Words of the Week: Taffy Brodesser-Akner

“This was a good book to read as I searched in my mind for other times that we cheer on terrorism except for when it’s happening to the Jews. This was a good book to read as the meme of asserting that the ‘questioning’ of Israel’s policies is not anti-Semitism morphed into something that was, by some parties, actually yes quite gleeful and strenuous anti-Semitism, until finally my sisters in Crown Heights began to beseech their male children to cover their yarmulkes with baseball caps and the world around me was heartbreakingly silent as Jews were cornered and threatened here in America for something going on very far away. This was a good book to read as my Jewish friends texted me that this would stop if we could just get Bibi out of power, and I wondered what they texted each other in 1935 as the streets in Europe overheated with pogrom energy and there was no Bibi and no Israel to blame.”

Source: Taffy Brodesser-Akner, “The One About Bibi Netanyahu’s Father and the Perils of Diaspora” (New York Times Book Review)

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 and writing.

  • Happening next week: the First International Agnon Festival. Lots of intriguing literary programming will be streaming in English (and not only about S.Y. Agnon!)—check out the schedule.
  • In honor of Hebrew Book Week, Hebrew-to-English translator Eylon Levy has shared a thread of recommended nonfiction titles.
  • Tablet magazine is accepting applications for its third cohort of journalism fellows, to work fall 2021. “Accepted applicants will work 15-18 hours a week from October through December—preferably at our offices in New York City, although there may be an option for remote work. The fellowship will resemble an internship program in that fellows will be paid ($3,000 for the three-month program), but it will share many traits with journalism school: strong mentorship, a cohort or “class,” frequent group exercises, and guest speakers drawn from the top ranks of journalism.” Application deadline: August 10.
  • Howard Freedman’s latest column for J. focuses on new books of fiction by “Jewish writers with Soviet roots [who] have deep stories to tell.”
  • And ICYMI: Last weekend the America-Israel Friendship League hosted an online event titled “Literary Snapshots from Jerusalem: A Conversation with Deborah Harris & Yaniv Iczkovits,” billed as “a conversation about contemporary Israeli literature through the lens of a top Israeli literary agent and one of her premier authors.” You can find a recording on Facebook.

Words of the Week: Kathryn Wolf

“We are the ragged ranks of isolated objectors doing the dirty work of calling out anti-Zionism in America’s powerhouses and hinterlands. Because that’s the stuff that rots the floor joists, leading to the moral collapse of otherwise good Americans who will grow to favor Deadly Exchange, and reject things like funding the Iron Dome that protects innocent Israeli children from rocket fire.”

Source: Kathryn Wolf, “The Screamers” (Tablet)