Sydney Pollack, 73, U.S. filmmaker, actor, dies

Sydney Pollack, director of Tootsie, Out of Africa and other mainstream Hollywood fare, died Monday, May 26, 2008, of cancer.

Pollack was born in Indiana to Russian Jewish parents who met at Purdue University and stayed there, and absorbed Middle Western values and virtues along with a questioning, self-critical Jewish attitude.

His films, awards and affiliations included:

  Oscar for Best Director 1986 for Out of Africa
    Emmy 1966 for Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre
    Member of the Board of Convera (2005-)
    Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
    John Kerry for President
    Midwest Values PAC
    Motion Picture and Television Fund Board of Directors
    Progressive Majority 

    Selected filmography as director
    Sabrina (15-Dec-1995)
    The Firm (30-Jun-1993)
    Havana (12-Dec-1990)
    Out of Africa (10-Dec-1985)
    Tootsie (17-Dec-1982)
    Absence of Malice (19-Nov-1981)
    The Electric Horseman (21-Dec-1979)
    Bobby Deerfield (17-Sep-1977)
    Three Days of the Condor (24-Sep-1975)
    The Yakuza (19-Mar-1975)
    The Way We Were (17-Oct-1973)
    Jeremiah Johnson (10-Sep-1972)
    They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (10-Dec-1969) 

New York Times obit


Yeheskel Shoshani, Israeli-American elephant researcher, dead in Ethiopian explosion, May 20, 2008

Israeli elephant researcher Yeheskel Shoshani was among those killed in a possible terror attack on a minibus in downtown Addis Ababa on Tuesday, Israeli media reported.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it is unclear whether the explosion was terror-related and if Shoshani was aboard the minibus when it exploded.

Three people were killed and nine others were injured in the explosion, which occurred as the minibus was traveling on the road that runs between the Hilton Hotel and the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, an Israeli website reported.

In a recent interview, Shoshani told of finding the corpse of a large elephant that had been shot by hunters. ” It was a large male, and the poachers wanted its ivory, so they sawed off its head,” he told Haaretz. “When I saw that, I thought about the last moments in the life of this elephant. Elephants have language – they talk to one another with sounds that we can’t hear. I asked myself what sound he made a moment before he died.” 

We’re going to come back soon

We have had to take a break from updating this site in recent months, for a variety of reasons. But there are so many people who have written in to say the material on this site moved them in an important way, that we will do our utmost to begin updating again soon.

Thanks for all your kind words.

Balev (Alan A.)

Moshe Levy, 72, Israel, former Army Chief of Staff, Jan. 8, 2008

Moshe Levy (L), as IDF Chief of Staff, 1980s, with Shimon Peres

General Moshe Levy, 72, the 12th Israeli Army Chief of Staff, died Jan. 9, 2008, after a brain aneurysm.

Levy had his first stroke a few years ago. Afterward, he had to use a wheelchair. He dropped many of his public activities, but continued in his position with the company that built Route 6, Israel’s newest and first privately managed superhighway, and the country’s only toll road. Read more…

Max Rosenbaum, 85, Australia, father of ‘Crown Heights pogrom’ victim, dies, Jan. 3


Max Rosenbaum, 85, whose life was changed irrevocably after his son’s 1991 death in race riots in Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Crown Heights neighborhood, died Friday, Jan. 3, 2007, of a heart attack in Melbourne, Australia.

Yankel Rosenbaum, 29, was killed in riots that started after a driver in the entourage of the Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, accidentally hit and killed a 7-year-old black child, Read more…

Ahikam Amichai, 20, David Rubin, 21, Israel, off-duty soldiers, murdered on hike, Dec. 28

Ahikam Amichai (L), David Rubin

Ahikam Amichai, 20, and David Rubin, 21, off-duty Israeli Army commandos on a recreational hike near their homes in the Hebron hills, were murdered by Palestinians, Dec. 28, 2007.

The two lifelong friends and neighbors were each members of elite and storied Israeli commando units. Amihai was a member of the Air Force’s Shaldag unit, and Rubin was a member of Shayetet 13, the Israeli Navy Seals (video). Read the rest of their dramatic stories after the jump. Read more…

Two more notable Jewish deaths in 2007: Grace Paley, Tillie Olsen

An astute reader noticed that two significant Jewish women writers who died in 2007 were not on our list of notable 2007 Jewish deaths. So, we will make up for the oversight. Read more…