From New York to France And On to Poland

ON THE GO

By Masha Leon

Published October 01, 2004, issue of October 01, 2004.
  • Print
  • Share Share

It was “Shalom-Shalom” at the September 9 reception at B’nai Zion for Israel’s incoming consul general to New York, Arye Mekel, and outgoing ambassador, Alon Pinkas. Sponsors of the simcha were the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, United Jewish Communities, State of Israel Bonds/Development Corporation for Israel Bonds and the Jewish National Fund.

James Tisch offered a “warm goodbye” to “an extraordinary consul.” NYC Council Speaker Gifford Miller credited Pinkas with “turning me to Israel” (and told me “[Alon] was my mentor… coached me into singing ‘HaTikvah.’)”

Among the noshing and networking were Abe Foxman, Morton Klein, Malcolm Hoenlein, Michael Miller, Ruth Popkin, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld and Lester Pollack.

* * *

“Despite the acts of antisemitism that have taken place in many European countries, against which we are all fighting with all our strength and energy… I want to convey to you all this first message of trust and friendship,” said the newly appointed consul general, Francois Delattre, at the September 8 launch of “France Guide for the Jewish Traveler,” at the French Consulate.

Jean-Philippe Perol, director, Americas, of the Maison de la France, The French Government Tourist Office, touted “a walking tour of Paris’s Marais area’s “Pletzel” (Yiddish for “little place”); the Memorial to the Unknown Jewish Martyr, dedicated to the 6 million Jews who perished in World War II,” and “the Deportation Memorial, located on the Ile de la Cité, the walls of which are inscribed with the names of 200,000 French men, women and children, Jew and Christian alike, who were assassinated in the Nazi camps.” (The text correctly notes: “were put to death.”)

* * *

Ambivalence was palpable at New York’s Polish consulate during the September 9 presentation about the progress of the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews in Warsaw. The event was set to boost support for “a state-of-the art center, unlike any other in the world, meant to celebrate the 1,000-year Jewish presence in Poland,” was unexpectedly sidetracked.

Michael Steinlauf, an associate professor of history at Gratz College, offered an overview of Polish-Jewish history, but the mostly Polish-Jewish-Holocaust survivor audience did not need a lecture about their own history and did not expect the unsettling experience of hearing Steinlauf read an excerpt from “Mein Kampf” in which Hitler describes his revulsion at seeing a Jew in an “Eastern kaftan” on a street in Vienna!

The museum, designed by Frank Gehry, is to be built opposite the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Memorial and will be “a center of tolerance, safeguarding the young against xenophobia and antisemitism.” Its exhibits will include “A Virtual Tour Through the Golden Age of Jewish Life in Poland” and “A Walk Through the Heart of Jewish Warsaw.” (In truth, the museum’s “virtual tour of the heart of Jewish Warsaw” will have as an eternal witness beneath its foundation the razed streets such as the ones I lived on — Leszno, Pawia and Swieto-Jierska, site of the ghetto’s last bunkers.)






Find us on Facebook!
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.