Bintel Blog

A Living Lens: The Forverts Reunited Nava Semel's Family

By Alana Newhouse

  • Print
  • Share Share

From the mailbag: I just received a note from Israeli author and journalist Nava Semel. Ms. Semel was writing to alert us to the publication of her new book, “Israisland,” but she included a story that she rightly surmised might interest me.

“My American grandfather found out that his abandoned son survived the Holocaust through an article in the Yiddish Forward in 1946,” she wrote. “My late father Itzhak Artzi was then a young Zionist leader and he gave an interview to Forward correspondent in Paris. The interview was published in New York and my grandfather saw it. Forward is indeed responsible for uniting my family and ending the split.”


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: A Living Lens, On the Road

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.


Comments
Paul Golin Thu. Jan 31, 2008

Hi Alana, While perhaps not as dramatic, I too have family that reconnected through the pages of the Yiddish Forward. My grandfather's niece survived the war because she had coincidentally been visiting friends in Russia-proper when Germany attacked the then Russian-controled part of Poland where they lived. She stayed in Russia after the war, married and had a daughter. During the Soviet era, she had sporatic contact with my grandfather (my mom remembers as a child sending care-packages to "relatives in Europe"), but after my grandfather passed away in 1971, we lost all contact with her. I grew up unaware that I had relatives in Russia. That is, until the Iron Curtain fell and in about 1990, my grandmother read a classified ad in the Yiddish Forward...looking for her! Our relatives were planning to move to Israel. Thanks to the ad in the Forward, my family here was able to help them financially to move, and they are now living in Tel Aviv with two Israeli-born great-grandchildren of that original young woman who was cut off from her family in Russia during World War II. (Thank you, Forward!) There may be tons of stories like these... Paul Golin




Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • 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.