Mazel Tov, National Humanities Medalists

Last week nine individual Americans and one cultural foundation received prestigious National Humanities Medals at the White House. These awards recognize outstanding cultural contributions in multiple fields.

Commentary magazine proudly noted connections with five of the medalists, and presented links to some of their noteworthy work online. Thus I finally–far too belatedly–came to read Cynthia Ozick’s classic story, “Envy; or, Yiddish in America.” The piece appeared in Commentary‘s pages back in November 1969. If you have not yet read it, you must.

Congratulations to all the medalists (especially Ruth R. Wisse, who led one of my most memorable courses at Harvard, on Jewish-American Literature, and to whom I will be forever indebted for introducing me to Ludwig Lewisohn’s Island Within).