Avi Steinberg


Short Friday

By Avi Steinberg

Short Friday
Winter Fridays in Jewish day school were the moments that made you proud to be of Israelite stock. I speak, of course, of early dismissal. Shabbes starts early, really early, and so the school day ends up being just a class or two in the morning — and one of those classes is Hebrew, which totally doesn’t count. For the uninitiated, Hebrew class in Jewish schools, at least where I went, is taught by some churlish Israeli mom who reeks of cigarette smoke and has neither the qualification nor the slightest inclination to teach the language. Typically, she would use Friday’s early dismissal as an excuse to whip out the accordion and have a sing-a-long.Read More


My Horribly Embarrassing Memo

By Avi Steinberg

On Monday, Avi Steinberg wrote about Kafka in Tel Aviv. His first book, “Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian,” was just released. His blog posts are being featured this week on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog series. For more information on the series, please visit: Read More


The Pit of Tel Aviv, A Preliminary Damage Report

By Avi Steinberg

Avi Steinberg’s first book, “Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian,” is now available. His blog posts are being featured this week on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog series. For more information on the series, please visit: Read More


Photographing Icarus

By Avi Steinberg

Photographing Icarus
For 200 cigarettes and a kilo of coffee, David Rubinger bought his first Leica camera. It was Germany, 1946. Rubinger, a young Viennese refugee serving in England’s Jewish Brigade, got to work immediately, photographing postwar devastation. These were the first shots in a long career of documentary photography.Read More


Borscht Belt Meets Bible Belt

By Avi Steinberg

Chayim surveyed the audience — an audience that included a significant number of ventriloquists who use their art to spread the Gospel. He turned to Allan Blumenstyk and gave him a look that seemed to say, “For this you put me in a suitcase and schlep me across the ocean?”Read More






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