Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Wiesel, Sharansky address JFNA General Assembly

Elie Wiesel and Natan Sharansky reflected on the 1987 March on Washington for Soviet Jewry during a special plenary session of the Jewish Federations of North America's General Assembly. 

The discussion Monday in Baltimore featuring Wiesel, a Nobel laureate, and Sharansky, a Soviet refusenik who planned the historic march that helped free Soviet Jewry, was moderated  by Laura Bialis, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of the Foundation for Documentary Projects. Sharansky is now the chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel.

During the GA, which ended Tuesday, the first-ever report on inclusion of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender within Jewish organizations in North America was released during a special reception.

Michael Siegal of Cleveland was installed as the new board chair of JFNA.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the conference in a taped message.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, served as scholar in residence for the gathering.


The Odd Story of the Obama-Wiesel Book A bizarre story Elie Wiesel and President Obama are teaming for book came out a few days before the U.S. elections during a Haaretz interview with Elie Wiesel.
Much of his time is devoted to writing: “I am always working on something, even now. But I can’t tell you about it. I believe in superstitions. You don’t talk about a child who hasn’t been born.”

He did, however, agree to disclose an interesting project that will resume after the presidential elections in the United States. “[President Barack] Obama and I decided to write a book together, a book of two friends,” he says.

News of the book project came as a surprise considering the high-profile nature of the authors to-be. I asked a few people who are in the publishing know whether or not they had heard of the project and none of them had. As it turns out, at least according to reports today, it’s not happening.

The subscription-only Publisher’s Lunch, citing a source close to Obama, reported that there is no book and no book deal, the Forward reported Tuesday.

So what gives? I’m asking for someone who never buys the right gifts for Hanukkah.

Elie Wiesel Is Up to His Neck in Work [Haaretz]
Report: Wiesel, Obama Not Buying Book [JTA]

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