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I maintain two blogs: Practicing Writing and My Machberet. Posts for both blogs show up on this page, but you can visit each blog by clicking on the appropriate link. It's also possible to subscribe to each feed.

Practicing Writing: Here you'll find updates on writing and publishing opportunities (especially handy between issues of our popular monthly newsletter). You'll discover ONLY opportunities that charge no fees, and ONLY publications/contests that will pay for your writing. The blog also shares writing-related news, resources, and quotations; book reviews; and occasional updates regarding this practicing writer's own work.

My Machberet: "Machberet" is the Hebrew word for notebook. Since it's also (appropriately) one of the very first words I learned in my first Hebrew school in Brooklyn (and, I confess, one of the few conversational Hebrew words I still remember), I've chosen it to title this blog, where I offer write-ups on Jewish news (especially of the literary sort) and occasional commentary.

Words of the Week

“The sheer bluntness of far-right anti-Semitism makes it easier to identify and stigmatize as beyond the pale; individuals like David Duke and the hosts of the “Daily Shoah” podcast make no pretense of residing within the mainstream of American political debate. But the humanist appeals of the far left, whose every libel against the Jewish state is paired with a righteous invocation of ‘justice’ for the Palestinian people, invariably trigger repetitive and esoteric debates over whether this or that article, allusion, allegory, statement, policy, or political initiative is anti-Semitic or just critical of Israel. What this difference in self-definition means is that there is rarely, if ever, any argument about the substantive nature of right-wing anti-Semitism (despicable, reprehensible, wicked, choose your adjective), while the very existence of left-wing anti-Semitism is widely doubted and almost always indignantly denied by those accused of practicing it.”

Source: Jamie Kirchick, “The New Jew Hatred: Right and Left” (Commentary)

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Sunday Sentence

In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

Instead, one family wields incalculable political power, the other pervades pop culture and fashion like an incurable virus.

Source: James Wolcott, “Mother Knows Best?” (The New York Times Book Review)

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Friday Finds for Writers


Writing-related resources, news, and reflections to enjoy over the weekend. Continue reading ›

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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.

  • Next up on my TBR list: Ilana Kurshan’s If All the Seas Were Ink, which I had the pleasure of hearing the author introduce at an event in New York this week. (For another presentation, see this piece by Judy Bolton-Fasman for JewishBoston.com.)
  • Over on the Hadassah Magazine site, there’s a nice overview (by Peter Ephross) of female (ex-)Soviet writers “who have carved a literary niche for themselves in North America.”
  • A profile of Rachela Krinsky (by yours truly) for the Forward; Krinsky is one of the “dramatis personae” featured in the new book by David E. Fishman, The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis.
  • The Jewish Week‘s fall literary guide is out, and among other highlights, you’ll find there Sandee Brawarsky’s take on Reuven (Ruby) Namdar’s Sapir Prize-winning novel The Ruined House, now available in an English translation by Hillel Halkin.
  • And ICYMI: a couple of #JewLit items were featured over on my Midweek Notes post this week on the Practicing Writing blog.
  • Shabbat shalom!

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    Words of the Week

    “The aforementioned invitation arrived several moments later, to myself and other editors at Tablet, strongly suggesting that it had more to do with stanching the bleeding of a public relations problem that seriously resolving a brutal moral error. Even more insulting and infuriating is the fact that the invitation suggests that the New School sees this as a matter of balancing out two equally legitimate sides, each with its own point of view.”

    Source: Liel Leibovitz (Tablet)

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    Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

    Now It Can Be Told

    Oh, what a week it has been. Lots of good things have happened. But the absolute highlight has to be the days I spent in Rhinebeck, New York, as one of the co-organizers of an inaugural retreat for Jewish women writers. (That’s where I was heading last week when I warned you that I’d be away from this blog for a few days.) Continue reading ›

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