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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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    Words of the Week

    “Because there is no sense in not recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel unless one does not accept Israel itself, every discussion of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem must begin with the United States saying that the right place for the embassy is Jerusalem. In fact, the U.S. Congress did just that in 1995 when it passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, declaring it strange that the United States ‘maintains its embassy in the functioning capital of every country except in the case of our democratic friend and strategic ally, the State of Israel.’ Only then, having settled this, should the United States delve into the question of whether now is the right time to move. Alas, administration after administration has chosen to use a ‘waiver’ and postpone the relocation.

    So, is now the time? We can make a list of whys and why nots.”

    Source: Shmuel Rosner, “Is It Time to Move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem” (Moment magazine)

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Lit 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.

  • This week brought us the latest Jewish Book Carnival, hosted for January by Deborah Kalb.
  • A detailed call for submissions from the Forward‘s Sisterhood blog. (Yes, freelancers–writers are paid for their work here!)
  • “J. the Jewish News of Northern California has an opening for a full-time editorial assistant who will handle a multitude of responsibilities. The position is based in our office in San Francisco’s Financial District, and will begin in late February.” The same publication is also advertising for a reporter.
  • A definite highlight of my week: Monday’s “Jews and Muslims in America” conference, presented in New York by the Shalom Hartman Institute. You can view a number of session videos here; if you’re media-focused, you may be especially interested in a panel on “Jewish and Muslim Media, Reporting, and Storytelling.”
  • And over at Fig Tree Books, where I’m Media Editor, we’re delighted with another enthusiastic review of Abigail Pogrebin’s forthcoming My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew (this time, from Library Journal). Plus, we’ve launched another giveaway—enter here for a chance to win an advance copy.
  • Shabbat shalom, everyone.

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    Words of the Week

    “For progressively minded Zionists, our love for Israel is not the same as blanket support for every policy of Israel’s government. There are times — be it on matters of religious pluralism or, in the case of the last few weeks, the settlements — when American Jews believe that the present policies of the Israeli government run counter to the long-term interests of Israel. For those of us American Jews invested in the American-Israel relationship, America’s recent abstention at the United Nations was deeply problematic — an untrue and hypocritical condemnation of Israel as the primary obstacle to peace while Aleppo burns, Libya unravels, Iran and Russia destabilize their neighbors and, most significantly, a Palestinian leadership that has yet to perform the basic act of recognizing Israel’s right to exist. And yet, there remains the simple reality that the settlements are an obstacle to a two-state solution.”

    Source: Elliot Cosgrove, “Why Liberalism Vs. Zionism Is a False Choice” (The Jewish Week)

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