“I hope you have a notebook where you take down anecdotes,” William Safire told me the first time we met. I muttered something about how, on Bill Clinton’s speechwriting team, we had several researchers who compiled loose-leaf binders with stories about people who’d met the president, told him about their problems, or thanked him for proposing policies that would improve their lives.
Despite the row ahead of his performance, when Leonard Cohen began his sell-out Tel Aviv concert Thursday, September 24, there wasn’t a hint of awkwardness about coming to Israel.
Leonard Cohen’s plan to play a sister concert to his Israel gig in Ramallah was scuppered due to pressure from western academics and not primarily due to objections from within the Palestinian community, Cohen’s manager, Robert Kory, told the Forward.
David Remes, a Washington attorney who left a major corporate law firm to take on full-time representation of terrorism suspects held in the American detention center here, recalled vividly one of his early visits to meet with his clients.
The 18 men praying together early on a recent Friday morning, wrapped in tefillin and tallitot, didn’t exactly look like squatters. Their Orthodox synagogue, in the Mill Basin section of Brooklyn, also seemed fairly permanent. A hulking, wooden ark sat against one wall. Bookshelves filled with religious texts covered another. A blue velvet clothwith the embroidered name of the congregation, Machzikei Torah, lay on top of a dais dominating the room.