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Sephardi: Cooking The History

Helene Jawhara Piner’s cookbook, Sephardi: Cooking the History, is unique. “It is not based on family recipes but on the history of the Jewish people from Spain, and by extension the Sephardim, from the thirteenth century to the present,” she writes. Published by Cherry Orchard Books, an imprint of Academic Studies Press, this is a […]

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A Portrait Of Hollywood Mogul Harry Cohn

Harry Cohn, the chief executive officer of Columbia Pictures from 1932 until his death in 1958, prided himself on being unique. Regarded as the youngest Hollywood mogul, he was also the only president of a major studio who was head of production. In addition, he had the most diverse background of any of his contemporaries, […]

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Bibi: My Story

As Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu observes very early on in his lengthy, intensely interesting autobiography, Bibi: My Story (Simon & Schuster), he owes his political career to his older brother, Yoni, who was killed in 1976 during Israel’s Entebbe raid to free Israeli and foreign airline passengers held hostage by Palestinian and German hijackers in Uganda. […]

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Chosen Nation

Like Jews, Mennonites are a people of the diaspora. Reclusive, peaceful and pacifist in outlook, they are a Protestant sect that emerged in Dutch and Germanic lands during the Reformation.¬†Scattered throughout dozens of countries, Mennonites outside Germany were often opposed to nationalism and rarely regarded themselves as Germans per se, despite their affinity to the […]

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In Hitler’s Munich

Shortly after Germany’s defeat in World War I, a Munich-based Jewish socialist/journalist named Kurt Eisner toppled the venerable Wittelsbach dynasty, formed the short-lived Free State of Bavaria, and became the first Jew ever to govern a German state. On February 21, 1919, three months after his accession to power, he was assassinated by an antisemitic […]

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Canada In The Middle East

Historically, the Middle East has not been a priority for Canadian foreign and defence policy, yet this turbulent region still matters to Canada. Although Canada, as compared to the United States, plays a relatively minor role there, Canada has been affected by events in the Mideast, from Israel’s struggle with the Palestinians to the West’s […]

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The Hollywood Blacklist Ruined Careers

Seventy five years ago this month, amid the burgeoning Cold War pitting Western capitalist democracies against the communist Soviet Union and its allies, the Hollywood blacklist emerged, upending and ruining the careers of scores of movie directors, producers, actors and screenwriters, many of whom were Jewish. As Larry Ceplair writes in The Hollywood Motion Picture […]

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The Jews Of Quebec

Pierre Anctil’s History of the Jews in Quebec (University of Ottawa Press) is, as he notes in the preface, a “response to a sustained and growing interest” among French Canadians for “a better understanding of a religious minority that had previously received very little attention from Quebecois historians despite the fact that it had played […]

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Jewish Autonomy In A Slave Society

Suriname, a Dutch colony from 1667 to 1975, borders the Atlantic Ocean to the north and is bounded by French Guiana to the east, English-speaking Guyana to the west and Brazil to the south. The size of the U.S. state of Georgia, this fertile tropical outpost produced sugar, coffee, cacao, cotton and hardwood lumber during […]

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Holocaust Cinema Complete

From Schindler’s List to The Pianist, feature films about the Holocaust have been ubiquitous. Since 1945, 443 Holocaust movies have been produced for theatrical, video and television release, according to Rich Brownstein, an American writer who has lectured at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies. Brownstein, in Holocaust Cinema Complete: A History and Analysis […]