Allison Gaudet Yarrow


Yid Lit: Jeffery Eugenides

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

Yid Lit: Jeffery Eugenides
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘Middlesex’ crafts a college love triangle in his new novel. When he saw ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ he thought it was about Greeks.Read More


Yid Lit: Anna Solomon

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

Yid Lit: Anna Solomon
Jewish mail-order bride. Sounds like an oxymoron, right? And for that matter, “Jewish pioneer” does too. But they existed. And they inspired Anna Solomon to write her debut novel.Read More


Lesson from Elul: No One Should Dance Alone

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

Lesson from Elul: No One Should Dance Alone
Summer is hard to take seriously with nobody in the office, and everybody running around half-dressed. No wonder High Holidays fall when school resumes and the air grows brisk — when life starts taking itself seriously again.Read More


Bar Mitzvah Boy Serenades Tornado Victims

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

Bar Mitzvah Boy Serenades Tornado Victims
Thirteen-year-old Eli Clarke was so moved by the plight of Joplin, Mo. tornado victims, that he took to his string instruments. The Montclair, New Jersey native and Bnai Keshet synagogue member will be a bar mitzvah in November, and for his tikkun olam service requirement, he wrote a song to raise funds to rebuild Joplin. One of the deadliest tornados in U.S. history tore through the town at the end of May, killing more than 100 people and demolishing much of what was the birthplace of Langston Hughes. Clarke knew no one in Joplin, but he still felt moved by the tragedy.Read More


Yid Lit: Lev Grossman

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

Yid Lit: Lev Grossman
Lev Grossman doesn’t object to his best-sellers being dubbed ‘Harry Potter for adults.’ The books are filled with magic and wizardry, but they don’t shy away from grown-up nastiness.Read More






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  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
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