I just got back from a trip to the UK to speak at the Limmud Festival in Birmingham. Have I ever seen 2500 Jews in one place before? I do not believe so! My own talks went well, and I attended some presentations by other people that were incredible. My three faves (though I enjoyed a panoply) looked at the Sephardic influence on Flamenco, the way the Talmud addresses sexual consent in marriage, and whether or not Virginia Woolf was antisemitic. The three presenters responsible — Leilah Brukhim, a Flamenco dancer who came to Limmud from Madrid; Rahel Berkovits, a lecturer at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem; and Aviva Dautch, a poet, instructor in English Literature at the British Library, and lecturer at the University of London — BLEW MY TINY MIND. So good, so inspiring, so charismatic, all three. I also got to hang with my fam and some wonderful friends in London, and I got to go to the Jane Austen House and Museum in Hampshire (picturesque!) and the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading (possessor of an awesome Twitter!) and both were a delight.
Here is the Jane Austen House cat, Marmite. She bites.
Enough about travel. What have I been writing of late?
First up: You may have heard that the principal of LaGuardia High School (aka “the Fame school!”) tried to ban swastikas from the school’s production of The Sound of Music. I wrote about how this is a common practice.
I also visited a fun museum show in Philadelphia about cartoonist/inventor Rube Goldberg.
And I wrote about good Christmas books for cranky, FOMO-experiencing Jewish children.
And naturally, I followed that up with a piece about the inherent suckage of New Year’s Eve, from the perspective a cranky, FOMO-experiencing Jewish adult. (That would be me.)
May your 2019 be full of joy, comfort, learning, justice, and kindness.
I am envying you your trip to see the Rube Goldberg museum! How fun!! Also, am amused but not surprised the Austen cat bites… so did our Jane…
I think a new year where no one is required to greet it drunk and in good clothes is THE BEST IDEA. Adventure Time and pj’s for the win. I think I was reading and then fell asleep at 10, because I am that fabulous person. I’ll try again in February and see if I feel any more brand new and into the idea of a new year…
By the way, did you mean 2009? I know the Jewish year is 5779, but I have to admit I don’t want to time travel backwards… much…
Fixed! and HA! I kinda would like to travel back to 2009 right now tho.