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God's Chosen PeopleThe Origins of the Bible: From the scroll to the bestseller
Islam: Why they want to kill us. The history of IslamLove in the world of Islam: Lust, sin, and the Koran
The Six World ReligionsJerusalem, the history of the Holy City
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Upper Darby, PA and Hamburg, Germany
 
Ist eine Welt ohne Religionsgemeinschaften denkbar?: Eine Diskussion im Stern Magazin
Can one imagine a world without religious communities?: A discussion on the German equivalent of Life magazine
 
I did not know until today that one can often find articles written by various people by simply googling their email addresses.  To my surprise, I discovered some of my texts that I did not know had made it into various publications, including some of my thoughts on the function of religious communities in Der Stern (the Star), Germany's equivalent to Life magazine.  Der Stern has regularly published cover stories that deal with religion, that often bring up heated debates—ranging from zealots and faithful believers via agnostic to atheist perspectives.  To enlarge the covers, click the images at left, or to get an English translation, hold your mouse over each image.  Below, my text from October 2005 in the original German:  
Eine Welt ohne Religion? Das koennte eine Welt ohne Vorurteile sein. Eine Welt in der die Menschen mitdenken, nachdenken, fragen, nachfragen. Eine Welt in der wir uns als Teil des Staubs im Weltall betrachten und nicht als das Zentrum des Universums.  Als ein Mensch der in sechs Laendern auf drei Kontinenten gelebt hat und der schon seit 1980 in den USA wohnt, sehe ich leider keinen Beweis dafuer, dass es eine Welt ohne Religion geben wird, denn dann wuerden viele Menschen sich um ihre Sicherheit und ihr Fortleben im Paradies betrogen sehen.
 
Und wer von jenen gottesfuerchtigen Kirchgaengern, Synagogenbesuchern, oder Moscheebarfuessigen moechte schon gern darauf verzichten, ein Auserwaehlter zu sein der eines Tages zur Rechten jenes ueberirdischen Wesens sitzt, direkt neben Moses und Jesus, neben Buddha und Mohammed, neben Mutter Theresa und den Seelen der Heiligen und der Abgetriebenen?  Oder koennte es sein, dass jene Seelchen in der Hoelle fuer ewig wie junge Huehnchen brutzeln? Ein Leben ohne Religion waere letzten Endes ein Leben ohne Illusion, ohne den Trost, dass wir ewig weiterleben. Und die Sucht nach jener Pille des ewigen Lebens scheint staerker zu sein als alle Vernunft.
 
Und im Namen unserer diversen Religionen werden wir wahrscheinlich weiterhin uns als Kinder Gottes sehen, egal wie brutal wir uns gegenseitig behandeln und im Namen unseres Gottes unsere Mitmenschen im Nachbarland oder sonstwor auf der Welt umbringen in einem Krieg nach dem anderen. Religion als woechentliche Droge und als bewaehrter Sicherheitsguertel fuer's Paradies? Sicherlich.  Aber Leben ohne Religion? Wohl kaum. Eigenstaendiges Denken ist halt zu anstrengend. Honey, let's go and pray.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Canterbury, England and Hamburg, Germany
 
Chaos across England: A cyber-bottled letter bobs to the surface 34 years later
 
Der Spiegel, Germany’s largest and most influential weekly magazine, tougher than Time and Newsweek combined, but also fair in giving all interviewees the chance to fine-tune anything they said immediately after an interview, on January 14, 1974, published their title story about Britain entitled “Chaos Across England.” 
 
At that time I studied for a BA Honors in English, German, and American Literature at the University of Kent at Canterbury.  Having become fiercely pro-British and having discovered sarcasm as a literary device, I wrote a short letter to the editor, dripping with ironyDer Spiegel published my comments in its January 28, 1974 issue, and thanks to the Internet, they have now re-surfaced via Google.  Re-discovering this letter felt like finding a bottle in the Cyber Sea with an old message tossed away 34 years ago.  Moral of the story: Be careful what you say and what you write.  One never knows what the Internet Ocean may yield years after an event. 
 
Original: Der (super)großdeutsche SPIEGEL über Kleinbritannien im Stil der fleißigen Victoria ("We are not amused"): Wir sind gerührt. Fast!
 
Translation: The (super) great German SPIEGEL writing about little Britain in the style of busy-bee Victoria (“We are not amused”): We are moved.  Almost!
Canterbury (England) HENRIK EGER, Rutherford College
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tyme Gallery, Havertown, PA, 5:00 to 9:00 PM
 
Decompositions: Exhibitions of two young surreal illustrators at the Tyme Gallery 
 
Every second Friday of each month I try to visit my friend Edna M. Davis, owner of Havertown’s Tyme Gallery, and enjoy each new art exhibition.  This time, she featured two young illustrators who had met at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and whose work shows several similarities: both have chosen to select works that depict one form of decay or distortion after another and both utilize commercial aspects of art while retaining their own artistic vision. 
 
Some of David Seidman’s work—a combination of photography, montage, and painting—lends itself to a world in which readers of children’s books and lovers of surreal art fall into a rabbit hole and meet a modern Alice in Wonderland, as witnessed by the painting/photograph of a young girl with a Pinocchio-like nose that grows into a tree branch, appropriately entitled "Lies, Lies."  Similarly, his photograph “Unbottled” (click the image at left to see the full version) shows the possibility of a female genie that is escaping a bottle which washed ashore in a bathtub in the middle of nowhere. 
 
David’s fiancée Celeste Giuliano who specializes in shooting stylized portraits from the 1920’s to the 1950’s and who scours flea markets for vintage props and wardrobes, chose to present black and white photographs showing decay in buildings and various other environments, mounted against original blueprints, nicely juxtaposing the original intent of architects and the subsequent decay that had set in like cavities in a building or gingivitis in the mouth of a room . 
 
The exhibition plus hundreds of other works can be seen at the Tyme Gallery until July 10, the day before the next exhibition will open.  Click the image at top left to see a larger version of the photograph of both artists and myself.  
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Villanova University, Villanova, PA
 
Congratulations: Graduation Ceremonies for DCCC Students, Class of 2008
 
Few events in the academic world give me more pleasure than to witness students of mine on their graduation day walking across the stage at Villanova University and receiving their degree.  Of this year's graduating class, I met two former students and their families afterwards: Renee Marcozzi, one of the best students in my Interpersonal Communication class (SPE 100-51), who introduced me to her mother and her three sons, and Miriam Decena, one of my best students in my Research Writing class (ENG 112-52), who graduated with Kris, one of her triplets, and who was surrounded by one of the largest family gatherings I have seen in a long time.   
 
In her end-of-semester Skills Assessment, Renee wrote about some of the breakthroughs she made while taking my class: "I have evolved in all three aspects of my life due to the things I have learned from Dr. Eger’s Interpersonal Communication class.  In my academic world I have managed to expand from my usual quiet self.  In most of my classes at DCCC, I would come to class, do the necessary work to get an “A”, and quietly move on to the next class.  This class has challenged me to want and do more and since I’ve been in this class, I have more confidence.  I now ask more from myself and expect more from others.  This holds true in my professional life as well.  Even my personal life has changed due to this class as I feel I have learned to be a better listener.    
 
Miriam also shared her improvements in the course: "Throughout this semester, I evolved into a more effective writer and speaker.  Even though my first essay was excruciatingly painful to write, I survived after hours of hard work, writing, and rewriting.   After using a thesaurus and avoiding the use of passive verbs, my writing sounds dramatically more mature.  My thoughts and my conversations now depict more thought provoking materials.   Previously, I would have difficulty trying to get the words to describe my intentions.  Now, with organization and purpose, I speak with clarity and precision.   I am very grateful for the opportunity to write a research paper on the connection between my personality and my nursing career.   During my first job interview to be a graduate nurse, I used this information to sell my qualities for employment in their hospital.   In addition to learning new concepts, I discovered an attraction to plays. The Interact Theatre’s motto is 'changing the world. . . one play at a time,' which sold me instantly.  I know my road in becoming an exceptional writer has only just begun."
 
For a larger image of the graduation photographs with Renee Marcozzi (top) or the one with Kris and Miriam Decena (bottom right), click the relevant image at left. 
Friday, May 9, 2008
Tyme Gallery, Havertown, PA

Meeting Janet Sullivan Turner and her "found art": Opening Night at the Tyme Gallery

I attended the opening night of the solo exhibition of "The Works of Janet Sullivan Turner" whose exquisite artwork could be classified as part of the found art genre, which intrigued me as I have collected quite a few pieces from various artists in North America over the course of time.  As I arrived early, I lucked out in Ms. Turner giving me a private tour of her art exhibition.  Her often surreal works, some of which appear whimsical, appeal to me aesthetically, while others provoked deep discussions (see photo on bottom left).  

Ms. Turner has created the sculptures and collages on display from discarded wood, metal, plastic, and paper, combined with “recycled left-overs and throw-aways found in abandoned factories and farms as well as yard sales, flea markets and junk yards” (Dr. Burton Wasserman).  She transforms these discarded objects into works that create a surreal, nostalgic bridge between the present and the past in artworks that range from heartfelt interpretations of lost or forgotten Americana to pieces that reflect a playful irony.  For example, she entitled the “wood panel with found objects” on the left: "Mary McDougal Observes a Closed Rehearsal of the Miss America Pageant, Which She has attended every year since 1948."

Founded in 1997, the Tyme Gallery hosts a unique collection of creative artists with original and reproductive artworks, including photographs, sculptures, pottery, and porcelain for exhibit and sale. The gallery's juried exhibitions, along with monthly gallery openings, continue to feature local and international award-winning artists.  The Tyme Gallery opens exhibitions of new works on the second Friday of each month, events which attract large numbers of art-lovers from Delaware County and the Greater Philadelphia area.  As much as I enjoy the First Friday gallery events in Philadelphia, not even the best of them can rival the exquisite foods and wines served at the Tyme Gallery for each opening (provided by Antonella's Italian Kitchen of Rosemont), not to mention the remarkable gallery owner, Edna M. Davis, who welcomes all guests personally and introduces them to the artist/s.    
 
Click the image at left to see a larger version of Ms. Turner's wood panel, as well as a picture from the opening night reception.  
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Philadelphia Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA

Coaching Johann Sebastian Bach's "Jagdkantate" for the Philadelphia Chamber Chorus

I served as the German language coach, recording the text of the original “Jagdkantate,” the Hunt Cantata, written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1713.  The Philadelphia Chamber Chorus, directed by Raquel Garcia, presented that and other music by Bach, Brahms, and Dello Joio, at their Spring concert on April 27 at the Philadelphia Cathedral.  The conductor shared with me the other day that there were visitors from Germany in the audience who told her that they understood every single word that the chorus was singing and that it was sung beautifully in the original German.  For previous concerts, I had done translations from German into English for the program of the Philadelphia Chamber Chorus.  
 
Since 1951, The Philadelphia Chamber Chorus has presented sacred and secular music from all periods in history. Its activities encourage, foster, and promote a wider and deeper appreciation of music with particular emphasis on the outstanding choral literature of the past and present.  The conductor, Raquel García, has led the Philadelphia Chamber Chorus for 24 seasons as Artistic Director.  Formerly, she held the position of Artistic Director of The Swarthmore Chorale in Swarthmore, PA, and Assistant Conductor of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia.  She served as music director for several new musicals, including the Philadelphia area premiere of Paul Gordon's Jane Eyre: the Musical.  Accompanist Judith Large has worked as opera coach/accompanist for the Mississippi Opera Festival; assistant to the Artistic Director of the Pennsylvania Opera Theater (now the International Opera Theater); accompanist to the Thomas Jefferson University Chorus; accompanist for The Swarthmore Chorale in Swarthmore, PA., and, since 1984, as accompanist of the Philadelphia Chamber Chorus.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Upper Darby, PA

The Button, or, the value of waiting: Welcome party for Marius Wehner, Giessen University, Germany

Marius, aged 27, son of Hanna Wehner, my best friend in Germany and translator of "Bridges Over Troubled Waters," now studies for his Ph.D. in Human Resource Management at the University of Giessen (near Frankfurt).  He just finished his MBA where he wrote about "early internationalizers," that is, young entrepreneurs who expand their businesses overseas—a study based on 350 such business people who shared their success strategies but also their failures. 
 
It's against this background that I would like to invite all my friends in the Philadelphia area to come and meet Marius for a special welcome party at my home.  Every guest is asked to tell a story, play an instrument, sing a song, and celebrate life with all of us.  Marius chose to read the original in German, with me alternating in English, a short story by the popular German writer Heinrich Spoerl, called “The Button, or: The Value of Waiting,” which I translated for the occasion.  The photograph shows tall Marius as the wise little troll advising the impatient young farmer on the left.  For a larger picture of Marius as the impish adviser who gives the young farmer options, click on the image at left. 
 
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Upper Darby, PA

From the quarries of Brazil to my kitchen in Upper Darby: Granite countertop from a Greek-American company installed by a Ukrainian stone-cutter

Since I had very good experiences with a granite counter topinstalled by the Home Depotin my kitchen on the ground floor, I decided to install another one in my new kitchen on the top floor: the Winter Residence, formerly known as the attic.  However, when the Home Depot did not lower its price, I contacted various companies and found that Wolf Granite, an American company in the Philadelphia area, was willing not only to beat the competition and measure my kitchen with a special radar camera, avoiding the expense of having to make an extra template, but also guaranteed to install the counter top within a few days time.   They asked me to select a large slab of my favorite graniteJuparana Gold—from the Alpha Stone Gallery (ASG), Philadelphia's fastest growing wholesaler for granite, marble, and exotic stones.  To my surprise, the operations manager and son of the owner, Bill Papatzikas, turned out to be a former DCCC student of mine who, within the last two years, had helped his father to make ASG into one of the largest wholesalers and importers in the Tri-State area.
 
Wolf Granite's Andreiy Dyachuk, a master stone-cutter from the Ukraine, installed the granite counter-top from the slab that I had selected at ASG.  For a larger picture of the both the original granite slab from Brazil with Bill Papatzikas (on the left) and myself, and the finished counter-top (below), click the image at left.  
Friday, March 21, 2008
Upper Darby, PA

Dell, deller, dellest: DELLING, or buying a first-class laptop on eBay at a remarkably low priceA big Dell-ing thank you to professionals in the US and Asia

The Pilgrims must have dragged along my PC on the Mayflower when they landed in Plymouth in 1620, going by the many breakdowns that my desktop experienced over the course of time.  I contacted my tech savvy friends who checked with their neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Consumer Report, and their bright cousins at CNET, all of whom recommended a Dell Inspiron 1520.  Then I went to my favorite bazaar, and with a hushed voice, uttered the secret password: “eBay Sesame!”  Within seconds, the cyber-cave opened up, and I found “Cool as Ice 007” (eBay seller coolasice007), who offered me a brand new Dell laptop computer with everything one could possibly want, including a 1.5 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 250 GB hard drive, 2 GB's of RAM, a 15.4" display, and a DVD/RW drive, and much more—all at a remarkably low price.  Unfortunately, the seller shipped my new treasure via FedEx, one of the worst companies I have ever experienced.  Even though I had requested a morning delivery, they wasted gas and time and tried to deliver every afternoon, in spite of my daily reminders.  As a result, I had to wait another whole week.  Thousands of dissatisfied FedEx customers have lodged similar complaints

Eventually, my brand new red Dell arrived—a dream come true—and my old Mayflower model turned algae-green with envy.  Everything worked perfectly except for some minor trouble with my CD/DVD drive, which the one-year warranty thankfully covers.  I called Dell and a young, knowledgeable, and friendly computer engineer in Bangalore, India, walked me through the process of a long distance analysis and promised to send me a replacement drive.  To my utter amazement, the lightning speed of DHL Express delivered it within 24 hours.  Thanks to professionals like eBay seller coolasice007, Dell, DHL Express, and my computer savvy friends Dr. Mitch Maltenfort, Mike Fiscaro, and Jim Rutter, I can now write without my computer breaking down frequently.  A big Dell-ing "Thank you" and "Shukria" to all of them.  Maybe now I can trade my old desktop with some modern-day Pilgrims.

Monday, January 21, 2008
University of Oslo, Norway (Dec., 1964); Ebenezer Church, Atlanta, GA (May, 1965)

"Never give up building bridges!":
From becoming Martin Luther King's Nobel Peace Prize mail translator to thinking about his legacy

One of the greatest honors in my life happened in May 1965 when I met Martin Luther King, Jr, who invited me to become his Nobel Peace Prize Mail translator.  At the time, I was a German exchange student at Bethel College in Kansas.  The parents of Ruth Ewy White, a former American exchange student who participated in the same program in Wuppertal, Germany (my hometown), invited me to visit Ruth in Atlanta, Georgia, where she volunteered as a civil rights worker for Martin Luther King.  After his moving sermon on "Never give up building bridges," Ruth introduced me to the “Mahatma Gandhi of the United States."  I asked him whether he could show me his Nobel Peace Prize.  “Sure,” he said, before adding, “but frankly, I don’t know where I have that thing!”  I begged him to search for it, and he promised to try and find it, inviting me to his office the next day.

I could barely sleep that night, and the next morning, after finally holding in my hand the Nobel Peace Prize medal and the Award, signed by the King of Norway, I felt so honored that I asked right away whether I could do something for Dr. King, telling him that I was bilingual in German and English.  “Oh, German,” he said, “there are all those letters that I got after the Nobel Prize which have not been translated.”  Within minutes I found myself sitting at King’s typewriter, translating letters from all over Germany and Eastern Europe.  One of them included an invitation from the church of Johann Sebastian Bach in Leipzig, an invitation King could not accept as the Peace Nobel Laureate had been maligned as a Communist in the US and did not dare to visit East Germany.

To read a fuller account of my experience working as a translator for Martin Luther King, Jr., click here. For his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech of December, 1964, click here.  To read relevant excerpts of various speeches by King, click here. To see a video of the famous “I have a dream” speech of August 28, 1963, click here.
 
Click the image at left to see a larger version of the Nobel Prize and Martin Luther King preaching, 1965. 
Wednesday, January 9, and Monday, January 14, 2008
DCCC, Media, PA
 
Student advising and registration and beginning of Spring semester 2008 
 
I will be advising students as part of our late-registration day on Wednesday and I am looking forward to meeting all of my new students starting on Monday, Jan. 14th.  This semester I will be teaching the following five classes: 
 
Essay Writing: ENG 100-05, Rm 1165, Tu & Th 3:20-4:45
Research Writing: ENG 112-13, Rm 4206, MWF 1:25-2:20; ENG 112-52 Rm 1219, Mo 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Interpersonal Communication: SPE 100-02, Rm 2285, Tu & Th 1:45-3:10; SPE 100-51 Rm 2287, Tu 6:30-9:30 p.m.
 
For regular updates of syllabi, schedules, guidelines, sample essays, and other helpful handouts to give you a head start, click the DCCC menu icon above. 
Monday, January 7, 2008
Werne, Germany
 
Finally connecting with the author of "The Message of the Christmas Night,"
62 years after her encounter with a former enemy in post-war Germany, 1945
 

Over a year ago, I translated a deeply moving real-life story by Margret Hatting from German into English.  Today I finally managed to find her telephone number and had the pleasure of speaking with her on the telephone.  Now aged 85, she lives in her hometown of Werne, Germany.  Her account tells of a chance meeting with a 19-year-old American soldier in 1945  who was spending his first Christmas after the war as part of the US Occupation forces in Germany.  Lonely and homesick on Christmas Eve, he hears music from a little church, but stays outside, singing along all the same—all by himself. 

 

Margret (in 1945)—who, like most Germans at the time, looked at the occupying forces with suspicionwanders outside, and hearing him sing in English the same song that she is singing in German, slowly takes his hand, joining him to sing “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” each in their own language, unashamed of their tears.  Though the war between their countries had only recently ended, these former enemies realize the healing power of the holiday spirit and transcend the devastation and painful memories of their war-torn past. 
 
Frau Hatting (sitting on a bench  with her neighbor Frau Christel Ruciak on the right), also helped me get in touch with the monks at the Capuchin Monastery Church in Werne, Germany, who, within hours, e-mailed me with photos of the interior of their Kapuziner Klosterkirche (Capuchin monastery church, built in 1680), where the story begins, and the exterior, where one can see the Linden tree under which the extraordinary German-American meeting took place on Christmas Eve, 1945 (see photos on left).  For the original German version of her story, click here; for my English translation, click here.  
Monday, December 24, 2007
Wallingford, PA
 
From "Restricted Hotels" to Hannukah and Jewish humor:
Annual Christmas Eve party at Ruth Campbell's

Last year I read my translation from the German of Margret Hatting's "The Message of the Christmas Night" for Ruth and her family and friends.  This year she asked me to present my video on "All About Jewish Theatre: The world's largest Secular Synagogue and Open University" to show an aspect of Jewish culture during the holiday season.  I felt very honored that as a non-Jewish person from Germany, I was invited by non-Jewish friends to talk about Hannukah, the Festival of Light.  I also shared some of the more serious aspects of Jewish experiences in the U.S., such as prejudiced business owners who barred Jewish people and people of color from staying in their restricted hotels.  To illustrate this historical fact, I read aloud with great joy a satirical story of Mrs. Oppenheimer's Christmas experience at a Florida hotel: 

"Mrs Oppenheimer decided to get away from the often inclement weather of New York and spend Christmas in the deep South of the USA.  Being unfamiliar with that part of the world she wandered into a 'restricted' hotel and said 'Hi.  I'm Mrs Oppenheimer and I'd like a room for the next week.'  'I'm very sorry,' said the manager, but all our rooms are taken.  Just as he said that a customer came to the desk and unexpectedly checked out.  'How lucky,' responded Mrs Oppenheimer, 'Now you have a room for me.'  'Look, I'm very sorry' said the manager, but this is a restricted hotel.  Jews are not allowed here.  'Jewish!  Whaddya mean Jewish.  I happen to be a Catholic.'  'That takes some believing, said the manager.  Tell me, who was the Son of God?'  'Jesus,' she replied.  'Where was he born?'  'In a stable in Bethlehemsimply because some Schmuck like you wouldn't rent a room to a Jew.'"
 
Ruth's guests roared with laughter and then we role-played another funny piece from the Internet, the "Christmas party," where the organizers try to be politically correct with everything, even though the office Christmas party turns into a disaster.  In short, a good time was had by all.   
Monday, December 17, 2007
Upper Darby, PA
 
Annual "Victorian Holiday " celebration with my friends, colleagues, and neighbors
 
On this day, many of my friends came with some of the most extraordinary platters of food that they had prepared and a nicely wrapped gift for the Pollyanna at the end of the evening.  The early birds decorated my Christmas tree.  As the evening progressed, the house filled quickly with more arrivals, who sipped wine, champagne, or fruit juices, while mingling, conversing, and having a good time with a wide range of people of all ages, surrounded by candles and beautiful music being played in the background.  
 
One of my friends from the DelCo chapter of Toastmaster's International, Dr. Bernie Selling, wrote a note afterwards which delightfully summarized some of the evening's events, where every year, each guest is asked to present something creative: "Henrik , Thanks so much for inviting me to the Victorian party, and thanks for all you did to make the party a success. It isn't often that I see origami, weightlifting, harmonica and violin performances, poetry recitals, humorous religious parables, singing, and more, all at one setting.  Wow!"
 
Click the image at left to see a larger version of the "Victorian Holiday" host, Dec. 2007. 
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Martins Run, Media, PA

Rekindling of lights: Hanukkah with some of my friends at Martins Run

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday beginning on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may fall anytime from late November to late December. It celebrates the re-kindling of the Temple menorah at the time of the Maccabee rebellion.  For more details on Hanukkah, click here 

The photo at left shows members of my "News around the world" group which meets every Thursday evening at Martins Run in Media, PA, America's oldest Jewish retirement and care community.  This time, we were attending the Theatre Ariel fundraising gala "It's Time to Laugh" at the Prince Music Theatre on Dec. 17, 2006.  

To enlarge the photograph, click on the image at left where you will see, in the last row (left to right): Phyllis Handel, Sam Coleman, Dr. Henrik Eger, Irving (“Butch”) Grossman.  Standing in the middle row (L to R): Pearl Sand, Lily Isakov, Ethel Rosenfeld, Ann Grossman (my partner who reads the news with me), Edna Wolgin, Dita Schmidt, Ruth Mirsky, Carl Rothman, Arthur Rubin.  Sitting in the front row (L to R): Hadassa Levin, Evelyn Rosen, Ilse Greif, and Lottie Ehrmann.
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007
StatCounter.com, Dublin, Ireland
  You are being watched! 
StatCounter shows a steadily increasing number of visitors to this website from around the world 
 
StatCounter, an invisible free web tracker which we installed when launching this website in August, allows me to monitor and analyze a great deal of information about the use of my website, including  the location (country, city, and even the ISP) of all users, how they arrived at my website, which pages they viewed, and how long they stayed on each web page.  It not only shows the number of visitors on a daily basis, but distinguishes between first time users and returning viewers. 
 
As a result, the analysis of this flow of data allows me to fine-tune and develop this website further.  Example: during the last week, this website was used by 371 people in the US, 9 in Germany, 8 in Israel, and 1 in Slovenia.  In previous weeks, visitors to my website represented an even wider range of countries.  I would like to thank everyone from the US and overseas who logged on and found this website useful. 
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007
Hamburg-Harburg, Germany

95. Familientag Eger, 95th Eger family reunion
 
Wie gern wäre ich mit dabei, aber unsere Herbstsemester fangen hier in Amerika immer Ende August an. Ich werde an Euch denken, und ich hoffe, dass die jüngere Generation die ältere Generatio unterstützt und weiter Ahnenforschung betreibt und die Egersche Familienchronik im Stil der Zeit illustriert und erweitert mit Ehrenseiten für all die, die nicht mehr unter uns sind. 

Das Foto des Egerschen Familientags in Harburg stammt vom 25. September 1927. Wer weiss noch wer auf jenem 80jährigen Foto (links) zu sehen ist? Und wer weiss, wer auf dem jetzt 100jährigen Foto der Familie Eger aus dem Jahre 1907 zu sehen ist? 

Und nun, zum 90. Geburtstag unserer Tante Gerda am 25. September in Hannover einen ganz besonders herzlichen Glückwunsch über den Atlantik hinweg: Happy Birthday, Aunt Gerda!  Um das Foto zu vergrössern, klickt auf das Bild auf der linken Seite.  To enlarge the photograph, click on the image at left. 
Friday, August 17, 2007
39°57′30″N 75°18′29″W
 
Launching of my website: www.henrikeger.com
 
After many months of researching, writing, and editing, I finally launched the Beta version of my new website, letting my cranes fly free, including an updated Bio, News section, a history of Metronome Ticking, sample scene, and the responses and reviews of this docudrama, plus detailed theatre reviews, and several consulting services, including Unblocking Writers and Professionals.  

I am grateful to my web designer, Jim Rutter, prolific Philadelphia area theatre arts critic, for his knowledge and his patience, and for having created numerous links to original web pages, including machine web translations into French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and even Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Arabic. I would appreciate any recommendations on how to improve this website further from any visitor. Many thanks, vielen Dank.

August 14, 2007
Mumbai, India
 
Russian Samovar in India, an unusual discovery: Fragments of the past resurfaced
 
Preparing for the launch of this website, I googled the web to see if it was already listed. To my surprise, I found a fragment of my own writing quoted in an article by Indian journalist Behram Contractor [on June 4, 1980], about Samovar, the restaurant at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Bombay, (republished here on Aug. 8, 2007):
“Ah, Samovar [. . .] where the whole world meets the whole world [. . .] this lovely haunt of the artists and the poets [. . .] where V.S. Naipaul drops in for lunch and where Pearl Padamsee sits at the most prominent table in the place and writes her film reviews [. . .] I have no words to write about Samovar. So I leave it to Henrik Eger, a visitor from Germany, who must have one day wandered into Samovar and left this poem behind:

A Russian Samovar in India,
A German guest at noon,
A Muslim friend with Hindu eyes,
And I, engulfed by food,
By music and by plants.
"

Behram Contractor (1930-2001) also known as Busybee, "was one of the most popular figures in Indian journalism" (Wikipedia) and called the “Art Buchwald of India, the P.G. Wodehouse of our times and more."


May 19, 2007
Delaware Community College, Media, PA
 
Master of Ceremonies at the DelCo Symphony Orchestra Gala
 
At the Gala of the Delaware County Symphony Orchestra, I served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening's program, which included performances by international Opera singer Robert McFarland (on right in photo); Dmitry and Olga Borisovsky, brilliant pianists from Russia and Israel who played piano music for four hands; and the Rose Valley Chorus, who performed an entertaining selection from Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas.  To enlarge the photograph of opera singers Randolphe Locke and Robert McFarland, click on the image at left.

March 18, 2007
Urania Observatory in Vienna, Austria 

Official German-English interpreter for Vienna Chamber of Commerce President

I served as the official interpreter (from German into English) for the President of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Brigitte Jank, who gave the Welcome Speech for the City of Vienna as part of the Opening Ceremony of the World Congress of Jewish Theatre. Other presenters included the Keynote Speaker Theodore Bikel; our host in Vienna, Warren Rosenzweig, Artistic Director of the Jewish Theater of Austria; Mira Hirsch, President of the Association for Jewish Theatre; and Paul Chaim Eisenberg, Chief Rabbi of Vienna. The Conference motto was "Tikun Olam"Repair the World (see photo of poster at the lectern). For a fine selection of photographs from the AJT Conference in Vienna and copyright requests, check out the Tikun Olam website.  To enlarge the photograph, click on the image at left.

January 4, 2007
Martins Run, Media, PA
 
News around the world: Weekly workshops at Martins Run
 
Since 2005, I conduct a weekly workshop with a four-page newspaper called "News Around the World" for the residents at Martins Run, one of America's oldest Jewish retirement communities, including several Holocaust Survivors. Many of the Seniors attend regularly and actively participate in the discussions about world eventsone of the liveliest and most enjoyable groups of people that I have ever met.
 
I am most grateful to the CEO Linda Sterthous, Rabbi Meryl Crean (see photo), and Vicki Conner, the Culture and Entertainment Manager, and her predecessor, Linda Payes, for inviting me each week for the past several years.  For a photograph of some of the members of the Thursday night group, click here
January 2007 until today
Various locations in the US and abroad 
 
In case you're interested, click any of the icons below
to read the current news or to see more of the most previous news items & links
 
 
Click the icon at left for  HENRIK'S CURRENT NEWS
Click the icon at left for the THEATRE ARCHIVE
Click the icon at left for the
WORKSHOP ARCHIVE
Click the icon at left for the EDUCATIONAL ARCHIVE
 
Click the icon at left for the NEWS AROUND THE WORLD