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Modern Hebrew: The Epic Transformation of a Language

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While teaching modern Hebrew in England and the United States, Norman Berdichevsky got a shock. Many of his students, he found, “were unable to utter a sentence in the modern language”—despite having attended Hebrew school at their synagogues for four or five years. “In modern Israel, they would be functionally illiterate,” Berdichevsky says. The experience led him to write a ... Read More »

Will the Real Bagel Please Roll Over?

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by Ellen Sue Spicer-Jacobson One of my fondest childhood memories is going with my father and siblings to Kramer’s Bakery in Trenton, NJ on a Saturday night after sundown, when they baked only one product: bagels. And they made only plain or egg bagels. No sesame seeds, poppy seeds or onions found their way on top of a Kramer bagel. ... Read More »

What We’re Reading: Sala Levin

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Each week, we’ll share what Moment editors are reading and watching, from news to novels. First up is Moment staffer Sala Levin, who wrote about the origins of the word “haredi” in the last issue and runs the magazine’s annual fiction contest.  So, Sala, what’s on your bookshelf/desktop? All Our Names: This recent novel by Ethiopian-American writer Dinaw Mengestu traces the ... Read More »

A Feisty Old Jew Goes Fringe

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by Deborah Altman Longtime playwright/performer and San Francisco native Charlie Varon jumps onto the stage. One second he’s Varon, the next he’s Bernie–an instantaneous transformation from charming 55-year-old storyteller to cranky 83-year-old nursing home escapee. Varon narrates: “Where the hell was that cab? ‘Okay,’ Bernie thought, ‘there’s more than one way to get someplace,’ and he stuck out his thumb. ... Read More »

Amidst Crisis, Parents Try To Do What’s Best

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Longtime Moment contributor Ilene Prusher, a mother of two and veteran journalist covering the war for Haaretz and TIME, talks to Moment about the challenges facing parents and children in a battlezone. Read More »

Jewish Online Dating Gets a Makeover

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JDate.com doesn't call itself the "leading Jewish singles network" for nothing. The massive online matchmaker—which boasts 750,000 users and attracted major media buzz in April with its rebranding campaign, "Get Chosen”—is known as the go-to for Jewish online dating. Read More »

Jews and Civil Rights Stories: An Interfaith Rally, and a Freedom Ride

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In honor of the yearlong anniversary of America’s Civil Rights Movement, Moment is collecting and sharing stories about Jews and Civil Rights. Here are two more, submitted by our readers. A Rabbi Leads Interfaith Rally for Civil Rights Batya Miller “My father, Uri Miller, an Orthodox rabbi, was an impassioned advocate for civil rights all of his adult life. I remember ... Read More »

A Brief Guide to Jewish Young Adult Fiction

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by Deborah Altman Last month brought exciting news for Judy Blume fans. The iconic young adult author announced she is working on a new release set to be out next summer, her first novel for adults since 1998. To keep you reading in the meantime, Moment has rounded up some of our favorite recent Jewish young adult releases–for kids and ... Read More »

Inside the Surprising History of the Spice Trade

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For Gary Paul Nabhan, spices tell a story that goes far beyond “Add two teaspoons of cinnamon.” The chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona Southwest Center and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship is the author of the new book Cumin, Camels, and Caravans: A Spice Odyssey, which examines how the early spice trade in the Middle ... Read More »

A Moment with “O, Africa!” author Andrew Lewis Conn

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Andrew Lewis Conn’s second work of fiction, O, Africa!, follows Jewish twins Izzy and Micah Grand, two upcoming filmmakers in 1920s New York. Amidst the chaotic blend of silent films, race relations and sexual exploits, the brothers are forced to take a trip to Africa to save their careers–and lives. Both Kirkus Reviews and The New York Times Book Review have ... Read More »