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Political Factionalism and Multicultural Education, 1917–1927

Political Factionalism and Multicultural Education, 1917–1927

(p.72) 3 Political Factionalism and Multicultural Education, 1917–1927
All Together Different
Daniel Katz
NYU Press

This chapter explores the elements of Yiddishism that underpinned the ideology of Jewish radicalism through World War I and survived the crisis on the Left that was precipitated by the Russian Revolution. It places the educational programs of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) in the context of the rivalry between radical groups and discusses the significance of women and non-Jews, especially Italians and Blacks, in the battles that took place through the 1920s. It argues that marginalized women and sympathetic men sought a political voice at all levels of union authority, including education. The efforts to control the content of courses and the operation of institutions such as Unity House were contests over union citizenship: who belonged and who deserved a voice. Just as in czarist Russia, where Jews developed educational and cultural forms to resist Russian domination, Fannia Cohn and others clung to their faith that education would serve to build a more democratic, inclusive union.

Keywords:   Yiddishism, Jewish radicalism, educational programs, International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, ILGWU, Fannia Cohn

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