Remember Cornelia Street Founder|


Orli Santo’s moving article on the lamented closing of the legendary Cornelia Street Café (“Israeli Musicians Blue Over Cornelia Street’s Demise,” Dec. 21) is deficient in a crucial respect.

Inexplicitly missing in the article is any mention of Cornelia Street’s visionary founder and long-time grand poobah, Robin Hirsch. Hirsch, an Oxford-educated Brit and a child of Holocaust survivors, is the author of the classic post-Holocaust memoir “Last Dance at the Hotel Kempinski.”

In addition to being a creative impresario who brought not only jazz but cutting-edge literature to the café, Robin was active in theater, in Europe and in the United States, for decades, teaching, acting, directing and producing.

Robin Hirsch was Cornelia Street; Cornelia was Robin.


is co-editor with Mark Silk of “The Future of Judaism in America” and the author or editor of four previous books and more than 100 articles, reviews, book-chapters and encyclopedia entries on Jewish public affairs, history, and arts and letters. Forthcoming is a book setting a historical and societal context for 100 years of Israeli theater.