Please Consider Taking a Course with Me

I want to update you on the status of the upcoming courses that I plan to teach:

The seminar on Ben Hecht’s “1001 Afternoons in Chicago,” at the Newberry Library, that was to have started last week, has been postponed until the planned Newberry reopening in July. No definite date yet for the seminar.
The seminar on “A Taste of Faulkner” at the Newberry, which I’m teaching with Bob Boone, was to have started in June, but will now have to wait until the Newberry reopens. No definite date as yet for the seminar.
The course on Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “A Crown of Feathers” is scheduled to begin June 18 at the Oakton Community College’s Emeritus program. Registration is open for it at www.
I will be teaching a course on James Joyce’s “Ulysses” at Oakton starting in October. More information on this will be made available soon.

Some of My Favorite Ben Hecht Quotes

“ I have lived in a dozen worlds, as few writers do, and I have been different people in these worlds. I have enjoyed them as if I were a denizen and not a visiting exile.”
Preface to A Treasury of Ben Hecht (1945)
“ I have lived in other cities but been inside only one. I knew Chicago’s thirty-two feet of intestines. Only newspapermen ever achieve this bug-in-a-rug citizenship.”
A Child of the Century (1954)
“ I once wore all the windows of Chicago and all its doorways on a key ring. Saloons, mansions, alleys, courtrooms, depots, factories, hotels, police cells, the lake front, the roof tops and the sidewalks were my haberdashery.”
A Child of the Century (1954)

Rabbi Mendel


CS_coverRabbi Mendel, a man in his mid-forties with unforgettable cerulean blue eyes, opened the small black trunk and took out the three stick puppets. There was the evil Haman wearing a tiny felt three-cornered hat affixed to his head. Brave Mordecai looked august in a diminutive robe made from corduroy. Beautiful Queen Esther looked stunning with orange hair made from knitting yarn topped by a cardboard diadem.

Our Hebrew class Purim party was about to begin. Rabbi Mendel skillfully manipulated the stick puppets as he related to us the Purim story in his heavily Yiddish-inflected English. We all cheered and rattled our groggers in glee when Mordecai knocked down Haman and dragged him across Rabbi Mendel’s desk to the toy gallows to be hanged. Good was once again triumphing over evil in a story told by Jews for over two thousand years.

Rabbi Mendel stared evil straight in the eye…

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