Paper Brigade Vol­ume Five

2022/5782

Fea­tur­ing inter­views with Melis­sa Broder, Joshua Cohen, and Colum McCann, a Jew­ish lit­er­ary map of Aus­tralia, an explo­ration of the folk heal­ers of the Pale, and more. 

At check­out, you will be giv­en the option to a add an elec­tron­ic gift note to this order. Join us for the Vir­tu­al Launch Par­ty for the 2022/5782 Issue! Reg­is­ter here

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Fea­tures

Giv­ing Form to the Invis­i­ble
Helene Weck­er

Not Meant for Chil­dren
Jack Zipes

Hunger
Qian Julie Wang

The First Female Rab­bi Was Not Who You’d Expect
Sigal Samuel

What Mem­o­ry Wants from Me’
Ter­ry Kurgan

Peo­ple of the Body
Jen­nifer Glaser

A Jew­ish Trai­tor
Mau­rice Samuels

How Does a Fam­i­ly Lose Its Past?
Lau­ra Arnold Leibman

Heal­ers of the Pale
Deatra Cohen and Adam Siegel

Sim­ple, Dai­ly Mate­r­i­al’
Leigh Stein

Map

The World of Aus­tralian Jew­ish Lit­er­a­ture
Goldie Gold­bloom

Jew­ish Book Council’s Lit­er­ary Map of Aus­tralia
Kather­ine Messenger

Inter­views

Melis­sa Broder
Bec­ca Kantor

Colum McCann and Joshua Cohen
Bec­ca Kantor

Ilya Kamin­sky and Yaara She­hori
Jaclyn Gilbert

Ruth Behar and Mar­jorie Agosín

Trans­la­tion

The First End­ing, Then the Sec­ond
Oren Gaz­it, trans­lat­ed by Jes­si­ca Rut­man Setbon

Two Vignettes from The Bib­li­cal Zoo
Linor Gora­lik, trans­lat­ed by Dalia Wolfson

Poet­ry

Your Life Too
Mar­ra B. Gad

Golem Son­nets
Moriel Roth­man-Zech­er

unsigned
Eli­she­va Fox

Fic­tion

Shaare Emu­nah
Steven Volynets

Into the Mud
Yael van der Wouden

Excerpts

Fam­i­ly Mat­ters
Gillian Laub

Tun­nels
Rutu Modan, trans­lat­ed by Ishai Mishory

Whis­tle
E. Lock­hart, illus­trat­ed by Manuel Preitano

2021 in Review

To Our Readers

Pro­grams & Publications

Index of Book Reviews

2021 – 2022 Net­work Authors

JBC Net­work Communities

2020 Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards

Natan Notable Books

Note from the Editor

In times of upheaval, we often look to the past. As we seek com­fort in mem­o­ry and tra­di­tion, we also come to under­stand them in new ways. While this is some­times unnerv­ing, even unbal­anc­ing, it’s nec­es­sary to the cre­ative process. In addi­tion to reas­sur­ance, we find inspiration.

In these pages, author Leigh Stein describes doc­u­ment­ing the pan­dem­ic through poet­ry after reread­ing Anne Frank’s diary and con­tem­plat­ing how much thought and effort Anne put into writ­ing some­thing that would have mean­ing to read­ers in the future — us.” Oth­er con­trib­u­tors look fur­ther back. The golem, depict­ed for cen­turies as a war­like defend­er, has been reimag­ined by con­tem­po­rary writ­ers and artists to address every­thing from sex­u­al­i­ty to pol­i­tics, body dys­mor­phia, and disability.

Ques­tion­ing the accept­ed his­tor­i­cal nar­ra­tive shows us how much rich­er the full pic­ture is. In explor­ing the sto­ry behind two por­traits from the ear­ly nine­teenth cen­tu­ry, Lau­ra Arnold Leib­man demon­strates how our impres­sion of Jews in ear­ly Amer­i­ca was dis­tort­ed and impov­er­ished” by ignor­ing top­ics like the sit­ters’ mul­tira­cial lin­eage. Sigal Samuel describes her won­der at dis­cov­er­ing that the first female rab­bi was Mizrahi and Ortho­dox, and her sub­se­quent deter­mi­na­tion to write a pic­ture book to intro­duce young read­ers in par­tic­u­lar to this bril­liant woman who became a leader against all odds.”

It can be tempt­ing to look away from unpleas­ant aspects of the past. Mau­rice Samuels dis­cuss­es a nine­teenth-cen­tu­ry Jew­ish trai­tor whom most his­to­ri­ans have ignored, con­cerned that high­light­ing his sto­ry would only rein­force anti­semtic stereo­types. Nev­er­the­less, as Samuels writes, It is only by con­fronting the past in all its com­plex­i­ty that we are able to face the chal­lenges of the present.” Just as the golem evades the con­trol of its cre­ator in many of the orig­i­nal tales, cir­cum­stances today are often out of our con­trol. The courage and cre­ative bril­liance with which these authors approach our com­plex time can help to guide us forward.