Makes one 10” Bundt cake (original recipe was for five cakes)
To prepare the cake pan, brush the inside with olive oil and then dust the inside with matzah meal.
To prepare cake
2 tablespoons matzah meal
2 cups almond flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
6 whole eggs (whites and yolks separated)
6 tablespoons pure olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange zest
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat convection oven to 350°F
In a mixing bowl, combine matzah meal, all brown sugar, ¼ cup of the granulated sugar and almond flour--whisk to blend.
In a separate bowl, add another ¼ cup of the granulated sugar to the egg yolks and beat until thick and fluffy, approximately six minutes with a whip attachment. Once thick and fluffy drizzle in the olive oil. Once that is combined, add juices and zest.
Fold in the dry ingredients into the egg yolk mixture.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt to soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar and keep beating until stiff peaks form.
Fold the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. It should be a thick batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans halfway up the sides.
Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
1/2 cups honey
3 tablespoons Manischewitz wine
To taste kosher salt
To taste ground black pepper
In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and cook until honey begins to bubble up. Remove from heat and set aside at room temperature.
Nut topping mixture
¼ cups roasted pistachio
¼ cups roasted hazelnut
¼ cups roasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cups sugar
Zest of 1 orange
Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse several times until all the nuts are coarsely chopped.
½ cup of honey
3 cups of Manischewitz wine
1 orange zested and juiced
1 lemon zested and juiced
½ teaspoons kosher salt
4 cups of dried figs cut into ⅛’s
2 cups of dates, seeded and cut into ⅛’s
Combine all ingredients and place in a medium sauce pot. Place the pot on a low flame and cook until the mixture has thickened. Approximately 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
When the cake comes out of the oven and it is still hot, brush it with honey syrup and then sprinkle with the nut mixture all over the top. Once it cools, fill center with room temperature fig marmellata
Ezekiel’s Wheels performs at the International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam. From left to right: Abigale Reisman (violin), Jon Cannon (violin), Kirsten Lamb (upright bass), Peter Fanelli (trombone) and Nat Seelen (clarinet). Photo by Jan Penninkhof
By Dara Kahn
With the emergence of new ways to learn Yiddish, such as immersion at the Yiddish Farm
in Goshen, N.Y., or the Yiddish Book Center’s new program for young adults
, those interested in learning the language have more options. For some, however, the connection to Yiddish has less to do with fluency than with enjoying Yiddish through klezmer music.
Today, klezmer music—played by people of all ages—can be heard worldwide, at venues like the International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam
, at Jewish lifecycle events, local concerts and at large-scale events like New York State’s annual KlezKamp
, a week-long Yiddish immersion program, now in its 28th year, where participants from all over the world explore Yiddish music, language, food, crafts and more.
Among the many new klezmer groups, Ezekiel’s Wheels bills itself as “experimental klezmer and folk.” Its ensemble includes two violinists, a bassist, clarinetist and trombonist—all under the age of 30. Recently, it won both “Best Klezmer Band” and “Audience Choice Award” at the October 2012 International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam, where the band members reported that the judges liked their improvisational skills and democratic nature.
Ezekiel founders clarinetist Nat Seelen and fiddler Jon Cannon met during their freshman year at Brown University in September 2004. Throughout their four years at Brown, they played in the klezmer band Yarmulkazi. After school, they decided to establish their own klezmer band. They initially turned to Craigslist to flesh out the group.
Seelen’s interest in klezmer started as a child when his parents bought him klezmer sheet music and records.
“I loved the idea of a type of music where the clarinet was the head person,” he said. “From a cultural standpoint, klezmer really spoke to me. My family is Jewish, but we're not at all religious, so learning, playing, studying klezmer music seemed like a perfectly good way for me personally to become engaged in the culture of my ancestors.”
One of the group’s violinists, Abigale Reisman, a graduate student at the New England Conservatory, has been with the band for a little more than a year. She took the strictly classical music route until her junior year at the Manhattan School of Music when she realized that her robust Jewish upbringing had had a profound effect on the music she felt most strongly about: klezmer.
“Once you delve into klezmer music, it’s not a stand-alone thing; you want to learn Yiddish. When you study Yiddish, you’re studying the culture,” said Reisman, who took an elementary Yiddish class at KlezKamp in July 2012.
This spring and summer the band will be touring
more than 10 U.S. cities from Boston to Chattanooga, entertaining audiences with their unique blend of folk, pop and traditional klezmer melodies. In the meantime, check out their Facebook page
and YouTube channel
Klezmer, with its often fast-paced rhythms and joyous sounds, emerged from the shtetls of Eastern Europe as early as the 1500s; the rise of Yiddish theater in the late 1800s helped to spread its appeal. But when waves of Jewish immigrants came to the United States in the early 1900s, klezmer was eclipsed by their desire to assimilate In the 1930s, however, elements of klezmer crept into popular swing songs, such as “Bei mir bist du schon,” by the Andrews Sisters, and “And the angels sing,” featuring trumpeter Ziggy Elman with the Benny Goodman orchestra. Then, in the 1970s, more traditional klezmer saw a revival in conjunction with the rising interest in mainstream folk music.
And, today, with a new generation enjoying the klezmer sound, the beat goes on.
From “The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy” by Paula Shoyer. Copyright © 2010, Brandeis University Press.
Makes 80 candies
21 ounces parve semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups parve whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup whole, shelled, raw, unsalted pistachio nuts
Place a piece of plastic wrap, about 13 inches long, on the counter and smooth out the creases. Tear off another piece of plastic the same size and place on top of the first to form a T-shape. Try hard to make sure each piece of plastic is smooth. Place the “T” of plastic inside a loaf pan and press the plastic into all the sides and corners. Wrap the hanging plastic around the outside of your pan.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt either on the stovetop or in the microwave. Whisk in the vanilla. In a small saucepan, or in a bowl in the microwave, heat the cream and sugar until it boils. Stir the cream. Don’t worry if it is lumpy.
Add the cream to the melted chocolate in four parts, whisking vigorously after each addition until the mixture is completely smooth. Stir in the pistachio nuts. Let cool for five minutes. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a silicone spatula. Cover the top with a new piece of plastic and place in the freezer for two hours or overnight.
To serve, unwrap the loaf and use a sharp knife to cut it into one-inch slices and then cut each slice into one-inch squares. Store loaf in the freezer for up to three months and slice as needed.
From “The New Jewish Table: Modern Seasonal Recipes for Traditional Dishes” by Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray. Copyright © 2012 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC.
Makes 4 cups
Todd: Even though quinoa is a South American grain, we love to use it as you would Mediterranean grains, like farro or couscous. It’s a grain that you don’t see enough of on menus and tables in my opinion. It has a wonderful, nutty taste and it is gluten free, which is something for which we are getting more and more requests at our restaurants. The red wine vinaigrette (store any extra in the fridge; it will last for weeks and is good to have on hand for quick salads) complements the sweetness of the figs, a favorite fruit of mine from my Italian cooking background.
12 dried figs
2 cups quinoa
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise including part of the green (2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon salt
Sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper
Soak the figs. Place the figs in a medium heatproof bowl. Add boiling water to cover; set aside until plump.
Cook the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa in water and drain. Combine the quinoa and stock in a medium saucepan. Bring to boiling over high heat; lower the heat to low, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed—about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and fluff with a fork.
Mix the salad. Drain the figs in a colander; transfer to a cutting board and cut into quarters. Pour ½ cup of the Red Wine Vinaigrette over the quinoa and toss to mix. Add the figs, pine nuts, scallions, mint, lemon zest, salt, and pepper; toss to mix. Taste the salad and add more salt or pepper if you wish.
Red Wine Vinaigrette
Place 3/4 cup reduced red wine, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 large egg yolk, 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard, and 1 1/2 teaspoons honey in a blender. Pulse to combine and then slowly drizzle in 1 cup canola oil and 1 cup olive oil, pulsing every so often to combine; run the blender for 30 seconds to fully emulsify. Transfer to a storage jar; season with salt and pepper to taste. (This vinaigrette will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator.)
Makes one 9 or 10-inch cake, 12 to 16 servings
From “The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy” by Paula Shoyer. Copyright © 2010, Brandeis University Press.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) parve margarine
16 ounces parve semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
6 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon parve unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup parve whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Take a 9- to 10-inch spring form pan, trace the bottom onto a piece of parchment, and cut out. Cover the top of the pan bottom with aluminum foil, and then wrap the excess foil under the bottom. Attach the pan sides to the bottom, lock in place, and then unwrap the foil and wrap it up and around the sides of the pan. Rub one tablespoon of the margarine around the bottom and sides of the pan. Place the parchment circle in the bottom of the pan and grease with some of the margarine. Grease the sides of the pan as well.
Place the chocolate and remaining margarine in a heatproof bowl over simmering water (or use a double boiler) and stir often until melted. Remove from heat and add the egg yolks and cocoa and beat with an electric mixer for one minute until thick.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand-held or stand electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Turn the speed down to low, add the sugar a little at a time and, once all the sugar is added, turn the speed up to high for 1 minute. Fold the stiff egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour 2/3 of this batter into the prepared pan (reserve the other 1/3 for the mousse). Place the pan in a large roasting pan with sides higher than two inches. Place the roasting pan and cake on the middle rack of the oven. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan, around the cake pan, to reach halfway up the sides of the cake pan.
Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the cake pan from the water bath (leaving the roasting pan with water in the oven to cool enough to remove it safely) and let the cake cool in the pan.
While the cake is baking, prepare the mousse. In a bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff and fold into the reserved batter. Mix well. Place in the refrigerator until the cake cools.
When the cake has cooled, spoon the mousse on top of the cake layer and try to smooth the top as much as possible with a silicone spatula. Place in the refrigerator eight hours or overnight.
To remove the sides of the cake pan, heat a sharp knife and run it all around the cake. Open the spring and remove the sides of the pan. Use a spatula to separate the parchment circle from the foil and slide the parchment and cake onto a serving plate. Store the cake in the refrigerator and then place in the freezer one hour before serving to help you cut perfect slices. Store covered in plastic in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze up to three months.
Aly Raisman, third from left, with other medal winners at the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic Senior Competition
By Taylor Schwink
During the 2012 summer Olympics in London, many Jews watched in awe as Alexandra “Aly” Raisman, 18, captain of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, earned a gold medal on her floor routine. Her victory was made even sweeter as she performed to the Jewish folk song “Hava Nagila.”
She was an overnight sensation, vaulting to instant fame along with the rest of her teammates, earning an overall team gold medal.
For Jews in America, and across the globe, her work struck a chord as it fell on the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre, when Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 Israeli athletes and coaches during the 1972 summer Olympics.
Yet, beneath all of the excitement of her gold-medal winning routine, her choice of song, and the coinciding of the anniversary of a great tragedy, it was just a nice Jewish girl out on the mats, having fun.
A Unique Approach
Raisman, a Needham, Mass., native, began gymnastics as a young girl, but it was at age 10 when she arrived at Brestyan’s American Gymnastics Club in Burlington, Mass., that things turned up a notch. She started training under veteran gymnastics coaches Mihai Brestyan and his wife, Silvia. The native Romanians have been involved with gymnastics for 40 years. It was Silvia (who is Jewish) who suggested the music to accompany Raisman’s floor routine.
Raisman came to Brestyan looking to expand her abilities and further her gymnastics career. Brestyan described young Raisman as “springy” and eager to do as much as possible. After coaching her for some time, Brestyan began to get an inkling that Raisman might be his next star pupil, only after another Olympic hopeful, Alicia Sacramone.
Sacramone also hails from the Boston area and found her way to Brestyan’s gym. Under his tutelage Sacramone became one of the most decorated U.S. gymnasts of all time.
Brestyan’s Olympic resume included not only coaching Sacramone, but also serving as the coach of the Israeli gymnastics team in the 1990s. Combined with his wife’s experience as an international judge, Raisman had the advantage of an experienced bench to get through the Olympic trials and onto London.
“It was one of my goals to make sure they believed in her,” Brestyan said referring to the organizers of Team U.S.A. “It’s not the best to be in every event. You need to be the most consistent. You need to be everywhere.”
Brestyan stressed Raisman’s versatility was key to making the team. His strategy was to have Raisman ready to perform at the highest level in her best events but also showing she was capable to compete amongst the world’s elite in whatever spot the team might need her.
The idea of displaying Raisman’s versatility was necessary because of the extensive talent pool in the U.S. gymnastics community. No one was guaranteed a spot on the team.
Leading the Team to Gold
Despite her performances leading up to and during Olympic qualifiers, Raisman wasn’t a big name to the general public. Even people at her hometown synagogue, Temple Beth Avodah in Newtown, Mass., hadn’t heard there was a star in their midst.
“Not everyone had heard about her talent,” said Rabbi Keith Stern. Of course, that changed very quickly in days leading up to London 2012. “As soon as the word went out everyone was very excited.”
Going into the competition, Raisman and Brestyan tempered their expectations, but they felt that the floor routine was where she could make the greatest impact.
“The biggest dream was to win the floor,” said Brestyan. “She was just doing the most clean routine.”
Before Raisman would showcase her talents on the floor, she helped Team USA win the gold medal in the all-around competition, coaching her teammates along the way.
“Aly is the oldest child (she has three younger siblings), and she most definitely carries with her the first-born imperative, making sure her brother and sisters are taken care of,” said Stern. “And she’s the same way with her teammates.”
When the time came for her strongest event, her clean floor routine paid off. Raisman became the first woman in U.S. history to earn the gold medal in the floor exercise.
“Comfortable in her own skin as a Jew”
Though not entirely intentional, Raisman played “Hava Nagila” in the face of an International Olympic Committee that denied a moment of silence during the opening ceremony to honor the fallen athletes, coaches and referees of the 1972 Munich Olympics.
“It never occurred to her it would be vaguely problematic,” said Stern. “Is it safe? Is it smart?”
These are questions that never crossed Raisman’s mind, according to Stern.
According to Brestyan, “Hava Nagila” was not Raisman’s first choice. He says that Silvia and Raisman did a lot of searching before eventually landing on the popular Jewish folk tune.
“We tried to find one that fit for her character, her personality,” said Brestyan. “You want to pull in the [crowd] on the routine. The clapping helps keep the rhythm.”
Boiling down Kurt Simon’s 99 years into a 27-minute documentary was no simple task. But in this film, WNIT, the local South Bend, Ind., PBS affiliate, captures the essence of what makes Kurt such an incredible individual and an invaluable personage to his community.
A German immigrant who came to the United States at age 16 with all of $10 in his pocket, Kurt was nevertheless able to become a successful businessman and a well-respected philanthropist.
“Do your giving while you’re living,” Kurt has been known to say. “And he really lives by that motto,” says Debra Grant, the executive director of the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley who is interviewed in the film. “He’s a real mensch, just a great, great man and a good role model for so many people.”
Click on the image above to watch the film “Kurt Simon: A Life of Service.”
Respectfully, I suggest that you edit a responsive “letters” section as feedback from your readers. B’nai B’rith Magazine publishes news and editorial items which strongly concern the Jewish public. You stimulate a critical readership whose responses deserve to be made public.
Boca Raton, Fla. Editor’ Note: We normally do include letters to the editor in the print version of the magazine. This did not happen with the fall issue due to space constraints. In such circumstances, or if we have more letters than we have room to publish them, they will appear online. We welcome all feedback from readers, whether by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by postal mail. Secret Flight of the Machal Airmen Dear Editor:
It was with much interest and appreciation that I read the article “Secret Flight of the Machal Airmen” in the fall 2012 issue. My brother, Ralph Moster, from Vancouver, B.C., Canada, was one of the volunteers in what became the War of Independence in 1947-48 in Palestine. At the age of 23, he was a veteran of Canada’s Royal Air Force of World War II. Having grown up in a strong Zionist home, he determined to offer his services to the struggling Jews and was permitted by the government to go to Palestine, ostensibly to be a farm worker. Until a plane became available, he served with distinction in the Palmach with the future archaeologist Ygdal Yadin. Once he was able to fly, his outstanding record and diligence earned him the rank of Commander of the Air Force in southern Palestine which covered the Negev and Tel Aviv areas. At one time he didn’t sleep for four days and four nights, due to his aircraft’s bombing enemy positions at night and preparing plans daytime for evening bombings.
In his last letter home, he wrote that while he was due a leave, he felt he was desperately needed there and that what he was contributing to victory for his people had raised their morale considerably. He observed that the “Arabs would never beat us, because we know what we are fighting for.” He praised the Jewish people—the Jew in Palestine, he wrote, is an altogether new type of Jew—young, strong, healthy, with the main objective being to see the nation of Israel grow. “All we live for here,” he emphasized, “is to be free.”
While he was testing a new plane over the Kinneret, the plane malfunctioned and crashed. Ralph drowned and his body was found a week later. He was buried with full military honors in Tel Aviv with Air Force personnel and military police forming a guard of honor. The Air Force command turned out to pay their last respects to a devoted son of Israel. In that last letter, he wrote, “This is where I want to be.” And, indeed, that is where he is.
Julius B. Moster
Los Angeles, Calif. Dear Editor:
I recently received your copy of the fall issue of your very informative magazine. Being a former pilot of WWII, I could not help seeing a picture of a former German fighter, a Me109BF, with our Israeli Magen David on its wings and fuselage. I was aware of our use of any plane we could obtain. My hat is off to those brave and great pilots who made up the Machalniks.
My hobby most of my 90 years has been the story of the men, the planes, etc. that made up WWI and the air war.
Leon Frankel is one of the gentlemen pictured in the photo. Lt. Frankel was the highest ranking ace in the German Air Force during WWI. The German high command was not very happy that a “Jew” was the top ace. Frankel was farmed out to Anthony Fokker’s company plant to train German pilots while the pet of the high command, Manfred von Richtofen, was given time to exceed his number of victories
. Unfortunately, Frankel was shot down and killed later on.
Hitler ordered that all vestiges of Jews be erased from public places. Some of the top German aces of WWI joined in having a new monument made bearing Frankel’s name, and his remains were buried in Friedhof (cemetery) along with the other great aces dear to the Luftwaffe.
Again, thank you for your excellent magazine.
Translation is a tricky business. Translators must deftly balance their duty to the original text with the need to create a translation that stands on its own. They have to honor the wishes of the author while trusting their own talents and knowledge for what works and what doesn’t.
“When you translate, it’s an act of ventriloquism,” says American-born Evan Fallenberg, an English-language writer and Hebrew-to-English translator who lives in Israel. “You’re having to, in a strange way, occupy the voice of another writer.”
A translated novel is “going to be something else,” says Jessica Cohen, who translated into English the critically acclaimed novel “To the End of the Land,” by Israeli author David Grossman. “It’s going to be its own thing.”
Grossman recognized, she said, “that what’s most important in a translation is that it conveys the right emotions or experience or responses. He’s not so much concerned about the literal translation of each word,” unlike some of the younger writers with whom Cohen has worked. “They want to try and make it exactly like the Hebrew, but in English, and, you know, that’s not possible.”
Fallenberg doesn't feel comfortable writing Hebrew fiction, despite his fluency in the language. “When I try to express myself in Hebrew, the syntax is still too close to English,” Fallenberg says. Cohen and Fallenberg both stress the initiative and personal license that translators need to take when translating a work from Hebrew to English.
“I think that my evolution as a translator [taught me that] I have to make it my own thing,” Cohen says. “And often that means veering away from the original language…as long as you’re preserving the intention and the general meaning.” When translating Grossman, Cohen said, she tries to maintain the rhythm of the writing, the cadence of his sentences. “It’s about hearing the Hebrew coming in one ear and having it come out the other in English somehow in the same way.”
Still, even translated Hebrew literature can be a window into a different culture and a view of life in the Jewish state: “To the End of the Land” delves into Israel’s history and its turbulent and often-fractious present. To retain the uniquely Israeli feel of the novel, even when the characters aren’t conversing in Hebrew, Cohen left some un-translated words sprinkled throughout “To the End of the Land.” They include “finjan,” an Arabic word for coffee pot commonly used in Israel. Cohen also resists resorting to footnotes to explain certain Israeli things that might be unclear to foreign readers. “You want to be immersed in the world,” she says, and constantly jumping between the text and footnotes would interrupt the process of immersion, inhibiting the readers’ absorption of Israeli culture.
“One of the big problems with translation is you’re moving something from one culture to another, but you need to preserve something of the original culture, or it’s just going to sound like some story that took place in Poughkeepsie,” Fallenberg says. “You have to signal to the reader all the time [that] I want this thing to read like it’s been written well in English, but it’s still got to preserve something of the exotic of the original.”
Translator Jessica Cohen
Translator Evan Fallenberg
Jews in the Civil Rights Movement
Thank you for the excellent issue covering Jews in the civil rights struggle. The article evoked many memories for me. Following my discharge from the Army Air Force, I enrolled at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. As someone who grew up in a diverse community in Massachusetts, I had never encountered extreme, or even nominal, racism. D.C., in 1946 had segregated transportation, the drinking fountains and toilets in department stores were segregated, and even my university enrolled no African Americans. I was both shocked and ashamed by it. As a Jew who spent time in Germany in World War II, I often guarded German soldiers. That experience strengthened my conviction that I would oppose segregation wherever and whenever it occurred. Your article made me very proud of the Jews, many of them unknown, who courageously sacrificed their lives to oppose policies that degraded human beings.
Samuel L. Simon
South Nyack, NY
I enjoyed two articles in the summer magazine which are seemingly unrelated, but actually have a very interesting connection. The cover shows Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holding a picture of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney, the civil rights workers murdered in Mississippi in 1964. Elsewhere, there is a wonderful article about my friend, Harold “Hesch” Steinberg, entitled “A Lifelong Dedication to Judaism.”
Both Mickey Schwerner and Hesch Steinberg were members of Alpha Epsilon Pi at Michigan State University. Schwerner transferred to Cornell University after his freshman year in 1957, and his association with Michigan State was largely unknown until a few years ago. As a direct result of Hesch’s efforts, Michigan State University has become aware of and embraced this connection, honoring Schwerner at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, and the local AEPi chapter hosted a Shabbat dinner and presented a plaque to Hillel in his memory.
In May 2012, I had the honor to represent AEPi International and MSU Hillel at an extraordinary program in New York City, cosponsored by the Cornell University AEPi, Hillel and Black Alumni Association. The program called “The Impact and Legacy of the Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney Case,” featured a panel composed of David Goodman, Ben Chaney and Stephen Schwerner, brothers of Andrew, James and Michael, respectively. These gentlemen, now in their 60s and 70s, shared some very unique perspectives on the Jewish role in the civil rights movement, the movie “Mississippi Burning,” their brothers and the impact of the murders on their families. The warm hospitality of the hosts, Ellen Braitman of Bloomberg TV, and her husband, David Shapiro, provided an intimate setting and allowed a rare and unique view into history.
Keego Harbor, Michigan
Past International President, Alpha Epsilon Pi
Member, Board of Directors, Michigan State University Hillel
My contribution in shining a light on the connection between our late Brother Michael Schwerner, Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity and Michigan State University has been greatly overstated. Past Supreme Master Steve Bernstein also shared the credit.
But there is a sidebar to the cover story (Summer 2012): Among those who resisted the inevitable march for the struggle for Civil Rights were the members of a quasi-governmental agency established by the State of Mississippi: the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission. In December 1961, more than 225 Jewish teenagers and their advisers attended the Cotton States BBYO convention in Biloxi, Miss. The Mississippi Sovereignty Commission sent spies to the convention hotel to determine if these young Jewish BBYO’ers (myself included) were intent on wreaking havoc on their way of life. Of course, we weren’t and we were not harmed. But it is easy to speculate on the mindset of the hate-mongers who followed and, a few years later, brutally murdered Brother Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman.
The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis pays tribute not only to Dr. King, but also to all of the brave men and woman...black and white, young and old, Jew and Gentile...who left their blood along the long road to freedom. Brothers Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman, along with many other Freedom Summer workers, are prominently featured in the museum’s exhibits.
Harold “Hesch” Steinberg