Polish-born Frank Blaichman, a member of a Jewish resistance unit during World War II, was the only member of his immediate family who survived the Holocaust. A teen when the war started, he obtained arms by posing as a Polish policeman, traveling through the countryside by bike, committing acts of sabotage against the Nazis, refusing to wear the yellow Jewish star.
Rabbi Sharon Shalom is one of the first Ethiopian Israelis to be ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He is the spiritual leader of a congregation of about 100 people, most of them Holocaust survivors, in Kiryat Gan.
Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker David Grubin, a Manhattan resident whose last project was a history of American Jews, has now looked east. His newest documentary, “The Buddha,” about the founder of the Buddhist faith, premieres nationally on PBS on April 7. In recent weeks he has traveled around the U.S. for local screenings.
Q: How do you go from a project on American-Jewish history to a documentary on Buddhism?
Gershom Gorenberg, an American-born journalist, has lived in and covered Israel for the last 32 years. He may be best known for his thorough, thoughtful and highly praised book on the founding of the settlement movement, “The Accidental Empire.” He is teaching at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism this semester — a first for him — and recently, during a public conversation with J School Dean Nicholas Lemman, spoke about some of the differences between the way journalism is practiced in Israel and the U.S.
Avi Hoffman is a versatile stage, film and television actor who has perhaps done more to popularize Yiddish music and humor than any other performer. “Too Jewish” was a hit one-man show about his upbringing in the world of Yiddish theater. The sequel, “Too Jewish Too!” followed the story of the second generation of performers as they created American Jewish comedy. Both musicals ran all over the country and were broadcast on public television.