WHAT MAKES A JEWISH BOOK JEWISH?

rabbi.author

I’m happy to announce my essay for a symposium on Jewish writing has been published in the summer issue of the RRA Connection, the newsletter of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.

Am I a Jewish writer? Are my books Jewish books?

And what determines a Jewish book anyway?

I am a rabbi. My protagonist is a rabbi. My Rabbi Aviva Cohen mysteries are Chanukah Guilt, Unleavened Dead, and Yom Killer. My work-in-progress is Killah Megillah. One of my nonfiction books is Talking Dirty — in Yiddish?

When I first was trying to find an agent for Chanukah Guilt, an interested agent, Jewish, told me I had to change the title, that no one outside of the two coasts would get the pun. A friend of mine, then an aspiring novelist, was advised by another agent to make her novels “less Jewish,” to take out the Yiddish words and make the characters…

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