Thursday, April 30, 2009

I stumbled across JBC blog and found a interesting article written about young Jewish authors. Check it out, it is a long article but it is interesting. I have to remember I am not young any longer. I have to ask my self who are they talking about.
The article is about Jewish writters, and is written in Vanity Fair. Check it out here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Holocaust Memorial Day



I am a little late by a few days. I don't know how I forgot this important day in Jewish history. I am added my take on the day, by a few days. When I used to live in Miami Beach I would visit this beautiful and agonizing museum. I would have mixed emotions. The Arm sticking up from the ground, with the tattoo with the prison numbers. If you have not been to this outer museum you can view it online. The museum is in Miami Beach. In the outside there are statues of children and adults free form. It has real emotions attached to the sculpture. WE MUST NEVER FORGET!!

In all of this, Hugo Schiller is a holocaust survivor. He is a congregant in our temple. He goes to different schools talking about the experience in the holocaust in France. He's entire immediate family perished in Auschwitz.

Miraculously he has a different out look about the holocaust. He lives each day without a frown on his face.

He and his family lived in Germany. But the Germans came and took him and his family to the camps. He was sent to Vichy, France. He was taken care of a woman named Alice. It was awhile before he got out. He was able to get to N.Y.C.

I did make a small contribution to spread the word about the holocaust. I had spoken to my professor about Hugo. Hugo will be a guest speaker talking about the holocaust for a future program next year. The college never knew there was anyone that experience the holocaust in the area. I have a hard time believing this. Hugo has been here since the 1960's. But at least it will be a program now.

It would have been nice if they were able to have a program for Holocaust Remembrance Day but it was too late to develop a program. Maybe it is something the college will think of in the future.

Now, I would like to tell you about a special lady. Her name is Eleanor Schiller. She is the wife of Hugo. She is a dedicated history teacher at the Chabad School in Myrtle Beach, SC. Both Hugo and Ellie try to keep a kosher home and a religious life as possible. They are not not strict but they try the best they can to be faithful Jews. Which is very hard in S.C.

Ellie has developed a Holocaust Resource Center. With many books on the subject.
She also developed a Holocaust Resource and Library Center in our temple. She is hoping that it can be moved to the University at CCU in Conway. Until that happens it will stay put at Temple Emanu-El in Myrtle Beach.

She also made the "Butterfly Project" a few years ago. This is where all the children wanted to know how many is 6,000,000 Jews. Ellie came up with the project instead of the numeral. Lets actually make something that is actually tangible. They did not reach the number but the children can now understand that 6,000,000 is just too many to have to perish.

This week is going to be a hard week. I am taking a history class. Our subject this week is on the holocaust and the Nuremberg Trial. It is one thing for our Rabbi to talk about it at temple. But a totally different matter when other people talk about it with authority. They are not holocaust survivors, they are not Jewish so how would they know. I know this sounds stupid but I feel that because the holocaust is a jewish matter. Only Jewish people should talk about it. My history teacher does not know about the Jewish experience.

Last semester I was in his Western Civilization Class. He brought up a few things I don't agree with. Me talking about the holocaust made me feel very self conscious and drew attention to myself. That is one thing you do not do in the bible belt.

One thing my instructor says he doesn't have any proof. But he suspects that--get this-- that hitler never knew about the crematoriums. He says there were so many different committees it is possible that Hitler was kept int the dark about this.
I have a hard time with this.

The other thing is when he was announcing the numbers of people killed in the holocaust. That it was not a Jewish experience. There were many others that were killed. Even people that did not like jazz music. This made the holocaust not a Jewish experience. But many different kinds of people killed. This makes the holocaust not a Jewish experience, and not unique among Jews.

All my life I have been told the holocaust happened with 6 million Jews.
Now the instructor, is saying just as many other people in German and European society were killed. Then the students in the class opened up and said in unison with the instructor that Jews were not the only ones targeted. Which I know that the insane and gay members of society. But Jews were still targeted. I would like to see the statistics to find out where he recieved this information.

I am going to check out the statistics out to see if this is true.

I love this saying this is very true.

"First they came for the Communists but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out; Then they came for the Socialists and Trade Unionists but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Jews but I was not Jewish, so I did not Speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me."

Martin Niemoller 1892 - 1948

Monday, April 20, 2009

All These Books!!

These are all Jewish books I recieved in the mail this week:
The Jewish Body by Melvin Konner
Maimonides by Sherwin B. Nuland
The Life of David by Robert Pinsky
How to Raise a Jewish Child by Anita Diamant

Thank you Schocken Books for all these books.

From various Jewish authors:
Pictures at an Exhibition by Sara Houghteling
Sonata For Miriam by Linda Olsson
The Jewel Trader of Pegu by Jeffrey Hantover
Matrimony by Joshua Henkin
The Last Testament by Sam Bourne

I don't know if the above books are from Jewish authors or not. But it is based on Jewish characters and a piece of Jewish history. I can tell you that Joshua Henkin is a Jewish author. One of the characters in Matrimony is Jewish.

This question has always been asked and no one seems to have the same answers.
What makes a Jewish book? the content, the author has to be Jewish? or Jewish history? Any one up for the great debate?S

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Check Out My Other Blog



You can visit me at my other blog to see what plans I have for our book club for May.
Our book Club we will be reading My Father's Paradise. It is our book club's 4th birthday. I have plans to celebrate. Our book club is all Jewish Women. We read all kinds of books. Usually I blog about our book club on the other blog because most of the time it doesn't have references to Jewish books. But since this book is Jewish I thought to post it on both blogs this time.


In My Father's Paradise, father and son travel to today's war-torn Iraq in a quest to rediscover a forgotten land. As Ariel retraces his father's footsteps, he brings to life the eccentric characters, extraordinary determination, and fascinating historical odyssey of the Kurdish Jews.

In the early 1950s, young Yona and his family were part of the mass exodus of 120,000 Jews from Iraq –– one of the largest peacetime airlifts in history. In Israel, Kurdish Jews struggled against bigotry and poverty, watching helplessly as their ancient culture and language slipped into oblivion. As Yona worked his way through night school in Jerusalem and then, against all odds, to Yale University, he devoted himself to the rescue of his people's vanishing traditions. Now an esteemed professor of Near Eastern languages at UCLA, Yona is one of the world's most sought-after experts on Aramaic.

In retelling his father's story, Ariel Sabar finds his own. This deeply moving, vividly told history reads like a novel of biblical proportions. My Father's Paradise is a stirring tale of hope and redemption in an Iraq very different from the one in the headlines today.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hag Semeach



Pesech starts tomorrow at sundown, our first seder. I would like to wish all my Jewish readers a happy holiday. Nwxt year in Jerusalem. Ma-nish-tana-ha lela ha zey.
Why is this night different from other nights. This is from the Hagaddah. If you are interested in knowing a bit more information on the holiday of Pesach you can visit my links on my blog.

On another note, I was invited to go to a friends house for her seder. But I came down with a cold. I feel bad for my son, David. So, even though I am sick I am now going to start making a seder, a last minute job. Those of you who observe the holiday know how labor intensive it is. The menu consists of Brisket, Chicken Soup (oh, yes we can't forget the matzoh balls). I was raised on hard matzah balls. There has been a discussion around friends. My Bubbe either made footballs or softballs(soft or hard). I prefer them chewy. So that is what I will make. My son, David likes it that way. Of course Sponge Cake for dessert. We cannot forget that.

I decided not to go to school tomorrow. But to prepare the holiday. I am not feeling well anyway so it will give me time to rest. Luckily, it is just David and myself so I don't have to set the table for more than 2 people.

Again Hag Ha Matzah.