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A Forgetting of Benjamin Franklin

Shai Afsai marks the passing of Ben Franklin on 17 April 1790. Rabbis and Jewish scholars have often been unaware of, confused about, or uncomfortable acknowledging American founding father Benjamin Franklin’s influence on Judaism. Franklin specialists have been largely oblivious to it. Though the mussar (practical Jewish ethical instruction) classic Sefer Heshbon Hanefesh (Book of […]

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Britain’s Small Screen Jewish Gangsters

Contining with our series on Jews and Crime, Nathan Abrams explores British Jewish gangsters and criminals on the small screen. The image of the British Jewish gangster isn’t an obvious one but we’ve had two significant crime families on British television in recent years. McMafia (BBC, 2018) was an eight-part British crime drama television series […]

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The Apotheosis of Consumer Culture and a Career

In his continuing exploration of David Cronenberg’s Jewishness, Sean Alexander appraises David Cronenberg’s only novel, Consumed. In 2014, the Baron of Blood and King of Venereal Horror, Canadian Jewish movie director, David Cronenberg, released his last movie to date, Maps to the Stars, and published his first novel Consumed. It brought the filmmaker’s career full […]

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An Uncanny Prophecy of Our Time

Donald Weber reviews Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz’s The Passenger. The publication of Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz’s harrowing novel, The Passenger, with a new translation from the original German by Philip Boehm, is a major literary event.  Written in the weeks following Kristallnacht, in early November 1938, when Boschwitz was just 23, The Passenger offers an intimate portrait […]

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NXIVM: The Story of Jews and a Sex Cult

In our series on Jews & Crime, Nathan Abrams discusses those Jews who became involved the NXIVM, the self-help group cum sex cult. The NXIVM (pronounced ‘Nex-ee-um’) story might have passed you by. It was founded in 1998 by Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman, a former registered psychiatric nurse, hypnotist, and neuro-linguistics programming expert, as a purported self-improvement organization near Albany, New York.   NXIVM started as a […]

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The Gonef’s Wedding

In the second piece in our series on Jews and Crime, Jarrod Tanny evokes a gangster’s wedding in an Odessan Jewish Key. Nestled on the shores of the Black Sea, the City of Odessa was a notorious bastion of Jewish criminality and merrymaking, much to the delight of its admirers, but much to the horror […]

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Yiddisher Psychogeography of a Small Planet

David Balsmo explores Emanuel Litvinoff, Jewish Space and Place as revealed through the lockdown. It is now just over a year since the pandemic forced the U.K. into lockdown, during this time the promise of an expanding world with multifarious connections has shrunk. Yes, we have Zoom and other platforms, but non-virtual experience contracted with […]

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Silent Witness: The Resonance of Artefacts

Robert Katz reflects on the powerful history of artefacts. During the year of America’s bicentennial celebrations, I lived in a small, pale green house on the plains of southeastern Montana, about 60 miles south of the Yellowstone River. Just down the road from my house was the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations. On the […]

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Unseat Bibi and End the Occupation

Dana Mills considers Israel’s election results. For hundreds of Palestinians in the neighbourhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem, the Israeli election of 2021 holds existential significance. They could not however vote in this election nor in any other Israeli elections. In Silwan, eviction lawsuits were filed by settlers against about 60 other families. If the government […]

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Pandemic Passover 2.0: What Have We Learned?

As Pesach approaches Nathan Abrams argues that we need to step up to help remote Jews. As Pesach approaches it is a good time to take stock of the past year and what we have learned from the ongoing pandemic and continued lockdowns. In July last year, I wrote for JewThink, how things were looking […]

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