Spring 2019


"Unfaithful," the theme of 3 prize-winning short stories • Israel's little-known School for Peace and the woman who created it • The new questions those male policy-makers didn't know to ask

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It Belongs to My Brothers


But what is respected in my community as the more intellectually rigorous and important body of text, the Talmud, makes me feel like a stranger in my own faith. 

The New Questions


A series of harassment allegations against prominent Jewish sociologist Steven M. Cohen, exposed in the Jewish Week last summer, sent the Jewish academic and institutional world reeling—not just because of the personal #MeToo stories that shocked, but because of the influence Cohen had wielded setting priorities for so many communities. He was the individual most closely connected with major Jewish demographic surveys... Read more »

A School for Peace


The summer of 2018 saw a breakthrough for female recruits joining the male-dominated ranks of the combat units in the Israel Defense Forces. Some 1000 young women volunteered for combat duty, 150 more female recruits than in 2017, and up from 547 in 2012. Four (not new recruits) became the first female tank commanders, and the Israeli Air Force announced the appointment of the first... Read more »

Fiction: What Forgiveness Might Look Like


Dana and her husband, Jonathan, stand next to each other on a footbridge, separated by a loaf of stale bread and a gulf of regret. Below them, a few dozen members of their congregation lace the shoreline of Rock Creek. Save for Dana and Jonathan they are either families with children or gray-haired empty nesters. The first year they... Read more »

On the Coattails of Other People’s Grief


The first of February 2018 was unseasonably warm. A crowd of people had gathered outside the Jerusalem Theatre where Haim Gouri’s coffin was lying in state. White plastic chairs set out in rows on the sun-bleached plaza were filling up quickly, leaving a few hundred guests standing on the sidelines. A handful of Filipino care-givers maneuvered wheelchairs down the rows,... Read more »

Fiction: That Dad with White Socks


So there’s this dad in the kindergarten (yeah, that’s how mom porn begins) who takes off his sneakers in the hallway and enters the room in socks. He’s the dad who sits there every morning at the art table with his curly-haired daughter, drawing monsters. The girl says, “Make her nose like this and her legs like that,” and... Read more »

Women Shake Things Up in a Major Statehouse


For decades, women in New York facing heartbreaking medical issues in the later months of pregnancy had to fly to other states for terminations, thanks to outdated abortion laws. This January, after years of lobbying, activism and voting, that finally changed. In the November 2018 elections, New York’s legislature saw a very similar outcome to the national results: progressive women storming the gates... Read more »

“In Vain, My Attempts to Be Reasonable”


“I WAS 29 YEARS OLD when I decided to have a child.” Radical firebrand Matilda Rabinowitz had already led an extraordinary life by age 29. She was an elected Socialist Party leader, an IWW [International Workers of the World] organizer; a key figure in a textile mill strike in 1912. Taube Gitel Rabinowitz, a Russian-Jewish immigrant, arrived in America in 1900,... Read more »

The Matron Saint of Israeli Feminism


Reading Alice Shalvi: Never a Native was like discovering a kindred spirit. From the moment I first picked it up, I carted the heavy hardbound volume around with me everywhere, stealing glances at the cover photograph of kindly, white-haired Alice smiling pensively back at me—in synagogue, where I read her book behind the mehitza; in the classroom, where I tore through... Read more »

Fiction: A Serious Infatuation


FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS I’VE SAT in Margo G.’s office as she prepares to counsel grieving families. At first it was twice a week. Now, I manage a visit every day. My teaching schedule is lighter in the summer and this back and forth wouldn’t be possible if the law school and the hospital weren’t next to... Read more »

Poetry: Brisket Wars


The oven preheats to 325. Mama prepares the brisket. In the warming kitchen, she follows her recipe for the meat as her mother and grandmother had, tenderly placing the slab in a roasting pan, pointed-fat side up, sprinkled with onions, salt, garlic; bloody- flat side down, hiding the family’s rough-cut   history. Mama proclaims the piece... Read more »

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