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EstherK
currently: Los Angeles
Freelancer; contributing writer, Jewish Journal; editorial director, GrokNation.com. #11 on JTA's list of Top Jewish Twitter Influencers. Yes, it's a real list.
Recent Activity
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What? No new Crazy Ex-Girlfriend episodes until next season? Time for a retrospective on some of Rachel Bloom's (& CEGF's) best work. Fun facts & links await. Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2016 at MY URBAN KVETCH
Every Purim, my spiritual community, IKAR, takes the opportunity to laugh at everything that they're so serious about during the rest of the year. IKAR is known for having left-leaning positions on a number of issues and for being committed to social justice and equality issues. Members of the Purim shpiel (let's say that translates to "comedy show") committee pitch ideas at a brainstorm meeting and some of those make... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2016 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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I took this photo of Dave Burnett in the Galilee, during Leading Up North, Winter 2006-2007. I don't think he knew that I was photographing him. I don't write here as much as I used to. I have other outlets. I have other commitments. Too many commitments, really. But it's here that I did such formative work, and it's here that some of my favorite pieces - rejected by other... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2016 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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Look! It's my head, and the Obamas, at the White House! (December 9) I was beyond honored to have been invited to the White House on December 9 to celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah (#WHHanukkah) with Jewish movers and shakers from across the country at a party and ceremony hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. (You can read more about the two parties - I was... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2015 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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Back by (no one's) popular demand, it's JFNAGABingo, the unofficial and unsanctioned Jewish Geography-Meets-Scavenger Hunt way to meet new people at the Jewish Federations of North America's annual General Assembly (#JFNAGA) conference. If you're playing in-person in Washington, DC, don't forget to tag your bingo achievements with #JFNAGABingo and #JFNAGA so we can follow along with your conference bingo prowess! Enjoy! Download JFNAGABingo-2015 Related articles Who Do You Know?: #JFNAGA... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2015 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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People ask me a lot of questions. Here are some of the most frequent ones, with some snarky answers. Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2015 at MY URBAN KVETCH
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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