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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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I was honored to have been asked by three spiritual communities in Los Angeles to offer some reflections on my experience saying Kaddish for my mother at a community program on the fast day known as Tish'ah B'Av (the 9th of Av). These are the remarks I delivered (slightly edited for publication). After the death of my mother in May 2011, I said Kaddish every day (more or less) for... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2015 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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It takes a village to find a lost iPhone. Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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Highlights from a Q&A with writer/producer Gideon Raff, the creator of Hatufim (which became Showtime's Homeland), FX's Tyrant and USA's Dig. Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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From FunnyOrDie, via Haggadot.com: http://www.haggadot.com/clip/dayeinu-graph This is the story of a song that everyone seems to know, whether or not they want to. To describe it to you in a sentence would have been enough. But this song isn't known for its subtlety or its brevity. It's known for its repetition, its words that don't quite fit into the tune, it's barely-there-musical-tune reminiscent of the Pac-Man theme, and, of course,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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For IKAR's Purim #SHPIEL2015 last night, we gave Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" earworm the Purim treatment. You know, 'cuz Haman's gonna hate, so when we hear his name, baby, we're just gonna shake it off. :) Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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From the minute I saw Katy Perry's outfit during the "Teenage Dream/California Girls" portion of her SuperBowl Halftime Show, I knew I had to do this. (And the dancing sharks were pretty awesome, too.) Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at MY URBAN KVETCH
It's been a week. Ready to flashback to #GoldenGlobes 2015, Storified? Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2015 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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Very proud to have been part of the Comedy for a Change conference in Jerusalem in December, as an attendee and also as their manager of social media (and live-Tweeter-in-chief). Check out my blog recap here, part one of the Storify below, and if you're totally connecting to this concept of comedy making a change in the world and MUST HAVE MORE, here are links to Day 2's Storify, as... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2015 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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In 1997, Anita Diamant published The Red Tent, a novel inspired by the Biblical story of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, who – despite inspiring one of the bloodiest chapters in early Biblical history – never speaks a word in the text. Diamant gave her a voice and a context that enthralled many readers, and even enraged a few, showing that her work interpreting biblical characters and context... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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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