Tag: American

Jewish Name Changing in America

A Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America, by Kirsten Fermaglich, New York University Press, 2018. Although Jewish name-changing was widespread throughout the United States and Canada throughout much of the 20th century, no one has studied this interesting phenomenon at book length until now.   The author, Kirsten…

William Fox: forgotten movie mogul

Review of The Man Who Made the Movies: The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of William Fox, by Vanda Krefft Theda Bara (nicknamed ‘The Vamp’), one of Fox’s biggest stars, in a lavish 1917 production of Cleopatra. No known copy of the film survives. From the Canadian Jewish News, 2019 Although his surname appears in…

Editorial: Ganging Up on Israel (Tely, 1969)

From The Toronto Telegram, Tuesday December 23, 1969 ◊ Note: this editorial from 50 years ago is notable for several reasons. First, it reminds us that the perennial Western impulse towards “even-handedness” (and being an “honest broker”) is as faulty as the impulse of a parent to treat two sons identically, though one be well-behaved and…

“HE WAS THE CZAR’S GUEST”

Herman Kempinski was evidently a first cousin once removed to my great-great-grandfather, Rafael Glicenstein, and both came from the town of Konin, Poland. Herman, born about 1854, was one of the many thousands of Russian-Polish Jews to emigrate to the United States in the late 1800s: he left Konin at age 17 in 1872. He…

Helen Keller at Massey Hall, 1914

A WONDER WOMAN AT MASSEY HALL Helen Keller Spoke to Large Audience Who Were Spellbound. HER FAMOUS TEACHER Mrs. Macey Taught Blind, Deaf Mute to Speak and Hear. From the Toronto Star Weekly, January 1914 A magnificent audience almost filled Massey Hall last night, attracted by the appearance of Helen Keller and her almost as…

Herman Wouk (1915 – 2019)

Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-old Author, by Herman Wouk (Simon & Schuster) ◊  Note: This review of Herman Wouk’s memoir was first published in 2016. Herman Wouk died on May 17, 2018, age 103. This slim volume, which the author describes as a “non-autobiography,” will be of special interest to people interested in…

Review: Two Days in June, by Andrew Cohen

More than half a century after the presidency of John F. Kennedy ended in a tragic hail of bullets, Ottawa historian and university professor Andrew Cohen has mined some powerful but previously neglected material on JFK and written a book that could change the shape of his political legacy and legend in substantial ways. In…

A shocker: Mother & babe held at US-Canada border for two weeks

From The London Jewish Chronicle, March 20, 1931 ◊ This shocking tale from  the height of the depression focuses on a poor and desperate mother who, with a helpless infant, was caught in a bureaucratic no-man’s-land between the United States and Canada while authorities argued over which country would take her. Dorothy Cohen, a Jewish girl,…