Kazim Ali is the author of a book of poetry, The Far Mosque, and the novel Quinn's Passage. His recent poetry has appeared in Boston Review, American Poetry Review, jubilat, and Barrow Street. A new book of poems is forthcoming in 2008 from BOA Editions. Ali teaches at Shippensburg University and at Stonecoast, the MFA program of the University of Southern Maine.
Born in London in the Blitz, Karen Alkalay-Gut's education in the United States was supplemented by Yiddish Shule and extended Bible lessons in Yiddish. In 1972, she moved to Israel and teaches poetry at Tel Aviv University. Her poetry publications include The Love of Clothes and Nakedness (Sivan, 1999), High Maintenance (Neamh, 2001) and So Far So Good (Sivan, 2004). Open Secret: Poetry and Popular Culture (University of Washington Press) will be available in 2007.
Rebecca T. Alpert
Rabbi Rebecca T. Alpert is Associate Professor of Religion and Women's Studies at Temple University. She is the co-author of Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach, author of Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition, and editor of Voices of the Religious Left: A Contemporary Sourcebook as well as numerous articles. She teaches [End Page 139] in the areas of religion and contemporary social issues: sexuality, the politics of race and gender, and medical ethics and is currently at work on a book on Jews and baseball.
"In my twenties, I began to observe Jewish laws, customs and holidays and have been on this journey of committed Judaism for about eight years. However, I struggle with mainstream Orthodox Judaism's inflexible interpretations of Jewish law and am angered that women are excluded from participation in most Orthodox communities. I participate in Jewish ritual when it is halachically permissible to do so; however, I believe that halacha needs to continue to evolve as a legal system."
Sarah Antine's poetry has appeared in Big City Lit, Lilith Magazine and upcoming in PMS. She lives in Maryland with her husband and infant daughter.
Miriam Axel-Lute (www.mjoy.org/poetry.html) is a performance-oriented poet from Albany, NY. Her poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Touched by Eros and Hunger Enough, and has been performed from many stages, classrooms and pulpits. She has always had an affinity for her Biblical namesake, though for a while as a kid, having misheard a classmate's taunting, she thought Miriam had been turned into a leopard.
Cathleen Cohen, Ph.D., directs We the Poets: Interfaith Poetry Project of the Arts & Spirituality Center, a non-sectarian organization in Philadelphia which uses artistic and spiritual expression as an avenue for personal and social understanding. She has taught poetry writing skills to children of diverse cultures and faiths in over 70 schools and programs in the USA and Israel, including Givat Haviva Institute, Derby University, and the Jewish -Arab Center of Haifa University. She authored a chapter in Teaching God and Spirituality, (A.R.E., 2002), and has published poems in The Breath of Parted Lips (2005), Cumberland Poetry Review, Moment, Harrisburg Review, Piedmont Literary Review, Response, and 6ix.
Melissa Cooper is a writer, dramaturg, and director. Her plays and adaptations have been produced at regional theaters around the country and in alternative spaces in New York City. Recent projects include directing A Macbeth, an all-female production of Shakespeare's play (Dallas Theater Center, 2006), and writing Antigone Now (produced at DTC and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park). Her experience of Jewish ritual and thought finds its way unbidden into her fiction, which has appeared in Mangrove Review and McGuffin. [End Page 140]
Enid Dame (1943-2003) was a poet and writer whose work often reflected her Jewish background and culture. Her last book of poems published in her lifetime, Stone Shekhina (East Hampton, NY: Three Mile Harbor, 2002), is a series of midrashic poems. Her other books of poetry include Anything You Don't See (Albuquerque, NM: West End, 1992), Lilith and Her Demons (Merrick, NY: Cross-Cultural Communications, 1989), and On the Road to...