Chaval Al Hazman!The Modern Jewish Girl’s Guide to Guilt, Ruth Andrew Ellenson’s collection of essays written by various Jewish women, has been translated into Hebrew and will be available in Israel at the begining of February. This book has received much praise in the US, garnering Ruthie a National Jewish Book Award and a whole host of speaking engagements. Emory University Professor and author Deborah Lipstadt put it succinctly when she said “This book is for every person who has had a Jewish (or non) parent, child, sibling, friend or pet. These authors are filled with raucous humor, blazing anger, deep-seated resentments, and intense love. Their stories will touch readers deeply and remind them of their own. A terrific read.”

Yes indeed. I mean heck, I read it and I am hardly in need of guide to guilt. Nor am I a modern Jewish girl. The question remains however, how will this play in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem? Israelis are very different from American Jews and Israeli women? Oof! Don’t even get me started. I’m not quite certain that Jewish guilt thing survived the trip from the shtetls to the promised land and there’s just no telling how an Israeli audience will react to the writings collected by Ellenson. I mean the writing stands on its own – it’s funny, insightful, sharp and entertaining – but will Israeli women be able to relate to the travails and concerns of their sisters in the diaspora? Or will they see these as a necessary part of life outside the Jewish homeland where being Jewish is a condition that comes with baggage – the guilt, the temptations and the struggles – all issues absent from the daily lives of women living in the Jewish homeland. I don’t know. But I do look forward to the inevitable reviews and reactions. You know how those Israelis are…

Here’s a link to the Israeli publisher’s site – just for the record. Also you can meet Ruth Andrew Ellenson at the upcoming Jewlicious Festival in Long Beach (Feb. 29 to March 3 2008) where she will do something or another. Chances are it won’t make you feel guilty.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

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  • think will leave first comment on this to Froylein…..oh will be second comment now! sorry

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