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EstherK
currently: Los Angeles
Writer-at-large in Los Angeles. But occasionally also New York City, Jerusalem, and the world. #10 on the JTA's 2009 list of influential Jewish Twitterers. Yes, that's a real list...
Recent Activity
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Heroes & Villains. Saints & Fools. These characters populate literature of all kinds, from contemporary culture extending back to sacred texts and storytelling traditions. On this Sunday, November 16, tune into a special exploration of this subject, in a one-day, round-the-clock, open-to-everyone learning opportunity for everyone, no matter where you are! Don't miss this free chance to engage with Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz and more luminaries of learning. And they'll... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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Jews have always been involved in the American comedy scene. I won't get into the history, frankly because I don't have that kind of time right now. But this December, a group of writers and content creators/producers are gathering in Jerusalem to talk about Jews, comedy and how the two can come together for social change in a first-of-its-kind conference called "Comedy for a Change." And to celebrate Jews and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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I'm not at the GA (#JFNAGA). So I made #JFNAGABingo to help me be there virtually & to help those who are there meet each other. :) #conferencejunkie #coalitionoftheleftbehind Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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I'm not what you might call "a Halloween person." But when I got to college, I realized that I had missed something vital in the secular calendar cycle. Here's the story of my first time trick-or-treating, when I was 18. Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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I've been in L.A. six years, and keep finding notebooks with musings about living here on the West Coast. Here's one short piece for my 6th LAnniversary. Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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Everyone has something they regret. (image via http://techneur.com/post/2315611963/regret-minimization-framework) "It's the season of spiritual inventory and self-reflection. What do you regret? What aching, burning yearning or deep guilt has trailed you for years? Be brave. Reflect & write." And with this writing prompt, IKAR asked members - as they do every year - to reflect on the year gone by, and submit personal stories on a particular theme; these essays and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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5775 is a palindrome. So I made some Rosh Hashanah cards, hopefully, for your entertainment. Featuring characters from Girls, Frozen, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The Simpsons. Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
As some of you know, I work part-time at Pictures From the Fringe, a small production company based in Los Angeles - PFTF co-founder Salvador Litvak recently conceptualized and directed a music video for IKAR, an innovative progressive spiritual community in LA, to help celebrate their 10th birthday. Many of us spent the entire day on set downtown, herding people and being herded by other people, having our wardrobes adjusted... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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On July , I did my first ELI Talks on Air hosting gig, an interview (embed below) with the guys from the Jewish video site Shmideo (check out their guide to creating a perfectly boring High Holidays speech here). We talked the Pew Report, puppets, Pythons, Yom Kippur, the Middle East conflict and the Messiah, not in that particular order. Actually, in this particular order - feel free to skip... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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At the "step-and-repeat" at the Opoli launch party in L.A., 6/26/14 Here’s a fun fact - I lived in L.A. for four years without a car. This fact is a stunner for many, who can’t imagine life in L.A. as a mostly-pedestrian; when they learned I was from New York City, many questioned whether I had ever learned to drive a car at all. (As a Jersey girl, I had.)... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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Social media is one of the tools that links us to community and connects us through experiences, good and bad, to each other. Our online expression serves as a stunningly effective way to connect with our network's intellectual and emotional flow. Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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Connecting to Community & Comfort: My #ELITalks on-Air (video) - talking singles, writing & #lifeafterloss Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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photo from Times of Israel site As everyone in the free world knows by now, Mick Jagger and the rest of the scraggly, scrawny superheroes of rock-and-roll have been touring Israel, taking photos at the Wall and - Mick in partick - showing off Hebrew study by interspersing their betwixt-songs banter with salutations and crowd-pleasing Hebrew phrases. (You can read all about it in Times of Israel.) But what you... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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So is my mom in the 7%? And if not, can you connect us, Skype? Three years after losing my mother, I'm beginning to gain some perspective. Don't get me wrong, I'm still devastated at my mother's absence and irritated by the onslaught of media messaging. And while I appreciate the sentiment, Skype telling me to call my mom on Mother's Day is a bit much - unless they actually... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
I've seen Star Wars more times than I can count (because I stopped counting around time #47); I know a good portion of Episodes 4, 5 & 6 by heart, and prefer to forget about most of 1, 2 & 3. But my favorite part was always Mos Eisley Spaceport ("you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany - we must be cautious...") and its creature-diverse... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
"Sid Caesar invented sketch," said comedy legend Carl Reiner in an interview with Phil Rosenthal (creator of "Everybody Loves Raymond") at the opening night of the L.A. Jewish Film Festival on May 1, which was in honor of Reiner and in memory of Caesar, who died in February. "Sid performed it in such a way that it was never the same after." As the evening stretched on, the 92-year-old Reiner... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
I've been flying Virgin America domestically for a while; I love the inflight experience, from the order-at-your-seat refreshments to personal entertainment screens. The flight attendants seem capable and friendly (and took care of me most recently when I got sick on a flight). Virgin America has also always had a bit of a sense of humor when it comes to safety videos. VA's previous animated video was jaggedly drawn, a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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Me (and my purple scarf) leading a group in improv exercises at the ROI Summit Back in New York, people had been encouraging me to do comedy for years. But as far as I knew "doing comedy" meant either a) moving out to LA, pitching agents and studios on ideas, only to have your heart trampled on, or b) doing standup at an open-mic or "bringer" night at a comedy... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
There's a classic joke about the oleh chadash, the new immigrant to Israel, who sees that wherever he goes, people are parking on the sidewalk. One day, he's driving around and looking for parking. Nothing. Not a single legal space free, but people are still parking on the sidewalks. He sees a policeman and asks, "Excuse me, officer, is it legal for me to park on the sidewalks?" "Absolutely not!"... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
Do you spend a lot of time thinking about food and the role it plays in our lives? My friend, filmmaker Joseph Levy, previously famous to me for being a producer of the amazing short George Lucas in Love , does, and the result is a film that is beautiful in message and medium (and music). Spinnning Plates (available at Amazon via this link) is the story of three very... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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Welcome to My Urban Kvetch, a place for me to vent about the issues that clutter my brain as I live my so-called-freelance life in the Big City. I'm all about looking at my experience through the lens of humor, whenever it's possible. […]And though I've resisted long enough, I'm joining the blog generation. My hopes? That this space will provide me with a forum for fleshing out ideas, kicking... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
Although it's hard to believe, both for me and for those who know me, there was a time when I was not a blogger. The me of this time was a struggling freelance writer, desperate to find venues who would publish her, even though she had rarely been published before. The me of this time also had a friend who recommended that, as I developed my reading audience, I might... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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In Winter 2006-7, philanthropist Lynn Schusterman brought an international group of young Jewish leaders to the Galilee to help “repair” what the Second Lebanon War had destroyed. Because we lacked painting experience, we imparted way more personality than artistry – illustrating bomb shelter walls with images we believed to be calming, inspiring or uplifting. Fish in an ocean. Flowers and animals frolicking in a sunny field. And my friend Dave... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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On January 2, 2013, Ha'aretz published a piece I'd written about how the community can support those who grieve (if there is a paywall on this link or any of the ones below, please contact me and I'll send you a PDF). It might have seemed a strange way to begin a year, a year whose start is supposed to inspire optimism; but I saw it as an opportunity to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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Online connections are a daily thing to me, but as much as possible, I try to seek out opportunities for online connections to cross over into real life. While meeting someone who's basically a stranger sometimes leads to awkwardness, I'm always amazed by how much deeper a connection can get when you add an in-person dimension - as if something in the in-room chemistry reinforces human solitude and interdependence simultaneously,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2013 at MY URBAN KVETCH