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We're small-time now. But if you come see us at the Y, you can say you knew us when. Join us before we get too big-time famous to acknowledge the people who got us here. Sunday night, 8pm. Free. Details here.
Hard to believe that it was only a week ago, in Boston, when I picked up Noah Feldman's article in the NY Times Magazine about exclusion from the Modern Orthodox community. But as a writer, and as a day school graduate, I have been struggling with a response ever since. I didn't know how to tackle it: from a singles angle? as a yeshiva day school graduate? from the perspective of general alienation? intermarriage in Orthodoxy? Too many angles, too many opinions running through my head--couldn't focus.
But finally I managed to do some writing, at least to start with. I've produced "Orthodox Paradox" Redux in the JTA, with other reflections on the article likely to come. In reviewing the big splash the article has made in the space of a week, thanks to email and blogs and comments, I'm awed all over again that the piece resonated with so many people of differing religious perspectives and communal approaches.
I may be tired of thinking about this piece and turning it over in my mind, but I'm still loving the viral nature of it--that people are sharing it, talking about it, trying to position themselves in accordance with or in objection to the article. I'm looking forward to staying updated on the conversation as it develops.
This morning, I saw "Extra, Extra! Read All About It!" the article in the Jewish Standard in which I (and other young and not-so-young Jewish journalists talk about the future of Jewish journalism.
This afternoon, I learned that "Information Nation," the article I'd submitted to the CAJE Jewish Education News journal was available online; Ariel Beery and I co-authored the piece, which talks about how people our age access information and education.
And just a few minutes ago, I finalized plans to be interviewed on Sunday July 29, at 9:30am to AM1370 in Baltimore or online at www.v1370.com on Shalom USA, Baltimore's Jewish radio program; I'll be talking about the Creative Zionism institute (creativezionism.com)--what makes creative Zionism different from classical Zionism, etc. Should be about 15 minutes long--join me, unless you're totally sick of the media blitz by now, and I wouldn't blame you if you were.
Thank you all for your various roles in catapulting me straight into the middle of blogger fame. Maybe someday I'll even be involved with something that doesn't have the word "Jewish" in it.
So I'm coming home from a perfectly lovely evening downtown--forget for a moment that it was on the Lower East Side and took me an hour to get there, and I digress--in celebration of the Kvetcher (no relation), and all the kvetch enthusiasts from all around this great city, including Jewschoolers Shamirpower, EV and Mobius himself (plus Kyle's Mom) were in attendance. True, many of my homies are still in the Holy Land, and I miss them something fierce, but it was nice to throw back a cocktail or two and relax a little.
Thanks to our great decision to take a cab, I ended up home a mere twenty minutes after leaving the party, and all was right with the world.
Then I heard the noise. It was faint, and not wholly recognizable at first. Was it the whir of a neighbor's A/C unit? Was it air, passing through a screened-in window? A television, trumpeting jungle sounds? Maybe, yuck, it was a cockroach or four skittering across the tiles in my bathroom? Or was it...dripping? I hadn't left the sink on, had I?
Entering my apartment, I flipped on the light for the bathroom and beheld the glory of a rainstorm happening inside my bathroom. It was highly localized; with drips coming down from the ceiling in almost every corner of the bathroom. Luckily, my laundry was unmoistened--because, ugh, moist dirty laundry, gross--but the floor was covered in a thin layer of water. The "rain" was still coming down. And it was 1:30 am.
What's a girl to do? Is she the crazy downstairs neighbor who raps on her upstairs neighbor's door at 1:30 in the morning? What if she were to be whisked inside and held prisoner, with no Elliot Stabler to rescue her? No, she needed help. Then she remembered: the super.
Of course, this made her the crazy upstairs neighbor who disturbs her super at 1:30 am. But that turned out to be the right decision. He accompanied me to the apartment and he knocked on the door, learning that the dude--clearly a Rhodes Scholar in the making--had drawn a bath and left it running, probably for hours. He just forgot. But did he say he was sorry? I'll let you guess.
And so I returned to the rain-slick tiles of my bathroom, removed the sodden magazines I'd hoped to read this week, and looked at the cracked and frayed ceiling, wondering if it is possibly going to fall in in the middle of the night, or whilst I am next relieving myself. I thought back on the other adventures I've had with this toilet, and can't help but Carrie-Bradshaw-wonder: why do we pray and pray for a sign to show us what to do, and when it arrives, we refuse to see it?
And now, back to my regularly scheduled program. Which is basically kvetching and promoting my work. So that's a treat in store for y'all.
When I used to think about CAJE, the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, I used to think "establishment." At a December CAJE-sponsored event, Ariel Beery and I sat there in the audience, impressed with the caliber of the educators and leaders in the room, but kind of unimpressed with the content. The event led us to question what tomorrow's "Big Ideas" really were (especially since no one was jumping to fund my JSingleSpace NYC idea).
During our time there, we broke into smaller groups, in which we discovered that when CAJE was founded, the A used to stand for "alternatives," and that the founders of the group were viewed in their day as counterculturalists. One of the men in our group bemoaned the loss of that radical spirit and approach to transforming Jewish education. And some of the women in attendance asked, in a discussion of the Jewish future, where were the young voices? (Read my recap posts here and here.) Was CAJE prepared to recapture the spirit of its youth and become a little radical?
Add this event to your calendars...admission is free!
The Evolving Landscape in "New" Jewish Media
a discussion with some of the top names in the "new" Jewish-focused
media scene based in New York to hear how each have navigated from old
to new and where they see themselves fitting in among the growing field
of print, online, blogs and other sources of media, individual and
cultural expression. Complimentary beverages will be available.
Having returned with a million impressions of Israel and the experiences I had there, I'm combing the internet for clips, sites and articles to help jog my memory and attempt to illustrate how awesome it was hanging out at both ROI and the PICZ house. And I've found a few.
Firstly, the PICZ kids, as I've taken to calling them, are in their own rights an impressive bunch. You get an inkling of it in Uriel Heilman's piece in the JTA, but it's basically a bunch of future Jewish superstars. Of course, there's Eli Winkelman, whose "Challah for Hunger" project has hit big in most of the articles that have run in the North American media. (She's pictured above making challah for the PICZers at the house.) There are also techies in the house, who are working on amazing internet-based projects that I hope to share with you some day, and others are working on various educational, professional and Israel advocacy projects. But one of the most "performancey" of the PICZers is Matt Bar, who's working on a Bible rap album in the land of the Bible. Here's his wish for a Shabbat shalom from the first week. (Look for a familiar face in the background.)
Then in this clip, you get to meet the interns, an industrious bunch of guys (next year, gender balance, people!!) who are doing great work in assisting the PICZers in their projects.
If you want to know more about the founders of PICZ, my good friends Ariel Beery and Aharon Horwitz, here's a more sentimental article in Ha'aretz that explains how they met and began developing ideas together. (With a somewhat quippy comment from me at the beginning.) :)
And yes, I've been waiting for a while to use that headline. They just don't seem to get it over in the Holy Land. Either that, or blank stares are the new peals of appreciative laughter. Still, what these articles hope to convey is the sense of excitement and innovation that is happening at the PICZ house every day, and the hope that really, they're continuing the work of the pioneers who gave their hearts and sweat to producing the Jewish state that we know today. And I'm proud and lucky to have been a part of that.
Saturdays, most Israeli businesses are closed, some of them in
observance of the Jewish Sabbath, which runs from Friday night to
Saturday night. But now a young wizard, to whose adventures many
Israeli children are addicted, threatens the sanctity of the Sabbath.
Sabbath candles or no Sabbath candles, some Israeli bookstores are
going to defy the public law and supply Potter crackheads with their
last dose of teen wizardry. (From the Miami Herald)
With Israelis already clamoring for "Deathly Hallows," many
bookstores are planning to launch the book at the appointed hour. That
has drawn fire from Orthodox Jewish lawmakers, including Industry and
Trade Minister Eli Yishai, who threatened to fine any store that opens
Saturday."Israeli law forbids businesses to force their
employees to work on the Sabbath, and that applies in this case as
well. The minister will fine and prosecute any businesses which violate
the law," said Roei Lachmanovich, a spokesman for Yishai, of the
ultra-0rthodox Jewish Shas party. [...]
Steimatzky, Israel's biggest bookstore chain, is holding a gala
event in Tel Aviv beginning Friday night to launch the book, and the
company has no plans to change the time, said spokeswoman Alona Zamir.
required by our agreement with the book's publisher to launch the book
at the same time as everywhere else in the world," Zamir said.
For Beliefnet's rendition of this story, see here.