Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Several topics in one post this time.

First one is that I was recently asked about recommendations on books in English about Moldova. There are actually not many as far as I could tell. I came up with three on the top of my head:

- Easter in Kishinev (about the 1903 pogrom)
- Jewish roots in Ukraine and Moldova: pages from the past (from Miriam Weiner)
- Playing the Moldovans at Tennis (I didn't read this one, but watched the film)

And talking about books, I donated one to the Jewish Cultural Institute in Porto Alegre, my hometown in Brazil. The book is from Ihil Shraibman which I acquired in my last trip to Moldova entitled "Creation and love: short stories." It is a rarity, and even more so in Latin American lands. Ihil passed away in 2005 and was the last Moldovan Yiddish writer. His books tell stories about the old shtetls, but were never translated into English, therefore remain only for Hebrew/Yiddish/Russian speaking audiences. What secrets these books may be holding from us...?

Ihil Shraibman and one of his books

I also made another donation recently: Mamaliga Blues is traveling to Israel on very particular hands. Rabbi Daniel Pressman is taking a bunch of kids to Poland to the renowned March of the Living event. Afterwards, they all go to Israel and, amongst many other things, visit the amazing Yad Vashem museum. And what better hands to take the film to its Visual Center than Pressman and his pupils? I feel honored that the film's DVD is in their hands in such a fine mission. The DVD will be in the Yad Vashem's Visual Center's archive for anyone to watch it. 
The Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem

These donations are a tiny bit of what I can do to help disseminate Bessarabia’s Jewish History and culture. It's a meaningful experience to me. As it were many things that happened in the past. I was remembering my 2 trips to Moldova, the Mamaliga Blues' screenings I presented and all the wonderful people I met, and it occurred to me that some of what I experienced didn't seem important or was mundane at the time. And it's only now, months or even years later, that some of these experiences revealed themselves with full of meaning and importance.

What I want to say is that be mindful of the people you meet. Something you live, a regular happening that nobody would care or a person that you barely talked to - later on these can come back and turn into something very important to you. And although only time could tell, you can still do your part and keep in your heart and mind the little happenings of daily life.