Browsing Tag


"The Merchant of Venice" Goes Jewish and Black, in 1870s D.C.

See “The Merchant of Venice” Go Jewish and Black, in 1870s D.C.

By On July 28, 2016

Thought you knew The Merchant of Venice? Veteran playwright/director Aaron Posner’s reconstruction (lolz) of Shakespeare’s notorious Jewish play might make you reconsider. District Merchants, Posner’s uneasy comedy, fast-forwards to Reconstruction-era D.C., exploring… Read More

How Passover Inspired The Jewish Stop on the Underground Railroad

How Passover Inspired The Jewish Stop on the Underground Railroad

By On April 19, 2016

“Once we were slaves in Egypt. Now we are free people.” These words from the Haggadah rang in the ears of Jews who fought to end slavery in the United States. One… 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

What To Do About the Celebrated Jewish Slaveholder?

What To Do About the Jewish Slaveholders?

By On October 19, 2015

As Jews, we love to revel in the accomplishments of our own. But a group of Jewish leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina is curbing some enthusiasm about an unsavory memorialized Jew: Judah… Read More

Aaron Lopez

The 18th-Century Jewish Merchant Prince of Rhode Island

By On January 28, 2014

At his prime in the 18th century, Aaron Lopez was the wealthiest man in Newport, Rhode Island. He didn’t get that way by taking the moral high ground. Born in 1731 to… Read More


A Jewish Cemetery for Confederate Soldiers

By On September 11, 2013

There’s only one Jewish military cemetery outside of Israel–and it has quite an unsavory distinction. Richmond, Virginia’s Hebrew Confederate Cemetery was established for Confederate soldiers who were restricted from being buried in regular military cemeteries on account of… Read More


When Descendants of Slaves Own Slaves

By On March 15, 2013

Matthew Lopez found the inspiration for his award-winning play, The Whipping Man, in the footnote of a history book; apparently, Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House one day before the start… Read More


A Mix-and-Match Haggadah

By On June 25, 2012

Were all Egyptians pro-slavery? Children’s author Lemony Snicket suggests that even if most Egyptians started out in favor of subjugating the Israelites, they probably wavered after the Ten Plagues started. After burning hail, wild beasts,… Read More


Was Moses Black?

By On November 29, 2011

The story of Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery is one of our culture’s most enduring legends. From the Bible (the book) to The Ten Commandments (the movie), it has been adapted countless times. The novel Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939)… Read More


Piercing in the Bible

By On July 25, 2011

If you want to get your nose pierced, and your parents tell you “no,” you can come back at them with the best excuse ever: It’s in the Torah. Indeed, Rebecca, the wife of Isaac,… Read More

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