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Dec 11, 2002: JCC Rough Cut: Writers on the Edge. KGB Bar. 85 E 4th St NYC. 7:30 PM featuring Dara Horn (In the Image) and Nelly Reifler (See Through)

Jan 14, 2003: Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicole Krauss read at Beth Elhim, Park Slope Brooklyn, 7:30 PM
Jan 16, 2003: Paula Marantz Cohen reads from JANE AUSTIN IN AT BOCA. B&N, Boca Raton FL. 7 PM
Jan 17, 2003: SchmoozeDance Jewish Film Festival in Park City, Utah. 7:30 PM
Jan 22, 2003: Paula Marantz Cohen reads from JANE AUSTIN IN AT BOCA. B&N, Moorestown NJ. 7 PM
Jan 27, 2003: Rabbi Balfour Brickner reads from FINDING GOD IN THE GARDEN: BACKYARD REFLECTIONS ON LIFE, LOVE, AND COMPOST. B&N, Wellinton FL. 7 PM
Jan 30, 2003: Rabbi Michael Strassfeld reads from A BOOK OF LIFE. EMBRACING JUDAISM…. B&N, E. 86th/2nd Ave NYC. 7:30 PM
Jan 31, 2003: Sherwin B. Nuland reads from LOST IN AMERICA: JOURNEYS WITH MY FATHER. B&N, 82nd/Bway NYC. 7:30 PM

Feb 03, 2003: Risa Miller reads from WELCOME TO HEAVENLY HEIGHTS. B&N, 82nd Bway NYC. 7 PM
Feb 03, 2003: Dr. Raanan Rein (Tel Aviv University) lectures on ISRAEL AND ARGENTINE JEWRY; Complimentary or conflicting interests? Library of Congress, Madison Building, West Dining Room, 6th Floor, Capitol South Metro Stop, 12:00 Noon
Feb 05, 2003: Risa Miller reads from WELCOME TO HEAVENLY HEIGHTS. B&N, Towson MD. 7 PM
Feb 16, 2003: Rabbi Hanoch Teller tells stories on THE RIGHTEOUS LIVE ON. at the Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 3 PM-4:15 PM
Feb 18, 2003: Lillian Faderman reads from NAKED IN THE PROMISED LAND. B&N, Chelsea NYC. 7 PM
Feb 18, 2003: Sir Martin Gilbert reads from The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust. B&N, 82nd/Bway NYC. 7 PM
Feb 26, 2003: Aryeh Lev Stollman reads from The Dialogues of Time and Entropy. B&N, 82nd/Bway NYC. 7 PM

Mar 05, 2003: Novelist Thane Rosenbaum and klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals appear at NYC 92nd St Y to read and play from THE GOLEMS OF GOTHAM (in paperback), 7PM
Mar 06, 2003: Seth Schwartz (Imperialism and Jewish Society) speaks at JTS, NYC, 7PM
Mar 10, 2003: Panel on Jewish Lawyers and Justice, featuring Alan Dershowitz, Samuel Levine, and Bettina Plevan. Center for Jewish Histroy, NYC, 6:30 PM
Mar 10-11, 2003: A conference on the magazine “Commentary” and the Jewish community. CUNY, NY
Mar 11, 2003: Jules Feiffer, Ben Kztchor, and Nicole Hollander discuss Cartoons and Jewish identity. 92nd St Y, NYC, 8 PM
Mar 12, 2003: Lillian Faderman reads from NAKED IN THE PROMISED LAND. B&N, Fresno CA. 7 PM
Mar 13, 2003: James Kugel reads from The God of Old. Harvard Holyoke Center, Cambridge. 6 PM
Mar 15, 2003: presents EsTherminator 2003 Purim party. See 9 PM
Mar 17, 2003: Purim. Reading the Book of Esther. Worldwide. Your local synagogue. 6:30 PM
Mar 18, 2003: David Liss reads from COFFEE TRADER. B&N, San Antonio TX. 7 PM
Mar 18, 2003: Joseph Weisberg reads from 10TH GRADE. B&N, Pittsburgh. 7 PM
Mar 23, 2003: Chai Riders (Jewish motorcycle club) meet at Brooklyn Museum. See
Mar 26, 2003: Rabbi Tirzah Firestone reads from THE RECEIVING. B&N, Park Slope Brooklyn NY. 7 PM
Apr 01, 2003: Jonathan Safran Foer reads from EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED. B&N, 82nd/Bway NYC. 7:30 PM
Apr 14, 2003: Thomas Levenson reads from EINSTEIN IN BERLIN. B&N, NYC 82nd ST. 7 PM
Apr 26-27, 2003: Los Angeles Book Festival


A Memoir of Eleanor Roosevelt, Harold L Ickes, Golda Meir, and Other Friends
by Ruth Gruber
December 2002. Inside of Time is a book for everyone eager to read about the personal and human side of our stirring times. The vivid recollections of a trailblazing eyewitness to history, combined with stories of Gruber’s intimate friendships with luminaries of the century, has created a book to cherish. In the Roosevelt administration and as a foreign correspondent with the New York Herald Tribune, Gruber worked with, wrote about, and was mentored by a cast that included Harold Ickes, FDR’s Secretary of the Interior, who in 1941 appointed Gruber as his personal representative to Alaska; Helen Rogers Reid, Herald Tribune publisher and Gruber’s boss, who scheduled her to speak at lecture forums where Gruber shared the podium with Churchill and DeGaulle; Golda Meir, with whom she swapped kitchen table confidences about their families; David Ben-Gurion, whose prophetic voice made him the most inspiring leader Gruber ever knew; and Eleanor Roosevelt, whom Gruber shepherded to Israel in the early 1950s. Spanning 1941–1955, Gruber also recalls the fierce anti-Semitism she overcame in Congress, the DP camps she saw in Germany after WWII, and traveling with the Israeli army during the War for Independence. Sixteen pages of photographs add to this enthralling autobiography by one of America's best journalists. Click to read more.

December 1, 2002. The seventh witty novel/mystery in this series. Abe Lieberman is "a figure out of Talmudic lore-endearing, wise in his crotchets, weary with his wisdom," says The Washington Post. He loves what he does, but it takes its toll as his commitment to what is right is sorely tested every day on the mean streets of Chicago. As a moral man, he is sometimes faced with some uncomfortable ethical choices in order to see that justice-rather than the letter of the law-is meted out. And in Not Quite Kosher, the latest Abe Lieberman mystery by veteran Edgar Award-winning Stuart Kaminsky, our hangdog sleuth is up to his eyeballs in tsurris, the kind of trouble that will drive a man to madness. From tracking a pair of low-rent thieves who stumble into a heist way over their heads to finding out what happened to a man who predicted his own death in a bizarre twist of fate, not to mention planning for a grandson's bar mitzvah that threatens to send him to the poorhouse, Lieberman will do much to find a way to make everything right, even if it takes years off his life. And his Irish partner, Bill Hanrahn, the Priest to Lieberman's Rabbi, is in trouble of his own making. For the woman he loves is the object of affection of one of the kingpins of the Asian crime syndicate in Chicago and the notion of this woman marrying anyone from a different culture is anathema. How far will he go to win the woman he loves? And at what cost? Click to read more.

By Sascha Goluboff, Washington and Lee University
December 2002. This teacher of cultural anthropology challenges earlier research on Russian Jews which claim that Russian and Jewish identities are mutually exclusive. She shows how post-Soviet Jews use Russian and Jewish ethnic labels and racial categories to describe themselves. They have unique forms of identity formation. The members of the transnational Moscow synagogue (in 1995 and 1996, run by a Western rabbi), whether they were Georgian, Russian, Mountain (Azerbaijan and Dagestan), or Bukharan, evaluated one another based on their post Soviet economic success. Click to read more.

by Michael Gluzman, TAU

December 2002. Stanford Univ Press. Explores the complex relations among the hegemonic triad of territory, nation, and national literature that has characterized the modern nation-state.

Memories of a Jewish Life IN Poland, Israel and America
by Norman Salsitz with Stanley Kaish

December 2002. Wow what a story. He recreates his lives in these three places, including how he escaped the nazis, lived in the woods, and passed as a Catholic after the war and raised in the ranks of the Polish National security force, helping Jews along the way.

[book] Jewish Russians:
Upheavals in a Moscow Synagogue
by Sascha L. Goluboff

December 2002. Univ of Pennsylvania Press. I visited the synagogue in 1991. The author spent time there in 1995 and 1996. By that time, factions has already developed, jockeying for power and status in the morning minyan. Challenging earlier research claims that Russian and Jewish identities are mutually exclusive, Goluboff illustrates how post-Soviet Jews use Russian and Jewish ethnic labels and racial categories to describe themselves. The prevalence of anti-Semitism in Russia is well known, but the issue of race within the Jewish community has rarely been discussed explicitly. Combining ethnography with archival research, Jewish Russians: Upheavals in a Moscow Synagogue documents the changing face of the historically dominant Russian Jewish community in the mid-1990s. Sascha Goluboff focuses on a Moscow synagogue, now comprising individuals from radically different cultures and backgrounds, as a nexus from which to explore issues of identity creation and negotiation. Following the rapid rise of this transnational congregation--headed by a Western rabbi and consisting of Jews from Georgia and the mountains of Azerbaijan and Dagestan, along with Bukharan Jews from Central Asia--she evaluates the process that created this diverse gathering and offers an intimate sense of individual interactions in the context of the synagogue's congregation. Jews at the Moscow synagogue were constantly engaged in often contradictory but always culturally meaningful processes of identity formation. Ambivalent about emerging class distinctions, Georgian, Russian, Mountain, and Bukharan Jews evaluated one another based on each group's supposed success or failure in the new market economy. Goluboff argues that post-Soviet Jewry is based on perceived racial, class, and ethnic differences as they emerge within discourses of belonging to the Jewish people and the new Russian nation. It is an okay story whether or not you agree with her making the particular universal. Many might disagree, and say that the jockeying at the morning minyan is not representative of the majority of Jewis, who do not attend minyans or synagogues. Sascha L. Goluboff teaches cultural anthropology at Washington and Lee University

[book] Small Change:
A Collection of Stories
(Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry Series)
by Yehudit Hendel, Dalya Bilu (Translator), Barbara Harshav (Translator), Marsha Pomerantz (Translator)
December 2002. PW writes: “Plumbing the experience of old age in contemporary Israel, esteemed Israeli writer Hendel's eloquent if sometimes confusing collection centers on elderly characters confronting mortality and loneliness. A man is paralyzed with indecision when it come to choosing his burial ground in "Low, Close to the Floor"-he doesn't know whether to be buried next to his first wife or his second. In "A Story With No Address," a nameless, unidentified woman has a heart attack at a street corner after a minor, typically urban altercation with a stranger. She dies alone, while the shaken narrator who witnessed her collapse is left wondering what happened to the woman's dog. In "Fata Morgana Across the Street," a woman foolishly cherishes a parasol as a memento of a one-night stand. The stories are psychologically complex and subtle, but they are sometimes cluttered with too many shifting perspectives and narrative tangents. Click to read more about each of the stories.

[book] Cradle & Crucible:
History and Faith in the Middle East
by David Fromkin (Contributor), Daniel Schorr (Introduction), Sandra Mackey (Contributor), Zahi Hawass (Contributor), Yossi Klein Halevi (Contributor)

Fall 2002. Beginning with the prehistoric civilizations of the fertile crescent and continuing through the conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries, the first section of the book distills the Middle East’s sweeping, often turbulent history. From the Hittites to Alexander the Great, from the Romans to the Crusaders, from the Ottomans to the Imperialists, the Middle East’s rich tapestry of influences and identities is described with new critical insights. The book’s second section is devoted to the Middle East’s three great faiths, examining in depth the impact of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian beliefs on history and daily life in the Middle East. Click to read more.

[book] Robert Maxwell:
Israel's Superspy:
The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul
by Martin Dillon, Gordon Thomas)

December 2002. In 1991, Robert Maxwell died in mysterious circumstances off his yacht in the Canary Islands. The official cause of death was drowning, but this intriguing, if somewhat overreaching, investigative work argues that the Mossad killed him. This is a good book for conspiracy theorists. The authors write of Maxwell as a fat, vain man who rose from a pre-WWII Jewish childhood in Czechoslovakia and England to become one of the world's most powerful media barons. They say he was killed because he planned to extort money from Israel’s government in order to get out of his own personal mounting debt (his empire crashed after his death). Using a wealth of international sources-Israeli and British intelligence, for instance, both named and anonymous-the authors argue that Maxwell helped the Mossad steal intelligence-gathering software from the U.S. and then sold it around the world. They also depict Maxwell's involvement in several other international intrigues, including an attempt to involve the Jewish state in the 1991 coup against Mikhail Gorbachev. Much of the book has a breathless tone, particularly when the authors describe, in a conspiracist’s delightful detail, the night of Maxwell's death. Click to read more.

[book] Drohobycz, Drohobycz and Other Stories:
True Tales from the Holocaust and Life After
by Henryk Grynberg

Fall 2002. What happens when art, fiction, and film replace the actual stories of Shoah survivors? Grynberg shows you can write fiction and still have an impact. One of our most highly regarded Polish writers, Henryk Grynberg, here delivers thirteen authentic tales of the Holocaust, including the riveting title story, which reconstructs the assassination of the celebrated writer and artist Bruno Schulz. In each of these stories, it is not only the devastation of the Holocaust that resonates so clearly, but also the trauma that endures among its victims and survivors today. Going beyond individual crime and punishment, Grynberg explores collective guilt and the impunity of the twentieth century's two most genocidal political systems-Nazi Germany and Stalinist Soviet Union-in a profound investigation of bravery, baseness, and vulnerability. Click to read more.

[book] ADIEL
by Shlomo DuNour

Fall 2002. Toby Press. This is Israel Prize winning DuNour’s, aged 80+, first book to be translated from Hebrew to English. The author re-imagines The Book of Genesis as seen through the eyes of the angel Adiel. Adiel is to record the life of man on Earth, but ends up questioning God and God’s decisions, such as why he allows Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Click to read more.

by Thomas Neville Bonner

Fall 2002. Johns Hopkins. The first biography of Abraham Flexner (1866–1959), distinguished scholar Thomas N. Bonner offers an engaging and insightful view of one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century American education. From his early, pathbreaking work in experimental primary schools to the founding of the prestigious Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Abraham Flexner's influence on American education was deep, pervasive, and enduring. The son of poor Jewish immigrants in Louisville, Kentucky, Flexner was raised in the Reconstruction South and educated at the Johns Hopkins University in the first decade of that institution's existence. Upon earning his degree in 1886, he returned to Louisville to found--four years before John Dewey's Chicago "laboratory school"--an experimental school based on progressive ideas that soon won the close attention of Harvard President Charles Eliot.

[book cover] [book cover] We recall with affection the mensch in the Senate, Minnesota’s Senior Senator, Paul Wellstone, his wife, daughter, pilots, and aides.

And the astronauts of the Challenger. Let us strive to avoid Groupthink


[book] Naked in the Promised Land:
A Memoir
by Lillian Faderman (Author)
January 2003. Born in 1940, Lillian Faderman was the only child of an uneducated and unmarried immigrant Jewish woman. Faderman's mother and aunt left Latvia in 1923 to work in New York and send back money to their family. They did, but neither could save their loved ones from Hitler's Holocaust, which tormented Faderman's mother endlessly. She suffered recurring psychotic episodes. Her only escape from the brutal labor of her sweatshop job in Los Angeles was her fiercely loved daughter, Lilly, whose poignant dream throughout childhood was to become a movie star and “rescue” her mother. Lilly grew up to become Lil, outwardly tough, inwardly innocent, and hungry for love and success. A beautiful young woman who was learning that her deepest erotic and emotional connections were to women, she found herself in a dangerous but seductive lesbian underworld of addicts, pimps, and prostitutes. Desperately seeking to make her life meaningful and to redeem her mother’s suffering, she entered college (working her way through as a stripper) and became a brilliant student, ultimately achieving a Ph.D. At last she became Lillian — loving partner, devoted mother, charismatic and influential writer, and groundbreaking scholar of gay and lesbian studies. Told with wrenching immediacy and great power, this is the nakedly honest — and very American — story of an exceptional woman. Click to read more.

By Jay Cantor
January 14, 2003. Knopf. “I alone, I alone, I alone will suffer” Doesn’t that make you feel self righteous? (remember to buy stock in Microsoft). From the much-praised author of Krazy Kat and The Death of Che Guevara, the tumultuous story of a group of friends growing up idealistic, radical, and romantic in the sixties and seventies, a time of VietNam, Nixon, Carter, pre-AIDS sex, and no personal computers. We enter their lives in 1960 as a sixth-grade class of Great Neck kids—most of them Jewish—learns for the first time, in horrifying detail, about the Holocaust, with its moral imperative to “make justice” in the world. When the older brother of one of the students is murdered in Mississippi during Freedom Summer, they think they have found their mission, and when they receive letters from him seemingly written after his death, a heady mystical dimension is added that impels them into the civil rights and peace movements, joining their lives to a multitude of others. Among the huge cast of characters: a boy-genius comic-book artist, who transforms their gang into Superheroes. The lovely long-legged sister of the boy who was murdered and the brilliant kid brother of the black activist killed with him. The gay son of a wealthy art collector, who introduces his friends to the wild and sometimes dangerous New York art scene. The beautiful daughter of a Holocaust survivor, who joins the ultraradical Weathermen; the quantum physics whiz and Christian mystic who becomes her bomb-maker; and a Black Power leader, who will accompany her and others into their last and most extreme act. Click to read more.

[book] WHAT I SAW
By Joseph Roth (Moses Joseph Roth)
Translated by Michael Hoffman
January 2003. Norton. In 1920, Joseph Roth, the most renowned German correspondent of his age, arrived in Berlin, the capital of the Weimar Republic. He produced a series of impressionistic and political essays that influenced an entire generation of writers, including Thomas Mann and the young Christopher Isherwood. Translated and collected here for the first time, these pieces record the violent social and political paroxysms that constantly threatened to undo the fragile democracy that was the Weimar Republic. Roth, like no other German writer of his time, ventured beyond Berlin's official veneer to the heart of the city, chronicling the lives of its forgotten inhabitants: the war cripples, the Jewish immigrants from the Pale, the criminals, the bathhouse denizens, and the nameless dead who filled the morgues. He saw all the dives, 24 hour steam baths, and low-in-demand whores (Isherwood saw cabarets). Warning early on of the dangers posed by the Nazis, Roth evoked a landscape of moral bankruptcy and debauched beauty—a memorable portrait of a city and a time of commingled hope and chaos. Click to read more.

[book] Congratulations to Rashid Khalidi who is moving from the University of Chicago back to Columbia University to head the Middle East Institute.

[book] On Top of the World:
Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, & 9/11:
A Story of Loss & Renewal
by Tom Barbash
January 21, 2003. HarperCollins. On 9/11, nearly seven hundred of Cantor Fitzgerald's one thousand New York employees were at their desks on the top floors (101 through 105) of One World Trade Center when a hijacked passenger plane struck eight floors below. Not one of them lived. CEO Howard Lutnick, dropped off his son at his first day of kindergarten, and lived. He knew this would be hard for people to accept, the he, the CEO, the capitain of this bond trading ship, survived and didn’t die. His troops died, his brother died, he, the General, lived. He needs to be seen as the victim (he lost his bother, he lost both parents by age 18, the widow of his mentor, Bernie cantor, sued him), yet at the same time, he has to resurrect the company that is his life. Many will see him as a vampire with crocodile tears. This book tells the story not only of that tragic day but also of the complicated and emotionally charged events that followed in its wake, namely the feeding frenzy against Lutnick, like sharks to blood in the water, like Eastern Europeans to a blood libel. . It is an intimate, often harrowing look at how private families processed a public atrocity, how corporate war-room strategy sessions saved the company from liquidation and the efforts of opportunistic competitors. The book examines the media scrutiny that followed Lutnick, a man who lost his brother and so many friends, who struggled to be at once the compassionate leader the grieving families needed and the tough-minded CEO his decimated company required. Finally, On Top of the World tells the story of a group of men and women -- some of whom were just starting out, others who had succeeded well beyond their expectations -- who were building homes and raising families together, who hired relatives and friends, and the brothers and sisters of those friends. That their business has survived and even flourished -- and that an initially uneasy but ultimately significant covenant has been formed between those who lived and the families of their lost friends is a powerful testament to the ability of a community to endure. Click to read more.

[book] Welcome to Heavenly Heights
a Novel by Risa Miller

January 2003. PW writes: For Orthodox Jews, Israel is not merely a country, but "the Land of Israel, the biblical promised portion"-in other words, "home." The families in Miller's first novel are mainly immigrants from the U.S. who now live in a small settlement in an embattled area outside Jerusalem, motivated by the conviction that it's their responsibility to reclaim the land of the biblical patriarchs. Miller convincingly portrays the faith that leads people to leave their comfortable homes in American suburbs and relocate to a dangerous place where car and bus bombs are always a threat, and random shootings are common. The plot follows several women, all residents of one apartment house, over the space of a year of changing weather, national crises and dramatically altered lives. Enlivened by Miller's fresh and spirited eye for imagery, the narrative builds a web of cumulative quotidian details that convey the culture shock of primitive living where water supplies are chancy, construction is often shoddy, the bureaucracy is overwhelming, and men stow their weapons in the foyer of the shul, next to the stack of prayer books. The characters are nicely nuanced, but quick shifts in chronology sometimes impede the narrative flow. In the end, the psychological landscape is the most impressive part of this often engrossing novel. But outside of portraying the settlers' fundamental religious convictions, Miller never really develops the other side of the argument-that the West Bank communities are provocative to their Arab neighbors. In the end, readers must decide for themselves whether the appealing characters are idealists or zealots, "heroes or just plain crazy," as one character muses.

by HERMANN COHEN (1842-1918). Translated with commentary by Almut Sh. Bruckstein
January 2003. Univ of Wisconsin Press. The first English translation of Cohen’s 1908 work, which went on to influence Leo Strauss, Franz Rosenzweig, and Emmanuel Levinas. Click to read more.

[book] Genuine Authentic:
The Real Life of Ralph Lauren
by Michael Gross
January 21, 2003. Harper Collins. Everyone knows the name Ralph Lauren. Many people know that he was born Ralphie Lifshitz. But not even Lauren himself knows the extra-ordinary history of his ancestry. And until now, no one really knew how this pint-size nebbish rose from the Jewish ghetto of the Bronx and turned himself from a kippah wearing yeshiva student into the world's leading purveyor of old-money-WASP style. Genuine Authentic is that story. (Raised kosher, he ate his first shrimp at age 23) Lauren, the descendant of generations of eastern European rabbis, is the embodiment of modern ambition. He stands as a symbol of the awesome rewards of self-invention -- and not just because he turned a talent for designing ties into a ten-billion-dollar international business. He also demonstrates how precarious success is, how hard a road life can be even for the driven. Lauren is considered by many to be a phony and a copycat. Yet even though he made up his name and nearly went bankrupt trying to live up to it, he can't be dismissed as a mere fake. His products have revolutionized the way almost everything is sold and the way great brands are built. There are at least two Ralph Laurens. To the public he's a gentle, modest, yet secure and purposeful man. Inside the walls of Polo Ralph Lauren, though, he's seen by some as a narcissist, an insecure ditherer, and at times a rampaging tyrant. Michael Gross lays bare the truths of this fashion emperor's rise. Gross uncovers the essence of Lauren's carefully cultivated mystique: how he has turned his back on his own surprisingly aristocratic heritage to embrace another, more commercially viable, one; how he's built an image of luxury and wealth on a foundation of almost anonymous commodities, basic items of clothing like polo shirts and khaki pants, sold mostly in low-priced outlets, and seen everywhere from the subway to the world stage. In recent years, after surviving brain tumor surgery, Lauren suffered from a massive midlife crisis, finding solace with a beautiful blond model. He survived that, too, and in the nineties took his company public, making him a billionaire but creating a whole new set of challenges to confront, new horizons to conquer, starting with Wall Street, and then on to the rest of the world. Phony? Or the real thing? It's all here. You decide. Although, pleasenote, the author is a gossip columnist, so take the style with a pinch of salt, okay? Click to read more.

[book] Contemporary Jewish Writing in Switzerland: An Anthology (Jewish Writing in the Contemporary World)
by Rafael Francis David Amadeus Newman (Editor)
January 2003. Univ of Nebraska Press. 18 modern works by a selection of Switzerland’s Jewish authors. Click to read more.

[book] Unfortunately, It Was Paradise:
Selected Poems
by Mahmud Darwish. Translated from Arabic
January 6. 2003. Univ of California Press. Mahmoud Darwish, 61, is a hero to Palestinians and their poet laureate. He was exiled for 25 years, and now lives on the West Bank. This collection spans Darwish's entire career, nearly 40 years, and worthwhile for fans of Palestinain culture and the sort of Arabic poetry that is filled with lamentations. Click to read more.

[book] An Amazing Adventure
Joe and Hadassah’s Personal Notes on the 2000 Campaign Trail.
by Joseph I. Lieberman, Hadassah Lieberman, with Sarah Crichton (Contributor)

January 2003. zzzzzzzzzz… Rosy, timid and earnest. In the words of PW, “…the former Democratic vice-presidential candidate and his wife avoid any risk of controversy and offer a politically safe recounting of the campaign that does double duty as a preview of the centerpiece themes of a potential 2004 Lieberman run at the presidency…. The Liebermans alternate impressions, sometimes describing the same event. [filled with] uninformative praise by each for the other… Hadassah Lieberman's view is the more novel, as she describes how the scrutiny that follows elevation to the national stage takes over her wardrobe, her personal routines and her natural voice as she is encouraged and cajoled by her campaign staff to "stay on message." The Liebermans are observant Jews, and their discussions on the role of religion in their lives and in American politics are thoughtful. But in the end this is a frustrating effort, as the Liebermans skate the surface of issues, content to wrap what could have been an interesting and dramatic insider story in a surfeit of praise for each other, Al Gore, their staffs, the Secret Service and all things American.” Click to read more.

[book] Peace in the House: Tales from a Yiddish Kitchen
by Faye Moskowitz
January 2003. From her first book, the highly acclaimed A Leak in the Heart, the stories of Faye Moskowitz have observed a particular and mostly forgotten terrain of American life: the world of the second-generation Jew. Displaced and often confused, growing up in families still clinging to the traditions of the old country, these poignant tales feature protagonists still actually speaking Yiddish, the mother tongue. We listen to them as would a child, sitting there quietly in the kitchen of a small Midwestern town overhearing a room full of women gossiping about their husbands, their work, the uncomfortable space they inhabit between a threatened culture and a modern world; between a generation that came from the old country speaking nothing but Yiddish and a new generation eager to be assimilated, desperate to “?t in,” and seeing with brutal clarity the small lies, petty evasions, and daily justi?cations that make their trapped, often barren lives bearable. Moskowitz weaves her tales of interconnected families into a series of connected stories, of her parents, their extended families, their neighbors and landsleit, and ?nally of her own coming of age in America. The portraits and the people are not always admirable, certainly not Talmudic, but through the eye and the ears of this master, they all give us lessons in the sweetness and pain of this first generation to assimilate. Like her other books, this is, an achingly painful and funny collection about growing up female, Jewish, and smart. Click to read more.

by Arthur H. Aufses, Jr. and Barbara J. Niss
January 2003. 150 years of Mount Sinai history, from January 15, 1852, when nine men came together to establish Jews’ Hospital in New York to offer free medical care to indigent Hebrews in NYC. In 2002 it has 1200 beds, and a faculty of 3000. Click to read more.

[book] Women of the Wall:
Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism's Holy Site
by Phyllis Chesler (Editor), Rivka Haut (Editor)
January 2003. Jewish Lights Publishing.
Phyllis Chesler, a founder and board member of the International Committee for Women of the Wall, has been fighting for Jewish women's religious and human rights for more than thirty years. She is a psychologist and the author of eleven books, including Women and Madness and Woman's Inhumanity to Woman. She is a specialist on the topics of patriarchy, psychiatric treatment of women, custody battles, child abuse, women and the criminal justice system, and Camp Sister Spirit. In Israel today, the Kotel is under the religious authority of the rabbinate. Women have only limited rights to practice Jewish ritual in its precincts. This passionate book documents the legendary grassroots and legal struggle of a determined group of Jewish women from Israel, the United States, and other parts of the world--known as the Women of the Wall--to win the right to pray out loud together as a group, according to Jewish law; wear ritual objects; and read from Torah scrolls at the Western Wall. Eyewitness accounts of physical violence and intimidation, inspiring personal stories, and interpretations of legal and classical Jewish (halakhic) texts bring to life the historic and ongoing struggle that the Women of the Wall face in their everyday fight for religious and gender equality. Click to read more.

[book] Appropriately Subversive:
Modern Mothers in Traditional Religions
by Tova Hartman Halbertal)
January 2003. Harvard. Not earth shattering insights, but good for the shelf and discussion… “How do You Speak to your Daughter?” This is the question Professor Halbertal asked feminist Orthodox women in Israel and elsewhere. How do mothers reconcile conflicting loyalties--to their religious traditions, and to the daughters whose freedoms are also constrained by those traditions? Searching for answers, Tova Hartman Halbertal interviewed mothers of teenage daughters in religious communities: Catholics in the United States, Orthodox Jews in Israel. Sounding surprisingly alike, both groups described conscious struggles between their loyalties and talked about their attempts to make sense of and pass on their multiple commitments. They described accommodations and rationalizations and efforts to make small changes where they felt that their faith unjustly subordinated women. But often they did not feel they could tell their daughters how troubled they were. To keep their daughters safe within the protective culture of their ancestors, the mothers had to hide much of themselves in the hope that their daughters would know them more completely in the future. Moving and unique, this book illuminates one of the moral questions of our time--how best to protect children and preserve community, without being imprisoned by tradition. Click to read more.

[book] Lost in America:
A Journey With My Father
by Sherwin B. Nuland
January 7, 2003. He walks with me through every day of my life, in that unsteady, faltering gait that so embarrassed me when I was a boy. Always, he is holding fast to the upper part of my right arm . . . As we make our way together, my father—I called him Daddy when I was small, because it sounded American and that is how he so desperately wanted things to seem—is speaking in the idiosyncratic rhythms of a self-constructed English. So Sherwin Nuland introduces Meyer Nudelman, his father, a man whose presence continues to haunt Nuland to this day. Meyer Nudelman came to America from Russia at the turn of the twentieth century, when he was nineteen. Pursuing the immigrant’s dream of a better life but finding the opposite, he lived an endless round of frustration, despair, anger, and loss: overwhelmed by the premature deaths of his first son and wife; his oldest surviving son disabled by rheumatic fever in his teens; his youngest son, Sherwin, dutiful but defiant, caring for him as his life, beset by illness and fierce bitterness, wound to its unalterable end. Lost in America, Nuland’s harrowing and empathetic account of his father’s life, is equally revealing about the author himself. We see what it cost him to admit the inextricable ties between father and son and to accept the burden of his father’s legacy. In Lost in America, Sherwin Nuland has written a memoir at once timeless and universal. Click to read more.

[book] The Right Man:
The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush
by David Frum
January 7, 2003. Frum, a former speechwriter for Bush, who coined the “axis of evil” blah blah blah clause, fawns over the boss who ousted him after 13 months (well Frum says he quit). Frum admits that he was in direct meetings with Bush two or three times, or about 8 times when you count walk by encounters, but he is honest in stating that he had a small role in the scheme of things. (I smell a case of attention deficit disorder, meaning a guy who needs attention). According to Frum, George W. Bush is "a good man who is not a weak man. He is impatient and quick to anger; sometimes glib, even dogmatic, often uncurious, and as a result ill-informed; more conventional in his thinking than a leder should be." But this is a good thing, right? Frum thinks so. He portrays the White House as a place that lacks brain power, except for the brain of President RUmsfield, I mean Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. The book is as much about the author as the president (most book are, aren’t they?). Sections, such as the fight with Streisand are petty. So why is this book on the site? Well, Frum, 42, is a Canadian, a grad of Yale and Harvard Law, and one of the few Jews who worked in the White House, and married to Danielle Crittenden (author of Amanda.Bright@Home and "What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes The Modern Woman") Maybe Frum is seen as a Jewish cheerleader for Bush and apologist for his policies, so I deem it an important book to read this Winter, in the spirit of “is it good for the Jews?” Ari Fleischer told The Washington Post, that he would add it to his list of books that he does not have time to read, but that he hopes it stimulates the economy and creates jobs. Click to read more.

by Gerald Sorin, CUNY
January 2003. Bio of Irving Howe, who died at the age of 73 in 1993. Deeply passionate, committed to social reform and secular Jewishness, ardently devoted to poetry and fiction, he wrote with eloquence. Click to read more.

[book] Saving the Lost Tribe:
The Rescue and Redemption of the Ethiopian Jews
by Asher Naim
January 2003. In May 1991, Ethiopian Jews staged a miraculous exodus to Israel. With Ethiopia exploding around them in brutal civil war, some fourteen thousand of them were safely airlifted to Jerusalem by the Israeli air force over the course of twenty-five harrowing hours. Told by the Israeli ambassador who made it happen, this spellbinding book is the story of that incredible rescue–as well as an extraordinary history of these Jews, the remarkable people whose faith never waivered, even when confronted with enormous atrocities. Asher Naim knew practically nothing about them when he was posted to Addis Ababa by the Israeli government in the fall of 1990 (come on! Do u really believe this??), but he instantly found himself swept up in their plight. As rebel forces advanced against Ethiopia’s savage dictator, Mengistu Haile Meriam (“the Butcher of Addis”), it became clear that the Falashas would be slaughtered unless they could be snatched from the violence overwhelming their country. Naim set to work on several fronts simultaneously–negotiating with Mengistu and his deceptively charming right hand man, coordinating logistics and strategy with the Israeli military, frantically raising money through contacts in America. On May 23, Naim realized it was now or never, and word went out to the Israeli air force: Operation Solomon must begin at once. With twenty thousand Ethopian Jews crowding the Israeli embassy compound, the first Israeli planes landed at the Addis airport and a team of crack Israeli commandos took position with instructions to protect the operation “at any cost.” Four hours later, the first planeload of them took off for Israel…. Click to read more.

[book] SECRET CITY. The Hidden Jews of Warsaw, 1940-1945
by Gunnar S. Paulsson, US Holocaust Memorial Museum
January 2003. Yale. A study of the 28,000 Jews who hid from the Warsaw Ghetto. They lived in a “secret city.” (470,000 of Warsaw’s Jews were killed in the War). A new perspective on escape versus rebellion. Includes those Jews who his, and those Jews who were able to pass but were sent to workcamps for Poles. Gunnar S. Paulsson shows that after the 1942 deportations nearly a quarter of the ghetto's remaining Jews managed to escape. Once in hiding, connected by elaborate networks of which Poles, Germans, and the Jews themselves were largely unaware, they formed what can aptly be called a secret city. Paulsson challenges many established assumptions. He shows that despite appalling difficulties and dangers, many of these Jews survived; that the much-reviled German, Polish, and Jewish policemen, as well as Jewish converts and their families, were key in helping Jews escape; that though many more Poles helped than harmed the Jews, most stayed neutral; and that escape and hiding happened spontaneously, without much help from either the Polish or the Jewish underground. He suggests that the Jewish leadership was wrong to dismiss the possibility of escape, staking everything on a hopeless uprising. Paulsson's engrossing book offers a new perspective on Jewish honor and Holocaust history. Click to read more.

[book] The Lost Messiah:
The Search of the Mystical Rabbi Sabbatai Sevi
by John Freely
January 27, 2003. Overlook. Rabbi Sabbatai Sevi is one of the most controversial religious figures in Jewish history. In The Lost Messiah, John Freely follows Sevi's trail and the traces of the Jewish cult that grew up around him-one that still inspires belief today. Brilliantly evoking the vanished world of the seventeenth-century Jewish diaspora in the Ottoman Empire, the narrative moves from Sevi's birthplace in Izmir on the Aegean coast of Turkey, to the ghettos of Venice and Rome, the bazaars of Cairo, and the rabbinical schools of Jerusalem and Safed, all the while placing the exotic story into magnificent context with details of the state of the current Jewish communities in these areas. The result of 30 years of research and travel, The Lost Messiah deftly interweaves the work of respected scholars-including the pioneering writings of Gershom Scholem-along with Freely's own firsthand knowledge of ancient and contemporary Turkey and its environs. Tha author follows Sevi up tp the period of his shocking conversion to Islam in the year 1666. Click to read more.

[book] JUBILEE
January 2003. Tor. The foremost Jewish science fiction writer’s lastest book. A collection of stories, including TEA, about a Jewish woman in Brooklyn who finds comfort with a morally reprehensible person; and JUMPING IN THE ROAD, a rabbinical tale set on a distant planet, where a life form with 7 fingers on each hand and yellow eyes claim to be Jews. They aren’t converts, but they evolved into Jews with their own covenant with god, their own holy tongue of Hebrew, their own Torah and 2 versions of the Talmud. Rabbi Isaac ibn Chabib is sent from Philly to this planet to check out their claims, and his findings force him to… Click to read more.

[book] Da Gospel According to Ali G
by Sacha Baron Cohen
January 2003. Who is Ali G and why has HBO recently unveiled "Da Ali G Show" for its American audience? The creation of Sacha Baron Cohen, a Cambridge-educated Brit, "Ali G" offers stunningly aggressive satirical interviews that mock the sanctimonious kindness of American culture. Slyly playing the Fool, Baron Cohen disarms his interlocutors and shows how deeply foolish our culture may well be. (LA Times) Click to read more.


[doregold] [book cover click me] Hatred's Kingdom:
How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism
by Dore Gold
FEBRUARY 2003. Regnery Publishing.
My knee jerk reaction was, “Oh, a book bashing Saudi support for terrorism by a former Israeli Ambassador with a partisan agenda.” But I held down my knee, and actually read the book. And it is good, important, well researched, and as they say in post 9-11 language, it connects the dots. Dore Gold shows how the Saudi royal family, and thus the government, actively supports and nurtures terrorism against the infidels, those Jews, Christians, and even Moslems who go against their radical form of Islam. Gold, a former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N., a man who did his PhD thesis at Columbia on the topic of Saudi Arabia and its relations with the British and other Western powers, pieces together the links of global terrorism — from the World Trade Center to Bali to Chechnya to Bosnia and the Balkans — and the ideology of hatred taught in the schools and mosques of Saudi Arabia. The book also includes side by side transcripts with English translations of inciting sermons from Saudi supported mosques. Incitement. Gold explains Wahhabism well, and tells of another 9/11… 9/11 from over a century ago that pitted Ottomans against Wahhabi’s. He shows how when Syria killed thousands to destroy radical Islam and the Moslem Brotherhood, the leaders escaped to Saudi Arabia. When Jordan and Egypt tried to squash radical Islam, their leaders also found refuge in Saudi Arabia. Gold shows the exact links between Hamas and Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden and the royal family’s charities. Click to read more.

[book cover click me] THE RECKONING
By Rabbi Tirzah Firestone
FEBRUARY 4, 2003. Harper San Francisco
For those of you who read her earlier autobiography, With Roots in Heaven, you know the Rabbi Firestone is a teacher, author and Jungian therapist in Boulder. She is a leader in the Jewish renewal movement. She was raised in an Orthodox home in St. Louis, Missouri. Determined to find freedom, Rabbi Firestone forcefully rejected her Jewish upbringing and embarked upon a journey that took her around the world and into the very heart of counterculture spirituality: from Kundalini ashrams to Hindu cults to radical New Age philosophies. After years of seeking, she settled in Boulder, Colorado, first as a student, then as a psychotherapist. She then found her path back to Judaism and the rabbinate, receiving smicha from Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi, Rabbi Gershon Winkler, Rabbi Shoshana Leibowitz and Rabbi Akiva Mann in 1992. I am still amazed by her skill at massage in which one can find an emotional release through touch. In this, her third book, Rabbi Firestone, focuses on "Receiving." Receiving is the the literal translation of the word Kabbalah, the body of Jewish mysticism that has been passed down from men to men for centuries. Ironically, the art of receiving, that is, opening to the divine spirit as it manifests in the here and now, is one of the undocumented mysteries of women's spirituality. In what might be called an act of spiritual archaeology, Firestone searches for the traces of the divine feminine in the Jewish tradition in order to answer the question, "What is a woman's way to God?" Drawing on the remarkable stories of seven historical holy women--who, despite tremendous obstacles, found ways to embrace the sacred feminine in their lives--Firestone teaches us the mysteries of Jewish Kabbalah from a woman's vantage point. This book empowers women to reclaim their connection to the mystical lineage within Judaism. This is a provocative work of scholarship and passion that restores the forgotten voices of Jewish women mystics, using their remarkable journeys as a springboard into the feminine mysteries that have been hidden from women's use for millennia.
As a child, Rabbi Firestone loved the synagogue, until she was banished to the women’s section by her father as she grew older. In this book, she starts on the path of reclaiming Judaism’s submerged female voice. Like the Jewish Star of David, with one point going up to the heavens and another pointing to the ground, her book reclaims the sufficient wholeness of the sensuous earth and the spiritual in Jewish learning. In each chapter, she chooses a notable Jewish female and her life, and uses that life to explore Jewish thought. At times the connections are tenuous, but the book works well. In Chapter 1, we read about Hannah Rachel of Ludomir (1815-1905). She was a scholar of the Talmud who was odiously pushed down by Jewish leaders and forced to marry. Yet among the common Jews, she was a healer and counselor. Using her life as an example, Firestone explore yichud or wholeness and the role of female leadership. In Chapter 2, the Bruriah (2nd Century CE), every Jewish woman’s hero, is brought back to life. In her post Hellenic period, this brilliant female scholar of the Talmud left her male counterparts in awe of her erudition. But while some know just an inkling about Bruriah, Firestone successfully resurrects the stories of the brothel and the academy to show the role of Eros in Jewish philosophy. Firestone discusses how women must bring both logic and sensuality, one’s holy and erotic side to study and life. In Chapter 3, we are introduced to Malkah of Belz (1780-1850), the wife of the Belzer Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom Rokeach. She brought the divine to noble domestic activities and sat with her husband. Her life is used as a platform for the discussion of kabbalistic branches. In Chapter 4, Firestone tells the story of Asnat Barzani (17th Century), a leader of Kurdish Jews who became a Rosh Yeshiva in Mosul, who can serve as a role model today. She would submerge herself in and surrender to a text, rather than just master it. In Chapter 5, the story Dulcie of Worms, Rhineland (12th Century) is told. She was murdered at age 26, and her life would have been forgotten had her husband, the Pietist / Kalonymous Rabbi Eleazar, not written her an eloquent eulogy. A young businesswoman, mother, firzogerin, prayer-mentor, and scholar, Dulcie’s life is a catalyst for the discussion of Rashi’s daughters, and the reclamation of darkness in order to be balanced. In Chapter 6, you will meet the Yemenite Rabanit Leah Shar-abi of Jerusalem (1919-1978), who exemplified the art of putting one’s vision into action, using the kabbalistic branches of creativity, energy, and deployed method. Her life and Psalm 90 are used by Firestone to teach one how to discover purpose. By Chapter 7, the reader is ready to meet Francesca Sarah, of 16th Century Safed, and for that lesson, you must receive and read the book. Click to read more.

[book cover click me] JPS GUIDE TO JEWISH WOMEN
600 BCE to 1900 CE
Edited By Emily Taitz, Sondra Henry, and Cheryl Tallan
FEBRUARY 4, 2003. Jewish Publication Society
PW writes, “Jewish Publication Society adds a jewel to its JPS Desk Reference series with JPS Guide to Jewish Women: 600 B.C.E. to 1900 C.E., a comprehensive guide edited by Emily Taitz, Sondra Henry and Cheryl Tallan. The scope is sweeping, covering Jewish women from the time of the Babylonian exile to the dawn of the 20th century. The editors do a fine job of sketching each time period, outlining historical realities and how they affected women. The book also takes great pains to include the Jewish experience of both East and West. Each historical section includes short biographical entries on notable women, including some relative unknowns among the familiar names. The design is attractive, with informational boxes and illustrations adding to the book's appeal.” Click to read more.

[book cover click me] HIDE AND SEEK
Edited By Lynne Meredith Schreiber
FEBRUARY 2003. Urim
Includes contributions by Rivkah Lambert Adler, Miriam Apt, Ruth Ben-Ammi, Chaya Devora Bleich, Erica Brown, Khaya Eisenberg, Tehilla Goldman, Joseph J. Greenberg, Mirjam Gunz-Schwarcz, Viva Hammer, Julie Hauser, Devorah Israeli, Rachel (Karlin) Kuhr, Batya Medad, Esther Marianne Posner, Barbara Roberts, Fagie Rosen, Lynne Meredith Schreiber, Leah Shein, Rivkah Slonim, Shaine Spolter, Susan Tawil, Yael Weil, Susan Rubin Weintrob, and Aviva (Stareshefsky) Zacks. Some are haredi, others are BT’s and FFB’s. Some took on the practice to increase their feelings of religious observance, others never gave it a second thought. Traditional Judaism considers the hair of a married woman erotic. As a result, married Jewish women are generally EXPECTED by their communities to cover their hair, except in front of their husbands, and sometimes in the company of other women. For most of Jewish history this practice was NOT DISPUTED - mainly because society at large also considered it immodest for women to let their hair down in its city streets. However, as the general definition of modesty has changed in the last two centuries, Jewish women have followed suit, debating the necessity of covering their hair in a world that remains "uncovered." Today, many observant, married Jewish women cover their hair in some way (sometimes spending thousand of dollars on wigs that are more erotic than their natural hair) although a vocal minority declines to do so at all. Hair covering has, therefore, become the bellwether for religiosity, turning practice into politics. Sources dispute the when, why, and how of hair covering, but nearly all agree on one thing: among the traditional Jews, it is the obligation of married Jewish women to cover their hair in some manner. This collection of essays explains the law (briefly), considers the customs, and includes the voices of women from around the world who are very much moved by the nature of this challenging observance. Essentially it is an “anecdotal”collection, and not a scholarly cultural anthropology on the practice. Among the personal reflections are the stories of the bride who realizes that covering her hair with a at is a royal pain; another woman loses her identity by losing her signature hairstyle. In other stories, one woman can no longer jog on the beach with the wind in her uncovered hair; another puts on her hat in the middle of the night to go to the toilet, lest a male guest see her in the hall with uncovered hair. The traditional Jewish community has long been silent on the very personal, yet also public, matter of married women covering their hair with hats, scarves, and even wigs. Hide and Seek is the first book to discuss this topic. Click to read more.

[book] The Miracle of the Seventh Day:
A Guide to the Spiritual Meaning, Significance,
and Weekly Practice of the Jewish Sabbath
by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
February 17, 2003. John Wiley. The definitive work on the meaning and observance of the Sabbath In this destined-to-be-classic work, the acclaimed Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz offers the definitive explanation of the miraculous potential of the Sabbath, of what it means, and how it can be observed in all of our homes today. He provides a step-by-step guide to the spiritual content and ritual practice of the seventh day, including commentary on each action, prayer, and song. The book is both an introduction and a program for designing one’s own way of observing the Sabbath, including a variety of choices and options focused on the core intention and goal of this weekly spiritual renewal. It will be cherished by Jewish families and individuals for a lifetime of reading and reference. Click to read more.

[book] The Righteous
The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust
by Sir Martin Gilbert (Author)
February 4, 2003. The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust Drawing from 25 years of original research, Sir Martin Gilbert recreates the remarkable stories of non-Jews who risked their lives to help Jews during the Holocaust According to Jewish tradition, "Whoever saves one life, it is as if he saved the entire world." Non-Jews who helped save Jewish lives during World War II are designated Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust archive in Jerusalem. In The Righteous, distinguished historian Sir Martin Gilbert, through extensive interviews, explores the courage of those who-throughout Germany and in every occupied country from Norway to Greece, from the Atlantic to the Baltic-took incredible risks to help Jews whose fate would have been sealed without them. Indeed, many lost their lives for their efforts. Those who hid Jews included priests, nurses, teachers, neighbors and friends, employees and colleagues, soldiers and diplomats, and, above all, ordinary citizens. From Greek Orthodox Princess Alice of Greece, who hid Jews in her home in Athens, to the Ukrainian Uniate Archbishop of Lvov, who hid hundreds of Jews in his churches and monasteries, to Muslims in Bosnia and Albania, many risked, and lost, everything to help their fellow man. Click to read more.

A Rothschild Love Story
by Stanley Weintraub (Penn State)
February 3, 2003. Simon And Schuster. Penn State Professor Emeritus Stanley Weintraub tells the story of Victorian England’s greatest Jewish love story, the arranged marriage between Charlotte and Lionel Rothschild. Victorian England loved love and money. Lionel and Charlotte had both. He was 27, and she was only 16 when they met. Lionel was the eldest son of Hannah and Nathan Mayer Rothschild of Frankfurt. Dark-haired and dark-eyed, dreamy and inexperienced, Charlotte had learned about life largely from books and had been protected from other suitors. The family had been prominent for just two generations. There were nineteen grandchildren of the founding father, Mayer Amschel Rothschild of Frankfurt. Eight would marry one another. Five others married within the family but across the generations. Two never married. Only four (all daughters) "married out." Lionel and Charlotte were first cousins, and their marriage joined the branches of the Rothschild banking family. Charlotte became one of Victorians England’s grand chatelaine (Disraeli loved her from afar and penned the love letter, Endymion, probably in her honor), and Lionel not only led the banking family, but became England’s first member of parliament from the Jewish faith (although he had to fight for 11 years for England to change the law that required an oath to the Christian faith, before taking a seat in Parliament) Click to read more.

by Aryeh Lev Stollman)
February 10, 2003. Penguin Putnam. Mr. Stollman, the celebrated author of The Far Euphrates and The Illuminated Soul, offers us this collection of 10 short stories. Some of these have appeared in American Short Fiction, The Yale Review, The Southwest Review, Tikkun, or Story magazine. Collected here, they address the themes he has grappled with so memorably in his novels: "the pull of the past over the present and the profound effects that one person can have on another"; the aftershocks of the Holocaust; the convergence of science, the imagination, and the spiritual realm; and the way art can shape our humanity. In these stories, Stollman continues to blend the everyday with the mystical, the mundane with the extraordinary, and the waking world with the world of dreams. The stories include “Mr Mitochondria” (my favorite), “Enfleurage”, “Die Grosse Liebe”; “The Adornment of Days”, “New Memories”, “The Seat of Higher Consciousness”, “The Creation of Anat”, “The Little Poet”, “If I Have Found Favor in Your Eyes”, and “The Dialogues of Time and Entropy.” Click to read more.

Words and Phrases That First Appeared in the English Translation of the Bible
By Stanley Malless and Jeffrey McQuain
February 2003. Norton. McQuain, a researcher for William Safire’s weekly On Language column, with Mr. Malless, have compiled 150 words in English that first appeared and were coined for the King James English translation of the Bible. Words like Adoption, Appetite, Liberty, First Fruits, Novelty, Nurse, Crime, Cucumber (cucumeres), Ivory Tower, and more. Click to read more.

[book] The War over Iraq:
Saddam's Tyranny and America's Mission
by William Kristol and Lawrence F. Kaplan
February 2003. As the crisis with Iraq continues, Americans have questions. Is war really necessary? What can it accomplish? What broad vision of U.S. foreign policy underlies the determination to remove Saddam Hussein? What were the failures of the last couple of decades that brought us to a showdown with a dictator developing weapons of mass destruction? What is the relationship between war with Iraq and the events of 9-11? The answers to these questions are found in this timely book by two of America's leading right wing foreign policy thinkers. Click to read more.

[book] ZIFF: A Life
A novel by Alan Lelchuk
February 2003. Carroll and Graf. A wildly inventive novel pitting two writers in a literary rivalry with their careers and lives on the line. Who is Arthur Ziff? One of our greatest living writers or a brilliant literary trickster? A true master or a clever tactician who subtly seduces critics and the reading public alike? It is narrator Danny Levitan’s job to learn who Ziff really is in this compelling novel about the writing life that is by turns comic and provocative, ingenious and anguished, and consistently a gripping reading experience. Serious literature and sensational publishing collide when Levitan, once a well-known novelist now reduced to obscurity, is offered a lucrative advance to write a biography of Ziff. The scourge of myriad JEWISH-American readers and a titan among the world’s literary heavyweights, Ziff has always plotted his books and his career with predatory efficiency. For years he has also shared secrets, manuscripts, and sexual escapades with his longtime friend Danny. But, old friendships aside, Ziff is disturbed with the prospect of this biography by his old pal, and determined to thwart it by persuasion, cajolery, seduction, and outright threat... Click to read more.

by S Ansky. Edited and Translated from Yiddish by Joachim
February 2003. In late 1914, S. Ansky, the influential Jewish-Russian journalist, playwright, and politician, received a commission: to organize desperately needed relief for Jews on the borderlands, who were caught between the warring armies of Russia, Germany, and the Austrian Empire. Thus began an extraordinary four-year journey meticulously documented by Ansky, a peerless witness of his time.In daily accounts, Ansky details his struggles: to raise funds; to lobby and bribe at the tsar's court; to procure and transport food, medicine, and money to the ravaged Jewish towns, which, in the course of the war, were conquered and reconquered by Cossacks, Germans, Polish mercenaries, and Russian revolutionaries. Ansky depicts scenes of devastation-convoys of refugees, towns looted and burned to the ground, villagers taken hostage and raped, prey to all comers. Speaking to maids and ministers, farmers and recruits, doctors and profiteers, Ansky hears and sees it all, as the tsar's army disintegrates and the winds of revolution sweep across the land.A wide-ranging view of a world at war, The Enemy at His Pleasure is at once powerful and poignant, a rare and invaluable addition to the historical record.

MARCH 2003

[book] The Hadassah Jewish Holiday Cookbook:
Traditional Recipes from the Contemporary Kosher Kitchen
by Joan Michel (Editor), Louis Wallach (Photographer)
2003. More than 70 years after a group of Jewish women in Dorchester, Mass., compiled their recipes into a cookbook to raise funds for Hadassah: The Women's Zionist Organization, the latest Hadassah cookbook has hit the shelves. This time it is a national cookbook. Should matzo balls be firm or fluffy? Plain or filled? Made with chicken fat, oil, or marrow? These questions and others are addressed in this recipe collection from the celebrated cooks of Hadassah, the Jewish women’s volunteer organization. Joan Schwartz Michel, editor of the new Hadassah cookbook, explained, "We wanted to raise the funds for Israel, and we thought this would do it. It proved to be a winner. The recipes from Hadassah cooks are so varied and delicious that we thought it would be nice to have a representative sample from Hadassah chapters around the country." Over 250 Jewish holiday recipes are offered and include varieties of nostalgic must-haves - from chicken soup to borscht, kreplach to kishka, Grandma's honey cake to Israel's sufganiyot - and twists on the basics - challahs (seeds or honey), latkes (carrot or potato), and harosets (from Surinam to Africa). The recipes are complemented by engaging commentaries from famous Jewish food writers Susan R. Friedland, Edda Servi Machlin, Joan Nathan, Steven Raichlen, Claudia Roden own Rabbi Robert Sternberg (Yiddish Cuisine).

[book] PRAY TELL:
A Hadassah Guide to Jewish Prayer
by Rabbi Jules Harlow with Tamara Cohen, Rochelle Furstenberg, Rabbi Daniel Gordis & Leora Tanenbaum
February 2003. Jewish Lights Pub. Harlow, the editor of a widely used prayer book, has authored this guide to traditional Jewish prayer. It is enriched with insight and wisdom from a broad variety of viewpoints--from Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Judaism to New Age and feminist thought. Jewish weekday and Shabbat prayers are contrasted with new and inspiring ideas and practices. Insightful commentaries offer readers fresh and modern slants on what it means to pray as a Jew, and how women and men might actually pray. Pray Tell: A Hadassah Guide to Jewish Prayer provides the nuts and bolts for understanding the prayer service, giving a solid foundation to Jewish liturgy. At the same time, it arouses passionate involvement by offering intriguing, non-traditional perspectives to enliven and broaden the appeal of traditional prayer

by James L. Kugel (Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University, and Professor of Bible Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel)
March 2003. Free Press. PW writes, “Kugel (The Bible As It Was) again exerts his considerable command over a wide array of biblical texts and topics to provide a masterful survey of the way ancient Israelites understood God. Biblical texts written around the time of late Judaism, he says, tend to portray God as a universal, omnipresent, but remote deity. Not so with the earliest biblical texts; the Genesis stories about angels or the Exodus commandments against the worship of false gods depict God as a deity who is close to this world and to humanity. Far from being remote, this God hears the cries of the victims of oppression and responds in physical ways by sending the divine presence. So close is the God of old to the people of Israel that this God breaks through the thin veil dividing the spiritual and material world to reveal itself. Thus, this God, according to Kugel, gets close enough to Moses that Moses hears God proclaim the name of the Lord. The prohibition against idols indicates that this God is a different kind of God than those in surrounding cultures, one who appears in a privileged moment and space not confined to a statue. In glimmering prose, Kugel leads us on a mesmerizing tour of the differences between early and modern conceptions of God.” Archaeology, ancient Near Eastern history, and biblical scholarship have filled in some of the background of the early times. Scholars nowadays are well aware that the God of ancient Israel first existed in a world of many gods; it was only after a long process of development that the idea of monotheism -- that there is only one divine power in the universe -- came to be widely accepted. Along with this, scholars have also noted that some of our most basic assumptions about God -- that He has no body but exists everywhere simultaneously, that He is all-knowing and all-powerful -- are not articulated in the most ancient parts of the Bible. But if that is so, what did it mean to believe in the God of Old? What did ancient Israelites actually understand Him to be, and how did they conceive of His interaction with them? The God of Old appeared to people unexpectedly; He was not sought out. Often He was not even recognized, at first mistaken for an ordinary human being. The realm of the divine was not as it is today -- a spiritual dimension set off from the material world. The spiritual and the material overlapped, and the realm of the dead was a real domain just beyond the world of the living. Ordinary reality was in constant danger of sliding into something else, something stark but oddly familiar. God was always standing just behind the curtain of the everyday world. Kugel suggests that this alternative spirituality is not simply an archaic relic, replaced by a "better" understanding. Kugel's picture of the God of Old has much to tell us about God's very nature, and about the encounter between Him and human beings in today's world. This is a book to treasure side by side with the Bible, and for years to come. Click to read more.

[book] THE COFFEE TRADER, a novel
March 11, 2003. Random House. Liss, the author of A CONSPIRACY OF PAPER, returns to 17th Century Europe and its Jewish communities. His new destination is Amsterdam in 1659. It is a thrilling, mysterious world of trade populated by schemers and rogues, where deception rules the day, the Jewish ruling council’s, the Ma’amad, strictly dictates social intercourse. On the world’s first commodities exchange, fortunes are won and lost in an instant. Miguel Lienzo, a sharp-witted trader in the city’s close-knit community of Portuguese Jews, knows this only too well. Once among the city’s most envied merchants, Miguel has lost everything in a sudden shift in the sugar markets. Now, impoverished and humiliated, living on the charity of his petty younger brother, Miguel must find a way to restore his wealth and reputation. Miguel enters into a partnership with a seductive Dutchwoman who offers him one last chance at success—a daring plot to corner the market of an astonishing new commodity called “coffee.” To succeed, Miguel must risk everything he values and test the limits of his commercial guile, facing not only the chaos of the markets and the greed of his competitors, but also a powerful enemy who will stop at nothing to see him ruined. Miguel will learn that among Amsterdam’s ruthless businessmen, betrayal lurks everywhere, and even friends hide secret agendas. With humor, imagination, and mystery, David Liss depicts a world of subterfuge, danger, and repressed longing, where religious and cultural traditions clash with the demands of a new and exciting way of doing business. Click to read more.

By Leah V. Garrett, University of Denver
March 2003. Univ of Wisconsin Press. Examines how famous Yiddish writers used motifs of travel to express their complicated relationship with modernization. Click to read more.

By Jan Feldman
March 2003. Cornell Univ Press. A Study of this minority which is also a force in civil politics. Click to read more.

By Monica Langley
March 2003. WSJ Books. A vivid bio of financier, Sandy Weill. Click to read more.

[book] The Marrano Legacy:
A Contemporary Crypto-Jewish Priest Reveals Secrets of His Double Life
by Trudi Alexy
March 2003. Univ of New Mexico Press. Through correspondence with the author, a Crypto- Jewish Catholic priest who provides protection to Jews living as Catholics in Latin America reveals the struggles with his hidden self and the burden of secrecy in his true identity. Click to read more.

Gunnar S. Paulsson, US Holocaust Memorial Museum
March 2003. Yale University Press. 98% of the Jews of Warsaw were killed in WWII. 25% of the Poles of Warsaw were killed. In all, 720,000 perished, more than then number of deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Though the Nazis forced most of Warsaw's Jews into the city's infamous ghetto during World War II, some 28,000 Jews either hid and never entered the Warsaw Ghetto or escaped from it. This book-the first detailed treatment of Jewish escape and hiding during the Holocaust-tells the dramatic story of the hidden Jews of Warsaw. Gunnar S. Paulsson shows that after the 1942 deportations nearly a quarter of the ghetto's remaining Jews managed to escape. Once in hiding, connected by elaborate networks of which Poles, Germans, and the Jews themselves were largely unaware, they formed what can aptly be called a secret city. Paulsson challenges many established assumptions. He shows that despite appalling difficulties and dangers, many of these Jews survived; that the much-reviled German, Polish, and Jewish policemen, as well as Jewish converts and their families, were key in helping Jews escape; that though many more Poles helped than harmed the Jews, most stayed neutral; and that escape and hiding happened spontaneously, without much help from either the Polish or the Jewish underground. He suggests that the Jewish leadership was wrong to dismiss the possibility of escape, staking everything on a hopeless uprising. Click to read more.

[book] The Discovery of God:
Abraham and the Birth of Monotheism
by David Klinghoffer
March 2003. Doubleday. Klinghoffer, (former literary editor of Wm. F. Buckley’s National Review, and currently the editor of Toward Tradition magazine) the man who had three bris’es, and just wrotes about bris’es in The Forward, (cn u say obsession) writes about the man who circumcised himself, his household, Isaac, and Ishmael. A reverent biography of the patriarch of monotheism, Abraham, the father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, from his birth in Mesopotamia to his preaching to his development of a relationship with a single God. Click to read more.

[book] The Gurs Hagadah:
Passover in the Midst of Perdition
by Bella Gutterman, and Naomi Morgernstern
February 2003. How do you live a “normal” life in a Concentration Camp? The Gurs Camp (technically called a “detention” camp) in southwestern France was the testing ground for thousands of Jews attempting to pit their belief in God and themselves against the inhumanity of war. Here, in 1941, the inmates decided to hold a Seder on Passover, the Holiday of Freedom, in order to declare their own freedom from the terror of oppression. Replete with photographs, and featuring a facsimile of the actual Haggadah recreated from memory and used in the camp, The Gurs Haggadah sheds light on a little known camp where, despite the stresses and sub-human conditions, the people enriched their own lives by organizing both religious and cultural activities while suffering under the yoke of Nazi brutality. Click to read more.

Edited by Deborah Dwork
March 2003. A thick collection of essays. Click to read more.

[book cover click for more information ] Opening to You:
Zen-Inspired Translations of the Psalms
by Norman Fischer

Paperback edition. 3/2003. The first thing that strikes you is that the back cover blurbs are by Jewish born Buddhists Jack Kornfeld, Sylvia Boostein, Daniel Ladinsky, and Lama Surya Das (born Jeffrey Miller), as well as Rabbi Zalman Schechter-Shalomi and Bendictine Father Laurence Freeman. A week with the Trappist monks of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky left Norman Fischer feeling inspired by the uplifting, soaring verses chanted each day, but he was also astonished by the violence, passion, and bitterness they expressed. This experience started him on a journey through eastern and western spirituality and his own Jewish roots, resulting in these moving and intimate translations of the Psalms. Fischer's aim was to translate the Psalms in a way that would convey their beauty and power in accessible English for readers of every spiritual path or religious background. In ninety-three poems of praise, celebration, suffering, and lamentation, he brings the Psalms alive for today's readers, revealing an interfaith aspect to these sacred songs that is completely contemporary. For example… Psalm 23: A Psalm of David. the Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in straight paths for His name's sake. Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me
is transformed into “You are my shepherd; I am content / You lead me to rest in the sweet grasses / To Lie down by the quiet waters / And I am refreshed / You lead me down the right path / The path that unwinds in the pattern of your name / And even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death / I will fear not / For you are with me / Comforting me with your rod and staff / Showing me each step.

By Diane Wolkstein
March 2003. Schocken. 27 stories related to Jewish holidays, starting with Passover. Includes stories about the Song of Songs, Kohelet, Hannah, Ruth, Judith, Esther, and Lamentations. Click to read more.

[book] In the Shadow of the Holocaust:
Nazi Persecution of Jewish-Christian Germans (Modern War Studies)
by James F. Tent
March 2003. Univ of Kansas. The Halbjuden of Hitler's Germany were half Christian and half Jewish but, like the rest of the Mischlinge (or partial-Jews), were far too Jewish in the eyes of the Nazis. Thus, while they were allowed for a time to coexist with the rest of German society, they were granted only the most marginal or menial jobs, restricted from marrying Aryans or even leading normal social lives, and sent eventually to forced-labor and concentration camps. More than 70,000 Germans were subjected to these restrictions and indignities, created and fostered by Hitler's morally bankrupt race laws, yet to this day few personal accounts of their experiences exist. James Tent recounts how these men and women from all over Germany and from all walks of life struggled to survive in an increasingly hostile society, even as their Jewish relatives were disappearing and being murdered. He draws on extensive interviews with twenty survivors, many of whom were teenagers when Hitler came to power, to show how half Jews coped with conditions on a day-to-day basis, and how the legacy of the hatred they suffered has forever lingered in their minds. Click to read more.

[book] The Jews of Prime Time
by David Zurawik
March 2003. An examination of Jewish television characters from the last fifty years, along with a backstage look at the Jewish insiders who created the strange history of Jewish identity in prime time television. Click to read more.

By Janet Hadda, Professor of Yiddish, UCLA
March 2003. University of Wisconsin. Isaac Bashevis Singer, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1978, was the greatest Yiddish writer of the 20th century, a profoundly important voice in world literature, and an invaluable witness to the vanishing culture of Eastern European Jews. In Isaac Bashevis Singer, Janet Hadda brings her dual expertise--as a practicing psychoanalyst and a Yiddish literary scholar--to this illuminating study of Singer's life and work. Drawing on extensive interviews with his wife, his translators, and fellow writers, and using original Yiddish sources, Hadda traces Singer's remarkable trajectory from the grinding poverty of Bilgoray, Poland, to his early struggles and paralyzing self-doubts as a lonely immigrant in New York in the 1930s, and finally to his rise to the pinnacle of literary fame. Hadda views Singer's personal life through the lens of his troubled relationships with his brilliant family. She discusses for the first time the critical role his sister and brother--both literary figures in their own right--played in his emotional and intellectual development. We see, for example, the close resemblance between his epileptic sister and the demonically possessed heroine of Satan in Goray, and learn how Singer's admiration for and competition with his brother, Israel Joshua, both spurred and inhibited his own artistic growth. Hadda also explores how opposing parental forces--his effeminate rabbi father and masculine rationalist mother--bequeathed to Singer a set of contradictions and a loneliness that would haunt his entire life. Despite his famous memoir, In My Father's Court, which idealizes his parents, Hadda shows a childhood that left him deeply neglected and from which he turned to fiction for escape and compensation. His sense of isolation intensified in adulthood with the knowledge that the Yiddish-speaking audience for whom he wrote and whose world provided the foundation for his work was disappearing. Debilitating depression, epic womanizing, estrangement from his brother, sister, and son all contributed to a private personality far different from the simple, grandfatherly self his readers perceived. Indeed, vast discrepancies existed between his public, private, and several literary personas. Click to read more.

By Alan Leuchek (Dartmouth)
March 2003. University of Wisconsin. The fictional story of Aaron Schlossberg as he moves from childhood to adulthood, from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Click to read more.

By Charles Fenyvesi
March 2003. University of Wisconsin. A former staff writer for The Washington Post and USN&WR writes about those people who risked their lives to save Jews.. Click to read more.

[book cover] Modern Folk Judaism:
The Reality and the Challenge
by Reuven P. Bulka
March 2003. Ktav. A look at how Jews express their Judaism in current times. Rabbi Bulka is the rabbi for Congregation Machzikei Hadas, Ottawa. Rabbi Bulka received his ordination from the Rabbi Jacob Joseph Rabbinical Seminary in New York and his Ph.D. (with a concentration in the Logotherapy of Viktor Frankl) from the University of Ottawa. Click to read more.

[book] I Saw Ramallah
by Murid Barghuthi, Translated by Ahdaf Soueif, FOreward by Edward Said, Ellen R. Shapiro
2003. Paperback. Winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal. The first narrative of Palestinian poet. A memoir, an autobiography. The bridge that Barghouti crosses as a young man leaving Jordan’s West Bank in 1966 to study in Cairo is the same bridge he used to cross back in 1996 to Israel’s West Bank, after 30 years away. This is a story of homelessness and home. He writes of being denied human rights both at home and abroad. Edward Said writes of this work, “One of the finiest existential accounts of Palestinian displacemnt.” Click to read more.

[book] That You May Live Long:
Caring for Our Aging Parents, Caring for Ourselves
by Richard F. Address (Editor), Hara Person (Editor)
2003. UAHC. Essays by Jewish professionals on caring for aging parents” Click to read more.

by Michele Klein
2003. JPS. What Jewish history and wisdom teach us about coping with worry. Michele Klein brings her training in psychology to the notion of worry -- the normal, everyday angst that we all feel to varying degrees. She explores the ways in which Jews have experienced, expressed, and coped with it since biblical times, and right up to the post-9/11 present. The book addresses such questions as What is worry? Why, when and how do all of us do it? Is it a "Jewish" thing? Is it avoidable, and is it all bad? How can we turn our tendency to worry into a positive force in our lives? Click to read more.

[book] Jewish U:
A Contemporary Guide for the Jewish College Student
by Scott Aaron, Brandeis Bardin Institute
March 2003. UAHC. Midwest Book Review wrote: “indispensable and reliable reference for families and students wanting to enroll in a college or university where they can explore and practice their Judaic faith and heritage. Jewish U covers a variety of pertinent issues including: preparing to leave the parental home; living in a dorm; celebrating High Holy Days away from the family; honoring Shabbat; making friends and preparing for exams (from a Jewish perspective); reconnecting with family and friends during school breaks; the value of a college education and the selection of a major; the ethics of sexual intimacy; the obligation of responsibility; campus-based Passover celebrations; dealing with death while away from home; Shavuot and theological inquiries; even summer jobs and social action. Jewish U is an invaluable.” Click to read more.

by Paul Yedweb
UAHC. Are you looking for a high school curriculum that brings to life issues directly related to your students? Would you like to help your students improve their text skills? Sex in the Text may be your answer. Rabbi Paul Yedwab, author of several books, introduces students to controversial texts and related commentary from our tradition, ranging from B'reishit to other biblical, rabbinic, kabbalistic, and responsa texts. These are the stories and narratives not usually discussed in the classroom. Though it may sometimes be uncomfortable to talk about these texts, this collection make it clear that in its more than 4000-year history, Judaism has had an astonishing breadth in its perceptions on every aspect of our sexual lives. Sex in the Text will enable students to make connections between the texts and their lives and help them learn Jewish perspectives on sexuality, love, and marriage, as well as topics like deception, abortion, adultery, and rape. Texts are in Hebrew and English. It is intended to evoke comfortable class discussions on uncomfortable subjects. Click to read more.

[book] The Miracles of Exodus:
A Scientist's Discovery of the Extraordinary Natural Causes of the Biblical Stories
by Colin J. Humphreys, Cambridge University
March 25, 2003, HarperSanFrancisco. Did the Red Sea really part before the Hebrews? Why didn't the fire consume the Burning Bush? What was the Manna in the Wilderness? The Miracles of Exodus explores the truth about these and all the other Exodus mysteries, including the precise locations of Mount Sinai, the Red Sea Crossing, and the route of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt 3,000 years ago. This investigative tour de force explains the Ten Plagues, the true location of Mt. Sinai, the ultimate crossing of the Jordan, and much more. Colin Humphreys, a distinguished Cambridge British Physicist, uses physics, astronomy, biology, and other scientific resources to show that the mysteries and miracles of the Exodus have scientific explanations. These explanations allow us to pinpoint the exact nature, time, and place of these miracles, and to reconstruct, for the first time, the true route of the Exodus. Click to read more.

[book cover] Celebrating the Jewish Holidays:
Stories, Essays, Poems
by Steven J. Rubin, Adelphi University (Editor)
March 2003, Brandeis. Celebrating the Jewish Holidays is a comprehensive collection of Jewish writing pertaining to the six most celebrated Jewish holidays (Sabbath, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, Purim, and Passover). This impressive volume brings together literature from eastern and western Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America, and contains work by some of the most renowned Jewish poets and writers from throughout the centuries. Among the many selections included are works by the medieval poets Yehuda Halevi and Solomon Ibn Gabirol; fiction by the great Yiddish-language authors Sholom Aleichem, I. L. Peretz, and Isaac Bashevis Singer; autobiographical essays by Golda Meir, Theodor Herzl, and Elie Wiesel; and selections from such well-known contemporary American-Jewish writers as Allegra Goodman, Grace Paley, Cynthia Ozick, Marge Piercy, and Nathan EnglanderClick to read more.

[book cover] Poetry After Auschwitz
Remembering What One Never Knew
by Susan Gubar
March 2003. Indiana University Press. Of this book, Ulrich Baer of NYU writes, “In this subtly argued and thoughtful book, influential feminist scholar Gubar (English, Indiana Univ.), coeditor of a classic anthology of women's writing, The Madwoman in the Attic, shows how such poetry can permit a kind of witnessing by proxy. The risks of such poetry are a lapse into moral sensationalism, the poet's narcissistic fear of irrelevance in light of earlier suffering, or a ghoulish fascination with horror devoid of intellectual substance. Gubar explains how poets avoid these risks and speak on behalf of the dead without usurping their place. A reading of Adrienne Rich's use of Holocaust metaphors is particularly astute, and Gubar's commentary on Jacqueline Osherow, Anthony Hecht, and Irving Feldman shows how the aesthetic can be used to intensify "moral, intellectual, and sensory awareness" of an event that continues to haunt contemporary politics, culture, and art...” Click to read more.

[book cover, click me] Raisel's Riddle
by Erica Silverman, and Susan Gaber (Illustrator)
March 2003. Paperback Edition. What's more precious than rubies, more lasting than gold? Raisel knows. She learned it from her grandfather, a poor scholar who taught her. When he dies, Raisel finds work in the home of a rabbi. His jealous cook makes Raisel toil from sunup to sundown. And as the Jewish holiday of Purim approaches, Raisel works even harder. The rabbi's son presides over the Purim dinner, and Raisel listens closely when he responds to riddles posed by his guests. Is it possible that this young man can answer Raisel's riddle? Erica Silverman's lively retelling of the Cinderella story features a heroine for whom knowledge is as essential to happiness as love. In striking paintings, Susan Gaber captures all her beauty, external and internal. Click to read more.



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