Oseh Shalom


A fabulous video of a few moments from the recent Debbie Friedman Memorial Concert at HUC-JIR (Jerusalem). I love this arrangement. It is astonishing to realize (again) how Debbie Friedman influenced so many of us in our connections to our Judaism. May she rest in peace.

Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

  • Beautiful essay by Thomas Israel Hopkins on Tablet, on grieving, Jewishly, for a non-Jewish parent.
  • Anna Solomon’s Little Bride continues to attract lots of attention. See Judy Bolton-Fasman’s post for The Forward‘s Sisterhood blog for some especially interesting thoughts.
  • Kevin Haworth revisits “The Catskills” for Defunct, “a literary repository for the ages.”
  • Poet and professor Rick Chess reflects on Amichai, Asheville, and more.
  • Last call! Come join us on Sunday afternoon to talk about “Looking Backward: History, the Holocaust, and Literary Writing in the Third Generation.”
  • Shabbat shalom!

    Looking for a Holy Day Service?

    From a press release received this week:

    Synagogues across the country are also stepping up to the plate to meet the needs of the next generation of Jewish people. Many of these synagogues have been collected into a single database that specializes in publicizing these dynamic services. No Membership Required is a free and comprehensive online database of synagogues across the country that offer social, engaging and educational Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services for non-members. It lists Synagogue details (and prices where relevant) and indicates what range of services are offered including additional programs such for youth, teen, and explanatory services.

    Anyone interested in learning more about the No Membership Required service … can visit the website www.nomembershiprequired.com.

    Words of the Week: David Breakstone

    “The very best Israel education that money can buy will not assuage [American rabbinical students’] profound sense of estrangement from this country as long as this Jewish state of ours refuses to accept their status as rabbis and legitimize the Judaism of their congregants. As with diplomacy, good pedagogy is no substitute for good policy.”
    –David Breakstone

    See the full, truthful, and sadly important editorial via eJewish Philanthropy.

    Notes from Around the Web: Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

  • The National Jewish Book Award winners were announced this week. As were the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award honorees.
  • This past Wednesday, the Jewish Book Council hosted its latest Twitter Book Club chat online. Up for discussion: Elizabeth Rosner’s Blue Nude. It was a busy day at the office for me, but I was able to drop in during the lunchtime chat. Want to know what was discussed? Read the transcript.
  • Recognizing authors’ names in Josh Lambert’s Tablet books column is getting to be a habit! This week, I was happy to see mentioned Ida Hattemer-Higgins, whose debut novel, The History of History, “features an American Jewish woman in Berlin with a hole in her memory and a growing fascination with the wife of Joseph Goebbels, living in a city in which the legacy of Nazism insinuates itself in magically concrete ways.” I’ve known about this book for several years through the author’s posts on the Poets & Writers Speakeasy online discussion forum, where I have been known to chime in, too.
  • Speaking of familiar names, imagine how excited I was to see a certain short-story collection headlining the weekly Jewish Book Council newsletter as “recommended reading”!
  • Jewish Ideas Daily let us in on Ladino.
  • We lost musical genius and spiritual leader Debbie Friedman this week. Among the many tributes, with reflections on Debbie’s contributions to the experience of Jewish prayer, is this lovely one, from Linda K. Wertheimer.
  • Coming soon: the Jerusalem Season of Culture.
  • Shabbat shalom.