The Jewish Daily Forward reporter Paul Berger recently viewed the Lives of the Great Patriotic War: the Untold Stories of Soviet Jewish Veterans in the Red Army during WWII exhibit, which is now on display at the 92Y Weill Art Gallery. The exhibit looks at the participation of 500,000 Soviet Jewish soldiers in the fight against fascism during WWII (known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War).
Berger interviewed both Blavatnik Archive director Julie Chervinsky, who organized the exhibition, and Semeon Grigorevich Shpiegel, one of the soldiers featured in the exhibit.
The veterans’ stories are well worth the concentration it takes to explore the exhibition. But they are conveyed most accessibly by a 15-minute video of interview snippets that loops on a television screen set up on a table next to a wall.
In the film, Vladimir Ilyich Nemets recalls seeing cotton fly out of the back of the coats of the soldiers running in front of him as the men were gunned down. Dora Motelevna Nemirovskaya recalls the “tchok-tchok-tchok” of sniper fire exploding around her as she struggled to bandage a gruesome stomach wound.
Although anti-Semitism was rare in the trenches, Chervinsky said that many Jewish soldiers felt they had to fight harder and act braver “so no one would say, ‘He’s a Jewish coward.’” She said Jewish veterans also recounted how they had “an extra score to settle with Hitler” after they found out about the Holocaust.
But for the most part, Judaism played a secondary role to the veterans’ identities as Soviet citizens. Often in the exhibition, the most striking elements of their stories are not the Jewish ones but the universal ones — the senselessness and randomness of war.
Lives of the Great Patriotic War: the Untold Stories of Soviet Jewish Veterans in the Red Army during WWII is on display at the 92Y Weill Art Gallery until December 6. The exhibit features war-time diary and letter excerpts, reproductions of archival photographs and documents, as well as excerpts from contemporary oral testimonies.
Upcoming Jewish Interest Talks at 92Y include Debbie Wasserman Schulz in Conversation with Thane Rosenbaum (Dec 11); Our Movies Ourselves: Jews & Film (Dec 15); Reaching the Jewish Community in the 21st Century (Jan 8); The Hidden Jews of the Holocaust (Jan 10).
Saturday night SingleSpeak/45-60 with Brenda Stiefel-Sherman. Discuss ways to handle the unique challenges of being single. Event begins with a wine reception, followed by group discussions and music—and more wine!
Daytime: New New York with Jake Rajs and Philip Nobel. See exquisite images and hear insightful commentary capturing the indomitable spirit of NYC as photographer Jake Rajs celebrates the city’s newest landmarks. Read more on the 92Y Blog.
Talks: Naked Ambition: Extreme Marketing for a Cause. A panel of experts from all sides of the debate will lead a discussion on the controversial marketing tactics used by PETA and other non-profit organizations. Panelists include PETA’s Senior VP Dan Mathews, the group’s newest “Rather Go Naked” model Cornelia Guest, The New York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliott and Newsweek and Daily Beast celebrity columnist Lloyd Grove.
Comedy: Mortified: a comic excavation of teen angst artifacts as shared by their original authors before total strangers.
Fri, Dec 2
Daytime: Pearl Harbor with historian Steven M. Gillon, for a vivid account of the pivotal 24 hours from the early morning onslaught to FDR’s famous message to Congress the next day, illuminating the tragedy that transformed the 20th century.
Finding A Lost Tribe of Israel: The Bnei Menashe of India
Check out this video excerpt from the Israeli TV (Ch. 10) documentary, Avudim B’Hodu (Lost in India), by Ilan Goren, about the Bnei Menashe Jewish community of northeast India. Learn more about this community by joining us next Monday, November 28, for Finding a Lost Tribe of Israel: The Bnei Menashe of India featuring community leader Yochanan Phaltual in conversation with Shavei Israel founder Michael Freund. Save 15% on tickets by using promo code RCJDPP when ordering!
“Jamire Williams,” wroteThe New York Times, “is yet another smart drummer conversant in jazz and much else besides, though his approach skews more insistently contemporary than most.”
His band, ERIMAJ, is set to release its full‐length debut later this year; meanwhile the album’s title track, “Conflict of a Man,” has been released on iTunes. You can listen to ERIMAJ’s song “Conflict of a Man” at http://erimaj.bandcamp.com. Hear more from ERIMAJ when he plays 92YTribeca on December 2.
This week’s Parshah (Torah Portion) describes the lives of Yaakov (Jacob) and Esav (Esau), the twin sons of Yitzchak (Isaac), the third generation of the Jewish people. Once again, the question will be; which brother will be the one chosen to be the next leader of the Jewish people? In the end it is Yaakov who is selected. The great French Medieval commentator Rashi points out on Bereshit/Genesis 25:27 that Esav was an idle worshipper, and Yaakov chose a life of Jewish learning. This is obviously why Yaakov was selected as the leader.
How could it be that Esav, the grandson of Avraham (Abraham); who was the founder of Judaism, who brought the concept of monotheism to the world, and the person who God chose to establish the Brit (Covenant); how could Esav choose to worship idols? How could it be that Esav, who had Yitzchak (Isaac) as a father and Rivka (Rebecca) as a mother, the second couple to represent the Covenant turn out this way? Lastly, as already mentioned, Yaakov ends up becoming one of the greatest leaders of the Jewish people. One of the ways the Jewish people are known is as Kehilat Yaakov, (The Community of Jacob). Later, Yaakov will receive a new name from God, Yisrael (Israel), and that will become our name and the name of our homeland. Yet his twin brother Esav not only does not become the leader of the Jewish people, but he chooses a life of idol worship. Why did Esav choose this path?
In 1959, 17-year-old Jaime Laredo won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition, accepting his award from the Queen. Photo courtesy of the Laredo Family
Jaime Laredo has been artistic director of the Chamber Music at 92Y series since its inception on Dec 11, 1974 and has made his dedication to 92Y part of an illustrious career in classical music. We’re celebrating his 70th birthday at 92nd Street Y with two concerts on December 14 and December 15. The programs will feature many of his colleagues and former students.
Below is another photo from Laredo’s illustrious career. It shows The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio in January 22, 1977 at the White House, for a concert at the Carter inaugural reception.
Model Zhang Xue wearing the Jewelry of Delphine Leymarie
Delphine Leymarie started taking Jewelry I classes at 92nd Street Y in 2002, and continued until 2004. After a break, she returned and is again taking Jewelry classes at 92Y. And look where she is now! Those are her pieces in the photo above, as featured in the November issue of JCK magazine. See even made the cover! See a photo of that at bottom.
“It’s not my intention to be controversial or an investigative reporter. I want to talk to people about their lives and their careers,” Fern told WWD. “I see this as an extension of what I’ve always done in my job, which is to try to explain the fashion industry, how it works and give it the respect it deserves — and that it is not entirely about silly, frivolous people.”
Josh Freed is a filmmaker who turns the camera on his own love life in his latest film, Five Weddings and a Felony, as he grapples with his fear of commitment while surrounded by friends growing up and getting married. We’re screening the film at 92YTribeca on November 30 and Freed will be present for a post-screening Q&A.
How much do you use Twitter and Facebook (or other social networking services)?
A lot. After years of hard work I’ve mastered the wasting time part of social networking. Still working on the successfully-promoting-myself/my work-through-them part. Follow me @Jishky.
You can access all the information we shared, on our Storify page. And here’s another eyeopener, from Dr. JoAnn Deak, Ph.D: “By the time kids are five, 50% of their time is spent on video/visual input. The brain isn’t designed for that.”
Thanks to all our the learning professionals, leaders in education, child & family development, researchers and audience—at 92Y and online, who made today so successful. We’ll have the complete webcast available for viewing online, soon.
Today we have an interview with one of the giants of the piano, and good friend of 92nd Street Y, Peter Serkin. Honored to count him as a long-time friend, Serkin’s debut at 92Y was October 30, 1965, with the Guarneri String Quartet, when he was still in his teens.
One of our joys at 92Y is the opportunity that Mr. Serkin is giving us in this performance—to be part of the creative process. On December 10, we are fortunate to present Peter Serkin’s world premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Adagio, which follows the premiere of his Scherzo in 2008; 92Y was proud to be a commissioner of both works.
Please enjoy an interview with him below:
As you began planning for the recital on December 10, how did you begin? What was the initial spark?
The first thing that I felt sure about was that I wanted to include a work by Charles Wuorinen, composed for this concert. Then on the same program, I thought of playing Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.
Wuorinen had composed a work for my previous recital at 92nd Street Y in 2008. His Scherzo was a fast and exuberant piece, so I thought that this time, it might be an Adagio. When I asked Charles if he would write an Adagio, I mentioned that I had just had a dream of this piece, and in it, towards its ending, there was a sense of everything kind of stopping….
I have played much of Wuorinen’s music with great pleasure, beginning with his beautiful Fourth Piano Concerto. There has also been Flying to Kahani with chamber orchestra, Time Regained with full orchestra, and three works that were all premiered here at 92Y: the Second Piano Quintet, the Scherzo for solo piano and now this Adagio. In the 1970s, he collaborated with my quartet Tashi. One work, Tashi, was prepared in two versions: one for us with large orchestra, the other for us alone. Other Wuorinen works for Tashi were Fortune and arrangements of pieces by Josquin and Thomas Morley. How fortunate we are to have a living master like Wuorinen composing such varied and wonderful works for us.
Watch the video above and experience the fun of Shababa at 92nd Street Y. Then learn more online and come be a part of the Shababa community in person. You can also be a part of the Shababa community on Facebook!
Shababa The Concert - 2012 is scheduled for Sunday, February 5th 2012 at 3 pm. Mark your calendars!
This week’s Parsha (Torah Portion) deals with the death of Sarah. The Parsha begins with stating how old Sarah was when she died. Sarah died at the age of 127. However, that is not the way the Torah phrases it. The Torah says in Bereshit/Genesis 23:1 “Sarah’s lifetime was one hundred years, twenty years, and seven years; the years of Sarah’s life”. Why does the Torah state Sarah’s age in such a strange and awkward way? Why does the Torah not just simply say that Sarah was 127?
Many people want to be a different age than what they are at any given moment in their lives. When you are a child, you dream of being a teenager. When you are a teenager, you dream of being in your twenties. Once you reach your thirties, suddenly you want be younger. Children yearn to be grownups, and grownups idealize the experiences of their youth. I think the idea being expressed by the unique way the Torah describes Sarah’s age is that whatever age she happened to be, she appreciated the value and dignity of that age. When she was 100, she embraced all that being 100 entails, and likewise at 20, at 7 and at every age and stage in her life.
While Sarah realized this, few of us today realize it, particularly when it comes to our older years. Many people today desire, as they age, to be younger. There is an entire industry that both feeds this desire and feeds off of this desire. Clothing stores, makeup companies, stylists and even the medical establishment all market themselves based on this phenomenon. Obviously, there is nothing wrong and everything right about looking and especially feeling our best. However, no one should be made to feel that looking and feeling their best in synonymous with being a certain age.
There is another problem with an obsession over youth. Over-valuing youth produces a corresponding devaluation of the responsibility of a society towards caring for people in their older years. With such an emphasis on what is positive about being young and trying to stay young, the needs of the elderly, and the value of their contribution to society, are too often overlooked. Shemot/Exodus 20:12 teaches the Mitzvah, the Commandment, to honor your father and mother. Rarely in Torah are we told of a reward for a given Mitzvah. However, for the Mitzvah of respecting our parents we are told that we will receive the reward of living a long life. Why? What does respecting your parents have to do with living a long life?