Bintel Blog

A Living Lens: File Under Fate?

By Alana Newhouse

  • Print
  • Share Share
I just received the following note from Julian Voloj, a wonderful photographer who—in addition to being the husband of former Forward staffer Lisa Keys—also contributed many of the contemporary photos found in the last chapter of “A Living Lens.” He wrote:

“A few days ago, I received an e-mail in Spanish from a distant relative in Israel. Since my father got into genealogy, we are now in touch with relatives all over the world. David Lederman, who wrote me the e-mail, lived for a long time in Latin America, and since my Hebrew is hardly existent, we communicate in Spanish.

For years now, David, who is retired, documents our family history. He has a collection of rare photos, and among these images was a picture of his maternal grandfather, Nachum Levi Nussbaum, published in the Forward (see picture). He did not know the exact date, but only that it was taken at a Rally at Madison Square Garden some time before 1946, the year Nachum died in New York.

When the book “A Living Lens” came out, David decided to buy it – not that easy if you live in Israel – and to see if the photo was reprinted in the book. Unfortunately, the book did not include this photo, but on page 15 he found a photo of the Forward archives. One of the folders on this picture had the label ‘Rally at Mad. Sq. Garden — 1938.’

Maybe the original of the photo was in this folder, David thought, and in order to find out about it, he wanted to see if he could contact maybe the photographer who took it — and saw my name. Coincidence? Fate? I don’t know, but a nice story to share.

For those of you who read German, see Julian’s blog post here.

Alana Newhouse, the Forward’s Arts & Culture editor, is touring the country, speaking about her new book “A Living Lens: Photographs of Jewish Life From the Pages of the Forward.”

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: On the Road, A Living Lens

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel:
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war?
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah:
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.