And then, I will write about the things I have been doing.
For example, I went to a fourth OLLI lecture at American University, this time given by Ambassador Richard Schifter. Again, it was a fascinating morning. Three topics: first, Schifter (who was then Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights) talked about the rise of Gorbachev and the break up of the Soviet Union, giving his very positive feelings about Gorbachev and about how the United States and the west failed the new Russia by failing to support its newly free economy allowing the country to fall into deep depression, leading eventually to the rise of Putin, whom Schifter equates to a Romanov czar; second, to the agreement in the 1970s between Khadaffi and Castro to develop an alliance of unalligned nations to control the votes in the UN General Assembly, and how Khadaffi insisted that an anti-Israeli policy become a linchpin of this bloc, leading not only to all of the anti-Israeli resolutions, but also to the creation of three separate pro-Palestinian/anti-Israeli offices within the UN, the only example of special UN offices devoted to a particular issue or problem; and third, his proposal on how the UN should and could be revitalized, by strengthening the non-political agencies of the organization, such as the World Health Organization, or International Labor Organization, to deal with agriculture, poverty, economics, water rights and so forth.
I may also write about my three days in New York, and the evening presentation by Professor David Roskies of the Jewish Theological Seminary, who is about to lead the new Ben Gurion University Yiddish program; the evening was spent discussing the poetry of Abraham Sutzkever, whose life (from the Vilna ghetto to the Soviet Union to Poland to Tel Aviv) has been an unbelievable one. Or my privilege to be at Theodore Bikel’s 85th birthday celebration at Carnegie Hall, for the benefit of the Juvenile Law Foundation, with such luminaries as Peter and Paul (Mary being ill), Tom Paxton, Arlo Guthrie, the Klezmatics, clarinetist David Krakauer, young violinist Sarah Horowitz, Alan Alda and others. Or my day at the surprisingly beautiful and interesting New York Botanical Gardens, and its 250+ well manicured acres. Or my short trip today to historic Sykesville, Maryland.