Sam Fishman, the Sinai Academies managing director, also makes videos. In fact, he has provided the vision for the videos that are shown at Sinai’s annual dinners.
This year, as always, he made a video that will be shown that evening. “Our dinner is known for its emotionally compelling videos, and this one is about two sisters whose lives have been changed by Sinai,” he said.
This year, though, he made another video as well.
Elie Wiesel and one of the evening’s honorees, Cantor Joseph Malovany, are old friends, and Mr. Wiesel very much wants to be at the Sinai dinner. “But because of his travel schedule, Professor Wiesel did not know if he could be there, so just in case he won’t be able to make it, he asked if we could record his introduction in advance.”
That was a great thing for Mr. Fishman.
“It was really magical to meet Professor Wiesel,” he said. “It was a great honor to be with him, and to hear him talk.
“You feel the entire weight of Jewish history in his presence, especially when he talks about Jewish continuity, the importance of Jewish education, and the sacred responsibility as Jews that we have toward children and people with special needs.”
On the video, Mr. Wiesel also talks about the Malovanys.
“Professor Wiesel speaks very personally and emotionally, from his heart, about his feelings toward them; about their closeness, and the joy of the friendship, and the joy that Cantor Malovany brings to him through his music.”
The connection between the men is generations old, born in Sighet, the Romanian town from which they or their forbears came. “With a twinkle in his eye, Professor Wiesel said that he sometimes fantasizes about returning to Sighet with Cantor Malovany, and singing in the street together.
“It conjures up an image that is both ironic and sweet,” he said.