Posted: Mon, 06/29/2015 - 14:16 | Posted by: Gloria Kestenbaum | Well Versed
Courtesy Genesis Philanthropy Group

My mother, when asked to identify herself, would say, “What can I tell you — I’m just a lady from Poland." This, despite the fact that she left Poland, post-war, at 12, and spent the next 66 years of her life in New York. And, of course, when she finally went back to visit Poland, she was seen as the Jew from America. Identities are by their very nature, fluid and relative. How we describe ourselves versus how others perceive us is always up for grabs.

Posted: Tue, 06/23/2015 - 12:02 | Posted by: Gloria Kestenbaum | Well Versed
Autograph manuscript, Melecheth Shlomo by Solomon ben Joshua Adani, 1589-1623. Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company

Bibliophiles and collectors of Jewish texts have been prowling the precincts of Kestenbaum & Company these past days, covetously eyeing and reverently handling the rare items now on display and scheduled for auction on Thursday, June 25. Dubbed the “Singular Collection,” the provenance for this remarkable grouping of early printed Hebrew books, and Biblical and Rabbinic manuscripts remains undisclosed.

Posted: Fri, 06/19/2015 - 12:20 | Posted by: Meylekh Viswanath | Well Versed
Courtesy Oneworld

Claire Hajaj is the daughter of a Jewish mother born in England and a Muslim father born in Jaffa.  In her first novel, “Ishmael’s Oranges" (Oneworld), she makes use of her uncommon background to convey the feelings of both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs with nuance and understanding.

Posted: Tue, 06/16/2015 - 11:07 | Posted by: Elizabeth Denlinger | Well Versed

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.

Posted: Fri, 06/12/2015 - 09:28 | Posted by: Sandee Brawarsky | Well Versed
Courtesy Diva Communications

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.

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