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Words of the Week

“In my travels and talks and meetings, I am constantly running up against this problem. When people are polite, they often tell me how ‘difficult’ supporting Israel in their communities has become, because of the settlements, or because of offensive statements by Israeli politicians. The problem is a sincere one, but it is a structural one, and will not go away so long as (i) American Jews relate to Israel as principally a political cause rather than a civilizational force, (ii) American Jews relate to some policies and not others as resonating to the core of their own identity as Jews, and (iii) American Jewish politics are so different from Israeli politics, which is unlikely to change.

And that’s when they’re polite.”

Source: David Hazony, “Israeli Identity and the Future of American Jewry” (The Tower)

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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • I’m among those theatergoers swept up in the power of Oslo, which won a Tony award for Best Play this week. Itamar Rabinovich’s review for Jewish Review of Books offers some insights I appreciate knowing.
  • Speaking of plays: Check out this nice feature on the Jewish Plays Project by Amy Oestreicher for Broadway World.
  • I was lucky enough to be in the audience one recent evening when authors Matti Friedman and Nicole Krauss were in conversation—on writing about Israel and more—at Central Synagogue in New York. And now, thanks to JBSTV.org, you can catch a video of their discussion.
  • For The New York Jewish Week, George Robinson shares the four films that he believes are “the best Jewish or Israeli films of the first half of the year.” See if you agree with his choices (or add some titles to your to-be-watched list).
  • And a hearty mazal tov to all of the individuals and publications recognized in the latest round of the Simon Rockower Jewish Journalism Awards.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week

    “The problem is not the work itself but the way Waldman and Chabon are promoting it. In interviews, they have turned their brief tour of the West Bank into undeniable evidence that they’ve discovered the absolute truth of the conflict: It’s Israel’s fault. And they describe the situation in such shallow and simple terms, I half-wondered if “Kingdom” was a children’s book. (It’s not.)”

    Source: Danielle Berrin, “Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman Undermine Peace for Palestine” (Jewish Journal)

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • A beautiful poem, “The Second Deaf Rabbi in America,” by 15-year-old poet Hannah Karp (via Rattle).
  • This Jewish Book Council interview with Dalia Rosenfeld makes me even more eager to read Rosenfeld’s new collection The Worlds We Think We Know.
  • “As the yearly Israeli Book Week approaches, the National Library of Israel has published the annual data report on Israel’s book industry. The data touches on original Israeli books, translated books, types of publishing and areas of publication.”
  • “A Literary Life: Remembering Ann Birstein”—a lovely appreciation by Sandee Brawarsky.
  • Lots of discussion of Jews and “whiteness” this week. One post that expresses something close to my own take: this, from Sarah Tuttle-Singer.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week

    “In June 1967 Arab leaders declared their intention to annihilate the Jewish state, and the Jews decided they wouldn’t sit still for it. For the crime of self-preservation, Israel remains a nation unforgiven.

    Unforgiven, Israel’s milder critics say, because the Six-Day War, even if justified at the time, does not justify 50 years of occupation. They argue, also, that Israel can rely on its own strength as well as international guarantees to take risks for peace.

    This is ahistoric nonsense.”

    Source: Bret Stephens, “Six Days and Fifty Years of War” (The New York Times)

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    Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen


    Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • Check out Heidi Rabinowitz’s bibliography of “Diverse Jewish Kidlit,” and share your thoughts/comments with Heidi.
  • In which Howard Freedman, director of San Francisco’s Jewish Community Library, recommends three recent short-story collections: The Worlds We Think We Know: Stories by Dalia Rosenfeld; Inherited Disorders: Stories, Parables & Problems by Adam Ehrlich Sachs; and Heirlooms: Stories by Rachel Hall.
  • To say that I wasn’t exactly looking forward to watching the “Dirty Dancing” remake is something of an understatement, and early reviews from Zoë Miller and Helene Meyers are (more than) enough to ensure that I’m going to skip it altogether.
  • “NA’AMAT USA is pleased to invite proposals for the Second NA’AMAT USA Research Fellowship in Honor of Elizabeth J. Raider….The 2017-18 theme of the fellowship program is ‘Jewish Women’s Contributions to Israeli Society.’ Scholars from all academic disciplines working on Jewish women’s activism, critical engagement, and/or leadership in varied arenas including art, medicine, culture, history, education, politics, etc. are encouraged to apply. The fellowship carries an honorarium of $2500.” Deadline: June 15, 2017.
  • “The Alexander Grass Chair in Jewish History and the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica at the University of Florida are pleased to invite applications for short-term research fellowships during the 2017-2018 academic year. Researchers studying different aspects of the Jewish experience in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the southern regions of the United States from the sixteenth century until present day will have the opportunity to spend a maximum period of a month researching in the Price Library.” NB: “The Research Fellowship covers long distance and local transportation and lodging. The entire Research Fellowship stipend, including honorarium, transportation and lodging does not exceed $5,000.” Deadline: June 15, 2017.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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