Issue 16

September 2015 / Rosh Hashana 5776

Welcome to this beautiful new issue of Jewish Fiction .net! Here you will find 24 first-rate works of fiction, originally written in Italian, Hungarian, Russian, Spanish, Hebrew, and English. And in keeping with the fast-approaching holiday, three of the stories in this issue take place on Rosh Hashana. (more)

Augusto Segre
Purchase of Goods of Dubious Origin

Concerning work, the holy texts and educated people have said very beautiful, important, and edifying things...   (more...)

Ayelet Shamir
The Bed You Make

At the gas station they said afterwards: ‘It all began with those two brothers from Wadi Ara who brought that crazy horse to Eitan Russo as a gift.’   (more...)

Rivkie Fried
Ritual Bath

“Jump,” the old woman called out. “Jump into the water, meydele.” Meydele. The old woman, the mikveh attendant, had mistaken her for a young girl.   (more...)

György Spiró

One evening Uri’s father Joseph announced furiously that Honoratus wanted to put up his idiot son of sixteen for the post of grammateus   (more...)

Grigory Kanovich
Dream About the Vanished Jerusalem

It seems that I dreamed about it when I was still in the cradle, long before I first saw it for real.   (more...)

María Gabriela Mizraje
Land of Promise

Not dragging his feet despite being so tired, he who had been born in Istanbul without dreams of grandeur and without history walked as if all fear but also all illusion had been devoured...   (more...)

Eugenia Budman
The Great Fire

Membership in the Free Society of Firefighter Hunters, our voluntary fire brigade, has always been a matter of honour, for all prominent citizens of Minsk.   (more...)

Samuel L. Blank
The Tale of A Black Man

After their wedding, Dave and Mary opened a barber shop. With a few hundred dollars from their bank savings they bought the instruments and necessary furnishings...   (more...)

Joshua Van De Riet
The Choice

Chaya Silverman froze as Judge McGuiness prepared to deliver the verdict in the State of New York vs. Nehemiah Goldstein.   (more...)

Ruth Abraham
The Play's the Thing

Chaim was a story teller and Zussa a faithful listener. At eighty something, he had plenty to tell.   (more...)

Judith Margolis

“Being alone is lousy,” Hank complained to his married daughter.   (more...)

Yitzhak Gormezano Goren
Alexandrian Summer

Siesta in Alexandria. An hour of siesta in the midst of an Alexandrian summer...   (more...)

Robert Sachs
The Casket in Cogan's Cellar

Herman Cogan is on the phone talking with his mother when she mentions the wing chair she gave him years ago...   (more...)

Susan Breall
Out of the Cold

When I was nine years old, I once asked my brother if he would rather burn to death or freeze to death.   (more...)

Wendy Brandmark
Where Have You Been?

She had come before. A tall full woman with milky arms who ran her fingers over the backs of his chairs.   (more...)

H. William Taeusch
The Real Hero

Selected clippings from Josh’s scrapbook: New York Times - Oct. 22, 2014 - An American male was killed yesterday afternoon by gunshot in the center of the city of Hebron.   (more...)

Jonathan Ames
Wake Up, Sir!

A few hours after my nap, it was time again for calories and I was at the Kosher Nosh restaurant with the old flesh and blood...   (more...)

Elizabeth Edelglass
A New Year

On the day after Labor Day, sun slanting through Annie’s bedroom blinds already looks like autumn, the white glare of summer faded to muted orange.   (more...)

Yona Zeldis McDonough
The Fig Tree

The fig tree stood in the center of the courtyard. It was small but shapely, with a supple trunk covered in light brown bark.   (more...)

S. Frederic Liss
Motherless Child

Nine days before the bat mitzvah of their daughter Rebecca, what Hannah and David had dreaded most since Rebecca’s birth came to pass.   (more...)

Charles Norman
The Shamash

The day had finally come. Thirty-four years a member of the congregation, ten of those years in apprenticeship, and tomorrow I would finally become the shamash.   (more...)

Scott Nadelson
Grow or Sell

When his stepson asked for help with a school project, Paul Haberman agreed without hesitation. It was early May of 1991, ten years after Paul had joined the family...   (more...)

Stephanie Friedman

The envelope poked out from where Beryl had slotted it among bills paid and unpaid, its top jagged where she had ripped it open.   (more...)

Frederick Nenner
When The Moon Is Full

The sun is rising on a full moon and an old man readies himself, as he does with every full moon, for the hardship that the day will bring.   (more...)


Have you ever wondered how Jewish Fiction .net came into being or how it operates day-to-day? I think if you knew, you’d be surprised. So let me tell you a bit about Jewish Fiction .net and also about myself.

Five years ago I had a dream to create a literary journal of first-rate Jewish fiction from around the world. There was nothing like this then, and there still isn’t, except for Jewish Fiction .net.

This dream was embraced by numerous international writers, scholars and editors (some of whom joined the Jewish Fiction .net  Advisory Council), and also by a talented group of volunteers from the USA and Canada.

Over the next five years, Jewish Fiction .net grew beyond my wildest imaginings. To date, we have published over 250 works of fiction, originally written in 14 languages and on five continents, that had never before been published in English, and it humbles me to know that we have readers from 140 countries.

Because of how quickly we’ve grown, people often talk about Jewish Fiction .net as if it were located in a large office, filled with paid staff.

Let me correct this perception.

I head a team of eight (part-time) volunteers who manage the administration of this journal and also review and edit all the manuscripts. None of us are paid for what we do, me included. For us it’s never been about the money, and no one has ever taken money for the work they’ve put into this journal. The donations Jewish Fiction .net has received till now have covered only overhead costs such as website maintenance and support, contract consultations, etc.

For everyone on our team, this is a labour of love.

I chose to run Jewish Fiction .net this way because to me it has always been a top priority to provide this journal free of charge, so that anyone who wants to read it will be able to.

Now, however, we are at a crossroads.

Because of the great success of Jewish Fiction .net — we are flooded with submissions, and now have significantly more administrative and editorial work than before — our original model of operating (just with volunteers) is no longer viable. We have no choice now but to hire paid staff in order to keep this journal running.

No one is looking to make a profit from Jewish Fiction .net. We simply want it to continue to operate, and at the same high level of quality that it always has.

To accomplish this, we need your help.

I don't want to imagine a world without Jewish Fiction .net. So today we are launching our most ambitious fundraising campaign to date, with a goal of $50,000 to ensure the continuation of this journal.

Creating Jewish Fiction .net has been one of the most gratifying and joyous experiences of my life. Today I ask that you join me as a partner in this great work.

The High Holydays are approaching, so I find myself reflecting on what really matters in life.

To me, one thing that really matters is writing, reading, and sharing Jewish stories that reflect our common past, present and future as Jews. I take pride in the part I’ve played in cultivating Jewish Fiction .net as the only English-language journal in the world (in print or online) devoted exclusively to publishing Jewish fiction. And Jewish fiction is important not just for its literary value, but because it tells the stories of our people, a legacy for generations to come.

This is a pivotal moment, so I ask you to be bold. Now is not the time to delay or stint your support. We are in an urgent situation and the future of this journal depends on you.

Shana tova,

Dr. Nora Gold, Editor
Jewish Fiction .net

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