In 1994, while 9-year-old Jacqueline Murekatete was waiting to die at the hands of Hutu rebels in a Rwandan orphanage, David Gewirtzman was reading newspaper articles, often buried deep inside the dailies, about the mass murder taking place in Murekatete’s homeland.“Seeing pictures of bodies floating down the river affects me in a different way,” said Gewirtzman, a Holocaust survivor from Losice, Poland, referring to media images of the Rwandan massacre.
Lubartovska Street circa 1937 was a vibrant and predominantly Jewish thoroughfare in the industrial city of Lublin, Poland. Men wearing top hats and well-coiffed women shared the cobblestone artery with horse-drawn carriages. Yiddish and Polish signage advertised kosher restaurants, hardware stores and lingerie boutiques.
On eve of JOFA conference, younger women eschew exclusive services for ‘partnership’ minyanim.
Editor and Publisher
I consider myself a feminist, but when it comes to prayer, every morning I recite the ritual blessing thanking God “who has not made me a woman.” (At least I say that one softly, and with a tinge of guilt and confusion.)
With his odes to Italian restaurants and songs about Catholic girls, most Billy Joel fans may never have pegged the "Piano Man" for the scion of a once-thriving German-Jewish mercantile family whose fortunes were swept away in the Holocaust.
Thunderous applause greeted the first proposal for rebuilding the World Trade Center site unveiled last week by seven international design teams at the Winter Garden in the World Financial Center.
The enthusiastic response by the victims' relatives, officials and reporters gathered under the indoor garden's palm trees might have been a collective expression of relief. The initial round of proposals, released in July, had been tossed out for lack of imagination and failure to inspire.
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.
When history touched Yonia Fain's life, it hit with gale force. For 30 years he was "dragged by the storm of events over half a world," the Brooklyn-based painter and Yiddish poet once wrote.
Between 1923 - when a 9-year-old Fain and his family fled Bolshevik Russia, and 1953 - when he settled in New York City - Fain outran Nazi troops in Poland, was imprisoned by the Soviets, escaped to Japan, was deported to China and eventually made his way to safety and artistic success in Mexico.
Roman Polanski's latest feature film is a dramatic account of one man's survival in wartime Warsaw. "The Pianist," which opens Dec. 27, is also a documentary in at least one respect: its star, Adrien Brody, nearly starved himself to portray the Jewish musician and composer Wladyslaw Szpilman, shedding some 30 pounds from his already slender frame as filming progressed.
At the Koret Jewish Book Awards last week in San Francisco, Stanford Professor and Koret Awards chair Steven Zipperstein asked for a minute of silence to remember Saul Bellow, who had just died. Zipperstein rightly praised Bellow for his unique contribution to Jewish and American letters, and we must give Bellow his due for helping create a new American language mixing high and low, combining the immigrant’s energy with the scholar’s subtlety.