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Words of the Week

“Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are intersectional challenges. The intersectional justice movement should be doing everything that it can to tackle those issues and to include Jews and Jewish institutions in its advocacy work. Linda Sarsour’s cringe-worthy words, however, are symptomatic of a larger problem within pro-justice movements in the United States.

The intersectional discourse has empowered activists to form crucial coalitions, center severely marginalized voices, and establish united fronts against formidable enemies. Intersectional movements can generate great solidarity and progress. And yet, activists are allowing the value of these movements to be undermined by a handful of people determined to leverage these causes to promote hatred and exclusion.

It is time to push back. It is time for intersectionality to include the Jews.”

Source: Benjamin Gladstone, “It’s Time for Intersectionality to Include the Jews” (Tablet magazine)

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The (Jewish) Plays Are the Thing

Is it just me, or is it an especially rich time for Jewish theater at the moment? Especially here in New York?

On Sunday, I had the great privilege of attending a performance of “Through the Darkness: The Story of Four People Who Outran the Holocaust.” Staged at The Workshop Theater, the play is the creation of Alan Breindel, a member of my home congregation. 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.

  • It has been a big week for our team at Fig Tree Books: Abigail Pogrebin’s My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew is officially out in the world. There’s been lots of great press so far. Appearing yesterday: a super Q&A on Gretchen Rubin’s blog (with a special shoutout for Shabbat).
  • This week also brought the latest Jewish Book Carnival, which routinely features news, reviews, and interviews from the Jewish literary blogosphere. (Hosted for March by Barbara Krasner/The Whole Megillah.)
  • A timely look, 50 years later, at “Natan Alterman or Amos Oz? The Six-Day War and Israeli Literature” (by Liam Hoare for Fathom).
  • Two superb “long reads” for the weekend: Maxim D. Shrayer’s Mosaic essay on Russia’s Jews, and Sabine Heinlein’s “The Restless Ghosts of Baiersdorf”.
  • And speaking of long reads—if you’ve never read George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (or if you want to immerse yourself in it anew), the Tikvah Fund has an online learning opportunity for you.
  • Shabbat shalom, everyone!

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    Words of the Week

    “Like the Black Lives Matter platform issued last year, however, the Women’s Strike version seems engineered to specifically exclude one social group: supporters of Israel who do not buy into a one-sided condemnation of Israel, who believe it doesn’t deserve to be singled out among all the conflicts in which men and women have been oppressed, marginalized or exploited — and who don’t accept that the only solution worthy of discussion is the one that leaves no room for a Jewish state.”

    Source: Andrew Silow-Carroll, “The False Choice Between Zionism and Feminism” (JTA)

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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 love Sandee Brawarsky’s recent Jewish Week profile of poet Yehoshua November and his work; I was especially happy to read the piece just a few days before attending a Jewish Book Council “salon” that featured November and other honorees for this year’s National Jewish Book Award in Poetry (now the Berru Award in Memory of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash). Do read to the end of Brawarsky’s profile for news on upcoming appearances where you can watch/hear November present his poetry.
  • It’s almost Purim! Check out this timely excerpt (on the Tablet website) from Abigail Pogrebin’s soon-to-be-published My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew.
  • Speaking of Abby Pogrebin’s new book—you still have a few days left to enter this final pre-publication giveaway.
  • There’s much to inspire in this brief Hadassah magazine news item on a Bar Mitzvah boy’s efforts to bring books to kids in rural Africa.
  • Last, but by no means least: “Lilith Magazine invites submissions of quality short fiction, 3,000 words or under, for our Annual Fiction Contest. When selecting what you’ll submit, please remember our tagline. The magazine proudly spotlights both emerging and established writers. Winner receives $250 + publication. Deadline: 9/30/17.” No fee to enter. Details/submission instructions here.
  • Shabbat shalom and chag sameach!

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    Words of the Week

    “But my prime concern is not that people hold this view of Israel. Rather, I find it troubling that embracing such a view is considered an essential part of an event that is supposed to unite feminists. I am happy to debate Middle East politics or listen to critiques of Israeli policies. But why should criticism of Israel be key to feminism in 2017?”

    Source: Emily Shire, “Does Feminism Have Room for Zionists?” (The New York Times)

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