Sixty-five years after the Holocaust, and Yom Hashoah -- April 11 -- remains, appropriately, a day that the Jewish community can't figure out how to observe. And rightly so. Most holy days are actually on the day something unique happened, unlike Yom Hashoah, whose Nissan 27 date was a Knesset compromise rather than a holy anniversary.
A friend who works in a bookstore recounts that whenever Jewish parents or grandparents ask for help in selecting a book, they preface their request: “Oh, he’s 7, but he reads like a 12-year-old,” or “She’s beginning fifth grade but reads on a high-school level.” But despite their parents’ best intentions to get them reading the classics as soon as they can lift them, along with The New York Times, kids really do prefer picture books with great stories.
It isn’t an enviable task organizing an Israeli culture festival for a New York audience. For one thing, in seven days — with most performances concentrated on the weekend — how do you balance the realities of an Israeli cultural scene that often focuses more on benign subjects like nature, love and fantasy rather than politics and war — the subjects most prescient to Israel’s foreign supporters?