Tag Archives: Lisa Alcalay Klug

Night of Writing Dangerously sponsorship goal met!

14 Oct


I raised my $200 for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)’s Night of Writing Dangerously, and I’ve booked my ticket to San Francisco for November 22. G-d bless SouthWest airlines – el cheapo dealo. I really wanted to fly Virgin America but their prices were high-in-the-sky. So bye-bye Virgin, for now at least.

Great thanks to my mum (aw shucks), Tania Hershman, James Tumminia, Eddie and Melissa Rabin, Etan Lerner (well his parents Paul and Michelle), Fred Kramer, and Susan Meadows for raising the funds for the Office of Letters and Light. You all rock! And thanks to Lisa Alcalay Klug for offering to host me in SF.

My mum was visiting from Israel in November last year and we went to San Francisco for a few days and I came down with the world’s worst flu – but NOT H1N1 (it hadn’t occurred yet). So it will be great to spend a day in SF and do all the things I didn’t get to do last time (after the six hours of writing for NaNoWriMo), because I was stuck in my hotel room bed.

Of course, this does mean I DO have to write my 50,000 words in one month, and I’ve still yet to come up with a concrete idea. Oh well, I have a couple of weeks. I’ve been checking out all the NaNoWriMo posts on Twitter and it’s all a little daunting. There’s almost 40,000 people signed up for NaNoWriMo and it makes you realise how many writers are actually out there – a lot! It’s also fun to know that others will attempt this deranged, insane, activity.

In the meantime, I’m working on three separate stories. Just sent to my editor an article on an Israeli fashion designer in LA who almost lost her hand in a car accident as a teenager and still is managing to pursue her dream. Pretty inspiring stuff. And I just interviewed a former Israeli soccer player who is now the hair extension guru to Hollywood stars (Zohan, anyone?). And I spoke with Hilary Helstein about her moving documentary As Seen Through These Eyes – a decades in the making film about Holocaust survivors who documented their experiences through their art. Narrated by Maya Angelou it’s extraordinary. If you’re in LA – go see it!

All three articles will be written, and up in in the coming weeks – will keep you posted on the links. And of course there is more wonderful work up at Scribblers on the Roof. Go check it out.


Moriah College, my op-ed and Mrs Siderowitz

4 Sep

Picture 1I just received my high school’s alumni newsletter and apparently, an op-ed I wrote in the Washington Post’s On Faith column on June 13 (which just happens to be my birthday) found it’s way back to my school in Australia. It was an article in response to the Holocaust Museum killing in Washington DC. It was reprinted from the Washington Post by my journalist friend Lisa Alcalay Klug on her site Tolerant Nation and you can read it here:

Since I wrote the piece, two things have changed. The first is, as a result of that op-ed I found out that the woman I was writing about – a teacher at my school (which was also our pre-school, kindergarten, primary (American translation – elementary) and high school –  is no longer alive. I was saddened to hear it.

Secondly, the company I was working for at the time  and whom I mention in the article was an online comparative religion Web site and I was excited to be working for such an organization. Unfortunately that job lasted only two months as they failed to pay us. I still haven’t received a dime from them – hence my dire financial circumstances at this time.

However, more importantly, I’m so thrilled that my school – Moriah College (full name Mount Moriah War Memorial College) – managed to somehow come across my article and put it in our alumni newsletter.

Here’s what the Moriah Newsletter had to say:

A very beautiful article has been forwarded to us written by ex collegian Kelly Hartog (Class of 1982) where she writes her memories at Moriah and of Mrs Siderowitz (Z’L) after hearing of a shooting incident at a Holocaust museum in the USA. It is a really beautiful read for those wanting to reminisce.

And this was followed by a note about a tribute to Mrs Siderowitz from the alumni association. I’m not going to make it back to Sydney, Australia for the tribute, but I will be there in spirit.

We all remember Mrs Siderowitz who taught us Yiddish and Hebrew at Moriah as well as being the Yiddish voice on radio 2EA for so many years. We have been invited to attend a tribute to celebrate Aliza’s amazing life, her love of Yiddish and Hebrew literature and poetry, her spirit and her many contributions to Jewish culture and continuity. This weill be held on Sunday 25th October 2-5pm at B’nai Brith 22 Yurong St East Sydney. For more details on how you can contribute to this special afternoon – please see the news section of our website.

My article is an op-ed about tolerance, compassion and understanding and our school’s motto was “To Learn, To Heed, To Act.” I’d like to think that all these decades later, this op-ed in honour of the great Aliza Siderowitz came about because of the lessons learned at Moriah College when I was just a little girl.