Monthly Archives: April 2010

This Week’s Links

By Michelle Albert

  • Four car bombs exploded in front of Shiite mosques in Baghdad this morning, killing 39 people and wounding 54.
  • The Rabbinical Council of America is meeting this Sunday to discuss the possibility of female leadership in Orthodox synagogues. This comes a few months after a woman was almost ordained as a rabbi by one of the RCA’s members.
  • The XX Factor reviews Sarah Silverman’s new book, The Bedwetter.
  • England’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, answers questions about dealing with anti-Semitism on university campuses, Israeli use of British passports in Dubai and how he feels about being the first British Prime Minister to address the Knesset.
  • Berlin’s Free University has launched an Internet database documenting more than 20,000 works of art deemed “degenerate” by the Nazis and removed from German museums in 1937.
  • In honor of Israel’s 62nd birthday, the Israeli army marched in a formation resembling Zionist founder Theodor Herzl’s head.

Facebook Fan Giveaway!

Facebook Fan Giveaway: Win a Free Copy Of “Pictures At An Exhibition” by Sara Houghteling, winner of our emerging writer award!

Our first in a series of giveaways to celebrate our 35th anniversary, become a fan of Moment by next Friday (April 30) and be entered in our Facebook Fan lottery to win this amazing novel. Moment will send 3 lucky winners the book free of charge (note: only to US addresses).


So spread the word to friends and family. Become a Fan today for your chance to win!

Drawn from the real-life stories of France’s distinguished art-dealing families, Pictures at an Exhibition recounts Max Berenzon’s quest to recover his art dealer father’s collection of fine paintings in the aftermath of the Nazi’s occupation of Paris.  After emerging from hiding in the south of France, Max quickly becomes obsessed with locating the lost canvases, convinced his success will finally prompt his father to grant him inheritance of the family’s gallery.  As he navigates the torn postwar city in search of both his family’s masterpieces and his longtime love, Max discovers the tragic disappearance of his closest friend and reveals the truth behind a long kept family secret.


An Anne Frank for the 21st Century

By Symi Rom-Rymer

For Yom Hashoah this year, PBS devoted a week to films with Jewish themes. Among its many offerings was a revised and “most accurate-ever” adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank.  My initial reaction, I admit, was skepticism.  First of all, done as a tele-play (even by Masterpiece Theater which I love), I was afraid it would be heavy on the schmaltz and light on depth.  But more importantly, I wondered why we needed a new version of what is probably the most well-known story to come out of the Holocaust. Continue reading

This Week’s Links

By Michelle Albert

  • Now that Justice John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court’s only Protestant member, has resigned, who will take his place on the bench? The New York Times shortlisted two Jews and another Protestant.
  • Palestinians from Jerusalem and Palestinians from the West Bank who marry must live in Kufr Aqab, the equivalent of a dusty, somewhat neglected no-man’s land, though technically part of Jerusalem.
  • Jewish rapper Y-Love teamed up with beatbox star Yuri Lane to create an album with tracks for each week of Sefira, the time between Passover and Shavuot. The all-vocal album will enable Jews who do not listen to live music over those seven weeks to get their groove on.
  • South African Judge Richard Goldstone, the former head of the UN commission that investigated last year’s Gaza war, will not attend his grandson’s bar mitzvah. Jewish groups have threatened to protest outside the synagogue during the bar mitzvah if Goldstone attends.
  • The local, sustainable, organic food crowd is revamping New York’s Jewish delis, one pastrami sandwich at a time.
  • Hasidic Jews and hipsters battle for space in Brooklyn.
  • And the strangest thing to read on the internet: Holocaust fanfiction.

Shtetl Life Reexamined

By Symi Rom-Rymer

A picture is worth a thousand words, so goes the old cliché.  But as Alana Newhouse’s recently published New York Times article on Roman Vishniac demonstrates, what that picture is actually saying is often more complicated than it seems.

Her piece focuses on Vishniac’s “A Vanished World,” a pictorial representation of pre-World War II Jewish life in Eastern Europe.  Or at least, that’s how it was marketed and sold.  But through Newhouse’s piece, we come to learn that the photos used in the book showed only one part (the poor and the religious) of that world.  They did not, as Vishniac claimed, represent the totality of shtetl life.  Instead, these photos were taken so that the Joint Distribution Committee–a committee that worked on behalf of impoverished and persecuted Jews around the world–could fund-raise. Continue reading

The Modern-Day Isaiah

By Ben Ganzfried

“Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain” (Isaiah 40).

So begins the film, “Making the Crooked Straight,” (airing on April 14, on HBO2) which offers many examples of patients who Dr. Rick Hodes—a modern day Isaiah– has helped in Ethiopia.  The movie provides powerful images and stories of Rick Hodes’ battle against disease, poverty, and despair.  Told from the perspective of Dr. Hodes’ encounters with patients, “Making the Crooked Straight” shows how one man can have a tremendous impact on many lives.

The movie offers many poignant stories.  From the many young kids that Rick Hodes adopted so he could put them on his health insurance plan, to his treatment of young kids with TB of the spine, to the interfaith Shabbat gathering that Hodes hosts in his home—the movie is rife with themes of tikkun olam, menschlakeit, and our shared common humanity. Continue reading

This Week’s Links

By Michelle Albert