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The Jewish Mother Teresa?

Best-selling author Dominique Lapierre writes about Helen Lieberman, a speech pathologist who provided critical services in apartheid South Africa.

12/16/2009
Staff Writer

In Calcutta four years ago on a visit to one of the festering slums he calls a “hell on earth,” best-selling journalist-turned-altruist Dominique Lapierre was speaking with another writer, who knew of the Frenchman’s interest in heroic figures.

“Do you want to meet a South African Mother Teresa?” the writer asked.

Lapierre, who knew the renowned Saint of the Slums, winner of a Nobel Peace Prize, learned that day about Helen Lieberman.

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Split Infinitives

11/09/2001
Staff Writer
Pity poor Zeno, tormented by his weakness for cigarettes, guilt about his mistress and unresolved tensions with his father. At his psychoanalyst’s suggestion, Zeno writes his memoirs, but the result is the imperfect recollection of an intelligent man blindsided by swirling desires and frozen by inhibitions. Zeno, the prematurely aged protagonist of Italian Jewish writer Italo Svevo’s comic masterpiece “Confessions of Zeno,” deeply resonated with William Kentridge when he first read the book in college.

No ‘Quarrel’ With Dark Shabbat

08/29/2008
Staff Writer
A prominent Off-Broadway producer decided last year that she would stage a production of “The Quarrel,” a play about the meeting between estranged friends — one, an Orthodox rabbi; the other, a secular writer — after years of separation. Daryl Roth, producer of five Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, wanted Reuven Russell, an actor-comedian who has portrayed the rabbi on and off for a decade at small theaters in the New York area, to play the role again. Russell, who himself is Orthodox, stipulated that he would not do it on Shabbat.

Grappling With Anti-Semitism

05/16/2003
Staff Writer
Columbia University history professor Simon Schama stood at the podium in the Center for Jewish History's auditorium Sunday night relating how the desecration of hundreds of Jewish graves in England last week had affected him personally. "The headstones of my uncle and great-aunt were turned over," when 386 Jewish graves were damaged in East London, he said. Thus began a three-day international conference in New York on the rise of global anti-Semitism.

Status Woe

05/09/2003
Staff Writer
Are the growing numbers of women rabbis and ministers devaluing the power of the clergy? That was among the issues raised at a thought-provoking two-day conference recently on women and religion sponsored by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. The conference at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York , titled "Women Through the Prism of Religion," featured some of the top women theologians and religious activists from Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Should Kids Be In The Main Shul?

Sunday, December 6th, 2009 A writer from The Wall Street Journal examines this question from a Christian perspective, but shuls have wrestled with this, as well. What do you think?

How Soccer Explains The Middle East

01/02/2009
Staff Writer
British writer James Montague spent three years traveling throughout the Middle East watching soccer games in order to understand the region’s societies — Jews and Arabs in Israel, Arabs and Muslims in the rest of the countries — through the prism of the world’s most popular sport. The result is “When Friday Comes: Football in the War Zone” (Mainstream Publishing), 288 pages of humor, surprises and cultural insights. His chapter on Israel focuses on the interplay of sports and politics, integration and discrimination.

A Memorial Grows In Staszow

01/30/2009
Staff Writer
Staszow, a shtetl in southeast Poland on the road between Kielce and Sandomierz, was home to Jews for two and a half centuries, until the Holocaust left the village judenrein. Among the Staszow Jews were the Goldfarbs, Jack Goldfarb’s forebears. When the Philadelphia-born freelance writer first visited his ancestral homeland a half century ago, he found no trace of Staszow’s original Jewish cemetery. A newer Jewish burial ground, two-thirds of a mile from the center of the village, was an open, empty lot on a tree-lined hill.
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