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Words of the Week

“Furthermore, anyone who is a true student of the Middle East, including Jews (of which I count myself as one) who deeply empathize with the Palestinian narrative and yearn for a way for these two peoples to find the path to a compromise that honors multiple narratives and needs, knows that it is a gross simplification and distortion of both history and current affairs to present that situation as one in which the Palestinian people are the victims of the Israelis are aggressors. The reality is far more complex and involves international players who have manipulated the situation and not only the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

Source: Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz, “Intersectionality and the Limits of Ideology” (Rabbis Without Borders)

(Yes, I realize that an edit is needed. But I think you get the gist of what she’s saying.)

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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 latest “Israel in Translation” podcast spotlights “Israel’s impact on a particular literary endeavor in Gaza.”
  • The blog formerly known as Jewesses with Attitude has been re-launched as Jewish Women, Amplified.
  • “Washington Jewish Week, a print and multi-platform digital publication covering the capital region’s diverse Jewish community, is looking for an enthusiastic, quick-learning general assignment reporter/writer to join our Rockville-based news team full time. Our ideal candidate has experience with and enjoys writing both news and feature stories, knows the Jewish community of greater Washington and has social media experience.”
  • Dispatch from Jerusalem about Annette Gendler (and her book!).
  • And ICYMI: This week brought a new episode of the wonderful Hevria podcast. And guess who was host Elad Nehorai’s guest?
  • Shabbat shalom.

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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.

  • Two poems that caught my attention this week: Rachel Chabin’s “Equilibrium” and Marcela Sulak’s “Cell.”
  • “The Jewish Theological Seminary of America last week announced the appointment of Rabbi Bronwen Mullin as its rabbinic artist in residence.” (via The Jewish Week)
  • I am so tired of finding news stories like this one: “Artists ask Lincoln Center to Boycott Play Supported by Israeli Government.”
  • Envious of the teenagers lucky enough to study “Great Jewish Books” at the Yiddish Book Center each summer? I sure am. But I’ll take what I can get—so I’m happy that the Center has given all of us a taste of the experience with this reading list.
  • Last chance! We’ll be hosting the July Jewish Book Carnival right here on the My Machberet blog. For background on the project and instructions if you’d like to contribute a #JewLit-focused link (not a self-promotional one, if you please!), do check the Carnival HQ. Deadline: July 10.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week

    “On the other hand, Israel is meant to be the state for all of the Jewish people. It is meant to be a place where all Jews can feel at home, can pray freely and practice their religion the way they want, with respect and dignity. It was one thing when the cabinet passed the Kotel deal in 2016 but then got stuck with its implementation. At least it seemed on the surface to be trying to move things forward. Now, the message to millions of Jews around the world is that Israel simply doesn’t care about them.

    Reform and Conservative Jews throughout the US already feel like second-class citizens when it comes to ritual in Israel like conversion and marriage. By annulling the decision to create a prayer space that all Jews can call home, the government is leading this relationship toward an even greater divide.

    For years, Netanyahu has told the Israeli public that there is no one better than him who understands America and American Jewry. Today we finally understood what that means – he doesn’t really care about them.”

    Yaakov Katz, “Shameful Day for Israel as It Freezes Plan for Pluralistic Prayer Site at the Kotel” (Jerusalem Post)

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    Words of the Week

    “In my travels and talks and meetings, I am constantly running up against this problem. When people are polite, they often tell me how ‘difficult’ supporting Israel in their communities has become, because of the settlements, or because of offensive statements by Israeli politicians. The problem is a sincere one, but it is a structural one, and will not go away so long as (i) American Jews relate to Israel as principally a political cause rather than a civilizational force, (ii) American Jews relate to some policies and not others as resonating to the core of their own identity as Jews, and (iii) American Jewish politics are so different from Israeli politics, which is unlikely to change.

    And that’s when they’re polite.”

    Source: David Hazony, “Israeli Identity and the Future of American Jewry” (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.

  • I’m among those theatergoers swept up in the power of Oslo, which won a Tony award for Best Play this week. Itamar Rabinovich’s review for Jewish Review of Books offers some insights I appreciate knowing.
  • Speaking of plays: Check out this nice feature on the Jewish Plays Project by Amy Oestreicher for Broadway World.
  • I was lucky enough to be in the audience one recent evening when authors Matti Friedman and Nicole Krauss were in conversation—on writing about Israel and more—at Central Synagogue in New York. And now, thanks to JBSTV.org, you can catch a video of their discussion.
  • For The New York Jewish Week, George Robinson shares the four films that he believes are “the best Jewish or Israeli films of the first half of the year.” See if you agree with his choices (or add some titles to your to-be-watched list).
  • And a hearty mazal tov to all of the individuals and publications recognized in the latest round of the Simon Rockower Jewish Journalism Awards.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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