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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • New find! An English-language podcast on Israeli literature in translation.
  • Awaiting my attention: the latest issue of Lilith magazine.
  • “In honoring [Patrick] Modiano, the Nobel jury has embraced a tortuously and very specifically French-Jewish itinerary of belonging.” (Clémence Boulouque for Tablet)
  • “An outsider reading this extensively researched review of the way women are treated in the modern Jewish State might think that the author was describing Alabama of the 1950s.” (Ellis Shuman in a review of Elana Maryles Sztokman’s The War on Women in Israel.)
  • Guess who’s hosting the next Jewish Book Carnival? Fig Tree Books! Want to join in? Read this.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen


    Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • One of many sad consequences of current events: Israeli Arab writer Sayed Kashua is emigrating. I wish him all the best, and I will renew my efforts to read his books.
  • More TBR ideas in the “Summer Bookfest” issue of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute’s 614.
  • ICYMI here on My Machberet: two posts featuring “Words of the Week” and fiction suggestions for the current moment from D.G. Myers (and others).
  • So much content worth your time in the new issue of Lilith, including “Lot’s Wife,” a retelling of the biblical story, by Michal Lemberger; a stunning account of terror in Jerusalem, by Natasha Basin Levina (translated by Sonia Melnikova-Raich); and superb reviews of two books that I, too, have found remarkable: Marina Blitshteyn on Orly Castel-Bloom’s Textile (trans. Dalya Bilu) and Liana Finck on Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?.
  • An extraordinary essay by Claire Hajaj, daughter of a Jewish mother and a Palestinian father. (h/t @alexnazaryan)
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week: Jane Eisner

    “But divestment is not only about wielding punishment; it’s about shaping a moral conversation. Some of us feel as good about withholding our dollars as we do about spending them. The Presbyterians stressed that the vote was a statement about the occupation, not about Israel’s right to exist or, heaven forfend, their love of their Jewish brothers and sisters.

    Ah, but it is. Because when they singled out only Israel’s actions, troubling though they may be, at a time when the region is aflame with tribal violence, they did hold one nation to a standard that others are not obliged or expected to meet. How is that not unfair and hypocritical? How does that not undermine Israel’s legitimacy?

    As for their love for me and my Jewish brethren, it may be sincere but it’s awfully misguided. You’ll not usually find me in the Netanyahu amen corner, nor am I prone to identify anti-Semitism at every turn. But when Jewish treatment of Palestinians is judged worse than the way any other dominant group treats a minority, when it is deemed worthy of unique sanction, when other horrors around the world are ignored — how can I believe that this isn’t about the Jews? And that, my Presbyterian friends, is anti-Semitism.”

    Source, Jane Eisner, “Why Presbyterian Divestment Feels Like Anti-Semitism,” in The Forward.

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    Call for Fiction that Engages with “the American Jewish Experience”

    Via email:

    fig tree logo“Fig Tree Books is a new publishing house currently seeking fiction manuscripts that engage with the American Jewish experience (AJE). Fig Tree Books has responded to the need for a publisher to champion emerging and unique voices and created a place where writers about the AJE can launch their work into the world with visible celebration and support. Fig Tree Books is passionate about discovering new voices as well as expanding the audience for established writers. Although a small press, FTB has the resources to offer competitive advances, a variety of publishing formats, and a comprehensive marketing plan for authors. All books will be published in print and e-format, backed by a major distributor. FTB’s mission is to add to the rich tradition of literary American fiction that appeals to a major commercial market.

    The senior editor, Michelle Caplan, is actively seeking both new and establishing talent and will consider work from everyone, including those with no prior credits. She is in the process of trying to get the word out about Fig Tree Books and eager to recruit manuscripts and authors that may fit their model. She would love to provide more details about Fig Tree Books to any interested writers or agents with original materials or out-of-print classics on the AJE. You can contact her directly: MCaplan(at)FigTreeBooks(dot)net. Please take a look at their website www.FigTreeBooks.net, which will give you a good overview of who they are and their mission. You can find the link for submission guidelines on their home page.”

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    Paid Summer Internship at Tablet

    “Tablet is hiring one paid, full-time summer editorial intern. If you have experience in journalism and are familiar with the landscape of American Jewish life, we’d love to hear from you.

    Interns will contribute blog posts and full features as well as assist the editorial staff with research and administrative tasks. The summer internship runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day at our offices in New York City.”

    More info here. Application deadline: March 21.

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