The Jewish Museum of New York has named Claudia Gould as its new director.
From five stories up, it’s pretty easy to see what he couldn’t, with the expanse of Independence Mall splayed out below. Washington’s newly recreated house is straight ahead, right next to the Liberty Bell Pavilion. One block to the left is Independence Hall and, to the right, the National Constitution Center.
With the fastest-growing Jewish community in Europe, Germany is both a somewhat comfortable haven for recently arrived Jews from the former Soviet Union, and a rather settled home for those Jews (mostly former displaced persons) who ended up there shortly after the war.
Samuel Bak's first art exhibit was in the Vilna ghetto when he was 9 years old. While the Nazis killed 75,000 Vilna residents, he and his mother emerged as just two of 200 survivors.
Some of that young boy's artwork, which depicted a culture that once was called "the Jerusalem of Lithuania," has survived the 20th century and can be found in the Lithuanian capital's Jewish museum. But Bak's storied 45-year career in painting also brings more than 40 of his works to Los Angeles for the two-month "Between Worlds" exhibit at the Finegood Gallery at the New Jewish Community Center at Milken in West Hills.
In August 1942, the Gestapo arrested Walter and Elisabeth Blumenthal, an elderly Jewish couple in Berlin. As they were driven away on a truck, a neighbor noticed Walter tossing something from the vehicle. The neighbor later retrieved the object: a brown leather wallet, elaborately embossed in gold with the initials WB.
So you've roamed the Coliseum, marveled at Florentine art and gamboled in gondolas and you're ready for a different side of Italy. Or perhaps you're about to dip a toe into Italian culture, including its little-known Jewish heritage, for the first time.
Venice is the famous city of romance, where boatmen serenade visitors with operatic arias in gondolas that glide through canals under charming bridges. Old buildings reflect in the water like an impressionist canvas of shimmering colors. Pink, red and orange blossoms hang from flower boxes on apartment windowsills, reflected in the water as exotic water lilies.
Anne Frank's house, a fabulous 17th century synagogue and an excellent heritage museum give Amsterdam special appeal for Jewish visitors. But they are all sites whose very existence reflect the city's incurable split personality, making for a sightseeing experience that constantly provides food for thought.
More than 300,000 visitors have thronged the Jewish Museum in Berlin since it opened to the public in February 1999, and more are coming at a clip of 20,000 each month.