Guidelines have been posted for the next Moment Magazine High School Essay Contest (a “social action writing contest for high school students in grades 9-12”) and its Publish-a-Kid Contest, which invites “young readers [ages 9-13] to write book reviews.” Apart from publication, it’s hard to discern what other prizes may be awarded (on the other hand, there’s no entry fee for these competitions, either). Guidelines for the High School Essay Contest (deadline: December 15, 2008) are here; guidelines for the Publish-a-Kid Contest (deadline: December 8, 2008) are here.
Just received an e-mail about a job available at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Silberman Foundation ITS Research Scholar is responsible, “under the supervision of the Director of the Center’s Visiting Scholar Programs and in consultation with the Center Director, for planning and implementing research workshops, symposia, seminars, and other outreach activities that guide, encourage, and enhance scholarly investigation of the more than 100 million digital images of documentation held by the International Tracing Service (ITS) that are being transferred to the Museum. These activities may involve cooperative efforts with other research and educational institutions or with ITS itself. The incumbent will also undertake assigned research and publication projects utilizing the rich documentary resource that the ITS archives represent.” For more information, click here.
(Happy to spread the word about this for the folks at the Jewish Book Council):
On Monday, August 4th at 7PM Tamar Yellin, Winner of the Jewish Book Council’s Inaugural 2007 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, will be reading from and discussing The Genizah at the House of Shepher at the Barnes and Noble on 82nd and Broadway (2289 Broadway).
From the Rohr Prize Judges:
“Yellin combines formidable Jewish scholarship with soaring lyricism. And, if scholarship and lyricism aren’t enough, she also displays a wonderfully quirky sense of humor. This is a writer who can do it all, bring history lovingly into the present and conjure an art of beauty and light out of the ardors of scholarship.”
—Rebecca Goldstein, author of The Mind-Body Problem
“Beautifully textured, as if it were made of Jewish threads woven through the English language. Its theme of dislocation and wandering
is the central story of Jewish history.”
—Ruth Wisse, Professor of Yiddish Literature and Comparative Literature, Harvard University
Genizah at the House of Shepher follows Shulamit Shepher’s return to Jerusalem after an extended absence. She quickly becomes embroiled in a family feud over possession of the so-called Shepher Codex, a mysterious and valuable Torah manuscript discovered in her grandparents’ attic genizah, a depository for old or damaged sacred documents. In unraveling the origins of the codex, Shulamit uncovers not only her ancestors’ history but must reconsider her own past, her present and ultimately, her choices for the future. The tale of the family Shepher, their aspirations, feuds and love affairs, is a haunting one of exile and belonging, displacement and the struggle for identity.
Please join St. Martins Press and the Jewish Book Council in celebrating Tamar Yellin and The Genizah at the House of Shepher on August 4th.
“Alana Newhouse was named the editor of the Jewish literary magazine Nextbook.
Newhouse, the outgoing arts and culture editor at the Forward, will replace Joanna Smith Rakoff, who resigned last week.”
Finally had the chance to read through the latest issue of Lilith magazine. My favorite piece in this issue has to be “Anzia Yezierska and Me,” by Patricia Averbach. As a teenager, Averbach was hired to be Yezierska’s “literary assistant.” An unusual experience, to be sure, and one that Averbach’s family was frankly not all that happy about: “‘What kind of real writer needs a high school kid as a literary assistant?’ my mother asked. She was cooking dinner and didn’t look up. ‘Maybe she wrote some books, it doesn’t matter. I don’t want you locked up with some old lady. If she’s looking for company, let her hire a nurse.'” The essay isn’t (yet?) online, but hopefully at some point it will be.
I spent a bit of time this weekend responding to questions posed within a survey now being conducted by two professors at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. It was actually pretty fun to think about some of the survey items, many of which focus on the respondent’s familiarity with and use of Hebrew and Yiddish words. You can read about the survey project here, and jump right into the questions here.