Juliet Lapidos


South vs. North

By Juliet Lapidos

Historians of Southern Jewish culture fit roughly into two camps: those who believe that the Jewish experience in the South was fundamentally different from the Jewish experience in the North, and those who argue that similarities overwhelm differences. The Forward interviewed one representative from each camp. Mark I. Greenberg, co-editor of “Jewish Roots in Southern Soil” (Brandeis University Press, 2006) thinks that, for scholarly purposes, it’s more fruitful to explore the differences between Southern and Northern Jews. On the opposing side is Mark Bauman, editor of “Dixie Diaspora” (University of Alabama Press, 2006). Greenberg and Bauman were interviewed separately, but their answers are printed side by side.Read More


Exploring an Atlanta Tragedy

By Juliet Lapidos

In April 1913, 14-year-old Mary Phagan was found raped and murdered in the basement of an Atlanta pencil factory. The police botched the initial forensic investigation and were casting about for leads when suspicion fell upon the Jewish factory manager, Leo Frank. Local journalists, who practiced Hearst-style yellow journalism, sensationalized the ensuing trial. A mob outside the courtroom chanted “Hang the Jew,” and Frank was convicted solely on the basis of circumstantial evidence. When the Georgia governor commuted Frank’s death sentence to life imprisonment, an antisemitic mob of prominent citizens kidnapped and lynched the alleged murderer.Read More


At 96, A Writer Is Born

By Juliet Lapidos

Walls and barriers have made front-page news lately. There’s the concrete wall going up between Israel and the Palestinian territories, and the reinforced fence along the United States-Mexico border. These recent developments make Harry Bernstein’s memoir, “The Invisible Wall,” especially pertinent.Read More


Beyond Baker Street: The Legacy Of Holmes

By Juliet Lapidos

Five years ago, the Royal Society of Chemistry bestowed an honorary fellowship upon Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous fictional character, Sherlock Holmes. According to the fellowship citation, Holmes was “the first detective to exploit chemical science as a means of detection.” The citation might seem flippant, but several weeks ago the Mystery Writers of America honored a book that justifies the Royal Society’s choice.Read More


Building a New Middle East — Through Soccer and Weight Loss

By Juliet Lapidos

Coaches, take heart: Sports may promote peace. During the famous “Christmas Truce” of 1914, British and German soldiers called an unofficial cease-fire and played a game of soccer. In 1971, China and the United States came together over a game of table tennis. For the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, North and South Korean athletes competed for the same team.Read More



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