Category: reconciliation

  • A Day in Radomsko

    A Day in Radomsko

    [photo: on the street in Radomsko. LS2021] Preface IN THE SPRING of 2021, KARTA Center in Warsaw brought out a Polish translation of my book, The Crooked Mirror, nine years after its publication in the United States. The book chronicles my decades-long immersion in the discomforting, sometimes surreal, and ultimately healing process of Polish-Jewish reconciliation. I first […]

  • The Collaborative Skein: A Conversation

    The Collaborative Skein: A Conversation

    The poet Piotr Florczyk just published a remarkable collections of poems, From the Annals of Krakow, based on testimonies from Jewish survivors from his home town, Krakow, in the Shoah Archive at USC, where he Piotr did a residency. This conversation between the two of us, about Piotr’s book, about the forthcoming Polish edition of  […]

  • Unclaimed, Unforgotten

    Unclaimed, Unforgotten
  • Ceremony of Forgiveness/ Night before the Electoral College

    Ceremony of Forgiveness/ Night before the Electoral College

    Reeling from the latest barrage of globally catastrophic images—my mind gravitates to that startling and necessary image—beamed to us from Standing Rock. It is the image of a U.S. veteran named Wesley Clark, Jr kneeling down, with veterans of various American combat units standing behind him—offering his formal apology to Lakota Medicine Man Leonard Crow […]

  • A Peaceful Return

    It was startling to walk into a museum in Astoria, Oregon a few weeks ago and behold WW2 Japanese flags framed on the gallery wall. Those flags with their  bright red disks on white silk were just like the one I found with my father’s possessions, after he died, in an envelope with one of […]

  • 70 Years After

    On August 6, I joined 35-40 others in a mosaic-tiled garden in L.A’s Beachwood Canyon for a service commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. We sat in silence for half an hour and then, at 8:15 AM, the moment the Enola Gay dropped the bomb over Hiroshima, a cellist began to play. We […]

  • Notes on a Warsaw Residency, 2

    Shall I write about the storks clacking their beaks high in their nests on the road to Sejny? And in Krasnogruda, near the border with Lithuania, the hare that bounded across the road and straight out of Milosz’ beautiful poem? In the candle-light coffee-house, Song of Porcelein Cafe, in the basement of what was once […]

  • Between Nothing and Infinity: Poland’s Evolving Jewish Remembrance

    I remember the confusion I felt when I visited my family’s town, Radomsko, on my first trip to Poland in the fall of 2000. What was I looking for? I had no idea. I didn’t know anybody there. My relationship to the town, where my mother’s family had lived for over a hundred years, had […]

  • MACIEJ and IDA

    My dear friend Maciej Ziembinski, a pioneering journalist and editor (and a central figure in my book, The Crooked Mirror), recently passed away in Radomsko, in central Poland. Maciej was fiercely devoted to this little town, where my mother’s family lived for generations. When poet Adam Zagajewski wrote of those Poles imbued with “the ecstasy […]

  • “For we were strangers in the land of Egypt…”: Passover, Radical Empathy, and Reconciliation

    I first heard of the idea of “Polish-Jewish” reconciliation from my Zen rabbi, who often evoked the most radical commandment in Judaism in his Friday night talks: “You shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were once a stranger in Egypt, and you know the heart of the stranger.” This week of Passover, we […]