Lazarus’s poem has in recent years been a point of contention for officials from the Trump administration.
“Give me your tired and your poor,” Ken Cuccinelli said, then adding his own qualifier, “who can stand on their own two feet.”
We have arrived at the safest and most secure part of the year: We are exactly 364 days away from the next Grammy Awards. The musical awards ceremony, which showers celebrities with thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of awards, based on unknowable criterion in an interminable televised ceremony, has come and gone in 2018. But many of the best moments of the 2018 Grammy Awards (essentially, all those enjoyable moments not involving Kendrick Lamar, Kesha, or Patti LuPone,) were courtesy of the Tribe.
Give her your tired, your poor, and Stephen Miller’s ego for dinner.
The scene of phantoms is upon us, and Britta Lokting has pursued the legends of three Jewish ghosts in New York City. One of them has been haunting Manhattan ever since his 1931 funeral.
On June 13, Harvard University Press published a luxuriantly definitive Variorum edition of poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson, which may cast light on a still-remembered episode in American Jewish literary history. The poet Emma Lazarus, whose “New Colossus” adorns the Statue of Liberty, knew Emerson personally, and her admiring essay “Emerson’s Personality” was collected in a compelling 2002 anthology from Broadview Press.
Most people encounter Emma Lazarus only inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Her sonnet, “The New Colossus,” written in 1883, has become inextricably identified in the public mind with the wave of immigration to the United States from the 1880s until 1924. However, a new free mobile tour produced by the Museum of Jewish Heritage now enables us to get to know Lazarus by visiting sites around Manhattan that were integral to her life, and at the center of intellectual and artistic life during the Gilded Age.
In light of an email tirade in which Tea Party congressman Allen West called Democratic National Committee chairwoman (and proud Jewess) Debbie Wasserman Schultz “vile,” and wrote that she has proved that she is “not a Lady,” The Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg pulls back the curtain on what she sees as West’s history of misogynistic behavior.
The results are in from the National Museum of American Jewish History’s poll to select the 18 individuals to be featured in their “Only in America” Hall of Fame. The results are not too surprising. Of the 18, six are women, and their names are familiar to most: Henrietta Szold, Golda Meir, Barbra Streisand, Emma Lazarus, Estee Lauder, and Rose Schneiderman. If you follow the Jewesses With Attitude blog, you’ve probably heard of Rose Schneiderman, as she’s a favorite at Jewish Women’s Archive, but of the six women I would guess she has the least amount of name recognition, so I’m pleased that she made it into the final 18.
Emma Lazarus has been having a good run recently. Eighteen months ago — some 117 years after her early death from Hodgkin’s disease — John Hollander’s judicious selection of her poetry demonstrated that she was one of the most talented American poets of the 19th century, and far and away the best Jewish one. And now, Esther Schor’s intelligent, passionate and deeply sympathetic literary biography argues that Lazarus is a vitally important — even prophetic — writer, “more of our time than her own.”