Category Archives: History

When is it ok to laugh at a madman from our not-too-distant past? What does it mean when we use fascist imagery in pop-culture? Niki Minaj just did it and so do many others. Erin Corber contemplates the trend.

Before Harvey Milk, before Stonewall, before Kinsey, Hirschfeld’s radical ideas changed the way Germans thought about sexuality.

“Wanna buy a Jew? We got plastic, we got wood, we got Hassids, we got Jews holding coins…”. Now say that in Polish and you might just be at a market in Krakow where Jewish figurines are available for sale and where they are commonly found in Polish homes.

It was 1942 and Colman and Greenbaum were eager to fight Hitler. But first they’d have to make it through basic training. Not an easy feat for these kibbitzers. Read Colman’s true account of their mishaps and misdemeanours.

Decades before Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren there was Abraham Cahan and his Yiddish advice column, “A Bintel Brief.” First published in 1906, “A Bintel Brief” gave thousands of Jewish immigrants a place to turn with their heartbreaking and often absurd dilemmas.

Jews had all sorts of encounters with Native peoples in the West: they forged economic bonds, sometimes peaceably, sometimes exploitatively. They learned Indian languages. They made friends. They scalped and were scalped.

Rachel Rubinstein explores a complicated history of Jews performing their encounters with Native Americans- from the 1895 Yiddish play “Tsvishn Indianer” (Among Indians) to Rob Morrow in the 90’s tv show Northern Exposure.

Crossdressing came in very handy in Turkish-ruled Palestine, as Meir Arber a.k.a Delice, was easily able to cross borders dressed as a Bedouin woman.

Ever noticed H.Fisher & Fils while walking down St-Laurent Blvd. in Montreal? This shop has been around for ages and harks back to a time when needles and thread were the bread and butter of many a Jew in Montreal. As long as Esther Fisher has anything to say, it ain’t closing anytime soon. This story is reposted from The Third Solitude Series.