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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, like me, you didn’t make it to the launch of a new Forward anthology Monday evening in New York, you’ll be especially grateful for Talya Zax’s dispatch from the festivities. (Okay, you’ll also really be kicking yourself for not having been there.)
  • I did manage, however, to spend some wonderful minutes listening to the latest episode of the Israel in Translation podcast. In this installment, host Marcela Sulak reads from David Grossman’s A Horse Walks Into a Bar, which came out in Jessica Cohen’s English Translation last month in London (and will evidently be here in the USA in February).
  • #Readukkah week ended yesterday. See the event page on Facebook for the virtual celebration of Jewish lit.
  • The Kveller site, “for those who want to add a Jewish twist to their parenting,” is “super excited to announce the launch of the Kveller Writers Fellowship. The fellowship is designed to give moms (or dads!) who are also writers the support, mentorship, and experience necessary to take a transformative step forward in their careers.” NB: “The fellowship is open to writers of any experience. The four writers selected for the fellowship will work remotely, but will be flown out to New York City during the course of the fellowship for a day of in-person workshops with the team (and dinner. And drinks. Definitely drinks). The work produced during the fellowship will be published on Kveller, and fellows will receive payment for each contribution.” Application deadline: January 1, 2017.
  • And my Fig Tree Books colleagues and I so appreciated the invitation that Foreword Reviews extended to our publisher to help launch a post-election series of commentaries featuring small publishers and independent authors of diverse perspectives.
  • Shabbat shalom, everyone.

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    Words of the Week

    “Can you feel the center collapsing all around you?

    Looking to the left and to the right — politically and religiously, here and in Israel — I see the gap widening at an increasingly rapid rate. The search for The Golden Mean, the desirable balance between extremes in our lives and worldview advocated by the Rambam (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, the 12th-century philosopher), seems unattainable.”

    Source: Gary Rosenblatt, “Struggling For ‘The Middle Way’ In A World Of Extremes” (The Jewish Week)

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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.

  • ICYMI: The latest Fig Tree Books newsletter went out to subscribers this week. It features lots of celebratory suggestions for Jewish Book Month, which is happening now!
  • Also ICYMI: Just yesterday, right here on My Machberet, I shared enthusiastic thoughts about Yehoshua November’s new poetry collection.
  • The Forward is looking for an Opinion Editor. (They’re also advertising for a Culture Intern and a News Intern. These are paid internships.)
  • Another haunting essay, grounded in her Jewish family’s experiences in the former Soviet Union, by Zhanna Slor: “Nationality.”
  • And as we approach the inauguration of a new American president, JTA presents a series of essays, each written by a Jewish leader, under the umbrella of “Worst Fears/Best Hopes.”
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    From My Bookshelf: Poetry by Yehoshua November

    I’ve mentioned the poetry of Yehoshua November in blog posts before, generally within link roundups. But I’ve just had the chance to read November’s new collection, Two Worlds Exist. And even if I don’t feel equipped to write a full-fledged review of this (or, frankly, any other poetry book), I want to draw your attention to this beautiful volume. (Especially at the start of the #Readukkah celebration!)

    These are poems about prayer, and marriage, and parenting (and parenting a child who has a disability). And loss. Some are spare; all are powerful.

    Reading this collection–which I did in a single sitting–I was struck anew with the realization of how “diverse” Jewish literature is, not merely in comparison with writing that reflects other traditions and cultures, but also within itself. November’s Judaism is not quite the same as my Judaism, and so along with the proverbial and familiar “mirrors” that I discovered as I read there I also encountered, perhaps more importantly, many quietly dramatic “windows.”

    Here are just a few places online where you can find a few of the poems that appear in this book: 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.

  • On Hevria: an important essay by Ayala Tiefenbrunn, who is descended from “a long line of proud Yemenite Jews.”
  • Nice Canadian Jewish News article spotlighting some of the Israel-focused fiction featured on JewishFiction.net.
  • Reminder from Fig Tree Books (where I am Media Editor): There’s a giveaway going on now for readers interested in early copies of Abigail Pogrebin’s My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew. (And if you’re a librarian/reviewer/bookseller, we’ve got digital galleys for you to request, too.)
  • Coming soon: the #Readukkah challenge. Learn all about it over on the Association of Jewish Libraries website.
  • And applications are open for a number of compelling lit-related summer programs at the Yiddish Book Center. There’s the Great Jewish Books program for high-school students. There’s a Creative Writing program for twentysomethings. And there’s a program for writers of Children’s Literature–blessedly open to us old fogies, too.
  • Shabbat shalom!

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    Words of the Week

    Technically, they’re words from last week. But it’s never too late to eavesdrop on a conversation between Leon Wieseltier and Saul Friedländer. Thank you, New York Public Library, for making this available.

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