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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.

  • Enjoy this remarkable account of “Two Days with I.B. Singer,” courtesy of Jewish Currents.
  • The Fig Tree Books blog launched a new feature: American Jewish Experience (AJE) Around the Web.
  • “Commenting on the [Jewish Quarterly/Wingate Prize] longlist, Director of the prize Rachel Lasserson says, ‘This generation of writers was born into stories of epic scale. Our longlist reflects their struggle to make sense of these huge stories.’”
  • With help from one of his children, Library Journal remembers author Howard Fast on the centenary of his birth.
  • And on my other blog this week: “Midrash on Happiness.”
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Tevye in Amherst: A Glimpse into the Great Jewish Books Program

    I have known Hannah Elbaum literally since before she was born. Hannah’s mom and I have been fast friends since our freshman year in college; I was a bridesmaid in Hannah’s parents’ wedding; and I was among the first to hear that Hannah was on the way (and to meet newborn Hannah in the hospital).

    So you can imagine how I began kvelling when I heard that Hannah had been accepted to the 2014 Great Jewish Books Summer Program for high school students at the National Yiddish Book Center. I asked Hannah if she would be kind enough to write up a guest post about her experience, in part because I wish I could attend the program myself. How I would love to spend an entire week in beautiful Amherst, Massachusetts, reading, discussing, and arguing about Jewish literature! When Hannah agreed to contribute her insights, I suggested that she might share with us a typical day in the program. She complied, and I’m delighted to present this glimpse into what was apparently a vibrant and memorable week.

    Hannah Elbaum is a high school senior, eagerly awaiting the next chapter in her life. She was a Diller Teen Fellow of 2012-2013, and a Rising Voices Fellow of 2013-2014. Currently, she is the president of the senior youth group at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where she has held a variety of leadership roles and is an active participant in the North American Federation of Temple Youth-Northeast Region.

    Please welcome Hannah Elbaum! 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.

  • A thoughtful review of Nora Gold’s Fields of Exile, which you’ve heard about here before.
  • Interesting call: “For this special issue of Prooftexts on Jewish Literature/World Literature, we seek papers that address Jewish literary multilingualism, translation, and circulation. Essays should combine theoretical and methodological concerns with readings of Jewish-language texts to illustrate the productive intersections of Jewish literature with the discourse on world literature.”
  • On the Lilith blog, Talia Lavin writes “On Mothers, Sisters, Narrative and War.”
  • “The interdisciplinary symposium ‘Global Yiddish Culture, 1938 – 1948′ invites historians, literary scholars, sociologists, cinema and theatre scholars to think about the nature of Yiddish culture that developed during this difficult period in Jewish history.”
  • Finally, I’m sad to say that this poem of mine, “Questions for the Critics,” is once again relevant.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week: Daniel Handler on I.B. Singer

    Isaac Bashevis Singer

    Isaac Bashevis Singer


    “Though Singer was an American writer, with a couple of National Book Awards to prove it, that doesn’t feel like the right nationality to put down on the Nobel list. Nor does Polish, which matches his birthplace. Jew is the word we’re looking for here. He’s not the first Jew to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, but he’s the first one to win it for writing in Yiddish, and we’re not going to see another one.”

    Source: Daniel Handler, “What the Swedes Read,” a recurring column in The Believer. The column on Singer appeared in the May 2014 issue, which I had the delight of thumbing through over the weekend.

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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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