History Category

Legend who wrote, and made, history passes on

In: History, Race, Racial Justice

(Photo by Derek Anderson) Originally posted on Duluth News Tribune Considering that John Hope Franklin was a historian — or rather, very likely the leading historian in America until his death on Wednesday at age 94 — I’m embarrassed to say I can’t recall exactly when or where we met. What I do remember, other […]

From the Jewish Women’s Archive: Approximately 500 workers were sewing shirtwaists at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company’s sweatshop near Washington Square in Manhattan when a fire broke out on March 25, 1911. The building lacked adequate fire escapes, firefighting equipment was unable to reach the top floors, and—most tragically—exit doors had been locked to prevent unauthorized […]

Freund’s Business of Farming Jews

In: History, Sephardi

Nuevo: Gracias a Aryeh Ben Abraham Capella por la traducción en español A few years back when news about a group of secret-Jews in Belmonte, Portugal, came to light, no one really took much notice. These secret Jews were thought to be the last descendants of Sephardi Jews forced to convert to Catholicism, and who […]

is there a jewish newspaper in the u.s. that would even consider printing a piece like the one i’ve copied in below, which ran in ha-aretz on february 13, 2009? if one did, would it ever run another one? how many institutional advertisers would it lose? how many major u.s. jewish organizations would condemn it? […]

The unfinished journey of a postcard from hell

In: History

(A letter penned by Auschwitz inmate Jan Rejmak in 1944 includes a postage stamp of Hitler and an address clarification, which was a possible scam for the SS to round up more victims.) This is a story without an ending, or rather, one with a terrible end in need of a proper burial. Its Duluth […]

now, the statue of limitations on all of our semi-rational exuberance over the symbolism of the current presidency has not yet run out. i figure, based on my friends and family, that it has somewhere between three and nine months left. so i’m not expecting anyone to do anything about this right now. once the memories of the election-night street parties are a little bit more faded, though, it’ll be useful to have these pieces of information ready to hand.

On August 1st, I participated in a small tour through Canada Park lead by Eitan Bronstein, the Director of Zochrot [Remembering], an organization of Israeli citizens working to raise awareness of the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948. Canada Park is run by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and lies thirty minutes outside of Tel […]

Noted author Garry Wills wrote an excellent book last year about American Christians. Or rather, ‘Head and Heart: American Christianities.’ After reading it, I was finally able to make sense of the relationship between seemingly disparate phenomena, such as: Where did Christian Zionism come from, and why is it strongest in the US? Why do […]

Naqba Reflections #1

In: 60 years later, History, Israel, JVoices, Memory, Palestine

As a child growing up in Israel, the Holocaust was omnipresent. There was the makolet (grocery store) owners with numbers on their arms, Begin yelping ‘Never Again’ as an election slogan, and the opening line of countless comedic monologues that begin with ‘as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and the mother of a soldier to be, I hereby light this torch in the name of (fill in the blank).’ [Thank you Hanoch Levin)

(apologies to those who aren’t living in new york city – this is an event announcement) (it seems like there are many more radical purim extravaganzas going on all over the country, though, and i’m posting this announcement in part to encourage folks to think big and exciting for next year…) this year’s eighth-or-so edition […]