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My Machberet

“Machberet” is the Hebrew word for notebook. Since it’s also (appropriately) one of the very first words I learned in my first Hebrew school in Brooklyn (and, I confess, one of the few conversational Hebrew words I still remember), I’ve chosen it to title this blog, where I offer write-ups on Jewish news (especially of the literary sort) and occasional commentary.

Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • “The digital version of The Canadian Jewish News, cjnews.com, is rolling out a first-person essay section, and we’re looking for content! We’re soliciting first-person essays that are fresh, thoughtful and honest, written in a strong narrative voice. Wherever you fall on the denominational spectrum – whether you’re Orthodox, traditional, secular, an atheist, whatever – we’re interested in writing that highlights your experience of being Jewish – whatever that looks like, or means to you – in 2017.” Check the announcement for guidelines (and note that I’ve confirmed with the editor that essayists will be paid).
  • “JWA is accepting applications for the 2017-2018 Rising Voices Fellowship, a national program for Jewish female-identified teens that builds leadership through writing and develops young women’s ability to influence important conversations of the Jewish community. Interested teens going into grades 10-12 who have a passion for writing, feminism, and social justice are invited to apply by April 23, 2017.”
  • Posted this week: the February Jewish Book Carnival, featuring news, reviews, and interviews from the world of Jewish Books.
  • Also up this week (and much appreciated by our team at Fig Tree Books LLC): a Publishers Weekly Q&A with author Abigail Pogrebin ahead of the release of My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew.
  • And ICYMI: Last week, I participated with several other authors in “Memory Transferred: Voices from the Descendants of Destruction and Displacement” at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Video of that event is now available. Meantime, I’m preparing for a panel happening next week at Columbia University, on the subject of Jewish book publishing.
  • Shabbat shalom, everyone.

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    Words of the Week

    Many meaningful words were shared by my fellow panelists at last Thursday’s “Memory Transferred: Voices from the Descendants of Destruction and Displacement,” an event held at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. I’m proud to present this video from the evening.

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    A Brief Note

    (Cross-posted on Practicing Writing.)

    I’ve adjusted my travel plans in order to be sure to arrive in time for our big event at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Thursday evening, one of many off-site events complementing this year’s Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference. So I will soon be off to DC!

    In any event, this will be my last post for a few days. I’ll be back to the blog(s) when I return from Washington. Thanks for your patience—and safe and easy travels to everyone making their way to #AWP17.

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    Words of the Week

    “I recognize that there are those people, on the right and on the left, for whom their relationship to Israel is not just a moral imperative but an exclusive imperative; and for whom, therefore, common cause with an opponent issue entails transgressing an impassable line. I respect this position, especially in its self-awareness of its hierarchy of moral choices. But I also believe it is a tragic position to take in a political moment that requires of us commitments to more than one moral imperative; and also because I wonder whether our willingness to work with outspoken critics of Israel right now, when we agree on many other issues, may in fact enable us to manage those tensions with those critics more effectively in the long run. I think a David Ben-Gurion-like position is a perfectly tenable moral position that balances multiple moral imperatives: We fight for our moral values in American political life as though there was no disagreement with our allies on these issues on Israel, and we fight on Israel with critics of Israel as though there was no domestic agenda. The existence of multiple moral frameworks with which to view the world is not a sign of confusion; it is a sign of sophistication and strength.”

    Food for thought (for me, at any rate.)

    Source: Yehuda Kurtzer, “Linda Sarsour and American Jewish Politics” (Jewish Journal)

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • A gorgeous poem by Rick Chess, “The Next Abraham,” in a blog post of the same title.
  • Marvelous short story by Susan Daitch, “Festival of the Departed,” on Tablet.
  • “PJ Library®, an international, award-winning, Jewish family engagement program created by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF), is seeking an International Lead to take a lead role in managing and growing PJ Library programs and the various partnerships that sustain them around the world.”
  • “Israeli banknotes will soon be graced with female faces of the Hebrew poetesses Rachel Bluwstein and Leah Goldberg.” (See the Forward‘s dispatch.)
  • And over at the day job, the Fig Tree Books team was thrilled to see another enthusiastic pre-publication review for Abigail Pogrebin’s My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • Grateful that my prose poem “Diaspora” appears in an e-booklet assembled by Lagan Online for Holocaust Memorial Day 2017.
  • This week I spent some time updating this list of awards and prizes for writing on Jewish themes.
  • The passing of Mary Tyler Moore this week inspired me to revisit this Jewniverse article about one episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show with particular Jewish significance.
  • Happening next month in New York: a panel discussion on Jewish book publishing. (And yes, I’m one of the panelists.)
  • And I’m happy to share the latest newsletter I’ve put together for Fig Tree Books.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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