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Words of the Week

“In other ways, though, even if he looks like a grandfather to his millennial supporters, he is actually representative of the direction the American Jewish community is headed. In those intervening generations, a majority of American Jews have tried hard to balance their liberalism with an identity that was also connected to tradition and religion, through Reform and Conservative Judaism, and an allegiance to Israel. But a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center suggests that the socialist worldview is winning out. When asked what it means to be Jewish, 69 percent of respondents answered ‘leading an ethical life,’ and 56 percent chose ‘working for justice and equality.’ Only 19 percent said it had to do with ‘observing Jewish law.’ Reflexive support for Israel has also declined.

These trends, which include increasing intermarriage, might eventually mean that the attempt to create a specifically American Jewish identity has largely been abandoned. This could be one more reason the Jewish establishment didn’t greet Mr. Sanders’s historic win in New Hampshire by hoisting him up in a chair like a joyous bar mitzvah boy. They see in him a reflection of these dismal statistics.”

Source: Gal Beckerman, “Bernie Sanders and a First for Jews” (The New York Times)

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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.

  • “The Sydney Taylor Book Award [is] celebrating and showcasing its 2016 gold and silver medalists with a Blog Tour, February 8-12, 2016! Interviews with winning authors and illustrators will appear on a wide variety of Jewish and kidlit blogs.”
  • In which Anca Szilagyi addresses family history – & fiction-writing – for Jewish in Seattle.
  • Big doings at Fig Tree Books this week, including the announcement of our latest acquisition and the release of our Winter newsletter.
  • “Well represented among Mount Auburn [Cemetery]’s Jewish residents are people of letters, including ‘freedom of dissent’ supporter and journal publisher I.F. Stone, as well as ‘The Natural’ author Bernard Malamud, whose flat grave marker says, ‘The master of stories,’ in Yiddish.” (Matt Lebovic/Times of Israel)
  • And for Valentine’s Day: a selection of romantic lines in Jewish literature, courtesy of Talya Zax.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week

    “During my time in Israel, I landed an internship with an Israeli non-profit that provided support services for foreign reporters based in Israel. For the most part, my job was to accompany members of the press on field tours, getting perspectives on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. I found to my surprise that much of the foreign press was ignorant and quite lazy in their reporting. They often had a less than limited understanding of the region, its history, and its politics. They tended to write stories that fit the preconceptions of their editors and producers. For the most part, this narrative consisted of the idea that Israelis are bad and Palestinians are good.”

    Source: Zenobia Ravji, “Yes, Many Journalists Choose Sides in a Conflict—and Often for the Worst Reasons” (The Tower)

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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.

  • It’s always interesting to see which Jewish books others recommend and write about. On the Bustle site, Anna Linton has listed 10 great books that she thinks every Jewish girl should read.
  • One book that this Jewish girl is planning to read asap is Helen Maryles Shankman’s In the Land of Armadillos, which was published this week. (Certain that it’s great from this Jewish Book Council review. Plus, it’s not news that Helen is a gifted writer.)
  • February’s topic of interest over on the Mosaic site is “Identity and the Jewish Museum,” and the offerings kicked off this week with Edward Rothstein’s thought-provoking analysis of “The Problem with Jewish Museums.”
  • Over on the Fig Tree Books website, Merridawn Duckler writes about Grace Paley’s Later the Same Day.
  • And speaking of the Fig Tree Books website–it has received a major makeover! Take a look, and note especially an exciting new direct-sale feature (with discounts!).
  • Shabbat Shalom!

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    Words of the Week

    “The bottom line is that it’s time for all rational progressive people, LGBT or not, Jewish or not, to stop giving credibility to these accusations of ‘pinkwashing.'”

    Source: Arthur Slepian, “How ‘Pinkwashing’ Has Become an Authoritarian Creed of Intimidation” (Haaretz)

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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.

  • “I’m writing in a tradition of, frankly, mostly Jewish writers.” So says Jesse Eisenberg in a Tablet interview (with Tal Kra-Oz) occasioned by Eisenberg’s new story collection Bream Gives Me Hiccups.
  • Jewish Currents is seeking an Associate Editor. (I asked the editor about location; his reply: “I live and work in the Mid-Hudson Valley [New York], but it’s not required for someone to be in my neighborhood.”
  • J. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California, is hiring a Managing Editor. (This ad is a few weeks old already, but I just learned about it this week.)
  • An interesting post on the Fig Tree Books blog this week (if I say so myself!) on the topic of “rabbinic fiction.”
  • ICYMI: You still have time to win a copy of my story collection Quiet Americans.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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