Sima Ariam is a good shot. Armed with nothing more than a Pentax automatic camera, she's prowled parties and public appearances waiting for the moment to strike. Then - click! - in the split second when her subjects unconsciously drop their public persona Ariam captures something she sees as more than a superficial image.
For Shelley Cohen, a member of Lincoln Square Synagogue on the Upper West Side and a mother of three, traveling anywhere with her oldest child, a 20-year-old quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair, can often prove taxing. Her son Nathaniel is afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a congenital, rapidly progressive illness that destroys the body’s muscles.
Imre Kertesz, a Hungarian Jew who is this year’s Nobel laureate in literature, often says that he’s a medium of the Holocaust. “Auschwitz speaks through his stories,” a friend of his, the Israeli literary critic and author Shmuel Thomas Huppert, tells The Jewish Week. “His main theme is Auschwitz. He stresses the fact that first of all he’s a writer. He didn’t become a writer because he was in Auschwitz but, by being in Auschwitz, he found his major theme.”
A few years ago at an immigration conference, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel said simply and powerfully, “No human being is illegal.”
The Jewish community’s point man on immigration, Gideon Aronoff, president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, recalled Wiesel’s elegant plea on behalf of immigrants this week as the Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings on legislation that would provide a clear path to citizenship for many of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in this country.
At the end of 1992, referring to a 12-month period of embarrassing family woes including three of her four children’s marital break-ups, Queen Elizabeth famously declared the year an “annus horribilus.”
Any Jewish leader reviewing the events of the past 12 months might well refer to 5769 in the more familiar vernacular as an “annus bloodytsuris.”
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.
I’ve spent the past three days wondering what would happen if I could have put (the late) John Lennon and Israeli President Shimon Peres in the same room. Like the recurring leitmotif in so many Hassidic folktales, I think it’s possible that the messiah would have come. Two dreamers, trying to leapfrog over the messiness of this world to see what might lie beyond…
I have, in past pieces, written about the Zamir Choral Foundation and its great work with both teens and adults. As an officer of the Foundation, I am of course a supporter of its programs and goals. But there are those moments when even I, who first joined the Zamir Chorale forty years ago as a college freshman, am still overwhelmed by the awe-inspiring moments that its remarkable fusion of music and love of Judaism can create.
Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel this week joined the campaign to oust New Jersey Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka, who has come under fire for implying that Israel had advance knowledge of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
"I think a man who writes such things should not be a literary voice for New Jersey or any other group in the United States or any civilized society," Wiesel told The Jewish Week.
Just as they had won over some of their harshest critics, the people behind an upcoming miniseries about Adolph Hitler find themselves on the defensive again.
This week's TV Guide quotes Ed Gernon, who was executive producer of "Hitler: The Rise of Evil," as characterizing the German leader's ascent to power as a cautionary tale for Americans today.