New Jewish Writing at Penn

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice
February 26, 2011

New Jewish Writing was the theme of a literary reading held at the Kelly writers House of the University of Pennsylvania, 3805 Locust Walk, on Thursday, February 24, 2011.

The event was sponsored by Zeek magazine, the Jewish Studies Program at Penn, Writers Without Borders, and the Wexler Family Endowed Fund for Programs in Jewish Life and Culture.

Jessica Lowenthal, director of the Writers House, welcomes people attending, saying that Zeek magazine "(is) an award-winning independent journal that maintains an expansive definition of Jewish cultural and spiritual life."

Jo Ellen Kaiser, Editor in Chief of Zeek, said, "Kelly Writers House is really a beacon for writing for everyone in the country...I live in San Francisco, and I heard of the Kelly Writers House." Kaiser said that Zeek is a magazine about "Judaism 4.0. There is a paradigm shift happening in the Jewish world, and we think that there's going to be a new Judaism emerging, and that will be as significant a change as the change from Temple Judaism to Rabbinic Judaism. We don't know what that new Judaism will look like, but what we know is the best way to move towards a Judaism that incorporates both the past and looks to the future is to have open discussions...(and) discussions that cross boundaries."

The readers for the evening were:

Shahar Bram, a poet, scholar, and translator, who teaches Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of Haifa. His volumes of poetry include Walls, The Blooming of Memory, and City of Love. His essays have been published in such journals as Salamander, Connotations, Partial Answers, and Word and Image.

Jessica Greenbaum, a graduate at Barnard College and a graduate of the University of Houston's Writing Program. She has worked as a writer for Forbes magazine and as a researcher for the Anti-Defamation League's civil rights division.

Bob Perelman, who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. He has written 19 volumes of poetry, including IFLIFE, Playing Bodies, and Ten to One.

Rivka Fogel, who is finishing her last semester at Penn, where she is the Behrman scholar for the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing.