Twitter is still in its infancy and users around the globe continue to discover new ways to use the microblogging application. One national Jewish organization is now looking to release an entire encyclopedia via Twitter. If you think that sending out the content from an encyclopedia in less than 140 characters at a time might take a long time... well, you're correct.
The Jewish Women's Archive has begun to tweet The Jewish Women's Encyclopedia. The Twitter feed can be followed at #jwapedia
Jewish fiction is alive and well in America, and holding up a large pike in the tent is Nathan Englander. The Orthodox day school drop-out, born in 1970 on Long Island, has never made his affinity for Jews a secret: "The Ministry of Special Cases," his 2007 best-seller, focused on Jews who disappeared during Argentina's "dirty war." And his first collection of short stories, "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges" (2000), was riddled with Jewish-themed works.
Earlier this week the Israeli-Arab actor and peace activist Juliano Mer Khamis, 52, was shot dead, presumably by Palestinian militants. The New York Times had a moving story about the funeral for Mer Khamis held on Wednesday, reporting that the Israeli government allowed his coffin to be taken briefly to the edge of a West Bank checkpoint. They made the gesture so his Palestinian supporters could pay their respects, as they were not permitted to go to his burial inside Israel.
I was very sorry to learn of the murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis, 52, an actor who famously described himself as “100 percent Palestinian and 100 percent Jewish.”
Born in Nazareth to a Jewish mother and Arab-Israeli father (making him halachically Jewish), Mer-Khamis, a onetime paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces, co-created and ran The Freedom Theatre, a company for Palestinian children and youth from the refugee camp of Jenin.
Late last year, Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis banned the popular blog Voz Iz Neias and even went so far as to try to have it taken down. Now, FailedMessiah.com reports that the Agudath Israel of America's Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah has issued a ban prohibiting its adherents from using the Internet without a filter.
Pardon my bloggerly desuetude, but last week I was out on vacation. Now I'm back, and to make up for the lost time in blog-o-land, I'm posting a few longer essays you might have missed. (I did, at least.)
If you haven't heard the pianist Mitsuko Uchida play, do. She's performing tonight at Carnegie Hall -- solo works by Schumann, Chopin and Beethoven -- but even if you miss it, check out some of her albums online.
This week I wrote about the minimalist composer Steve Reich, whose groundbreaking Jewish chorale piece "Tehillim" (1981) is being performed by the teenage new music ensemble Face the Music next Thursday at Le Poisson Rouge. (They'll perform "Tehillim" at other locations over the next few months as well.)