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Culture

RBG Attended An Amos Oz Commemoration In DC

On the afternoon of March 31, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a rare public appearance at the Temple Sinai synagogue in Washington, DC to pay her respects to Israeli author Amos Oz, who died of cancer in December at the age of 79.

Ginsburg, who has been keeping a low profile since undergoing surgery for lung cancer in December, told Oz’s daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger that she was a fan of her father’s writing, Haaretz reported.

Left-wing Jewish organizations, including the New Israel Fund and Americans for Peace Now and the Oz-supported J Street coordinated the commemoration for Oz.

Ginsburg did not make public comments, but listened to speeches by Oz-Salzberger, The New York Times columnist Roger Cohen and J Street founder Jeremy Ben Ami.

In his speech, Cohen said Oz “was proud of his country, belonged to his country. Fought for it. Excavated it. Loved it, as one loves an unruly child.”

According to The Jerusalem Post, Ben Ami’s remarks called for a renewed commitment to honoring Oz’s liberal ideals. “The best way I can think of to honor the legacy and the memory of the man who inspired me so deeply, is not just to celebrate the clarity of the values for which he stood, but to commit to fight for them now that he is no longer here.”

RBG has a growing pop culture footprint following two 2018 films and even an SNL sendup. But the Justice wasn’t the only visible figure in the mix on Sunday.

Israeli-born Oscar-winner Natalie Portman, who adapted Oz’s “A Tale of Love and Darkness” into a film, submitted a video speech for the event. In the clip Portman said Oz was “always looking forward” to the day Israel could live in peace alongside its Arab neighbors.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture intern. He can be reached at Grisar@Forward.com.

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