(7-int ("Jhe 7to-lidays!
The final resting spot of Marcel Proust, Modigliani
and Gertrude Stein.
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Take the Mystery out of Mortgages
Q: Are any Jews buried in the
famed Pere-Lachaise Cemetery in
A: As a matter of fact, a num-
ber of Jews are buried at the
cemetery, which draws hun-
dreds of visitors each day. Thou-
sands of trees, and birds and
cats, call Pere-Lachaise home;
it also is the final resting place
of such famous Jews as Sarah
Bernhardt, Gertrude Stein,
Amadeo Modigliani, many
members of the Rothschild fam-
ily, and Marcel Proust.
The cemetery is one of the
most prestigious in France,
where visitors can see the
graves of such figures as com-
posers Francis Poulenc and
Frederic Chopin, authors Os-
car Wilde and Honore de
Balzac, dancer Isadora Duncan
and yes, even the great Jim
Morrison. (And Jim, if you're
reading this, take a grammar
background. Regarded the
greatest actress of her time, she
is buried under a grey arched
tomb, as is artist Amadeo
Modigliani, who shares a tomb
with his beloved Jeanne
Hebuterne, the mother of his
A: Interesting tales abound
only child. She was pregnant
about converts to Judaism, but
when she jumped from a win-
certainly one of the most un-
dow the day after Modigliani
usual belongs to that of Warder
Interestingly, visitors to Pere-
Cresson was born in 1798,
Lachaise also can see a monu-
the son of Quakers. He con-
ment honoring members of the
verted to various religions, in-
French Resistance, and recall-
cluding Mormonism, and
ing victims of the Holocaust.
worked as a farmer before
The latter shows a skeletal fig-
meeting up with Isaac Leeser
ure, his arms in despair at his
in the mid-1800s.
sides, his face reaching to the
A native of Germany, Rabbi
Leeser came to the United
States in 1824 to work for his
Q: I seem to remember hearing
uncle. He later served as the
something about a Jewish aboli-
cantor at a Sephardi congrega-
tionist who wrote an autobiography
tion, Mikveh Israel of Philadel-
about his experiences. Do you know
phia, and founded a Jewish
newspaper, the Occident. He
also started this
were a num-
country's first He-
ber of Jews
brew high school
active in the
and was the first
to introduce a ser-
mon, given in
English, at an
ed in visiting
was the au-
thor of the
protests from for-
mer Secretary of
who said Cresson
had been "labor- Sarah Bernhardt now lies under a grey, arched tomb at Paris' famed Pere-Lachaise lished in
ing under an cemetery.
He was born in 1833 in Vi-
aberration of the mind for refresher course at the Great
many years," he made it there Big College In The Sky, will enna, and settled as a young
in 1844. Four years later, Cres- you, pal? It's "I'm gonna love man in Kansas. He worked as
a store clerk, and he hated it.
son converted to Judaism.
you, `til the stars fall from the
But the insanity thing just sky for you and me," not "you Later, he established his own
trading post, then in 1855
wouldn't go away. Cresson re- and I.")
joined the abolitionist forces.
turned briefly to the United
Rarely seen without a bottle
Bondi believed slavery to be
States, where his wife and son of Evian water in his pocket,
tried to have him declared out Marcel Proust was the author a moral evil. To that end, he
of his mind. Cresson fought the of what many believe to be one served with the Union Army
measure, and in 1851 a jury of the greatest novels ever writ- during the Civil War. After the
war, he settled in Salina, Kan.,
backed him up.
ten, Remembrance of Things where he worked as a busi-
Cresson changed his name Past.
He is buried in a modest
to Michael Boaz Israel and re- tomb that bears only his name, nessman and lawyer.
turned to Jerusalem, where he date of birth and date of death.
became active in the fight
Actress Sarah Bernhardt
against Christian missionary was born a Jew and raised a Send questions to "Tell Me Why" "
groups. He married and lived Christian, though she always c to The Jewish News, 27676
the rest of his life in Eretz Yis- spoke with great affection of her Franklin Rd., Southfield, MI
48034 or send fax to 354-6069.
1:1: I once heard about a man who
converted to Judaism, then was de-
clared insane and moved to Israel,
or something along those lines.
Who was he? What was his story?