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Off the Shelf: Novels that take place in Israel – part two

Part one of this review focused on the more domestic aspects of Israeli life. This review speaks to the complex issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While politics are involved, all three authors focus on the personal side of these issues, which allows readers to see how they…

Off the Shelf: Hollywood and Jewish refugees

by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Before I read the press release for “The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood” by Donna Rifkind (Other Press), I’d never heard of Salka Viertel. While I knew that many Jewish and non-Jewish refugees who were act…

In My Own Words: Various personal, societal and political thoughts

Alone time

I’ve been rediscovering my inner introvert. I’m not exactly a hermit since most weekdays I communicate with Reporter staff via numerous e-mails over the course of the day. I’ve also had Skype/Zoom conversations with friends. (One of those is not new: the friend lives out of…

Off the Shelf: Novels that take place in Israel-part 1

Novels that take place in Israel tend to fall into two categories: those that talk about domestic life and those that focus on hamatzav (literally “the situation,” referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict). However, it’s difficult to draw lines between domestic and political arena…

In My Own Words: Supreme Court decision by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Do you want this person to pick your Supreme Court justice? That’s the question some people ask when deciding who to vote for for president. Yet, over the years, Supreme Court justices have surprised the person who nominated them by following the rule of law, rather than the rule of politi…