Krakow, Poland — In January 1994, an American tourist stepped out of a taxi into a cold, drizzling rain and entered the Jarden Jewish Bookshop at the far end of the square in the Jewish quarter of Krakow.
On the counter he splayed a weeks-old copy of The New York Times before bookshop owner Les Zdzislaw.
The desecration, vandalism and redevelopment of Jewish cemeteries in Europe has prompted Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to press local governments abroad to preserve those sites.
In a letter Tuesday to Clinton, Gillibrand said she was acting on behalf of constituents who have expressed concern “about the threats faced by historic cemeteries, such as those in Lithuania, Poland and Malta.”
Jerusalem — Eli Sanders, an incoming senior at Columbia University, never gave much thought to campus anti-Semitism — that is, until a fellow student submitted a controversial article to the Columbia Daily Spectator.
“It was an opinion piece, and it said that the hands of the Jews are stained in blood,” Sanders, the paper’s chief editor, recalls during a tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.
No tinsel, no Santa, no carols, no nog. Some Jews feel they're missing out on the fun of Christmastime. Sure, there are alternatives like Chinese-food-and-a-movie or Matzah Ball dances - the ethnic equivalent of artificial snow. These activities capture the season's festive mood without drawing on its Christian origins.
The most beautiful sunset I have seen in my life was above the rolling hills of Majdanek, a Nazi concentration camp in Poland. Orange grabbed peach, peach wrapped its legs around crimson, until all was gold, gold hovering over our weeping circle of Jews, gathered there to witness the worst of humanity. I was 18, out of America for the first time and thoroughly captivated by Poland, by its dark history but also by its Jewish renaissance, embodied that day in the radiant sunset.
No tinsel, no Santa, no carols, no nog. Some Jews feel they're missing out on the fun of Christmastime. Sure, there are alternatives like Chinese-food-and-a-movie or Matzah Ball dances: the ethnic equivalent of artificial snow. These activities capture the season's festive mood without drawing on its Christian origins.
Passover is a time of stories.
In the Haggadah we tell the story of the Jewish people, and at the seder table the people often tell their own stories.
More than any other time in the Jewish cycle of holidays, Passover spurs stories — of preparing for yom tov, of memories at the seder, of lessons learned at school.
Warsaw — Since he first came here from Israel 14 years ago to help rebuild Jewish life here in the Polish capital, Yossi Erez has threatened that his retirement, and his return to Israel, was imminent. A Polish-born Jew who made aliyah with his family in 1947 and served as an Israeli Army psychiatrist, Erez served as the Polish representative of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, training young community leaders and coordinating educational programs and waiting until he wasn’t needed on a daily basis anymore.
That day came two weeks ago.