Friday, September 22nd 2023   |

First Person

FIRST PERSON: For 1 Holocaust survivor, Siemens was a roadblock to his story


BERLIN (JTA) — I was 23 when I first met my cousin Gilbert Michlin. He was sitting at a brasserie near his office in Paris wearing a dark suit with a folded handkerchief poking out of the breast pocket. His short, dark hair was perfectly combed.

He said, in charmingly accented English, “There is one thing I must tell you: I was in Auschwitz.”

Of course, I...

Somebody’s Getting Married…Under the Chuppah!


Only this Jewish woman – this devoted, active, works-in-the Jewish community Jewish woman! – would meet and marry a man named Christian from Corpus Christi  (“Body of Christ”), TX!

In all seriousness, one of the realities of growing up and living in the South is that there are fewer Jews here.  If there are fewer Jews, it’s not surprising that within the Jewish community here, there are...

B’nai Mitzvah event has New Orleans Mardi Gras theme


I attended quite a unique family gathering in Sarasota, Florida this past weekend. My cousins were hosting a New Orleans-themed B’nai Mitzvah event. What made this celebration so distinctive was the two teens who were sharing the bimah weren’t siblings, as one might suspect, but first cousins. And they were also bound by another connection.  Both of the two celebrants’ Hebrew names were given in honor of their...

FEATURE: Israel’s friends in Gaza


(Jewish Ideas Daily) — Hamas was quick to declare victory in the latest conflict with Israel. A closer look at the price it paid in terms of personnel and equipment shows that its bravado was false. But the fact that Israel was able to destroy so many installations, weapons teams, smuggling tunnels, and high-ranking personnel, including Hamas’s military chief, Ahmed Jabari, reveals another, less evident fact: substantial numbers of...

FIRST PERSON: Freedom Sunday recalled 25 years later


NEW YORK (JTA) — Exactly 25 years ago on Dec. 6, more than 250,000 people gathered in Washington to call on the Kremlin to open the gates and let Soviet Jews emigrate. Freedom Sunday, as it came to be known, was the largest Jewish-organized gathering in American history. The timing was not random.

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was scheduled to meet with U.S. President Ronald Reagan the...

FIRST PERSON: Sometimes kids can make a point we didn’t think of first


SAN FRANCISCO (j weekly) — “You don’t mind me applying to West Point Military Academy, Mom, do you?”

“West Point?” I thought, surprised. But it was fall. Graduation seemed like light years away.

“Go ahead,” I said, trying to sound casual. “Let me know if you need anything,” I added on automatic pilot, not having a clue what might be needed.

My son Ohr thanked me politely...