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 www.mjhnyc.org/hannah.”

    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.

    Writing Contest to Award Round-trip Flight to Israel

    Received an email from StandWithUs yesterday about a new writing contest that will award the winner a round-trip flight to Israel. The contest is being held to help launch the organization’s Divest from Terror campaign. Entrants are asked to read an article, review the accompanying photos, and submit a piece (300 words or less) that describes “how you would launch a high-impact, global campaign demanding reforms in countries that violate human rights, promote terrorism, and threaten world peace.” There is no entry fee. Deadline: December 31, 2010.

    Israeli Film 101, Or Why I Have Finally Joined Netflix

    First, the Jewish Book Council lured me into opening a Twitter account–against my better, time-preserving judgment–so that I could participate in its online book club/discussions (the next one of which, featuring Julie Orringer and her amazing novel, The Invisible Bridge, happens to be taking place today at 12:30 p.m. EST).

    But at least Twitter doesn’t cost anything. Now, thanks to my recent trip to Israel, I’ve finally succumbed and joined Netflix. Which does cost something (beyond time).

    Here’s what happened: One warm Jerusalem afternoon, our group meandered over to the Hebrew Union College campus for what was billed as a session with an Israeli screenwriter and film critic. That gathering proved to be one of the highlights of the trip.

    The screenwriter/critic, Galit Roichman, contextualized and presented clips from three Israeli films: Walk on Water (2004), Turn Left at the End of the World (2004), and The Band’s Visit (2007).

    Suffice to say that I wished we could have stayed hours longer, to watch all three films in their entirety and to get more recommendations from the presenter (she has promised to assemble a list and forward it to our trip organizers, and I’m going to follow up on that). I knew I’d have to see those films somehow, so once my suitcases were unpacked and my jet lag had abated, I finally gave in and opened a Netflix acount.

    The first film listed on my queue, Netflix promises, will arrive today. (It’s Walk on Water.) Meantime, anyone else want to suggest some Israeli films for me to view?