was known as the liberator of serfs
, because under his rule, in 1861, serfs were granted the freedom to marry without having to gain consent, to own property, and to own businesses. In 1862, Alexander II signed off on the ethnic cleansing of Circassians
that began as a simple resettlement, and led to (by official Tsarist documents, more by other accounts) over 400,000 deaths. Circassians in fact protest the 2014 Olympics
being that it was the supposed site of their final expulsion. [more inside]
posted by oceanjesse
on Jan 29, 2014 -
On Oct. 11, provided the government shutdown doesn’t interfere, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C., will open an exhibit titled “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage.” On display will be some of the rarest of the materials that were salvaged from the flooded basement of the Mukhabarat, Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence service. All told, the collection contains an estimated 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents that once belonged to the Jews of Baghdad, who, until they began to flee for Israel in the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, constituted one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back more than 2,500 years.
- In the chaos of the 2003 war, remnants of a once-thriving Jewish past were saved (or stolen?) by America. Where do they belong? [more inside]
posted by beisny
on Oct 7, 2013 -
"Them and Them." "Rockland County, New York's East Ramapo school district is a taxpayer-funded system fighting financial insolvency. It is also bitterly divided between the mostly black and Hispanic children and families who use the schools and the Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish majority who run the Board of Education and send their children to private, religious schools."
Also see: A District Divided
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 24, 2013 -
In 1974, Leon Leyson was one of a group of Jews who greeted Oskar Schindler when he visited Los Angeles. It was the first time the two had seen each other since the war. He began to introduce himself, but Schindler interrupted: "I know who you are," Schindler said, grinning at the middle-aged man before him. "You're Little Leyson." On Sunday, the youngest name on Schindler's List passed away at the age of 83.
"The truth is, I did not live my life in the shadow of the Holocaust," he told the Portland Oregonian in 1997. "I did not give my children a legacy of fear. I gave them a legacy of freedom." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jan 14, 2013 -
The Myth of American Meritocracy. Ron Unz
, former publisher of The American Conservative
, has challenged many of the magazine's "paleocon"
readers with several recent articles on ethnicity (including His-Panic
, which questioned links between immigration and crime, and Race, IQ, and Wealth
, with a skeptical eye toward that subject). But in his latest (long!) article, The Myth of American Meritocracy
, Unz will challenge many kinds of readers, as he makes the case for persistent, extensive ethnic discrimination in Ivy League admissions, which for decades, he argues, has been extremely biased in favor of under-qualified Jewish whites at the expense of well-qualified Asians and non-Jewish whites. [more inside]
posted by dgaicun
on Nov 28, 2012 -
The Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem houses the Aleppo Codex
, considered the oldest and most authoritative text of the Hebrew Bible. Written in the 10th century AD and annotated by Maimonides himself, it was safeguarded by the Jewish diaspora and revered for its linguistic precision and its beauty. "The story of how some 200 pages of the codex went missing — and to this day remain the object of searches carried out around the globe by biblical scholars, private investigators, shadowy businessmen and the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency — is one of the great mysteries in Jewish history
." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jul 25, 2012 -
is a new Israeli crime comedy, released here this weekend. The poster
features the film's central players sitting around a table loaded with booze, weed, bongs, joints and other drug paraphernalia. For the stricter populace of Jerusalem, a modified version of the poster
was prepared, one which removes all trace of...
You guessed it: Women.
The pot and booze? Untouched. [more inside]
posted by Silky Slim
on Jul 22, 2012 -
Central Park Elmo
is not a fan of the Jews, to the extent that he was carried away for psychiatric assessment yesterday. Today the NYT has an interview
with Adam Sandler, the man behind anti-Semitic Elmo.
posted by Cosine
on Jun 28, 2012 -
Our Man in Great Neck: 'In June 1982, my grandparents, Murray and Helene Cohen, traveled to the Soviet Union as part of a secret mission
headed by the Great Neck chapter of the long island Committee for Soviet Jewry in order to pass information and contraband goods to Jews attempting to leave Russia.'
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jun 14, 2012 -
Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas,
spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously)
: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,"
and that the Jews "can go home"
to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else,"
sparked media outrage,
prompted her to issue an apology and retire
. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine
. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by zarq
on Mar 22, 2011 -
“There’s a tremendous amount of anxiety among religious traditionalists that when you take one step toward egalitarianism, the floodgates are open and everything that seemed self-evident will no longer be. Men go to work, and women raise children. If you undermine that, you have lost your whole universe.”
The Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism have been ordaining women as rabbis for decades, but the religion's most traditional sect, the Orthodox, remains a lone, minority holdout against egalitarianism. Last year, Orthodox Rabbi Avraham "Avi" Weiss (political activist
and founder of the controversial
, liberal, "Open Orthodox" Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Yeshiva in New York) tried to shake things up by ordaining the first female American Orthodox rabbi
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jul 31, 2010 -
Poetry in Hell
contains a complete collection of poems recovered from the Warsaw Ghetto's Ringelblum Archives
. The project, which took ten years to complete, gives English translations of poems that are shown in their original Yiddish. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jul 23, 2010 -
What's a Coastie?
Two University of Wisconsin undergrads record and post to YouTube an ode to "Coasties,"
out-of-state students who live in expensive off-campus apartments, wear Spandex tights with Uggs, spend their parents' money on designer handbags and Starbucks, and -- oh yeah, like 15% of their classmates but only 1 in 200 Wisconsin natives, are Jews
. Controversy ensues
posted by escabeche
on Dec 24, 2009 -
The Survey of American Jewish Language and Identity
reports on the results of an online survey of 25,179 American Jews and 4,874 American Gentiles. Non-Jews say "klutz" but not "schmutz." The more Orthodox you are, the more likely you are to say "Good Shabbos" instead of "Shabbat Shalom." And so much more you'll plotz.
posted by escabeche
on Nov 10, 2009 -
To play for a draw, at any rate with White, is to some degree a crime against chess.
A Latvian Jew with ectrodactyly
and lifelong kidney ailments, Mikhail Tal
is considered one of the most audacious attacking players
in the game's history. For a quarter century, he held the record of being the youngest man to win the World Championship. And his streak of 95 consecutive games without a loss is unmatched to this day. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Oct 9, 2009 -
Mountain air, clear as wine
And the scent of pines
Brought by the twilight breeze
With the sound of bells
Shortly before the Six Day War of 1967 an amateur singer performed
[YT] an elegy for the then-divided city of Jerusalem "locked in a dream ... with a wall in its heart". [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia
on May 21, 2009 -
At least one of these things is true, and possibly both: (a) This
was the most tense game of baseball ever played; or (b) relations between Jews and the Klan have deteriorated dramatically since 1926. Bill Francis, a research librarian at the Baseball Hall of Fame, unearths a tantalizing newspaper clipping. [more inside]
posted by kosem
on May 11, 2009 -
My April 1st spidey sense was tingling like crazy, but I guess it's true if it was in Time Magazine
, that bastion of serious journalism, where Time 100 nominee LeBron James nominated Ohio businessman Jay Schottenstein for the next Time 100 because he, "supported the translation and elucidation of the Talmud Bavli into English, Hebrew and French."
Now if only Jews could play basketball
posted by ericbop
on Apr 1, 2009 -
The Oriental Nightfish.
A Chanukah/Christmas gift of sorts. "Listening to Linda proceed tunelessly through "Endless Days" (she "sings" the "song" the way that Ken Lay "protected employees" or Ryan Leaf "quarterbacked") is an experience to be treasured, if by treasured you mean buried in a chest by pirates."
posted by Xurando
on Dec 24, 2008 -
What is a Spaniard?
: Forcibly Crossing the Cross, the Crescent, and the Star
"The conversions came at the end of one of the most successful Jewish periods in human history... Their success led them to call their land Sepharad, a name from the book of Obadiah that implied that Spanish Jews were the successors to the Jews of Israel. This world ended in 1391."
"At the appointed time, those children who were not presented voluntarily were seized by the officials and forced to the font.... In many cases, parents smothered their offspring in their farewell embrace. In others, they threw them into wells in order to save them from the disgrace of apostasy, and then killed themselves. Sometimes, even old men were dragged to the churches and forcibly baptized by over-zealous fanatics,... In all other cases, the unwilling neophytes, some mere babies, were distributed throughout the country, as far as possible from home, to be brought up in Christian surroundings." [more inside]
posted by orthogonality
on Dec 18, 2008 -