First Person

09/16/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

Leipzig was a flourishing German city before World War II. In 1964, as part of communist East Germany, it was a desolate place, bomb damage still not repaired, store shelves bare and streets dimly lit. It was not a tourist destination.

08/19/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

The first I’d ever heard of 137 E. Houston St., on the Lower East Side, was when I went to the Ellis Island website recently to search for information about my grandparents coming to America. It was the address listed for Sam Bloomfield, the first name on the manifest of the SS New York when it arrived at Ellis Island on Oct. 14, 1906, from Southampton, England. 

08/12/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

It was supposed to have been a father-son getaway, a long-awaited retreat of five days of golf and bonding. While many would guess Myrtle Beach, in coastal South Carolina, or the more-exotic Scotland, our destination was actually Israel. As unusual as that may sound, it is because my son Max currently lives there and serves as a platoon sergeant in the IDF’s Golani Brigade.

07/08/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

To the well-trained eye, the dollar store is a potential treasure trove. I have stumbled upon some real gems among the chazarei.  But even I was shocked to discover a cache of coveted Panini soccer albums randomly shelved with the party favors on the eve of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 

06/17/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

Chaim Potok captured the strain of transition from religious traditionalism to artistic expression in his fictional character Asher Lev. As a young boy, Asher, a painter prodigy and the son of a chasidic luminary, is drawn to a Brooklyn museum where he surreptitiously views crucifixions and nudes. He subsequently paints such scenes.

05/27/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

Siberia.

The mere mention of the place conjures images of frozen tundra, extreme hardship and of course, the horrors of the gulag. But for me, my husband Phil, and the seven other intrepid travelers who recently journeyed with us, Siberia is a surprising Jewish oasis, even at 30 below.