. When Jewish Currents and the Workmen’s […]

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February 8: A Billion Slippers

Florence Zacks Melton, who invented Shoulda Shams, removable shoulder pads, in the 1940s, and Dearfoams, foam-soled, washable slippers — introduced in 1958, with more than a billion pairs now sold — died at 95 on this date in 2007. Co-founder of R.G. Barry Corporation, which today controls nearly 40 percent of the U.S. slipper market, […]

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Eight Ideas for Khanike Gelt

by Lawrence Bush KHANIKE GELT (gifts of money) has roots in days of Jewish poverty, when children rarely had a penny of their own. In contemporary times of Jewish prosperity, perhaps it is the whole family’s turn to give gelt. Here are some suggestions for Khanike-season giving. FIRST CANDLE: The “Miracle of Oil” — one […]

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October 13: Alan Slifka and the Abraham Fund

Alan B. Slifka, a philanthropist who co-founded (with Eugene Wiener) the Abraham Fund Initiatives in 1989, the first nonprofit organization outside Israel dedicated to furthering coexistence between Israeli Arabs and Jews, was born along with his twin sister in New York on this date in 1929. Slifka was a product of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School […]

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