A middle-aged woman walked into J. Levine Judaica, a Midtown bookstore, one recent afternoon, looking for an inspirational gift for a friend with cancer. Owner Danny Levine pointed her to the self-help section. The customer chose one of the "Small Miracles" books, with many Jewish stories, by Brooklyn authors Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal.
The woman said someone profiled in one of the books reminded her of her friend.
The woman, Levine says, spent "a good 15, 20 minutes" reading many stories in many books.
Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel this week joined the campaign to oust New Jersey Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka, who has come under fire for implying that Israel had advance knowledge of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
"I think a man who writes such things should not be a literary voice for New Jersey or any other group in the United States or any civilized society," Wiesel told The Jewish Week.
With a voice reminiscent of Cecilia Bartoli's and a profile resembling Barbra Streisand's, Laurie Rubin seems born for singing stardom.
Rubin, 24, was also born blind. Easily overlooked by directors who "don't want to be responsible if I fall off the stage," Rubin says she has to work harder than the next mezzo-soprano to get ahead.
Moshe Katzav's visit to Poland last week was strictly kosher.
For the first time, the kitchens of the Presidential Palace and of the Belweder Palace, the "Polish White House," were koshered in honor of the Israeli president's state visit to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
With the sound turned down, Vanessa Hidary's performance on HBO's "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry" looks a lot like the other stand-up poets: accentuated with aggressive hand gestures and straight-faced sincerity.
But at full volume, Hidary stands out.
Mel Berger is usually found safely behind his desk in Midtown making book deals for the likes of Ray Romano, Erin Brokovich, and former New York Yankee star Paul O'Neill.
So it was out of character when the 53-year-old William Morris literary agent recently found himself on his hands and knees in a little-known forest on the French-German border, sifting dirt looking for buried World War II treasures.