At almost the same moment last week that Uri Grossman, the 20-year-old son of Israeli novelist David Grossman, was reported killed in battle, I got news that an Israeli friend who had been called up to serve as a medic in the north of Israel had taken a David Grossman book with him.
When my friend came to California a few days ago for vacation, I asked him why he grabbed that particular book. He responded: “It was right there on my shelf. Anyway, I didn’t have time to get to the library.”
I was much taken with Washington Post business writer Steve Pearlstein's column today. Pearlstein had the audacity to point to two of the biggest reasons for the political and legislative gridlock in Washington – an electorate that demands completely contradictory things from the people it elects, and a president who apparently lacks the backbone to tell it like it is. (See t
Billy Wilder used to joke about his former compatriots in Austria. He would say, “The Austrians are a marvelous people: they have convinced the whole world that Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler was German.” Axel Corti, a Paris-born, half-Italian, half-Austrian filmmaker, would have undoubtedly appreciated this jibe. Corti, who died of leukemia in 1993, spent his entire career as a film, theater and radio director putting the Austrian-Jewish connection under the microscope of his art with scathing results.
Indefatigable Dr. Bernard Lander grew school
well beyond its New York roots.
Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander, the visionary founder and president of Touro College, which he grew from 35 students to a global network of 29 schools educating 17,500 students in New York, California, Nevada, Florida, Israel, Russia, Germany and France, died Monday of congestive heart failure at a New York hospital. He was 94.
Moshe and Adina Tyberg, Flatbush residents in their mid-30s, are living in a two-bedroom apartment with five young children.
“As you can imagine,” the father says, the atmosphere “isn’t very conducive to raising kids,” but he and his wife are unable to afford a larger home in Brooklyn. As a result, both Moshe, a human-resources professional, and Adina, an occupational therapist, are ready to move beyond the New York area, where they hope to find a better quality of life.
An otherwise noncontentious national meeting of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs next week could see a fierce debate and politicking over a proposal to put the umbrella Jewish group in line behind efforts to impose divestment on Sudan because of the genocide in Darfur.
The Jewish community appears poised to join a growing movement of city and state legislatures, universities, religious organizations and other groups in calling for a targeted economic boycott of the Sudan.
The move, supporting divestment from companies with business ties to the Sudanese government, would come as the ethnic cleansing in Darfur, a region of the Sudan, enters its fourth year. The slaughter, considered a genocide by the U.S. government and much of the international community, has killed at least 400,000 civilians and displaced as many as 2.5 million.
Twenty students from a tough, inner-city school walked through parts of a museum last week devoted to the Holocaust and other genocides. They also met with a Holocaust survivor, the leader of their tour, and wrote about their impressions afterward.
Their tour could easily have been a scene in “Freedom Writers,” the new movie about a teacher in Long Beach, Calif., who connects with her tough, inner-city students by discussing the pain and trauma other children have suffered, including those who experienced the Holocaust.
For Shelley Cohen, a member of Lincoln Square Synagogue on the Upper West Side and a mother of three, traveling anywhere with her oldest child, a 20-year-old quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair, can often prove taxing. Her son Nathaniel is afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a congenital, rapidly progressive illness that destroys the body’s muscles.