Michael Weingrad is professor of Jewish studies at Portland State University, and the editor and translator of Letters to America: Selected Poems of Reuven Ben-Yosef (out now from Syracuse University Press). He is a frequent contributor to Mosaic and the Jewish Review of Books, and he also writes at the website Investigations and Fantasies.
Year after year, most of what gets served up to young Jewish readers is poorly conceived, substantively shallow, and reeking of chicken-soup nostalgia.
Reubeni, Prince of the Jews, by Kafka’s close friend Max Brod, reminds us of the perils of elevating utopianism over the responsibilities of politics.
Nothing much, and nothing good.
The caped inventions of American Jewish cartoonists have thrilled countless people around the world. Israeli Jews have never produced anything comparable. Why?
For this Jewish writer and intellectual, childhood took place in a “decaying, fear-ridden city” with a mob family who called it home.
Written in 1923, “In the Crucifix Kingdom” depicts Europe as a Jewish wasteland. Why has no one read it?
In his prize-winning new novel, Reuven Namdar asks whether American Jewry is a house on fire. His answer is. . . .
A powerful new film, available online, shows us the man who more than any other shaped the modern Hebrew language.
Is the 2014 Nobel Prize-winner’s work really driven by the legacy of the Holocaust in France? Or is it more personal?
A just-reissued classic explores an unfamiliar realm of Jewish experience—and is a great American tale besides.
Programs of Jewish studies in colleges and universities have added greatly to the possibilities for Jewish self-understanding. But they offer no sure pathway to Jewish identity.