Feb 11

Rabbi Klaperman

Rabbi Gilbert Klaperman

Rabbi Gilbert Klaperman, 90, pictured in his study in Lawrence.

Yesterday I drove out to Lawrence to photograph Rabbi Gilbert Klaperman at his home for a story my friend Michael Orbach is doing. The rabbi, who turned 90 this past weekend, was born in Harlem to Polish parents who immigrated to the United States in 1911. For some context, Taft was president and the Panama Canal was 3 years from completion when Gilbert’s parents, along with the 637,003 other immigrants who passed through Ellis Island that year, first laid eyes on New York harbor. In his long life, Klaperman has been a religious leader, teacher and a lawyer. He has met heads of state, including Kennedy, Nixon, Khrushchev and Pope John Paul II, the latter two in an effort to open channels of emigration for Soviet Jews and to have the Vatican recognize the state of Israel, which it did. When I was leaving, I mentioned that I had to make a phone call, and he insisted that I use his home phone. That’s old school.

Feb 11

Back to Bands

Another music gig for The Star-Ledger (article)! This one was of the bands Thursday and Underoath at Terminal 5 in Manhattan and was a bit more challenging. The bands were hardcore (or punk, not good with my music genres) and preferred to remain in the dark or backlit most of the time. For the first 3 songs of each band, we (the photographers) were allowed into a space right in front of the stage, and snapped away as crowd surfers were passed to waiting security staff just behind us. It was a somewhat comical scene: screaming wailing band, pack of photographers furiously snapping away, and rabid fans and crowd surfers being passed to security in the span of 10 feet.

Feb 11

Some Bands

Here are some of my favorites from a recent assignment for The Star-Ledger (see the article.) They are the bands hellogoodbye, You, Me and Everyone We Know, and Gold Motel performing at the Highline Ballroom last week. I hadn’t heard of them before, but they all put on a good show and I would be curious to check them out again. And the thing about music, the light is always great… well, usually. I’ve been to some places, let me tell you.