Murray Cohen and his wife of 52 years, Lillian, were both Holocaust survivors. Since Lillian's death nine months ago, Murray spends most of his days inside. Without the attention of his daughter Barbara, Murray would hardly eat, shower or speak.
What is going on at the LA County Museum of Art? The museum's new Institute for Art and Cultures, which convenes painters, poets, artists and performers, writers and thinkers to "address critical issues in the visual arts and culture through rigorous and playful discussions, performances and debates," has landed in our midst and overnight become a central presence. The Institute also happens to be reminding the rest of us that LA Culture exits.
In the living room of her Newport Beach home, Flory Van Beek reaches up to a shelf and takes down a plain-white book the size of an encyclopedia and engraved with a Star of David. "This was published by the Dutch government," she says. "It has the names of the almost 140,000 Dutch Jews who died during the war." Flory flips through the book, searching for her mother's name.
Hundreds of people turned out for the Simon Weisenthal Center Museum of Tolerance's one-day symposium, "A Call to Freedom." The conference, held last month, highlighted the plight of black slaves in Sudan and Mauritania, where today, "tens of thousands of blacks are sold into slavery, raised like slaves and have the deadened expressions of men and women who know no other life but the life of a slave," said Sam Cotton, author of "Silent Terror," a book describing his secret trip to Mauritania where he interviewed slaves.