Browsing Tag

russian jews


The Anthem for Russian Jewry that Mobilized the Masses

By On December 22, 2017

In 1977, Natan (Anatole) Sharansky was arrested for treason against the Soviet Union. When Cantor Robbie Solomon heard how courageously the long-time refusenik and human rights activist stood up to his accusers,… Read More


When King Kong’s Creator Was Interrogated by a Legendary Jewish Writer

By On October 10, 2017

Coincidences involving famous Jewish writers and a giant, stampeding ape don’t come around very often. This one begins with Russian Jewish author and diarist Isaac Babel, who documented the horrors of the… Read More


See 1900s Bukharan Jewish Children in Gorgeous Full Color

By On January 9, 2017

When we think about Jews in the Czarist Russia, what comes to mind? Probably black-and-white, or maybe sepia-toned, images of poor, pious Jews, shot through a dusty lens. So Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky’s… Read More


‘Holocaust On Ice’ Breaks Records For Russian Tackiness

By On November 27, 2016

The Internet shines a spotlight on a lot of “seemed like a good idea at the time” schemes, but rarely have we seen something that deserved to be killed in the drawing… Read More


Meet Israel’s Miss Holocaust Survivor 2016

By On November 2, 2016

When a little girl dreams of being crowned pageant queen, it’s not usually accompanied by the title that came with Israeli Anna Grinis’s recent win: “Miss Holocaust Survivor.” But for Grinis, who… Read More


In Search of Persecuted Writer Isaac Babel’s Legacy

By On October 25, 2016

Of Isaac Babel, the Russian-Jewish writer who put the seaside city of Odessa on the map, we have only a sliver. Arrested by Stalin’s secret service in 1939, he was executed in secret… Read More

The Russian Jazz Starlet Who Sings in a Brooklyn Basement

Meet the Russian Jazz Starlet Who Now Sings in a Brooklyn Basement

By On July 22, 2016

Some dentists spruce up their offices with a potted plant or a TV. But if you chance to get a root canal in Brighton Beach, NY, you could get treated to a… Read More

Uncle Tom's Cabin in Yiddish, With Jewish Slaves

Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Yiddish, With Jewish Slaves

By On April 1, 2016

Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Yiddish: sounds crazy, no? But across 19th-century Russia and eastern Europe, Jews eagerly devoured Russian Jewish writer Isaac Meir Dik’s (1807-1893) Yiddish version of the antislavery classic. Dik’s… Read More


The Russian Jewish Ethnographer Behind This Trove of Stunning Historic Photographs

By On December 3, 2015

The Vitebsk-born Shloyme Zaynvi Rapoport — better known by the moniker S. An-sky — was many things: publisher, playwright, tutor. But his most enduring legacy is twofold: his play The Dybbuk, which… Read More

Ossip Gabrilowitsch

Meet Mark Twain’s Jewish Son-in-Law

By On November 10, 2015

When you think of Mark Twain, chances are white fences and the Mississippi River spring to mind a long time before anything Jewish does. But the man lauded both as “the greatest… Read More

Vladimir Nabokov's Spirited Jewish Wife

Vladimir Nabokov’s Spirited Jewish Wife

By On September 24, 2015

They say behind every great man is a great woman. In the case of the legendary Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov, that great woman must have been mighty busy, acting as the writer’s… Read More

Painter Marc Chagall's Fantastical Life, in a New Movie

Painter Marc Chagall’s Fantastical Life, On Screen

By On June 10, 2015

Marc Chagall’s fraught, fantastic life began at birth. With his Russian village of Vitebsk burning around her, his mother pushes and shrieks. Baby Marc is pronounced stillborn. But his mother insists he… Read More

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