Jessica Siegel


400 Years After Portugal’s Inquisition, a Very Unusual Family Comes Together

By Jessica Siegel

400 Years After Portugal’s Inquisition, a Very Unusual Family Comes Together
The descendants of four Portuguese Jewish brothers who fled the Inquisition 400 years ago recently gathered for a reunion. Let’s just say they have some fascinating tales to tell.Read More


The Speedy Success of Richard Zimler's 'The Slow Mirror'

By Jessica Siegel

The Speedy Success of Richard Zimler's 'The Slow Mirror'
It was a miracle three times over, according to Portuguese-American novelist Richard Zimler, that “The Slow Mirror,” the short film based on his story of the same name, won the Best Drama prize at the New York Downtown Short Film Festival on May 2.Read More


‘Sweatshop Cinderella,’ Minus the Happily Ever After

By Jessica Siegel

‘Sweatshop Cinderella,’ Minus the Happily Ever After
She was “loud, coarse and demanding, constantly intruding her presence everywhere and taking up all the air in the room,” according to literary critic Vivian Gornick.Read More


Found in Portugal: World Famous Jewish-American Novelist

By Jessica Siegel

Found in Portugal: World Famous Jewish-American Novelist
Though he still maintains his accent and caffeinated New York pulse, Richard Zimler is far better known in Portugal, Turkey, Brazil, France and England than in the United States. He may be the world’s most famous unknown living American Jewish writer.Read More






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    • 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
    • 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.”
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