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Caught between Stalin and Hitler: On not bridging gaps between old and new

November 18, 2010 / Comments Off on Caught between Stalin and Hitler: On not bridging gaps between old and new
Russian Jews Holocaust fund fraud

The poison inside the people who allegedly defrauded the Holocaust fund would be inside you, too, if you had lived as Jews in the Soviet Union. Whatever their sins, these people are heroes, too, for having survived it. The struggle to defeat its legacy requires a daily application of conscience and will, even for members…

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On technology and activism, and the rest of the world

October 28, 2010 / Comments Off on On technology and activism, and the rest of the world
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On technology and activism - businessman on phone while waiting for train

There’s a funny blindness that sets in when you live in technology, where updates from the CEO of a computer company become as central to your news sense of the world as the fate of 33 miners in Chile. Are the release of a colour Nook, or the ups and downs of a white iPhone,…

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A Q+A on the Soviet Jewry movement with Gal Beckerman

September 23, 2010 /
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Book cover for Gal Beckerman's When They Come for Us We'll Be Gone

When I first started this blog, I’d stated that very little has been written about the Soviet Jewry movement, and that most of it focuses on the movement in North America and on the better known refuseniks such as Natan Sharansky. A new book coming out today goes a long way to undo all that.…

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Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 4: Soviet Dinner, or Sausage Nostalgia

August 31, 2010 /
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This is the last of my posts on the Refusenik documentary screening. Catch up on the earlier posts: Part 1: Defining Moments; Part 2: The Rescuers and the Rescued; and Part 3: We Weren’t All Refuseniks. To give you a sense of how this little Soviet dinner event happened, it really started out as a…

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Soviet! History! Music! Video! Tetris!

August 28, 2010 /

Friends in London just sent me this. ‘This’ is the entire history of the Soviet Union to tetris. No, really. It is genius and you should watch it. The band is called Pig With The Face of a Boy, “the world’s best neo-post-post-music hall anti-folk band.” I did not make any of that up. It really says…

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Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 3: We Weren’t All Refuseniks

August 18, 2010 / Comments Off on Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 3: We Weren’t All Refuseniks
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*This is the third in the series on the Refusenik documentary. Read the first two posts here (Part 1: Defining Moments) and here (Part 2: The Rescuers and the Rescued). As I wrote in my first post on the Refusenik documentary screening, the evening gave me a chance to see the different levels of knowledge…

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Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 2: The Rescuers and the Rescued

August 17, 2010 / Comments Off on Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 2: The Rescuers and the Rescued
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*This is the second in a series. Missed my earlier posts? Catch up here: Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 1: Defining Moments I was talking recently about the Refusenik documentary and my Edmonton screening to a couple of people, both Canadian Jews here in Toronto. The Soviet-Jewry cause had been a monumental issue for Canadian and…

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Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 1: Defining Moments

August 3, 2010 / Comments Off on Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 1: Defining Moments
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*This is the first in a series. Read part 2 here: Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 2: The Rescuers and the Rescued A few weeks ago, I did a film screening in Edmonton for a small group of Soviet Jews, all family friends, who I’ve previously interviewed for my project. The film is Refusenik, a documentary…

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Links (or Letting Others Do the Thinking)

July 24, 2010 / Comments Off on Links (or Letting Others Do the Thinking)
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I heart feminism grafitti

Too many links. Not enough time to comment with the wit and/or intelligence deserved. So, a link round-up. Now known  among more enlightened (ok, smarmy) internets circles as “curating.” Not to be confused with that thing people with degrees do in museums. What Leads to ‘Burqa Rage’ (The Sisterhood | Forward.com) Are we doing too…

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Circumcision and the irrational moments of life

July 23, 2010 /
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Circumcision and Russian Jews: the tools

So circumcision. Or, circumcision and Russian Jews, specifically. I’ve been neglecting this blog lately (vacations, dead computers, more vacations…), and why not jump back in with something that’s sure to upset someone, somewhere. In a post titled “Taking On The Difficult Obligation of Brit Milah,” on The Forward‘s Sisterhood blog, Debra Nussbaum Cohen defends the…

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