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Unit 3, Lesson 2 - Growing tensions I: Black-Jewish Relations

Analyze how underlying rifts in the relationship between African Americans and Jews brought these groups into more overt conflict in the late 1960s, with a focus on the Ocean Hill-Brownsville school crisis and a poetry slam activity.

Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry

Jan Freeman

In The Life of Poetry, Muriel Rukeyser declares, “I wish to say that we will not be saved by poetry. But poetry is the type of creation in which we may live and which will save us.”

Topics: Poetry

Emma Lazarus

One of the first successful Jewish American authors, Lazarus was part of the late nineteenth century New York literary elite and was recognized in her day as an important American poet. In her later years, she wrote bold, powerful poetry and essays protesting the rise of antisemitism and arguing for Russian immigrants' rights. She called on Jews to unite and create a homeland in Palestine before the title Zionist had even been coined.

Art, justice, and Adrienne Rich

Judith Rosenbaum

Here we are, poised on the edge of a "holiday weekend" in which we celebrate America's independence through those ever-meaningful traditions of barbeque, fireworks, and shopping sales.

Topics: Activism, Poetry

The Klezmatics' performance of Aliza Greenblatt's work, set to music by Woody Guthrie

December 20, 2003

Jewish contributions to American music have long been recognized, with the list of well-known songwriters featuring Broadway composers and lyricists like Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerstein, and Steph

Birth of poet Muriel Rukeyser

December 15, 1913

Muriel Rukeyser was a challenging poet whose work mixed together radical politics and a spiritual quest.

Birth of author Grace Paley

December 11, 1922

Grace Paley, author, feminist and “somewhat combative pacifist and cooperative anarchist,” was born on December 11, 1922 in the Bronx.

Emma Lazarus dies at age 38

November 19, 1887

When Emma Lazarus died on November 19, 1887 at the age of 38, the obituary published in the New York Times referred to her as “an American Poet o

Death of author, educator, and Zionist pioneer Jessie Sampter

November 11, 1938

Jessie Sampter was an influential Zionist educator, a poet, and a Zionist pioneer. She died at Kibbutz Givat Brenner on November 11, 1938.

Emma Lazarus writes "The New Colossus"

November 2, 1883

A manuscript copy of Emma Lazarus's famous sonnet, “The New Colossus,” bears the date November 2, 1883.

Birth of Babette Deutsch: poet, novelist, critic

September 22, 1895

Celebrated poet, novelist, critic, and editor Babette Deutsch was born on September 22, 1895.

Louise Glück named Poet Laureate

August 29, 2003

Louise Glück was named poet laureate of the United States on August 29, 2003.

Gertrude Stein publishes Alice B. Toklas "Autobiography"

June 1, 1933

American modernist writer Gertrude Stein published a memoir, ironically titled The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, on June 1, 1933.

Racy actress Adah Isaacs Menken appears in her last performance

May 30, 1868

Little is definitively known about the private life and early history of actress Adah Isaacs Menken.

Poet Maxine Kumin wins Pulitzer Prize

May 7, 1973
Writer Maxine Kumin won the esteemed award for poetry for her collection "Up Country: Poems of New England."

Poet Muriel Rukeyser receives important literary award

May 8, 1942
In winning an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the young poet was recognized as an important presence on the American literary scene.

Publication of Merle Feld's "A Spiritual Life: A Jewish Feminist Journey"

April 1, 1999

Merle Feld's memoir, A Spiritual Life: A Jewish Feminist Journey was published on April 1, 1999.

Remembering Miriam Goodman - Her Church, The Chicken; Her Guests, Her Minyan

Jordan Namerow

Happy National Poetry Month! To celebrate, I've been reading some new poems and revisiting old favorites by women like Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, and Maxine Kumin.

Topics: Poetry

Yiddish: Women's Poetry

Women’s poetry in Yiddish first made its presence felt within the wider context of modern Yiddish culture in the late 1910s. Exploring topics from gender in Judaism to queer sexuality and eroticism, women’s Yiddish poetry cemented itself as its own literary corpus with priceless value and contribution to Yiddish literary culture.

Yiddish Literature in the United States

Writers of a broad range of texts—passionate and erotic lyrical verse, social realist fiction, affecting descriptions of immigrant life, nostalgic paeans to their Eastern European homes, dirges to those murdered in the Holocaust—Yiddish women writers were modernists and traditionalists, romantics and realists, prose writers and poets. They represent no single school or line of development, but rather the range of women’s voices contained in Yiddish literature.

Yemen and the Yishuv

Yemenite women proved to be stable and resourceful, both in Yemen where tradition reigned, and also after immigration to Erez Israel and New York, facing changes and challenges in turbulent times. They adapted to changing economic, social, and communal conditions, acculturated in language skills and organizational life, and were instrumental in bringing up their daughters and sons to successfully integrate into the new worlds.

Jean Starr Untermeyer

Poet Jean Starr Untermeyer’s work was first influenced by her connections with writers Sara Teasdale, Amy Lowell, Carl Sandburg, and Robert Frost. Through her many volumes of published poetry and translations, Untermeyer explored her own personal tragedies and defended women’s right to use personal experience in their art.

Miryam Ulinover

Born in Poland, Miriam Ulinover was one of the great Yiddish poets of the early twentieth century. Through her poems, she wove traditional Jewish life in the shtetl into a mythical vision of Jewish life, tradition, childhood, and identity.

Marie Syrkin

Marie Syrkin is best known as a polemicist for the State of Israel, whose keen arguments appeared in a wide range of publications for a period of almost seventy years. Her life touched almost every significant aspect of Jewish life in America and Europe in the twentieth century.


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