Category Archives : Essays

To stand idly by 1

“Never again,” is the resounding legacy of the Shoah. Never again will Jews allow themselves to be victims to such catastrophic destruction. Never again is why we have the state of Israel. And while Zionism as a movement predated the Holocaust by many decades, and Jews had been making their way to the holy land […]

The cobblestones of history 1

The cobblestones of Toledo are smooth. Over centuries, feet and weather have worn away the jagged edges, vestiges of the picks that hewed the rock from the quarry. They are difficult to negotiate, slippery and rounded, lining the narrow roads and alleys that wind through this Spanish city, built high on a hill, bordered by […]

When David conquered Goliath: A JCC victory in an Olympic decision

The Munch 11 may finally get what’s due to them — 44 years after being murdered at the 1972 Olympics. Kidnapped by Palestinians terrorists, then killed during a botched rescue mission, the 11 Israelis to this day remain unmemorialized by the organization that oversees the very games in which they came to participate. But that […]

Shabbat in a lonely place 1

Recently my husband I visited our daughter, Lily, in Israel, where she is studying and volunteering in Tel Aviv. Before we left New York, though, we had decided we would spend our one Shabbat in Israel in Jerusalem, but that meant figuring out what to do for Friday night dinner. The rabbinate doesn’t allow kosher […]

In the image 3

In 1999, the Brooklyn Museum scheduled the art exhibit “Sensations,” part of British art collector Charles Saatchi’s collection featuring young British artists intent on creating very challenging, shocking artwork. Margaret O’Brien Steinfels of the New York Times wrote at the time that the show included, “dead pigs and sharks preserved in formaldehyde, the bust of […]

(Are we) talkin’ ‘bout my generation?

By birth year, I am at the very tail end of the baby boom. But I am so close to that tip, that most of what defines baby boomers seems foreign to me. Woodstock doesn’t register. The Beatles are a band that had already split up. President Kennedy’s assassination? I was in a stroller. Selma? […]

A fate sealed in Czortkow 6

The woman walked into my office at the Jewish Federation, a little breathless. I had no idea who she was; but she seemed excited to tell me something. I was used to this. As editor of the local Jewish newspaper, people frequently came into my office to give me story tips, to share their thoughts, […]