In the stories-that-never-die department, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, under the stewardship of Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), has passed a resolution acknowledging the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
In more than two decades of covering the Jewish scene in Washington, I've found this to be one of the most durable stories, returning every few years with different actors but much the same script, with Jewish groups playing bit parts, although some of the main players think they should be stars.
There were plenty of words last Sunday morning on East 92nd Street, but not the sort The Jewish Museum had hoped for when it planned a provocative exhibition of contemporary art meant to rekindle dialogue about Holocaust memory.
About 100 yeshiva students, politicians, Holocaust survivors and other community members, most of them from Brooklyn, directed chants of “Shame on You” and “Don’t go in” toward anyone who approached the museum’s front doors at the 10 a.m. opening of “Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art.”
Legend has it that Johann Sebastian Bach composed the Baroque masterpiece known as the "Goldberg Variations" for an insomniac ambassador to be played on sleepless nights by the diplomat's teenage harpsichordist, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg (1727-1756).
The clarinetist Andy Biskin had Bach's work in mind when he playfully named his latest composition "Goldberg's Variations." But the only person losing sleep in this case was the composer himself.
Global financial markets are anticipating a downturn, the word “recession” is being whispered on Wall Street and, as a result, holiday bonuses at the large banks and investment houses may be considerably lower this year. But those worries failed to dampen last week’s Wall Street Dinner, the annual event organized by the Wall Street and Financial Services Division of UJA-Federation of New York.
On the eve of Israel Independence Day in 1967, Dov Lichtenberg went with friends to the Israel Song Festival in Jerusalem. There, Naomi Shemer’s new song, "Jerusalem of Gold" was first performed by an unknown young singer named Shuli Natan. Later, after midnight, the 25-year-old student received word of his mobilization for army service from a colleague at the university. "It’s not a drill; it’s a real war," he said to the person who handed him the order.
It’s probably just a coincidence that the blue-skinned, endangered aliens from the planet Pandora in the mega-hit “Avatar” are called the Na’vi, which is Hebrew for prophet. It couldn’t be that non-Jewish writer and director James Cameron took the term deliberately to make a point that in these victimized, ultimately triumphant underdogs we were to see a glimpse of some conflict in the offing. Could it?
Probably not. But it is one of the things to ponder about a movie that borrows so much of its essence, while leaving so much to interpretation.