Write On for Israel Invites Applications

From a notice in The Jewish Week:

“We are pleased to announce that applications now are being accepted for ‘Write on for Israel,’ an extensive and exciting two-year program to train a select group of high school juniors to become advocates for Israel through journalism.

A project of The Jewish Week, ‘Write on for Israel; teaches students about Israel, Zionism and the Arab-Israeli conflict and empowers them to become effective advocates through writing, broadcasting and public speaking.

Qualified sophomores entering their junior year of high school in the fall of 2009 are invited to apply for the fellowship. Applications can be downloaded from our website at www.writeonforisrael.org.”

Application deadline is May 22, 2009.

Moment Magazine Introduces "Talk of the Table"

I can think of at least one of this blog’s regular readers who will be very happy to hear this news from Moment Magazine: “Moment Magazine introduces Talk of the Table, a lively and intelligent look at Jewish food. In our inaugural section, we explore why charoset—the traditional blend of fruits, nuts and spices—landed on the Seder plate and how coffee giant Maxwell House got into the Haggadah business.” Intrigued? Click here to read more.

Bad News for Jewcy and an Update from Zeek

Disappointing news for fans of the online cultural magazine Jewcy: The Fundermentalist reported last week that Jewcy’s primary funders have pulled financial support from the magazine. “The staff is now looking for new funders and will continue to sell ads, but will not take a salary for now, nor will it be able to pay its 60-70 contributors.”

Once I read about Jewcy’s problems, I did wonder about the fate of Zeek, which has partnered with Jewcy for the past year. Here’s the text of an e-mail message from Zeek’s editor, addressing the issue:

Dear Zeekers,

If you read Jewish newspapers or blogs, you may have heard that the online Jewish magazine, Jewcy, just lost their funding and will have to shut their offices.

For the past year, Zeek has partnered with Jewcy at www.jewcy.com/zeek. This partnership has brought a lot to Zeek—it has quadrupled our number of readers, given us multimedia capabilities, and brought us much more attention from the mainstream Jewish world. The staff of Jewcy particularly have been great partners: I’d like to single out Tahl Rahz, Jewcy’s founding editor; Craig Leinoff, Jewcy’s techincal guru; and Tara Rice, Jewcy’s art director, as true menschen.

The staff of Jewcy plans to continue to maintain the Jewcy site, and you will find Zeek there for at least the next month. We are currently looking at partnering with other Jewish media or at returning to a redesigned Zeek site. We will let you know as soon as we make a decision. To be honest, one aspect of our decision is funding—to maintain our own Zeek site, we would need to locate at least $10,000 in funding per year. If you or someone you know would be interested in making that kind of tax-free donation, please contact me.

In the meantime, please keep your browser tuned to www.zeek.net. It will automatically take you to wherever Zeek lives online. Visit soon. In the next two weeks we will feature a new short story by Riad Baidas, a revised Freedom Seder from Rabbi Arthur Waskow, a piece on affordable housing from David Gottlieb, an autobiographical essay from Jay Michaelson, poems by Maya Bejerano and Courney Druz, and of course, Angela Himsel’s Wednesday column, Angetevka.

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser
Editor, Zeek magazine
Executive Director, Zeek Media, Inc.

P.S. We are searching for a few angels to help us transition our website. If you can help, please email me at joellen(at)zeek(dot)net

Stay tuned.

Journalism/Jewish Literature Taglit-Birthright Israel Trip

It’s not often that I wish I were younger–life is just fine right now, thank you–but when I received an announcement from the Jewish Book Council about one particular opportunity, I wished I could be 18-26 again.

The Council is now working with Hillel to provide a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip focused on journalism and Jewish literature. This free trip is open to Jews who are 18-26 years old and have never been on a peer-group trip to Israel. Registration opens next week, and will be open until March 4.

If this trip appeals to you (or might appeal to someone you know who fits the eligibility criteria), click here for more information.

Notes from Around the Web: Fourth Gaza Edition

Inside Higher Ed takes a look at “The Gaza War…on North American Campuses,” and points out that the rallies, petition drives, (and on the anti-Israel side, boycott efforts) “raise sensitive issues about whether academics are too quick or too slow to question Israel, what methods are appropriate for expressing opposition to another government’s actions, and why Israel’s actions are more likely to generate protests than outrages committed by other countries.” Like one of the commenters, I’m not happy about the suggestion in that last bit that Israel’s actions are, in fact, “outrages,” but otherwise, I think this is a pretty good piece.
Another resource for simply keeping aware and informed: the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). Sign up for the daily newsletter. Among today’s articles is one that tells us the following: “Israel stopped fighting for three hours Monday, as it has daily for the past week, to allow Palestinian civilians to restock or change locations, and to allow aid agencies to distribute its goods during the 17th day of Operation Cast Lead. But Hamas continued to fire rockets at Israel during the lull, scoring direct hits on homes in Ashkelon and Sderot. No one was injured, although several people went into shock and the homes were badly damaged.” Where are the “humanitarian” protesters now? Probably still busy complaining about/rallying against Israel.
On RJ.org, JanetheWriter has almost persuaded me to activate a Facebook account.

Notes from Around the Web: Third Gaza Edition

Late last week, Nextbook collected and compiled a number of links representing an array of takes on what has been happening in Gaza. Check them out here.
Have you heard about Jon Stewart’s deplorable indictment of Israel? Jon, please, don’t do this to me. Must I abandon The Daily Show, too? Please consider the well-expressed response of Andrew Silow-Carroll. Or are you too busy, Jon (born Jonathan Stewart Leibowitz), savoring the praise you’ve received (says the San Francisco Chronicle) from the Muslim Public Affairs Council?
Thank you, David Harris, for expressing, among other essential truths the world should remember when hearing some of the most twisted accusations currently being made against Israel–accusations and descriptions invoking Holocaust “vocabulary”–those embedded here:

What about all the clergy, cartoonists, protesters, and politicians so concerned about the human rights of those in Gaza? Have they ever uttered a peep while those 10,000 rockets, missiles, and mortars were raining down on southern Israel? Did they ever take to the streets to support the human rights of Israelis? Did they ever read the Hamas Charter and hear the echoes of Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, two European books that helped to condemn Jews to their death?

Did they ever put two and two together and ask what would happen if Hamas married its annihilationist goals with ever more advanced weaponry? And did it occur to them that, yes, nearly six million Israeli Jews would be in the crosshairs?

For the full Harris post, click here.