Writer. Reader. Reviewer. Resource Maven.

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.

  • Mark your calendars for an extraordinary event at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on January 29 (yes, it will be live-streamed): “An International Tribute to Elie Wiesel: A Community Reading of Night.” From the announcement: “Featuring Elisha Wiesel, Andre Aciman, Ambassador Dani Dayan – Consul General of Israel in New York, French Ambassador François Delattre, Tovah Feldshuh, Joel Grey, Sheldon Harnick, Jessica Hecht, Fanya Gottesfeld Heller, David Hyde Pierce, Bill T. Jones, Daniel and Nina Libeskind, Sheila Nevins, Itzhak Perlman, Ron Rifkin, Geraldo Rivera, Daryl Roth, Consul General of Germany Brita Wagener, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and many others.”
  • Mazal tov to the latest Sydney Taylor Book Award honorees recognized by the Association of Jewish Libraries. “Named in memory of Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series, the award recognizes books for children and teens that exemplify high literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience.”
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    Words of the Week

    “A worldview. A narrative. A frame. Whatever you call it, when it comes to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, The New York Times clearly seeks to steer readers toward the view that the Palestinians are, more or less, ‘just victims.’ And the necessary inverse is that Israel is, more or less, just a victimizer.

    This narrative requires the newspaper to obsessively focus on the Israeli occupation, Israeli settlements, and Israeli right-wing ideologues as the explanation for the conflict in general and Palestinian attacks on Jews in particular. It must also downplay the role Palestinian hate speech, incitement to violence, and rejectionism has played in the conflict. Apparently, it also requires the newspaper to dismiss the Jewish connection to any part of the West Bank. Continue reading ›

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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.

  • If you haven’t yet caught the new PBS American Masters documentary “By Sidney Lumet,” you can watch the film online until Feb. 2. (I recommend that you do. Strongly.)
  • The Theo Bikel Yiddish-Into-English International Poetry Translation Contest is currently accepting submissions for the 2017 prize. Cash prizes and publication. No entry fee. Deadline: March 20, 2017 (received).
  • The Jewish Advocate in Boston has “an immediate opening for a full-time news reporter and community editor.”
  • From the department of better-late-than-never: I’ve finally read Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love, and I’ve shared a few thoughts over on the Fig Tree Books blog.
  • And please mark your calendars for this literary event, happening at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (and online) next month.
  • Shabbat shalom!

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    My Year in Jewish Books

    StarFor the past five years, I’ve found it useful (and kind of fun) to look back on “my year in Jewish books.” So, borrowing some of the same introductory wording, I’m going to attempt to do something similar for 2016.

    Reviewing my reading for 2016 (thank you, Goodreads!), I can see that, again, I do not and would not ever limit my reading to “Jewish books” exclusively. (By the way, in case you haven’t heard me say this before, I define “Jewish books” in the simplest terms as books with substantive Jewish content. In my view, non-Jewish authors can write “Jewish books.” And Jewish authors can write books that don’t strike me as overtly Jewish.)

    But this year, as usual, I did read quite a few books that fall within the “Jewish book” category. And, as an advocate for Jewish literature, I’m proud of that.

    Below, you will find these books presented in the order in which I read them (most recent first).  I have also disclosed how I obtained each book: P (purchase), R (complimentary review copy), L (library), G (gift), or FTB (for books I’ve read in manuscript prior to their release from Fig Tree Books in my job as FTB media editor OR as part of the ongoing series of spotlights posts on past winners of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award). Continue reading ›

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    Words of the Week

    “But the secretary and his president long ago lost much of the Israeli public, even many of the settlement critics, by underestimating the depth of Palestinian opposition to the very fact of the Jewish state’s existence. The president and his secretary have underestimated, too, the consequent scarring — physical and psychological — that the Israeli public has accumulated over decades of war, terrorism, and demonization as the Palestinians and those who championed their cause have sought Israel’s obliteration. Continue reading ›

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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. Since we’ll be taking a blog hiatus for the “rest of the year,” this is the final batch for 2016. See you again in January!

  • ICYMI: check out my dispatch from this year’s Hadassah magazine/Harold U. Ribalow Prize ceremony.
  • Speaking of prizes: Mazal tov to Ayelet Tsabari and Amy Gottlieb, who have been named winner and runner-up (for their respective works The Best Place on Earth and The Beautiful Possible) for the 2016 Edward Lewis Wallant Award.
  • On Hevria: writing advice from Matthue Roth.
  • Better late than never: I should have shared Judy Bolton-Fasman’s poignant essay “Memories of Cuba Past” several weeks ago.
  • And I’ll leave you with this Hanukkah poem for our times.
  • Shabbat shalom, chag sameach, and all good things until we meet again!

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