For someone who has never been very good at math – and, as a result, not very fond of it – I sure have been doing a lot of calculations lately.
How else to explain my nimble mathematics on the flight from Tel Aviv to Newark when I promptly figured out that I am over two decades older than the adorable Israeli teenage girls seated next to me, the ones who helped me figure out how to use the tv screen and remote control because I am such an old lady?
How do we respond to change? In Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s operatic musical, “Caroline, or Change,” a black maid for a Southern Jewish family is catapulted into a new reality when JFK is assassinated and the civil rights movement gathers steam. Now, Gallery Players in Brooklyn is mounting a new production of the work, just six years after it ran at the Public Theater before transferring to Broadway for a four-month run.
In Olympic years, some People of the Book become people of the backstroke, the clean-and-jerk, and the high hurdles.
The Games, Summer and Winter, serve as a showcase for the best athletes, Jewish and non-Jewish. From A (Ruth Abeles) to Z (Eli Zuckerman), names like Mark Spitz and Kerry Strug are in the record books as well as Jewish history texts.
Beginning with 10 medals won by Jewish athletes at the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, Jews have been a steady presence at the international competition.
Sunday, March 15th, 2009
James Besser in Washington
Just in case you haven’t read enough about mega-swindler Bernie Madoff, check the book-like article about many of his victims in the current Vanity Fair.
Needless to say, most of the victims interviewed are Jewish, and the tales are poignant, like the story of the wealthy physician’s widow who invested with Madoff and ended up working as a kind of maid.