Rabbi Yoel Gold: innovative storytelling

Last week, my profile of Rabbi Yoel Gold appeared in The Jewish Home – L.A. edition. Rabbi Gold leads Congregation Bais Naftoli here in Los Angeles, and teaches in a local yeshiva high school, but he is also becoming quite well known due to a series of videos he began making last year.

I got a chance to interview Rabbi Gold, and he said several interesting things about storytelling, particularly it’s role in education and how he makes sure his “true stories” are true. He also explains how to identify a “good story” to retell. Check out the interview yourself to see what he said.

The Top 5 Things I had to cut from “The Force Isn’t With Me Anymore,” my new essay up on Tablet

My new piece up on Tablet, “The Force Isn’t With Me Anymore,” is about how my lifelong love of Star Wars is clashing with my commitment not to go to the movies. Yes, it is true, this fangirl, the child formerly known in some circles as “Chewbecca,” will not be watching “The Force Awakens.”

O Death Star Play Set, how I miss thee!!

Writing the piece was loads of fun: I got to relive many happy minutes of my childhood. In the original draft, I described the scene when I received my beloved Death Star Play Set (from Kenner!) in loving detail, and included all sorts of wacky stuff that I had to cut for length before turning the article into Tablet. 

Editing out all that material was painful, and so I give you…

THE TOP 5 THINGS I HAD TO CUT FROM “THE FORCE ISN’T WITH ME ANYMORE:”

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Erika Dreifus posted a Q & A with me! Wow!

Erika Dreifus is known to many in the book world – especially in the Jewish book world – as an author, social media maven (currently with Fig Tree Books), and advocate for other writers. Her site is a great resource for writers, with interviews, tips, links, and opportunities for jobs and publishing.

I was very excited (and nervous) a couple weeks ago, when she asked if I’d do a Q & A with her about Sliding Doors and other stories. Eventually, I consented. The results are up on her blog and you can mosey along there to see them. 

Thank you, Erika!

My most recent book review: Calling Out to You by Tehilla Edelman

Last week, The Jewish Home L.A. published my book review of Tehilla Edelman’s new anthology about depression and anxiety disorders in the Orthodox world, Calling Out to You.

Here’s the review.

calling_out_to_you

Calling Out to You

Not only is the book an amazing resource for observant Jews with mental illness, but it’s also essential reading for their rabbis, principals, therapists, family, and friends. The format is innovative as it contains not only articles about treating depression, OCD, and the like, but also poems and narratives written by patients themselves. Highly recommended.

Is it wrong that I’m kinda looking forward to some hate mail?

My latest essay, “Stuck in the Middle” (and, yes, I’m quoting the Stealer’s Wheel song on purpose), appears in Tablet Magazine. To summarize: coming from a family of typical American Jewish Liberals, I moved into a community of Orthodox Republicans. And I refuse to blend in with either herd.

Anyone, I’m kinda hoping that I offend someone. I’m even hoping for a little hate mail. Is that normal?