The work of the historian is to not only tell a story, but to tell it in a way that makes it real, vivid, alive, and human for the receiver. I learned this on Monday when I had the privilege of attending the Matrix Awards and hearing Doris Kearns-Goodwin’s acceptance speech. This wisdom instantly struck a chord because it describes exactly why I write and what I want to do with my writing.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, is this Sunday. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think about the Holocaust very often.
When I come across some literature, a news clip, a movie, obviously. I pause and take note. An extra moment to notice. To think. My heart skip a beat. My eyes tear up. And I always feel just a titch helpless. And then I move on.
This piece was written as a part of JWA's discussion of the significance of physical places and spaces in Jewish women's history. Share your stories with us as we get ready to put Jewish women "On the Map."
This week I had the opportunity to screen a documentary about a community of Holocaust survivors who bought a bungalow colony in the Catskills called the Four Seasons Lodge to spend their summers together at each year. I was looking forward to seeing the film after my cousin sent me a link to the trailer. I knew exactly why she was so excited about it -- the survivors in the trailer acted and sounded exactly like our grandparents, Ben and Rose Berkenwald.
Friday is StoryCorps' National Day of Listening. Since you can order your Making Trouble DVDs conveniently online at www.makingtrouble.com, there is no need to go shopping on Black Friday. Instead, join Storycorps and sit down with a loved one and record their story. Ellen wrote about the National Day of Listening last year, and explained why the tradition of listening is so important to Jews, especially in the context of Thanksgiving, a holiday important to many Americans with immigration histories.
"Do Jews celebrate Thanksgiving?" a friend's Catholic grandmother asked her the other day. "Of course, they do," she replied, rolling her eyes. Indeed, in many American Jewish families, Thanksgiving is observed with nearly as much sacredness as (in some cases, even more than) the High Holidays.