Entries by Jennifer Dinn Korman


Come Join The Party

If you are in Denver on November 14th, help celebrate Denver Arts Week and stop by Plus Gallery to celebrate the launch of WJJ!   We'll be there from 5-9 with munchies and drinks!

For directions see:



Jewish Roots and Writing Waltzing Jimmy Jackboy

Our first friends in the Outback were a South African Jewish couple who were working in the bush to earn Australian citizenship. They invited us (minimally-practicing Jews) to delicious Shabbat dinners, where we discussed ethical issues centered on Torah analysis that they provided. If we came up with questions, Lauren, our host, would fax them to a rabbi in Sydney, and he'd have answers for us by the following Friday night. Over kosher chicken flown in from Cleveland via Sydney, I began to appreciate not only Lauren and Alan's hospitality, but also the 5,000 years of Jewish oral and written traditions as a valid body of knowledge to consult when formulating my diagnoses of life.

Surprisingly, the leap of faith that I took to accept the validity of the teachings of my own religion allowed me to better comprehend the alien belief system of the aboriginal Australians. I learned that the indigenous Australian oral tradition was ten times older than that of the Jews. And surprisingly there were striking similarities between the Dreaming stories and the Torah and Kabbalah, ancient Jewish mystical knowledge. To appreciate either, I had to respect the underlying meaning of the stories, without trying to layer on scientific logic, a difficult task for a banker. Both Torah and Dreaming presented Laws, or ways to live good, productive lives within the bounds of society. As long as I did not take it literally, I could absorb the wisdom of many centuries.

After we left Australia I had to wait five years to allow geographical distance and the capriciousness of memory to allow me to write about the Outback. Like reading the Torah or Dreamings, I wanted to capture the meaning of the land through my imagination, not tied to facts of what actually occurred. The aboriginals talk much about creation during the Dreaming (as we talk about Genesis) but the act of creation for them never stops. Writing is my own continual act of creation, as is raising my children, nurturing a home life, and interacting within the community, and it is the acknowledgment of those continual acts that allows me to finally find a sense of spirituality.