Daniella Wexler


Theater Group Makes Torah Learning Fun

By Daniella Wexler

Theater Group Makes Torah Learning Fun
Wearing a funny hat and spewing bad biblical puns, Aaron Friedman didn’t look or sound like your typical Moses as he took to the stage during a recent performance by the Bible Players theater group.Read More


Couples Aware Program Gives Rabbis Tools To Counsel Couples on Screening

By Daniella Wexler

When it comes to weddings, even the most secular of Jewish couples often reverts to tradition and asks a rabbi to officiate at the ceremony. So if the Jewish community needs to get an important message across to prospective parents at all levels of religious involvement, how better to convey that information than through the rabbi with whom they’ve placed their trust at such a critical life juncture?Read More


Why Barbara Hammer Won't Be Going to Jerusalem

By Daniella Wexler

Why Barbara Hammer Won't Be Going to Jerusalem
On June 14, I reported that experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer had declined a fellowship at the American Academy in Jerusalem for “personal reasons” — the explanation given by the Foundation for Jewish Culture, which supports the AAJ. At the time, I reached out to Hammer to explain her decision. Hammer, who was then in China, promised to issue a more complete explanation upon her return.Read More


Looking Back at a History of Pseudonyms

By Daniella Wexler

Looking Back at a History of Pseudonyms
Writers are always looking for new ways to tell stories, and Carmela Ciuraru has found hers in “Nom De Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms.” In her latest book, Ciuraru, editor of eight poetry anthologies, chronicles the role of the pseudonym in the last couple of centuries through sixteen literary figures, some more obscure (Fernando Pessoa, Henry Green, Anne Desclos), and some from the highest echelons of literary renown (Mark Twain, George Orwell, Sylvia Plath).Read More


New Novel Charts a Haredi Woman’s Struggle With Identity in Pre-War Palestine

By Daniella Wexler

New Novel Charts a Haredi Woman’s Struggle With Identity in Pre-War Palestine
Those craving a fix of Jewish pulp might enjoy “Jerusalem Maiden,” the latest novel by Talia Carner, women’s activist and former publisher of Savvy Women’s Magazine. Set in early 20th century Palestine during the decline of Ottoman rule, the novel follows Esther Kaminsky — a heroine inspired by the author’s grandmother — whose ultra-Orthodox lifestyle stifles her artistic and romantic urges. Will she reconcile her appetite for adventure with her deep-seated faith before it’s too late? And, perhaps more importantly: How much stilted dialogue and clunky imagery (“The iron felt heavier than a barrel of pickles”) will readers have to weather before they find out?Read More






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  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
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