There’s been a lot of press about Rabbi Sharon Brous lately, since she became the first woman to crack the top 5 on the Newsweek America’s Top 50 Rabbis list. Of course, this wasn’t the first recognition of Brous for her work building IKAR, a vital and exciting Jewish community in Los Angeles; she’s already been recognized by the Forward, Jewish Women International, the Jewish Community Foundation of LA, and others, who herald her as a leader in reimagining Jewish life for the 21st century.
I sometimes direct tourists toward 'the HP garage,' which is marked with a plaque and gets photographed a lot. It is three blocks down the street from my house.
When not memorizing Latin declensions, Nina, a graduate student of history, authors alltumbledown: a modest attempt at style, a blog about the intersection of modesty and daily fashion. In addition to brightly colored pencil skirts and everything sequined, she is a fan of Mad Men, the quickly-disappearing Jewish Lower East Side, and the printing press. She currently calls both Philadelphia and New York home.
Ever dream of making a film about someone you wanted the world to know more about?
Most people believe that Yiddish literature and poetry was written solely by men. In reality, there were hundreds of female Yiddish writers and poets, all of whom had their own distinct biographies and writing styles.
Edith Kaplan Bregman was one of these women. She was born in a Russian shtetl in 1899 to a Hasidic family, immigrating to New York when she was 13. In America, she was exposed to literature that hadn’t been available in Europe, so she became a voracious reader. Bregman went on to write poetry in her native tongue, Yiddish. Her love of language led her to meet many Yiddish literary giants, like Avrom Reyzen, a poet who became her mentor. While she wrote poems throughout her early life, her works weren’t published until 1939, when a Yiddish newspaper had a poetry contest that she entered and won. Her victory gave her the confidence to publish more of her written work. Some of the themes that recur throughout her poems are a love of Judaism and God, life in Europe, and Holocaust remembrance. In addition to writing poetry, Bregman sang and played the mandolin and piano. Bregman’s last poem was published in 1997, a few years before her death at age 99.
Reading through my copy of the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food by Gil Marks, I learned that artichokes are a common feature on the Passover tables of Italians and other Sephardim, since they usually first appear in early spring. I immediately knew that I wanted make this culinary tradition part of my own Passover celebrations. Yet, I have to admit that artichokes are one ingredient that intimidate me with their spiny outer leaves and inner choke that can be gag-inducing if not removed properly. Until I overcome my fear of artichokes (and for convenience's sake), I used using jarred or canned artichoke hearts.
In recent years, Miriam has become regular presence at the Passover table. For some she is there in the form of Miriam’s cup, a ritual addition to the Passover Seder created by Jewish feminists. For others, she is invoked through Debbie Friedman’s joyous song, an occasion, at many seders, for women to sing and dance, continuing or reexperiencing the celebration of freedom, led by Miriam, upon crossing the Red Sea.
Living as a poet means you are acutely attuned to the voices within, you seek to listen, to discern the words that best capture your own inner truth.
Last Pesach, I heard a sermon given in which my friend and rabbi used the phrase “faith is packing your timbrel” and I got super fixated on this concept and have found it running through my head in difficult times, a sort of mantra to reflect upon.
National Poetry Month officially began yesterday. It is not altogether clear why the Academy of American Poets chose April as the month to celebrate poets and poetry.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Blog." (Viewed on July 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog>.