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Schmalz Mini Zine for Chanukah

For Chanukah 5778 (2017) I continued my zine series Schmalz, by giving people gifts of the actual stuff (courtesy of my roommate, who works in a kitchen and reduced more than 10 pounds from a 24 hour stock!).

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The Fabric of Our Lives

During late September, my essay “The Fabric of Our Lives,” appeared in a split zine ‘Nice Jewish Boys Archives, volume 1’ with artist Amir Guberstein at the New York Artist Book Fair.


Schmalz, The Passover Issue

For the second issue of Schmalz I got more contributors. I interview a friend about being a worker organizer in the food service industry and another friend about collecting gospel records. My friend Leah, who grew up speaking Yiddish, submitted her father’s kharoses recipe.


Mike the Polar Bear

February 2017 I made a mini zine about Mike the Polar Bear, a well loved Chicago character who lived in the Lincoln Park Zoo. I made use of archival photographs that I purchased after first learning about Mike from a former boss.



In early July, 2016 Gabrielle Tillman passed away. Her death is still hard for me to come to terms with. Providence was written quickly, after my friend Hannah Buonaguro sent me photos from the funeral, and is about my experience of grief, friendship and faith. Gabrielle was an incredible person and irreplaceable artist. You can see some of her work here.


Schmalz, Issue 1

The first issue of Schmalz was the product of an increased interest in my Jewish identity, Ashkenazi food, and radical politics. Like a matzoh ball in boiling broth, the project expanded. Along with food writing and recipes, I wrote about Paul Cowan’s An Orphan in History, in which he explores assimilation; Rum, and the Sephardi Jews involved in the slave trade; Eddie Balchowsky, a veteran of the Spanish Civil War and Chicago icon, whose memorial service was at the Busy Bee, a diner in Wicker Park that has become a Urban Belly by way of Penny’s Noodles.


For Beginners, March 2017

I wrote the catalog essay for the show Magical Realism at the Samuel gallery in Chicago. Curated by Steven Vainberg, the show featured work by Megan Diddie, Rachel Malin, Steven Mayer, and Will SheldonFor Beginners appeared a booklet along with some of the artwork which you can read here. I also wrote a short piece on the spirit of the show, which evolved out of conversations with Steven.