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Welcome to our pages of Winter 2015, Fall 2014, Summer 2014, Spring 2014, Winter 2014, Fall 2013, and oh so many more Book Suggestions. For our Home Page, Please visit MyJewishBooks.com

SOME SPRING 2015 BOOK READINGS


March 02, 2015: Bruce Schneier reads from Data and Goliath The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World. B&N NYC. Secret location since we dont want the world to know the real data (UWS 82nd St 7PM)
March 04, 2015: Joseph Kanon reads from Leaving Berlin A Novel. B&N NYC UES 86th & Lexington
March 09, 2015: Roger Cohen reads from The Girl from Human Street Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family. B&N NYC UWS 82nd St 7PM
March 11, 2015: Jewish Book Awards, NYC
March 18, 2015: Former Rep. Barney Frank reads from his political memoir. Sixth and I Synagogue. Washington DC
March 19, 2015: Lincoln and The Jews, with Rabbi David Wolpe, Leon Wieseltier, and Dr. Jonathan D. Sarna. New York Historical Society, Shapell Manuscript Foundation 6:30 PM
March 21, 2015: Frank Bruni reads from Where You Go is Not Who You’ll Be. Politics and Prose. 1PM DC
March 25, 2015: Bruce Hoffman reads from Anonymous Soldiers. The Struggle for Israel 1917-1947. Politics and prose, Washington DC 7PM
March 29, 2015: Dr. Lieberman will be in conversation with Robert Boorstin about SHRINKS. Politics and Prose, Washington DC 5PM
April 03, 2015: Passover Begins
April 06, 2015: Philip Glass reads from Words Without Music A Memoir. B&N NYC Union Square.
April 21, 2015: Eric Bogosian reads from Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide. B&N NYC Union Square
April 29, 2015; Thane Rosenbaum reads from How Sweet It Is, a novel. B&N UWS NYC

May 03-04, 2015: Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity. Conference in honor of Abraham Joshua Heschel. UCLA Royce Hall. Featuring Cornel West, Susannah Heschel and Rev. James Lawson Jr.
May 14, 2015: Brad Garrett reads from When the Balls Drop. B&N Grove Los Angeles
May 28, 2015: Vivian Gornick reads from her memoir: The Odd Woman and the City. B&N UWS NYC







[book] MODERN JEWISH COOKING
RECIPES AND CUSTOMS FOR TODAY'S KITCHEN
BY LEAH KOENIG
Photos by Sang An
March 2015
Chronicle Books
From the author of Hadassah's Everyday Cookbook
From a leading voice of the new generation of young Jewish cooks who are reworking the food of their forebears, this take on the cuisine of the diaspora pays homage to tradition while reflecting the values of the modern-day food movement. Author Leah Koenig shares 175 recipes showcasing handmade, seasonal, vegetable-forward dishes. Classics of Jewish culinary culture—such as latkes, matzoh balls, challah, and hamantaschen—are updated with smart techniques and vibrant spices. Approachable recipes for everything from soups to sweets go beyond the traditional, incorporating regional influences from North Africa to Central Europe. Featuring holiday menus and rich photography, this collection is at once a guide to establishing traditions and a celebration of the way we eat now.

















[book] The Community Table
Recipes & Stories from the
Jewish Community Center JCC in Manhattan & Beyond
by JCC Manhattan, Katja Goldman,
Lisa Rotmil, and Judy Bernstein Bunzl
March 24, 2015
Grand Central
Across the continent, JCCs are cultural epicenters of modern Jewish life. The buildings are hives of activity; at any given moment, hundreds of people of all ages, backgrounds, interests, and opinions gather to engage in a myriad of activities. And nothing says community more than food.

While sitting down to enjoy a meal together is undeniably bonding, working together to prepare it is even more so. Now, three chefs who are longstanding members of the JCC Manhattan share classic recipes such as Weekly Challah, Latkes Four Ways, and Pumpkin Rugelach, plus an inspiring selection of contemporary dishes with a farm-to-table emphasis and international flavors: Fig and Fennel Bread, Iraqi Lamb Burgers, Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Citrus Glaze, and much more. Holiday menu suggestions and a complete chart grouping recipes by dietary restriction (meat, pareve, dairy) are included as well.
With anecdotal contributions from JCCs all around the country, this cookbook highlights the JCC's vibrant, eclectic community-and celebrates all of its many flavors.

















[book] THE EMPIRE OF THE SENSES
A NOVEL
BY ALEXIS LANDAU
March 2015
Pantheon Books
A sweeping, gorgeously written debut novel of duty to family and country, passion, and blood ties that unravel in the charged political climate of Berlin between the wars.
Lev Pearlmutter, an assimilated, cultured German Jew, enlists to fight in World War I, leaving behind his gentile wife Josephine and their children, Franz and Vicki. Moving between Lev's and Josephine's viewpoints, Part I of the novel focuses on Lev's experiences on the Eastern Front—both in war and in love—which render his life at home a pale aftermath by comparison. Part II picks up in Berlin in 1927–1928: the Pearlmutter children, now young adults, grapple with their own questions: Franz, drawn into the Brown Shirt movement, struggling with his unexpressed homosexuality; and Vicki, seduced by jazz, bobbed hair, and falling in love with a young man who wants to take her to Palestine. Unlike most historical novels of this kind, The Empire of the Senses is not about the Holocaust but rather about the brew that led to it, and about why it was unimaginable to ordinary people like Lev and his wife. Plotted with meticulous precision and populated by characters who feel and dream to the fullest, it holds us rapt as cultural loss and ethnic hatred come to coexist with love, passion, and the power of the human spirit.

















LOVED THIS BOOK.
SOMEONE SHOULD OPTION THE FILM RIGHTS
[book] A REUNION OF GHOSTS
A NOVEL
BY JUDITH CLAIRE MITCHELL
March 2015
Harper
The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the 3rd and 4th generations. That is the 67 letter tattoo on Delph Alter's calf. And so opens the story of three wickedly funny sisters. The inheritors of a unique family history on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, all living together on Riverside Drive. The novel is actually their suicide note that they are writing together, having determined that it is time to end their lives and the family lineage. It is cursed to their generation due to an invention by their great grandfather. Lady, Vee, and Delphine Alter knows that being Alters has not been easy. They keep a list on the back of a bedroom door of their ancestors, most of whom died early of suicide. Lady (Lily) is divorced, Vee (Veronica) a widow, and Delph just passed forty years of age. All named for flowers, but this garden is not thriving. It is 1999, the century in popular terms is ending.


















[book] Frank:
A Life in Politics from the Great
Society to Same-Sex Marriage
by Barney Frank
Former U.S. Congressman
March 2015
FS&G
How did a disheveled, intellectually combative gay Jew with a thick accent become one of the most effective (and funniest) politicians of our time?
Growing up in Bayonne, New Jersey, the fourteen-year-old Barney Frank made two vital discoveries about himself: he was attracted to government, and to men. He resolved to make a career out of the first attraction and to keep the second a secret. Now, fifty years later, his sexual orientation is widely accepted, while his belief in government is embattled.
Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage is one man’s account of the country’s transformation—and the tale of a truly momentous career. Many Americans recall Frank’s lacerating wit, whether it was directed at the Clinton impeachment (“What did the president touch, and when did he touch it?”) or the pro-life movement (some people believe “life begins at conception and ends at birth”). But the contours of his private and public lives are less well-known. For more than four decades, he was at the center of the struggle for personal freedom and economic fairness. From the battle over AIDS funding in the 1980s to the debates over “big government” during the Clinton years to the 2008 financial crisis, the congressman from Massachusetts played a key role. In 2010, he coauthored the most far-reaching and controversial Wall Street reform bill since the era of the Great Depression, and helped bring about the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
In this feisty and often moving memoir, Frank candidly discusses the satisfactions, fears, and grudges that come with elected office. He recalls the emotional toll of living in the closet and how his public crusade against homophobia conflicted with his private accommodation of it. He discusses his painful quarrels with allies; his friendships with public figures, from Tip O’Neill to Sonny Bono; and how he found love with his husband, Jim Ready, becoming the first sitting member of Congress to enter a same-sex marriage. He also demonstrates how he used his rhetorical skills to expose his opponents’ hypocrisies and delusions. Through it all, he expertly analyzes the gifts a successful politician must bring to the job, and how even Congress can be made to work.
Frank is the story of an extraordinary political life, an original argument for how to rebuild trust in government, and a guide to how political change really happens—composed by a master of the art.

















[book] THE PALESTINIANS
Photographs of a Land
and Its People
from 1839 to the Present Day
By Elias Sanbar, Ambassador of Pal. To UNESCO
Spring 2015
Yale
Yale Univ Press writes, “A crossroads of religions, politics, and cultures with deep symbolic and historical significance, the holy land of Palestine has a resonance far greater than its size. Notably, the centuries-old conflict there has catapulted this tiny area to the center of the world stage. For reasons such as these, Palestine has long been a source of fascination for photographers, and it is one of the most frequently photographed places in the world. This engrossing publication examines images of Palestine taken over the course of nearly 200 years, showing the various phases of its pictorial history. Elias Sanbar provides commentaries on this impressive and visually stunning opus, showing how a highly symbolic place and its people have been both captured and abstracted by the camera. Gripping and poignant, the photographs in this publication assert not only the global importance of Palestine, but the beauty that emerges amid its complicated history.”
Click book cover or title to read more.
















Jewish Harlem? What about the forgotten Bengali Harlem.
[book] Bengali Harlem and the
Lost Histories of South Asian America
by Vivek Bald (MIT)
Spring 2015
Harvard
PW writes: Starred review. Bald vividly recreates the history of South Asian migration to the U.S. from the 1880s through the 1960s. Drawing on ships' logs, census records, marriage documents, local news items, the memoir of an Indian Communist refugee, and interviews with descendants, Bald reconstructs the stories of the Muslim silk peddlers who arrived in 1880s during the fin-de-siècle fascination for Orientalism; the seamen from colonial India who jumped ship at ports along the Eastern seaboard; and the Creole, African-American, and Puerto Rican women they married. Bald persuasively shows how these immigrants provide us with a 'different picture of assimilation.' Global labor migrants, they did not necessarily come seeking a better way of life, nor did they follow a path of upward mobility. In the cases of the silk peddlers who maintained ties to the subcontinent to obtain their goods, they forged extensive global networks yet also assimilated into black neighborhoods, building multiethnic families and communities at a time of exclusionary immigration laws against Asians. By the 1940s, those who stayed had followed the jobs, becoming auto or steel workers in the Midwest, storekeepers in the South, and hotdog vendors or restaurant workers in Manhattan, and, thanks to their wives, had quietly blended into neighborhoods such as Harlem, West Baltimore, Treme in New Orleans and Black Bottom in Detroit.
Click book cover or title to read more.

















Think of ZIM as you read this
[book] The Container Principle:
How a Box Changes the Way
We Think (Infrastructures)
by Alexander Klose
Translated by Charles Marcrum II
Spring 2015
MIT
We live in a world organized around the container. Standardized twenty- and forty-foot shipping containers carry material goods across oceans and over land; provide shelter, office space, and storage capacity; inspire films, novels, metaphors, and paradigms. Today, TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit, the official measurement for shipping containers) has become something like a global currency. A container ship, sailing under the flag of one country but owned by a corporation headquartered in another, carrying auto parts from Japan, frozen fish from Vietnam, and rubber ducks from China, offers a vivid representation of the increasing, world-is-flat globalization of the international economy. In The Container Principle, Alexander Klose investigates the principle of the container and its effect on the way we live and think.
Klose explores a series of "container situations" in their historical, political, and cultural contexts. He examines the container as a time capsule, sometimes breaking loose and washing up onshore to display an inventory of artifacts of our culture. He explains the "Matryoshka principle," explores the history of land-water transport, and charts the three phases of container history. He examines the rise of logistics, the containerization of computing in the form of modularization and standardization, the architecture of container-like housing (citing both Le Corbusier and Malvina Reynolds's "Little Boxes"), and a range of artistic projects inspired by containers. Containerization, spreading from physical storage to organizational metaphors, Klose argues, signals a change in the fundamental order of thinking and things. It has become a principle.
Click book cover or title to read more.

















Erasure of Erasure?
A book that should be argued. He attempts to slaughter what some say is a sacred cow of TelAvivness of perhaps a myth of Tel Aviv
[book] White City, Black City:
Architecture and War in
Tel Aviv and Jaffa
by Sharon Rotbard
2015
MIT
The history of Tel Aviv, presented for a moment as an architectural history, can be seen as a part of a wider process in which the physical shaping of Tel Aviv and its political and cultural construction are intertwined, and plays a decisive role in the construction of the case, the alibi, and the apologetics of the Jewish settlement across the country. -- White City, Black City

In 2004, the city of Tel Aviv was declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site, an exemplar of modernism in architecture and town planning. Today, the Hebrew city of Tel Aviv gleams white against the desert sky, its Bauhaus-inspired architecture betraying few traces of what came before it: the Arab city of Jaffa. In White City, Black City, the Israeli architect and author Sharon Rotbard offers two intertwining narratives, that of colonized and colonizer. It is also a story of a decades-long campaign of architectural and cultural historical revision that cast Tel Aviv as a modernist "white city" emerging fully formed from the dunes while ignoring its real foundation -- the obliteration of Jaffa. Rotbard shows that Tel Aviv was not, as a famous poem has it, built "from sea foam and clouds" but born in Jaffa and shaped according to its relation to Jaffa. His account is not only about architecture but also about war, destruction, Zionist agendas, erasure, and the erasure of the erasure.

Rotbard tells how Tel Aviv has seen Jaffa as an inverted reflection of itself -- not shining and white but nocturnal, criminal, dirty: a "black city." Jaffa lost its language, its history, and its architecture; Tel Aviv constructed its creation myth. White City, Black City -- hailed upon its publication in Israel as "path-breaking," "brilliant," and "a masterpiece" -- promises to become the central text on Tel Aviv.

"A path-breaking and brilliant analysis." -- Eyal Weizman, author of Hollow Land
"A challenging book that deserves to be read and argued." -- Tom Segev, Haaretz

Rotbard's book is written with a political and esthetical responsibility: not only in relation to his discoveries, but also in relation to the censored political story of the Tel Avivian landscape, that its false signs are freedom, secularism and progress. Rotbard demonstrates how the cultural imagination marks its narrative on the place, and more important from this, he draws a straight line between the fiction of "the flourishing of wilderness" and the actual contemporary violence that is supported upon it. -- Omri Herzog, Haaretz
Click book cover or title to read more.

















[book] VOICES IN THE BAND
A Doctor, Her Patients,
and How the Outlook on AIDS Care
Changed from Doomed to Hopeful
by Susan C. Ball, MD, MPH, MS
2015
MIT
"I am an AIDS doctor. When I began that work in 1992, we knew what caused AIDS, how it spread, and how to avoid getting it, but we didn't know how to treat it or how to prevent our patients' seemingly inevitable progression toward death. The stigma that surrounded AIDS patients from the very beginning of the epidemic in the early 1980s continued to be harsh and isolating. People looked askance at me: What was it like to work in that kind of environment with those kinds of people? My patients are 'those kinds of people.’ They are an array and a combination of brave, depraved, strong, entitled, admirable, self-centered, amazing, strange, funny, daring, gifted, exasperating, wonderful, and sad. And more. At my clinic most of the patients are indigent and few have had an education beyond high school, if that. Many are gay men and many of the patients use or have used drugs. They all have HIV, and in the early days far too many of them died. Every day they brought us the stories of their lives. We listened to them and we took care of them as best we could."—from the Introduction
Dr. Ball graduated from Dartmouth in '81 and received her Medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in '85. She received a MPH from Columbia University in 1990 and a MS in Narrative Medicine from Columbia in 2009. In 1992, fresh from residencies, she began her medical career taking care of patients with HIV in the Center for Special Studies, a designated AIDS care center at a Weill Cornell in New York City. Her unsentimental but moving memoir of her experiences bridges two distinct periods in the history of the epidemic: the terrifying early years in which a diagnosis was a death sentence and ignorance too often eclipsed compassion, and the introduction of antiviral therapies that transformed AIDS into a chronic, though potentially manageable, disease.
Voices in the Band also provides a new perspective on how we understand disease and its treatment within the context of teamwork among medical personnel, government agencies and other sources of support, and patients.
Deftly bringing back both the fear and confusion that surrounded the disease in the early 1990s and the guarded hope that emerged at the end of the decade, Dr. Ball effectively portrays the grief and isolation felt by both the patients and those who cared for them using a sharp eye for detail and sensitivity to each patient’s story. She also recounts the friendships, humor, and camaraderie that she and her colleagues shared working together to provide the best care possible, despite repeated frustrations and setbacks. As Dr. Ball and the team at CSS struggled to care for an undeRserved population even after game-changing medication was available, it became clear to them that medicine alone could not ensure a transition from illness to health when patients were suffering from terrible circumstances as well as a terrible disease.
Click book cover or title to read more.
















[book] One Night, Markovitch
A novel
By Ayelet Gundar-Goshan
Translated from Hebrew
2015
Pushkin Press
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen was born in Israel in 1982. She holds an MA in Clinical Psychology from Tel Aviv University, has been a news editor on Israel's leading newspaper and has worked for the Israeli civil rights movement. Her film scripts have won prizes at international festivals, including the Berlin Today Award and the New York City Short Film Festival Award. One Night, Markovitch, her first novel, won the Sapir Prize for best debut.
'I need that beauty beside me because heaven doesn't send you something like that twice. If you don't hold on to her very, very tight, if you let her go because someone breaks your tooth or your arm, then you obviously don't deserve her.And she will love me, I'm telling you, in the end, she'll love me.'















So the author is not Jewish, nor are the novel's main characters. But some say the Paul Beatty is a new Philip Roth, that his influences are Heller and Roth, and his teachers are Ben Marcus and Sam Lipsyte.
[book] THE SELLOUT
A novel
By Paul Beatty
March 2015
FS&G

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality--the black Chinese restaurant. Born in the "agrarian ghetto" of Dickens--on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles--the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: "I'd die in the same bedroom I'd grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that've been there since '68 quake." Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father's pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that's left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral. Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident--the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins--he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.













APRIL 2015 BOOKS




The Hero of Jewish High School Theater Geeks... except he isn't actually Jewish, and he went to Science high school, not theater
[book] SO THAT HAPPENED
A MEMOIR
BY JOB CRYER
April 7, 2015
Simon and Schuster
If it can happen in show business, it’s happened to Jon Cryer. Now he’s opening up for the first time and sharing his behind-the-scenes stories in a warmly endearing, sharply observed, and frankly funny look at life in Hollywood.
Cryer was raised in NYC and both his parents were stage professionals. He loved the stage and as a teen he had roles Neil Simon plays and in Brighton Beach Mem., he took over for Matthew Broderick as Jerome. He was also in Torch Song Trilogy, so of course, audiences and fans assumed, incorrectly, that he was Jewish and gay (actually his grandfather was a Methodist minister, and his father studied to be a minister).
While doing Broadway, in 1986, Cryer became an icon in America in the role of “Duckie”, a outlandish, slightly femme, comic sidekick to actress Molly Ringwald in John Hughes' teen love story, “Pretty in Pink.” (But in the memoir we find out that Ringwald did not want Cryer for the role; that test audiences thought Duckie was too gayish to get the girl in the end, so the ending was changed; and that the other actors were icy towards Cryer on the set).
After the film, Cryer was in a Superman film (it flopped, even his grandmother didn't like it or his role), and he did several sitcoms in Hollywood. They all flopped, and in Hollywood, even CBS head Moonves treated Cryer like a plague. For three years, Cryer found little work and he was a show-killer.
Can you believe he sort of auditioned for the role of Chandler Bing on Friends. Sort of.
Then he score the role of feeble, silly, self centered Alan Harper on “Two and a Half Men,” (he had been in a film, earlier, with Charlie Sheen) and the role fit the audiences' perception of him, and it has been a number 1 hit for years (ending in Spring 2015).
With the instincts of a natural storyteller, Cryer charts his extraordinary journey in show business, illuminating his many triumphs and some missteps along the way. Filled with exclusive behind-the-scenes anecdotes, Cryer offers his own endearing perspective on Hollywood, the business at large, and the art of acting.
Cryer has worked with some of the biggest and most provocative names in the business, and here, for the first time, he details his experiences with Charlie Sheen, John Hughes, Robert Altman, Molly Ringwald, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, and Christopher Reeve, among many others. He shares the intimate details of his friendships and relationships, a prostitute, and pays tribute to his mentors, and explores the peculiar combination of heart, talent, and wisdom it takes to survive not just the bad times in a notoriously fickle industry but even the good times.
In this revealing, humorous, and introspective memoir, Cryer offers readers a front-row seat as he reminisces about his life and experiences in showbiz over the past three decades.
Click the cover to read Duncan’s latest novel.


















[book] How Sweet It Is!
A Novel
by Thane Rosenbaum
April 1, 2015
Mandel Vilar
Set in Miami Beach, Florida in 1972, the novel follows the Posner family--two Holocaust survivors, Sophie and Jacob, and their son, Adam--doing everything they can to avoid one another in a city with an infinite supply of colorful diversions. In this year, Miami Beach was the site of both the Republican and Democratic political conventions, and saw the rise of the counterculture, the Cold War, and the desegregation of the old South.
The novel is enriched by the presence of historical characters such as Jackie Gleason, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, I. B. Singer, Meyer Lansky and a comical crew of fading gangsters. There is even a sighting of Fidel Castro. For these two Holocaust survivors and their son, Miami Beach was to be their salvation. Where better to blend in, regain one's sanity, and live their lives? Instead what they discover is that Miami Beach is not a place of camouflage--all that sunshine highlighted the very things they wished to forget, and the abundant sun turned their lives into a Disney World of funhouse mirrors and chaotic rides, giving them a front row seat through a transformational year in American culture, politics and world history.
Click the cover to read Duncan’s latest novel.


















Speaking of revenge:
[book] Operation Nemesis
The Assassination Plot that
Avenged the Armenian Genocide
by Eric Bogosian
April 21, 2015
Little, Brown & Company
A masterful account of the conspiracy of assassins that hunted down the perpetrators of a genocide
In 1921, a small group of self-appointed patriots set out to avenge the deaths of almost one million victims of the Armenian Genocide. They named their operation Nemesis after the Greek goddess of retribution. Over several years, the men tracked down and assassinated former Turkish leaders. The story of this secret operation has never been fully told until now.
Eric Bogosian goes beyond simply telling the story of this cadre of Armenian assassins to set the killings in context by providing a summation of the Ottoman and Armenian history as well as the history of the genocide itself. Casting fresh light on one of the great crimes of the twentieth century and one of history's most remarkable acts of political retribution, and drawing upon years of new research across multiple continents, NEMESIS is both a riveting read and a profound examination of evil, revenge, and the costs of violence.
Click the cover to read Duncan’s latest novel.


















What if you found out that you grandfather was a heinous mass murdering Nazi
[book] MY GRANDFATHER WOULD HAVE SHOT ME
A Black Woman Discovers Her
Family's Nazi Past
by Jennifer Teege
with Nikola Sellmair
Translated by Carolin Sommer
April 15, 2015
Experiment
An international bestseller—the extraordinary memoir of a German-Nigerian woman who learns that her grandfather was the brutal Nazi commandant depicted in Schindler’s List
“I have entered a chamber of horrors. . . . Slowly I begin to grasp that the Amon Goeth in the film Schindler’s List is not a fictional character, but a person who actually existed in flesh and blood. A man who killed people by the dozens and, what is more, who enjoyed it. My grandfather. I am the granddaughter of a mass murderer.”
When Jennifer Teege happened to pluck a library book off its shelf, she couldn’t have known that her life, from that moment, would be irrevocably altered. What would you do if you suddenly discovered that your grandfather was responsible for thousands of brutal murders? This is the reality Teege—who was raised by nuns and then a foster family—faced when she learned that her biological grandfather was the real-life villain immortalized in Schindler’s List: Amon Goeth, the vicious Nazi commandant of Plaszów concentration camp. The more Teege read about Goeth, the more certain she became: If her grandfather had met her—a black woman—he would have shot her.
Teege’s discovery sends her, at age 38, into the severest depression of her life—and on a quest to fully understand her family’s haunted history. Her research takes her to Krakow, where her grandfather “cleared” the Jewish ghetto in 1943; to nearby Plaszów, the concentration camp he oversaw; and even back to Israel, where she herself attended college and learned fluent Hebrew. Teege struggles to reconnect with her estranged mother Monika, and to accept that her grandmother Ruth Irene—a beloved figure from her earliest memories—once lived in luxury at Plaszów, side by side with Amon Goeth.
Teege’s story is cowritten by award-winning journalist Nikola Sellmair, who also provides fascinating additional context (in part drawn from original interviews with Teege’s family and friends) in a second, interwoven narrative. Ultimately, Teege’s resolute search for the truth of her family’s history leads her, step by step, to the possibility of her own liberation.


















[book] The Bridal Chair
A Novel
by Gloria Goldreich
2015
Source
"In prose as painterly and evocative as Chagall's own dazzling brushstrokes, Gloria Goldreich finely evokes one of the most significant masters of modern art through the discerning eyes of [his] loyally protective daughter."-Cynthia Ozick, award-winning author of Foreign Bodies
Beautiful Ida Chagall, the only daughter of Marc Chagall, is blossoming in the Paris art world beyond her father's controlling gaze. But her newfound independence is short-lived. In Nazi-occupied Paris, Chagall's status as a Jewish artist has made them all targets, yet his devotion to his art blinds him to their danger.
When Ida falls in love and Chagall angrily paints an empty wedding chair (The Bridal Chair) in response, she faces an impossible choice: Does she fight to forge her own path outside her father's shadow, or abandon her ambitions to save Chagall from his enemies and himself?
Brimming with historic personalities from Europe, America and Israel, The Bridal Chair is a stunning portrait of love, fortitude, and the sharp divide between art and real life.
"Only Gloria Goldreich could write a novel so grounded in historical truths yet so exuberantly imaginative. The Bridal Chair is Goldreich at her best, with a mesmerizing plot, elegant images, and a remarkable heroine who...will remain with you long after the last page."-Francine Klagsburn, Jewish Week columnist and acclaimed author of Voices of Wisdom
Click the cover to read more or to read the first chapter


















[book] Jerusalem Interrupted
Modernity and Colonial
Transformation 1917-present
by Lena Jayyusi
April 2015
paperback
Oliver Tree
Lena Jayyusi is a professor in the College of Communication and Media Sciences on the Dubai campus of Zayed University… so obviously she is a big Zionist…

Most histories of 20th-century Jerusalem published in English focus on the city's Jewish life and neighborhoods; this book does not. If focuses on non-Jews. Some say this balances the history, but to say that there is a balance, means that one’s methodlogy must be to segment the perspective by Jewish and no Jewish.

On the eve of the British Mandate in 1917, Jerusalem Arab society was rooted, diverse, and connected to other cities, towns, and the rural areas of Palestine. A cosmopolitan city, Jerusalem saw a continuous and dynamic infusion of immigrants and travelers, many of whom stayed and made the city theirs. Over the course of the three decades of the Mandate, Arab society in Jerusalem continued to develop a vibrant, networked, and increasingly sophisticated milieu. Professor Jayyusi wrote that there was then a “radical rupture” in 1948: the establishment of the state of Israel.

Her collection of essays brings together distinguished scholars and writers and follows the history of Jerusalem from the culturally diverse Mandate period through its transformation into a predominantly Jewish city.
Essays detail often unexplored dimensions of the social and political fabric of a city that was rendered increasingly taut and fragile, even as areas of mutual interaction and shared institutions and neighborhoods between Arabs and Jews continued to develop.




















[book] DOING THE MOST GOOD
HOW EFFECTIVE ALTRUISM IS CHANGING
IDEAS ABOUT LIVING ETHICALLY
BY PETER SINGER
April 2015
Yale
Peter Singer is among the most lauded living ethicists in the world.
A vocal Atheist, this son of Viennese Jews who escaped Eruope to Australia wrote the bible of animal ethics. Here is his new Rx for living ethically.

Peter Singer’s books and ideas have been disturbing our complacency ever since the appearance of Animal Liberation. Now he directs our attention to a challenging new movement in which his own ideas have played a crucial role: effective altruism. Effective altruism is built upon the simple but profoundly unsettling idea that living a fully ethical life involves doing the most good. Such a life requires a rigorously unsentimental view of charitable giving: to be a worthy recipient of our support, an organization must be able to demonstrate that it will do more good with our money or our time than other options open to us. Singer introduces us to an array of remarkable people who are restructuring their lives in accordance with these ideas, and shows how, paradoxically, living altruistically often leads to greater personal fulfillment than living for oneself.
Doing the Most Good develops the challenges Singer has made, in the New York Times and Washington Post, to those who donate to the arts, and to charities focused on helping our fellow citizens, rather than those for whom we can do the most good. Effective altruists are extending our knowledge of the possibilities of living less selfishly, and of allowing reason, rather than emotion, to determine how we live. Doing the Most Good offers new hope for our ability to tackle the world’s most pressing problems.

















[book] Caregiving in Alzheimer's and Other Dementias
by Eric Pfeiffer, MD
Foreword by Gayle Sierens
April 28, 2015
Practical. Easy to read. Comprehensive. Encouraging. Accurate. All of these words describe this indispensable book that belongs in the hands of all family members and other caretak
Dr. Eric Pfeiffer, a physician who has devoted thirty years to patients suffering from all forms of dementia, here distills the wisdom of those years for the benefit of caregivers confronting some of life’s most challenging days. Dr. Pfeiffer’s genuine compassion and wise advice are certain not only to reduce caregiver stress but also to improve the patient’s quality of life.
In these pages are specific tips for all stages of caregiving, from the initial realization of the problem through mild, moderate, and severe stages of dementia, and even beyond, when a caregiver begins to resume a full life after the patient’s death. Dr. Pfeiffer identifies specific problems and provides practical solutions. He explains the importance of support groups and many other means of dealing with stressful days. For experienced caregivers and those new to the challenges, this book will be a profoundly useful guide to coping successfully.














[book] PROFESSOR STEWART'S INCREDIBLE NUMBERS
BY IAN STEWART (Warwick)
April 2015
Basic Books
At its heart, mathematics is about numbers, our fundamental tools for understanding the world. In Professor Stewart’s Incredible Numbers, Ian Stewart offers a delightful introduction to the numbers that surround us, from the common (Pi and 2) to the uncommon but no less consequential (1.059463 and 43,252,003,274,489,856,000). Along the way, Stewart takes us through prime numbers, cubic equations, the concept of zero, the possible positions on the Rubik’s Cube, the role of numbers in human history, and beyond! An unfailingly genial guide, Stewart brings his characteristic wit and erudition to bear on these incredible numbers, offering an engaging primer on the principles and power of math


















[book] SPIRITUAL DEFIANCE
BUILDING A BELOVED COMMUNITY OF RESISTANCE
BY ROBIN MEYERS (Reverend, Phd)
UCC Mayflower Congregational Church, Oklahoma
April 2015
Yale
During his thirty-year career as a parish minister and professor, Dr. Robin Meyers has focused on renewing the church as an instrument of social change and personal transformation.
In this provocative and passionate book, he explores the decline of the church as a community of believers and calls readers back to the church’s roots as a community of resistance.
Shifting the conversation about church renewal away from theological purity and marketing strategies that embrace cultural norms, and toward “embodied noncompliance” with the dominant culture, Meyers urges a return to the revolutionary spirit of early churches and 'ministries.'
Framing his discussion around three poems by twentieth-century Polish poet Anna Kamienska, Meyers casts the nature of faith as a force that stands against anything and everything that engenders death and indignity. He calls for active—sometimes even subversive—defiance of the ego’s temptations, of what he terms “the heresy of orthodoxy itself,” and of an uncritical acceptance of militarism and capitalism. Each chapter is a poignant and urgent invitation to recover the Beloved Community of Resistance.
















Speaking of resistance:
[book] A Good Place to Hide
How One French Community Saved
Thousands of Lives in World War II
by Peter Grose
April 15, 2015
Pegasus
The untold story of an isolated French community that banded together to offer sanctuary and shelter to over 3,500 Jews in the throes of World War II.

André Trocmé, a Protestant minister and pacifist, and Édouard Theis, headmaster of the New Cévenole School, organized the village and surrounding areas of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon to help refugees fleeing the Nazis.
Nobody asked questions, nobody demanded money. Villagers lied, covered up, procrastinated and concealed, but most importantly they welcomed.
This is the story of an isolated community in the upper reaches of the Loire Valley that conspired to save the lives of 3,500 Jews under the noses of the Germans and the soldiers of Vichy France. It is the story of Trocmé, a pacifist Protestant pastor who broke laws and defied orders to protect the lives of total strangers. It is the story of an eighteen-year-old Jewish boy from Nice who forged 5,000 sets of false identity papers to save other Jews and French Resistance fighters from the Nazi concentration camps. And it is the story of a community of good men and women who offered sanctuary, kindness, solidarity and hospitality to people in desperate need, knowing full well the consequences to themselves.
Powerful and richly told, A Good Place to Hide speaks to the goodness and courage of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. 8 pages of B&W illustrations
















[book] WASHING THE DEAD
BY MICHAELLE BRAFMAN
April 14, 2015
Prospect Park Books
In this debut novel from an award-winning short-story writer, a suburban Milwaukee woman confronts her exile from the fondly remembered Orthodox Jewish community ripped from her by her mother's affair.
When the rabbi's wife summons her to perform the ritual burial washing of her beloved teacher, she returns to the spiritual and emotional home her mother burned down. Exhuming generations of secrets is the only way she can forgive her mother and in turn spare her daughter their crippling family legacy.
Michelle Brafman's work has appeared in Blackbird, Lilith, the minnesota review, Slate, and Tablet. She teaches fiction writing at Johns Hopkins and George Washington University


















[book] AFTER ABEL AND OTHER STORIES
By Michal Lemberger
April 2015
Prospect Park
Eve considers motherhood.
Miriam tends Moses.
Lot’s wife looks back.

Vividly reimagined with startling contemporary clarity, Michal Lemberger’s debut collection of short stories gives voice to silent, oft-marginalized biblical women: their ambitions, their love for their children, their values, their tremendous struggles and challenges. Informed by Lemberger’s deep knowledge of the Bible, each of these nine stories story recasts a biblical saga from the perspective of a pivotal woman.
“After Abel brings biblical women from the sidelines to the center of the story, in a compelling narrative reminiscent of Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent. These beautifully written stories feel like meeting Eve, Lot’s wife, and many other compelling characters for the first time.” —LAUREL CORONA, author of The Mapmaker’s Daughter and The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi’s Venice















[book] ONE NATION UNDER GOD
HOW CORPORATE AMERICA INVENTED CHRISTIAN AMERICA
BY KEVIN M. KruSE (Princeton)
April 2015
Basic Books
We’re often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God, historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the idea of “Christian America” is an invention—and a relatively recent one at that.
This was news to me. But he makes a great case

As Kruse argues, the belief that America is fundamentally and formally a Christian nation originated in the 1930s when businessmen enlisted religious activists in their fight against FDR’s New Deal. Corporations from General Motors to Hilton Hotels bankrolled conservative clergymen, encouraging them to attack the New Deal as a program of “pagan statism” that perverted the central principle of Christianity: the sanctity and salvation of the individual. Their campaign for “freedom under God” culminated in the election of their close ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.
But this apparent triumph had an ironic twist. In Eisenhower’s hands, a religious movement born in opposition to the government was transformed into one that fused faith and the federal government as never before. During the 1950s, Eisenhower revolutionized the role of religion in American political culture, inventing new traditions from inaugural prayers to the National Prayer Breakfast. Meanwhile, Congress added the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance and made “In God We Trust” the country’s first official motto. With private groups joining in, church membership soared to an all-time high of 69%. For the first time, Americans began to think of their country as an officially Christian nation.
During this moment, virtually all Americans—across the religious and political spectrum—believed that their country was “one nation under God.” But as Americans moved from broad generalities to the details of issues such as school prayer, cracks began to appear. Religious leaders rejected this “lowest common denomination” public religion, leaving conservative political activists to champion it alone. In Richard Nixon’s hands, a politics that conflated piety and patriotism became sole property of the right.
Provocative and authoritative, One Nation Under God reveals how the unholy alliance of money, religion, and politics created a false origin story that continues to define and divide American politics to this day.



















[book] EINSTEIN
HIS SPACE AND TIMES
BY STEVEN GIMBEL
Yale University Press
Jewish Lives series
April 28, 2015
The commonly held view of Albert Einstein is of an eccentric genius for whom the pursuit of science was everything. But in actuality, the brilliant innovator whose Theory of Relativity forever reshaped our understanding of time was a man of his times, always politically engaged and driven by strong moral principles. An avowed pacifist, Einstein’s mistrust of authority and outspoken social and scientific views earned him death threats from Nazi sympathizers in the years preceding World War II. To him, science provided not only a means for understanding the behavior of the universe, but a foundation for considering the deeper questions of life and a way for the worldwide Jewish community to gain confidence and pride in itself.

Steven Gimbel’s biography presents Einstein in the context of the world he lived in, offering a fascinating portrait of a remarkable individual who remained actively engaged in international affairs throughout his life. This revealing work not only explains Einstein’s theories in understandable terms, it demonstrates how they directly emerged from the realities of his times and helped create the world we live in today.















[book] THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF DOCTORS
CRACKING THE CODE OF HOSPITAL CULTURE
BY DR. BRIAN GOLDMAN
(Mt Sinai Hospital, Toronto)
April 2015
Paperback edition, Triumph

Code Brown
Failure to Die
Frequent Flyers
Swallowers (BPD)
Most people have visited a doctor’s office or emergency room in their lifetime to gain clarity about an ailment or check in after a procedure. While doctors strive to ensure their patients understand their diagnoses, rarely do those outside the medical community understand the words and phrases we hear practitioners yell across a hospital hallway or murmur to a colleague behind office doors. Doctors and nurses use a kind of secret language, comprised of words unlikely to be found in a medical textbook or heard on television. In The Secret Language of Doctors, Dr. Brian Goldman decodes those code words for the average patient.

What does it mean when a patient has the symptoms of “incarceritis”? What are “blocking” and “turfing”? And why do you never want to be diagnosed with a “horrendoma”? Dr. Goldman reveals the meaning behind the colorful and secret expressions doctors use to describe difficult patients, situations, and medical conditions—including those they don’t want you to know. Gain profound insight into what doctors really think about patients in this funny and biting examination of modern medical culture.













[book] LETTERS TO PALESTINE
Writers Reposnd to War and Occupation
(but they mean occupation by Israel, not by Hamas and Pa leadership
Edited by Vijay Prashad (Trinity College)
April 14, 2015
Verso (40 yrs of radical publishing)
After the Israel-Gaza War in Summer 2014, polls in America found that a majority of Americans under the age of 30 found Israel at fault. Jon Stewart on Comedy Central criticized Israel. This book asked writers and activists for their letters. Authors include fucking Junot Díaz, and Teju Cole, Palestinian American activists Huwaida Arraf, Noura Erakat, and Remi Kanazi, and Sarah Schulman, Najla Said, Randa Jarrar, and others


















[book] RETURN
A MEMOIR
BY GHADA KARMI
Spring 2015
Verso (40 yrs of radical publishing)
Ghada Karmi, MD, is a frequent writer in The Nation and The Guardian. She was born in Jerusalem but left for Britain in 1948 when the State of Israel was founded. In this memoir, she returns to where she was born in the hope of helping with the peace process and the possibility of creating a Palestinian state.
She starts work within the Palestinian Authority ministry. Yet she finds her family home has now been occupied, and much of the West Bank militarized; meanwhile her encounters with fellow Palestinians, politicians, and Israeli solders forces her to question what role the diaspora-Palestinians have in the future of their homeland, and whether return is truly possible.



















Just a quick note. Brian “26” Grazer went to USC but not the cinema/film school. He majored in Psych, and was accepted to the law school (but parked near the USC film school). He got many grades changed in his college courses. His father was a popular but average criminal lawyer. As an undergrad at USC he got a Porsche and would park near the girls' dorms and he would pretend to be much cooler and wealthier than he was. That became his identity (is that something to be proud of? I don't know. Sounds kind of sad) He never ended up at law school because he scored a job at Warner Brothers and pushed himself into the faces of the most important people. This book shows how curiosity can overcome a lot.
[book] A CURIOUS MIND
THE SECRET TO A BIGGER LIFE
by Brian Grazer
with Charles Fishman
April 7, 2015
Simon and Schuster

Hello. My Name is Brian Grazer. I work at Warner Brothers. I need 5 minutes of xxxxx xxxx's time. I want to ask him/her xxx xxxxx xx. And I promise that I am not looking for a job.

Lew Wasserman (who was with Jules Stein) told a young Brian Grazer, who he thought was full of shit, that he should not surf on the success of others, but to create intellectual property himself. How? He gave Grazer a yellow pad and a number 2 pencil, and said that the value was when you apply the pencil to the pad and create something.

Over 25 years, Grazer had 1500 or more curiosity conversations. Like one every 2 weeks.

From Academy Award–winning producer Brian Grazer and acclaimed business journalist Charles Fishman comes a brilliantly entertaining peek into the weekly “curiosity conversations” that have inspired Grazer to create some of America’s favorite and iconic movies and television shows—from 24 to Apollo 13 to A Beautiful Mind.

He was not a good student, since he was a “D” student and suffered from dyslexia (but he did get into USC). His grandmother – who validated and loved him - gave him hope and told him that he was greater than his report card. He would be special even though he got D's and F's, and even at 5foot8, he got cut as a football tailback in high school, which changed his entire identity (and later helped him produce Friday Night Lights.
For decades, film and TV producer Brian Grazer has scheduled a weekly “curiosity conversation” with an accomplished stranger. From scientists to spies, and adventurers to business leaders, Grazer has met with anyone willing to answer his questions for a few hours. These informal discussions sparked the creative inspiration behind many of Grazer’s movies and TV shows, including Splash, 24, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Arrested Development, 8 Mile, J. Edgar, Empire, and many others.

A Curious Mind is a brilliantly entertaining, fascinating, and inspiring homage to the power of inquisitiveness and the ways in which it deepens and improves us. Whether you’re looking to improve your management style at work or you want to become a better romantic partner, this book—and its lessons on the power of curiosity—can change your life.












[book] Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat:
How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum
Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics
by Paul Halpern
April 2015
Basic Books
When the fuzzy indeterminacy of quantum mechanics overthrew the orderly world of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger were at the forefront of the revolution. Neither man was ever satisfied with the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics, however, and both rebelled against what they considered the most preposterous aspect of quantum mechanics: its randomness. Einstein famously quipped that God does not play dice with the universe, and Schrödinger constructed his famous fable of a cat that was neither alive nor dead not to explain quantum mechanics but to highlight the apparent absurdity of a theory gone wrong. But these two giants did more than just criticize: they fought back, seeking a Theory of Everything that would make the universe seem sensible again.
In Einstein’s Dice and Schrödinger’s Cat, physicist Paul Halpern tells the little-known story of how Einstein and Schrödinger searched, first as collaborators and then as competitors, for a theory that transcended quantum weirdness. This story of their quest—which ultimately failed—provides readers with new insights into the history of physics and the lives and work of two scientists whose obsessions drove its progress.
Today, much of modern physics remains focused on the search for a Theory of Everything. As Halpern explains, the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson makes the Standard Model—the closest thing we have to a unified theory— nearly complete. And while Einstein and Schrödinger failed in their attempt to explain everything in the cosmos through pure geometry, the development of string theory has, in its own quantum way, brought this idea back into vogue. As in so many things, even when they were wrong, Einstein and Schrödinger couldn’t help but get a great deal right.













[book] KL
A HISTORY OF THE NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMPS
By Nikolaus Wachsmann
April 2015
FS&G
The first comprehensive history of the Nazi concentration camps In a landmark work of history, Nikolaus Wachsmann offers an unprecedented, integrated account of the Nazi concentration camps from their inception in 1933 through their demise, seventy years ago, in the spring of 1945. The Third Reich has been studied in more depth than virtually any other period in history, and yet until now there has been no history of the camp system that tells the full story of its broad development and the everyday experiences of its inhabitants, both perpetrators and victims, and all those living in what Primo Levi called “the gray zone.”
In KL, Wachsmann fills this glaring gap in our understanding. He not only synthesizes a new generation of scholarly work, much of it untranslated and unknown outside of Germany, but also presents startling revelations, based on many years of archival research, about the functioning and scope of the camp system. Examining, close up, life and death inside the camps, and adopting a wider lens to show how the camp system was shaped by changing political, legal, social, economic, and military forces, Wachsmann produces a unified picture of the Nazi regime and its camps that we have never seen before.
A boldly ambitious work of deep importance, KL is destined to be a classic in the history of the twentieth century.

















[book] THE SOUND OF OUR STEPS
A NOVEL
By Ronit Matalon,
Translated by Dalya Bilu
April 2015
Metropolitan Books

Gorgeously observed and emotionally powerful, The Sound of Our Steps is an inventive novel of immigration and exile from Ronit Matalon, a major voice in contemporary Israeli fiction
In the beginning there was Lucette, who is the mother to three children—Sammy, a gentle giant, almost blind, but a genius with locks; Corinne, a flighty beauty who cannot keep a job; and "the child," an afterthought, who strives to make sense of her fractured Egyptian-Jewish immigrant family. Lucette's children would like a kinder, warmer home, but what they have is a government-issued concrete box, out in the thorns and sand on the outskirts of Tel Aviv; and their mother, hard-worn and hardscrabble, who cleans homes by night and makes school lunches by day. Lucette quarrels with everybody, speaks only Arabic and French, is scared only of snakes, and is as likely to lock her children out as to take in a stray dog.
The child recounts her years in Lucette's house, where Israel's wars do not intrude and hold no interest. She puzzles at the mysteries of her home, why Maurice, her father, a bitter revolutionary, makes only rare appearances. And why her mother rebuffs the kind rabbi whose home she cleans in his desire to adopt her. Always watching, the child comes to fill the holes with conjecture and story.
In a masterful accumulation of short, dense scenes, by turns sensual, violent, and darkly humorous, The Sound of Our Steps questions the virtue of a family bound only by necessity, and suggests that displacement may not lead to a better life, but perhaps to art.













[book] Women's Divination in Biblical Literature:
Prophecy, Necromancy, and Other Arts of Knowledge
(The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)
by Esther J. Hamori
April 2015
Yale University Press
Divination, the use of special talents and techniques to gain divine knowledge, was practiced in many different forms in ancient Israel and throughout the ancient world. The Hebrew Bible reveals a variety of traditions of women associated with divination. This sensitive and incisive book by respected scholar Esther J. Hamori examines the wide scope of women’s divinatory activities as portrayed in the Hebrew texts, offering readers a new appreciation of the surprising breadth of women’s “arts of knowledge” in biblical times. Unlike earlier approaches to the subject that have viewed prophecy separately from other forms of divination, Hamori’s study encompasses the full range of divinatory practices and the personages who performed them, from the female prophets and the medium of En-dor to the matriarch who interprets a birth omen and the “wise women” of Tekoa and Abel and more. In doing so, the author brings into clearer focus the complex, rich, and diverse world of ancient Israelite divination.
















[book] THE TWO-STATE DELUSION
Israel and Palestine
A Tale of Two Narratives
by Padraig O'Malley
April 2015
Viking
A leading peace and reconciliation expert (McCormack Grad School of Global and Policy Studies, U Mass) argues that a two-state solution is no longer a viable path to create lasting peace in Israel and Palestine.
Disputes over settlements, the right of return, the rise of Hamas, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and other intractable issues have repeatedly derailed peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
Now, in a book that is sure to spark controversy, renowned peacemaker Padraig O’Malley argues that the moment for a two-state solution has passed. After examining each issue and speaking with Palestinians and Israelis as well as negotiators directly involved in past summits, O’Malley concludes that even if such an agreement could be reached, it would be nearly impossible to implement given the staggering costs, Palestine’s political disunity and the viability of its economy, rapidly changing demographics, Israel’s continuing political shift to the right, global warming’s effect on the water supply, and more.
In this revelatory, hard-hitting book, O’Malley approaches the key issues pragmatically, without ideological bias, to show that we must find new frameworks for reconciliation if there is to be lasting peace between Palestine and Israel.
















[book] THE BIG GREEN TENT
A NOVEL
By Ludmila Ulitskaya
Translated by Bela Shayevich
April 2015
FSG
An absorbing novel of dissident life in the Soviet Union, by one of Russia’s most popular writers

The Big Green Tent is the kind of book the term “Russian novel” was invented for. A sweeping saga, it tells the story of three school friends who meet in Moscow in the 1950s and go on to embody the heroism, folly, compromise, and hope of the Soviet dissident experience. These three boys—an orphaned poet; a gifted, fragile pianist; and a budding photographer with a talent for collecting secrets—struggle to reach adulthood in a society where their heroes have been censored and exiled. Rich with love stories, intrigue, and a cast of dissenters and spies, The Big Green Tent offers a panoramic survey of life after Stalin and a dramatic investigation into the prospects for integrity in a society defined by the KGB. Each of the central characters seeks to transcend an oppressive regime through art, a love of Russian literature, and activism. And each of them ends up face-to-face with a secret police that is highly skilled at fomenting paranoia, division, and self-betrayal. An artist is chased into the woods, where he remains in hiding for four years; a researcher is forced to deem a patient insane, damning him to torture in a psychiatric ward; a man and his wife each become collaborators, without the other knowing. Ludmila Ulitskaya’s big yet intimate novel belongs to the tradition of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Pasternak: a work of politics, love, and belief that is a revelation of life in dark times.
















[book] HUMAN NATURE AND JEWISH THOUGHT
JUDAISM'S CASE FOR WHY A PERSON MATTERS
Library of Jewish Ideas
By Alan L. Mittleman (JTS)
April 2015
Princeton University Press
This book explores one of the great questions of our time: How can we preserve our sense of what it means to be a person while at the same time accepting what science tells us to be true--namely, that human nature is continuous with the rest of nature? What, in other words, does it mean to be a person in a world of things? Alan Mittleman shows how the Jewish tradition provides rich ways of understanding human nature and personhood that preserve human dignity and distinction in a world of neuroscience, evolutionary biology, biotechnology, and pervasive scientism. These ancient resources can speak to Jewish, non-Jewish, and secular readers alike.
Science may tell us what we are, Mittleman says, but it cannot tell us who we are, how we should live, or why we matter. Traditional Jewish thought, in open-minded dialogue with contemporary scientific perspectives, can help us answer these questions. Mittleman shows how, using sources ranging across the Jewish tradition, from the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud to more than a millennium of Jewish philosophy. Among the many subjects the book addresses are sexuality, birth and death, violence and evil, moral agency, and politics and economics. Throughout, Mittleman demonstrates how Jewish tradition brings new perspectives to--and challenges many current assumptions about--these central aspects of human nature.
A study of human nature in Jewish thought and an original contribution to Jewish philosophy, this is a book for anyone interested in what it means to be human in a scientific age.
















[book] [book]

























[book] FED, WHITE, AND BLUE
Finding America and My Fork
By Simon Majumdar
Foreword by Alton Brown
April 7, 2015
Hudson Street Press, Penguin Majumdar, LA based food writer and Food Network star set out across the USA to discover what it is to be American, on bite at a time.
Simon Majumdar is probably not your typical idea of an immigrant. As he says, “I’m well rested, not particularly poor, and the only time I ever encounter ‘huddled masses’ is in line at Costco.” But immigrate he did, and thanks to a Homeland Security agent who asked if he planned to make it official, the journey chronicled in Fed, White, and Blue was born. In it, Simon sets off on a trek across the United States to find out what it really means to become an American, using what he knows best: food.
Simon stops in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to learn about what the pilgrims ate (and that playing Wampanoag football with large men is to be avoided); a SHABBAT dinner in Kansas; Wisconsin to make cheese (and get sprayed with hot whey); and LA to cook at a Filipino restaurant in the hope of making his in-laws proud. Simon attacks with gusto the food cultures that make up America—brewing beer, farming, working at a food bank, and even finding himself at a tailgate. Full of heart, humor, history, and of course, food, Fed, White, and Blue is a warm, funny, and inspiring portrait of becoming American.
In “Pressing the Shabbat Reset Button,” he visits Yosef Silver in Overland Park, Kansas,















[book] EVEN IN DARKNESS
A NOVEL
BY BARBARA STARK-NEMON
April 2015
She Writes Press
Spanning a century and three continents, Even in Darkness tells the story of Kläre Kohler, whose early years as a dutiful daughter of a prosperous German-Jewish family hardly anticipate the often-harrowing life she faces as an adult—a saga of family, a lover, two world wars, a concentration camp and the unconventional life she builds in post-war Germany. As the world changes around her, Kläre makes boundary-crossing choices in order to protect the people she loves—and to save herself. Based on a true story, Even in Darkness highlights the intimate experience of Kläre’s reinvention as she faces the destruction of life as she knew it, and traces her path beyond survival to wisdom, meaning, and—most unexpectedly—love.















[book] WORDS WITHOUT MUSIC
a memoir
by PHILIP GLASS
April 2015
The long-awaited memoir by “the most prolific and popular of all contemporary composers” (New York Times).
A world-renowned composer of symphonies, operas, and film scores, Philip Glass has, almost single-handedly, crafted the dominant sound of late-twentieth-century classical music. Yet here in Words Without Music, he creates an entirely new and unexpected voice, that of a born storyteller and an acutely insightful chronicler, whose behind-the-scenes recollections allow readers to experience those moments of creative fusion when life so magically merged with art.

"If you go to New York City to study music, you'll end up like your uncle Henry," Glass's mother warned her incautious and curious nineteen-year-old son. It was the early summer of 1956, and Ida Glass was concerned that her precocious Philip, already a graduate of the University of Chicago, would end up an itinerant musician, playing in vaudeville houses and dance halls all over the country, just like his cigar-smoking, bantamweight uncle. One could hardly blame Mrs. Glass for worrying that her teenage son would end up as a musical vagabond after initially failing to get into Juilliard. Yet, the transformation of a young man from budding musical prodigy to world-renowned composer is the story of this commanding memoir.

From his childhood in post–World War II Baltimore to his student days in Chicago, at Juilliard, and his first journey to Paris, where he studied under the formidable Nadia Boulanger, Glass movingly recalls his early mentors, while reconstructing the places that helped shape his artistic consciousness. In Pittsburgh, he worked for the school district, writing for the student orchestras and marching bands, when there was still music education in public schools. Working as a teen in his father's Baltimore record store, he purchased four atonal music records. It took seven years to sell those 4 albums. He did not have a taste for music that sold among popular customers.
From a life-changing trip to India, where he met with gurus and first learned of Gandhi’s Salt March, to the gritty streets of New York in the 1970s, where the composer returned, working day jobs as a furniture mover, cabbie, and an unlicensed plumber, Glass leads the life of a Parisian bohemian artist, only now transported to late-twentieth-century America.

Yet even after Glass’s talent was first widely recognized with the sensational premiere of Einstein on the Beach in 1976, even after he stopped renewing his hack license and gained international recognition for operatic works like Satyagraha, Orphée, and Akhnaten, the son of a Baltimore record store owner never abandoned his earliest universal ideals throughout his memorable collaborations with Allen Ginsberg, Ravi Shankar, Robert Wilson, Doris Lessing, Martin Scorsese, and many others, all of the highest artistic order.
Few major composers are celebrated as writers, but Philip Glass, in this loving and slyly humorous autobiography, breaks across genres and re-creates, here in words, the thrill that results from artistic creation. Words Without Music ultimately affirms the power of music to change the world.
32 pages of photographs












[book] CHILDREN OF THE STONE:
THE POWER OF MUSIC IN A HARD LAND
BY SANDY TOLAN
Bloomsbury
April 2015
Children of the Stone is the unlikely story of Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, a boy from a Palestinian refugee camp in Ramallah who confronts the occupying army, gets an education, masters an instrument, dreams of something much bigger than himself, and then inspires scores of others to work with him to make that dream a reality. That dream is of a music school in the midst of a refugee camp in Ramallah, a school that will transform the lives of thousands of children through music. Daniel Barenboim, the Israeli musician and music director of La Scala in Milan and the Berlin Opera, is among those who help Ramzi realize his dream. He has played with Ramzi frequently, at chamber music concerts in Al-Kamandjati, the school Ramzi worked so hard to build, and in the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra that Barenboim founded with the late Palestinian intellectual, Edward Said. Children of the Stone is a story about music, freedom and conflict; determination and vision. It's a vivid portrait of life amid checkpoints and military occupation, a growing movement of nonviolent resistance, the past and future of musical collaboration across the Israeli-Palestinian divide, and the potential of music to help children see new possibilities for their lives. Above all, Children of the Stone chronicles the journey of Ramzi Aburedwan, and how he worked against the odds to create something lasting and beautiful in a war-torn land.
















[book] A Gushing Fountain:
A Novel
by Martin Walser
Translated by David Dollenmayer
April 2015
Arcade
Appearing for the first time in English, this masterful novel by one of the foremost figures of postwar German literature is an indelible portrait of Nazism slowly overtaking and poisoning a small town.
Semi-autobiographical, it is also a remarkably vivid account of a childhood fraught with troubles, yet full of remembered love and touched by miracle.
In a provincial town on Lake Constance, Johann basks in the affection of the colorful staff and regulars at the Station Restaurant. Though his parents struggle to make ends meet, around him the world is rich in mystery: the attraction of girls; the power of words and his gift for music; his rivalry with his best friend, Adolf, son of the local Brownshirt leader; a circus that comes to town bringing Anita, whose love he and Adolf compete to win. But in these hard times, with businesses failing all around them and life savings gone in an instant, people whisper that only Hitler can save them. As the Nazis gradually infiltrate the churches, the school, the youth organizations—even the restaurant—and come to power, we see through Johann’s eyes how the voices of dissent are silenced one by one, until war begins the body count that will include his beloved older brother.
















[book] Jewish Festival Food
Eating for Special Occasions:
75 Delicious Dishes For Every Holiday
And Celebration
by Marlena Spieler
April 7, 2015
Lorenz Books
This book features 75 delicious dishes for every holiday and celebration. You can discover the classic meals enjoyed by Jewish people at Chanukkah, Pesach and other holidays and festivals, including traditional Ashkenazi challah bread, matzo brei, gefilte fish, piroshki, blintzes and mandelbrot. It features over 75 delicious dishes that have been drawn from Eastern Europe, the United States, the Middle East, North Africa and India. It includes more than 300 fabulous photographs, including straightforward illustrated step-by-step instructions and pictures of each finished dish to help you make every celebration a success. The Jewish people have a special dish for every festival occasion, and this glorious mix of classic and contemporary dishes draws on the traditions of the global Jewish community. Celebrate this extraordinary worldwide heritage with Lamb and Globe Artichokes at Passover, Herring Salad with Beetroot and Sour Cream for Shabbat, Hungarian Cherry Soup at Shavuot, Moroccan Carrot Salad at Rosh Hashanah, and Tunisian Almond Cigars at Chanukkah. Packed with fascinating background detail about culinary traditions, this informative book offers a wonderful collection of authentic holiday and festival recipes.

























[book] DUET IN BEIRUT
A Mystery Thriller Novel
By Mishka Ben-David
translated from Hebrew
April 2015
Overlook Hardcover
In this riveting thriller by an ex-Mossad agent, an Israeli spy risks his life to save a Hezbollah leader.
ursed For over a decade, Mishka Ben-David was a professional spy, taking part in secret operations on behalf of the Mossad, Israel’s legendary intelligence agency. But after twelve years of service, Ben-David quit the Mossad and became an acclaimed novelist, describing life as a spy from within. A major bestseller in Israel, Duet in Beirut is Ben-David’s first book to appear in English. Ronen, an expelled Mossad agent, has disappeared following a failed assassination attempt against the Hezbollah operative responsible for suicide bombings in Israel. Feared to be on an unauthorized mission, it is up to his former commander, Gadi, to track Ronen down and stop him from causing harm both to himself and to his country. The physical and intellectual scuffle between the two men becomes one of deeper, moral inquiry.
Written with a master novelist’s terse conviction, Duet in Beirut takes us inside a much-discussed but little understood world. As revealing in its psychological acuity as it is in its portrait of life in the Mossad, Duet in Beirut is an essential thriller of espionage and political intrigue.

























[book] Big Gay Ice Cream
Saucy Stories & Frozen Treats:
Going All the Way with Ice Cream
by Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint
Foreword by Anthony Bourdain
April 28, 2015
Clarkson Potter
Welcome to Big Gay Ice Cream’s debut cookbook, a yearbook of ice cream accomplishments—all the recipes you need to create delicious frozen treats.

The best ice cream I ever ate was from the their truck. Maybe it was because it was salty
Bryan and Douglas were musicians who needed another source of income. A musician friend drove a summer ice cream truck and suggested they do the same. They did. For a few years they sold ice cream from a roving truck. From there they became famous. The wait time for the truck in Union Square was usually an hour for a cone.
They then opened a shop in the East Village, got another machine in PA, opened a shop in the West Village of NYC, then Philly, then LA, and now a book

New to making ice cream at home? Never fear—freshman year starts off simple with store-bought toppings and shopping lists for the home ice cream parlor.
Sophomore year kicks it up a notch with tasty sauces and crunchy toppings.
Junior year puts your new skills to work with shakes, floats, and sundaes inspired by some of Big Gay Ice Cream’s top-selling treats, including, of course, the Salty Pimp.
In Senior year, get serious with outrageously delicious sorbets and ice cream recipes.
Along the way, you can enjoy Bryan and Doug’s stranger-than-fiction stories, cheeky humor, vibrant photography and illustrations, and plenty of culinary and celebrity cameos (including an introduction by Headmaster Anthony Bourdain)..



















[book] The Food of Taiwan:
Recipes from the Beautiful Island
by Cathy Erway
2015
Acclaimed author and food blogger (she ate at home and never in a restaurant for 2 years) Cathy Erway offers an insider's look at Taiwanese cooking—from home-style dishes to authentic street food
While certain dishes from Taiwan are immensely popular, like steamed buns and bubble tea, the cuisine still remains relatively unknown in America. In The Food of Taiwan, Taiwanese-American, half Taiwanese Cathy Erway, the acclaimed blogger and author of The Art of Eating In, gives readers an insider’s look at Taiwanese cooking with almost 100 recipes for both home-style dishes and street food. Recipes range from the familiar, such as Pork Belly Buns, Three Cup Chicken, and Beef Noodle Soup, to the exotic, like the Stuffed Bitter Melon, Oyster Noodle Soup, and Dried Radish Omelet. Tantalizing food photographs intersperse with beautiful shots of Taiwan’s coasts, mountains, and farms and gritty photos of bustling city scenes, making this book just as enticing to flip through as it is to use for cooking.

Note… In Taiwan for Shabbos? Check out the services at The Ritz hotel



















[book] Mindsharing
The Art of Crowdsourcing Everything
by Lior Zoref
April 28, 2015
Portfolio
Lior Zoref is a crowd wisdom researcher, and an international speaker. A graduate of Technion, he a studying for a PhD from Bar Ilan. For 14 years, he was employed by Microsoft and had a stint as a VP of Marketing for Consumer and Online Services.
After he left his job at Microsoft, he asked friends on Facebook what he should do. He sort of crowdsourced his future. People told him that he was so networked that he should be a mindsharer.
In the words of Thomas P Hughes, the great innovators no longer work alone in a lab. They work in teams and collaborate.
Whether we need to make better financial choices, find the love of our life, or transform our career, crowdsourcing is the key to making quicker, wiser, more objective decisions. But few of us even come close to tapping the full potential of our online personal networks.
An enthusiastic Lior Zoref offers guidelines for applying what he calls "mind sharing" in new ways. For instance, he shows how a mother's Facebook update saved the life of a four-year-old boy, and how a manager used LinkedIn to create a year's worth of market research in less than a day. Zoref's clients are using his techniques to innovate and problem-solve in record time. Now he reveals how crowdsourcing has the ability to supercharge our thinking and upgrade every aspect of our lives. .

























[book] ETHICAL WILLS AND
HOW TO PREPARE THEM
A GUIDE TO SHARING YOUR VALUES
FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION
by Rabbi Jack Riemer (Author) and Dr. Nathaniel Stampfer
Foreword by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
2015
Jewish Lights
Leave loved ones a legacy of blessings, wisdom, gratitude and hope.
Ethical wills are precious spiritual documents, windows into the souls of those who write them. These "legacy letters" sum up what the writers have learned in life, and what they want most for, and from, their loved ones. An ethical will is often a treasured part of a family's history.
In this unique combination of “what is” and “how to”—an updated edition of So That Your Values Live On (Jewish Lights)—the reader can see examples of ethical wills written by almost one hundred famous and ordinary Jewish people, which serve as inspiration and guides, and a step-by-step process that shows the reader how to prepare an ethical will. The wide range of contemporary ethical wills in the book reveals the ongoing relevance of ethical wills for people of all faiths, all backgrounds. The emotional power of these last letters will inspire people to live more fully now, and to record their own blessings for the generations to come.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book at discount.




















[book] Increasing Wholeness
Jewish Wisdom and Guided Meditations
to Strengthen and Calm Body, Heart, Mind and Spirit
by Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz
Spring 2015
Jewish Lights
Balance and integrate the components of your inner life in order to become more present, joyful and effective.
"At our best, we may experience a taste of completeness infused with gratitude that prompts expressions of compassion and justice. At our best we are most alive: loving those around us and transcending our own personal needs, attuned to a caring, dynamic Presence intertwined with the whole of creation. The goal of this book is to enable you to live more frequently at your best."

from the Introduction
In a multitasking culture, we often are distracted from attending to what is most significant in our lives. Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz, a widely respected teacher and spiritual guide, shows how to nurture the four components of the inner life body, heart, mind and spirit in order to embrace your whole self. Rabbi Spitz brings timeless wisdom into the modern age, combining Jewish texts and traditions with contemporary psychology and world spiritual writings.
This book is for everyone Jews and non-Jews, experienced meditators and novices yearning for greater inner calm and strength so as to more fully enjoy life, effectively relate to others and enhance spiritual awareness and connection.
Interactive includes immersive videos that can be accessed instantly by the provided QR codes or links.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book at discount.


















[book] Embracing the Divine Feminine:
Finding God through God the
Ecstasy of Physical Love
The Song of Songs Annotated
& Explained (SkyLight Illuminations)
by Rami Shapiro (Translator),
Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault PhD (Foreword)
Jewish Lights
More than ancient erotic love poetry, this celebration of the human relationship with Wisdom can be a companion for your own spiritual journey.
The Song of Songs is the Hebrew Bible's deeply erotic poem of love, sexual yearning and consummation. Holding it sacred yet troubled by its thinly veiled eroticism, Jews and Christians for millennia have read the Song of Songs as an allegory of God’s love for Israel—the classic Jewish understanding—or Jesus’s love for his Church—the classic Christian understanding. This fresh translation restores the Song’s eroticism and interprets it as a celebration of the love between the Divine Feminine and the contemporary spiritual seeker.
Scholar and award-winning teacher Rami Shapiro renders this ancient love song as Lady Wisdom offering seekers physical and spiritual intimacy with her so that they might awaken to and participate wisely in the unity of God, woman, man and nature. His intriguing facing-page commentary provides historical, religious and spiritual insights from Christian and Jewish wisdom traditions as well as clear comparisons to other translations.
Now you can understand the poetry, beauty, genius and mystery of the Song of Songs with no previous knowledge of the Hebrew Bible or wisdom literature. Compelling in its novelty and accessible in its presentation, this version of the Song of Songs will beckon you more deeply into Jewish-Christian sacred texts while offering you wisdom teachings and practices rooted in but not limited to religion..




















[book] A Fine Romance
A Memoir
by Candice Bergen
April 2015
Ms. Bergen will appear on April 13, right after Passover, in Washington DC at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue for a reading.
She isn’t Jewish, but it is an interesting book to read
In the follow-up to Knock Wood—her bestselling autobiography (It is hard to compete with a wooden doll for your father’s attention), Candice Bergen shares the big events: her marriage to a famous French director (Louis Malle, My Dinner With Andre, Au Revoir Les Enfants, The Murmuring Heart), the birth of her daughter, the TV sitcom Murphy Brown, widowhood, falling in love again, and watching her daughter blossom.

A Fine Romance begins with Bergen’s charming first husband, French director Louis Malle, whose huge appetite for life broadened her horizons and whose occasional darkness never diminished their love for each other. But her real romance begins when she discovers overpowering love for her daughter after years of ambivalence about motherhood. As Chloe grows up, Bergen finds her comic genius in the biggest TV role of the 80s, Murphy Brown, and makes unwanted headlines when Dan Quayle pulls her into the 1992 presidential campaign.
Fifteen years into their marriage, Malle is diagnosed with cancer, and Candice is unflinching in describing her and Chloe’s despair over his death. But after years of widowhood, she feels the sweet shock of finding a different kind of soulmate. Candice takes us through the first years of her new marriage (to Marshall Rose the real estate developer and philanthropist of the Georgetown Companies, not to be confused with the Rose’s of the real estate Rose Companies) and shares the bitter-sweetness of watching Chloe leave home and flourish—and the comedy of a losing battle against those damn wrinkles and extra pounds.
As her dermatologist told her: his Jewish patients endure pain much more for beauty than Christians, like Candice
A natural writer, Candice is hilarious, brutally honest, down-to-earth, and wise. She may be a beautiful Hollywood actress with a charmed life, but Candice is someone who can talk frankly about extraordinary events. Readers who pull up a chair will feel like they’ve just made a best friend.















[book] So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed
BY JON RONSON
Spring 2015
Remember the woman who tweeted something nasty and when she landed and turned on her phone she found out she had been fired and was hated worldwide?
Remember the UCLA undergrad who made fun of Asian classmates?

Remember the fashion designer, drunk, who spouted off some brilliant anti Jewish sentences?

For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us - people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know they're being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job.

A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice. But what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people's faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.

Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, So You've Been Publicly Shamed is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws - and the very scary part we all play in it.


















[book] Lobbying and Policy Change:
Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why
Paperback
by Frank R. Baumgartner, Jeffrey M. Berry
Marie Hojnacki, David C. Kimball, Beth L. Leech
Chicago

Does lobbying matter. Does AIPAC and Jewish lobbies work? Doesn’t the status quo win and Congress would have voted a certain way anyway.

During the 2008 election season, politicians from both sides of the aisle promised to rid government of lobbyists’ undue influence. For the authors of Lobbying and Policy Change, the most extensive study ever done on the topic, these promises ring hollow—not because politicians fail to keep them but because lobbies are far less influential than political rhetoric suggests.
Based on a comprehensive examination of ninety-eight issues, this volume demonstrates that sixty percent of recent lobbying campaigns failed to change policy despite millions of dollars spent trying. Why? The authors find that resources explain less than five percent of the difference between successful and unsuccessful efforts. Moreover, they show, these attempts must overcome an entrenched Washington system with a tremendous bias in favor of the status quo.
Though elected officials and existing policies carry more weight, lobbies have an impact too, and when advocates for a given issue finally succeed, policy tends to change significantly. The authors argue, however, that the lobbying community so strongly reflects elite interests that it will not fundamentally alter the balance of power unless its makeup shifts dramatically in favor of average Americans’ concerns.





















[book] A Fighting Chance
by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren
Picador
An unlikely political star tells the inspiring story of the two-decade journey that taught her how Washington really works—and really doesn't.
As a child in small-town Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren yearned to go to college and then become an elementary school teacher—an ambitious goal, given her family's modest means. Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but fifteen years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt. Then came the phone call that changed her life: Could she come to Washington, D.C. to help advise Congress on rewriting the bankruptcy laws?
Thus began an impolite education into the bare-knuckled, often dysfunctional ways of Washington. She fought for better bankruptcy laws for ten years and lost. She tried to hold the federal government accountable during the financial crisis but became a target of the big banks. She came up with the idea for a new agency designed to protect consumers from predatory bankers and was denied the opportunity to run it. Finally, at age 62, she decided to run for elective office and won the most competitive—and watched—Senate race in the country.
In this passionate, funny, rabble-rousing book, Warren shows why she has chosen to fight tooth and nail for the middle class—and why she has become a hero to all those who believe















[book] The Girl's Guide
Getting the hang of your
whole complicated, unpredictable,
impossibly amazing life
by Melissa Kirsch
Workman
April 7, 2015
From Publishers Weekly, Starred Review. As a former senior producer at Oxygen Media and author of their “Ask Princess” advice column, Kirsch specializes in helping young women face the challenges of life in the real world. Here she's compiled information and advice in a common-sensible, funny and easy-to-read primer on all aspects of life for women in their 20s and 30s, deftly organized into 10 chapters covering health, work, money, manners, friends, love, family, spirit, home and fashion. Nothing is off limits, from “Home Ec for Modern Times” (including the rationale behind nude tub-scrubbing) to romance and its subsidiaries (such as “Non-Goal-Oriented Sex”). Kirsch is fond of using lists and charts to compliment the text, such as her handy stain remover chart and her Woman's Sexual Bill of Rights, and she includes a liberal sprinkling of funny and insightful quotes from regular gals. Especially helpful are her chapter on "The Company You Keep," with advice on rooming, traveling and growing with friends, and her thorough look at money and finances. While some of this information is old hat, it's delivered in a welcoming and comprehensive package, making it a standout in a crowded field as well as an ideal gift.



























[book] Wehrmacht Priests:
Catholicism and the Nazi War of Annihilation
by Lauren Faulkner Rossi (Notre Dame)
Harvard University Press
April 2015
Between 1939 and 1945 more than 17,000 Catholic German priests and seminarians were conscripted into Hitler’s Wehrmacht. Men who had devoted their lives to God found themselves advancing the cause of an abhorrent regime. Lauren Faulkner Rossi draws on personal correspondence, official military reports, memoirs, and interviews to present a detailed picture of Catholic priests who served faithfully in the German armed forces in the Second World War. Most of them failed to see the bitter irony of their predicament.
Wehrmacht Priests plumbs the moral justifications of men who were committed to their religious vocation as well as to the cause of German nationalism. In their wartime and postwar writings, these soldiers often stated frankly that they went to war willingly, because it was their spiritual duty to care for their countrymen in uniform. But while some priests became military chaplains, carrying out work consistent with their religious training, most served in medical roles or, in the case of seminarians, in general infantry. Their convictions about their duty only strengthened as Germany waged an increasingly desperate battle against the Soviet Union, which they believed was an existential threat to the Catholic Church and German civilization.
Wehrmacht Priests unpacks the complex relationship between the Catholic Church and the Nazi regime, including the Church’s fierce but futile attempts to preserve its independence under Hitler’s dictatorship, its accommodations with the Nazis regarding spiritual care in the military, and the shortcomings of Catholic doctrine in the face of total war and genocide.



















[book] Before Auschwitz
Jewish Prisoners in the
Prewar Concentration Camps
by Kim Wünschmann (Hebrew Univ, Martin Buber Society)
Harvard University Press
2015
Auschwitz—the largest and most notorious of Hitler’s concentration camps—was founded in 1940, but the Nazis had been detaining Jews in camps ever since they came to power in 1933. Before Auschwitz unearths the little-known origins of the concentration camp system in the years before World War II and reveals the instrumental role of these extralegal detention sites in the development of Nazi policies toward Jews and in plans to create a racially pure Third Reich.
Investigating more than a dozen camps, from the infamous Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen to less familiar sites, Kim Wünschmann uncovers a process of terror meant to identify and isolate German Jews in the period from 1933 to 1939. The concentration camp system was essential to a regime then testing the limits of its power and seeking to capture the hearts and minds of the German public. Propagandized by the Nazis as enemies of the state, Jews were often targeted for arbitrary arrest and then routinely subjected to the harshest treatment and most punishing labor assignments in the camps. Some of them were murdered. Over time, shocking accounts of camp life filtered into the German population, sending a message that Jews were different from true Germans: they were portrayed as dangerous to associate with and fair game for acts of intimidation and violence.
Drawing on a wide range of previously unexplored archives, Before Auschwitz explains how the concentration camps evolved into a universally recognized symbol of Nazi terror and Jewish persecution during the Holocaust.



















HAIM SABAN RECOMMENDED THAT I READ THIS (NOT)… :
[book] In Defense of a Liberal Education
by Fareed Zakaria
Norton
2015
CNN host and best-selling author Fareed Zakaria argues for a renewed commitment to the world’s most valuable educational tradition. The liberal arts are under attack. The governors of Florida, Texas, and North Carolina have all pledged that they will not spend taxpayer money subsidizing the liberal arts, and they seem to have an unlikely ally in President Obama. While at a General Electric plant in early 2014, Obama remarked, "I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree." These messages are hitting home: majors like English and history, once very popular and highly respected, are in steep decline.
"I get it," writes Fareed Zakaria, recalling the atmosphere in India where he grew up, which was even more obsessed with getting a skills-based education. However, the CNN host and best-selling author explains why this widely held view is mistaken and shortsighted.
Zakaria eloquently expounds on the virtues of a liberal arts education—how to write clearly, how to express yourself convincingly, and how to think analytically. He turns our leaders' vocational argument on its head. American routine manufacturing jobs continue to get automated or outsourced, and specific vocational knowledge is often outdated within a few years. Engineering is a great profession, but key value-added skills you will also need are creativity, lateral thinking, design, communication, storytelling, and, more than anything, the ability to continually learn and enjoy learning—precisely the gifts of a liberal education.
Zakaria argues that technology is transforming education, opening up access to the best courses and classes in a vast variety of subjects for millions around the world. We are at the dawn of the greatest expansion of the idea of a liberal education in human history..



















[book] DAYS OF RAGE
AMERICA’S RADICAL UNDERGROUND,
THE FBI,
And the FORGOTTEN AGE OF
REVOLUTIONARY ViOLENCE
By Bryan Burrough
Penguin
2015
By 1970, the SDS was nothing. It was not radical enough for some
There were:
The Weathermen.
The Symbionese Liberation Army.
The FALN. The Black Liberation Army.
The JDL?
The names seem quaint now, when not forgotten altogether. But there was a stretch of time in America, during the 1970s, when bombings by domestic underground groups were a daily occurrence. The FBI combated these groups and others as nodes in a single revolutionary underground, dedicated to the violent overthrow of the American government.
The FBI’s response to the leftist (and other) revolutionary counterculture has not been treated kindly by history, and in hindsight many of its efforts seem almost comically ineffectual, if not criminal in themselves. But part of the extraordinary accomplishment of Bryan Burrough’s Days of Rage is to temper those easy judgments with an understanding of just how deranged these times were, how charged with menace. Burrough re-creates an atmosphere that seems almost unbelievable just forty years later, conjuring a time of native-born radicals, most of them “nice middle-class kids,” smuggling bombs into skyscrapers and detonating them inside the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol, at a Boston courthouse and a Wall Street restaurant packed with lunchtime diners—radicals robbing dozens of banks and assassinating policemen in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta. The FBI, encouraged to do everything possible to undermine the radical underground, itself broke many laws in its attempts to bring the revolutionaries to justice—often with disastrous consequences.
Benefiting from the extraordinary number of people from the underground and the FBI who speak about their experiences for the first time, Days of Rage is filled with revelations and fresh details about the major revolutionaries and their connections and about the FBI and its desperate efforts to make the bombings stop. The result is a mesmerizing book that takes us into the hearts and minds of homegrown terrorists and federal agents alike and weaves their stories into a spellbinding secret history of the 1970s.












[book] A Salamander's Tale:
My Story of Regeneration—
Surviving 30 Years with Prostate Cancer
by Paul Steinberg, MD
Skyhorse
April 21, 2015
The Talmud says that to save a life is to save the world. Philip Roth’s novels saved Paul Steinberg’s life and thus saved the world, I guess. His virile writings helped Steinberg pursue a special treatment…
Dr. Steinberg, a psychiatrist and contributor to the NYT and other publications writes that he has survived metastatic prostate cancer longer than any other known man. He was 35, it was 31 years ago, and he learned that he had prostate cancer and metastatic disease. Every doctor recommended surgical castration by age forty. He said that there was no way he would do that and no longer be a “man,” he needed testosterone driven lust in his life. He needed to be a skirt chasing Philip Roth style Jewish man.

Paul Steinberg was forced to take two simultaneous journeys. The first was to transition from doctor to a patient and surrender his physical health to a medical establishment he knew from firsthand knowledge would be using him as a guinea pig. The second was a spiritual journey. His search for a higher meaning in his life sent him as far as walking over hot coals with Tony Robbins.

Using the salamander as his role model, Steinberg, a sports psychiatrist, takes a look at the evolution of the regenerative capabilities of cold-blooded vertebrates like the salamander and at what we as humans have lost and gained in our warm-bloodedness. How do we as human beings regenerate? How do we as human beings redeem ourselves when our capacity for regeneration is limited? How did the prostate evolve, and how does prostate cancer develop?

With wit and humor, Steinberg tackles lust in his heart and lust in action and sex and ultimately time and death and the gods. Having lived longer than virtually anyone else with metastatic prostate cancer, he uses his knowledge as a doctor and experience as a patient to provide a story of endurance and perseverance, weaving a tale of grace and regeneration and redemption—just not the kind of regeneration and redemption that he or anyone else would expect.















[book] ROSE WATER AND ORANGE BLOSSOMS
FRESH AND CLASSIC RECIPES
FROM MY LEBANESE KITCHEN
BY MAUREEN ABOOD
April 2015
Running Press
Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Cookbooks for Spring 2015
Pomegranates and pistachios. Floral waters and cinnamon. Bulgur wheat, lentils, and succulent lamb. These lush flavors of Maureen Abood's childhood, growing up as a Lebanese-American in Michigan, inspired Maureen to launch her award-winning blog, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms. Here she revisits the recipes she was reared on, exploring her heritage through its most-beloved foods and chronicling her riffs on traditional cuisine. Her colorful culinary guides, from grandparents to parents, cousins, and aunts, come alive in her stories like the heady aromas of the dishes passed from their hands to hers.
Taking an ingredient-focused approach that makes the most of every season’s bounty, Maureen presents more than 100 irresistible recipes that will delight readers with their evocative flavors: Spiced Lamb Kofta Burgers, Avocado Tabbouleh in Little Gems, and Pomegranate Rose Sorbet. Weaved throughout are the stories of Maureen’s Lebanese-American upbringing, the path that led her to fprimateculinary school and to launch her blog, and life in Harbor Springs, her lakeside Michigan town.
It is approachable, inspiring, and simply delicious." --Michael Solomonov, executive chef and co-owner, Zahav restaurant


















[book] Women's Divination in Biblical Literature:
Prophecy, Necromancy, and Other
Arts of Knowledge
(The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)
by Esther J. Hamori
Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible
Union Theological Seminary
Yale University Press
April 2015
Divination, the use of special talents and techniques to gain divine knowledge, was practiced in many different forms in ancient Israel and throughout the ancient world. The Hebrew Bible reveals a variety of traditions of women associated with divination. This sensitive and incisive book by respected scholar Esther J. Hamori examines the wide scope of women’s divinatory activities as portrayed in the Hebrew texts, offering readers a new appreciation of the surprising breadth of women’s “arts of knowledge” in biblical times. Unlike earlier approaches to the subject that have viewed prophecy separately from other forms of divination, Hamori’s study encompasses the full range of divinatory practices and the personages who performed them, from the female prophets and the medium of En-dor to the matriarch who interprets a birth omen and the “wise women” of Tekoa and Abel and more. In doing so, the author brings into clearer focus the complex, rich, and diverse world of ancient Israelite divination.
















[book] A HIGHER STANDARD
Leadership Strategies from
America's First Female Four-Star General
BY ANN DUNWOODY
Foreword by Sheryl Sandberg
April 2015
On June 23, 2008, President George W. Bush nominated Ann Dunwoody as a four-star general in the US Army—the first time a woman had ever achieved that rank. The news generated excitement around the world. Now retired after nearly four decades in the Army, Dunwoody shares what she learned along the way, from her first command leading 100 soldiers to her final assignment, in which she led a $60 billion enterprise of over 69,000 employees, including the Army's global supply chain in support of Iraq and Afghanistan.
What was the driving force behind Dunwoody's success? While her talent as a logistician and her empathy in dealing with fellow soldiers helped her rise through the ranks, Dunwoody also realized that true leaders never stop learning, refining, growing, and adapting. In A Higher Standard, Dunwoody details her evolution as a soldier and reveals the core leadership principles that helped her achieve her historic appointment. Dunwoody's strategies are applicable to any leader, no matter the size or scope of the organization. They include lessons such as "Never Walk by a Mistake," a mandate to recognize when something is wrong, big or small, and to hold people accountable. Not only can this save billions for industry, it can sometimes save the lives of soldiers and citizens. She also advises that "Leaders Aren't Invincible—Don't Try to Be": to be our best, we have to acknowledge our worst. And she encourages readers to "Leverage the Power of Diversity" by creating teams of people from different backgrounds to provide a broad range of ideas and devise the best-informed decisions.
With these and other guiding principles, A Higher Standard offers practical, tactical advice that everyone can use to lead and achieve with maximum success.






















MAY 2015 BOOKS




[book] Single Jewish Male Seeking Soul Mate
a novel
by Letty Cottin Pogrebin
The Feminist Press at CUNY
May 2015
Feminist icon Letty Cottin Pogrebin's second novel follows Zach Levy, the left-leaning son of Holocaust survivors who promises his mother that he'll marry within the tribe. But when Zach falls for Cleo, an African American activist grappling with her own inherited trauma, he must reconcile the family he loves with the woman who might be his soul mate. A New York love story complicated by the legacies and modern tension of Jewish American and African American history, SJM Seeking explores what happens when the heart runs into the reality of politics, history, and the weight of family promises.

Letty Cottin Pogrebin is a leading figure in Jewish and feminist activism. She is a founding editor and writer for Ms. magazine, and the author of eleven books, including the memoir Getting Over Getting Older (1996), the novel Three Daughters (2003), and the groundbreaking How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick (2013). She is also the editor for the anthology Stories for Free Children (1982), and a co-creator of Free to Be . . . You and Me and Free to Be . . . A Family. Her articles, op-eds, and columns have been published frequently in a wide variety of magazines and publications, including the New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, and the Ladies Home Journal.

















ON THE ROAD? You mean like the BEATS?
No, ON THE MOVE
Definitely my most favorite greatest read of Year to Date 2015
A man who taught the world about brain perceptions fills in the world on his life and changes our perceptions
[book][book] ON THE MOVE
A Life
by Oliver Sacks, MD, OBE
Knopf
Spring 2015
“All sorts of generalization are made possible by dealing with population, but one needs the concrete, the particular, the personal, too.”

Is this Dr. Oliver Sacks on the cover?
Our favorite writer of narrative medicine?
The guy on the motorcycle?
You mean the weight lifting guy who used LSD and was addicted to pills for years in the 1960s is the same guy who wrote The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat; Mr. Tungsten; A Leg To Stand On; and Hallucinations?

Sadly, in 2015, Dr. Sacks announced that he has terminal cancer.
Sacks, 81, wrote an essay in February 2015 in The New York Times that it makes life easier, since you don’t have to worry about world affairs. With limited time on Earth, one focuses on other issues.

From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. How he survived the accidents, I have no idea. I came away learning that sometimes happy accidents lead people to discoveries and life purposes. Bosses threatened him not to focus on topics, he didn't listen, he succeeded and they didn't. He took chances in the water, nearly died, and was saved at the last moment. He thought he'd be one type of physcian or scientist, but followed his strength instead of his plans, and succeeded.
He recounts his experiences as a wartime youth in England, the victim of beatings from a sadistic headmaster, a homosexual teen in the days when gays like Alan Turing were imprisoned, castrated, or hounded to death, a kibbutznik in the 1950s, his travels in Canada, a young neurologist in the early 1960s, his internship at Zion in San Francisco, his motorcycles, his drug addiction, his travels across the USA, hitching with truck drivers, more motorcycles, muscle beach weight lifting, his parents, his brother's psychosis and schizoid outbursts, and his arrival in New York City, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back hospital wards.
He also explores – briefly - his sex and love affairs, his lack of sex and love affairs, his time at the YMCA in SF (knock knock), his sexless midlife, his mother who wished he had not been born when he said he was gay in the 1950s (just a sudden outburst), Yosemite, and the heart(s) he broke. Along the way we see how his engagement, attachment, and detachment with patients and his inabilities to believe, belong and bond with friends have come to define his life.

With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions — weight lifting and swimming — also drives his cerebral passions. I KEPT A PIECE OF PAPER TO WRITE DOWN THE GREAT WORDS HE USES. THANK GOD FOR BRITISH EDUCATED WRITERS WHO TEACH US TO USE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
He discusses his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists — Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis (double helix) Crick — who influenced him.
He spends a lot of time on the latest neurological ideas of Dr. Edelman, and how long it is taking for new ideas to be accepted by the field.
On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer — one who is loved for his portrayals of patients, as well as hated and vilified by others who find them exploitative and insensitive - and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.
Oh, did I mention that his cousin is the late Abba Eban?
Did I mention that he goes to the Passover seder of his CAPP (Kaplan) cousins (the cartoonist Al Capp (Lil Abner) and other Capp artists)




























[book] Blood, Sweat, and My Rock 'n' Roll Years:
Is Steve Katz a Rock Star?
by Steve Katz (Author
May 2015
Lyons

On paper Steve Katz’s career rivals anyone’s except the 1960s’ and ’70’s biggest stars: the Monterey Pop Festival with the legendary Blues Project, Woodstock with Blood, Sweat & Tears, and even producing rock’s most celebrated speed addict, Lou Reed. There were world tours, and his résumé screams “Hall of Fame” — it won’t be long before BS&T are on that ballot. He has three Grammies (ten nominations), three Downbeat Reader’s Poll Awards, three gold records, one platinum record, and one quadruple platinum platter (the second Blood, Sweat & Tears album), not to mention three gold singles with BS&T. All together, he’s sold close to 29 million records. He had affairs with famous female folk singers, made love to Jim Morrison’s girlfriend Pam when Jim was drunk and abusive, partied with Elizabeth Taylor and Groucho Marx, dined with Rudolf Nureyev, conversed with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tennessee Williams, hung out with Andy Warhol, jammed with everyone from Mose Allison to Jimi Hendrix, and was told to get a haircut by both Mickey Spillane and Danny Thomas.
But his memoir is more Portnoy’s Complaint than the lurid party-with-your-pants-down memoir that has become the norm for rock ’n’ roll books. It’s an honest and personal account of a life at the edge of the spotlight—a privileged vantage point that earned him a bit more objectivity and earnest outrage than a lot of his colleagues, who were too far into the scene to lay any honest witness to it. Set during the Greenwich Village folk/rock scene, the Sixties’ most celebrated venues and concerts, and behind closed doors on international tours and grueling studio sessions, this is the unlikely story of a rock star as nerd, nerd as rock star, a nice Jewish boy who got to sit at the cool kid’s table and score the hot chicks.

















[book] The Heart of the Matter
Studies in Jewish Mysticism and Theology
(A JPS Scholar of Distinction Book)
by Rabbi Arthur Green, Ph.D.
May 2015
Jewish Publication Society
Judaism, like all the great religions, has a strand within it that sees inward devotion, the opening of the human heart to God’s presence, to be the purpose of its entire edifice of praxis, liturgy, and way of life. This voice is not always easy to hear in a tradition where so much attention is devoted to the how rather than the why of religious living. The devotional claim, certainly a key part of Judaism’s biblical heritage, has reasserted itself in the teachings of individual mystics and in the emergence of religious movements over the long course of Jewish history. This volume represents Arthur Green’s own quest for such a Judaism—as a rabbi, as a scholar, and as a contemporary seeker.

This collection of essays brings together Green’s scholarly writings, centered on the history of early Hasidism, and his highly personal approach to a rebirth of Jewish spirituality in our own day. In choosing to present them in this way he asserts a claim that they are all of a piece. They represent one man’s attempt to wade through history and text, language and symbol, and an array of voices both past and present while always focusing on the essential questions: “What does it mean to be a religious human being, and what does Judaism teach us about how to be one?” This, the author considers to be the heart of the matter.

















[book] THE JPS BIBLE COMMENTARY
Song of Songs
Shir haShirim
Edited by Michael Fishbane PhD
2015
Jewish Publication Society
Song of Songs is a wondrous collection of love lyrics nestled in the heart of the Hebrew Bible songs of passion and praise between a young maiden and her beloved. It is religious lyric par excellence. But what is its true meaning? Is it an expression of human love and passion, pure and simple? A celebration of the covenant between God and Israel? Or something else?
The latest volume in the Jewish Publication Society s highly acclaimed Bible Commentary series, Song of Songs provides a line-by-line commentary of the original Hebrew Bible text, complete with vocalization and cantillation marks, alongside the JPS English translation. Unique to this volume are four layers of commentary: the traditional PaRDeS of Peshat (literal meaning), Derash (midrashic and religious-traditional sense), Remez (allegorical level), and Sod (mystical and spiritual intimations). Michael Fishbane skillfully draws from them all to reveal the extraordinary range of interpretations and ideas perceived in this beloved biblical book. A comprehensive introduction, extensive endnotes, a full bibliography (traditional and modern), and additional explanatory materials are included to enhance the reader s appreciation of the work.
This original, comprehensive commentary on the Song of Songs interprets historical, critical, and traditional sources drawn from the ancient Near East, the entire spectrum of Jewish sources and commentaries, and modern critical studies.

















[book] Jewish Spiritual Parenting
Wisdom, Activities, Rituals and
Prayers for Raising Children with
Spiritual Balance and Emotional Wholeness
by Rabbi Paul J. Kipnes
Michelle November MSSW
May 22, 2015
Jewish Lights
How do we guide children to be spiritually attuned, Jewishly connected people? Which actions, practices and creative rituals will nurture our children toward spiritual openness?
As children's lives increasingly move online, parents struggle with the inevitable challenge: How do we help cultivate and stay a part of our children’s inner lives, gaining direct insight into their hearts and minds? This lively, practical handbook is a window into distinctive parenting methods that enable children to discover gratitude, hope, joy and meaning. It also helps parents and children develop the communication tools to share and celebrate their spirituality with their family and community.
Chock full of ideas that are at once imaginative yet anchored in Jewish tradition, it offers parents, grandparents, teachers and anyone who interacts with children creative first steps and next steps to make the Jewish holidays and every day engaging and inspiring. Readers learn to capitalize on car talk, frapp chats and bedtime rituals to unlock a child’s spirit and soul. Admitting that parenting is exhausting, readers are encouraged to forgive themselves for their imperfections and to laugh at the messiness of raising children.
With generous doses of humor and accessible illustrations from real life, Jewish Spiritual Parenting guides parents to embrace the work and wisdom of spiritual growth and in so doing make family life immensely rewarding and deeply fulfilling.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book at discount.




















[book] LEON BLUM
Léon Blum
Prime Minister, Socialist, Zionist
by Prof. Pierre Birnbaum
Yale University Press
Jewish Lives series
May 2015
Léon Blum (1872–1950) was many things: a socialist and political activist, leader of the Popular Front; a dedicated statesman who served as France's prime minister three times; a hero who courageously opposed anti-Semitism, Nazi aggression, and the pro-German Vichy government; a passionate lover of women, art, and life. A tireless champion for workers’ rights, Blum dramatically changed French society by establishing the forty-hour work week, paid holidays, and collective bargaining on wage claims. He was also a proud Jew and Zionist, and a survivor who endured the horrors of Buchenwald and Dachau.
Unlike previous biographies that downplay the significance of Blum’s Jewish heritage on his progressive politics, Pierre Birnbaum’s enlightening portrait depicts an extraordinary man whose political convictions were shaped and driven by his religious and cultural background. The author powerfully demonstrates how Blum’s Jewishness was central to his milieu and mission from his earliest entry into the political arena in reaction to the infamous Dreyfus Affair, and how it sustained and motivated him throughout the remainder of his life.















[book] MAIMONIDES AND THE BOOK THAT CHANGED JUDAISM
Secrets of “The Guide for the Perplexed”
By Micah Goodman (Hebrew U.)
Translated from Hebrew by Rabbi Yedidyah Sinclair
May 2015
Jewish Publication Society / Nebraska
A publishing sensation long at the top of the best-seller lists in Israel, the original Hebrew edition of Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism has been called the most successful book ever published in Israel on the preeminent medieval Jewish thinker Moses Maimonides. The works of Maimonides, particularly The Guide for the Perplexed, are reckoned among the fundamental texts that influenced all subsequent Jewish philosophy and also proved to be highly influential in Christian and Islamic thought.
Spanning subjects ranging from God, prophecy, miracles, revelation, and evil, to politics, messianism, reason in religion, and the therapeutic role of doubt, Maimonides and the Book That Changed Judaism elucidates the complex ideas of The Guide in remarkably clear and engaging prose.
Drawing on his own experience as a central figure in the current Israeli renaissance of Jewish culture and spirituality, Micah Goodman brings Maimonides’s masterwork into dialogue with the intellectual and spiritual worlds of twenty-first-century readers. Goodman contends that in Maimonides’s view, the Torah’s purpose is not to bring clarity about God but rather to make us realize that we do not understand God at all; not to resolve inscrutable religious issues but to give us insight into the true nature and purpose of our lives.


















[book] Born Survivors
Three Young Mothers and Their
Extraordinary Story of Courage,
Defiance, and Hope
by Wendy Holden
May 2015
Harper
The Nazis murdered their husbands but concentration camp prisoners Priska, Rachel, and Anka would not let evil take their unborn children too—a remarkable true story that will appeal to readers of The Lost and The Nazi Officer’s Wife, Born Survivors celebrates three mothers who defied death to give their children life.
Eastern Europe, 1944: Three women believe they are pregnant, but are torn from their husbands before they can be certain. Rachel is sent to Auschwitz, unaware that her husband has been shot. Priska and her husband travel there together, but are immediately separated. Also at Auschwitz, Anka hopes in vain to be reunited with her husband. With the rest of their families gassed, these young wives are determined to hold on to all they have left—their lives, and those of their unborn babies. Having concealed their condition from infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, they are forced to work and almost starved to death, living in daily fear of their pregnancies being detected by the SS.
In April 1945, as the Allies close in, Priska gives birth. She and her baby, along with Anka, Rachel, and the remaining inmates, are sent to Mauthausen concentration camp on a hellish seventeen-day train journey. Rachel gives birth on the train, and Anka at the camp gates. All believe they will die, but then a miracle occurs. The gas chamber runs out of Zyklon-B, and as the Allied troops near, the SS flee. Against all odds, the three mothers and their newborns survive their treacherous journey to freedom.
On the seventieth anniversary of Mauthausen’s liberation from the Nazis by American soldiers, renowned biographer Wendy Holden recounts this extraordinary story of three children united by their mothers’ unbelievable—yet ultimately successful—fight for survival.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book at discount.

















[book] The Liberation of the Camps:
The End of the Holocaust
and Its Aftermath
by Dan Stone
Yale University Press
May 05, 2015
Seventy years have passed since the tortured inmates of Hitler’s concentration and extermination camps were liberated. When the horror of the atrocities came fully to light, it was easy for others to imagine the joyful relief of freed prisoners. Yet for those who had survived the unimaginable, the experience of liberation was a slow, grueling journey back to life. In this unprecedented inquiry into the days, months, and years following the arrival of Allied forces at the Nazi camps, a foremost historian of the Holocaust draws on archival sources and especially on eyewitness testimonies to reveal the complex challenges liberated victims faced and the daunting tasks their liberators undertook to help them reclaim their shattered lives.

Historian Dan Stone focuses on the survivors—their feelings of guilt, exhaustion, fear, shame for having survived, and devastating grief for lost family members; their immense medical problems; and their later demands to be released from Displaced Persons camps and resettled in countries of their own choosing. Stone also tracks the efforts of British, American, Canadian, and Russian liberators as they contended with survivors’ immediate needs, then grappled with longer-term issues that shaped the postwar world and ushered in the first chill of the Cold War years ahead.
















[book] THE ABYSS
Bridging the Divide Between
Israel and the Arab World
by Eli Avidar
May 2015
Rowman and Littlefied
Eli Avidar looks into the abyss that divides Israel from its Arab neighbors, to understand what are the inherent flaws, prevailing misunderstandings, and tragic mistakes that characterize the relations and bloodletting, and how, if at all possible, to bridge the differences. By doing so, he offers a new perspective about the reality of the Middle East, Islamic extremism, Israel’s unilateral withdrawals, economic sanctions, the vision of a “New Middle East,” and the Israeli desire for full normalization with its neighbors, and all the other clichés that have transformed the Hebrew-Arab lexicon into a complex and hopeless minefield. It raises the question of whether the ongoing violent conflict between Israel and its neighbors might also be the result of a serious short circuit in communications. Is it possible that Israel, which has invested efforts and resources to know its adversaries, never even bothered to properly understand their language and their culture? Is it possible that its leaders, who made their way to the top through the military and were privileged to the most deeply hidden intelligence secrets, never even learned to send messages of peace and reconciliation that the other side could respect and understand?
The book spans across six decades and explains why the main diplomatic initiatives have so far failed to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and what needs to be done to break out of the vicious circle of ignorance and mutual suspicion that characterizes the conflict. Avidar uses his experience as diplomatic advisor to former Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon and as head of Israel’s representative office in Qatar to reveal secret diplomatic meetings as well as the dynamics of the unique and complex diplomacy of the Middle East. He also tells about the activities of the 504 division of the Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Unit, in which he served as an operator of agents.















[book] SKIES OF PARCHMENT,
SEAS OF INK
JEWISH ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS
Edited by Marc Michael Epstein (Vassar)
Princeton
May 2015
The love of books in the Jewish tradition extends back over many centuries, and the ways of interpreting those books are as myriad as the traditions themselves. Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink offers the first full survey of Jewish illuminated manuscripts, ranging from their origins in the Middle Ages to the present day. Featuring some of the most beautiful examples of Jewish art of all time--including hand-illustrated versions of the Bible, the Haggadah, the prayer book, marriage documents, and other beloved Jewish texts--the book introduces readers to the history of these manuscripts and their interpretation.
Edited by Marc Michael Epstein with contributions from leading experts, this sumptuous volume features a lively and informative text, showing how Jewish aesthetic tastes and iconography overlapped with and diverged from those of Christianity, Islam, and other traditions. Featured manuscripts were commissioned by Jews and produced by Jews and non-Jews over many centuries, and represent Eastern and Western perspectives and the views of both pietistic and liberal communities across the Diaspora, including Europe, Israel, the Middle East, and Africa.
Magnificently illustrated with pages from hundreds of manuscripts, many previously unpublished or rarely seen, Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink offers surprising new perspectives on Jewish life, presenting the books of the People of the Book as never before.

Contributors include Eva Frojmovic, JS Jacobs, H Lachter, Shalom Sabar, Ray Scheindlin, Agnes Veto, Susan Vick, Barbara Wolff and Diane Wolfthal













[book] When the Balls Drop
by Brad Garrett (Brad Gerstenfeld)
Gallery Books
May 5, 2015
A refreshingly candid and wickedly funny look at life’s second half from Everybody Loves Raymond TV sitcom star and comic Brad Garrett.

In this no-holds-barred book of comedic and personal essays, Brad Garrett waxes hilarious—and irreverently honest—about the gaffes, challenges, and ultimately the joys of middle age as he advises us on how to best approach the dreaded “second half” of life.

Ranging in topics from genetics to genitals, weight to women, and dating to diarrhea, Brad leaves no stone unturned in this laugh-out-loud look at getting older. With pieces such as “No Scales in Heaven,” in which Brad points out the essential pointlessness of overthinking diet and exercise, and “Celebrating Your E.D. (erectile dysfunction) During Your Mid-Life Crisis,” the star comedian encourages you to forget the overwhelming concerns that accompany middle age and to welcome the laughs—even if you have a fifty-fifty chance of throwing your back out in doing so.
Penned in Brad’s signature witty, conversational, no-nonsense style that has cemented his status as an icon in the comedy industry, this autobiographical book will teach you the most important thing: that, no matter what, we’re all in this together. So embrace it.















[book] JOSHUA 1-12
A NEW TRANSLATION with INTRODUCTION AND COMMENTARY
By Thomas H. Dozeman (Union)
May 2015
Yale University Press / Anchor
An acknowledged expert on the Hebrew Bible, Thomas Dozeman offers a fresh translation of the Hebrew and Greek texts of the book of Joshua and explores the nature, function, and causes of the religious violence depicted therein. By blending the distinct teachings of Deuteronomy and the Priestly literature, Dozeman provides a unique interpretation of holy war as a form of sacred genocide, arguing that, since peace in the promised land required the elimination of the populations of all existent royal cities, a general purging of the land accompanied the progress of the ark of the covenant. This essential work of religious scholarship demonstrates how the theme of total genocide is reinterpreted as partial conquest when redactors place Joshua, an independent book, between Deuteronomy and Judges. The author traces the evolution of this reinterpretation of the central themes of religious violence while providing a comparison of the two textual versions of Joshua and an insightful analysis of the book’s reception history. .
















[book] LANGUAGE AND LITERACY IN ROMAN JUDAEA
A STUDY OF THE BAR KOKHBA DOCUMENTS
by Michael Owen Wise (UN-SP)
May 2015
Yale University Press / Anchor
This comprehensive exploration of language and literacy in the multi-lingual environment of Roman Palestine (c. 63 B.C.E. to 136 C.E.) is based on Michael Wise’s extensive study of 145 Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Nabataean contracts and letters preserved among the Bar Kokhba texts, a valuable cache of ancient Middle Eastern artifacts. His investigation of Judean documentary and epistolary culture derives for the first time numerical data concerning literacy rates, language choices, and writing fluency during the two-century span between Pompey’s conquest and Hadrian’s rule. He explores questions of who could read in these ancient times of Jesus and Hillel, what they read, and how language worked in this complex multi-tongued milieu. Included also is an analysis of the ways these documents were written and the interplay among authors, secretaries, and scribes. Additional analysis provides readers with a detailed picture of the people, families, and lives behind the text.





















[book] THE VILNA VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK
BY FANIA LEWANDO
Garden-Fresh Recipes Rediscovered and
Adapted for Today's Kitchen
FOREWORD BY JOAN NATHAN
Translated from Yiddish and
Annotated by Eve Jochnowitz
May 26, 2015
Schocken Books
Beautifully translated for a new generation of devotees of delicious and healthy eating: a groundbreaking, mouthwatering vegetarian cookbook originally published in Yiddish in pre–World War II Vilna in 1938 (when it was under Polish control) and miraculously rediscovered more than half a century later.

In 1938, Fania Lewando, the proprietor of a popular vegetarian restaurant in Vilna, Lithuania, where all the hip intellectuals ate and conversed, published a Yiddish vegetarian cookbook unlike any that had come before. Her eatery was the Elaine’s of Vilnius. Even Marc Chagall dined there.
Its 400 recipes ranged from traditional Jewish dishes (kugel, blintzes, fruit compote, borscht) to vegetarian versions of Jewish holiday staples (cholent, kishke, schnitzel) to appetizers, soups, main courses, and desserts that introduced vegetables and fruits that had not traditionally been part of the repertoire of the Jewish homemaker (Chickpea Cutlets, Jerusalem Artichoke Soup; Leek Frittata; Apple Charlotte with Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs).

Also included were impassioned essays by Fania Lewando and by a physician about the benefits of vegetarianism. Accompanying the recipes were lush full-color drawings of vegetables and fruit that had originally appeared on bilingual (Yiddish and English) seed packets.
Lewando's cookbook was sold throughout Europe.
Lewando and her husband died during World War II, and it was assumed that all but a few family-owned and archival copies of her cookbook vanished along with most of European Jewry. But in 1995, a couple attending an antiquarian book fair in England came upon a copy of Lewando's cookbook. Recognizing its historical value, they purchased it and donated it to the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City, the premier repository for books and artifacts relating to prewar European Jewry. Enchanted by the book's contents and by its backstory, YIVO commissioned a translation of the book that will make Lewando's charming, delicious, and practical recipes available to an audience beyond the wildest dreams of the visionary woman who created them.

Well, YIVO did more than just commission a translation. Barbara Mazur and Wendy K. Waxman were participating in a YIVO book group when they saw the 1938 book. Waxman and Mazur wanted to publish a reprint. They recruited Joan Nathan to write a foreword. How? They found out that she was speaking in Westchester County, NY, and cornered her in a parking lot there. Ms. Nathan not only said yes but she hooked them up with Schocken. Nathan sid that people always approach her with ideas for cookbooks and that she decided that it has to be worth it and it needs to contribute to the Jewish food field. This book was and is the real deal. Nathan told The Chicago Tribune, that Lewando was a trailblazer, and that everything you read gives the reader a sense of the life that was and the life that was lost and the life we should all live.

Dr. Efraim Sicher, a professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Be’er Sheva Israel is a great-nephew of Lewando's, helped with the biographical details of the reprint. Lewando was "no ordinary woman" according to Dr. Sicher. She taught nutrition classes in her own dietary school, and she sought to interest the English branch of H.J. Heinz in her recipes. She even worked as a chef aboard a Polish ocean liner. Then came World War II. Lewando and her husband were last seen, according to Sicher, being captured by Soviet soldiers as they sought to flee the Nazis in 1941.
Eve Jochnowitz, a New York City-based culinary ethnographer who translated and annotated the book, said, "…the recipes are really good and [readers] are going to want to cook and eat them. They are not the least bit dated. There are a couple of things that are labor intensive but there are plenty that are very easy. The recipes are vivid, flavorful, surprising."

A note on the recipes. They are very basic and direct. For example, see below:
LEEK APPETIZER
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Makes: 8 to 10 servings
(Eve’s comments that update the recipe are in parenthesis)
Cut 3 large leeks and 2 Spanish onions into small pieces, and saute in butter (2 tablespoons). Add 3 diced hard-boiled eggs, 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons bread crumbs, 3 diced scallion, and (chopped fresh) dill. Add 2 raw eggs and some salt (1/2 teaspoon) and mix well. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a pot, and add the leek mixture. Cover well, and bake 1/2 hour. Serve sprinkled with dill.
(For best results, saute the leeks and onions slowly over a low flame. It will take about 20 minutes. None of the recipes in this collection specifies an oven temperature, for the simple reason that temperature in the wood or coal ovens of that era could not be easily adjusted. A moderate oven of about 350 degrees works for most of the recipes.)














[book] THE BOOK OF ARON
A NOVEL
By Jim Shephard
MAY 2015
Knopf
From the hugely acclaimed National Book Award finalist, a novel that will join the shortlist of classics about the Holocaust and the children caught up in it.
Aron, the narrator, is an engaging if peculiar young boy whose family is driven from the countryside into the Warsaw Ghetto. As his family is slowly stripped away from him, Aron and a handful of boys and girls risk their lives, smuggling and trading things through the "quarantine walls" to keep their people alive, hunted all the while by blackmailers and by Jewish, Polish, and German police (not to mention the Gestapo). Eventually Aron is "rescued" by Janusz Korczak, a Jewish-Polish doctor and advocate of children's rights famous throughout prewar Europe who, once the Nazis swept in, was put in charge of the ghetto orphanage. In the end, of course, he and his staff and all the children are put on a train to Treblinka, but has Aron managed to escape, to spread word about the atrocities, as Korczak hoped he would?
Jim Shephard has masterfully made this child's-eye view of the Warsaw Ghetto mesmerizing, sometimes comic despite all odds, and truly heartbreaking. It is nothing less than a masterpiece.
















[book] The Odd Woman and the City:
A Memoir
by Vivian Gornick
MAY 19, 2015
FS&G
Born in 1935 in the Bronx to Jewish left-wingers, Vivian Gornick grew up torn between the simplicity of radical politics and the complexity of literature. “One day,” she writes in her 2008 collection of critical essays, The Men in My Life, “It was exciting to say to myself, ‘the only reality is the system.’ The next, I’d pick up Anna Karenina, and the sole reality of the system would do a slow dissolve.” Over the course of her long career, she has managed to capture—in eleven books and countless essays and articles—both the grandness of political ideals with the complexities of inner life. As a reporter for the Village Voice in the 1970s, she chronicled the politics of the feminist movement through her own conversion to the cause. In her essays, she pushed herself to understand how her commitment to the movement had changed her daily life. Her 1987 account of her relationship with her mother, Fierce Attachments, brought analytic insight to bear on the struggle to assert oneself. Readers of the contemporary memoir boom may find many of its hallmarks—biting observation, bare and casual honesty—drawn from Gornick’s work. Recently, Gornick has turned her attention to the radicalism of others. Her two biographies, of Emma Goldman and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, both ask a question to which she has turned throughout her work: what does it mean to live a life informed by difficult ideas?

In this new book, a memoir, she creates a contentious, deeply moving ode to friendship, love, and urban life in the spirit of Fierce Attachments. A memoir of self-discovery and the dilemma of connection in our time, The Odd Woman and the City explores the rhythms, chance encounters, and ever-changing friendships of urban life that forge the sensibility of a fiercely independent woman who has lived out her conflicts, not her fantasies, in a city (New York) that has done the same.
Running steadily through the book is Vivian Gornick’s exchange of more than twenty years with Leonard, a gay man who is sophisticated about his own unhappiness, whose friendship has "shed more light on the mysterious nature of ordinary human relations than has any other intimacy" she has known. The exchange between Gornick and Leonard acts as a Greek chorus to the main action of the narrator’s continual engagement on the street with grocers, derelicts, and doormen; people on the bus, cross-dressers on the corner, and acquaintances by the handful. In Leonard she sees herself reflected plain; out on the street she makes sense of what she sees.
Written as a narrative collage that includes meditative pieces on the making of a modern feminist, the role of the flaneur in urban literature, and the evolution of friendship over the past two centuries, The Odd Woman and the City beautifully bookends Gornick’s acclaimed Fierce Attachments, in which we first encountered her rich relationship with the ultimate metropolis.















[book] CURSED VICTORY
A History of Israel and
the Occupied Territories,
1967 to the Present
by Ahron Bregman
MAY 2015
Pegasus
An authoritative and impassioned history of the aftermath of the Six Day War—by a former Israeli IDF Captain — and a cogent argument for an end to the occupation.
In a move that would forever alter the map of the Middle East, Israel captured the West Bank, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula in 1967's brief but pivotal Six Day War. Cursed Victory is the first complete history of the war's troubled aftermath—a military occupation of the Palestinian territories that is now well into its fifth decade.
Drawing on unprecedented access to high-level sources, top-secret memos and never-before-published letters, the book provides a gripping and unvarnished chronicle of how what Israel promised would be an 'enlightened occupation' quickly turned sour, and the anguished diplomatic attempts to bring it to an end. Bregman sheds fresh light on critical moments in the peace process, taking us behind the scenes as decisions about the fate of the territories were made, and more often, as crucial opportunities to resolve the conflict were missed. As the narrative moves from Jerusalem to New York, Oslo to Beirut, and from the late 1960s to the present day, Cursed Victory provides vivid portraits of the key players in this unfolding drama, including Moshe Dayan, King Hussein of Jordan, Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat. Yet Bregman always reminds us how diplomatic and back-room negotiations affected the daily lives of millions of Arabs, and how the Palestinian resistance, especially during the first and second intifadas, and now in recent tragic developments, have shaped the political arena.

As Bregman concludes, the occupation has become a dark stain on Israel's history. Cursed Victory is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the origins of the ongoing conflict in the region.
















[book] The Negotiator
A Memoir
by George Mitchell
May 2015
Simon & Schuster
Compelling, poignant, enlightening stories from former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell about growing up in Maine, his years in the Senate, working to bring peace to Northern Ireland and the Middle East, and what he’s learned about the art of negotiation during every stage of his life.
It’s a classic story of the American Dream. George Mitchell grew up in a working class family in Maine, experiencing firsthand the demoralizing effects of unemployment when his father was laid off from a lifelong job. But education was always a household priority, and Mitchell embraced every opportunity that came his way, eventually becoming the ranking Democrat in the Senate during the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Told with wit, frankness, and a style all his own, Senator Mitchell’s memoir reveals many insights into the art of negotiation. Mitchell looks back at his adventures in law and politics—including instrumental work on clean air and water legislation, the Iran-Contra hearings, and healthcare reform—as well as life after the Senate, from leading the successful Northern Ireland peace process, to serving as chairman of The Walt Disney Company, to heading investigations into the use of steroids in baseball and unethical activity surrounding the Olympic Games. Through it all, Senator Mitchell’s incredible stories—some hilarious, others tragic, all revealing—offer invaluable insights into critical moments in the last half-century of business, law, and politics, both domestic and international.

















[book] TEACHING PLATO IN PALESTINE
Philosophy in a Divided World
by Carlos Fraenkel (Oxford, McGill)
Foreword by Michael Walzer
MAY 2015
Princeton University Press
Teaching Plato in Palestine is part intellectual travelogue, part plea for integrating philosophy into our personal and public life. Philosophical toolkit in tow, Carlos Fraenkel invites readers on a tour around the world as he meets students at Palestinian and Indonesian universities, lapsed Hasidic Jews in New York, teenagers from poor neighborhoods in Brazil, and the descendants of Iroquois warriors in Canada. They turn to Plato and Aristotle, al-Ghaz?l? and Maimonides, Spinoza and Nietzsche for help to tackle big questions: Does God exist? Is piety worth it? Can violence be justified? What is social justice and how can we get there? Who should rule? And how shall we deal with the legacy of colonialism? Fraenkel shows how useful the tools of philosophy can be--particularly in places fraught with conflict--to clarify such questions and explore answers to them. In the course of the discussions, different viewpoints often clash. That's a good thing, Fraenkel argues, as long as we turn our disagreements on moral, religious, and philosophical issues into what he calls a "culture of debate." Conceived as a joint search for the truth, a culture of debate gives us a chance to examine the beliefs and values we were brought up with and often take for granted. It won't lead to easy answers, Fraenkel admits, but debate, if philosophically nuanced, is more attractive than either forcing our views on others or becoming mired in multicultural complacency--and behaving as if differences didn't matter at all.
















[book] The Paradox of Liberation
Secular Revolutions and
Religious Counterrevolutions
by Michael Walzer
Professor Emeritus, Princeton
2015
Yale University Press
Many of the successful campaigns for national liberation in the years following World War II were initially based on democratic and secular ideals. Once established, however, the newly independent nations had to deal with entirely unexpected religious fierceness. Michael Walzer, one of America’s foremost political thinkers, examines this perplexing trend by studying India, Israel, and Algeria, three nations whose founding principles and institutions have been sharply attacked by three completely different groups of religious revivalists: Hindu militants, ultra-Orthodox Jews and messianic Zionists, and Islamic radicals. In his provocative, well-reasoned discussion, Walzer asks, Why have these secular democratic movements been unable to reproduce their political culture beyond one or two generations? In a postscript, he compares the difficulties of contemporary secularism to the successful establishment of secular politics in the early American republic—thereby making an argument for American exceptionalism but gravely noting that we may be less exceptional today.
















[book] ALEXANDRIAN SUMMER
BY YITZHAK GORMEZANO GOREN
Translated by Yardenna Greenspan
MAY 2015
New Vessel Press
Alexandrian Summer is the story of two Jewish families living their frenzied last days in the doomed cosmopolitan social whirl of Alexandria just before fleeing Egypt for Israel in 1951. The conventions of the Egyptian upper-middle class are laid bare in this dazzling novel, which exposes startling sexual hypocrisies and portrays a now vanished polyglot world of horse-racing, seaside promenades, and elegant night clubs.
Hamdi-Ali senior is an old-time patriarch with more than a dash of strong Turkish blood. His handsome elder son, a promising horse jockey, can't afford sexual frustration, as it leads him to overeat and imperil his career, but the woman he lusts after won't let him get beyond undoing a few buttons. Victor, the younger son, takes his pleasure with other boys. But the true heroine of the story—richly evoked in a pungent upstairs/downstairs mix—is the raucous, seductive city of Alexandria itself. Published in Hebrew in 1978, Alexandrian Summer appears now in translation for the first time.
Yitzhak Gormezano Goren was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1941 and immigrated to Israel as a child. A playwright and novelist, Goren studied English and French literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University. In 1982, he cofounded the Bimat Kedem Theater.
















[book] THE LIFE OF SAUL BELLOW
TO FAME AND FORTUNE
1915 – 1964
BY ZACHARY LEADER
MAY 2015
Knopf
Saul Bellow was the most decorated writer in American history, the winner, among other awards, of the Nobel Prize for Literature, three National Book Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize. The Life of Saul Bellow by the acclaimed scholar and literary historian Zachary Leader will mark the centenary of Bellow’s birth as well as the tenth anniversary of his death. Leader has been granted unprecedented access to Bellow’s papers, including much previously restricted material. He has conducted interviews with over 150 of Bellow’s relatives, close friends, colleagues, and lovers, a number of whom have never spoken to researchers before. Through detailed exploration of Bellow’s writings, and the private history that informed them, Leader chronicles a singular life in letters, offering original and nuanced accounts not only of the novelist’s development and rise to eminence, but of his many identities—as writer, polemicist, husband, father, Chicagoan, American, Jew.
The biography is published in two volumes. The first volume, To Fame and Fortune, 1915–1964, traces Bellow’s Russian roots, his birth and early childhood in Quebec, his years in Chicago, his travels in Mexico, Europe, and Israel, the first three of his five marriages, and the novels from Dangling Man and The Adventures of Augie March to the best-selling Herzog. New light is shed on Bellow’s relationships with fellow writers, including Ralph Ellison, John Berryman, Philip Roth, and Lionel Trilling, and on his turbulent and influential life away from the desk, as full of incident as his fiction. Bellow emerges as a compelling character, and Leader’s powerful accounts of his writings, published and unpublished, forward the case for his being, as the critic James Wood puts it, ‘the greatest writer of American prose of the twentieth century.’













[book] The Ignorant Maestro
How Great Leaders Inspire
Unpredictable Brilliance
by Itay Talgam (Tel Aviv)
Portfolio
May 2015

A little vague
And probably better if you are a conductor or musician

BLURB: What leaders in any field can learn from legendary conductors and their mixtures of control and letting go. A conductor in front of his orchestra is an iconic symbol of leadership—but what does a maestro actually do in order to create unity, excellence and harmony? And how can a leader in other fields, remote from violin playing and Mozart, benefit from observing orchestral conductors?
Itay Talgam explores the different ways a maestro can work with his orchestra, by examining the leadership styles of six of the most famous and distinctive conductors of all time: the commanding Ricardo Muti, the fatherly and passionate Arturo Toscanini, the calm Richard Strauss, the guru-like Herbert von Karajan, the dancing Carlos Kleiber, and the master of dialogue Leonard Bernstein.
Against the backdrop of traditional controlling leadership, Talgam shows how great contemporary leadership mixes control and letting go, promotes new knowledge by choosing to be ignorant, creates unity through embracing gaps, and enhances leadership effectiveness by adopting keynote listening.
His TED talk on how to conduct an orchestra received 2 million pageviews.
Using the same universal tools, leaders can conduct their organizations to their maximum potential—whether in business, education, government, sports, or any other field.
















[book] THE DEATH'S HEAD CHESS CLUB
A NOVEL
BY JOHN DONOGHUE
MAY 12, 2015
FS&G
A novel of the improbable friendship that arises between a Nazi officer and a Jewish chessplayer in Auschwitz SS Obersturmfuhrer Paul Meissner arrives in Auschwitz from the Russian front wounded and fit only for administrative duty. His most pressing task is to improve camp morale and he establishes a chess club, and allows officers and enlisted men to gamble on the games. Soon Meissner learns that chess is also played among the prisoners, and there are rumors of an unbeatable Jew known as "the Watchmaker." Meissner's superiors begin to demand that he demonstrate German superiority by pitting this undefeated Jew against the best Nazi players. Meissner finds Emil Clément, the Watchmaker, and a curious relationship arises between them. As more and more games are played, the stakes rise, and the two men find their fates deeply entwined.
Twenty years later, the two meet again in Amsterdam—Meissner has become a bishop, and Emil is playing in an international chess tournament. Having lost his family in the horrors of the death camps, Emil wants nothing to do with the ex-Nazi officer despite their history, but Meissner is persistent. "What I hope," he tells Emil, "is that I can help you to understand that the power of forgiveness will bring healing." As both men search for a modicum of peace, they recall a gripping tale of survival and trust.
A suspenseful meditation on understanding and guilt, John Donoghue's The Death's Head Chess Club is a bold debut and a rich portrait of a surprising friendship.
















[book] THE DORTO EFFECT
The Surprising New Truth
About Food and Flavor
by Mark Schatzker
MAY 2015
Simon & Schuster
In The Dorito Effect, Mark Schatzker shows us how our approach to the nation’s number one public health crisis has gotten it wrong. The epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are not tied to the overabundance of fat or carbs or any other specific nutrient. Instead, we have been led astray by the growing divide between flavor—the tastes we crave—and the underlying nutrition.
Since the late 1940s, we have been slowly leeching flavor out of the food we grow. Those perfectly round, red tomatoes that grace our supermarket aisles today are mostly water, and the big breasted chickens on our dinner plates grow three times faster than they used to, leaving them dry and tasteless. Simultaneously, we have taken great leaps forward in technology, allowing us to produce in the lab the very flavors that are being lost on the farm. Thanks to this largely invisible epidemic, seemingly healthy food is becoming more like junk food: highly craveable but nutritionally empty. We have unknowingly interfered with an ancient chemical language—flavor—that evolved to guide our nutrition, not destroy it.
With in-depth historical and scientific research, The Dorito Effect casts the food crisis in a fascinating new light, weaving an enthralling tale of how we got to this point and where we are headed. We’ve been telling ourselves that our addiction to flavor is the problem, but it is actually the solution. We are on the cusp of a new revolution in agriculture that will allow us to eat healthier and live longer by enjoying flavor the way nature intended.
















[book] [book] THE BOOK OF JOAN
Tales of Mirth, Mischief,
and Manipulation
By Melissa Rivers
Crown
May 2015
Joan Rivers was known all over the world—from the Palace Theater to Buckingham Palace, from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the footlights of Broadway, from the days of talkies to hosting talk shows. But there was only one person who knew Joan intimately, one person who the authorities would call when she got a little out of hand. Her daughter and best friend, Melissa. Joan and Melissa Rivers had one of the most celebrated mother-daughter relationships of all time. If you think Joan said some outrageous things to her audiences as a comedian, you won’t believe what she said and did in private. Her love for her daughter knew no bounds—or boundaries, apparently. ("Melissa, I acknowledge that you have boundaries. I just choose to not respect them.") In The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation, Melissa shares stories (like when she was nine months old and her parents delivered her to Johnny Carson as a birthday gift), bon mots (“Missy, is there anything better than seeing a really good looking couple pushing a baby that looks like a Sasquatch who got caught in a house fire?”), and life lessons from growing up in the Rosenberg-Rivers household (“I can do tips and discounts and figure out the number of gay men in an audience to make it a good show. That’s all the math you’ll ever need.”). These were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to life in the family that Melissa describes as more Addams than Cleaver. And at the center of it all was a tiny blond force of nature.
In The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation, Melissa Rivers relates funny, poignant and irreverent observations, thoughts, and tales about the woman who raised her and is the reason she considers valium one of the four basic food groups.

The publisher called Rivers agent a week after the funeral. Melissa declined the offer. Then they told her the $$, and she accepted. Joan would have, too.< (Actually, Joan Rivers wrote a book that was supposed to be about how bad a mother she was, and she wanted her daughter to publish it after her death.BR>













[book] How to Bake Pi:
An Edible Exploration of the
Mathematics of Mathematics
by Eugenia Cheng
MAY 5, 2015
Basic Books
What is math? How exactly does it work? And what do three siblings trying to share a cake have to do with it? In How to Bake Pi, math professor Eugenia Cheng provides an accessible introduction to the logic and beauty of mathematics, powered, unexpectedly, by insights from the kitchen: we learn, for example, how the béchamel in a lasagna can be a lot like the number 5, and why making a good custard proves that math is easy but life is hard. Of course, it’s not all about cooking; we’ll also run the New York and Chicago marathons, take a closer look at St. Paul’s Cathedral, pay visits to Cinderella and Lewis Carroll, and even get to the bottom of why we think of a tomato as a vegetable. At the heart of it all is Cheng’s work on category theory, a cutting-edge “mathematics of mathematics,” that is about figuring out how math works. This is not the math of our high school classes: seen through category theory, mathematics becomes less about numbers and formulas and more about how we know, believe, and understand anything, including whether our brother took too much cake.
Many of us think that math is hard, but, as Cheng makes clear, math is actually designed to make difficult things easier. Combined with her infectious enthusiasm for cooking and a true zest for life, Cheng’s perspective on math becomes this singular book: a funny, lively, and clear journey through a vast territory no popular book on math has explored before. How to Bake Pi offers a whole new way to think about a field all of us think we know; it will both dazzle the constant reader of popular mathematics and amuse and enlighten even the most hardened math-phobe.
So, what is math? Let’s look for the answer in the kitchen.















[book] Team of Teams
New Rules of Engagement for
a Complex World
Training the Leviathan to Improvise
by General Stanley McChrystal
Chris Fussell, Tantum (Teddy) Collins
And David Silverman
MAY 2015
Portfolio
The retired four-star general and author of My Share of the Task shares a powerful new leadership model. He is currently at Yale, and he also leads the McChrystal Group with his co-authors
As commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), General Stanley McChrystal played a crucial role in the War on Terror. But when he took the helm in 2004, America was losing that war badly: despite vastly inferior resources and technology, Al Qaeda was outmaneuvering America’s most elite warriors.

McChrystal writes that he came to realize that today’s faster, more interdependent world had overwhelmed the conventional, top-down hierarchy of the US military.
Al Qaeda had seen the future: a decentralized network that could move quickly and strike ruthlessly. To defeat it, JSOC needed to pivot from a pursuit of mechanical efficiency to organic adaptability. Under McChrystal’s leadership, JSOC remade itself, in the midst of a grueling war, into something entirely new: a network that combined robust centralized communication with decentralized managerial authority. As a result, they beat back Al Qaeda.
In this book, McChrystal shows not only how the military made that transition, but also how similar shifts are possible in all organizations, from large companies to startups to NGO/JCC/charities to governments.
The best organizations think and act like a team of teams, embracing small groups that combine the freedom to experiment with a relentless drive to share what they’ve learned. Drawing on a wealth of evidence from his military career, the private sector, and sources as diverse as hospital emergency rooms and NASA’s space program, McChrystal frames the existential challenge facing today’s organizations, and presents a compelling, effective solution.

Here former Navy Seal David Silverman (CEO of the McChrystal Group and co-author, talks about leadership:

David Silverman - Leadership Lessons from Battlefield to Boardroom from Expion on Vimeo.




















[book] The UPRIGHT THINKERS
THE HUMAN JOURNEY FROM LIVING IN
TREES TO UNDERSTANDING THE COSMOS
By Leonard Mlodinow
Pantheon
May 2015
First a note… Mlodinow is a theoretical physicist at CIT in California. His father survived Buchenwald. His father once traded a ration of bread for the answer to a riddle. This is the power of the quest for knowledge by humans

From the best-selling author of The Drunkard's Walk and Subliminal, and coauthor of The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking): an account of scientific discovery from the invention of stone tools to theories of quantum physics—a history at once inspiring and entertaining.
In this fascinating and illuminating work, Leonard Mlodinow guides us through the critical eras and events in the development of science, all of which, he demonstrates, were propelled forward by humankind's collective struggle to know. From the birth of reasoning and culture to the formation of the studies of physics, chemistry, biology, and modern-day quantum physics, we come to see that much of our progress can be attributed to simple questions—why? how?—bravely asked. Mlodinow profiles some of the great philosophers, scientists, and thinkers who explored these questions—Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein and Lavoisier among them—and makes clear that just as science has played a key role in shaping the patterns of human thought, human subjectivity has played a key role in the evolution of science. At once authoritative and accessible, and infused with the author's trademark wit, this deeply insightful book is a stunning tribute to humanity's intellectual curiosity.
















[book] JODIE'S SHABBAT SURPRISE
BY ANNA LEVINE
Illustrated by Ksenia Topaz
KAR BEN
MAY 2015
32 pages.
The Jodie Series
An ancient wine press
A Shabbat walk leads to a perfect birthday gift for her father in Jodie's latest adventure.























[book] JOEY AND THE GIANT BOX
BY DABORAH LAKRITZ
Illustrated by Mike Byrne
KAR BEN
MAY 2015
32 pages.
One child loves to collect things.
Even a box from a dishwasher that was delivered
This is the foundation of an opportunitiy to perform a mitzvah for the entire school























[book] Goebbels:
A Biography
by Peter Longerich
Translated by Alan Bance, Jeremy Noakes, and Lesley Sharpe
Random House
MAY 5, 2015
From renowned German Holocaust historian Peter Longerich comes the definitive one-volume biography of Adolf Hitler’s malevolent minister of propaganda. In life, and in the grisly manner of his death, Joseph Goebbels was one of Adolf Hitler’s most loyal acolytes. By the end, no one in the Berlin bunker was closer to the Führer than his devoted Reich minister for public enlightenment and propaganda. But how did this clubfooted son of a factory worker rise from obscurity to become Hitler’s most trusted lieutenant and personally anointed successor?
In this ground-breaking biography, Peter Longerich sifts through the historical record—and thirty thousand pages of Goebbels’s own diary entries—to provide the answer to that question. Longerich, the first historian to make use of the Goebbels diaries in a biographical work, engages and challenges the self-serving portrait the propaganda chief left behind. Spanning thirty years, the diaries paint a chilling picture of a man driven by a narcissistic desire for recognition who found the personal affirmation he craved within the virulently racist National Socialist movement. Delving into the mind of his subject, Longerich reveals how Goebbels’s lifelong search for a charismatic father figure inexorably led him to Hitler, to whom he ascribed almost godlike powers.
This comprehensive biography documents Goebbels’s ascent through the ranks of the Nazi Party, where he became a member of the Führer’s inner circle and launched a brutal campaign of anti-Semitic propaganda. Though endowed with near-dictatorial control of the media—film, radio, press, and the fine arts—Longerich’s Goebbels is a man dogged by insecurities and beset by bureaucratic infighting. He feuds with his bitter rivals Hermann Göring and Alfred Rosenberg, unsuccessfully advocates for a more radical line of “total war,” and is thwarted in his attempt to pursue a separate peace with the Allies during the waning days of World War II. This book also reveals, as never before, Goebbels’s twisted personal life—his mawkish sentimentality, manipulative nature, and voracious sexual appetite.
A harrowing look at the life of one of history’s greatest monsters, Goebbels delivers fresh insight into how the Nazi message of hate was conceived, nurtured, and disseminated. This complete portrait of the man behind that message is sure to become a standard for historians and students of the Holocaust for decades to come.















[book] The Consuming Temple:
Jews, Department Stores, and
the Consumer Revolution in
Germany, 1880-1940
by Paul Lerner
Cornell
MAY 2015
Department stores in Germany, like their predecessors in France, Britain, and the United States, generated great excitement when they appeared at the end of the nineteenth century. Their sumptuous displays, abundant products, architectural innovations, and prodigious scale inspired widespread fascination and even awe; at the same time, however, many Germans also greeted the rise of the department store with considerable unease. In The Consuming Temple, Paul Lerner explores the complex German reaction to department stores and the widespread belief that they posed hidden dangers both to the individuals, especially women, who frequented them and to the nation as a whole.
Drawing on fiction, political propaganda, commercial archives, visual culture, and economic writings, Lerner provides multiple perspectives on the department store, placing it in architectural, gender-historical, commercial, and psychiatric contexts. Noting that Jewish entrepreneurs founded most German department stores, he argues that Jews and “Jewishness” stood at the center of the consumer culture debate from the 1880s, when the stores first appeared, through the latter 1930s, when they were “Aryanized” by the Nazis. German responses to consumer culture and the Jewish question were deeply interwoven, and the “Jewish department store,” framed as an alternative and threatening secular temple, a shrine to commerce and greed, was held responsible for fundamental changes that transformed urban experience and challenged national traditions in Germany’s turbulent twentieth century















[book] Jewish Soul Food:
Traditional Fare and What It Means
Paperback
by Carol Ungar
May 2015
Brandeis University Press
Jewish traditional foods often have symbolic meanings that few Jews are aware of. A Passover matzo is a taste of Egyptian slavery. The Hanukah latke reminds us of the little jug of oil that burned, miraculously, for eight nights. Noshing hamantashen at Purim, we remember the villain Haman, and his thwarted plan to destroy the Jews.

Even more than in the synagogue, Jewish life takes place around the dining table. Jewish sages compare the dining table to an altar, and that isn’t an exaggeration. Jewish meals—not only on the Shabbat and holidays, but even weekday suppers—are ceremonies and celebrations that forge a pathway between body and soul.
In this unique cookbook, Carol Ungar links the cultural and religious symbolism of Jewish foods to more than one hundred recipes drawn from Jewish cultures and traditions around the world. She offers easy-to-follow recipes for Shabbat meals and all the Jewish holidays, from Rosh Hashanah to the Nine Days and Tisha B’Av, along with fascinating briefs on how many Jewish foods—challah, kreplach, farfel, lentil soup, and more—express core Jewish beliefs.
With ingredients that can be found in any supermarket, and recipes adapted for the time- and health-conscious cook, this volume is for anyone who wishes to flavor Shabbat and holiday meals with Jewish soul. .



















[book] Twenty Dinners
XX
by Ithai Schori, Chris Taylor
with Rachel Holtzman
Spring 2015
Clarkson Potter Press
A photographer (who happens to be an ex-restaurant cook) and an indie rock star (who happens to be an avid home cook) show you how to slow down your life by cooking beautiful, straightforward, but sophisticated, food for--and with—friends.

When he's on tour with his band, Grizzly Bear, what Chris Taylor misses most about home is the kitchen and the company. With his friend Ithai Schori, he cooks dinner parties for four to forty, using skills Chris learned from his mom and Ithai picked up working at high-end restaurants. Their food is full of smart techniques that make everything taste just a little better than you thought possible--like toasting nuts in browned butter or charring apples for a complex applesauce--but their style is laid-back and unhurried. This is about cooking not just for, but with, your friends, and so the authors enlisted their favorite pastry chef, mixologist, sommelier, and baristas to write detailed material on wine, desserts, stocking a home bar, mixing drinks, and buying and brewing fantastic coffee. Through more than 100 seasonally arranged recipes and gorgeous, evocative photographs of their gatherings you fall into their world, where you and your friends have all day to put food on the table, and where there's always time for another cocktail in a mason jar before dinner.

Includes Ithai's Shakshuka recipe (growing up he has fond memories of Israeli sunflower seeds, hummus, and breakfast shakshuka (slow cooked tomatoes, garlic, spices, egg); a recipe for a Smoked Earl Grey Hot Toddy; and Crickets at Night (a bourbon cocktail).
Dinner 2: Pan-ROasted Duck Breast; Cauliflower Puree; Braised Cipollini Onions; Shaved Brussel Sprouts; and Spiced Red Wine-Poached Pears. The drink is a Spiked Apple Crisp.
Dinner 1: Sliced Fluke, Plum and Silantro; Seared Kale Salad and Brown Butter-Toasted Pine Nuts; Roast Chicken; Morel and Shitake Mushroom Risotto; and Maple Panna Cotta with Candied Almonds and Buttered Bread Crumbs.

















[book] LOOK WHO'S BACK
A NOVEL
BY TIMUS VERMES
Translated from German
May 2015
MacLehose Press
"What would happen if Adolf Hitler woke up in modern-day Berlin? In a bestselling satirical novel, he'd end up a TV comedy star . . . [Look Who's Back] has unsurprisingly sparked debate in a country that has grappled for decades with Hitler's unconscionable legacy." -Time Magazine
The New York Times asked whether it is proper to have a comic novel featuring Hitler but goes on to say that it is too funny

Timur Vermes' record-breaking bestseller Look Who's Back is a satirical novel that imagines what would happen if Hilter were reborn in present-day Germany. The book was a massive success in Germany, selling more than 1.5 million copies. It was subsequently published for the first time in English by Quercus in the UK to strong sales and even stronger media attention.
In the novel, Adolf Hitler wakes up in 2011 from a 66-year sleep in his subterranean Berlin bunker to find the Germany he knew entirely changed: Internet-driven media spreads ideas in minutes and fumes celebrity obsession; immigration has produced multicultural neighborhoods bringing together people of varying race, ethnicity, and religion; and the most powerful person in government is a woman. Hitler is immediately recognized . . . as an impersonator of uncommon skill. The public assumes the fulminating leader of the Nazi party is a performer who is always in character, and soon his inevitable viral appeal begets YouTube Stardom, begets television celebrity on a Turkish-born comedian's show. His bigoted rants are mistaken for a theatrical satire-exposing prejudice and misrepresentation-and his media success emboldens Hitler to start his own political party, and set the country he finds a shambles back to rights.
With daring and dark humor, Look Who's Back skewers the absurdity and depravity of the cult of personality in modern media culture.



















[book] AFTER THE TALL TIMBER
Coolected nonfiction
By Renata Adler
2015
New York Review Books
Adler, 77, once thought she might be the only Republican journalist not only at The New York Times but in all of New York City.
She covered everything, from Selma, to Vietnam, Watergate, Capitol Hill, the Six Day War, Biafra, films, music, Cuba, culture, and conventions.
Adler has captured the cultural zeitgeist, distrusted the accepted wisdom, and written stories that would otherwise go untold. Like many journalists, she has put herself in harm’s way in order to give us the news, not the “news” we have become accustomed to—celebrity journalism, conventional wisdom, received ideas—but the actual story, an account unfettered by ideology or consensus. She has been unafraid to speak up when too many other writers have joined the pack. In this sense, Adler is one of the few independent journalists writing in America today.
This collection of Adler’s nonfiction draws on Toward a Radical Middle (a selection of her earliest New Yorker pieces), A Year in the Dark (her film reviews), and Canaries in the Mineshaft (a selection of essays on politics and media), and also includes uncollected work from the past two decades. The more recent pieces are concerned with, in her words, “misrepresentation, coercion, and abuse of public process, and, to a degree, the journalist’s role in it.” With a brilliant literary and legal mind, Adler parses power by analyzing language: the language of courts, of journalists, of political figures, of the man on the street. In doing so, she unravels the tangled narratives that pass for the resolution of scandal and finds the threads that others miss, the ones that explain what really is going on here—from the Watergate scandal, to the “preposterous” Kenneth Starr report submitted to the House during the Clinton impeachment inquiry, to the plagiarism and fabrication scandal of the former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair. And she writes extensively about the Supreme Court and the power of its rulings, including its fateful decision in Bush v. Gore.



















[book] Israel's Exodus in Transdisciplinary
Perspective: Text, Archaeology, Culture,
and Geoscience
(Quantitative Methods in the Humanities
and Social Sciences)
Edited by Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider
and William H.C. Propp
2015
Springer
The Bible's grand narrative about Israel's Exodus from Egypt is central to Biblical religion, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim identity and the formation of the academic disciplines studying the ancient Near East. It has also been a pervasive theme in artistic and popular imagination. Israel's Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective is a pioneering work surveying this tradition in unprecedented breadth, combining archaeological discovery, quantitative methodology and close literary reading. Archaeologists, Egyptologists, Biblical Scholars, Computer Scientists, Geoscientists and other experts contribute their diverse approaches in a novel, transdisciplinary consideration of ancient topography, Egyptian and Near Eastern parallels to the Exodus story, the historicity of the Exodus, the interface of the Exodus question with archaeological fieldwork on emergent Israel, the formation of biblical literature, and the cultural memory of the Exodus in ancient Israel and beyond.

This edited volume contains research presented at the groundbreaking symposium "Out of Egypt: Israel’s Exodus Between Text and Memory, History and Imagination" held in 2013 at the Qualcomm Institute of the University of California, San Diego. The combination of 44 contributions by an international group of scholars from diverse disciplines makes this the first such transdisciplinary study of ancient text and history. In the original conference and with this new volume, revolutionary media, such as a 3D immersive virtual reality environment, impart innovative, Exodus-based research to a wider audience. Out of archaeology, ancient texts, science and technology emerge an up-to-date picture of the Exodus for the 21st Century and a new standard for collaborative research



















[book] THE BOYS WHO CHALLENGED HITLER
CHURCHILL CLUB
Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club
BY PHILLIP HOOSE
May 2015
FSG
Why isn;t this a film yet?
Phillip Hoose was biking in Denmark when he saw an exhibit on these boys and their exploits against the Nazis during WWII
He found out that their leader was still alive. He contacted him and asked if he could write a book about them
Knud told him that they were already under contract with another author.
Years later, Hoose reached out to an old email address to Knud again. Guess what. The book was never written. Hoose flew to Denmark and spent days and hours and hours interviewing people and the result is this exciting book

At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German Nazi occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation's leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested within a few months.
But their efforts were not in vain:
the boys' exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance.
The British Royal Air Force dropped leaflets about the boys
Interweaving his own narrative with the recollections of Knud himself, here is Phillip Hoose's inspiring story of these young war heroes.


















[book] WHEN TO ROB A BANK
… AND 131 MORE WARPED
SUGGESTIONS AND WELL-INTENDED RANTS
By Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
May 2015
Morrow
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the landmark book Freakonomics comes this curated collection from the most readable economics blog in the universe. It’s the perfect solution for the millions of readers who love all things Freakonomics. Surprising and erudite, eloquent and witty, When to Rob a Bank demonstrates the brilliance that has made the Freakonomics guys an international sensation, with more than 7 million books sold in 40 languages, and 150 million downloads of their Freakonomics Radio podcast.
When Freakonomics was first published, the authors started a blog—and they’ve kept it up. The writing is more casual, more personal, even more outlandish than in their books. In When to Rob a Bank, they ask a host of typically off-center questions: Why don’t flight attendants get tipped? If you were a terrorist, how would you attack? And why does KFC always run out of fried chicken?
Over the past decade, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have published more than 8,000 blog posts on Freakonomics.com. Many of them, they freely admit, were rubbish. But now they’ve gone through and picked the best of the best. You’ll discover what people lie about, and why; the best way to cut gun deaths; why it might be time for a sex tax; and, yes, when to rob a bank. (Short answer: never; the ROI is terrible.) You’ll also learn a great deal about Levitt and Dubner’s own quirks and passions, from gambling and golf to backgammon and the abolition of the penny.


















[book] HOW TO F*CK A WOMAN
By Ali Adler
May 2015
Weinstein Books
Brazen, uproarious, slyly prescriptive, and always entertaining, Ali Adler is a sex and relationship guru who knows what women want. As a gay woman, she has both the equipment and the experience to give straight men (and the women who love them) advice on both how to get more sex and how to get this job done right. For partner of actress Elizabeth Gilbert, Adler is a comedy writer and TV producer, Ali is sometimes the only woman in a room full of comedy writers. She became legendary for offering frank, sometimes insightful, often bossy reality checks and for translating female sexuality into words a man could understand. As she tells us, Learning how to f*ck is Easier for people than learning how to listen
In her book, How to F*ck a Woman — 20 percent explicit instructions, 80 percent relationship advice, and 100 percent hilarious — she brings together essential advice for men (even the ones who insist they could write this book) and the women who want their lovers to truly understand them, both mind and body.
With illustrations by New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly.


















If I were a publisher... maybe I would mimic this book with IDF lessons:
[book] 8 LESSONS IN MILITARY LEADERSHIP
FOR ENTREPRENEURS
By Robert T. Kiyosaki
Foreword by Jack Bergman, Lt. General USMC Ret.
May 2015
Perseus
Robert Kiyosaki’s new book 8 Lessons in Leadership draws from his years at the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point and his service in the United Sates Marine Corps. With compelling stories and examples and a engaging way of comparing and contrasting two very different cultures and value systems, Robert shares the challenges he faced in transitioning to civilian life&hellipwhere chain of command and team-over-self—once so black and white—were muddy and distorted. "Permission to speak freely, sir?" Count on it. This is Robert Kiyosaki—and he does just that, in the forthright and no-nonsense style that readers have come to expect and appreciate.
From Robert's perspective, military training shapes lives and supports entrepreneurship. The training, discipline, and leadership skills taught in the military can be leveraged for huge success in the civilian world of business.
Highlights of 8 Lessons in Leadership include sections on Mission and Team, Discipline, Respect, Authority, Speed, the Power of Connectivity, Leaders as Teachers, Sales and Leadership.


















Still selling well after 20 years
and changing and improving lives
[book] The Jester Has Lost His Jingle
by David Saltzman, Yale '89
Jester Co., Inc.
In this charming tale, The Jester awakes one morning to find laughter missing in his kingdom and he and his helpmate, Pharley, set off on a quest to find it. They ultimately discover that not only can laughter redeem a weary world, it also can provide the best tonic for anyone facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Written in captivating rhyme with vibrant, full-color illustrations that bring The Jester & Pharley's adventures to life. Esteemed Author-Artist Maurice Sendak wrote the Afterword, saying: “David was a natural craftsman and storyteller. His passionate picture book is issued out of a passionate heart. David's Jester soars with life.” Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau praises the story as: “A sweet fable about a cheerful soul who temporarily loses faith in himself, but ultimately reaffirms his true calling -- helping others discover the joy within themselves.” Actress-Comedienne Carol Burnett says: “The Jester Has Lost His Jingle is a magical story that captures the healing power of laughter.” And Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, said: “David's book gives us a lot to think about. It has certainly done that for me.”
















[book] The Ingenious Mr. Pyke
Inventor, Fugitive, Spy
by Henry Hemming
May 5, 2015
PublicAffairs
The untold story of an enigmatic genius who changed warfare forever.
In the World War II era, Geoffrey Pyke was described as one of the world’s great minds—to rank alongside Einstein. Pyke was an inventor, adventurer, polymath, and unlikely hero of both world wars. He earned a fortune on the stock market, founded an influential pre-school, wrote a bestseller, and came up with the idea for the US and Canadian Special Forces. In 1942, he convinced Winston Churchill to build an aircraft carrier out of reinforced ice.
Pyke escaped from a German WWI prison camp, devised an ingenious plan to help the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, and launched a private attempt to avert the outbreak of the Second World War by sending into Nazi Germany a group of pollsters disguised as golfers.
And he may have been a Russian spy.
In 2009, long after Pyke’s death, MI5 released a mass of material suggesting that Pyke was in fact a senior official in the Soviet Comintern. In 1951, papers relating to Pyke were found in the flat of “Cambridge Spy” Guy Burgess after his defection to Moscow. MI5 had “watchers” follow Pyke through the bombed-out streets of London, his letters were opened, and listening devices picked up clues to his real identity. Convinced he was a Soviet agent codenamed Professor P, MI5 helped to bring his career to an end.
Henry Hemming is the first reporter to sift through this extraordinary new information and finally tell Pyke’s astonishing story in full: his brilliance, his flaws, and his life of adventures, ideas, and secrets.















[book] 33 Days
A Memoir (Neversink)
by Leon Werth
Translated by Austin Denis Johnston
Intro by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
May 2015
Melville House
REQUIRED READING IN ALL FRENCH SCHOOLS
Now in English
A rare eyewitness account by an important author of fleeing the Nazis’ march on Paris in 1940, featuring a never-before-published introduction by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. In June of 1940, Leon Werth and his wife fled Paris before the advancing Nazi German Army. “33 Days” is Leon's eyewitness account of that experience, one of the largest civilian dispacements in history.
Encouraged to write 33 Days by his dear friend, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince, Werth finished the manuscript while in hiding in the Jura mountains. Saint-Exupéry smuggled the manuscript out of Nazi-occupied France, wrote an introduction to the work and arranged for its publication in the United States by Brentanos. But the publication never came to pass, and Werth’s manuscript would disappear for more than fifty years until the first French edition, in 1992.
This, the first-ever English language translation of 33 Days, includes Saint-Exupéry’s original introduction for the book, long thought to be lost. It is presented it here for the first time in any language. After more than seventy years, 33 Days appears—complete and as it was fully intended.















[book] Radical French Thought and
the Return of the "Jewish Question"
(Studies in Antisemitism)
by Eric Marty
University of Paris VII Diderot
Translated from French by Alan Astro
Foreword by Bruno Chaouat
May 2015
Indiana University Press
For English-speaking readers, this book serves as an introduction to an important French intellectual whose work, especially on the issues of antisemitism and anti-Zionism, runs counter to the hostility shown toward Jews by some representatives of contemporary critical theory. It presents for the first time in English five essays by Éric Marty, previously published in France, with a new preface by the author addressed to his American readers. The focus of these essays is the debate in France and elsewhere in Europe concerning the "Jew." The first essay on Jean Genet, one of postwar France’s most important literary figures, investigates the nature of Genet’s virulent antisemitism and hatred of Israel and its significance for an understanding of contemporary phenomena. The curious reappearance of St. Paul in theological and political discourse is discussed in another essay, which describes and analyses the interest that secular writers of the far left have shown in Paul’s "universalism" placed over and against Jewish or Israeli particularism. The remaining essays are more polemical in nature and confront the anti-Israeli attacks by Alain Badiou and Gilles Deleuze.















[book] Carolina Israelite:
How Harry Golden Made Us Care about
Jews, the South, and Civil Rights
by Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett
May 2015
Univ of North Carolina Press
This first comprehensive biography of Jewish American writer and humorist Harry Golden (1903-1981)--author of the 1958 national best-seller Only in America--illuminates a remarkable life intertwined with the rise of the civil rights movement, Jewish popular culture, and the sometimes precarious position of Jews in the South and across America during the 1950s.

After recounting Golden's childhood on New York's Lower East Side, Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett points to his stint in prison as a young man, after a widely publicized conviction for investment fraud during the Great Depression, as the root of his empathy for the underdog in any story. During World War II, the cigar-smoking, bourbon-loving raconteur landed in Charlotte, North Carolina, and founded the Carolina Israelite newspaper, which was published into the 1960s. Golden's writings on race relations and equal rights attracted a huge popular readership. Golden used his celebrity to editorialize for civil rights as the momentous story unfolded. He charmed his way into friendships and lively correspondence with Carl Sandburg, Adlai Stevenson, Robert Kennedy, and Billy Graham, among other notable Americans, and he appeared on the Tonight Show as well as other national television programs. Hartnett's spirited chronicle captures Golden's message of social inclusion for a new audience today.















JUNE 2015 BOOKS




[book] IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT
A NOVEL
BY JUDY BLUME
KNOPF
June 2015
In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. It was 1951-1952 when three plane crashes ended in deaths.

Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, Judy Blume imagines and weaves together a haunting story of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by these disasters. She paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place—Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.
We learn of the events from several perspectives. Miri. Her single mother Rusty. Her uncle. Her grandmother. Her best friend Natalie. Christina, a Greek girl in a secret dating relationship with an Irish boy. Passengers on a plane.
In the Unlikely Event is a gripping novel with all the hallmarks of Judy Blume’s unparalleled storytelling.















[book] Innocence; or,
Murder on Steep Street
by Heda Margolius Kovály (1919-2010)
Translated by Alex Zucker
Soho
June 2, 2015
Famed Holocaust memoirist Heda Margoulis Kovály (Under a Cruel Star) knits her own terrifying experiences in Soviet Prague into a powerful, Raymond Chandler-esque work of literary suspense.
1950s Prague is a city of numerous small terrors, of political tyranny, corruption and surveillance. There is no way of knowing whether one’s neighbor is spying for the government, or what one’s supposed friend will say under pressure to a State Security agent. A loyal Party member might be imprisoned or executed as quickly as a traitor; innocence means nothing for a person caught in a government trap.
But there are larger terrors, too. When a little boy is murdered at the cinema where his aunt works, the ensuing investigation sheds a little too much light on the personal lives of the cinema’s female ushers, each of whom is hiding a dark secret of her own.
Nearly lost to censorship, this rediscovered gem of Czech literature depicts a chilling moment in history, redolent with the stifling atmosphere of political and personal oppression of the early days of Communist Czechoslovakia.















[book] Kabbalah:
A Neurocognitive Approach to
Mystical Experiences
by Shahar Arzy and Moshe Idel
Yale University Press
June 30, 2015
In this original study, Moshe Idel, an eminent scholar of Jewish mysticism and thought, and the cognitive neuroscientist and neurologist Shahar Arzy combine their considerable expertise to explore the mysteries of the Kabbalah from an entirely new perspective: that of the human brain. In lieu of the theological, sociological, and psychoanalytic approaches that have generally dominated the study of ecstatic mystical experiences, the authors endeavor to decode the brain mechanisms underlying these phenomena. Arzy and Idel analyze first-person descriptions to explore the Kabbalistic techniques employed by most prominent Jewish mystics to effect bodily reduplications, dissociations, and other phenomena, and compare them with recent neurological observations and modern-day laboratory experiments. The resultant study offers readers a scientific, more brain-based understanding of how ecstatic Kabbalists achieved their most precious mystical experiences. The study further demonstrates how these Kabbalists have long functioned as pioneering investigators of the human self.















[book] A TRAVELING HOMELAND
The Babylonian Talmud as Diaspora
by Daniel Boyarin
University of Pennsylvania Press
June 12, 2015
A word conventionally imbued with melancholy meanings, "diaspora" has been used variously to describe the cataclysmic historical event of displacement, the subsequent geographical scattering of peoples, or the conditions of alienation abroad and yearning for an ancestral home. But as Daniel Boyarin writes, diaspora may be more constructively construed as a form of cultural hybridity or a mode of analysis. In A Traveling Homeland, he makes the case that a shared homeland or past and traumatic dissociation are not necessary conditions for diaspora and that Jews carry their homeland with them in diaspora, in the form of textual, interpretive communities built around talmudic study.

For Boyarin, the Babylonian Talmud is a diasporist manifesto, a text that produces and defines the practices that constitute Jewish diasporic identity. Boyarin examines the ways the Babylonian Talmud imagines its own community and sense of homeland, and he shows how talmudic commentaries from the medieval and early modern periods also produce a doubled cultural identity. He links the ongoing productivity of this bifocal cultural vision to the nature of the book: as the physical text moved between different times and places, the methods of its study developed through contact with surrounding cultures. Ultimately, A Traveling Homeland envisions talmudic study as the center of a shared Jewish identity and a distinctive feature of the Jewish diaspora that defines it as a thing apart from other cultural migrations.















[book] THE PINCH
A NOVEL
BY STEVE STERN
Graywolf Press
June 2015
A dazzling, spellbinding novel set in a mythical Jewish community by the acclaimed author of the New York Times Notable Book The Book of Mischief

It’s the late 1960s. The Pinch, once a thriving Jewish community centered on North Main Street in Memphis, has been reduced to a single tenant. Lenny Sklarew awaits the draft by peddling drugs and shelving books—until he learns he is a character in a book about the rise and fall of this very Pinch. Muni Pinsker, who authored the book in an enchanted day containing years, arrived in the neighborhood at its height and was smitten by an alluring tightrope walker. Muni’s own story is dovetailed by that of his uncle Pinchas Pin, whose epic journey to North Main Street forms the book’s spine. Steve Stern interweaves these tales with an ingenious structure that merges past with present, and his wildly inventive fabulism surpasses everything he’s done before. Together, these intersecting stories transform the real-world experience of Lenny, whose fate determines the future of the Pinch, in this brilliant, unforgettable novel.















[book] The Theft of Memory:
Losing My Father,
One Day at a Time
by Jonathan Kozol
Crown
June 2015
National Book Award winner Jonathan Kozol is best known for his fifty years of work among our nation’s poorest and most vulnerable children. Now, in the most personal book of his career, he tells the story of his father’s life and work as a nationally noted specialist in disorders of the brain and his astonishing ability, at the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, to explain the causes of his sickness and then to narrate, step-by-step, his slow descent into dementia.
Dr. Harry Kozol was born in Boston in 1906. Classically trained at Harvard and Johns Hopkins, he was an unusually intuitive clinician with a special gift for diagnosing interwoven elements of neurological and psychiatric illnesses in highly complicated and creative people. “One of the most intense relationships of his career,” his son recalls, “was with Eugene O’Neill, who moved to Boston in the last years of his life so my father could examine him and talk with him almost every day.”
At a later stage in his career, he evaluated criminal defendants including Patricia Hearst and the Boston Strangler, Albert H. DeSalvo, who described to him in detail what was going through his mind while he was killing thirteen women.
But The Theft of Memory is not primarily about a doctor’s public life. The heart of the book lies in the bond between a father and his son and the ways that bond intensified even as Harry’s verbal skills and cogency progressively abandoned him. “Somehow,” the author says, “all those hours that we spent trying to fathom something that he wanted to express, or summon up a vivid piece of seemingly lost memory that still brought a smile to his eyes, left me with a deeper sense of intimate connection with my father than I’d ever felt before.”
Lyrical and stirring, The Theft of Memory is at once a tender tribute to a father from his son and a richly colored portrait of a devoted doctor who lived more than a century.















[book] GENDER EQUALITY AND
PRAYER IN JEWISH LAW
BY Rabbi Ethan Tucker and Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg
URIM
2015
As gender equality has spread throughout society, including its religiously observant sectors, traditional communities turn to their guiding sources to re-examine old questions. This book opens the reader’s eyes to the wealth of Jewish legal material surrounding gender and prayer, with a particular focus on who can lead the prayers in a traditional service and who can constitute the communal quorum—or minyan—that they require. With honesty, transparency, and rigor, Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law is a powerful resource for grappling with these complex questions. The authors not only explore this specific issue in depth, but they also model how we can mine the Jewish legal tradition for its underlying values, enabling its complex sources to serve as effective guides for contemporary communal decision-making.

















[book] Allen Klein
The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles,
Made the Stones, and
Transformed Rock & Roll
by Fred Goodman
Eamon
June 23, 2015
The story of notorious celebrity manager Allen Klein, revealing new, behind-the-scenes details about some of the biggest rock bands in history.
He was born in NJ. His mother passed away when Allen was a year old and he was raised by his father, a Jewish butcher. A great accountant, numbers man, Allen said that 'he walked through tha valley of death but feared no evil, cuase he was the biggest bastard in town.' He did get convicted of ripping off a charity concert, but what is the real story?
Allen Klein was like no one the music industry had seen before. The hard-nosed business manager became infamous for allegedly catalyzing the Beatles’ breakup and robbing the Rolling Stones, but the truth is both more complex and more fascinating.
As the manager of the Stones and then the Beatles—not to mention Sam Cooke, the Who, Donovan, the Kinks, and numerous other performers—he taught young soon-to-be legends how to be businessmen as well as rock stars. In so doing, Klein made millions for his clients and changed music forever.
But Klein was as merciless with his clients as he was with anyone else, earning himself an outsize reputation for villainy that has gone unchallenged until now. Through unique, unprecedented access to Klein’s archives, veteran music journalist Fred Goodman tells the full story of how the Beatles broke up, how the Stones achieved the greatest commercial success in rock history, and how the music business became what it is today.
















[book] The Physicist and the Philosopher:
Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate That
Changed Our Understanding of Time
by Jimena Canales
Princeton
June 2015
On April 6, 1922, in Paris, Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson publicly debated the nature of time. Einstein considered Bergson's theory of time to be a soft, psychological notion, irreconcilable with the quantitative realities of physics. Bergson, who gained fame as a philosopher by arguing that time should not be understood exclusively through the lens of science, criticized Einstein's theory of time for being a metaphysics grafted on to science, one that ignored the intuitive aspects of time. The Physicist and the Philosopher tells the remarkable story of how this explosive debate transformed our understanding of time and drove a rift between science and the humanities that persists today.
Jimena Canales introduces readers to the revolutionary ideas of Einstein and Bergson, describes how they dramatically collided in Paris, and traces how this clash of worldviews reverberated across the twentieth century. She shows how it provoked responses from figures such as Bertrand Russell and Martin Heidegger, and carried repercussions for American pragmatism, logical positivism, phenomenology, and quantum mechanics. Canales explains how the new technologies of the period--such as wristwatches, radio, and film--helped to shape people's conceptions of time and further polarized the public debate. She also discusses how Bergson and Einstein, toward the end of their lives, each reflected on his rival's legacy--Bergson during the Nazi occupation of Paris and Einstein in the context of the first hydrogen bomb explosion.
The Physicist and the Philosopher reveals how scientific truth was placed on trial in a divided century marked by a new sense of time















[book] The 51 Day War:
Ruin and Resistance in Gaza
by Max Blumenthal
Nation Books
June 30, 2015
From NationBooks, known for its very Leftist books, and Max Blumenthal, whose book GOLIATH, focused on Israeli occupation and authoritarianism, comes a book about Gaza and how Israel ruined it
On July 8, 2014, Israel launched air strikes and a ground invasion of Hamas-controlled Gaza, that lasted 51 days, leaving over 2,000 people dead, the vast majority of whom were Gazan civilians.
During the assault, at least 10,000 homes were destroyed and, according to the United Nations, nearly 300,000 Palestinians were displaced.
Max Blumenthal was on the ground during what he argues was an entirely avoidable catastrophe. Blumenthal writes about the harrowing conditions and cynical deceptions that led to the ruinous war — details that he says never got reported by the mainstream media.
Blumenthal writes that he has unearthed evidence of atrocities he gathered in the rubble of Gaza after much of the Western media had packed up. He writes that Israel used Gazan civilians as human shields; that Isreal arbitrarily targeted Palestinian civilians; that the IDF was pushed to commit genocide against Arabs by Israeli military personnel, Israel's political leaders, and rabbis that receive government salaries. Blumenthal recorded testimonies from many Gaza residents in order to document potential war crimes committed by the IDF. He explains the outcome of the ceasefire agreement that arrived after 51 days of fighting, showing how US and Egyptian-led diplomacy makes another, even more horrifying war almost inevitable.
Blumenthal argues that these atrocities reflect the political trajectory of the state of Israeli society today. Gazans suffer at the hands of Israel but they also are engaged in dramatic acts of resistance.
















[book] Revelation and Authority:
Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition
(The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)
by Benjamin D. Sommer
Yale
June 2015
At once a study of biblical theology and modern Jewish thought, this volume describes a “participatory theory of revelation” as it addresses the ways biblical authors and contemporary theologians alike understand the process of revelation and hence the authority of the law. Benjamin Sommer maintains that the Pentateuch’s authors intend not only to convey God’s will but to express Israel’s interpretation of and response to that divine will. Thus Sommer’s close readings of biblical texts bolster liberal theologies of modern Judaism, especially those of Abraham Joshua Heschel and Franz Rosenzweig. This bold view of revelation puts a premium on human agency and bears witness to the grandeur of a God who accomplishes a providential task through the free will of the human subjects under divine authority. Yet, despite their diverse views of revelation, all the Pentateuch’s authors regard the binding authority of the law as sacrosanct. Sommer’s book demonstrates why a law-observant religious Jew can be open to discoveries about the Bible that seem nontraditional or even antireligious.
















What happens when lawyers hire their clients and fund the case and act as entrepreneurs to get a big payoff in class action suits
[book] Entrepreneurial Litigation:
Its Rise, Fall, and Future
by John C. Coffee Jr.
Harvard
June 2015
Uniquely in the United States, lawyers litigate large cases on behalf of many claimants who could not afford to sue individually. In these class actions, attorneys act typically as risk-taking entrepreneurs, effectively hiring the client rather than acting as the client’s agent. Lawyer-financed, lawyer-controlled, and lawyer-settled, such entrepreneurial litigation invites lawyers to sometimes act more in their own interest than in the interest of their clients. And because class litigation aggregates many claims, defendants object that its massive scale amounts to legalized extortion. Yet, without such devices as the class action and contingent fees, many meritorious claims would never be asserted.

John Coffee examines the dilemmas surrounding entrepreneurial litigation in a variety of specific contexts, including derivative actions, securities class actions, merger litigation, and mass tort litigation. His concise history traces how practices developed since the early days of the Republic, exploded at the end of the twentieth century, and then waned as Supreme Court decisions and legislation sharply curtailed the reach of entrepreneurial litigation. In an evenhanded account, Coffee assesses both the strengths and weaknesses of entrepreneurial litigation and proposes a number of reforms to achieve a fairer balance. His goal is to save the class action, not discard it, and to make private enforcement of law more democratically accountable. Taking a global perspective, he also considers the feasibility of exporting a modified form of entrepreneurial litigation to other countries that are today seeking a mechanism for aggregate representation.














JULY 2015 BOOKS



[book] Erased from Space and Consciousness
Israel and the Depopulated
Palestinian Villages of 1948
by Noga Kadman
Foreword by Oren Yiftachel
Indiana
July 2015
Hundreds of Palestinian villages were left empty across Israel when their residents became refugees after the 1948 war. Most of these villages were razed by the new State of Israel, their lands and property confiscated, but in dozens of others, communities of Jews were settled—many refugees in their own right. The state embarked upon a systematic effort of renaming and remaking the landscape, and the Arab presence was erased from official maps and histories. While most Israelis are familiar with the walls, ruins, and gardens that mark these sites today—almost half are located within tourist areas or national parks—they are unaware that Arab communities existed there within living memory. Using official documents, kibbutz publications, and visits to the former village sites, Noga Kadman reconstructs this history of erasure for all 418 depopulated villages. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and contemporary Israeli society.
Noga Kadman is a researcher and licensed tour guide whose main interest is to explore the encounter between Israelis and the Palestinian presence in the landscape and history of the country. She is co-editor of Once Upon a Land: A Tour Guide to Depopulated Palestinian Villages and Towns (in Hebrew and Arabic).
















[book] The Realist
by Asaf Hanuka
Boom
2015
Acclaimed Israeli cartoonist Asaf Hanuka’s weekly strips collected into one volume and translated into English for the first time.

In 2010, Israeli newspaper The Calcalist asked Hanuka, already well known in Israel as a commercial illustrator and as a contributor to the animated film Waltz With Bashir, for a weekly comic strip. The first of the autobiographical strips chronicled Hanuka discovering that he and his wife and their young son need to find a new place to live, immediately and in a “crazy” Tel Aviv real estate market, because the apartment they’ve been renting has been sold. As an artist, husband, father or a regular Israeli citizen, Asaf Hanuka chronicles everyday life in his country, with humor that is offbeat and sometimes surreal. Shot for shot, Hanuka's home is depicted as a vibrant metropolis and provides a brilliant depiction of modern Tel Aviv. Archaia's edition of The Realist translates and collects both volumes of the work previously titled KO À Tel Aviv into a single book for the first time.
















[book] Mike's Place
A True Story of Love,
Blues, and Terror in Tel Aviv
by Jack Baxter, Joshua Faudem, and Koren Shadmi
First Second
2015
Mike's Place was one of the few spots in Tel Aviv where Jews, Christians, and Muslims could hang out peaceably, surrounded by the expats who filled the bar every night. It was a cosmopolitan haven from the conflict, a local gem that many pointed to as a hopeful sign that peace could come to the Middle East after all. In the spring of 2003, filmmakers Jack Baxter and Josh Faudem had just begun making a documentary about the phenomenon of Mike's Place.
And then the bar was destroyed in a suicide bombing that took three lives and wounded another fifty people—an attack that changed Jack and Josh's lives forever.
With art from Israeli cartoonist Koren Shadmi, Mike's Place is a gripping nonfiction accounting of the lives of a handful of people who came together in hope, then had to find their way together through despair.
















[book] The Divine
by Boaz Lavie
Illustrated by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka
First Second
July 2015
Mark's out of the military, these days, with his boring, safe civilian job doing explosives consulting. But you never really get away from war. So it feels inevitable when his old army buddy Jason comes calling, with a lucrative military contract for a mining job in an obscure South-East Asian country called Quanlom. They'll have to operate under the radar—Quanlom is being torn apart by civil war, and the US military isn't strictly supposed to be there.
With no career prospects and a baby on the way, Mark finds himself making the worst mistake of his life and signing on with Jason. What awaits him in Quanlom is going to change everything.
What awaits him in Quanlom is weirdness of the highest order: a civil war led by ten-year-old twins wielding something that looks a lot like magic, leading an army of warriors who look a lot like gods.
What awaits him in Quanlom is an actual dragon.

From world-renowned artists Asaf and Tomer Hanuka (twins, whose magic powers are strictly confined to pen and paper) and Boaz Lavie, The Divine is a fast-paced, brutal, and breathlessly beautiful portrait of a world where ancient powers vie with modern warfare and nobody escapes unscathed.
















[book] A FULL LIFE
REFLECTIONS AT NINETY
BY JIMMY CARTER
(former President of the United States)
Simon & SchusterFirst Second
July 2015
James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, thirty-ninth President of the United State, Governor of Georgia, Nobel Peace Prize winner, international humanitarian, fisherman, peanut farmer, lover of Zion (just kidding) reflects on his full and happy life with pride, humor, and a few second thoughts.
You just know that many critics will say the ttle is Full (of Crap) Life

At ninety, Jimmy Carter reflects on his public and private life with a frankness that is disarming. He adds detail and emotion about his youth in rural Georgia that he described in his magnificent An Hour Before Daylight. He writes about racism and the isolation of the Carters. He describes the brutality of the hazing regimen at Annapolis (US Naval Academy), and how he nearly lost his life twice serving on submarines and his amazing interview with Admiral Hyman Rickover, who was not known for his friendliness.
Carter describes the profound influence his mother Lillian had on him, and how he admired his father even though he didn’t emulate him.
(someone should write a study of U.S. Presidents and their fathers)
He admits that he decided to quit the Navy and later enter politics without consulting his wife, Rosalynn, and how appalled he is in retrospect.
In A Full Life, Carter tells what he is proud of and what he might do differently. He discusses his regret at losing his re-election, but how he and Rosalynn pushed on and made a new life and second and third rewarding careers. He is frank about the presidents who have succeeded him, world leaders, and his passions for the causes he cares most about, particularly the condition of women and the deprived people of the developing world.
















[book] Six Singular Figures:
Understanding the Conflict:
Jews and Arabs Under
the British Mandate
by Hadara Lazar
mosaic press
June 2015
This is that story of six people who lived and worked in Palestine in the 1930s; remarkable nonconformists who tried to find a solution to the deteriorating relations between Jews and Arabs, the two people living under British Mandate rule. Some took an active part in dialogues between the two peoples and believed that it was possible to live together, altthough they knew that the chances were slim. When World War II broke out, the contacts ended. Two Jews-Manya Shocat and Judah Leib Magnes; two Arabs-Mussa Alami and George Antonius; and two Britons-Arthur Wauchope and Order Wingate, left their distinctive mark on the events of that period, when the Arabs of Plaestine realized that they might become a minority under the Jews, whose numbers where growing because of the persection in Europe.

Hadara Lazar has spoken to the descendants of these six individuals and has explored archives and libraries, in Israel and abroad, to produce a book whose personal voice places it squarely in the middle ground between history and literature. Succinctly and with spellbinding narrative skill, she describes the uniqueness, the inner stife, the controversial actions, and the extraordinary, sometimes tragic, lives of her six subjects. And through their portraits, a trubulent and fateful period emerges from the past, during which it might have been possible to proven what has happened and is still happening between Jews and Arabs today.
















[book] SEVEN GOOD YEARS
A MEMOIR
By ETGAR KERET
Riverhead
June 2015
A brilliant, life-affirming, and hilarious memoir from a “genius” (The New York Times) and master storyteller.
The seven years between the birth of Etgar Keret’s son and the death of his father were good years, though still full of reasons to worry. Lev is born in the midst of a terrorist attack. Etgar’s father gets cancer. The threat of constant war looms over their home and permeates daily life.
What emerges from this dark reality is a series of sublimely absurd ruminations on everything from Etgar’s three-year-old son’s impending military service to the terrorist mind-set behind Angry Birds. There’s Lev’s insistence that he is a cat, releasing him from any human responsibilities or rules. Etgar’s siblings, all very different people who have chosen radically divergent paths in life, come together after his father’s shivah to experience the grief and love that tie a family together forever. This wise, witty memoir—Etgar’s first nonfiction book published in America, and told in his inimitable style—is full of wonder and life and love, poignant insights, and irrepressible humor.















[book] MAIMONIDES
LIFE AND THOUGHTS
NOW IN PAPERBACK
WINNER OF THE 2013 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD
BY MOSHE HALBERTAL (NYU)
Princeton
June 2015
Maimonides was the greatest Jewish philosopher and legal scholar of the medieval period, a towering figure who has had a profound and lasting influence on Jewish law, philosophy, and religious consciousness. This book provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to his life and work, revealing how his philosophical sensibility and outlook informed his interpretation of Jewish tradition.
Moshe Halbertal vividly describes Maimonides's childhood in Muslim Spain, his family's flight to North Africa to escape persecution, and their eventual resettling in Egypt. He draws on Maimonides's letters and the testimonies of his contemporaries, both Muslims and Jews, to offer new insights into his personality and the circumstances that shaped his thinking. Halbertal then turns to Maimonides's legal and philosophical work, analyzing his three great books--Commentary on the Mishnah, the Mishneh Torah, and the Guide of the Perplexed. He discusses Maimonides's battle against all attempts to personify God, his conviction that God's presence in the world is mediated through the natural order rather than through miracles, and his locating of philosophy and science at the summit of the religious life of Torah. Halbertal examines Maimonides's philosophical positions on fundamental questions such as the nature and limits of religious language, creation and nature, prophecy, providence, the problem of evil, and the meaning of the commandments.
A stunning achievement, Maimonides offers an unparalleled look at the life and thought of this important Jewish philosopher, scholar, and theologian.















[book] HUSTLING HITLER
THE JEWISH VAUDEVILLIAN
WHO FOOLED THE FUHRER
By Walter Shapiro
June 2015
Blue Rider Press
Vaudeviille Manager, boxing promoter, oil stock swindler, card shark, con man, and self proclaimed Jade King of China, Freeman Bernstein was a master of excess of cons. In February 1937, he was arrested for selling Nazis carloads of fake metal, saying it was high grade nickel. Freeman was the author's great uncle. He thought the stories were a fictitious Jewish revenge story. Byt the scam was real. Here is the story.

Award-winning political columnist Walter Shapiro is a Special Correspondent for the New Republic. He is the winner of the Sigma Delta Chi Award, given by the Society of Professional Journalists, as the best 2010 online columnist for his work for Politics Daily. In recent years, he was the Washington bureau chief for Salon, twice weekly political columnist for USA Today and monthly columnist for Esquire. In prior incarnations, he was on the staffs of Time, Newsweek and the Washington Post. He was also a White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter..























[book] MOODS
By YOEL HOFFMAN
Translated by Peter Cole (MacArthur Fellow)
June 2015
New Directions
Yoel Hoffmann—“Israel’s celebrated avant-garde genius” (The Forward)—supplies the magic missing link between the infinitesimal and the infinite
Part novel and part memoir, Yoel Hoffmann’s Moods is flooded with feelings about his family, losses, loves, the soul’s hidden powers, old phone books, and life in the Galilee, with its every scent, breeze, notable dog, and odd neighbor.
Carrying these shards is a general tenderness accentuated by a new dimension brought along with “that great big pill of Prozac.” Beautifully translated by Peter Cole, Moods is fiction for lovers of poetry and poetry for lovers of fiction—a small marvel of a book, and with its pockets of joy, a curiously cheerful book by an author who once compared himself to “a praying mantis inclined to melancholy.”























[book] HOTEL MOSCOW
A NOVEL
BY By Talia Carner
William Morrow
June 2015
From the author of Jerusalem Maiden comes a mesmerizing, thought-provoking novel that tells the riveting story of an American woman—the daughter of Holocaust survivors—who travels to Russia shortly after the fall of communism, and finds herself embroiled in a perilous mafia conspiracy that could irrevocably destroy her life.
Brooke Fielding, a thirty-eight year old New York investment manager and daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, finds her life suddenly upended in late September 1993 when her job is unexpectedly put in jeopardy. Brooke accepts an invitation to join a friend on a mission to Moscow to teach entrepreneurial skills to Russian business women, which will also give her a chance to gain expertise in the new, vast emerging Russian market. Though excited by the opportunity to save her job and be one of the first Americans to visit Russia after the fall of communism, she also wonders what awaits her in the country that persecuted her mother just a generation ago.
Inspired by the women she meets, Brooke becomes committed to helping them investigate the crime that threatens their businesses. But as the uprising of the Russian parliament against President Boris Yeltsin turns Moscow into a volatile war zone, Brooke will find that her involvement comes at a high cost. For in a city where “capitalism” is still a dirty word, where neighbors spy on neighbors and the new economy is in the hands of a few dangerous men, nothing Brooke does goes unnoticed—and a mistake in her past may now compromise her future.
A moving, poignant, and rich novel, Hotel Moscow is an eye-opening portrait of post-communist Russia and a profound exploration of faith, family, and heritage.















[book] WHAT'S DIVINE ABOUT DIVINE LAW?
EARLY PERSPECTIVES
BY CHRISTINE HAYES (Yale)
Princeton
June 2015
In the thousand years before the rise of Islam, two radically diverse conceptions of what it means to say that a law is divine confronted one another with a force that reverberates to the present. What's Divine about Divine Law? untangles the classical and biblical roots of the Western idea of divine law and shows how early adherents to biblical tradition--Hellenistic Jewish writers such as Philo, the community at Qumran, Paul, and the talmudic rabbis--struggled to make sense of this conflicting legacy.
Christine Hayes shows that for the ancient Greeks, divine law was divine by virtue of its inherent qualities of intrinsic rationality, truth, universality, and immutability, while for the biblical authors, divine law was divine because it was grounded in revelation with no presumption of rationality, conformity to truth, universality, or immutability. Hayes describes the collision of these opposing conceptions in the Hellenistic period, and details competing attempts to resolve the resulting cognitive dissonance. She shows how Second Temple and Hellenistic Jewish writers, from the author of 1 Enoch to Philo of Alexandria, were engaged in a common project of bridging the gulf between classical and biblical notions of divine law, while Paul, in his letters to the early Christian church, sought to widen it. Hayes then delves into the literature of classical rabbinic Judaism to reveal how the talmudic rabbis took a third and scandalous path, insisting on a construction of divine law intentionally at odds with the Greco-Roman and Pauline conceptions that would come to dominate the Christianized West.
A stunning achievement in intellectual history, What's Divine about Divine Law? sheds critical light on an ancient debate that would shape foundational Western thought, and that continues to inform contemporary views about the nature and purpose of law and the nature and authority of Scripture.















[book] REVELATION AND AUTHORITY
SINAI IN JEWISH SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION
BY BENJAMIN D. SOMMER (JTS)
June 2015
Yale University Press / Anchor
At once a study of biblical theology and modern Jewish thought, this volume describes a “participatory theory of revelation” as it addresses the ways biblical authors and contemporary theologians alike understand the process of revelation and hence the authority of the law. Benjamin Sommer maintains that the Pentateuch’s authors intend not only to convey God’s will but to express Israel’s interpretation of and response to that divine will. Thus Sommer’s close readings of biblical texts bolster liberal theologies of modern Judaism, especially those of Abraham Joshua Heschel and Franz Rosenzweig. This bold view of revelation puts a premium on human agency and bears witness to the grandeur of a God who accomplishes a providential task through the free will of the human subjects under divine authority. Yet, despite their diverse views of revelation, all the Pentateuch’s authors regard the binding authority of the law as sacrosanct. Sommer’s book demonstrates why a law-observant religious Jew can be open to discoveries about the Bible that seem nontraditional or even antireligious.
















[book] SAINT MAZIE
A NOVEL
BY JAMI ATTENBERG
June 2015
Grand Central Publishing
Meet Mazie Phillips: big-hearted and bawdy, she's the truth-telling proprietress of The Venice, the famed New York City movie theater. It's the Jazz Age, with romance and booze aplenty--even when Prohibition kicks in--and Mazie never turns down a night on the town. But her high spirits mask a childhood rooted in poverty, and her diary, always close at hand, holds her dearest secrets.
When the Great Depression hits, Mazie's life is on the brink of transformation. Addicts and bums roam the Bowery; homelessness is rampant. If Mazie won't help them, then who? When she opens the doors of The Venice to those in need, this ticket-taking, fun-time girl becomes the beating heart of the Lower East Side, and in defining one neighborhood helps define the city.
Then, more than ninety years after Mazie began her diary, it's discovered by a documentarian in search of a good story. Who was Mazie Phillips, really? A chorus of voices from the past and present fill in some of the mysterious blanks of her adventurous life.
Inspired by the life of a woman who was profiled in Joseph Mitchell's classic Up in the Old Hotel, SAINT MAZIE is infused with Jami Attenberg's signature wit, bravery, and heart. Mazie's rise to "sainthood"--and her irrepressible spirit--is unforgettable.
















[book] THE PINCH
A NOVEL
BY STEVE STERN
June 2015
Graywolf
A dazzling, spellbinding novel set in a mythical Jewish community by the acclaimed author of the New York Times Notable Book The Book of Mischief.
It’s the late 1960s. The Pinch, once a thriving Jewish community centered on North Main Street in Memphis, has been reduced to a single tenant. Lenny Sklarew awaits the draft by peddling drugs and shelving books—until he learns he is a character in a book about the rise and fall of this very Pinch. Muni Pinsker, who authored the book in an enchanted day containing years, arrived in the neighborhood at its height and was smitten by an alluring tightrope walker. Muni’s own story is dovetailed by that of his uncle Pinchas Pin, whose epic journey to North Main Street forms the book’s spine. Steve Stern interweaves these tales with an ingenious structure that merges past with present, and his wildly inventive fabulism surpasses everything he’s done before. Together, these intersecting stories transform the real-world experience of Lenny, whose fate determines the future of the Pinch, in this brilliant, unforgettable novel.
















[book] Journey to My Father,
Isaac Bashevis Singer
by Israel Zamir
Spring 2015
Astrolog
When Isaac Bashevis Singer emigrated from Poland to America in 1935, he left behind his wife and five-year-old son, Israel, with the promise to send for them as soon as he got settled. He never did. Mother and child moved first to the USSR and ultimately to Israel, where Zamir grew up on a kibbutz. In 1995, 20 years after their separation, Zamir came to New York to meet his father. Singer's strengths and failings, his methods of working, his passion for the Yiddish language, his lust for words, for women, and for life, all come to new light in Zamir's candid and touching account. This memoir is not only a personal and moving portrait of one of this century's major writers, but also an honest exploration of the often charged and complex relationship between son and father.
















[book] Henry Morgenthau, Jr.:
The Remarkable Life of FDR's
Secretary of the Treasury
by Herbert Levy
June 2015
Skyhorse
A fascinating exploration of early to mid-twentieth-century politics as seen through the eyes of a Roosevelt technocrat.
History seems to repeat itself. With ongoing wars abroad and the collapse of financial institutions at home, Americans rely on President Barack Obama and Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew to bring about positive change. When the US stock market collapsed in 1928 and World War II broke out, the nation turned to Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., for leadership.
Henry Morgenthau, Jr. explores the life of this native New Yorker. Born into a prominent Jewish family, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., became a controversial figure in politics. Yet, his contributions were integral to social, political, and economic milestones in American history, all while he grappled with his identity as an American Jew during the atrocities of WWII in Europe. This new biography offers a glimpse of yesterday and lessons for today.
Author Herbert Levy offers an extensively researched life of this important American leader. From thorough research in the archives of Hyde Park to careful study of Morgenthau’s letters, Levy delivers an in-depth account of the fascinating life of this remarkable man. This book explores the complex and oftentimes frustrating world in which Morgenthau was forced to live and illuminates his odyssey as a Roosevelt technocrat.
















[book] The Doctor Is In:
Dr. Ruth on Love, Life, and Joie de Vivre
by Ruth K. Westheimer
with Pierre A. Lehu
June 2015
Amazon
The Doctor Is In! America’s best-loved therapist, Dr. Ruth, is known for her wise counsel on all matters of the heart. Here she shares private stories from her past and her present, and her insights into living life to the fullest, at any age.
Everyone knows Dr. Ruth as the most famous and trusted sex therapist, but few people know she narrowly escaped death from the Holocaust, was raised in an orphanage in Switzerland, or that she was a sniper during Israel's War of Independence. After years spent as a student in Paris, Dr. Ruth came to America dreaming of a new life though never expecting the dramatic turns that would take place. And at the age of eighty-seven, she is as spirited as ever.
Through intimate and funny stories, Dr. Ruth sheds light on how she's learned to live a life filled with joie de vivre. And she shows readers how they too can learn to deal with tragedy and loss, challenges and success, all while nourishing an intellectual and emotional spark, and, above all, having fun! Hilarious, inspiring, and profound, The Doctor Is In will change the way you think about life and love, in all their limitless possibilities.























[book] LEO STRAUSS on the Borders of
Judaism, Philosophy, and History
by Jeffrey A. Bernstein
June 2015
SUNY Press
Explores how the thought of Leo Strauss amounts to a model for thinking about the connection between philosophy, Jewish thought, and history.
In Leo Strauss on the Borders of Judaism, Philosophy, and History, Jeffrey A. Bernstein explores how the thought of Leo Strauss amounts to a model for thinking about the connection between philosophy, Jewish thought, and history. For Bernstein, Strauss shows that a close study of the history of philosophy—from the “ancients” to “Medievals” to “moderns”—is necessary for one to appreciate the fundamental distinction between the forms of life Strauss terms “Jerusalem” and “Athens,”—order through revealed Law and free philosophical thought, respectively. Through an investigation of Strauss’s published texts; examination of his intellectual biography and history; and making use of correspondence, archival materials, and seminar transcripts, Bernstein shows how Strauss’s concern with the relation between Judaism and philosophy spanned his entire career. His findings will be of use to those interested in the thought of Strauss, the history of Jewish thought, and the relation between religion, philosophy, and politics.
















[book] The Bible on Location
Off the Beaten Path in Ancient
and Modern Israel
by Julie Baretz
June 2015
JPS
In this innovative guidebook, Julie Baretz takes readers to twenty-one off-the-beaten-path locations in Israel where Bible stories are said to have happened. At each site, she sets the scene by relating the historical context of the event, then follows with the biblical text itself and her own lively commentary. Captivating and complex Bible characters bring the locations to life as they face social, ethical, and spiritual dilemmas not unlike our own today. Baretz’s narratives draw on history, archaeology, academic scholarship, and rabbinic literature for interpretations that enhance the meaning of the biblical events. Each story is told in the voice of Baretz as the tour guide: knowledgeable yet informal and friendly.
Together these chapters and locations trace the chronology and narrative arc of the historical books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Ezra, and Nehemiah, beginning with the Israelites’ arrival in the land of Israel (following the exodus from Egypt and the forty years of wandering) and continuing over more than six hundred years, until the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon to their homeland.
Baretz’s descriptions are accompanied by colorful maps and photographs that put actual and armchair visitors in the middle of the action. Each location reveals a new episode in the biblical narrative and provides inspiration and commentary that will enhance visits to the various sites.
















[book] SAFEKEEPING
A NOVEL
BY JESSAMYN HOPE
June 2015
Fig Tree Books
Jessamyn Hope’s Safekeeping is a profound and moving novel about love, the inevitability of loss, and the courage it takes to keep starting over.
It’s 1994 and Adam, a drug addict from New York City, arrives at a kibbutz in Israel with a medieval sapphire brooch. To make up for a past crime, he needs to get the priceless heirloom to a woman his grandfather loved when he was a Holocaust refugee on the kibbutz fifty years earlier.
There Adam joins other troubled people trying to turn their lives around: Ulya, the ambitious and beautiful Soviet émigré; Farid, the lovelorn Palestinian farmhand; Claudette, the French Canadian Catholic with OCD; Ofir, the Israeli teenager wounded in a bus bombing; and Ziva, the old Zionist Socialist firebrand who founded the kibbutz. By the end of that summer, through their charged relationships with one another, they each get their last chance at redemption.
In the middle of this web glows the magnificent sapphire brooch with its perilous history spanning three continents and seven centuries. With insight and beauty, Safekeeping tackles that most human of questions: how can we expect to find meaning and happiness when we know that nothing lasts?
















[book] Apollo in the Grass
Selected Poems
by Aleksandr Kushner
Translated by Carol Ueland and Robert Carnevale
FSG
July 2015
For the Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky, the poems of Aleksandr Kushner were essential: "Kushner is one of the best Russian lyric poets of the twentieth century, and his name is destined to rank with those close to the heart of everyone whose mother tongue is Russian."
Apollo in the Grass is the first collection in English translation of Kushner's post-Soviet poems, and also includes certain earlier ones that could not be published during the Soviet era.
Kushner speaks to us from a place where the mythic and the historic coexist with the everyday, where Odysseus is one of us, and the "stern voice" of history can transform any public square into a harrowing schoolroom. This layering of times and events is also embodied in Kushner's distinctive poetic voice. Echoes of earlier Russian poets and styles enrich and complicate an idiom that is utterly natural and contemporary.

Now, as in the Soviet era, Kushner's work is especially cherished for its exemplary stoic integrity. But these lyrical poems are also pieces of exquisite chamber music, songs where poetry dazzles but "greatness is . . . sooner scaled to the heart / Than to anything very enormous."
















[book] A MASTER PLAN FOR RESCUE
A NOVEL
BY JANIS COOKE NEWMAN
July 2015
Riverhead Books
A magical novel about the surprising acts we are capable of in the name of love.
Set in 1942 New York and Berlin, A Master Plan for Rescue is an enchanting novel about the life-giving powers of storytelling, and the heroism that can be inspired by love. In essence, it is two love stories. It is the story of a child who worships his parents, then loses his father to an accident and his mother to her resulting grief. And it is the story of a young man who stumbles into the romance of his life, then watches her decline, forever changing the arc of his future. Each is propelled by the belief that if he acts heroically enough, it will restore some part of what -- or whom -- he has lost.
But when they meet, this boy and this man, their combined grief and magical thinking will allow them to dream the impossible. Sharing stories of the people they have lost, they are inspired to join forces and act in their memory. To do something so memorable that it might actually bring their loved ones back – even if only in spirit.
A Master Plan for Rescue is a beautiful tale, propelled by history and imagination, that suggests people’s impact upon the world doesn’t necessarily end with their lives, and that, to some degree, we are the sum of the stories we tell.























[book] COMBAT-READY KITCHEN
How the U.S. Military Shapes
The Way You Eat
By Anastacia Marx de Salcedo
August 2015
Current
An eye-opening examination of the U.S. military’s influence on the American food industry and the way we eat.
You probably don’t realize that your supermarket is filled with foods that have a military origin: canned goods, packaged deli meats, TV dinners, cling wrap, energy bars. . . . The list is almost endless. In fact, there’s a watered-down combat ration lurking in practically every bag, box, can, bottle, jar, and carton Americans buy.
Anastacia Marx de Salcedo shows how the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate plans, funds, and spreads the food science that enables it to produce cheap, imperishable rations. It works with an immense network of university, government, and industry collaborators such as ADM, ConAgra, General Mills, Hershey, Hormel, Mars, Nabisco, Reynolds, Smithfield, Swift, Tyson and Unilever. It’s a good deal for both sides: The conglomerates get exclusive patents or a headstart on the next breakthrough technology; the Army ensures that it has commercial suppliers if it ever needs to manufacture millions of rations.
And for us consumers, who eat this food originally designed for soldiers on the battlefield? We’re the guinea pigs in a giant public health experiment, one in which science and technology, at the beck of the military, have taken over our kitchens. This book will change the way you think about food forever.












[book] The Sound of Our Steps:
A Novel
by Ronit Matalon
Translated by Dalya Bilu
August 2015
Metropolitan Books
Gorgeously observed and emotionally powerful, The Sound of Our Steps is an inventive novel of immigration and exile from Ronit Matalon, a major voice in contemporary Israeli fiction
In the beginning there was Lucette, who is the mother to three children—Sammy, a gentle giant, almost blind, but a genius with locks; Corinne, a flighty beauty who cannot keep a job; and "the child," an afterthought, who strives to make sense of her fractured Egyptian-Jewish immigrant family. Lucette's children would like a kinder, warmer home, but what they have is a government-issued concrete box, out in the thorns and sand on the outskirts of Tel Aviv; and their mother, hard-worn and hardscrabble, who cleans homes by night and makes school lunches by day. Lucette quarrels with everybody, speaks only Arabic and French, is scared only of snakes, and is as likely to lock her children out as to take in a stray dog.
The child recounts her years in Lucette's house, where Israel's wars do not intrude and hold no interest. She puzzles at the mysteries of her home, why Maurice, her father, a bitter revolutionary, makes only rare appearances. And why her mother rebuffs the kind rabbi whose home she cleans in his desire to adopt her. Always watching, the child comes to fill the holes with conjecture and story.
In a masterful accumulation of short, dense scenes, by turns sensual, violent, and darkly humorous,The Sound of Our Steps questions the virtue of a family bound only by necessity, and suggests that displacement may not lead to a better life, but perhaps to art.












[book] The Bridge Builder
The Life and Legacy of
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
by Zev Chafets
August 2015
Sentinel Books
Love him? Despise him? Hee is a story about him to help you decide.

The story of Yechiel Eckstein, a Chicago-based rabbi who founded the world’s largest philanthropic organization of Evangelical Christians in support of Israel.
When the Anti-Defamation League sent a young Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein to Chicago to foster interfaith relations in the late 1970’s, he was surprised to see how responsive Christian evangelicals were to the cause of supporting and defending Israel.
Eckstein founded The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews in 1983 to promote cross-cultural understanding and build broad support for Israel, Soviet Jewry, and other shared concerns. The Fellowship has grown and thrived over the last three decades, raising more than $1.1 billion, and is one of the largest 50 NGOs in America today. American Christians have become one of Israel’s most reliable sources of financial and moral support.
Zev Chafets explores Eckstein’s role in this interfaith evolution, showing how an American orthodox rabbi promoted dialogue, cooperation, and what is believed to be mutual respect in the face of harsh and unrelenting opposition.















[book] Pastrami on Rye
An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli
by Ted Merwin
Associate Professor of Religion
and Judaic Studies at Dickinson College
September 2015
NYU Press
For much of the twentieth century, the New York Jewish deli was an iconic institution in both Jewish and American life. As a social space it rivaled—and in some ways surpassed—the synagogue as the primary gathering place for the Jewish community. In popular culture it has been the setting for classics like When Harry Met Sally. And today, after a long period languishing in the trenches of the hopelessly old-fashioned, it is experiencing a nostalgic resurgence.

Pastrami on Rye is the first full-length history of the New York Jewish deli. The deli, argues Ted Merwin, reached its full flowering not in the immigrant period, as some might assume, but in the interwar era, when the children of Jewish immigrants celebrated the first flush of their success in America by downing sandwiches and cheesecake in theater district delis. But it was the kosher deli that followed Jews as they settled in the outer boroughs of the city, and that became the most tangible symbol of their continuing desire to maintain a connection to their heritage. Ultimately, upwardly mobile American Jews discarded the deli as they transitioned from outsider to insider status in the middle of the century. Now contemporary Jews are returning the deli to cult status as they seek to reclaim their cultural identities.

Richly researched and compellingly told, Pastrami on Rye gives us the surprising story of a quintessential New York institution..












[book] Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein
by Amanda Peet and
Andrea Troyer
Doubleday
October 2015
Preschool – 2 Yrs old.
Rachel Rosenstein is determined to celebrate Christmas this year—and the fact that her family is Jewish is not going to stop her. In a series of hilarious and heartwarming mishaps, Rachel writes a letter to Santa explaining her cause, pays him a visit at the mall, and covertly decorates her house on Christmas Eve (right down to latkes for Santa and his reindeer). And while Rachel may wrestle with her culture, customs, and love of sparkly Christmas ornaments, she also comes away with a brighter understanding of her own identity and of the gift of friends and family.














[book] The Hours Count
A Novel
by Jillian Cantor
Riverhead
October 2015
A spellbinding historical novel about a woman who befriends Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and is drawn into their world of intrigue, from the author of Margot. On June 19, 1953, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed for conspiring to commit espionage. The day Ethel was first arrested in 1950, she left her two young sons with a neighbor, and she never came home to them again. Brilliantly melding fact and fiction, Jillian Cantor reimagines the life of that neighbor, and the life of Ethel and Julius, an ordinary-seeming Jewish couple who became the only Americans put to death for spying during the Cold War.

A few years earlier, in 1947, Millie Stein moves with her husband, Ed, and their toddler son, David, into an apartment on the eleventh floor in Knickerbocker Village on New York’s Lower East Side. Her new neighbors are the Rosenbergs. Struggling to care for David, who doesn’t speak, and isolated from other “normal” families, Millie meets Jake, a psychologist who says he can help David, and befriends Ethel, also a young mother. Millie and Ethel’s lives as friends, wives, mothers, and neighbors entwine, even as chaos begins to swirl around the Rosenbergs and the FBI closes in. Millie begins to question her own husband’s political loyalty and her marriage, and whether she can trust Jake and the deep connection they have forged as they secretly work with David. Caught between these two men, both of whom have their own agendas, and desperate to help her friends, Millie will find herself drawn into the dramatic course of history.

As Millie—trusting and naive—is thrown into a world of lies, intrigue, spies and counterspies, she realizes she must fight for what she believes, who she loves, and what is right.














[book] The Jewish Study Bible
Second Edition
Edited by Adele Berlin
And by Marc Zvi Brettler
Oxford University Press
October 2015
From Publishers Weekly: Serious students of Judaism will want to have a copy of this outstanding and surprisingly affordable study Bible, which stands in the tradition of Oxford's great study Bibles. Using the Jewish Publication Society translation, the books of the Jewish canon are presented in their traditional order: Torah (the five books of Moses); Nevi'im (the major and minor prophets); and Kethuvim (the other writings). Leading Jewish scholars introduce each book and offer extensive sidebar commentary, discussing the views of ancient and modern rabbinic scholars. In addition, the volume provides two dozen scholarly essays on different aspects of interpretation: the Bible's use in various periods in Jewish history, in the liturgy, in the Dead Sea Scrolls. There are essays on biblical languages, canonization, textual criticism, philosophical and mystical traditions, and biblical poetry. This landmark volume is at once serious and accessible, and spans the spectrum of Jewish thought.














[book] Wealth and Poverty in Jewish Tradition
Volume 26
Edited by Leonard J. Greenspoon (Creighton)
Purdue University Press
October 2015
Economic inequity is an issue of worldwide concern in the twenty-first century. Although these issues have not troubled all people at all times, they are nonetheless not new. Thus, it is not surprising that Judaism has developed many perspectives, theoretical and practical, to explain and ameliorate the circumstances that produce serious economic disparity. This volume offers an accessible collection of articles that deal comprehensively with this phenomenon from a variety of approaches and perspectives. Within this framework, the fourteen authors who contributed to Wealth and Poverty in Jewish Tradition bring a formidable array of experience and insight to uncover interconnected threads of conversation and activities that characterize Jewish thought and action.

Among the questions raised, for which there are frequently multiple responses: Is the giving of tzedakah (generally, although imprecisely, translated as charity) a command or an impulse?
Does the Jewish tradition give priority to the donor or to the recipient? To what degree is charity a communal responsibility?
Is there something inherently ennobling or, conversely, debasing about being poor?
How have basic concepts about wealth and poverty evolved from biblical through rabbinic and medieval sources until the modern period?
What are some specific historical events that demonstrate either marked success or bitter failure?
And finally, are there some relevant concepts and practices that are distinctively, if not uniquely, Jewish?
It is a singular strength of this collection that appropriate attention is given, in a style that is both accessible and authoritative, to the vast and multiform conversations that are recorded in the Talmud and other foundational documents of rabbinic Judaism. Moreover, perceptive analysis is not limited to the past, but also helps us to comprehend circumstances among todays Jews. It is equally valuable that these authors are attuned to the differences between aspirations and the realities in which actual people have lived.














[book] THE DEVIL IN JERUSALEM
A NOVEL
BY NAOMI RAGEN
St. Martin’s Press
October 2015
No details yet.


























[book] The Mystics of Mile End
A Novel
by Sigal Samuel
Morrow
October 2015
Brother and sister Lev and Samara Meyer live in Montreal’s Mile End—a mashup of hipsters and Hasidic Jews. They have a fairly typical childhood, other than that around the corner Mr. Katz is trying to recreate the Biblical Tree of Knowledge out of plucked leaves, toilet paper rolls, and dental floss. When their father, a professor of Jewish mysticism, is diagnosed with an unusual heart murmur, he becomes convinced that his heart is whispering divine secrets. But when their father’s frenzied attempts to ascend the Tree of Life lead to tragedy, Samara and Lev set out (in separate and divisive ways) to finish what he’s started. It falls to next-door neighbor and Holocaust survivor Chaim Glassman to shatter the silence that divides the members of the Meyer family. But can he break through to them in time? A remarkable debut novel reminiscent of The History of Love by Nicole Krauss and Bee Season by Myla Goldberg.




















[book] A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka
A Memoir
by Lev Golinkin
Now in paperback
Anchor Press
October 2015
A compelling story of two intertwined journeys: a Jewish refugee family fleeing persecution and a young man seeking to reclaim a shattered past. In the twilight of the Cold War (the late 1980s), nine-year old Lev Golinkin and his family cross the Soviet border with only ten suitcases, $600, and the vague promise of help awaiting in Vienna. Years later, Lev, now an American adult, sets out to retrace his family's long trek, locate the strangers who fought for his freedom, and in the process, gain a future by understanding his past.
Lev Golinkin's memoir is the vivid, darkly comic, and poignant story of a young boy in the confusing and often chilling final decade of the Soviet Union. It's also the story of Lev Golinkin, the American man who finally confronts his buried past by returning to Austria and Eastern Europe to track down the strangers who made his escape possible . . . and say thank you. Written with biting, acerbic wit and emotional honesty in the vein of Gary Shteyngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, and David Bezmozgis, Golinkin's search for personal identity set against the relentless currents of history is more than a memoir—it's a portrait of a lost era. This is a thrilling tale of escape and survival, a deeply personal look at the life of a Jewish child caught in the last gasp of the Soviet Union, and a provocative investigation into the power of hatred and the search for belonging. Lev Golinkin achieves an amazing feat—and it marks the debut of a fiercely intelligent, defiant, and unforgettable new voice.














[book] Ben Shahn's New Deal Murals
Jewish Identity in the American Scene
by Diana Linden
Wayne State University Press
October 2015
A study of Ben Shahn's New Deal murals (1933-43) in the context of American Jewish history, labor history, and public discourse.
Lithuanian-born artist Ben Shahn learned fresco painting as an assistant to Diego Rivera in the 1930s and created his own visually powerful, technically sophisticated, and stylistically innovative artworks as part of the New Deal Arts Project's national mural program. In Ben Shahn's New Deal Murals: Jewish Identity in the American Scene author Diana L. Linden demonstrates that Shahn mined his Jewish heritage and left-leaning politics for his style and subject matter, offering insight into his murals' creation and their sometimes complicated reception by officials, the public, and the press.
In four chapters, Linden presents case studies of select Shahn murals that were created from 1933 to 1943 and are located in public buildings in New York, New Jersey, and Missouri. She studies Shahn's famous untitled fresco for the Jersey Homesteads-a utopian socialist cooperative community populated with former Jewish garment workers and funded under the New Deal-Shahn's mural for the Bronx Post Office, a fresco Shahn proposed to the post office in St. Louis, and a related one-panel easel painting titled The First Amendment located in a Queens, New York, Post Office. By investigating the role of Jewish identity in Shahn's works, Linden considers the artist's responses to important issues of the era, such as President Roosevelt's opposition to open immigration to the United States, New York's bustling garment industry and its labor unions, ideological concerns about freedom and liberty that had signifcant meaning to Jews, and the encroachment of censorship into American art.
Linden shows that throughout his public murals, Shahn literally painted Jews into the American scene with his subjects, themes, and compositions. Readers interested in Jewish American history, art history, and Depression-era American culture will enjoy this insightful volume.




















[book] Killing a King
The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin
and the Remaking of Israel
by Dan Ephron
November 2015
Norton
A riveting story about the murder that changed a nation: the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Ephron was a Mid East correspondent for Newsweek. He writes about the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by Yigal Amir, an Orthodox Jew, twenty years ago this November remains the single most consequential event in the country’s recent history.
Killing a King relates the parallel stories of Rabin and Amir over the two years leading up to the assassination, as one of them plotted political deals he hoped would lead to peace and the other plotted murder. This deeply reported narrative is based on a trove of documents from the era and interviews with all of the key players, including members of the assassin’s family. Only through the prism of the murder is it possible to understand Israel today, from the paralysis in peacemaking to the fraught relationship between Netanyahu and Obama. Dan Ephron covered both the rally where Rabin was assassinated and the subsequent murder trial. 16 pages of illustrations.
















[book] Vladimir Jabotinsky's
Story of My Life
by Vladimr Jabotinsky
Edited by Brian Horowitz (Tulane)
Wayne State University Press
December 2015
Vladimir Jabotinsky is well remembered as a militant leader and father of the right-wing Revisionist Zionist movement, but he was also a Russian-Jewish intellectual, talented fiction writer, journalist, playwright, and translator of poetry into Russian and Hebrew. His autobiography, Sippur yamai, Story of My Life-written in Hebrew and published in Tel Aviv in 1936-gives a more nuanced picture of Jabotinsky than his popular image, but it was never published in English. In Vladimir Jabotinsky's Story of My Life, editors Brian Horowitz and Leonid Katsis present this much-needed translation for the first time, based on a rough draft of an English version that was discovered in Jabotinsky's archive at the Jabotinsky Institute in Tel Aviv.
Jabotinsky's volume mixes true events with myth as he offers a portrait of himself from his birth in 1880 until just after the outbreak of World War I. He describes his personal development during childhood and early adult years in Odessa, Rome, St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Istanbul, during Russia's Silver Age, a period known for spiritual searching, but also political violence, radicalism, and pogroms. He tells of his escape to Rome as a youth, his return to Odessa, and his eventual adoption of Zionism. He also depicts struggles with rivals and colleagues in both politics and journalism. The editors introduce the full text of the autobiography by discussing Jabotinsky's life, legacy, and writings in depth.
As Jabotinsky is gaining a reputation for the quality of his fictional and semi-fictional writing in the field of Israel studies, this autobiography will help reading groups and students of Zionism .






















[book] Groucho Marx
The Comedy of Existence
by Lee Siegel
Yale University Press
Jewish Lives series
January 2016
Born Julius Marx in 1890, the brilliant comic actor who would later be known as Groucho was the most verbal of the famed comedy team, the Marx Brothers, his broad slapstick portrayals elevated by ingenious wordplay and double entendre. In his spirited biography of this beloved American iconoclast, Lee Siegel views the life of Groucho through the lens of his work on stage, screen, and television. The author uncovers the roots of the performer’s outrageous intellectual acuity and hilarious insolence toward convention and authority in Groucho’s early upbringing and Marx family dynamics.

The first critical biography of Groucho Marx to approach his work analytically, this fascinating study draws unique connections between Groucho’s comedy and his life, concentrating primarily on the brothers’ classic films as a means of understanding and appreciating Julius the man. Unlike previous uncritical and mostly reverential biographies, Siegel’s “bio-commentary” makes a distinctive contribution to the field of Groucho studies by attempting to tell the story of his life in terms of his work, and vice versa.













The Right Wrong Man: John Demjanjuk
And The Last Great Nazi War-Crimes Trial
by Lawrence Douglas (Amherst College)
Forthcoming January 2016
On the Demjanjuk Trial
As mentioned by his friend Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker Feb2015




















QUESTION: Dear MyJewishBooks.com – I heard that the It Get’s Better campaign will be a book. Will it be a Jewish book?

ANSWER: I hear that Penguin USA/Dutton (Dan Savage’s publisher and editor) will issue a collection of essay on It Gets Better in Spring 2011. I am sure that several Jewish people will submit essay and be published. So I would answer that yes, it will be a Jewish book and a book of Jewish interest. While you are waiting for the book, may I suggest you check out YouTube for this growing collection of YouTube videos from NYC’s CBST synagogue leaders: Click here, or Click here, or Click here.




QUESTION: Dear MyJewishBooks.com – What can I read after hearing of a new ponzi scheme in Lakewood?

ANSWER: WE RECOMMEND:

[book] Confronting Scandal
How Jews Can Respond When Jews Do Bad Things
Erica Brown
August 2010, Jewish Lights
Jews seem to be in the news today for all of the wrong reasons. Whether it is Bernie Madoff or money laundering by rabbinic leaders, faking appraisals so you can sell assets to friends, smuggling narcotics to benefit yeshivas, the Jewish community has yet to take stock of what these breaches of civil law and Jewish ethical teachings mean for us as a people.
How do we manage collective discomfort and shame?
Should we feel ghetto mentality shame, or be filled with Dershowitz like Chutzpah?
How do we explain rabbis (or cantors) who commit sex offenses (and then ask for ultra kosher food in prison) or other crimes yet stand at the pulpit week after week offering others moral guidance?
And most importantly, how do we restore honor and dignity to our community by raising the ethical bar and adherence to it? This book explores the difficult and thorny issues surrounding scandals: airing dirty laundry in public, coming to terms with criminality among Jews, examining painful stereotypes of Jews and the difficult position of being a minority in society. A call for us to answer to a higher authority, it also addresses practical ways to strengthen ethical behavior and "do good things" to bring pride back, and to engender greater self-respect and the respect of others.
Dr. Erica Brown, a leading voice on subjects of current Jewish interest, consults for Jewish federations and organizations across the country. She is author of Inspired Jewish Leadership: Practical Approaches to Building Strong Communities, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.
Click the book cover to read more.









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