Kosher Meat
edited by Lawrence Schimel

144 pages
 6 x 9
 ISBN 1-890932- 10-8




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Kosher Meat is an insightful compilation of explicit short fiction exploring facets of the intersection of Jewish identity and gay sexuality. From a tale of an ex-porn actor who lives across the street from a yeshiva, the creation of a golem, a visit to the Holocaust Museum, to cruising after dark in Tel Aviv, these stories run the gamut of both Jewish and gay subcultures, but their themes are always constant: the workings of the human heart, the body and its desires. These revealing tales of love and lust—often poignant, but with a good dash of both chutzpah and camp—will enlighten, delight, arouse, and inspire the reader, while pushing the limits of previously conceived notions as to the intersections of sexuality and religion.

Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the ForeWord Book of the Year for Erotica

Here are reviews for Kosher Meat from Publishers Weekly, Gaywired, and ForeWord Magazine

Publishers Weekly August 14,2000

KOSHER MEAT takes on a new connotation in Lawrence Schimel’s (Mammoth Book of Gay Erotica) anthology of whose characters are mainly Jewish homosexuals. Incorporating works of memoir and fiction by various authors and editors, this racy compilation delves into the religious, familial and political conflicts that confront Jewish homosexuals as they cope with memories of the Holocaust. Although this book targets a specific audience, readers who struggle to reconcile the spiritual world with the physical will appreciate the honesty of these well-crafted stories and personal accounts. review

Read a book that can’t be beat — KOSHER MEAT by Roberto Jose If you grew up Jewish, you have the innate knowledge that we are often referred to as “people of the book,” or at least smugly presume that’sone of the less innocuous things we’re called. So put together Jewish and Queer and you should have quite a plethora of literature with two snaps sensibility, no? Surprisingly not, but the recent effort of full- time author and anthologist Lawrence Schimel (who is also under thirty and keeps his perspective fresh and very cosmopolitan) is changing that.....

Kosher Meat by the small but succinct publishing house of Sherman Asher in Santa Fe (with the heart warming motto, “changing the world one book at a time”) is a step in the right direction, putting two similar worlds together without the friction one encounters with gay males who struggle with being hyphenated (Queer-Jew, Gay-Catholics,Black-Homo, etc.).

Schimel gathers nine other (male) authors to put together a minyan (in traditional Jewish circles, ten men must be present for services to have efficacy and for certain prayers to even be uttered) with the expected sensual twist.

The first interesting item for the reader to note is that crisp awareness that being Jewish, much like being Gay, comes with a sense of not really belonging anywhere—and yet with time, feeling somewhat comfortable with where ever one finds oneself. The stories for the most part take place in what could just as easily be gay ghettoes as Jewish ones; New York, Washington, D.C. or Tel Aviv, but in many of the stories one gets a clear sense of each character’s struggle with identify and affinity....

Non Jewish readers will find a plethora of similar emotions evoked by these ten authors too; I especially liked “The Day I Was Caught” by Daniel Jaffe (the title summing up the teenage relationship between many a boy and their father at least one night when you forget to close the door) for it’s peripheral handling of the eclectic eroticism that sometimes is exchanged between a burgeoning queer-boy and his dad (if that wouldn’t give fellow Jew Freud a field day!). “Down Down” by David O’Steinberg provides just the kind of electric sexuality you expect out of at least one of the stories in just such an anthology (and his tale which addresses SM themes, ahem, head-on, is provocative indeed) but I especially liked the story by editor Schimel (also titled “Minyan”) which deals with the comfort zone of one’s own kind in a very relaxed manner, we could all be author of that tale as he takes us from anxiety to voyeurism with a snappy bit of zeitgeist..... Certainly his work in gathering this thought-provoking anthology shows he’s still doing his part for both Jewish and queer brethren and we can only hope he continues in this determined undertaking—the book is a good read and Schimel has chosen a worthwhile vocation for which he is more than aptly suited. See the full review at © 2000 GayWired; All Rights Reserved.

Identity crisis at both ends

"Kosher Meat" is a collection of short stories that deals with what it means to be both gay and Jewish. By Jonathan Lerner

Aug. 30, 2000 | Among the mainly Jewish, determinedly world-weary kids I hung with in high school in the mid-'60s, it was fashionable when confronted by any challenge to throw up hands in mock despair and cry, "Oh God, I'm having an identity crisis." Smart, affluent, heavily psychologized and headed for good colleges, we thought this was a joke. As the 10 stories by gay men in Lawrence Schimel's new anthology "Kosher Meat" illustrate, a Jew in America never seems to resolve the burning questions of his identity; those of us among the chosen people who also turn out to be queer go through life taking identity crisis, so to speak, at both ends.

See the rest of this well thought out review at

Foreward magazine presents this review:

Kosher Meat Lawrence Schimel, Editor Sherman Asher Publishing The writers in Kosher Meat lay bare their souls to reveal their innermost thoughts, desires, passions, and anxieties about both sex and Jewish identity. At times the impact of the writing contained in Kosher Meat can belost on the non-Jewish reader, but fortunately there is a glossary of terminology contained at the back of the book.... Schimel has proven himself to be a talented editor by bringing experiences to the gay Jewish reader who may be feeling lost with the lack of representation in literature, as well as providing insight for the non-gay and non-Jewish reader into the lives of their lovers, friends, and family. Historically, gay men have focussed on the larger picture connected with the struggle for recognition and acceptance. Kosher Meat is an opportunity to learn some of the individual differences that make this community distinctive. —Paul J. Willis

from ForeWord The Magazine of Independent Publishing September 2000, Volume 3,Number 9 More reviews are posted on

Lawrence Schimel is a poet and author or anthologizer of over fifty titles. He won the 1998 Lambda Literary Award and was a finalist fo the small Press Book Award and the Firecracker Alternative Book Award for PoMosexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality. In 2001 he was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award for Kosher Meat Lawrence currently makes his home in Madrid and New York City where he continues to write and edit.

Also by Lawrence Schimel : "Found Tribe"


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