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SPRING 2002 RECOMMENDED JEWISH BOOKS
April 10, 2002: Rough Cut: Writers on the Edge - Ellen Miller & Dave Czuchlewski. JCCNYC.org KGB Bar 85 E 4th St NYC 7:30 PM
April 17, 2002: Melvin Jules Bukiet reads from NOTHING SETS YOU FREE (writing by the second generation), B&N, W 82nd, NYC 7:30
April 18, 2002: Jonathan Safran Foer reads from EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED, B&N, 6th Ave at 22nd St, NYC 7:30
April 19, 2002: Han Ong reads from FIXER CHAO, B&N, Oakland CA 7:30
April 22, 2002: Laura Blumenfeld from REVENGE, B&N, W 82nd, NYC 7:30
April 24, 2002: David Lehman and Daisy Fried read their works at the JCC of the Upper West Side in NYC (see jccnyc.org) 334 Amsterdam @ 76th, NYC 8 PM $12
April 25, 2002: Bernard Schlink (The Reader) reads from FLIGHTS OF LOVE, B&N, Union Square, NYC 7:30
April 26-28, 2002: A Weekend conference in Amherst MA (see YiddishBookCenter.org) on Jewish Fiction: The New Voices with Rachel Kadish, author of From A Sealed Room; Melvin Jules Bukiet, author of Strange Fire; Thane Rosenbaum, author of Second Hand Smoke; and Pearl Abraham, author of Giving Up America. Info at : 413-256-4900, ext. 133.
April 27-28, 2002: LA TIMES Festival of Books on UCLA in Los Angeles. Speakers include Laura Blumenfeld, Ruth Rechl, Oliver Sacks, Anita Diamant, Fran Drescher, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jonathan Kirsch, Rochelle Krich, Sandra Tsing Loh, Barbara Lowenstein, James McBride, Mona Golabek, Louise Steinman, Rebecca Walker, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Frank H. Wu, Victor Villasenor, Sam Quinones, Luis J. Rodriguez, Yxta Maya Murray, Stella Ting-Toomey, Michael Lerner, Mark Salzman, Brad Gooch, and Kristin Hahn
April 29, 2002: Ben Shrank reads from CONSENT, B&N, Aster Pl, NYC 7:30
April 29, 2002: Wendy Wasserstein reads from OLD MONEY, B&N, Union Sq, NYC 7PM
April 30, 2002: Rabbi Shmuely Boteach reads from JUDAISM FOR EVERYONE, B&N, Encino CA 7:30
May 1, 2002: The NY Jewish Week presents “Our Town, In Words and Images” 7:30 PM, Park East Synagogue with Thane Rosenbaum, Patricia Volk, Andre Aciman, Cynthia Ozick, Stephen Dubner, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Daphne Merkin, and Gary Shteyngart. $18.
May 1, 2002: Al Franken (Dr Al Franken) reads, B&N, W 82nd, NYC 7:30
May 2, 2002: Patricia Volk reads from STUFFED... , B&N, W 82nd, NYC 7:30
May 2, 2002: Ruth Reichl reads from COMFORT ME WITH APPLES... , B&N, Union Square, NYC 7 PM
May 6, 2002: Fran Drescher signs CANCER SCHMANCER, B&N, 5th @ 48th, NYC 1 PM
May 6, 2002: CUNY Grad Center, NYC, Conference: The Writer and The Holocaust. Risks of Traumatic Memory (with Michael Levine of Barnard, Alexander Stille, and Thane Rosenbaum)
May 7, 2002: Jon Katz reads from DOG YEARS. TWELVE YEARS, FOUR DOGS AND ME, B&N, Clifton NJ, 7 PM
May 9, 2002: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Michael Steinhardt and Howard Jonas join to launch Boteach’s latest tome. 7 PM, Community Church of NY, 40 E 35th St. $10
May 14, 2002: Alice Elliot Dark reads from THINK OF ENGLAND, B&N, Astor Place, NYC 7:30 PM
May 14, 2002: Robert Wolfe reads from WHAT EINSTEIN TOLD HIS COOK, B&N, Lincoln Center, NYC 7 PM
May 15, 2002: Jenna Weissman Joselit reads from A PERFECT FIT..., B&N, 22nd and 6th, NYC 7 PM
May 16, 2002: Han Ong reads from FIXER CHAO, B&N, Brooklyn Pk Slope 7:30
May 28, 2002: Rabbi Shmuely Boteach reads from JUDAISM FOR EVERYONE, B&N, W 82nd, NYC 7:30
May 29, 2002: Rabbi Shmuely Boteach reads from JUDAISM FOR EVERYONE, B&N, Paramus NJ 7:30
May 29, 2002: Marc Caplan discuss “Yiddish Poets Speak To God”, examining the poetry of M Ravitch, J Glatstein, K Molodowsky, I Manger and A Sutzkever. Bath Am/White Plains NY 7:30 pm
June 15, 2002: Morton Kandracke reads from SAVING MILLY. LOVE POLITICS AND PARKINSONS DISEASE, B&N, Arlington VA 1 PM
June 20, 2002: James Cramer reads from CONFESSIONS OF A STREET ADDICT (watch out for tantrums), B&N, Springfield NJ 7:30
OPrah has given up her book club, But OUR OFrah continues! Drop by Ofrah's Jewish Book selections. For more information on any book, to purchase one, or to add a review, click on any book cover below.
Click here if you want to send a SHAVUOT CHEESY e-card (an electronic Blintz?)
MAY 2002 BOOKS
ELVIS IN JERUSALEM
Post Zionism and the Americanization of Israel
by Tom Segev, Haim Watzman (Translator)
May 2002. Holt. Collectivism is dead, Americanism is thriving. Private parties now supplant group celebrations. If Paul Newman were to reprise his role as Ari Ben Canaan from the 1961 film, Exodus, he might portray a capitalist in Ramat Aviv Gimmel, and not a committed Kibbutznik. More people pay homage to the Elvis statue at an Elvis Diner on the road to Jerusalem, than to a Herzl statue that stands outside of Herzliya, a bastion of prosperous capitalism. Tom Segev, a revisionist New Historian, and a master at challenging long held myths of Israel’s history, offers a lively polemic against cherished and rigid notions of Israel's national unity and culture. Aside from the thesis, the book is worth reading if only for the bounty of tidbits of social history and the voices of Israel’s scholars that are included. Drawing on personal experience as well as all kinds of artifacts from Israeli popular culture (few passengers on El Al clap when the jet lands at Ben Gurion Airport), Segev offers a controversial point of view: the sweeping VAPID Americanization of the country, rued by most, has had an extraordinarily beneficial influence, bringing not only McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts and other chains, but the virtues of pragmatism, tolerance, and individualism. Segev smartly uses a recurring theme of statues. It was a pejorative for there to be national consensus and group think. Unity is over. Israel is no longer that Kibbutz society of community of shared pain. And, in the fierce battle over the future of Zionism, Segev welcomes the diffusion of national identity and ideology that has taken place in the last decade as a harbinger of a new spirit of compromise and openness. Click for more information.
NOW YOU CAN SEARCH JUST ON OUR SITE. TRY IT OUT:
THINK OF ENGLAND
by Alice Elliot Dark
May 2002. A debut novel. Jane MacLeod, age 9, is jealous of her father’s patients. They get his attention. So one night in 1964, someone takes the phone off the hook as the whole family watches the Beatles on Ed Sullivan v. It’s great, but when dad finds that someone took the phone of the hook, he is livid. He rushes to the hospital, to see his patients, and is killed in an accident. Fifteen years later, the novel finds Jane in London living a bohemian life and faces the guilt of the family and their lives.
by HORTENSE CALISHER (STILL WRITING AT AGE 90!!)
May 2002. NOVEL. At the center of this novel is a Jewish family with the surname of DUFFY. Professor Peter Duffy, a retired university teacher of philosophy, is collapsing mentally. His wife, Zipporah Gold Duffy, the mother of their 5 children whisks him off to Italy to hide his degeneration. An Israeli nurse, Deborah Cohen, mysteriously appears to help care for Peter. In the second part of this masterful novel, Zipporah is a widow who inherits a lot of money from her neighbor and friend, Norman. A grandmother, she takes a lover, Foxy Mendenhall. In the final portion of the novel, we focus on ZIpporah’s relationship with her favorite grandson, Bertram, a rabbi without a pulpit, who tracks down Debra Cohen and her mystery. The beach read of the Summer.
Hitler's Jewish Soldiers
or as the author would like it to read HITLER’S “JEWISH” SOLDIERS
The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military
Bryan Mark Rigg
May 2002. Kansas Press. 500+ pages.
Of this book, Michael Berenbaum, formerly of the US Holocaust Museum wrote, “startling” and an “invaluable contribution.” Others find it sensationalistic, or called the author a media hound. Peter Gay (Yale) and David Cesarani (Southhampton) found it uninteresting. Raul Hilberg (Vermont) wrote “This is not a bombshell… We have known that there were thousands of Mischlinge in the German army” “100,000 is preposterous however.” Hilberg calls him a publicity hound for contacting the media before even writing his dissertation. Others have asked whether the book matters, since nearly all of the subjects of the book did not ever view themselves as Jews, so why label them as Jewish? You are mature, you can decide for yourself.
Dr. Rigg flunked first grade twice and suffered from A.D.D. Yet, he is a graduate of Yale and Cambridge, was a Marine, and was a volunteer in the Israeli Defense Forces. He is currently a teacher at a U.S. Dept of Defense college (American Military University). Raised as a Protestant in the Texas Bible Belt, Bryan Mark Rigg was surprised to learn of his own Jewish ancestry while researching his family tree in Germany. This revelation, as well as a chance encounter with a Jewish veteran of the Wehrmacht at a Berlin screening of “Europa Europa,” roused him to embark on a decade of research while a student first at Yale University and later at Cambridge University. For this book, he interviewed 400 partial Jews who served for Germany. His research is housed in Freiberg. Although earning trust was often challenging and some men refused to speak with Bryan, he also encountered many who were grateful for the opportunity at last to discuss this part of their lives in war. In some cases the men's families knew little or nothing of their hidden religious heritage. In a 1996 London Telegraph article concerning his research efforts, Bryan described these men who are at the heart of his work: "They don't know where they stand. There is no place for them to tell their story. No one thought it was an issue, and neither side wants to claim them."
On the murderous road to "racial purity" Hitler encountered unexpected detours, largely due to his own crazed views and inconsistent policies regarding Jewish identity. After centuries of Jewish assimilation and intermarriage in German society, he discovered that eliminating Jews from the rest of the population was more difficult than he'd anticipated. As Bryan Mark Rigg shows in this provocative new study, nowhere was that heinous process more fraught with contradiction and confusion than in the German military. Contrary to conventional views, Rigg reveals that a startlingly large number of German military men were classified by the Nazis as Jews or "partial-Jews" (Mischlinge, as in former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt who served in the Luftwaffe and had a Jewish heritage), in the wake of racial laws first enacted in the mid-1930s. Rigg demonstrates that the actual number was much higher than previously thought--perhaps as many as 150,000 men, including decorated veterans and high-ranking officers, even generals and admirals. [Critics call this number sensationalistic]
As Rigg documents, a great many of these men did NOT consider themselves Jewish and had embraced the military as a way of life. In turn, they had been embraced by the Wehrmacht, which prior to Hitler had given little thought to the "race" of these men but which was now forced to look deeply into the ancestry of its soldiers. The process of investigation and removal, however, was marred by a highly inconsistent application of Nazi law. Numerous "exemptions" were made in order to allow a soldier to stay within the ranks or to spare a soldier's parent, spouse, or other relative from incarceration or far worse. (Hitler's own signature can be found on many of these "exemption" orders.) But as the war dragged on, Nazi politics came to trump military logic, even in the face of the Wehrmacht's growing manpower needs, closing legal loopholes and making it virtually impossible for these soldiers to escape the fate of millions of other victims of the Third Reich. Based on a deep and wide-ranging research in archival and secondary sources, as well as extensive interviews with more than four hundred Mischlinge and their relatives, Rigg's study breaks truly new ground in a crowded field and shows from yet another angle the extremely flawed, dishonest, demeaning, and tragic essence of Hitler's rule.
Watch for his next book, “In Search of Hitler’s “Jewish” Soldiers.”
ME AND SHAKESPEARE
ADVENTURES WITH THE BARD
By Herman Gollob
April 2002. In the twilight of a successful career as a book editor, Herman Gollob attended a superb Broadway production of Hamlet with Ralph Fiennes. The experience proved so galvanizing that it ignited a latent passion for literary scholarship and for all things Shakespearean. Like Erickson wrote, Gollob wanted ti impart, to teach. Shedding the drudgery of fixing lame manuscripts as an editor, he retired and became a teacher of a popular Shakespeare course for seniors at a small local religious college in New Jersey. He then made a visit to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.; sought out encounters with great actors and directors--including Olympia Dukakis, Michael Kahn, David Suchet, John Barton, and Cicely Berry; took a summer course on Shakespeare at Oxford; and made a pilgrimage to the Globe Theatre in London to see, of course, Hamlet. This late-blooming Bardomania even enriched the growth of his Jewish identity, resulting in a uniquely Hebraic theory about King Lear. It is, as well, one of the most entertaining and unusual books on Shakespeare ever written. Click the book cover to read more
More of the Best of Milton Berle's Private Joke File : 10,000 of the World's Funniest Gags, Anecdotes, and One -Liners
by Milton Berle
August 1996. In memory of the late comedian who died at 93 (he was Jewish but also believed in Christian Science, but was buried in a Jewish ceremony, so I don’t think it’s a prob to highlight his books, okay?)... his best 10,000 jokes. Click to read more.
Interviews with the Director Billy Wilder
by Cameron Crowe
A Menschen on Sunday and Everyday... Samuel Wilder was born June 22, 1906, in the town of Sucha, in a section of Poland that was then in the Austro-Hungarian empire. His mother, Eugenia, who died in Auschwitz during World War II, had lived in the United States in her youth and nicknamed her second son "Billy" because of her fascination with the American frontier hero Buffalo Bill Cody. After moving to Vienna with his family in 1914, young Billy developed an affinity for American jazz, westerns and the satirical films of gifted German director Ernst Lubitsch, who preceded him to Hollywood. In 1924, Wilder spent three months in the University of Vienna's pre-law program but dropped out to become a reporter for the newspaper Die Stunde, writing personality profiles and crime and sports stories. Well, u know the story, he fled Hitler, came to LA, and became one of America's top directors and writers. This is book of his interviews with another writer/director
THE RESCUE OF JERUSALEM
THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN HEBREWS AN AFRICANS IN 701 BC
by Henry T. Aubin
May 2002. SoHo Books, Farrer Straus & Giroux. Aubin, a journalist, writes that in the summer of 701 BC, Jerusalem faced a siege from Assyrian forces that had razed countless walled cities. This was 300 years before the Golden Age of Greece, and 150 years before Cyrus of Persia. Assyrian society was its army, war its principal business. Jerusalem asked for help. The author argues that TAHARQA, the Kushite-Egyptian who ruled Egypt as its pharaoh in its 25th Dynasty, created an army of black African Kushites, and sent them to Jerusalem to help defend the walled city. THIS IS HIGHLY SPECULATIVE but an informative read as to whether these black Africans saved the Hebrews from destruction.
WOMEN OF THE WALL
CLAIMING SACRED GROUND AT JUDAISM'S HOLY SITE
Edited By Phyllis Chesler and Rivka Haut
May 2002. Jewish Lights Press. Passionate documentation of the legendary grassroots and legal struggle of a determined group of Jewish women in Israel, the USA, and other countries to win the right to pray out loud together as a group. Wear ritual objects and read from the scrolls of the Torah according to Jewish law at the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem. Click to read more.
Tchotchkes, Schmattes, and Nosherei
by (Dr.) Jennifer Traig, Victoria Traig, with Dwight Eschliman (Photographer)
May 2002. Chronicle Books. Christian Americans have had marshmallow fluff and Christmas ornaments. Jews, avoiding graven images, have evaded lots of kitsch. Sure, maybe you’ve seen Sesame Street kipahs and Nike dreidels, but what if Bezalel from the Bible and Martha Stewart mated while reading The Jewish Catalog? Naturally, you would have the Traig sisters of the West Coast. This book is not only fun to read, but it provides the instructions on how to create your own kitsch, like the Manischewitz Concord Grape Wine bottle lamp or the Rastafarian Hey-Mohn-Toschen. Divided into eight parts, there is kitsch projects for everyday, Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Hanukkah (burn baby Burn), Purim, Passover, and Shavuot (milk it). So get up off your couch, break your dreidel shaped piñata, grab a slice of Hava Tequila Pie, and buy this book. Highlights include the Neil Sedaka Tzedakah Pushke Box (use an empty band aids box); the Borscht Belt belt; a black velvet Elvis mizrach for your Eastern wall; the Carmen Miranda fruit filled yarmulke; and votive candles for Jewish patrons (the patron Jew of passive aggressive compliments). Replace wasabi with horseradish and you have Jew-shi sushi. Get a jar of Green olives and make some Poi Vey. Is havdalah havdalah without the Spice girls spice box? Is it true that there is Jewish Time? Then make yourself the Jewish Time Zones clock. The book closes with a Hebonics glossary. Click to read more.
By Fran Drescher
May 2002. Comedian Fran Drescher (THE NANNY) relates her bout with uterine cancer, and how after two years of visiting doctors, she finally got the proper diagnosis, dealt with fatigue, had the hysterectomy, and survived and healed with the help of her family, friends, dog, and post-divorce, young’in boyfriend. Click to read more.
By Rich Cohen
Spring 2002. Having read TOUGH JEW and THE AVENGERS by author Rich Cohen, and now having read this memoir, I now understand why his two previous books focused he Jews, father figures, and toughness. Calling Doctor Moe, Doctor Fine, Doctor Freud. Hehehe… Richard Cohen was from the Bluffs, an affluent part of Glencoe, IL. His father was larger than life and a friend to the local teens. Jamei Drew was from a more working class background of town and was missing a father. Rich and Jamie became inseparable friend, and Jamie at times saw more of Rich’s parents than Rich. As a teen, Rich wanted to be Jamie. Jamie’s gestures and words became di rigeur, essential to be imitated at school and at the beach. Cohen recreates the life of chewing Skoal, drink Pabst, and listening to John Cougar (nee Mellencamp). Lake Effect is about growing up on the Great Lakes, emerging from the shadow of a father, falling under the spell of an unforgettable friendship, and the pain of looking back on that friendship with adult eyes. What happens to the self of childhood? Can a person vanish so cleanly into adult life? In a memoir that stretches from the shores of Lake Michigan to the streets of the French Quarter to the hallowed halls of the old New Yorker, Rich Cohen captures the humble dreams—of kissing girls, getting drunk for the first time, driving to a jazz club in “the city” in a borrowed car, seeing the Cubs finally win from the cheap seats at Wrigley Field on a summer day—that fueled an epic bond between two young men. Writing at the height of his powers, with impeccable comic timing and a gift for the perfect anecdote, the indelible turn of phrase, Rich Cohen captures the grandeur and sorrow and sweetness of youth. Click to read more.
Oasis of Dreams
Teaching and Learning Peace in a Jewish-Palestinian Village in Israel
by Grace Feuerverger, University of Toronto, Ontario Inst for Studies in Education
May 2002. Neve Shalom/Wahat Al-Salam (the Hebrew and Arabic words for "Oasis of Peace") is a village that began in 1972 as an intercultural experiment. There, Jews and Palestinians founded a community aimed at demonstrating the possibilities for living in peace--while maintaining their respective cultural heritages and languages. This book, a result of the author's 9-year study of the schools in the village, explores the ethnographic, psychological, social and personal dimensions of this unique educational endeavor. A passionate yet reasoned account of an extraordinary village and its unique educational institutions, Oasis of Dreams draws the reader into the complex journey of Jews and Palestinians who are trying to break down barriers of fear and mistrust that have saturated their daily existence. In this spiritually uplifting book, Feuerverger shares narrative portraits of some remarkable individuals and invites us to become fellow dreams of peace. Whoever reads this book will never look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the same way again.
THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
Hollywood in the Fifties
By Sam Kashner and Jennifer MacNair
May 2002. An expose’ of Hollywood of lies, deceit, drugs, sex, anorexia, and communism. Click to read more.
THE EINSTEIN FILE
J EDGAR HOOVER’S SECRET WAR AGAINST THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS SCIENTIST
By FRED JEROME
May 2002. St Martins. Einstein’s file was 1,800 pages. From the moment of Einstein's arrival in the U.S. in l933 until his death in l955, J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, with help from several other federal agencies, busied itself collecting "derogatory information" in an effort to undermine Einstein's influence and destroy his prestige. For the first time Fred Jerome tells the story of that anti-Einstein campaign, as well as the story behind it--why and how the campaign originated, and thereby provides the first detailed picture of Einstein's little known political activism. Unlike the popular image of Einstein as an absent-minded, head-in-the-clouds genius, the man was in fact intensely politically active and felt it was his duty to use his world-wide fame shrewdly in the cause of social justice. A passionate pacifist, socialist, internationalist and outspoken critic of racism (Einstein considered racism America's "worst disease"), and personal friend of Paul Robeson and W.E.B. DuBois, Einstein used his immense prestige to denounce McCarthy at the height of his power, publicly urging witnesses to refuse to testify before HUAC. The story that emerges not only reveals a little known aspect of Einstein's character, but underscores the dangers that can arise, to threaten the American Republic and the rule of law, in times of obsession with national security.
Click to read more.
Masters of Death : The Ss-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust
by Richard Rhodes
May 2002. A major contribution to the history of the Holocaust from the acclaimed author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning, The Making of the Atomic Bomb.
In Masters of Death, Richard Rhodes gives full weight, for the first time, to the part played by the Einsatzgruppen, the professional killing squads deployed in Poland and the Soviet Union, early in World War II, by Himmler’s SS. And he shows how these squads were utilized as the Nazis made two separate plans for dealing with the civilian populations they wanted to destroy.
The first plan, initiated in July 1941, condemned the Jews of eastern Europe to slaughter by the Einsatzgruppen, who went on to execute 1.5 million men, women and children between 1941 and 1943 by shooting them into killing pits, as at Babi Yar, massive crimes that have been underestimated or overlooked by Holocaust historians. Rhodes documents the organizing and carrying out of this program and introduces the professional men, economists, architects, lawyers, who were the program’s commanders and officers, as well as the ordinary men who did most of the actual killing. The second plan, initiated in December 1941, was directed at the Jews of western Europe. By then, Rhodes shows, the face-to-face killing of hundreds of thousands had so brutalized the SS that even Himmler was shocked into ordering the development of a less personal means of murder the notorious gas chambers and crematoria of the Holocaust’s second wave. Rhodes shows, further, that Hitler and Himmler intended the Jews to be only their first victims; their plan was to open up Russia to German colonization by destroying more than 30 million Slavs and members of other ethnic groups.
Drawing on Nuremberg Tribunal documents largely ignored until now, and on newly available material from eyewitnesses and survivors, Richard Rhodes has given us a book that is essential reading on the Holocaust and World War II.
THE JEWISH TRADITION, SEXUALITY AND PROCREATION
By Lewis D. Solomon
April 2002. Rabbi Solomon teaches law at GWU Law School in Washington DC. In this book, he presents the guidance offered by Jewish tradition regarding questions of sexual and reproductive ethics. He includes the spectrum of views from the Orthodoc, Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist traditions. Topics include: Sex and procreation; Premarital sex; marriage; family; assisted reproductive techniques; infertility; asexual reproduction; human cloning; alternative family arrangements; sex pre-selection; genetic testing; genetic engineering; abortion; homosexuality; and “Who is a Jew?”.
JUDAISM FOR EVERYONE
by Rabbi Shumely Boteach
May 2002. Publicity hound, playmate debater, sex obsessor, Michael Jackson friend, father, husband, author and rabbi, Boteach, interprets the life lessons gleaned from Judaism. Boteach began to realize how well-matched the foundational beliefs of Judaism are to the broad human needs of the modern world. Unlike the dualist credo of other religions--in which the material and spiritual are always in conflict--the Jewish faith, argues Boteach, uniquely represents a spiritual philosophy concerned about life in this world, rather than in the hereafter. In Judaism for Everyone this most unorthodox of orthodox rabbis explores the Jewish and Biblical origins of civilization's seminal moral ideas and presents Judaism as a program of action for people of all faiths. Boteach's interpretations and commentary are a vibrant celebration of the dynamism that is Judaism. Whether he's peppering his points with stories from his childhood, promoting feminism and decrying boredom, or extolling the virtues of leisure and solitude, Shmuley Boteach never fails to inform, inspire--and surprise. Judaism for Everyone is for everyone seeking a universal moral creed to maximize human goodness and inner potential
THE FAMILY GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL CELEBRATION
By Dr. Ron Wolfson
May 2002. Jewish Lights Press. The Art of Jewish Living series
A new book by the much sought after Dr Wolfson. The ideal family guide to the preparation for and welcoming of the Shabbat (Sabbath). Step by step sourcebook includes the blessings, history, songs, prayers, activities and recipes. Click to read more.
STORIES OF THE COURAGE TO TEACH. HONORING THE TEACHERS HEART
By Rabbi SAM Intrator
Jossey Bass. May 2002. Rabbi Sam writes to inspire other teachers longing to rekindle their passion for education. This practical book encourages the hearts of teachers and offers inspirational, real-life depictions of what can--and does--go on when teachers reclaim their original passion for their work.
THE REBBE’S DAUGHTER
MEMOIR OF A HASIDIC CHILDHOOD
By MALKAH SHAPIRO (1894-1971). Translated by Nehamia Polen
JPS. May 2002. Malkah Shapiro was the daughter of the Rebbe of Kozienice, Poland, began this journal as a pre teen. She was married at age 14, and in 1926, moved to Palestine. This newly translated book offers an interesting detailed glimpse into her world of life and spirituality.
By Moshe Idel, Professor, Hebrew University
May 2002. Yale University Press. The modern master of kabbalah scholarship, Moshe Idel, presents this dense, did I say dense, narrative on kabbalah. For the academic specialist only. If you don’t understand the terms of intercorporal, clinamenic, crisical, and hypersemantic, please study more before buying the book. Includes six, count them 6, appendices on the works of Nahman of Bratslav, Isaac of Acre, Abraham Abulafia, Pico della Mirandola, and Marsilio Ficino.
THE CHOSEN PEOPLE IN AN ALMOST CHOSEN NATION
Jews and Judaism in America
Edited By Richard John NeuHaus
Eerdmans. May 2002. From the perspective of inter religious relations, these essays tell the story of Jews in America. In many cases, two sides of the same issue are presentted, on law, psychology, blak-Jewish relations, theology, philosophy, Messianisn, anti Semitism, intermarriage, church state separation, etc.
FLOATING OFF THE PAGE. The Best Stories from The Wall Street Journal’s Middle Column
Edited By Ken Wells
May 2002. Selections from the middle column front page stories of The WSJ, which are always quite humorous
My Suburban Shtetl (The Library of Modern Jewish Literature)
by Robert Rand (National Public Radio, resident of Tashkent, Unbekistan)
Fall 2001. A NOVEL. An endearing story of growing up in an insular Midwestern suburb (SKOKIE) of Jewish Holocaust survivors trying to fit into the world around them. Rand, 49, mixes his experiences into this novel of life in Skokie. The novel opens in 1977, when Nazis decided to march through Skokie, and the narrator’s (Bobby Bakachuk) grandfather, Abe Yellin, hurls a salami at the Nazi marchers.
The Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution : A Reconsideration
by Mark Roseman Univ of SouthHampton UK
May 2002. In early 1947, American officials in Germany stumbled across a document. Entitled "Secret Reich matter," it summarized the results of a meeting of top Nazi officials that took place on January 20, 1942, in a grand villa on the shore of Berlin's Lake Wannsee. On one level, this document offered clarity: known as the Wannsee Protocol (and included here in full), it tallied up the Jews in Europe, carefully classified half and quarter Jews, and above all laid the groundwork for a "final solution to the Jewish Question." Yet the Protocol, among the most shameful documents in history, remains deeply mysterious. How can we understand this businesslike discussion of genocide? And why was the meeting necessary? Hundreds of thousands of Jews had already been shot in Russia or gassed in the camp at Chelmno. Test murders had been carried out in Auschwitz. Indeed, the most remarkable thing about the Wannsee Conference, is that we do not know why it took place. This book contains the actual minutes from the meeting. Roseman states they met to REVIEW the plans to DEPORT the Jews to the East, needing to kill them so that no REMNANT or germ cell would exist that could regenerate the Jewish people..
STORM IN THE COMMUNITY. YIDDISH POLEMICAL PAMPHLETS OF AMSTERDAM JEWRY 1797-1798
By Jozeph Michman and Marion Aptroot (editors)
Hebrew Union College Press. Bass. May 2002. Recaptures the fractious dialogues between established and breakaway Jewish communities.
THE GOOD LIFE
TRUTHS THAT LAST IN TIMES OF NEED
By Peter J. Gomes, Minister of Harvard’s Memorial Church
May 2002. HarperSF. Doing Good and seeking the Middle Way Leads to the Good Life
LIFE IN THE DAMN TROPICS
by DAVID UNGER
May 2002. Syracuse. A Novel set in Guatemala in the 1980s. Three Jewish brothers (Aaron, David and Marcos)try to keep their business operating. Political intrigue and killings ensue. Click to read more.
New York Masjid / Mosques Of New York
by Jerrilynn Denise Dodds, Edward Grazda
May 2002. New York Masjid/Mosques Of New York took root on February 26, 1993 in the midst of an urban crisis: the World Trade Center bombing. But ultimately more destructive to the city at that time were the tidal waves of toxic and reductive one-line headlines that followed in the written and televised media: "Muslim Terrorist," leaving a kind of easy, familiar code name for terror. To counteract this stereotype, scholar Jerrilynn D. Dodds joined forces with photographer Edward Grazda to document the Islamic presence in New York by focusing on the places Muslims congregate to worship their god - the Mosque. New York Masjid/Mosques Of New York is an insightful and unbiased account of a much-maligned and rapidly growing culture around the world, taken in perhaps the one place in the world where all manifestations of religious adherents live and work: New York City. The book features photographs, essays, and interviews documenting the mosques that each of New York's Muslim communities has built at its center, revealing the ways these buildings reflect and create identites for Muslims within a dense and diverse urban fabric Click to read more.
THE SISSY DUCKLING
By Harvey Fierstein and Henry Cole
May 2002. Age 5-8 or more
Elmer, a duck, carries a daisy covered pink backpack. He bakes cookies and produces puppet shows. He is called a sissy by others; his father is embarrassed. Elmer runs away. But when Papa Duck is injured by hunters and can't fly South for the Winter, it is his son, Elmer, who saves the day. After HBO asked Harvey to write a Jewish fairy tale, Mr. Fierstein replied, there are loads of Jewish tales, I would rather do a gay one. And so this was born for the "Happily Ever After" series. Elmer, like Harvey, succeeds by being himself and by not conforming to what others expect. He is therefore better adjusted in later life.
INFINITE CIRCLE: Teachings in Zen
By Bernie Glassman
May 2002. Shambhala. Nice Jewish boy became one of America’s leading Zen masters, and was the abbott of the Zen Community of New York. This book is for intermediate and advanced students of Zen. In this book he expounds on three Zen works, including the Heart Sutra, as well as the “nonkilling” ideas that are found in the Bodhisattva precepts. And Click to read more.
ENDURING CHANGE ON 47TH STREET
By Renee Rose Shield (Brown Univ, Assoc Prof of Community Health)
May 2002. Cornell. Fourteen years in the making. An anthropologist’s exploration of Manhattan’s 47th Street diamond district and its 2600 independent businesses, most of it populated by Hasidic and Orthodox Jews. Rose is the daughter of diamond traders from Antwerp. Quite interesting and scholarly.
CONFESSIONS OF A STREET ADDICT
By James Carmer
May 2002. Simon and Schuster. Wouldn’t you just love to work for a guy who throws tantrums, trades equities by the second, and humiliates his subordinates by making them wear Post-it notes on their foreheads that list their trading losses? That insane, crazy many who appears on CNBC, co-founded theStreet.com, made more money, and loves to break keyboards when his trades go bad, writes about his obsession. He started as a trader at age 9, yes, nine years of age. He went on to Harvard, became head of the “Crimson”, lived out of a car with a axe for protection in Los Angeles as he worked as a newspaper journalist at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and then went to Harvard Law where he gave stock tips to his professors. He was given $500,000 to trade and manage by Martin Peretz, and set up his own hedge fund a few years later. The book is filled with his antics and exploits and crazy trades. His confessions include that he did stock research from the delivery room as his wife, the trading queen Karen Backfisch, gave birth. Don’t confuse this with the book by Nicholas W. Maier, a former employee of Cramer’s, the son of a friend of Peretz, an investing neophyte, which was an expose on Cramer.
THE CARPET WARS
From Kabul to Baghdad: A Ten Year Journey Along Ancient Trade Routes
By Christopher Kremmer
May 2002. Harper Collins. A story of the region, its history, its religious revival, and the carpet trade.
THE DOUBLE BOND: PRIMO LEVI. A Biography
By Carole Angier
May 2002. A Biography of Primo Levi (1919-86) whi adds a great deal of light on the factual life of this famed Italian Jewish author, chemist, and Auschwitz survivor.
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