At first glance, Hannah the Hanukkah Hero is a great Jewish doll for a generation of children that has grown up singing along with feisty animated female leads.
Exactly one hundred years ago, on September 8th, 1916, my great-grandmother Estrella penned the last entry in her French notebook. At the time she was attending an elite preparatory school for Jewish students in Paris. Like hundreds of other Sephardic teenagers from around the Mediterranean, Estrella had been plucked from her tiny Jewish community on the island of Rhodes and taken to France for an intensive four-year training hosted by the Alliance Israélite Universelle. She thus spent the bulk of World War I far from her family, the sprawling Leon-Alhadeff clan who lived in La Juderia, Rhodes’ Jewish quarter.
How wearing a Jewish or Yiddish slogan on your t-shirt became the way to rebrand your identity.