Marilyn Henry was the quintessential old-school girl reporter — more Hildy Johnson in “His Girl Friday” than Brenda Starr. Her laser-sharp brain could cut through the most complex philosophical, financial, legal, religious and arcane data to get to the heart of a story.
The death of Brazilian fabulist Moacyr Scliar, at the age of 73, on February 27, in his native Porto Alegre, represents the loss of Latin America’s most popular Jewish writer of his generation, and the most influential.
Chava Rosenfarb, who died on January 30 at the age of 87 in Lethbridge, Alberta, was a Yiddish prose writer and poet who made her mark as a postwar Yiddish writer in Canada. One of the few female novelists in Yiddish, Rosenfarb was a Holocaust survivor whose landmark Holocaust trilogy — published in 1972 and translated between 2004 and 2006 as “The Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto” — remains one of the seminal works of fiction about the Holocaust in any language.
Lou Henkin, founding father of human rights law and a leading light of Columbia Law School’s faculty, was a central figure in so many different communities — among those working in the human rights field, legal academics and lawyers, as well as in the Jewish community. To my mind, these different passions in Henkin’s life were all related and reinforced each other. Indeed, the strength of Henkin’s religious faith both shaped and drove his work to safeguard the integrity and dignity of individuals.
Motl Zelmanowicz, activist in American Jewish socialist and Yiddishist causes and longtime member of the Forward Association, died October 16 at the age of 95.