Notes from Around the Web

  • The latest Tablet column from Josh Lambert lists a number of new Holocaust-related book releases.
  • Also on Tablet: an interview with Janis Bellow on the occasion of the publication of Saul Bellow: Letters.
  • Bill Clinton calls for Yitzhak Rabin’s work to be completed.
  • I probably won’t be revisiting any of Jean-Luc Godard’s films anytime soon.
  • On a similarly depressing note: This Jewish Ideas Daily article presents the dismal situation Israel faces within the United Nations.
  • Some personal reflections on the latest Jewish Book Council Twitter Book Club, and connections between Julie Orringer’s The Invisible Bridge and my own forthcoming story collection, Quiet Americans.
  • The Association of Jewish Libraries has issued a Call for Applicants for a seat on the Sydney Taylor Book Awards Committee. Deadline: December 1, 2010.
  • Linda K. Wertheimer shares two thoughtful essays on the motivations behind her writing over on the Jewish Muse blog.
  • Sherri Mandell is the most recent first-prize winner of the Moment/Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest. Her winning story is “Jerusalem Stone.”
  • Shabbat shalom, everyone!

    Words of the Week: Jeffrey Goldberg

    On “The Non-Surprising Attempt to Bomb Chicago Synagogues,” as on virtually everything else, Jeffrey Goldberg gets to the heart of the matter:

    What is not surprising at all is that the people — presumably, though we shouldn’t assume for certain, Qaeda-affiliated terrorists — who manufactured these bomb are fundamentally annihilationist in outlook, meaning that they have as a primary goal the killing of Jews, everywhere. This shouldn’t be a controversial conclusion to make, but there are many people out there who believe that al Qaeda and its fellow travelers are angry over settlements. They are not. They are angry over the continued existence of Jews.

    Notes from Around the Web

  • While I was in Jerusalem earlier this month, I issued an Internet call for help. Basically, I wanted info on area bookstores.  Thanks to some generous advisors, I ended up at the very same bookstore profiled in Jonathan Kirsch’s terrific blog post:  Steimatzky’s at the Mamilla Mall.
  • The Jewish Book Council wants to hear from you! And you may even win free books for your time/words.
  • A new Shalom Sesame is on sale (just in time for Chanukah orders, too).
  • Book event alert! Quiet Americans and I will be appearing at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in February!
  • Very useful post on The Whole Megillah, re: book publicity (esp. for children’s book writers, but every writer will find some advice nuggets there).
  • Mat Zucker’s “Spare Me Your Shekels” essay is a thought-provoking, if disturbing, contribution on The Nervous Breakdown.
  • Racelle Rosett’s short story, “Shomer,” made me cry. Consider yourself warned.
  • Shabbat shalom!

    Screenings of “Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh”

    I really thought that I’d blogged about attending a screening of “Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh” last spring, but I’m not finding anything in the blog archive. Which astonishes me, because I have spent so much time thinking (and talking) about that film in all the months since. I also bought Hannah Senesh’s diary, which remains patiently waiting on my nightstand for my close attention.

    In any case, I’ve also been thinking about Senesh more recently because a new addition to my to-do list is going downtown to the Museum of Jewish Heritage to see the just-opened exhibition, “Fire in My Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh.” Fortunately, I have some time: “Fire in My Heart” runs into August 2011. But I may go earlier–especially if I think I can withstand the emotional intensity of re-watching the documentary I saw last spring–because the MJHNYC is going to offer several free screenings with paid museum admission. Here are the details:

    “In conjunction with the new exhibition, Fire in My Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh, the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust will be offering screenings of Roberta Grossman’s award-winning film Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh (2008, USA, 85 min.), a documentary about the World War II-era poet, diarist, and resistance fighter. The film, which is narrated by acclaimed actress Joan Allen, is the first documentary feature about Hannah Senesh’s extraordinary life.

    The screenings will take place at 11 a.m. and at 1 p.m. on October 31, November 21, 28, and December 19. Tickets are free with Museum admission and can be picked up at the box office on the day of the screening. For more information about the exhibition, please visit”

    One more thing: You don’t quite realize how lasting Senesh’s legacy is until you hear Israeli schoolchildren–including children of Ethiopian Jewish descent–singing Eli, Eli at the Leo Baeck Education Center’s school in Haifa. As I did less than three weeks ago.