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Words of the Week

What to do? Well, individually and as a community, make sure you know as much as you possibly can. Be fully informed. And then fight back — through academia, or journalism, or political action, or whichever is your area of expertise. Help others understand what Israel faces.

You won’t persuade the haters. But you can help prevent fair-minded people being manipulated and misled by the haters. And the benefits of meeting this challenge are enormous: you’ll be protecting Israel, and you’ll be working toward a smart, more knowledgeable climate for Jews in the UK and Europe. We are inextricably linked — the Jews of Israel and the Jews of the UK and the rest of the Diaspora. Our well-being is linked. We had better stand together.

Source: David Horovitz, “Strategies for Israel, and those who love her” (Times of Israel)

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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.

  • Presenting this month’s Jewish Book Carnival–hosted by the Jewish Book Council.
  • On the Fig Tree Books blog: a stroll down literary-memory lane (and a re-assessment of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America).
  • Jewish Currents has announced the theme for the Fourth Annual Raynes Poetry Competition: “Urge.” NB: This competition charges an entry fee of $18, which includes a one-year subscription to the magazine.
  • Here’s hoping that Baba Joon, the next official Israeli selection for nomination as “Best Foreign Language Film” at the Oscars, makes it to U.S. distribution soon.
  • From Mosaic magazine: a review of Edward Alexander’s Jews Against Themselves, which is on my tbr list. It’s a thorough review but doesn’t quite contain any spoilers: I’d already sensed that this book won’t be happy read.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week

    On Thursday, Regent Norman Pattiz urged the body to take a real stand against the anti-Semitic incidents described by students and said that was the intent behind making such a declaration. UC is the first statewide university to consider adopting such a set of principles against intolerance.

    “To not recognize why this subject is even being brought up is to do a disservice to those who brought it up in the first place,” he said.

    His comments were echoed by other regents and welcomed by Jewish students and groups. They said they hope a new statement will address a rash of anti-Semitic incidents.

    Source: “U of California’s new tolerance rules fail to condemn anti-Semitism” (The Times of Israel)

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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.

  • From The Jewish Week: new books “that capture the spirit of the holidays.”
  • “PJ Library is looking for a Social Media Manager” (to work, it seems in the Agawam, Mass., office).
  • Looking forward to digging into the latest issue of Jewish Review of Books (selected content is available online).
  • Appreciate that Moment magazine has put this story by Alan Cheuse online.
  • And ICYMI: On My Machberet this week–a Q&A with Adam Kirsch about Columbia’s M.A. in Jewish Studies.
  • Shabbat shalom, everyone.

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    For Those Seeking a “Deeper Knowledge of Judaism”: A Brief Conversation with Adam Kirsch

    Adam Kirsch

    Adam Kirsch

    It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Adam Kirsch’s work. So when I heard about Adam’s new position at Columbia University, I was intrigued. And when Adam told me that he was trying to spread the word about Columbia’s M.A. in Jewish Studies, I offered to “host” him here. 

    Adam Kirsch is director of the master’s program in Jewish Studies at Columbia University. A poet and critic, he writes a regular column for Tablet Magazine and contributes to many other publications, including The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. His new book of poems, “Emblems of the Passing World,” will be published in November.

    Please welcome Adam Kirsch. Continue reading ›

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    Words of the Week

    “In an apparent softening of party tone, Corbyn’s warm-up man, the journalist Owen Jones, recently reprimanded the Left for its ingrained anti-Semitism. Welcome words, but they will remain only words so long as the Corbynite Left – and indeed the not-so Corbynite Left – refuses to acknowledge the degree to which anti-Semitism is snarled up in the before and after of Israelophobia. The Stop The War Coalition is a sort of home to Jew-haters because its hate music about Israel is so catchy. It simplifies a complex and heartbreaking conflict, it elides causes and effects, it perpetuates a fable that flatters one side and demonises another, it ignores all instances of intransigence and cruelty but one, inflaming hatred and enabling the very racism it declares itself opposed to. 

    Let’s forget whether or not anti-Semitism is the root of this. It is sufficient that it is the consequence. Face that, Corbyn, or the offence you take at any imputation of prejudice is the hollow hypocrite’s offence, and your protestations of loving peace and justice, no matter who believes them, are as ash.”

    Read the full text of author Howard Jacobson’s “Corbyn may say he’s not anti-Semitic, but associating with the people he does is its own crime” on The Independent‘s website.

    A note: I’m sorry that the final “Words of the Week” entry for 5775 is not exactly upbeat. But as a writer, I found that Jacobson’s piece took on greater urgency for me because just as I discovered it I also ran across news of a “Poets for Corbyn” project. And then, this morning, came the news from Britain that Corbyn has been elected Labour Party leader.

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