JBC Announces Next Selection for Twitter Book Club

I wish I’d been able to post a bit more this past week, but I’ve been battling what appears to be the flu. One online discovery does have me feeling better: The Jewish Book Council has announced the next title for its Twitter Book Club.

The chosen book is Chris Bohjalian’s Skeletons at the Feast: A Novel. The Twitter discussion is slated for Thursday, February 25, 2010, starting at 12:30 p.m. EST. The author will be participating.

For more information about the book and the event, please visit the Jewish Book Council .

Susan Suleiman to Speak on "Irene Nemirovsky and the ‘Jewish Question’ in Interwar France"

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has announced that the 2010 J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Annual Lecture will feature Professor Susan Rubin Suleiman, speaking on on “Irène Némirovsky and the ‘Jewish Question’ in Interwar France.” The lecture is scheduled for Thursday evening, February 4, 2010, in Washington.

Susan Rubin Suleiman (with whom I have had the privilege of studying) is the C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. In her lecture, she will discuss the life and work of French writer Irène Némirovsky in relation to questions of Jewish identity in France before, during, and after the Holocaust.

A reception will follow the lecture. Reservations are requested.

Next Sunday in NYC: Imagination and Catastrophe: Art and the Aftermath of Genocide

Next Sunday (January 10, 2010) in New York City, the Center for Jewish History presents a symposium titled ““Imagination and Catastrophe: Art and the Aftermath of Genocide”:

Join filmmakers, writers, and musicians to discuss the complexity of creating art that deals with genocide and its aftermath. These artists and critics will discuss how the imagination wrestles with historically catastrophic events. The program will include segments of films, readings of fiction and poetry and a musical presentation, “The Golden Peacock” by Hugo Weisgall. In the creation of art out of catastrophe, genocide can be understood in more complex ways.

“There can be no poetry after Auschwitz.” – Theodore Adorno

Join Atom Egoyan, director, writer, producer, Academy Award nominee; Peter Balakian award winning poet; Emily Duncan-Brown, soprano; Donna-Lee Frieze scholar of genocide, philosophy and film studies, Marcie Hershman novelist; Laura Leon, pianist, and R. Clifton Spargo, writer to discuss:

–Is the artist obligated to tell the truth about history?

–What is the ethical impact of fictionalizing genocide?

–How does the artist use his or her medium to depict the horrors of history without sentimentality?

Admission: $20 general, $15 CJH members

Visit to the Museum of Jewish Heritage

I’m embarrassed to admit that my visit to the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Sunday was my very first to that incredible institution.

In addition to the permanent core exhibition, I wanted to see two temporary offerings: “Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges” and “The Morgenthaus: A Legacy of Service.” Each would have been well worth the trip (and admission) on its own.

I encourage everyone to go to the Museum and see these exhibitions themselves, but even a Web visit will provide much to think about.

P.S. It appears that a film quite related to “Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow” will be screened in DC as part of the Washington Jewish Film Festival on Tuesday, December 8.

Pre-Rosh Hashanah Notes from Around the Web

Here’s a really lovely post about the connections between a temple-based writing group (located in Tuscon, Ariz.) and the Holy Days.
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Michelle Cameron, a self-described “writer of Jewish-themed books,” guest-posts on my friend Lisa Romeo’s blog.
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The aforementioned Scribblers on the Roof Web site has launched! Check it out. And look forward to a Q&A with founder/editor Kelly Hartog, right here on My Machberet, in the not-too-distant future.
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Jeffrey Goldberg links to an outrageously hilarious spoof of Mad Men (retitled for these purposes “Meshugene Men“).
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Finally, and on a more somber note, the new issue of Brevity, which bills itself as “a journal of concise literary nonfiction,” is online, featuring an amazing piece, “Somebody Else’s Genocide,” by author Sherman Alexie.

Shanah Tovah, everyone! See you back here in a few days.