Sandee Brawarsky's blog

Firsthand Memories Of Janusz Korczak

This week marks the 73rd anniversary of Janusz Korczak’s fatal march with the children of his Warsaw orphanage. While supporters arranged a path to freedom from the Nazis for him, the writer, educator and physician chose instead to stand by his children, and marched with nearly 200 of them to the train that would take all of them to their deaths in Treblinka. Some say that the children sang, but that might be legend. What’s known is that they walked in dignity, carrying the flag of their orphanage, with its emblem on one side and the Star of David on the other; they felt safe in Korczak’s presence.

Courtesy Marcia Talmadge Schneider

Back-to-Back Jewish Ghosts

My reading list is usually determined by a certain serendipity of deadlines, recommendations, book covers that jump out of the pile and the lure of whatever arrives in the mail that day.  Yes, I receive new books almost every day.

Courtesy Harper Books

Premiering This Weekend: A Heschel Documentary On ABC-TV

If the child is the father of the man, what then is the young adult? In the case of theologian Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, his poetry in Yiddish – penned in his early 20s –- provides the first glimpse of his greatness.

Courtesy Diva Communications

Books To Watch For

One standout among the many featured authors at this year’s Book Expo America at the Javits Center last week was the late Italian chemist and writer Primo Levi, who died in 1987 and is best known for his memoirs of surviving Auschwitz, “If This Is a Man” and “The Periodic Table.”

Courtesy Liveright Publishing

Last Chance: A Kaleidoscope Of Color On Roosevelt Island

Painted glass panels with splashes of vivid color in the Main Street windows of the RIVAA Gallery hint at the treasures inside.

Arline Jacoby in front of her painting, “Color Burst,” at the RIVAA Gallery

Forming New Friendships For Israel’s Museums

Something else to celebrate on Israel’s 67th birthday: Israel has the highest number of museums in the world per capita, with more than 200 museums operating throughout the country.

Massimo Vitali, “Rena Majori," 2013. C-print in diasec with wooden frame. Edition of 35. Courtesy Massimo Vitali

Dancing In The Aisles

Carnegie Hall has had many memorable performances, from Benny Goodman’s legendary Jazz concert of 1938 to Andy Kaufman treating the audience to milk and cookies in 1979. But Tuesday night’s National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbiene gala may be the first time the audience rose en masse and danced in the aisles.  

Itzhak Perlman and friends at Carnegie Hall. Kate Hess

This Week: "Jewish Journey: America" on PBS

Leaving and arriving – and crossing the sea -- is long part of the Jewish narrative. When the ancient Israelites left Egypt, the sea split and they crossed over.  Many Jewish immigrants to America had to endure crossings over rough seas, often crowded into the underbelly of the ship, in steerage.

Family Portrait: Jewish immigrants from Egypt in America at a 1928 wedding. Courtesy Andre Aciman

Ayelet Tsabari Wins Rohr Prize

Ayelet Tsabari has been named this year’s winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for her collection of stories, “The Best Place on Earth.” The award, recognizing an emerging writer, carries a cash prize of $100,000.

Ayelet Tsabari. Photo by Elsin Davidi

Three For Tu B’Shevat

Tu B’Shevat in New York requires some imagination, in order to picture these snow-covered trees in their spring finery. Here are three last-minute ideas to celebrate the new year of trees, engage all of the senses, and give thanks. 

Courtesy Ellen Bernstein
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