Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

October's People

By: Gad Nahshon

Howard Squadron, Honorary President of the American Jewish Congress and a founder of the Conference of Mayors (1980) was awarded the title of "Amit Jerusalem" (Guardian of the City of Jerusalem) by its mayor, Ehud Olmert. It took place at the 19th Annual Jerusalem Conference of Mayors. Mayors from 27 countries attended this conference.

New leaders in America. New chairmen in the Conference of American Jewish Organizations. New Prime Minister in Israel. But there is one leader who always seems to stay like a rock: the Executive Director of the Conference of Presidents, Malcolm Noenbein. You cannot have a Jewish power in America without him. We admire his devotion to the Jewish people and Israel. We salute his effectiveness and ability to find a Jewish consensus.

Hostelling International- American Youth Hostels announced that the plaque commemorating the lives of James Charney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, originally installed at Freedom Place near West 60th Street, was rededicated in the Garden at Hostelling International- New York on the Upper West Side on April 25, 1999.

The rededication was part of a series of events in New York that commemorate the lives of the three young men who were murdered in Philadelphia, Mississippi on June 21, 1964 while working on civil rights activities. This year marks the 35th anniversary of their deaths.

They gave him a standing ovation. They loved his story of Jewish pride. He had a choice to appear as a star in "Phantom of the Opera" or to celebrate Sukkot with his family. His name is Dudu Fisher, an international star, a singer who was born in Israel. Dudu (David) Fisher is a religious man. He studied in Yeshiva in Israel and was later a famous cantor. He wears his "yarmulka" with pride.

Recently, he performed his one-man show "Never on Friday," a production of Ran Avni and the Jewish Repertory Theater (Playhouse 91). Fisher told the audience his life story in songs and humor. He told them about his dream to be Elvis Presley. . . He told them how he never compromised his beliefs. Fisher became a star because he performed on Broadway as Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables." But he never performed on Friday night or Saturday. "The Kipa, the yarmulka had influenced my career on the stage," said Fisher to his admirers, holding the Kipa in his hand. In the show, Fisher sang in Yiddish and in English but not in Hebrew. He sang about the Shetel bringing Jewish nostalgia to New York. His show was essentially a journey to his roots.

Dudu Fisher began singing in 1973 as a Cantor at Tel Aviv's Great Synagogue, where he quickly became known as one of the leading Cantors of the world. In 1987, he was cast as Jean Valjean in the Israeli production of "Les Miserables," which became Israel's biggest theatrical hit of all time. Following that performance, he was invited to reprise his role for a Royal Command performance for Queen Elizabeth II of England and subsequently on Broadway and London's West End. His international appearances include performances in music festivals all over the world, a command performance for the Royal Family of Thailand, being welcomed as the first Israeli entertainer to perform behind the Iron Curtain and at London's Wembley Auditorium for the World Cup Finals. In concert, he has sung with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, and the London Orchestra. His 14 albums include traditional Yiddish music, Cantorial music, Broadway and Pop songs. Recent projects have included hosting a weekly prime time television show in Israel, the filming of "The Road to Globy," a semi-autobiographical film about a cantor who becomes an opera star, and providing the voice of Moses in Steven Speilberg's "The Prince of Egypt."

They loved this violin and piano recital at the 92nd Street Y. The Hall was packed with people who came to listen to a great performance by violinist Raimundas Katilius and pianist Golda Vainberg-Tats. It was a special moment when Katilius played from the famous Yiddish song, the anthem of the Jewish partisans in World War II "Zog Nisht Keyn Mol" (Do not say that this is our last way). It is part of "Personal Verses," a composition (1999) by Jan Radzynski, a noted composer and teacher.

Don DeLillo has been named the recipient of this year's Jerusalem Prize, the international literary prize awarded during the Jerusalem International Book Fair to a writer whose work expresses the theme of the freedom of the individual in society. DeLillo is the first American writer to be awarded the Prize, which has been awarded every other year since 1963 to writers including Milan Kundera, Mario Vargas Llosa, and V.S. Naipaul.

The Prize was awarded by the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Ehud Olmert, in a ceremony held on June 23, 1999 at the 19th Jerusalem International Book Fair.

The judges, Meir Shamgai, Michael Govrin and Dan Tsalbu praised DeLillo's contribution to the struggle of human beings against the jaws of repression. DeLillo follows writers and poets such as Whitman or Dos Passos.

Among his many novels are: "Libra," "Mao II," "Players," and "Underworld."

The Jerusalem International Book Fair became a well-known cultural institution per se. Sixty countries participate each year, displaying 100,000 books.

La Mama E.T.C. will present the American premiere of "The Bride and the Butterfly Hunter" by Nissim Aloni (1926-1998), an Israeli playwright considered among the most outstanding and innovative of contemporary Hebrew language dramatists and whose works are already considered classical. Victor Attar and Geula Jeffet Attar (La Mama Tel-Aviv) will direct the troubling, Beckettian, two-character play, which is acted by Victor Attar and Liat Ron and translated by Valerie Arnon.

"The Bride and the Butterfly Hunter" (1966) has been defined in critical scholarship as a tragicomedy of fulfillment. Mee, a bride hiding from her bridegroom (who was late for their wedding) encounters Getz, an insurance agent whose secret passion is hunting butterflies that he will never catch. Alone together in an empty public park, they confess the reasons for their deliberate retreat from consummation of their cravings. Mee hides from the self-immolation she associates with marital bliss. Getz was inspired to his passion at his aunt's funeral, when a butterfly flew out of her grave (he rebels from the reality that a butterfly caught is a butterfly killed). Aloni had an aversion to clear-cut, explicit statements and his plays are replete with unsolved riddles and loose clues. The Jerusalem Post reported, during a recent revival of the play, "Powerful poetic vision, fantasy and imagination invest the text of this metaphysical extravaganza. Despite its romantic overtones and lyrical texture, its theme is disillusion, self-despair, the death of dreams, or alternately, the quest for the quest for the unattainable."

The production has music by Argentine-Israeli theater composer Mariano Wainstein, set design by Jan Rauchwerger, choreography by Neta Pulvermacher and lighting design by David Zeffrin.

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