Golem

The story of the Golem of Prague is one of the best-known, fantastic and romantic Eastern European tales. It has been retold in both prose and play-form and is perpetuated in the oral…

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The Maharal of Prague

To the Jewish community and general population at large, the Maharal of Prague is the revered, mystical medieval rabbi who created the Golem to protect the Jews in the Prague…

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The Salty Ghettos

It is a fairly well-known fact (perhaps due to Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice) that Jews in many European cities were forced to reside in ghettos. The first of these areas of restricted…

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The Girl in the Red Coat

Aside from the opening and closing scenes in Stephen Spielberg’s 1993 Academy Award winning “Schindler’s List,” the entire movie was presented in black and white, except for one girl’s…

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The Jews of Crete and the Purim of Candia

The  Jewish presence on the Island of Crete is rather ancient, with records of a Jewish community in Crete going as far back as the early Roman Empire. Living under the rule of the…

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Athlete and Architect

When Arnold Guttmann was 13 years old, his father drowned in the Danube River, and Arnold decided that he needed to learn how to swim. Six years later, after changing his name to Alfred…

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Napoleon’s Sanhedrin

On June 18, 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte suffered his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. While it was the end of an era, it was an era that had already changed the entire course of…

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The Maharal of Prague

To the Jewish community and general population at large, the Maharal of Prague is the revered, mystical medieval rabbi who created the Golem to protect the Jews in the Prague ghetto. But…

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Golem

The story of the Golem of Prague is one of the best-known, fantastic and romantic Eastern European tales. It has been retold in both prose and play-form and is perpetuated in the oral…

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Purim of Florence

The late 18th century was a time of great turmoil the world over. The founding of the United States was the first full expression of the desire for liberty and human rights that became an…

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Purim of the Curtains

In just about two months, Purim, the holiday that marks the defeat of Haman, will be celebrated. The name “Purim,” however, has been borrowed throughout Jewish history by smaller Jewish…

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Muscular Judaism

As the Zionist Movement developed, one of its secondary goals was to transform Jewish life by freeing it from what was considered a ghetto mentality, a societal mind-set of being weak and…

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National Hat Day

From a historical perspective, it seems rather strange that there is a “National Hat Day” even listed on the calendar. As recently as 100 years ago, it was not only common for most adults…

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Waterloo Waterlooplein

On June 18, 1815, Napoleon and his armies were defeated by the Seventh Coalition, an alliance of British and European forces. It was the end of Napoleon’s march across Europe. It was also…

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