Midstream

Magazine focusing on Jewish cultural, social, and political affairs.

Articles from Vol. 53, No. 5, September-October

353 Years-An American Jewish Success Story
If the story of the first Jewish settlement in America were told as a myth, we might narrate it this way: Twenty-three Jews, consisting of four couples, two widows, and thirteen children, fled Recife, Brazil, and sailed for the free shores of America,...
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A 9/11 Rumination Six Years After
The terrorist atrocity on September 11, 2001 took place soon after my assumption of the editorship of this publication in June of that year. The subsequent July/August issue was assembled only in part by me, but the September/October issue was wholly...
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A Conversation with Phyllis Chesler: American Feminist and Zionist Activist
"Where there's a will there's a halakhic way," says Phyllis Chesler in an answer below to a question on the rights of Orthodox Jewish women who can't get a religious divorce. Halakha is the way, the path, that Orthodox Jews follow. Chesler has a will...
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From Los Angeles to Ukraine: The Power of Jewish Pilgrimage
It doesn't matter how I got to Kiev and it doesn't matter what I did there. What does matter is that I was on my way to Uman. Uman? Why would anyone travel 3 1/2 hours from Kiev through the agricultural countryside of the Ukraine, hour after hour in...
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Isaac and Rebecca in Scott's Ivanhoe: A Study in Courage
In Ivanhoe, his most popular novel, Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) utilized the remarkable Jewess, Rebecca, and her father, Isaac of York, to expose the barbarity and the inanity of medieval England's "Age of Chivalry," especially its antisemitism. In...
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Jewish-American Writing and Identity: A Personal Odyssey
A grandchild of European immigrants who came by ship in 1906 to America (Czech and Lithuanian for certain), a son of a father who had been born into the ghetto of the Lower East Side of Manhattan soon after the turn of the century (1908), I grew up...
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Rebecca Gratz: Benevolence above and Beyond
As the founder, managing director, religious educator and executive secretary of Philadelphia s earlist women s philanthropic organizations, Rebecca Gratz was in the forefront of forging a new identity for American Jewish women. Gratz can be considered...
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Recollections of a Connecticut Jewish Farmer's Son
Of the scores of descendants of Connecticut Jewish farm families I have spoken with over the years in compiling and editing an oral history of their lives, every one has his or her own story of how it all started. This one had a grandfather who escaped...
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Revisiting the Six-Day War
The final battle of the Six-Day War, to control the historical narrative, is now underway. Its 40th anniversary in June triggered a virtual war of words over the meaning and consequences of that historic turning point that is likely to endure. Even...
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