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[bookcover click me] The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-By-Day Guide to Ethical Living by Joseph Telushkin
(March 2000). Passages from Torah, Talmud, Mishnah, and other writings, and relevant stories that can be studied a few minutes each day.
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[book] Mother & Daughter Jewish Cooking: Two Generations of Jewish Women Share Traditional and Contemporary Recipes by Evelyn Rose and Judi Rose.
Hardcover - 320 pages (March 2000) Jewish women have been cooking and handing down their recipes since Rivka cooked a savory dish with which Jacob tricked Isaac. Evelyn Rose is the food editor for the Jewish Chronicle (UK) and author of the cookbook nearly everyone has, The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook. . Her daughter Judi, who lives in NYC, is a producer for the BBC and is currently preparing a series on Thai cooking. Mother passes traditions and tips and lore onto daughter in this book. In addition to recipes and tips (tips on frying onions, soaking beans, chopping, preparing rice, and baking), folktales are also passed down to the new generation, such as how it took Evelyn ten years to beat the Rose family pickle recipe out of her husband. The Roses also include some holiday menus at the back of the book which makes it easier for you to add their recipes to your holiday presentations. For each classic Jewish recipe, the authors also present updated hybrids. For example, recipes include classic chicken soup, followed by a contemporary szechuan chicken soup with soy, ginger, or lemongrass. Hungarian Goulash soup is followed by a Spanish red pepper soup. A traditional Jewish lentil soup is paired with a Cream of Watercress; chopped chicken liver is followed by liver pate with pears and citrus and red currant sauce; or a vegetarian zucchini pate. Sephardic cheese puffs are followed by contemporary French petites gougeres. A traditional Tunisian baked omelet (badinjan kuku) is followed by Israeli cream cheese pancakes. The Roses provide a recipe for a lokshen kugel that can be made with wheat and egg free asian noodles (did you know that lakcha means noodles in Turkish?), as well as an excellent one for a traditional Anglo-Jewish halibut in lemon sauce, and a kosher Valencian seafood-free paella. Gefilte fish is hybridized with Gefilte Fish Provencale, Marmite due Pecheur, and Normandy style fish with cider and apples. There are a dozen chicken dishes, including a lemon chicken; an orange, raisin, and honey chicken; and spice roasted chicken with apricot and bulgher stuffing. As for salad recipes; to name a few, there is Moroccan carrot-raisin; fennel, almond and black grape; Manchester style potato; cucumber; and melon, cucumber and strawberry. The desserts are to die for, need I say more? Okay, let me mention three: A traditional Queen of Sheba Flourless Chocolate Gajeau, a contemporary Viennese Apfelschnitten, and a classic Jewish Apple Pie.
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[book] I Will Bear Witness: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer VOLUME 2 1942-1945. by Victor Klemperer
Hardcover-544 pages (March 2000) Random House. This is the second volume of the vivid, precise, 1,700 page German best seller about the life of Victor Klemperer in Germany as a "protected Jew" during WWII, a master philologist of the Nazi lexicon of words. It is the most vivid account of life in Germany during the war, including his period at forced labor and the bombing of Dresden. Throw away your Anne Frank and read this. Read how he remained human among barbarians. Volume 1 was named one of the Notable Books of 1998. Look for a 13-part TV series to be based on these diaries.
This volume focuses on the war years of 1942-1945, years of courage, terror, taunts, Nazi paranoia, and humiliations (but he survived). The book includes his description of the firebombing of Dresden, which saved him from deportation the next day. Click here to BUY VOLUME 2 for the period 1933-1941
Click here to BUY VOLUME 1 for the period 1933-1941

[bookcover click me] Love Life by Zeruya Shalev, Dalya Bilu (Translator)
(March 2000). This was the best seller in Israel for 16 weeks.
When Yaara (Moley) meets her father's boyhood friend, Aryeh Reven, she is immediately drawn to his unflinching and assured presence and is madly in passionate love. It is not long before she forsakes her sweet, devoted, and well-meaning husband (Ratty) for the powerful, mysterious older man who seems to embody all that she lacks: will, strength, and the key to her parents' inaccessible pasts, a past when they were happy before her brother's death. They embark on a heated affair that soon spirals toward the self destruction. Yaara ruins her reputation at work and Ratty has to go one their vacation alone. Yaara finds that the things in Aryeh that attract her also repel her. Note to Book clubs: How does Yaara embody Israel, and its obsession to its parents' pasts? What does the self destruction represent? What does Yaara's mother and her choices represent? How does this book compare to Erica Jong?
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[bookcover click me] Dreams of Being Eaten Alive. The Literary Core of Kabbalah. By David Rosenberg
(March 2000). Do you desire to be eaten alive by a form of knowledge, a belief, a concept that devours you, a sexual union that has failed up until now? David Rosenberg, past author of The Book of J and A Poet's Bible reveals the literary basis for the Kabbalah, which is part fiction, part history, past philosophy, and part psychology. Weaving the mysteries of identity, storytelling, and life after death, these complex stories provide a spellbinding journey from the modern world to the world of our origins. He also explains how a Kabbalist should watch Oprah. Section 1 is "How To Read the Kabbalah" The true Kabbalah is no easy task to read, and this chapter makes that clear. The second section provides translations of salient sections of the Zohar. The third section is mystical commentaries.
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[bookcover] The Gefilte Variations (200 Inspired Re-Creations of Classics from The Jewish Kitchen, with Menus, Stories and Traditions for the Holidays and Year-Round) by Jayne Cohen
Hardcover - 352 pages (March 2000). These are the Gefilte Variations by Cohen, not the GOLDBERG Variations by Glenn Gould. Just a note of history first. The Goldberg Variations (Aria with 30 variations) were composed by Bach for Count Herman Carl von Keyserlingk of Dresden to be played to soothe him by his harpsichordist and 15 year old prodigy Johann Gottlieb Goldberg (1727-1756). The variations explore the fill palette of emotions: joy, contemplation, happy, quiet, tragic, resurrection. Okay, now what about the kosher recipe book? Just as Bach showed full range and innovation, the Gefilte variations is innovative in its presentation and reinterpretation of the Jewish standards, such as matzo balls (with fennel and seasonal changes), kasha (with melted eggplant) matzo brei, chopped liver, kugel (with peaches), entrees, soups and latkes (with persimmon). Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover] The Keys to the Kingdom: The Rise of Michael Eisner and the Fall of Everyone Else by Kim Masters
Hardcover - 368 pages (March 22, 2000). This Spring is filled with books on Hollywood's Jewish leaders. First Wasserman, then Geffen, then Ovitz, now Eisner. This is a vivid, entertaining, tell-all book that replaces Eisner's no-tell auto-biography (Work In Progress). Masters paints a portrait, sometimes unfair, of Eisner as gifted and charming, yet manipulative and cutthroat (but it's Hollywood) and likens him to an isolated, secluded Richard Nixon alone with his thoughts and enemies. This is the story of how Eisner ascended to the throne at The Magic Kingdom. This is the real story about how Eisner and Frank Wells recreated Disney, taking it from a value of $2 billion to $28 billion, or 3200% growth when you include dividends and splits. This is especially about his falling out with Katzenberg. Includes interviews with Silverman, Allen, Diller, Sheinberg, Ovitz, and the late Don Simpson to name a handful. Note to file: Hey, when you are dealing with multi million dollar budgets, you have to be a tough negotiator and ride producers hard. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover click me] The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys and Sells the New Hollywood. By Tom King
(Feb 2000). Wall Street Journal reporter Tom King's unauthorized (but interviewed) bio on David Geffen. Over 300 interviews were conducted to create this bio of Geffen, who started in the mailroom of the William Morris agency (everyone, even lawyers, do a stint in the mailroom), to founding Geffen and Asylum records, to backing Cats and Dreamgirls, to producing the film Risky Business, to founding Dreamworks SKG.
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[bookcover click me] A Journey to Paradise and Other Jewish Tales by Howard Schwartz, Giora Carmi (Illustrator)
(March 2000). Hardcover - 48 pages. Ages 6-9. Folktales and little known Jewish tales of Sephardic origin as well as Ashkenazi.
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[book] Never Nosh a Matzo Ball: A Ruby the Rabbi's Wife Mystery by Sharon Kahn
Hardcover - 256 pages (March 2000). Who says Chicken soup is good for you? In some cases it can be the Jewish strychnine and not the penicillin. Kahn, author of FAX ME A BAGEL, returns to Eternal Texas and Ruby Rothman, the widow of the rabbi. Rebbitzen Rothman is helping the synagogue raise money by selling frozen matzo balls, when the local personal trainer is found dead at the gym with a matzo ball in hand. Can it be related to the current rabbi's infatuation with another gym employee? Lt. Lundy teams up with Rothman to solve the case. A very funny mystery, especially when something seems unkosher at the gym.
Click here to read more about it, see the cover art, to review it, or to purchase it from Amazon (net proceeds are donated to charity)
A HREF=" ">Click here to read about FAX ME A BAGEL

[bookcover] The Parnas: A Scene from the Holocaust by Silvano Arieti, with an updated forward by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
Paperback - 160 pages (March 2000). Silvano Arieti (1914-1981) is one of my favorite authors. Read his book on CREATIVITY and your life will be changed. Arieti escaped Pisa, Italy and came to New York in 1939 where he became a famous psychoanalyst. In 1979, he wrote this book on Giuseppe Pardo Roques, the lay leader (Parnas) of Pisa's Sephardic Jewish community. Roques was murdered by the Nazi's in 1944. This literary story is part fact and fiction; Arieti recreates Roques', the community's Parnas' last days. In reading the book, we learn of the history of Pisa's Jewish community, and Roques' fears, and the debates he may have had with the community's leaders over the coming Nazi threat. As the Germans get closer, the topics range from mental illness, from which the Parnas suffered, to metaphysics to ethics. When this book was published in 1979, The New York Times hailed it as one of the Year's best books. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[bookcover] Pharaoh's Daughter. By Julius Lester
A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL. March 2000. A story of the young Tuthmosis (the Egyptian Mosis / Moses), before the Red Sea miracle. The story opens with Mosis confessing to his murder of an Egyptian. We meet his Egyptian "sister" (not Pharaoh's daughter), Almah. She is a scholar who helps the Habiru/Hebrews, and is adopted along with Mosis into the royal family. Almah is torn between Hebrew culture and Egyptian material and social culture. The Khemetian way of life is seductive. In part two she must choose between what is right and what is pleasant. Click to read more reviews of this book.
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[book] Twilight: Losing Sight, Gaining Insight by Henry A. Grunwald.
Hardcover - 144 pages (November 1999)
Age Related Macular Degeneration is incurable and is the leading cause of sight loss and blindness among Jews over the age of sixty. Maybe our forefather Isaac had the gene for it. Which is why I think synagogues across the country should dedicate their sermons every "Parshat Isaac and Jacob and Esau" to macular degeneration.
Now to the book. Henry Grunwald is the former editor-in-chief of all Time, Inc., publications and under President Reagan US Ambassador to his native Austria. You may recall that he wrote a piece on his loss of vision in The New Yorker in 1966. In the words of Kirkus... Once diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), he began to learn everything possible not only about his condition but about the history of eye diseases and their treatment, and he shares some arcane tidbits here, describing ancient Egyptian remedies and revealing how the eye injuries of WWII fighter pilots led to refinements of cataract surgery. On a more personal note, as Grunwald's vision fades, he becomes a ``visual glutton,'' storing up precious images of beloved faces and scenes. He dredges up visual memories from his childhood and muses about the art of seeing, the remaining pleasures of museum going, the hazards and rewards of traveling, the difficulties of ordinary social intercourse when eye contact is missing, and the enormous frustration involved in reading and writing. Perhaps the most poignant sentence in the book is his quiet lament, ``My books are still more than furniture, but less than the living things they used to be.'' While the physical effects of AMD are formidable, he has found the emotional ones more troublesome. He admits to bouts of anger and depression, but tries to fight back with humor and by making a game out of the need for coping strategies. In the process, he has learned patience, humility, and, reluctantly, acceptance of membership in the society known as the ``handicapped.'' Click to read more reviews of this book.
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