Seventy years ago this week, four women prisoners took part in an act of heroic resistance at Auschwitz, for which they were later hanged. Ala Gertner, Roza Robota, Regina Szafirsztajn, and Estera Wajcblum, all Polish Jews, were instrumental in smuggling gunpowder from a munitions factory to leaders of the underground in Birkenau, the adjacent camp. Their co-conspirators managed to blow up a crematorium, damaging it beyond repair so it was never used again.
Yossi Klein Halevi’s “Like Dreamers” was named the 2013 Jewish Book of the Year by the Jewish Book Council. The National Jewish Book Awards were announced in 17 categories, with Klein and other Israelis winning key prizes.
Don’t go to this exhibition in a hurry; and don’t go with children; but if you have the slightest interest in mathematics or Jewish history of the twentieth century, then go. Seeing “Transcending Tradition: Jewish Mathematicians in German-Speaking Academic Culture” at the Center for Jewish History is like reading a short illustrated book mounted on plywood, but your patience will be rewarded. Where does the interest lie for the non-mathematician? In the characters of the people whose histories it tells; and for the glimpses of people at work on fundamental problems.
NEW YORK (JTA) -- A $2.5 million gift from the David Berg Foundation will be used to establish a rare books room at the Center for Jewish History in New York.
The center, which announced the gift earlier this month, houses the collections of the American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
In case you missed it, The New York Times had a nice piece yesterday on the discovery of 1,000 books for a long forgotten academic subfield: the "Science of Judaism." Now dormant, the Science of Judaism was an attempt by German scholars to study Judaism as a kind of lost ancient culture--how scholars today might study, for instance, Greco-Roman culture, or Egyptology.