Sophia Marie Unterman
By Sophia Marie Unterman
My Grandmother’s Harrowing Journey From Nazi Germany To America
She crossed so many borders I started to lose track: Poland into Germany via cattle car; Germany into Czechoslovakia on foot; Czechoslovakia into Germany when she and her parents fell asleep in a (supposedly) broken-down train car that inched back into service while they slept; Germany into Canada on a steamer, loaded down with a…
As We Celebrate Our Exodus, Let’s Not Forget Our Role In Slavery
While most of New Orleans sits down to a dinner of red beans and rice, our seders will be beginning for us — porch doors flung open to let in Elijah (and the season’s first mosquitoes), bottles of wine clustered like brass quintets on tables as the corner church bells strike six. It’s Passover Louisiana…
Eat, Drink + Think
Fat Tuesday Our Way — The Best Jewish Food In New Orleans
Until Alon Shaya opened his amazing James Beard-award-winning Israeli restaurant in New Orleans, the city didn’t register as a place to go for Jewish food. But it turns out that Shaya is far from the only eatery offering excellent Jewish cuisine, whether Israeli or of the deli variety. Jews have been living in New Orleans…
Eat, Drink + Think
Gumbo Shabbat In New Orleans — Treyf But True?
I make the treyf groceries first. (In New Orleans, you “make” groceries; you don’t buy them.) Traffic inches along North Broad Street, everyone eager to start the weekend. The sun is a ripe satsuma hanging above the Mississippi, and the Superdome reflects the purple sky. I have several stops to make before I even start…
On Mardi Gras, Are Jews Still Outsiders in New Orleans?
The Rex parade entered the city at the port, the procession stepping from a lavishly decorated boat that drifted down the Mississippi and docked at the foot of Canal Street. It was afternoon on Mardi Gras Day, 1872. Historian Ned Sublette describes the scene in his history of the city, “The Year Before the Flood:…
Is This Sugarcane Plantation ‘America’s Auschwitz’?
The April issue of Smithsonian magazine featured a piece entitled “Inside America’s Auschwitz,” on the Whitney Plantation as “a rebuke – and an antidote to our sanitized history of slavery.” I came across this piece online, and I was drawn to the provocative headline as well as the setting, a town less than an hour…
49 Reasons Why 2016 Wasn’t as Bad as You Think
I read Claudia Rankine’s “Citizen: An American Lyric” this summer, as I started a new job, teaching at a high-needs public school in New Orleans. Soon before the school year began, Alton Sterling was shot and killed by a white police officer in nearby Baton Rouge. I tried to process the onslaught of police murders…
How Do You Teach the Holocaust to Kids Who’ve Never Heard of It?
By the time my third-grade teacher assigned Lois Lowry’s “Number the Stars,” I already had a basic understanding of the Holocaust. We sat in a circle to discuss the text as part of a lunchtime book club. My fellow classmates expressed awe at how scary it must have been for the main character to hide…
Billy Crystal’s fake Yiddish was a Jewish standout at the Tonys — but how should Jews feel about it?
‘Whose religious freedom?’: Scenes from a Jewish rally for abortion rights
On Bob Dylan’s 81st birthday, his 10 most Jewish songs
New York Voices
99 years ago, she was born on the Lower East Side (and she still remembers everything)
In Case You Missed It
ייִדיש־קלאַסן אויף דאַטשעYiddish classes in the countryדי ייִדיש־קלאַסן וועלן לערנען יודזשין אָרנשטיין, דוד בראַון, מרים אײַזיקס, שיין בייקער און מיכל יאַשינסקי.
I’m glad Coach Kennedy can pray at the 50 yard line
Norwegian Jews seek changes to national calendar that ignores most of their holidays
De Blasio says he no longer supports AIPAC, and wouldn’t accept its endorsement if offered