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Hess was a Jewish philosopher and socialist, and one of the founders of Labor Zionism. Hess originally… [More] advocated Jewish integration into the universalist socialist movement, and was a friend and collaborator of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Hess converted Engels to Communism, and introduced Marx to social and economic problems. He played an important role in transforming Hegelian dialectical idealism theory of history to the dialectical materialism of Marxism, by conceiving of man as the initiator of history through his active consciousness. Hess was probably responsible for several “Marxian” slogans and ideas, including religion as the “opiate of the people.” Hess became reluctant to base all history on economic causes and class struggle, and he came to see the struggle of races, or nationalities, as the prime factor of history. [Less]
1864: Israel Zangwill
Zangwill was a British-Jewish humorist and writer. Zangwill wrote a very influential novel Children of… [More] the Ghetto: A Study of a Peculiar People (1892). The use of the metaphorical phrase melting pot to describe American absorption of immigrants was popularized by Zangwill’s play The Melting Pot, a hit in the United States in 1909-10. The play received its most recent production at New York’s Metropolitan Playhouse in March 2006. [Less]
1924: Benny Hill
Best known by his stage name Benny Hill, he was an English-Jewish comedian and actor, notable for his… [More] long-running television program The Benny Hill Show. Benny Hill’s film credits include parts in nine films including Who Done It? (1956); Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), in which he played the relatively straight role of the Toymaker; The Italian Job (1969); and, finally, a clip-show film spin-off of his early Thames TV shows (1969–73), called The Best of Benny Hill (1974). [Less]