Tag Jewish history

A Time to Write and a Time to Resist

David G. Roskies— Writing, we are told, is a form of resistance. The act of writing is an assertion of one’s selfhood, one’s right to live, think and feel in the face of all that negates it. But writing can just as easily be an escape from reality, an exercise

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Who Was Ben Hecht?

Adina Hoffman— Ben Hecht was “a genius,” Jean-Luc Godard declared in 1968. “He invented 80 percent of what is used in Hollywood movies today.” He “wrote stories—and he made history,” proclaimed Menachem Begin four years earlier, at Hecht’s standing room-only Manhattan funeral. When Hecht was still alive, and invariably kicking,

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To Go or Not To Go

Hasia R. Diner— Balancing the choices open to them—staying put; going to a big city in Europe, the Ottoman Empire, or North Africa; or emigrating to the new world— consumed the Jews in the old one. Joseph Austrian was born in 1833 in a small village, Wittelshoffen in Bavaria. His

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Divided Lands

Hasia R. Diner— Nearly every place the immigrant Jewish peddlers went, with the exception of the British Isles and Scandinavia, they stumbled into societies in which color mattered. In some places—Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand—the color divide followed a native-versus-European colonist divide. Where one stood across the native-European

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Foreigners and Strangers: Irène Némirovsky’s Jewish Protagonists

Susan Suleiman— The French word étranger means both “foreigner” and “stranger,” meanings that overlap but are not synonymous. One can be a stranger to a community or group without being a foreigner, while some foreigners are not strangers to a given individual or group—many people have foreign friends. But both

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David and Moses: The Men, the Myths, the Legends

David Wolpe— David represents one strand of the Jewish tradition, one that these days causes so much pride and angst and generates so much news. Jewish religious history is divided, in some senses, between Moses and David: Moses is the desert, wandering, and Mt Sinai. David is the land, government,

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Our Texts are Palatial: Words from Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger

Follow @faniaoz Jews and Words is a book that celebrates the written word with a very particular voice that grew out of a lifetime of father-daughter conversations between co-authors Amos Oz, and Fania Oz-Salberger. As Martin Peretz of the Wall Street Journal noted, “You cannot get the taste of this

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Bernard Berenson: Living a Life Devoted to Great Art

Bernard Berenson’s life is an inspiring story of a poor immigrant to America achieving great fame and fortune. A sensitive and articulate consumer of art, his incredible eye and his talent for engaging listeners in interpretations of artworks took him from his humble beginnings to a lavish lifestyle assisting Gilded

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Fania Oz-Salzberger Asks: How Can Books Keep Families and Generations Together?

Fania Oz-Salzberger— Jews and Words tells a story, and grinds a few axes, on two of our favourite perennial themes: How did the Jews remain Jews? and, How can books keep families and generations together? We offer our readers a hard yet playful look at our own Jewish identity, as a father and

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On the Tradition of Jewish Humor…

Listen to the podcast interview for Jews and Words on iTunes! Below you will find an excerpt from Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger’s Jews and Words, an exploration of the role of the written word in Jewish culture within the topics of continuity, women, timelessness and individualism. Amos Oz &

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