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[looking at pics]

Get out your jewelers loop, and look closely at our book selections below. Another Summer is coming to an end, a time for introspection is approaching. Maybe a Jewish book can help?



November 2001 Books
October 2001 Books
September 2001 Books


October 15, 2001: Nomi Eve reads The Family Orchard, B&N E 86th St, NYC
October 17, 2001: Jon. Kirsch reads The Woman Who Laughed at God, Santa Monica.
October 18, 2001: Nomi Eve reads The Family Orchard, B&N 1805 Walnut, Phila.
October 18, 2001: Marvin Kalb reads One Scandalous Story, B&N E54th, NYC
October 24, 2001: Marvin Kalb reads One Scandalous Story, B&N Bethesda
November 8, 2001: Michael Chabon reads "Kav. And Clay", B&N UnionSq, NYC
November 15, 2001: Rich Cohen reads from The Avengers, B&N E 86th St, NYC
December 4, 2001: Howard Blum reads from The Brigade, B&N W 82nd, NYC
December 5, 2001: Lily Brett reads from Too Many Men, B&N W 82nd, NYC

Attention readers and K-mart shoppers: On October 21-23, 2001, Princeton University will host an International Conference Celebrating the Jewish-American Writer. Harold Shapiro will open the conference on Sunday October 21, along with Tony Kushner, Grace Paley, Marge Piercy, Robert Pinsky, Susan Sontag, and CK Williams. Wendy Wasserstein will delivery the opening lecture.
On Monday, October 22, speakers will include Robert Alter, Sidra Dekoven Ezrahi, Alvin Rosenfeld, Kathryn hellerstein, Hana Wirth-Nesher, Irena Klepfisz, Jeffrey Shandler, Max Apple, Rebecca Goldstein, Alan Isler, Alicia Ostriker, Jonathan Wilson, with a keynote by E.L. Doctorow on "Literature as Assimilation." Ben Katchor will delivery an illustrated lecture.
On Tuesday, October 23, speakers will include James Atlas, Daniel Mendelsohn, Morris Dickstein, Leslie Epstein, Melvin Jules Bukiet, Thane Rosenbaum, Will Eisner, Jules Feiffer, Art Spiegelman, James Young, and Michael Wood.
For more information, go to www.PRINCETON.EDU/~jwst/writers or call 609-258-0394.


By David I. Kertzer

September 18, 2001 (Rosh Hashana), Knopf.
Attention Vatican: "Circle the Wagons"
Kertzer is a Professor of Social Science and a Professor of Anthropology and Italian studies at Brown University. He is the author of "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara," which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has twice been awarded, in 1985 and 1990, the Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies for the best work on Italian history. Thus he knows of Popes, Jews, and Italy.
This is an authoritative historical study based on documents from the Vatican's archives. It shows how the Catholic Church helped make the Holocaust possible. Pope John Paul II allowed David I. Kertzer to be one of the first scholars given access to secret archives. The result is a book filled with shocking revelations. It traces the Vatican's role in the development of modern anti-Semitism from the nineteenth century up to the outbreak of the Second World War. Kertzer shows why all the recent attention given to Pope Pius XII's failure to publicly protest the slaughter of Europe's Jews in the war misses a far more important point. What made the Holocaust possible was groundwork laid over a period of decades. In this campaign of demonization of the Jews-identifying them as traitors to their countries, enemies of all that was good, relentlessly pursuing world domination-the Vatican itself played a key role, as is shown here for the first time. The author uncovers GREAT documents. Such as Msgr Achille Ratti's letter from Poland to the Pope on the evil of Polish Jews (he was elevated to Archbishop of Milan in 1921, and Pope less than a year later (Pius 11)). Pope Pius 7th took away the civil rights of the Jews, rights that Napoleon had granted them. He also supported the kidnapping of Jewish children, so that they could be raised Catholic. Msgr Antonio Agliardi of Austria heavily supported Karl Lueger, the anti-Jewish head of the Christian Socialist party. Pope Benedict 15th praised Father Ernest Jouin of France, a Jew hater who translated the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Pope Pius 11 (Ratti) also honored him for combatting our mortal enemy (the Jews). The book shows, how The Vatican lended authority and support to those who promoted Jew hatred in Europe, said that Jews promoted Bolshevism, and that Jews killed Christian children for their blood. MY MONEY IS RIDING ON THIS FOR A NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD!

[book cover click here] [book cover click here] The Brother: The Untold Story of Atomic Spy David Greenglass and How He Sent His Sister, Ethel Rosenberg, to the Electric Chair
Alternate title is: GREENGLASS
by Sam Roberts (NYT)

September 18, 2001 (Rosh Hashana). Random House. Sam Roberts, the author, reports that the David Greenglass PERJURED himself in his testimony against his sister, Ethel Rosenberg (read this and you will learn that maybe Ethel was not as guilty as some people thought). DAVID GREENGLASS was the star witness against his brother-in-law and sister. He betrayed his country and his family. He served ten years of a fifteen year sentence, and then changed his name and continued his life as a dimwit. Yes, the book tells us, Greenglass was not too bright. He slept through the first test of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, he was not a committed Communist; and he did not regret the spy work he did. A loud stupid lefty who got involved in the Communist cause at age 16, he was assigned to a job as a machinist at Los Alamos during World War II, and was recruited as a Soviet spy by his brother-in-law, Julius Rosenberg. While the Rosenberg's would have sacrificed their children to the cause of Communism, Greenglass was more indifferent. The Soviets detonated their own bomb in 1949, and the FBI knocked on Greenglass's door in 1950. He confessed in just a few hours, and turned in his family. Judge Kaufman didn't want to kill the Rosenberg's and neither did President Eisenhower, but they wouldn't name names and the Korean War started, so the Rosenberg's were fried.

[book cover click here] The Man Behind the Rosenbergs
by Alexander Feklisov

October 2001. Enigma Books. Ex KGB Spymaster recounts his handling of Julius Rosenberg in the 1940's. He writes that he met Julius Rosenberg and had over 50 secret meetings with him, receiving an impressive amount of classified scientific and technological information, which was passed on to the USSR. He and Rosenberg built a wide network of agents in the US. Any doubts since the trial and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg have now become impossible to deny. Later, in London in the 1950s, Feklisov was given vitally important nuclear secrets of the H-bomb. In the 1960s, the author played a crucial role in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

by Leo Rosten,
updated by Lawrence Bush, art by R O Blechman, Edited by Doug Pepper.

Crown, September 2001. Book Schmook, what have we got here? We have an updating of the classic book, but some say that the editor has some sort of politically correct and post-Zionist axe to grind, but hey, that is his problem, and I hope it doesn't ruin your enjoyment of the book...
Leo Rosten's daughters (Madeleine Lee and Margaret Rosten Muir) have sold the rights to this 30 year old book to Crown Publishers (which sold 500,000 copies since 1968). The text is updated for 2001, and it includes a cross reference Yiddish English index which was badly needed. Rosten wrote that he wrote the book to show, "how the special culture of the Jews, their distinctive style of thought, the subtleties of feelings, are reflected in YIDDISH; and how this in turn has enhanced and enriched the English we use today." I think the editor should have used a better fact checker, and should have hung out more with people in Brooklyn who actually speak Yiddish today and have created new words. If you buy it, please add the following words that the editor left out: Yeshivish, Kibbutznik, faygel, ShoYmer Shabes, Mamesh. Watch for future spinoffs and brand extensions.


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September 2001. Morrow. Legend says that the entrance to the Garden of Eden was located at the Machpelah, the Hebron burial site of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah; the pilgrimage site of Jews and Moslems; the mosque and makeshift synagogue; the "doubling" oneness site that encompasses several conflicting faiths. It is here that Palestinian Peugeots and Jewish Mitsubishis could meet. It is here that the author embarks on a journey into opening one's heart. The author is known for his book, "Confessions of a Jewish Extremist", and for being the subject of the 1985 award winning documentary "KADDISH". An American-born Israeli Jew, raised by a survivor in isolationist Brooklyn, he is a contributor to the NYT Op-Ed page, The Jerusalem Report, and TNR. He didn't support occupation, nor did he support the crumbling Oslo Plan. He did not want to be an self-confident oppressor or a fool. What was he to do? Meditation and prayer? Maybe meeting his fellow spiritual seekers among Israel's 800,000 Moslems and 200,000 Christians would succeed in finding a new path to peace. Beginning in early 1998, at the cusp of the Millennium, Yossi spent two years in dialogue with other spiritual seekers; most were on the fringe, some might even be seen as delusional (but it is a start). Those two years allowed for experiences that, sadly, cannot be repeated today without potential calamity. Yossi expanded his sacred time to include their holiday celebrations. Could faith, which in Israel is a force of division and conflict, be a source of healing? Could the religions that had conflicting claims on the land be viewed as reinforcing the area's holiness? Halevi, who did not know the difference between the Assumption and the Annunciation, between Id el-Fitr and Id ed-Adha, who knew more about Buddhism than his sister faiths, met with Sufis, Monks, Nuns, Imams, and Sheiks in mosques, monasteries, grottos and cloisters. There was a little skepticism, and some commonality; there was resentment, there is honesty. In Part 1, Ramadan abd Id Eil-Adha, the author, residing in French Hill, tries to incorporate the muezzin's call to prayer from neighboring Anata into his daily prayers. Can the minaret be a lighthouse in the rocky seas of the West Bank, or is it a megaphone of hate? He seeks out Sheikhs, Sufis and other Moslems; some center on death, others on love and life. He explores whether people can focus on the unifying messages of the religions rather than debating the conflicting details. In Part 2, Lent, Easter, and Christmas, Yossi seeks out nuns, monks, Christians and Catholics, Armenians and Ethiopians. Can he learn silence, can they learn not to convert this perfidious person, can they no longer judge each other by their people's worst traits? In Part 3, Feast of the Transfiguration and Lailat al-Miraj, and the Epilogue, Yossi must confront and struggle with his worst anxieties, doubts and fears.

By Faye Kellerman

August 14, 2001. Kellerman's thirteenth mystery that stars Lt. Peter Decker and his Orthodox Jewish wife, Rina Lazarus. Faye Kellerman can be counted on to deliver emotional complexity along with suspense, and in The Forgotten it comes from the relationship between Peter and Jacob, Rina's troubled teenage son. Jacob has a personal connection to the event that sets off this intricately plotted novel, the defacing of Rina's synagogue by one of his classmates. Ernesto Golding can't explain why he vandalized the synagogue, but when he and his therapists are murdered months after the incident, Peter realizes that something the teenager told him when admitting his guilt may hold the key to the killings: Ernesto's belief that his grandfather may have been a Nazi who posed as a Jew to escape to South America after the war. Investigating Ernesto's story gives Rina a strand of the plot to tease out; meanwhile, Peter concentrates on another motive for the therapist murders that involves computer fraud, the College Board exams, and the high cost exacted by parents who pressure their teenagers to succeed.

By Elaine grudin Denholtz

September 2001, The story of that celebrated Jewish kidnapping case, in which the 13 year old Shai Fhima was taken to a renegade rabbi for bar mitzvah lessons. The boy decided to become Orthodox, after the rabbi told him he was a hidden zaddik, and did not return home. Was he kidnapped? Was he brainwashed by this Jewish cult? Was Helbrans delusional or just fervently religious? Was it true that his mother was abusive? Did Shai write the letters, or was he only copying what was dictated by the rabbi? He didn't see his mother for two years. The boy was hidden in New York, Israel, Holland, Luxembourg, and France by the controversial rabbi's (lev tahor) followers. A trial ensued, even though the D.A. did not want to irritate his hasidic voter base. Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, who had his run-ins with the law in Israel, was sent to prison in New York State. This is the story of the case, the mother, and what happened.

Edited by Rabbis Rebecca T. Alpert, Sue Levi Elwell, and Shirley Idelson

August/September 2001. Rutgers. PAPERBACK EDITION.
There are about 580 women rabbis. Some of the best classes I have taken were taught by female rabbis who identify as lesbian (namely Rabbi S. Kleinbaum and Rabbi Benay Lappe). "Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation" documents a monumental change in Jewish life as eighteen lesbian rabbis reflect on their experiences as trailblazers in Judaism's journey into an increasingly multicultural world. Please note that these are reflections by the first generation. The second generation may possibly be more open and have different experiences (until they look for jobs, of course) In frank and revealing essays, the contributors discuss their decisions to become rabbis and describe their experiences both at the seminaries (RRC and HUC will ordain lesbians as rabbis, JTS will not ordain an openly lesbian or gay students and in their rabbinical positions. They also reflect on the dilemma of whether to conceal or to reveal their sexual identities to their congregants and superiors, or to serve specifically gay and lesbian congregations. The contributors consider the tensions between lesbian identity and Jewish identity, and inquire whether there are particularly "lesbian" readings of traditional texts. These essays also ask how the language of Jewish tradition touches the lives of lesbians and how lesbianism challenges traditional notions of the Jewish family. The book was born in 1997 at a meeting of B'not Esh, a 21-year-old women's collective. Fifty rabbis were invited to contribute essays. Eighteen essays were selected, many reflect on the theme of alienation and self-denial. The editor, Rabbi Rebecca T. Alpert is a rabbi and co-director of the women's studies program at Temple University. She is the author of Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach and Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition. Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell is a rabbi and director of the Pennsylvania Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. She is the editor of the Jewish Women's Studies Guide. Rabbi Shirley Idelson is a rabbi who serves as associate chaplain at Carleton College and associate for Jewish Life at Macalester College. One contributor remains anonymous, and she discusses hiding her orientation while counseling her congregants who are gay and lesbian. The experiences of Rabbi Julie Spitzer, who died of ovarian cancer in 1999, are discussed. She practiced extreme discretion and was paranoid of people learning of her sexuality. Rabbi Benay Lappe discusses coming out after graduation and her despair at finding a Conservative pulpit. Rabbi Karen Bender discusses her painful search for a pulpit after graduation. Most congregation wouldn't return her calls after learning that she was lesbian. When she joined a Long Island synagogue, a dozen congregants moved to another syngaogue. Watch your local Jewish newspaper listings for readings of this book (Sept 5 @7PM in NYC at 172 Allen Street/Bluestockings, Nov 26 in NYC at CBST)

Had this daredevil had a good Jewish book, maybe he would not have tried to bungee jump from Lady Liberty.
Drop us a line or post a comment to our Message Board and let us know what you're reading.

By Michael Steinhardt

September 14, 2001, Wiley
Michael Steinhardt is one of the most successful money managers in the history of Wall Street. He is also widely known for his philanthropic activities, particularly in the Jewish community-most notably as cofounder with Charles Bronfman of Birthright Israel, a program whose mission is to provide a free educational opportunity for every young Jewish person of the Diaspora to visit Israel. He is also a founder of Makor, and funded many programs at Congragation B'nai Jeshurun in Manhattan. As a hedge fund manager, he amassed vast wealth for his investors and himself. One dollar invested with Steinhardt Partners L.P., at its inception in 1967 would have been worth $462 when he retired in 1995. This book offers an account of some of the investment strategies that drove Michael Steinhardt's historic success as a hedge fund manager including a focus on his skills as an industry analyst and consummate stock picker. Here he provides detailed accounts of some of his most sensational coups-including his momentous decision, in 1981, to stake everything on bonds-and his equally sensational failures, such as his disastrous foray into global macro-trading in the mid-1990s. At the same time, No Bull is the rags-to-riches story of a boy from Bensonhurst and his rise from the streets of Brooklyn to the heights of Wall Street.

By David Shenk

September 2001, Doubleday. What Randy Shilts and THE BAND PLAYED ON did for AIDS, this book will do for Alzheimer's, a disease that 15 million Americans will have by 2050, unless a cure or treatment is found. This is the story of the epidemic, its politics, its history (Emerson, King Lear, Reagan) and the race for a cure.

By Genie Zeiger

2001, A daughter writes of her life with her mother, afflicted with Alzheimers. This tender memoir explores the complex shifts in relationship between mother and daughter as an elderly mother slowly declines. Zeiger takes an uncompromising look at the caretaker`s dilemma as a vibrant mother deteriorates into illness and dementia. `How I Find Her` articulates a daughter`s grief, the struggle of letting go, and the unexpected gift of redemption following her mother`s death.

By Barry Levenson

September 2001, Wisconsin. How do legal regulations shape what and how we eat. Atty. Levenson is the curator of the Mount Horeb mustard Museum in Wisconsin. From the McDonald's hot coffee case to the cattle ranchers' beef with Oprah Winfrey, from the old English "Assize of Bread" to current nutrition labeling laws, what we eat and how we eat are shaped as much by legal regulations as by personal taste. As the author writes, food is more than nutrients, It is our culture, and thus our laws reflect our cultural attitudes towards food. I picked up this fish-tale of laws by a curator of a mustard museum after I coincidentally attended a mustard festival. Levenson's book requires no pre-knowledge of the law; it provides an exciting, funny, enlightening story of food and our laws. Levenson writes that he toiled at a boring law job until he came across an exciting law case from 1924, in which a man sued a railroad and restaurant chain for requiring diners to wear dinner jackets. Now that was an interesting case (the barbaric diner lost), he thought. It got Levenson on a roll of researching and collecting food laws. The reader is the beneficiary. The author provides stories and cases on food poisoning; the origins of the USDA FSIS, FTC and FDA; adulteration; advertising claims; and federal regulations defining peanut butter, catsup, fancy and standard ketchup. Also explored are The Delaney Clause, the labeling act, the Lanham Act, the doctrine of privity, the condom in the coke and other stories of foreign objects, fish bone choking cases, and stories about trademarks, such as the case between Planter's Mr. Peanut and Crown Nut's little peanut king. There is a whole chapter on kosher laws, state regulations, and kosher fraud. He explains why restaurant reviews can get around libel laws, why 60 Minutes was sued over an Alar story, and Oprah got in trouble with big beef. A Wisconsin resident, he tells the tale of how a state tried to stop Dairy Queen and margarine from crossing its statelines. Hilarious synopses of cases are also included in easily readable form, including stories about the robber who left his fingerprints behind on a pack of hotdogs; the court that convicted a man of assault with an edible weapon (a salami); the man who sued a restaurant over having to pay a mandatory 15 percent tip for his party of 'six or more'; the murderer who was put to death and whose last words complained that "I didn't get my SpaghettiOs" for his final meal; a 1962 case over a hard stale roll; and the Dept of Justice's prohibition (using the Clayton Act) of Mrs. Smith Pies purchase of LJ Harris Pie Company (so they couldn't get a bigger piece of the pie (market)). Levenson also explains the law behind how Pizza Hut was able to sue Papa John's pizza over tomato sauce commercials, and why, in Liebeck vs McDonald's, a 79 year old woman, Stella, was INITIALLY awarded $2.86 million over a spilled cup of hot coffee. (She only wanted $20,000, McDonald's offered $800, and then the lawyers got involved). Buy it and read it before you take another bite!

Edited By Jack Canfield and Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins

September 2001. HEATH. Portion of proceeds go to Hadassah and the National Yiddish Book Center. Well, the Chicken Soup series, that Jews were immune to, has now hit the Jewish reader. This is a collection of stories by celebs such as Rabbis Lawrence and Harold Kushner, Ed Koch, the late George Burns, Anne Frank, Kirk Douglas, Golda Meir, and others.

[book cover click here] The Spiritual Traveler: New York City
The Guide to Sacred Spaces and Peaceful Places
by Edward F. Bergman

2001. Paperback. NYC has about 13 retreats, 471 Baptist, 403 Catholic, 437 Jewish, 391 Pentecostal, 163 Episcopalian, 60 Islamic and 1 Bahai religious centers (to name but a few). The book's author, Edward F. Bergman is chairman of geographic studies at CUNY's Lehman College. He is also a contributor to the Encyclopedia of New York City. The book is the must read for astute New Yorkers and tourists. It is eminently enlightening about the city's history, its architecture and its religious progression. As Bergman writes, from the early 17th Century, the chief religion of the non-Native Americans of the New Netherlands was the (Dutch) Reformed Church of Protestants, which spawned the Collegiate system of churches (read it and you will discover why they are called Collegiate). As new settlers arrived, and New Amsterdam became British, new churches were established, tolerated, and then in many cases, accepted. In the first chapter, Bergman includes brief histories for the major NYC religions, including Quaker, Adventist, and Sikh. In the second chapter, he discusses the architectural elements found in houses or worship and their origins. The styles explained include that of the basilica, cruciform with transepts, Gothic nave, Greek cross, and narthexporch, as well as those of Wren-Gibbs, Georgian, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, High Victorian Gothic, Gothic, Romanesque Revival, and Renaissance Revival. He explains why some Protestant churches did away with their stained glass windows. The reader will also learn about the mihrab of a mosque, the Sikh gurdwara, and the Hindu rajagopuram, and along the way learn about religious history and the lives of saints and other clerics. In Chapters 3 through 9, Bergman describes the houses of worship by neighborhood. In Chapter 3, for example, the buildings of Downtown Manhattan are discussed. For each worship location, the address and architect are listed. For Trinity Church there are four pages of history; the African Burial Ground is discussed in three, as is the Eldridge Street Synagogue. Did you know that you can find the largest Buddha in the area at Mahayara, that the Sung Tak Buddhist Temple was formerly a Kalwarie shul, The Middle Reformed Coll. Church has its own Liberty Bell dating to 1729, or that the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol (1885) was the seat of NYC's short-lived Chief Rabbi in 1899? The book answers why the German Catholic Church of the Most Holy Redeemer is built so high, and why J.P Morgan supported St George's Episcopal Church to the extent he did. Every few pages there is a shaded section that explains a topic, such as "the Greek Temple style in NYC"; the "influence of the Reverend George Whitefield in the early 18th Century"; "the Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin and his noospere"; "The Draft Riot of 1863"; "Fulton Sheen and his ratings war with Milton Berle"; and "Churches and Multipurpose Buildings." Bergman also includes an "Around the Corner" paragraph after several listings to point out other attractions, like the harrowing offshore Merchant Marine Sculpture in Battery Park. Jewish readers will especially be fascinated by the histories, designs, and evolutions of the Manhattan synagogues. The book closes with a glossary, bibliography, large index, and list of websites.

Bush (Sr), Clinton, and the Generals
By David Halberstam

September 2001. It should be subtitled "While Washington Dithered"
A study of American policy in the Balkans, Somalia, Kosovo, and Haiti under Clinton. Halberstam brilliantly evokes the internecine conflicts, the untrammeled egos, and the struggles for dominance among the key figures in the White House, the State Department, and the military. He shows how the decisions of men who served in the Vietnam War and in Saigon -- such as General Colin Powell, General Wesley Clark, and presidential advisers Richard Holbrooke and Anthony Lake, and our man in Somalia, Ambassador Richard Oakley -- and those who did not (Clinton, Albright) have shaped American politics and policy makers (perhaps most notably, President Clinton's placing, for the first time in fifty years, domestic issues over foreign policy). Clinton learned that the successful prosecution of the Gulf War did not help Bush Sr win reelection. Halberstam documents how neither the national media, the American population, nor the Federal government wanted to face or care about the 200,000 killed in the Balkans. The State Department did not want to know about atrocities, detention camps, starvation, or the rape of Muslim women. But it did think it could bring democracy to Somalia.
It is an important book to read if you want to understand Colin Powell and his non-interventionist policies.

Clothes, Character, and the Promise of America
By Jenna Weissman Joselit

Summer 2001. Jewish Book Award winning author, Professor Joselit (Visiting Professor - Princeton), writes that between 1890 and the outbreak of World War II, as ready-to-wear came into its own, the clothes of ordinary Americans claimed the nation's attention. Allied with civic virtue, fashion now played an increasingly important role in shaping the national character. Rabbi Stephen Wise in 1922 addressed his followers on "improper dress." Hadassah luncheons brought out women in fashionable hats and dresses. Jewish women were alleged to have dressed to EXCESS, while the community tried to quash these characterizations (communal standards). Drawing on a wealth of sources -- from advertisements, trade journals, and health manuals to sermons, science, and songs -- acclaimed historian Jenna Weissman Joselit shows how the length of a woman's skirt, the shape of a man's hat, and the height of a pair of heels enabled Americans of every faith, color, and class to feel part of the modern nation. As moral arbiters warned that extravagant attire might undermine equality, and gentlemen worried that wearing colored shirts rendered them less manly (sports wore colorful socks, stiffs wore collars), the newly arrived and newly emancipated -- immigrants and African-Americans -- wondered just how much jewelry was appropriate to their new status as citizens.

[book] One Scandalous Story:
Clinton, Lewinsky, and Thirteen Days That Tarnished American Journalism
by Marvin L. Kalb

September 2001. Veteran reporter-turned-Harvard professor Kalb (The Nixon Memo) knows the business of journalism inside out. In this examination of how journalists, print and electronic, covered the 13 days surrounding the Clinton-Lewinsky sex scandal of 1998, he finds many reasons to fault his media colleagues. Kalb demonstrates how journalistic standards have changed for the worse since the Watergate era, arguing that coverage of the scandal did not on its own "smash the standards of American journalism. It merely accelerated a disturbing trend that had been apparent for several decades." He further argues that two forces have led to the decline of media standards: the explosion of new technologies and "the radical change in the economic ownership and management of a deregulated business." These changes, he says, "have transformed the news business from one tied to public trust to one linked to titillation and profit."

By Fran Manushkin. Illus by Uri Shulevitz

September 2001. Age 9-12. From Eve to Esther to Yael, full page illustrations, with insightful stories on biblical women. Biblical stories of valorous women-from who have helped shape the human character and spirit. Rarely, though, has the essence of these heroines been revealed as poignantly as it is in Daughters of Fire. Fran Manushkin's sensitive retellings of stories from the Bible and Jewish tradition portray strength and honor, but also jealousy and fear, and Caldecott Medalist Uri Shulevitz's heroic illustrations highlight the bold, passionate essence of each woman and her world. The result is a collection of tales with heroines who are, above all, human

By Amy Hest with Illustrations by Claire A. Nivola

September 2001. Age 4-7. Candlewick. Evokes the FEELING of Shabbat. Jennie is spending the day with Nana. They shop, cook, welcome Shabbat guests. Nana lights Shabbat Candles, her dress touches the dress of Jennie, there is silence in the house as Nana whispers her Sabbath prayers as the candles are kindled.

[book] Ghosts and Golems : Haunting Tales of the Supernatural
by Malka Penn (Compiler)
Jewish Publication Society

Summer 2001. Age 9-12. Spooky. Melvin Bukiet wrote:, "On the other hand, the best stories in the collection, notably Jerry Raik's "Forgive Me" and Carol Snyder's "My Grandma's Ghost," simply allow life and its mysteries to occur on the page. Mr. Raik places his young hero in a gritty urban setting, complete with el trains and bodegas, games of Salugi (keep away) and, eventually, the ghost of a bitter old woman who has squandered her life. It's a testimony to Mr. Raik's trust in children that several youngsters whom I asked to read his story found it to be genuinely scary. By being willing to terrify, Mr. Raik is able to pose serious ethical questions (in his case regarding guilt and recrimination), which, of course, is the real need of all readers and the final test of all writers. Likewise, Ms. Snyder accurately portrays a seder among a batch of her engagingly witty narrator's step-relatives - enough of them, she tells us, to make "an entire staircase." In the midst of the extended-family hubbub, her deceased grandmother returns as hardly more than a whisper. It's a nice, gentle touch. Loosely similar to the work of the Snyder and Raik stories, Rivka Widerman's "The Ghost of Leah Levy" brings a hint of the ominous to the Wild West of today and, via her ghost, yesterday, while Deborah Spector Siegel's "Wings" lovingly recalls a dead grandfather who attends his own shiva..."

[book] THE GET
A Spiritual Memoir of Divorce
By Elise Edelson Katch

September 2001. Elise Katch, a social worker from Denver Colorado attends a Havurah. Her husband became ultra Orthodox. Katch writes this memoir of her divorce and Orthodox GET. How it is so hurtful, she feels so powerless, yet at the same time, the ceremony might be healing.

[book cover click here] BEST FRIENDS, WORST ENEMIES: Understanding the Social Lives of Children
by Michael Thompson and Catherine O'Neill Grace with Lawrence J. Cohen

September 2001. A description of the social lives of children and the roles parents should play in these lives. When should parents intervene, when should they just keep a watchful lifeguard-like eye and let their children learn from experiences. Begins with toddlers who bond, those that don't bond and act asocial, and culminates with adolescents and their romances.

[book cover click here] TO KINDLE A SOUL
by Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen

2001. (Targum Press and Leviathan Press) 198 pages. Positioned as a pleasant scholarly Jewish book on child rearing, but not overtly Jewish. As for scholarly and ancient, I expected more. Some have criticized the book since he selects the citations that he likes and misinterprets others. Therefore, I must advise readers who are into psychology to take his comments "that are backed up by research" with a large grain of salt. For the general reader, like me, the book is appealing and has gained a popular following. He wants parents to develop their own potential in order to help children do the same. Kelemen, a father of five used to spank his kids, until he heard a lecture against hitting by a revered rabbi in Jerusalem's Mattersdorf neighborhood. Kelemen, 40, is against spanking, yelling, video games, and television. Hitting is a short term obedience training response which does no long term good and will damage a child (and usually a child is merely overtired or hungry and does not need disciplinary action). Kelemen, a rabbi (Yeshivat Darchei Noam), also tells paremts to satisfy their children's spiritual needs - a religious belief in childhood provides a sense of purpose and standard for behavior. A former downhill ski instructor, and radio DJ, he now works as a rabbi at the Neveh Yerushalayim College of Jewish Studies for Women. He is also the author of "Permission to Believe" and "Permission to Receive", and was the translator for Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe's "Planting and Building: Raising a Jewish Child"

[book] HOME LANDS. Portrait of the New Jewish Diaspora
By Larry Tye

September 10, 2001, Henry Holt. Larry Tye, a journalist for The Boston Globe, turns his attention away from public relations, and investigates seven cities and the life of their Jewish communities, from settlement, decline, to regeneration. The tale of each city is chiefly told by selecting one family as a representation. The cities are Dusseldorf (where he meets a pluralistic Orthodox rabbi ministering to Russian emigres), Dnepropetrovsk (where he meets a Lubavitcher in the Ukraine who is trying to enliven the community), Boston (naturally), Buenos Aires, Dublin, Paris (where Sephardim and Ashkenazim work together), and Atlanta (where the denominations work together). The Epilogue takes place in Israel.

by Stephen G. Bloom

NOW IN PAPERBACK - 324 pages (October 2000, September 2001) See our October page for a fuller review, or click through to see more reviews. 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 secular 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. BY THE WAY, THE COVER PICTURE IS A FAKE..IT IS COVER ART, BUT THE BOOK IS GREAT. CLICK TO READ MORE
Click here to order this book from, read more reviews, or to add your own review.

Interfaith Families in Nineteenth Century America
By Anne C Rose (Penn State University)

September 2001, Harvard University Press. Professor Rose studies 26 marriages between Jews and Catholics, Jews and Christians, and Christians and Catholics in Nineteenth Century USA (from the War of 1812 to WWI, a period when harmony was household important). She follows their descendents over several generations and studies their decisions, religious commitments, adjustments, and relationships.

By Jean Sasson (author of the Princess Sultana series of books)

September 2001. A novel. Written in response to a story the author heard while visiting Lebanon and the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp. It is a story about Joseph and ESTER Gale, Jewish survivors of the Treblinka and Auschwitz death camps, who come to Israel; and George and Mary Antoun who flee Haifa for the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut; and former SS Officer Friedrich and Eva Kleist, and how the lives of these three families become intertwined.

By Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin

September 15, 2001, Basic Books. What are the 18 prayers of the Amidah? What do I kiss? As a companion to his best selling TO BE A JEW, Basic Books has published this definitive guide to the prayer book, rituals, and the synagogue service.

By Ina Abrams (Ina Yalof)

September 2001, St Martins. An anthology of Jewish voices on topics of prayer, wisdom, education, language, life cycle, holidays, immigration, humor, identity, and a section on what non-Jews have written about Jews. Voices include bible, Talmud, Pogrebin, Woody, Golda, Wiesel, Amos Oz, Maurice Samuel, and so many others.

By Raul Hilberg

September 7, 2001, Dee. 212 pages. Raul Hilberg is the Dean if not the Chancellor of Holocaust Studies (see his 1961 book, The Destruction of European Jews). Now, half a century later, he has written this Descriptive study of the sources used for Holocaust histories, and the way to use sources.

[book] The Gospel According to The Simpsons:
The Spiritual Life of the World's Most Animated Family
by Mark I. Pinsky

September 2001, Westminster John Knox. Although not a Jewish book, some readers may be interested in this for its portrayal of Krusty. Mark Pinsky, a Jewish man and Orlando Sentinel journalist and religion writer, extracts teachings from recent episodes of The Simpsons by Matt Groening. Chapters focus on the characters of Homer, Lisa, of course Ned Flanders, Reverend LoveJoy, Apu, and Krusty the (Jewish) Clown.

By Amy Hill Hearth

September 2001, Abingdon. The story of two young Jews, Norman Salsitz and Amalie Petranker, who survived WWII by pretending to be Christians.

By Leonard Felder

August 2001, Felder, a psychologist, teaches people to reduce their stress or aid in their personal struggles through the use of Jewish prayers. Recommended only for those readers who can deal with translations that instead of saying "King of the Universe" or "Ruler of the Universe" or "Sovereign of the Universe" use "Pulsing Source of All That Exists in the World."

by J. R. PORTER, professor emeritus, Univ of Exeter

September 2001. Univ of Chicago Press. A Collection of writings that did not make it into the biblical canon for Jews or Christians, which can be viewed as legends, writings, minority views, and "missing" parts. Chapters One Through Five include the Second Book of Enoch, which may have been sacred to a Jewish sect in Egypt which tells the story of creation, mixing Egyptian, Iranian and Greek mythology into the creation story and discusses the roles of angels; The Book of Jubilees, which mirrors genesis and includes a differing family tree for Adam and Eve than does Genesis; The Testament of Avraham from the Greek (2nd Cent CE); The Ladder of Jacob (probably from the Greek); the various Testaments of Isaac and the sons of Jacob (Judah, Issachar, etc); Joseph and Aseneth (from the Greek, 150 CE); the Testament of Solomon (Greek, prior to 3rd Cent CE); the Apocalypse of Elijah; The Apocalypse of Zephania; the Martyrdom of Isaiah; The Books of Baruch; missing psalms, laments, and odes; pseudo phocylides; the Wsidom of Ahiqar, the Third of Fourth Books of the Maccabees; and other writings. Part Two, Chapters One Through Six is filled with writings that didn't make it into the Christian Bibles.

By Bernard Wasserstein

September 2001. Yale University Press
Bernard Wasserstein is professor of history at the University of Glasgow in Scotland UK. But more importantly, he is President of the Jewish Historical society of England. This book offers a history of diplomacy regarding the city of Jerusalem, a holy city whose holiness has grown and diminished in each generation. The solution of the book, a separation of political and religious control a la Oslo.

Edited by Michael Lerner

September 2001. Jossey Bass Wiley. A collection of recent pieces (1994-2000) collected by Jewish Renewal Rabbi, Michael Lerner, and presented in five sections: The Many Identities of a Jew; Reclaiming the Spirit of Judaism; Rereading Sacred Texts of Our tradition; Living in the Shadows of the Holocaust; Israel in Conflict; and The Pleasure of Jewish Culture. Some of the writers are Jonathan Mark, Yehuda Amichai, Naomi Rachel Ragen, Philip Roth, Irena Kelpfisz, Daniel Boyarin, William Safire, Rabbi Steve Greenberg, Rodger Kamenetz, Norman Podhoretz, Naomi Eve, Thane Rosenbaum, Alan Shapiro, Zygmunt Bauman, Sarah Polster, Anita Diamont, Dennis Prager, Rami Shapiro, Rabbi David Wolpe, Rabbi Moshe Gafni, Joseph Telushkin, Daniel Pipes, Rabbi Arthur Green, benny Morris, Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow, Sidra Ezrahi, Jerome Slater, Aharon Appelfeld, Zalman Shacter Shalomi, and more. Look for future editions (for writings from 2001-2002; etc). Lerner also includes his list of 100 best English language Jewish books published since 1985.

Faith Family and a Christian's Journey Through the Jewish Year
By Harvey Cox

September 20, 2001, Cox, a Professor of Divinity at Harvard University and well- known Christian theologian of Quaker and Baptist background, is married to a Jewish woman and fellow teacher. He attends synagogue services with her, raises their son as a Jew, and shared in their son's bar mitzvah. Join him as he lives through and analyzes and provides insights into the Jewish year of holidays and events, as well as births, lives, and deaths. He knows more about Jewish theology than the majority of American Jews. I enjoyed his question, "if we confess our neighbor's errors on Yom Kippur, can we also participate in his virtues?" hehe. But seriously, just as Alexis d'Touqueville explained American Democracy as a learned observer, Cox does the same for Jewish practice in America, comparing and contrasting it to American Christian and Catholic practice and thought.

[book cover click here] JESUS THROUGH JEWISH EYES:
Edited by Beatrice Bruteau

September 2001. Nineteen Jewish writers discuss how they, as Jews, understand the historical figure of Jesus the Jew. Essays by Lawrence Kuchner, Joseph Gelberman, Laura Bernstein, Arnold Jacob Wolf, Alan Secher, Daniel Matt (calls Jesus a Hasid from the Galilee), and others.

An Intimate History of Damage and Denial
By Norbert and Stephen Lebert

September 17, 2001, Little Brown. Norbert Lebert was a German reporter. His son Stephen is Editor in Chief of Berliner Tagesspiegel, and has worked for several Grman newspaper and der Speigel. In 1959, Norbert interview the children of famous Nazi leaders: Rudolf Hess, Borman, Hermann Goring, Himmler Balder von Schirach (he created Hitler Youth), and Han Frank (he was the Governor of conquered Poland). Norbert boxed up the interviews and stored them away. He died in 1993. His son, Stephen, came across the interviews, and re-interviewed the children, now 40 years later. Lebert explores how each of the children dealt with the actions of their fathers. The reader will be fascinated with the lingering trauma of WWII on these children, will wonder whether German culture pushes filial honor no matter what the crime, and will want to compare the interviews with the lives of the children of death camp survivors. Leberts finds that most of the children are intensely loyal to their fathers. Only Niklas Frank rejected his father.

[book] OCTOBER 16, 1943/EIGHT JEWS

September 2001. Notre Dame Press. Translated from Italian. This book was written by one of Italy's foremost intellectuals in 1944. This brief book is one of the greatest accounts of the round up of 1,000 Roman Jews for deportation to the death camps (these were the Pope's Jews, they were incredulous that Italy would allow them to be harmed. Only 12 returned from the death camps). In this companion book, Eight Jews, the author responds to the story of the Ardeatine Caves massacres in 1944, in which 335 men and boys were murdered by nazis. Also a discussion on what happened to the contents of the Roman Jewish library.

By Petru Popescu

Sept 2001, St Martins. The couple's son-in-law narrates the love story of Blanka Davidovich (who was a prisoner in several death camps) and Mirek Friedman (a technician and political prisoner who kept his Jewish identity hidden during the war), who met in Dachau. How did they keep their hope alive? What happened when Mirek smuggled in a radio? Read and find out.

by Philip Roth

September 25, 2001. The creative process and how one's life affects his/her writing. This book is a grab bag of conversations and exchanges of letters with other writers, and essays, which originally appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker and Vanity Fair. Among his correspondents are Primo Levi and novelists Aharon Appelfeld, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Edna O'Brien and Milan Kundera. Read more reviews before you decide by clicking the book cover.

By Elizabeth Rosner

September 2001. Ballantine. A poetic and emotional novel. Paula and Julian Perel are the adult children of Holocaust survivors. They live in Berkeley. Their father, Jacob Perel, a survivor of Auschwitz was quiet, was silent, and has passed this legacy onto his son. Paula goes to Hungary to learn her father's truth. The siblings learn to face grief from their housekeeper, Sola, a Latina who was the victim of her own Mexican government's torture, massacre, and abuse.

By Ben Black (Lonely Planet)

September 2001. Paperback from Lonely Planet. Ben Black, a native of Scotland, went to Israel as an optimist and lived on a kibbutz. He remained in Israel for a decade. He traveled, he learned, he married, returned to the UK, returned again to Israel, traveled some more, became an Israeli citizen, and he grew from optimism to realism. This is his travelogue and personal journey. I haven't read it yet, but Pub Weekly writes that it is a must read for any college aged student thinking of visiting or moving to Israel.



Attention readers and K-mart shoppers: On October 21-23, 2001, Princeton University will host an International Conference Celebrating the Jewish-American Writer. Harold Shapiro will open the conference on Sunday October 21, along with Tony Kushner, Grace Paley, Marge Piercy, Robert Pinsky, Susan Sontag, and CK Williams. Wendy Wasserstein will delivery the opening lecture.
On Monday, October 22, speakers will include Robert Alter, Sidra Dekoven Ezrahi, Alvin Rosenfeld, Kathryn hellerstein, Hana Wirth-Nesher, Irena Klepfisz, Jeffrey Shandler, Max Apple, Rebecca Goldstein, Alan Isler, Alicia Ostriker, Jonathan Wilson, with a keynote by E.L. Doctorow on "Literature as Assimilation." Ben Katchor will delivery an illustrated lecture.
On Tuesday, October 23, speakers will include James Atlas, Daniel Mendelsohn, Morris Dickstein, Leslie Epstein, Melvin Jules Bukiet, Thane Rosenbaum, Will Eisner, Jules Feiffer, Art Spiegelman, James Young, and Michael Wood.
For more information, go to www.PRINCETON.EDU/~jwst/writers or call 609-258-0394.

The Story of Jewish Comedians in America

October 2, 2001. Public Affaris. 356 Pages
From vaudeville to the movies to television: The complete (and often hilarious) history of how Jewish comedians transformed American entertainment. Lawrence J. Epstein's The Haunted Smile tackles a subject both poignant and delightful: the story of Jewish comedians in America. For the past century and more, American comedy has drawn its strength and soul from the comic genius of Jewish performers and writers. Even an incomplete listing of names makes the point: the Marx Brothers, Jack Benny, Fanny Brice, George Burns, Milton Berle, Jackie Mason, Joan Rivers, Rodney Dangerfield, Mel Brooks, Mort Sahl, Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, Andy Kaufman, Richard Belzer, Jerry Seinfeld. These men and women, among others, form the canon of American Jewish comedy, and in The Haunted Smile Epstein offers us a deep and subtle understanding of how Jewish culture and American openness gave birth to a new style of entertainment. Epstein writes, "Jewish comedians in each generation were able to find in Jewish tradition, culture, and history a way to express the feelings of the wider American culture in which they lived. They drew on their heritage in ways they themselves didn't always understand. As they used that heritage to find ways to express truths about America, they transformed American culture, making Jews and Jewishness acceptable, even enviable." And what kind of book about comedy would be complete without a few laughs? Epstein frequently uses the comedians' own routines to illustrate his points, making this thoughtful work of history a great deal of fun to read.
In one chapter, Epstein distinguishes the Catskills comic stances of Mel Brooks and Woody Allen.

In a review in The Wall Street Journal, comedian Harry Shearer found the book fascinating, precise, and evocative, but also took issue with the book's "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" feeling of "Oh you know, she's a Jew," or "He's a Jew." As well as Epstein's failure to mention Shearer, as well as his discounting of the Burns and Allen show, and his failure to mention that Redd Foxx's albums predated those of Mort Sahl; that Woody Allen actually based his nebbish routines on those of Bob Hope; and that Jwes may rule prime time sitcoms, but have failed in late-night talk shows. Shearer writes that Professor Epstein is "advocating a particular kind of Jewish-American identity, emphasis on the front end of the hyphen, and the potential role of comedians in furthering that identity." Shearer continued, "For example, in a chapter titled "The Cost of Victory"..... [Epstein] urges: "Some of the stock jokes of Jewish comedians, though, will have to be carefully tempered for a new, positive identity to be forged. It is healthy for a people to laugh at itself, to see its own foibles, to be able to laugh at its own weaknesses. Some of the humor of Jewish comedians, though, crosses the line, not so much into self-hatred as a continuing sense of inferiority." It's remarkable how much this prissy prescriptiveness [by Epstein], this kibbitzing from the commune, sounds like African American activists lecturing Richard Pryor and his colleagues a quarter century ago."
Shearer adds: "Mr Epstein's eagerness to view comic material through the prism of ethnicity leads to some strange lapses of common sense. He digs Adam Sandler, who epitomizes for him the modern "dilemma" of how to balance Jewish and American identities.... But in writing about Mr Sandler's willingness to identify himself publicly as Jewish (as expressed in "The Hanukkah Song"), he puzzles over 'a great irony' [writing]: "Earlier generations had a much more intimate relationship with their Jewishness... Yet, with all that, they were... reluctant to express their identity in a public forum. This new generation, with far more tenuous Jewish connections, has been freed to express just such as identity." Yes, hmm, [writes Shearer] ironic indeed: The less "strange" you appear to the mainstream public, the less you need to hide. Ask America's Muslims or Sikhs. P.S. - Shearer (who is not mentioned in the book) adds that he was once offered a job on SNL, and the Canadian born Jewish producers said, "Up to now, I have stayed away from hiring male Jews, I've gone more for that Chicago Catholic thing."

WOW THAT WAS LONGWINDED... LET'S get back to the other October 2001 book...:


October 10, 2001, Steerforth Press. With its rich history, comic-stoic worldview, and unforgettable phrases, Yiddish has become part of the world's culture. In Yiddish: A Nation of Words, Miriam Weinstein takes the reader on a witty romp through a language and a lifestyle that has mostly vanished. Weinstein consulted everyone from language mavens to her own relatives to trace the crucial part Yiddish has played in keeping alive a culture often under siege. Through its daily use across the globe, it linked European Jews with their heroic past, their spiritual universe, and their increasingly far-flung relations. Impoverished and marginalized by much of the world, Yiddish speakers created their own alternate reality. Weinstein doggedly tracks that reality, from the early days when Yiddish was spoken only by women and the untutored, to the present, when chutzpah is part of everyone's vocabulary and Americans of all ethnic backgrounds shrug dramatically and say, What am I, chopped liver?

I was conflicted before I added the book below. If the publisher was not so well respected, I would have thrown this book in the trash. But since the publisher and author are respected, and the book will be highly controversial, discusses the annihilation of European Jewry, and will be published in over a dozen countries on October 10, 2001, I have added it. Please let me know if the addition of this book to the site irritates you. Thank you.


October 9, 2001, BASIC BOOKS. 448 Pages, 40 pages of footnotes.
Ian Kershaw (1998/2000) looked at Hitler from the vantage of the intentionalists and the functionalists. Joachim Fest (1973) focused on Hitler and the educated middle classes. Alex Bullock (1952) recreated Hitler's politics. Lothar Machtan in this book seeks to OUT Hitler and explain some of his actions from the perspective of his sexuality. Machtan states that Hitler's powerful gay friends aided his entry into power. The book documents Hitler's early years in Vienna (1906-1911), his service in the army and entry into politics (1912-1920), the taunts he received from others in the army, his inability to rise above the rank of Corporal, Hitler's relationship with Ernst Schmidt, and his friendships with Rudolph Hausler, August Kubizek, Reinhold Hanisch, Captain Ernst ROHM, Dietrich ECKART (a virulent anti-Semite and lover of art), Rudolf Hess, Putzi Hanfstaengl, Kurt Ludecke, Erich Ebermeyer, and Emil Maurice (Hitler's chauffeur and fiancé to Hitler's niece, who later killed herself) . The book theorizes why Hitler had Ernst ROHM assassinated, along with over 100 other men in 1934 (and probably including Reinhold Hanisch, who lived with Hitler from 1909-1911). Machtan is a filmmaker and an Associate Professor at Bremen University in Germany and has taught at Humboldt in Berlin. He is the author of "Bismarck's Death and Germany's Tears" (1998), and "Bismarck and the German National Myth" (1994) and two other books on Bismarck and the social reformer Theodor Lohman. Several years ago, he was working on a book on the collaboration between Hitler and Germany's higher nobility. He dug through the papers of the Sicherheitdienst (Germany's secret service) and the British secret service. These papers documented the pattern of homosexuality and homo-sociality of the people close to Hitler. This was a time, in the 1920's and 1930's when the word "gay" was not in existence; homosexuality was hidden and seen as morally corrupt and deviant. Professor Machtan came across the autobiographical papers (ROMA NAZISTA) of Eugen Dollman, one of the Third Reich's most influential representatives in Rome from 1938 to 1945, a confidant of Himmler and Hitler and Eva Braun, as well as a close friend of a Weimar Republic general who kept a secret file on Hitler's private life. In the memoir, Dollman OUTS Hitler. After this, Machtan, using biographies, meetings with Hans Med (a WWI colleague of Hitler) interviews, the files on Ernst Hanfstaengl (a friend of Hitler in the 1920s), private papers, and the lives of Hitler's close friends, began to research the topic of Hitler and his hidden homosexual tendencies, his hiding and camouflaging of his life in pre-war Vienna, and his outright murders of those who knew too much of his pre-war life and could expose and disgrace him.

It is not the author's goal to humanize Hitler or apologize in any way for his heinous evil crimes against humanity. It is not to reduce any guilt. The author declares that Hitler's sexuality is NOT the universal key to his career, but knowledge of his sexuality only aids in interpreting some of his actions, such as his power struggle with Ernst Rohm, the gay SA chief of staff, and Hitler's fanatical anti-Semitism in light of Philipp, Prinz zu Eulenburg, a homosexual friend of the German emperor who was attacked by a German Jewish journalist in the early 1900's. The author hypothesizes that when Magnus Hirschfeld (a Jewish sexologist) and Max Harden (a Jewish journalist) accused Eulenberg of "influence" over Kaiser Wilhelm II, Hitler traumatically turned to the writings of Theodore Fritsch, a virulent anti-Semite, who saw the criticisms of the Kaiser as an international Jewish conspiracy.

By the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism and JPS

October 12, 2001. 1,520 PAGES
The latest Jewish commentary on the Torah in Conservative Judaism in SEVENTY years. This is a replacement for the HERTZ commentary. It was a 10 Year project (you know how slow committees work...). 78,000 copies already SOLD.
Reviewers have called this a monumental and prodigious, a commentary that reflects the beliefs and ideology of the Conservative (Masorti) movement, reflects the secure position of Jews in American culture (it is not apologetic in tone), and uses standard modern English (goodbye to thou and thee). This commentary does not sugar coat the actions of the early Hebrews, and it does not hide from the belief in redactors and an evolving Torah.
Contributors include Rabbis Chaim Potok, Harold Kushner, Elliot Dorff, Susan Grossman, Michael Fishbane, and dozens of others. Rabbi Grossman led a team of five female rabbis who reviewed early drafts to give voice to d'rash's by women. It includes commentaries not only on the Torah portion, but on the Haftorah as well. For each chapter, the Hebrew and English translation is published. A P'SHAT commentary which is based on the JPS five volume commentary (by Tigay, Sarna, Levine, and Milgrom) follows under the text and was edited by author and rabbi Chaim Potok. A D'RASH section of commentary, edited by Harold Kushner, is also included for each page of text. It will provide the deeper moral meanings of the passage. A running commentary, in shaded boxes, edited by Rabbis Dorff and Grossman, shows how various biblical verses serve as the basis for Jewish Halakha and Conservative practices. In the back of the chumash are 41 essays by leading scholars and rabbis. The commentaries for the Haftorahs have been edited by Michael Fishbane. Of the book, Ellen Frankel, CEO of Jewish Publication Society, said, "It may spark conversation with in the Conservative laity about approaches to the Bible they may not have been aware of or thought of." Forty-one essays are included by authors including David Wolpe, Jeffrey Tigay, Benjamin E Scolnic, Lionel Moses, edward L. Greenstein, Reuven Hammer, Gordon Tucker, baruch Frydman-Kohl, Neil Gillman, Nahum Sarna, Salom M. Paul, Daniel Gordis, Joel Rembaum, Debra Orenstein, Judith Hauptman, hanan Alexander, and Harvey Meirovich.

[book] But how can one decide to purchase a chumash? Translation, order and commentary. It is my habit to use up to three on a Shabbat morning, making use of Hertz, Plaut and Fox. One can compare three chumasheem in order to decide which one works for them. In terms of translation. Take for example the first sentences of Parshat Noah (Genesis 6:9-12). The old Hertz Chumash translates the lines as:
"These are the generation of Noah. Noah was in his generation a man righteous and whole-hearted; Noah walked with god. And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. And the earth was corrupt before god and the earth was filled with violence. And god saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth."
The UAHC commentary by W G Plaut translates is as:
"This is the line of Noah - Noah was a righteous man he was blameless in his age; Noah walked with god - Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. The earth became corrupt before god; the earth was filled with lawlessness, when god saw how corrupt the earth was, for all flesh had corrupted its ways on earth,"
The Art Scroll translates it as:
"These are the offspring of Noah - Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his generations; Noah walked with god - Noah had begotten three sons: Shem Ham and Japheth. Now the earth has become filled with robbery. And god saw the earth and behold it was corrupted, for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth."
The new ETZ HAYIM translates it as:
"This is the line of Noah - Noah was a righteous man; he was blameless in his age, Noah walked with god - Noah begot three sons; Shem Ham and Japheth. The earth became corrupt before god; The earth was filled with lawlessness. When god saw how corrupt the earth was, for all flesh had corrupted its ways on earth.

In terms of order; the Etz Hayim is right to left in format, uses a very clear Hebrew font, is well indexed, and lists the haftorah, both Ash-kenaz and if necessary, S'farad, after each parshat.
In terms of commentary: While the old HERTZ elucidated on the words whole-hearted, righteous, all flesh, and "Noah walked with God" (comparing Noah's walking with God as a father and young son, to Abraham's walking before God, as a stronger more morally mature leader.) The ART SCROLL includes Midrash from Abarbabel, Rashi, and others on why deeds are mentioned before the names of sons, why the sons are not listed in birth order, and discusses whether Noah is being praised or criticized. The WG PLAUT chumash comments on the word lawlessness. And the ETZ HAYIM follows its direct translations with a PSHAT commentary on how the Hebrew flood story compares with other Near Eastern cultural flood accounts; it retranslates "this is the line of Noah" in to "This is the story of Noah:; it compares the idea of righteous (tzadik) with that of blameless (tamim); it mentions that the root word for "corrupt" is mentionned seven times in the narrative; and it discusses that "all flesh' includes animals. In its D'RASH section, Etz Hayim discusses how Noah first gave birth to his good deeds before his children. It then quotes Talmudic sages, such as Resh Lakish, on whether Noah was righteous relative to his generation or in absolute terms. It continues that "lawlessness" (hamas) results in people losing respect for governments and fairness, leading to anarchy. Whew, and that is just for Genesis 6:9-12!
Click to read more
P.S. Also, stay tuned for the New Reform Chumach on Bereshit, titled THE BOOK OF GENESIS: A CONTEMPORARY VIEW, by E. Gunther Plaut and Chaim Stern (UAHC Press, May 2002, which uses gender neutral terms and more feminist POV commentaries)

[book] Cain and Abel
Finding the Fruits of Peace
by Joani Keller Rothenberg (Illustrator), Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

October 2001, Jewish Lights Publishing. Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover - 32 pages. A springboard for talking to kids about anger and anger management. Rabbi Sasso (the second woman to be ordained as a rabbi in 1974) served congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis with her husband. Rabbi Sasso recasts the biblical tale of Cain and Abel in a way that invites adults and kids to a conversation about anger and our power to deal with it in positive ways. Cain and Abel, the first children, the first brothers, they were so much alike yet so different: Cain a shepherd, Abel a farmer. They lived side by side, surrounded by trees where wonderful, exotic fruits of many kinds grew: orapples, rasdew, and banangerines ripened all on a single branch. The air was sweet with the smell of pinango, limeberry, and waterloupe. But jealousy, anger, and fear took all this away. Cain and Abel's happiness came to an end, and with it, the trees' ability to grow these special fruits. In a world often hurt by violence, this retold biblical story gives children and adults a starting point for discussing anger and its effects on those around us. By harnessing the power we have to deal with our emotions in positive ways, we can once again cultivate the fruits of peace and change the world for the better.

[book] MOSAIC

Fall 2001. St Martins. Starting in Krakow, Poland in 1890, and spanning more than 100 years, five generations and four continents, Mosaic is Polish born, Australian, Diane Armstrong's moving account of her remarkable, resilient family. This story begins when Daniel Baldinger divorces the wife he loves because she cannot bear children. Believing that "a man must have sons to say Kaddish for him when he dies," he marries a much younger woman, and by 1913, Daniel and his second wife Lieba have eleven children, including six sons. Armstrong has created a richly textured portrait that follows the Baldinger children's lives down the decades, through the terrifying years of the Holocaust, to the present. Based on oral histories, and the recollections and diaries of more than a dozen men and women, Mosaic explores universal themes of inter-generational conflict, religious repression, complex sibling relationships and the power of the past on future generations. Diane Armstrong's book is compelling storytelling at its best: from the fascinating detail of Polish-Jewish culture and the rivalries and dramas of family life, to its moving account of lives torn apart by war and persecution, this is an extraordinary story of a family, and of one woman's journey to reclaim her heritage.

By Edward Fox (The Sunday Telegraph)

October 10, 2001, Metropolitan/Holt. Fox, a British journalist for The Times, the Independent, and The Sunday Telegraph, investigates the murder of Albert Glock, an American Christian archeologist and Bir Zeit University professor, who was shot and killed on January 19, 1992. Who killed him? Why was nobody arrested? Did the cause he loved ultimately kill him? Did he know something about the trade in stolen antiquities? Or was it zealous Jews, zealous Islamists, Mossad agents, israeli hit squads, rival professors, university administrators, a lover, or others? Who is lying? Can the truth ever be discovered in the Middle East?

Edited By Danya Ruttenberg (contributing editor to Lilith Magazine)
Introduction by professor Susannah Heschel

October 2001. Twenty writers discuss a range of issues, including feminist parenting, feminism within religious observance, transgender theory, Zionism, Jewish identity, rituals, why some criticize Judaism as patriarchic but embrace Eastern religions without criticism, tefillin, prayer, Mizrahi/Sephardi/European condescension, etc. Includes essays by Eve Rosenbaum, Haviva Ner-David (Parenting as a Religious Jewish Feminist), Emily Wages (You Wear a Kippah?), A C Hall, Yiskah Rosenfeld (You Take Lilith, I'll Take Eve) Click to read more

The Levy Family's Epic Quest to Rescue the House That Jefferson Built
by Marc Leepson

Fall 2001. When Thomas Jefferson died on the Fourth of July 1826 -- the nation's fiftieth birthday -- he was more than $100,000 in debt. Forced to sell thousands of acres of his lands and nearly all of his furniture and artwork, in 1831 his heirs bid a final goodbye to a Monticello itself. The house their illustrious patriarch had lovingly designed in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, his beloved "essay in architecture," was sold to the highest bidder. It was in disrepair. Saving Monticello offers the first complete post-Jefferson history of this American icon and reveals the amazing story of how one Jewish family saved the house that became a family home to them for 89 years -- longer than it ever was to the Jeffersons. Twice it was saved, by two different generations of the Levy family. Monticello's first savior was the mercurial U.S. Navy Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy, a colorful and controversial sailor, celebrated for his successful campaign to ban flogging in the Navy and excoriated for his stubborn willfulness. He was court-martialed many times. After passing from Levy control at the time of the commodore's death, Monticello fell once more into hard times, cattle being housed on its first floor and grain in its once elegant upper rooms. Again, remarkably, a member of the Levy family came to the rescue. Uriah's nephew, the aptly named Jefferson Monroe Levy, a three-term New York congressman and wealthy real estate and stock speculator, gained possession in 1879. After Jefferson Levy poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into its repair and upkeep, his chief reward was to face a vicious national campaign, with anti-Semitic overtones, to expropriate the house and turn it over to the government. Only after the campaign had failed, with Levy declaring that he would sell Monticello only when the White House itself was offered for sale, did Levy relinquish it to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in 1923. Click to read more.

By the way, Anita Diamant has written a new novel, titled "GOOD HARBER" This October 2001 book from Scribners . See Below:
A novel by Anita Diamant.

October 2001. Scribners. A novel. Kathleen, a Jew by choice (born Catholic) and Joyce, a secular Jew, befriend each other in their middle age; they meet in a synagogue in Gloucester and go for walks and talks along the beach. Kathleen, 59, is facing a struggle with breast cancer and radiation treatment (a disease that killed her sister), while Joyce, 42, is having a crisis as her 12 year old daughter rebels and her husband grows distant.

by Marc Maron

October 2001. The Gospel according to Maron: a spiritual memoir of your average hyperintelligent, ultraneurotic, superhip Jewish standup comedian and seeker. The Jerusalem Syndrome is a genuine psychological phenomenon that often strikes visitors to the Holy Land_the delusion that they are suddenly direct vessels for the voice of God. Marc Maron seems to have a distinctly American version of the Jerusalem Syndrome, which has led him on a lifelong quest for religious significance and revelation in the most unlikely of places. Maron riffs on Beat phenomena with its sacred texts, established rituals, and prescribed pilgrimages. He spends some time exploring the dark side of things, as his obsessions with cocaine (known to Maron as "magic powder"), conspiracy theories, and famous self-destructive comedians convince him that the gates of hell open beneath Los Angeles. As his quest matures, he reveals the religious aspects of Corporate America, pontificating on the timeless beauty of the Coca-Cola logo and even taking a trip to the Philip Morris cigarette factory, where the workers puff their own products with a zealot-like fervor. The culmination of Maron's Jerusalem Syndrome comes during his own tour of the Holy Land, where, with Sony camcorder glued to his eye socket, he comes face-to-face with his own ambiguous relationship to Judaism and reaches the brink of spiritual revelation_or is it nervous breakdown?

by Patricia Volk (Morgen's Restaurant)

October 2, 2001. Knopf. The sleeper success of this Fall. A meoir of growing up in a quirly family of foodies and restauranteurs. Patricia's great grandfather, Sussman Volk, brought Pastrami from Lithuania in 1887 to NYC. He opened the first deli in Manhattan. Her grandfather Jacob was known as "the Most Destructive Force on Wall Street" and was memorialized by E. B. White as "the greatest wrecker of all time" for his innovative method of demolition. Uncle Albert was the first man to stir scallions into cream cheese. The last of Grandfather Herman Morgen's fourteen restaurants was a famous garment center hangout. One grandmother won the 1916 trophy for "Best Legs in Atlantic City." The other was a three-hundred-pound calendar girl. Ms. Volk's handsome, demanding restaurateur father invented the Six-color Retractable Pen and Pencil Set and the Double-sided Cigarette Lighter (so you never have to worry which end is up). Her family owned many restaurants in NYC including Morgen's in Manhattan's garment district. This is filled with great stories and amazing personalities.

[book cover] In My Brother's Image : Twin Brothers Separated by Faith After the Holocaust by Eugene Pogany
NOW IN PAPERBACK - 352 pages (October 2, 2001) Penguin. Eugene Pogany is a Boston based clinical psychologist. His father and uncle were identical twins, born to Jewish parents in Hungary. But they 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 monastery. After the war, the brothers emigrated to america and lived only a few miles from each other. Yet they clung to their estrangement, each blaming the other as a traitor to the family 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, and Hungarian Catholic and Jewish history.


October 15, 2001. Kirsch is the author of KING DAVID: THE REAL LIFE OF THE MAN WHO RULED ISRAEL, and THE HARLOT BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. In this book he writes about diversity in Judaism. Thesis=Jews are Diverse, Judaism grows and changes. He portrays the serious matriarch SARAH, who laughed when she was told she would give birth at her old age. He writes about the Maccabees, who were heroes, but were excommunicated by the rabbinate; and Yohanan Ben Zakkai (hero or traitor?). Meet those who study mysticism within a serious religion, and those people who raise pigs in what some though was a kosher country.

[book] ZIGAZAK! A Magical Hanukkah Night
by Eric A Kimmel. Illustrated by Job Goodell

October 2001. Ages 4-8. Doubleday. It just isn't a Jewish holiday without a new book by Mr Kimmel. Kimmel (the author of Gershon's Monster) tells the story of how there are sparks of good in all things, even in the tricks of little mischievous demons.


[book] Rivka's First Thanksgiving
by Elsa Okon Rael, Maryann Kovalski (Illustrator)

October 2001. Ages 4-8. Publishers Weekly wrote, "After learning about Thanksgiving in school in the 1910s, nine-year-old Rivka succeeds in persuading her immigrant family and her rabbi that it is a holiday for all Americans even Jewish families. Rivka's case to her rabbi (and six of his peers) is impassioned, although some readers may have trouble believing that none of these learned men has heard of the holiday. Kovalski (Queen Nadine) is at her best with scenes of the Lower East Side's bustling streets, but her cartoonish illustrations often clash with Rael's (What Zeesie Saw on Delancy Street) moving message."

[book] Where on Earth is My Bagel?
by Frances Park, Ginger Park, Grace Lin

October 2001. Ages 4-8.
Dear New York,
I would like to order one bagel to go.
Please send it to me as soon as possible.
Respectfully yours,
Yum Yung in Korea
No one knows how the idea of a New York bagel popped into Yum Yung's head -- perhaps it was inspired by a dream, or by listening to sparrows' songs. Yum Yung lives in a part of Korea where there are no New York bagels, and one day he just knows he has to have one. How a New York bagel popped into Yum Yung's head was a mystery. Perhaps it came to him in a dream, smothered with cream cheese. Or maybe he heard sparrows singing of bagel crumbs in Central Park. However it happened, Yum Yung could not stop thinking about a golden brown bagel with a curious hole in the middle. The very idea made his tummy growl and his mouth water. Yum Yung declared: "I want a bagel!" His village in Korea might have many things - lilacs and waterfalls, streams of daring fish. -- but there were no New York bagels. He sends a message from his Korean village via pigeon to New York City for someone to send him one. While he waits, he asks the farmer, the fisherman, and the honeybee keeper for help, but none of them have ever heard of a bagel. They are experts in their craft, but it is not a plow wheel, a life ring, or a circle of bees. When Yum Yung knows just where to get flour, sea salt, and honey. As Yum Yung reaches Oh's Heavenly Bakery, the bird returns without a bagel, but with the recipe. The baker gets the required ingredients from the boy's new friends and makes one huge bagel. "It was so heavenly he could even taste the curious hole in the middle." This timeless fable will make readers giggle with delight and satisfaction as Yum Yung, with the help of his friends, fulfills his bagel dream. The tale illustrates the power of perseverance. With charming gouache illustrations that evoke the intricate and colorful patterns found in Korean fabrics, this story mixes up cultures quite nicely. Bagel shapes abound, including a full moon with a cloud providing the hole in the middle. By the way, Frances and Ginger are sisters, one born in Cambridge, the other in DC.

[book] THE SAME SEA.
By Amos OZ, translated by Nicholas De Lange

October 2001. A POETIC novel about mortality, and a time to make peace, and more. Albert, an accountant has been made a widower when his wife, Nadia, passes away. Their son, Rico, has gone off to Bangladesh, Tibet, and places in the East, where his mother visits him in visions. An elderly widow is interested in Albert, but Albert desires Dita, the young girlfriend of his absent son; she has moved in with Albert in Rico's absence. Click to read more

Edited by Roanne Carey (The Nation)
With an intro by NOAM CHOMSKY

October 2001. The intro is by Noam Chomsky, need I type more... Blah blah blah, Palestinians are good, Israel is bad, the US media is biased against Palestinians, the US and Israel are neo colonialists, the P.A. is authoritarian and corrupt but also great and noble. Zzzzzz.

By Lawrence J. Epstein

October 2001. Do Jews have a special approach to dealing with anxiety? The story of Jewish comedians in America, from the Marx Brothers to the Three Stooges, to Totie Fields and Mort Sahl to Jerry Seinfeld. The book is segmented into era, including vaudeville, Borscht Belt, radio years, stand-up, film and television. Click to read more

By Marc Maron

October 2001. Comedian Marc Maron turns his stage play into a book. A story of life as a stand up, the coke and the Coke, and spiritual redemption in the face of pain. Click to read more

[book] UNFINISHED PEOPLE. Eastern European Jews Encounter America

October 2001. Nearly three million Jews came to America from Eastern Europe between 1880 and WW One. The were filled with hope. Ruth Gay narrates the tale of the daily rituals and trials of these immigrants, their vitality, shops, markets, schools, synagogues, and tenements.

a novel
By W.G. SEBALD, translated from German (Rings of Saturn; The Emigrants)

October 2001, Random House. Austerlitz... what kind of name is that? Isn't it the name of a train staion? Maybe it is close to the name of Auschwitz? Hmm..., this is a scholarly novel about a character named Jacques Austerlitz. Halfway through the book, the depressed Austerlitz, who was raised in a stoic Welsh family (with a name of Jacques??), discovers that he was actually born to joy filled Prague Jews. His mother was killed by the Nazis, and his father might be living somewhere in Paris. Jacques was saved by sending him to England. A uniquely crafted story by a writer with a growing cult readership. Wer ist Austerlitz? Ein rätselhafter Fremder, der immer wieder an den ungewöhnlichsten Orten auftaucht: am Bahnhof, am Handschuhmarkt, im Industriequartier ... Und jedes Mal erzählt er ein Stück mehr von seiner Lebensgeschichte, der Geschichte eines unermüdlichen Wanderers durch unsere Kultur und Architektur und der Geschichte eines Mannes, dem als Kind Heimat, Sprache und Name geraubt wurden.

By Dr. Ruth Westheimer with Dr. Stephen Kaplan (Hebrew University)

October 2001, Madison Books. Like Henry Kissinger said, paraphrasing Napoleon, "Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac." Why else do political leaders and celebrities get a lot of sex? Why else does the alpha male get all the fertile females? Since biblical times, this has been in recorded human history. King David impregnates a married woman and then has her husband killed; Jacqueline Kennedy marries Aristotle Onassis; women flung themselves at the Kennedy brothers (and sons); Eva Peron slept her way to the top; Madame de Pompadour made her way in the French court; Queen Elizabeth I used virginity to advantage; Cleopatra was a magnet for men; Catherine the Great was a magnet for men and horses; Delilah was attracted to Samson; Clinton (need we say more?); Condit; etc. This book is an entertaining and informative tale of the link between power and sex in human history. It also includes a chapter on non heterosexuals, such as Cristina, Eugene of Savoy; Monsieur Phillip, Duc d'Orleans (a great military leader, he feared no battle or army but didn't want to mess his hair); and Prince Phillip zu Eulenburg (but no mention of Barney Frank).


October 2001. Knopf. 304 pages. Chaos Theory Meets The Novel
Chaim Potok, the master of the fictional clashes between cultures and countries (My Name is Asher Lev, The Chosen, the one about Kyoto, Wanderings), JTS Grad, and celebrated author, has written three related novellas about one woman who touches the lives of three men. (but is the story about the woman? Or is it actually about the stories of the men she meets?) Ilana Davita Dinn is the listener to whom three men relate their lives. In the first story, it is 1947, and Ilana is as a young 17 year old woman. She listens to the story of Noah Stemim, the Ark Builder, a man who builds torah arks for synagogues and what happened when the Nazis invade his Polish town. He is the only survivor from his town. In the next story, she is a newly minted teacher at Columbia University in the 1950's, and reads the story of a KGB agent, Leon Shertov, who as a young man during the Russian Civil War is saved by a doctor who he later meets during the Kremlin doctors' plot. Shertov sends Ilana three long letters. In the third story, Ilana is a famous writer and neighbor to an elderly, distinguished Professor of military warfare, Benjamin Walter (you mean Walter Benjamin?), who is trying to write his memoirs who gets distracted by Ilana's presence over the rhododendron hedge and the illness of his wife. Benjamin Walter is famous for being able to detect connections and patterns across historical periods and geographies (kind of like Potok). Yet he is unable to find the patterns and connections of his own life. But, secretly, as you read this novel, you find that you know little of Ilana; the portrait of her is withdrawing as you get deeper into the book. (Is she secretly the shechina? Should Leonard Nimoy take a picture of her female presence hahaha?)

A Novel By ALLAN APPEL (The Rabbi of Casino Boulevard)

October 2001. Coffee House. The story of three interfaith couples on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and how religion affects, disrupts, redeems or heals their lives. Publisher Weekly said of this novel, "When William Harp, the son of a Southern evangelist minister, opens a restaurant on the bottom floor of a brownstone owned by three old friends and their wives, they have no idea that he plans to make it a Christian-themed cafeteria that he hopes will entice the area's many Jewish residents to convert. All too conveniently, the distaff side of the three couples are all originally Christian (one is now Buddhist) who have accepted their husbands' religions by osmosis, wisecracking in Yiddish and otherwise feeling comfortable in a largely Jewish social milieu. Again, all too conveniently, none of the couples has had children, so the wives are entirely free to pursue their careers. But when Harp's proselytizing Christianity reawakens Marylee Jeffers Levine's longings for spiritual salvation, personal and domestic turmoil ensue for the Levines, the Klains and the Belkins."

by Alan M. Dershowitz

October 16, 2001. The art of mentoring series. A collection of short essays. A Practical Guide to young lawyers on career, law and life. He writes about the lure of money, fame, and power, as well as about the seduction of success. He discusses cheating and the corners that get cut. In the process, he conveys some of the "tricks of the trade" that have helped him win cases and become successful at the art and practice of "lawyering." If you like this book, please search for "Letters to a Young Contrarian (Christopher Hitchins); Letters to a Young Golfer (Robert Duvall); Letters to a Young Diva (Jessye Norman); Letters to a Young Doctor (Sherwin Nuland), Letters to a Young Poet (Rilke), and Letters to a Young Activist (Tod Gitlin)


October 16, 2001. Schocken. 368 Pages. 350 Photographs. Why am I not mentioned in this book?? A chronicle of Jewish life and practice in the twentieth Century.

By Louise Steinman

October 2001. Algonquin Press
Cpl. Norman Steinman, the author's father, fought the Japanese in the Pacific Theater and the Philippines during WWII. He was a member of the 25th Infantry Division. After the war, for over 35 years, he worked as a Pharmacist in Culver City, dispensing medications for whatever ailed those around him. Her father despised Asian cuisine, camping out, and Japanese made products. He and his wife raised four children. He died in 1990, and his wife died 9 months later. Their daughter, preparing their condo for sale, found a box containing 400 of her father's letters home and a Japanese rising sun flag that he took as a souvenir. The flag had writing on it. Steinman stored it away for several months, her father never visited her in her dreams until a year after his death. Steinman had the flag translated and sought to find the Japanese family of the flag's prior owner. The flag said: "To Yoshio Shimizu given to him in the Great East Asian War to be fought to the end. If you believe in it, you win." Steinman sets out on a quest to learn what happened to her father in Asia and the men of his Twenty-fifth Infantry Division. Over the course of her exploration, Steinman decides to return the flag to the family of Yoshio Shimizu, the fallen Japanese soldier. She travels to the snow country of Japan and visits Luzon, the battlefield in the Philippines where her father's division fought-the place where Yoshio lost his life and his flag. In the end, Steinman discovers a side of her father she never knew, and, ASTONISHINGLY(?), she develops a kinship with the surviving family of his enemy. Weaving together her father's letters with the story of her own personal journey, Steinman presents a powerful view of how war changed one generation and shaped another. She makes many friends along the way and sees the war from the Japanese POV when she visits Hiroshima. She learns to understand her father's post-War behavior better (whistling kettles unnerved him, Asian food was banned from the house, and that she was never to cry in front of him).

Finding Prayer, Perspective and Meaning in the Stories of Our Lives.
by Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar

October 2001. Just as a dolphin is a oxygen breathing mammal that lives in water, Kedar explains how to live in the worlds of the material/rational and the spiritual. I have not seen this book yet, but I doubt that it is about the Brazilian folktales of dolphins taking human forms and seducing fishermen. Ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1985, Rabbi Kedar also holds a Master's degree in Hebrew Letters from the College-Institute and a Master's in Biblical Literature from Baltimore Hebrew University in Maryland. She has served congregations that include Temple Beth El in Boca Raton, Florida and Congregation B'nai Torah of Highland Park, Illinois. After ordination, she lived in Israel for 10 years to become the first woman rabbi in Jerusalem's history and worked to create Reform congregations and communities in Israel.

By David Zagier

October 2001. Is Zagier a modern Sholom Aleichem and I B Singer??
He died at age 90 in 1998. This is his memoir. The book is best in his memories of his shtetl. Most of his family died in Treblinka. He fled his home in Botchki (a Polish shtetl) in the late 1930's for England. He joined the OSS/CIA and was tried by McCarthyism in the Fifties.

[book] MUSIC OF A DISTANT DRUM. Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew Pomes
Translated by Bernard Lewis (Princeton)

October 2001. Professor Lewis introduces and translates classical poems. Hebrew poets include Ibn Gabirol, Halevi, ha-Nagid, ibn Ezra, Yehuda al-Harizi, Todros ben Yehuda Abu'l-Afiya (a man who's hair has become white states, "nothing is changed in me but my appearance"). Other poets include but are not limited to Abu'l'Atahiya, Attar, Daqiqi, Baki, Al-Hallaj, ibn Quzman, Mehmed II, Mujir, Omar Khayyam, Rudagi, Sadi, and Yunus Emre.


October 2001. Princeton University Press. Jews as a part of American culture in the 1920s, the Jazz Age. New York City was teaming with Jewish immigrants, anti-Semitism abounded in American life, Jews were gaining in economic life, but they were still excluded socially. There were some major events that shaped attitudes towards Jews in the period that this book explores. Felix Frankfurter defended the anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti (were Jews unpatriotic, could they be trusted, think Dershowitz and OJ Simpson); the scandal involving America's pasttime, baseball, the Black Sox Scandal and Jewish gamblers led by Arnold Rothstein; the Jazz Singer by Al Jolson became the first talkie film; Henry Ford financed anti_Semitism in America; F Scott Fitgerald in The Great Gatsby portrayed the Jew as a evil gangster; and Harvard instituted quotes to keep Jewish students out. I smell a Jewish Book Award here!

By Etgar Keret

October 2001. St Martins.
Over twenty short, popular, absurd Israeli stories about life in Israel and elsewhere. Maybe it is the translation or the cultural difference, but some of the stories start out with great promise and ideas and just fizzle out into absurdity rather than comedy. Pleasingly the stories are short, each about five pages long. There is the one about a woman who runs a grocery at the gate to Hell in Uzbekistan, or the story about the man named Goodman who becomes a badman in Texas. The title story is about an obsessive bus driver who tries to stay on time and who doesn't open the doors for late passengers (why should 30 people lose 30 seconds each so one person doesn't have to wait an additional 15 minutes). But one of his passengers has a disease that makes him late, and he has finally found the love of his life, and cannot be late to the Dolphinarium to meet her. Will the bus driver wait? There is the story about the flight attendant who falls for a passenger. In "Uterus", the narrator tells the story of his mother who had her uterus removed. It was so beautiful, it was placed in a museum, and when the narrator grew older and had his own family, he would take his children to visit their grandmother's uterus. In "Shoes", a young boy gets a gift of German-branded sneakers a few weeks after commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day; he is conflicted. In "Pipes", a young student's single wrong answer on a test gets him pegged as suffering from perceptual disorders, forcing him to go to trade school, where he learns that it isn't the smart and strong people who first learned to use clubs, it was the weak and abused. In a story about "Alon Shemesh", Alon is absent from school, so his friend takes his homework home to him. The next day that friend is absent, and one by one, as others take the homework to the absent students, they too disappear. And then the teacher goes to make a sick call on the boys... The collection includes stories from Keret's other books: Pipelines, and Missing Kissinger.

By Robert Cowley, Editor

October 2001. Famous historians ask "What if?" Includes "what is Pontius Pilate pardoned Jesus?" and how Christianity would have developed without a martyr focus; and "What is Germany in WWI had submarine technology?"; and "What is Japan had taken Australia during WWII?"; and Robert Katz asks "What is Pope Pius 12 had done more to Protest the Holocaust?"

[book] Evangelizing the Chosen People: Missions to the Jews in America, 1880-2000
by Yaakov S. Ariel

October Univ of N Carolina Press. Paperback. With this book, Yaakov Ariel offers a comprehensive history of Protestant evangelization of Jews in America to the present day. Based on unprecedented research in missionary archives as well as Jewish writings, the book analyzes the theology and activities of both the missions and the converts and describes the reactions of the Jewish community, which in turn helped to shape the evangelical activity directed toward it. Ariel delineates three successive waves of evangelism, the first directed toward poor Jewish immigrants, the second toward American-born Jews trying to assimilate, and the third toward Jewish baby boomers influenced by the counterculture of the Vietnam War era. After World War II, the missionary impulse became almost exclusively the realm of conservative evangelicals, as the more liberal segments of American Christianity took the path of interfaith dialogue.

By Frederick Crews

October 2001. FSG. The sequel to Crew's 1964 book (Pooh perplex) is a satire of lit crit theory using Pooh as the unifying theme. At least click the icon above to see the neat cover.



by Howard Blum

November 2001. Harpercollins. Blum, twice a Pulitzer Prize nominee, and editor for Vanity Fair, tells the true, suspense-filled story of three men (Israel Carmi, Yohanan Peltz, and Arie Pinshuk) and their battle in the final weeks of WWII. In late 1944, in the closing days of the War, after postponing the permission to allow a Jewish Brigade to fight in Europe, Britain relented and sent its Jewish Brigade of 5,000 men into battle against the Nazis. Prior to this, British Mandate Palestinian Jews were only allowed to join the Buffs and be in the Palestine Regiment. The Jewish Brigade beat the Nazis in their primary battle, but were pulled back from the front a few days after they won the battle. The war was ending and there was chaos. The Brigade planned a clandestine operation to take vengeance against the Nazi officers who were in hiding (killing hundreds) and to rescue death camp survivors and smuggle them to British occupied Palestine. They also formed a unit to redirect British supplies after the war to Palestine. Based on research, interviews with over 37 of the surviving veterans, and over 110 total interviews, and over 700 pages of the unpublished memoirs of two of the leaders. This is their story

[book] From the Holocaust to Hogan's Heroes : The Autobiography of Robert Clary by Robert Clary
By Robert Clary

November 2001, Madison Books. Born in France, Clary survived the Nazi death camps In 1942 Robert and 12 members of his immediate family were deported by the Nazis. Only Robert survived. When he returned to Paris, he was overjoyed to discover that some of his siblings had not been deported and had survived. He went back to singing and was discovered by Harry Bluestone while entertaining in a dance hall in 1947. This led to recording songs that became hits in America the following year. He came to the United States in October of 1949 and recorded several more singles for the Capitol label. His meeting with Merv Griffin led to an introduction to Eddie Cantor's daughter Natalie (whom he married some time later). He went on to be discovered on Broadway in "New Faces of 1952", and then become famous playing Corporal Louis Lebeau on Hogan's Heroes. I cannot tell you how many people have told me that they thought the Clary, like the actors who played Hogan, Colonel Klink, and Schultz, are all dead. But actually Clary is still active and living. He appeared in the 1982 NBC television movie, "Remembrance of Love" with Kirk Douglas about the World Gathering of the Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust in Jerusalem. A documentary for PBS followed entitled "Robert Clary A-5714, A Memoir of Liberation." He went on to host his own cable television show. This is his story.

[book] Still Alive : Coming of Age During the Holocaust and Beyond (The Helen Rose Scheuer Jewish Womens Series)
By Ruth Kluger (Professor Emerita, UC-IRVINE)

November 2001, Feminist Press. Move over Elie Wiesel, and make room for Professor Kluger.
What was a childhood under the Nazi's in Austria like? How about a school art project of making swastikas with colored paper? The story of the destruction of a Viennese Jewish family. IT WAS ALREADY A BEST SELLING BOOK IN GERMANY. Kluger survived a childhood in both Theresienstadt and the Birkenau Auschwitz death camps.

[book] Memoirs of a Warsaw Ghetto Fighter
by Kazik Simha Rotem, Simha Rotem

Fall 2001, Yale University Press. Paperback edition
Yales University Press has published this memoir by the resistance fighter Kazik and his comrades who defied the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. THIS BOOK IS A PRIMARY SOURCE OF INFORMATION for the NBC miniseries, UPRISING, which will premiere Sunday, November 4, 2001 (9-11 PM ET) and Monday, November 5. Kazik resides in Israel and is one of the few survivors from the revolt. In 1939, 350,000 Jews were forced into the Warsaw Ghetto. In 1943, when the Nazis began the final liquidation of the Ghetto residents, 500 young Jews defied them. The fought the Nazis for one month. Kazik, code-named Simha Ratajzer, then a 19 Aryan looking Jew with perfect Polish language skills, escaped through the sewers. In 1950, having illegally moved to Palestine in 1946, he changed his name to ROTEM. For years, Yitchak Zuckerman (codename ANTEK) urged Kazik to write his memoirs. After Zuckerman died in 1981, Kazik decided to write them. This is the stark fruit of his labor.

By Neil Baldwin

November 2001, PublicAffairs. What type of car did Jews boycott more? Fords or German one?? You mean Ford didn't love living Jews (Jesus was a dead one)? Baldwin writes about America's most famous anti-Semite. What is it with Baldwin? He also wrote books on William Carlos Williams (anti Semite) and Edison (anti Semite). How and why did Ford, a quintessential American folk-hero and pioneering industrialist, become one of the most OBSESSIVE anti-Semites. Ford devoted his immense financial resources to publishing a pernicious forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Once Henry Ford's virulent media campaign against the Jews took off during the "anxious decade" following World War I, how did America's splintered Jewish community attempt to cope with the relentless tirade conducted for 91 consecutive weeks in the automobile manufacturer's personal newspaper, The Dearborn Independent? What were the repercussions of Ford's Jew-hatred extending deeply into the 1930s? Drawing upon previously-uncited oral history transcripts, archival correspondence, and family memoirs, Neil Baldwin answers these and other questions, examining the conservative biases of the men at the inner circle of the Ford Motor Company and disentangling painful ideological struggles among an elite Jewish leadership.

by Andy Grove (born Andris Grof) (Chairman of Intel Corp)

November 2001. Memoirs of Intel Corp Chairman, Andy Grove, how he survived the Nazis and Communism and escaped to American with the help of The International Rescue Committee. All his proceeds to be donated to IRC. Was edited by none other than Norman Pearlstine, Time Magazines editor-in-chief. Nearly killed by Scarlet Fever at the age of four, (he was told by a playmate at age 4 that all the Jews must dies for killing Christ), forced into hiding by the Nazis in 1944, and dogged by anti-Semitism, Andrew Grove's survival was nothing short of miraculous. These and other incredible trials combine to give a stirring picture of a childhood that would lead to a lifetime of unsurpassed achievement. In Swimming Across, a true American hero reveals his origins and what it takes to survive...and to triumph. LOOK FOR MR GROVE AT JEWISH BOOKFAIRS ACROSS THE USA IN NOVEMBER 2001.

Edited by Louis Sandy Maisel and Ira N. Forman.

November 2001. R&L. Sandy and Ira, with an intro by a very thankful and honored Senator Lieberman, profile more than four hundred prominent Americans of Jewish heritage in Congress, the Supreme Court, presidential administrations, and other governing positions. Years in the making, this monumental work includes thoughtful and original chapters by leading journalists, scholars, and practitioners. Topics range from Jewish leadership and identity; to Jews in Congress, on the Supreme Court, and in presidential administrations; and on to Jewish influence in the media, the lobbies, and in other arenas in which American government operates powerfully, if informally. In addition to the thematic chapters, Jews in American Politics includes over 400 biographical profiles of prominent Jews throughout American political history, and concludes with an invaluable roster of Jews in key governmental positions from Ambassadorships and Cabinet posts to federal judges, state governors, and mayors of major cities.

[book] Time to Make the Donuts
The Founder of Dunkin Donuts Shares an American Journey
by William Rosenberg

November 2001. Bill Rosenberg was an eighth-grade dropout who got his start hauling a catering wagon from the back door of one factory to another in the late 1940s. He knew how to please the lunch-pail crowd, with sweet, fried dough and a cup of joe. That mid-morning snack was such a hit that he figured he would park the wagon and set up shop in Quincy, Mass. His store: Dunkin' Donuts. Rosenberg dreamed of scores of doughnut shops dotting the countryside, but he didn't have the money to build an empire. So he decided to share the wealth and franchise. Today there are 3,500 Dunkin' Donuts in the U.S., 99% of them owned by franchisees. Rosenberg shares his life story, how he sold Dunkin Donuts for over $300 million, and his battles with cancer and diabetes.

[book] When Life Calls Out to Us : The Love and Lifework of Viktor and Elly Frankl
by Haddon Klingberg Jr.

November 2001. Doubleday. 400 pages. At age 15, Viktor Frankl was corresponding with Sigmund Freud! His published his first paper in a psychology journal at the age of 19. Frankl was one of the 20th Century's most followed psychotherapists, creating existential psychotherapy and writing MAN'S SEARCH FOR MEANING, after his survival of the Holocaust. This is a biography on Frankl and his second wife (his first wife died in the death camps).

by Alfred Feldman, Susan Zuccotti

November 2001. Memoir of Feldman, who was born in Hamburg Germany, and raised as a good German and Orthodox Jew. The family moved to Antwerp, but when Hitler invased Belgium, Feldman became a fugitive. He recounts harrowing escpae stories, the story of the nice banker in Nice, the peasants who risked their lives for him, and his loss of faith after eating a grape on Yom Kippur.

With Charles Salzberg

November 2001. Soupy Sales, 75, who made over 5300 live tv appearances and was the king of Pie-In-Your-Face humor shares his anecdotes and more backstage antics and life with fans and other readers. Includes 70 photos


November 2001. JPS. Stories of biblical women.


November 2001. Univ Press of New England. A book about Jews who live in Brooklyn

Have you heard the news on Isaac Babel (1894-1941) (author of the books, Red Cavalry and Odessa Tales)? He was murdered by the Soviets in Lubyanka Prison in 1940, but his unpublished papers are in a Soviet archives... somewhere in there. And when found, his novel may be somewhere in there. Speaking of Isaac Babel, keep your eyes open for the November 2001 publication by his daughter, Nathalie Babel of THE COMPLETE WORKS OF ISAAC BABEL with an introduction by Cynthia Ozick.


November 2001. Paperback edition of Ragen latest novel. Catherine da Costa of Manhattan seeks to leave her family tree, her grandchildren, a legacy. They aren't interested. But then, Catherine is visited by a ghost of her matriarch. She entices Catherine and her family on a trek across Europe in search of their pasts. Will this adventure change the course of Catherine's granddaughters?

[book] AROUND SARAH'S TABLE. Ten Hasidic Women Share Their Stories of Life, Faith, and Tradition
by Rivka Zakutinsky and Yaffa Leba Gottlieb

November 2001. The Free Press. Rivka Zakutinsky, a teacher and graduate of Hofstra University and Beth Jacob Seminary, and Yaffa Leba Gottlieb, a graduate of Univ of Michigan, Neve Yerushalayim Seminary, and Washington University, feature the lives of ten Lubavitcher women who meet each Tuesday for a study session. Each chapter focuses on the life of one of the women and the insights she gains from the that week's study session. Each individual shares her own concerns, whether it be illness, parenting, a child with Down's Syndrome, marriage, reverence, faith, and family. Shaina discusses Lech Lecha and journeys; Reva: Vayera and revelations; Tamar: Chaye Sarah and marrying off the next in line; Rachel: Toldos and the Mikvah; Glicka: Vayeitzei and the Exile of the Body and Homecoming of the Soul; Levana: Vayishlach and Peace; Klara: Vayeshev and Learning and Lawyering; Erica: Miketz and Chanukah and Toil and the Oil; Ora: Vayigash and Leadership with Holy Vision; and Sarah: Vayechi and the ingathering, Life, and Blessing.

[book] The Rock : A Seventh-Century Tale of Jerusalem
by Kanan Makiya

November 2001. Whose rock is enshrined inside the golden Dome of Jerusalem? The rock of Moses or of Muhammad? Kanan Makiya gathers together the stories, legends, and beliefs that define the Rock-the place where Adam landed in his fall from Paradise and where Abraham attempted to sacrifice his first-born; where Solomon's Temple stood and where Jesus preached; the rock from which Muhammad ascended to heaven-and transforms them into a narrative of novelistic depth and drama. This brilliantly imagined, historically based account of the building of the Dome of the Rock reconstructs the paths of the actual individuals whose spiritual journeys revolved around the seventh-century lore of the Rock. The chief protagonist is Ka'b al-Ahbar, a learned Jew who accepted the prophecy of Muhammad and who accompanied the caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab during his conquest of the Holy City. The story is narrated by Ka'b's son, Ishaq, who years later is commissioned to design the first monument of Islam, the Dome of the Rock. Click to read more.

by Joseph Roth

November 2001. Translated by Michael Hoffman. Comment by Elie Wiesel. Now in paperback. The classic portrait of the Jewish people, authored in 1927, by Roth, who died in 1939 in Paris..

by Lisa Skolnick

November 2001. Hearst Books. Decortaing you home the Victorian way in hues of Blue and White .......

by Elie Wiesel (obviously), and R. D. Heffner

November 2001. Conversations.

[book] AZAREL
By Karoly Pap

A novel by Karoly Pap, the famed writer, who was taken to Buchenwald and died at Bergen Belsen in 1944 at the age of 47. AZAREL has never been translated into English before. Set in rural Hungary, this is the story of Gyuri, son of a rabbi, whose grandfather thinks that there Modern Orthodoxy will lead to ruin. (This was published in 1937). The grandfather, Papa Jeremiah, takes Gyuri from his parents, and raises him in a tent. Gyuri becomes devoted to his grandfather, but then Papa Jeremiah dies. Gyuri is returned to his parents, but father and son fight over obedience and Jewish observance.

By Roger and Messod Sabbah

These two Moroccan researchers claim to have proven that the biblical exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt was a reference to the monotheism of Pharaoh Akhnaten, who was driven into exile with his followers.
Not available in the USA yet (only in France)

[book] The Thirty-Third Hour : The Torah of Moshe Katan
by Mitchell Chefitz

January 2002. A novel. St Martins. The second installment of the Moshe Katan series of stories. Rabbi Arnold Greenberg is scholarly and leads a very large Miami synagogue. He has hired Moshe Katan to create and teach a family learning class, using Katan's highly untraditional approach to Jewish learning. But Brenda has made an accusation against Katan. Greenberg is comfortable with Tisha B'Av, while Katan is more Purim if you catch my drift; Greenberg would like to avoid the unruly children of a Purim celebration. But now, due to the accusations, he must investigate Katan's teachings and methods. Click to read more.

by Raja Shehadeh

January 2002. Born in 1951, Raja, an author of several books on the Middle East and Israeli intransigence and occupation. In this book he recounts his youth in Ramallah. Oh, and Anthony Lewis writes an intro, so you know it must be philo-Semitic... Not


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