american jewish lit

American Jewish Literature: Dead or Alive?

With Gal Beckerman /  Nicholas Delbanco / Nathan Englander /  Rebecca Goldstein / Allegra Goodman / Mohsin Hamid / Dara Horn / Aaron Lansky / Ruby Namdar / Alicia Ostriker / Robert Pinsky / Jane Yolen As Moment’s culture editor, whether I am speaking with publishers, authors, scholars or people I meet during Shabbat morning kiddush, sooner or later I am inevitably asked the same question: Are great American Jewish books still being written? Despite the popularity of the question, it is out of date. In just the last decade, there has been a revolution in what constitutes a Jewish text. Many of the best and most powerful Jewish “books” now come in the form of films, TV shows, podcasts, graphic novels and, some might even argue, tweets. Absent the constraints of the bound written page, these Jewish “books” allow previously unheard...

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Author Interview // Mark Helprin

Much like the swashbuckling heroes of his popular novels, author Mark Helprin has led a life of great adventure. As a young man, Helprin served in the Israeli army, the Israeli air force and the British merchant navy, and he’s earned his living as an agricultural laborer, a factory worker, a military adviser, a Wall Street Journal columnist, a political speechwriter and much more.

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Is Intermarriage Good for the Jews?

The very meaning of intermarriage has shifted with these demographic changes. In earlier periods, intermarriage was generally seen as a rejection of Jewish identity and a form of rebellion against the community. These days, intermarriage doesn’t necessarily spell the end of an active Jewish life or of Jewish lineage.

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A Short History of Little Words

It’s hard to escape the OMGs and LOLs  of today, but don’t blame millennials—acronyms actually originated thousands of years ago with the development of the ancient Hebrew alphabet. Around the 10th century BCE, Hebrew letters emerged out of ideographic pictures and, soon after, groups of letters started to be used in place of frequently recurring words.

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Who’s Afraid of Dorit Rabinyan?

Israeli novelist Dorit Rabinyan was enjoying a peaceful afternoon at home on December 30, 2015, when a phone call from an old friend, Haaretz journalist Or Kashti, changed her life. “I have something to tell you,” he said. “It may be the biggest story I will ever break.” “Good for you!” replied Rabinyan. “No,” said Kashti quietly, “it is very good for you.”

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