Anti-Semitism

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Alla Aberson

Alla Aberson is a Soviet Jew who grew up in a family that was critical of Communist Party rule. When she and her family were denied exit visas to emigrate, they became known as refuseniks.

Anna Charny

Anna Charny and her family were a prominent part of the refusenik community in Moscow, working with various Jewish organizations that advocated for and provided economic support to refuseniks.

Ronne Friedman

Ronne Friedman served as a rabbi at Temple Israel of Boston for more than thirty years. In the 1980s, he made several trips to the former Soviet Union and continued his engagement with the movement for Soviet Jewry after his return to Boston.

Bernard H. Mehlman

Rabbi Bernard Mehlman is the senior scholar at Temple Israel of Boston. In the 1980s, he made several trips to the Soviet Union and helped facilitate the emigration of several high-profile refuseniks in the Boston area.

Donald Putnoi

Donald Putnoi was an active member of the movement for Soviet Jewry in Boston, through his membership at Temple Israel and friendship with Rabbi Bernard Mehlman.

Ary Rotman

A refusenik for many years, Ary Rotman eventually emigrated to Boston in the early 1970s with his wife and their young son, first working at a department store before taking a job at an insurance company.

Diana Shklyarov

Born in Leningrad, Diana Shklyarov came to terms with the antisemitism she faced after being refused entrance to a prestigious university. Years later, she and her family were finally granted permission to emigrate and resettled in Boston in 1988.

Image of crowd from 2017 Women's March

Humility as an Intersectional Practice

Judith Rosenbaum

The messiness of the world and the limits of intersectionality as a theory have re-asserted themselves once again in the events surrounding Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory’s embrace of Louis Farrakhan and refusal to publicly condemn his anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ diatribes. I’d like to make a case for an intersectionality rooted in humility. What if, instead of using theory to express what we know, we used it to create space for what we don’t know?

Sarah Deer Headshot

Between Andrew Jackson and Hitler: An Interview with Sarah Deer

Emily Cataneo

Sarah Deer is a Jewish Native American lawyer and professor who has worked to end violence against women for more than two decades. Her activism has led to legal updates that enable tribes to more easily prosecute sexual assault on their land. She’s also the author of four textbooks about tribal law, and in 2014, received a MacArthur Fellowship for her work.

Gloria Greenfield Cropped

Lights, Camera, Social Change!

Natalie Harder

Everyone has that movie. The movie you’ve seen a million times and every time you watch it you’re slightly horrified with yourself because you quoted the entire thing and sang some of the background music. But that isn’t what horrifies me most about Spy Kids now. What currently horrifies me the most is that its executive producer, Harvey Weinstein, has been accused by over 30 people of being a sexual predator. 

Emma Goldman Sign

On More Perfect Unions

Lisa Batya Feld

We have always been this bad. And we have always been better than this. Grappling with this contradiction has always been hard for us as American Jews, sometimes able to “pass” or be folded into the comforts of white privilege, sometimes abruptly and painfully othered.

A Young American Jew in Israel, 1947-1948

Learn about the founding of the State of Israel from the perspective of Zipporah Porath, a young American woman who joined the Zionist effort in 1947.

Writing Home: A Letter from an Early American Jew

Learn about Jewish immigration and the development of the Jewish community in America through a 1790s letter, originally written in Yiddish by Rebecca Samuel to her parents in Hamburg, Germany, describing her life in Petersburg, Virginia.

The Immigrant Experience in NYC, 1880-1920 (Module #1)

Consider the economic and social forces that shaped Jewish immigrants' everyday lives and meet real-life workers and factory owners.

German Leaders Speak Out Against Anti-Semitism

by Gail Reimer

Just days before leading German newspapers called for an end to hatred against Jews, our group heard from two German dignitaries who were deeply concerned about the new wave of anti-Semitism infusing protests against Israel’s operations in Gaza. Both MP Volker Beck and Sybilla Bendig of the Foreign Office were clearly shocked by slogans and chants they didn’t think possible in postwar Germany.

Judy Feld Carr

Judy Feld Carr: Rescuing Thousands from Syria

Lisa Batya Feld

As the news is flooded with reports of refugees fleeing Syria, we have found ourselves remembering a very different Syrian refugee crisis: the mass exodus of persecuted Jews from that country from the 1970s through 2001. I recently spoke with Judy Feld Carr, who arranged 3,228 of those rescues by forging passports, bribing officials, and arranging for individuals and families to be smuggled across the border. What’s amazing about her story is that Judy wasn’t a Special Forces commando or a human rights lawyer; she had no background in this type of work.

Bertha Rayner Frank

Bertha Rayner Frank became the epicenter of a national debate on anti-Semitism when she forced an Atlantic City hotel to publicly apologize for refusing to serve Jews.

Rachel Sassoon Beer

Rachel Sassoon Beer rose to fame as owner and editor of both The Observer and The Sunday Times, making her the first woman to edit a national newspaper.

Hortense Powdermaker

Anthropologist Hortense Powdermaker used her experiences of anti-Semitism and “passing” to offer new insights into how societies manage tensions between insiders and outsiders.

Yocheved Herschlag Muffs

Over the course of thirty–six years working for the Anti–Defamation League, Yocheved Herschlag Muffs challenged inaccurate depictions of Jews in dozens of major textbooks and reference books, helping to reshape attitudes towards Jews.

Irene Nemirovsky

First censored and then killed during the Holocaust, novelist Irène Némirovsky finally achieved the recognition she deserved long after her death.

Irma May

During the economic devastation of the 1920s, Irma May reported on anti–Semitism throughout Eastern Europe and raised massive funds to help Jews overseas.

Adeline Cohnfeldt Lust

Adeline Cohnfeldt Lust’s short stories for the New York Graphic were so popular that there were reprinted in newspapers across the country.

Rachel Mordecai Lazarus

Proud of her Jewish heritage but conflicted about her faith, Rachel Mordecai Lazarus was torn between publicly fighting anti-Semitism and privately questioning Judaism’s ideals.

Josephine Lazarus

After the death of her famous sister Emma, Josephine Lazarus emerged as a writer and activist in her own right.
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