A new bookshelf, overflowing with volumes, testifies to Gady Levy's latest and perhaps most ambitious endeavor: the Celebration of Jewish Books, which begins on Monday and extends through an all-day festival on Sunday. The celebration will offer lectures and signings with 40 authors -- including big names, such as Larry King, Michael Chabon, Kirk Douglas and Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) -- plus music and dance performances, food and a thousand titles for sale, provided by Borders and the Hebrew-language bookseller Steimatzky.
Gady Levy, the dean of continuing education at the University of Judaism, faces a question familiar to Broadway and Hollywood producers.
Thomas "Toivi" Blatt overpowered concentration camp guards during a mass escape by several hundred prisoners. Nechama Tec evaded Nazi detection by leading a double life, passing for three years as the daughter of Catholic Poles.
Assuming a Christian identity saved Tec, but the experience left her with the bitter feeling that she had betrayed herself and her fellow Jews. Now a University of Connecticut sociology professor, Tec has written several books that explore the mix of motivations in rescuers and resisters of the Holocaust.
Thomas Toivi Blatt, now 84, will recount his teenage experience witnessing and fleeing the Polish death camp Sobibor. Blatt, who has also written about his account, is hoping to establish an organization to maintain the site, which is not marked, said Dr. Marilyn Harran, director of Chapman University's Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education.
The struggle for peace in Israel may take years or even generations, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak told a crowd of over 6,200 people at the Universal Amphitheater on April 21. Barak was the final speaker in the University of Judaism's (UJ) department of continuing education lecture series, which featured Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright and James Carville. The sold-out series, organized by the dean of UJ's continuing education department, Gady Levy, has brought much money and prestige to the university, and will be continued next year, Levy said.