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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    • “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:
    • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
    • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
    • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
    • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
    • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
    • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
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