New Magazine: Jewish Living

Last week I received the inaugural issue of Jewish Living magazine. It’s dated November/December 2007, and has a significant Chanukah focus.

In her first editor’s letter, EIC Liza Schoenfein writes:

Why JEWISH LIVING? Because looking at the stuff of life–home, holidays, food, and family–through a uniquely Jewish lens (and a very modern one at that) makes it that much more significant. From our green gifts guide (page 19) to “The Top 10: Gift of Giving” (page 74), our new magazine is about incorporating the rich and diverse fabric of Jewish culture into your life–with style.

Admit it–haven’t you sometimes felt a little left-out when scanning certain mags on the supermarket checkout line? How much Christmas cookie counsel can a Jewish-American reader use, already?

Jewish Living may well fit a niche, and I’ll look forward to watching its progress. (One suggestion for the staff, should they be reading: Please post freelance guidelines on the site!)

Grace Schulman and "Kol Nidrei: September 2001"

One of the perks of my “day job” at The City University of New York is proximity to an amazing array of creative writing programs, events, and talents. Today I am scheduled to meet with poet Grace Schulman, a Distinguished Professor at CUNY’s Baruch College. I’ve been reading some of Professor Schulman’s work lately, and am especially moved by her poem “Kol Nidrei: September 2001,” which presents a particularly Jewish perspective on life in New York just after the September 11 attacks. It’s an incredible piece.

Read About Romain Gary

For reasons too complicated and yet, in reality, too banal to delve into here, I’ve skipped the aforementioned literary event. Which gives me the opportunity to post a recommendation to read this fabulous new Nextbook article on an author I wish more people knew about: Romain Gary.

I discovered Gary and his work during my junior year semester in Paris, when my French literature professor assigned our class La Vie devant soi, and I’ve been an admirer ever since. After you read the Nextbook article, perhaps you’ll become one, too. (P.S.: Several of Gary’s works are available in English, including this translation of La Vie devant soi and this one of the memoir (also extremely powerful) La Promesse de l’aube.)

Children’s Books on Jewish Culture/Religion

Thanks to my friend B.J. Epstein, among whose many areas of expertise is the field of children’s literature. She recently forwarded a link to this annotated list of children’s books about Jewish culture and religion. I’m always looking for good book suggestions for the little ones in my life. Please share your own recommendations (or comparable links) in comments.

Come, Let’s Rejoice

I thought I might post today about yet another example of something I read online that has made me angry/annoyed/agitated. When you care about Israel and its security and future, it’s actually pretty difficult to go an entire day without encountering something leading to that kind of reaction, and today was no exception. I was ready to go ahead and post and vent about it.

But after reading this article in The Forward, about the impending (sort of!) 100th anniversary of everyone’s favorite Jewish song of celebration–Hava Nagilah–I’ve chosen to focus on something positive instead. Happy Birthday, Hava Nagilah And thanks for all the memories!