Sure enough, as I was signing books, I saw the aunt walking toward the table. She was holding the photograph like a treasure and, after introducing herself as Barbara Helfant, presented it to me with ebullient pride. I looked down at the picture and smiled.
“Mrs. Helfant, how’s your Yiddish?” I asked.
“Oh, I don’t speak Yiddish. I just picked up the paper at Lieberman’s Royal House in Mount Freedom, N.J. Why?”
“Because the newspaper you’re reading in this photo is not the Forverts. It’s the Tog, one of our competitors.”
I inscribed her book, “To Barbara Helfant — After 60 years, FINALLY a Forward reader.”
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.”