Elizabeth Denlinger's blog

I Love Albert Einstein

Or, as an IT guy once offered by way of a model computer password: “IloveAlbertEinstein.” The phrase was memorable and unpredictable, and therefore difficult to hack, but my first reaction was to wonder: IT guy, you’re brainy, but why do you love Albert Einstein?

Albert Einstein visiting New York, 1921. Courtesy Life magazine. Wikimedia commons

Jewish Museums Leave Nostalgia In The Dust

A lively, sometimes contentious symposium at the Center for Jewish History on Sunday emphatically showed that Jewish museums in Central and Eastern Europe have reached a state of fruition worthy of celebration and vigilance. The symposium celebrated a new double issue of East European Jewish Affairs. Its participants threw themselves into exploring the move of Jewish museums “away from nostalgia and toward … a new self-definition,” as Judith Siegel, director of academic and public programming at the CJH put it.

David Shneer, Olga Gershenson, Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Anna Manchin and Ruth Ellen Gruber

Sara Levy’s World: Music, Gender, and Judaism in Enlightenment Berlin

An exceptional musical program last month at the Center for Jewish History under the auspices of the Leo Baeck Institute and the American Society for Jewish Music's Jewish Music Forum, was broadcast on the Classical Network, wwfm.org. The program celebrated the legacy of Sara Levy (1761 – 1854 ), a philanthropist, saloniere, patron, musician and music collector. Every piece on the program, introduced by Christoph Wolff, was associated with her, and displayed the breadth and depth of her taste.

On A Musical Museum Tour

In an unusual pairing of antiquities and music, the Yeshiva University Museum offered a program chosen by the cellist Elad Kabilio, accompanied by the clarinetist Avigail Malachi-Baev and the singer Inbal Sharret-Singer, to illuminate its exhibition of ten model synagogues. The selections reflect what might have been heard around the time of the synagogues’ creation.

Elad Kabilio, Avigail Malachi-Baev, Inbal Sharret-Singer. Courtesy Elizabeth Denlinger

Last Chance: Hirshbein's Drama, Now In English

“On the Other Side of the River” opens promisingly: eerie bell-like music plays softly, and the set, three flats covered with stiffened, rippling gray gauze, seems to suggest a cave receding in the distance – until the lights come up, transforming them into a river, in a beautiful union of lighting and scenic design. 

Jane Cortney as Mir’l. Courtesy New Worlds Theater Project. Hunter Canning

Fragments From A Long, Wide View

Yale Strom has devoted his life to preserving and rescuing Jewish culture and in particular, klezmer music, in Central and Eastern Europe. As a result, the musician is also a filmmaker, historian, ethnomusicologist, and photographer.

Yale Strom. "Passing the Village Synagogue, Dorohoi, Romania, 1985." Courtesy of Anne Frank Center

Fragments From A Long, Wide View

Yale Strom has devoted his life to preserving and rescuing Jewish culture and in particular, klezmer music, in Central and Eastern Europe. As a result, the musician is also a filmmaker, historian, ethnomusicologist, and photographer.

Yale Strom. "Passing the Village Synagogue, Dorohoi, Romania, 1985." Courtesy of Anne Frank Center

Maurice Sendak’s Papers: Thoughts On An Artist’s Legacy

Maurice Sendak, the beloved and celebrated maker of children’s books, was much more than "Where the Wild Things Are." At his death in 2012, more than 10, 200 pieces of his work –  drawings, watercolors, manuscripts, proof copies and more – resided at the Rosenbach Museum in Philadelphia. The museum had hoped that this situation, which let them stage no fewer than 72 Sendak exhibitions since 1970, would continue. However, Peter Dobrin of the Philadelphia Inquirer recently broke the news that not only did Sendak leave the materials to the Maurice Sendak Foundation, but the foundation’s trustees have asked for their return to Sendak’s Ridgefield, Connecticut home, set to become a museum of sorts itself.

"Maurice Sendak's "Where The Wild Things Are"

Picturing Anne Frank

The Anne Frank Center in New York is a tiny space, smaller than the secret apartment in Amsterdam where the Frank family spent much of the war in hiding.

© Anne Frank Fonds, Basel

From Yiddish Melodrama To American Comedy

Yiddish melodrama popped up last week, just yards from the elevated tracks of the 7 train in Queens, at a theater so discreet its name is Secret. Target Margin Theater there presented Allen Lewis Rickman’s enormously enjoyable translation of Isadore Zolotarevsky’s “Gelt, Libe, un Shande” – “Money, Love, and Shame.” Once, perhaps, a play with both pain and laughter, the passage of time has rendered it pure comedy.

Samantha Maurice as Cecilia and Yelena Shmulenson as Sonia in "Money, Love, and Shame!" Erik Carter
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