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What was America’s most popular Jewish cartoon? Was it the adventures of Captain Tov or the Jewish Hero Corps?

Well, “Open your mouth and say, Oy!” because it was the comic strip “Dayenu” by Henry Leonard that was American’s most popular Jewish cartoon.djn-1958-03-14-0-011

In 1957, “Dayenu” first appeared in the Detroit Jewish News. It quickly became a weekly sensation and appeared in the JN into the early 1980s.

The word dayenu, approximately defined as “it would have been enough” or “it would have been sufficient,” is often heard in a song for Passover. It seems to have been a fitting title for a comic strip.

Week after week, Henry Leonard brought satirical humor to the JN’s readers that continually lived up to the true spirit of dayenu.

“Henry Leonard,” by the way, is a pseudonym for two men: artist Leonard Pritikin drew the “Dayenu” cartoons, and Rabbi Henry Rabin was the idea man.

Above is an example from 1958.

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.

By: Adam Mosseri, Detroit Jewish News Foundation Fellow

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