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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.

An Open Letter to The New Yorker on Its “Fauda” Coverage

Since The New Yorker has evidently chosen not to publish a letter I sent in following the release of its September 4 “Television” issue, I am publishing that letter here. 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.

  • “It’s funny to be back at camp, almost 30 years later. Teaching writing—not as a crafts elective—but as part of a required Jewish education. It is a Jewish camp, after all, a camp that prides itself on text and learning; that requires campers to take two classes a day despite the fact that they are almost all staunchly allergic to the idea of ‘school’ in the summer.” From a beautiful essay by Sara Lippmann that I’d be sharing even if my name didn’t appear within.
  • A year after the passing of Shimon Peres—the statesman’s memoir appears.
  • This week’s “Israel in Translation” podcast features the poetry of Eli Eliahu (as translated by Kevin Haworth, Adriana X. Jacobs, and Vivian Eden).
  • A new issue of JewishFiction.net went live this week.
  • And a great, inspiring time was had by all at Tuesday evening’s launch event here in New York for Rabbi Shai Held’s The Heart of Torah: Essays on the Weekly Torah Portion. Listen to recordings from the evening. Check out the online photo album. Consult the tour schedule to see if Rabbi Held will be in your neighborhood sometime soon. Enter the current giveaway. And note this discount offer from The Jewish Publication Society.
  • Shabbat shalom, everyone.

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    Words of the Week

    “If given today’s false choice between learning the watch-your-back lessons of Munich or the Blame-Israel-first lessons of Lebanon, I start with Munich. We can’t be pure if we don’t survive. But I’m with the late Leonard Fein – let’s risk the nervous breakdown and navigate the world’s messiness – aspiring to be good, after ensuring we stay alive.”

    Source: Gil Troy, “Sabra, Shatila, and the Rise of the Jewish Voice for Israeli Suicide” (Jerusalem Post)

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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.

  • The Jewish Women’s Archive has announced its list of titles for its 2017-18/5778 Book Club. (And they’ve made some excellent selections!)
  • Over on the PJ Library site, Laurel Snyder has a lovely brief piece on “Writing the Books I Wish I Grew Up With.”
  • Awst Press has been publishing an intriguing series of essays on religion/spirituality. Begin with the curators’ introduction and then peruse the pieces posted to date. (Don’t miss the one by Alicia Jo Rabins.)
  • Got a flash story written in Hebrew? You might want to send it to SmokeLong Quarterly (this does not appear to be a paying opportunity, but I make exceptions for such things on the My Machberet blog).
  • Finally, it’s a bittersweet honor to present my own Tablet piece on an exhibition of the art of Hadar Goldin.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week

    “The JVP call for a flat right of return where the legitimate Palestinian leadership has accepted compromise is one example among many of how the Palestinian solidarity movement in the diaspora has cut loose from the actual Palestinian national movement and hitched itself to the extremist Palestinian opposition. Another is the frequent attack by pro-Palestinian activists on Israel’s right to exist, something the Palestinian leadership has formally recognized at least since 1993.”

    Source: J.J. Goldberg, “The One Weird Thing That Birthright And JVP Have In Common” (Forward)

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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.

  • Other Covenants, the first-ever anthology of Jewish alternate history, to be published by ChiZine Publications in Fall 2019,” seeks submissions. (via Selene MacLeod)
  • The Jewish Advocate (Boston) is hiring a reporter.
  • And in Los Angeles, there’s a job opportunity for a PJ Library Program Manager.
  • I was so excited to discover Ben Yehuda Press’s new emphasis on Jewish poetry that I had to immediately support their Kickstarter project.
  • Finally: a hearty mazal tov to Bethany Ball, whose What to Do About the Solomons was recently shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize.
  • Shabbat shalom!

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