If the death this weekend of Adam Yauch, 47—the Beastie Boys founder, nicknamed MCA—was not enough, today came another blow: the death of Maurice Sendak, at 83. Both were Jewish artists, pioneers in their respective genres, and both were Brooklyn-born. That they were born some 35 years apart, and came from worlds quite diff
How will the death of Benzion Netanyahu, the father of Israel’s prime minister who died in Jerusalem on Monday, at 102, affect his powerful son? I don’t have a clue, though some, like Jeffrey Goldberg, have posited that it might—might—make the prime minister a little bit more willing to compromise with Israel's Arab neighbors. Rather than play Nostr
This week brought news of two shocking deaths: the first of Albert Abramson, 94, an important figure in building the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. And then there was Peter Novick, 77, an historian who wrote a withering attack of the Holocaust’s undue influence on American Jewish identity. The two would probably have had little to agree
I’m sure Christopher Hitchens would have no problem with me, an admirer, taking him to task for a shoddy piece he wrote about Chanukah a few years ago in Slate. Hitchens, the eloquent atheist and polemicist, who died last week, at 62, had no problem with criticism.
No matter how familiar you are with death, it’s impossible to be prepared for the loss of your mother.
Death is the subject I deal with daily as the executive director of the Hebrew Free Burial Association, in New York. HFBA arranges approximately 350 burials a year, and at least twice a month I am in one cemetery or another as part of my job. But my work didn’t inure me against the profound sadness I felt when my mother, Dorothy Koplow, Chaya Doboh bat Meir v’Breindl, died in the summer of 2010, at the age of 90.
My story this week is about the scholars who are pushing hard against myths about the shtetl, especially the kind peddled by "Fiddler on the Roof."
As it happens, the composer of that Tony-winning classic died yesterday: Jerry Bock, at 81. Eerily, the writer of the musical's book, Joseph Stein, died ten days before. They both will be missed, deeply.
I remember reading Tony Judt's much maligned essay "Israel: The Alternative" when it was first published, in 2003, and not thinking much of it. I had known Judt's work since my college days, and even interviewed him at his NYU office for a project I was then working on. But like most, I got to know him through his books and The New York Review of Books, where he published his Israel essay.
The story was recently told to me about a Facebook user who updated her status message to announce the death of her grandmother and the grief she was feeling because of the loss. Her friend's mother, a Facebook newbie, read the status update and clicked Facebook's "Like" option. Was this a Facebook faux pas or a way to express condolences in the era of social networking?