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Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • Rabbi David Wolpe: “I’m often asked to recommend books. Here are five unique and powerful modern works that you may have missed or forgotten. These works will enrich, elevate and educate any Jew, indeed any human being.”
  • Moment magazine is looking for a part-time online editor.
  • Fathom shares an interview with Sayed Kashua, “one of the [Israel]‘s most successful writers.” (A lot to think about here–but I admit getting stuck with the suggestion that Gaza is currently “occupied” by Israel.)
  • I’ve got other plans, but if I were free to attend, I’d be interested in hearing Ruth Wisse speak about Jacob Glatstein at YIVO on March 4.
  • “As I discovered while conducting dissertation research on this topic, the ‘belle Juive’ (beautiful Jewess) trope was to early 19th-century French literature something like what the ‘shiksa’ would become for American Jewish writers: an exotic object of desire, but also someone one might marry to affirm progressive, universalist ideals.” Phoebe Maltz Bovy offers some interesting thoughts on “the intermarriage script.”
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    My Year In Jewish Books

    StarFor the past two years, I’ve found it useful (and kind of fun) to look back on “my year in Jewish books.” So, borrowing some of the same introductory wording, I’m going to attempt to do something similar for 2013, even if Hanukkah came so early this year that this 2013 iteration lacks the same usefulness a gift-inspiration guide.

    Reviewing my reading for 2013 (thank you, Goodreads!), I can see that I do not and would not ever limit my reading to “Jewish books” exclusively. (By the way, in case you haven’t heard me say this before, I define “Jewish books” as books with substantive Jewish content. In my view, non-Jewish authors can write “Jewish books.” And Jewish authors can write books that don’t strike me as particularly Jewish.)

    But this year, as usual, I did read quite a few books that fall within the “Jewish book” category. And, as an advocate for Jewish literature, I’m proud of that.

    Below, you will find these books presented in the order in which I read them. Please note that, where appropriate, I have included links to reviews, essays, and newsy items I have written; interviews I have conducted; and the odd blog post. I have also disclosed how I obtained each book: P (purchase), R (complimentary review copy/complimentary seminar copy), L (library). Continue reading ›

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    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen


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

  • The Association for Jewish Studies annual conference begins on Sunday, December 15. I’ll be following along via the Twitter hashtag #AJS13.
  • My thanks to Zackary Sholem Berger for this introduction to the poetry of Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, on The Forward‘s Arty Semite blog.
  • This week I’m reading Jason K. Friedman’s prize-winning short-story collection Fire Year, described by Publishers Weekly as “seven funny, fearless outsiders’ tales set in Savannah and Atlanta—some depicting bygone orthodox Jewish communities, others the rife-with-irony ‘New South’.” The opening story, “Blue,” previously won the Moment-Karma Foundation fiction contest.
  • Must confess that I’m not satisfied with the conclusions drawn in “What is a Jewish Poem?” But the piece did add another essay to my tbr list.
  • “The YIVO Institute and Bard College are pleased to announce the third year of the Winter Program on Ashkenazi Civilization. This program, the first of its kind in the U.S., presents an integrated curriculum in the culture, history, language, and literature of East European Jews.” Courses offerings include “The Other Sholem Aleichem,” with Jonathan Brent; “New York Intellectuals Revisited,” with Adam Kirsch; “Jewish Literary Life in the Soviet Union,” with Gennady Estraikh; and more.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    10 Ways to Celebrate Jewish Book Month

    book.month.poster.2013The 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.

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    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

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

  • As we marked what would have been Daniel Pearl’s 50th birthday this week, Heidi Kingstone reflected “on being a Jewish journalist in hostile lands.”
  • Yeladim Books is interested in Jewish picture books, chapter books, and YA/Teen novels for a new digital collection to be launched this fall. It is interested in licensing existing titles, whether current or out of print, and also acquiring new books. If interested, please contact Ron Zevy at rz(at)tumblebooks(dot)com.” (via The Whole Megillah)
  • Eva L. Weiss’s post for The Jewish Week’s Well Versed blog makes me hope that an English translation of the first collection of short stories by Ethiopian-Israeli author Dalia Betolin-Sherman will be available soon.
  • Unfortunately, I have other plans already, but my fellow New Yorkers should take note of “The Remarkable Life and Afterlife of Sholem Aleichem,” a free panel discussion at YIVO that will take place next Thursday, October 17, and will feature a powerhouse intellectual trio: Jonathan Brent, Executive Director, YIVO; Jeremy Dauber, Columbia University; and Adam Kirsch, The New Republic (Moderator).
  • And, icymi, over on my other blog I’ve given a detailed account of my attendance last Saturday evening at an event spotlighting Israeli author Etgar Keret.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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