Currently Browsing: History 22 articles

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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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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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The Party Started Three Decades Ago

Nathan Abrams responds to an article in The Guardian about British Jewry’s alleged awakening from its timidity. Hadley Freeman’s assertation that ‘British Jews have always been self-effacing, but we’re starting to show our chutzpah’ overstates the point. Freeman is right that Corbyn’s tenure as leader of the Labour Party has obscured that fact but British […]

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How Ben Franklin Was Turned Into an Antisemite

Shai Afsai discusses how the American Founding Father has been used to spread hate. The myth that American founding father Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was antisemitic first emerged 87 years ago – 144 years after his passing – with the publication of a fraudulent and since then repeatedly discredited text […]

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Derrida and the Jewish Question

Nathan Abrams reviews a new biography of French-Jewish philosopher Jacques Derrida. Like Marmite, the philosopher Jacques Derrida divides opinion. Where some see a genius, others perceive a charlatan and a fraud. The English philosophical tradition is particularly opposed to him. But how did this French-Algerian Jewish kid (I use the term deliberately which will become […]

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Dictatorships and Jewish Double Standards*

On Donald Trump’s last day in office, Nathan Abrams reflects on the curious relationship between Jews and so-called ‘strongmen’, the title of a new book. Jews have long kept ambivalent relationships with so-called strongmen, the subject of Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s new book. While Ben-Ghiat, a Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University, does […]

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‘The Greening of America’ 50 Years Later

Martin Elliot Jaffe looks back at a landmark book and its enduring relevance for today. As a college student in 1970,  I was captivated by the vision of a new America articulated by Yale Law Professor Charles Reich in his best-selling The Greening of America,  where the ethos of enlightened, privileged middle-class college students were […]

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Naivety not Nativity: 40 Years of Limmud

Alastair Falk looks back at four decades of Limmud. For forty years, every Christmas, Jews have been wandering the wildernesses of deserted university and school campuses. This is because of Limmud, the energetic alternative to the traditional festivities in Britain.  This year’s Limmud Festival ( even the name now hints at its seasonal feel) may need to […]

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Marie Stopes, Eugenics and the Jews

In the third instalment of our series on Jews & Sex, Nathan Abrams considers the darker side of the work of the feminist pioneer and her relationship to Jews. Dr. Marie Stopes (1880-1958) is best remembered as a feminist and a birth control pioneer.  As the most forceful sexual revolutionary of her age, as well as […]

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