‘Beautiful Words Written Beautifully’

Irene Hizme, an Auschwitz survivor who suffers from multiple sclerosis crafts, hand-lettered cards to benefit aging Holocaust victims.
Staff Writer

In the basement of her Oceanside, L.I., home, next to a window and a hand-lettered “Patience” poster, Irene Hizme sits at a drawing board, creating works of intricate calligraphy and flower-filled branches.

A Czechoslovakia-born Holocaust survivor in her “early 70s” and retired biochemist/computer programmer, she spends much of her free time these days making thank-you notes and birthday cards. She does many of her works as a volunteer for The Blue Card, an organization that offers financial assistance to aging Holocaust survivors.

“I’ve had a good life,” says Irene Hizme, who survived the Holocaust and now copes with multiple sclerosis.

After the Gaza Flotilla: Zeh Mah Yesh- It is What It Is

Special to the Jewish Week

In what is probably an epic understatement of major proportions, there is much to say about the events of the past week in Israel. In fairness to my congregants, many of whom read this column but also are waiting to hear what I might have to say on the subject tomorrow morning during Shabbat services, I shall wait until next week to put into written, published words my own take on the flotilla incident.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

On Schlemiels, Shlimazls, Shmendriks and Schmuks

One hopes that the New York Times story today on Jay Roach's upcoming film, "Dinner for Schmucks," starring Steve Carell, will inspire us all to brush up our Yiddish.  Critics have started to question the appropriateness of the title given to Roach's new film, a comedy of manners in which Carell plays a hapless idiot.  Given the premise, "schlemiel" or "shlimazl" -- Yiddish words that more closely translate into "idiot" -- should be in the title.&nbs

The View From Inside

Staff Writer

For those who were spared the horrors of the Holocaust, the events that made up the Nazis' Final Solution persist as a collage of black-and-white images - documentary photographs taken by the Nazis to record their horrific achievements or film footage taken by the Allies as evidence of the tragedy they encountered at liberation. Even Steven Spielberg's cinematic rendering, "Schindler's List," preserved the duotone palette of historical Holocaust memory.

Combating 'The Protocols'


Twelve elderly Jews gather at the grave of an esteemed rabbi in Prague; they plot to consolidate their power and sow global unrest. Their words ultimately conjure up the Devil himself. The stuff of ghost stories? Perhaps, but this nefarious legend is source material for one of the most potent pieces of propaganda in the anti-Semitic arsenal, "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion."

The Paradox Of Bruno Schulz

Special To The Jewish Week

It's unusual for three first-rate contemporary Jewish writers (Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, and David Grossman) to pay homage in their fiction to a somewhat obscure literary figure. But in Ozick's novella "The Messiah of Stockholm," Grossman's novel "See Under: Love," and Roth's story "The Prague Orgy," the gossamer figure of Bruno Schulz, the extraordinary Polish Jewish writer killed by the Nazis, predominates.

The Mourning Son

Jewish Week Book Critic

"For many years I had lived without religion. But I could not have lived without the possibility of religion,” Leon Wieseltier writes in “Kaddish.”

Rebuilding A Shattered Past

Jewish Week Book Critic

It’s not unusual for strangers to tell Helen Epstein that she changed their lives. They’re referring to her 1979 book, “Children of the Holocaust,” which identified and described an experience that many sons and daughters of survivors shared but few discussed in public. After 18 years, that book — her first — remains in print, still selling.

Remember the Survivors, Not Just the Holocaust

Special to the Jewish Week

Last week, the world marked 65 years since Auschwitz was liberated. The unique horror and scope of the camp’s mechanization of death has made it a symbol of the Holocaust, prompting many countries in recent years to adopt January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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