Labor Day Movie Time: Once Were Unions

Before saying goodbye to Labor Day weekend and heading back to work and school tomorrow morning, here’s a movie to get you into the spirit of Labor Day. It’s an hour-long documentary called “The Inheritance,” and believe me, it’s a great way to spend an evening. It was made in 1964 for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, back when the Amalgamated was still the living, beating heart of a still living and breathing American Jewish labor movement. It’s as moving a film today as it was then, and a thousand times more important. (Full disclosure: I grew up in the Amalgamated. My father spent nearly all his adult life working there, first as an economist, then as a lawyer.)


On Gaza, an Israeli Scribe Holds Up a Harsh Mirror

J.J. Goldberg unpacks Nahum Barnea’s powerful indictment of the way the Gaza war was managed, including its costs to Israel’s long-term security and political integrity.


Israeli Band Shmemel Urges Aliyah — to Berlin

Right after the war in Gaza, Israeli band Shmemel released a catchy song brimming with nationalistic references and encouraging immigration — to anywhere but Israel.


On Elvis' Yahrzeit, His Not So Secret Jewish History

Tablet magazine has a charming podcast (originally broadcast on Santa Monica public radio station KCRW-FM, they note) of Memphis native Harold Fruchter, son of the late Rabbi Alfred Fruchter, reminiscing about his family’s relationship with Elvis Presley. Elvis lived downstairs from the Fruchters as a teenager, befriended them and occasionally served as their Shabbos goy. Elvis’s and Harold’s mothers were friendly and Mrs. Fruchter sometimes helped the impoverished Presleys with the grocery bills. Fruchter says he once heard that Elvis had made a donation to a Jewish organization to honor the Fruchters, and he found that most gratifying.


Liberal Zionists Unite!

After the Gaza war, some are writing eulogies for Liberal Zionism. Elan Ezrachi and Naamah Kelman say the Diaspora must not abandon the fight for a more humane Jewish state.

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