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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  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
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