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The Purpose of Jewish Literature Today with Dr. Claire Sufrin

March 3, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

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Do novelists fill the role once occupied by prophets? Are Jewish novelists writing books that are either too Jewish or not Jewish enough? We will read and discuss two recent essays- each addressing one of these questions- alongside two recent novels, The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen and Fleischman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. We will consider: Are these novelists saying something prophetic? What makes these works Jewish and is it enough or too much?

Links to the two essays, as well as excerpts from the novels are provided below for those who wish to prepare. Reading the entire novels is also encouraged, though not required for this class.

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DR. CLAIRE SUFRIN is the editor of Sources: A Journal of Jewish Ideas and Senior Editor at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. A scholar of modern Jewish thought, she is a widely respected educator who has taught for more than a decade at Beth Emet, and she is also co-editor of the New Jewish Canon: Ideas and Debates, 1980-2015, a 2021 National Jewish Book Award finalist.

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