Jewish Literary Links

an open book (with Hebrew pages visible); subtitle reads "Jewish Literary Links"
Image by Yedidia Klein from Pixabay

Toward the end of each week, the My Machberet blog presents a collection of links, drawn primarily from the world of Jewish books. This week, more than 150 days after October 7 and on the eve of International Women’s Day, I’m amplifying five Substacks authored by Jewish women writers—four of them writing from Israel—for others’ consideration.

  • First up: Julie Zuckerman’s Monthly Author Newsletter. I’ve subscribed to this newsletter for a long time. It features “book recommendations, literary news, a virtual series connecting readers and authors of Jewish books, a story/essay of the month, recipes, and other thoughts on writing.” A native of Connecticut, Julie lives in Israel with her husband and four children; her post-October 7 newsletters have shared her reflections and observations on current events, too.
  • The brainchild of former Canadian ambassador to Israel and “Toronto lawyer turned Tel Avivian” Vivian Bercovici, State of Tel Aviv “is a weekly newsletter and podcast focusing on Israel, the Middle East and Jewish life. Our analysis and reportage delve deeply into the complex realities of the war in Israel, politics, business, tech, innovation and culture in this frenetic place.” This is another Substack that I was following before October 7 and have continued to appreciate since then.
  • More directly tied to recent and current circumstances: Vivian Cohen’s The Little Things, a War Diary offers “notes, thoughts and dispatches for friends and family in the aftermath of the October 7th attacks by Hamas on Israel.” I’m grateful that these posts have been made available to the public.
  • The eponymous author of Jessica’s Substack is Jessica Steinberg, whose day-job title is Arts & Culture Editor for The Times of Israel. In her personal Substack, she normally shares “updates about my latest adventures, which can include behind-the-scenes tales of my latest interviews and articles, exploring a new or favorite place, best-of lists, having to do with anything from musical performances and goat farms to gelato, Israeli TV and art in all forms.” (Of course, at the moment, nothing is normal.)
  • And the newest Substack on this block is titled Never Alone. As outlined by creator Elissa Wald, it’s intended for “progressive Jews who love Israel. I am addressing progressive Israel-loving Jews when I say that as of today – mid-February of 2024 – I have been watching you go mad in your attic for four straight months now. I have watched you be bullied out of your cherished progressive spaces. I have listened to you cry. I’ve heard you say you feel abandoned, betrayed, isolated, alone and politically homeless. I am writing this Substack to show you that you’re not alone. As Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat told us, children of Israel are never alone. And I’m going to make sure you’re not homeless. I’m going to make this place your home.” Reader, trust this (generally centrist) Zionist when I tell you how quickly I’ve come to depend on these posts.

Of course, there are many additional Substacks by Jewish women writers that I read and could have listed above, too! Feel free to drop some of your favorites (they can be your own!) in comments below. (Bonus points for explanations behind your suggestions.)

At this time, especially, let’s get these voices read/heard.

Shabbat shalom.

against a pink background, announcement of My Machberet post amplifying Jewish women writers

16 thoughts on “Jewish Literary Links

  1. Michele j Clark says:

    Boy this phrase really speaks to me – from Elissa Wald
    “I have been watching you go mad in your attic for four straight months ” – Thanks for posting, Erika

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      I’m glad to be bringing Elissa more readers!

  2. Honored to be included among all these other wonderful Jewish women writers! Thank you, Erika!!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thank you for all that you do, Julie!

  3. These are all well worth-reading, thanks, Erika!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      As is yours, Fern! (People, check out Fern’s hyperlinked name!)

  4. These are all great!! Mine isn’t just Israel-focused, but is about writing and publishing, and I write often about Israel and will be doing so during my upcoming trip there to volunteer and be a witness. Please consider sharing it or checking it out!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thank you for the comment and the link, Lynne. And have a safe trip–I know that it will be a meaningful one!

  5. Thanks so much for these, Erika!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Susan!

  6. Michal Mendelsohn says:

    You never fail to give me information that I need, I want and that is so relevant to a retired Rabbi, but un-retired teacher of deserving neurodivergent students, whom I love to work with. I have a complicated life at age 76- part time teaching: English, poetry, Latin, Hebrew, Government etc., I sing with 2 choruses and care for my wheelchair-bound end-stage Parkinson’s husband- and I am a part time published poet who has been nominated for a pushcart. To get what you bring to me, would take hours of scouring the web, which I do not have. Now I am trying to find an agent for my recently completed memoir, “Rabbi, Your Cleavage is Showing”. Keep up all the fantastic things you do. BTW, I loved your book of poems!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thank you so much, Rabbi Michal–and good luck with all that you are doing!

  7. Leah says:

    Great list, I’ll be following them. Would also love if they could check out mine, where I often write on current events and my memoir in progress.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Glad that you commented with the link, Leah. Thank you.

  8. As always, such worthy, important, thoughtful, links.

Comments are closed.