Children leaving the Lodz ghetto for the death camp at Chelmno

The price of collaboration

From visiting the wonderful Dutch Resistance Museum many years ago, I knew about the “Judenrat,” councils of Jewish leaders that Nazis used to facilitate the implementation of their own annihilation. Although I’m Jewish and believe it’s important to remember the Holocaust, I never really spent that much time learning the political history. I foolishly thought that “never …

Continue reading "The price of collaboration"

Three is a magic number

3 I couldn’t write this post without the Schoolhouse Rock refrain in my head. Today is my son’s third birthday. We celebrated this weekend with a nice group of Izzy’s friends from school, and my friends with kids his age. The theme was “Izzy loves trains,” so we used the beer garden at Southern Rail, which is a restaurant that uses train cars and the old station in downtown Carrboro. Everyone had a great time, especially Izzy as you can see in Brian’s photo…

Continue reading "Three is a magic number"

Bye bye, Bubbie

When my mother’s family gathered in Austin at the end of last year, my son Izzy was re-introduced to his great-grandmother. (He couldn’t talk yet the first time he met her.) “Izzy, this is Bubbie.”

“Bubba!” he responded. We thought that was an appropriate nickname for my vivacious grandmother who moved from Long Island to Texas in her late 80’s. She moved to be near one of her daughters, and got a bonus in the shape of her other great-grandchild Abby, who was born in Austin few months after Izzy was born here in Chapel Hill. Grandma Vickie established her painting studio in the garage of her new home (it was in the attic when she lived in New York) and even resumed teaching oil painting lessons as she had done for decades.

This week, she was felled by an infection that her 91-year-old immune system just couldn’t beat. My grandmother was a fabulous woman, and she loved to entertain. Here are pictures of her after I was born in 1971, and dancing at my wedding in 2006. A longer slideshow is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/vickierakoff/show/.

Mi familia

Continue reading "Bye bye, Bubbie"