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November 14, 2003 - Image 83

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-11-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

National Foundation For Jewish Culture
Board of Directors 2003-2004

CHARLOTTE NEWBERGER=-

Ctiainnan of the Board

::JAMES M. AUGUST- BLOOMFIELD HILLS,

MI

Vice Presidents

ANNE E. ABRAMSON- BETHESDA,

E.

MD

ROBERT GOODIUND- NEW YORK, NY

ALAN S. KAN'NOF- NEW YORK, NY

ROBERT S. RIFIUND- NEWYORK, NY

MARIaRY C. SLAVIN- TucsoN, AZ
MARILYN YOLLES WALDMAN- SAN FRANCISCO, CA

ANnA L, WORNICK- HILLSBOROUGH, CA

GARY ZELTZER- PORT WASILLNGTON, NY

Secretary

LINDA PLATT- SAN DIE. GO, CA-

Board of Directors

ANITA

ABRAMOWITZ= SAN FRANCISCO, CA
LAURA COHEN APELBAUM-NEW YORK, NY
• JUDY APTEICAR- LOS _ALTOS HILLS, CA

- JOAN ARNOW- SCARSDALE, NY

DAVID BERGER - FOREST HILLS, NY
THEODORE BIKEL- LOS ANGELES, CA
DR. LEON BOTSTEIN- ANN.ANDALE ON THE HUDSON, NY
HOWARD BRAGMAN= Los ANGELES, CA
ARTHUR BRODY- AVENEL, NJ
DR. ROBERT CARROLL- LOS ANGELES, CA
NAOMI CASPE- GLENCOE, IL
ROSALIE COHEN- NEW ORLEANS, LA

PROF. RONALD C..CURHAN- BOSTON, MA
LORRAINE DELL- HOUSTON, TX
LINDA ESSAKOW - BEVERLY thus, CA
KAREN L. EISNER - NEM,' YORK, NY

t I Y FELNBERG- PALM DESERT, CA
Rum C. FLVLER- CRANSTON, RI

DIANE FRANKEL- SAN FRANCISCO, CA
EAN FRIEDMAN- BEVERLY HILLS, CA
AVID L. GARFINIa.E- CHICAGO; IL
DAVID GILNER - CLNCLNNATI, OH„
BERTRAM H. GOLD- NEW YORK, NT
STANLEY P. GOLD- LOS ANGELES, CA
ARNOLD C. GREENBERG- WEST HARTFORD; CT

JOSEPH D. HLTRWITZ- WEST HARTFORD, CT

_

PEGGY JALENAK, MEMPHIS, TN
SUSAN KAPLA.N- BOSTON, MA
GERSHON KEKST- NEW YORK, NY
EN KLUTZNIC.K- SAN FRANosco, CA
BARBARA KOHL-SPIRO- 'MILWAUKEE WI

LtoYD P. LEvnc- .MILWAUKEE, WI
JANET LOWENSTELN- SOUTH ORANGE, NJ
JEANNE R. MARTIN- CHICAGO, IL
ALAN MINTZ - NEWTON, MA

_

SYLVIA NEIL- CHICAGO, IL
BRENT NESTOR- NEW YORK, NY
JERRY OFFSAY- Los ANGELES, CA
STANLEY H. PANTOVvICH- NEW YORK, NY
MARTIN' PERETZ- CAMBRIDGE, MA

BRUCE M. RAMER- Los ANGELES, CA
AMY RULE- CHICAGO, IL
LAURA SCHEUER- - NEW YORK, NY
M. SIGMUND SHAPIRO- B.ALTLMORE, MD
DR. DAVID SIDORSKY- NEW YORK, NT
DR. SUSAN SMERD- PITTSBURGH, PA
CAROL BRENNGLASS SPINNER- NEW YORIC, NY
DR. RENEE STANLEY- DALLAS, TX
JOELLE STEEFEL- SAN FRANCISCO, CA
HELEN STERN- PORTLAND, OR
DIANE STILWELL-WEINBERG- CHICAGO," IL
EMILY STONE- NEW YORK, NY

STEPHEN D. SUSMAN - HOUSTON, TX
ANA. J. TANNEBAUM - CHIC.AGO, IL
DAVID R. TOOMEM - Haus-roN, TX
LOTS WANDER - SAN FRANCISCO, CA
SETH P. W;XMAN - WASHINGTON, DC
KAREN GANTZ ZAHLER- NEW YORK, NY

continued from page 15

Dara Horn

exclaimed in Hebrew: "Oy to me, for I am devas-
tated!—for I am a man of impure lips, and I dwell
among a people of impure lips." An angel then
took a live coal from the altar and touched it 0
Isaiah's lips, searing him into prophecy.
Prophecy has long faded among the children of
Israel, and as a 26-year-old mortal, I have yet to wi
ness the divine throne. But I have had glimpses o
hidden worlds. When I met my husband in colleg
he mentioned that he knew a little Yiddish. I didn't
believe him, of course. I assumed he just meant that
he knew a few curse words, or maybe that he too
liked to laugh when he heard the word "oy." But the
night after my very first Yiddish class, I read alou
to him from my textbook—and he suddenly starte
translating as I read. What I remember most clear-
ly about that evening, the first night of my discovery
of an entire buried world that has nourished my
writing in every moment since, wasn't just that my
future husband knew the difference between
metaphor and reality. It was that unlike everyone
else to whom I had mentioned that I was learning
Yiddish, he didn't laugh.
There is a saying in Yiddish that a mentsh trakht
un got lakht – a person thinks, and God laughs – and
I often suspect that we are being laughed at for our
romance with a language that we don't bother to
know. Perhaps what we need is the searing coal of
an angel to burn the oy from our lips, to make us
stop imagining a dead language and start reading,
learning, and seeing the real – to make us finally
open our books and our mouths, and choose life.

continued from page 21

Janet Burstein

she carries a priceless ancient manuscript and is,
herself, a vessel that contains – and can perform =-
the treasured narratives of the past. She summons
into the small world of the novel the drama-and the
beauty of that wide past, demonstrating its persist-
ence within this long exile.
In all these works the contemporary . midrashic
impulse is performing the work of collective mem- .
ory. It draws awareness back to our sources. It
remembers for us: that we are not the first of our
kind to take the risk of looking backward, to know
despair of the world, to struggle against ourselves,
to hurt what we would love, and to wander in a
wilderness with only the stories of a collective past
and a promised future to strengthen our hearts.

Jewish

Literary Supplement

Literary Prizes
Fiction

2002-2003

Hadassah Magazine's Harold Ribalow Prize:

Aryeh Lev Stollman

The Illuminated Soul

Jonathan Safran Foer

Everything is Illuminated

The Samuel Goldberg & Sons Foundation Prize
for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers (an award
of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture):

Gary Shteyngart

The Russian Debutante's Handbook

Koret Jewish Book Award (in cooperation with
the National Foundation for Jewish Culture):

Henryk Grynberg; translated by Alicia Nitecki

and edited by Theoclosia Robertson

Drohobycz, Drohobycz and Other Stories:

True Tales from the Holocaust and Life After

National Jewish Book Award:

Dara Horn

In the Image

Reform Judaism. Prize for Jewish Fiction:

Dara Horn

In the Image

And don't forget these Jewish books

just out in paperback:

Steve Almond's My Life in Heavy Metal

Jon Papernick's The Ascent of Eli Israel

Paul Zakrzewski's Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge

Letty Coffin Pogrebin's Three Daughters

Zadie Smiths The Autograph Man

Elizabeth Rosner's The Speed of Light

David Grossman's Be My Knife

Gabriel Brownstein's The Curious Case of Benjamin
Button Apt. 3W

NATfONAL FOUNDAT!ON FOR JEWISH CULTURE

23

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