Writer. Reader. Reviewer. Resource Maven.

Words of the Week

“I share the outrage of Jews and Zionists who recognize how antisemitism has infiltrated the academy and progressive politics in multiple and worrying ways. Even though these activists may vigorously deny the label of antisemitism, at the very least they benefit from deeply ingrained antisemitic attitudes that assume Jews (or the Jew-writ-large of the State of Israel) are inherently powerful, wealthy, aggressive, shadowy, clannish, and untrustworthy. With little of the intellectual honesty and empathy they claim to embody, many anti-Israel activists advance their cause with the aid of these dangerous tropes, and have enjoyed unparalleled success in singling out Israel for rebuke as a result. As a consequence, not only are Israelis dehumanized in deeply repulsive ways by a supposedly humane academy/progressive political class, but BDS activism in the far left has become one of the most effective vehicles for reifying and spreading calumnies and discrimination against Jews. This state of affairs has already led to violence against Jewish students on campus and the exclusion of valuable Jewish voices in progressive causes that have no clear, obvious link to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As a Jew, a Zionist, a progressive, a professor, and a campus rabbi, I am deeply worried about these trends and what they mean for my students.”

Source: Rabbi Rachel Isaacs, Jewish Waterville

Share

Labels: , ,

Share

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 newest issue of Lilith magazine features a lot of writing talent that I’m proud to say is familiar to me. Check out the Table of Contents and enjoy.
  • And speaking of Lilith—the magazine is looking for an intern (about 10 hours a week). This internship carries a “small stipend.”
  • “The JCC of Northern Virginia seeks a highly-motivated, creative individual to direct and expand an integrated Jewish cultural arts program.”
  • Two part-time opportunities with JewishBoston.com: one for a culture reporter and one for a parenting reporter. (via @itsdavidlevy)
  • And, ICMYI, a couple of things from me this week: the annual “My Year in Jewish Books” post and a new piece on Tablet.
  • Shabbat shalom.

    Share

    Labels: ,

    Share

    My Year in Jewish Books

    StarFor the past four 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 2015.

    Reviewing my reading for 2015 (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), or FTB (for books I’ve read in manuscript prior to their release from Fig Tree Books in my job as FTB media editor). Continue reading ›

    Share

    Labels: , , ,

    Share

    Words of the Week

    “In the decades since the end of World War II and the Holocaust, many non-Jewish Germans worked to erase the stain on their nation’s honor that the wartime Nazi regime had created. They repaired crumbling Jewish cemeteries, gave tours of their towns’ Jewish past, and investigated local Jewish history, often doing their work without pay or recognition.

    Arthur Obermayer decided that these noble Germans deserved to be recognized.”

    Read more at The Jewish Week.

    Share

    Labels: , ,

    Share

    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.

  • So many #JewLit awards were announced this week. See the announcements from the American Library Association/Sophie Brody Medal committee, the National Jewish Book Awards, and the Sydney Taylor Book Awards. And MAZAL TOV to all of the honorees.
  • Among those awardees is Shulem Deen, who won a National Jewish Book Award for his memoir All Who Go Do Not Return. Last month, I had the opportunity to hear him give the keynote address at a Jewish Book Council conference. And now, the JBC has published his “Top 10 Rules for Memoir Writing.”
  • And if you’re looking for other writing lessons, especially with a Jewish flavor, you might want to take a look at what’s here on the Fig Tree Books blog.
  • Update from the Jewish Plays Project.
  • And let’s conclude with this culture alert: “13 Festivals in Israel to Get Excited for in 2016.”
  • Shabbat shalom.

    Share

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Share

    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.

  • Did you follow that recent brouhaha about a so-called “banned” book in Israel? Liel Leibovitz dug deeper into that story for Tablet; read his piece. (See also Michele Chabin’s report for The Jewish Week.)
  • Fascinating to see what the National Library of Israel has been up to.
  • New on the Fig Tree Books blog this week: a look back on Philip Roth’s Everyman.
  • “If the American Jewish story is, on balance, a very happy one, why are our books so miserable? Where are the well-adjusted Jewish writers?” In a new review for Tablet, Adam Kirsch spotlights one of the happy ones: Herman Wouk, who has a new memoir out.
  • I’d fallen behind on the “Israel in Translation” series; here’s a tribute segment for Amir Gutfreund, the Israeli author who passed away this fall.
  • Shabbat shalom. PS: I’ll be traveling for the next few days; comment moderation and response will resume after my return.

    Share

    Labels: , , ,

    Share