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And Speaking of Lists – Is Three a Trend?

In this communications revolution, some Jewish women are using e-mail to construct a kind of informal media-cum-public opinion watch. Talia Carner, an Israeli-born writer on Long Island, (WordFairy10@aol.com) started a list after the most recent Intifada began in September 2000. Carner, who describes her political position as “in the middle,” says she spends up to three hours a day, scanning different sites and collecting articles. She sends out between three and five articles a day, to a list that now totals a few hundred people. She does not, she said, distribute any material that advocates “extreme positions.” Novelist and commentator Naomi Ragen, who lives in Israel, also maintains a list as well as a web site (www.naomiragen.com; Naomi@NaomiRagen.com). She sends recipients her own columns, some of which appear in the Jerusalem Post and other newspapers. Maxine Elkins, of Princeton, N.J., also maintains a list, which she, like Carner, started a year ago, in her words, “after the Palestinian terrorism war”

“As a Jewish woman committed to Israel, I could not just sit on all these e-mails I was getting,” Elkins said. “I had to forward them.” Her list at present contains about 200 names. Elkins, however, prefers not to publish her e-mail address. The reason? “Some of her messages,” she said, “are activist.” For example, she circulated a petition to the Nobel committee, to take away Arafat’s peace prize. “My list,” she said, “is private among people of my own choosing.”