An announcement from the Yiddish Book Center:
Great Jewish Books Summer Program
A week-long exploration of literature & culture for high school students
at the Yiddish Book Center, Amherst, MA
August 3-10, 2014
The Great Jewish Books Summer Program brings together a select group of rising high school juniors and seniors to read, discuss, argue about, and fall in love with some of the most powerful and enduring works of modern Jewish literature. Participants study with respected literary scholars, meet prominent contemporary authors, and connect with other teens from across the country. One of last year’s participants writes: “I had an amazing time every single day and would go to bed feeling excited for the next day.” And a parent adds: “Our daughter’s experience was off-the-charts wonderful!” So tell the young person you know and love to apply now for summer 2014! (And note: Every admitted participant receives a scholarship for the full cost of tuition, room, board, books, and special events.)
Applications are due March 15, 2013. For more information go to http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you follow my Practicing Writing blog, you may recall that over the past several months, I’ve been trying to learn a little more about playwriting.
As with much of my creative work, I’m drawn especially to the idea of writing a play with specifically Jewish content. (Actually, I might adapt a short story by another writer, although I’ve also considered adapting work of my own.)
Part of my learning process to date has consisted of attending plays and, to stretch a popular phrase, “watching as a writer.” In the past 10 days or so, in fact, I’ve seen three Jewishly-focused productions: “The Model Apartment” (Judith Miller’s review for Tablet echoes my thoughts on that one); “Bad Jews” (about which I’m less enthusiastic than Miller is); and the standout: “Arafat in Therapy.”
A solo show written and performed by Australian-Israeli Jeremie Bracka, “Arafat in Therapy” came to my attention via The Jewish Week. Its format and style remind me of Anna Deavere Smith’s “Fires in the Mirror,” which I saw many years ago in Massachusetts (although Bracka did not use interviews to shape his characters). Again, I’m struck by the extraordinary talents that are involved in writing and performing these solo shows that feature multiple characters.
My personal ambitions are much more modest. At the moment, my main ambition is simply to learn how to write a play. Ideally, I’d do this in a Jewish context.
And if the Schusterman Foundation funds my #MakeItHappen micro-grant proposal, “Jewish Playwriting 101″ will become a reality.
Read all about my idea. “Like” it! Share it! And let me know what you think about it!
The Holy Days are barely behind us, and we’re already preparing for Hanukkah (the first day of which, as some have realized, coincides with American Thanksgiving this year). But between these events comes something else that should be on your calendar: Jewish Book Month.
Running this year from October 26 to November 26, Jewish Book Month is associated most visibly with the New York-based Jewish Book Council. Many of the author visits to North American synagogues and Jewish community centers that are highlights of local Jewish book festivals occur during this time period. Check this list of sites associated with the Jewish Book Council to see what may be planned during Jewish Book Month in your area.
But whether you’re in New York or New Zealand, you can find ways to appreciate the richness and diversity of Jewish books and writing over the next month. Here are 10 suggestions:
Read the rest of my article for The Forward‘s Arty Semite blog right here.