The two greatest Jewish inventions of the 20th century are, to my mind at least, Hollywood and Israel.
Polish journalist Hanna Krall's "The Woman From Hamburg: And Other True Stories" (Other Press, $19) is based on interviews she did that in some way involved the Holocaust. But when one of the 12 stories was recently featured in The New Yorker's fiction issue, an accompanying note explained that her writing is indeed factual.
The 60-something Krall was a reporter for Polityka from 1957 to 1981 when martial law was imposed and her publications were banned. Her award-winning books have been translated into 15 languages, (the English version is by Madeline G. Levine). Yet the boundary between fact and fiction can seem blurred in her work, for Krall writes in an unadorned but intimate style, moving in fractured time, creating a rhythm that might resemble contemporary fiction.
Few academic disputes are fiercer than among biblical archaeologists, and "Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land" is bound to raise the tone of the arguments by a few more octaves.
The hour-long NOVA documentary, airing on PBS station KCET on Nov. 23 at 8 p.m., follows an expedition to a remote cave in Israel's Judean Desert, initially excavated by famed soldier and archaeologist Yigael Yadin in 1960.
When visiting Berlin you can't miss the golden dome of the New Synagogue on Oranienburger Strasse. It towers over the city skyline and stands as a reminder of the rich history of Berlin Jewry. Crowned with the Star of David, the dome also reminds us of persecution and near destruction.