My Jewish Books, the online Jewish Bookstore
OFrah's Jewish Book Club

MyJewishBooks.com

Ofrah's Book Club
Holidays
Shavuot Books
Passover Books

By Season
July 2000 Books
June 2000 Books
Spring 2000 Books
April 2000 Books
March 2000 Books
More March 2000
Winter2000 Books

Special Topics
OFRAH's BookClub
Jewish Book of the Week
SEARCH

Novels
Cookbooks
Yiddish Culture
Jewish Mysteries and Science Fiction
Wrabbis Rite Books
Holocaust Studies
Jewish Bio's
Jewish Biz
Jewish Travel
Must Reads
Israel

Israel Travel
Jewish Renewal
Theology
Bibles Torah
Kabbalah

Jewish SEX
Gay & Lesbian
Jewish Weddings
Parenting
Children's Books
Bar Bat Mitzvah
BarBat Mitzvah Gifts
Mourning
Art Books
More Business
Sociology
Miscellaneous Cholent

Jewish Textbooks

Sephardic Jewry
Southern Jewry
South American Jewry
French Jewry
Black-Jewish Relations


More Seasons
Fall99 Books
More Fall99 Books
Summer 99
Spring 99
Jan/Feb 99
Fall98 Books

More Holidays
Purim Books
Tu B'Shvat Books
Jewish MLKing,Jr Day Books
Sukkah 2000 Project
Haggadahs
HighHolyDay Books
Hanukkah Books
Passover


Special
50% OFF NYT Best Sellers
CHAI-BO (TM)
jewish bedtime stories

Music/CD's

Piano Music

Hollywood and Films

The Jewish Best Sellers

Our partner Amazon.com's Top 100 Books

Amazon.com's Top 100 Music

Top Klezmer CD's
Top Israel Best Selling CD's


Search

Email us at: Admin@myjewishbooks.com



SOME LINKS
USAjewish.com

JewishFilm.com

Search

Email us at: Admin@myjewishbooks.com and put Ofrah in the Subject line

usajewish.com
jewishfilm.com
MorningStar/Hadassah
The Jewish Women's Archive
IsraelWire
NCJW
Jewish Women Intnl

Our NEWS Links Page

Sefer Safari and Myjewishbooks.com are online Jewish bookstores. Orders are fulfilled by Amazon.com Net proceeds are donated to tzedakah

Visit our Tzedakah Page


MORE Ofrah's Jewish Book Club (TM) Recommendations
ALL Profits get DONATED to charity
(see the left margin for our Tzedakah Page).

Shalom. Welcome to Ofrah's Jewish Book Club, hosted by MyJewishBooks.com

Please browse my recommendations and selections, read a review, or add your own review to Amazon by clicking an icon or bookcover-art. The orders are fulfilled for 20-50% off the cover price by amazon.com; net proceeds are donated to tzedakah. If you want to recommend a charity, please send me an email at Admin@myjewishbooks.com

OFRAH'S JANUARY 2000 SELECTIONS

Well, we all survived New Year's Eve, and all is well. Let's all hope for a good new year, free from the flu and worries. My initial selection for January is a collection of short stories:

[cover art] In The Gloaming by Alice Elliot Dark
Hardcover - Simon & Schuster (January 2000). It's been out for a week, and already it's a success. Alice Elliot Dark follows up her 1991 debut collection (Naked To The Waist) with this collection of ten stories. I remember placing her 1991 book in my shrine of great story collection, right next to Michael Chabon's collections. Dark captures our lives in modern America and like a literary micro-surgeon, has a great precision for language, events, emotions, and the unspoken words and pauses. In the title story, In The Gloaming, we meet a mother and son. Laird has returned to the home of his parents to die. His mother cares for him as she did when he was a child. Lonely, and distant from her self-absorbed husband, she realizes that her son is the love of her life, and a future together is not to be. Laird and his mother sit and chat after dinner in the gloaming, that gloomy time of the late afternoon, as the Sun is setting at day's end, when you stare out as the world becomes purple -- the purple of heather and sunsets, not of lesions. Laird's illness is not mentioned, but the words that are unspoken are more powerful than the words spoken between son and mother, and wife and husband. Their conversations are sweet but blunt, a bluntness that is allowed when you are near death. After a single reading it is no surprise that wheelchair bound Christopher Reeve asked to direct the film version of this story. Two of my other faves in this collection are, "Triage", the story of a sixty year old widow and empty nested mother of six, who is attending a seminary, and her phone relationship with her daughter Margie. They envy each other's soulfulness and sexuality, and read each other's silences. In "The Secret Spot", the action takes place on New York's Upper West Side, when Helen runs into Julia, a woman who tried to steal Helen's husband, Nick, five years earlier. Helen has obsesively planned this eventual encounter for five years, and now the polite sparring of these two women ensue on a rock in Central Park as their two sons play. Two of my favorite sentences... "her chest would ache and flutter, a cave full of bats"... and anticipating an after dinner conversation with her son, "she felt a light jittery excitement, the same jittery feeling she got when she was in a plane that was just picking up speed on the runway." To read more, please click.
Click here to BUY this book for a 20 - 30% discount from its list price



[book] These Are My Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life by Rabbi Arthur Green
Hardcover - 200 pages. Jewish Lights (Sept 1999). Arthur Green's new book explores 149 (not 148 as is noted in the preface) fundamental Hebrew words at the heart of Judaism, giving each word life and purpose for modern lives. It is a spiritual vocabulary list that can be used as a reference work. He welcomes the reader to write comments in the margins, agree and or disagree with his definitions. As he says, Judaism doesn't work in translation, and serious study and commitment to Judaism requires a basic vocabulary of Hebrew spiritual terms. Green, a non Kabbalistic, neo mystic; distinguished professor, teacher, and former head of RRC, began keeping a list of words while working on another book, and the list kept growing. The words are divided into eight sections. Some of the sections are: "Holy Times/Holy Seasons"; "Holy Names"; "Holy Things"; "God and The Worlds Above"; "Community"; "Religious Practice"; "Spiritual Life"; and "Torah: Text and Process." Words that are explained include the basics that are infused with greater meaning, such as Atah (You), Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Elohim (God), Emet (Truth), Ein Sof, Halacha, Emunah (Faith), Kaddish, Shekhinah, and Ber'iah (Creation). Click for more information.
Click here to BUY this book for 30% OFF its list price



[book] By the way, for those fans of Anita Diamant's, The Red Tent will be happy to know that it is selling very very well. Published in 1997, it sold about 11,000 hardcover copies. It was then issued as a paperback starting in the Fall of 1998; and this first novel has been building sales by word of mouth, to the point that it is now in its FIFTH printing, and has sold nearly 100,000 copies. It is a top selection of so many Jewish book reading groups (maybe because Mickey Perlman loved it, and the publisher sent a free copy to 500 Reform Rabbis, and 300 female Ministers). Rabbi Laurie Katz Braun has written a study guide for this book (click here to read it). Diamant is currently working on a second novel about female relationships.

OFRAH'S DECEMBER 1999 SELECTIONS

[book] The Wholeness of a Broken Heart by Katie Singer
Hardcover - 336 pages (October 1999). Singer tells this compelling, contemporary mother-daughter (Celia and Hannah) love story in all its intimacy, anger, and tzurris across four generations of Jewish women, from the Litvak shtetl and Cossack rape, to the Holocaust, immigration to New York City, to the princess life in suburban Shaker Heights / Cleveland, Ohio and Ann Arbor. What binds these four generations of Jewish women together? Hannah, who is named for her great grandmother, becomes curious about the family history after reading The Diary of Anne Frank. Like the character in "The Same Embrace", Hannah quizzes her grandparents on the stories of her living and dead relatives using old photos. When Celia and Hannah have a confusing break-up, and Hannah is banished from home, Hannah must use her roots and the life stories of her great grandmothers to understand why her mother is acting so peculiar. This book is eight years in the making, having started when Ms. Singer sold her possessions, gave up her rent controlled Cambridge Mass flat, and drove out west to New Mexico where she embarked on this writing project. This could easily become a theater piece; I can see Anna Deveare Smith (Fires in The Mirror) doing all the roles (or Ms. Singer herself). But until she does, buy this book and let the characters come alive in your mind. To read more, please click.
Click here to BUY this book for a 20 - 30% discount from its list price



OFRAH'S NOVEMBER 1999 SELECTIONS
For my selection for the month of November and Cheshvan, I am moving away from fiction towards non-fiction. Cheshvan has no Jewish holidays (unless you count Thanksgiving and Shabbat), so it's a good time to read some non-fiction and spiritual books. To this end, I recommend "Bringing Home The Light" by E. M. Broner, a leader and educator in the women's movement.

[book] Bringing Home the Light : A Jewish Woman's Handbook of Rituals by E. M. Broner
Hardcover - 288 pages (October 1999) Professor Broner, is famous for her co-authorship of the ground breaking Women's Haggadah, as well as Mornings and Mourning: A Kaddish Journal. She has written over eight other books. In this poetic book, she crafts a personal handbook to practicing and creating new meaningful Jewish rituals for women. As the book opens, she tells the reader how her mother would bring home the light of the Sabbath while kindling the Shabbat candles. Broner summons her own experiences and offers us her illumination on creating Jewish space with rituals for Fall cleansing, Hanukkah empowerment, Summer healing, lifecycles, mourning and loss, menopause, menarche, and life.
Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.



[book] Open and Clothed: For the Passionate Clothes Lover by Andrea L. Siegel
Paperback - 347 pages (August 1999) Agapanthus Books. Berkeley based Andrea Siegel's self published book on the clothes we wear and how we should develop a better relationship with our clothes and bodies. What do you see when you peer into a mirror. Do you dress like you are in a Vogue or New York Times Sunday magazine advertisement? Andrea gives an in-depth discussion on our wardrobes and why many of us buy. Filled with tips on how to buy properly. By the way, Ms Siegel is the great granddaughter of S. Klein, the famed NYC (14th Street) clothing merchant, where Jewish women would shop and fight over bargain dresses.
Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.



OFRAH'S OCTOBER 1999 SELECTION
[book] Ladies' Auxiliary : A Novel by Tova Mirvis
Hardcover - 352 pages (October 1999) W W Norton.
A tale told in third person plural. A tale of a society that is unchanging, or so it thinks...
This is Tova's first novel and it is highly anticipated. It resides in the intersection of Kaaterskill Falls and the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Tova, aged 27, was raised in a Yiddish speaking Orthodox household in Memphis Tennessee, y'all. She now resides in Memphis on the Hudson... New York City (and yes, guys, she is married and has a newborn baby. She edited the book during prescribed bedrest). This book recreates Southern Orthodox Jewish life that can be both warm yet suffocating, sensitive yet insular. The protagonist in this novel is a 34 year old Jewish woman named Batsheva Jacobs. A blonde convert to Judaism, she is a widowed painter with a five year old daughter, Ayala. Batsheva dresses smartly, sings loudly in shul, and washes at the mikva. These things are just not done in Memphis. She lets her art students wear makeup. And then there is a rumor that Mimi Rubin's boy, the Rabbi's son, has taken an interest in Batsheva. Batsheva's approach to spirituality and her role divides the community and embroils it in a fight for its soul and mission. Click to read more.
Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.



OFRAH'S SEPTEMBER 1999 SELECTION

[book] Zwilling's Dream : A Novel by Ross Feld
Hardcover - 304 pages (September 1999)
Author, Ross Feld of Cincinnati, has been a Macdowell and NEA grants recipient. Okay, enuf nachas, now on to the novel... Joel Zwilling, only 22, is a literary wunderkind. Just before Joel's story about a writer who is crippled by grief appears, Joel's wife and daughter are killed in a car accident. His young son survives, and Joel is crippled with writer's block. Over the next 20 years, Joel remarries, teaches college, and is eclipsed by the literary success of his son, Nate, whose own youthful writing success in NYC has given him the confidence to hope for big things. Thus Nate is astounded- and jealous - when his father, Joel, is approached by Brian Herkow, a hack of a film director who has gotten a "Holocaust foundation" grant. Brian, who has his own traumas, wants to capture Joel's first novel, about growing up as a child of Holocaust survivors, on film. Brian and his sensual assistant, Selva Tashjian (who has deep secrets, and a penchant for relations with married men), arrive in Cincinnati for pre-production work, bedevilling father, wife and son. Watch out.
Click here to BUY this book for 30% OFF its list price



OFRAH'S AUGUST 1999 SELECTION

[book] Run Catch Kiss: A Gratifying Novel by Amy Sohn
Hardcover - 256 pages (July 1999) Simon & Schuster. Amy Sohn, 25, is a Hadassah poster girl. She is the quintessential intelligent, sexy, literate, assertive, self-promoting, romantic Jewish woman (who is currently dating that WASPy Paul). She may be familiar to New Yorkers as the NY Press "Female Trouble" columnist. Or if you went to Brown University, you may remember her from when she spoke out against anti-Semitism during her valedictory speech (her mother and her grandmother are Brown alums). Her book is intended for all of us who read the Sunday wedding announcements of our tribesmen in The New York Times, and imagine how ours will be crafted; or those who sit in parks, bars, cafes, or synagogues and wonder with whom we are going to fall in love. The main character in this novel is a 22 year old named Ariel Steiner (same initials as the author). She, like the author, returns to NYC after college to pursue acting, but when she tires of rejections and temp jobs, she lands a gig writing a column for a New York tabloid, a column that revolves around sex and relationships. Ariel also lands an apartment in Carool Gardens, right near my real one. Ariel is seeking her sexy and Jewish man. The book is filled with EXPLICIT sexual intercourse, the big o, and wild relationships. Should she play by "the Rules", be an aggressive Glenn Close-like female, or by like John Cusack in "Say Anything"? As Amy Sohn wrote, "Some guys want to date Ariel so they can be written about, but others run the other way out of fear that Ariel will diminish their physical capacities. Ariel's nice Jewish parents, Leo and Carol... read the column and totally wig out - because how many parents really want to know what their kids are up to horizontally?" What can I say, if you wonder why all the uptalking guys (they raise their voices on final syllables) in NYC are named Josh, Jake, Jason or Jonah, and if you have a book group, put Amy's book on your list. Click the cover to read more reviews of Amy's book. P.S. - Hey Amy, if you read this, take some advice from Sari Locker, the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex. Sari says that on her book tour she four types of men. 25% want to date her cuz they think she is kinky; 25% think that she has some sort of sexual dysfunction; 25% are intimidated by her; and then the final 25% are normal guys who want to date her for herself. P.P.S. - Can I ever think of the words, "bread of affliction" and "parting of the Red Sea" the same way again?
Click here to BUY this book for 30% OFF its list price





OFRAH'S JULY 1999 SELECTIONS

[book] 1185 Park Avenue - A Memoir by Anne R. Roiphe
Hardcover-256 pages (May 1999). The Free Press. Anne Richardson Roiphe, columnist, feminist, author of Up the Sandbox; Loving Kindness; and Fruitful: My Real Life as a Modern Mother, and mother of five kids, at least two of whom are authors (Katie Roiphe is one, Emily Carter the other), offers us her memoir of growing up in gilded, Jewish Manhattan. Just your average Jewish family -- brother, sister, mom, dad -- living on Park Avenue, playing Mah Jongg, having an xmas tree, going to tutors, mixing drinks, lighting mom's cigarettes, residing with the strict German governess and maids. Dad was a philanderer, mom was an insecure, weak heir to the Philips Van Heusen apparel fortune. Anne's brilliant brother was emotionally scarred for life, and she despised him. All was not as it appeared in Apartment 8C. How will Anne escape? How will her parents and brother survive? Is it true that the second wife gets everything? Is it true her father disinherited her from her mother's fortune for revealing family secrets? Click to read more.
Click here to BUY this book for 30% OFF its list price





[book] For the Relief of Unbearable Urges: Stories by Nathan Englander
April 1999. This is Nathan's debut collection of nine stories, and already the book has been reviewed everywhere of importance and sales have skyrocketed. Englander, who reportedly received a $350K advance from Knopf, grew up in an Orthodox family on New York's Long Island, and now resides in Jerusalem. The stories all deal with fickle fate. Englander, whose long hair conjure up images of Rambo or Shimshon, may be the newest Malamud, Cheever, or Roth! Maybe the newest I. B. Singer. Maybe you've seen his pieces in The New Yorker? The stories focus on Jewish characters living around the world. Some are tragic, others comic. In one story a group of Polish Jews board a passenger train instead of the cattle car bound for Auschwitz. They are mistaken for tumbling acrobats who are to perform for soldiers. Does a reader laugh or cry? Another story is set in a taxi on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, another in Jerusalem, and another in the USSR under Stalin. In the Soviet story, a young writer is imprisoned, creates the greatest story he has every originated, but in a few hours he will probably be killed by a firing squad. What about the bearded rabbi who gets a job each year playing Santa? I most enjoyed the story of the woman who traveled to Manhattan to try on wigs and cosmetics.
Click here to BUY this book at 30% discount from its list price or to read more about it



OFRAH'S JUNE 1999 SELECTION

[book] Drizzle of Honey: The Lives and Recipes of Spain's Secret Jews by David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson
Hardcover (Spring 1999). St Martins Press. During the Inquisition, a bowl of Chicken soup could get you killed, not healed. If this book is not nominated for a Jewish Book Award, I don't know what will be. How is that for a recommendation? I came across this in the shelves the other day and was mesmerized. David Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson are a husband and wife team and teachers at the the University of Rhode Island. David is a past winner of the National Jewish Book Award, and he is a specialist in aljamas (jewish neighborhoods), the converso Jews, the anusim (forced converts) and the meshumadim (willing coverts). Using cookbooks and Inquisition documents in Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan (including the rare 13th Century Al Andalus cookbook of the Cocina Hispano-Magribi), the authors have recreating over 90 recipes of the Converso community. During the Inquisitions in the Iberian peninsula, Jews and Moslems were killed, exiled, or converted. Some of the converted remained Jewish or Moslem and became crypto-jews, Crypto-Moslems, of Conversos. Spain expelled Jews in 1492 (you know, when Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue); Portugal expelled Jews in 1497. The recipes are well categorized, and make use of lamb, beef, fish, eggplant, greens, turnips, chickpeas, as well as mace, cinnamon, ginger, lavender, rue, portulaca, and dozens of other spices. Most recipes include histories and characters of the period, which is the prime motivation to purchase this book. For example, along of the recipes of Beatrice Nunez, we learn that she was arrested in 1485. Her maid turned her in to the Inquisition for the crime of maintaining a kosher kitchen. She also prepared a Sabbath stew of lamb, chickpeas and eggs. Proof enough to have her burned at the stake. Among my favorite recipes is Mayor Gonzalez's Egg and Carrot Casserole. She was imprisoned in 1483 for killing a goose in "the jewish way." Then there is Juan Sanchez's hamin of chickpeas, spinach and cabbage; and Maria de Luna's rasquillas honey pastries that she prepared for the post-Yom Kippur fast. She was arrested in 1505 for this crime. There is also Juan de Teva's Roast Lamb dish. Juan's father was a rabbi who was burned to death i n1484. The authors also include the Roast Chicken with Fruit and Almori recipe of Anton de Montoro. Senor de Montoro was a rag merchat in Cordoba, but is most well known as being the converso poet to the Court of Queen Isabel of Castile. De Montoro was accused of preparing stuffed radishes (a Jewish dish) and Pollo Judio (jewish chicken). Easily, this is among the top three Jewish Cookbooks of the year.
Click here to BUY this book for a 20 - 30% discount from its list price



OFRAH'S MAY 1999 SELECTIONS

[book] The Times of My Life and My Life With the Times (New York Times) by Max Frankel
Hardcover - 432 pages (March 1999). Max Frankel escaped from Nazi Germany as a child and grew up, detached, in Washington Heights. It was a painful exile for him. Frankel rose to become the executive editor and shake up the tone and hiring practices of the NY Times. He also won a Pulitzer Prize. Along the way he knew Presidents and PM's and did time in Cuba, DC, and Moscow. He doesn't hold back one bit, and even discusses his wife's depression. Quite an absorbing read.
Click here to BUY this book for 30% OFF its list price



[book] Drinking the Sea at Gaza : An Israeli Woman's Journey to the Other Side by Amira Hass, Elana Wesley (Translator), Maxine Nunn (Translator)
Hardcover - 384 pages (May 1999) Metropolitan Books. Amira Hass is the Israeli-born daughter of Balkan-born Holocaust survivors. As a reporter for the Israeli daily Haaretz, she was sent to Gaza to write a story in 1993. She came for the story, but ended up setting up a residence in a place that is so despised that some Israelis say "go to Gaza" instead of "go to hell." In this haunting book, Hass tells the tale of the daily life of Gaza residents and the politically based difficulties they encounter in trying the earn a living, crossing the border, undergoing cultural humiliations, and breaking curfews. It is a good book to read if you want to understand daily life in the PA, and it is despairing when you wonder if anything will ever succeed there. Hass' Marxist leanings get in the way sometimes, but if you are an active reader, you can overcome the tilt. To read more, click below.
Click here to BUY this book for 30% OFF its list price or to read more reviews.




[book] Four Mothers by Shifra Horn, Dalya Bilu (Translator)
Hardcover - 288 pages (May 1999) St Martins Press. Set in Jerusalem, this is a best seller in Israel. It is chock full of folklore, customs, superstition, and folk wisdom. It concerns five generations of Jewish women. These women are cursed with husbands who disappear after their wives give birth. Is it a family curse? Where did it originate? Amal decides to find out. Her search leads her to her great-great-grandmother, Mazal, and from there we learn about the lives of her descendants. An excellent insight into the neighborhoods of old and new Jerusalem.
Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.



OFRAH'S APRIL 1999 SELECTIONS

[book] The New York Times Passover Cookbook: More Than 175 Holiday Recipes from Top Chefs and Writers by Linda Amster (Editor), and Joan Nathan
List Price: $25 before discount. Hardcover - 384 pages (March 1999) William Morrow & Company. Each year, thousands of readers of The New York Times await a Wednesday "Dining In/Dining Out (DiDo)" section that appears in the week or so preceding the Jewish holiday of Passover. They want to read about time-honored/traditional and updated/newer holiday recipes that give one a taste of the holiday, conform to dietary rules, and provide an aura of rebirth and freedom. Linda Amster, a DiDo section regular, has compiled the most exciting recipes in this Passover Cookbook; sure to become a classic. Had she only included Wolfgang Puck's Los Angeles seder recipes... Dayenu, it would have been enough. Had she only then added Paul Prudhommes Pesach veal roast... Dayenu, that too would have been enough to make this worthwhile. And what about Anne Rosenzweig recipe for haroseth? Dayenu. We get 175 recipes. They are all in this book. I doubt that I will ever prepare a tenth of the recipes in the book, yet it is an exciting read none the less.
Click here to BUY this book 30% discount from its list price




[book] The Supermarket Sorceress's Sexy Hexes by Lexa Rosean
As long as you are cooking, try out this book. Lexa Rosean got kicked out of Stern College (Yeshiva University's Women's College) and opened up her own store, and is an author of at least three books. Lexa Rosean is Jew-witch, or a good Jewish witch, who knows that spells and hexes can be easy as a nice brisket. No, but really, this book is filled with witchcraft that you can perform in your own kitchen. Click the icon to read more about the book.
Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.



OFRAH'S MARCH 1999 SELECTIONS

[book] Kosher Sex :A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Hardcover - 224 pages (March 1999) We saw Rabbi Boteach on NBC's The Today Show and then in a speaking engagement in NYC. Rabbi Boteach's (Bo-tay-ach) writes about sex and intimacy from a Jewish perspective. His speaking style is quite schmaltzy and he is a showman, but his writings are interesting, and I will admit that they helped to enlighten me on a few topics. He discusses how do you find a soulmate that is both a friend and a sensual partner.
Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review. No Taxes!



OFRAH'S FEBRUARY 1999 SELECTIONS

[book] Looking for Lost Bird: A Jewish Woman's Discovery of Her Navajo Roots by Yvette D. Melanson with Claire Safran
($22 before 30% discount). Hardcover - 240 pages (February 1999). A few years ago, NBC-TV did a story about a 43 year old Jewish woman who, when she sought out her birth parents, discovered that she was actually born to a Navajo family. Yvette was a lost bird, the name Native Americans give to their children who were stolen by "well-meaning" white social workers and others. This is Yvetts's fascinating story. Yvette Melanson was born "out West" in the 1950's, adopted by a Jewish couple in Miami, and raised in New York City in a wealthy, doting, Jewish family. Although she knew she was adopted, her parents always deflected questions about her roots, but did let it slip that she had a twin brother. When her mother died a painful death when Yvette was just a young teenager, Yvette's father blamed Yvette, rejected her, and soon remarried a woman who treated Yvette worse than Cinderella. So I don't give away any more juicy details, suffice it to say that Yvette moved to a Kibbutz at 17, was injured as a soldier during the '73 War, returned to the U.S., and settled in Maine to raise a family. At her father's funeral, a stranger had to ask her stepmother to move over so Yvette could sit in the family pew. Can you believe such a family? Upon discovering her true birth heritage a while after her father's funeral, we follow Yvette as she meets her Navajo family, learns the truth about her birth, tries to fit into Navajo culture in Tolani Lakes, a culture which is sometimes at odds with a louder New York City/Israeli/Jewish one, and finds similarities between her Jewish faith and Navajo culture.
Click here to BUY this book for 30% OFF its list price


OFRAH'S JANUARY 1999 SELECTIONS

[book] To Begin Again. The Journey Toward Comfort, Strength, and Faith in Difficult Times. By Naomi Levy (Rabbi)
Hardcover - 320 pages (October 1998) Knopf.
How do you continue after experiencing a loss? How do you overcome being a survivor to become a participant. How do you suvive pain and tragedy? How do answer your congregants who ask the value of believing and praying when tragedy occurs? Rabbi Naomi Levy, who served Congregation Mishkon Tephilo in Venice California has known grief. She wrote this book to help people overcome tragedy. It is must reading for anyone who has experienced loss, considering rabbinical school or planning to work in Jewish counseling. Rabbi Levy is one of the first female graduates of JTS' rabbinical school. The book is filled with stories of loss and recovery, and applicable prayers and quotes from Jewish texts. The first chapter opens with the kidnapping, robbery and rape of a congregant while on her way to Kol Nidre services. In later chapters we meet a congregant who loses all physical connection to her past when a fire destroys her family's home (except for a single unmelted mezuzah), another who suffers a stillbirth, and others who suffer illnesses, addictions, and other losses. Rabbi Levy had her own losses to overcome, too. At age fifteen, her father was brutally, senselessly murdered by a mugger, leaving a devastated family and destroying Naomi's faith in the police, doctors, people and god. She became a pessimist overnight, and understood the Talmudic quote that 'to destroy a single life is to destroy the world.' Yet, she was able to slowly overcome this loss. The book is not going to cure the reader overnight, but it will set you on the right path and give you or your friends hope. Definitely one of the best books of the year, and it is a schanda that she gets more reviews and appearances on Evangelical TV shows and bupkis in The NYT and the Jewish press.
Click here to read more about it, or to BUY this book.

[book] A Heart of Wisdom: Making the Jewish Journey from Mid-Life Through the Elder Years by Susan Berrin (Editor)
Paperback - 384 pages (1999) Jewish Lights. Growing older is a life-long process. By mid-life we begin to focus our attention and invest not only for our financial and physical security but also for our spiritual, emotional, and intellectual well-being as elders by acknowledging the challenges and conditions of aging. Neither the daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly cycles of Jewish living are age-specific. As young, middle-aged, or older people, we continue to be partners with God and the human family in sustaining and being sustained by our fragile world. This book has fifty contributors who explore aging from a Jewish perspective: How does being Jewish influence our relationships with the elderly? How does being Jewish influence our own aging? How does living, thinking, and worshipping as a Jew affect us as we age? How do we retain our dignity as we age? Click below to read more...
Click here to BUY this book

OFRAH'S BOOKS I READ IN 1998 AND LIKED

[book] From A Sealed Room. By Rachel Kadish.
October 1998. A beautifully descriptive novel. Rachel Kadish is a 1991 graduate of Princeton and lives in Cambridge. This is a novel about three women in Israel and redemption. It takes place during the Gulf War, as a nation sleeps in protective, sealed rooms, awaiting Scud missile attacks from Iraq. Meet some of the characters: Tami, an enduring mother; Dov, her son, who serves as a soldier in the IDF; Maya, an American student at Hebrew University who is in an abusive relationship with an Israeli man; Shifra, an isolated woman living in a Hasidic neighborhood, alone in her room with her memories of pre-War Poland.
Click here to BUY this book for 30% OFF its list price from Amazon.com

[book] Miriam's Kitchen: A Memoir by Elizabeth Ehrlich
Hardcover (December 1997). Yes it is a cookbook, but it is also a memoir. When Miriam, a mother-in-law and Holocaust survivor, takes her son's wife, Elizabeth Ehrlich, under her wing, she reawakens Elizabeth's forgotten love of and need for Jewish rituals and traditions. Elizabeth, a former Business Week reporter, grew up in a kosher-style Detroit household, in which corned-beef was the level of observance, social equality was the religion, and Brooklyn was her father's homeland. Feeling perpetually out of place in Detroit, only on her childhood visits to her paternal grandmother in Brooklyn, did Elizabeth feel like a cupcake. As an adult, she sought a greater connection. This book is a memoir of growing up Jewish, that also explores the path Elizabeth took, her decision to observe the Sabbath, and the travails along the way, including the provincialism and sexism of some parts of the Orthodox Jewish world. Winner of the Jewish Book Award 1998, which upon reading the book, you will see why.
Click here to order this book
Click here to order the Fall 1998 paperback edition



[book] A Heart of Many Rooms; Celebrating the Many Voices Within Judaism. By David Hartman.
Hardcover - 304 pages. Jewish Lights Publishing. Are pluralism and traditional Judaism contradictory? Can the enrich each other? Rabbi Hartman, a two time winner of the Jewish Book Award, writes that they need not conflict. As it is written in Tosefta Sotah 7:12, make yourself a heart of many rooms so that the words of Bet Hillel AND Bet Shammai can reside as one. This book is a collection of Rabbi David Hartman's essays that seek out inclusion, bridges, and pluralism. It is incisive and passionate. Hartman, a graduate of Yeshiva University, and a student of the late Rav Soloveitchik, was a pulpit rabbi in The Bronx and Montreal for over 17 years, before moving to Jerusalem in 1977. After graduation, he thought his role would be to answer questions - questions pertaining to Halachah. But then he realized that a rabbi's role is to create questions, and not only provide answers. He realized that his task was to fight indifference and to convince Jews to confront the Judaic tradition as a living option that could not be easily dismissed. He accomplishes this in this book. Hartman write, "One who seeks absolute certainty will not find comfort in a spiritual tradition whose response to the disagreements between the schools of Hillel and Shammai was that both schools of thought were the words of the living God." The book contains 16 chapters in 4 parts. Part I deals with the interpretive tradition and tradition and secularism; Part II concerns 'educating toward inclusiveness'; Part III focuses on celebrating religious diversity; and Part IV concerns religion in a modern Israel, which chapter titles about the Lebanon War, Zionism, and Aliyah. Click to read more.
Click here to BUY this book for a discount OFF its list price







USE THE "SEARCH" FUNCTION BELOW to find any other books that interest you, or click the top frame to see the other books that Sefer Safari can offer.

Books Music Enter keywords...


Amazon.com
                     logo








http://members.aol.com/sefersfari -- Revised: 1/10/98, 8/1/98, 2/99
Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 Sefer Safari online Jewish books

SeferSfari@aol.com


LE FastCounter

Disclaimer: We provide this data as a service to readers. We are not responsible for the results of the use or misuse of the data and/or the review of the works above. Amazon.com fulfills book orders