The Jewish connection to the Olympic Games is as old as the modern Olympics movement. Unfortunately, some of the connections are tragic, like the murder of 11 members of Israel’s team at the Munich Games in 1972.
Last week The Jewish Week looked at some largely unknown parts of Olympic Jewish history. This week, the Olympics and the Holocaust.
The State of Israel does not have a state photographer, but if it did, he would be an 83-year-old native of Vienna.
David Rubinger came to Israel in 1939 as part of the Youth Aliyah movement, received his first camera in 1945, started his photo-journalist career by shooting pictures of Jerusalemites celebrating the UN’s approval of the Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947, and never stopped shooting.
During an academic conference in Boston last month, Sasha Toperich, a multilingual native of Bosnia-Herzegovina, presented a speech on recent political developments in the Balkans.
That was appropriate — Toperich is a diplomat.
Toperich also gave a concert during the two-day conference.
That, too, was appropriate — he’s a concert pianist.
Entering a Borough Park public school early Tuesday, David Tilis was emphatic about his pick for president.
“I’m Jewish, so it has to be [George W.] Bush,” said Tilis, 21, a mortgage broker en route to casting his vote for the Republican incumbent. “I don’t understand how any Jew could vote for [Sen. John] Kerry. Yasir Arafat is for him.”
It’s not in Kansas anymore.
Marc Chagall’s “Study for Over Vitebsk,” an 8-by-10-inch oil painting valued at $1 million that was stolen from The Jewish Museum last year, returned for a day to the East Side Jewish institution last week.
It had turned up at a post office in Minnesota and was shipped to Topeka, where it was first identified. The painting was later authenticated by Bella Meyer (pictured), granddaughter of the late, Vitebsk-born artist.
The Carlebach Shul was never afraid of broken hearts, but the last decade or so have tested the small shul on West 79th Street.
The shulís rebbe, Shlomo Carlebach ó the musical genius the congregation shared with the world ó went to the Other World in 1994. Rabbi Elichaim Carlebach, his twin brother who led the shul in Shlomoís frequent absences, died in 1990.
Rabbi Sam Intrator, Shlomoís closest aide, filled the void for a few years but left in search of other projects several years ago.
Henreich Heine, the German-Jewish poet, wrote more than a century ago, ìder vorhang fallt, das stuck ist aus,î the curtain falls, the play is done. Then, in that tragic coda, the ax fell, too. Yet the drama goes on, a few German-Jews puttering around on a stage they refuse to leave, enchanted by that language.ìWir haben viel fur einander gefuhlt,î how deeply we were wrapped in each otherís lives, wrote Heine.