Herd Immunity

Brooklyn BLM 2020 protest

When COVID took hold of our lives confusion reigned supreme. Uncertainty became the norm and fear the standard. COVID was categorized as a “war” against an “invisible enemy.” We were told that in order to “stay safe,” we must follow simple hygiene guidelines and keep a distance from fellow human beings. The message is clear: you are safer alone.

And indeed, as countries began to open up and air got warmer we started stepping out. I thought I began to feel safe again. Then a clear-as-glass video surfaced, a collage of images of the inconceivable modern-day execution of George Floyd…

Read the rest

Memory of (be)Longing

View from a bus – Suburban MD. USA

A few nights ago, on what seems like another meal, in another day, in a life that loops rather than move in a straight line, I looked at my wife and kids and thought: What would be the memory of these days of forced isolation? What type of memory would I, Sarit and the kids take from this time? After all, we are lucky with food and health, for the time being, and this might seem like a blip or an adventure when this is all over. Would this time be remembered as a happy one? I guess much of it depends how it all ends. Is this the calm before the storm? Are we about to face more adversity?

These ordinary thoughts feel no more than annoying mosquito bites. Besides scratching, not much can be done about them. These meandering thoughts started connecting to another part to Itzhak’s (my grandfather’s) story, the story of Shabbat (Jewish day of rest).

Read the rest

Saved by a joke

A life close to a sorrowful end, marches on with laughter.

Viewing Itzhak Ginzburg interview (1995)
Brooklyn, NY. 2020

A few nights ago, I had a hard time falling asleep, thoughts of the next morning, week, or month keeping me up. As the night grew longer and darker I found myself drawn to a particular story my grandfather told me. It’s how he survived the coal mine labor camp in Kazakhstan, in 1942. I couldn’t really put my finger on why this memory has reawakened in mind on a sleepless night. I recalled this as a sad story of near death experience and famine. That same night I sat down and listened again…

Read the rest

Itzhak. A Soliloquy.

I know this post is a few days after Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), but it’s not too late.

Itzhak Ginzburg, VHS video. Maryland USA, 1995

Through my filmic journey with The Ripple Project, I’ve met extraordinary people with ever more remarkable stories. Many sad, heartbreaking, but always strangely uplifting and motivating: “if they can survive the holocaust, I can survive anything.” I selfishly think to myself, after most interviews I conduct. I don’t really know if this a defense mechanism to justify my need/want/effort to chase these stories or that true-to-life survival tales are therapeutic. Just as a surgeon has a clinical appreciation and respect for the functionality of the human body, without getting distracted by sight of blood or organs. A therapist can listen to hours of traumatic stories of patients all the while staying calm and helpful…

Read the rest

“The Show Will Go On” Starring Ela Weissberger

Liron and Ela Weissberger at a Brundibar performance

Ela Weissberger June 30, 1930 – March 30, 2018

It’s hard to describe what it felt like walking into Ela’s house that sweltering summer of 2010. Accompanied by a motley documentary film crew, we were still in the early stages of researching the Terezín concentration camp and had little knowledge of the children’s opera Brundibar. My intern found Ela on a google search and was ecstatic when he realized she was in the tri-state area. I made a couple of phone calls, and that same day(!) we packed the car with equipment and crew we were on our way to interview Ela in Tapan, New York…

Read the rest

Return top
Series One