I’m going to switch things up a bit this week. Instead of excerpting something that I’ve read lately, I’ll recommend that you “attend” two terrific lectures that are now available via video recording.
The source for each, in this case, is the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University.
You might begin with Professor Rebecca Kobrin’s presentation on “Emma Lazarus: The Words that Reshaped America,” which was recorded shortly before the recent July 4 holiday. (Apologies for the tiny screen—I can’t seem to figure out how to embed a larger one. But you should be able to access “full-screen” mode yourself; you can also click the linked page above for another approach to the same content.)
And you might continue with an archival presentation of Professor Jonathan Sarna’s 2019 lecture on Cora Wilburn, whom he introduced to me (and, I suspect, many others in the audience at the time), as “the first Jewish novelist in America.”