Browsing the archives for the Literary event category.

First Book About Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Shoa is finally in Print

Literary event, Uncategorized

Remember the Women Institute Invites You to a Book Launch for

Sexual Violence against Jewish Women During the Holocaust

Meet co-editors Sonja M. Hedgepeth and Rochelle G. Saidel, who will discuss the book, the work of some of the chapter authors, and why they decided to edit a book on this subject.

At a time when rape is routinely used to accompany genocide in Africa, it may seem surprising that it took sixty-five years for a book to appear about Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust.

The groundbreaking volume, with this title, challenges claims that Jewish women were not sexually violated during the Holocaust.

Using testimonies, Nazi documents, memoirs, and literary and film interpretations, this anthology offers readers broader and deeper comprehension of Jewish women’s experiences of rape and other forms of sexual violence during the Holocaust.

The book, published by Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England, is featured in the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute’s Series on Jewish Women. Written with the support of Remember the Women Institute, the anthology has sixteen chapters by a prestigious interdisciplinary and international group of scholars.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

5:45 – 7:45 pm

Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion

1 West Fourth Street

(Greenwich Village, between Broadway and Mercer Street)

New York, NY

A book signing and reception will follow.

Please RSVP to and please bring a photo ID.

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Scribblers on the Roof, 11th Season

Events, Literary event, Uncategorized

The pleasant open air roof top of Congregation Ansche Chesed as been the site of Scribblers on the Roof.

Invited authors read from their published work or works in progress, and take  questions from the audience.  These evenings are well attended, and the roof top views of the West Side and the night sky are lovely. Mondays at 8 pm.  251 W 100th st between Broadway and West End Avenue. The dates are June 21, June 28, July 12, and July 26.

June 21   Andre Aciman Eight White   Nights   Out of Egypt  Call Me by Your Name

Pearl Abraham America Taliban   The Romance Reader    The Seventh Beggar21

June 28   Daniel Menaker A Good Talk   The Treatment   Old Left

Jonathan Rosen The Life of the Skies  The Talmud and the Internet  Joy Comes in the Morning

July 12   Joan Leegant Wherever You Go   An Hour in Paradise

Tova Mirvis The Outside World  The Ladies Auxiliary

July26    Howard Altmann In This House   Who Collects the Days

Trudy Balch Gaby Brimmer: An Autobiography in Three Voices (translator)

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WritopiaLab’s Award-Winning Teen Writers Read at B&N

Events, Literary event, Uncategorized

Come hear award-winning teen writers read their newest pieces;

The award-winning teen writers and rising stars of Writopia Lab will read excerpts from their newest prose at Barnes & Noble at 82nd Street and Broadway on Thursday February, 4th at 5pm.

This remarkable group of young people have revised and polished stunning pieces of fiction and memoir, and they are thrilled to share their work with you.

Buy Books and B & N Will Make a Donation to Writopia Lab

Also, please hold off on any book purchases you’re about to make–when you buy books the night of the reading (at that location), 10% of the purchase price will be donated to Writopia!

Just make sure to tell the cashier you’re buying books as part of the Writopia Lab book fair.

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Golem Stories and Cities of Light

Events, Lily's notes, Literary event, Theater

I just can’t get enough of that Golem. The many forms, retellings and spin-off s are always fascinating. 

In the best known version of  legend, The Maharal of Prague, Rabbi Judah Loew, created a living man out of clay with the intention that this creature would protect the Jews of Prague from anti-Semitic attacks.

Things get quite out of hand with this golem just going much too far, and The Maharal has to find a way to kill this creature he created. This story is very moving and works on all  levels, both the allegorical and literal.  Many plays and stories have been based on the Golem, or are a re-telling of the story. Frankenstein’s Monster and  Supermanand other super-heroes owe a great deal of their lineage to The Golem.

The idea of a golem has an extremely long history in Jewish culture:  it  is a living,  human-like creature but lacks a soul, it is always made of clay by a  holy man and implies a good deal of hubris in imitating the divine creation. It always gets out of hand. In some versions, the creator of the golem must write on the forehead of the golemor written place notes inside of its mouth to get it under control or to even kill the  wild,  out of control Golem! 

 Golem Stories is a staged retelling of the golem story by on  May 27, 2009 at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th St, at 7pm, followed by a discussion of Jewish legends and midrash. This evening is free but you must register in advance.

While on the CJH site check out their cabaret night called Cities of Light scheduled for June 10 at 6:30pm.

Both of these evening are part of the  Untitled Theater Company’s  Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas May 20 through June 14. They will have over 100 performances at many venues throughout the city.

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Resistance Through Art and Yom ha-Shoa on the Upper West Side

Concert, Events, Film, Lily's notes, Literary event

Each year there are many worthwhile events to mark Yom ha-Shoa, Holocaust Rememberance Day, this year on April 20-21, 2009. Here are some of those events:

“Sixty years ago we performed this opera [Brundibar] at Terezin.  Only a few of us survived.  But when we were performing Brundibar, we forgot where we were, we forgot all our troubles.  Music was part of our resistance against the Nazis.  Music, art, good teachers, and friends mean survival.”    –Ela Weissberger, member of the original cast

Congregation Ansche Chesed’s Yom Hashoah program will be dedicated to the incredible phenomenon of Resistance through Art and will feature music created and performed in Theresienstadt concentration camp. 

Featuring live performances of chamber music by Gideon Klein, a Czech pianist and composer of classical music, teacher and organizer of cultural life in Terezin, as well as an excerpt from the children’s opera “Brundibar” by Hans Krasa, originally performed by the children in Terezin, and now sung by the children of Ansche Chesed. 

There will also be an opportunity to learn and sing songs of the ghetto and resistance together as a community.   While much of this music did not survive, the remaining pieces impress listeners to this day and make us long for more of what might have been written.

Monday Evening, April 20 at Congregation Ansche Chesed 100th St, West End and Broadway

Monday, April 20, 10pm – Tuesday, April 21, 6pm
During the the annual Yom HaShoah commemoration, the Reading of the Names, members of synagogues and the JCC, students and other groups on the Upper West Side take turns reading the names of victems of the Shoa. This begins at 10pm and continues through the night, and through the next day until late afternoon.

This year we are reading from Memorial to the Jews Deported from France 1942-1944 by Serge Klarsfeld. This extraordinary volume is organized by the date of the “convoys” which transported Jews from France to the camps in the east.  This year the all-night reading will take place at Congregation Shaare Zedek, 93rd Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.


honors Yom HaShoah with a special marathon of films remembering the righteous saviors of Jews during the Holocaust. Co-sponsored by the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and The Simon Wiesenthal Center.


And my friend, Ernie Adams, has had his book published! You have the opportunity to meet him, hear his moving story and experience his warmth and humor.

From Ghetto to Ghetto: An African American Journey to Judaism
A Memoir by Ernest Adams
From Harlem to the south to the Upper West Side, Ernest Adams’ new book is a fascinating memoir that delves into race and religion in America today.
Thu, Apr 30  Meet the Author Talk: 6:30 pm; Reception and Book Signing: 7:30 pm FREE

 JCC of Manhattan. 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue

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The Valmadonna Trust Library at Sotheby’s

Art, Events, Lily's notes, Literary event

The Valmadonna Trust Library is on display at Sotheby’s (72nd Street and York Ave, NYC) until Thursday February 19th at 5pm. Rush over and see this extraordinary collection while you can. This exhibit is for lovers of old books, manuscripts, Jewish learning, world and Jewish history and beautiful hand made book bindings.

If you cannot go, take the time to read this exhibit catalog.

The shelves are lined floor to ceiling with unique books, many open to particularly fascinating pages for viewing. The collection includes examples of nearly half of all of the earliest Hebrew printing, books from the Ottoman Empire, all of Europe, India and the Far East and Africa.

Open Haggadda

Open Haggadda

Each book is a story; it is awesome to see the complete Bomberg Babylonian Talmud, originally acquired by Henry VIII (hoping to find something in support of divorce), which arrived too late to help him out of his dilemma. These volumes of Talmud sat unused for 400 years in Westminster Abbey until acquired by the trust in exchange for a copy of the original charter for the Abbey. They are in perfect condition. It is wonderful to see them in great condition, especially after considering the  history of Talmud burning and censorship in Europe by Christian authorities.

On display are many volumes from various cities in Italy from the golden age of printing, also a small volume which was first book ever published in Africa, there are ”broadsides”, that is, calendars and public notices and a charming Alef-Bet chart with illustrations of animals for teaching young children to read, all meant for temporary use which have somehow survived for so many centuries, and there are books from every community that had a Jewish population.

Samaritan Torah

Samaritan Torah

Also, a room of fine manuscripts which includes a  Samaritan Torah Scroll in the original ancient Hebrew alef-bet. The Samaritan Torah contains an eleventh commandament: to meet at Mount Seir for the annual sacrifice of a lamb for Pesach (Passover). There are other much less dramatic differences as well.

The books are secular as well as religious.

This is the largest collection of Jewish books in private ownership. The Trust intends to sell this as one collection to an institution. This photo was taken with the permmission of Mr. Lunzer and his daughter, when we went back for a second visit.

Jack Lunzer and Daughter

Jack Lunzer and Daughter

A steady stream of visitors fill the galleries of the exhibit and the curator gives a tour full of explanations and colorful stories about this wonderful collection. You can feel the viewer’s pleasure with these volumes. It feels like a pilgrimage of love of the book, a love of learning and Jewish history. We are going back again today and take our time looking over favorite parts of the exhibit.

Why is it called the Valmadonna Trust? The Trust’s custodian, Jack Lunzer of Britain,  considered buying land near Valmadonna, Italy before WWII, he didn’t buy but he liked the name and used it for the Trust.*** Before you all ask: He made his money in industrial diamonds.

Let’s hope that this library is acquired by a great institution, a university or museum and available in the future. Perhaps it belongs at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

*** Caroline corrected this and says that Mr Lunzer did buy the land near Valmadonna Italy after WWII.  Please see her full comment below the photos.

Since the exhibit is now closed, I have added these photos, all by Jeff French Segall, for those of you who were not able to see this exhibit at Sotheby´s.

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Van Gogh at MoMA, 535 West End Ave, and the “Unseen”

Art, Lily's notes, Literary event, Theater, Uncategorized

Update: The building crews have been at work on 535 West End Avenue (see previous postings) and there is now visible construction above street level.

Can’t help but wonder how will they sell these $14 Million  dollar apartments during this economic downturn and crisis?

Perhaps they will have to redo their plans and make more apartments that are smaller than 10 bedrooms with 7 baths…time will tell.


The new Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night exhibit now at the MoMA is a lesson in the beauty and skill of painting- like notes from one painter to all others. The show has a small number of works and is in small galleries, and although I saw it at a member’s preview, it was still crowded. But go, and have some patience, it is so worthwhile. 

Each  inch of canvas seems alive. The incredible emotion and color of his work are still, and always, so moving. It is there until January 5, 2009.

If you are not a MoMA member, order your tickets on line in advance and you will be able to see the show on the day of your visit, otherwise you need to get a special timed ticket when you enter the museum and you can not be sure to get in to this special exhibit.


Put this on your go see list:

on Sun, Oct 5, 3 pm

Performing Arts: Sin: A Staged Reading

Starring Academy-Award winning actor F. Murray Abraham
Based on a work by Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer and adapted by Mark Altman from The Unseen. Directed by Robert Kalfin.

A hilarious and moving tale of devilish deeds by a master storyteller who has dwelt in both the old world and in modernity. Co-sponsored with Highbrow Entertainment.

Sun, Oct 5, 3 pm at the JCC of Manhattan

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WritopiaLab’s First Spectacular Year and Reading in Bryant Park

Literary event

WritopiaLab, the unique community of young writers, has completed it’s first year of existence, and what a spectacular year it has been. There are now FOUR, yes count them, FOUR branches of WritopiaLab, and if you visit their website, you will see a lovely large Golden Apple Teacher Award from Scholastic, awarded to the teacher with the largest number of Scholastic Writing Competition Winners in the nation. That’s correct, in the nation.

Yesterday, well over 125 people attended the third public reading of WritopiaLab’s young writers under a tent in Bryant Park, which is adjacent to the main branch of the New York Public Library. This included writers, friends, family and park passers-by.

I am sure that Patience and Fortitude appreciated the patience and fortitude of the readers and listeners who sat through the rain and wind. It felt like an August day in San Francisco, bone chilling, but it was an inspiring and completely satisfying afternoon. I would not have been any where else.

Rebecca Wallace-Segall, the award-winning founder/Director of WritopiaLab, introduced each young writer before they read. We heard from young poets, short story writers, memoirists and a journalist. Many were award winners, many will surely be in the future.

Rebecca introduced some of the new writer/teachers who will lead up-coming workshops who were present, including the author Deborah Siegel.

Visit, buy an anthology, buy a tee shirt, come to the next public reading.

The young writers of WritopiaLab will inspire you.

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WritopiaLab, an Extraordinary Community of Young Writers

Literary event

GothamGirl received this letter and invitation from WritopiaLab’s award winning Director, Rebecca Wallace-Segall. If you are not familiar with WritopiaLab, be sure to visit WritopiaLab’s site and mark your calendar for this event, if you will be in New York City on May 18.

I have attended past public readings of these young, articulate, insightful writers and can tell you they will move and surprise you with their accomplishments as writers.  

 “Dear family, friends, and fans of local young writers,Writopia Lab’s writers have been arduously developing short stories, memoirs, op-eds, scripts, and poetry over the past six months and are thrilled to finally share them with you at Bryant Park on Sunday, May 18th, from noon to 3:00pm! Please find an invitation attached to extend to anyone you wish. There will be seating for over 100 and a tent set up in case of rain. This is a celebration. Our middle and high schoolers have garnered more regional and national awards from Scholastic’s Art & Writing Awards than any other group of students in the country. And the amazing truth is this: Even those who did not win regional or national awards this year submitted exceptional work. All of us at Writopia Lab are so proud of each and every one of our writers.Our youngest writers (ages 9-13) will read from noon to 1:30pm. Our teens will read from 1:30-3:00pm. Please feel free to come and go as you wish. “Bryant Park is between 6th Avenue and the main branch of the Public Library, between 40th and 42nd streets in Manhattan.

Gianni Longo, in A Guide to Great American Public Places, called the park:

“…one of the most sensual, graceful open spaces in New York City.”

The park’s site includes a webcam.

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