(JTA) — Last week was a big one for Daryl Messinger. A resident of Palo Alto, California, and an active board member of several organizations, Messinger was installed as chair of the Union for Reform Judaism, becoming the first woman to hold that post. And she chanted Torah for the first time — in front of 5,000 worshippers at Shabbat morning services. Following the movement’s biennial here, Messinger answered a few questions via email.
I am sitting in my office, in Bethesda, Maryland, when my millennial son Benjamin calls, from northern California, to talk about Jewish veterans of World War II — specifically about the latest Bernie, Harry, or Murray war story he has just transcribed.
It took all of five seconds for the former executive producer of the Late Show with David Letterman to get the hundreds gathered to honor her rolling in the aisles with laughter.
Water runs over the curves of Salomé’s bare skin. Alone together in an underground prison, John the Baptist baptizes the Judean princess.
After all the noise surrounding the Nazi Romance book this summer, I looked closer at my own reading list. I could tell someone what books were awful in their treatment of Judaism and Jewish people, but could I recommend books that were wonderful? I couldn’t.