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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 4, 2013 Paper clip statue to bind together 4 communities By Eric Berger Jewish Exponent PHILADELPHIA--Harold Sampson drove 800 miles in 2005, from Philadelphia to Whitwell, Tenn., for one simple reason. Sampson had attended a screening a year earlier of the documentary "Paper Clips" at Broomall's Congregation Beth El Ner Tamid; the film tells of middle school students in Whitwell who set out to col- lect 6 million of the ordinary office supplies. Their teacher hoped the undertakingwould illuminate what the Holocaust meant--what that enormous number actually looked like. "I saw the film, and the tears came rolling down my face," Sampson, a 73-year-old accountant, explained. "I said, 'I have to go to Whitwell and thank these people for what they're doing.' " No Jewish community exists in Whitwell, an old coal mining town, popula- tion 1,600. Students decided to start the collection after learning that the paper clip had been invented by a Jew and that Norwegians had pinned them to their lapels during World War II as a way of expressing opposition to the Nazis. People from around the world heard about the project and sent in more than 30 mil- lion paper clips, 11 million of which now fill a German rail car donated to the Tennessee school by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. The box car was used to transport prisoners to camps. Yet another 11 million clips fill a children's memorial in Whitwell. Sampson was far from alone in being inspired by the idea. "I'm a big believer in bash- ert--that at the right moment an opportunity was going to come into my life and take what existed prior to that to a whole new level, and this movie was that thing," Sampson said. The lifelong Philadelphian, who grew up in South Philly and now lives in Broomall, de- cided he wanted to transport the spirit of the Tennessee memorial elsewhere. He first traveled to Oslo, Norway, and spoke with the city's mayor about what the students in Tennessee had accomplished. Sampson said the mayor had not heard about the memorial, and Sampson presented him with the book "Six Million Paper Clips: The Making of a Children's Holocaust Memo- rial." "He treated me like I was a dignitary," Sampson said. Then about two years ago, Sampson met with a Jewish architect in Philadelphia and shared his idea: to build a paper clip sculpture that would stand on the lawn in front of Congregation Beth El Ner Tamid. Sampson had already had one large paper clip fabricated in a Philadelphia shop. He hadn't decided what to do with it, and after the owner of the business died in 2007, the six-foot-tall sculpture was accidentally thrown away. Sampson was not discouraged and has provided all the fund-  Compassionate Service Care PRIVATE HOMECARE Cooking. Nursing. Errands Driving Companionship MUCHJEWISH EXPERIENCE & REASONABLE RATES Call Altia at (407) 401 -1376 or Annett at (407) 927-9360 CREALDI00 SCHOOL OF ART A Non-Profit Organization Established in 1975 OPEN HOUSE: A Night of Fire on January 5. Tour Creald's studios and galleries, participate in workshops and see a bronze pour, and register for specially'priced classes. Enjoy live music, food, refreshments, and storytelling around the fire. All activities are free, 5-8 p.m. The event also opens the Director's Choice III exhibition at the Showalter Hughes Community Gallery. Creald School of Art, 600 St. Andrews Blvd., Winter Park, FL 32792 PH: 407.671.1886 www.crealde.org ing for a second try. The designer of the sculp- ture is Robert Cassway, of Cassway-Albert, a Philadel- phia architectural firm. In planning the seven-foot-tall polished stainless-steel paper clip sculpture, ensuring its du- rability was paramount. Cass- way said he chose the steel because "it's a material that suggests everlastingness." And it needs no maintenance. "I wanted to build some- thing so in a thousand years from now, when some archae- ologist uncovers this thing, they are going to think that this was a place of impor- tance," said Cassway, who remarked that Sampson gave him creative freedom. The foundation below the sculpture will be made from Jerusalem stone, which is expected to arrive soon in Broomall. The stone will also be used for a nearby bench where viewers can sit. Some of the stone will be broken up into small pieces and given to congregants. Sampson wants the sculp- ture to stand as a beautiful piece of art and to stir excite- ment among fellow Jews. He also donated money for his congregation's education program, and the religious school will be named after Sampson's father, William Sampson. "One of the things that ex- ists today is people don't have the feeling I do of, 'How lucky I am to be born Jewish.' I want to inspire Jewish people to be proud of their heritage," said Sampson, who was honored in October by Federation Early Learning Services for his sup - port of Jewish, children's and secular organizations. Sampson also discussed his idea with Rabbi Barry Blum, who organized the screening of the documentary eight years ago during Selichot ser- vices. The accountant wants the sculpture, which will officially be unveiled in the spring, to bring together four communities: Oslo, Whitwell, Jerusalem--by virtue of the stone--and Philadelphia, like the four corners ofa tallit dur- ing the Shema prayer. "I hope that people don't just drive by and say, 'Oh that is the synagogue with a paper clip,' " Blum said. "! want people to stop and think about the deeper meaning of it, which is to be supportive of each other and to stand up for what you feel is right." Dave Burkhardt, a master welder, fabricated the paper clip sculpture. The 'cinematic Zionism' f /00el Brooks By Robert Gluck JNS.org Mel Brooks shows no outright sense of shame or victimhood in his hu- morous films, but his Jewishness is there without ambivalence, according to experts. "There is a simple pride and comfort in his Jewish skin," Gabriel Sanders, director of public programs at The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, told JNS.orgo "It's cinematic Zionism." As a heat wave continues to blanket the New York area this summer, film buffs are taking advantage of a free series of comedies at the Jewish heritage mu- seum called "Mel Brooks on Film: The Spoof is in the Pudding." Featuring six award- winning films from the 1970s and 80s, the series runs through Aug. 8. Brooks' parodies and sat- ires are cult" favorites and box office hits, and Brooks is one of only a handful of performers that have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award. Born Melvin Kaminsky in Brooklyn, NY, his fa- ther's family consisted of German Jews from Danzig while his mother's family were Ukrainian Jews from Kiev. His father died of kidney disease at 34, when Brooks was only two years old. In John Wakeman's book World Firm Directors, Brooks explained his reac- tion to his father's death. "There's an outrage there," Brooks said. "I may be an- gry at God, or at the world, for that. I'm sure a lot of my comedy is based on anger and hostility. Growing up in Williamsburg, I learned to clothe it in comedy to spare myself problems-- like a punch in the face." Angela George Mel Brooks Over the top and often like the punch in the face Brooks described, the humor in his films is muscular self-confident, as opposed to Wood Allen's neurotic style. "We had a Woody Allen series last year and hat was successful, so we wanted another iconic Jewish di- rector," Sanders told JNS. org. "It's been interesting to see how different the two are. Brooks' preoccupation with Nazis is not unique to just one of his movies. It's not only Nazis he goes after, but the powerful." In 2001, Brooks told U.S. News & World Report that he was never crazy about Hitler. "If you stand on a soapbox and trade rhetoric with a dictator you never win," Brooks said. "That's what they do so well, they seduce people. But if you ridicule them, bring them down with laughter, they can't win. You show how crazy they are." The Jewish heritage museum's series includes comic gems such as "Si- lent Movie," "History of the World Part I," "High Anxiety," "Young Franken- stein," "Blazing Saddles," and "To Be or Not to Be." According to Wakeman, after World War II, Brooks started working in various Borscht Belt resorts and nightclubs as a drummer and pianist. Another Wil- liamsburg resident, Buddy Rich, taught Brooks how to play drums and he started earning money that way at age 14. Kaminsky changed his professional name to "Mei Brooks" after being con- fused with the well-known Borscht Belt trumpet play- er Max Kaminsky. After a regular comic al one of the nightclubs was too sick to perform one night, Brooks started working as a stand-up, telling jokes and doing movie-star im- pressions. He also began acting in summer stock in Red Bank, NJ, and did some radio work. He eventually worked his way up to "tum- mler" at Grossinger's, the most famous of the Catskill resorts. Sanders invited Leonard Quart, professor emeritus of cinema at the City Uni- versity of New York (CUNY) Grad Center and contrib- uting editor of Cineaste, to give a talk before the Brooks film series opened. "Brooks' films are never subtle. They cartoon, par- ody, have no use for good taste, and are laugh-out- loud-funny," Quart told JNS.org. "He has no use for sacred cows." Quart said Brooks' films use Yiddishisms freely but, more importantly, are deeply embedded in a sense of Jewish victimization and oppression. "He sees comedy as a relieving of the pain of historical intolerance and of being an outsider," Quart said. "The films make us laugh and sometimes make sharp satiric points about racism, politics, and religion. Yes, they are zany comedies, but they also can provide trenchant com- mentary on social mores and history." Eventually Brooks found more rewarding work be- hind the scenes, becoming a comedy writer for televi- sion. In 1949, his friend from the Borscht Belt days, Sid Caesar, hired Brooks to write jokes for the NBC series The Admiral Broad- way Revue, paying him $50 a week. In 1950, Caesar created the revolutionary variety comedy series, "Your Show of Shows," and hired Brooks as a writer along with Carl Reiner, Neil and Danny Simon, and Mel Tolkin. Brooks never forgot what Caesar did for him and cast him in his film, "Silent Movie." "When we showed 'Silent Movie' the other night, he's merciless with big money. Much of the movie has Mel going around to different stars trying to get them to be in his silent movie. He makes fun of them. He really is a kind of equal opportunity comic," Sand- ers said. Still, some may claim that Brooks' films continue to push the boundaries of good taste. Quart agrees with this claim. "Yes, he can be vulgar, scatological, and outrageous. But for me, his films are too inno- cem, even sweet-natured, to draw blood, even though Brooks believes 'comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.'" To most, however, Mel Brooks' films remain rel- evant. "How do we define com- edy's relevance? If it's able to make us laugh, escape our lives, and, at its best, make astute sharp social and psychological points, it's relevant. I wouldn't say all of Brooks' work meets those criteria, but he does meet some of them," Quart said. Beautiful background Piano music lake an event extraordimtrv. Reasonable tee. (239) 821-2177 PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 4, 2013 Paper clip statue to bind together 4 communities By Eric Berger Jewish Exponent PHILADELPHIA--Harold Sampson drove 800 miles in 2005, from Philadelphia to Whitwell, Tenn., for one simple reason. Sampson had attended a screening a year earlier of the documentary "Paper Clips" at Broomall's Congregation Beth El Ner Tamid; the film tells of middle school students in Whitwell who set out to col- lect 6 million of the ordinary office supplies. Their teacher hoped the undertakingwould illuminate what the Holocaust meant--what that enormous number actually looked like. "I saw the film, and the tears came rolling down my face," Sampson, a 73-year-old accountant, explained. "I said, 'I have to go to Whitwell and thank these people for what they're doing.' " No Jewish community exists in Whitwell, an old coal mining town, popula- tion 1,600. Students decided to start the collection after learning that the paper clip had been invented by a Jew and that Norwegians had pinned them to their lapels during World War II as a way of expressing opposition to the Nazis. People from around the world heard about the project and sent in more than 30 mil- lion paper clips, 11 million of which now fill a German rail car donated to the Tennessee school by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. The box car was used to transport prisoners to camps. Yet another 11 million clips fill a children's memorial in Whitwell. Sampson was far from alone in being inspired by the idea. "I'm a big believer in bash- ert--that at the right moment an opportunity was going to come into my life and take what existed prior to that to a whole new level, and this movie was that thing," Sampson said. The lifelong Philadelphian, who grew up in South Philly and now lives in Broomall, de- cided he wanted to transport the spirit of the Tennessee memorial elsewhere. He first traveled to Oslo, Norway, and spoke with the city's mayor about what the students in Tennessee had accomplished. Sampson said the mayor had not heard about the memorial, and Sampson presented him with the book "Six Million Paper Clips: The Making of a Children's Holocaust Memo- rial." "He treated me like I was a dignitary," Sampson said. Then about two years ago, Sampson met with a Jewish architect in Philadelphia and shared his idea: to build a paper clip sculpture that would stand on the lawn in front of Congregation Beth El Ner Tamid. Sampson had already had one large paper clip fabricated in a Philadelphia shop. He hadn't decided what to do with it, and after the owner of the business died in 2007, the six-foot-tall sculpture was accidentally thrown away. Sampson was not discouraged and has provided all the fund-  Compassionate Service Care PRIVATE HOMECARE Cooking. Nursing. Errands Driving Companionship MUCHJEWISH EXPERIENCE & REASONABLE RATES Call Altia at (407) 401 -1376 or Annett at (407) 927-9360 CREALDI00 SCHOOL OF ART A Non-Profit Organization Established in 1975 OPEN HOUSE: A Night of Fire on January 5. Tour Creald's studios and galleries, participate in workshops and see a bronze pour, and register for specially'priced classes. Enjoy live music, food, refreshments, and storytelling around the fire. All activities are free, 5-8 p.m. The event also opens the Director's Choice III exhibition at the Showalter Hughes Community Gallery. Creald School of Art, 600 St. Andrews Blvd., Winter Park, FL 32792 PH: 407.671.1886 www.crealde.org ing for a second try. The designer of the sculp- ture is Robert Cassway, of Cassway-Albert, a Philadel- phia architectural firm. In planning the seven-foot-tall polished stainless-steel paper clip sculpture, ensuring its du- rability was paramount. Cass- way said he chose the steel because "it's a material that suggests everlastingness." And it needs no maintenance. "I wanted to build some- thing so in a thousand years from now, when some archae- ologist uncovers this thing, they are going to think that this was a place of impor- tance," said Cassway, who remarked that Sampson gave him creative freedom. The foundation below the sculpture will be made from Jerusalem stone, which is expected to arrive soon in Broomall. The stone will also be used for a nearby bench where viewers can sit. Some of the stone will be broken up into small pieces and given to congregants. Sampson wants the sculp- ture to stand as a beautiful piece of art and to stir excite- ment among fellow Jews. He also donated money for his congregation's education program, and the religious school will be named after Sampson's father, William Sampson. "One of the things that ex- ists today is people don't have the feeling I do of, 'How lucky I am to be born Jewish.' I want to inspire Jewish people to be proud of their heritage," said Sampson, who was honored in October by Federation Early Learning Services for his sup - port of Jewish, children's and secular organizations. Sampson also discussed his idea with Rabbi Barry Blum, who organized the screening of the documentary eight years ago during Selichot ser- vices. The accountant wants the sculpture, which will officially be unveiled in the spring, to bring together four communities: Oslo, Whitwell, Jerusalem--by virtue of the stone--and Philadelphia, like the four corners ofa tallit dur- ing the Shema prayer. "I hope that people don't just drive by and say, 'Oh that is the synagogue with a paper clip,' " Blum said. "! want people to stop and think about the deeper meaning of it, which is to be supportive of each other and to stand up for what you feel is right." Dave Burkhardt, a master welder, fabricated the paper clip sculpture. The 'cinematic Zionism' f /00el Brooks By Robert Gluck JNS.org Mel Brooks shows no outright sense of shame or victimhood in his hu- morous films, but his Jewishness is there without ambivalence, according to experts. "There is a simple pride and comfort in his Jewish skin," Gabriel Sanders, director of public programs at The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, told JNS.orgo "It's cinematic Zionism." As a heat wave continues to blanket the New York area this summer, film buffs are taking advantage of a free series of comedies at the Jewish heritage mu- seum called "Mel Brooks on Film: The Spoof is in the Pudding." Featuring six award- winning films from the 1970s and 80s, the series runs through Aug. 8. Brooks' parodies and sat- ires are cult" favorites and box office hits, and Brooks is one of only a handful of performers that have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award. Born Melvin Kaminsky in Brooklyn, NY, his fa- ther's family consisted of German Jews from Danzig while his mother's family were Ukrainian Jews from Kiev. His father died of kidney disease at 34, when Brooks was only two years old. In John Wakeman's book World Firm Directors, Brooks explained his reac- tion to his father's death. "There's an outrage there," Brooks said. "I may be an- gry at God, or at the world, for that. I'm sure a lot of my comedy is based on anger and hostility. Growing up in Williamsburg, I learned to clothe it in comedy to spare myself problems-- like a punch in the face." Angela George Mel Brooks Over the top and often like the punch in the face Brooks described, the humor in his films is muscular self-confident, as opposed to Wood Allen's neurotic style. "We had a Woody Allen series last year and hat was successful, so we wanted another iconic Jewish di- rector," Sanders told JNS. org. "It's been interesting to see how different the two are. Brooks' preoccupation with Nazis is not unique to just one of his movies. It's not only Nazis he goes after, but the powerful." In 2001, Brooks told U.S. News & World Report that he was never crazy about Hitler. "If you stand on a soapbox and trade rhetoric with a dictator you never win," Brooks said. "That's what they do so well, they seduce people. But if you ridicule them, bring them down with laughter, they can't win. You show how crazy they are." The Jewish heritage museum's series includes comic gems such as "Si- lent Movie," "History of the World Part I," "High Anxiety," "Young Franken- stein," "Blazing Saddles," and "To Be or Not to Be." According to Wakeman, after World War II, Brooks started working in various Borscht Belt resorts and nightclubs as a drummer and pianist. Another Wil- liamsburg resident, Buddy Rich, taught Brooks how to play drums and he started earning money that way at age 14. Kaminsky changed his professional name to "Mei Brooks" after being con- fused with the well-known Borscht Belt trumpet play- er Max Kaminsky. After a regular comic al one of the nightclubs was too sick to perform one night, Brooks started working as a stand-up, telling jokes and doing movie-star im- pressions. He also began acting in summer stock in Red Bank, NJ, and did some radio work. He eventually worked his way up to "tum- mler" at Grossinger's, the most famous of the Catskill resorts. Sanders invited Leonard Quart, professor emeritus of cinema at the City Uni- versity of New York (CUNY) Grad Center and contrib- uting editor of Cineaste, to give a talk before the Brooks film series opened. "Brooks' films are never subtle. They cartoon, par- ody, have no use for good taste, and are laugh-out- loud-funny," Quart told JNS.org. "He has no use for sacred cows." Quart said Brooks' films use Yiddishisms freely but, more importantly, are deeply embedded in a sense of Jewish victimization and oppression. "He sees comedy as a relieving of the pain of historical intolerance and of being an outsider," Quart said. "The films make us laugh and sometimes make sharp satiric points about racism, politics, and religion. Yes, they are zany comedies, but they also can provide trenchant com- mentary on social mores and history." Eventually Brooks found more rewarding work be- hind the scenes, becoming a comedy writer for televi- sion. In 1949, his friend from the Borscht Belt days, Sid Caesar, hired Brooks to write jokes for the NBC series The Admiral Broad- way Revue, paying him $50 a week. In 1950, Caesar created the revolutionary variety comedy series, "Your Show of Shows," and hired Brooks as a writer along with Carl Reiner, Neil and Danny Simon, and Mel Tolkin. Brooks never forgot what Caesar did for him and cast him in his film, "Silent Movie." "When we showed 'Silent Movie' the other night, he's merciless with big money. Much of the movie has Mel going around to different stars trying to get them to be in his silent movie. He makes fun of them. He really is a kind of equal opportunity comic," Sand- ers said. Still, some may claim that Brooks' films continue to push the boundaries of good taste. Quart agrees with this claim. "Yes, he can be vulgar, scatological, and outrageous. But for me, his films are too inno- cem, even sweet-natured, to draw blood, even though Brooks believes 'comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.'" To most, however, Mel Brooks' films remain rel- evant. "How do we define com- edy's relevance? If it's able to make us laugh, escape our lives, and, at its best, make astute sharp social and psychological points, it's relevant. I wouldn't say all of Brooks' work meets those criteria, but he does meet some of them," Quart said. Beautiful background Piano music lake an event extraordimtrv. Reasonable tee. (239) 821-2177