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May 19, 22012: Author Yossi Klein Halevi speaks at Ohab Zedek, NYC 11:30 AM
May 20, 2012: Rabbi David Ingber speaks on Kabbalah of Jerusalem. Skirball NYC
May 21, 2012: Dr. Aviivah Gottlieb Zornberg reads and speaks. Lincoln Square Synagogue, NYC UWS
May 23, 2012: Major General Sidney Shachnow (Ret.), highly decorated Vietnam Veteran and child survivor of the Kovno death camp (author of “Hope and Honor”) speaks on Memorial Day and Fleet Week, NYC. The Jewish Center, UWS NYC 7PM
May 26, 2012: Tikkun Leil Shavuot, Worldwide
May 27, 2012: Shavuot
May 29, 2012: Inside the Jewish Bakery: Taste and Talk at the NYC Museum. A discussion on this city's great Jewish bread traditions with proprietors of Streit's Matzo, The Bagel Hole, Chiffon Bakery, and the award-winning authors of Inside the Jewish Bakery.

June 02, 2012: Nora Rose Moosnick signs "Arab and Jewish Women in Kentucky" at the Morris Book Shop, Lexington, KY
June 03, 2012: Celebrate Israel Parade, NYC
June 04-06, 2012: Book Expo America in NYC (for the trade only)
June 11, 2012: Author Elie Wiesel in conversation with “Write On For Israel” student writers. Park Avenue Synagogue, NYC 730PM
June 11, 2012: Thane Rosenbaum reads from The Stranger Within Sarah Stein. B&N 82nd/Bway NYC
June 12, 2012: Dan Bucatinsky reads from Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight? Confessions of a Gay Dad. B&N Tribeca NYC
June 12, 2012: Alan Furst reads from Mission To Paris. B&N UES NYC 86TH ST
June 14, 2012: Joan Rivers reads from I Hate Everyone...Starting with Me. B&N Farmer Mkt, Los Angeles CA
June 15, 2012: Ed Rendell reads from A Nation of Wusses How America's Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great. B&N Areana Hub Wilkes Barre PA
June 18, 2012: Scribblers on the Roof. Featuring Eileen Pollak (Breaking and Entering In The Mouth) and Richard Zimler (The Seventh Gate). NYC 100th/WEA 8PM
June 21, 2012: Josh Henkin reads from The World Without You. B&N UWS NYC 82nd
June 24, 2012: Ed Rendell reads from A Nation of Wusses How America's Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great. B&N Rittenhouse Sq Philadelphia
June 25, 2012: Scribblers on the Roof. Featuring Talia Carner (Jerusalem Maiden) and Austin Ratner (The Jump Artist). NYC 100th/WEA 8PM

July 02, 2012: Scribblers on the Roof. Featuring Josh Henkin (The World Without You, Matrimony) and Rachel Zucker (Museum of Accidents). NYC 100th/WEA 8PM
July 09, 2012: Scribblers on the Roof. Featuring Ilan Mochari (Zinsky the Obscure) and Sarah Stern (another word for love). NYC 100th/WEA 8PM
July 11-15: YIDstock. A festival of Jewish films and music. Amherset Mass
July 14, 2012: David Kahn reads and demos from “Krav Maga Weapon Defenses The Contact Combat System of the Israel Defense Forces”. B&N Princeton MarketFair 3PM
July 17, 2012: Daniel Silva reads from The Fallen Angel (Gabriel Allon Series #12) B&N Union Square NYC
July 21, 2012: Daniel Silva reads from The Fallen Angel (Gabriel Allon Series #12) B&N Lincoln Park, Dallas TX
July 27, 2012: Daniel Silva reads from The Fallen Angel (Gabriel Allon Series #12) B&N Broward Mall, Plantation FL
July 30, 2012: Beth Bernstein reads from My Charmed Life. Rocky Romances, Precious Family Connections and Searching For a Band of Gold. B&N UWS 82ND NYC

August 21, 2012: Jonathan Tropper reads from One Last Thing Before I Go. B&N UWS NYC

Sep 05, 2012: Gretchen Craft Rubin (daughter in law of Robert Rubin) and author of the Happiness Project reads from Happier at Home Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life. B&N UES 86Th St NYC


Israel's Controversial Hero
A Jewish Lives Biography
By Mordechai Bar-On, MK
June 2012, YALE
Instantly recognizable with his iconic eye patch, Moshe Dayan (1915–1981) was one of Israel's most charismatic—and controversial—personalities. As a youth he earned the reputation of a fearless warrior, and in later years as a leading military tactician, admired by peers and enemies alike. (He lost his eye with the British, not fighting for Israel) As chief of staff during the 1956 Sinai Campaign and as minister of defense during the 1967 Six Day War, Dayan led the Israel Defense Forces to stunning military victories. But in the aftermath of the bungled 1973 Yom Kippur War, he shared the blame for operational mistakes and retired from the government. He later proved himself a principled and talented diplomat, playing an integral role in peace negotiations with Egypt.
In this biography, Mordechai Bar-On, a Minister in the Israeli Knesset, and Dayan's IDF bureau chief during the Sinai campaign, offers an intimate view of Dayan's private life, public career, and political controversies, set against an original analysis of Israel's political environment from pre-British Mandate Palestine through the early 1980s.
Drawing on a wealth of Israeli archives, accounts by Dayan and members of his circle, and firsthand experiences, Bar-On reveals Dayan as a man unwavering in his devotion to Zionism and the Land of Israel. Moshe Dayan makes a unique contribution to the history of Israel and the complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
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[book] The Shema and the Mezuzah
Listening to Each Other
By Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
2012, Jewish Lights
Ages 3 – 7
In a divided world where the one who shouts the loudest often gets the most attention, a story about compromise and listening. The townspeople have mezuzahs but cannot agree on how to put them up on their doorways. Should they place them horizontally or vertically, standing up or lying down? To end their arguing, they consult the wise rabbi of the town, who advises them to carefully read the Shema in the mezuzah to find the answer.
This lively tale, based on a twelfth-century rabbinic debate, introduces children ages 3 to 6 to the words of the Shema, the Jewish people s affirmation of faith, and the custom of putting up the mezuzah. A spirited disagreement over how to affix the mezuzah results in compromise and harmony when the townspeople learn to truly listen to one another.
Best-selling, award-winning children s author Sandy Eisenberg Sasso helps young people discover that there is often more than one solution to a problem, and that living together and creating home requires cooperation and listening to one another.

[book] Abuse in the Jewish Community
Religious and Communal Factors that Undermine the Apprehension of Offenders and the Treatment of Victims
By Michael J. Salamon
2012, URIM
documents ongoing coverups of child sex abuse in the haredi community.
Salamon also explains the trauma that comes from child sex abuse, and explains the haredi understanding of Jewish law and the haredi community mores that make it especially difficult for haredi victims to report haredi predators to police, and for the victims to get the therapy they need. The book doesn’t deal with prevention or treatment, but Dr. Salamon hopes to publish a second volume that will. Abuse in the Jewish Community would make a nice gift for any Orthodox or haredi rabbis you know. If they read it, it will make it much more difficult for them to deny the truth, and it might force them to make make changes that will actually protect their community's
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[book] Koren Talmud Bavli
Tractate Berakhot, Hebrew/English,
Standard Format (you can also get the Daf Yomi format)
Edited by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
The Koren Talmud Bavli is a groundbreaking edition of the Talmud that fuses the innovative design of Koren Publishers Jerusalem with the incomparable scholarship of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. The Koren Talmud Bavli Standard Edition is a full-size, full-color edition that presents an enhanced Vilna page, a side-by-side English translation, photographs and illustrations, a brilliant commentary, and a multitude of learning aids to help the beginning and advanced student alike actively participate in the dynamic process of Talmud study.
The Koren Talmud Bavli is a groundbreaking edition of the Talmud that fuses the innovative design of Koren Publishers Jerusalem with the incomparable scholarship of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. The Koren Talmud Bavli – Standard Edition is a full-size, full-color edition that presents an enhanced Vilna page, a side-by-side English translation, photographs and illustrations, a brilliant commentary, and a multitude of learning aids to help the beginning and advanced student alike actively participate in the dynamic process of Talmud study.
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[book] Koren Sacks Siddur
Sepharad Prayerbook
Edited by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
June 2012, Koren
The Koren Sacks Siddur is the first new Orthodox Hebrew/English siddur in a generation. The Siddur marks the culmination of years of rabbinic scholarship, exemplifies Koren's tradition of textual accuracy and intuitive graphic design, and offers an illuminating translation, introduction and commentary by one of the world's leading Jewish thinkers, Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks. Halakhic guides to daily, Shabbat, and holiday prayers supplement the traditional text. Prayers for the State of Israel, its soldiers, and national holidays, for the American government, upon the birth of a daughter and more reinforce the Siddur's contemporary relevance. A special Canadian Edition is the first to include prayers for the Canadian government within the body of the text.
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[book] The Illustrated History of the Hungarian Jews
From the Beginnings Up
to the Present
By Katalin Jalsovszky,
Emoke Tomsics, and Zsuzsanna Toronyi
June 2012,
From the Ancient Roman Empire to the present day, the life of the Jewish people in Hungary is documented, aiming to fill the current gap that exists in their history. The analysis focuses on the social and cultural circumstances of this population as well as their background, considered within the context of Hungary’s own past. The chapters journey through the middle ages, the reform age, World War I, and the Holocaust, which concluded with the extermination of the Hungarian Jewry—considered one of Europe’s largest and most important Jewish communities. Accentuated with a striking array of photographs capturing archeological artifacts, architectural relics, and works of art, this consideration delves into this community’s religion, daily life, and the prominent role they have played in the cultural and economic life of modern Hungary. A collection of authentic documents—some of which have been unpublished until now—is also featured.
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[book] The Founding Fathers of Zionism
By Professor Benzion Netanyahu (Cornell)
June 2012,
Balfour Books
Before the state of Israel became a reality in 1948, a group of thinkers advanced the idea; five of these men would become icons of the Zionist movement, and today, renowned history professor Benzion Netanyahu (himself a significant figure) has profiled The Founding Fathers of Zionism. From the mind of Herzl, to the persevering efforts in Russia and elsewhere, this landmark book brings to life the men, times, and ideology that propelled a fantastic idea to reality.
Professor Netanyahu passed away on April 30, 2012 prior to the book’s publication. He is father of Iddo, Yonaton (killed leading the Raid on Entebbe) and Binyamin (served as Prime Minister of the State of Israel)
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[book] Arab and Jewish Women in Kentucky
Stories of Accommodation and Audacity
(Kentucky Remembered: An Oral History Series)
By Nora Rose Moosnick
June 2012,
University of Kentucky Press
Outwardly it would appear that Arab and Jewish immigrants comprise two distinct groups with differing cultural backgrounds and an adversarial relationship. Yet, as immigrants who have settled in communities at a distance from metropolitan areas, both must negotiate complex identities. Growing up in Kentucky as the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants, Nora Rose Moosnick observed this traditionally mismatched pairing firsthand, finding that, Arab and Jewish immigrants have been brought together by their shared otherness and shared fears. Even more intriguing to Moosnick was the key role played by immigrant women of both cultures in family businesses -- a similarity which brings the two groups close together as they try to balance the demands of integration into American society.
In Arab and Jewish Women in Kentucky: Stories of Audacity and Accomodation, Moosnick reveals how Jewish and Arab women have navigated the intersection of tradition, assimilation, and Kentucky's cultural landscape. The stories of ten women's experiences as immigrants or the children of immigrants join around common themes of public service to their communities, intergenerational relationships, running small businesses, and the difficulties of juggling family and work. Together, their compelling narratives challenge misconceptions and overcome the invisibility of Arabs and Jews in out of the way places in America.
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[book] Road to Valor
A True Story of WWII Italy, the Nazis, and the Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation
By Aili McConnon and Andres McConnon
June 2012, Crown
Road to Valor is the inspiring, against-the-odds story of Gino Bartali, the cyclist who made the greatest comeback in Tour de France history and secretly aided the Italian resistance during World War II. Gino Bartali is best known as an Italian cycling legend: the man who not only won the Tour de France twice, but also holds the record for the longest time span between victories. During the ten years that separated his hard-won triumphs, his actions, both on and off the racecourse, ensured him a permanent place in Italian hearts and minds.
In Road to Valor, Aili and Andres McConnon chronicle Bartali’s journey, starting in impoverished rural Tuscany where a scrawny, mischievous boy painstakingly saves his money to buy a bicycle and before long, is racking up wins throughout the country. At the age of 24, he stuns the world by winning the Tour de France and becomes an international sports icon. But Mussolini’s Fascists try to hijack his victory for propaganda purposes, derailing Bartali’s career, and as the Nazis occupy Italy, Bartali undertakes secret and dangerous activities to help those being targeted. He shelters a family of Jews in an apartment he financed with his cycling winnings and is able to smuggle counterfeit identity documents hidden in his bicycle past Fascist and Nazi checkpoints because the soldiers recognize him as a national hero in training.
After the grueling wartime years, Bartali fights to rebuild his career as Italy emerges from the rubble. In 1948, the stakes are raised when midway through the Tour de France, an assassination attempt in Rome sparks nationwide political protests and riots. Despite numerous setbacks and a legendary snowstorm in the Alps, the chain-smoking, Chianti-loving, 34-year-old underdog comes back and wins the most difficult endurance competition on earth. Bartali’s inspiring performance helps unite his fractured homeland and restore pride and spirit to a country still reeling from war and despair.
Set in Italy and France against the turbulent backdrop of an unforgiving sport and threatening politics, Road to Valor is the breathtaking account of one man’s unsung heroism and his resilience in the face of adversity. Based on nearly ten years of research in Italy, France, and Israel, including interviews with Bartali’s family, former teammates, a Holocaust survivor Bartali saved, and many others, Road to Valor is the first book ever written about Bartali in English and the only book written in any language to fully explore the scope of Bartali’s wartime work. An epic tale of courage, comeback, and redemption, it is the untold story of one of the greatest athletes of the twentieth century.

[book] Slouching Toward Adulthood
Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest
By Sally Koslow (Sarah Lawrence)
June 2012, Viking
A witty and insightful report from the parenting trenches by the mother of two "adultescents"
Millions of American parents sit down to dinner every night, wondering why fully grown children are joining them—or, more likely, grunting good-bye as they head out for another night of who knows what. Sally Koslow, a journalist, novelist, and mother of two "adultescents" digs deep to reveal what lies behind the current generation’s unwillingness—or inability—to take flight.
By delving into the latest research and conducting probing interviews with both frustrated parents and their frustrated offspring, Koslow uses humor, insight, and honest self-reflection to give voice to the issues of prolonged dependency. From the adultescent’s relationship to work (or no work), money (that convenient parental ATM), or social life, Slouching Toward Adulthood is a provocative, razor-sharp, but heartfelt cri de coeur for all the parents who sent their kids to college only to have them ricochet home with a diploma in one hand and the DVR remote in the other.
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[book] Jewish Ethics & Social Justice
By Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz
Founder of Uri L Tzedek
2012, Derusha
We make religion irrelevant when we lock it up in the house of prayer - when we keep religion away from the streets. If we want Judaism to matter in today's world, we must respond = deeply - to society's call. The Torah is a living tradition that we need to bring to the most urgent social issues of our time. We must fully enter the public arena, recognizing that our common responsibilities transcend our particular paths. The essence of spiritual life shines at the core of all the crude and harsh realities we see every day - and when we ignore these realities, we are like blind fish completely unaware of the very water in which they swim. Jewish Ethics & Social Justice is a collection of sweeping meditations on how to make Judaism universally relevant again. Explore hot social issues - global hunger, prison reform, worker rights, and more - through the eyes of the Jewish ethical tradition. Learn about the core values of Jewish activism - discover a deeper connection to the timeless issues of power, privilege, race, and wealth - get inspired by this fiery call to action.
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[book] The Invitation
A Novel
By Anne Cherian
2012, Norton
A moving story that redefines the meaning of family, friendship, and success among a group of first-generation Indian immigrants. When Vikram invites three of his college friends to his son’s graduation from MIT, they accept out of obligation and curiosity, viewing the party as a twenty-fifth reunion of sorts. Village genius Vikram, now the founder of a lucrative computer company, is having the party against his son’s wishes. Frances and Jay regret accepting: Frances, a real estate agent, hasn't sold a house in a year; Jay’s middle management job isn't brag worthy; and their daughter is failing the eleventh grade.
Lali plans to hide the fact that her once-happy marriage is crumbling because her American husband is discovering his Jewish roots.
Each had left UCLA expecting to be successful and have even more successful children. At Vikram’s Newport Beach mansion, the showmanship they anticipate dissolves as each is forced to deal with his or her own problems.
The follow-up to A Good Indian Wife, Anne Cherian’s novel resonates with the poignancy of real life colliding with expectations unmet.

Anne Cherian was born and raised in Jamshedpur, India. Her mother wasn’t the only Jew in Jamshedpur. There was Aunty Ruby and her family (they immigrated to Israel) and and Aunty Sarah, a seamstress. When Cherian studied at Bombay University, Aunt Sarah’s niece’s (Rivka) grandparents, were her guardians. She had her first Pesach seder in Berkeley. This all helped inform her when writing about the character of Jonathan Feinstein in this novel.

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[book] Oy Vey! Isn't A Strategy
25 Solutions for Personal and Professional Success
A Paperback from
Deborah Grayson Riegel, MSW
2012, Behrman House
A book with practical advice.
Even if you get two ideas from the book for your career, it is worth the purchase
What if you had a personal coach in your back pocket, ready to help you navigate the inevitable oy veys that pop up in work and life? Now you do. In her book, Oy Vey! Isn't a Strategy: 25 Solutions for Personal and Professional Success, professional coach, speaker and writer Deborah Grayson Riegel offers practical, insightful and applicable tips and tools - along with a generous sprinkling of Jewish wisdom - to use at work and at home.

A few years ago, the author started sending e-mail newsletters to the people she had met over the years who had participated in workshops of mine – just to keep in touch. These newsletters started to circulate and she got even wider exposure when she became a columnist at NY Jewish Week. She wanted to be able to help people who really needed new perspectives, outlooks or strategies on real problems, plus her mother was nudging her, "So, when are you going to write a book?" SO she did.

Deborah Grayson Riegel, MSW, is a certified coach. One of her companies is She has coached managers at American Express, Discover Financial,, Pfizer, and several Jewish federations and synagogues. She was a visiting Professor of Executive Communication for the Beijing International MBA Program at Peking University, where she teaches senior leaders from multinational corporations how to present themselves and their ideas with polish, passion and professionalism in the growing global marketplace. Deborah is also the former Director of Education and Training for the Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence at the Jewish Federations of North America, where she designed and developed a full roster of training programs for Jewish professional and volunteer leaders.

[book] Mission to Paris
A Novel
by Alan Furst
June 2012, Random House
It is the late summer of 1938, Europe is about to explode, the Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl is on his way to Paris to make a movie for Paramount France. The Nazis know he’s coming—a secret bureau within the Reich Foreign Ministry has for years been waging political warfare against France, using bribery, intimidation, and corrupt newspapers to weaken French morale and degrade France’s will to defend herself.
For their purposes, Fredric Stahl is a perfect agent of influence, and they attack him. What they don’t know is that Stahl, horrified by the Nazi war on Jews and intellectuals, has become part of an informal spy service being run out of the American embassy in Paris.
From Alan Furst, the bestselling author, often praised as the best spy novelist ever, comes a novel that’s truly hard to put down. Mission to Paris includes beautifully drawn scenes of romance and intimacy, and the novel is alive with extraordinary characters: the German Baroness von Reschke, a famous hostess deeply involved in Nazi clandestine operations; the assassins Herbert and Lothar; the Russian film actress and spy Olga Orlova; the Hungarian diplomat and spy, Count Janos Polanyi; along with the French cast of Stahl’s movie, German film producers, and the magnetic women in Stahl’s life, the socialite Kiki de Saint-Ange and the émigré Renate Steiner.
But always at the center of the novel is the city of Paris, the heart and soul of Europe—its alleys and bistros, hotels grand and anonymous, and the Parisians, living every night as though it was their last. As always, Alan Furst brings to life both a dark time in history and the passion of the human hearts that fought to survive it.

[book] With Our Backs to the Wall
Victory and Defeat in 1918
By David Stevenson
Spring 2012, Harvard
With so much at stake and so much already lost, why did World War I end with a whimper—an arrangement between two weary opponents to suspend hostilities? After more than four years of desperate fighting, with victories sometimes measured in feet and inches, why did the Allies reject the option of advancing into Germany in 1918 and taking Berlin? Most histories of the Great War focus on the avoidability of its beginning. This book brings a laser-like focus to its ominous end—the Allies’ incomplete victory, and the tragic ramifications for world peace just two decades later.
In the most comprehensive account to date of the conflict’s endgame, David Stevenson approaches the events of 1918 from a truly international perspective, examining the positions and perspectives of combatants on both sides, as well as the impact of the Russian Revolution. Stevenson pays close attention to America’s effort in its first twentieth-century war, including its naval and military contribution, army recruitment, industrial mobilization, and home-front politics. Alongside military and political developments, he adds new information about the crucial role of economics and logistics.
The Allies’ eventual success, Stevenson shows, was due to new organizational methods of managing men and materiel and to increased combat effectiveness resulting partly from technological innovation. These factors, combined with Germany’s disastrous military offensive in spring 1918, ensured an Allied victory—but not a conclusive German defeat.

[book] Recipes from My Jewish Grandmother
By Marlena Spieler
Late Spring 2012
Annes books
Marlena Spieler is a passionate cook who discovered her love of cooking living in Israel as a teenager. She has written more than 30 cookbooks, and writes for newspapers in both Britain and the USA. Her regular column, The Roving Feast, goes out worldwide and is a two-time award winner for the Association of Food Writers
Marlena has been shortlisted numerous times for various awards including the prestigious James Beard (two books and one newspaper column), the Guild of Food Writers Awards (UK, best radio food broadcaster of the year, twice ), and the Association of Food Journalists (USA: Best Column in Newspaper of Over 400,000 circulation — twice) for radio presenting, food writing and books. Everyone from BBC Radio to LBC agree: Marlena can talk about food… she can talk and talk and talk and talk. One of her latest books, Feeding Friends, won the International Cookbook Award in Perigueux, France, in 2000 and her Jewish Heritage Cooking was honored in the Loire Valley, in 2003 by a Special Jury Award at World Gourmand Book Awards.
Marlena is passionate about discovering and sharing the good flavours of life. She lives in Britain with her husband Alan, beautiful and patient cat Madeline, and two wild energetic totally adorable Jack Russell Terriers, Jake and Lambchop. Catch up with her culinary adventuress at

[book] Very Near to You
By Avraham Burg
Translated by JJ Goldberg
June 2012, Gefen
Turn the Torah over and over again, the ancient rabbis said, for everything is in it. Avraham Burg shows the way in his unique and valuable Torah commentary, displaying a profound mastery of classical Jewish learning and secular knowledge, informed by the events of our world and sensitive to the psychological intricacies of our lives. All these qualities combine in a truly insightful, original volume. It will reward the reader greatly! --Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Avraham Avrum Burg is one of Israel s best-known social critics. Author, politician, businessman, television personality and popular Bible scholar, he has served as speaker of Israel s parliament, chairman of the executive of the World Zionist Organization-Jewish Agency for Israel and one of the early activists of the Peace Now protest movement. Born in Jerusalem to one of Israel’s leading Orthodox political families, Burg served as a lieutenant in the paratroop brigade during the 1982 Lebanon War. His speech that September at the mass peace rally following the notorious Beirut massacre electrified Israelis and confirmed him as an essential voice of his nation s conscience. During the mid-1980s he served as Diaspora affairs adviser to Prime Minister Shimon Peres and offered a weekly Friday evening Torah commentary on Israel Television that made him one of his country s most familiar and popular public figures. In 1988 he was elected to the Knesset and went on to serve two terms, emerging as a champion of religious pluralism, women s rights and the environment as well as Israeli-Palestinian peace. He resigned from the legislature in 1995 to run for chairman of the World Zionist Organization-Jewish Agency, traditionally considered a backwater for political has-beens, and returned to the Knesset as speaker in 1999. He retired from politics in 2004 to take up his present role as author and gadfly. Today, from his home in the village of Nataf in the Jerusalem hills, where he lives with his wife Yael, Avrum Burg writes, lectures and continues his outspoken advocacy of peace, religious pluralism and the environment. In Very Near to You, his third book, he invites the reader to join him as he revisits Judaism s most sacred texts and retraces his spiritual journey. Click to read more

BY KATHERINE LOSSE (Employee Number 55 at Facebook)
June 2012, Free Press
Kate Losse was a grad school refugee when she joined Facebook as employee #51 in 2005. Hired to answer user questions such as “What is a poke?” and “Why can’t I access my ex-girlfriend’s profile?” her early days at the company were characterized by a sense of camaraderie, promise, and ambition: Here was a group of scrappy young upstarts on a mission to rock Silicon Valley and change the world.
Over time, this sense of mission became so intense that working for Facebook felt like more than just a job; it implied a wholehearted dedication to “the cause.” Employees were incentivized to live within one mile of the office, summers were spent carousing at the company pool house, and female employees were told to wear T-shirts with founder Mark Zuckerberg’s profile picture on his birthday. Losse started to wonder what this new medium meant for real-life relationships: Would Facebook improve our social interactions? Or would we all just adapt our behavior to the habits and rules of these brilliant but socially awkward Internet savants who have become today’s youngest power players? Increasingly skeptical, Losse graduated from customer service to the internationalization team—tasked with rolling out Facebook to the rest of the world— finally landing a seat right outside Zuckerberg’s office as his personal ghostwriter, the voice of the boy king.
This book takes us for the first time into the heart of this fast-growing information empire, inviting us to high-level meetings with Zuckerberg; lifting the veil on long nights of relentless hacking and trolling; taking us behind the scenes of raucous company parties; and introducing us to the personalities, values, and secret ambitions of the floppy-haired boy wonders who are redefining the way we live, love, and work. By revealing here what’s really driving both the business and the culture of the social network, Losse answers the biggest question of all: What kind of world is Facebook trying to build, and is it the world we want to live in?

[book] A Zionist among Palestinians
By Hillel Bardin, ACRI
Mubarak Awad (Foreword), Edward (Edy) Kaufman (Foreword)
June 2012, Indiana Univ Press
A Zionist among Palestinians offers the perspective of an ordinary Israeli citizen who became concerned about the Israeli military's treatment of Palestinians and was moved to work for peace. Hillel Bardin, a confirmed Zionist, was a reservist in the Israeli army during the first intifada when he met Palestinians arrested by his unit. He learned that they supported peace with Israel and the then-taboo proposal for a two-state solution, and that they understood the intifada as a struggle to achieve these goals. Bardin began to organize dialogues between Arabs and Israelis in West Bank villages, towns, and refugee camps. In 1988, he was jailed for meeting with Palestinians while on active duty in Ramallah. Over the next two decades, he participated in a variety of peace organizations and actions, from arranging for Israelis to visit Palestinian communities and homes, to the joint jogging group "Runners for Peace," to marches, political organizing, and demonstrations supporting peace, security, and freedom. In this very personal account, Bardin tries to come to grips with the conflict in a way that takes account of both Israeli-Zionist and Palestinian aims.
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[book] Escape of Sigmund Freud
By David Cohen
2012, Overlook
A month after the Nazis took over Austria on March 12, 1938, every business owned by Jews had a Nazi appointed to run it. For eighty-two- year-old Sigmund Freud, the world's leading psychoanalyst, the appointed "commissar" was a thirty-five-year-old chemist, Anton Sauerwald. Goebbels and Himmler wanted all psychoanalysts, especially Freud, humiliated and, later, killed, and Sauerwald was in a position to seal Freud's fate.
The Escape of Sigmund Freud tells of the Nazi raid on Freud's house produced evidence that would have prevented the Freuds from leaving Austria--yet Sauerwald chose to hide this from his superiors. With never-before-seen material, David Cohen reveals the last two years of Freud's life and the fate of Sauerwald, from the arrest of Freud's daughter, Anna, by the Gestapo; the dramatic saga behind the signing of Freud's exit visa and his eventual escape to London via Paris; to how the Freud family would have the chance to save Sauerwald's life as well.
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[book] A Perfect Fit
The Garment Industry and American Jewry, 1860-1960
(Costume Society of America Series)
Edited by Gabriel Goldstein and Elizabeth Greenberg, with a Foreword by Sylvia A. Herskowitz
June 2012, Texas Tech University Press
Flip on the entertainment news, open an issue of a popular magazine, or step into any department store—and you’ll appreciate the impact of the multibillion-dollar fashion industry on American culture. Yet its origins in the nineteenth-century “rag trade” of Jewish tailors, cutters, pressers, peddlers, and shopkeepers have yet to be fully explored. In this copiously illustrated volume, scholars from varied backgrounds consider the role of American Jews in creating, developing, and furthering the national garment industry from the Civil War forward. Drawn from an award-winning exhibition of the same title at the Yeshiva University Museum, A Perfect Fit provides a fascinating view of American society, culture, and industrialization. Essays address themes such as the development of the menswear industry; the early film industry and its relationship to American fashion; the relationship of the American industry to Britain and France; the acculturation of Jewish immigrants and its impact on American garment making; advertising history and popular culture; and regional centers of manufacturing. This multivalent group of essays compellingly weaves together important threads of the complex history of the American garment industry.

May 2012
In medieval times, a pilgrimage gave the average Joe his only break from the daily grind. For Gideon Lewis-Kraus, it promises a different kind of escape. Determined to avoid the kind of constraint that kept his father, a gay rabbi, closeted until midlife, he has moved to anything-goes Berlin. But the surfeit of freedom there has begun to paralyze him, and when a friend extends a drunken invitation to join him on an ancient pilgrimage route across Spain, he grabs his sneakers, glad of the chance to be committed to something and someone.
Irreverent, moving, hilarious, and thought-provoking, A Sense of Direction is Lewis-Kraus's dazzling riff on the perpetual war between discipline and desire, and its attendant casualties. Across three pilgrimages and many hundreds of miles - the thousand-year-old Camino de Santiago, a solo circuit of eighty-eight Buddhist temples on the Japanese island of Shikoku, and, together with his father and brother, an annual mass migration to the tomb of a famous Hasidic mystic in the Ukraine - he completes an idiosyncratic odyssey to the heart of a family mystery and a human dilemma: How do we come to terms with what has been and what is - and find a way forward, with purpose?

[book] Women from the Ankle Down
The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us
By Rachelle Bergstein
2012, Harper
What is it about a pair of shoes that so enchants women of all ages, demographics, political affiliations, and style tribes? Part social history, part fashion record, part pop-culture celebration, Women from the Ankle Down seeks to answer that question as it unfolds the story of shoes in the twentieth century.
The tale begins in the rural village of Bonito, Italy, with a visionary young shoemaker named Salvatore Ferragamo and ends in New York City with a fictional socialite and trendsetter named Carrie Bradshaw. Along the way it stops in Hollywood, where Judy Garland first slipped on her ruby slippers; New Jersey, where Nancy Sinatra heard something special in a song about boots; and the streets of Manhattan, where a transit-worker strike propelled women to step into cutting-edge athletic shoes. Fashion aficionado Rachelle Bergstein shares the stories behind these historical moments, interweaving the design innovations and social changes that gave each one its lasting significance and appeal.
Bergstein shows how the story of shoes is the story of women, told from the ankle down. Beginning with the well-heeled suffragettes in the 1910s, women have fought for greater freedom and mobility, a struggle that exploded in the 1960s with the women's liberation movement and culminated in the new millennium with our devotion to personal choice. Featuring interviews with designers, historians, and cultural experts, and a cast of real-life characters, from Marilyn Monroe to Jane Fonda, from Gwen Stefani to Manolo Blahnik, Women from the Ankle Down is a lively, compelling look at the evolution of modern women and the fashion that reflects—and has shaped—their changing lives.

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Bergstein is a graduate of Vassar and former waitress at Spice in Manhattan. A literary agent who resides in Williamsburg Brooklyn, she is moving to Manhattan soon. Here is a copy of her Latka recipe

[book] The Hour Between Dog and Wolf
Risk Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust
By John Coates, PhD (Cambridge)
Summer 2012, Penguin
I think this book has implications for the Jewish community
The thesis is that top brokers and Wall Street professionals, movers and shakers, money men (and women) have risky behaviors in order to get highs and make money.
These people create great wealth, and now let me take this a step further
they then contribute funds to Jewish institutions and get seats on their boards.
Will they make risky choices in these leadership positions the same way they do in their business careers? It is worth a look? And therefore, this book is of interest to me, and perhaps you.

Dr. Coates was a successful Wall Street trader at Deutsche Bank and had a PhD in Economics. Now he is a Cambridge neuroscientist who reveals the biology of boom and bust and how risk taking transforms our body chemistry, driving us to extremes of euphoria and risky behavior or stress and depression.
The laws of financial boom and bust, it turns out, have more than a little to do with male hormones. In a series of groundbreaking experiments, Dr. John Coates identified a feedback loop between testosterone and success that dramatically lowers the fear of risk in men, especially younger men—significantly, the fear of risk is not reduced in women. Similarly, intense failure leads to a rise in levels of cortisol, the antitestosterone hormone that lowers the appetite for risk across an entire spectrum of decisions.
Coates had set out to prove what was already a strong intuition from his previous life: Before he became a world-class neuroscientist, Coates ran a derivatives desk in New York. As a successful trader on Wall Street, "the hour between dog and wolf" was the moment traders transformed-they would become revved up, exuberant risk takers, when flying high, or tentative, risk-averse creatures, when cowering from their losses. Coates understood instinctively that these dispositions were driven by body chemistry-and then he proved it.
The Hour Between Dog and Wolf expands on Coates's own research to offer lessons from the entire exploding new field-the biology of risk. Risk concentrates the mind-and the body-like nothing else, altering our physiology in ways that have profound and lasting effects. What's more, biology shifts investors' risk preferences across the business cycle and can precipitate great change in the marketplace.
Though Coates's research concentrates on traders, his conclusions shed light on all types of high-pressure decision making-from the sports field to the battlefield. The Hour Between Dog and Wolf leaves us with a powerful recognition: To handle risk in a "highly evolved" way isn't a matter of mind over body; it's a matter of mind and body working together. We all have it in us to be transformed from dog into wolf; the only question is whether we can understand the causes and the consequences.

[book] The Innocents
A Novel
By Francesca Segal
May 2012
A smart and slyly funny tale of love, temptation, confusion, and commitment; a triumphant and beautifully executed recasting of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. Newly engaged and unthinkingly self-satisfied, twenty-eight-year-old Adam Newman is the prize catch of Temple Fortune, a small, tight-knit Jewish suburb of London. He has been dating Rachel Gilbert since they were both sixteen and now, to the relief and happiness of the entire Gilbert family, they are finally to marry. To Adam, Rachel embodies the highest values of Temple Fortune; she is innocent, conventional, and entirely secure in her community—a place in which everyone still knows the whereabouts of their nursery school classmates. Marrying Rachel will cement Adam’s role in a warm, inclusive family he loves.
But as the vast machinery of the wedding gathers momentum, Adam feels the first faint touches of claustrophobia, and when Rachel’s younger cousin Ellie Schneider moves home from New York, she unsettles Adam more than he’d care to admit. Ellie—beautiful, vulnerable, and fiercely independent—offers a liberation that he hadn’t known existed: a freedom from the loving interference and frustrating parochialism of North West London. Adam finds himself questioning everything, suddenly torn between security and exhilaration, tradition and independence. What might he be missing by staying close to home?
Francesca Segal was born in London and studied at Oxford and Harvard University before becoming a journalist and critic. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Guardian, and The Observer, among other publications. For three years she wrote the Debut Fiction column in The Observer and was, until recently, a features writer at Tatler. She lives in London.

[book] The Lost Wife
A Novel
By Alyson Richman
A rapturous new novel of first love in a time of war-from the celebrated author of The Last Van Gogh.
In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit- and the strength of memory.
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[book] The World Without You
A Novel
By Joshua Henkin
June 2012, Pantheon
From the author of the widely acclaimed novel Matrimony (a New York Times Notable Book)--a moving, deeply engaging new novel about love, loss, and the aftermath of a family tragedy. It's July 4th, 2005, and the Frankel family is descending upon their beloved summer home in the Berkshires. But this is no ordinary holiday: the family is gathering for a memorial. Leo, the youngest of the four Frankel siblings and an intrepid journalist and adventurer, was killed one year earlier while on assignment in Iraq. His parents, Marilyn and David, are adrift in grief, and it's tearing apart their forty-year marriage. Clarissa, the eldest, is struggling at thirty-nine with infertility. Lily, a fiery-tempered lawyer, is angry about everything. Noelle, a born-again Orthodox Jew (and the last person to see Leo alive), has come in from Israel with her husband and four children and feels entirely out of place. She is also irritating her parents who, even though they bought new dishes and kosher foods, are deemed not kosher enough for her and her family. And Thisbe--Leo's widow and mother of their three-year-old son--has arrived from California bearing her own secret. Over the course of three days, the Frankels will contend with sibling rivalries and marital feuds, volatile women and silent men, biological ovulations, and, ultimately, with the true meaning of family.
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[book] The Fish That Ate the Whale
The Life and Times of America's Banana King
By Rich Cohen
June 2012, FS&G
From the author of TOUGH JEWS, ISRAEL IS REAL, and SWEET AND LOWDOWN comes another story of a tough capable kickass ambitious pushy smart cunning Jewish guy who didn’t take crap. To me, Zemurray was the Teddy Roosevelt of Jewish business in the 1920’s. He went into the jungle and stayed there, working alongside the workers and getting dirty, and dirtier.
When Samuel Zemurray arrived in America in 1891, he was tall, gangly and penniless. When he died in the grandest house in New Orleans sixty-nine years later, he was among the richest, most powerful men in the world ($30 Million). In between, he worked as a fruit peddler, a banana hauler, a dockside hustler (the non sexual kind), and a plantation owner. He battled and conquered the United Fruit Company, becoming a symbol of the best and worst of the United States: proof that America is the land of opportunity, but also a classic example of the corporate pirate who treats foreign nations as the backdrop for his adventures.
He got the Dominican Republic to save 5000 Jews during WWII (Trujillo wanted then to lighten the skin of the darker population). He financed ships to help the Palestinian Jews outrun the British blockade. Why do you think some Latin American (Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, and US/Panama) leaders voted for Israel in the UN in the late 1940s? Zemurray called them!
In Latin America, when people shouted “Yankee, Go Home!” it was men like Zemurray they had in mind. He financed the 1910 coup in Honduras. In 1954, he persuaded the US Government to finance a coup in Guatemala (Sure, the civil war killed 200,000 people, but Guaatemala was safe for banana companies).
Rich Cohen’s brilliant historical profile, The Fish That Ate the Whale, unveils Zemurray as a hidden kingmaker and capitalist revolutionary, driven by an indomitable will to succeed. Known as El Amigo, the Gringo, or simply Z, the Bananaman lived one of the great untold stories of the last hundred years. Starting with nothing but a cart of freckled bananas and built a sprawling empire of banana cowboys, Mestizo Indians, soldiers of fortune, Mafia loan-sharks, Honduran peasants and American Presidents. From hustling on the docks to bankrolling private wars, Zemurray emerges as an unforgettable figure, connected to the birth of modern American diplomacy, public relations, business and war.

[book] In God's Shadow
Politics in the Hebrew Bible
By Michael Walzer (Princeton)
June 2012
In this eagerly awaited book, political theorist Michael Walzer reports his findings after decades of thinking about the politics of the Hebrew Bible. Attentive to nuance while engagingly straightforward, Walzer examines the laws, the histories, the prophecies, and the wisdom of the ancient biblical writers and discusses their views on such central political questions as justice, hierarchy, war, the authority of kings and priests, and the experience of exile.
Because there are many biblical writers with differing views, pluralism is a central feature of biblical politics. Yet pluralism, Walzer observes, is never explicitly defended in the Bible; indeed, it couldn’t be defended since God’s word had to be as singular as God himself. Yet different political regimes are described in the biblical texts, and there are conflicting political arguments—and also a recurrent anti-political argument: if you have faith in God, you have no need for strong institutions, prudent leaders, or reformist policies. At the same time, however, in the books of law and prophecy, the people of Israel are called upon to overcome oppression and “let justice well up like water, righteousness like an unfailing stream.”

[book] The Bride and the Dowry
Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinians in the Aftermath of the June 1967 War
By Avi Raz (Oxford)
June 2012, YALE
Israel’s victory in the June 1967 Six Day War provided a unique opportunity for resolving the decades-old Arab-Zionist conflict. Having seized the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights, Israel for the first time in its history had something concrete to offer its Arab neighbors: it could trade land for peace. Yet the political deadlock persisted after the guns fell silent. This book asks why.
Avi Raz places Israel’s conduct under an uncompromising lens. His penetrating book examines the critical two years following the June war and substantially revises our understanding of how and why Israeli-Arab secret contacts came to naught. Mining newly declassified records in Israeli, American, British, and United Nations archives, as well as private papers of individual participants, Raz dispels the myth of overall Arab intransigence and arrives at new and unexpected conclusions. In short, he concludes that Israel’s postwar diplomacy was deliberately ineffective because its leaders preferred land over peace with its neighbors. The book throws a great deal of light not only on the post-1967 period but also on the problems and pitfalls of peacemaking in the Middle East today. Click to read more


Mamzers R Us?
By Anouk Markovits
May 8, 2012
A family saga set among a group of Satmar Hasidic Jews, spanning seven decades from pre-WWII Transylvania to Paris in the 1960s and contemporary Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Tradition, love, commitment, and Torah law collide.
Josef Lichtenstein, 5, survives the murders of his family at the hand of the Romanian Iron Guard in 1939. He had bumped his head on the table and they didn’t see him under it when they murdered his mother and sister. He is saved by the Florina, the family’s non-Jewish maid. He is taken and raised by her as a Catholic. Five year’s later, in the fields at age 10, Josef rescues a young girl, Mila Heller, after her parents are killed while running to the Satmar Rebbe, Yoel Teitelbaum, who is aboard the Kasztner train. Josef helps Mila reach the home of Zalman Stern, a community leader and scholar, where Mila is taken in and raised like a sister to Zalman’s daughter, Atara. (By the way, we first meet Zalman Stern as he struggles with an erotic wet dream... fundamentalists have to overcome their body and their sub conscious thoughts)
After WWII, Zalman, Mila, and Atara flee to Paris, and Josef is sent to America to the newly planted Satmar community. As you would expect, Mila moves to Brooklyn to marry Josef, while Atara seeks independence. Alas, after a decade of marriage, Mila and Josef are childless and Mila, who is fervently pious, must try to get pregnant using another method. They must replace their families that were killed by the Nazis; Mila can live with her choices, but can Josef?) Hopefully her choice will remain a secret. (Did I mention that it is 1968, and Paris is aflame with student protests and the movement for personal freedom) This is just a taste, an appetizer of chopped liver, to the saga. The author, Anouk, is one of 15 children borne to a Hasidic Jewish family in France. She fled an arranged marriage and moved to NYC where she received a degree from Columbia, and then graduate degrees from Harvard and Cornell. Her first novel was in French, and this is her first novel in English

[book] On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred
By Paul Reitter
May 2012, Princeton University Press
Today, the term "Jewish self-hatred" often denotes a treasonous brand of Jewish self-loathing, and is frequently used as a smear, such as when it is applied to politically moderate Jews who are critical of Israel. In On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred, Paul Reitter demonstrates that the concept of Jewish self-hatred once had decidedly positive connotations. He traces the genesis of the term to Anton Kuh, a Viennese-Jewish journalist who coined it in the aftermath of World War I, and shows how the German-Jewish philosopher Theodor Lessing came, in 1930, to write a book that popularized "Jewish self-hatred." Reitter contends that, as Kuh and Lessing used it, the concept of Jewish self-hatred described a complex and possibly redemptive way of being Jewish. Paradoxically, Jews could show the world how to get past the blight of self-hatred only by embracing their own, singularly advanced self-critical tendencies--their "Jewish self-hatred." Provocative and elegantly argued, On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred challenges widely held notions about the history and meaning of this idea, and explains why its history is so badly misrepresented today.

[book] Notes on a Century
Reflections of a Middle East Historian
By Professor Bernard Lewis (Princeton) with Buntzie Ellis Churchill
May 2012, Viking
First, let me admit that I thought this book was a pardoy and hoax. I did not know Professor Lewis was still alive (sorry), and I thought someone created a parody, especially when the blurb said he was like Henry Kissinger and Arthur Schlesinger, or when they said Lewis was the #1 New York Times bestselling author of “What Went Wrong?” But this is real, and the book is engaging, witty, and interesting. Yes, there are those who despise Bernard Lewis. He was nice to me on an Amtrak train from Washington DC in 1979, so I don’t despise him, Many perceive Lewis as a Western, Jewish, anti-Arab historian. He was the first to coin the "clash of civilizations" back in 1957. This memoir he reflects on his birth in London and childhood, and luck, and personal and intellectual growth.
Lewis, who knows perhaps a dozen languages, advised American presidents and taught two generations of Middle East scholars, pundits and policy analysts. No stranger to controversy, he is blunt in his criticism of those who see him as the intellectual progenitor of the Iraq war. More importantly, no matter what you think of his POV on the Middle East and his positive or negative contributions to American policy, he is fabulous raconteur and you will enjoy his stories.

[book] Mickey Cohen
The Life and Crimes of L.A.'s Notorious Mobster
By Tere Tereba
May 2012, ecw
This biography of celebrity gangster Mickey Cohen digs past the sensational headlines to deliver a remarkable story of a man who captivated, corrupted, and terrorized Los Angeles for a generation. When Bugsy Siegel was murdered, his henchman Mickey Cohen took over the criminal activity in Los Angeles. Mickey Cohen attained such power and dominance from the late 1940s until 1976 that he was a regular above-the-fold newspaper name, accumulating a remarkable count of more than 1,000 front-pages in Los Angeles papers alone, and was featured in hundreds of articles in national and international periodicals. His story and the history of mid-century L.A. are inextricably intertwined. Mickey Cohen is a seductive, premium-octane blend of true crime and Hollywood that spins around a wildly eccentric mob boss. Author Tere Tereba delivers tales of high life, high drama, and highly placed politicians, among them RFK and Richard Nixon, as well as revelations about countless icons, including Shirley Temple, Lana Turner, Frank Sinatra, and the Reverend Billy Graham. Meticulously researched, this rich tapestry presents a complete look at the Los Angeles underworld. .

[book] The Real Name of God
Embracing the Full Essence of the Divine
By Rabbi Wayne Dosick Ph.D.
May 2012, Inner Traditions
Reveals the real, whole name of God and its place within each of us. Explains how none of the God-names commonly used in the Bible is God’s real name; Shows how the real name of God unites all religions from both West and East; Includes spiritual techniques, prayers, poems, and meditative chants to bring each of us into deep, personal, intimate, living relationship with God. Of the many names of God commonly used in the Bible and other sacred literature, none is God’s real name. Every God-name, including YHWH, reflects only one of God’s many aspects, such as the loving creator, the militaristic authoritarian, or the all-knowing judge. None embodies the wholeness, the totality, the full Essence of God. Who then are we to speak to when we seek God? If you can’t truly know something until you know its name, how can we truly know God?
The culmination of years of translation research and etymological investigation, Rabbi Wayne Dosick’s work digs through many layers of presumption and deeply ingrained beliefs to reveal the real name of God hiding in plain sight in the Bible: Anochi. He shows how this sacred name unites all religions--both of the West and the East. The name Anochi enables us to finally meet the whole, complete, real God--both the grand God of the vast universe and the God of breath, soul, and heart who dwells within each of us.
This in-depth exploration of God’s name includes spiritual techniques, poems, guided prayers, and meditative chants to bring each of us into personal, intimate, and purposeful relationship with God. By knowing the real name of God, we can affirm the connection to the Divine at the core of our being. We can touch the face of God that resides deep within us all.

[book] A Queer and Pleasant Danger
A Memoir
By Kate Bornstein
May 2012,
“I was born male and now I’ve got medical and government documents that say I’m female—but I don’t call myself a woman, and I know I’m not a man. . . .”
Kate Bornstein was a nice Jewish boy from Long Island.
Then a husband and father, tranny, sailor, slave, playwright, dyke, gender outlaw, and Scientologist.
For the first time, it all comes together in A Queer and Pleasant Danger, Kate Bornstein’s stunningly original memoir that’s set to change lives and enrapture readers. Wickedly funny and disarmingly honest, this is Bornstein’s most intimate book yet. With wisdom, wit, and an unwavering resolution to tell the truth (“I must not tell lies”), Bornstein shares her story: from a nice Jewish boy growing up in New Jersey to a strappingly handsome lieutenant of the Church of Scientology’s Sea flagship vessel, and later to 1990s Seattle, where she becomes a rising star in the lesbian community. In between there are wives and lovers, heartbreak and triumph, bridges mended and broken, and a journey of self-discovery that will mesmerize readers.

April 2012, The New Press
In July 2008 a front-page story in the New York Times reported on the discovery of an ancient Hebrew tablet, dating from before the birth of Jesus, which predicted a Messiah who would rise from the dead after three days. Commenting on this startling discovery at the time, noted Talmud scholar Daniel Boyarin argued that “some Christians will find it shocking—a challenge to the uniqueness of their theology.” Guiding us through a rich tapestry of new discoveries and ancient scriptures, The Jewish Gospels makes the powerful case that our conventional understandings of Jesus and of the origins of Christianity are wrong. In Boyarin’s scrupulously illustrated account, the coming of the Messiah was fully imagined in the ancient Jewish texts. Jesus, moreover, was embraced by many Jews as this person, and his core teachings were not at all a break from Jewish beliefs and teachings. Jesus and his followers, Boyarin shows, were simply Jewish. What came to be known as Christianity came much later, as religious and political leaders sought to impose a new religious orthodoxy that was not present at the time of Jesus’s life. In the vein of Elaine Pagels’s The Gnostic Gospels, here is a brilliant new work that will break open some of our culture’s most cherished assumptions.
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[book] Learning From the Octopus
How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us
Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease
By Rafe Sagarin, Arizona St Univ
Spring 2012, Basic Books
Octopi can change their eight tenticles separately.
What can we learn from this for security
Why is the Israeli-Hamas suicide bombing issue like that of a salmon?
Despite the billions of dollars we’ve poured into foreign wars, homeland security, and disaster response, we are fundamentally no better prepared for the next terrorist attack or unprecedented flood than we were in 2001. Our response to catastrophe remains unchanged: add another step to airport security, another meter to the levee wall. This approach has proved totally ineffective: reacting to past threats and trying to predict future risks will only waste resources in our increasingly unpredictable world.
In Learning from the Octopus, ecologist and security expert Rafe Sagarin rethinks the seemingly intractable problem of security by drawing inspiration from a surprising source: nature. Biological organisms have been living—and thriving—on a risk-filled planet for billions of years. Remarkably, they have done it without planning, predicting, or trying to perfect their responses to complex threats. Rather, they simply adapt to solve the challenges they continually face. Military leaders, public health officials, and business professionals would all like to be more adaptable, but few have figured out how. Sagarin argues that we can learn from observing how nature is organized, how organisms learn, how they create partnerships, and how life continually diversifies on this unpredictable planet.
As soon as we dip our toes into a cold Pacific tidepool and watch what we thought was a rock turn into an octopus, jetting away in a cloud of ink, we can begin to see the how human adaptability can mimic natural adaptation. The same mechanisms that enabled the octopus’s escape also allow our immune system to ward off new infectious diseases, helped soldiers in Iraq to recognize the threat of IEDs, and aided Google in developing faster ways to detect flu outbreaks.
While we will never be able to predict the next earthquake, terrorist attack, or market fluctuation, nature can guide us in developing security systems that are not purely reactive but proactive, holistic, and adaptable. From the tidepools of Monterey to the mountains of Kazakhstan, Sagarin takes us on an eye-opening tour of the security challenges we face, and shows us how we might learn to respond more effectively to the unknown threats lurking in our future.

[book] Legacy
A Genetic History of the Jewish People
By Harry Ostrer MD
May 2012
Oxford University Press
Who are the Jews--a race, a people, a religious group? For over a century, non-Jews and Jews alike have tried to identify who they were--first applying the methods of physical anthropology and more recently of population genetics.
In Legacy, Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and authority on the genetics of the Jewish people, explores not only the history of these efforts, but also the insights that genetics has provided about the histories of contemporary Jewish people. Much of the book is told through the lives of scientific pioneers. We meet Russian immigrant Maurice Fishberg; Australian Joseph Jacobs, the leading Jewish anthropologist in fin-de-si�cle Europe; Chaim Sheba, a colorful Israeli geneticist and surgeon general of the Israeli Army; and Arthur Mourant, one of the foremost cataloguers of blood groups in the 20th century.
As Ostrer describes their work and the work of others, he shows that to look over the genetics of Jewish groups, and to see the history of the Diaspora woven there, is truly a marvel. Here is what happened as the Jews migrated to new places and saw their numbers wax and wane, as they gained and lost adherents and thrived or were buffeted by famine, disease, wars, and persecution. Many of these groups--from North Africa, the Middle East, India--are little-known, and by telling their stories, Ostrer brings them to the forefront at a time when assimilation is literally changing the face of world Jewry.
A fascinating blend of history, science, and biography, Legacy offers readers an entirely fresh perspective on the Jewish people and their history. It is as well a cutting-edge portrait of population genetics, a field which may soon take its place as a pillar of group identity alongside shared spirituality, shared social values, and a shared cultural legacy.
Dr. Ostrer is professor of pathology and genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and director of genetic and genomic testing of Montefiore Hospital in The Bronx. For 21 years he was a professor at NYU School of Medicine.

[book] Blooms of Darkness
A Novel
By Aharon Appelfeld
Translated by Jeffrey M. Green
May 2012, Schocken paperback edition
The ghetto in which the Jews have been confined is being liquidated by the Nazis, and eleven-year-old Hugo is brought by his mother to the local brothel, where one of the prostitutes has agreed to hide him. Mariana is a bitterly unhappy woman who hates what she has done to her life, and night after night Hugo sits in her closet and listens uncomprehendingly as she rages at the Nazi soldiers who come and go. When she’s not mired in self-loathing, Mariana is fiercely protective of the bewildered, painfully polite young boy. And Hugo becomes protective of Mariana, too, trying to make her laugh when she is depressed, soothing her physical and mental agony with cold compresses. As the memories of his family and friends grow dim, Hugo falls in love with Mariana. And as her life spirals downward, Mariana reaches out for consolation to the adoring boy who is on the cusp of manhood. The arrival of the Russian army sends the prostitutes fleeing. But Mariana is too well known, and she is arrested as a Nazi collaborator for having slept with the Germans. As the novel moves toward its heartrending conclusion, Aharon Appelfeld once again crafts out of the depths of unfathomable tragedy a renewal of life and a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.

May 2012, Skyhorse
Joel Yanofsky gives us the funny, heartwrenching account of a year in the life of a father who struggles to enter his son’s world, the world of autism, using the materials he knows best, including self-help books, literary classics, and old movies. Joel Yanofsky tried for years to start this memoir. “It’s not just going to be about autism,” he told his wife, Cynthia. “It’s going to be about parenthood and marriage, about hope and despair, and storytelling, too.”
“Marriage?” Cynthia said. “What about marriage?”
A veteran book reviewer, Yanofsky has spent a lifetime immersed in literature (not to mention old movies and old jokes), which he calls shtick. This account of a year in the life of a family describes a father’s struggle to enter his son’s world, the world of autism, using the materials he knows best: self-help books, feel-good memoirs, literary classics from the Bible to Dr. Seuss, old movies, and, yes, shtick. Funny, wrenching, and unfailingly candid, Bad Animals is both an exploration of a baffling condition and a quirky love story told by a gifted writer.

[book] Father's Day
A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son
By Buzz Bissinger
May 2012, Houghton Mifflin
Remember Rain Man and the road trip?...

Most people know Bissinger, “just a Jewish kid from New York,” for his best selling FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. They known him as the sportswriter who got his start writing sports for Penn’s Daily Pennsylvanian and took his fiancée and two children to Odessa, Texas, where he accumulated stories of football, sociology, and Texas. But they don’t know much about his family.
Bissinger’s twins were born three minutes. Gerry, the older one, is a graduate student at Penn, preparing to become a teacher. His brother Zach has spent his life attending special schools. He’ll never drive a car, or kiss a girl, or live by himself. He is a savant when it comes to birthdates, maps, and navigation, but as a preemie, issues with oxygen at birth has left him intellectually challenged
Buzz realized that while he had always been an attentive father, he didn’t really understand what it was like to be Zach. So one summer night Buzz and Zach hit the road to revisit all the places they have lived together during Zach’s twenty-four years. Zach revels in his memories, and Buzz hopes this journey into their shared past will bring them closer and reveal to him the mysterious workings of his son’s mind and heart. The trip also becomes Buzz's personal journey, yielding revelations about his own parents, the price of ambition, and its effect on his twins.
As father and son journey from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, they see the best and worst of America and each other. Ultimately, Buzz gains a new and uplifting wisdom, realizing that Zach’s worldview has a sturdy logic of its own: a logic that deserves the greatest respect. And with the help of Zach’s twin, Gerry, Buzz learns an even more vital lesson about Zach: character transcends intellect. We come to see Zach as he truly is: patient, fearless, perceptive, kind—a man of excellent character.

[book] I Hate Everyone...Starting with Me
By Joan Rivers
June 2012, Berkley
Joan Rivers was nearly arrested in August 2012 at a Costco in Burbank CA for protesting the chains decision not to sell her book. Can We Talk? Obviously, not, since they declined to talk or change their decision. I admit that this book was not my cup of tea or glass of caustic acid. But I would not stop others from enjoying it and its humor.

Joan Rivers, the award-winning, internationally renowned entertainment goddess is opinionated — especially when it comes to people she hates. Like people who think giving birth is a unique achievement. Or well-adjusted, a.k.a. boring, ex-child stars who don’t even have a decent addiction. With all of her diverse experiences, it stands to reason that Joan has seen, done, said, and heard a lot of hateful things. Thank god, she took notes. Here — uncensored and totally uninhibited — she give the best of her worst to First Ladies, closet cases, hypocrites, Hollywood, feminists, and overrated historical figures. And even when letting herself have it, Joan doesn’t hold back in this honest, unabashedly hilarious love letter to the hater in all of us.
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[book] How Much is Enough?
Money and the Good Life
Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky
June 2012,Other Press
A provocative and timely call for a moral approach to economics, drawing on philosophers, political theorists, writers, and economists from Aristotle to Marx to Keynes. What constitutes the good life? What is the true value of money? Why do we work such long hours merely to acquire greater wealth? These are some of the questions that many asked themselves when the financial system crashed in 2008. This book tackles such questions head-on. The authors begin with the great economist John Maynard Keynes. In 1930 Keynes predicted that, within a century, per capita income would steadily rise, people’s basic needs would be met, and no one would have to work more than fifteen hours a week. Clearly, he was wrong: though income has increased as he envisioned, our wants have seemingly gone unsatisfied, and we continue to work long hours. The Skidelskys explain why Keynes was mistaken. Then, arguing from the premise that economics is a moral science, they trace the concept of the good life from Aristotle to the present and show how our lives over the last half century have strayed from that ideal. Finally, they issue a call to think anew about what really matters in our lives and how to attain it. How Much Is Enough? is that rarity, a work of deep intelligence and ethical commitment accessible to all readers. It will be lauded, debated, cited, and criticized. It will not be ignored

[book] YES CHEF
June 2012, Random House
This memoir draws you in from the first page. Yes Chef chronicles Marcus Samuelsson's journey from Ethiopia to Sweden to Switzerland to France and to NYC where he is a celebrated chef and restauranteur. I never ate at the Red Rooster or Aquavit, but I did once meet the chef and eat one of his Ethiopian blintzes/kreplachs. He never saw a picture of his birth mother. She died when he was a toddler, but was able to save him and his sister. He was adopted with his sister -- a family intact -- by the Samuelsson's in Sweden. They already had a half Jamaican adopted daughter. Years earlier, during WWII, his adopted mother's parents had adopted a Jewish refugee girl from Czechoslovakia into their 1 bedroom apartment.
As for the memoir, it begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired maid who was trained to cook and serve, cook and serve. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. Marcus Samuelsson was only three years old when he, his mother, and his sister—all battling tuberculosis—walked seventy-five miles to a hospital in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Adaba. Tragically, his mother succumbed to the disease shortly after she arrived, but Marcus and his sister recovered, and one year later they were welcomed into a loving middle-class white family in Göteborg, Sweden. It was there that Marcus’s new grandmother, Helga, sparked in him a lifelong passion for food and cooking with her pan-fried herring, her freshly baked bread, and her signature roast chicken. From a very early age, there was little question what Marcus was going to be when he grew up. Marcus' Swedish mother was no cook. She was busy and believed in convenience. Marcus only liked her cabbage pork rolls since they took a long time to cook. His grandmother cooked for hours and hours from scratch in her tiny home as his grandfather listened to news on the radio.
“Yes, Chef” chronicles Marcus Samuelsson’s remarkable journey from Helga’s humble kitchen to some of the most demanding and cutthroat restaurants in Switzerland and France, from his grueling stints on cruise ships to his arrival in New York City, where his outsize talent and ambition finally come together at Aquavit, earning him a coveted New York Times three-star rating at the age of twenty-four. But Samuelsson’s career of “chasing flavors,” as he calls it, had only just begun—in the intervening years, there have been White House state dinners, career crises, reality show triumphs and, most important, the opening of the beloved Red Rooster in Harlem.
There are those who take issue with Red Rooster and this book. They say that he is naïve and paints the neighborhood as if he is Rudyard Kipling and a savior. I disagree with their criticisms.
At Red Rooster, Samuelsson has fulfilled his dream of creating a truly diverse, multiracial dining room—a place where presidents and prime ministers rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, bus drivers, and nurses. It is a place where an orphan from Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, living in America, can feel at home. With disarming honesty and intimacy (like keeping news of a baby quiet so people would not think he was one of those guys who gets a woman pregnant and has a kid out of eedlock), Samuelsson also opens up about his failures — the price of ambition, in human terms — and recounts his emotional journey, as a grown man, to meet the father he never knew. Yes, Chef (and make no mistake, it is YES CHEF, there is only one boss in a kitchen and you better sanp to attention and do it, or leave) is a tale of personal discovery, unshakable determination, and the passionate, playful pursuit of flavors—one man’s struggle to find a place for himself in the kitchen, and in the world.

June 2012
Soft Skull Press
Two Jewish sisters, born in Russia shortly before the Communist Revolution, are forced to flee the pogroms and persecution and travel with their parents to British-occupied Palestine. The girls’ parents befriend a widower with two children and join forces, creating a blended family. When the girls are teenagers, World War II tears the family apart, sending the girls separately to France and America. Their lives unfold in tandem: babies are born, friendships forged, and cherry pies baked, despite the brutal backdrop of the Holocaust.

The family grows into the next generation, with one of the daughters, an artist drawn to a bohemian lifestyle, who surrounds herself with a multicultural, colorful circle of friends the likes of which her ancestors could not have imagined. Subsequently, the artist’s daughter is even more evolved and attuned to the world’s unfair oppressions. She turns her passion to providing aid to Salvadoran refugees fleeing the torture and death squads in their homeland, just as her own grandmother once fled the pogroms of Russia. As she follows her vocation of reversing the damage that torturers inflict on their victims, she must overcome a past-life trauma that haunts her very core.

Memories from Cherry Harvest explores the physics of memory, and shows how the tenacity of good can ultimately withstand and overcome the memory of tragedy. Show Less
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[book] From Bagels to Buddha
How I Found My Soul and Lost My Fat
by Judi Hollis, PhD (USC)
June 2012, CRP Central Recovery Press
Written in an unexpectedly witty and self-deprecating style, Dr. Hollis recounts some humbling learning experiences, such as her nerve-racking first appearance on Oprah that caused her to vow never to do TV again, and an uncomfortable stay at a Buddhist Monastery, where she had finagled her way into the last week of a three-week meditation workshop. Her story entertains with many more comical moments, even as it tackles a serious, sometimes life-or-death, subject

[book] Who Gets What
Fair Compensation after Tragedy and Financial Upheaval
By Kenneth R. Feinberg
June 2012, Public Affairs
Should a certain class of people, group of people, get to bypass judges and juries and the adversarial legal system and get a payout? Should New Orleans residents, 9/11 victims families, and Agent Orange victims get special funds and special handling? Should Congress determine pay scales at AIG, BoA, GM, Citigroup, and Chrysler? Was there a mass exoducs of Wall Streeters due to TARP (no)? Should companies that begin to fail be forced to honor compensation contracts? (no)
Agent Orange, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, the Virginia Tech massacre, the 2008 financial crisis, and the Deep Horizon gulf oil spill: each was a disaster in its own right. What they had in common was their aftermath—each required compensation for lives lost, bodies maimed, livelihoods wrecked, economies and ecosystems upended. In each instance, an objective third party had to step up and dole out allocated funds: in each instance, Presidents, Attorneys General, and other public officials have asked Kenneth R. Feinberg to get the job done. (He is married to one of the biggest current leaders of the United Jewish Communities, Federation, UJA)
In Who Gets What?, Feinberg reveals the deep thought that must go into each decision, not to mention the most important question that arises after a tragedy: why compensate at all? The result is a remarkably accessible discussion of the practical and philosophical problems of using money as a way to address wrongs and reflect individual worth.

[book] TZILI
The Story of a Life
A Novel
By Aharon Appelfeld
Translated by Dalya Bilu
Spring 2012, Schocken paperback edition
Back in print, Aharon Appelfeld's acclaimed novel about an abandoned child who miraculously survives the Holocaust on her own. The youngest, least-favored member of an Eastern European Jewish family, Tzili is considered an embarrassment by her parents and older siblings. Her schooling has been a failure, she is simple and meek, and she seems more at home with the animals in the field than with people. And so when her panic-stricken family flees the encroaching Nazi armies, Tzili is left behind to fend for herself. At first seeking refuge with the local peasants, she is eventually forced to escape from them as well, and she takes to the forest, living a solitary existence until she is discovered by another Jewish refugee, a man who is as alone in the world as she is. As she matures into womanhood, they fall in love. And though their time together is tragically brief, their love for each other imbues Tzili with the strength to survive the war and begin a new life, together with other survivors, in Palestine. Aharon Appelfeld imbues Tzili's story with a harrowing beauty that is emblematic of the fate of an entire people.

[book] Be Like God
God's To-Do List for Kids
by Ron Wolfson
June 2012, Jewish Lights
An inspirational guide for kids ages eight to twelve to be God s partner on earth. Finally, a book for kids ages eight through twelve that inspires a personal relationship with God. With good humor and clear examples, Dr. Ron Wolfson explains the biblical idea that every human being is made in the image of God, and that people of any age have the potential to imitate God in order to bring God's presence into the world. Jewish tradition calls this repairing the world.
It is easy to become God s partner on earth: figure out what God does in the Bible, and then you do it! God creates, rests, blesses, calls, comforts, cares, repairs, gives and forgives. For each of God s characteristics, Wolfson offers stories and suggestions for what might be on God s to-do list for kids the many ways they can make a difference in the lives of others and find meaning and purpose for their own. This book will encourage kids to use their God-given super powers to be creative, to turn off the computer and rest, to be a blessing to parents and friends, to do good deeds, to comfort those who are sick, to repair a little corner of the world, to give of themselves, and to forgive those who mess up. A great gift from parents and grandparents who are eager for their kids to connect with spirituality, the Bible, and God. A wonderful resource for religious school classrooms of all faiths.

[book] Endowed by Our Creator
The Birth of Religious Freedom in America
by Michael I. Meyerson
June 2012, Yale
The debate over the framers’ concept of freedom of religion has become heated and divisive. This scrupulously researched book sets aside the half-truths, omissions, and partisan arguments, and instead focuses on the actual writings and actions of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and others. Legal scholar Michael I. Meyerson investigates how the framers of the Constitution envisioned religious freedom and how they intended it to operate in the new republic. Endowed by Our Creator shows that the framers understood that the American government should not acknowledge religion in a way that favors any particular creed or denomination. Nevertheless, the framers believed that religion could instill virtue and help to unify a diverse nation. They created a spiritual public vocabulary, one that could communicate to all—including agnostics and atheists—that they were valued members of the political community. Through their writings and their decisions, the framers affirmed that respect for religious differences is a fundamental American value. Now it is for us, Meyerson concludes, to determine whether religion will be used to alienate and divide or to inspire and unify our religiously diverse nation.

A Novel
By Cynthia Holz
Spring 2012, Vintage
Cynthia Holz's first novel with Knopf Canada is a spellbinding story that offers an intimate look at family, friendship and altruism, and unrolls a cast of characters you can't help but root for even as you question some of the things they do. Dr. Ben Wasserman, an organ transplant psychiatrist, is having trouble assessing a would-be kidney donor who may turn out to be a bona fide altruist. But as his interest in the man grows, so do his professional and emotional conflicts. At the same time, Ben's psychologist wife, Renata Moon, is struggling to treat a phobic client whose husband died in a train crash. When the young woman reveals that she is pregnant, Renata's disappointment in her own childless marriage is triggered anew. Ben and Renata work hard all day, then go home to squabble over the nightly take-out. It doesn't help to ease the rising tension in their marriage that Ben's widowed mother, Molly, has made her disapproval of her yet-to-be-pregnant daughter-in-law well known. Nor does it help when Molly takes in a boarder, a man from her past whose secrets threaten to complicate the family dynamics even more. Benevolence is intelligent, amusing and deeply humane, a novel that asks unsettling questions, makes surprising connections and allows room for some unexpected, magical solutions.

[book] The Steins Collect
Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
By Janet Bishop, Cecile Debray, Rebecca A. Rabinow, Emily Braun, Gary Tinterow, Martha Lucy, Claudine Grammont, and more
June 2012 Yale
As American expatriates living in Paris, the writer Gertrude Stein, her brothers Leo and Michael, and Michael's wife Sarah were absolutely pivotal in shaping the city's vibrant cultural life in the early 20th century. They hosted Saturday evening salons at which the brightest artists, writers, musicians, and collectors convened to discuss the latest developments. They aggressively promoted and collected emerging painters and sculptors, particularly their close friends Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. And along the way they developed unparalleled holdings in modernist work by such figures as Paul Cézanne, Juan Gris, Francis Picabia, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Lavishly produced and featuring more than 600 images, The Steins Collect is the first comprehensive exploration of the Steins' extraordinary collections and their enduring cultural influence.
The book explores the Steins' impact on art-making and collecting practices in Europe and the United States; the intense sibling rivalries that developed around key artists and ideas; the roots of Leo's aesthetic theories in the thought of William James and Bernard Berenson; Sarah and Michael's role in founding the Académie Matisse; Gertrude's complex relationship with Picasso and their artistic influence on each other; Le Corbusier's radical villa design for the family; and much more. The Steins Collect not only reveals the artistic prescience of this innovative family and their important patronage, but also traces how they created a new international standard of taste for modern art.

[book] Freiing Out
Why People Go Off the Derech &
What We Can Do About It
By Binyamin Tanny
June 2012 Urim
Do you want to know why people abandon their Judaism?
Binyamin did, as he watched friends and siblings go “off the derech,” certain he would soon follow. While the people around him cast blame on parents, teachers, rabbis, the system, hypocrisy in the community and so on, Binyamin wanted to know the real reason, or at least a solution - and the solution was not blame. What he discovered shocked him. After years of fighting his way through multiple religious systems, much soul-searching, and speaking with hundreds of parents, educators and youth around the world, he is sharing his discoveries.
Freiing Out examines the six types of people at risk, eleven key factors that may contribute to going off the derech and eight techniques that can be utilized to prevent people from leaving their Judaism. As Jewish education is crucial in keeping alignment with observance, this book aims to identify what good Jewish education is, how to find balance between Jewish and secular education, and how it all relates to home and school life.
This is not the kind of book to read and say, “interesting research.” It is firsthand experience and a wealth of inside information that will move parents and educators to take action and prevent more Jewish children from losing their connection to Judaism.

[book] On The Eve
The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War
By Bernard Wasserstein (University of Chicago)
2012 Simon and Schuster
Professor Wasserstein is the Ulrich and Harriet Meyer Professor of Modern European Jewish History at Chicago. He is the former President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and received a Guggenheim Award in 2008. In this book, he creates a portrait of a world on the eve of its destruction. It is origina, and it is provocative. Why provocative? He shows where there were internal decays and not just external attacks
Bernard Wasserstein presents a new and disturbing interpretation of the collapse of European Jewish civilization even before the Nazi onslaught. In the 1930s, as Europe spiraled toward the Second World War, the continent’s Jews faced an existential crisis. The harsh realities of the age—anti-Semitic persecution, economic discrimination, and an ominous climate of violence—devastated Jewish communities and shattered the lives of individuals. The Jewish crisis was as much the result of internal decay as of external attack. Demographic collapse, social disintegration, and cultural dissolution were all taking their toll. The problem was not just Nazism: In the summer of 1939 more Jews were behind barbed wire outside the Third Reich than within it, and not only in police states but even in the liberal democracies of the West. The greater part of Europe was being transformed into a giant concentration camp for Jews. Unlike most previous accounts, On the Eve focuses not on the anti-Semites but on the Jews. Wasserstein refutes the common misconception that they were unaware of the gathering forces of their enemies. He demonstrates that there was a growing and widespread recognition among Jews that they stood on the edge of an abyss.
On the Eve recaptures the agonizing sorrows and the effervescent cultural glories of this last phase in the history of the European Jews. It explores their hopes, anxieties, and ambitions, their family ties, social relations, and intellectual creativity—everything that made life meaningful and bearable for them. Wasserstein introduces a diverse array of characters: holy men and hucksters, beggars and bankers, politicians and poets, housewives and harlots, and, in an especially poignant chapter, children without a future. The geographical range also is vast: from Vilna (the “Jerusalem of the North”) to Amsterdam, Vienna, Warsaw, and Paris, from the Judeo-Espagnol-speaking stevedores of Salonica to the Yiddish-language collective farms of Soviet Ukraine and Crimea. Wasserstein’s aim is to “breathe life into dry bones.” Based on comprehensive research, rendered with compassion and empathy, and brought alive by telling anecdotes and dry wit, On the Eve offers a vivid and enlightening picture of the European Jews in their final hour.

[book] Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book
By Jake Godby, Sean Vahey, Frankie Frankeny, Paolo Lucchesi
2012 Chronicle Books
With more than 310,000 Twitter followers, a heaping helping of controversy, and a rich supply of attitude and humor, Humphry Slocombe is not your average ice cream shop. Yet the ice cream is what matters, and they make it in dozens of glorious, unique, and delightful flavors. This tasty book collects 50 recipes for these idolized and iconoclastic flavors, as well as surprising sundae combinations and popular toppings such as marshmallow and crumbled curry cookie. More than 50 color photographs, dozens of graphics and drawings, and first-person essays and scenes from the shop present a delicious foray into this scoop of San Francisco's incredible food scene.
Flavors include Whiskey and Corn Flakes (Breakfast), Vietnamese Coffee, Sea Salt with Chocolate. It is fun book to see the flavors, but the recipes are not tested and poorly executed according to people in the know.

BY Kelly James Clark
2012 Yale University Press
Scarcely any country in today's world can claim to be free of intolerance. Israel and Palestine, Northern Ireland, Sudan, the Balkans, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and the Caucasus are just some of the areas of intractable conflict apparently inspired or exacerbated by religious differences. Can devoted Jews, Christians, or Muslims remain true to their own fundamental beliefs and practices, yet also find paths toward liberty, tolerance, and respect for those of other faiths?
In this vitally important book, fifteen influential practitioners of the Abrahamic religions address religious liberty and tolerance from the perspectives of their own faith traditions. Former president Jimmy Carter, Rabbi Arik Ascherman, Indonesia’s first democratically elected president, Abdurrahman Wahid, and the other writers draw on their personal experiences and on the sacred writings that are central in their own religious lives. Rather than relying on "pure reason," as secularists might prefer, the contributors celebrate religious traditions and find within them a way toward mutual peace, uncompromised liberty, and principled tolerance. Offering a counterbalance to incendiary religious leaders who cite Holy Writ to justify intolerance and violence, the contributors reveal how tolerance and respect for believers in other faiths stand at the core of the Abrahamic traditions.
Contribs include Einat Ramon, Leah Shakdiel, Dov Berkovits, Arik Ascherman, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, Jimmy Carter, Ziya Meral, Hanna Siniora, Miroslav Volf, Kyai Haji Abdurrahmanwahid, Rana Husseini, Abdolkarim Sordush, and more

[book] Unbroken Spirit:
A Heroic Story Of Faith, Courage and Survival
By Yosef Mendelevich
June 2012 Gefen
Born in 1947 in Riga, Latvia, the author spent 12 years in the Soviet gulag prison system
In the Latvian capital Riga after the Second World War, a Jewish boy in the Soviet Union grew up in an atmosphere pervaded by anti-Semitism. After his father was arrested during one of the waves of anti-Semitic persecutions that swept through the Soviet Union his mother died of heartbreak.
That tragedy heralded the beginning of something better. Powerfully drawn into Jewish life, at age 19 he founded an underground organization that struggled for Jewish rights—including the right to study Torah. At age 22, after his attempts to receive an exit visa were repeatedly refused, he participated in an attempt to hijack a plane to the West— which led to his arrest and sentence of 12 years. This struggle opened the first cracks in the Iron Curtain and eventually brought about the mass exodus of Soviet Jewry and its dramatic aliya to Israel..

[book] Parting Ways
Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism
(New Directions in Critical Theory)
By Judith Butler (Berkeley)
June 2012 Columbia University Press
Judith Butler follows the late Edward Said's suggestion that through a consideration of Palestinian dispossession in relation to Jewish diasporic traditions a new ethos can be forged for a one-state solution.
Butler engages Jewish philosophical positions to articulate a critique of political Zionism and its practices of illegitimate state violence, nationalism, and state-sponsored racism. At the same time, she moves beyond communitarian frameworks, including Jewish ones, that fail to arrive at a radical democratic notion of political cohabitation.
Butler engages thinkers such as Edward Said, Emmanuel Levinas, Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi, Martin Buber, Walter Benjamin, and Mahmoud Darwish as she articulates a new political ethic. In her view, it is as important to dispute Israel's claim to represent the Jewish people as it is to show that a narrowly Jewish framework cannot suffice as a basis for an ultimate critique of Zionism.
She promotes an ethical position in which the obligations of cohabitation do not derive from cultural sameness but from the unchosen character of social plurality. Recovering the arguments of Jewish thinkers who offered criticisms of Zionism or whose work could be used for such a purpose, Butler disputes the specific charge of anti-Semitic self-hatred often leveled against Jewish critiques of Israel. Her political ethic relies on a vision of cohabitation that thinks anew about binationalism and exposes the limits of a communitarian framework to overcome the colonial legacy of Zionism. Her own engagements with Edward Said and Mahmoud Darwish form an important point of departure and conclusion for her engagement with some key forms of thought derived in part from Jewish resources, but always in relation to the non-Jew.
Butler considers the rights of the dispossessed, the necessity of plural cohabitation, and the dangers of arbitrary state violence, showing how they can be extended to a critique of Zionism, even when that is not their explicit aim. She revisits and affirms Edward Said's late proposals for a one-state solution within the ethos of binationalism. Butler's startling suggestion: Jewish ethics not only demand a critique of Zionism, but must transcend its exclusive Jewishness in order to realize the ethical and political ideals of living together in radical democracy.
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[book] The Next Best Thing
A Novel
By Jennifer Weiner
July 3, 2012
Actors aren’t the only ones trying to make it in Hollywood.…At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders left her childhood home in Massachusetts and headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to make it as a screenwriter. Six years later, she hits the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Best Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to be the showrunner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on her boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials.
Did I mention that she has a disfigured face, her parents were killed in an accident when she was an infant; and the she is nominally Jeish, goes to temple once every 10 years, and rarely remembers to fast once a year.
Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear for writer’s room showdowns and an eye for bad backstage behavior and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood roller coaster, a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.
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[book] The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture
By Yoram Hazony, PhD
July 30, 2012
Cambridge University Press
This book has been deeply criticized by several reviewers…
I recommend that you google them and read
From the flaps: What if the Hebrew Bible wasn't meant to be read as "revelation"? What if it's not really about miracles or the afterlife - but about how to lead our lives in this world? The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture proposes a new framework for reading the Bible. It shows how biblical authors used narrative and prophetic oratory to advance universal arguments about ethics, political philosophy, and metaphysics. It offers bold new studies of biblical narratives and prophetic poetry, transforming forever our understanding of what the stories of Abel, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and David, and the speeches of Isaiah and Jeremiah, were meant to teach. The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture assumes no belief in God or other religious commitment. It assumes no previous background in Bible. It is free of disciplinary jargon. Open the door to a book you never knew existed. You'll never read the Bible the same way again.
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[book] Spies Against Armageddon
Inside Israel's Secret War
A best selling paperback
By Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman (A
July 7, 2012
SPIES AGAINST ARMAGEDDON is a powerful, vivid history of Israel's intelligence services -- led by the respected and feared Mossad -- from the country's independence in 1948, right up to the current Middle East crises. Chapter 1 is titled "Stopping Iran," focused on nuclear threats, and then readers are taken through the entire history. The authors wrote a national best seller, EVERY SPY A PRINCE, about Israeli intelligence, in 1990. This non-fiction -- which reads like a thriller -- brings us to the dangerous challenges and innovative solutions of today. Best-selling spy novelist Daniel Silva writes: "Buyer beware: Once you crack the cover of Spies Against Armageddon, you won't be able to put it down. It is much more than simply the most authoritative book ever written about Israeli intelligence. It is storytelling and drama of the highest order."

In July 2012, The New York Times wrote, “Tehran Abuzz as Book Says Israel Killed 5 Scientists” The latest literary sensation in Tehran is a thriller about Iran’s nuclear program that is laden with espionage, cunning and political murder. But its authors are not former Iranian intelligence operatives or Iranian military fiction writers. They are not the Iranian equivalent of Tom Clancy. The book, “Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars,” has set off a buzz among both government and opposition news media inside Iran for the assertion by its authors — Yossi Melman, widely regarded as a leading Israeli military and intelligence journalist, and Dan Raviv, a CBS national political correspondent — that five Iranian nuclear scientists killed in the past five years were all assassinated by operatives, most likely of Persian Jewish heritage, employed by Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency. Iranian news sources view the book, published Monday in English by Levant Books, a small company in Sea Cliff, N.Y., as an Israeli-written work exposing something the Israeli authorities do not want the world to know. “Spies Against Armageddon” offers a broad overview of a widely reported Israeli campaign to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, which Israeli authorities contend is a guise for developing nuclear weapons, an accusation the Iranians strenuously deny. But the book’s assertion that the assassins were all Mossad agents who used agency safe houses maintained inside Iran since the era of the shah is new. Iran’s state-financed Press TV focused in a Persian-language article on the book’s assertion that a Mossad unit known as Kidon — meaning Tip of the Spear in Hebrew, and responsible for assassinations and kidnapping — sent operatives to Tehran to carry out the assassinations over the past five years. The Press TV report focused on the operatives’ nationality, pointing out that almost all the assassins employed by Kidon were either Iranian nationals or had dual citizenship. The implication was that they were citizens of Iran and Israel. Most people who hold such citizenship are of Iranian Jewish extraction. A Web site whose Persian name translates to Soft War, which is dedicated to documenting all forms of “psychological operations and soft war” against Iran, ridicules the book’s assertions as “the biggest joke of the century,” specifically the claim that Mossad operatives are skilled enough to have sneaked inside Iran; placed sophisticated, magnetized bombs on the vehicles of four of the five scientists; managed to flood the house of a fifth with carbon monoxide; and escaped safely to Tel Aviv. There are no plans to translate the book into Persian, but interest has spread across the political spectrum, as Iranian reformist newspapers have rushed to summarize and translate its contents. Political blogs on both the left and the right have written analyses and commentary. The authors base their conclusions on reporting of public interviews, statements by Israeli leaders, leaked State Department cables and off-the-record meetings between the authors and Israeli officials. But they do not cite sources for their assertions about the assassins’ nationalities or religious beliefs, which have gathered the greatest reaction in the Iranian press, or their statement that the assassinations were “blue and white,” meaning carried out by Israeli agents from start to finish. Mr. Raviv refers to the book’s style as “synthesis,” assertions stated as facts, without citing interviews, quotations or even anonymous sources. The question of the assassins’ nationalities has been of special interest in Iran, where a suspect in one of the attacks was hanged last month. Officials announced the arrest last month of a group of suspects, describing them as agents of what Iran calls the Zionist regime without identifying their nationalities. Though the book is unlikely to end speculation about who is responsible for the covert assassination campaign against Iran’s nuclear scientists, its assertions correspond with a longstanding assumption among many security experts in Washington’s policy circles.
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[book] The Fallen Angel
A Novel . Mystery in the Gabriel Allon series
By Daniel Silva
July 2012, Harper
After narrowly surviving his last operation, Gabriel Allon, the wayward son of Israeli intelligence, has taken refuge behind the walls of the Vatican, where he is restoring one of Caravaggio's greatest masterpieces. But early one morning he is summoned to St. Peter's Basilica by Monsignor Luigi Donati, the all-powerful private secretary to His Holiness Pope Paul VII. The body of a beautiful woman lies broken beneath Michelangelo's magnificent dome. The Vatican police suspect suicide, though Gabriel believes otherwise. So, it seems, does Donati. But the monsignor is fearful that a public inquiry might inflict another scandal on the Church, and so he calls upon Gabriel to quietly pursue the truth—with one caveat.
"Rule number one at the Vatican," Donati said. "Don't ask too many questions."
Gabriel learns that the dead woman had uncovered a dangerous secret—a secret that threatens a global criminal enterprise that is looting timeless treasures of antiquity and selling them to the highest bidder. But there is more to this network than just greed. A mysterious operative is plotting an act of sabotage that will plunge the world into a conflict of apocalyptic proportions. . . .
An intoxicating blend of art, intrigue, and history, The Fallen Angel moves swiftly from the cloistered chambers of the Vatican to the glamorous ski slopes of St. Moritz to the graceful avenues of Berlin and Vienna—and, finally, to a shocking climax beneath the world's most sacred and contested parcel of land. Each setting in this extraordinary novel is rendered with the care of an Old Master, as are the spies, lovers, priests, and thieves who inhabit its pages. It is a story of faith and of the destructive power of secrets—and an all too timely reminder that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
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[book] The Bride and the Dowry
Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinians in the Aftermath of the June 1967 War
By Avi Raz (Oxford Univ)
July 2012, Yale Univ Press
You know, the longer you live, the more secret archives are opened, the more you learn, and the more you find what you thought were facts are myths
Avi Raz, a former journalist for an Israeli daily, a US and Moscow bureau chief, and a PhD from Oxford, believed so much of the information after 1967. Israel offered its hand in peace. Israel always seeks peace but had its hands slapped by intransigent Arabs. Israel planned for a West Bank mayor, Sheikj Muhammed Ali al Ja'bari to be the PM of a Palestinian state with Hebron or Ramallah as its capital
But then the archives were opened in Moscow, Israel and elsewhere
And we learn otherwise.

Israel’s victory in the June 1967 Six Day War provided a unique opportunity for resolving the decades-old Arab-Zionist conflict. Having seized the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights, Israel for the first time in its history had something concrete to offer its Arab neighbors: it could trade land for peace. Yet the political deadlock persisted after the guns fell silent. This book asks why.
Avi Raz places Israel’s conduct under a microscope
He examines the critical two years, 1967-1969, following the June war and substantially revises our understanding of how and why Israeli-Arab secret contacts came to naught. Mining newly declassified records in Israeli, American, British, and United Nations archives, as well as private papers of individual participants, Raz dispels the myth of overall Arab intransigence and arrives at new and unexpected conclusions. In short, he concludes that Israel’s postwar diplomacy was DELIBERATELY INEFFECTIVE because its leaders preferred LAND over peace with its neighbors.
The book throws a great deal of light not only on the post-1967 period but also on the problems and pitfalls of peacemaking in the Middle East today.
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[book] Octopus
Sam Israel, the Secret Market,
and Wall Street's Wildest Con
By Guy Lawson
July 2012, Crown
Octopus is a real-life thriller that tells the inside story of an audacious hedge fund fraud and the wild search, by a colorful cast of rogues and schemers, for a “secret market” beneath the financial market we all know.
Sam Israel III was a man who seemed to have it all – until the hedge fund he ran, BAYOU, imploded and he became the target of a nationwide manhunt. Born into one of America’s most illustrious trading families (Lawrence J. and Ann Israel were his father and mother, and the Aron commodities trading families were his cousins), Israel was determined to strike out on his own. Born in New Orleans, he was a slacker at Tulane; he was a high school football star in love with a struggling Irish Catholic cheerleader. After apprenticing with one of the greatest hedge fund traders of the 1980’s, Sam founded his own fund and promised his investors guaranteed profits. With the proprietary computer program he’d created, he claimed to be able to predict the future.
Really? A sucky lazy student who has a genius computer program?
His future was beginning to unravel.
After suffering devastating losses and fabricating fake returns, Israel knew it was only a matter of time before his real performance would be discovered, so when a former black-ops intelligence operative told him about a “secret market” run by the Fed, Israel bet his last $150 million on a chance to make billions. Thus began his year-long adventure in “the Upperworld” -- a society populated by clandestine bankers, shady European nobility, and spooks issuing cryptic warnings about a mysterious cabal known as the Octopus.
Was the “secret market” real or a con?
It doesn’t matter. Sam Israel was all in – and as the pressures mounted and increasingly sinister violence crept into his life, he struggled to break free of the Octopus’ tentacles. Was that why he faked his suicide?

[book] Judaism's Great Debates
Timeless Controversies from Abraham to Herzl
by Barry L. Schwartz
July 2012, JPS Jewish Publication Society / Nebraska
Thanks to these generous donors for making the publication of this book possible: David Lerman and Shelley Wallock; D. Walter Cohen, Wendy and Leonard Cooper; Rabbi Howard Gorin; Gittel and Alan Hilibrand; Marjorie and Jeffrey Major; Jeanette Lerman Neubauer and Joe Neubauer; Gayle and David Smith; and Harriet and Donald Young. Ever since Abraham’s famous argument with God, Judaism has been full of debate. Moses and Korah, David and Nathan, Hillel and Shammai, the Vilna Gaon and the Ba’al Shem Tov, Spinoza and the Amsterdam Rabbis . . . the list goes on. Jews debate justice, authority, inclusion, spirituality, resistance, evolution, Zionism, and more. No wonder that Judaism cherishes the expression machloket l’shem shamayim, “an argument for the sake of heaven. In this concise but important survey, Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz presents the provocative and vibrant thesis that debate and disputation are not only encouraged within Judaism but reside at the very heart of Jewish history and theology. In his graceful, engaging, and creative prose, Schwartz presents an introduction to an intellectual history of Judaism through the art of argumentation. Beyond their historical importance, what makes these disputations so compelling is that nearly all of them, regardless of their epochs, are still being argued. Schwartz builds the case that the basis of Judaism is a series of unresolved rather than resolved arguments. Drawing on primary sources, and with a bit of poetic license, Schwartz reconstructs the real or imagined dialogue of ten great debates and then analyzes their significance and legacy. This parade of characters spanning three millennia of biblical, rabbinic, and modern disputation reflects the panorama of Jewish history with its monumental political, ethical, and spiritual challenges.

[book] Harry Lipkin
Private Eye
A Novel
By Barry Fantoni
July 2012, Doubleday
Meet Harry Lipkin, the world's oldest private detective: part Sam Spade, part Woody Allen, all mensch. Harry Lipkin is a tough-talking, soft-chewing, rough-around-the-edges, slow-around-the-corners private investigator who carries a .38 along with a spare set of dentures. Harry specializes in the sort of cases that cops can't be bothered with, but knows where to find good chopped liver for a fair price. He might not be the best P.I. in Miami, but at 87, he's certainly the oldest. His latest client, Mrs. Norma Weinberger, has a problem. Someone in her home is stealing sentimental trinkets and the occasional priceless jewel from her; someone she employs, trusts, cares for, and treats like family. With the stakes so low and blood pressure that's a little too high, Harry Lipkin must figure out whodunit before the thief strikes again. Sure to appeal to fans of Alexander McCall Smith, Harry Lipkin, Private Eye is sharp, funny and irresistible.

[book] Stella's Sephardic Table
Jewish family recipes from the Mediterranean island of Rhodes
By Stella Cohen and Marc Hoberman
Summer 2012
Hoberman Collection
To be seated at a Sephardic table is to bare witness to centuries of a mesmerizingly rich cultural heritage overflowing with traditions and festivities, symbols and superstitions, stories and insights, fragrances, tastes and culinary secrets – all handed down from generation to generation around the ever-present Sephardic feast. Following the expulsion of the Jews in 1492 by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, Sephardic Jewish communities spread to new shores bringing with them their rich gastronomic heritage from Moorish Spain which naturally evolved into a wonderfully complex fusion of flavours incorporating Ottoman Turkish, Greek, Hispanic, African and other influences.
Deeply inspired by her roots and constantly immersed in its traditions, author, artist and Sephardic cuisine expert Stella Cohen has set out to record the legacy of this vibrant, fascinating yet vanishing world for posterity and tell the story of her own family’s cultural journey from Rodos (where her great-grandfather Haham Yaacov Capouya, was the esteemed sage and Rabbi of Rhodes) to Rhodesia (today known as Zimbabwe) where she has raised her family to continue the traditions as passed on to her. In 1986, “Sephardic Cuisine” by Stella Cohen, a humble spiral bound cookbook, was independently published under the auspices of the Sephardic community of Zimbabwe and quickly became an international success, being reprinted many times over. For more than ten years, Stella has worked at revising and extending the original to include a more thorough exploration of the age-old subject and the techniques and traditions around it.
Stella’s Sephardic Table is a treasure trove of inspiration for the soul, filled with over 250 sumptuous easy-to-follow recipes, all lavishly illustrated and garnished with anecdotes, Ladino sayings, essays and rare insights into family-cherished tips and tricks traditionally passed from mother to daughter.
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[book] I Was Born There
I Was Born Here
By Mourid Barghouti
July 2012, Walker
From the cover: In 2000 Mourid Barghouti published I Saw Ramallah, the acclaimed memoir that told of returning in 1996 to his Palestinian home for the first time since exile following the Six-Day War in 1967. I Was Born There, I Was Born Here takes up the story in 1998 when Barghouti returned to the Occupied Territories to introduce his Cairo-born son, Tamim, to his Palestinian family. Ironically, a few years later Tamim had himself been arrested for taking part in a demonstration against the impending Iraq War. He was held in the very same Cairo prison from which his father had been expelled from Egypt to begin a second exile in Budapest when Tamim was only a few months old. Ranging freely back and forth in time between the 1990s and the present day, Barghouti weaves into his account of exile poignant evocations of Palestinian history and daily life - the pleasure of coffee arriving at just the right moment, the challenge of a car journey through the Occupied Territories, the meaning of home and the importance of being able to say, standing in a small village in Palestine, 'I was born here', rather than saying from exile, 'I was born there'. Full of life and humour in the face of a culture of death, I Was Born There, I Was Born Here is destined, like its predecessor, to become a classic.
PW adds, “In a series of grim, emotive essays set in the occupied territories of Israel, the long exiled Jordanian Palestinian poet Barghouti (I See Ramallah) recounts his return with his grown son and delineates the terrible changes he witnessed in the villages of his childhood and within his own family. Born in Deir Ghassanah, near Ramallah on the West Bank, in 1944, and displaced from his home with his family after the Nakba (as the Arabs call the “catastrophe” (nakba means catastrophe in Arabic) of the founding of Israel in 1948), Barghouti was largely schooled in Cairo; after being forcibly expelled from Egypt in 1977, despite being married to an Egyptian woman and with a newborn son, Tamim, the author lived in Budapest for 13 years, hindered from seeing his family except for short periods and essentially rendered helpless to protect them. In the essay “Father and Son,” Barghouti reconstructs the moment of returning to the land of his youth with the then 21-year-old Tamim, who had finally received an Israeli entry permit and was able to see firsthand the police state under which the Palestinian villages were held, involving arbitrary checkpoints, arrests, and interrogation. Yet while relentlessly critical of the Israelis, Barghouti also comes down hard on the failed Palestinian leadership, describing how his land was lost “through drowsiness, slumber, and trickery.” Barghouti vividly describes the Palestinian sense of “invisibility” juxtaposed with Israeli aggression to portray an untenable yet fiercely ongoing state of flux and conflict.”

[book] Sinning in the Hebrew Bible
How The Worst Stories Speak for Its Truth
By Alan F. Segal
July 2012, Columbia
Stories of rape, murder, adultery, and conquest raise crucial ethical issues in the Hebrew Bible, and their interpretation guides many societies in forming their religious and moral convictions. From the sacrifice of Isaac to the adultery of David, narratives of sin engender vivid analysis and debate, powering the myths that form the basis of the religious covenant, or the relationship between a people and their God. Rereading these stories against different forms and contexts, Alan F. Segal demonstrates the significance of sinning throughout history and today. Drawing on literary and historical theory, as well as research in the social sciences, he explores the motivation for creating sin stories, their prevalence in the Hebrew Bible, and their possible meaning to Israelite readers and listeners. After introducing the basics of his approach and outlining several hermeneutical concepts, Segal conducts seven linked studies of specific narratives, using character and text to clarify problematic terms such as "myth," "typology," and "orality." Following the reappearance and reinterpretation of these narratives in later compositions, he proves their lasting power in the mythology of Israel and the encapsulation of universal, perennially relevant themes. Segal ultimately positions the Hebrew Bible as a foundational moral text and a history book, offering uncommon insights into the dating of biblical events and the intentions of biblical authors.
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[book] Grandma Elmaleh's
By Lisa Elmaleh Craig
July 2012
A treasure trove of recipes, anecdotes, and food facts based on Moroccan-Jewish cooking which was described by the New York Times food critic in 1970 as "home cooking that a Sultan would envy"
In Spain, the family's name was Buenos Hombres, After 1492, the members of the family who fled to England were Goodmans, and those that went to France were BonHommes. Some changed the surname to Tovim, and those who settled in Morocco became Elmaleh.
For more than 50 years Sarah Elmaleh, the Moroccan-Jewish mother of a large immigrant family in Brooklyn, cooked sumptuous meals for family and friends. Her unique blend of Jewish and Moroccan cooking produced hundreds of recipes, most of which she kept in her head, until her granddaughter, Lisa Elmaleh Craig, sat her down and made her divulge her culinary secrets. This charming book combines recipes, reminiscences, and research with the author's own line drawings and color plates, to provide a verbal feast for the food-oriented reader as well as recipes ranging from a simple breakfast to a family feast. Includes dual measurements. Filled with family stories to accompany the recipes. For example, when grandma was a girl, the family would take a month long vacation to Marrakesh. Why did the Arab men place long sticks outside the home where they stayed?
Read and find out
Recipes include Sephardic Chicken Soup (uses tumeric and a beef bone); Aubergine Soup with Mint (uses an egg yolk); Ministra Noodles (square noodles for soup), L'Merq Hazina (Mourner's soup / tomato salad); StringBeans with Tomato and Garlic; Fennel with Saffron; Zalooq (honeyed eggplant puree); Piljan (Candied Aubergines with Ginger); El Qoq (Moroccan Artichokes); Loubia (Bean Casserole with Cilantro); Sardine a la Mogador/Essaouira; and more.
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[book] My Charmed Life
Rocky Romances, Precious Family Connections
and Searching For a Band of Gold
BY Beth Bernstein
July 2012, New American Library
When Beth Bernstein’s mother unexpectedly passed away, Beth’s life was forever changed, as she knew that she’d lost not only her best friend, but also a big part of herself. In this heartwarming and moving memoir, Beth learns how to link together the platinum memories of the jewelry handed down to her by the woman who taught her how to love, overcome obstacles, and (most important) accessorize.
As a young girl, Beth learned that not all engagements came with a ring. The unconventional engagement watch Beth’s father gave her mother, her mom’s postdivorce transformation from wearing Jackie O pearls to donning love beads--each piece of jewelry represents an intimate memory, a reminder to rise above life’s challenges and enjoy its triumphs. And there are also Beth’s own experiences with rocky romances, of the too many engagement rings she fell in love with and the too few men who could commit. She tells the story of these relationships with sparkles of hilarity and glimmers of hope, conjuring up lost keepsakes and fiery moments--until she realizes that the brightest gems are the ones you give yourself, and finds freedom she never thought possible.
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[book] JACK 1939
July 2012, Riverhead
In real life, John F. Kennedy attended Harvard College and wrote his thesis on the Appeasement with Munich. In the late 1930’s, he actually travelled through Europe, Germany, and the Balkans. His father was FDR’s ambassador to the UK. And now for the novel version…
A young Jack Kennedy travels to Europe on a secret mission for Franklin Roosevelt as the world braces for war. It’s the spring of 1939, and the prospect of war in Europe looms large. The United States has no intelligence service. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt may run for an unprecedented third term and needs someone he can trust to find out what the Nazis are up to. His choice: John F. Kennedy.
It’s a surprising selection. At twenty-two, Jack Kennedy is the attractive but unpromising second son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Roosevelt’s ambassador to Britain (and occasional political adversary). But when Jack decides to travel through Europe to gather research for his Harvard senior thesis, Roosevelt takes the opportunity to use him as his personal spy. The president’s goal: to stop the flow of German money that has been flooding the United States to buy the 1940 election—an election that Adolf Hitler intends Roosevelt lose.
In a deft mosaic of fact and fiction, Francine Mathews has written a gripping espionage tale that explores what might have happened when a young Jack Kennedy is let loose in Europe as the world careens toward war. A potent combination of history and storytelling, Jack 1939 is a sexy, entertaining read.

[book] Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me
by Harvey Pekar
Illustrated by JT Waldman
Epilogue by Joyce Brabner
July 2012, Hill and Wang
The late Harvey Pekar’s mother was a Zionist by way of politics. His father was a Zionist by way of faith. Whether Harvey was going to daily Hebrew classes or attending Zionist picnics, he grew up a staunch supporter of the Jewish state. But soon he found himself questioning the very beliefs and ideals of his parents.
In “Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me,” the final graphic memoir from the man who defined the genre, Pekar (American Splendor) explores what it means to be Jewish and what Israel means to the Jews. Over the course of a single day in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Pekar and the illustrator JT Waldman wrestle with the mythologies and realities surrounding the Jewish homeland. Pekar interweaves his increasing disillusionment with the modern state of Israel with a comprehensive history of the Jewish people from biblical times to the present, and the result is a personal and historical odyssey of uncommon power. Plainspoken and empathetic, Pekar had no patience for injustice and prejudice in any form, and though he comes to understand the roots of his parents’ unquestioning love for Israel, he arrives at the firm belief that all peoples should be held to the same universal standards of decency, fairness, and democracy.
With an epilogue written by Joyce Brabner, Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me is an essential book for fans of Harvey Pekar and anyone interested in the past and future of the Jewish state. It is bound to create important discussions and debates for years to come.
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July 2012,
A die-hard native New Yorker, graduate of the Nightingale-Bamford School (she still has the white gloves to prove it), Kenyon College, and Cardozo Law School, Jessica Dorfman Jones started her life in publishing in the publicity department of Simon & Schuster
Gritty. Dirty. Hard-core. Transformative. Funny. This is the real Sex and the City. By her late twenties, Jessica Dorfman Jones had dutifully achieved everything she thought she was supposed to: marriage, law degree, high-paying job, nice apartment in Greenwich Village. But she was miserable and felt like she was living a life that wasn't hers. Desperate to change her status quo and figure out who she really was, Jessica went about the business of making a change by demolishing the life she knew. She threw her good-girl image aside and set out to unleash the very bad girl she had never before tried to be.
Damn the Jewish Barbarino, Gideon
Embracing the deliciously debauched world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Jessica leaves behind her sweet and well-behaved husband for the ultimate bad-boy guitar player, starts her own band, and parties harder than she had ever thought possible. She starts a band, puts her job in jeopardy, and causes her friends and family no end of worry with her illicit behavior. And then, in the midst of her self-created chaos, the wildest thing of all happens. She figures out who she is, who she most definitely is not, and what might, if she's lucky, come next. Klonopin Lunch is Jessica’s wickedly funny and uncensored journey down the rabbit hole and back out again, into a life that, at last, makes her truly happy.

Summer 2012,
The author says that if an older sibling of ten goes off the derech, it is as if a computer on a network gets a virus. The entire network is at risk. If you are going to change a person, do it through love, and get rid of the emotion and the hurt, or else it is not going to work
Binyamin Tanny was raised in a religious Jewish family, one of 11 children. He went to many schools as a youth. He was at a Zionist school, an anti-Zionist one, anti-Hasid, and Chassidic. Back and forth. He befriended BT kids and FFB kids (frum from birth). He met non Orthodox kids in scouts. It was in Australia that he became a rabbi.
In this book he looks at six archetypes of people at risk and eleven factors that controbute, or may contribute, to going off the derech. He suggests 8 techniques that can be utilized to prevent people from leaving Judaism (assuming it is anyone's business what religious practice a person chooses, or assuming it matters if people abandon the a form of Judaism)
This book is action oriented and will aid educators, leaders, and parents in their quests to keep people on the path.

A Detective Arieh-ben Roi Mystery
July 2012,
Detective Arieh-Ben Roi of the Jerusalem police is tasked with the investigation into the death of a well-known Israeli journalist, Rivka Kleinberg, who is found brutally murdered in a cathedral in Jerusalem. Known for her fearless exposés, Kleinberg had made many high-powered enemies, including international corporations, the Israeli government, and the Russian Mafia. Looking for leads, Ben-Roi begins researching which stories Kleinberg was working on before she died, and finds a connection to Egypt which confuses him.
At a stumbling block, Ben-Roi phones up his old friend, Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor Police, and asks him if he will help him investigate the case. Khalifa is happy to help, and begins looking into another story that Kleinberg was researching just before her murder: the mysterious death of a British Egyptologist in the 1930s. This Egyptologist was said to have uncovered a giant labyrinth-like gold mine of incredible riches written about in the works of Herodotus. But what connection could this gold mine have with Kleinberg’s murder? With a plot that moves from Israel to Egypt to Vancouver to Romania, The Labyrinth of Osiris is an intelligent, gripping novel from an internationally acclaimed master of thriller writing.

By Judge Frederic Block
July 2012,
Judge Block gives the reader an engaging, often humorous account of his life, as always, and a compelling introduction to the world of a Federal judge whose decisions are subject to plenty of public scrutiny but whose decision-making process remains a mystery for most Americans. PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States --President Bill Clinton
At 78, Frederic Block is going strong. He still hears cases as a senior judge in Federal District Court for the Eastern District, which has jurisdiction over Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. He picked up modern Greek a few years ago. And now, he has written an engaging autobiography titled Disrobed: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge (Thomson Reuters Westlaw, $29.95). Despite the title, don t expect a bare-all book. Still, Judge Block offers a rare look behind decision-making on the federal bench. His stated goal was to make judicial proceedings accessible to the layman, and mercifully, without footnotes he largely succeeds. He has plenty of experience to draw on, including cases involving the Crown Heights riots, Kitty Genovese and Peter Gotti. And he has plenty to say. This is, after all, the same forthright jurist who warned prosecutors in a murder-for-hire case that seeking the death penalty was absurd, and who once worried aloud that he would have egg foo young on my face if a Chinese defendant skipped bail. A version of this article appeared in print on August 12, 2012, on page MB3 of the New York edition with the headline: Exploring a Lyricist and a Brooklyn Bohemia .

[book] When We Argued All Night
A Novel
By Alice Mattison
July 2012,
Two young men are swimming naked in an Adirondack lake when they hear a motor, a car appears, and two women get out, one with an orange scarf around her head. It's 1936: New York is suffering through the Great Depression, frightening things are happening in Europe, and Artie Saltzman and Harold Abramovitz, friends since their Brooklyn childhood, are unsure about everything—jobs, lefty politics, women. After this time in the mountains, nothing will be quite the same.
From World War II to the McCarthy-era witch hunts, through work, marriages, and life with children, Artie and Harold turn to each other, whether for solace or another good argument. And when Artie's daughter Brenda comes of age during the 1960s, her struggles with jobs, love, and friendship in yet another period of political turmoil recall Artie and Harold's youth.
A sweeping yet intimate novel about people who never stop loving one another despite everything life throws at them, When We Argued All Night illuminates a friendship over more than sixty-five years, as the twentieth century gives way to the changed yet recognizable times in which we live.

July 2012,
In 2005, Dan Bucatinsky and his partner, Don Roos, found themselves in an L.A. delivery room, decked out in disposable scrubs from shower cap to booties, to welcome their adopted baby girl—launching their frantic yet memorable adventures into fatherhood. Two and a half years later, the same birth mother—a heroically generous, pack-a-day teen with a passion for Bridezilla marathons and Mountain Dew—delivered a son into the couple’s arms. In Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight? Bucatinsky moves deftly from sidesplitting stories about where kids put their fingers to the realization that his athletic son might just grow up to be straight and finally to a reflection on losing his own father just as he’s becoming one. Bucatinsky’s soul-baring and honest stories tap into that all-encompassing, and very human, hunger to be a parent—and the life-changing and often ridiculous road to getting there.

[book] AMY,
All author proceeds to The Amy Winehouse Fdtn
July 2012,
Candid, compelling, and heartbreaking—a father's story of a talent taken too soon and a legacy that will live on for generations. On July 23, 2011, Amy Winehouse's family, friends, and fans around the world mourned the tragedy that this remarkable, talented, and extraordinarily generous young woman was now gone. A legion of dedicated fans had lost their idol; a devastated family had lost their Amy. With this difficult news came an outpouring of love and grief from her fans, along with troubling questions about Amy's very public struggles with drugs and alcohol, as people tried to understand how such a soulful singer had been silenced so young.
Now, in this intimate and tender account, her father and confidant, Mitch, offers an inside view of Amy's life as she lived it, putting to rest once and for all the controversies that have long surrounded her. Sifting fact from fiction, he pre-sents a portrait of Amy unlike any other, detailing the events and the people that shaped her youth—from her mischievous childhood to her grandmother's Jazz Age stories, to her father singing Frank Sinatra around the house. Shedding light on Amy's musical coming-of-age, Mitch explores how she honed her distinctive sound, created her unforgettable look, and channeled her own life into hits such as "You Know I'm No Good," "Rehab," and "Back to Black"—some of the most memorable and personal pop music in years.
While her beehive hair, larger-than-life voice, and outrageous personality made her famous, her life offstage made her infamous. Here Mitch holds nothing back about Amy's addiction to drugs and alcohol, mixing the painful with the poignant as he describes the realities of her dependencies and the toll they took on the family and friends who refused to give up on her. Revealing the truth about Amy's substance abuse and dispelling many of the tabloid-fueled rumors about her tumultuous marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil, Mitch exposes the years of behind-the-scenes drama that consumed his life and explains how, for those who knew Amy in her last months, the greatest tragedy of all was that she finally appeared to be conquering her demons.
Filled with insights into Amy Winehouse's music, photographs from her life, and stories of the real woman behind the headlines, Amy, My Daughter is an emotional journey into music, addiction, and the unbreakable bond between a daughter and her father.

[book] The Twilight War
The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran
By David Crist
July 2012,
A dispassionate look at Iran and the USA, which shows American missteps and not ust Iran's.
Crist is a Colonel in the Reserves, the child of a General, and currently works as a Historian for the Pentagon as a civilian. His works are classified and we won;t be able to read them for perhaps seven decades. He focuses on special operations and Desert Storm and Iraq and other issues. But on this side, he has worked 20 years, he says, on this book on the secret wars and battles between Iran and the US. Or is it actually a red herring and propaganda to prepare Americans for war with Iran? LOL

The dramatic secret history of our undeclared thirty-year conflict with Iran, revealing covert and deadly operations that brought the two nations to the brink of open war. Why did America pull back from a confrontation with Iran at the start of the Iraq War and let them infiltrate Southern Iraq? Did Reagan actually order retaliation against Uran after they killed over 240 Marines in Beirut? Did Casper Weinberg call off Reagan's retaliation and overrule him and McFarland? Did Iran try to ally itself with the US against the Taliban? Under Carter, did the Pentagon plan on using nuclear weapons in Azerbaijan to keep the Soviets out of Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf oil? Did Pentagon planners not mind if Iran was irradiated, as long as neither the US or the Soviets got Iranian oil? Did Obama reach out to Iran, but when he saw they were not receptive, used and expanded on Bush's policies and tactics? Why did Iran kill Israelis in Bulgaria? Was it retaliation for the murder of nuclear scientists? How does Iran use state terror?
According to Crist, for three decades, the United States and Iran have engaged in a secret war. It is a conflict that has never been acknowledged and a story that has never been told. This surreptitious war began with the Iranian revolution and simmers today inside Iraq and in the Persian Gulf. Fights rage in the shadows, between the CIA and its network of spies and Iran's intelligence agency. Battles are fought at sea with Iranians in small speedboats attacking Western oil tankers. This conflict has frustrated five American presidents, divided administrations, and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations into open warfare. It is a story of shocking miscalculations, bitter debates, hidden casualties, boldness, and betrayal.
A senior historian for the federal government with access to senior officials and key documents of several U.S. administrations, Crist has spent more decades researching and writing The Twilight War, and he breaks new ground on virtually every page. Crist describes the series of secret negotiations between Iran and the United States after 9/11, culminating in Iran's proposal for a grand bargain for peace-which the Bush administration turned down. He documents the clandestine counterattack Iran launched after America's 2003 invasion of Iraq, in which thousands of soldiers disguised as reporters, tourists, pilgrims, and aid workers toiled to change the government in Baghdad and undercut American attempts to pacify the Iraqi insurgency. And he reveals in vivid detail for the first time a number of important stories of military and intelligence operations by both sides, both successes and failures, and their typically unexpected consequences.
Much has changed in the world since 1979, but Iran and America remain each other's biggest national security nightmares. "The Iran problem" is a razor-sharp briar patch that has claimed its sixth presidential victim in Barack Obama and his administration. The Twilight War adds vital new depth to our understanding of this acute dilemma it is also a thrillingly engrossing read, animated by a healthy irony about human failings in the fog of not-quite war.

[book] Henry’s Ford’s War On Jews
And The Legal Battle Against Hate Speech
By Victoria Saker Woeste
July 2012,
Stanford University Press
Henry Ford is remembered in American lore as the ultimate entrepreneur—the man who invented assembly-line manufacturing and made automobiles affordable. Largely forgotten is his side career as a publisher of antisemitic propaganda. This is the story of Ford's ownership of the Dearborn Independent, his involvement in the defamatory articles it ran, and the two Jewish lawyers, Aaron Sapiro and Louis Marshall, who each tried to stop Ford's war.
In 1927, the case of Sapiro v. Ford transfixed the nation. In order to end the embarrassing litigation, Ford apologized for the one thing he would never have lost on in court: the offense of hate speech.
Using never-before-discovered evidence from archives and private family collections, this study reveals the depth of Ford's involvement in every aspect of this case and explains why Jewish civil rights lawyers and religious leaders were deeply divided over how to handle Ford.


[book] The Schmutzy Family
by Madelyn Rosenberg. ILLUS BY Paul Meisel
August 2012, Holiday House
In this lively celebration of Jewish traditions, a family must balance giving their children the freedom to make a mess and having a tidy home for Shabbos.
On Sunday the Schmutzys drag in dirt from the malodorous Feldman Swamp. On Monday they make mud pies, and on Tuesday they smear spaghetti sauce. So it goes until Friday morning, when it's time to be not-so-schmutzy. The family members soap, scour, and shower. And on Friday night they are ready to celebrate Shabbos with prayer, song, and supper.
A glossary defines Yiddish words and an author's note explains Shabbos traditions.
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By Claude Lanzmann
Translated by Frank Wynne
2012, FS&G
“Even if I lived a hundred lives, I still wouldn’t be exhausted.” These words capture the intensity of the experiences of Claude Lanzmann, a man whose acts have always been a negation of resignation: a member of the Resistance at sixteen, a friend to Jean-Paul Sartre and a lover to Simone de Beauvoir, and the director of one of the most important films in the history of cinema, Shoah.
In these pages, Lanzmann composes a hymn to life that flows from memory yet has the rhythm of a novel, as tumultuous as it is energetic. The Patagonian Hare is the story of a man who has searched at every moment for existential adventure, who has committed himself deeply to what he believes in, and who has made his life a battle.
The Patagonian Hare, a number-one bestseller in France, has been translated into Spanish, German, Italian, Hebrew, Polish, Dutch, and Portuguese. Claude Lanzmann’s brilliant memoir has been widely acclaimed as a masterpiece, was hailed as “a true literary and historic event” in the pages of Le Monde, and was awarded the prestigious Welt-Literaturpreis in Germany.
Paul Berman, writing in wrote: The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs approached Claude Lanzmann in 1973 and suggested that, with Israel’s backing, he make a documentary film about the murder of the European Jews. Lanzmann was and is a French journalist, and his qualifications for undertaking such a project were obvious at a glance. He had spent many years producing copy for the glossy French magazine Elle and, then again, for mass-readership newspapers. He sat on the editorial committee of Jean-Paul Sartre’s magazine Les Temps Modernes. He was handy with a film camera. Also, he had displayed an acute sympathy for the plight of the Israelis — a less-than-universal trait even in those days. The proposed topic was vast, though, and the necessary research, endless. By 1977, he still had nothing to show for his efforts, and the impatient Israelis canceled the funding. Lanzmann responded by tripping down a stairway and fracturing a foot. “The Patagonian Hare” is his autobiography, and the book makes clear that pratfalls in a distinctly cinematic style — a car crash, an overturned boat, Alpine hiking disasters, a run-in with a plate-glass window — have punctuated his life the way skin rashes might announce the anxieties of someone more conventionally neurotic. He bounces back, however. In Israel, Menachem Begin and the Likud replaced the previous government, and Lanzmann made his way to Begin in person to plead for another chance. The new government approved, on the condition that Lanzmann sign a statement promising to limit his film to a modest two hours and to complete it within a year and a half. Lanzmann signed. Only, as he blithely confesses, he had not the slightest intention of completing the work anytime soon, nor was he planning a simple afternoon at the movies. He was already groping his way toward what would eventually be known as “Shoah,” his colossal masterwork about the death camps and the Jews, nine and a half magisterial hours long. He felt conflicted about deceiving the Israelis, though. This time he responded by ignoring the warning signs on an Israeli beach and was rescued only by a random passer-by with lifeguard skills….
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August 2012, Little, Brown
How can you help mankind when they won’t help themselves? Welcome to Heaven Inc. Meet God, CEO of Heaven Inc. Its mantra? “We’ve got Earth covered”. Unless of course someone is away from their desk. But these days, God is kind of disillusioned. He knows he should be keeping an eye on genocides and stuff, but he’d rather watch the church channels on cable. And his first priority in terms of wielding his power is to get Lynyrd Skynyrd back together…
What In God’s Name is the second novel from the youngest ever writer to be hired by Saturday Night Live, Simon Rich. His previous offering, Elliot Allagash, won him many high-profile fans, including Judd Apatow and Jon Stewart, and was described as Clueless for boys. In this book, he looks to his Jewish upbringing for inspiration and creates a deeply, dryly funny and ironic view of just what the big man upstairs might be getting up to. And, of course, what his helpers might be doing to keep him on the straight and narrow. This concept isn’t new, of course - I’m thinking Dogma, or A Life Less Ordinary - but with a topic and canvas as big as this, there’s plenty of room left for interpretation.
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[book] Einstein's Jewish Science
Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion
By Steven Gimbel
May 2012, Johns Hopkins University Press
Is relativity Jewish? The Nazis denigrated Albert Einstein’s revolutionary theory by calling it "Jewish science," a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers. Philosopher of science Steven Gimbel explores the many meanings of this provocative phrase and considers whether there is any sense in which Einstein’s theory of relativity is Jewish. Arguing that we must take seriously the possibility that the Nazis were in some measure correct, Gimbel examines Einstein and his work to explore how beliefs, background, and environment may—or may not—influence the work of the scientist. You cannot understand Einstein’s science, Gimbel declares, without knowing the history, religion, and philosophy that influenced it.
No one, especially Einstein himself, denies Einstein's Jewish heritage, but many are uncomfortable saying that he was being a Jew while he was at his desk working. To understand what "Jewish" means for Einstein’s work, Gimbel first explores the many definitions of "Jewish" and asks whether there are elements of Talmudic thinking apparent in Einstein’s theory of relativity. He applies this line of inquiry to other scientists, including Isaac Newton, René Descartes, Sigmund Freud, and Émile Durkheim, to consider whether their specific religious beliefs or backgrounds manifested in their scientific endeavors. Einstein's Jewish Science intertwines science, history, philosophy, theology, and politics in fresh and fascinating ways to solve the multifaceted riddle of what religion means—and what it means to science. There are some senses, Gimbel claims, in which Jews can find a special connection to E = mc2, and this claim leads to the engaging, spirited debate at the heart of this book.

[book] HOSTAGE
Catherine Temerson (Translator)
August 2012, Knopf
The acclaimed novelist and 1986 Nobel laureate in Literature returns to the subjects that have brought him the widest critical and commercial success, in an impassioned and deeply moving new novel about the legacy of the Holocaust and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the power of memory, and the desire for resolution.
It's 1975, and Shaltiel Feigenberg--beloved husband, and professional storyteller and writer--has been taken hostage: abducted from his home in Brooklyn, blindfolded, and tied to a chair in a dark basement. His captors, an Arab and an Italian, don't explain why the innocent Shaltiel has been chosen--just that his life will be bartered for the freedom of three Palestinian prisoners. As his days of waiting commence, Shaltiel resorts to what he does best, telling stories to himself and to the men who hold his fate in their hands. A Communist brother, a childhood spent hiding from the Nazis in a cellar, the kindness of liberating Russian soldiers, the unrest of the 1960s--these are the memories that unfold in Shaltiel's captivity, as the outside world breathlessly follows his disappearance and the police move toward a final confrontation with his captors..
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On par with Elie Wiesel (above) is a new novel by Amy Sohn of Brooklyn

August 2012, Simon and Schuster
In her trademark blend of social satire and sexy drama, New York Times bestselling author Amy Sohn delivers a candid, unsentimental look at modern marriage.
Maybe HBO will give her her own show...
It’s just before Labor Day and five mothers and fathers in Cape Cod, Park Slope, and Greenwich Village find themselves adrift professionally and personally. Rebecca Rose, whose husband has been acting aloof, is tempted by the attentions of a former celebrity flame; Marco Goldstein, saddled with two kids as his husband Todd goes on a business trip, turns to sex with strangers for comfort; Danny Gottlieb, a screenwriter on the cusp of a big break, leaves his wife and children to pitch a film (and meet young women) in Los Angeles; fallen sanctimommy Karen Bryan Shapiro, devastated by her husband’s infidelity and abandonment, attempts a fresh start with a hot single dad; and former A-List movie star Melora Leigh plots a star turn on Broadway to revive her Hollywood career. As their stories intersect in surprising ways and their deceptions spiral out of control, they begin to question their beliefs about family, happiness, and themselves. Equal parts hilarious and moving, Motherland confirms Amy Sohn as one of our most insightful commentators on relationships and parenting in modern America.
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August 2012, Harper
From Bloomberg's writer and author (Boy Alone – a memoir of growing up Japanese/Jewish with an autistic brother), comes a novel about life in Manhattan's TriBeCa, the TRI-angle of gentrifying land BE-low CA-nal Street.
Thrown together by circumstance, a group of fathers—a sound engineer, a sculptor, a film producer, a chef, a memoirist, a gangster—meets each morning at a local Tribeca coffee shop after walking their children to their exclusive school. The sound engineer looks uncomfortably like the guy on the sex offender posters strewn around the neighborhood; the memoirist is on the verge of being outed for fabricating his experiences; and the narcissistic chef puts his quest for the perfect quail-egg frittata before his children's well-being. Over the course of a single school year, we are privy to their secrets, passions, and hopes, and learn of their dreams deferred as they confront harsh realities about ambition, wealth, and sex. And we meet their wives and children, who together with these men are discovering the hard truths and welcome surprises that accompany family, marriage, and real estate at midlife. Fascinatingly layered and multidimensional, these linked stories, arranged like puzzle pieces, create a powerful portrait of unlikely friends and their neighborhood in transition. Striking chords that range from haunting and heartbreaking to darkly funny and deeply poignant, Triburbia marks the start of a brilliant literary career.
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[book] A Journey Through Torah
A Critique of the Documentary Hypothesis
by Ben Zion Katz
August 2012, URIM
The Torah is the basis of all Judaism. In traditional Jewish thought, the Torah is considered to have been dictated by God to Moses, and the text of the Torah that we possess is considered to be a record of that revelation. It has been claimed that modern, critical biblical scholarship and traditional Judaism are irreconcilable. This book demonstrates that modern biblical scholarship is not as scientific as its proponents make it out to be, while traditional Jewish exegesis is more critical than is commonly appreciated. A synthesis of the two approaches is presented in the concluding chapter.
Ben Zion Katz is a Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and is an Attending Physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL.
"Ben Katz has written a refreshing new approach to biblical scholarship, one that shows that the differences between classical Jewish Bible commentary and modern critical approaches to the Bible are not as unbridgeable as many still seem to think. In his well-argued view, the Documentary Hypothesis is not as foolproof as once thought, and the classical Jewish commentators are not the fundamentalists many continue to believe them to be. In other words, their differing approaches can often complement one another, which is what Dr. Katz does so deftly." -David Novak, Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies - University of Toronto
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[book] Adele
(The Rabbi's Mother: Book One)
A new mystery series from
Anna King
August 2012,
Adele Rothstein has buried three husbands and she's living the good life of a 75 year old femme fatale in New York City when God comes calling. Never mind that she doesn’t actually believe in God -- Adele can't ignore the mysterious black cloud engulfing a handsome boy named Sol in her son-the-rabbi's synagogue on a Friday night. Almost immediately after making friends with Sol, tragedy strikes the boy's mother and, together, the unlikely duo try to solve what happened.
Of course, once a femme fatale, always a femme fatale. As they pursue the truth, Adele’s affections are torn between a handsome younger man and the older man who was once the love of her life.
Sol, too, discovers that love can occur even in the most devastating situations. As Adele and Sol get closer to unravelling what's really going on, they are targeted themselves and face the ultimate danger.
Anna King is the pseudonym of Josephine Carr, a writer formerly published by HarperCollins, NAL/Penguin, and Dial Books for Young Readers. Residing in DC, she studied in Africa in Switzerland as a youth
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The Wayward Moon
A novel
By Janice Weizman
August 2012, Yotzeret Publishing/ Partners Publishing
Born in Toronto, and a resident of Israel, author Janice Weizman has created this novel set in the ninth century. The first person narrator is 17 years old. Rahel Bat Yair is the daughter of a physician and resident in Sura, which is south of Baghdad (Iraq). A gripping exciting melodrama unfolds as Rahel tells how her mother died while giving birth to her, she is raised by her father and an arranged marriage is set. But her father is killed and Rahel kills his murderer. She flees, there are a series of misadventures, a love affair, a monastery, and more. Will she return to the Jewish community? Can she get to the Galilee?

[book] Am I a Jew?
Lost Tribes,
Lapsed Jews,
and One Man's Search for Himself
By Theodore Ross (Men’s Journal)
August 2012, Hudson Street Press
What makes someone Jewish?
Theodore Ross was nine years old when he moved with his mother from New York City to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Once there, his mother decided, for both personal and spiritual reasons, to have her family pretend not to be Jewish. He went to an Episcopal school, where he studied the New Testament, sang in the choir, and even took Communion. Later, as an adult, he wondered: Am I still Jewish?
Seeking an answer, Ross traveled around the country and to Israel, visiting a wide variety of Jewish communities. From “Crypto-Jews” in New Mexico and secluded ultra-devout Orthodox towns in upstate New York to a rare Classical Reform congregation in Kansas City, Ross tries to understand himself by experiencing the diversity of Judaism.
Quirky and self-aware, introspective and impassioned, Am I a Jew? is a story about the universal struggle to define a relationship (or lack thereof) with religion.

[book] Surviving Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah: The Ultimate Insider's Guide
BY Cantor Matt Axelrod
August 2012, Knopf
012 In Surviving Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Cantor Matt Axelrod provides a practical, humorous guide for Jewish students and their families as they prepare for their “big day.” Breezy and friendly yet reassuring and focused, Axelrod easily cuts through the fear and stress that teens often feel in the months leading up to their bar or bat mitzvah. In addition to helping the student prepare for the bar or bat mitzvah by walking the reader through the service and providing helpful study tips for learning a Torah and haftarah portion, Surviving Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah also helps both students and their families cope with the stressors associated with the planning of the celebration, addressing everything from teens’ fears about making mistakes to time management skills to dealing with family over/underinvolvement. Cantor Axelrod’s experience helping hundreds of teens prepare for their bnei mitzvah will help students and families not just survive but understand and enjoy this important Jewish milestone.
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[book] The Forgetting River
A Modern Tale of Survival, Identity, and the Inquisition
By Doreen Carvajal
August 2012, Riverhead
Raised a Catholic in California, New York Times journalist Doreen Carvajal is shocked when she discovers that her background may actually be connected to conversos in Inquisition-era Spain , Jews who were forced to renounce their faith and convert to Christianity or face torture and death. With vivid childhood memories of Sunday sermons, catechism, and the rosary, Carvajal travels to the south of Spain, to the centuries-old Andalucian town of Arcos de la Frontera, to investigate her lineage and recover her family’s original religious heritage.
In Arcos, Carvajal is struck by the white pueblo's ancient beauty and the difficulty she encounters in probing the town's own secret history of the Inquisition. She comes to realize that fear remains a legacy of the Inquisition along with the cryptic messages left by its victims. Back at her childhood home in California, Carvajal uncovers papers documenting a family of Carvajals who were burned at the stake in the 16th-century territory of Mexico. Could the author’s family history be linked to the hidden history of Arcos? And could the unfortunate Carvajals have been her ancestors?
As she strives to find proof that her family had been forced to convert to Christianity six-hundred years ago, Carvajal comes to understand that the past flows like a river through time –and that while the truth might be submerged, it is never truly lost.

[book] The Loves of Judith
A Novel
By Meir Shalev
Barbara Harshav (Translator)
August 28, 2012, Schocken paperback edition
A woman with three loves and a son with three fathers: this universal story of passion and personal destiny could only have been written by the delightfully inventive author of A Pigeon and a Boy. When the mysterious Judith arrives in a small agricultural village in Palestine in the 1930s, she attracts the attention of three men: Moshe, a widowed farmer; Globerman, a wealthy cattle dealer; and Jacob, who loses his wife--the most beautiful woman in the village--because of his obsession with Judith, who insists on living in a cowshed rather than settling down with any of her admirers. When she gives birth to Zayde, all three suitors consider him their son, and all help father him when Judith dies. Zayde, who narrates the story as an adult, carries a legacy from each man, but it is Jacob, who invites Zayde to a special meal once every decade, who helps him piece together the beguiling story of the singular woman who was his mother. Meir Shalev combines magical realism with the joys and secrets of village life in this novel of an unconventional family and the unexpected fruits of love.

[book] Lonely Planet
Israel & the Palestinian Territories
(Country Guide)
Edited by Daniel Robinson
August 2012, Lonely Planet publications
Seventh Edition
Updated for 2012.
Lonely Planet knows the magic of Israel and the Palestinian Territories. We've walked the lively alleyways in Nazareth and Jerusalem, explored biblical ruins, slept under the starry Negev skies and floated weightless in the Dead Sea. Take your own unforgettable journey with our guidebook's 7th edition. Lonely Planet guides are written by experts who get to the heart of every destination they visit. This fully updated edition is packed with accurate, practical and honest advice, designed to give you the information you need to make the most of your trip. In This Guide: Day Trips to Petra in Jordan & Sinai in Egypt; Color feature with locals' tips on the best sights and food; Green Index makes responsible travel easier

[book] Let's Go Israel
The Student Travel Guide
Harvard Student Agencies
Sixth Edition
Any book can direct you to Jerusalem's Western Wall or Bethlehem's churches, but only the intrepid student researchers of Let's Go Israel can lead you headlong into this ancient destination's blossoming new identity as a study abroad haven and budget traveler's dream. Relax on a beach in Haifa, snorkel in the waters of Eilat, visit Petra's tombs in Jordan, and unwind in Tel Aviv—our student writers have the inside scoop on the best grub and the most affordable rooms for wherever you want to crash in every location. Whether you want to try a traditional Biblical meal at Jerusalem’s Eucalyptus restaurant or take a soothing mud bath at the Dead Sea’s Ein Gedi Spa, Let's Go Israel has got you covered.
Let's Go publishes the world's favorite student travel guides, written entirely by Harvard undergraduates. Let's Go has been on the road for 50 years and counting: We're on a mission to provide our readers with sharp, fresh coverage packed with socially responsible opportunities to go beyond tourism.

[book] Fodor's Israel
Full-color Travel Guide
8th Edition
Make your trip to Israel unforgettable with illustrated features, 64 maps, and 265 color photos. Includes the famous “Fodor's Choices.” Customize your trip with simple planning tools for Top experiences and attractions; Helpful regional overviews; and Easy-to-read color maps. Explore Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Galilee, and beyond, Discerning Fodor’s Choice picks for hotels, restaurants, sights, and more; “Word of Mouth” tips from fellow Fodor’s travelers; Illustrated features on the Dead Sea, Tel Aviv's nightlife, and Jerusalem's holiest places • Best desert adventures, beaches, and historic and religious sites; Excursions to Bethlehem and Petra. Fodor uses Israel-based writers who reveal their favorite local haunts
There are sections for Jerusalem; Around Jerusalem and The Dead Sea; Tel Aviv; Haifa and the Northern Coast; Lower Galilee; Eilat and the Negev; and Upper Galilee and the Golan. Fodor's also highlights “Great Outdoors, Archaeology, and “Sacred Spaces.” Hebrew and Palestinian Arabic glossary is included.

25 Journeys into the West Bank
By Stefan Szepsi
foreword by Raja Shehadeh
2012, Interlink
From the cover: A Passionate and practical guide to exploring the natural beauty of Palestine. With the images of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so dominant in our minds, walking for leisure is the one activity probably least associated with the West Bank region. But Stefan Szepesi s book wanders well off the beaten track of Palestine as only a synonym for occupation and strife, exploring its inspiring natural and cultural landscape, its intriguing past and present, and the hospitality of its people.
The book takes first-time walkers and experienced hikers, as well as armchair explorers, through Palestine s steep desert gorges, along its tiny herders trails, and over its quiet dirt roads running past silver green olive groves. With side stories and anecdotes on heritage, history, culture, and daily life in the West Bank, the book ventures into the traits and character of Palestine today. Walking Palestine also offers a wealth of practical walking tips, including references to local guides, the West Bank s best leisure spots and countryside restaurants, and charming places to spend the night.

Send a copy to the Raisman's of Needham Massachusetts:
A Comprehensive Guidebook for Visitors and Londoners
By Rachel Kolsky and Roslyn Rawson
2012, Interlink
The perfect companion for discovering Jewish London through the ages. Whether you visit Golders Green with its bagel and falafel bars, Stamford Hill with its growing Orthodox community, Spitalfields with its memories of the Jewish East End, the City to trace civic emancipation through the lives of 19th-century financiers or stroll through leafy NW3 in the footsteps of refugees fleeing Europe in the 1930s, this book is for both visitors and residents. It is a comprehensive guide to Jewish London past and present.
Divided into 11 chapters, the book includes Jewish London on Foot, a series of walking tours located in the East End, Central London and Hampstead. Each walk has a route map and clear directions, as well as informative text that will bring London s Jewish heritage to life. Jewish London Today takes a look at contemporary Jewish London, providing listings for cafes and restaurants, shops, hotels, synagogues and religious amenities in the main Jewish areas within close proximity to Central London.
There are also chapters on exploring places of Jewish interest off the main tourist trail, an in-depth look at the Jewish Museum, features on Holocaust memorials, art and artists, literature and film, a calendar of cultural events and festivals and a chapter with suggested day trips from London.
8 carefully planned walks that will bring to life London s Jewish communities over the centuries
Jewish London today listings of places to stay, eat, shop, pray and explore Information on where to see Jewish art, Judaica and Holocaust memorials, and an in-depth tour of the Jewish Museum
Discover the birthplaces, homes and burial grounds of well-known Jewish Londoners Full-color photography and specially commissioned maps throughout

BY DANIEL GORDIS (Shalem Center, Jerusalem)
August 2012, John Wiley & Sons
Gordis, celebrated author and lecturer, and SVP and Koret Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center, writes that other countries should emulate Israel. It is a country that is specifically devoted to the future of the Jewish people, yet democratic and prosperous.
In The Promise of Israel, Daniel Gordis points out that Israel has defied that conventional wisdom. It has provided its citizens infinitely greater liberty and prosperity than anyone expected, faring far better than any other young nation. Israel's "magic" is a unique blend of democracy and tradition, of unabashed particularism coupled to intellectual and cultural openness. Given Israel's success, it would make sense for many other countries, from Rwanda to Afghanistan and even Iran, to look at how they've done it. In fact, rather than seeking to destroy Israel, the Palestinians would serve their own best interests by trying to copy it.
The book takes many of the most compelling arguments against Israel and turns them completely on their heads, undoing liberals with a more liberal argument and the religious with a more devout argument; It puts forth an idea that is as convincing as it is shocking—that Iran's clerics and the Taliban should want to be more like Israel. The book is certain to generate controversy and debate, The Promise of Israel is one of the most interesting and original books about Israel in years.
Read it before the High Holidays and discuss it

[book] Future Tense
Jews, Judaism, and Israel in the Twenty-first Century
By Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the UK
Translated by.. oh wait.. British English is understandable)
August 7, 2012, Schocken paperback edition
One of the most admired religious thinkers of our time issues a call for world Jewry to reject the self-fulfilling image of “a people alone in the world, surrounded by enemies” and to reclaim Judaism’s original sense of purpose: as a partner with God and with those of other faiths in the never-ending struggle for freedom and social justice for all.
We are in danger, says Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, of forgetting what Judaism’s place is within the global project of humankind. During the last two thousand years, Jews have lived through persecutions that would have spelled the end of most nations, but they did not see anti-Semitism written into the fabric of the universe. They knew they existed for a purpose, and it was not for themselves alone. Rabbi Sacks believes that the Jewish people have lost their way, that they need to recommit themselves to the task of creating a just world in which the divine presence can dwell among us. Without compromising one iota of Jewish faith, Rabbi Sacks declares, Jews must stand alongside their friends—Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, and secular humanist—in defense of freedom against the enemies of freedom, in affirmation of life against those who desecrate life. And they should do this not to win friends or the admiration of others but because it is what a people of God is supposed to do.
Rabbi Sacks’s powerful message of tikkun olam—using Judaism as a blueprint for repairing an imperfect world—will resonate with people of all faiths.

[book] Surviving Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah
The Ultimate Insider's Guide
By Cantor Matt Axelrod
August 2012, Jason Aronson Books
In Surviving Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Cantor Matt Axelrod provides a practical, humorous guide for Jewish students and their families as they prepare for their “big day.” Breezy and friendly yet reassuring and focused, Axelrod easily cuts through the fear and stress that teens often feel in the months leading up to their bar or bat mitzvah. In addition to helping the student prepare for the bar or bat mitzvah by walking the reader through the service and providing helpful study tips for learning a Torah and haftarah portion, Surviving Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah also helps both students and their families cope with the stressors associated with the planning of the celebration, addressing everything from teens’ fears about making mistakes to time management skills to dealing with family over/underinvolvement. Cantor Axelrod’s experience helping hundreds of teens prepare for their bnei mitzvah will help students and families not just survive but understand and enjoy this important Jewish milestone.
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[book] Leading from Behind
The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him
by Richard Miniter
August 2012, St. Martin's Press
Barack Obama has never been fully vetted—until now.
In Leading from Behind, New York Times bestselling investigative journalist Richard Miniter presents the first book to explore President Obama’s abilities as a leader, by unearthing new details of his biggest successes and failures. Based on exclusive interviews and never-before-published material, Leading from Behind investigates the secret world of the West Wing and the combative personalities that shape historic events.
Contrary to the White House narrative, which aims to define Obama as a visionary leader, Leading from Behind reveals a president who is indecisive, moody, and often paralyzed by competing political considerations. Many victories—as well as several significant failures—during the Obama presidency are revealed to be the work of strong women, who led when the president did not: then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and Valerie Jarrett, his closest adviser and an Obama family confidante, whose unusual degree of influence has been a source of conflict with veteran political insiders. Why Obama’s relationship with Israel was poisoned years before he met Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu; The real reason for Valerie Jarrett’s strong hold over both Barack and Michelle Obama; ObamaCare wasn’t Obama’s idea. It was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s. And the real reason he danced to her tune; Obama delayed and canceled the mission to kill Osama bin Laden three times and then committed an intelligence blunder that allowed dozens of high-level members of al Qaeda to escape; Why Obama destroyed a secret budget deal with House Speaker John Boehner that would have reformed entitlements, slashed spending, and reduced the national debt—without raising taxes; Why Obama is determined to save Attorney General Eric Holder, even though he has lied and stonewalled Congress about “Operation: Fast and Furious”; Why Obama removed an elected Christian president of Ivory Coast and replaced him with a Muslim leader who had lost the election; Why Obama let a U.S. citizen rot in a Cuban prison when Cuban dictator Raul Castro wanted to release him; Why Obama decided to defy the Tea Party and ditch his plans to end earmarks; and more.
In Leading from Behind, Richard Miniter’s provocative research offers a dramatic, thoroughly sourced account of President Obama’s White House during a time of intense domestic controversy and international turmoil.
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[book] American Tuna
The Rise and Fall of an Improbable Food
(California Studies in Food and Culture)
By Andrew F. Smith
August 2012, University of California Press
In a lively account of the American tuna industry over the past century, celebrated food writer and scholar Andrew F. Smith relates how tuna went from being sold primarily as a fertilizer to becoming the most commonly consumed fish in the country. In American Tuna, the so-called "chicken of the sea" is both the subject and the backdrop for other facets of American history: U.S. foreign policy, immigration and environmental politics, and dietary trends. Smith recounts how tuna became a popular low-cost high-protein food beginning in 1903, when the first can rolled off the assembly line. By 1918, skyrocketing sales made it one of America's most popular seafoods. In the decades that followed, the American tuna industry employed thousands, yet at at mid-century production started to fade. Concerns about toxic levels of methylmercury, by-catch issues, and over-harvesting all contributed to the demise of the industry today, when only three major canned tuna brands exist in the United States, all foreign owned. A remarkable cast of characters-- fishermen, advertisers, immigrants, epicures, and environmentalists, among many others--populate this fascinating chronicle of American tastes and the forces that influence them.
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[book] Never Forget National Humiliation
Historical Memory in Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations
by Zheng Wang
August 2012, Columbia Univ Press
How could the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) not only survive but even thrive, regaining the support of many Chinese citizens after the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989? Why has popular sentiment turned toward anti-Western nationalism despite the anti-dictatorship democratic movements of the 1980s? And why has China been more assertive toward the United States and Japan in foreign policy but relatively conciliatory toward smaller countries in conflict?
Offering an explanation for these unexpected trends, Zheng Wang follows the Communist government's ideological reeducation of the public, which relentlessly portrays China as the victim of foreign imperialist bullying during "one hundred years of humiliation." By concentrating on the telling and teaching of history in today's China, Wang illuminates the thinking of the young patriots who will lead this rising power in the twenty-first century.
Wang visits China's primary schools and memory sites and reads its history textbooks, arguing that China's rise should not be viewed through a single lens, such as economics or military growth, but from a more comprehensive perspective that takes national identity and domestic discourse into account. Since it is the prime raw material for constructing China's national identity, historical memory is the key to unlocking the inner mystery of the Chinese. From this vantage point, Wang tracks the CCP's use of history education to glorify the party, reestablish its legitimacy, consolidate national identity, and justify one-party rule in the post-Tiananmen and post--Cold War era. The institutionalization of this manipulated historical consciousness now directs political discourse and foreign policy, and Wang demonstrates its important role in China's rise.

[book] HOW TO BE GAY
By David M. Halperin (Univ of Michigan)
August 2012, Harvard University Press
No one raises an eyebrow if you suggest that a guy who arranges his furniture just so, rolls his eyes in exaggerated disbelief, likes techno music or show tunes, and knows all of Bette Davis’s best lines by heart might, just possibly, be gay. But if you assert that male homosexuality is a cultural practice, expressive of a unique subjectivity and a distinctive relation to mainstream society, people will immediately protest. Such an idea, they will say, is just a stereotype—ridiculously simplistic, politically irresponsible, and morally suspect. The world acknowledges gay male culture as a fact but denies it as a truth.
David Halperin, a pioneer of LGBTQ studies, dares to suggest that gayness is a specific way of being that gay men must learn from one another in order to become who they are. Inspired by the notorious undergraduate course of the same title that Halperin taught at the University of Michigan, provoking cries of outrage from both the right-wing media and the gay press, How To Be Gay traces gay men’s cultural difference to the social meaning of style.
Far from being deterred by stereotypes, Halperin concludes that the genius of gay culture resides in some of its most despised features: its aestheticism, snobbery, melodrama, adoration of glamour, caricatures of women, and obsession with mothers. The insights, impertinence, and unfazed critical intelligence displayed by gay culture, Halperin argues, have much to offer the heterosexual mainstream.
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August 2012, Stanford
In History's Grip concentrates on the literature of Philip Roth, one of America's greatest writers, and in particular on American Pastoral, I Married a Communist, and The Human Stain. Each of these novels from the 1990s uses Newark, New Jersey, to explore American history and character. Each features a protagonist who grows up in and then leaves Newark, after which he is undone by a historically generated crisis. The city's twentieth-century decline from immigrant metropolis to postindustrial disaster completes the motif of history and its terrifying power over individual destiny. In History's Grip is the first critical study to foreground the city of Newark as the source of Roth's inspiration, and to scrutinize a subject Roth was accused of avoiding as a younger writer—history. In so doing, the book brings together the two halves of Roth's decades-long career: the first featuring characters who live outside of history's grip; the second, characters entrapped in historical patterns beyond their ken and control.
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[book] Golden Opportunity
Remarkable Careers That Began at McDonald's
By Cody Teets, Foreword by Willard Scott (former Ronald McDonald)
August 2012, Cider Mill Press
Ms Teets has been part of McDonalds in the Rocky Mountains for three decades. In this book, she interviews other former employees of the Golden Arches about the fabulous things they learned from their jobs at McDonald's. Segmented by decade, the book begins with Lester Stein who worked directly under Ray Kroc in 1955, and Dr. Phillip Rosner, who met his wife walking to and from work. She also interviews dozens more, including Mindy Bloom, Jay Leno, Jeffrey Bezos, and Steve Plotkin.
What do 20 million Americans have in common with Tonight Show host Jay Leno, founder Jeff Bezos, actress Andie MacDowell, and former White House chief of staff Andrew Card? They all started their working careers at a McDonald’s restaurant, learning some of the most important lessons of their lives. Golden Opportunity is a myth-busting collection of 44 profiles of people who went from flipping burgers to building remarkable careers in business, the arts, politics, science, the military, and sports.
Over the past six decades, millions of teens have earned their first paychecks under the Golden Arches. Whether they stayed for a year or a career, they learned work habits, basic skills, and the business principles that have made McDonald’s one of the best-run companies in the world. Their journeys remind us that at the beginning of every success story there is the first paycheck from the first “real” job. That first job is not a dead end, it is a young person’s rite of passage into adult responsibility. The author’s compelling personal story—growing up in modest circumstances with a strong work ethic—gives a unique voice to the experiences of leading entrepreneurs, entertainment figures, and others who represent a cross section of American enterprise. They recall what they learned in their first jobs at McDonald’s and how those lessons helped them build their remarkable careers.
Including a foreword by Willard Scott—the original Ronald McDonald—and the 10 Golden Opportunity Keys to Success, this collection of stories will leave you wondering what today’s burger flippers will achieve tomorrow.
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[book] City of Women
a novel
BY David R. Gillham
August 2012, Putnam
Who do you trust, who do you love, and who can be saved?
It is 1943—the height of the Second World War—and Berlin has essentially become a city of women. Sigrid Schröder is, for all intents and purposes, the model German soldier’s wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime. But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former lover, now lost in the chaos of the war. Her lover is a Jew. But Sigrid is not the only one with secrets.
A high ranking SS officer and his family move down the hall and Sigrid finds herself pulled into their orbit. A young woman doing her duty-year is out of excuses before Sigrid can even ask her any questions. And then there’s the blind man selling pencils on the corner, whose eyes Sigrid can feel following her from behind the darkness of his goggles.
Soon Sigrid is embroiled in a world she knew nothing about, and as her eyes open to the reality around her, the carefully constructed fortress of solitude she has built over the years begins to collapse. She must choose to act on what is right and what is wrong, and what falls somewhere in the shadows between the two. In this page-turning novel, David Gillham explores what happens to ordinary people thrust into extraordinary times, and how the choices they make can be the difference between life and death.
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[book] The Myth of the Muslim Tide
Do Immigrants Threaten the West?
By Doug Saunders
August 2012, Vintage paperback
From the author of prize-winning Arrival City, a controversial and long-overdue rejoinder to the excessive fears of an Islamic threat that have spread throughout America and Europe and threaten our basic values.
Since September 11, 2001, a growing chorus has warned that Western society and values are at risk of being overrun by a tide of Islamic immigrants. These sentiments reached their most extreme expression in July 2011, with Anders Breivik’s shooting spree in Norway. Breivik left behind a 1500 page manifesto denouncing the impact of Islam on the West, which showed how his thinking had been shaped by anti-immigrant writings that had appeared widely in books and respectable publications. In The Myth of the Muslim Tide, Doug Saunders offers a brave challenge to these ideas, debunking popular misconceptions about Muslims and their effect on the communities in which they live. He demonstrates how modern Islamophobia echoes historical responses to earlier immigrant groups, especially Jews and Catholics. Above all, he provides a set of concrete proposals to help absorb these newcomers and make immigration work. The most important trend of the twenty-first century will be a massive global migration to cities and across international borders. Rather than responding to our new religious-minority neighbours with fear and resentment, this book shows us how we can make this change work to our advantage.
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Illus by Joani Keller Rothenberg
August 2012
Jewish Lights
In a divided world where the one who shouts the loudest often gets the most attention, a story about compromise and listening.
The townspeople have mezuzahs but cannot agree on how to put them up on their doorways. Should they place them horizontally or vertically, standing up or lying down? To end their arguing, they consult the wise rabbi of the town, who advises them to carefully read the Shema in the mezuzah to find the answer.
This lively tale, based on a twelfth-century rabbinic debate, introduces children ages 3 to 6 to the words of the Shema, the Jewish people s affirmation of faith, and the custom of putting up the mezuzah. A spirited disagreement over how to affix the mezuzah results in compromise and harmony when the townspeople learn to truly listen to one another.
Best-selling, award-winning children s author Sandy Eisenberg Sasso helps young people discover that there is often more than one solution to a problem, and that living together and creating home requires cooperation and listening to one another.
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A Novel of Love, The Talmud, and Sorcery
August 2012
Hisdadukh, blessed to be beautiful and learned, is the youngest child of Talmudic sage Rav Hisda. The world around her is full of conflict. Rome, fast becoming Christian, battles Zoroastrian Persia for dominance while Rav Hisda and his colleagues struggle to establish new Jewish traditions after the destruction of Jerusalem's Holy Temple. Against this backdrop Hisdadukh embarks on the tortuous path to become an enchantress in the very land where the word 'magic' originated.
But the conflict affecting Hisdadukh most intimately arises when her father brings his two best students before her, a mere child, and asks her which one she will marry. Astonishingly, the girl replies, “Both of them.” Soon she marries the older student, although it becomes clear that the younger one has not lost interest in her. When her new-found happiness is derailed by a series of tragedies, a grieving Hisdadukh must decide if she does, indeed, wish to become a sorceress. Based on actual Talmud texts and populated with its rabbis and their families, Rav Hisda's Daughter: Book I – Apprentice brings the world of the Talmud to life - from a woman's perspective.
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[book] Helen Nash's New Kosher Cuisine
Healthy, Simple & Stylish
By Helen Nash
September 2012
Overlook Press
Helen Nash's first two cookbooks, Kosher Cuisine and Helen Nash’s Kosher Kitchen, are classics of the art of kosher cooking. Reviewing her first publication in The New York Times, cookbook guru Craig Claiborne praised Nash for food that is "seamlessly kosher and endlessly inventive." Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine represents the best and most health-conscious addition to the art of kosher cooking. Using ingredients that have only recently become available, Nash’s latest work contains many new and imaginative fusion recipes that are as modern as they are delicious. But her signature dishes, based on traditional Eastern European cuisine, are still very much in evidence. A delicious mixture of old and new, homey and contemporary, this book shatters the myth that Jewish food is all gefilte fish and chopped liver!
PW WRITES: Despite the limitations placed on kosher chefs, Nash, in her third cookbook (Kosher Cuisine and Kosher Kitchen), attacks the problem head-on. She promises to shake up even the most jaded eater of gefilte fish and stuffed cabbage. Inspired by personal tragedy, she decided to focus on taste as experience and health as a must. Incorporating both New Age fusion (such as in white fish pate and southwestern ratatouille) and classic Eastern European dishes (see cholent and pot roast), Nash expands upon the oft-criticized kosher cuisine’s lack of imagination. Realizing that most people don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen, Nash recommends preparing and freezing a dish in advance, “so that you can feed a family or entertain without too much hassle at the last minute.” Perhaps even more useful than the actual recipes, though, are the indexes placed at the back of the book. Ranging from helpful tips on equipment and cooking (for example, “to rescue a soup or stew that is too salty, add a raw potato”) to specifics on technique (e.g., how to seed tomatoes), the back sections are indispensable for cooks of any level.
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[book] The Mile End Cookbook
Redefining Jewish Comfort Food
from Hash to Hamantaschen
by Noah Bernamoff and Rae Bernamoff
September 2012
Clarkson Potter
Inspiring Jewish cooking from the owners of the Mile End restaurants in Brooklyn and Nolita/Manhattan, which brings Montreal style Jewish cooking to NYC. 100 comfort food recipes. From brisket, borscht and latkes to challah and smoked meat. And easy pickles, and smoked meat hash.
WHEN NOAH AND RAE BERNAMOFF OPENED MILE END, their tiny Brooklyn restaurant, they had a mission: to share the classic Jewish comfort food of their childhood.
Using their grandmothers’ recipes as a starting point, Noah and Rae updated traditional dishes and elevated them with fresh ingredients and from-scratch cooking techniques. The Mile End Cookbook celebrates the craft of new Jewish cooking with more than 100 soul-satisfying recipes and gorgeous photographs. Throughout, the Bernamoffs share warm memories of cooking with their families and the traditions and holidays that inspire recipes like blintzes with seasonal fruit compote; chicken salad whose secret ingredient is fresh gribenes; veal schnitzel kicked up with pickled green tomatoes and preserved lemons; tsimis that’s never mushy; and cinnamon buns made with challah dough. Noah and Rae also celebrate homemade delicatessen staples and share their recipes and methods for pickling, preserving, and smoking just about anything.
For every occasion, mood, and meal, these are recipes that any home cook can make, including: SMOKED AND CURED MEAT AND FISH: brisket, salami, turkey, lamb bacon, lox, mackerel; PICKLES, GARNISHES, FILLINGS, AND CONDIMENTS: sour pickles, pickled fennel, horseradish cream, chicken con?t, sauerkraut, and soup mandel; SUMPTUOUS SWEETS AND BREADS: rugelach, jelly-?lled doughnuts, ?ourless chocolate cake, honey cake, cheesecake, challah, rye; ALL THE CLASSICS: the ultimate chicken soup, ge?lte ?sh, corned beef sandwich, latkes, knishes
With tips and lore from Jewish and culinary mavens, such as Joan Nathan and Niki Russ Federman of Russ & Daughters, plus holiday menus, Jewish cooking has never been so inspiring.
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[book] One Last Thing Before I Go
A novel
By Jonathan Tropper
September 2012, Dutton
You don’t have to look very hard at Drew Silver to see that mistakes have been made. His fleeting fame as the drummer for a one-hit wonder rock band is nearly a decade behind him. He lives in the Versailles, an apartment building filled almost exclusively with divorced men like him, and makes a living playing in wedding bands. His ex-wife, Denise, is about to marry a guy Silver can’t quite bring himself to hate. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter Casey has just confided in him that she’s pregnant—because Silver is the one she cares least about letting down.
So when he learns that his heart requires emergency, lifesaving surgery, Silver makes the radical decision to refuse the operation, choosing instead to use what little time he has left to repair his relationship with Casey, become a better man, and live in the moment, even if that moment isn't destined to last very long. As his exasperated family looks on, Silver grapples with the ultimate question of whether or not his own life is worth saving.
With the wedding looming and both Silver and Casey in crisis, this broken family struggles to come together, only to risk damaging each other even more. One Last Thing Before I Go is Jonathan Tropper at his funny, insightful, heartbreaking best.


[book][book][book] JEWISH JOCKS
Edited by Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy
Fall 2012, Hachette Twelve
Franklin Foer of soccer fame, and bro to Jonathan Safran Foer and memory king Joshua Foer, teams up with Tablet honcho, Marc Tracy, to look at Jewish Jocks. White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers is taking on tennis star Harold Solomon (a top ten tennis player in the Seventies). Best-selling author Steven Pinker’s subject is basketball coach Red Auerbach. Booker Prize-winning novelist Howard Jacobson has picked ping pong legend Marty Reisman. “Jewish Jocks” will be a collection of essays about Jews in the world of sports. Other contributors will include New Yorker editor David Remnick on Howard (Cohen) Cosell, “Friday Night Lights” author Buzz Bissinger on boxer Barney Ross (born Beryl David Rosofsky), and “Freakonomics” co-author Stephen Dubner on a baseball player who was hit in the head in his only major league at-bat. Also David Margolick, tough Jews expert Rich Cohen, Steven Pinker, and Judith Shulevitz weigh in also. Topics include Art Shamsky, Kerri Strug, Harold Solomon, Sandy Koufax, Shirley Povitch, and many, many more. The collection will also include a cover design and illustrations throughout by Mark Ulriksen.
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Note: temporary images (Israeli manufactured underwear, Israeli and Jewish athletes)

[book] My Life in Jewish Renewal
A Memoir
By Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi with Dr. Edward Hoffman (Yeshiva Univ)
June 2012, Rowman & Littlefield
This powerful memoir chronicles the life of one of America’s most celebrated rabbis—Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi, or “Reb Zalman” as he is fondly known to friends and followers. The book traces his life from a youth in the shadow of the Nazis through the tumultuous 1960s in America to his position as a renowned religious leader today.
Often controversial for his attraction to cultural mavericks and religious rebels, Reb Zalman’s colorful lifetime includes a striking cast of characters, including Timothy Leary, Elie Wiesel, Abraham Maslow, and more. He has developed deep relationships across faith traditions, including the Catholic theologian Thomas Merton. The book discusses these relationships, as well as his historic encounter with the Dalai Lama, as featured in the popular book and film The Jew in the Lotus. It also describes the founding of the now coast-to-coast Jewish Renewal movement and Reb Zalman’s pioneering work on “sage-ing” for the elderly.
Reb Zalman often illustrates his talks with stories from his life, and My Life in Jewish Renewal brings together the complete life story of this beloved leader for the first time.

September 2012, FS&G
A frank, intelligent, and deeply moving debut memoir. With the precociousness expected of the only child of a doctor and a classical musician—from the time he could get his toddler tongue to a pronounce a word like “De-oxy ribonucleic acid,” or recite a French poem—Marco Roth was able to share his parents’ New York, a world centered around house concerts, a private library of literary classics, and dinner discussions of the latest advances in medicine. That world ended when his father started to suffer the worst effects of the AIDS virus that had infected him in the early 1980s. What this family could not talk about for years came to dominate the lives of its surviving members, often in unexpected ways. The Scientists is a story of how we first learn from our parents and how we then learn to see them as separate individuals; it’s a story of how precociousness can slow us down when it comes to knowing about our desires and other people’s. A memoir of parents and children in the tradition of Edmund Gosse, Henry Adams, and J.R. Ackerley, The Scientists grapples with a troubled intellectual and emotional inheritance, in a style that is both elegiac and defiant.

By Eric M. Meyers (Duke) and Mark A. Chancey (SMU)
Fall 2012, Yale University Press
Drawing on the most recent, groundbreaking archaeological research, Eric M. Meyers and Mark A. Chancey re-narrate the history of ancient Palestine in this richly illustrated and expertly integrated book. Spanning from the conquest of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE until the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century CE, they synthesize archaeological evidence with ancient literary sources (including the Bible) to offer a sustained overview of the tumultuous intellectual and religious changes that impacted world history during the Greco-Roman period.
The authors demonstrate how the transformation of the ancient Near East under the influence of the Greeks and then the Romans led to foundational changes in both the material and intellectual worlds of the Levant. Palestine's subjection to Hellenistic kingdoms, its rule by the Hasmonean and Herodian dynasties, the two disastrous Jewish revolts against Rome, and its full incorporation into the Roman Empire provide a background for the emergence of Christianity. The authors observe in the archaeological record how Judaism and Christianity were virtually undistinguishable for centuries, until the rise of imperial Christianity with Emperor Constantine. The only book-length overview available that focuses on the archaeology of Palestine in this period, this comprehensive and powerfully illuminating work sheds new light on the lands of the Bible.
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By Malcolm Barber (University of Reading)
Fall 2012, Yale University Press
Life in the Twelfth Century's crusader states
When the armies of the First Crusade won Jerusalem from the Fatimids of Egypt in 1099, they believed that their victory was a sign that God favored them and their cause. To honor God and their victory, they set up cities of Christians in Palestine and Syria. This is the story of these cities that survived until Richard the Lionhearted departed in 1192. The book focuses on Antioch, Jerusalem, Tripoli, and Edessa. Professor Barber reconstructs the crusader's difficult process of establishing and protecting these settlements. Rich with information about the military campaigns and the cultures of the victors and the vanquished, the Knights Templar, the Hospitallers, and more
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Fall 2012, FS&G
From the cover: In the late 1940s, David Ben-Gurion founded a unique military society: the state of Israel. A powerful defense establishment came to dominate the nation, and for half a century Israel’s leaders (bound by martial traditions and stern resolve never to lose sight of the Holocaust, and armed with a secret arsenal of nuclear weapons and the most powerful conventional army in the Middle East) have relished continuous war with the Arabs and an unblinking determination to prevail.
Fortress Israel is an epic portrayal of state militarism overpowering democracy and civilian government—of Sparta presenting itself as Athens. Patrick Tyler takes us inside the tough culture of native-born militants: the sabras, named for an especially rugged species of cactus. He shows generals who make decisions that trump those of elected leaders, generals who disdain diplomacy as a sign of weakness, and statesmen who make peace deals with their neighbors so that they can make arms deals with America. Tyler argues that this martial outlook makes Israel loath to achieve peace with the Muslim world even if it is possible to do so.
Based on a breathtakingly broad array of sources, declassified documents, personal archives, and interviews across the spectrum of Israel’s ruling class, Fortress Israel is a powerful story of character, rivalry, conflict, and the competing impulses for war and for peace.
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[book] Happy Hanukkah, Curious George
a board book
By H. A. Rey and Margret Rey
September 2012, 14 pages
It is the eighth night of Hanukkah, and George and his friends have gathered for a celebration. They light the menorah, spin the dreidel, make latkes, and learn the importance of mitzvah! In this tabbed board book, youngsters will even find a tasty latke recipe and instructions for constructing a dreidel, with rules for play. A festive foil-stamped cover makes this a fine holiday gift for fans of Curious George. For more monkey fun, investigate

How The Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses
And Changed The Workplace
By Lynn Povich
September 2012, Public Affairs
Award-winning journalist Lynn Povich began her career at Newsweek as a secretary. In 1975 she became the first woman senior editor in the magazine's history. Since leaving Newsweek in 1991, Povich has been editor-in-chief of Working Woman, managing editor and senior executive producer for, and a consultant to The New York Times Foundation
On March 16, 1970, Newsweek magazine hit newsstands with a cover story on the fledgling feminist movement entitled "Women in Revolt." That same day, 46 Newsweek women, Lynn Povich among them, announced they'd filed an EEOC complaint charging their employer with "systematic discrimination" against them in hiring and promotion. In The Good Girls Revolt, Povich evocatively tells the story of this dramatic turning point through the lives of several participants, showing how personal experiences and cultural shifts led a group of well-mannered, largely apolitical women, raised in the 1940s and 1950s, to stand up for their rights—and what happened after they did. For many, filing the suit was a radicalizing act that empowered them to "find themselves" and stake a claim. Others lost their way in a landscape of opportunities, pressures, discouragements, and hostilities they weren't prepared to navigate.
With warmth, humor, and perspective, the book also explores why changes in the law did not change everything for today's young women.
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Translated by Arthur Goldhammer
September 2012, Stanford
In the late seventeenth century, France prided itself for its rationality and scientific achievements. Yet it was then that Raphaël Lévy, a French Jew, was convicted, tortured, and executed for an act he did not commit, a fiction deriving from medieval anti-Jewish myth: the ritual murder of a Christian boy to obtain blood for satanic rituals. When Lévy was accused of the ritual murder, it was the first accusation of blood libel for a century. Lévy's trial, however, became a forum for anti-Jewish accusations, and although the Holy Roman Emperor and a representative of the King Louis XIV both tried to intervene, they were ignored by the parliament of Metz.
Pierre Birnbaum explores the cultural, political, and personal elements that led to the accusation and shows that the importance of this story goes beyond local history: at a critical moment in the construction of the nation-state, France was unable to impose its conception of law and order on local officials. Birnbaum reveals the echoes of Lévy's trial in the Dreyfus Affair and suggests that, amid the contemporary retreat of the state and the accompanying explosion of prejudice and violence, it is time to remember the tragic fate of Raphaël Lévy.
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[book] The Count's Hanukkah Countdown
By Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer
Illustrated by Tom Leigh
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 2 – 6
At a gala Hanukkah party on Sesame Street, American and Israeli Muppets light the candles, retell the story of Hanukkah, and feast on latkes. The Count teaches them that EIGHT is the perfect Hanukkah number
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[book] Emanuel and the Hanukkah Rescue
By Heidi Smith Hyde
Illustrated by Jamel Akib
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 5-9
Angry that is father Is afraid to kindle the Hanukkah lights, Emanuel stows away on a whaling ship.. (Maybe they will use whale oil for the menorah? NOT) When a storm overtakes the ship, it is his father's it is his father;s change of heartand the family hanukkiah that lights the way home.
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[book] Jeremy's Dreidel
By Ellie Gellman
Illustrated by Maria Mola
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 5-9
Jeremy's Dreidel tells the story of a boy who creates an unusual dreidel. His friends think he is molding a secret code on his clay dreidel, but he's really making a very special Braille dreidel for his blind father. The author lives in Jerusalem and has 4 children and 2 grandchildren
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[book] Maccabee Meals
By Judye Groner and Madeline Wikler
Illustrated by Ursula Roma
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 7-12
Eight nights of food, fun, and games for Hanukkah. With recipes for young and old, party themes and holiday trivia
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[book] Sammy Spider's New Friend
By Sylvia A. Rouss
Illustrated by Katherine Janus Kahn
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 2-8
An Israeli family moves in next door to the Shapiros. Josh and Sammy Spider learn about the Jewish mitzvah of welcoming guests. They learn some Hebrew words and make a new friend and don;t get squashed.
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[book] OH NO JONAH
By Tilda Balsley
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 5-10
A story in rhyme
The story of Jonah and the Big Fish
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[book] The Mitzvah Magician
By Linda Elovitz Marshall
Illustrated by Christiane Engel
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 3-8
"One-wish, two-wish, Jew-wish!" Gabriel's magic wand gets him into trouble around the house, until he learns that the greatest magician is a Mitzvah Magician, using his powers to do good deeds.
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[book] Speak Up Tommy
By Jacqueline Dembar Green
Illustrated by Deborah Melman
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 3-8
Tommy’s classmates tease him about his Israeli accent and the way he speaks English. But his knowledge of Hebrew makes him a hero when a policeman and his dog come to visit Tommy’s school.
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[book] The Vanishing Gourds
A Sukkot Mystery
By Susan Axe-Bronk
Illustrated by Marta Monelli
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 3-8
When Sara's guours start mysteriously disappearing, the hunt is on for the culprits. The gourds must be used for Sukkah decorations. Surprise, surprise, the family of squirrels reward the family in a special way
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[book] Caleb's Hanukkah
By Lisa Bullard
Illustrated by Constanza Basaluzzo
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 3-8
Caleb is excited to spin his dreidel. His family is celebrating Hanukkah. For eight days, they light candles on their hanukkiah menorah. They exhcnage gifts and eat latkes. And of course, they play with their dreidel
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[book] Israel
The Will to Prevail
By Danny Danon, MK (Knesset)
September 2012, Palgrave
Danny Danon (Moshav Mishmeret) has been a vocal opponent of disengaging in the Gaza Strip and West bank, and transforming the stalemate “two state/one state” dialogue to include regional partners, at times standing in direct opposition to his own party’s leadership. A well-known and frequent speaker in the global arena, he is the rising voice for a fresh movement toward nationalism among the generation of Israelis currently coming to power. Here, Danon shares this vision with the world. It is a bold and uncompromising stance in the face of attacks on Israel's sovereignty by other Middle Eastern nations as the United States sends mixed signals of support to further its own goals in the region. Danon dissects the missteps and wrong turns that Israel's politicians have taken in the past by working to appease the United States and not offend their neighbors, instead of prioritizing their nation's own viability. With electrifying zeal, he tackles the challenges Israel faces today to undo what he sees as a consequence brought on by years of acquiescence to US policy. Danon believes “US pressure on Israel is hurting Israel and will do nothing to advance peace,” and he is not afraid to sever the close bond between the United States and Israel if it means peace for his homeland.

Danon leads the charge toward a victorious future with an invitation for the United States and the Middle East to participate in, and not just dictate, Israel's international relations and policies (as opposed to an Israel cuckolded with an endless array of caveats toward those who would see it fall). No stranger to controversy, Danon's unabashed insights are a welcome revelation in the current quagmire of Middle-East international relations. A leading speaker to both Jewish groups and Christian Conservatives, the Los Angeles Times says “What Danny says is what Netanyahu is actually thinking.” For Danny Danon, this is only the beginning.
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Fall 2012, Princeton
Most American Jews today will probably tell you that Judaism is inherently democratic and that Jewish and American cultures share the same core beliefs and values. But in fact, Jewish tradition and American culture did not converge seamlessly. Rather, it was American Jews themselves who consciously created this idea of an American Jewish heritage and cemented it in the popular imagination during the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. History Lessons is the first book to examine how Jews in the United States collectively wove themselves into the narratives of the nation, and came to view the American Jewish experience as a unique chapter in Jewish history
Beth Wenger shows how American Jews celebrated civic holidays like Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July in synagogues and Jewish community organizations, and how they sought to commemorate Jewish cultural contributions and patriotism, often tracing their roots to the nation's founding. She looks at Jewish children's literature used to teach lessons about American Jewish heritage and values, which portrayed--and sometimes embellished--the accomplishments of heroic figures in American Jewish history. Wenger also traces how Jews often disagreed about how properly to represent these figures, focusing on the struggle over the legacy of the Jewish Revolutionary hero Haym Salomon.
History Lessons demonstrates how American Jews fashioned a collective heritage that fused their Jewish past with their American present and future.
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[book] Sons of the 613
By Michael Rubens
September 2012, Clarion
ication Date: September 11, 2012 Isaac's parents have abandoned him for a trip to Italy in the final days before his bar mitzvah. And even worse, his hotheaded older brother, Josh, has been left in charge. An undefeated wrestler, MMA fighter, and bar brawler, Josh claims to be a "Son of the 613"—a man obedient to the six hundred and thirteen commandments in the Tanakh—and he has the tattoo to prove it. When Josh declares that there is more to becoming a man than memorization, the mad "quest" begins for Isaac. From jumping off cliffs and riding motorcycles, to standing-up to school bullies and surviving the potentially fatal Final Challenge, Josh puts Isaac through a punishing gauntlet that only an older brother could dream up. But when Isaac begins to fall for Josh's girlfriend, Leslie, the challenges escalate from bad to worse in this uproarious coming-of-age comedy.
MICHAEL RUBENS was a producer for several years for the award-winning Daily Show with Jon Stewart, writing and directing field pieces with Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, Samantha Bee, Ed Helms and other Daily Show correspondents
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[book] The Last of the Rephaim
Conquest and Cataclysm in the Heroic Ages of Ancient Israel
BY Brian R. Doak
September 2012, Harvard Center of Hellenic Studies
The figure of the giant has haunted the literatures of the ancient Mediterranean world, from the Greek Gigantomachy and other Aegean epic literatures to the biblical contexts of the ancient Near East. In The Last of the Rephaim, Brian Doak argues that the giants of the Hebrew Bible are a politically, theologically, and historiographically generative group, and through their oversized bodies, readers gain insight into central aspects of Israel’s symbolic universe. All that is overgrown or physically monstrous represents a connection to primeval chaos, and stands as a barrier to creation and right rule. Giants thus represent chaos-fear, and their eradication is a form of chaos maintenance by both human and divine agents. Doak argues that these biblical traditions participate in a broader Mediterranean conversation regarding giants and the end of the heroic age—a conversation that inevitably draws the biblical corpus into a discussion of the function of myth and epic in the ancient world, with profound implications for the politics of monotheism and monarchy in ancient Israel.
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