Thursday, April 14, 2011

Passovers Past in the Papers: Nostalgia for Simpler Times - Or Were They?

Stroll with me down memory lane to Passovers of the recent past here in America. I've scanned and uploaded some Passover sections of newspapers, including the New York Post Passover Food sections of 1954 and 1965. Right click your mouse to rotate on your screen. It warms the heart to see the old quaint ads for Schapiro's, "the wine you can cut with a knife."

From a very different time, though not much later, here's a Passover edition of the popular Boston alternative Jewish newspaper, Genesis 2, from 1971. Thanks to Ken Temple for sharing with me a part of my past. I grew up at a time when the counter culture was just finding its voice, and for young Jews in Boston, Genesis 2 was that voice. And, like Jewish generations before, we found that voice through the rituals of Passover. Read the review of new liberation Haggadahs, and the letter to the editor about a courageous Soviet Jewish dissident who predicted the demise of the Soviet Union by 1984. He was just a few years off.

I've also posted Genesis 2 issues from early April 1972 (women at Rabbinical Assembly demand equality), April 20, 1972 (evaluating the Jewish student movement), March 1971 (the Jewish Defense League on patrol), March 1974 (an excellent discussion of Breira, the grandfather of J Street, and the wisdom of criticizing Israeli policy), and May 1974 )Israel and Palestine: Two Views). And then there's January 1975 (questioning the priorities of Federation allocations).

The more things change.... Finally, my all time favorite: Chronicles: News of the Past. These mock headlines were, I am dead serious, one of the main reason I am what I am today. This Hanukkah gift combined two of my great passions, Jewish history and journalism, in one neat, creative, educational package. I've scanned two of my favorites. First we've got "Prince Moses is a Hebrew," and then, the all time classic, "We Quit Egypt Today." Imagine a newspaper coming out on the day of the Exodus. That's what we have here.

From here on, all the news about Passover will be written in blogs like this, and in viral videos on You Tube. So it's nice, for one last time, to pay tribute to the quaint ways of Passovers past.

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