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Jewish history



  • How the Russian Jews Became Soviet

    The novelist Gary Shteyngart, who emigrated from the USSR to the US as a child, reviews Sasha Senderovich's "How the Soviet Jew was Made," a work that gives short shrift to neither the "Soviet" nor "Jewish" sides of the question. 



  • Beinart: Antisemitic Zionism Isn't a Contradiction in Terms

    Conservative Zionists have reached accommodated American evangelicals' demands for a Christian-dominated America in exchange for support for a Jewish greater Israel. The media are reluctant to discuss this connection.



  • Enjoying the Christmas Lights? Thank Jewish Refugees from the Ottoman Empire

    by Devin E. Naar

    The story of Christmas lighting in America follows the paths of Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Turkey, who coped with nativist prejudice, linguistic difference, and labor exploitation to find community and work—including in light bulb factories. 



  • Israel's Religious Right Pushes for Restrictive Changes to Law of Return

    As Jews around the world are considering Israel as a refuge from antisemitism, that country's religious fundamentalist parties have the political leverage to decide that many fewer people are Jewish enough to qualify for immigration and citizenship. American Reform Jews are particularly affected.



  • A Stranger's Gift: Family Photos from Before the Holocaust

    Software engineer Daniel Patt has developed an artificial intelligence program that can expedite the searching of photos from repositories like Yad Vashem and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and has provided strangers with the gift of a connection to their relatives. 



  • Which Medieval Jewish Stories Need to Be Told?

    by David M. Perry

    The history of European Jews in the medieval period is unfortunately dominated by discussions of death that make violent antisemitism seem inevitable and inescapable. 



  • The Women Who Secured the Balfour Declaration

    by Natalie Livingstone

    Women in the Rothschild family were instrumental in creating support among wealthy British Jews for Zionism, which they had previously rejected out of perceived self-interest and disdain for the Jewish masses.


  • A Holocaust Mystery: Ken Burns Gets Lost in a Bermuda Triangle

    by Rafael Medoff and Monty N. Penkower

    At the 1943 Bermuda Conference, British and American diplomats offered a symbolic show of concern for Jewish refugees, but made no substantial commitment to help. Ken Burns's recent holocaust documentary passes over this event. 


  • Anne Frank's Next Diary Entries

    by Bernice Lerner

    When I was a teenager, I imagined that Anne Frank was at my mother’s 15th birthday party. After all, they were the same age and they were both in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. How did I arrive at such a phantastic conflation?



  • Ken Burns's Holocaust History Has a Palestine Problem

    by Rafael Medoff and Monty Noam Penkower

    Although there was no sovereign government in Palestine between 1933 and 1945, British authorities there admitted a quarter million Jewish refugees. The filmmaker's focus on "sovereign" countries' record admitting refugees burnishes the Roosevelt administration's record.