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.
In recent months a debate has emerged on American college campuses about whether the teaching of Middle East history and politics on American campuses is slanted by the prevalence of Palestinian professors.
Last winter, the Jewish chaplain at Columbia University called for administration officials to hire a full-time Jewish academic to teach Middle East politics, to "balance" the several full-time professors of Palestinian or Arabic descent who conduct classes on the subjects.
In a dramatic change of strategy, defense attorneys for Lemrick Nelson Jr. are not contesting the charge that he fatally stabbed Yankel Rosenbaum during the Crown Heights riots of 1991.
During opening arguments today, attorney Richard Jasper told jurors at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn that Nelson's intention was not to violate Nelson's civil rights. He said that Nelson, then 16, had been drunk at the time of the attack and was caught up in the "excitement" of the crowd.
Simon Wiesenthal, who tracked down Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and has earned the reputation as the world's foremost Nazi hunter, doesn't seem the shy and retiring type.
But he retires frequently.
The 94-year-old Holocaust survivor, who told a British newspaper two years ago that he was stepping down from his work at his Documentation Center in Vienna, was quoted by an Austrian magazine last week as saying again that his work is done.
A year ago they came to the Park Hotel for the seder, to remember ancient sorrows, the Hebrews' enslavement in ancient Egypt and their eventual liberation.
This year the memories (and the wounds) were fresher.
A year after the terrorism attack that took 29 lives and wounded 100 and triggered Israel's Operation Defensive Shield against terrorist leaders in the West Bank, Passover was observed again in the resort along the Mediterranean.