Currently Browsing: History 30 articles

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Ridley Road

Joseph Finlay reviews the history and politics of Ridley Road and prays there is not a second series. Before September 2021 I didn’t know I needed a BBC drama about British Jews fighting fascists in 1960s London. And having seen all four parts of Ridley Road — I’m still not sure I do. As a […]

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Tikkun Olam in a Frying Pan

Michal Nahman tells us about the Bristol-based Mizrachi food project. As a kid, it felt like our family was an odd and outlandish mixture. I’d hear my dad’s Ladino intermingled with my mum’s family’s Romanian in our Israeli home in a lower middle-class suburb of Toronto. ‘Ach Patron del mundo’, my dad would plead, as […]

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A Jewish Magician Among the Spirits

Efram Sera-Shriar remembers Harry Houdini’s investigations into spirit and psychic phenomena at the turn of the twentieth century. In 1926, the famous American magician Harry Houdini (née Ehrich Weisz) participated in a series of congressional hearings to determine whether ‘fortune telling’ should be made a criminal offence in the District of Columbia. For many observers […]

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The Diaper Diaspora

Marc Kaye remembers being born Jewish on a US Army Base in Germany. In screenwriting, it is often recommended to place your protagonist in very extenuating circumstances – situations that he would never expect to find himself in. For a Jewish mother, I would think that taking a Jewish son and placing him both in […]

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A flashy new diamond

Sue Fox visits the revamped Manchester Jewish Museum and bemoans the lack of storage for an umbrella and raincoat. My father, Jack Fox, who was an insurance broker, had his office in St Marks Lane, Cheetham Hill. There was a kosher slaughterer/ chicken shop and Mr Perlman the greengrocer in the narrow alley, On a visit back […]

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Benjamin Franklin and the Parable against Persecution

Shai Afsai explores how Benjamin Franklin’s parable has a Jewish source. According to Ben Franklin’s correspondence with Benjamin Vaughan, the inspiration for two of his parables was taken ‘from an ancient Jewish tradition.’ One of these parables — commonly referred to as either the Parable against Persecution or as Abraham and the Stranger — is […]

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Jews and Dogs

To mark the release of Cruella, Nathan Abrams reflects on the relationship between Jews and dogs. Even though I own two of them (or they own me), Jews and dogs are widely believed to be an oxymoron. Consider the Yiddish proverb, ‘A Jew with a dog? It’s either not a Jew or it’s not a […]

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‘The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man’

Shai Afsai writes on how The Independent’s Joe Sommerlad’s ‘A brief history of the Israel-Palestinian conflict’ plagiarises Rawan Damen’s four-part Al Nakba documentary. Al Nakba — written and directed by Rawan Damen, produced and first run on Al Jazeera Arabic in 2008, and re-versioned by Al Jazeera World to English in 2013 — is precisely […]

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Teaching Holocaust Art

Caroline Slifkin discusses her role teaching about the Holocaust through Holocaust Arts. The Holocaust is a defining event in human history and the study of it can help students to think critically about the world around them. Teaching the Holocaust in History is essential but it can be taught with a cross-curricular approach. A study […]

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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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