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Scholar In Residence Matti Matti Friedman: Shabbat Lunch & Presentation

Saturday, December 3, 2022 9 Kislev 5783

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

We’re very excited to welcome Matti Friedman to Congregation Beth El from his home in Jerusalem. 

After Shabbat morning services, Matti Friedman will discuss: 

Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai
In October 1973, the poet and singer Leonard Cohen—thirty-nine years old, famous, unhappy, and at a creative dead end—traveled from his home on the Greek island of Hydra to the chaos and bloodshed of the Sinai desert when Egypt attacked Israel on the Jewish high holiday of Yom Kippur. Moving around the front with a guitar and a group of local musicians, Cohen met hundreds of young soldiers, men and women at the worst moment of their lives. Those who survived never forgot the experience. And the war transformed Cohen. He had announced that he was abandoning his music career, but he instead returned to Hydra and to his family, had a second child, and released one of the best albums of his career. In Who by Fire, journalist Matti Friedman gives us a riveting account of those weeks in the Sinai, drawing on Cohen’s previously unpublished writing and original reporting to create a kaleidoscopic depiction of a harrowing, formative moment for both a young country at war and a singer at a crossroads.

Matti Friedman, a journalist, is the author of four works of nonfiction. His most recent book is “Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai.” An award-winning journalist and authoritative voice on covering Israel and the Middle East, Matti’s work as a reporter has taken him from Israel to Lebanon, Morocco, Moscow, the Caucasus, and Washington, DC. A former Associated Press correspondent and essayist for the New York Times opinion section, he currently writes a monthly feature for Tablet Magazine. His writing has appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, the Atlantic, and elsewhere. He was born in Toronto and lives in Jerusalem with his family.


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Fri, December 2 2022 8 Kislev 5783