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Welcome to our pages of Winter 2017, Fall 2016, Summer 2016, Spring 2016, Winter 2016, Fall 2015, Summer 2015, Spring 2015, Winter 2015, Fall 2014, and oh so many more Book Suggestions. For our Home Page, Please visit MyJewishBooks.com
SOME SPRING 2017 BOOK READINGS
March 00, 2017: Lavendar Songs: recreation of a Weimar Berlin Cabaret with songs by many Jewish composers. with Jeremy Lawrence. Running through April at Pangea, New York City
March 00, 2017: Jewish oriented films this month at Lincoln Center’s Rendezvous with French Cinema, also The Settlers, and Love & Taxes.
March 02, 2017: David Grossman reads from A Horse Walks into a Bar - Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, Washington, DC
March 02, 2017: True rye bread — the kind that stands at the center of northern and eastern European food culture — is something very special. Learn about its history and baking methods with award-winning author Stanley Ginsberg, author of The Rye Baker. At the 92nd St Y, NYC
March 02, 2017: Join TAU and NYU Professor Itamar Rabinovich (friend of Scranton, and former Israeli Ambassador to the US) and Yitzhak Rabin’s daughter, Dalia Rabin, as they discuss the legacy and life of Yitzhak Rabin. Rabinovich is author of “Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman,” (Yale) At the 92St Y, NYC
March 08, 2017: Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center in NYC presents an evening with Streit scion and cookbook author Michele Streit Heilbrun and chef/cookbook author David Kirschner (Matzo: 35 Recipes) . After a crash course on matzo history, complete with clips from a fascinating Streit’s documentary, you’ll get to taste some of the book’s best recipes. Moderated by food editor and culinary expert Gabriella Gershenson.
March 09, 2017: Robert Alter (Berkeley) speaks at UCLA on Anti-Prophecy in the Poetry of H. N. Bialik UCLA Faculty Center, 4PM
March 10, 2017: Deadline for students to submit a proposal for $5000 in funding for their Campus Pitch for Peace. See https://www.campuspitch.org/
March 15, 2017: NYC Temple EmanuEl Streicker Center presents We Were Made For This: The Jewish Community’s Fight Against Racism and Anti-Semitism. 7PM. Free.
March 15, 2017: Book launch of My Jewish Year by Abigail Pogrebin, with Rabbi Joy Levitt at the Manhattan JCC 7:30PM
March 16, 2017: Elif Batuman and Viet Thanh Nguyen read and discuss at the 92nd Street Y, New York, NY $22.
March 16, 2017: Dean and Deluca, SoHo NYC present David Kischner, co-author of
MATZO: 35 Recipes for Passover and All Year Long: A Cookbook. Led and moderated by Editor in Chief of Saveur, Adam Sachs
March 17, 2017: Ariel Levy, New Yorker journalist and author of the new memoir The Rules Do Not Apply, is joined by Lena Dunham for an essential, free-ranging discussion about feminism, the shifting forces of our culture, what’s changing now and what can never change. 92St Y, NYC
March 20, 2017: Naomi Duguid shares stories and recipes from her new book, A Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and Kurdistan. 92nd St Y, NYC
March 21, 2017: Author David Brooks in Conversation with author, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. David Brooks has been an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times since 2003. An international religious leader, philosopher, award-winning author and respected moral voice, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was recently named the winner of the 2016 Templeton Prize. 92StY, NYC
March 23, 2017: Victor Ripp reads from Hell's Traces: One Murder, Two Families, Thirty-Five Holocaust Memorials. B&N UWS NYC 86th Lex
March 28, 2017: George Prochnik reads from Stranger in a Strange Land on Gershom Scholem in Jerusalem. At the Wilshire Blvd. Temple Speaker Series - Wilshire Blvd., LA CA
April 02, 2017: George Prochnik reads from Stranger in a Strange Land on Gershom Scholem in Jerusalem. Politics and Prose, Washington DC
April 02, 2017: Yiddish Songs of Love concert and sing a long. CBST Synagogue. NYC 2PM
April 04, 2017: Baruch College/CUNY Wasserman Center of Jewish Studies. Conference on Jewish Theater, featuring Danny Burstyn.
April 04, 2017: Joan Nathan on her latest book, King Solomon’s Table: An Around-the-World Collection of Recipes from the Global Jewish Diaspora James Beard Award-winner Joan Nathan shares the historical details, personal histories and fantastic recipes that showcase the diversity of Jewish. 92nd St Y, New York, NY
April 05, 2017: That's the “Old Country”?: European Jewish Photographers Challenging “Traditional” Views of Jewish Society and Politics. Join author Michael Berkowitz (Jewish Photographers in Britain), Professor of modern Jewish history at University College London, as he explores European Jewish photographers in the interwar period and the Holocaust, and provides an understanding of their self-presentation and photographic practices.
April 16, 2017: Ben Platt and Michael Greif in Conversation on their new Broadway musical, Dear Evan Hansen. Join actor Ben Platt and Tony Award nominated director Michael Greif for a discussion about their new show. 92nd St Y. NYC
April 18, 2017: Scott Simon reads from My Cubs: A Love Story B&N UWS NYC
April 19, 2017: George Prochnik reads from Stranger in a Strange Land on Gershom Scholem in Jerusalem. CUNY NYC
April 19, 2017: Joan Nathan with Gabriella Gershenson. Temple Emanu-el Streiker Center. NYC. 630 PM. Free
April 19, 2017: Jonathan Allen discusses “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign” at B&N UWS NYC
April 20, 2017: An Evening with Deborah Lipstadt. Temple Emanu-El Stricker Centers. NYC 7PM
April 21, 2017: Barry Manilow sings from This Is My Town: Songs of New York. B&N Union Square NYC.
April 23, 2017: Lean In author and widow Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook.com) in Conversation with Adam Grant. Join Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, authors of Option B, as they talk about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks. 92nd St Y, NYC
April 24, 2017: Annabelle Gurwitch reads from Wherever You Go, There They Are: Stories About My Family You Might Relate To. B&N UWS NYC
April 25, 2017: In conjunction with the Museum at Eldridge Street’s Historic Synagogues of Eastern Europe: Postcards from the Collection of Frantisek Banyai, the museum’s deputy director, Amy Stein-Milford, and archivist Nancy Johnson explore the history of the Eldridge Street Synagogue. 92nd St Y, NYC
April 26, 2017: The Jews of Shanghai. The Streicker Center. NYC 630 PM. Free.
April 27, 2017: 18 Jewish Holidays in One Night. With author Abigail Pogrebin (My Jiewsh Year), and Rabbi Sharon Brous, Rabbi David Ingbar, Rabbi Joy Levitt, Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz, and Rabbi Joshua Davidson. Streicker Center. NYC. Templ pEManu-EL. 745PM Free
May 11, 2017: Mayim Bialik, PhD reads from Teen guide, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart, and Spectacular. B&N Union Square. NYC 7PM
May 15, 2017: Ben Falcone reads from Being a Dad Is Weird: Lessons in Fatherhood from My Family to Yours. B&N Union Square NYC
May 16, 2017: Mayim Bialik, PhD reads from Teen guide, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart, and Spectacular. B&N The Grove at the Farmers' Market, Los Angeles
May 18, 2017: Yossi Klein Halevi and Michael Oren in conversation. Streicker Center – Temple Emanu-EL. NYC 730PM $16
May 23, 2017: Author Avivah Zornberg on the tpic of redemtpion. Streicker Center. NYC 7PM
May 31, 2017: Senator Al Franken (D, MN) reads from Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
B&N Union Square NYC 7PM
June 03, 2017: Senator Al Franken (D, MN) reads from Al Franken, Giant of the Senate B&N Rochester MN
June 10, 2017: Alan Alda reads from If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face: Relating to and Communicating with Others, from the Boardroom to the Bedroom. B&N Union Square NYC 7PM
The Weapon Wizards:
How Israel Became a
High-Tech Military Superpower
by Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot
St. Martin's Press
From drones to satellites, missile defense systems to cyber warfare, Israel is leading the world when it comes to new technology being deployed on the modern battlefield. The Weapon Wizards shows how this tiny nation of 8 million learned to adapt to the changes in warfare and in the defense industry and become the new prototype of a 21st century superpower, not in size, but rather in innovation and efficiency-and as a result of its long war experience.
Sitting on the front lines of how wars are fought in the 21st century, Israel has developed in its arms trade new weapons and retrofitted old ones so they remain effective, relevant, and deadly on a constantly-changing battlefield. While other countries begin to prepare for these challenges, they are looking to Israel-and specifically its weapons-for guidance. Israel is, in effect, a laboratory for the rest of the world.
How did Israel do it? And what are the military and geopolitical implications of these developments? These are some of the key questions Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot address. Drawing on a vast amount of research, and unparalleled access to the Israeli defense establishment, this book is a report directly from the front lines.
A Different Kind of Passover
Now in paperback
by Linda Leopold-Strauss
Ages 4 – 8
Preschool – 3rd grade
Jessica loves spending Passover with her grandparents. But this year, Grandpa is sick and can't lead the seder like he always does. Jessica knows Passover won't be the same. But maybe she can find a new way to include Grandpa in the seder and make the holiday as joyful as ever.
Talia and the Haman-TUSHIES
by Linda Elovitz Marshall
Francesca Assirelli (Illustrator)
Ages Preschool to 3rd Grade
Talia is at it again!
First there were the RUDE (Root) Vegetables, and the YUM (Yom) Kippur. And now this outrage.
It's almost Purim, and Talia's sure that Grandma said they're going to bake "haman-tushies."
But as Talia helps Grandma with the recipe and learns the story of Purim—from the bravery of Queen Esther to the schemes of wicked Haman — she discovers a lot about these holiday cookies that she didn't know. The third in Marshall's play-on-words Talia stories including Talia and the Rude Vegetables and Talia and the Very YUM Kippur.
Note: Talia is so smart, she knows that a hamantaschan is based on a seed filled Persian fertility cookie of antiquity, though it is not mentioned here.
by Margery Cuyler
Puy Pinillos (Illustrator)
Ages Preschool to 3rd Grade
It’s Purim and the animals on the farm are planning their celebration! They decide to sing songs, wear costumes, and put on a play about Queen Esther. It’s fun until Quack the duck, the star of their show, goes missing! Cluck the hen must be brave like Queen Esther and go in search of Quack near the fox’s den. But when Cluck finds Quack, the duck's feathers are ruffled from her time with the fox. She can't perform!
Will Cluck have enough courage to play Queen Esther and save the show?
Is It Purim Yet?
by Chris Barash
and Alessandra Psacharopulo (Illustrator)
Ages Preschool to 3rd Grade
It’s nearly spring, which means it’s time to celebrate the cheerful Jewish holiday of Purim. Purim recounts the time when Esther, Queen of Persia, saved the Jews from the evil Haman, who wanted to execute the Jewish people. It’s a time to dress up in costumes, fill the hamantashen, swing the noisemakers, and read the Megillah scroll. Join a family as they celebrate the bravery of Queen Esther and the joy of being together.
Passover Scavenger Hunt
by Shanna Silva
Ages Preschool to 3rd Grade
Rachel's uncle is terrible at hiding the afikomen. It's always too easy to find!
So this year, Rachel decides to take over.
She finds the perfect hiding spot and creates a series of clues for her cousins to follow. Can you guess where the hunt will lead them?
THE PASSOVER COWBOY
by Barbara Diamond Goldin
and Gina Capaldi (Illustrator)
Apples & Honey press
Ages Preschool to 3rd Grade
Last year, Jacob and his family had been in Russia, but this year they were in the new land of Argentina. Jacob hoped his new friend Benito would join them for the seder. Would he? Could a Passover meal here, with cowboys, chickens and horses, feel like home, too?
Sydney Taylor Award-winning author Barbara Diamond Goldin gives us a compelling peak into a remarkable chapter in Jewish history in this historically-based, fictional story about a family integrating into the community of Argentina in the late 1800 s. Gina Capaldi brings it to life with spectacular and painterly artwork.
A note for families is included that describes the history of how in the 1800s, some Russian Jews fled persecution, and immigrated to Argentina. There they settled on ranches and built homes and a community that combined the traditional culture of their Russian homeland with their new land s customs.
WINNER OF THE 2016 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY
Almost Complete Poems
by Stanley Moss
January 26, 2017
Now in paperback
Seven Stories Press & Carcanet Press
Moss is oceanic: his poems rise, crest, crash, and rise again like waves.
His voice echoes the boom of the Old Testament, the fluty trill of Greek mythology, and the gongs of Chinese rituals as he writes about love, nature, war, oppression, and the miracle of language.
He addresses the God of the Jews, of the Christians, and of the Muslims with awe and familiarity, and chants to lesser gods of his own invention. In every surprising poem, every song to life, beautiful life, Moss, by turns giddy and sorrowful, expresses a sacred sensuality and an earthy holiness.
Or putting it another way: here is a mind operating in open air, unimpeded by fashion or forced thematic focus, profoundly catholic in perspective, at once accessible and erudite, inevitably compelling. All of which is to recommend Moss's ability to participate in and control thoroughly these poems while resisting the impulse to center himself in them. This differentiates his beautiful work from much contemporary breast-beating. Moss is an artist who embraces the possibilities of exultation, appreciation, reconciliation, of extreme tenderness. As such he lays down a commitment to a common, worldly morality toward which all beings gravitate..
Make Your Kid A Money Genius
(Even If You're Not):
A Parents’ Guide for
Kids 3 to 23
by Beth Kobliner
Simon & Schuster
From Beth Kobliner, the author of the bestselling personal finance bible Get a Financial Life—a new, must-have guide showing parents how to teach their children (from toddlers to young adults) to manage money in a smart way.
Many of us think we can have the “money talk” when our kids are old enough to get it…which won’t be for years, right? But get this: Research shows that even preschoolers can understand basic money concepts, and a study from Cambridge University confirmed that basic money habits are formed by the age of seven. Oh, and research shows the number one influence on kids’ financial behaviors is mom and dad. Clearly, we can’t afford to wait.
Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) is a jargon-free, step-by-step guide to help parents of all income levels teach their kids—from ages three to twenty-three—about money. It turns out the key to raising a money genius isn’t to teach that four quarters equal a dollar or how to pick a stock. Instead, it’s about instilling values that have been proven to make people successful—not just financially, but in life: delaying gratification, working hard, living within your means, getting a good education, and acting generously toward others. More specifically, you’ll learn why allowance isn’t the Holy Grail when teaching your kid to handle money, and why after-school jobs aren’t always the answer either. You’ll discover the right age to give your kid a credit card, and learn why doling out a wad of cash can actually be a good parenting move.
You don’t need to be a money genius to make your kid a money genius. Regardless of your comfort level with finance—or your family’s income—this charming and fun book is an essential guide for passing along enduring financial principles, making your kids wise beyond their years—and peers—when it comes to money.
Beth is a graduate of Brown and worked for Money and Sylvia Porter. A past consultant on children's money education to CTW Sesame Street, she is married to a hedge fund manager.
MARCH 2017 BOOKS
THE NUMBER ONE SELLING HAGGADAH OF MARCH 2017
The (unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah
by Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg
(SAR Academy, Riverdale)
Designed by Aviva Shur
March 15, 2017
You probably are familiar with Rabbi Rosenberg's “Morality for Muggles.” he started the Harry Potter club at Riverdale's famed SAR Academy
For many a year he has seen and heard of the similarities between Potter and the seder. Four cups, Four Questions... four schools at Hogwarts. Slarvery, Freedom, Good, evil.
"The best professors at Hogwarts were the ones who invited questions, like Remus Lupin or Albus Dumbledore. But Snape, out of impatience, Umbridge, out of superiority (or was it insecurity), and Trelawney, out of incompetence, evaded questions. Judaism recognizes the meeting ground of sincere questioner and unintimidated respondent as fertile soil for forging a relationship between generations.”
What could a School of Witchcraft and Wizardry possibly have in common with the most published book in Jewish history and the most celebrated holiday of the Jewish calendar? As it turns out, quite a lot. From the concepts of slavery and freedom, to the focus on education, to the number four, Harry Potter and Passover share almost everything. This book is the perfect companion for young and old at the Seder table. Enchant your guests with lessons from the magical realms of Hogwarts and Jewish tradition. Foster conversation with student responses to Seder questions. And learn the ultimate lesson: Holiness can be found everywhere, if you know where to look.
NOT-THE-NUMBER-ONE SELLING HAGGADAH OF MARCH 2017
The Jubilee Haggadah:
Proclaim liberty throughout the land
for all its inhabitants
by The SISO Movement
with Bernard Avishai
Steven M. Cohen
Carol Gilligan, Rabbi Susan Silverman,
Comedian Sarah Silverman
and a dozen or so more
Israel Center for Libraries and
SISO: Save Israel Stop Occupation
The fiftieth year is the year of liberty. In the jubilee year, we are commanded to return expropriated lands to their owners and to liberate slaves. As written in Leviticus, “Sanctify the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land for all its inhabitants.” This is the fiftieth year of the State of Israel’s rule over the Palestinian people. The time has come for liberty and peace.
The Jubilee Haggadah conjoins the commandment to proclaim liberty throughout the land with the celebration of Passover, the festival of liberty. Authors and thinkers from throughout the Jewish world have joined together — in commentary, song, and moral outcry — and proposed contemporary interpretations to sections of the Haggadah. Because liberty is not only for us, but for all human beings. From Haviva Pedaya to Leon Wieseltier, from Michael Melchior to Carol Gilligan, from Amos Oz to comedian Sarah Silverman, in this fiftieth year, they are proclaiming liberty throughout this land for all its inhabitants.BR>
Soldier, Leader, Statesman
Jewish Lives series
by Itamar Rabinovich, PhD
Former Ambassador of Israel to USA
Former chief negotiator with Syria
Yale University Press
An insider’s perspective on the life and influence of Israel’s first native-born prime minister, his bold peace initiatives, and his tragic assassination
More than two decades have passed since prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in 1995, yet he remains an unusually intriguing and admired modern leader. A native-born Israeli, Rabin became an inextricable part of his nation’s pre-state history and subsequent evolution. This revealing account of his life, character, and contributions draws not only on original research but also on the author’s recollections as one of Rabin’s closest aides.
An awkward politician who became a statesman, a soldier who became a peacemaker, Rabin is best remembered for his valiant efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for the Oslo Accords. Itamar Rabinovich provides extraordinary new insights into Rabin’s relationships with powerful leaders including Bill Clinton, Jordan’s King Hussein, and Henry Kissinger, his desire for an Israeli-Syrian peace plan, and the political developments that shaped his tenure. The author also assesses the repercussions of Rabin’s murder: Netanyahu’s ensuing election and the rise of Israel’s radical right wing
Stranger in a Strange Land:
Searching for Gershom Scholem
by George Prochnik
March 21, 2017
Taking his lead from his subject, Gershom Scholem—the 20th century thinker who cracked open Jewish theology and history with a radical reading of Kabbalah—Prochnik combines biography and memoir to counter our contemporary political crisis with an original and urgent reimagining of the future of Israel.
In Stranger in a Strange Land, Prochnik revisits the life and work of Gershom Scholem, whose once prominent reputation, as a Freud-like interpreter of the inner world of the Cosmos, has been in eclipse in the United States. He vividly conjures Scholem’s upbringing in Berlin, and compellingly brings to life Scholem’s transformative friendship with Walter Benjamin, the critic and philosopher. In doing so, he reveals how Scholem’s frustration with the bourgeois ideology of Germany during the First World War led him to discover Judaism, Kabbalah, and finally Zionism, as potent counter-forces to Europe’s suicidal nationalism.
Prochnik’s own years in the Holy Land in the 1990s brings him to question the stereotypical intellectual and theological constructs of Jerusalem, and to rediscover the city as a physical place, rife with the unruliness and fecundity of nature. Prochnik ultimately suggests that a new form of ecological pluralism must now inherit the historically energizing role once played by Kabbalah and Zionism in Jewish thought.
Books of the People:
Revisiting Classic Works
of Jewish Thought
by Yeshiva University Straus Center
Edited by Stuart Halpern
Koren / Maggid
The Jews have ever been a people molded by the written word. It is no coincidence, therefore, that certain texts have come to play key roles in the continuum of Jewish discourse. Books of the People: Revisiting Classic Works of Jewish Thought presents ten foundational books written between the tenth and the twentieth centuries that have dramatically influenced the development of Jewish thought, examined by contemporary scholars of Jewish studies. Each scholar revisits a particularly salient work and discusses its themes, its historical context, the circumstances and background of its author, and its relevance to contemporary society.
A thousand years of Jewish thought, seen through the lens of modern thinkers, in one accessible volume:
Rav Saadia Gaon's Emunot VeDeot,
Rabbi Judah Halevi's Kuzari,
Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed,
Rabbi Joseph Albo's Sefer HaIkkarim,
Maharal's Gevurot Hashem,
Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi's Tanya,
Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav's Tales,
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch's Nineteen Letters,
Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin's Haamek Davar,
Rav Abraham Isaac Kook's Orot HaTeshuva,
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's Halakhic Man, and
Rabbi Isaac Hutner's Pahad Yitzhak
Selections from The Book
of Brilliance, The Classic
Text of Early Kabbalah
by Geoffrey W. Dennis
Discover the Kabbalah classic that reveals the divine feminine, reincarnation, and the power of being human. This remarkable collection of fifty-one teachings from Sefer ha-Bahir features facing-page commentary by Geoffrey W. Dennis for easy understanding and readability.
Enrich your spirituality with these fascinating entries, specifically chosen to help you learn the principle ideas and themes of Jewish mysticism. By translating the most stimulating and accessible passages from Sefer ha-Bahir with concise literary and spiritual commentary, Geoffrey W. Dennis modernizes each entry and brings the wisdom of the ancient text to the contemporary world. This compelling collection shows you the full scope of the Bahir and will give you a new appreciation for its teachings.
“Geoffrey Dennis’s Sefer ha-Bahir is the best translation available of one of the hardest, yet most rewarding, texts of Kabbalah. Forget the pop stuff; this is the real thing, in all its lucidity, opacity, simplicity, and complexity. Best of all, Dennis’s renderings and commentary give the text room both to breathe and to mystify. Highly recommended.”?Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson, author of Everything Is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism and director of the Elat Chayyim Meditation Program
“[Dennis] supplies a fluent translation of fifty-one key passages from [Sefer ha-Bahir], complete with annotations, commentary, and introductions that are both accessible to the general reader and insightful. A masterful achievement.”?Richard S. Sarason, The Deutsch Family Professor of Rabbinics and Liturgy at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
The Devil and Webster
by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Grand Central Publishing
From the New York Times bestselling author of You Should Have Known and Admission, a twisty new novel about a college president, a baffling student protest, and some of the most hot-button issues on today's college campuses.
Naomi Roth is the first female (Jewish) president of Webster College, a once conservative school now known for producing fired-up, progressive graduates. So Naomi isn't surprised or unduly alarmed when Webster students begin the fall semester with an outdoor encampment around "The Stump" - a traditional campus gathering place for generations of student activists - to protest a popular African American professor's denial of tenure. A former student radical herself, Naomi Roth admires the protestors' passion, especially when her own daughter, Hannah, joins their ranks. But now Naomi is the Establishment, and the students and her daughter are not open to her words.
Then Omar Khayal, a charismatic Palestinian student with a devastating personal history, emerges as the group's leader, and the demonstration begins to consume Naomi's life, destabilizing Webster College from the inside out.
It gets dense
As the crisis slips beyond her control, Naomi must take increasingly desperate measures to protect her friends, colleagues, and family from an unknowable adversary. Is it a story of campus politics? Is it a story of a mother and daughter cutting a chord? Both? Neither?
Touching on some of the most topical and controversial concerns at the heart of our society, this riveting novel examines the fragility that lies behind who we think we are-and what we think we believe
The Story of Hebrew
(Library of Jewish Ideas)
by Lewis Glinert, PhD
Princeton University Press
This book explores the extraordinary hold that Hebrew has had on Jews and Christians, who have invested it with a symbolic power far beyond that of any other language in history. Preserved by the Jews across two millennia, Hebrew endured long after it ceased to be a mother tongue, resulting in one of the most intense textual cultures ever known. It was a bridge to Greek and Arab science. It unlocked the biblical sources for Jerome and the Reformation. Kabbalists and humanists sought philosophical truth in it, and Colonial Americans used it to shape their own Israelite political identity. Today, it is the first language of millions of Israelis.
The Story of Hebrew takes readers from the opening verses of Genesis--which seemingly describe the creation of Hebrew itself--to the reincarnation of Hebrew as the everyday language of the Jewish state. Lewis Glinert explains the uses and meanings of Hebrew in ancient Israel and its role as a medium for wisdom and prayer. He describes the early rabbis' preservation of Hebrew following the Babylonian exile, the challenges posed by Arabic, and the prolific use of Hebrew in Diaspora art, spirituality, and science. Glinert looks at the conflicted relationship Christians had with Hebrew from the Renaissance to the Counter-Reformation, the language's fatal rivalry with Yiddish, the dreamers and schemers that made modern Hebrew a reality, and how a lost pre-Holocaust textual ethos is being renewed today by Orthodox Jews.
A major work of scholarship, The Story of Hebrew is an unforgettable account of what one language has meant to those possessing it.
Writing in The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, Jonathan Kirsch wrote, “One of the curiosities in “The Story of Hebrew” by Lewis Glinert (Princeton University Press) is that the author manages to write a history of the Hebrew language without using a single Hebrew letter in the text, although Hebrew appears in the illustrations, including a page from Franz Kafka’s Hebrew notebook. Indeed, Glinert announces at the outset of his richly detailed and wholly fascinating book that it is “not much a book about what Hebrew words mean as about what the Hebrew language has meant to the people who have possessed it... … as Glinert points out, Hebrew is also “the language of secular Jewish culture,” and the revival of Hebrew was one of the great successes of the Zionist project... Glinert, a renowned linguist and professor of Hebrew Studies at Dartmouth College, is willing to entertain a pious question: “What language, then, did God speak?” He points out that Jewish mystics proposed that “God was creating or deploying Hebrew itself, rather than waiting for a human being to do so,” and that Maimonides regarded all speech attributed to God in the Bible as purely metaphorical. History and science, however, offer a different explanation: “Scholars have long insisted that Hebrew was simply one of many Canaanite dialects, albeit one that happened to survive into the Common Era.” The watershed moment, Glinert explains, was the Babylonian Exile in the sixth century B.C.E. Hebrew disappeared in various places around the Diaspora, and many Jewish communities required Aramaic and Greek translations in order to understand what is written in the Torah. But the leadership of the exiles who later returned to Judea, “in a remarkable textual act of spiritual resistance,” embraced Hebrew as the language in which the Midrash, the Mishnah and the liturgy were to be expressed: “Out of this grew a great corpus of Hebrew literature, embodying the religion and culture of the Jews down to modern times.”” Fascinating
The Zombie Haggadah
by Elisha Simkovich
Illustrated by Avi Litwack
Combine the children's questions, enlightening discussions, and scholarly words found in the Maggid, with key passages and stories from the Talmud and Torah. Add that mixture to your simmering pot of matzo ball soup. Now quickly, throw in a zombie head marinated in cerebrospinal fluid and Trioxin, and cover the soup with a military grade pot lid. Seal the seams with a blow torch, and store it in your mortuary freezer. Keep the soup in that freezer until you're ready to serve the perfect appetizer for your family's first annual discussion of...
The Zombie Haggadah!
The Zombie Haggadah is a hilarious, yet disturbing, guide to the annual discussions of the zombie exodus from Egypt and the ten curses that befell their mummy captors. The text is based on the traditional Passover guidebook, the Haggadah, and features commentary from zombie sages referencing zombie versions of Talmudic sources and biblical stories. The Zombie Haggadah delves into crevices one would never think a half-eaten zombie brain could reach, but also introduces topics one would never think a family seder could reach. You can't find a more fun, deranged, and perfect way to bring even the most dead seder tables back to undeath,
The Zombie Haggadah ran a successful Kickstarter for the initial publishing costs, and has been written about in the DCist and Jewish publications.
Now, it's time for you to take a bite, and rejoice in this book's flavor!
My Jewish Year:
18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew
by Abigail Pogrebin
Foreword by (our distant cousin) A.J. Jacobs
The much-dissected Pew Research Center study of 2013, “A Portrait of Jewish Americans,” revealed that most U.S. Jews locate their Jewishness in their ancestry and culture not in religion. Abigail Pogrebin wondered if perhaps that’s because we haven’t all looked at religion closely enough.
Although she grew up following some holiday rituals, Pogrebin realized how little she knew about their foundational purpose and current relevance. She wanted to understand what had kept these holidays alive and vibrant, in some cases for thousands of years. Her curiosity led her to embark on an entire year of intensive research, observation, and writing about the milestones on the Jewish calendar.
My Jewish Year travels through this calendar’s signposts with candor, humor, and a trove of information, capturing the arc of Jewish observance through the eyes of a relate-able, wandering and wondering Jew. The chapters are interspersed with brief reflections from prominent rabbis and Jewish thinkers.
Maybe you’re seeking an accessible, digestible roadmap for Jewish life. Maybe you’d appreciate a fresh exploration of what you’ve mastered. Whatever your motivation, you’ll be educated, entertained, and inspired by Pogrebin’s unusual journey and by My Jewish Year.
The Price of Illusion:
by Joan Juliet Buck
From Joan Juliet Buck, former editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue comes her dazzling, compulsively readable memoir: a fabulous account of four decades spent in the creative heart of London, New York, Los Angeles, and Paris, chronicling her quest to discover the difference between glitter and gold, illusion and reality, and what looks like happiness from the thing itself.
Born into a world of make-believe as the daughter of a larger-than-life film producer, Joan Juliet Buck’s childhood was a whirlwind of famous faces, ever-changing home addresses, and a fascination with the shiny surfaces of things. When Joan became the first and only American woman ever to fill Paris Vogue's coveted position of Editor in Chief, a “figurehead in the cult of fashion and beauty,” she had the means to recreate for her aging father, now a widower, the life he’d enjoyed during his high-flying years, a splendid illusion of glamorous excess that could not be sustained indefinitely.
Joan’s memoir tells the story of a life lived in the best places at the most interesting times: London and New York in the swinging 1960s, Rome and Milan in the dangerous 1970s, Paris in the heady 1980s and 1990s. But when her fantasy life at Vogue came to an end, she had to find out who she was after all those years of make-believe. She chronicles this journey in beautiful and at times heartbreaking prose, taking the reader through the wild parties and the fashion, the celebrities and creative geniuses as well as love, loss, and the loneliness of getting everything you thought you wanted and finding it’s not what you’d imagined. While Joan’s story is unique, her journey toward self-discovery is refreshing and universal.
When I Grow Up I Want to
Be a List of Further Possibilities
by Chen Chen
Foreword by Jericho Brown
In this ferocious and tender debut, Chen Chen investigates inherited forms of love and family--the strained relationship between a mother and son, the cost of necessary goodbyes--all from Asian American, immigrant, and queer perspectives. Holding all accountable, this collection fully embraces the loss, grief, and abundant joy that come with charting one's own path in identity, life, and love.
In the Hospital
My mother was in the hospital & everyone wanted to be my friend.
But I was busy making a list: good dog, bad citizen, short
skeleton, tall mocha. Typical Tuesday.
My mother was in the hospital & no one wanted to be her friend.
Everyone wanted to be soft cooing sympathies. Very reasonable
pigeons. No one had the time & our solution to it
was to buy shinier watches. We were enamored with
what our wrists could declare. My mother was in the hospital
& I didn't want to be her friend. Typical son. Tall latte, short tale,
bad plot, great wifi in the atypical café. My mother was in the hospital
& she didn't want to be her friend. She wanted to be the family
grocery list. Low-fat yogurt, firm tofu. She didn't trust my father
to be it. You always forget something, she said, even when
I do the list for you. Even then.
Chen Chen was born in Xiamen, China, and grew up in Massachusetts. His work has appeared in two chapbooks and in such publications as Poetry, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Best of the Net, and The Best American Poetry. The recipient of the 2016 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, he has been awarded fellowships from Kundiman, the Saltonstall Foundation, Lambda Literary, and in 2015, he was a finalist for the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships. He earned his BA at Hampshire College and his MFA at Syracuse University. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Texas Tech University. Chen lives in Lubbock, Texas, with his partner, Jeff Gilbert, and their pug dog, Rupert Giles.
A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees:
by Kendra Tanacea
Lost Horse Press
A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees explores life's strains and joys and the human compulsion to create something lasting despite certain entropy. Teardowns, remodels, sex, longing, joy; sometimes tender, sometimes humorous, these poems explore interpersonal relationships of all kinds and embrace the competing impulses of working hard at changing life's course and fatalistic acceptance. Kendra's poems keep the light on in the darkest of places: "Come after midnight, your hand / on the door, and me, lit, humming."
Making Risotto for Dinner When His Ex-Wife Calls
by Kendra Tanacea
While I mince an onion, he talks with her,
planning their son’s bar mitzvah, sounding
so familiar, so nuts and bolts. Turning up the gas flame,
I sauté the onion translucent. Butter sizzles, foams,
as they go over the invitation list, names I’ve never heard.
Adding a cup of Arborio, I think of white rice
thrown high in the air by the fistful. I pour
two glasses of chardonnay, one for the risotto,
one for myself, sip, then gulp. Blend.
The band, flowers, menu?
Heady, I stare at the recipe to orient myself, to understand
what I am doing: Add broth, cup by cup, until absorbed.
Add Parmesan. Serve immediately.
The word immediately catches my eye,
but their conversation continues, then his son
gets on the line and hangs up on him,
as I stir and stir, holding the wooden spoon.
Laughter in Hell:
The Use of Humor During the Holocaust
by Steve Lipman
Jason Aronson Books
Lipman shows how humor manifested itself among the Jews of Europe during WWII--in jokes, art, poetry, and cabaret routines--despite political attempts to suppress it.
And he observes the surprising nature of this humor, which, far from being bitter 'gallows' humor, was defiant, almost smug.
Justice for All:
How the Jewish Bible
by Jeremiah Unterman Ph.D
Herzl Institute, Jerusalem
Jewish Publication Society
Justice for All demonstrates that the Jewish Bible, by radically changing the course of ethical thought, came to exercise enormous influence on Jewish thought and law and also laid the basis for Christian ethics and the broader development of modern Western civilization.
Jeremiah Unterman shows us persuasively that the ethics of the Jewish Bible represent a significant moral advance over Ancient Near East cultures. Moreover, he elucidates how the Bible’s unique conception of ethical monotheism, innovative understanding of covenantal law, and revolutionary messages from the prophets form the foundation of many Western civilization ideals. Justice for All connects these timeless biblical texts to the persistent themes of our times: immigration policy, forgiveness and reconciliation, care for the less privileged, and attaining hope for the future despite destruction and exile in this world.
A Daughter's Story of Love,
Memory, and Murder
by Leah Carroll
Like James Ellroy's, My Dark Places, DOWN CITY is a gripping narrative built of memory and reportage, and Leah Carroll's portrait of Rhode Island is sure to take a place next Mary Karr's portrayal of her childhood in East Texas and David Simon's gritty Baltimore.
Leah Carroll's mother, a gifted amateur photographer, was murdered by two drug dealers with Mafia connections when Leah was four years old. Her father, a charming alcoholic who hurtled between depression and mania, was dead by the time she was eighteen. Why did her mother have to die? Why did the man who killed her receive such a light sentence? What darkness did Leah inherit from her parents? Leah was left to put together her own future and, now in her memoir, she explores the mystery of her parents' lives, through interviews, photos, and police records. DOWN CITY is a raw, wrenching memoir of a broken family and an indelible portrait of Rhode Island- a tiny state where the ghosts of mafia kingpins live alongside the feisty, stubborn people working hard just to get by. Heartbreaking, and mesmerizing, it's the story of a resilient young woman's determination to discover the truth about a mother she never knew and the deeply troubled father who raised her-a man who was, Leah writes, "both my greatest champion and biggest obstacle."
35 RECIPES FOR PASSOVER
AND ALL YEAR LONG
By Michele STREIT Heilbrun
The preeminent fine Kosher food company with a 90-year history, Streit's, presents 35 recipes for enjoying matzo during the eight days of Passover and all year long.
Matzo and the story of its creation are the centerpiece of both the meals and the observance of Passover; it is eaten in place of bread and other leavened products for the holiday's eight day duration. Michele (Mikie) Heilbrun is the co-owner of Streit's, one of the top two matzo companies in the world. Now, she is sharing 35 recipes-- both from her family and fresh favorites-- for ways to cook with matzo that are so good, readers will want to make them all year round. Dishes like Matzo Granola, Caesar Salad with Matzo Croutons, and Matzo Spanikopita show readers just how delicious and versatile this ingredient can be. With its bright photography and fun package, this book is sure to become an instant seder (and anytime) must-have.
Journey through Jerusalem
by Amanda Benjamin and
Tamar Blumenfeld (Illustrator
Apples & Honey Press
What city has . . . a bridge made of strings? . . . a golden dome marking a sacred spot? . . .a wall of stones, holding thousands of notes?
See Jerusalem through the eyes of a mother cat and her three kittens during a fun-filled romp that introduces children to some of this ancient city s most iconic places.
Olivia and her three kittens adventurous Mirri, serious Jem and shy Bex find themselves on the go in Jerusalem, after escaping the confines of their travelling basket. From the Windmill to the Wall, the Dome of the Rock to via Dolorosa, Christ's tomb to the Light Rail, and including visits to the Jewish shuk, parliament, museum and Biblical Zoo, the cats scamper around the city as if it were their personal playground, arriving safely back at their moshav after an unexpectedly exhilarating day out.
This informative and fun 24-page book celebrates the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem as seen through the eyes of a mother cat and her three kittens, displaying the city s iconic structures through a combination of photographic and illustrative images/elements.
Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in the aftermath of the June 1967 Six-Day War. May 24, 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of the reunification.
'One doesn't go to Jerusalem, one returns to it. That's one of its mysteries.' --Elie Wiesel
How It's Made: Matzah
by Allison Ofanansky
Photos by Eliyahu Alpern
Apples & Honey Press
Meet the people who make matzah by hand or in factories and see how they keep to the strict 18-minute time limit, mirroring the Israelites race against time over 2,000 years ago! Find out how making matzah is more than just mixing flour and water it shows us the value of working together!
Bake your own matzah, decorate an Elijah s cup and grow your own greens. Watch it all unfold with more than 100 stunning photos that reveal a fascinating world behind the scenes.
This is the second in a series of photographic picture books. The first book is How it's Made: Torah Scroll, which was published in Fall 2016.
The Wandering Jew
by Albert Londres
In 1929 Albert Londres, a non-Jew and renowned journalist, set out to document the lives of Jews at this time. His travels to England, Eastern Europe and finally Palestine produced the literary masterpiece, The Wandering Jew has Arrived. In the East End of London, Londres is moved by the unswerving faith of the Jews. In Eastern Europe he is astounded by the misery and plight he witnesses. The bleak picture is redeemed by his gentle humor, sharp observations and the unforgettable portraits he paints of the exotic individuals he encounters along his way. Londres vividly depicts the birth of Zionism and the wave of pogroms that propelled Jewish immigration to Palestine at the turn of the 20th century. In Palestine, he discovers the new metamorphosed Jew, and his succinct, harrowing descriptions of the Arab massacres of the Jews of Hebron and Safed expose an age-old animosity that is still very much alive today. Presciently, Londres investigation provides startling insight into how the unthinkable the Holocaust could happen, sweeping across Europe barely a decade after the publication of his book. His evocative, passionately and very personally told story transports readers back to a pivotal moment in history and offers an invaluable perspective on Jewish life in the early twentieth century, on the nascent days of the State of Israel, and on the ongoing strife that has engulfed the region ever since. The Wandering Jew Has Arrived is as relevant today as when first penned.
The Perils of "Privilege":
Why Injustice Can't Be Solved
by Accusing Others of Advantage
by Phoebe Maltz Bovy
St. Martin's Press
“Privilege”-the word, the idea, the accusation that is nearly impossible to disprove-is the new rhetorical power play. From social media to academia, public speech to casual conversation, the word is utilized to brand people of all kinds with a term once reserved exclusively for those who came from wealth and old money-inherited advantage.
Today “privileged” applies to anyone who enjoys an unearned advantage in life, inherited or not. White privilege, male privilege, straight privilege-those conditions make everyday life easier, less stressful, more lucrative, and generally better for those who hold one, two, or all three designations. But what about white female privilege in the context of feminism? Or fixed gender privilege in the context of transgender? Or weight and height privilege in the context of hiring practices and salary levels? Or food privilege in the context of widening inequality for single-parent families?
In The Perils of “Privilege,” Phoebe Maltz Bovy examines the rise of this word into extraordinary potency. Does calling out privilege help to change or soften it? Or simply reinforce it by dividing people against themselves? And is privilege a concept that, in fact, only privileged people are debating? The Perils of “Privilege” explores how this word is deployed, and offers ways to begin anew so many of the conversations it has silenced.
Jack's Wife Freda:
Cooking From New York's West Village
by Dean Jankelowitz and
and Julia Jaksic
Blue Rider Press
From Jack's Wife Freda, the New York City neighborhood restaurants with a worldwide following, a gorgeously illustrated cookbook filled with beloved recipes for accessible, delicious, and inventive Jewish comfort-food cooking at home.
Jack's Wife Freda, @jackswifefreda - a pair of downtown restaurants whose signs bear the illustrated face of their namesake grandma, have become part of the epicenter of Jewish comfort-food dining in New York's Greenwich Village. With their communal, casual vibe and detailed coziness, the restaurants feel like home, and everyone--from the many local regulars to thousands of tourists just passing through--is greeted like family by owners Maya and Dean Jankelowitz, and their staff. And the food is another reason you never want to leave. A tempting and imaginative meld of Jewish immigrant traditions and recipes, the menu crafted by chef Julia Jaksic borrows from the Ashkenazi and Sephardic dishes of the Jankelowitz's respective childhoods, along with the flavors of South African and Israeli cooking. Fans line up on Carmine and Lafayette Streets each morning for a taste of the legendary spicy baked Shakshuka, Eggs Benny with Beet Hollandaise, or Rosewater Waffles with Honey Syrup. The bustling lunch crowd digs into classics like Matzoh Ball Soup, paired with new favorites like Peri-Peri Chicken Wings infused with African bird's eye chili, and Maya's Grain Bowl with Turmeric Tahini Dressing. Refreshing daytime drinks including Cantaloupe Juice and Nana Tea give way to a signature New York Sour at five o'clock, alongside an appetizer of Fried Zucchini Chips with Smoked Paprika Aioli or Haloumi with Grapes. Dinnertime brings delectable crowd-pleasers that home cooks will turn to again and again: Spiced Rack of Lamb with Herbed Israeli Couscous, Duck Tagine, and Freda's Fish Balls. Malva Pudding, Yogurt Panna Cotta with Rose Syrup and more are a perfect end to any meal.
Good food enjoyed with friends and family is the foundation of Jack's Wife Freda, and Maya and Dean bring the same vibrant energy and love of great cooking and healthful eating to their first cookbook. Whether you live around the corner and pop in regularly for a favorite meal or look forward to an out-of-town visit, this beautifully illustrated and user-friendly book makes it easy to eat from Jack's Wife Freda all day, every day.
If you meet actress Natalie Portman... be sure to ask her how much she loves this cookbook!
And if you meet me, ask me about their THAI-BOULLEH
THE PALOmAR COOKBOOK
MODERN ISRAELI CUISINE
By Layo Paskin and Tomer Amedi
(Palomar restaurant, Soho, London)
Rule One; If you have an Israeli restaurant in London, you get to write a cookbook and it will be a bestseller
Modern Israeli recipes influenced by flavors from Southern Spain, North Africa, and the Levant
The Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning London restaurant The Palomar has won fans the world over for its elevated Middle Eastern cooking inspired by the colorful, flavorful cuisines of the region. From Beet Carpaccio with Burnt Goat Cheese and Date Syrup to Pork Belly Tajine with Ras el Hanout and Israeli couscous, these innovative dishes explore delicious ingredients like za’atar, labneh, pomegranate syrup, and tahini in everything from sharable mezze to dessert. Tucked in the middle of the book is a special cocktail section with a selection of stand-out concoctions such as Lion’s Milk and the Drunken Botanist. Brimming over with lively photographs, The Palomar Cookbook shares a new way to explore this acclaimed restaurant and its unique take on the vibrant foods of the Middle East.
PW writes: Paskin, creative director, and Amedi, chef, of London’s acclaimed Palomar restaurant, share this vibrant and exciting collection centered on modern Israeli cuisine. The recipes are easy, quick to prepare, beautiful, and tasty. The authors provide a helpful pantry section for those new to the cuisine and include several mezzes such as a simple but flavorful tapenade, red onions and sumac, hand-chopped chicken liver, and falafel. They dedicate a chapter to raw foods, including Moroccan oysters, beef carpaccio, and a vibrant fattoush salad. Main dishes include shakshuka, a satisfying combination of eggs poached in stew; polenta Jerusalem style; and spinach gnocchi. Also included is an illustrated cocktail section by Marco Torre with signature drinks from the restaurant. Desserts are memorable, including vanilla and caramelized pine nut ice cream, Stilton cheesecake, reverse Earl Grey chocolate fondue, and a delightful dish called Jerusalem Mess, a combination of cream, almond crumble, apple jelly, and strawberry coulis. This inventive and deeply appealing book will introduce the wonders of Israeli cooking to a wide new audience.
If you are in London, drop by the eatery. It is a hop from Leicester Square on Rupert Street. Of course, The Palomar Cookbook is not for everyone, but if you read and loved Yotam Ottolenghi or Honey & Co., you have to read this. Their restaurant, which is almost three years old was named the best place to eat in Britain by GQ and Tatler magazines. The Palomar came about after Paskin, then a DJ, went to a restaurant in Jerusalem called MACHNEYUDA in Mahane Yehuda (Beit Ya'akov St #10). He had not long closed a nightclub he ran, The End, and he struck up a deal with the owners to open a restaurant in London; in return, they sent two of their best young chefs, Tomer and Yael Amedi.
A fresh tomato dip in the restaurant with our kubaneh bread. A mix between a gazpacho and a Yemeni grated tomato sauce
Red tomatoes 500g, (ripe and a bit soft are the best), cut into quarters
green chilli ½ -1
cumin seeds 1 tsp, toasted and ground
extra virgin olive oil 4-5 tbsp
salt to taste
Put the tomatoes, chilli and cumin into the most powerful blender you can get your hands on. Blend until smooth. Then while continuing to blend, add the olive oil gradually. The mixture will emulsify and give you that velvety texture you want. Add salt to taste, and then comes the most important part: strain through the finest sieve you have (in the restaurant we use a chinois), as we don’t want any stray tomato skins. I prefer to enjoy this the same day, but it will keep fresh in a sterilised airtight container in the fridge for 2 days, or you can store it for up to 5 days and use in any sauces for pasta and other dishes.
The One-Cent Magenta:
Inside the Quest to Own
the Most Valuable Stamp in the World
by James Barron
An inside look at the obsessive, secretive, and often bizarre world of high-profile stamp collecting, told through the journey of the world’s most sought-after stamp.
When it was issued in 1856, it cost a penny. In 2014, this tiny square of faded red paper sold at Sotheby’s for nearly $9.5 million, the largest amount ever paid for a postage stamp at auction. Through the stories of the eccentric characters who have bought, owned, and sold the one-cent magenta in the years in between, James Barron delivers a fascinating tale of global history and immense wealth, and of the human desire to collect.
One-cent magentas were provisional stamps, printed quickly in what was then British Guiana when a shipment of official stamps from London did not arrive. They were intended for periodicals, and most were thrown out with the newspapers. But one stamp survived. The singular one-cent magenta has had only nine owners since a twelve-year-old boy discovered it in 1873 as he sorted through papers in his uncle’s house. He soon sold it for what would be $17 today. (That’s been called the worst stamp deal in history.) Among later owners was a Jewish man in Wilkes Barre, PA; a fabulously wealthy Frenchman who hid the stamp from almost everyone (even King George V of England couldn’t get a peek); a businessman who traveled with the stamp in a briefcase he handcuffed to his wrist; and John E. du Pont, an heir to the chemical fortune, who died while serving a thirty-year sentence for the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz.
One Murder, Two Families,
Thirty-Five Holocaust Memorials
by Victor Ripp
An unsentimental meditation on memory and loss that recounts the author’s search for a Holocaust memorial that speaks to the death of his young cousin
In July 1942, the French police in Paris, acting for the German military government, arrested Victor Ripp’s three-year-old cousin. Two months later, Alexandre was killed in Auschwitz. To try to make sense of this act, Ripp looks at it through the prism of family history. In addition to Alexandre, ten members of Ripp’s family on his father’s side died in the Holocaust. The family on his mother’s side, numbering thirty people, was in Berlin when Hitler came to power. Without exception they escaped the Final Solution.
Hell’s Traces tells the story of the two families’ divergent paths not as distant history but as something experienced directly. To spark the past to life, Ripp visited Holocaust memorials throughout Europe. A memorial in Warsaw that included a boxcar like the ones that carried Jews to Auschwitz made him contemplate the horror of Alexandre’s ride to his death. A memorial in Berlin invoked the anti-Jewish laws of 1930s. This allowed Ripp to better understand how the family there escaped the Nazi trap.
Ripp saw thirty-five memorials in six countries. He encountered the artists who designed the memorials, historians who recalled the events that the memorials honor, and Holocaust survivors with their own stories to tell. Hell’s Traces is structured like a travel book where each destination provides an example of how memorials can recover and also make sense of the past.
The Big Life:
Embrace the Mess,
Work Your Side Hustle,
Find a Monumental Relationship,
and Become the Badass Babe
You Were Meant to Be
by Ann Shoket
Foreword by Michelle Phan
Millennial women are changing what it means to be powerful and successful in the world-for everyone. Forever. You want The Big Life-that delicious cocktail of passion, career, work, ambition, respect, money, and a monumental relationship. And you want it on your own terms. Forget climbing some corporate ladder, you want a career with twists and turns and adventure. For you, success only matters if it’s meaningful. Ann Shoket knows the evolving values of young women more than anyone. She’s the voice behind the popular Badass Babes community, a sisterhood of young, hungry, ambitious women who are helping each other through the most complex issues around becoming who you’re meant to be. As the trailblazing editor-in-chief of Seventeen for the better part of a decade, Shoket led provocative conversations that helped young women navigate the tricky terrain of adolescence and become smart, confident, self-assured young women. Now that they are adding muscle to the frame work of their lives, she’s continuing the conversation with The Big Life.
The Big Life is packed with actionable guidance combined with personal advice from high-profile millennial women who have already achieved tremendous success, plus intimate conversations with a cast of compelling characters and Shoket’s own stories on her quest for The Big Life. You’ll learn to tackle all of the issues on heavy rotation in your mind such as:
· How to craft a career that’s also a passion.
· How to get respect from a boss who thinks you’re a lazy, entitled, and self-obsessed millennial
· Why you need a “squad” of people who support you as you build your Big Life
· How a side hustle will make you smarter, hotter, and more in control of your destiny.
· Why work/life balance is a sham and your need to embrace the mess.
· How to find a partner whose eyes light up when you talk about your ambition.
Written in Shoket’s friendly and authoritative style, The Big Life will help you recognize your power, tap into your ambition, and create your own version of The Big Life.
Was Revolution Inevitable?:
Turning Points of the
by Tony Brenton
Oxford University Press
Communism's rise and eventual fall in Eastern Europe is one of the great stories of the 20th century. Within this context, the Russian Revolution's role and legacy overshadows all else. In Was Revolution Inevitable?, former British Ambassador to Russia Sir Tony Brenton has gathered essays by leading historians to trace the events that led to the overthrow of the Tsarist regime and to pinpoint moments when those events could have unfolded in a drastically different way. What would the world be like had Fanny Kaplan succeeded in assassinating Vladimir Lenin in 1918? What if the Bolsheviks had never imposed the brutal "War Communism" initiatives that devastated the Russian peasants? What if Rasputin had talked Nicholas II out of involvement in World War One, which effectively led to the Revolution and sealed the demise of the Romanov dynasty?
Preeminent scholars, including Orlando Figes, Richard Pipes, Douglas Smith, and Martin Sixsmith, ruminate on these questions and many others, assembling a series of pivotal moments that reveal what might have gone differently, and, if so, what the repercussions would have been. The contributors take a variety of approaches, from imagining an alternate history, to carefully studying a precarious moment of contingency, to disproving popular imagined alternatives. All of the chapters, however, shed light on Lenin's rise to power and the proliferation of his agenda, while assessing the influence of the revolution's pivotal moments on Russian-and global-politics.
Provocative and illuminating, Was Revolution Inevitable? provides an in-depth exploration of the conflict that for nearly a century has shaped world history. The Russian Revolution put totalitarian communism into power, fueled Nazism and the Second World War, and forged one of the West's greatest antagonists. Here is a book that scrutinizes how the past, present, and future of global history could have been remarkably different had the events of 1917 unfolded differently and in the process deepens our understanding of what did happen and why.
A Simple 12-Step Plan to Take
Charge of Your Career
by Nicole Lapin
You don’t need dozens or hundreds of employees to be a boss, says financial expert and serial entrepreneur Nicole Lapin. Hell, you don’t even need one. You just need to find your inner Boss Bitch — your most confident, savvy, ambitious self — and own it.
A Boss Bitch is the she-ro of her own story. She is someone who takes charge of her future and embraces being a “boss” in all aspects of the word: whether as the boss of her own life, family and career, the literal boss at work, or, as the boss of her own company. Whichever she chooses (or all three), a Boss Bitch is someone who gets out there and makes her success happen — and so can you.
Lapin draws on raw and often hilariously real stories from her own career — the good, the bad, and the ugly — to show what it means to be a "boss" in twelve easy steps. In her refreshingly accessible and relatable style, she first shows how to embrace the “boss of you" mentality by seizing the power that comes from believing in yourself and expanding your skillset. Then she offers candid no-nonsense advice for how to kill it at as the “boss at work” whether you have a high-up role or not. And finally, for those who want to take the plunge as an entrepreneur, she lays out the nuts and bolts of how to be the “boss of your own business” from raising money and getting it off the ground to hiring a kickass staff and dealing office drama to turning a profit.
Being a badass in your career is something that should be worn as a badge of honor, says Lapin. Here, she inspires us to rise to the occasion and celebrate our successes — and then keep killing it like the Boss Bitches we are!
The Doorposts of Your
House and on Your Gates:
by Jacob Bacharach
The biblical story of Abraham and Isaac is transposed into a modern world even madder than the ancient Middle East in Jacob Bacharach’s hilarious novel.
Does any family better fit the Anna Karenina principle? that happy families are alike but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way?better than the patriarchs of the Book of Genesis? Is there any worse (or crazier) father than Abraham? These are some of the questions The Doorposts of Your House and on Your Gates asks, replacing the biblical Ur with New York and the land of Canaan with the rugged hills and rusted river valleys of western Pennsylvania. Fleeing a failed relationship, Isabel Giordani leaves New York and moves across the Appalachians to Pittsburgh, where she soon begins to insinuate herself into the lives of Isaac Mayer and his father, Abbie, an architect turned crooked real estate developer. As Isabel learns this family’s weird, often sordid, and occasionally violent history, her own motives for entering their lives are called into question, in Jacob Bacharach’s new novel that considers love, family, God, and, of course, real estate.
CHANGING THE GAME
BY MELISSA CLARK
From Melissa Clark, the New York Times bestselling author and one of the most beloved food and recipe writers of our generation, comes a comprehensive and practical cookbook. With more than 250 all new recipes and abundant four-color photography, these inherently simple recipes make for the kind of easy cooking that can turn anyone into a better and more confident cook.
Dinner is all about options: inventive, unfussy food with unexpected flavor (and plenty of make ahead ideas, too): a sheetpan chicken laced with spicy harissa; burgers amped with chorizo; curried lentils with poached eggs, to name a few. Here, too, are easy flourishes that make dinner exceptional: stirring charred lemon into pasta, tossing a Caesar-like dressing on a grain bowl, adding fresh ricotta and demerara sugar to stovetop mac and cheese; lavishing a dollop of chili paste just about anywhere.
Clark’s mission is to help anyone—whether a novice with just a single pan or the experienced (and, perhaps jaded) home cook, figure out what to make any night of the week, without settling on fallbacks. Each recipe in this book is meant to be dinner—one fantastic dish that is so satisfying and flavor-forward it can stand alone or sit with just a little something else, such as green beans with caper vinaigrette, a citrus salad with olives, coconut rice, or skillet brown butter cornbread. Or maybe all you need is some baguette and the simplest green salad.
Dinner has the range and authority—and the author’s trademark warmth—of an instant classic.
Perfect for Pesach:
Passover recipes you'll want
to make all year
by Naomi Nachman
and Miriam Pascal
March 2, 2017
Naomi Nachman, known as the “Aussie Gourmet”, is a chef, caterer, food writer and host of the popular radio show Table for Two on the Nachum Segal Network. And now, she has launched her debut cookbook to help you make your Passover meals easy and delicious.
In Perfect for Pesach: Passover Recipes You’ll Want to Make All Year, Naomi shares her creative collection of popular recipes from more than two decades of cooking and catering for Pesach. Naomi’s recipes use innovative flavor combinations that contain ingredients easily accessible in local supermarkets and stores. “My goal is to help home cooks prepare delicious meals without making the process too complicated or exhausting,” Naomi says. “I want you to be as excited about cooking for Pesach as I am. These recipes are so delicious, your family and friends will be asking for them all year long.”
Naomi explains: “As a chef specializing in Passover, I wanted to provide home cooks with delicious recipes that bring something new to the table. Some of the recipes in this book reflect my years of catering Pesach dinners and others reflect today’s kosher cooking styles. All my recipes use fresh, simple, and delicious combinations of ingredients that you can get all year long and create interesting meal choices.”
Her creative recipe collection includes: Shepherd’s Pie Potato Skins, Chimichurri Coleslaw, Cauliflower Sushi, Charoset Salad, Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffed Capons, Pastrami Meatballs and Mock Sesame Noodles. Being an Australian, Naomi Nachman couldn’t resist including a fish ’n chips recipe. She coats the fish in potato stick “chips.” (baked not fried).
Each of the more than 125 delicious recipes features a beautifully photographed picture by kosher blogger and cookbook author, Miriam Pascal. In addition, Naomi provides numerous Cook's Tips culled from her years of professional experience. She also includes Freezer Tips, Prep Ahead, How-to information, and recommendations for basic kitchen equipment.
From appetizers and starters, to main dishes and desserts, Perfect for Pesach has everything needed to create and serve the perfect holiday meal.
Vivid photograph accompanies every recipe
Cooking Tips culled from Naomi's years of professional experience
Freezing Tips ensure ease of prep-ahead cooking
Guides to basic ingredients and kitchen equipment
120 gluten free, non-gebrochts recipes
Naomi Nachman is a big hummus person. She wrote: “I put it on everything (it’s almost like my ketchup.) I didn’t want to write a cookbook without a hummus recipe, so I thought of using quinoa to make a kosher l’Pesach version. I was so excited by the idea that I invited some foodie friends to taste-test as I played around with numerous batches and versions to create the perfect Pesach “hummus.” Here’s the version that we all voted the best.”
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice of 1 lemon (2-3 tbsp.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp. olive oil, for garnish
1 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
paprika, for garnish
Place quinoa and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Process until just blended.
Add remaining ingredients; continue to blend. Scrape down the sides and blend again, for approximately 30 seconds. Do not over-blend or the mixture will become gummy.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with olive oil and chopped parsley; sprinkle with paprika.
Cook’s Tip: 1 cup uncooked quinoa prepared according to package directions will yield at least 2 cups cooked quinoa. You can use the rest in any other quinoa recipe.
Prepare Ahead: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.Yields 1 1/2 cups
Naomi Nachman of Five Town on Long Island, NY is known as the Aussie Gourmet. She is a chef, educator, and caterer, albeit a caterer who especially specializes in Passover. And why not? Her parents, Miriam and Jack Stein, ran a Pesach Hotel in Sydney, NSW, Australia for over three decades. Naomi developed a kosher culinary arts program for Camp Dina in the Poconos, and led it for seven years; hosts the radio show, Table for Two with Naomi Nachman;" and writes for Mishpacha magazine about food trends. In this book, Naomi's mission is to present recipes that are EASY and can be prepared from grocery store ingredients.
Perfect for Pesach starts with instructions for preparing No-Flip Pesach Crepes (eggs, water, potato starch); spriralized zucchini noodles; and spaghetti squash. What follows are 11 appetizers; 20 dips & salads; 10 soups; 9 fish entrees; a dozen poultry dishes; 13 meat entrees; 11 dairy dishes; 14 sides; and 15 desserts. Some appetizer highlights are: Cauliflower Crust Lachmagine (ground beef with prune butter/jam); Southwestern (USA) Chicken Eggrolls using the no-flip Pesach Crepes; Hawaiian Poke (tuna, salmon); Cauliflower Sushi (the "rice" is frozen cauliflower); seafood cakes made of gefilte fish, panko crumbs and curry powder); and guacamole deviled eggs. Check out the Quinoa "Hummus." (Nachman is a hummus fiend.) She uses the "S" blade to a processor to blend the cooked quinoa and pine nuts.
Her Erev Pesach Potato Salad mixes deli meat, mayo, potatoes, and Israeli pickles. How about dipping matzo in vegetarian chopped liver made of eggplants and eggs? She also shares her mother's Australian marinated eggplant recipe. For a Chol Hamoed matzah picnic, she recommends an Israeli Salad with Shwarma Chicken Cubes (with cumin and cinnamon); or mix mango and avocados with pomegranate and cabbage for a Tropical Slaw. Of course she has recipes for matzah balls and pesach egg noodles, as well as a seared Flanken Butternut Squash Soup.
Being an Aussie, there is a Fish 'n Chips recipe (it uses... potato sticks to coat the flounder). Red Snapper en Papollote (in parchment) is unique. This parchment is paper, not dough. She crusts salmon in pistachios; and chickens in sweet and salty pecans; and for Moroccan Salmon, she uses cumin, cayenne pepper, and tomato. Her Passover Coke Chicken makes a sauce of Coke, bbq sauce, and raspberry jam. Her Turkey Meatloaf is glazed with cranberry ketchup, and filled with defrosted spinach. One recipe stuffs a chicken with zucchini. Chicken Piccata uses lemon juice and potato starch. Have chicken thighs (Pargiot)? One of her students made Hawaiiian Pargiyot with honey, pineapple juice, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic. Her Seder Pot Roast can use French roast or brisket, potato starch, ketchup, and bbq sauce; and her Sweet and Savory Brisket uses apricot jam and red wine. Two standouts are Coffee-infused beef Chili and Pesach Almond Butter Banana Pancakes. No wait... Cauliflower Fried "Rice", Zoodles with Creamy Pesto Sauce, and Sydney flight style Ricotta Pancakes are quite creative as well.
Candy is Magic:
Real Ingredients, Modern Recipes
by Jami Curl
Owner of Quin, Portland OR
March 14, 2017
This game-changing candy cookbook from the owner of Quin, a popular
Portland-based candy company, offers more than 200 achievable recipes
using real, natural ingredients for everything from flavor-packed fruit
lollipops to light-as-air marshmallows.
Jami Curl, candy-maker extraordinaire and owner of the candy company Quin
has been called the "new Willy Wonka" by Bon Appetit. Her debut book, This is Candy, includes the recipes that have made Quin a favorite with local and national media, foodies, chefs, and bloggers. But This is Candy is not just a candy book. Instead, Jami's approach to candy forms the foundation for a world of other confections--from bacon glazed with maple and black pepper caramel to a clever Chocolate Magic Dust that can be turned into chocolate pudding, chocolate sauce,
and even a chocolate lollipop. Packed with more than 200 recipes for totally original confections like Whole Roasted Strawberry Lollipops, Bergamot Caramels, Fig & Coffee Gumdrops, and Pinot Noir cotton candy, as well as serious tips and advice for making amazing candy at home.
ALL GROWN UP
BY JAMI ATTENBERG
From the New York Times best-selling author of The Middlesteins comes a wickedly funny novel about a thirty-nine-year-old single, childfree woman who defies convention as she seeks connection.
Who is Andrea Bern? When her therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she’s a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it’s what she leaves unsaid—she’s alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed, captain of the sinking ship that is her flesh—that feels the most true. Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother—who miraculously seems unscathed by their shared tumultuous childhood—and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke.
But when Andrea’s niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters. Will this drive them together or tear them apart? Told in gut-wrenchingly honest, mordantly comic vignettes, All Grown Up is a breathtaking display of Jami Attenberg’s power as a storyteller, a whip-smart examination of one woman’s life, lived entirely on her own terms
The Rules Do Not Apply:
by Ariel Levy
When 38 year old New Yorker writer Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms.
A month later, none of that was true.
Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist conventional rules—about work, about love, and about womanhood.
“I wanted what we all want: everything. We want a mate who feels like family and a lover who is exotic, surprising. We want to be youthful adventurers and middle-aged mothers. We want intimacy and autonomy, safety and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. But we can’t have it all.”
In this profound and beautiful memoir, Levy chronicles the adventure and heartbreak of being “a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses.” Her own story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed—and of what is eternal.
Thunder in the Mountains:
Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard,
and the Nez Perce War
by Daniel J. Sharfstein
The epic clash of two American legends-their brutal war and a battle of ideas that defined America after Reconstruction.
Oliver Otis Howard thought he was a man of destiny. Chosen to lead the Freedmen’s Bureau after the Civil War, the Union Army general was entrusted with the era’s most crucial task: helping millions of former slaves claim the rights of citizens. He was energized by the belief that abolition and Reconstruction, the country’s great struggles for liberty and equality, were God’s plan for himself and the nation. To honor his righteous commitment to a new American freedom, Howard University was named for him.
But as the nation’s politics curdled in the 1870s, General Howard exiled himself from Washington, D.C., rejoined the army, and was sent across the continent to command forces in the Pacific Northwest. Shattered by Reconstruction’s collapse, he assumed a new mission: forcing Native Americans to become Christian farmers on government reservations.
Howard’s plans for redemption in the West ran headlong into the resistance of Chief Joseph, a young Nez Perce leader in northeastern Oregon who refused to leave his ancestral land. Claiming equal rights for Native Americans, Joseph was determined to find his way to the center of American power and convince the government to acknowledge his people’s humanity and capacity for citizenship. Although his words echoed the very ideas about liberty and equality that Howard had championed during Reconstruction, in the summer of 1877 the general and his troops ruthlessly pursued hundreds of Nez Perce families through the stark and unforgiving Northern Rockies. An odyssey and a tragedy, their devastating war transfixed the nation and immortalized Chief Joseph as a hero to generations of Americans.
Recreating the Nez Perce War through the voices of its survivors, Daniel J. Sharfstein’s visionary history of the West casts Howard’s turn away from civil rights alongside the nation’s rejection of racial equality and embrace of empire. The conflict becomes a pivotal struggle over who gets to claim the American dream: a battle of ideas about the meaning of freedom and equality, the mechanics of American power, and the limits of what the government can and should do for its people. The war that Howard and Joseph fought is one that Americans continue to fight today.
The Lies They Tell
by Tuvia Tenenbom
Gefen Publishing House
From the Author of
CATCH THE JEW, Tuvia Tenenbom writes about his trip in America.
Welcome to the real America,
a place you call home but don't yet know!
The USA is the world's empire and its actions will influence us all for generations to come. But who are the Americans, the people who make up America?
Tuvia Tenenbom travels through America to find out. His wanderings take him across regional frontiers, partisan lines, and socioeconomic boundaries in a fearless quest for the flesh-and-blood American. He visits black ghettos and white gated communities, megachurches and Indian reservations. He schmoozes with robbers who teach him the true meaning of love and meets Jews who dedicate day and night to hatred of their brethren. He finagles his way into a prison where skinheads pray, goes to the Senate where no Senator seems to be working, experiments with drugs on American streets and ponders the deeper meaning of life with rednecks. He mingles with soldiers who teach him how to invade foreign countries and intellectuals who teach him the beautiful nature of Mother Earth, the goodness of man, and the sadism of the Israeli.
The characters he encounters, the adventures he eagerly embraces and the findings of his journey are always unique and often unexpected.
Eyes Wide Open:
Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing
Opportunities in a World
That Can't See Clearly
by Isaac Lidsky
March 14, 2017
In Eyes Wide Open, Isaac Lidsky draws on his experience of achieving immense success, joy, and fulfillment while losing his sight to a blinding disease to show us that it isn’t external circumstances, but how we perceive and respond to them, that governs our reality.
Fear has a tendency to give us tunnel vision—we fill the unknown with our worst imaginings and cling to what’s familiar. But when confronted with new challenges, we need to think more broadly and adapt. When Isaac Lidsky learned that he was beginning to go blind at age thirteen, eventually losing his sight entirely by the time he was twenty-five, he initially thought that blindness would mean an end to his early success and his hopes for the future. Paradoxically, losing his sight gave him the vision to take responsibility for his reality and thrive. Lidsky graduated from Harvard College at age nineteen, served as a Supreme Court law clerk, fathered four children, and turned a failing construction subcontractor into a highly profitable business.
Whether we’re blind or not, our vision is limited by our past experiences, biases, and emotions. Lidsky shows us how we can overcome paralyzing fears, avoid falling prey to our own assumptions and faulty leaps of logic, silence our inner critic, harness our strength, and live with open hearts and minds. In sharing his hard-won insights, Lidsky shows us how we too can confront life's trials with initiative, humor, and grace.
Note: Lidsky is the son of Cuban norn Jewish parents. He did his first TV commercials before he was two years old (for diapers). As a teen, he was cast in Saved By The Bell The New Class (reboot) as Barton 'Weasel' Wyzell
The 18 Projects You Need
for Jewish Holidays, Weddings,
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations,
by M. Bywater
(Founder of Huppahs.com, rental biz)
With these 18 beginner-level projects, you can set your holiday table, bring a personal touch to weddings and bar/bat mitzvah celebrations, and decorate your home with the warmth of Jewish tradition. Sew your own tallit prayer shawl, challah cover, wedding chuppah, and more. A mix of modern projects and classic Judaica reinterpreted for today's sewing enthusiasts. With 100 illustrations to guide you, a section on basic techniques, and expert tips throughout. Flavored with interesting tidbits about the teachings and history behind classic Judaica and Jewish traditions. If you can set your machine to straight and zigzag stitches, you can make all the projects in this book.
Library Journal: “… The "Shabbat and Holidays" section includes an appliquéd challah cover, a Havdalah spice pouch for Shabbat, and more. "Celebrations" features a wedding huppah, a kippah, a tallit with tzitzit strings, and tallit and tefillin bags. "Home" offers a mezuzah case with a vinyl covering, as well as several home decor items. The instructions are easy to follow, and additional information about the history and significance behind each of the items is provided. VERDICT The combination of handcrafting and Jewish tradition adds further value and meaning to these projects, and Bywater's approach is both thoughtful and celebratory. - Cathy Perlmutter, President, International Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework”
THREE STONES MAKE A WALL
THE STORY OF ARCHAEOLOGY
BY ERIC H. CLINE
Princeton University Press
In 1922, Howard Carter peered into Tutankhamun's tomb for the first time, the only light coming from the candle in his outstretched hand. Urged to tell what he was seeing through the small opening he had cut in the door to the tomb, the Egyptologist famously replied, "I see wonderful things." Carter's fabulous discovery is just one of the many spellbinding stories told in Three Stones Make a Wall.
Written by Eric Cline, an archaeologist with more than thirty seasons of excavation experience, Three Stones Make a Wall traces the history of archaeology from an amateur pursuit to the cutting-edge science it is today by taking the reader on a tour of major archaeological sites and discoveries, from Pompeii to Petra, Troy to the Terracotta Warriors, and Mycenae to Megiddo and Masada. Cline brings to life the personalities behind these digs, including Heinrich Schliemann, the former businessman who excavated Troy, and Mary Leakey, whose discoveries advanced our understanding of human origins. The discovery of the peoples and civilizations of the past is presented in vivid detail, from the Hittites and Minoans to the Inca, Aztec, and Moche. Along the way, the book addresses the questions archaeologists are asked most often: How do you know where to dig? How are excavations actually done? How do you know how old something is? Who gets to keep what is found?
Taking readers from the pioneering digs of the eighteenth century to the exciting new discoveries being made today, Three Stones Make a Wall is a lively and essential introduction to the story of archaeology.
THE BOOK OF GREEK AND ROMAN
FOLKTALES, LEGENDS, and MYTHS
Edited, Translated and Intro
by William Hansen
Princeton University Press
Captured centaurs and satyrs, talking animals, people who suddenly change sex, men who give birth, the temporarily insane and the permanently thick-witted, delicate sensualists, incompetent seers, a woman who remembers too much, a man who cannot laugh--these are just some of the colorful characters who feature in the unforgettable stories that ancient Greeks and Romans told in their daily lives. Together they created an incredibly rich body of popular oral stories that include, but range well beyond, mythology--from heroic legends, fairy tales, and fables to ghost stories, urban legends, and jokes. This unique anthology presents the largest collection of these tales ever assembled. Featuring nearly four hundred stories in authoritative and highly readable translations, this is the first book to offer a representative selection of the entire range of traditional classical storytelling.
Set mostly in the world of humans, not gods, these stories focus on figures such as lovers, tricksters, philosophers, merchants, rulers, athletes, artists, and soldiers. The narratives range from the well-known--for example, Cupid and Psyche, Diogenes and his lantern, and the tortoise and the hare--to lesser-known tales that deserve wider attention. Entertaining and fascinating, they offer a unique window into the fantasies, anxieties, humor, and passions of the people who told them.
Complete with beautiful illustrations by Glynnis Fawkes, a comprehensive introduction, notes, and more, this one-of-a-kind anthology will delight general readers as well as students of classics, fairy tales, and folklore.
Choice and Survival during the Holocaust
By Evgeny Finkel
Princeton University Press
Focusing on the choices and actions of Jews during the Holocaust, Ordinary Jews examines the different patterns of behavior of civilians targeted by mass violence. Relying on rich archival material and hundreds of survivors' testimonies, Evgeny Finkel presents a new framework for understanding the survival strategies in which Jews engaged: cooperation and collaboration, coping and compliance, evasion, and resistance. Finkel compares Jews' behavior in three Jewish ghettos--Minsk, Kraków, and Bia?ystok--and shows that Jews' responses to Nazi genocide varied based on their experiences with prewar policies that either promoted or discouraged their integration into non-Jewish society.
Finkel demonstrates that while possible survival strategies were the same for everyone, individuals' choices varied across and within communities. In more cohesive and robust Jewish communities, coping--confronting the danger and trying to survive without leaving--was more organized and successful, while collaboration with the Nazis and attempts to escape the ghetto were minimal. In more heterogeneous Jewish communities, collaboration with the Nazis was more pervasive, while coping was disorganized. In localities with a history of peaceful interethnic relations, evasion was more widespread than in places where interethnic relations were hostile. State repression before WWII, to which local communities were subject, determined the viability of anti-Nazi Jewish resistance.
Exploring the critical influences shaping the decisions made by Jews in Nazi-occupied eastern Europe, Ordinary Jews sheds new light on the dynamics of collective violence and genocide.
The True Story of a Very Young
Prisoner of Auschwitz
by Michael Bornstein and
Debbie Bornstein Holinstat
In 1945, in a now-famous piece of World War II archival footage, four-year-old Michael Bornstein was filmed by Soviet soldiers as he was carried out of Auschwitz in his grandmother’s arms. Survivors Club tells the unforgettable story of how a father’s courageous wit, a mother’s fierce love, and one perfectly timed illness saved his life, and how others in his family from Zarki, Poland, dodged death at the hands of the Nazis time and again with incredible deftness. Working from his own recollections as well as extensive interviews with relatives and survivors who knew the family, Michael relates his inspirational Holocaust survival story with the help of his daughter, Debbie Bornstein Holinstat. Shocking, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, this narrative nonfiction offers an indelible depiction of what happened to one Polish village in the wake of the German invasion in 1939.
This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
THE DANCE OF THE VIOLIN
by Kathy Stinson
and Dušan Petri?i? (Illustrator)
annick press / pgw
Grades K - 3
Ages 5 – 8
As a young student of the violin, Joshua Bell learns about an international competition to be held in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He chooses a piece of music, which his teacher suggests may be too difficult, but Joshua is determined. It’s a piece of music he loves. At the competition, Joshua experiences the usual jitters. Once his name is called, he strides to the stage and begins to play, but almost immediately, he makes a mistake. As he is about to walk off the stage, he asks the judges if could try again. They agree, and this time, the playing is impeccable. Dušan Petricic’s brilliant illustrations full of movement and color, capture the sounds made by Joshua’s violin, from the missed notes to the swirling, uplifting strains of the perfectly executed piece.
Children will readily empathize with Joshua’s misstep, but they will also learn that there is always a second chance.
Mikhail and Margarita:
by Julie Himes
Europa Editions / Penguin
Fiction, although based on the life of the Warsaw born Soviet Jewish poet.
A love triangle involving Mikhail Bulgakov, famed author of The Master and Margarita, an agent of Stalin's secret police, and the bewitching Margarita has inescapable consequences for all three in 1930s Russia.
It is 1933 and Mikhail Bulgakov's enviable career is on the brink of being dismantled. His friend and mentor, the poet Osip Mandelstam, has been arrested, tortured, and sent into exile. Meanwhile, a mysterious agent of the secret police has developed a growing obsession with exposing Bulgakov as an enemy of the state. To make matters worse, Bulgakov has fallen in love with the dangerously outspoken Margarita. Facing imminent arrest, infatuated with Margarita, he is inspired to write his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, a satirical novel that is scathingly critical of power and the powerful.
Ranging between lively readings in the homes of Moscow's literary elite to the Siberian Gulag, Mikhail and Margarita recounts a passionate love triangle while painting a portrait of a country with a towering literary tradition confronting a dictatorship that does not tolerate dissent. Margarita is a strong, idealistic woman, who is fiercely loved by two very different men, both of whom will fail in their attempts to shield her from the machinations of a regime hungry for human sacrifice. Himes launches a rousing defense of art and the artist during a time of systematic deception and she movingly portrays the ineluctable consequences of love for one of history's most enigmatic literary figures.
by John A. Farrell
From a prize-winning biographer comes the defining portrait of a man who led America in a time of turmoil and left us a darker age. We live today, John A. Farrell shows, in a world Richard Nixon made.
At the end of WWII, navy lieutenant “Nick” Nixon returned from the Pacific and set his cap at Congress, an idealistic dreamer seeking to build a better world. Yet amid the turns of that now-legendary 1946 campaign, Nixon’s finer attributes gave way to unapologetic ruthlessness. The story of that transformation is the stunning overture to John A. Farrell’s magisterial biography of the president who came to embody postwar American resentment and division.
Within four years of his first victory, Nixon was a U.S. senator; in six, the vice president of the United States of America. “Few came so far, so fast, and so alone,” Farrell writes. Nixon’s sins as a candidate were legion; and in one unlawful secret plot, as Farrell reveals here, Nixon acted to prolong the Vietnam War for his own political purposes. Finally elected president in 1969, Nixon packed his staff with bright young men who devised forward-thinking reforms addressing health care, welfare, civil rights, and protection of the environment. It was a fine legacy, but Nixon cared little for it. He aspired to make his mark on the world stage instead, and his 1972 opening to China was the first great crack in the Cold War.
Nixon had another legacy, too: an America divided and polarized. He was elected to end the war in Vietnam, but his bombing of Cambodia and Laos enraged the antiwar movement. It was Nixon who launched the McCarthy era, who played white against black with a “southern strategy,” and spurred the Silent Majority to despise and distrust the country’s elites. Ever insecure and increasingly paranoid, he persuaded Americans to gnaw, as he did, on grievances—and to look at one another as enemies. Finally, in August 1974, after two years of the mesmerizing intrigue and scandal of Watergate, Nixon became the only president to resign in disgrace. Richard Nixon is a gripping and unsparing portrayal of our darkest president. Meticulously researched, brilliantly crafted, and offering fresh revelations, it will be hailed as a master work.
Gen Z @ Work:
How the Next Generation
Is Transforming the Workplace
by David Stillman and
his teenage GenZ son, Jonah Stillman
March 21, 2017
If being a good student and snowboarder in MN doesn’t get you into a good college, then authoring a book and getting on Squawk Box should.
David Stillman specializes in consulting and authoring ideas on the differences (in general terms) on generations of American youth. He wrote “When Generations Collide” and “The M-Factor.” Now he has teamed up with his 17 year old son, Jonah, to write about “Generation Z” – the Americans who were born between 1995 and 2012.
At 72.8 million strong, Gen Z is about to make its presence known in the workplace in a major way — and employers need to understand the differences that set them apart. The authors assert that they are radically different from the Millennials. They do not feel as entitled, they are not as group/team focused, they are more into individual achievement, and they need to be managed, motivated, and incented differently in the workforce.
The book is based on national studies of Gen Z’s workplace attitudes (note, the oldest are 22 and – in general – are about to graduate from college, if they attended. They are shaped by the 2008 recession, Malala, and The Hunger Games); and on interviews with hundreds of CEOs, celebrities, celebutantes, and thought leaders on generational issues; cutting-edge case studies; and insights from Gen Zers themselves. Gen Z, Jonah Stillman said, is both aware and wary.. .Think more snapchat (which disappears) than Facebook, which lingers forever.
This generation has a unique perspective on careers and how to succeed in the workforce, and Gen Z @ Work introduces these seven distinguishing traits:
• Phigital—The line between the physical and digital worlds for Gen Z hasn’t just been blurred; it’s been completely eliminated. Ninety-one percent of Gen Zers say that a company’s technological sophistication would influence their decision to accept a position with a firm.
• Hyper-Custom—Gen Zers have always worked hard at identifying and tailoring their brands for the world to know. From job titles to career paths, the pressure to customize has been turned up! Fifty-six percent of Gen Zers want to write their own job descriptions.
• Realistic—Growing up with skeptical Gen X parents in the aftermath of 9/11 and the Great Recession has created in Gen Z a very pragmatic mind-set when it comes to preparing for the future.
• FOMO—Gen Zers suffer from an intense fear of missing out on anything. The good news is that they will stay on top of all trends; the bad news is that they will worry they’re not moving ahead fast enough.
• Weconomists—From Uber to Airbnb, Gen Zers have only known a world with a shared economy. They will push to break down internal and external silos like never before.
• DIY—Gen Z is the do-it-yourself generation. Its fierce, independent nature will collide head-on with so many of the collaborative cultures that Millennials have fought for.
• Driven—With parents who drilled into them that there are winners and there are losers, this demographic is one motivated group. Seventy-two percent of Gen Zers say they are competitive with people doing the same job.
Gen Z @ Work offers the knowledge today’s leaders need to get ahead of the next gaps in the workplace and how best to recruit, retain, motivate, and manage Gen Zers. Ahead of the curve, Gen Z @ Work is the first comprehensive, serious look at what the next generation of workers looks like, and what that means for the rest of us.
Also.. did I mention that David served on the board of the Minneapolis Jewish Day School? And Jonah, a Senior at Minnetonka HS, and BBYO enthusiast,, is ranked 6th in the US in snowboarding, and has served as an ambassador for the international non-profit Free the Children, traveling to Kenya and Ecuador to build schools.
THE GOLEM OF PRAGUE
by Irène Cohen-Janca
Illustrated by Maurizio A.C. Quarello
Translated by Brigitte Waisberg
annick press / pgw
Ages 9 – 12
The legend of the Golem dates back to the 1500s when the Jews of Prague were being viciously persecuted. Their spiritual leader, Rabbi Loew, also known as The Maharal of Prague, created a formidable creature out of clay whose mission it was to protect the Jews of the city. This beautiful picture book with its lyrical text and evocative illustrations, retells the story of the Golem through the eyes of a young boy, Frantz. Despite warnings to never enter the attic in the synagogue, Frantz climbs up. There, he is transported back to the time when the Golem was created, and eventually destroyed. A blend of mysticism, the supernatural, and even romance makes this a haunting picture book for children ages 8 to 12.
The First Love Story:
Adam, Eve, and Us
by Bruce Feiler
From the New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible and Abraham comes a revelatory journey across four continents and 4,000 years exploring how Adam and Eve introduced the idea of love into the world, and how they continue to shape our deepest feelings about relationships, family, and togetherness.
Since antiquity, one story has stood at the center of every conversation about men and women. One couple has been the battleground for human relationships and sexual identity. That couple is Adam and Eve. Yet instead of celebrating them, history has blamed them for bringing sin, deceit, and death into the world.
In this fresh retelling of their story, New York Times columnist and PBS host Bruce Feiler travels from the Garden of Eden in Iraq to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, from John Milton’s London to Mae West’s Hollywood, discovering how Adam and Eve should be hailed as exemplars of a long-term, healthy, resilient relationship. At a time of discord and fear over the strength of our social fabric, Feiler shows how history’s first couple can again be role models for unity, forgiveness, and love.
Containing all the humor, insight, and wisdom that have endeared Bruce Feiler to readers around the world, The First Love Story is an unforgettable journey that restores Adam and Eve to their rightful place as central figures in our culture's imagination and reminds us that even our most familiar stories still have the ability to surprise, inspire, and guide us today.
Flight 139 and the Raid on
Entebbe Airport, the Most Audacious
Hostage Rescue Mission in History
by Saul David
Back Bay, Little Brown
The definitive account of one of the greatest Special Forces missions ever, the Raid of Entebbe, by acclaimed military historian Saul David.
On June 27, 1976, an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris was hijacked by a group of Arab and German terrorists who demanded the release of 53 terrorists. The plane was forced to divert to Entebbe, in Uganda--ruled by the murderous despot Idi Amin, who had no interest in intervening.
Days later, Israeli commandos disguised as Ugandan soldiers assaulted the airport terminal, killed all the terrorists, and rescued all the hostages but three who were killed in the crossfire. The assault force suffered just one fatality: its commander, Yoni Netanyahu (brother of Israel's current Prime Minister.) Three of the country's greatest leaders: Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin planned and pulled off one of the most astonishing military operations in history.
Our Short History:
by Lauren Grodstein
How can a woman learn to let go of the people she loves the most?
Karen Neulander, a successful New York political consultant and single mother, has always been fiercely protective of her son, Jacob, now six. She’s had to be: when Jacob’s father, Dave, found out Karen was pregnant and made it clear that fatherhood wasn’t in his plans, Karen walked out of the relationship, never telling Dave her intention was to raise their child alone.
But now Jake is asking to meet his dad, and with good reason: Karen is dying. When she finally calls her ex, she’s shocked to find Dave ecstatic about the son he never knew he had. First, he can’t meet Jake fast enough, and then he can’t seem to leave him alone. Karen quickly grows anxious as she watches Dave insinuate himself into Jake’s life just as her own strength and hold on Jake grow more tenuous.
As she struggles to play out her last days in the “right” way for Jake, Karen wrestles with the knowledge that the only thing she cannot bring herself to do for her son—let his father become a permanent part of his life—is the thing he needs from her the most. With heart-wrenching poignancy, unexpected wit, and mordant humor, Lauren Grodstein has created an unforgettable story about parenthood, sacrifice, and life itself.
APRIL 2017 BOOKS
King Solomon's Table:
A Culinary Exploration of
Jewish Cooking from Around the World
by Joan Nathan
April 4, 2017
From the James Beard Award-winning, much-loved cookbook author and authority: an around-the-world collection of recipes from the global Jewish diaspora--an essential book of cooking and culture.
The cover tells the story: a variation of a challah roll (an Ethiopian Sabbath bread) lying atop an embossed map of the nations of the world. Joan Nathan, a tireless, curious, multilingual cookbook goddess, was in the Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi, Kerala, India, researching a book when she noted a sign that said Jewish people had been in India since the time of King Solomon. Whether it is myth, legend, or fact, she pondered how so many Jewish merchant seamen and traders traveled from the Middle East to other ports for business, spices, and spouses; and they created relationships and families, and “mashed-up” their Jewish food traditions with local customs, foodways and ingredients. She changed her plans and wrote this cookbook, her eleventh, instead.
In it, Ms. Nathan travels – like these ancient mariners - from country to country, and finds she Jewish mash-ups, whether it is Jewish foods from Europe that ended up in Dayton, or Turkish staples in Cuba, or the foods of Babylonia in FSU Georgia. As she once said, “When I lived in Israel, I saw not a clash but a coming together of civilizations. You know, for me, Jewish food was my mother’s matzoh ball soup. Then I went there and I saw stuffed vegetables and all kinds of salads that were different… I realized then that food was culture, and it was not restaurant culture. It was ethnic culture.”
The title? It is said that Solomon had 700 wives and half as many girlfriends, and they had many food traditions. He learned from them, they learned from him, and there was a sharing of recipes and other things. It was "tabletop Judaism." In this spirit, Nathan shares over 170 uniquely Jewish recipes from El Salvador to Israel, from Morocco to Cuba, Siberia to Canada, and Sri Lanka (you know the Rambam’s brother lived there...) to Romania.
The book opens with a quote from Genesis: When woman ate of the tree of wisdom, she took of its fruit and ate, and shared some with her husband, and he ate. This is followed by a 16 page introduction to Solomon, Babylon, Judea, and the roots of Jewish foods; and 11 pages on pantry spices. There are sections for Morning (16 recipes); Starters (21 recipes), Salads (16 recipes), Soups and Their Dumplings (13 recipes), Breads (7 Sabbath breads, 4 Weekday breads), Grains and Such (10 recipes), Vegetables (15), Fish (15), Poultry (10), Meat (14), and Sweets (23).
The aleph recipe is an Azerbaijani Kukusa with Swiss Chard and Herbs, which is easy and herb-infused and a living vestige of Jewish life in Babylonia and Persia and an example of how a Jewish dish traveled from southern France to North Africa and back to France, morphed to Azerbaijan and then to Brooklyn. The Tof "closing recipe" is a Libyan Saefra, King Solomon Cake (how often have you used Cream of Wheat and Orange zest in a recipe?).
One of the fascinating aspects of this book is that each recipe has a priceless shared story and an amazing photo. To me, it is a keepsake. Smoky Shakshuka with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant comes with a story of colonial Williamsburg and its first Jewish resident, Dr. de Sequeyra, who introduced tomato-eating to his neighbors and patients. A Matzo Brei recipe comes with a cook-off story than ranges from Zamosc Poland to DC to the residence of the late Sheila Lukins (author of Silver Palate Cookbook). A recipe for Chilaquiles (Mexican Matzo Brei) is delivered with a story from LA's Jonathan Gold. Her “New Old Fashioned Bagel” recipe is akin to Montreal style ones of Mark Furstenberg’s "Bread Furst." Speaking of Canada, there is a recipe for Toronto-style Shtritzlach, as well as Siberian Chremsel. The Socca (chickpea pancake) recipe may change your life, as will Caponata Siciliana di Melanzane alla Giudia (many say that the Jews introduced eggplants to Sicily). Her Hummus with Preserved Lemon and Cumin recipe is matched with a Hebrew translation story on whether it was ‘vinegar’ or ‘hummus’ that Boaz served his workers in The Book of Ruth.
Other highlights (just mentioning a few) include: Corfu/Italian Huevos Haminados con Spinaci (Long-Cooked Eggs with Spinach) from Daisy Dente Modigliani; Halleq (Persian Haroset); Ferrara Haroset (using banana, pear, and apple); Bene Israel Fish Curry with Fresh Ginger, Tamarind, and Cilantro (from Babu of Ernakulam, India); Matbucha; Curried Beet Borscht with Apples and Ginger; Yemenite Chicken Soup with Dill, Cilantro and Parsley, Persian Cucumber and Radish Salad with Hungarian Paprika; Salonikan MelitzanoSalata; Tchav; Honduran/CrownHeights mashup Winter Squash Soup with Hot Pepper and Coconut Milk; Perugia-style Cod with Tomatoes, Dried Plums, Onions, and Pine Nuts; Abgoosht with Gundi; Suellen Lazarus’ Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup with Ghee; Concia; T’beet (Baghdadi Sabbath Overight Spiced Chicken with Rice and Coconut Chutney); Karaite-style Spiced Fried Matzo with Celery Seed and Tumeric; Kosher-Brined Roast Turkey with Challah-Chestnut-Cranberry Stuffing; Bulgarian Pashtida (from Spain Greece, the Balkans); Kubbanah, Ka’ak; Pletzel; Parpikas Krumpli (Hungarian Roasted Potatoes with Onions); Fideos Tostados with Cinnamon-Spiked Tomato Sauce (coupled with an essay on Rabbi Mussana and his concordance to the 1140 CE HeAruch); Slightly Sweet and Sour Cabbage (via Cuba by way of Ladino speakers of Turkey); Hand Cured Corned Beef; Indian Chicken with Cardamom, Cumin and Cilantro; David Tanis’ Dayton, Ohio-inspired Poached Salmon with Ginger-Cilantro Butter and Spinach; Macedonian Leek and Meat Patties; Roman Ricotta Cheese Crostata with Cherries or Chocolate; and El Salvador Schokoladenwurst.
P.S. - Remove the dust jacket and there is a pic of Hummus and a pic of Crostata. Can King Solomon figure out any puzzle or meanings?? (It all began with hummus?)
Slow-Cooked Brisket With Red Wine, Vinegar and Mustard
Braising a brisket for the Jewish holidays is an American tradition and not something that came over from the old country, says Joan Nathan. Here, San Francisco chef Adam Sobel has refined his low-and-slow recipe so that the acidic elements are front and center.
You’ll want to choose a good-quality brisket that has a nice fat cap on one side.
Make Ahead: The meat tastes better after a day or two’s refrigeration. If you wish, keep it whole during that time. When you’re ready to reheat, cut the meat against the grain into thin slices and place them in the strained cooking liquid.
SERVINGS: Tested size: 12 servings
One 6-pound brisket (see headnote)
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
6 carrots, scrubbed well and cut on the diagonal into several chunks
4 large onions, cut into quarters
6 ribs celery with leaves, cut into 2-inch chunks
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups dry red wine
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup peeled, freshly grated horseradish root
2 tablespoons brown or Dijon mustard
4 cups low-sodium beef broth, or more as needed
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 bunch parsley
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Season the brisket generously with salt and pepper all over.
Heat a few tablespoons of the oil in a large, sturdy braising pan or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the brisket. Sear on all sides; this may take as long as 10 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a platter.
Add half the carrots and all the onion, celery and garlic to the pan (over medium heat). If the pan seems dry, add more oil, as needed. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, then season lightly with salt and pepper.
Stir together the vinegar, wine, honey or maple syrup, horseradish and mustard in a large liquid measuring cup, then pour into the pan. Use a wooden spatula to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced a bit.
Return the brisket to the pan, fat side up. Pour in the broth, then add the bay leaves, thyme sprigs and parsley. (The broth should barely or not quite cover the meat.) Once the liquid begins to bubble at the edges, cover and transfer to the oven. Slow-roast for 3 hours, checking the liquid level. If it seems low, add a little more broth.
Uncover and add the remaining carrots on top, then cover and slow-roast for another hour. Transfer to the stove top (off the heat); uncover and reserve the top carrots, then transfer the meat to a cutting board. Strain the cooking liquid, if desired, discarding the solids, then return the liquid to the pan. Bring to barely a boil over medium heat; cook until the liquid has reduced by about half.
Trim any remaining fat on the meat, if you wish. Cut the meat against the grain into thin slices, arranging them in a deep platter. Spoon the hot cooking liquid over the meat, then ladle the reserved carrots on top. Serve warm.
What To Do About The Solomons
by Bethany Ball
Atlantic Monthly Press
From a remarkable new voice in fiction, Bethany Ball, comes a transporting debut; a hilarious multigenerational family saga set in Israel, New York, and Los Angeles that explores the secrets and gossip-filled lives of a kibbutz community near Jerusalem
Meet Marc Solomon, an Israeli ex-Navy commando now living in L.A., who is falsely accused of money laundering through his asset management firm. As the Solomons’ Santa Monica home is raided, Marc’s American wife, Carolyn—concealing her own dark past—makes hopeless attempts to hold their family of five together. But news of the scandal makes its way from America to the rest of the Solomon clan on the kibbutz in the Jordan River Valley. There we encounter various members of the family and the community—from Marc’s self-absorbed movie actress sister, Shira, and her forgotten son Joseph; to his rich and powerful construction magnate father, Yakov; to his former star-crossed love, Maya; and his brother-in-law Guy Gever, a local ranger turned “artist.” As the secrets and rumors of the kibbutz are revealed through various memories and tales, we witness the things that keep the Solomons together, and those that tear them apart.
Bold Flavors from a
by Emma Spitzer
Fress, in Yiddish, means: "to eat copiously and without restraint". BBC1 Masterchef finalist Emma Spitzer brings together a melting pot of Middle-Eastern and Eastern European flavors with this contemporary Jewish cookbook. Big on flavor and spice, this is happy, sociable food to feed the soul.
Emma's style of cooking is unfussy and uncomplicated, extracting the maximum taste from the humblest of ingredients without spending hours in the kitchen. Her melting pot of inspiration embraces Poland and Russia, Jewish recipes learned from her mother, travels in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and North Africa, as well as Algerian recipes shared by her mother-in-law.
From Slow-cooked Moroccan Chutney to Duck with Black Za'atar and Puy Lentils, Baharat Spiced Chicken to Apricot and Orange Blossom Frangipane, these recipes are packed with punchy flavors and aromatic spices. Emma also includes delicious family recipes, from Grandpa 'Bugga's' Turkey Schnitzel to Mummy's Golden Chicken Soup.
MY MOTHER'S KITCHEN
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, NBR>
and The Meaning of Life
by Peter Gethers
April 4, 2017
From the co producer of Old Jews Telling Jokes... a scion of Ratner's kosher dairy restaurant on Delancey...
A funny, moving memoir about a son’s discovery that his mother has a genius for understanding the intimate connections between cooking, people and love
Peter Gethers wants to give his aging mother a very personal and perhaps final gift: a spectacular feast featuring all her favorite dishes. The problem is, although he was raised to love food and wine he doesn’t really know how to cook. So he embarks upon an often hilarious and always touching culinary journey that will ultimately allow him to bring his mother’s friends and loved ones to the table one last time.
The daughter of a restaurateur - the restaurant was New York’s legendary Ratner’s - Judy Gethers discovered a passion for cooking in her 50s. In time, she became a mentor and friend to several of the most famous chefs in America, including Wolfgang Puck, Nancy Silverton and Jonathan Waxman; she also wrote many cookbooks and taught cooking alongside Julia Child. In her 80s, she was robbed of her ability to cook by a debilitating stroke. But illness has brought her closer than ever to her son: Peter regularly visits her so they can share meals, and he can ask questions about her colorful past, while learning her kitchen secrets. Gradually his ambition becomes manifest: he decides to learn how to cook his mother the meal of her dreams and thereby tell the story of her life to all those who have loved her.
With his trademark wit and knowing eye, Peter Gethers has written an unforgettable memoir about how food and family can do much more than feed us-they can nourish our souls.
The Widow of Wall Street:
by Randy Susan Meyers
A provocative new novel by bestselling author Randy Susan Meyers about the seemingly blind love of a wife for her husband as he conquers Wall Street, and her extraordinary, perhaps foolish, loyalty during his precipitous fall.
Phoebe recognizes fire in Jake Pierce’s belly from the moment they meet as teenagers. As he creates a financial dynasty, she trusts him without hesitation—unaware his hunger for success hides a dark talent for deception.
When Phoebe learns her husband’s triumph and vast reach rests on an elaborate Ponzi scheme her world unravels. As Jake’s crime is uncovered, the world obsesses about Phoebe. Did she know her life was fabricated by fraud? Was she his accomplice?
While Jake is trapped in the web of his deceit, Phoebe is caught in an unbearable choice. Her children refuse to see her if she remains at their father’s side, but abandoning him feels cruel and impossible.
From penthouse to prison, with tragic consequences rippling well beyond Wall Street, Randy Susan Meyers’s latest novel exposes a woman struggling to survive and then redefine her life as her world crumbles.
Building Resilience and
by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
April 24, 2017
A book on grief and loss and recovery, complementing her website and non profit on the same OPTION B theme
From the Facebook COO and one of Wharton’s top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.
In 2015 Sheryl Sandberg was on an adults-only vacation with her husband, Dave Goldberg, in Mexico. Their two young children were staying with the grandparents in California. She and Goldberg were friends for six years before dating. Goldberg had quipped that he had to wait nearly six years for Sheryl to realize she was dating jerks (including a former Navy SEAL who slept with a loaded gun) and finally date and marry him. Sheryl fell asleep at the pool, and Dave went to the gym. In a freak accident, he fell at the gym and bled; he died suddenly at the age of 48. Sandberg and her two young children were devastated, and she was certain that their lives would never have real joy or meaning again. Shiva was numbing, later that year, Sheryl needed her mother and sister’s help to make it through her daughter’s birthday party
Just weeks later, after shiva, Sandberg was talking with a friend about the first father-child activity without a father. They came up with a plan for someone to fill in. “But I want Dave,” she cried. She doubted herself and her own parenting skills. Her friend put his arm around her and said, “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.”
Everyone experiences some form of Option B. We all deal with loss: jobs lost, loves lost, lives lost. The question is not whether these things will happen but how we face them when they do.
Thoughtful, honest, revealing and warm (with footnotes and interviews). For example footnotes referring to “Resilience to Loss and Chronic Grief” or “Family Structure and Children’s Success: A Comparison of Widowed and Divorced Single Mother Families”), Option B weaves Sandberg’s experiences coping with adversity with new findings from Adam Grant and other social scientists. The book features stories of people who recovered from personal and professional hardship, including illness, injury, divorce, job loss, sexual assault and imprisonment. These people did more than recover—many of them became stronger.
Option B offers compelling insights for dealing with hardships in our own lives and helping others in crisis. It turns out that post-traumatic growth is common—even after the most devastating experiences many people don’t just bounce back but actually bounce forward. And pre-traumatic growth is also possible: people can build resilience even if they have not experienced tragedy. Sandberg and Grant explore how we can raise strong children, create resilient communities and workplaces, and find meaning, love and joy in our lives.
Her rabbi in Redwood, CA counseled that friends be supportive and “Lean in to the suck,” don;t avoid grief. Encourage it. Mark Zuckerberg, her colleague, boss, and friend, gave her the room to grieve at work and was supportive, even if she would weep in a meeting. And added bereavement leave to Facebook's corproaate policy)
“Dave’s death changed me in very profound ways,” Sandberg writes. “I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss. But I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface and breathe again.”
A TABLE AGAINST
Israel on the LawFare Front
By Larry M. Goldstein
The world is in the midst of a revolution in military affairs, caused by
a shift from symmetric to asymmetric war
the digitization and globalization of information, and
the automation of war by robotics and cyber aggression.
In this modern environment, a new weapon known as lawfare plays an essential role. Lawfare is the use, or more correctly the misuse, of law as a weapon of combat to embarrass Western countries, to constrain their armies, and in this way to achieve military objectives. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the world's leading conflict on this new battlefront. Drawing on the personal stories of soldiers in the Israeli, UK and US armies, and on the filings at the International Criminal Court, A Table Against Mine Enemies:
defines lawfare and related terms through personal stories;
explains the four fundamental laws of war on which lawfare attacks are based;
details Israel-based examples of lawfare in the separation barrier, the disputed territories, and flotilla attempts to break the blockade against importation of weapons to Gaza; and
presents scenarios for the future of war and of lawfare, based on advanced electronics, robotics, cyber attacks, and machine autonomy.
Lawfare is in the news every week, and will continue to appear over the coming decades. A Table Against Mine Enemies provides the information essential to understanding this new and revolutionary weapon of war.
The Islamic Enlightenment:
The Struggle Between Faith
and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times
by Christopher de Bellaigue
A revelatory and game-changing narrative that rewrites everything we thought we knew about the modern history of the Islamic world.
With majestic prose, Christopher de Bellaigue presents an absorbing account of the political and social reformations that transformed the lands of Islam in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Structuring his groundbreaking history around Istanbul, Cairo, and Tehran, the three main loci of Islamic culture, The Islamic Enlightenment challenges the ossified perceptions in Western culture that self-righteously condemn the Muslim world as hopelessly benighted. This false perception belies the fact that Islamic civilization has been undergoing its own anguished transformation over the last two hundred years and that the violence of an infinitesimally small minority is the blowback from this process. In reclaiming the stories of the nineteenth-century philosophers, anti-clerics, journalists, and feminists who opened up their societies to political and intellectual emancipation, The Islamic Enlightenment shows the folly of Westerners demanding modernity from people whose lives are already drenched in it. 8 pages of color and 8 pages of black-and-white illustrations
Mexican Ice Cream:
Beloved Recipes and Stories
by Fany Gerson
A collection of 60+ flavor-packed recipes for ice creams and frozen treats rooted in Mexico's rich and revered ice cream traditions. Fany Gerson—the Mexican-Jewish dessert genius behind Dough and La Newyorkina. She is the mother of the Doughka... the Mexican Jewish Babka Donut
This new offering from the incredibly popular baker and sweets maker Fany
Gerson, the powerhouse behind Brooklyn's La Newyorkina and Dough, showcases the incredibly diverse flavors of Mexican ice cream while exploring the cultural aspects of preparing and consuming ice cream in Mexico. Gerson uses unique ingredients to create exciting and fresh flavors like Red Prickly Pear Ice Cream, Oaxacan-style Lime Sorbet, Avocado-Chocolate Ice Cream, and Rice-Almond Ice Cream with Cinnamon. All recipes are created with the home cook in mind, and written in Fany's knowledgeable but accessible voice. Mexican Ice Cream features
vibrant location photography and captures the authentic Mexican heladerias that Gerson has been visiting for decades. For anyone looking to up their summer ice cream game, this is the book.
SHERRY LANSING AND THE
MAKING OF A HOLLYWOOD GROUNDBREAKER
By Stephen Galloway
The definitive biography of movie executive and philanthropist Sherry Lansing traces her groundbreaking journey to become the first female head of a major motion picture studio, shares behind-the-scenes tales from movie sets and Hollywood boardrooms, and explains what inspired her to walk away from it all to start the Sherry Lansing Foundation.
A Tour of Dream Cities,
and Everywhere in Between
by Darran Anderson
A best-seller throughout Europe. For as long as humans have gathered in cities, those cities have had their shining—or shadowy—counterparts. Imaginary cities, potential cities, future cities, perfect cities. It is as if the city itself, its inescapable gritty reality and elbow-to-elbow nature, demands we call into being some alternative, yearned-for better place.
This book is about those cities. It’s neither a history of grand plans nor a literary exploration of the utopian impulse, but rather something different, hybrid, idiosyncratic. It’s a magpie’s book, full of characters and incidents and ideas drawn from cities real and imagined around the globe and throughout history. Thomas More’s allegorical island shares space with Soviet mega-planning; Marco Polo links up with James Joyce’s meticulously imagined Dublin; the medieval land of Cockaigne meets the hopeful future of Star Trek. With Darran Anderson as our guide, we find common themes and recurring dreams, tied to the seemingly ineluctable problems of our actual cities, of poverty and exclusion and waste and destruction. And that’s where Imaginary Cities becomes more than a mere—if ecstatically entertaining—intellectual exercise: for, as Anderson says, “If a city can be imagined into being, it can be re-imagined.” Every architect, philosopher, artist, writer, planner, or citizen who dreams up an imaginary city offers lessons for our real ones; harnessing those flights of hopeful fancy can help us improve the streets where we live.
Though it shares DNA with books as disparate as Calvino’s Invisible Cities and Jane Jacobs’s Death and Life of Great American Cities, there’s no other book quite like Imaginary Cities. After reading it, you’ll walk the streets of your city—real or imagined—with fresh eyes.
THE GOLDEN PASSPORT
Harvard Business School HBS
The Limits of Capitalism
and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite
by Duff McDonald
(did you ever work with a HBS grad? While the top are amazing, the middle 68% are quite unimpressive... but I digress
A riveting and timely intellectual history of one of our most important capitalist institutions, Harvard Business School, from the bestselling author of The Firm.
With The Firm, financial journalist Duff McDonald pulled back the curtain on consulting giant McKinsey & Company. In The Golden Passport, he reveals the inner workings of a singular nexus of power, ambition, and influence: Harvard Business School.
Harvard University occupies a unique place in the public’s imagination, but HBS has arguably eclipsed its parent in terms of its influence on modern society. A Harvard degree guarantees respect. An HBS degree is, as the New York Times proclaimed in 1978, "the golden passport to life in the upper class." Those holding Harvard MBAs are near-guaranteed entrance into Western capitalism’s most powerful realm—the corner office.
Most people have a vague knowledge of the power of the HBS network, but few understand the dynamics that have made HBS an indestructible and powerful force for almost a century. As McDonald explores these dynamics, he also reveals how, despite HBS’s enormous success, it has failed with respect to the stated goal of its founders: "the multiplication of men who will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways." While HBS graduates tend to be very good at whatever they do, that is rarely the doing of good.
In addition to teasing out the essence of this exclusive, if not necessarily "secret" club, McDonald explores two important questions: Has the school failed at reaching the goals it set for itself? And is HBS therefore complicit in the moral failings of Western capitalism? At a time of pronounced economic disparity and political unrest, this hard-hitting yet fair portrait offers a much-needed look at an institution that has a profound influence on the shape of our society and all our lives.
Cass Elliot Before the
Mamas & the Papas
by Pénélope Bagieu
Before she became the legendary Mama Cass?one quarter of the mega-huge folk group The Mamas and the Papas?Cass Eliot was a girl from Baltimore trying to make it in the big city. After losing parts to stars like Barbra Streisand on the Broadway circuit, Cass found her place in the music world with an unlikely group of cohorts.
The Mamas and the Papas released five studio albums in their three years of existence. It was at once one of the most productive (and profitable) three years any band has ever had, and also one of the most bizarre and dysfunctional groups of people to ever come together to make music. Through it all, Cass struggled to keep sight of her dreams?and her very identity.
How the White House Chiefs
of Staff Define Every Presidency
by Chris Whipple
The first in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how the American presidency has hinged on the effectiveness of the White House chiefs of staff, and how their decisions have dictated the course of our country
What do Dick Cheney and Rahm Emanuel have in common? Aside from polarizing personalities, both served as chief of staff to the president of the United States—as did Donald Rumsfeld, Leon Panetta, and a relative handful of others. The chiefs of staff, often referred to as "the gatekeepers," wield tremendous power in Washington and beyond; they decide who is allowed to see the president, negotiate with Congress to push POTUS's agenda, and—most crucially—are the first in line to the leader of the free world's ear. Award-winning producer and journalist Chris Whipple demonstrates how those appointed to this lofty position have often served as de facto prime ministers, and the surprising extent to which their tenures have set the tone for our political climate. Through extensive, intimate interviews with all 20 living chiefs of staff and two former presidents, The Gatekeepers pulls back the curtain to expose how the nation's levers of power are operated by these right-hand advisors, and what each appointment reveals about its respective president.
Tell Me How This Ends Well:
by David Samuel Levinson
An ambitious, gripping, darkly funny family drama about the reckoning of three adult siblings with their profoundly flawed parents, set during Passover in a near-future America rife with anti-Semitism and terror, from an award-winning short-story writer
It is 2022, and Jewish Americans face problems in America. The Jacobson family gathers in Los Angeles for Passover. Mo, Jacob, and Edith are in despair and coming apart at the seams. They each relate how they were abused by their father Julian, and they are gathering for a PASSOVER PLOT… to murder their father, Will God help them put their bickering aside so they can work as a united front…
Teach Like Finland:
33 Simple Strategies
for Joyful Classrooms
by Timothy D. Walker
April 4, 2017
Are you listening Solomon Schecter??
Easy-to-implement classroom lessons from the world’s premier educational system.
Finland shocked the world when its fifteen-year-olds scored highest on the first Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a set of tests touted for evaluating critical-thinking skills in math, science, and reading. That was in 2001; but even today, this tiny Nordic nation continues to amaze. How does Finnish education?with short school days, light homework loads, and little standardized testing?produce students who match the PISA scores of high-powered, stressed-out kids in Asia?
When Timothy D. Walker started teaching fifth graders at a Helsinki public school, he began a search for the secrets behind the success of Finland’s schools. Walker has already written about several of those discoveries, and his Atlantic article on this topic received more than 500,000 shares. Here, he gathers all he has learned and reveals how any American teacher can implement these simple practices, which integrate seamlessly with educational standards in the United States.
By Doree Shafrir
Little, Brown and Company
Mack McAllister has a $600 million dollar idea. His mindfulness app, TakeOff, is already the hottest thing in tech and he's about to launch a new and improved version that promises to bring investors running and may turn his brainchild into a $1 billion dollar business--in startup parlance, an elusive unicorn.
Katya Pasternack is hungry for a scoop that will drive traffic. An ambitious young journalist at a gossipy tech blog, Katya knows that she needs more than another PR friendly puff piece to make her the go-to byline for industry news.
Sabrina Choe Blum just wants to stay afloat. The exhausted mother of two and failed creative writer is trying to escape from her credit card debt and an inattentive husband-who also happens to be Katya's boss-as she rejoins a work force that has gotten younger, hipper, and much more computer literate since she's been away.
Before the ink on Mack's latest round of funding is dry, an errant text message hints that he may be working a bit too closely for comfort with a young social media manager in his office. When Mack's bad behavior collides with Katya's search for a salacious post, Sabrina gets caught in the middle as TakeOff goes viral for all the wrong reasons. As the fallout from Mack's scandal engulfs the lower Manhattan office building where all three work, it's up to Katya and Sabrina to write the story the men in their lives would prefer remain untold.
An assured, observant debut from the veteran online journalist Doree Shafrir, Startup is a sharp, hugely entertaining story of youth, ambition, love, money and technology's inability to hack human nature.
Wherever You Go,
There They Are:
Stories About My Family
You Might Relate To
by Annabelle Gurwitch
April 18, 2017
Blie Rider Press
A hysterically funny and slyly insightful new collection of essays from New York Times bestselling author Annabelle Gurwitch, about her own family of scam artists and hucksters, as well as the sisterhoods, temporary tribes, communities, and cults who have become surrogates along the way.
When Annabelle Gurwitch was a child, surrounded by a cast of epically dysfunctional relatives, she secretly prayed that it was all a terrible mistake. Maybe she was a long lost daughter of Joni Mitchell or a reincarnation of the Russian princess, Anastasia. A family of bootleggers, gamblers, and philanderers, the Gurwitches have always been a bit vague on the standard ideal of a loving and supportive family. Their definition includes people you can count on to borrow money from, hold a grudge against, or blackmail. One day, unfortunately, Gurwitch woke up to realize that she'd made similar, if not the same, mistakes as everyone else before her--just in a new zip code. Wherever she went, there they were.
With her wry wit and hard-learned wisdom, Gurwitch explores the inescapable, yet rewarding, realities of life with her relatives and her southern Jewish roots, as well as her flirtation with surrogate families including theater folk, pet people, the sisterhood, and the ladies who brunch at Tel Aviv Gardens Retirement Home in Miami, Florida. She's learned that for better or for worse (you can guess which) it's worth celebrating the traditions, rituals, and recipes that come with a shared mythology and legacy, even if her own inheritance amounts to a small plot of land split between five relatives on an ill-fated sliver of sand known as Massacre Island.
Written with haunting detail, poignant family moments, laugh out loud comedy and social commentary, Gurwitch delivers a provocative treatise on the importance and insanity of family. Wherever You Go, There They Are is a must-read for anyone who's even occasionally been frustrated by the people they share carbohydrate-laden meals with every year.
Maybe It's You:
Cut the Crap.
Face Your Fears.
Love Your Life.
by Lauren Handel Zander
April 4, 2017
Foreword by Mark Hyman, MD
Maybe It's You picks up where You Are a Badass leaves off--it's a no-nonsense, practical manual to help readers figure out not just what they want out of life, but how to actually get there. Featuring a foreword from #1 New York Times bestselling author Mark Hyman.
In Maybe It's You, celebrity life-coach Lauren Handel Zander walks readers through the innovative step-by-step process that has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of her clients, and explains how anyone can achieve amazing things when we stop lying and finally start keeping the promises we make to ourselves. Whether readers want to find love, succeed at work, fix a fractured relationship, or lose weight, Zander's method will offer a road map to finally get there. Filled with practical exercises, inspiring client stories, and Lauren's own hard-won lessons, this book enables readers to identify, articulate, and account for their own setbacks so they can transform them into strengths.
by Alec Baldwin
I once saw Alec Baldwin choke a guy on the corner of Broadway and 96th Street. Must have been when he had issues of sobriety. Also was once at a party and listened to him on the JFK conspiracies. He is quite interesting, crazed, and talented.
Here is his story according to him:
One of the most accomplished and outspoken actors today chronicles the highs and lows of his life in this beautifully written, candid memoir.
Over the past three decades, Alec Baldwin has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most gifted, hilarious, and controversial leading men. From his work in popular movies, including Beetlejuice, Working Girl, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Cooler, and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed to his role as Jack Donaghy on Tina Fey’s irreverent series 30 Rock—for which he won two Emmys, three Golden Globes, and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards—and as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, he’s both a household name and a deeply respected actor.
In Nevertheless, Baldwin transcends his public persona, making public facets of his life he has long kept private. In this honest, affecting memoir, he introduces us to the Long Island child who felt burdened by his family’s financial strains and his parents’ unhappy marriage; the Washington, DC, college student gearing up for a career in politics; the self-named "Love Taxi" who helped friends solve their romantic problems while neglecting his own; the young soap actor learning from giants of the theatre; the addict drawn to drugs and alcohol who struggles with sobriety; the husband and father who acknowledges his failings and battles to overcome them; and the consummate professional for whom the work is everything. Throughout Nevertheless, one constant emerges: the fearlessness that defines and drives Baldwin’s life.
Told with his signature candor, astute observational savvy, and devastating wit, Nevertheless reveals an Alec Baldwin we have never fully seen before.
LUCKY BROKEN GIRL
By Ruth Behar
Nancy Paulsen Books
Penguin / Young Readers
Ages 11 and Up
In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age narrative—based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s—a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Ruthie’s plight will intrigue readers, and her powerful story of strength and resilience, full of color, light, and poignancy, will stay with them for a long time.
Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro’s Cuba to New York City. Just when she’s finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English—and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood’s hopscotch queen—a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie’s world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger and she comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times.
The Schmuck in My Office:
How to Deal Effectively with
Difficult People at Work
by Jody Foster and Michelle Joy
St. Martin’s Press
Everyone has a “schmuck” in their office - a difficult, disruptive person who upsets the workplace, confuses their co-workers and causes concern. No one is safe from a schmuck. They come in many sizes and shapes, such as:
- Narcissus: the self-centered, condescending, attention-seeking peacock who tramples on others
- The Flytrap: the bringer of chaos who can flip from angry to happy in an instant creating an office maelstrom
- The Bean Counter: the orderly perfectionist who never gives up control even when it’s full-steam-ahead to disaster
- The Robot: the inflexible stone wall who is incapable of adapting, even in the face of much-needed change
Sound like anyone you know? These are just a few of the more prominent schmucks. In her new book, Dr. Jody Foster explains the entire spectrum of schmucks, how they can decrease productivity, and generally make everyone else unhappy. After delineating the various types of schmucks, she looks at personality traits and explains how interactions among coworkers can become maladaptive leading to workplace disasters. She helps readers understand the schmuck as a person, figure out how to help him or her, and effect a positive solution. Dr. Foster also helps readers understand the most difficult thing of all: sometime you are the “schmuck.” Let Dr. Jody Foster show you how to help the schmuck, know if you are the schmuck, and make your workplace a happy and productive one.
Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy
in a New Gilded Age
by David Callahan, PhD
April 11, 2017
There are 90,000 private foundations with money to donate
There are 250,000 donor-advised funds
35,000 households, many of them Jewish, have a net worth over $30 million
Since 2005, the net worth of the Koch brothers increased by $75 billion
Since 2010, 150 billionaires joined the Giving Pledge
The way one makes their fortune shapes the way they give their money away. Eli Broad and Michael Bloomberg give very differently than Brin and Zuckerberg.
The new givers seek to shape public policy and not just perform medical research and poverty alleviation
This is an inside look at the secretive world of elite philanthropists--and how they're quietly wielding ever more power to shape American life in ways both good and bad.
While media attention focuses on famous philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Charles Koch, thousands of donors are at work below the radar promoting a wide range of causes. David Callahan charts the rise of these new power players and the ways they are converting the fortunes of a second Gilded Age into influence. He shows how this elite works behind the scenes on education, the environment, science, LGBT rights, and many other issues--with deep impact on government policy. Above all, he shows that the influence of the Givers is only just beginning, as new waves of billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg turn to philanthropy. Based on extensive research and interviews with countless donors and policy experts, this is not a brief for or against the Givers, but a fascinating investigation of a power shift in American society that has implications for us all.
All the Rivers:
by Dorit Rabinyan
Translated by Jessica Cohen
A controversial, award-winning story about the passionate but untenable affair between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man, from one of Israel’s most acclaimed novelists
When Liat meets Hilmi on a blustery autumn afternoon in Greenwich Village, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Charismatic and handsome, Hilmi is a talented young artist from Palestine. Liat, an aspiring translation student, plans to return to Israel the following summer. Despite knowing that their love can be only temporary, that it can exist only away from their conflicted homeland, Liat lets herself be enraptured by Hilmi: by his lively imagination, by his beautiful hands and wise eyes, by his sweetness and devotion.
Together they explore the city, sharing laughs and fantasies and pangs of homesickness. But the unfettered joy they awaken in each other cannot overcome the guilt Liat feels for hiding him from her family in Israel and her Jewish friends in New York. As her departure date looms and her love for Hilmi deepens, Liat must decide whether she is willing to risk alienating her family, her community, and her sense of self for the love of one man.
Banned from classrooms by Israel’s Ministry of Education, Dorit Rabinyan’s remarkable novel contains multitudes. A bold portrayal of the strains—and delights—of a forbidden relationship, All the Rivers (published in Israel as Borderlife) is a love story and a war story, a New York story and a Middle East story, an unflinching foray into the forces that bind us and divide us. “The land is the same land,” Hilmi reminds Liat. “In the end all the rivers flow into the same sea.”
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat:
Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
by Samin Nosrat
Illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton
Foreword by Michael Pollan
Simon & Schuster
Persian American Samin Nosrat is California and America’s “next great cooking teacher.” In the tradition of The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything comes “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat,” an ambitious new approach to cooking by a major new culinary voice. Chef and writer Samin Nosrat has taught everyone from professional chefs to middle school kids to author Michael Pollan to cook using her revolutionary, yet simple, philosophy. Master the use of just four elements —
Salt, which enhances flavor;
Fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture;
Acid, which balances flavor; and
Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food —
and anything you cook will be delicious. By explaining the hows and whys of good cooking, she will teach and inspire a new generation of cooks how to confidently make better decisions in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients, anywhere, at any time.
Echoing Samin’s own journey from culinary novice to award-winning chef, Salt, Fat Acid, Heat immediately bridges the gap between home and professional kitchens. With charming narrative, illustrated walkthroughs, and a lighthearted approach to kitchen science, Samin demystifies the four elements of good cooking for everyone. Refer to the canon of 100 essential recipes—and dozens of variations—to put the lessons into practice and make bright, balanced vinaigrettes, perfectly caramelized roast vegetables, tender braised meats, and light, flaky pastry doughs.
(not Jewish but let’s sneak this on in)
Feeding a Family:
A Real-Life Plan
for Making Dinner Work
by Sarah Waldman
Elizabeth Cecil (Photographer)
Sarah Friedrichs Moriarty Waldman of Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts is the mother of two young children, recipe specialist, nutritionist, teacher, and cookbook author. She includes 40 seasonal meals, 100 recipes, and loads of tips and strategies to make weeknight dinners work. Her motto: Reclaim the family dinner! (other parents stop her each afternoon at school to ask for dinner recommendations
In Feeding a Family, Waldman lays out all the tools you need to break out of the mealtime rut and turn dinner into a nutritionally fulfilling and happy occasion—despite busy schedules, long work days, and picky eaters. Through forty complete meals, you’ll discover hearty dinners the whole family will love, including:
· A meal for using up the best summer garden produce: Make-ahead Zucchini, Beef, and Haloumi Cheese Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce paired with Tomato, Peach (peach, not Pesach), and Red Onion and Lemon-Blackberry Custard
· A cozy and comforting dinner for a frenzied fall day: Creamy Tomato and Spinach Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons and Pear Pie in Cornmeal Crust
· The perfect meal for the busiest night of the week: Slow Cooker Indian Chicken with Sweet Peas and Lemon-Pecan Shortbread Cookies
· A warming (and fun) winter meal: One-pot Slurpee Noodle Bowls with simple Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Date Truffles for dessert
· Sunday suppers for when you have a bit more time to play in the kitchen, such as Homemade Pasta with Heirloom Tomato Sauce and Pavlova with Blueberries
With suggestions for including older kids in mealtime prep, tips for feeding baby, and ideas for extending ingredients for “tomorrow’s dinner,” Feeding a Family is a playbook that includes the whole family.
125+ Recipes to Enjoy
Your Life of Virtue & Vice
by Jessica Seinfeld
An all-new collection of more than 125 delectable recipes perfect for the reality of the actual human experience: sometimes healthy, sometimes indulgent—delicious, either way
Food Swings offers a range of simple and satisfying recipes that speak to both sides of your food brain. Here you’ll find the perfect go-to dish for when you want to eat light or for when you are in the mood for something more indulgent. The first half of the book, “Virtue,” provides recipes for your controlled side, while the other half, “Vice,” is for when you need to feel the wind in your hair. All of it is meant to be enjoyed equally in this fun something-for-everyone collection. So whether you’re a home cook looking for new inspiration, a big eater who is ready to party, or a human who might be occupied with watching your waist, you will find what you are looking for in Food Swings. Those who are eating gluten-free, dairy-free, meat-free, or almost-vegan, you have come to the right place!
Quinoa Bowl with Almond Butter, Strawberries, and Hemp Seeds
Ginger Salmon with Sesame Cucumbers
Whole Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Garlic
Roasted Plums with Honey and Pistachios
Buttermilk Panfried Chicken
Chocolate Fudge Cake
In addition to the dozens of inspired dishes offered here, you’ll also find personal essays, tips, and tricks for best results, and a gorgeous color photo for nearly every recipe. So no matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll find the perfect recipe for it in Food Swings.
Saving One's Own:
Jewish Rescuers during
by Mordecai Paldiel
In this remarkable, historically significant book, Mordecai Paldiel recounts in vivid detail the many ways in which, at great risk to their own lives, Jews rescued other Jews during the Holocaust. In so doing he puts to rest the widely held belief that all Jews in Nazi-dominated Europe wore blinders and allowed themselves to be led like “lambs to the slaughter.” Paldiel documents how brave Jewish men and women saved thousands of their fellow Jews through efforts unprecedented in Jewish history.
Encyclopedic in scope and organized by country, Saving One’s Own tells the stories of hundreds of Jewish activists who created rescue networks, escape routes, safe havens, and partisan fighting groups to save beleaguered Jewish men, women, and children from the Nazis. The rescuers’ dramatic stories are often shared in their own words, and Paldiel provides extensive historical background and documentation.
The untold story of these Jewish heroes, who displayed inventiveness and courage in outwitting the enemy—and in saving literally thousands of Jews—is finally revealed.
Drain the Swamp:
How Washington Corruption
is Worse than You Think
by Ken Buck
April 11, 2017
Congressman Buck is a Princeton grad and attorney who studied at Wyoming and wored for Cheney and DOJ. After working as a prosecutor in Colorado, he ran for Congress and Senate and serves as a GOP Rep in Congress. He wries about the dirty secrets of life on Capitol Hill and the payments that are needed to serve on comittees.
Lavish parties. Committee chairmanships for sale. Pay-to-play corruption. Backroom arm-twisting. Votes on major legislation going to the highest bidder. Welcome to Washington, D.C., the swamp that President Donald Trump was elected to drain.
Congressman Ken Buck is blowing the whistle on the real-life House of Cards in our nation's capital. Elected in 2014 as president of one of the largest Republican freshman classes ever to enter Congress, Buck immediately realized why nothing gets done in Congress, and it isn't because of political gridlock—in fact, Republicans and Democrats work together all too well to fleece taxpayers and plunge America deeper into debt.
"It is an insular process directed by power-hungry party elites who live like kings and govern like bullies," Buck reports.
Buck has witnessed first-hand how the unwritten rules of Congress continually prioritize short-term political gain over lasting, principled leadership. When Buck tangled with Washington power brokers like former Speaker John Boehner, he faced petty retaliation. When he insisted Republicans keep their word to voters, he was berated on the House floor by his own party leaders. When other members of Congress dared to do what they believed to be right for America instead of what the party bosses commanded, Buck saw them stripped of committee positions and even denied dining room privileges by the petty beltway bullies.
In Drain the Swamp, Buck names names and tells incredible true stories about what really happened behind closed doors in Congress during legislative battles that have ensued over the last two years including budget, continuing resolutions, omnibus, trade promotion authority, Iran, and more. If the Trump administration is going to bring real change to Washington, it first needs to get the whole story—from deep inside the swamp.
A Grace Paley Reader:
Stories, Essays, and Poetry
by Grace Paley
Edited by Kevin Bowen, Nora Paley
Introduction by George Saunders
"A writer like Paley," writes George Saunders, “comes along and brightens language up again, takes it aside and gives it a pep talk, sends it back renewed, so it can do its job, which is to wake us up.” Best known for her inimitable short stories, Grace Paley was also an enormously talented essayist and poet, as well as a fierce activist. She was a tireless member of the antiwar movement, the civil rights movement, the tenants’ rights movement, the anti-nuclear-power movement, and the Women’s Pentagon Action, among other causes, and proved herself to be a passionate citizen of each of her communities-New York City and rural Vermont. A Grace Paley Reader compiles a selection of Paley’s writing across genres, showcasing her breadth of work as well as her extraordinary insight and brilliant economy of words.
The Hidden History of
the Billionaires Behind the
Rise of the Radical Right
by Jane Mayer (New Yorker Magazine)
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
You mean it isn't the Jews who control the world?
Who are the immensely wealthy right-wing ideologues shaping the fate of America today? From the bestselling author of The Dark Side, an electrifying work of investigative journalism that uncovers the agenda of this powerful group.
In her new preface, Jane Mayer discusses the results of the most recent election and Donald Trump's victory, and how, despite much discussion to the contrary, this was a huge victory for the billionaires who have been pouring money in the American political system.
Why is America living in an age of profound and widening economic inequality? Why have even modest attempts to address climate change been defeated again and again? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? In a riveting and indelible feat of reporting, Jane Mayer illuminates the history of an elite cadre of plutocrats—headed by the Kochs, the Scaifes, the Olins, and the Bradleys—who have bankrolled a systematic plan to fundamentally alter the American political system. Mayer traces a byzantine trail of billions of dollars spent by the network, revealing a staggering conglomeration of think tanks, academic institutions, media groups, courthouses, and government allies that have fallen under their sphere of influence. Drawing from hundreds of exclusive interviews, as well as extensive scrutiny of public records, private papers, and court proceedings, Mayer provides vivid portraits of the secretive figures behind the new American oligarchy and a searing look at the carefully concealed agendas steering the nation. Dark Money is an essential book for anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.
Asia's Rise and Amrica's Decline
From Obama to Trump and Beyond
By Gideon Rachman
FT, Europe's Top Commentator
From the winner of the 2016 Orwell Prize and the European Press Prize for Commentator of the Year, a provocative analysis of how a new era of global instability has begun, as the flow of wealth and power turns from West to East.
Easternization is the defining trend of our age — the growing wealth of Asian nations is transforming the international balance of power. This shift to the East is shaping the lives of people all over the world, the fate of nations, and the great questions of war and peace.
A troubled but rising China is now challenging America’s supremacy, and the ambitions of other Asian powers — including Japan, North Korea, India, and Pakistan — have the potential to shake the whole world. Meanwhile the West is struggling with economic malaise and political populism, the Arab world is in turmoil, and Russia longs to reclaim its status as a great power.
As it becomes clear that the West’s historic power and influence is receding, Gideon Rachman offers a road map to the turbulent process that will define the international politics of the twenty-first century.
MAY 2017 BOOKS
The Family Imprint:
A Daughter's Portrait
of Love and Loss
by Nancy Borowick
May 12, 2017
The cover of this book is a needlepoint Nancy's father made for her mother on their wedding day. Her father died at age 58 of cancer. 364 days later they were back at the synagogue to bury their mother. Nancy documented her parents final years as they both battled cancer simultaneously
When American photojournalist Nancy Borowick’s (born 1985) parents Howie and Laurel were diagnosed with stage-four cancer and underwent simultaneous treatment, she did the only thing she knew how to do: she documented it. By turning the camera on her family’s life during this most intimate time, Borowick learned a great deal about herself, family and relationships in general. Borowick's father died in 2013, and her mother followed 364 days later. The lessons she garnered from Howie and Laurel were plentiful: always call when the airplane lands, never pass on blueberry pie, and most importantly, family is love and love is family.
“Though it is nothing she would have wished for, in a relatively short time Nancy Borowick became an expert in photographing death.” -The New York Times
Read an essay here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/20/nyregion/in-sickness-and-in-health-a-wedding-in-the-shadow-of-cancer.html
Am I Being Too Subtle?:
Straight Talk From
a Business Rebel
by Sam Zell
May 9, 2017
The traits that make Sam Zell one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs also make him one of the most surprising, enigmatic, and entertaining mavericks in American business. He is famous for success and obscenities
Self-made billionaire Sam Zell consistently sees what others don’t. From finding a market for overpriced Playboy magazines among his junior high classmates, to buying real estate on the cheap after a market crash, to investing in often unglamorous industries with long-term value, Zell acts boldly on supply and demand trends to grab the first-mover advantage. And he can find opportunity virtually anywhere—from an arcane piece of legislation to a desert meeting in Abu Dhabi.
“If everyone is going left, look right,” Zell often says. To him, conventional wisdom is nothing but a reference point. Year after year, deal after deal, he shuts out the noise of the crowd, gathers as much information as possible, then trusts his own instincts. He credits much of his independent thinking to his parents, who were Jewish refugees from World War II.
Talk to any two people and you might get wild swings in their descriptions of Zell. A media firestorm ensued when the Tribune Company went into bankruptcy a year after he agreed to steward the enterprise. At the same time, his razor-sharp instincts are legendary on Wall Street, and he has sponsored over a dozen IPOs. He’s known as the Grave Dancer for his strategy of targeting troubled assets, yet he’s created thousands of jobs. Within his own organization, he has an inordinate number of employees at every level who are fiercely loyal and have worked for him for decades.
Zell’s got a big personality; he is often contrarian, blunt, and irreverent, and always curious and hardworking. This is the guy who started wearing jeans to work in the 1960s, when offices were a sea of gray suits. He’s the guy who told The Wall Street Journal in 1985, “If it ain’t fun, we don’t do it.” He rides motorcycles with his friends, the Zell’s Angels, around the world and he keeps ducks on the deck outside his office.
As he writes: “I simply don’t buy into many of the made-up rules of social convention. The bottom line is: If you’re really good at what you do, you have the freedom to be who you really are.”
Am I Being Too Subtle?—a reference to Zell’s favorite way to underscore a point—takes readers on a ride across his business terrain, sharing with honesty and humor stories of the times he got it right, when he didn’t, and most important, what he learned in the process.
This is an indispensable guide for the next generation of disrupters, entrepreneurs, and investors.
The Worlds We Think We Know:
by Dalia Rosenfeld
(Bar Ilan University; Iowa Writers Workshop)
Fiercely funny and entirely original, this debut collection of stories takes readers from the United States to Israel and back again to examine the mystifying reaches of our own minds and hearts.
The characters of The Worlds We Think We Know are animated by forces at once passionate and perplexing. At a city zoo, a mismatched couple unite by releasing rare birds. After being mugged in the streets of New York, a professor must repeat the crime to recover his memory-and his lost love. In Tel Aviv, a sandstorm rages to expose old sorrows and fears as far away as Ohio. And from an unnamed Eastern European country, a woman haunts the husband who left her behind for a new life in America.
In Dalia Rosenfeld's prose, the foreign becomes familiar and the mundane magical. The Worlds We Think We Know is a dazzling debut-clear-eyed, empathetic, and heartbreaking.
Kingdom of Olives and Ash:
Writers Confront the Occupation
Edited by Michael Chabon
And Ayelet Waldman
A hefty 448 pages
(Agent: Mary Evans)
The dissonance generated by a visit to Hebron and a dinner in Tel Aviv jolted Israeli-born writer Ayelet Waldman (A Really Good Day - Microdosing LSD). It also sparked the genesis of a project with her husband, writer Michael Chabon (Moonglow), and Breaking the Silence: enlisting world-famous writers to document life under occupation.
In Kingdom of Olives and Ash, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman have teamed up with the Israeli NGO “Breaking the Silence” — an organization comprised of former Israeli soldiers who served in the occupied territories and saw firsthand the activities there — and a host of other same-thinking writers to tell the stories of the people on the ground in the contested territories.
Kingdom of Olives and Ash includes contributions from several of today’s most esteemed storytellers including:
Colum McCann, Jacqueline Woodson, Colm Toibin,
Geraldine Brooks (2 Palestinian children and the cycle of violence),
Rachel Kushner (Palestinian on Palestinian violence),
Dave Eggers, Hari Kunzru,
Raja Shehadeh, Mario Vargas Llosa
and Assaf Gavron, as well as from editors Chabon (on the topic of restrictions placed on Palestinian commerce) and Waldman (non violent resistance training among youth, but how her attention to them causes more trouble).
Through these essays, readers will gain unique insight into the narratives behind the litany of grim destruction broadcasted nightly on the news, as well as deeper understanding of the conflict as experienced by the people who live in the occupied territories. Weirdly, some of the same voices appear in multiple essays with the same themes, since the authors sort of used the same informant, as they are essayists, not journalists.
Main theme is life under occupation is frightening and oppressive due to PA and Israel
ARE YOU ANYBODY
BY JEFFREY TAMBOR
May 9, 2017
I could not put it down. Anyone who mentions Clem Kadiddlehopper and Jan Peerce in a memoir in the same chapter is a genius who must be read. It is a Mootzian triumph.
“Are You Anybody...” the line he heard after leaving his Broadway theatre, said to him by an autograph seeker
From the Jewish kid with a lisp who was kicked out of Hebrew School for asking a pointed question... to becoming a celebrated actor
The book opens with letters to his manager and others about an offer he gets to write a book and how he says no, no, no.... until... well.. here is the book
It's rare that an actor embodies even one memorable character over the arc of a career. Jeffrey Tambor has managed to create three, beginning with Hank "Hey Now!" Kingsley on The Larry Sanders Show, the series created by Garry Shandling, Jeffrey’s first mentor in television. He went on to find two more show creators, Mitch Hurwitz of Arrested Development and Jill Soloway of Transparent, who shared a love of actors and taught him a lot about acting along the way.
Are You Anybody is Tambor's chance to discuss his creative process and immense accomplishments from a life lived onscreen. He has taught acting for decades and we learn from him. Drawing from his formative childhood years; his dropping by a university drama program as a preteen on his walks home from school, (he describes himself as a fat Hungarian-Jewish kid with a lisp): growing up with a depressive father who was a boxer turned contractor; and a mother who dosed him with a “Milltown/Xanax” before his bar mitzvah speech/torah reading;... to how he drew inspiration from his life to create these characters, Tambor's memoir is funny, insightful, and uplifting, touching on comedy and the enduring chutzpah required to make it through life. His memoir is so very real and it also contains sad family tales about his older brother and mother that may be the kernel of his pathos.
Set in Stone:
America's Embrace of the Ten Commandments
by Jenna Weissman Joselit
(George Washington University)
Oxford University Press
From a winner of a National Jewish Book Award… a story on the Ten Commandments in American life.
When Cecil B. DeMille's epic, The Ten Commandments, came out in 1956, lines of people crowded into theaters across America to admire the movie's spectacular special effects. Thanks to DeMille, the commandments now had fans as well as adherents. But the country's fascination with the Ten Commandments goes well beyond the colossal scenes of this Hollywood classic.
In this vividly rendered narrative, Jenna Weissman Joselit situates the Ten Commandments within the fabric of American history. Her subjects range from the 1860 tale of the amateur who claimed to have discovered ancient holy stones inside a burial mound in Ohio to the San Francisco congregation of Sherith Israel, which commissioned a luminous piece of stained glass depicting Moses in Yosemite for its sanctuary; from the Kansas politician Charles Walter, who in the late nineteenth century proposed codifying each commandment into state law, to the radio commentator Laura Schlessinger, who popularized the Ten Commandments as a psychotherapeutic tool in the 1990s.
At once text and object, celestial and earthbound, Judaic and Christian, the Ten Commandments were not just a theological imperative in the New World; they also provoked heated discussions around key issues such as national identity, inclusion, and pluralism. In a country as diverse and heterogeneous as the United States, the Ten Commandments offered common ground and held out the promise of order and stability, becoming the lodestar of American identity. While archaeologists, theologians, and devotees across the world still wonder what became of the tablets that Moses received on Mount Sinai, Weissman Joselit offers a surprising answer: they landed in the United States.
The Only Language They Understand:
Forcing Compromise in
Israel and Palestine
by Nathan Thrall
In a myth-busting analysis of the world's most intractable conflict, a star of Middle East reporting, "one of the most important writers" in the field (The New York Times), argues that only one weapon has yielded progress: force.
Scattered over the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea lie the remnants of failed peace proposals, international summits, secret negotiations, UN resolutions, and state-building efforts. The conventional story is that these well-meaning attempts at peacemaking were repeatedly, perhaps terminally, thwarted by violence.
Through a rich interweaving of reportage, historical narrative, and powerful analysis, Nathan Thrall presents a startling counter-history. He shows that force-including but not limited to violence-has impelled each side to make its largest concessions, from Palestinian acceptance of a two-state solution to Israeli territorial withdrawals. This simple fact has been neglected by the world powers, which have expended countless resources on initiatives meant to diminish friction between the parties. By quashing any hint of confrontation, promising an imminent negotiated solution, facilitating security cooperation, developing the institutions of a still unborn Palestinian state, and providing bounteous economic and military assistance, the United States and Europe have merely entrenched the conflict by lessening the incentives to end it. Thrall’s important book upends the beliefs steering these failed policies, revealing how the aversion of pain, not the promise of peace, has driven compromise for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Published as Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza reaches its fiftieth anniversary, which is also the centenary of the Balfour Declaration that first promised a Jewish national home in Palestine, The Only Language They Understand advances a bold thesis that shatters ingrained positions of both left and right and provides a new and eye-opening understanding of this most vexed of lands.
“These are the toughest criticisms anywhere of decades of Israeli policy. The failings of the Palestinians are here as well-but the arrows are aimed at Jerusalem. Serious supporters of Israel should have their answers ready-or be prepared to lose debates to opponents quoting Nathan Thrall.” - Elliott Abrams, Deputy National Security Advisor, George W. Bush administration, and offical in Reagan Administration and recently rejected Asst Sec of State (Tillerson and Kushner wanted him, DJT did not) in Trump administration.
Humanitarians at War:
The Red Cross in the
Shadow of the Holocaust
by Gerald Steinacher
Oxford University Press
The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is one of the world's oldest, most prominent, and revered aid organizations. But at the end of World War II things could not have looked more different. Under fire for its failure to speak out against the Holocaust or to extend substantial assistance to Jews trapped in Nazi camps across Europe, the ICRC desperately needed to salvage its reputation in order to remain relevant in the post-war world. Indeed, the whole future of Switzerland's humanitarian flagship looked to hang in the balance at this time.
Torn between defending Swiss neutrality and battling Communist critics in the early Cold War, the Red Cross leadership in Geneva emerged from the world war with a new commitment to protecting civilians caught in the crossfire of conflict. Yet they did so while interfering with Allied de-nazification efforts in Germany and elsewhere, and coming to the defense of former Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials. Not least, they provided the tools for many of Hitler's former henchmen, notorious figures such as Joseph Mengele and Adolf Eichmann, to slip out of Europe and escape prosecution-behavior which did little to silence those critics in the Allied powers who unfavorably compared the 'shabby' neutrality of the Swiss with the 'good neutrality' of the Swedes, their eager rivals for leadership in international humanitarian initiatives.
However, in spite of all this, by the end of the decade, the ICRC had emerged triumphant from its moment of existential crisis, navigating the new global order to reaffirm its leadership in world humanitarian affairs against the challenge of the Swedes, and playing a formative role in rewriting the rules of war in the Geneva Conventions of 1949. This uncompromising new history tells the remarkable and intriguing story of how the ICRC achieved this - successfully escaping the shadow of its ambiguous wartime record to forge a new role and a new identity in the post-1945 world.
Giant of the Senate
by U.S. Senator Al Franken (D, MN)
May 30, 2017
AL FRANKEN, GIANT OF THE SENATE is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it. It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast. In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.
Power and Glory:
France’s Secret Wars with
Britain and America, 1945-2016
by R. T. Howard
(George Washington University)
Since 1945, France has pursued a clandestine rivalry with Great Britain and the United States. It has been jealous and resentful of the power and status of the English-speaking world, genuinely fearing that its rivals will steal or undermine its colonial possessions or influence. This book tells the story of that curious tension through the prism of the France's 'secret wars.'
R. T. Howard is an editor of the international intelligence magazine Eye Spy, and has written extensively on intelligence-related issues for Jane's Intelligence Review, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, The Times, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.
THE BEGINNING OF POLITICS
Power in the Biblical Book of Samuel
By Moshe Halbertal and
Princeton University Press
The Book of Samuel is universally acknowledged as one of the supreme achievements of biblical literature. Yet the book's anonymous author was more than an inspired storyteller. The author was also an uncannily astute observer of political life and the moral compromises and contradictions that the struggle for power inevitably entails. The Beginning of Politics mines the story of Israel's first two kings to unearth a natural history of power, providing a forceful new reading of what is arguably the first and greatest work of Western political thought.
Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes show how the beautifully crafted narratives of Saul and David cut to the core of politics, exploring themes that resonate wherever political power is at stake. Through stories such as Saul's madness, David's murder of Uriah, the rape of Tamar, and the rebellion of Absalom, the book's author deepens our understanding not only of the necessity of sovereign rule but also of its costs--to the people it is intended to protect and to those who wield it. What emerges from the meticulous analysis of these narratives includes such themes as the corrosive grip of power on those who hold and compete for power; the ways in which political violence unleashed by the sovereign on his own subjects is rooted in the paranoia of the isolated ruler and the deniability fostered by hierarchical action through proxies; and the intensity with which the tragic conflict between political loyalty and family loyalty explodes when the ruler's bloodline is made into the guarantor of the all-important continuity of sovereign power.
The Beginning of Politics is a timely meditation on the dark side of sovereign power and the enduring dilemmas of statecraft. Moshe Halbertal is the Gruss Professor of Law at New York University, the John and Golda Cohen Professor of Jewish Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and professor of law at IDC Herzliya in Israel. Stephen Holmes is the Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law at New York University.
THE MANY DEATHS OF JEW SUSS
The Notorious Trial and Execution
Of an Eighteenth Century Court Jew
By Yair Mintzker
Princeton University Press
Joseph Süss Oppenheimer--"Jew Süss"--is one of the most iconic figures in the history of anti-Semitism. In 1733, Oppenheimer became the "court Jew" of Carl Alexander, the duke of the small German state of Württemberg. When Carl Alexander died unexpectedly, the Württemberg authorities arrested Oppenheimer, put him on trial, and condemned him to death for unspecified "misdeeds." On February 4, 1738, Oppenheimer was hanged in front of a large crowd just outside Stuttgart. He is most often remembered today through several works of fiction, chief among them a vicious Nazi propaganda movie made in 1940 at the behest of Joseph Goebbels.
The Many Deaths of Jew Süss is a compelling new account of Oppenheimer's notorious trial. Drawing on a wealth of rare archival evidence, Yair Mintzker investigates conflicting versions of Oppenheimer's life and death as told by four contemporaries: the leading inquisitor in the criminal investigation, the most important eyewitness to Oppenheimer's final days, a fellow court Jew who was permitted to visit Oppenheimer on the eve of his execution, and one of Oppenheimer's earliest biographers. What emerges is a lurid tale of greed, sex, violence, and disgrace--but are these narrators to be trusted? Meticulously reconstructing the social world in which they lived, and taking nothing they say at face value, Mintzker conjures an unforgettable picture of "Jew Süss" in his final days that is at once moving, disturbing, and profound.
The Many Deaths of Jew Süss is a masterfully innovative work of history, and an illuminating parable about Jewish life in the fraught transition to modernity.
Beating the Odds:
by Justin Yifu Lin
and Célestin Monga
Princeton University Press
Lessons like Mali and the Negev
Contrary to conventional wisdom, countries that ignite a process of rapid economic growth almost always do so while lacking what experts say are the essential preconditions for development, such as good infrastructure and institutions. In Beating the Odds, two of the world's leading development economists begin with this paradox to explain what is wrong with mainstream development thinking--and to offer a practical blueprint for moving poor countries out of the low-income trap regardless of their circumstances.
Justin Yifu Lin, the former chief economist of the World Bank, and Célestin Monga, the chief economist of the African Development Bank, propose a development strategy that encourages poor countries to leap directly into the global economy by building industrial parks and export-processing zones linked to global markets. Countries can leverage these zones to attract light manufacturing from more advanced economies, as East Asian countries did in the 1960s and China did in the 1980s. By attracting foreign investment and firms, poor countries can improve their trade logistics, increase the knowledge and skills of local entrepreneurs, gain the confidence of international buyers, and gradually make local firms competitive. This strategy is already being used with great success in Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and other countries. And the strategy need not be limited to traditional manufacturing but can also include agriculture, the service sector, and other activities.
Beating the Odds shows how poor countries can ignite growth without waiting for global action or the creation of ideal local conditions.
The Sum of Small Things:
A Theory of the Aspirational Class
by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett
Princeton University Press
In today's world, the leisure class has been replaced by a new elite. Highly educated and defined by cultural capital rather than income bracket, these individuals earnestly buy organic, carry NPR tote bags, and breast-feed their babies. They care about discreet, inconspicuous consumption--like eating free-range chicken and heirloom tomatoes, wearing organic cotton shirts and TOMS shoes, and listening to the Serial podcast. They use their purchasing power to hire nannies and housekeepers, to cultivate their children's growth, and to practice yoga and Pilates. In The Sum of Small Things, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett dubs this segment of society "the Aspirational Class" and discusses how, through deft decisions about education, health, parenting, and retirement, the Aspirational Class reproduces wealth and upward mobility, deepening the ever-wider class divide.
Exploring the rise of the Aspirational Class, Currid-Halkett considers how much has changed since the 1899 publication of Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class. In that inflammatory classic, which coined the phrase "conspicuous consumption," Veblen described upper-class frivolities: men who used walking sticks for show, and women who bought silver flatware despite the effectiveness of cheaper aluminum utensils. Now, Currid-Halkett argues, the power of material goods as symbols of social position has diminished due to their accessibility. As a result, the Aspirational Class has altered its consumer habits away from overt materialism to more subtle expenditures that reveal status and knowledge. And these transformations influence how we all make choices.
With a rich narrative and extensive interviews and research, The Sum of Small Things illustrates how cultural capital leads to lifestyle shifts and what this forecasts, not just for the Aspirational Class but for everyone.
The Hue and Cry
at Our House
A year Remembered
By Benjamin Taylor
After John F. Kennedy’s speech in front of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth on November 22, 1963, he was greeted by, among others, an 11-year-old Benjamin Taylor and his mother waiting to shake his hand. Only a few hours later, Taylor’s teacher called the class in from recess and, through tears, told them of the president’s assassination.
From there Taylor traces a path through the next twelve months, recalling the tumult as he saw everything he had once considered stable begin to grow more complex. Looking back on the love and tension within his family, the childhood friendships that lasted and those that didn’t, his memories of summer camp and family trips, he reflects upon the outsized impact our larger American story had on his own.
Benjamin Taylor is one of the most talented writers working today. In lyrical, translucent prose, he thoughtfully extends the story of twelve months into the years before and after, painting a portrait of the artist not simply as a young (gifted, upper-middle-class, gay, Jewish, Asperger-y, Fort Worth) man, but across his whole life. As he writes, “[A]ny twelve months could stand for the whole. Our years are so implicated in one another that the least important is important enough . . . Any year I chose would show the same mettle, the same frailties stamping me at eleven and twelve.”
Why National Movements
Compete, Fight, and Win
By Peter Krause
Cornell University Press
Many of the world's states-from Algeria to Ireland to the United States-are the result of robust national movements that achieved independence. Many other national movements have failed in their attempts to achieve statehood, including the Basques, the Kurds, and the Palestinians. In Rebel Power, Peter Krause offers a powerful new theory to explain this variation focusing on the internal balance of power among nationalist groups, who cooperate with each other to establish a new state while simultaneously competing to lead it. The most powerful groups push to achieve states while they are in position to rule them, whereas weaker groups unlikely to gain the spoils of office are likely to become spoilers, employing risky, escalatory violence to forestall victory while they improve their position in the movement hierarchy. Hegemonic movements with one dominant group are therefore more likely to achieve statehood than internally competitive, fragmented movements due to their greater pursuit of victory and lesser use of counterproductive violence.
Krause conducted years of fieldwork in government and nationalist group archives in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, as well as more than 150 interviews with participants in the Palestinian, Zionist, Algerian, and Irish national movements. This research generated comparative longitudinal analyses of these four national movements involving 40 groups in 44 campaigns over a combined 140 years of struggle. Krause identifies new turning points in the history of these movements and provides fresh explanations for their use of violent and nonviolent strategies, as well as their numerous successes and failures. Rebel Power is essential reading for understanding not only the history of national movements but also the causes and consequences of contentious collective action today, from the Arab Spring to the civil wars and insurgencies in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond.
Why Christians Must Think
Differently about the People
and the Land
by Gerald R. McDermott
May 30, 2017
Widely respected theologian Gerald McDermott has spent two decades investigating the meaning of Israel and Judaism. What he has learned has required him to rethink many of his previous assumptions.
Israel Matters addresses the perennially important issue of the relationship between Christianity and the people and land of Israel, offering a unique and compelling "third way" between typical approaches and correcting common misunderstandings along the way. This book challenges the widespread Christian assumption that since Jesus came to earth, Jews are no longer special to God as a people, and the land of Israel is no longer theologically significant. It traces the author's journey from thinking those things to discovering that the New Testament authors believed the opposite of both. It also shows that contrary to what many Christians believe, the church is not the new Israel, and both the people and the land of Israel are important to God and the future of redemption.
McDermott offers an accessible but robust defense of a "New Christian Zionism" for pastors and laypeople interested in Israel and Christian-Jewish relations. His approach will also spark a conversation among theologians and biblical scholars.
You're the Only One
I Can Tell:
Inside the Language
of Women's Friendships
by Deborah Tannen
(Georgetown University, Linguistics)
May 2, 2017
Through research into the unique ways women talk to one another, this warm and wise exploration of female friendship will help women lean into the comfort these powerful relationships offer and avoid the hurt feelings that come from common miscommunications.
Best friend, old friend, good friend, bff, college roommate, neighbor, workplace confidante: Women’s friendships are a lifeline in times of trouble and a support system for daily life. A friend can be like a sister, daughter, mother, mentor, therapist, or confessor—or she can be all of these at once. She’s seen you at your worst and celebrates you at your best. Figuring out what it means to be friends is, in the end, no less than figuring out how we connect to other people.
In this illuminating and validating new book, #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Tannen deconstructs the ways women friends talk and how those ways can bring friends closer or pull them apart. From casual chatting to intimate confiding, from talking about problems to telling what you had for dinner, Tannen uncovers the patterns of communication and miscommunication that affect friendships at different points in our lives. She shows how even the best of friends—with the best intentions—can say the wrong thing, and how words can repair the damage done by words. Through Tannen’s signature insight, humor, and ability to present pitch-perfect real-life dialogue, readers will see themselves and their friendships on every page. The book explains
• the power of women friends who show empathy, give advice—or just listen
• how women use talk to connect to friends—and to subtly compete
• how “Fear of Being Left Out” and “Fear of Getting Kicked Out” can haunt women’s friendships
• how social media is reshaping communication and relationships
Drawing on interviews with eighty women of diverse backgrounds, ranging in age from nine to ninety-seven, You’re the Only One I Can Tell gets to the heart of women’s friendships—how they work or fail, how they help or hurt, and how we can make them better.
City on a Hilltop:
American Jews and the
Israeli Settler Movement
by Sara Yael Hirschhorn
Harvard University Press
Since 1967, more than 60,000 Jewish-Americans have settled in the territories captured by the State of Israel during the Six Day War. Comprising 15 percent of the settler population today, these immigrants have established major communities, transformed domestic politics and international relations, and committed shocking acts of terrorism. They demand attention in both Israel and the United States, but little is known about who they are and why they chose to leave America to live at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In this deeply researched, engaging work, Sara Yael Hirschhorn unsettles stereotypes, showing that the 1960s generation who moved to the occupied territories were not messianic zealots or right-wing extremists but idealists engaged in liberal causes. They did not abandon their progressive heritage when they crossed the Green Line. Rather, they saw a historic opportunity to create new communities to serve as a beacon?a “city on a hilltop”?to Jews across the globe. This pioneering vision was realized in their ventures at Yamit in the Sinai and Efrat and Tekoa in the West Bank. Later, the movement mobilized the rhetoric of civil rights to rebrand itself, especially in the wake of the 1994 Hebron massacre perpetrated by Baruch Goldstein, one of their own.
On the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 war, Hirschhorn illuminates the changing face of the settlements and the clash between liberal values and political realities at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Last Man Standing:
Mort Sahl and the
Birth of Modern Comedy
by James Curtis (Author
University Press of Mississippi
May 15, 2017
On December 22, 1953, Mort Sahl took the stage at San Francisco’s hungry i and changed comedy forever. Before him, standup was about everything but hard news and politics. In his wake, a new generation of smart comics emerged-Shelley Berman, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Lenny Bruce, Bob Newhart, Dick Gregory, Woody Allen, and the Smothers Brothers, among others. He opened up jazz-inflected satire to a loose network of clubs, cut the first modern comedy album, and appeared on the cover of Time surrounded by caricatures of some of his frequent targets such as Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Adlai Stevenson, and John F. Kennedy. Through the extraordinary details of Sahl’s life, author James Curtis deftly illustrates why Sahl was dubbed by Steve Allen as “the only real political philosopher we have in modern comedy.”
Sahl came on the scene the same year Eisenhower and Nixon entered the White House, the year Playboy first hit the nation’s newsstands. Clad in an open collar and pullover sweater, he adopted the persona of a graduate student ruminating on current events. “It was like nothing I’d ever seen,” said Woody Allen, “and I’ve never seen anything like it after.” Sahl was billed, variously, as the Nation’s Conscience, America’s Only Working Philosopher, and, most tellingly, the Next President of the United States. Yet he was also a satirist so savage the editors of Time once dubbed him “Will Rogers with fangs.”
Here, for the first time, is the whole story of Mort Sahl, America’s iconoclastic father of modern standup comedy. Written with Sahl’s full cooperation and the participation of many of his friends and contemporaries, it delves deeply into the influences that shaped him, the heady times in which he soared, and the depths to which he fell during the turbulent sixties when he took on the Warren Commission and nearly paid for it with his career.
Theft by Finding:
by David Sedaris
May 30, 2017
David Sedaris tells all in a book that is, literally, a lifetime in the making
“One of the most anticipated books of 2017:” according to The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Week, Bustle, BookRiot, and KosherLyfestyle
It's no coincidence that the world's best writers tend to keep diaries. If you faithfully record your life in a journal, you're writing every day-and if you write every day, you become a better writer. David Sedaris has kept a diary for forty years. This means that if you've kept a diary for a year of your life or less, Sedaris is at least forty times better at writing than you are.
In his diaries, he's recorded everything that has captured his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and with them he has honed his self-deprecation and learned to craft his cunning, surprising sentences.
Now, for the first time, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world in Theft By Finding: Diaries 1977-2002. This is the first-person account of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.
Most diaries - even the diaries of great writers - are impossibly dull, because they generally write about their emotions, or their dreams, or their interior life. Sedaris's diaries are unique because they face outward. He doesn't tell us his feelings about the world, he shows us the world instead, and in so doing he shows us something deeper about himself.
Written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable, and with a generosity of spirit that even a misanthropic sense of humor can't fully disguise, Theft By Finding proves that Sedaris is one of our great modern observers. It's a potent reminder that there's no such thing as a boring day-when you're as perceptive and curious as Sedaris, adventure waits around every corner.
The Merchants of Oran:
A Jewish Port at the
Dawn of Empire
by Joshua Schreier
Stanford University Press
The Merchants of Oran weaves together the history of a Mediterranean port city with the lives of Oran's Jewish mercantile elite during the transition to French colonial rule. Through the life of Jacob Lasry and other influential Jewish merchants, Joshua Schreier tells the story of how this diverse and fiercely divided group both responded to, and in turn influenced, French colonialism in Algeria. Jacob Lasry and his cohort established themselves in Oran in the decades after the Regency of Algiers dislodged the Spanish in 1792, during a period of relative tolerance and economic prosperity. In newly-Muslim Oran, Jewish merchants found opportunities to ply their trades, dealing in both imports and exports. On the eve of France's long and brutal invasion of Algeria, Oran owed much of its commercial vitality to the success of these Jewish merchants.
Under French occupation, the merchants of Oran maintained their commercial, political, and social clout. Yet by the 1840s, French policies began collapsing Oran's diverse Jewish inhabitants into a single social category, legally separating Jews from their Muslim neighbors and creating a racial hierarchy. Schreier argues that France's exclusionary policy of "emancipation," far more than older antipathies, planted the seeds of twentieth-century ruptures between Muslims and Jews.
The Many Deaths of Jew Süss:
The Notorious Trial and
Execution of an Eighteenth-Century
by Yair Mintzker
Princeton University Press
A groundbreaking historical reexamination of one of the most infamous episodes in the history of anti-Semitism
Joseph Süss Oppenheimer--"Jew Süss"--is one of the most iconic figures in the history of anti-Semitism. In 1733, Oppenheimer became the "court Jew" of Carl Alexander, the duke of the small German state of Württemberg. When Carl Alexander died unexpectedly, the Württemberg authorities arrested Oppenheimer, put him on trial, and condemned him to death for unspecified "misdeeds." On February 4, 1738, Oppenheimer was hanged in front of a large crowd just outside Stuttgart. He is most often remembered today through several works of fiction, chief among them a vicious Nazi propaganda movie made in 1940 at the behest of Joseph Goebbels.
The Many Deaths of Jew Süss is a compelling new account of Oppenheimer's notorious trial. Drawing on a wealth of rare archival evidence, Yair Mintzker investigates conflicting versions of Oppenheimer's life and death as told by four contemporaries: the leading inquisitor in the criminal investigation, the most important eyewitness to Oppenheimer's final days, a fellow court Jew who was permitted to visit Oppenheimer on the eve of his execution, and one of Oppenheimer's earliest biographers. What emerges is a lurid tale of greed, sex, violence, and disgrace--but are these narrators to be trusted? Meticulously reconstructing the social world in which they lived, and taking nothing they say at face value, Mintzker conjures an unforgettable picture of "Jew Süss" in his final days that is at once moving, disturbing, and profound.
The Many Deaths of Jew Süss is a masterfully innovative work of history, and an illuminating parable about Jewish life in the fraught transition to modernity.
JUNE 2017 BOOKS
Pritzker Edition, Volume Twelve
Translated by Nathan Wolski and
Stanford University Press
Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Radiance) has amazed readers ever since it emerged in Spain over seven hundred years ago. Written in a lyrical Aramaic, the Zohar, the masterpiece of Kabbalah, features mystical interpretation of the Torah, from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The twelfth volume of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition presents an assortment of discrete Zoharic compositions. The first two chapters contain different versions of the Zoharic Heikhalot, descriptions of the heavenly halls or palaces that the soul of the kabbalist traverses during prayer. Piqqudin, or Commandments, is a kabbalistic treatment of the mystical reasons for the commandments. Raza de-Razin (Mystery of Mysteries) is a diagnostic manual for the ancient and medieval science of physiognomy, determining people's character based on physical appearance. Sitrei Otiyyot (Secrets of the Letters) is a mystical essay that maps out the emergence of divine and mundane reality from the tetragrammaton, YHVH. Qav ha-Middah (Line of Measure) is another mystical essay that describes the divine instrument used by God to gauge the mystical overflow to the ten sefirot. The commentary on Merkevet Yehezqel (Ezekiel's Chariot) interprets the details of the prophet Ezekiel's chariot-vision. Beginning with the description of the four creatures, the Zohar demonstrates how Divinity and the cosmos comprise a series of quaternities that pervade all Being. The last main chapter includes Zoharic commentary to various portions of the Torah. The volume closes with a short appendix of passages that printers have labeled Tosefta despite their not fitting into that genre-a suitable end to the Zohar whose parameters and composition will remain ever mysterious.
The Origin of the Jews:
The Quest for Roots
in a Rootless Age
by Steven Weitzman
(University of Pennsylvania)
Princeton University Press
Quest for Roots, not Robots
The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics. Some skeptics have even sought to debunk the very idea that the Jews have a common origin. In this book, Steven Weitzman takes a learned and lively look at what we know--or think we know--about where the Jews came from, when they arose, and how they came to be.
Scholars have written hundreds of books on the topic and come up with scores of explanations, theories, and historical reconstructions, but this is the first book to trace the history of the different approaches that have been applied to the question, including genealogy, linguistics, archaeology, psychology, sociology, and genetics. Weitzman shows how this quest has been fraught since its inception with religious and political agendas, how anti-Semitism cast its long shadow over generations of learning, and how recent claims about Jewish origins have been difficult to disentangle from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He does not offer neatly packaged conclusions but invites readers on an intellectual adventure, shedding new light on the assumptions and biases of those seeking answers--and the challenges that have made finding answers so elusive.
Spanning more than two centuries and drawing on the latest findings, The Origin of the Jews brings needed clarity and historical context to this enduring and often divisive topic.
Steven Weitzman is the Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures and Ella Darivoff Director of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom and Surviving Sacrilege: Cultural Persistence in Jewish Antiquity.
The Jewish Wedding NOW
by Anita Diamant
Newly revised and updated, the definitive guide to planning a Jewish wedding, written by bestselling novelist Anita Diamant—author of The Red Tent and The Boston Girl—and one of the most respected writers of guides to contemporary Jewish life.
This complete, easy-to-use guide explains everything you need to know to plan your own Jewish wedding in today’s ever-changing world where the very definition of what constitutes a Jewish wedding is up for discussion.
With enthusiasm and flair, Anita Diamant provides choices for every stage of a wedding—including celebrations before and after the ceremony itself—providing both traditional and contemporary options. She explains the Jewish tradition of love and marriage with references drawn from Biblical, Talmudic, and mystical texts and stories. She guides you step by step through planning the ceremony and the party that follows—from finding a rabbi and wording the invitation to organizing a processional and hiring a caterer. Samples of wedding invitations and ketubot (marriage contracts) are provided for inspiration and guidance, as well as poems that can be incorporated into the wedding ceremony or party and a variety of translations of traditional texts.
“There is no such thing as a generic Jewish wedding,” writes Anita Diamant, “no matter what the rabbi tells you, no matter what the caterer tells you, no matter what your mother tells you.” Complete, authoritative, and indispensable, The Jewish Wedding Now provides personalized options—some new, some old—to create a wedding that combines spiritual meaning and joyous celebration and reflects your individual values and beliefs.
How to Be a Muslim:
An American Story
by Haroon Moghul
A young Muslim leader’s memoir of his struggles to forge an American Muslim identity
Haroon Moghul was thrust into the spotlight after 9/11, becoming an undergraduate leader at New York University’s Islamic Center forced into appearances everywhere: on TV, before interfaith audiences, in print. Moghul was becoming a prominent voice for American Muslims even as he struggled with his relationship to Islam. In high school he was barely a believer and entirely convinced he was going to hell. He sometimes drank. He didn’t pray regularly. All he wanted was a girlfriend.
But as he discovered, it wasn’t so easy to leave religion behind. To be true to himself, he needed to forge a unique American Muslim identity that reflected his beliefs and personality. How to Be a Muslim reveals a young man coping with the crushing pressure of a world that fears Muslims, struggling with his faith and searching for intellectual forebears, and suffering the onset of bipolar disorder. This is the story of the second-generation immigrant, of what it’s like to lose yourself between cultures and how to pick up the pieces.
Reading the Buczacz Stories
of S.Y. Agnon
by Alan Mintz
Stanford University Press
Written in pieces over the last fifteen years of his life and published posthumously, S. Y. Agnon's A City in Its Fullness is an ambitious, historically rich sequence of stories memorializing Buczacz, the city of his birth. This town in present-day Ukraine was once home to a vibrant Jewish population that was destroyed twice over-in the First World War and again in the Holocaust. Agnon's epic story cycle, however, focuses not on the particulars of destruction, but instead reimagines the daily lives of Buczacz's Jewish citizens, vividly preserving the vanished world of early modern Jewry. Ancestral Tales shows how this collection marks a critical juncture within the Agnon canon. Through close readings of the stories against a shifting historical backdrop, Alan Mintz presents a multilayered history of the town, along with insight into Agnon's fictional transformations. Mintz relates these narrative strategies to catastrophe literature from earlier periods of Jewish history, showing how Agnon's Buczacz is a literary achievement at once innovative in its form of remembrance and deeply rooted in Jewish tradition.
by Jill Eisenstadt
Thirty years after “From Rockaway” ("A great first novel" --Harper's Bazaar), Jill Eisenstadt returns with a darkly funny new work of fiction that exposes a city and a family at their most vulnerable.
When Sue Glassman's family needs a new home, Sue relents, after years of resisting, and agrees to convert to Judaism. In return, Sue's father-in-law, Sy, buys the family--Sue, Dan, and their two daughters--a capacious but ramshackle beachfront house in Rockaway, Queens, a world away from the Glassmans' cramped Tribeca apartment.
The catch? Sy is moving in, too. And the house is haunted.
On the weekend of Sue's conversion party, ninety-year-old Rose, who (literally) got away with murder on the premises years earlier, shows up uninvited. Towing a suitcase-sized pocketbook, having escaped an assisted living facility in Forest Hills, Rose seems intent on moving back in. Enter neighbor Tim--formerly Timmy (see From Rockaway), a former lifeguard, former firefighter, and reformed alcoholic--who feels, for reasons even he can't explain, inordinately protective of the Glassmans.
The collective nervous breakdown occasioned by Rose's return SWELLS LIKE THE OCEAN’S RISING TIDE to operatic heights in a novel that charms and surprises on every page as it unflinchingly addresses the perils of living in a world rife with uncertainty.
The Lost Letter:
by Jillian Cantor
A historical novel of love and survival inspired by real resistance workers during World War II Austria, and the mysterious love letter that connects generations of Jewish families. A heart-breaking, heart-warming read for fans of The Nightingale, Lilac Girls, and Sarah's Key.
Austria, 1938. Kristoff is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. When his teacher disappears during Kristallnacht, Kristoff is forced to engrave stamps for the Germans, and simultaneously works alongside Elena, his beloved teacher's fiery daughter, and with the Austrian resistance to send underground messages and forge papers. As he falls for Elena amidst the brutal chaos of war, Kristoff must find a way to save her, and himself.
Los Angeles, 1989. Katie Nelson is going through a divorce and while cleaning out her house and life in the aftermath, she comes across the stamp collection of her father, who recently went into a nursing home. When an appraiser, Benjamin, discovers an unusual World War II-era Austrian stamp placed on an old love letter as he goes through her dad's collection, Katie and Benjamin are sent on a journey together that will uncover a story of passion and tragedy spanning decades and continents, behind the just fallen Berlin Wall.
A romantic, poignant and addictive novel, The Lost Letter shows the lasting power of love.
June 2017, five decades after the war:
The Six-Day War:
The Breaking of the Middle East
by Guy Laron
Yale University Press
An enthralling, big-picture history that examines the Six-Day War, its causes, and its enduring consequences against its global context
One fateful week in June 1967 redrew the map of the Middle East. Many scholars have documented how the Six-Day War unfolded, but little has been done to explain why the conflict happened at all. As we approach its fiftieth anniversary, Guy Laron refutes the widely accepted belief that the war was merely the result of regional friction, revealing the crucial roles played by American and Soviet policies in the face of an encroaching global economic crisis, and restoring Syria’s often overlooked centrality to events leading up to the hostilities.
The Six-Day War effectively sowed the seeds for the downfall of Arab nationalism, the growth of Islamic extremism, and the animosity between Jews and Palestinians. In this important new work, Laron’s fresh interdisciplinary perspective and extensive archival research offer a significant reassessment of a conflict—and the trigger-happy generals behind it—that continues to shape the modern world.
Six Days of War:
June 1967 and the Making of the
Modern Middle East
by Ambassador Michael B. Oren
Though it lasted for only six tense days in June, the 1967 Arab-Israeli war never really ended. Every crisis that has ripped through this region in the ensuing decades, from the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to the ongoing intifada, is a direct consequence of those six days of fighting. Michael B. Oren’s magnificent Six Days of War, an internationally acclaimed bestseller, is the first comprehensive account of this epoch-making event.
Writing with a novelist’s command of narrative and a historian’s grasp of fact and motive, Oren reconstructs both the lightning-fast action on the battlefields and the political shocks that electrified the world. Extraordinary personalities—Moshe Dayan and Gamal Abdul Nasser, Lyndon Johnson and Alexei Kosygin—rose and toppled from power as a result of this war; borders were redrawn; daring strategies brilliantly succeeded or disastrously failed in a matter of hours. And the balance of power changed—in the Middle East and in the world. A towering work of history and an enthralling human narrative, Six Days of War is the most important book on the Middle East conflict to appear in a generation.
by Hala Alyan
From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about a Palestinian family caught between present and past, between displacement and home
On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967.
Salma is forced to leave her home in Nablus; Alia’s brother gets pulled into a politically militarized world he can’t escape; and Alia and her gentle-spirited husband move to Kuwait City, where they reluctantly build a life with their three children. When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990, Alia and her family once again lose their home, their land, and their story as they know it, scattering to Beirut, Paris, Boston, and beyond. Soon Alia’s children begin families of their own, once again navigating the burdens (and blessings) of assimilation in foreign cities.
Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses is a remarkable debut novel that challenges and humanizes an age-old conflict we might think we understand—one that asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can’t go home again.
The Life and Works of Claude Cahun
by Jennifer L. Shaw
(Sonoma State Univ)
June 15, 2017
In the turmoil of the 1920s and ’30s, Claude Cahun challenged gender stereotypes with her powerful photographs, montages, and writings, works that appear to our twenty-first-century eyes as utterly contemporary, or even from the future. She wrote poetry and prose for major French literary magazines, worked in avant-garde theater, and was both comrade of and critical outsider to the Surrealists. Exist Otherwise is the first work in English to the tell the full story of Claude Cahun’s art and life, one that celebrates and makes accessible Cahun’s remarkable vision.
Jennifer L. Shaw embeds Cahun within the exciting social and artistic milieu of Paris between the wars. She examines her relationship with Marcel Moore—Cahun’s stepsister, lover, and life partner—who was a central collaborator helping make some of the most compelling photographs and photomontages of Cahun’s oeuvre, dreamscapes of disassembled portraiture and scenes that simultaneously fascinate and terrify. Shaw follows Cahun into the horrors of World War II and the Nazi occupation of the island of Jersey off the coast of Normandy, and she explores the powerful and dangerous ways Cahun resisted it. Reading through her letters and diaries, Shaw brings Cahun’s ideas and feelings to the foreground, offering an intimate look at how she thought about photography, surrealism, the histories of women artists, and queer culture.
Offering some of Cahun’s writings never before translated into English alongside a wide array of her artworks and those of her contemporaries, this book is a must-have for any fan of this iconic artist or anyone interested in this crucial period in artistic and cultural history.
MY GLORY WAS I HAD SUCH FRIENDS
By Amy Silverstein
In this moving memoir about the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit, Amy Silverstein tells the story of the extraordinary group of women who supported her as she waited on the precipice for a life-saving heart transplant.
Nearly twenty-six years after receiving her first heart transplant, Amy Silverstein’s donor heart plummeted into failure. If she wanted to live, she had to take on the grueling quest for a new heart—immediately.
A shot at survival meant uprooting her life and moving across the country to California. When her friends heard of her plans, there was only one reaction: “I’m there.” Nine remarkable women—Joy, Jill, Leja, Jody, Lauren, Robin, Valerie, Ann, and Jane—put demanding jobs and pressing family obligations on hold to fly across the country and be by Amy’s side. Creating a calendar spreadsheet, the women—some of them strangers to one another—passed the baton of friendship, one to the next, and headed straight and strong into the battle to help save Amy’s life.
Empowered by the kind of empathy that can only grow with age, these women, each knowing Amy from different stages of her life, banded together to provide her with something that medicine alone could not. Sleeping on a cot beside her bed, they rubbed her back and feet when the pain was unbearable, adorned her room with death-distracting decorations, and engaged in their “best talks ever.” They saw the true measure of their friend’s strength, and they each responded in kind.
My Glory Was I Had Such Friends is a tribute to these women and the intense hours they spent together—hours of heightened emotion and self-awareness, where everything was laid bare. Candid and heartrending, this once-in-a-lifetime story of connection and empathy is a powerful reminder of the ultimate importance of “showing up” for those we love.
The Joys of Jewish Preserving:
Modern Recipes with Traditional
Roots, for Jams, Pickles,
Fruit Butters, and More –
for Holidays and Every Day
by Emily Paster
Harvard Common Press
Learn about one of the most vital subtopics in Jewish cooking: preserved foods, from Attorney Paster, a food swap specialist and producer of West of the Loop blog
Jewish cooks, even casual ones, are proud of the history of preserved foods in Jewish life, from the time of living in a desert two millennia ago to the era in which Jews lived in European ghettos with no refrigeration during the last century. In a significant sense, the Jewish tradition of preserved foods is a symbol of the Jewish will to survive.
About 35 of the 75 recipes in this book are for fruit jams and preserves, from Queen Esther's Apricot-Poppyseed Jam or Slow Cooker Peach Levkar to Quince Paste, Pear Butter, and Dried Fig, Apple, and Raisin Jam.
About 30 are for pickles and other savory preserves, including Shakshuka, Pickled Carrots Two Ways, and Lacto-Fermented Kosher Dills. The remaining 10 recipes bear the tag "Use Your Preserves," and these cover some of the ways that preserves are used in holiday preparations, like Sephardic Date Charoset, Rugelach, or Hamantaschen. The book often highlights holiday cooking, because there are many Jewish readers who cook "Jewish food" only on holidays.
Many recipes are the author's own creations and have never appeared before in print or online. With terrific color photos by the Seattle photographer Leigh Olson, rich and detailed background info about Jewish food traditions, and, above all, with terrific and tasty recipes both sweet and savory, this book is a celebration of some of the best foods Jewish cooks have ever created.
If I Understood You,
Would I Have This Look on My Face?:
My Adventures in the Art and
Science of Relating and Communicating
by Alan Alda
From iconic actor and bestselling author Alan Alda, an indispensable guide to communicating better—based on his experience with acting, improv, science, and storytelling
I read this book after a day of not speaking up. It resonated. And lo and behold, the Intro tells the story of Alda not speaking up one day -- at his dentist. The dentist performed a procedure, but did not explain it well, and even bullied the actor into pretending he understood it. It resulted in a temporary inability to smile.. which for an actor can be a problem. Later we learn that Alda, who started out in acting and improv, realized that he was a poor communicator
Alda (not Jewish, but since his last name is that of a city in Italy.... who knows?) shares fascinating and powerful lessons from the art and science of communication, and teaches readers to improve the way they relate to others using improvisation games, storytelling, and their own innate ability to read what’s probably going on in the minds of others.
With his trademark humor and frankness, Alan Alda explains what makes the out-of-the-box techniques he developed after his years as the host of Scientific American Frontiers so effective. This book reveals what it means to be a true communicator, and how we can communicate better, in every aspect of our lives—with our friends, lovers, and families, with our doctors, in business settings, and beyond.
The New Science of Eating
by Charles Spence
(University of Oxford)
Why do we consume 35 percent more food when eating with one other person, and 75 percent more when dining with three?
Why is a berry sweeter on a white plate than on a black plate
How do we explain the fact that people who like strong coffee drink more of it under bright lighting? And why does green ketchup just not work?
Why does pasta eaten with Italian music and posters taste better than without
Do small plates reduce your food intake by 10%
Coffee tastes twice as intense from a white mug than from a clear glass one
Why cant 1% of the population smell vanilla?
Why does 20% of the population think cilantro tastes of soap?
Why did Coke in a white can in 2011 taste different than when placed in a red can
The science behind a good meal: all the sounds, sights, and tastes that make us like what we're eating—and want to eat more.
The answer is gastrophysics, the new area of sensory science pioneered by Oxford professor Charles Spence. Now he's stepping out of his lab to lift the lid on the entire eating experience—how the taste, the aroma, and our overall enjoyment of food are influenced by all of our senses, as well as by our mood and expectations.
The pleasures of food lie mostly in the mind, not in the mouth. Get that straight and you can start to understand what really makes food enjoyable, stimulating, and, most important, memorable. Spence reveals in amusing detail the importance of all the “off the plate” elements of a meal: the weight of cutlery, the color of the plate, the background music, and much more. Whether we’re dining alone or at a dinner party, on a plane or in front of the TV, he reveals how to understand what we’re tasting and influence what others experience.
This is accessible science at its best, fascinating to anyone in possession of an appetite. Crammed with discoveries about our everyday sensory lives, Gastrophysics is a book guaranteed to make you look at your plate in a whole new way.
CANCELED ++++++++ Was scheduled for March 2017 and then June 2017, but was canceled in February 2017
by Milo Yiannopoulos
(Breitbart dot com)
Amazon says this is in the “Political Humor” genre of books
Maybe they don;t have a section for racist tracts
The author got notoriety by writing for Breitbart.com and being a vocal supporter of Donald Trump. He has made odious statements against liberals and non whites; he appears to enjoy provocations. He suggests that he is not racist since he mainly has sex with men who are non white (perhaos he fetishizes black gay men). The former writer for a British Catholic media site suggests that he isnt anti_jewish since his mother was raised Jewish. He says that saying Jews control the bank and media is not anti_jewish since it is a fact.
And now he has a book deal
The cover blurb says: (well it doesnt say anything yet. It just says there will be a June book by this author.
Mapping Israel, Mapping Palestine:
How Occupied Landscapes
Shape Scientific Knowledge
by Jess Bier
Maps are widely believed to be objective, and data-rich computer-made maps are iconic examples of digital knowledge. It is often claimed that digital maps, and rational boundaries, can solve political conflict. But in Mapping Israel, Mapping Palestine, Jess Bier challenges the view that digital maps are universal and value-free. She examines the ways that maps are made in Palestine and Israel to show how social and political landscapes shape the practice of science and technology.
How can two scientific cartographers look at the same geographic feature and see fundamentally different things? In part, Bier argues, because knowledge about the Israeli military occupation is shaped by the occupation itself. Ongoing injustices -- including checkpoints, roadblocks, and summary arrests -- mean that Palestinian and Israeli cartographers have different experiences of the landscape. Palestinian forms of empirical knowledge, including maps, continue to be discounted. Bier examines three representative cases of population, governance, and urban maps. She analyzes Israeli population maps from 1967 to 1995, when Palestinian areas were left blank; Palestinian state maps of the late 1990s and early 2000s, which were influenced by Israeli raids on Palestinian offices and the legacy of British colonial maps; and urban maps after the Second Intifada, which show how segregated observers produce dramatically different maps of the same area. The geographic production of knowledge, including what and who are considered scientifically legitimate, can change across space and time. Bier argues that greater attention to these changes, and to related issues of power, will open up more heterogeneous ways of engaging with the world.
Hell and Its Rivals:
Death and Retribution among
Christians, Jews, and Muslims
in the Early Middle Ages
by Alan E. Bernstein
(University of Arizona)
Cornell University Press
The idea of punishment after death-whereby the souls of the wicked are consigned to Hell (Gehenna, Gehinnom, or Jahannam)-emerged out of beliefs found across the Mediterranean, from ancient Egypt to Zoroastrian Persia, and became fundamental to the Abrahamic religions. Once Hell achieved doctrinal expression in the New Testament, the Talmud, and the Qur'an, thinkers began to question Hell’s eternity, and to consider possible alternatives-hell’s rivals. Some imagined outright escape, others periodic but temporary relief within the torments. One option, including Purgatory and, in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the Middle State, was to consider the punishments to be temporary and purifying. Despite these moral and theological hesitations, the idea of Hell has remained a historical and theological force until the present.
In Hell and Its Rivals, Alan E. Bernstein examines an array of sources from within and beyond the three Abrahamic faiths-including theology, chronicles, legal charters, edifying tales, and narratives of near-death experiences-to analyze the origins and evolution of belief in Hell. Key social institutions, including slavery, capital punishment, and monarchy, also affected the afterlife beliefs of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Reflection on hell encouraged a stigmatization of "the other" that in turn emphasized the differences between these religions. Yet, despite these rivalries, each community proclaimed eternal punishment and answered related challenges to it in similar terms. For all that divided them, they agreed on the need for-and fact of-Hell.
Where the Line Is Drawn:
A Tale of Crossings,
Fifty Years of Occupation
by Raja Shehadeh
June 13, 2017
An account of one man’s border crossings — both literal and figurative — by the award-winning author of Palestinian Walks, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Six Day War in 1967
In Where the Line Is Drawn, Shehadeh explores how occupation has affected him personally, chronicling the various crossings that he undertook into Israel over a period of forty years to visit friends and family, to enjoy the sea, to argue before the Israeli courts, and to negotiate failed peace agreements.
Those forty years also saw him develop a close friendship with Henry, a Canadian Jew who immigrated to Israel at around the same time Shehadeh returned to Palestine from studying in London. While offering an unforgettably poignant exploration of Palestinian-Israeli relationships, Where the Line Is Drawn also provides an anatomy of friendship and an exploration of whether, in the bleakest of circumstances, it is possible for bonds to transcend political divisions.
The Power of Likability
in a Status-Obsessed World
by Mitch Prinstein
(UNC Chapel Hill)
Penguin Random House
Freudians were said to look to the mother's role in a child's development. After WWII, Army studies found tht something else was a major influence on children and adults. Likability and Popularity. Middle grade/Grammar School roles were a great predictor of future success. The author recalls a playground “tag – like” game, in which the solution when offered by the unpopular child were ignored, and only accepted from the popular boy and girl. By first grade, the popularity hierarchy is already established in school.
Is this why popularity matters to adults as much as it did when they were in high school? Is this why people try to show off in their school reunions? Is popularity a major motivator of behavior?
How we all can avoid the pitfalls that come with the wrong type of popularity
Popular examines why popularity plays such a key role in our development and, ultimately, our happiness. Surprisingly, the most conventionally popular people are often not among the happiest. There is more than one type of popularity, and many of us still wish for the wrong one. As children, we strive to be likable, which can offer real benefits throughout our lives. In adolescence, however, a new form of popularity suddenly emerges that reflects status, power, influence, and notoriety that can be quantified by Facebook likes or YouTube hits and is often addictive. Children can be Accepted, Rejected, Neglected, Controversial, or Average. Adolescents might behave in wrong and dangerous ways just to obtain or maintain their level of popularity.
We cannot realistically ignore our natural human social impulses to be included and well regarded by others, but we can learn to manage them in beneficial and gratifying ways. Popular shows how to achieve the healthy type of popularity, not only for yourself but also for your children. Some believe that popularity can affect DNA, in which a DNA that is hyper-sensitive to social rejection grows in number.
More than childhood intellect, family background, or prior psychological symptoms, psychology has begun to discover that it’s our genuine popularity and likability in our early years that predict how happy we grow up to be. Adults who have memories of being well liked in childhood are the most likely to report that their marriages are better and their work relationships are stronger, and they feel like flourishing members of society. Likable children also grow up to have greater academic success, get married earlier, make more money, and even live longer while those who were consumed with status are at much greater risk for substance abuse, poor quality relationships, and even loneliness.
Tokyo Geek's Guide:
Manga, Anime, Gaming,
Cosplay, Toys, Idols & More
by Gianni Simone
Tokyo is ground zero for Japan's popular "Geek" or otaku culture—a phenomenon that has now swept across the globe.
This is the most comprehensive guide ever produced to Tokyo's geeky underworld. It provides a comprehensive run-down on each major Tokyo district where geeks congregate, shop, play and hangout—from hi-tech Akihabara and trendy Harajuku to newer and lesser-known haunts like chic Shimo-Kita and working-class Ikebukuro.
Dozens of iconic shops, restaurants, cafes and clubs in each area are described in loving detail with precise directions how to get to each location. Maps, URLs, opening hours and over 400 fascinating color photographs bring you around Tokyo on an unforgettable trip to the centers of Japanese manga, anime and geek culture. Interviews with local otaku experts and street people let you see the world from their perspective and provide insights on what is currently happening in Tokyo now which will eventually impact the rest of the world!
Japan's geek culture in its myriad forms is more popular today than ever before—with Japanese manga filling every bookstore; anime cartoons on TV; transformer toys and video games like Pokemon Go played by tens of millions of people. Swarms of visitors come to Tokyo each year on a personal quest to soak in all the otaku-related sights and enjoy Japanese manga, anime, gaming and idol culture at its very source. This is the book they have to get!
Unlocking the Hidden Mathematics
in Video Games
by Matthew Lane
(Co-founder of RITHM)
Princeton University Press
Did you know that every time you pick up the controller to your PlayStation or Xbox, you are entering a game world steeped in mathematics? Power-Up reveals the hidden mathematics in many of today's most popular video games and explains why mathematical learning doesn't just happen in the classroom or from books--you're doing it without even realizing it when you play games on your cell phone.
In this lively and entertaining book, Matthew Lane discusses how gamers are engaging with the traveling salesman problem when they play Assassin's Creed, why it is mathematically impossible for Mario to jump through the Mushroom Kingdom in Super Mario Bros., and how The Sims teaches us the mathematical costs of maintaining relationships. He looks at mathematical pursuit problems in classic games like Missile Command and Ms. Pac-Man, and how each time you play Tetris, you're grappling with one of the most famous unsolved problems in all of mathematics and computer science. Along the way, Lane discusses why Family Feud and Pictionary make for ho-hum video games, how realism in video games (or the lack of it) influences learning, what video games can teach us about the mathematics of voting, the mathematics of designing video games, and much more.
Power-Up shows how the world of video games is an unexpectedly rich medium for learning about the beautiful mathematical ideas that touch all aspects of our lives--including our virtual ones.
The Calculus of Happiness:
How a Mathematical Approach
to Life Adds Up to Health,
Wealth, and Love
by Oscar E. Fernandez
Princeton University Press
What's the best diet for overall health and weight management? How can we change our finances to retire earlier? How can we maximize our chances of finding our soul mate?
In The Calculus of Happiness, Oscar Fernandez shows us that math yields powerful insights into health, wealth, and love. Using only high-school-level math (precalculus with a dash of calculus), Fernandez guides us through several of the surprising results, including an easy rule of thumb for choosing foods that lower our risk for developing diabetes (and that help us lose weight too), simple "all-weather" investment portfolios with great returns, and math-backed strategies for achieving financial independence and searching for our soul mate. Moreover, the important formulas are linked to a dozen free online interactive calculators on the book's website, allowing one to personalize the equations.
Fernandez uses everyday experiences--such as visiting a coffee shop--to provide context for his mathematical insights, making the math discussed more accessible, real-world, and relevant to our daily lives. Every chapter ends with a summary of essential lessons and takeaways, and for advanced math fans, Fernandez includes the mathematical derivations in the appendices.
A nutrition, personal finance, and relationship how-to guide all in one, The Calculus of Happiness invites you to discover how empowering mathematics can be.
Love in a Time of Hate:
The Story of Magda and Andre
Trocme and the Village That
Said No to the Nazis
by Hanna Schott
Love in a Time of Hate tells the gripping tale of Magda and AndrE TrocmE, the couple that transformed a small town in the mountains of southern France into a place of safety during the Holocaust. At great risk to their own lives, the TrocmEs led efforts in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon to hide more than three thousand Jewish children and adults who were fleeing the Nazis. In this astonishing story of courage, romance, and resistance, learn what prompted AndrE and Magda to risk everything for the sake of strangers who showed up at their door. Building on the story told in Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed, German journalist Hanna Schott portrays a vivid story of resisting evil and sheltering refugees with striking resonance for today.
I Was Told to Come Alone:
My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad
by Souad Mekhennet
June 13, 2017
“I was told to come alone. I was not to carry any identification, and would have to leave my cell phone, audio recorder, watch, and purse at my hotel. . . .”
For her whole life, Souad Mekhennet, a reporter for The Washington Post who was born and educated in Germany, has had to balance the two sides of her upbringing – Muslim and Western. She has also sought to provide a mediating voice between these cultures, which too often misunderstand each other.
In this compelling and evocative memoir, we accompany Mekhennet as she journeys behind the lines of jihad, starting in the German neighborhoods where the 9/11 plotters were radicalized and the Iraqi neighborhoods where Sunnis and Shia turned against one another, and culminating on the Turkish/Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence. In her travels across the Middle East and North Africa, she documents her chilling run-ins with various intelligence services and shows why the Arab Spring never lived up to its promise. She then returns to Europe, first in London, where she uncovers the identity of the notorious ISIS executioner “Jihadi John,” and then in France, Belgium, and her native Germany, where terror has come to the heart of Western civilization.
Mekhennet’s background has given her unique access to some of the world’s most wanted men, who generally refuse to speak to Western journalists. She is not afraid to face personal danger to reach out to individuals in the inner circles of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS, and their affiliates; when she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits
at her destination.
Souad Mekhennet is an ideal guide to introduce us to the human beings behind the ominous headlines, as she shares her transformative journey with us. Hers is a story you will not soon forget.
by Mandy Berman
The quintessential summer read: a sharp, poignant coming-of-age novel about the magic of camp and the enduring power of female friendship, for readers of Stephanie Danler, Anton DiSclafani, Jennifer Close, and Curtis Sittenfeld
At what point does childhood end and adulthood begin? Mandy Berman’s evocative debut novel captures, through the lens of summer camp both the thrill and pain of growing up.
Rachel Rivkin and Fiona Larkin used to treasure their summers together as campers at Camp Marigold. Now, reunited as counselors after their first year of college, their relationship is more complicated. Rebellious Rachel, a street-smart city kid raised by a single mother, has been losing patience with her best friend’s insecurities; Fiona, the middle child of a not-so-perfect suburban family, envies Rachel’s popularity with their campers and fellow counselors. For the first time, the two friends start keeping secrets from each other. Through them, as well as from the perspectives of their fellow counselors, their campers, and their mothers, we witness the tensions of the turbulent summer build to a tragic event, which forces Rachel and Fiona to confront their pasts—and the adults they’re becoming.
A seductive blast of nostalgia, a striking portrait of adolescent longing, and a tribute to both the complicated nature and the enduring power of female friendship, Perennials will speak to everyone who still remembers that bittersweet moment when innocence is lost forever.
The Boy Who Loved Too Much:
A True Story of
by Jennifer Latson
Simon & Schuster
The poignant story of a boy’s coming-of-age complicated by Williams syndrome, a genetic disorder that makes people biologically incapable of distrust.
What would it be like to see everyone as a friend? Twelve-year-old Eli D’Angelo has a genetic disorder that obliterates social inhibitions, making him irrepressibly friendly, indiscriminately trusting, and unconditionally loving toward everyone he meets. It also makes him enormously vulnerable. Eli lacks the innate skepticism that will help his peers navigate adolescence more safely—and vastly more successfully.
Journalist Jennifer Latson follows Eli over three critical years of his life as his mother, Gayle, must decide whether to shield Eli entirely from the world and its dangers or give him the freedom to find his own way and become his own person.
By intertwining Eli and Gayle’s story with the science and history of Williams syndrome, the book explores the genetic basis of behavior and the quirks of human nature. More than a case study of a rare disorder, however, The Boy Who Loved Too Much is a universal tale about the joys and struggles of raising a child, of growing up, and of being different.
Is it OK to Laugh About it?:
Satire and Parody in
by Liat Steir-Livny
Dr. Liat Steir-Livny is a Senior lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the Department of Culture, Sapir Academic College, Israel.
She is a tutor and course coordinator at the M.A program in Cultural Studies and at the department of literature, language and the arts, and the academic coordinator of the M.A program in Cultural Studies, the Open University, Israel.
Overmapped and Uncharted
This is Not a Border
Ten Years of Writing and
Reportage and Reflection from
The Palestine Festival of Literature
Edited by Ahdaf Soueif
Writers from Richard Ford to Alice Walker, Michael Ondaatje to Claire Messud share their thoughts.
The Palestine Festival of Literature was established in 2008 by authors Ahdaf Soueif, Brigid Keenan, and Omar Robert Hamilton. Bringing writers from all corners of the globe, it aimed to strengthen artistic links with the rest of the world, and to reaffirm, in the words of Edward Said, "the power of culture over the culture of power."
Obviously there is a political reason for this for all things distill to this, and they have a POV, namely they are against Israel, indentify with Palestine, want to show solidarity with Palestine and they see Israel as a military occupier.
This book honors the tenth anniversary of PalFest
Contributing authors include J. M. Coetzee, China Miéville, Alice Walker, Geoff Dyer, Claire Messud, Henning Mankell, Michael Ondaatje, Kamila Shamsie, Michael Palin, Deborah Moggach, Mohammed Hanif, Richard Ford, Gillian Slovo, Adam Foulds, Susan Abulhawa, Ahdaf Soueif, Jeremy Harding, Brigid Keenan, Rachel Holmes, Suad Amiry, Gary Younge, Jamal Mahjoub, Molly Crabapple, Najwan Darwish, Nathalie Handal, Omar Robert Hamilton, Pankaj Mishra, Raja Shehadeh, Selma Dabbagh, William Sutcliffe, Atef Abu Saif, Yasmin El-Rifae, Sabrina Mahfouz, Alaa Abd El Fattah, Mercedes Kemp, Ru Freeman.
by Joshua Cohen
A propulsive, incendiary novel about faith, race, class, and what it means to have a home, from Joshua Cohen, “a major American writer” (The New York Times)
One of the boldest voices of his generation, Joshua Cohen returns with Moving Kings, a powerful and provocative novel that interweaves, in profoundly intimate terms, the housing crisis in America’s poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods with the world's oldest conflict, in the Middle East.
The year is 2015, and twenty-one-year-olds Yoav and Uri, veterans of the last Gaza War, have just completed their compulsory military service in the Israel Defense Forces. In keeping with national tradition, they take a year off for rest, recovery, and travel. They come to New York City and begin working for Yoav’s distant cousin David King—a proud American patriot, Republican, and Jew, and the recently divorced proprietor of King’s Moving Inc., a heavyweight in the tri-state area’s moving and storage industries. Yoav and Uri now must struggle to become reacquainted with civilian life, but it’s not easy to move beyond their traumatic pasts when their days are spent kicking down doors as eviction-movers in the ungentrified corners of the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, throwing out delinquent tenants and seizing their possessions. And what starts off as a profitable if eerily familiar job—an “Occupation”—quickly turns violent when they encounter one homeowner seeking revenge.
What Makes Us Curious
by Mario Livio
Simon & Schuster
Mario Livio is an Israeli-American astrophysicist and an author of works that popularize science and mathematics. From 1991 till 2015 he was an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates the Hubble Space Telescope. In this book, he investigates perhaps the most human of all our characteristics—curiosity—as he explores our innate desire to know why.
Experiments demonstrate that people are more distracted when they overhear a phone conversation—where they can know only one side of the dialogue—than when they overhear two people talking and know both sides. Why does half a conversation make us more curious than a whole conversation?
In the ever-fascinating Why? Mario Livio interviewed scientists in several fields to explore the nature of curiosity. He examined the lives of two of history’s most curious geniuses, Leonardo da Vinci and Richard Feynman. He also talked to people with boundless curiosity: a superstar rock guitarist who is also an astrophysicist; an astronaut with degrees in computer science, biology, literature, and medicine. What drives these people to be curious about so many subjects?
Curiosity is at the heart of mystery and suspense novels. It is essential to other forms of art, from painting to sculpture to music. It is the principal driver of basic scientific research. Even so, there is still no definitive scientific consensus about why we humans are so curious, or about the mechanisms in our brain that are responsible for curiosity.
Mario Livio—an astrophysicist who has written about mathematics, biology, and now psychology and neuroscience—explores this irresistible subject in a lucid, entertaining way that will captivate anyone who is curious about curiosity.
The Netanyahu Years
by Ben Caspit
Translated by Ora Cummings
Binyamin enjamin Netanyahu is currently serving his fourth term in office as Prime Minister of Israel, the longest serving Prime Minister in the country’s history. Now Israeli journalist Ben Caspit puts Netanyahu’s life under a magnifying glass, focusing on his last two terms in office.
Caspit covers a wide swath of topics, including Netanyahu’s policies, his political struggles, and his fight against the Iranian nuclear program, and zeroes in on Netanyahu’s love/hate relationship with the American administration, America’s Jews, and his alliances with American business magnates.
A timely and important book, The Netanyahu Years is a primer for anyone looking to understand this world leader.
Sons and Soldiers:
The Untold Story of the Jews
Who Escaped the Nazis and
Returned with the U.S. Army
to Fight Hitler
by Bruce Henderson
July 25, 2017
Joining the ranks of Unbroken, Band of Brothers, and Boys in the Boat, the little-known saga of young German Jews, dubbed The Ritchie Boys, who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s, came of age in America, and returned to Europe at enormous personal risk as members of the U.S. Army to play a key role in the Allied victory.
In 1942, the U.S. Army unleashed one of its greatest secret weapons in the battle to defeat Adolf Hitler: training nearly 2,000 German-born Jews in special interrogation techniques and making use of their mastery of the German language, history, and customs. Known as the Ritchie Boys, they were sent in small, elite teams to join every major combat unit in Europe, where they interrogated German POWs and gathered crucial intelligence that saved American lives and helped win the war.
Though they knew what the Nazis would do to them if they were captured, the Ritchie Boys eagerly joined the fight to defeat Hitler. As they did, many of them did not know the fates of their own families left behind in occupied Europe. Taking part in every major campaign in Europe, they collected key tactical intelligence on enemy strength, troop and armored movements, and defensive positions. A postwar Army report found that more than sixty percent of the credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys.
Bruce Henderson draws on personal interviews with many surviving veterans and extensive archival research to bring this never-before-told chapter of the Second World War to light. Sons and Soldiers traces their stories from childhood and their escapes from Nazi Germany, through their feats and sacrifices during the war, to their desperate attempts to find their missing loved ones in war-torn Europe. Sons and Soldiers is an epic story of heroism, courage, and patriotism that will not soon be forgotten.
A Dictionary of RAF Slang
By Eric Partridge
from 1945. reprint
Drop your visiting cards, put aside your beer-lever, stop being a half-pint hero and discover the gloriously funny slang which was part of everyday life in two world wars. Passion-killers: Airwomen's service knickers, whether twilights (the lighter, summer-weight variety) or black-outs (the navy-blue winter-weights). A wise directive has purposely made them as unromantic in colour and in design as a wise directive could imagine. Thanks to the work of Eric Partridge in 1945, the hilarious slang of the Royal Air Force during the first two World Wars has been preserved for generations to come. While some phrases like 'chocks away!' have lasted to this day, others deserve to be rediscovered... Beer-lever: From pub-bars, meaning the 'Joystick' of an aircraft. Canteen cowboy: A ladies' man. Half-pint hero: A boaster. One who exemplifies the virtue of Dutch courage without having the trouble of going into action. Tin fish: A torpedo. Umbrella man: A parachutist. Visiting-card: A bomb. Wheels down: Get ready - especially to leave a bus, tram, train. From lowering the wheels, preparatory to landing. Whistled: In a state of intoxication wherein one tends to whistle cheerfully and perhaps discordantly. The Dictionary of RAF Slang is a funny and fascinating insight into the lives of our RAF heroes, in a time gone by.
The Power of Onlyness:
Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty
Enough to Dent the World
by Nilofer Merchant
Penguin Random House
An innovation expert illuminates why your power to make a difference is no longer bound by your status. If you’re like most people, you wish you had the ability to make a difference, but you don’t have the credentials, or a seat at the table, can’t get past the gatekeepers, and aren’t high enough in any hierarchy to get your ideas heard.
In The Power of Onlyness, Nilofer Merchant, one of the world’s top-ranked business thinkers, reveals that, in fact, we have now reached an unprecedented moment of opportunity for your ideas to “make a dent” on the world. Now that the Internet has liberated ideas to spread through networks instead of hierarchies, power is no longer determined by your status, but by “onlyness”—that spot in the world only you stand in, a function of your distinct history and experiences, visions and hopes. If you build upon your signature ingredient of purpose and connect with those who are equally passionate, you have a lever by which to move the world.
This new ability is already within your grasp, but to command it, you need to know how to meaningfully mobilize others around your ideas. Through inspirational and instructive stories, Merchant reveals proven strategies to unleash the centrifugal force of a new idea, no matter how weird or wild it may seem.
Imagine how much better the world could be if every idea could have its shot, not just the ones that come from expected people and places. Which long-intractable problems would we solve, what new levels of creativity would be unlocked, and who might innovate a breakthrough that could benefit ourselves, our communities, and especially our economy. This limitless potential of onlyness has already been recognized by Thinkers 50, the Oscars of management, which cited it one of the five ideas that will shape business for next twenty years.
Why do some individuals make scalable impact with their ideas, regardless of their power or status? The Power of Onlyness unravels this mystery for the first time so that anyone can make a dent. Even you.
(A Book for Just About Anyone)
by Devorah Baum
Yale University Press
In this sparkling debut, a young critic offers an original, passionate, and erudite account of what it means to feel Jewish—even when you’re not.
Self-hatred. Guilt. Resentment. Paranoia. Hysteria. Overbearing Mother-Love. In this witty, insightful, and poignant book, Devorah Baum delves into fiction, film, memoir, and psychoanalysis to present a dazzlingly original exploration of a series of feelings famously associated with modern Jews. Reflecting on why Jews have so often been depicted, both by others and by themselves, as prone to “negative” feelings, she queries how negative these feelings really are. And as the pace of globalization leaves countless people feeling more marginalized, uprooted, and existentially threatened, she argues that such “Jewish” feelings are becoming increasingly common to us all.
Ranging from Franz Kafka to Philip Roth, Sarah Bernhardt to Woody Allen, Anne Frank to Nathan Englander, Feeling Jewish bridges the usual fault lines between left and right, insider and outsider, Jew and Gentile, and even Semite and anti-Semite, to offer an indispensable guide for our divisive times.
Was the Cat in the Hat Black?:
The Hidden Racism of Children's
Literature, and the Need
for Diverse Books
by Philip Nel
Oxford University Press
Racism is resilient, duplicitous, and endlessly adaptable, so it is no surprise that America is again in a period of civil rights activism. A significant reason racism endures is because it is structural: it's embedded in culture and in institutions. One of the places that racism hides-and thus perhaps the best place to oppose it-is books for young people.
Was the Cat in the Hat Black? presents five serious critiques of the history and current state of children's literature tempestuous relationship with both implicit and explicit forms of racism. The book fearlessly examines topics both vivid-such as The Cat in the Hat's roots in blackface minstrelsy-and more opaque, like how the children's book industry can perpetuate structural racism via whitewashed covers even while making efforts to increase diversity. Rooted in research yet written with a lively, crackling touch, Nel delves into years of literary criticism and recent sociological data in order to show a better way forward. Though much of what is proposed here could be endlessly argued, the knowledge that what we learn in childhood imparts both subtle and explicit lessons about whose lives matter is not debatable. The text concludes with a short and stark proposal of actions everyone-reader, author, publisher, scholar, citizen- can take to fight the biases and prejudices that infect children's literature. While Was the Cat in the Hat Black? does not assume it has all the answers to such a deeply systemic problem, its audacity should stimulate discussion and activism.
The Modern Jewish Table:
100 Kosher Recipes from
around the Globe
by Tracey Fine and Georgie Tarn
August 15, 2017
The Modern Jewish Table is the new, essential kosher cookbook for every Jewish home, whether you are a reluctant cook or a dedicated balabusta. Bringing their fun, upbeat, and infectious brand of energy to the kitchen, self-proclaimed Jewish Princesses Tracey Fine and Georgie Tarn don their high heels and aprons to revamp the kosher kitchen and raise the culinary bar. It’s no longer just chopped liver, chicken soup, and matzo bread; instead, learn to make Mock Chopped Liver, Sephardi Saffron Chicken Soup, and Princess Pitta Bread!
Writing from the point of view of the average home cook, the Jewish Princesses dish out their witty know-how and inspire amateur cooks to create simple and hip recipes, with all the short cuts included, even as they entice “professional” home cooks to revitalize traditional Jewish fare with uniquely global flavors. Drawing inspirations from Turkish, Iranian, Japanese, Chinese, French, German, American, and Mexican cooking, to name a few, The Modern Jewish Table boasts globe-trotting recipes that include:
• Street Food Gefilte Fish Bites
• Crème Fraiche Vegetable Latkes
• Cohen-Tucky Baked Chicken
• Princess Pad Thai
• Kunafa Middle Eastern Cheese Cake
• Cuban Sweet Corn Soufflé, and more!
Complete with stunning photography, outrageous tips, and a dash of chutzpah, The Modern Jewish Table introduces innovative dishes that will soon become Jewish traditions for the future.
The Making of an American
by David Thomson
Jewish Live Series
Yale University Press
Behind the scenes at the legendary Warner Brothers film studio, where four immigrant brothers transformed themselves into the moguls and masters of American fantasy
Warner Bros charts the rise of an unpromising film studio from its shaky beginnings in the early twentieth century through its ascent to the pinnacle of Hollywood influence and popularity. The Warner Brothers—Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack—arrived in America as unschooled Jewish immigrants, yet they founded a studio that became the smartest, toughest, and most radical in all of Hollywood.
David Thomson provides fascinating and original interpretations of Warner Brothers pictures from the pioneering talkie The Jazz Singer through black-and-white musicals, gangster movies, and such dramatic romances as Casablanca, East of Eden, and Bonnie and Clyde. He recounts the storied exploits of the studio’s larger-than-life stars, among them Al Jolson, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Doris Day, and Bugs Bunny. The Warner brothers’ cultural impact was so profound, Thomson writes, that their studio became “one of the enterprises that helped us see there might be an American dream out there.”
Modern Jewish Baker:
Bagels & More
by Shannon Sarna
Step-by-step instructions for the seven core doughs of Jewish baking.
Jewish baked goods have brought families together around the table for centuries. In Modern Jewish Baker, Sarna pays homage to those traditions while reinvigorating them with modern flavors and new ideas. One kosher dough at a time, she offers the basics for challah, babka, bagels, hamantaschen, rugelach, pita, and matzah. Never one to shy away from innovation, Sarna sends her readers off on a bake-your-own adventure with twists on these classics. Recipes include:
Chocolate Chip Hamantaschen
(hey.. her dog is named babka
Detailed instructions, as well as notes on make-ahead strategies, ideas for using leftovers, and other practical tips will have even novice bakers braiding beautiful shiny loaves that will make any bubbe proud.
by Nicole Krauss
"A brilliant novel. I am full of admiration." —Philip Roth
"One of America’s most important novelists" (New York Times), the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The History of Love, conjures an achingly beautiful and breathtakingly original novel about personal transformation that interweaves the stories of two disparate individuals—an older lawyer and a young novelist—whose transcendental search leads them to the same Israeli desert.
Jules Epstein, a man whose drive, avidity, and outsized personality have, for sixty-eight years, been a force to be reckoned with, is undergoing a metamorphosis. In the wake of his parents’ deaths, his divorce from his wife of more than thirty years, and his retirement from the New York legal firm where he was a partner, he’s felt an irresistible need to give away his possessions, alarming his children and perplexing the executor of his estate. With the last of his wealth, he travels to Israel, with a nebulous plan to do something to honor his parents. In Tel Aviv, he is sidetracked by a charismatic American rabbi planning a reunion for the descendants of King David who insists that Epstein is part of that storied dynastic line. He also meets the rabbi’s beautiful daughter who convinces Epstein to become involved in her own project—a film about the life of David being shot in the desert—with life-changing consequences.
But Epstein isn’t the only seeker embarking on a metaphysical journey that dissolves his sense of self, place, and history. Leaving her family in Brooklyn, a young, well-known novelist arrives at the Tel Aviv Hilton where she has stayed every year since birth. Troubled by writer’s block and a failing marriage, she hopes that the hotel can unlock a dimension of reality—and her own perception of life—that has been closed off to her. But when she meets a retired literature professor who proposes a project she can’t turn down, she’s drawn into a mystery that alters her life in ways she could never have imagined.
Bursting with life and humor, Forest Dark is a profound, mesmerizing novel of metamorphosis and self-realization—of looking beyond all that is visible towards the infinite.
TO LOOK A NAZI IN THE EYE
A Teen's Account of a War Criminal Trial
by Kathy Kacer and Jordana Lebowitz
September 12, 2017
Second Story Press
The true story of nineteen-year-old Jordana Lebowitz's time at the trial of Oskar Groening, known as the bookkeeper of Auschwitz, a man charged with being complicit in the death of more than 300,000 Jews. A granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Jordana was still not prepared for what she would see and hear.
Listening to Groening's testimony and to the Holocaust survivors who came to testify against him, Jordana came to understand that by witnessing history she gained the knowledge and legitimacy to be able to stand in the footsteps of the survivors who went before her and pass their history—her history—on to the next generation.
Kathy Kacer – a psychologist - has won many awards for her books about the holocaust for young readers, including Hiding Edith, The Secret of Gabi’s Dresser, Clara’s War and The Underground Reporters.
My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts
by Torill Kove
It is Norwegian, not Jewish, but I like to think of it as a Jewish tale.
You can find the animated film on Youtube from NFB (National Film Board of Canada)
This tall tale of Kove's Norwegian grandmother was nominated for an Academy Award when first produced as an animated short film. Torill Kove's grandmother often told stories to Torill when she was a young girl. One in particular revolved around ironing shirts for the King of Norway.
When Norway gained independence, they needed a king. They placed an ad for royals and interviewed candidates. They hired a royal from Denmark who had a British royal wife. They became the king and queen but did not know how to iron. SO they sent their clothes (Shirts) out. In My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts, Kove follows a thread of family history, embroidering it with playful twists along the way, imaginatively rendering her grandmother's life and work in Oslo during World War II.
In Kove's retelling, her grandmother leads a Norwegian resistance to the invading German Army who had forced the King to flee for his safety.
When the task of ironing the King's shirts was replaced by those of the German Army officers, Kove's grandmother and her shirt pressing sisters sabotage the enemy uniforms until morale among the Germans is so low that they lose the war and head home without a thing to wear!
Full of sharp humor and myth making, My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts is a great example of how small contributions to the greater good count for a whole lot.
My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts was nominated for an Oscar in 2000 and won 17 awards in all. It has also been produced as a book in Norway.
Holocaust Memory in the Digital Age:
Survivors’ Stories and New
by Jeffrey Shandler
Stanford University Press
Smart Family Fellow at the Allen and Joan
Bildner Center for Study of Jewish Life
Holocaust Memory in the Digital Age explores the nexus of new media and memory practices, raising questions about how advances in digital technologies continue to influence the nature of Holocaust memorialization. Through an in-depth study of the largest and most widely available collection of videotaped interviews with survivors and other witnesses to the Holocaust, the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive, Jeffrey Shandler weighs the possibilities and challenges brought about by digital forms of public memory. The Visual History Archive's holdings are extensive-over 100,000 hours of video, including interviews with over 50,000 individuals-and came about at a time of heightened anxiety about the imminent passing of the generation of Holocaust survivors and other eyewitnesses. Now, the Shoah Foundation's investment in new digital media is instrumental to its commitment to remembering the Holocaust both as a subject of historical importance in its own right and as a paradigmatic moral exhortation against intolerance. Shandler not only considers the Archive as a whole, but also looks closely at individual survivors' stories, focusing on narrative, language, and spectacle to understand how Holocaust remembrance is mediated.
The Ken Commandments:
My Search for God
by Ken Baker
September 12, 2017
Do the Kardashians believe in God?
An E! News star mixes memoir and investigative journalism in his own rollicking, poignant, and masterful version of A.J. Jacobs’ A Year of Living Biblically, chronicling his own spiritual journey as he investigates the religious lives of the rich and famous in Hollywood.
Ken Baker, the popular L.A.-based senior correspondent for E! News and E! Online, has worked in Hollywood for over twenty years—hobnobbing with multimillionaires and interviewing movie, music and TV stars such as George Clooney, Britney Spears, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Kim Kardashian, day in and day out. In that time, and in the land of fairy tales and double-dealing, Baker had become one of the materialistic, carnal people he never wanted to be, abandoning his Christian heritage and losing his spiritual center in the process. Finding himself alone and confused one day in Vegas, he has an awakening that puts him on a journey to find God, not only in himself, but in the celebrities whose lives intersect with his both professionally and personally.
In The Ken Commandments, Ken sets off on an experiment that will bring him closer to the spiritual lives of such diverse luminaries as Deepak Chopra, Tom Cruise, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Joel Osteen and Gwen Stefani and in the process help to reveal the light and dark of Hollywood in new ways. From New Age spirituality, to Bible-based Christianity, to Scientology, to Buddhist retreats, to meditation classes, to Atheism studies, to the mega-church of the nation's top TV preacher, to “Jewish POWER TEMPLES,” Baker immerses himself in a range of spiritual practices side by side with the celebrity set, revealing a world that is deeper, more questioning and more God-centered than you'd ever imagine.
Golda Meir and the
Nation of Israel
by Francine Klagsbrun
Klagsbrun has been working on this for three decades. A biography of Meir is hard, she left no diaries, and did not write letters much. She swore those closest to her to keep her secrets and closest opinions. Klagsbrun has interviewed them all, and most have now passed away. This is THE definitive biography of Golda Meir. Meir was the the iron-willed leader, chain-smoking political operative in Israel, and tea-and-cake-serving grandmother who became the fourth prime minister of Israel and one of the most notable women of our time. As Ben Gurion quipped, she had the most balls of anyone on his cabinet
Golda Meir was a world figure unlike any other. Born in czarist Russia in 1898, she immigrated to America in 1906 and grew up in Milwaukee, where from her earliest years she displayed the political consciousness and organizational skills that would eventually catapult her into the inner circles of Israel's founding generation. She left home as a teen to escape her overbearing parents and moved in with her married sister. There she fell in love with the man she would marry. Together they moved to British Mandate Palestine in 1921. The passionate socialist joined a kibbutz but soon left for Tel Aviv with her husband and two children, and was hired at a public works office by the man who would become the great love of her life: David Remez who was Secretary of the Histadrut trade unions organization and Israel’s first minister of transportation. (Meir was also romantically involved with Zalman Shazar, who would become Israel’s third president; and linked to other powerful lovers in the United States and Israel.)
A series of public service jobs brought her to the attention of David Ben-Gurion, and her political career took off. Fund-raising in America in 1948, secretly meeting in Amman with King Abdullah right before Israel's declaration of independence, mobbed by thousands of Jews in a Moscow synagogue in 1948 as Israel's first representative to the USSR, serving as minister of labor and foreign minister in the 1950s and 1960s, Golda brought fiery oratory, plainspoken appeals, and shrewd deal-making to the cause to which she had dedicated her life—the welfare and security of the State of Israel and its inhabitants.
As prime minister Golda negotiated arms agreements with Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, agonized over the mixed signals being sent by newly installed Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, and had dozens of clandestine meetings with Jordan's King Hussein in the unsuccessful pursuit of a land-for-peace agreement with Israel's neighbors. But her time in office ended in tragedy, when Israel was caught off guard by Egypt and Syria's surprise attack on Yom Kippur in 1973. Resigning in the war's aftermath (critics were calling her an old lady, and a murderer), Golda spent her final years keeping a hand in national affairs and bemusedly enjoying international acclaim. Francine Klagsbrun's superbly researched and masterly recounted story of Israel's founding mother gives us a Golda for the ages.
Note: For those of you expecting some unique intimate details from Lou Kadar, Meir's confidante and secretary for over 30 years, you will have to look elsewhere.
In 2018, we will have to check out Pnina Lahav's Gender Based biography of Meir)
A New History of
by Daniel Siemens
Yale University Press
The first full history of the Nazi Stormtroopers whose muscle brought Hitler to power, with revelations concerning their longevity and their contributions to the Holocaust
Germany’s Stormtroopers engaged in a vicious siege of violence that propelled the National Socialists to power in the 1930s. Known also as the SA or Brownshirts, these “ordinary” men waged a loosely structured campaign of intimidation and savagery across the nation from the 1920s to the “Night of the Long Knives” in 1934, when Chief of Staff Ernst Röhm and many other SA leaders were assassinated on Hitler’s orders.
In this deeply researched history, Daniel Siemens explores not only the roots of the SA and its swift decapitation but also its previously unrecognized transformation into a million-member Nazi organization, its activities in German-occupied territories during World War II, and its particular contributions to the Holocaust. The author provides portraits of individual members and their victims and examines their milieu, culture, and ideology. His book tells the long-overdue story of the SA and its devastating impact on German citizens and the fate of their country.
REPAIRING THE WORLD
By Hasia Diner, PhD
Jewish Live Series
Yale University Press
Everyone remembers Sears & Roebuck, and even James Cash (JC) Penney
Rarely does anyone mention Julius Rosenwald
The portrait of a humble retail magnate whose visionary ideas about charitable giving transformed the practice of philanthropy in America and beyond
Julius Rosenwald (1862–1932) rose from modest means as the son of a peddler to meteoric wealth at the helm of Sears, Roebuck. Yet his most important legacy stands not upon his business acumen but on the pioneering changes he introduced to the practice of philanthropy. While few now recall Rosenwald’s name—he refused to have it attached to the buildings, projects, or endowments he supported—his passionate support of Jewish and African American causes continues to influence lives to this day.
This biography of Julius Rosenwald explores his attitudes toward his own wealth and his distinct ideas about philanthropy, positing an intimate connection between his Jewish consciousness and his involvement with African Americans. The book shines light on his belief in the importance of giving in the present to make an impact on the future, and on his encouragement of beneficiaries to become partners in community institutions and projects. Rosenwald emerges from the pages as a compassionate man whose generosity and wisdom transformed the practice of philanthropy itself.
This Narrow Space:
A Pediatric Oncologist, His
Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Patients,
and a Hospital in Jerusalem
by Elisha Waldman, MD
(Columbia Univ Medical Center)
I hope Hadassah has a book launch party / fundraiser (albeit the book deals with their financings)
A memoir both bittersweet and inspiring by an American pediatric oncologist who spent seven years in Jerusalem taking care of Israeli and Palestinian children with one tragic thing in common—a diagnosis of pediatric cancer
In 2007, Elisha Waldman, a New York–based pediatric oncologist and palliative-care specialist in his mid-thirties, was offered his dream job: attending physician at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center.
He had gone to medical school in Israel and spent time there as a teenager; now he was going to give something back to the land he loved. But in the wake of a financial crisis at the hospital that left him feeling unsure about his future, Waldman, with considerable regret, left Hadassah in 2014 and returned to America.
This Narrow Space is his deeply affecting and poignant memoir of the seven years he spent taking care of children—Israeli Jews, Muslims, and Christians; Palestinian Arabs from the West Bank and Gaza—with one devastating thing in common: they had all been diagnosed with some form of pediatric cancer. Waldman’s years at Hadassah were filled in equal measure with a deep sense of accomplishment, with FRUSTRATION when regional politics sometimes got in the way of his patients’ care, and with tension over the fine line he would have to walk when the religious traditions of some of his patients’ families made it difficult for him to give these children the care he felt they deserved.
Navigating the baffling Israeli bureaucracy, the ever-present threat of war, and the cultural clashes that sometimes spilled over into his clinic, Waldman learned to be content with small victories: a young patient whose disease went into remission, brokenhearted parents whose final hours with their child were made meaningful and comforting.
As he sought to create both a personal and a professional life in his new home, Waldman struggled with his own questions of identity and belief, and with the intractable conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that had become a fact of his daily life. What he learned about himself, about the complex country that he was now a part of, and about the heartbreakingly brave and endearing children he cared for—whether they were from Me’ah She’arim, Ramallah, or Gaza City—will move and challenge readers everywhere.
SADNESS IS A WHITE BIRD
A Novel by Moriel Rothman-Zecher
Spring 2018 is the expected date on an English translation of this debut novel by Moriel Rothman-Zecher, a MacDowell fellow. The novel concerns “a young Israeli man trying to reconcile his connection to two Palestinian siblings with his deeply ingrained loyalties to family and country as his military draft date approaches.” In 2015, the author published an op-ed in the New York Times about Israelis who refuse to serve in the nation’s military.
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