7: Article, Ephraim Koplan’s “Jews Who Spit in Their Own Faces," 1908, translation from Yiddish.
This article from a major American Yiddish daily newspaper was a response to “Cohen’s Fire Sale,” and specifically to the fact that Jews themselves were responsible for the popularity of the film.
Suggested activity: Read the excerpt out loud. Ask students to argue both sides of the question. Ask them whether there are similarly controversial representations of Jews in contemporary culture and how Jewish audiences respond to them. How can we understand these responses?
Source: Ephraim Koplan, “Jews Who Spit in Their Own Faces,” Yidishes tageblat, September 1, 1908, trans. in Entertaining America: Jews, Movies, and Broadcasting, eds. J. Hoberman and Jeffrey Shandler (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 32-33.