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[book] Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America. by Stephen G. Bloom
Hardcover - 324 pages (October 2000) Harcourt Brace.
Where do I sign for the film rights to this book?
This book was especially poignant, since I read about the slaughterhouse killfloor the day after reading about the Akedah at a synagogue, and I ate a Rubashkin chicken last week... Bloom, a journalism professor at the University of Iowa, tries to find commonalties with his own Jewish life and the lives of the members of a Lubavitcher Hassidic community that moved in 1987 from Brooklyn to Postville, Iowa in order to build and manage a kosher slaughterhouse. They moved to Northeast Iowa - where pigs outnumber people by a large magnitude. Aaron Rubashkin, his peanut-and-Tums-popping son, Shalom, and over thirty rabbis trained to kill livestock and inspect kosher meat, plus friends and relatives moved to the town and revitalized the boarded-up slaughterhouse, AgriProcessors. They hired hundreds of immigrants from Mexico, Central America, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Some were illegal aliens, some got into brawls, but that wasn't the issue. Most residents of Postville, a town of less than 1,500 souls, most of them devout evangelical Lutheran Christians, were happy with the new slaughterhouse and its economic benefits. But as the Lubavitcher community expanded to 150 souls and many homes and buildings, suspicions and complaints by the 'older, more American' residents of Postville grew. This was a town of old ways, where success and vacations are kept quiet, and where Catholics and Lutherans banked at separate banks. Some older residents of Postville didn't understand why the Jews didn't eat in the cafes or purchase non-kosher foods, why they tried to haggle in the stores, why they wouldn't shake hands, why they didn't mow their lawns or ask for help? Why did they tip big, and rarely buy retail from local stores? Why didn't they support the local merchants where outward co-dependence was expected? Were the Hasidim oblivious of the unwritten code of tidiness in Postville; did they even care? Did some residents scapegoat the Jews, instead of the WalMart, for decreasing merchant revenue? In the course of the story, the town attempts to win back control of the slaughterhouse through an annexation referendum, led by City Councilman Leigh Rekow, a farmer and former Peace Corps volunteer (in Tanzania, where he worked on a farm that Israeli volunteers had earlier abandoned). The vote was a barely hidden vote on whether to expel the Jews. This is also a story of Bloom's family's move from the San Francisco Bay Area to Iowa, a place with small bagels, low rise buildings, trucks, fishing rods, friendly neighbors, and guns. Bloom is trying to belong to this midwestern place where the barber is confused by Mr. Bloom's dark curly hair (they are used to blondes, or maybe Bloom was a little hypersensitive), where Jesus might get mentioned in a Cub Scouts meeting, a where a local jeweler gets excited when he senses that a Jewish landsman might be near. But he gets drawn in to make a connection with his fellow Jews (in Postville, not in the local college shul). But will Bloom let go? Will he accept the non assimilationist attitudes of the Lubavitch sect? Will he avoid eating ham and cheese in the parking lot of the slaughterhouse? Will the Lutheran minister be banished by his parish for preaching inclusiveness? A great Fall read, even if you buy it for the hilarious comparisons Bloom makes between Jewish kippot and farmer's caps; Jewish davening and Lutheran head nodding; and Jewish "nu's" and Lutheran "don't-cha-think's." CLICK TO READ MORE REVIEWS OR PURCHASE THE BOOK
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[book] SPEAK YOU ALSO: A Holocaust Memoir
by Paul Steinberg

Hardcover - 176 pages (October 2000). What is morality in the face of horror and daily murders. For those who Read Primo Levi's IF THIS IS A MAN about his years in Auschwitz, you will recall his stories about a French boy, Henri, who did anything to survive. The French teen was Paul Steinberg. He penned this book as a rebuke to Levi, a rejoinder, an explanation of what and why he did what he needed to do to survive. Why he flattered and manipulated the kapos and other prisoners. DON'T EXPECT AN APOLOGY. Life in Auschwitz was brutal, and you did brutal things to live. Steinberg died last year after publishing the book in France. Steinberg, a high school student in Paris with a taste for horse races was deported to Auschwitz in 1943, he was the only member of his family to survive the war. .
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[book] GREENSPAN: The Man Behind Money by Justin Martin (Fortune Magazine)
Hardcover - 336 pages (October 1, 2000). Oh good. Just in time for the election. A profile of the man who actually makes the economy hum. Alan Greenspan is one of the most powerful and enigmatic men in the world. Although endlessly pursued by the press and ceaselessly present in the public spotlight, very little about his private life has ever been revealed. Meet The Fed Chairman in his hardscrabble childhood in Depression-era New York City, his fascinating decades-long friendship with controversial author Ayn Rand (nee Alissa Rosenbaum), his Juilliard education and days spent touring with Henry Jerome's jazz band, as well as his two marriages, dynamic D.C. social life, and service to five U.S. presidents. Artfully crafted, this biography paints an astonishing and enthralling portrait.
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[book] Ghost Light : A Memoir by Frank Rich (New York Times)
October 2000. Hardcover - 352 pages (October 17, 2000) Random House. Memoir by The New York Times op-ed columnist, Frank Rich, The Times's former theatre critic, who was called by some the "Butcher of Broadway" for all the shows he panned. This is a story of growing up in a Jewish DC-area family and suffering through his parents' divorce and comfort he found in the musicals of the 1950's and 1960's
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Travels Through The Jewish Diaspora
By James R Ross.
Riverhead Books. September 2000. Ross, of Northeastern University, explores "jews" he finds in six remote communities. What can they teach other "Jews" about Jewish traditions. The communities he explores are not normally accepted as Jewish. They include people trying to reconnect, convert, or affiliate in India, The Amazon, Peru, Brazil, Israel and Uganda. For example, the Abayudaya community of Uganda, who are descendants and followers of Kakungulu, a military leader who declared himself a Jew and followed Jewish customs Many of these people have sacrificed their jobs and families for their beliefs. They wish to act "Jewish" or perform Jewish rituals. Ross himself, a product of a father who was an observant Jewish Maine Yale educated pediatrician and a mother who grew up in a Boston Reform synagogue that held its Sabbath on Sundays rather than Saturdays, began to reconnect with his own faith while teaching in Shanghai and writing a book about the 20,000 Jews who had refuuge in Shanghai during WWII.
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[book] The Way Forward Is With a Broken Heart
By Alice Walker

October 2000. Hardcover - (October 3, 2000) Alice Walker, the author of The Color Purple, presents this collection of thirteen stories. One story, titled, "To My Young Husband" is a autobiographical story about her decade long marriage to a young Jewish civil rights lawyer and their life with their daughter in Mississippi and Brooklyn. (Walker, in real life was married to Mel Leventhal, a Jewish fellow civil rights activist. Together they had a daughter, but divorced after a decade of marriage, after Leventhal had an affair, etc) In another story, a mother confronts the church that wants her to ostracize her lesbian daughter.
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By Louis Begley

October 2000. Hardcover - (October 17, 2000) Knopf. Albert Schmidt is a retired white shoed Wall Street lawyer living in the Hamptons with a 24 year old Puerto Rican woman, Carrie, who will not marry him. Albert is slightly anti-Jewish, but hangs with them. Gil Blackman, Albert's former Harvard roommate, gives him advice on love, as does filmmaker Gil's buddy, the Egyptian-Jewish billionaire, Michael Mansour. What's a million bucks to Mansour; he offers Carrie a cool million to sleep with him. Will Albert be humiliated if Carrie finds a much younger man? Will Albert's daughter grow up and ditch her cheating Jewish husband?.
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by Brock and Bodie Thoene

Oct 2000. Sequel to JERUSALEM VIGIL. Set in Jerusalem beginning in 1948 and the fight for independence.
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Click here to order the AUDIO CASSETEE .

[book] The Jewish Cultural Tapestry : Jewish Folk Traditions from Persia to Poland by Steven M. Lowenstein
Hardcover - 304 pages (October 2000) Oxford Univ Pr. Lowenstein is a Professor at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. This is a panorama of Jewish Folk Traditions (naming conventions, cuisine, weddings, music, dress, ceremonies, traditions) from 5 continents, namely the Jewish of Ashkenaz and Sephardic Europe, Turkey, and North Africa, the Jewish cultures of Iran, Iraq, Ethiopia and Yemen, Central Asian Bukharan Jews, Cochini Jews of India, and Kaifeng Jews of China.
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[book] TODAY I AM A BOY by David Hays
Hardcover (October 2000) Simon & Schuster. A story of self-discovery by David Hays, a famed Broadway (a shtetl in its own way) and Met Opera set and lighting designer, New York Times best selling author, and founder of the National Theater of the Deaf. At age 66, Hays decided to study for a "bar mitzvah" since he never attended a synagogue school as child, nor even trained his kids. Here he is in retirement, meddling in the lives of his grown kids, playing with his grandkids, caring for his aged mother who enter a retirement community, leanring more about Jewish home life from his son-in-law. Does a man who sailed with his son around Cape Horn have the courage, strength and perseverance to study Hebrew and Torah? Can he handle his 12 year old classmates? This is a fun read.
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[book] The "Jewish Threat": Anti-Semitic Politics of the American Army by Joseph W. Bendersky
Hardcover - 560 pages (October 1, 2000) Basic Books. I will have to send a copy of this to the West Point USMA Chaplain, Chaplain White, or to the JWV.
In 1919, an Army captain created an ethnic map of NYC in anticipation of a Bolshevik revolution in America. The prime enemy were Russian Jews, since radical gatherings were "90% Jewish." He contacted Washington to prepare for a revolution. At the same time, a colonel attached to the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland wrote his superiors of the Jewish threat in Europe, that they sought to dominate the world. Those Polish Jews who dressed differently were disloyal and difficult to handle, (most were in business, few worked hard labor on farms according to Colonel Hudnutt) and pogroms were greatly exaggerated and were no worse than Klan raids in Southern towns. Between 1918-1941, the Pentagon filed 2100 reports on the Jews. The most secret file was File 245; it was filled with notes on Zionism, the Jews, the international Jewish conspiracy, and Bolshevism, as well as reports on Justices Frankfurter and Brandeis, and Rabbi Stephen Wise. So opens Mr. Bendersky's book on a history of anti-Semitic writings, attitudes, and actions in The U.S. Army throughout the 20th century. Yes, the officers of the U.S. Army (English, Nordic, good Mayflower or Planter Protestant stock), like the upper echelons of American society and Nativists at the start of the 20th Century had anti Jewish beliefs. The feared the mob-ocracy of those immigrant lower classes. They thought the Filipino and Japanese to be of low intelligence, and the non German Jews to be shrewd, lazy, malingering, and the polar opposite of the pioneering breed of Americans. Some of the aides to Generals Clark and Eisenhower held some quite interesting anti-Jewish attitudes. No news here. But this in- depth study of an anti-Jewish worldview within an American federal institution is still an eye opener. I found the chapters on the Army War College lectures on racial theories to be most interesting, or the story of how G-2 concluded that Albert Einstein was an extreme radical and security risk, as well as the army intelligence files that followed Jewish groups in 1944 that petitioned Congress and the President to save Europe's Jews, concluding that groups, like Bnai Brith, were led by Communists following the party line.
From the book cover: While the pervasive anti-Semitism of "ordinary" Germans in the first half of the twentieth century has received much attention lately, very little has been written about America's own history of anti-Semitism. In this book, Joseph Bendersky argues that such racism permeated the highest ranks of the U.S. military throughout the past century, having a very real effect on policy decisions. Through ten years of research in more than thirty-five archives, the author has uncovered irrefutable evidence of an endemic and virulent anti-Semitism throughout the Army Corps from the turn of the century right up to the 1970s. These sources reveal how the "Secret Americans" (a group of officers who described themselves as true patriots and who felt silenced by Roosevelt) were convinced of the physical, intellectual, and moral inferiority of Jews and feared that their "superior" Anglo-Saxon/Nordic culture was threatened by a radical and destabilizing Jewish conspiracy. General Moseley, a close friend of Eisenhower's and one of the Army's most decorated officers, demanded the sterilization of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. During the war, the Chief of the Naval Institute claimed the stream of Jewish refugees from Europe was just a money-making scheme. Even in the 1970s, retired officers were still warning against the secret forces of Judaism and their supposed manipulation of presidents and the American public (even going so far as to label Kissinger a KGB spy). Written with novelistic intensity and attention to intriguing detail, The "Jewish Threat" is the first documented examination of a functioning anti-Semitic worldview within an American institution of government and adds an entirely new dimension to the history of the U.S. Army. It forces us to revise some of our cherished notions about our country and its most revered leaders.
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[book cover honey] My People's Prayer Book, Vol. 4:
Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries--Seder K'riyat Hatorah
(Shabbat Torah Service) Edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

SEPTEMBER 2000. Jewish Lights Publishing.
Hardcover - 240 pages Volume 4. Number four in what will be a seven volume series. The Shabbat Torah service with commentaries and explanations on the order and liturgical prayers, drawing upon a multitude of sources. Includes contributions by Marc Brettler, Elliot Dorffm, David Elenson on the evolution of the modern prayer book, Ellen Frankel, Judith Hauptman, Lawrence Kushner, and Ruth Langer to name just a few.
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Click here For Volume 3. Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries--P'sukei D'zimrah (Morning Psalms)

Click here for Volume 2. Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries--The Amidah

Click here for Volume 1. Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries--The Sh'ma and Its Blessings

[book] In My Brother's Image : Twin Brothers Separated by Faith After the Holocaust by Eugene Pogany
Hardcover - 352 pages (September 28, 2000) Viking Press. Eugene Pogany is a Boston based clinical psychologist. His father and uncle were identical twins, born to Jewish parents in Hungary. His grandfather, Bela, converted to Catholicism prior to WWI so that he could work in the Civil Service of Hungary. The twins were raised a Catholic converts prior to WWII. The conversion did not save them from the death camps. Their mother died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, clutching her crucifix. Miklos (the author's father) was sent to Bergen Belsen. He returned to Judaism in the camps and even secretly celebrated Pesach. He survived. Gyorgy, the author's uncle, became a Catholic priest and monsignor, and was sheltered during the war in an Italian mystical monastery. After the war, the brothers emigrated to America and lived only a few miles from each other at some points. Yet they clung to their estrangement, each blaming the other as a traitor to the family's religious tradition. Only after his Uncle Gyorgy's death did Eugene learn the full story from his father, and his Aunt in Australia. This is a profound story of family, survival, tragedy, and Hungarian Catholic and Jewish history.
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[book] DOES THE SOUL SURVIVE? A Jewish Journey to belief in Afterlife, Past Lives and Living with Purpose.
By Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz.

Jewish Lights, September 2000. Elie Kaplan Spitz, spiritual leader and scholar, is the rabbi of Congregation B'nai Israel in Tustin, California, and is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly of Law and Standards. A graduate of The Jewish Theological Seminary and Boston University School of Law, he is the author of a broad range of articles addressing spirituality and Jewish Law. Near-death experiences? Channeling the dead? Is this sort of thing Jewish? Do we have a soul that survives our earthly existence? To know the answer is to find greater understanding, comfort and purpose in our lives-and our deaths. Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz relates his own experiences (like when his wife's dead grandparents communicated with her, or would u believe that maybe Rabbi Spitz was once a Native American (funny he doesn't look Sioux-ish)) and those shared with him by people he has worked with as a rabbi, firsthand accounts that helped propel his own journey from skeptic to believer.
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[book] The World of Jewish Desserts : More Than 300 Delectable Recipes from Jewish Communities from Alsace to India by Gil Marks
Hardcover - 384 pages (October 2000). Gil Marks, a rabbi, historian, linguistic detective and the author of three other books on kosher cooking and entertaining, provides a taste of not only the dishes, but the history of the Jewish communities that developed and transformed the dishes. I guarantee that you'll never look at a latka the same way after reading his latest book.
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[book] Jewish American Literature: A NORTON ANTHOLOGY
Edited by Jules Chametzky (UMASS), Hilene Flanzbaum (Butler), Kathryn Hellerstein (Penn), and John Felstiner (Stanford)

Hardcover - 1100 pages (October 2, 2000). Yes, 1100 pages... 145 writers of all genres. From the early colonists to Broadway lyricists to today's great writers--a redefinition of a vital American literary tradition. This rich anthology reconsiders Jewish American literature from its seventeenth-century origins to its flourishing present. It gathers the work of 145 writers in all genres--fiction, poetry, drama, essays, journals, autobiography, song lyrics, and cartoons. Here readers will find the petitions and memoirs of the first Sephardic settlers, the Yiddish and English voices of the great era of immigration, modernist writers exploring their Americanness, and activist writers working for change. Here too is the generation of writers and poets who define postwar American literature--Arthur Miller, Tillie Olsen, Bernard Malamud, Allen Ginsberg, Cynthia Ozick, Philip Roth--and a younger generation--Art Spiegelman, Jacqueline Osherow, Melvin Jules Bukiet, and Allegra Goodman.
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by Kate Wenner

Hardcover - 288 pages (Fall 2000) Scribner. Setting Fires is the gripping story of Annie Fishman Waldmas, a documentary filmmaker, wife, and mother of two young children, who uses her professional skills to unravel the shocking secrets behind the two fires that come to dominate and haunt her life. The novel begins with a pair of phone calls that shatter Annie's contentment forever. The first brings news that Annie's country house in Connecticut has burned, in an area where two other Jewish-owned buildings have also recently burned down. The second and far more distressing call informs Annie that her beloved father -- the family patriarch, burdened by a lifelong shame that Annie will soon uncover -- has been diagnosed with cancer. Gradually, as Annie and her father forge a new and closer bond, he is able to acknowledge his history of poverty, his struggle for survival, and the near-tragedy it led to. Annie's determination to help her father find peace and forgiveness before dying meshes inextricably with her determination to find and expose the anti-Semitic arsonist who threatens her own family. Annie's passionate search reaches back four generations from the early roots of the Fishman clan in Russia and New York to the modern-day lives of Annie, her siblings, and their divorced parents. At the same time, it throws Annie's relationships with her own husband and children into chaos, and rocks the family life on which she has always depended for stability and support. Not until Annie discovers and resolves the final truths -- by her own wit, perseverance, and self-knowledge -- can she reestablish the harmony she treasures. Kate Wenner, an award-winning former producer of 20/20, makes a startling fiction debut in this powerful novel about a courageous woman's struggle to come to terms with a complex family history. The novel grew out of the interviews Ms. Wenner did with my father as he was dying of cancer - near the end of his life he confessed a shameful secret he had kept buried since his childhood -- that his mother had set fires to their stores on the lower East Side and in Brooklyn, in order to collect insurance money. In a remarkable process of teshuvah, he faced the truth at the end of his life. His courage in doing this transformed Wenner's family. At the same time that she learned about his fire, she also experienced an anti-Semitic arson in her home in Connecticut. The coincidence of these fires had a powerful impact on my life, and propelled her to write a novel to discover what connected them.
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By James Atlas

Random House. October 2000. The bio on Bellow all have been awaiting. Born in Montreal in 1915, Solomon (Saul) Bellow, moved with his family to Chicago at age nine. Five marriages, four kids, countless books, and one Nobel Prize in Literature, makes for interesting reading.

By Dennis Overbye

Viking. October 2000. This is nothing like Shakespeare in Love. This is no comedy. The story of Einstein love life and the women he got as his stature rose. A fabulous book on the side of Einstein few know, and the pain brought upon his wife Mileva Maric, and the daughter they had to give up.

[book] Stories within Stories. From the Jewish oral tradition. By Peninnah Schram.
Hardcover (October 2000) Jason Aronson.
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[book] No God but God : Egypt and the Triumph of Islam by Geneive Abdo
Hardcover - 240 pages (October 2000) Oxford Univ Pr. Those who think fundamentalists are kooks to be ignored will rue the day they wrote them off. Abdo, a Princeton Fellow and Economist correspondent sheds light on the true nature of the Popular Islamic revival in Egypt, the former center of Sunni Islam. This is not confined to terrorists and malcontents, but includes moderates, scholars, professionals, students, lawyers, and the middle classes. They see Popular Islam as a tactic to transform the secular Egyptian state into a more equitable society from the bottom up - the creation of an Islamic Order. Abdo first noticed the spread of Islam when she saw her neighbors in the posh Zamalek and Dokki neighborhoods of Cairo stop everything for their daily prayers. Why do I recommend the book? Because the movement is not confined to Egypt, and it is easily transferable to similar movements in other Arab countries as well as the members of Israeli ultra Orthodox movements.
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[book] Rabbi Jesus: The Jewish Life ad Teachings that Inspired Christianity by Bruce Chilton
Doubleday Books. October 2000. The life of Jesus from the vantage point of a Galilee Jew. In Chilton's version, Joseph is a widower, the father of two, when he meets Miriam (Mary), with whom he has jesus and two other sons and some daughters. Jesus is born out of wedlock, and thus was an outsider, isolated and resentful of the religious establishment. If the populace wouldn't recognize Joseph as his father, then he would be the son of God.
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[book] The Messiah before Jesus: The Suffering Servant of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Israel Knohl (Hebrew University), Translated from Hebrew by David Maisel
Hardcover - 171 pages (October 2, 2000) Univ California Press.
Was Menaham the Paraclete?
In the words of the Chronicle of Higher Education, maybe people shouldn't say WWJD, but WWMD, or What Would Menachem Do? A study of the Dead Sea scrolls and the story of Menahem, based on the "Self Glorification Hymn" or the "Hymn of the Exalted One", which is written in first person, for example, "Why is like ME among the angels? ... I am beloved of the king, a companion of the holy ones ..." Believed to be written after the murder of Julius Caesar when the Empire was split between Octavian and Mark Anthony. Herod had to appeal to the Qumran Jews (of which John the Baptist was probably a member), which created a Golden Age for them and their leader, Menaham. But when Herod died in 4 BCE, Menaham was killed by the Romans and his followers created an ideology of catastrophe, as in Hystaspes prophecy being written to explain Menahem's death and resurrection. It is the story of divine messianic suffering. The suffering messianic servant was a departure from the ideas of Judaism (Isaiah had suffering service, but no mesianism) . But according to professor Knohl, redemption through suffering AND messianism is not a later concoction by the disciples of the New Testament, but a concept written about in the Dead Sea scrolls. If Knohl's hypothesis is followed, then Jesus did not develop these ideas, but just expounded on the earlier ideas of Menahem and others, and combined the teachings of Hillel, the Qumran sect, and the Galilee miracle workers.
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[book] Beyond Survival and Philanthropy. American Jewry and Israel
Hebrew Union College Press. Sept 2000. By Allon Gal and Alfred Gottschalk. Thirty-one Israeli and American critics answer the question, "what will gold the Jewish Diaspora and Israel together as the traditional "crisis glue" melts away." .
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[book] Jewish Images in the Christian Church : Art As the Mirror of the Jewish-Christian Conflict, 200-1250 Ce by Henry N. Claman
Hardcover (Oct 2000). Mercer Univ Press. How Christian Churches used art to reinterpret selections from the Torah and Bible to prove that Hebrew scriptures foretold the ascendancy of Christianity.
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[book] From Thessaloniki to Auschwitz and Back : Memories of a Survivor from Thessaloniki (The Library of Holocaust Testimonies) by Erika Myriam Kounio-Amarilio, translated by Theresa Sundt
In 1912, when the Ottoman city of Thessaloniki was turned over to Greece, Jews outnumbered Greeks, Muslims, Bulgarians and other residents. In 1917, fire destroyed much of the Jewish center of town. But by 1926, when the author was born, the city a growing Greek metropolis. Today, it has 1 million residents, but only 2,000 Jews. In 1939, the population of Jews living in the city of Salonika had dropped from about 90,000 to 56,000. In less than 12 weeks, all but 500 Jews were deported to death camps. By the end of August, 1943, the 500 Jews left owed their lives to the fact that they had kept their Spanish citizenship. Dieter Wisliceny, Eichmann's deputy in Greece, claimed that 60 to 65,000 Greek Jews were brought to Auschwitz. By September of 1944 only 2,500 of these were still alive and many more died before 1945, when they were marched to other camps. By far the largest proportion of those who were transported and who died in the camps were from Thessaloniki (Salonika). Erika Kounio-Amariglio, the daughter of an Austrian-Jewish mother and a Salonikan father, owed her survival in part to her knowledge of German. Her father owned a photography business in the city. Her mother had fought hard to be accepted and seems to have succeeded in overcoming the family's initial distrust of her as a foreigner. Having given up her medical studies at Leipzig University to follow her husband to Salonika, her mother maintained a close connection with her Austrian jewish family and sent her children back to spend part of each summer with her parents in Karlsbad. In 1938, when the Germans occupied Sudetenland, Erika's maternal grandparents moved to Salonika. This is a story of the vanished world of the Sephardic community of Salonika. This is the author's history of the town and the stories of the ghosts of those residents who were killed killed at Auschwitz, and how slowly over time, people gradually reacquire those average human desires after tragedy.
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[book] Leviticus as Literature by Mary Douglas.
Hardcover (January 2000) Oxford Univ Press. To all those who read Leviticus and say it is heavy with antiquated biblical laws, read this and look again. Douglas, author if the praised "In the Wilderness" (1993) turns her attentions to Leviticus. In brief, she argues that the book develops an analogy between the three levels of the sacred Mount Sinai and the tabernacle whose construction is revealed by God to Moses: the large outer ring (the lower slopes of Sinai); the inner sanctuary with its altar of incense to the cloudy region where only Moses could enter; and the innermost Holy of Holies to the summit of the mountain, which is the abode of God. Then the analogy is transferred to the body. The sacrificed animal has three parts (Ramban) in which the suet covers the liver and two kidneys. Douglas then writes that the Book of Leviticus is also in three parts. Chapters 1 - 17 are the outer ring; 18-24 are the inner sanctuary; and 25-27 are the Holy of Holies. The death of the sons of Aaron, who offered strange fire, transition from the outer court to the inner court; while the story of the stoning of the man who blasphemed the name of God is the transition story to the Holy of Holies.
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[book] ONLY YESTERDAY by the late S. Y. AGNON (1887-1970). Translated by Barbara Harshav
Princeton University Press. 652 pages. This is Agnon's masterpiece work of fiction, published in Hebrew in 1945, three years before the founding of The State of Israel, and finally translated into English. The story of Jews who immigrated to Palestine from Russia and Galicia in the two decades between 1904-1914. The story focuses on Isaac Kumar, a pioneer and a pilgrim, one who seeks to build a new nation, yet also knows the messianic symbolism of his actions. He is shocked that Jewish landowners would rather hire cheap Arab labor than their own Jewish co-religionists. Should he marry the secular Sonya or religious Shifra; should he reside on a kibbutz, in secular Jaffa, or that shtetl in Jerusalem?

[book] In Good Company. The Fast Track from the Corporate World to Poverty, Shasitity and Obedience. By Father James Martin, SJ (Jesuit)
NOT A JEWISH BOOK. September 2000. I am adding this book, cuz I sat next to James Martin in Accounting class at Wharton/Penn undergrad. Martin graduated Wharton and became a highly stressed Corporate Finance geek. Then he abruptly quit and entered the seminary to become a Jesuit novitate. (Who the heck gave him that Thomas Merton bio?) What a shock. It's not like going to rabbinical school. This comes with the baggage of poverty and celibacy. He found order and meaning. He now edits the Catholic magazine, AMERICA. This is the story of his path to the Jesuits.

Hed Arzi publishers in Israel (Milhamot Ha-Mekomat Ha-Kedoshim) Wow! Would you believe that haj Amin al Husseini used the Temple Mount sermons to rile his flock to riot against Jews in 1920, 1921, 1928, and 1929. And then he used the Nebi Musa prayer procession in April 1920 to riot and kill Jews. Gee, just like in September 2000. The story of what happened after the 6 Day War, why Moshe Dayan gave rights to the Temple Mount to the Moslem Waqf, why he threatened to arrest Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren, why the Moslem authorities continued to charge for praying on the Mount, but could no longer charge Jews to pray at the Wall. An interesting history, with 150 pages of notes and maps.

Go to Amazon.Co.UK for this British book. Well meaning British officers wanted stability. British officers, straight from the India colony, found it easier to deal with the Arab leaders than with the Jews, since the Jews were too politically astute. Filled with great tidbits, like how the British Judean Jewish brigade was banned from Jerusalem in Passover 1918, after saving other british forces in WWI, so as not to upset Jerusalem's Arabs. The Brits put Husseini in charge and had him "elected" as Mufti (actually this cousin to Arafat lost the election) Of course, he doublecrossed the brits and worked for the Nazi's instead.

The Silence of the Ultra Orthodox. By Shaiya Brizel.
Best seller in Israel. An autobiography by Shaiya Brizel about double standards in the Haredi community and how they turned a blind eye towards his father's homosexuality and abuse of children. The author's mother was not allowed to divorce her gay husband.

ISRAEL ON THE COUCH. By Ofer grosbard.
Yediot Ahronoth Press. Grosbard is an Israeli clinical psychologist. He depicts Palestinians and Shas supporters as primitives or children, and Israeli Jews as parents or siblings. Palestinians are the older sibling who lost everything when Israel was born and brought home. The battle of the Temple Mount is an Oedipal fight between father and son. Is the Israeli psyche in denial, or is it repressing the displacement of Arabs in 1948? Is it similar to a brother born as an aggressor who caused pain to someone else and is unable to correct it. Are Arabs like the displaced sibling who shouts, "the new child has no right to live."? Do childish negotiating patterns derive from fear? Grosbard cousels his Hebrew readers to be warm and supportive and parental. Conpensatory payments should be made, viewed as parental obligations. He counsels barak to show unconditional love to these children until they grow up and stabilize

Am Oved Publishing. A comprehensive survey of Zionist ideas through icons (menorahs) and symbols (Stars of David), etc.

The New Religious Jews: Recent Developments Among Observant Jews in Israel by Yair Sheleg (Keter Publishing) Ha Dati'im ha Hadashim
Sheleg offers a guide to the various kippot in Israel today, knit and leather, big and small, black and colored, velvet, crocheted or embroidered. An anslysis of what is happening today in Israel as traditional Judaism confronts modern life and Zionism, and not just women reciting kaddish, yeshiva studenst traveling to India, mysticism, women prayer groups, Shas, haredim in the Army, tefillin sleepovers (boys with girlfriends), but also the HaBaKuK (Habad, breslav, Kook, Carlebach) followers who dress in colorful clothes and seek enlightenment.


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