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Click here for Rosh Hashana 2003 books
Early FALL 2003 RECOMMENDED JEWISH BOOKS
see the next page for late Fall 2003
SELECTED FALL BOOK READINGS
Sep 04, 2003: Jane Leavy reads from Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy. B&N NYC 7 PM.
Sep 08, 2003: TOVA MIRVIS (The Ladies Auxiliary), ELLEN MILLER (Like Being Killed) and BEN SCHRANK (Consent) read from LOST TRIBE: JEWISH FICTION FROM THE EDGE. B&N Chelsea. NYC 7 PM.
Sep 08, 2003: Rabbi Harold Kushner reads from The Lord Is My Shepherd: The Healing Wisdom of the Twenty-Third Psalm. B&N Lincoln Ctr NYC 7 PM.
Sep 08, 2003: Rabbi Joseph Telushkin reads from The Ten Commandments of Character. B&N UWS NYC 7:30 PM.
Sep 14, 2003: Thomas Friedman. NYC 92nd St Y
Sep 15, 2003: Ruchama King reads from SEVEN BLESSINGS. B&N Clifton NJ 7:30 PM.
Sep 15, 2003: Marthe Cohn reads from BEHIND ENEMY LINES. B&N Edina MN.
Sep 15, 2003: Cindy Chupack reads from BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS BOOK. B&N Dallas 7:30 PM.
Sep 15, 2003: Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch on his book One People, Two Worlds. NYC 92nd St Y / Steinhardt W 67th
Sep 16, 2003: Jane Leavy reads from Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy. B&N Philadelphia 7 PM.
Sep 17, 2003: Phyllis Chesler reads from The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It, B&N Brooklyn 7 PM
Sep 17, 2003: David J Levien reads from SWAGBELLY, B&N NYC 7 PM
Sep 17, 2003: Cindy Chupack reads from BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS BOOK. B&N Los Angeles, 7:30 PM.
Sep 17, 2003: Madeleine Albright reads from MADAM SECRETARY; A MEMOIR, B&N NYC 7:30 PM
Sep 17, 2003: Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz on the Hassdic Path to Kabbalah. NYC 92nd St Y
Sep 17, 2003: HOLY TAK with Joan Leegant, Risa Miller and Ruchama King. NYC 92nd St Y / Steinhardt W 67th
Sep 18, 2003: Linda Amster and Mimi Sheraton read and cook from The New York Times Jewish Cookbook. B&N UWS NYC 7:30 PM.
Sep 19, 2003: Madeleine Albright reads from MADAM SECRETARY; A MEMOIR, B&N Washington DC 7:30 PM
Sep 21, 2003: Art Speigelman and Neil Gaiman on How To Write For Children . NYC 92nd St Y
Sep 22, 2003: The following speak on architecture: Philip Johnson, Richard Meier, Alan Ritchie, Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Charles Gwethmey, and Michael McKenzie. NYC Cong Rodeph Sholom
Sep 22, 2003: Barry Levinson reads from Sixty Six:, B&N Lincoln Ctr NYC 7PM
Sep 23, 2003: Daniel B. Silver reads from REFUGE IN HELL: How Berlin's Jewish Hospital Outlasted the Nazis, B&N Rockville MD 7:30 PM
Sep 23, 2003: Rabbi Joseph Telsuhkin on his new book, the Ten Commandments of Character. NYC 92nd St Y
Sep 24, 2003: Alan Dershowitz on The Case for Israel and Jews in Crisis. NYC 92nd St Y
Sep 24, 2003: Mitch Albom reads from THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEAT IN HEAVEN, B&N NYC 7:30 PM
Sep 29, 2003: Robert Rosenstone reads from KING OF ODESSA, B&N NYC 7:30 PM
Sep 30, 2003: Madeleine Albright reads from MADAM SECRETARY; A MEMOIR, B&N Wellington FL 2 PM
Oct 01, 2003: Al Franken reads from Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them...A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, B&N Skokie 7:30 PM
Oct 02, 2003: Peter Duffy on his book, The Bielski Brothers. NYC 92nd St Y / Steinhardt W 67th
Oct 04, 2003: Al Franken reads from Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them...A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, B&N Austin 7 PM
Oct 07, 2003: Binnie Kirshenbaum and Ellen Miller read from LOST TRIBE: JEWISH FICTION FROM THE EDGE. Bluestockings. NYC 7 PM.
Oct 08, 2003: Phyllis Chesler reads from The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It, B&N NYC 7:30 PM
Oct 08, 2003: Professor Franklin Toker on his exciting book, Frank Lloyd Wright, E. J. Kaufman, and America's Most Extraordinary House, Falling Water. NYC 92nd St Y / Steinhardt W 67th
Oct 14, 2003: Richard E. Rubenstein reads from Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Dark Ages, B&N NYC 7:30 PM
Oct 15, 2003: Gabriel Brownstein, Joan Leegant, and Jon Papernick read from LOST TRIBE: JEWISH FICTION FROM THE EDGE. JCC of UWS NYC 7 PM.
Oct 15, 2003: Norman F. Cantor (NYU Emeritus) reads from Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World, B&N Miami 7:30 PM
Oct 16, 2003: Anita Diament reads from PITCHING MY TENT, B&N Framingham 7:30 PM
Oct 21, 2003: Anita Diamant on Reinventing the Jewish Woman. NYC 92nd St Y
Oct 22, 2003: Norman F. Cantor (NYU Emeritus) reads from Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World, B&N Miami 7:30 PM
Oct 22, 2003: Anita Diament reads from PITCHING MY TENT, B&N NYC 7:30 PM
Oct 22, 2003: Rabbi Leon A. Morris and author Than e Rosenbaum lead a Beit Midrash for WRITERS, each Wednesday evening at 7 PM at the Skirball Center in NYC, see adultjewishlearning.Org
Oct 23, 2003: Phyllis Chesler reads from The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It, B&N Livingston NJ 7 PM
Oct 23, 2003: Ari Goldman and Charles Strum in Dialogue on Death and Mourning. NYC 92nd St Y
Oct 28, 2003: Al Franken reads from Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them...A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, B&N NYC 7 PM
Oct 30, 2003: Rochelle Krich reads from DREAM HOUSE, B&N Encino 7 PM
Nov 04, 2003: TOVA MIRVIS and SUZAN SHERMAN talk with Anne Roiphe about LOST TRIBE: JEWISH FICTION FROM THE EDGE. Jewish Womens Foundation of NYC.
Nov 06, 2003: Elie Wiesel on War and Peace in the Jewish Tradition. NYC 92nd St Y
Nov 07-11, 2003: Only In America. A Celebration of 350 Years of American Jewry. Jewish Music in a Land of Freedom. Five Day Conference. See www.jtsa.edu or MilkenArchive.org
Nov 17, 2003: Andre Aciman converses with A. B. Yehoshua. NYC 92nd St Y
Nov 19, 2003: UK Chief Rabbi Joanthan Sacks speaks on Toward the Dignity of Difference (hmm really?). NYC 92nd St Y
Nov 20, 2003: Zohar (the book not the pop singer) Celebration and Study with Rabbis Poupko and Arthur Green and Prof Daniel C. Matt. NYC 92nd St Y
Nov 20, 2003: Jewish Sci Fi Science Fiction with Marlene Barr, Paul Levinson, and Esther Freisner. NYC 92nd St Y / Stenhardt W 67th
Nov 23, 2003: JEWISH CHILDREN'S BOOKWRITERS CONFERENCE. NYC 92nd St Y $75
Dec 01, 2003: Dr. Leon R. Kass on L'Chaim and Its Limits. NYC 92nd St Y
Dec 03, 2003: Steve Almond, Aryeh Lev Stollman, Nelly Reifler, Ellen Miller and Liz Swados read from LOST TRIBE: JEWISH FICTION FROM THE EDGE. Museum of Jewish Heritage. NYC
Dec 04, 2003: Rabbi Tirzah Firestone on Jewish Women's Wisdom. NYC 92nd St Y
Dec 14, 2003: Ted Solotaroff converses on Alfred Kazin. NYC 92nd St Y
Dec 20, 2003: Klezmatics perform The Yiddish Woody Guthrie. NYC 92nd St Y
HEY.. NOW YOUR CAN SEARCH OUR SITE, INSTEAD OF JUST SEARCHING AMAZON. TRY IT OUT...
Summer continues: new in paperback (and some hardbacks, too)
Click on a cover for a larger picture and reviews
SEPTEMBER 2003 BOOKS
Homelands in Exile
(2 Volume Set)
by Frederic Brenner
Rosh Hashana 2003.
See also the Fall 2003 exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum from October 2003 - January 2004. or visit the Howard Greenberg gallery in nyc.
Since 1978, French photographer FrÚdÚric Brenner has been chronicling the Jewish Diaspora by producing visual social histories of Jewish communities. Diaspora is
a photographic record of his 25-year search for the Jewish population in 40 countries over five continents. Volume I, 344 pages, is a collection of 264 of Brenner's more than 80,000 photographs, the most extensive and diverse visual record of Jewish life ever created. A four page color insert includes two full-color photographs. Volume II is 164 pages of evocative essays by leading intellectuals on the meaning and significance to each of them of 60 of Brenner's photographs, reproduced here in smaller format. Diaspora is a landmark project that captures the scope and dynamism of one of the world's oldest, most diverse communities, and challenges stereotypes held by Jews and non-Jews alike. Click to read more...
The Anatomy of Two Major Foreign Policy Crises
Based on the Record of Henry Kissinger's Hitherto Secret Telephone Conversations
by Henry Kissinger
By Henry Kissinger
Late Summer 2003. Thirty years after the Yom Kippur War
Not since the Israeli book, "The Secret Conversations of Henry Kissinger" has such a fun book been published on the Yom Kippur War. By drawing upon hitherto unpublished transcripts of his telephone conversations during the Yom Kippur War (1973) and the last days of the Vietnam War (1975), Henry Kissinger reveals what goes on behind the scenes at the highest levels in a diplomatic crisis. The two major foreign policy crises in this book, one successfully negotiated, one that ended tragically, were unique in that they moved so fast that much of the work on them had to be handled by telephone. The longer of the two sections deals in detail with the Yom Kippur War and is full of revelations, as well as great relevancy: In Kissinger's conversations with Golda Meir, Israeli Prime Minister; Simcha Dinitz, Israeli ambassador to the U.S.; Mohamed el-Zayyat, the Egyptian Foreign Minister; Anatoly Dobrynin, the Soviet Ambassador to the U.S.; Kurt Waldheim, the Secretary General of the U.N.; and a host of others, as well as with President Nixon, many of the main elements of the current problems in the Middle East can be seen. Kissinger presents the idea that he thought Israel would win and then the USA would crowd out the USSR and arrange the cease fire. But when Israel lost 400 tanks and maybe 40 planes in 2 days and needed resupply, and Golda Meir wanted to come to DC to plead her case, Kissinger saw Israel was losing, said Meir should stay in Jerusalem, and that Kissinger and Nixon would resupply Israel not only on ElAl, but would also use other commercial jets with US guarantees. In the end, Kissinger allowed the use of US military re-supply airlift 36 hours later. (I believe Walter Boyne's book disagrees with Kissinger's assertions, but you can decide for yourself.) Kissinger needed Israel to win on at least one front so that he could arrange the negotiations. Kissinger stalled the talks for 3 days, hoping Israel would gain some ground. Israel then trapped the Egyptian Army on the other side of the canal, and began to starve the army, against Kissinger's wishes, which precipitated a crisis at the U.N. and with the USSR. Elements in D.C. wanted to resupply the Egyptian Third Army, but in the book, Kissinger says he nixed that idea. Click to read more...
by Madeleine K. Albright
September 2003. Miramax.
For eight years, during Bill Clinton's two presidential terms, Madeleine Albright was an active participant in the most dramatic events of recent times-from the pursuit of peace in the Middle East to NATO's humanitarian intervention in Kosovo. Now, in an outspoken memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence. The story begins with Albright's childhood as a Czechoslovak refugee, whose family first fled Hitler, then the Communists. Arriving in the United States at the age of eleven, she grew up to be a passionate advocate of civil and women's rights and followed a zigzag path to a career that ultimately placed her in the upper stratosphere of diplomacy and policy-making in her adopted country. She became the first woman to serve as America's secretary of state and one of the most admired individuals of our era. Refreshingly candid, Madam Secretary brings to life the world leaders Albright dealt with face-to-face in her years of service and the battles she fought to prove her worth in a male-dominated arena. There are intriguing portraits of such leading figures as Vaclav Havel, Yasser Arafat, Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, King Hussein, Vladimir Putin, Slobodan Milosevic, and North Korea's mysterious Kim Jong-Il, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, and Jesse Helms. Includes her discussion of her discovery of her Jewish background. Click the book cover above to read more.
This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared:
The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation
by Alan Lew, SF Congregation Beth Shalom
by Rabbi Alan Lew
September 2003. Little Brown. I read Lew's first book, "One God Clapping" before the High Holy Days a few years ago. And now, in time for Rosh Hashanah and the Yomim Noraim, Rabbi Lew has published a new book on change and transformation. There are moments in life when one is caught utterly unprepared: a death in the family, the end of a relationship, a health crisis. These are times when the solid ground we thought we stood on disappears beneath our feet, and we turn to faith to help us find our way back. Rabbi Lew has taken the beauty and power of the High Holy Days rituals and made of them a journey of seven distinct stages that will touch the spirit of all readers in search of inner transformation (starting at Tisha b'Av). Rabbi Lew weaves together Torah readings, Buddhist parables, and Jewish fables and stories from his own life, to lay bare the meanings of this ancient Jewish passage. Drawing on both his rabbinical training and his scholarship in Buddhism, Lew leads readers on a journey from confusion to clarity, from doubt to belief, as he opens a path to self-discovery that is accessible to readers of all faiths. He says, the lesson of the High Holy Days is, "We are not prepared for out lives." It is a beginning, not a conclusion. Reaching out to other and to God is a solution. The book unveils the deeper meanings of the High Holidays, enabling Jews and believers of all kinds to reconnect to their faith with a vibrancy and intimacy that will resonate throughout the year. Click the book cover above to read more.
LIES AND THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM
A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right
by Al Franken
September 22, 2003. EP Dutton
Al Franken, my savior, takes on the issues in a fair and balanced way hehehe , the politicians, and the pundits in one of the most anticipated books of the year. For the first time since his own classic Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, Al Franken trains his subversive wit on pundits. He destroys the myth of liberal bias in the media, and exposes how the Right shamelessly tries to deceive the rest of us. No one is spared as Al uses the Right's own words against them. Not the Bush administration and their rhetorical hypocrisy. Not Ann Coulter and her specious screeds. Not the new generation of talk-radio hosts, and not Bill O'Reilly, Roger Ailes, and the entire Fox network. This is the book Al Franken fans have been waiting for (and his foes have been dreading). Timely, provocative, unfailingly honest, and always funny, Lies is sure to become the most talked about book of political humor in 2003 and beyond. AND I GOT TO SEE THE FIGHT BETWEEN HIM AND O'REILLY AT THE BOOK EXPO IN L.A. (look for me on c-span). Click the book cover above to read more.
MEMOIRS OF AN IRANIAN JEWISH WOMAN
by FARIDEH GOLDIN
September 2003. Brandeis. An unflinching personal story of family, religion, and community that shows the horror of growing up in the shadow of religious fundamentalism. Farideh Goldin was born to her 15 year old mother in 1953 and into a Jewish community living in an increasingly hostile Islamic state -prerevolutionary Iran. This memoir is Goldin's passionate and painful account of her childhood in a poor Jewish household and her emigration to the United States in 1975. As she recalls trips to the market and the mikvah, and as she evokes ritual celebrations like weddings, Goldin chronicles her childhood, her extended family, and the lives of the women in her community in Shiraz, a southern Iranian city. Her memoir details her parents' "courtship" (her father selected her mother from a group of adolescent girls), her mother's lonely life as a child-bride, and Goldin's childhood home which was presided over by her paternal grandmother. Goldin's memoir conveys not just the personal trauma of growing up in a family fraught with discord but also the tragic human costs of religious dogmatism. In Goldin's experience, Jewish fundamentalism was intensified by an Islamic context. Although the Muslims were antagonistic to Jews, their views on women's roles and their treatment of women influenced the attitude and practices of some Iranian Jews. Farideh Goldin confronts profound sadness yet captures the joys of a child's wonder as she savors the scenes and textures and scents of Jewish Iran. Click the book cover above to read more.
DEATH BY HOLLYWOOD
By Steven Bochco
September 2003. Random House
You will wet your pants reading this funny novel, and indictment of Hollywood agents. As the author writes, "Hollywood is a dog eat dog world, and no dog's gonna eat me." Bochco, the recipient of Ten Emmy Awards for shows such as L.A. Law and NYPD Blue, has written a comic, dark novel, which, honestly, is great, with greatly multi-dimensional characters. As Mr. Bochco said to me when I met him in May 2003 in Los Angeles, "THIS IS MY JEWISH BOOK." And it is and he is (and his Brother in law is Alan Rachins). Bobby Newman, a Hollywood writer and script doctor, lives by Newman Standard Time (late). He grew up on Manhattan's Upper East Side - a Jewish mama's boy, who was sent to great private schools - who when attacked in a bathroom by several classmates, wrote a short story about it rather than bulk up and fight them. His career is fading to black. He spies on a neighbor making love with his telescope (I mean that Newman uses a telescope to spy on his neighbors, not that his neighbor uses a telescope to make love). Through the scope, he sees a wealthy socialite kill her lover with, what else. an acting award statue. He witnesses this murder and instead of calling the police, he inserts himself into the investigation in order to write a screenplay about it. A cop is involved, the pimping agent (Eddie Jelko) plays a role of narrator, and then there is the billionaire's socialite wife. Click the book cover above to read more.
Click here to hear actor Dennis Franz read from Steven Bochco's book, and then return here I order to buy this. Ya know what I mean??
THE GERMAN MONEY
by LEV RAPHAEL
September 2003. Leapfrog Press.
In the words of Virginia Wolf, "I want to write a novel about the things people DON'T say." I met Lev at the BookExpo in Los Angeles in May, and snagged an advance copy of his forthcoming novel. Raphael, the child of survivors, is known to our readers for his Jewish books, but did you know that he is also the author of five mysteries? In this novel, he combines genres, melding an "emotional mystery" with a family saga as three grown children come together to mourn the death of their mother, a survivor of Hitler's death camps with an enigmatic, cold, silent spirit. Her son, Paul Menkis, the least favorite spent his life running away from New York, his beautiful beshert, Valerie, his siblings, and his silent mother. He was the least favorite child. Then why did he get the largest inheritance from his mother? Dina has fled the country and married a devout Catholic; Simon has led a sexually profligate life addled with drugs. The siblings find themselves confronted by a frightening legacy of secrets. What caused her to die? Why the uneven inheritance? Why did she accumulate the $1 million in reparations money from Germany, and hold it for her estate? Why has Simon embraced tragedy while Paul has run from it? Like the author, why has Paul escaped NYC for the Midwest and Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula? If you liked Schlink's The Reader, you will love this. Click the book cover above to read more.
The New York Times Jewish Cookbook
More than 825 Traditional &
Contemporary Recipes from Around the World
by Linda Amster (Editor)
with Mimi Sheraton
September 30, 2003. St. Martin's Press
From the food pages of The New York Times comes this authoritative, wide-ranging Jewish cookbook. With almost 800 well-tested recipes by Times food writers, this collection includes influences from Northern Africa, Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. It is a collection to cook from as well as to celebrate the history, culture, culinary creativity, and enduring tradition of Jews around the world. Mimi Sheraton, food critic and cookbook author, has written a full introduction to the book as well as to each chapter, providing context and expertise to entertain and inspire. Editor Linda Amster has organized chapters to cover every course: appetizers, breads, soups, fish, meat, chicken, vegetables and salads, grains and dairy delights, cakes, cookies, and other desserts. Delicious recipes include both traditional favorites and more recent variations that update the classics with a contemporary twist. All recipes are kosher and include dishes from dozens of well-known writers and chefs such as, Ms. Sheraton, Alain Ducasse, Joan Nathan, Paula Wolfert, Daniel Boulud, and Wolfgang Puck. This useful, appealing, and imaginative volume will delight those who celebrate Jewish culinary culture, and is sure to set a new standard on the Jewish cookbook shelf. Click to read more.
Pictured above is Linda Amster and Mimi Sheraton signing books after a reading. Eagle eyes will notice that Mister Zabar of Zabar's is in the picture having copies of the book signed for him as well as his chef, Boris.
JEWISH FICTION FROM THE EDGE
Edited by PAUL ZAKRZEWSKI (pronounced Zak-shef-ski)
August 2003. Harperperennial.
A collection of writings from 25 great new funny, dark, raw writers, including Nathan Englander ("The Last One Way"), Ellen Miller ("In Memory of Chanveasna Chan, Who Is Still Alive", a dark satire on the persecution image), Myla Goldberg, Jonathan Safran Foer, Steve Almond, Dara Horn, Jon Papernick, Aimee Bender, Rachel Kadish, Nelly Reifler (Julian, a sexual coming of age story), Gabriel Brownstein, Gloria Kirchheimer, Ben Schrank, Judy Budnitz, Binnie Kirshenbaum ("Who Knows Kaddish") Suzan Sherman, Joan Leegant, Gary Shteyngart ("Several Anecdotes About My Wife"), Michael Lowenthal, Aryeh Lev Stollman, Ellen Umansky, Ehud Havazelet, Tova Mirvis, Simone Zelitch, and Peter Orner. Issues are flirted with (sex, intolerance, the Holocaust's legacy). Call them the "post Roth" generation. Just as Philip Roth unleashed his irreverent wit in "Portnoy's Complaint" to depict the shortcomings of his 1950s urban Jewish upbringing, these writers flirt with controversial topics-such as sex, materialism, religious intolerance, and the contentious legacy of the Holocaust-to create a stirring mirror of Jewish life today. With their evocative storytelling abilities, exquisite attention to language, and profound compassion for the complex lives of their characters, these 25 authors are creating an exciting new direction for contemporary Jewish fiction.
Pictured above are selected writers at a recent reading
Click to read more.
THE JEWISH STUDY BIBLE
Featuring the Jewish Publication Society Tanakh Translation
EDITED BY ADELE BERLIN (Maryland) and MARC ZVI BRETTLER (BRANDEIS)
Oxford University Press. September 2003.
Oxford University Press breaks exciting new ground in the field of study Bibles with The Jewish Study Bible. This innovative volume will, for the first time, offer readers of the Hebrew Bible a resource that is specifically tailored to meet their needs. It offers readers the fruits of various schools of Jewish traditions of biblical exegesis (rabbinic, medieval, mystical, etc.) and provides them with a wealth of ancillary materials that aid in bringing the ancient text to life. The nearly forty contributors to the work represent the cream of Jewish biblical scholarship from the world over. The JSB uses The Jewish Publication Society TANAKH Translation, whose name is an acronym formed from the Hebrew initials of the three sections into which the Hebrew Bible is traditionally divided (Torah, Instruction; Nevi'im, Prophets; and Kethubim, Writings). A committee of esteemed biblical scholars and rabbis from the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism movements produced this modern translation, which dates from 1985. Unlike other English translations based upon such ancient versions as the Septuagint and Vulgate, which emend the Hebrew text, TANAKH is faithful to the original text. Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Jews, professors, students, rabbis: indeed, anyone interested in acquiring a fuller understanding of the riches of the Hebrew Bible will profit from reading The Jewish Study Bible. Click the book cover above to read more.
by Daniel C. Matt
The first of 12 volumes, it covers HALF the Zohar's commentary of Genesis/Bereshit (Through 32:3). Intro by Rabbi Arthur Green, who explains the use of the Zohar in Kabbalah and history. The Zohar's commentary is composed in the form of a mystical novel. The hero is Rabbi Shim'on son of Yahai (bar Yohai), a disciple of Rabbi Akiva. Matt has spent the past four years in Jerusalem working on this translation from Aramaic. He has taught at Hebrew U., Stanford, and Grad Theo Union in Berkeley. Matt encourages the reader to be open to new ways of thinking and imagining. He sought to elicit the maining of the original without sacrificing its subtlety and ambiguity. He writes, "Remember that the Zohar was not intended to be easily understood, but rather to be deciphered. I want to inspire and compel the reader to struggle a little, to engage the text." This is the FIRST RELIABLE ENGLISH TRANSLATION WHICH SCRAPES AWAY MANY of the scribal errors that occurred over the past 400 years. If you are going to read the Zohar, you would be foolish to read any edition other than this one (hint hint slam). This volume includes the Zohar's actual introduction and its explication of the stories of Creation and Noah's Ark. Of course, the origin of the Zohar is still a historical mystery, and this is explained. Was it really from the 13th Century? Or was it compiled by Moses ben Shem Tov de Leon 300 years later in the 16th Century? Click the book cover above to read more.
by Daniel C. Matt
The second of 12 volumes, it covers HALF the Zohar's commentary of Genesis/Bereshit. The Zohar's commentary is composed in the form of a mystical novel. The hero is Rabbi Shim'on son of Yahai (bar Yohai), a disciple of Rabbi Akiva. Matt has spent the past four years in Jerusalem working on this translation. He has taught at Hebrew U., Stanford, and Grad Theo Union in Berkeley. Volume 2 consists of the next 5 portions of Genesis after Noah (through Gen 32:3), as the wandering rabbis of the Zohar continue their travels through the Galilee. Click the book cover above to read more.
by Joel Cohen
Summer 2003. Paulist Press
Moses has a headache. Korah is a pain. Moses thinks of Miriam, without whom he would never have lived and been drowned in the reeds. Mosses contemplates the ten commandments and its nuances. What is adultery? Can it exist in lust? Is it robbery to take back what is rightfully yours? These are the memories of Moses. This book has a special place in my heart. I, too, have worked on and off, on a profile of Moses. But the author, Joel Cohen, brings to THIS book a fresh and intriguing fictional retelling of Moses' life. Moses, atop Mount Nebo, says,
"I am about to die. I suffer no illness nor frailty other than age. Yet, I walk in an unyielding, undeviating destiny." Ass Moses prepares to die and be buried by God in a mysterious location, Moses reflects on his life. It is a passionate and personal tale, a very human Moses unfolds, a man of destiny who often quailed at what was required of him by God, argued with God, and questioned God's plan for his life. We see through his eyes, we feel through his heart, we understand his doubts and fears as he guides his people, receives the Ten Commandments and always remains human in the midst of his awesome responsibilities and unfolding destiny. In poetic prose, ENHANCED BY BIBLICAL commentaries and passages in the margins of the book, we see Moses' life revealed in a way that has not been done before. This is a man's life, not just an account of his works. Click the book cover above to read more.
A novel for today's gentleman
by David J Levien (screenwriter of ROUNDERS)
Elliot Grubman seems to have a life any other man would envy-unimaginable wealth, bachelor status, and his own magazine, Swagbelly ("the magazine for today's gentleman"), which provides him with the companionship of a never-ending succession of Amazonian models with blonde hair, big chests, and tremendous bone structure. Yet, happiness eludes him. His wife left him for her rock-climbing instructor; his thirteen-year-old son refuses to be Bar Mitzvahed and is converting to Catholicism; his girlfriend may or may not be of legal age and may or may not be pregnant; and worst of all, for the last several weeks, Eliot has been unable to "perform." A wry, erotic, and hilariously satirical tale of a pornographer in search of a decent life. Click the book cover above to read more.
by Barry Levinson
Kirkus writes, "High-school buddies move into the tough world of the late '60s in a weakly plotted debut. Director-screenwriter Levinson returns to Baltimore, the scene of three of his more successful efforts, Diner, Avalon, and Tin Men. As in those films, Levinson remains fascinated with life's passages.... The narrative shifts clumsily from Bobby Shine's first-person story to third-person tales from Bobby's pals. Bobby faces life after high school with some success: he becomes a promising TV director and begins a relationship with his girlfriend Annie. But Annie's brother Neil reveals a self-destructive streak, letting himself be drafted, then going AWOL. Similarly, drug-dependent friend Ben curdles as his marriage collapses. High-school high jinks remain the order of the day at the local diner, where the guys, joined by immature pals Turko and Eggy, meet to spin tiresome tales of the past that seem like Diner leftovers. There are occasional flashes: when Ben stomps out of his father-in-law's car dealership, refusing to work there, the moment has the feeling of a good take. But too often Levinson writes flat, even banal prose, as when Bobby observes, "Like tears, laughter often comes when you least expect it." ... Click the book cover above to read more.
The Life, Times and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series
by David Pietrusza
September 2003. Carroll & Graf. A colorful bio that brings to life the seedy underworld denizens of Jazz Age New York City and its unrivaled kingpin, the model for Runyon's Nathan Detroit and Fitzgerlad's "Meyer Wolfsheim," Arnold Rothstein, the best pool shark, swindler, loan shark, fixer, labor racketeer, drug trader, rumrunner, thief, bookmaker. Click the book cover above to read more.
REFUGE IN HELL
How Berlin's Jewish Hospital Outlasted the Nazis
by Daniel B. Silver
September 2003. Houghton Mifflin.
How did Berlin's Jewish Hospital, in the middle of the Nazi capital, survive as an institution where Jewish doctors and nurses cared for Jewish patients throughout World War II? How could it happen that when Soviet troops liberated the hospital in April 1945, they found some eight hundred Jews still on the premises? Daniel Silver carefully uncovers the often surprising answers to these questions and, through the skillful use of primary source materials and the vivid voices of survivors, reveals the underlying complexities of human conscience. The story centers on the intricate machinations of the hospital's director, Herr Dr. Lustig, a German-born Jew whose life-and-death power over medical staff and patients and finely honed relationship with his own boss, the infamous Adolf Eichmann, provide vital pieces to the puzzle -- some have said the miracle -- of the hospital's survival. Silver illuminates how the tortured shifts in Nazi policy toward intermarriage and so-called racial segregation provided a further, if hugely counterintuitive, shelter from the storm for the hospital's resident Jews. Scenes of daily life in the hospital paint an often heroic and always provocative picture of triage at its most chillingly existential. Not since Schindler's List have we had such a haunting story of the costs and mysteries of individual survival in the midst of a human-created hell. Click the book cover above to read more.
THE JEWISH PREGNANCY BOOK
A Resource for the Soul, Body & Mind during Pregnancy, Birth and the First Three Months.
By Dr. Sandy Falk and Rabbi Daniel Judson, with Steven A. Rapp
September 2003. Jewish Lights.
Falk, a physician and Harvard Medical School instructor in OB/Gyn; Rapp, author of Alef-Bet Yoga; and Judson, the author of Rituals and Practices of a Jewish Life, meet an important need with this resource book for creating and renewing Jewish prayers and rituals for this miraculous and challenging times in life. Prayers from generations past are revived. Medical information is shared. Pre-natal alef0get yoga is taught. Click the book cover above to read more.
THE JERICHO SANCTION
By Oliver North and Joe Musser
September 2003. broadman and holman.
Oliver North follows his best-selling novel Mission Compromised with a suspenseful, action-packed sequel set in Israel and Iraq. Lt. Col. Peter Newman (USMC) and his family are threatened when his cover is blown. While preparing for a clandestine U.S. mission to find Iraqi nuclear weapons, Newman's wife Rachel is kidnapped in Jerusalem-along with her friend, the wife of an Israeli Sayeret counter-terrorism operative responsible for Israeli terrorist assassinations. Newman has to choose whether to go ahead with the mission or abandon it to find and rescue his wife. But Israel has discovered that Iraq has nukes and plans a preemptive attack on Baghdad with Jericho missiles. If that happens, and Islamic terrorists like Saddam and bin Laden respond in kind, it might trigger a Middle East war that could go global. It seems as if nothing can prevent an Armageddon. Click the book cover to read more.
A SEASON IN BETHLEHEM
UNHOLY WAR IN A SACRED PLACE
By Joshua Hammer (Newsweek Jerusalem Bureau Chief)
September 8, 2003. Free Press.
Many of you will recall Joshua Hammer's earlier personally detailed book about his brother who became fervently Orthodox. Now, Mr. Hammer takes a look at a biography of a place and a time. He has wisely chosen Bethlehem, a place that contains the Israeli Army, a siege, Christians, Moslems, kids, suicide attacks, Arafat, Sharon, Hamas, and more. It was filled with reporters and the Arabic speaking handlers. It had terrorists who took calls on their cells from reporters, emissaries, and robot controlled guns. It was filled with extremists of all types, as well as well meaning international tourists who strove for peace at any cost. This is an EXTREMELY! detailed story of last year's Spring 2002 siege in Bethlehem, and what led up to it. Hammer knew solders (a neighbor), the Mayor of Bethelem, and even some of the siege participants. Hammer also knew the man, Ahmad, who identified, recruited and sent six suicide/homicide bombers from Bethlehem in to Israel to kill as many Israelis as possible. Were some held hostage by the militants, or were they worried that if they left they and their families would be branded by traitors. This is their back stories. You will love the story of the "intifada entrepreneur." You'll be shocked by the matter of fact full story of the female suicide bombers last two days, as she is driven through Gilo and Southern Jerusalem as she goes to kill people at a Supersol in Kiryat ha-Yovel, and her driver's attempt to tell her to return hom and just throw the bomb and a group of people. Was she driven by martyrdom, commitment to the cause, or the belief that her life was awful being a honor student and being forced into a marriage at age 16. The book opens in the Fall 2000 with the Palestinian riots and terror incidents, known as the al-Aqsa intifada, and ends with the 39 day siege in Bethlehem by 200 Palestinian militants who seized the Church of the Nativity and a few units of Israeli reservists and sharpshooters who besieged them. By the end of the siege, people were starving on two spoonfuls of pasta a day or every other day, 7 were killed, and a dozen were wounded. Click the book cover above to read more.
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AND YOURSELF
A Jewish Approach to Modern Personal Ethics
By Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff (University of Judaism)
September 2003. Jewish Publication Society. In this, his third JPS book on modern ethics, Elliot Dorff focuses on personal ethics, Judaism's distinctive way of understanding human nature, our role in life, and what we should strive to be -- both as individuals and as members of a community. Dorff presents dilemmas and challenges confronting the individual in relation to others. He addresses specific moral issues: privacy, particularly at work and as it is affected by the Internet and other modern technologies; sex inside and outside of marriage; family matters, such as adoption, surrogate motherhood, stepfamilies, divorce, parenting, and family violence; homosexuality; justice, mercy, and forgiveness; and charitable acts and social action. Click the book cover above to read more.
STUDY GUIDE TO JEWISH ETHICS
By Paul Steinberg (University of Judaism)
September 2003. Jewish Publication Society. Through suggested readings from the books of Rabbi Elliot Dorff, this study guide provides probing questions, lively discussion topics, and exercises that will help the reader determine their attitudes towards Jewish ethical issues. Click the book cover above to read more.
THE WOMEN'S HAFATARAH COMMENTARY
THE WOMEN'S HAFTARAH COMMENTARY
New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Haftarah Portions, the 5 Megillot and Special Shabbatot.
Edited By Rabbi Elyse Goldstein
September 2003. Jewish Lights.
I fell in love with the Women's TORAH Commentary. An instant classic and must have. And now this, for the first time, women's unique perspectives and experiences are applied to the weekly portions and special readings. Includes feminist interpretations of the stories of Yael and Devorah, David and Goliath, David and Batsheva, Jonah and the fish (and female fish), Jerusalem as female, the motif of the whore, and the Witch of Endor. Click the book cover above to read more.
by Glen Hanson (Illustrator), Allan Neuwirth (Author)
September 2003. Alyson Press.
Chelsea Boys is the first collection of Glen Hanson and Allan Neuwirth's popular comic strip. The strip follows the often outrageous antics, wild sexcapades, and everyday heartbreaks of three gay roommates, as different as can be from one another, living together in a three bedroom apartment in the heart of New York's trendy Chelsea neighborhood: Nathan Klein, a short, neurotic baseball obsessed Jewish forty-something native New Yorker; Sky, a naive buff yet deeply spiritual art student raised on a farming commune in Canada; and Soiree (Delroy), a black diva who masks his inner pain with a rapier wit and outrageous style. Filled with humor, humanity, and wry observations on life in a modern setting, Chelsea Boys presents a family you've never seen before, and storytelling that speaks the truth rather than playing to stereotypes. Included are story lines including Nathan's Jewish pet dog (Miss Marmelstein); Sky's Professor Flemstein; the artist Kelvin Cohen (known as Horatio Fellatio to his Rambam Hebrew School classmates on Long Island); Nathan's 6 year nephew, Jason Harris, with a big schmeckel and a desire to paint his nails; Nathan's sister, Risa; Nathan's mother (who puts hot dogs in her Matza Ball soup, which is a clue to a future medical problem); Sky's dyke friend Annie; Nathan's lesbian couple friends Rickie and Lucie, and even a Barbraholics Meeting, Click the book cover above to read more.
NEW JERSEY DREAMING
CAPITAL, CULTURE, AND THE CLASS OF '58
By Sherry B. Ortner
September 2003. Duke University Press.
Ortner's study of class, based on her return to her graduating class in Newark, the Class of 1958 at Weequahic High School. The vast majority of the class was Jewish. Ortner tracks down nearly all of her 304 living classmates. Click the book cover above to read more.
KEEPING FAITH WITH THE PSALMS
DEEPEN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD USING THE BOOK OF PSALMS
By Dr. Daniel F. Polish
Fall 2003. Jewish Lights.
An informative book that uses the Psalms to approach deeper issues of theology, mortality, the presence of evil in the world, and spirituality. Click the book cover above to read more.
TREASURES PF THE HEART
HOLIDAY STORIES THAT REVEAL THE SOUL OF JUDAISM
By Diane Wolkstein (inspired by Carlebach)
September 16, 2003. Schocken Books.
Wolkstein, a cofounder of the respected New York City Storytelling Center and award winning storyteller, has compiled this reader of Jewish stories. Structured according to the Jewish calendar, she recounts Jewish holiday tales from Passover through to Purim. For each holiday chapter (Passover, Shavuot, Tisha b'Av, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, and Purim), there is an explanation of the holidays, followed by two or three related tales, which are followed by an analysis of the stories, an analysis filled with the spiritual and psychological meanings of the stories. The author grew up in a Reform Jewish household and loved the tales she heard. In adulthood, her interest grew and she became a specialist in world folktales and those of the ancient Near East and Sumer. The late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach inspired her as well. After the Rabbi's death, she was approached by Schocken to compile a book a Jewish stories. She refined that idea and was given two years to submit the galleys. Well... two years became 8 years, and the reader is the beneficiary. Click the book cover above to read more.
A SWEET YEAR
A Taste of the Jewish Holidays
by Mark H. Podwal
Summer 2003. Doubleday.
32 pages. Kindergarten-Grade 6. With beautifully crafted poetic text and symbolic paintings in gouache and acrylics, Podwal takes readers on a journey through the Jewish holidays and the foods that are essential elements of each observance and rite. The potato latkes of Hanukkah recall a miracle of lights while honey cakes on Shavuot symbolize the Torah's promise of a "land of milk and honey." Don't expect recipes and crafts. Rather, enjoy the artful and witty illustrations, each of which creates a colorful and fanciful tableau. For the autumn harvest festival of Sukkot, during which families eat in huts "that let the stars shine through," Podwal depicts a solar system of fruits. For Purim, a spring holiday celebrating the time that Esther saved the Persian Jews from Haman, children wear hamantaschen as costumes. A welcome addition to holiday collections. Click the book cover above to read more.
By LOUIS BEGLEY
September 23, 2003. Knopf.
Begley arrived in the USA with his family after WWII in 1947, learned English and graduated from Harvard. He wrote ABOUT SCHMIDT (which became a film, but the film changed the setting, but kept the general themes). About this new book, PW wrote, "The moral disintegration of a man consumed by lust is the narrative frame of Begley's haunting new novel. Since the man, John North, is a celebrated author of literary novels, the subtext concerns the nature of the creative process. North tells his story to the nameless narrator in a series of monologues. In Paris after the publication of his new novel, North is interviewed by a young Vogue writer, Lea Morini, who later comes on to him in a blatant fashion. Although he has never been unfaithful to Lydia, the wife he adores-though she is a busy research physician, she selflessly caters to his demands-North persuades himself that a brief fling with Lea will revivify his work. Struggling with creative self-doubt, North also confesses to faults of selfishness, egotism, resentment and envy of Lydia's family, who are Jewish and wealthy, as compared to his own parents, who are old-guard Protestants. With scenes set in Paris, Martha's Vineyard, the Greek island of Spetsai, East Hampton and Hollywood, Begley enters Louis Auchincloss territory (although with sexual details that Auchincloss would never dream of), and proves himself an astute observer of different social classes and the minute variations in their behavior invisible to those outside the inner circle. But it's the meticulously revealed psychology of a man who doesn't like himself (yet believes that he's superior to most people) that propels the narrative here, as North surrenders to his prurient desire, while vowing that Lydia will never learn of his betrayal. Lea proves predatory in her pursuit, however, and the story's sense of dread and suspense mount as events move to a mesmerizing conclusion. Yet Begley ends the novel on a note of ambiguity, leading the reader to speculate whether the narrator is perhaps North's alter ego, and the entire story a brilliant exposition of the way authors can use the material of their lives to create brilliant fiction." Click the book cover above to read more.
An Inspector Green Mystery (Rendezvous Crime)
by Barbara Fradkin
Fall 2003. Innocent scapegoat or monster manipulator? Matthew Fraser was an idealistic young teacher accused of molesting a young schoolgirl and acquitted in a sensational case that left the truth hidden and the young teacher's life in tatters. Ten years later, his distraught confidante walks into Ottawa Police Inspector Michael Green's office insisting that Fraser has vanished. Green's curiosity is piqued when he discovers that Fraser left behind his beloved dog, a half-eaten dinner, and an apartment crammed with research related to his case. Has Fraser fled to escape the wrath of victims, new or old? Or was he innocent all along and has spent the last ten years trying to clear his name? If so, what secrets did he uncover, and who has the most to lose from their revelation? The girl's natural father, who has a memory as relentless as his rage? Her stepfather, an arrogant attorney who tries to block Green's every move? Her mother and brother, masters of self-interest? Or even the girl herself, now an embittered teen? And who is Fraser's mysterious email correspondent with the user name Mistwalker? When the charred remains of a vagrant turn up in a dilapidated downtown rooming house, Green probes the actions of authorities and former investigators on the case and begins to suspect the desperate cover-up may extend beyond the family. As Fraser's confidante is stalked and Green's own teenage daughter goes missing, Green rushes to uncover the truth and unmask the identity of the Mist Walker. Click the book cover above to read more.
ASK THE RABBI
THE WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN WHY AND HOW OF BEING JEWISH
By RON ISAACS, RABBI (JTS, and Temple Shalom of Bridgewater NJ)
September 2003. Does God really have a chosen people? Why should I have a bar/bat mitzvah? Where did the Jewish star come from? Ask the Rabbi answers these and other fascinating questions compiled from real questions that have been asked of Ron Issacs over his 27 years as rabbi and Hebrew High School teacher. Organized into categories such as "Who Are We?", "What Do We Believe In?", and "How Should We Live?", each category features questions and answers written in a warm and humorous style. Parents and children alike will appreciate the author's user-friendly approach as they refer to the various questions that come up in their daily lives. Click the book cover above to read more.
BEST JEWISH WRITING 2003
Edited By Arthur Kurzweil, (former editor of the Jewish Book Club)
September 2003. Contributors include: Leo M. Abrami Joseph Alpher Benjamin Blech
Norman Berdichevsky Susan Berrin Lawrence Bush Talia Carner I. Century Phyllis Chesler
Leslie Cohen Ralph de Toledano Enid Dame Alan M. Dershowitz Carol Diament Amos Elon (Israelis and Palestinians: What Went Wrong) Lawrence J. Epstein Mordechai Gafni Herbert Gold Shefa Gold Gloria Goldreich David Grossman Blu Greenberg Irving Greenberg Leo Haber David A. Harris Arthur Hertzberg Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin Paula E. Hyman Yoel Jakobovits Rodger Kamenetz Edward I. Koch (on Woody Allen); Jane Leavy Amy-Jill Levine Andrei S. Markovits Bezalel Noor Cynthia Ozick (The Heretic) Marge Piercy Todd Pitock Daniel Polish Daniel Asa Rose Jonathan Rosen (Waking up to Anti Semitism) Alvin H. Rosenfeld Gilbert S. Rosenthal David Saks Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Peninnah Schram Eliezer Shore Lewis D. Solomon Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz William C. Speed Andrew Wallenstein Arthur Waskow Avi Weiss Sheila Weinberg Margaret Moers Wenig Elie Wiesel (Letter to Bush) and Valerie Wohlfeld. Click the book cover above to read more.
Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book
by Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon
September 2003. Based on interviews with Stan Lee and dozens of his colleagues and contemporaries, as well as extensive archival research, this book provides a professional history, an appreciation, and a critical exploration of the face of Marvel Comics. Recognized as a dazzling writer, a skilled editor, a relentless self-promoter, a credit hog, and a huckster, Stan Lee rose from his humble beginnings to ride the wave of the 1940s comics books boom and witness the current motion picture madness and comic industry woes. Included is a complete examination of the rise of Marvel Comics, Lee's work in the years of postwar prosperity, and his efforts in the 1960s to revitalize the medium after it had grown stale. Click the book cover above to read more.
By Mark Salzman
September 2003. Knopf. Salzman (Iron and Silk, Suburbia) tells how he taught creative writing to juvenile offenders in LA. Click the book cover above to read more.
Hide in Plain Sight
The Hollywood Blacklistees in Film and Television 1950-2002
By Paul Buhle and David Wagner
September 2003. a study of the blacklist and its effect on later television productions (Maverick, Dick van Dyke Show, The Fugitive). Click the book cover above to read more.
MEANT TO BE
The True Story of a Son Who Discovers He is His Mother's Deepest Secret
by Walter Anderson
former editor, Parade Magazine
September 2003. HarperCollins
Simply amazing. Anderson, in 1969, asked his mother, at his father's funeral, if that man was his real father. The man in the casket was an abusive, awful drunk. "No," she confided. His biological father was a Russian-Jewish man she met during WWII while her husband was in the armed forces. Now, 34 years later, he tells the secret story and how he came to terms with what he lived through, and what he learned. It is a classic coming of age tale, and he even tracks down his half-brother, Herbert Dorfman. Click the book cover above to read more.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF CHARACTER
ESSENTIAL ADVICE FOR LIVING AN HONORABLE, ETHICAL, HONEST LIFE
By Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
September 2003. RandomHouse.
Here is a wealth of astute and warmhearted counsel on many of life's most difficult ethical dilemmas. Joseph Telushkin outlines his ten commandments of character, explaining why each one is so vital, and then addresses perplexing issues that can and often do crop up in our lives relating to family, friends, work, community, medical ethics, and money, such as: How honest should you be when you are asked to give a reference? How much assistance should you give your son with his college application essay? Is it wrong to receive a kidney from an executed prisoner in China?
What should you do if your father begs you to end his life rather than allow him to descend into the hell of Alzheimer's? Should a brother give up part of his inheritance if his sister has children and considerable expenses and he doesn't? Should a dying woman reveal to her husband that their son is not really his? Many of us are finding it increasingly hard to tread the fine line between right and wrong. In The Ten Commandments of Character, Telushkin faces these issues squarely and shows us how to live a life of true integrity. Click the book cover above to read more.
Before, During, and After
by Hal Sirowitz
September 2003. SoftSkull
Hal is the Poet Laureate of Queens, New York. He works as a special education teacher for the New York City public schools and is married to the writer Mary Minter Krotzer. This is his newest collection of poems (next will be Father Said, in 2004). This collection is all about the one word its title omits. The word is SEX. Hal shares the ups and downs of his romantic history. He lets his girlfriends do most of the talking. One has a perfect butt, one still lives with her ex, one demands a signed statement from his therapist, one is celibate, one gives his penis a name in Spanish. Some are quite funny. I would be happy to copy one of them here for you, but on second thought, I better not. Oh wait. Here is one that I can reprint:
I know you like buying me underwear, /
she said, but what am I going to do /
if people at my job keep asking /
whether you bought me anything yet -- /
drop my pants & give them a look?
I wish I could reprint "Favoring the Nose" or "Penis in a Jar" for you. That by far is the funniest and most poignant in the collection. Hehe.. genius. Click the book cover above to read more.
THE CASE FOR ISRAEL
by Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School
September 2, 2003. Wiley
Watch NBC Today Show on September 4 for the kickoff. Written in Alan Dershowitz's characteristic hard-hitting style, The Case for Israel defends Israel proactively, and its basic right to exist, to protect its citizens from terrorism, and to protect its borders from hostile enemies. This timely, impassioned, closely argued, and controversial analysis sets the record straight, addressing the accusations leveled against Israel in 32 chapters (even by liberal Jewish critics) by responding with hard facts and documentation. Lilke a updated Myths and Facts. Click to read more.
Right to Exist
A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars
by Yaacov Lozowick
September 30, 2003. Doubleday
In July 2000, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat refused to negotiate a peace offer made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David. At the end of September the Palestinians then launched their second intifada, an outbreak of terrorism in the heart of Israel's cities that continues to this day. The unprecedented violence drove Barak from office and brought to power the feared hard-liner Ariel Sharon. In RIGHT TO EXIST, Yaacov Lozowick, an Israeli historian, describes his evolution from a liberal peace activist into a reluctant supporter of Sharon. In making sense of his own political journey, Lozowick rewrites the whole history of Israel, delving into the roots of the Zionist enterprise and tracing the long struggle to establish and defend the Jewish state in the face of implacable Arab resistance and widespread international hostility. Lozowick examines each of Israel's wars from the perspective of classical "just war" theory, from the fight for independence to the present day. Subjecting the country's founders and their descendants to unsparing scrutiny, he concludes that Israel is neither the pristine socialist utopia its founders envisioned, nor the racist colonial enterprise portrayed by its enemies. Refuting dozens of pernicious myths about the conflict-such as the charge that Israel stole the land from its rightful owners, or that Arabs and Jews are locked in a "cycle of violence" for which both bear equal blame-RIGHT TO EXIST is an impassioned moral history of extraordinary resonance and power. Click to read more.
Sins of Omission
The Jewish Community's Reaction to Domestic Violence
by Carol Goodman Kaufman
September 30, 2003. Westview
Published a few days prior to Yom Kippur 5764, this is a compelling investigation of the Jewish community's reaction - or nonreaction - to domestic violence. Concerned with the sins of the community more than the sins of the abuser, Goodman Kaufman finds that the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform rabbis and community leaders are not doing enough and are not informed enough to help the abused women in their congregations get the support, protection, and guidance they need. Covering the subject from sociological, religious and legal viewpoints, supplemented by an exhaustive analysis of interviews with survivors, rabbis and lay leaders in the Boston area, Kaufman argues that many abused women see their rabbis as unapproachable on the subject. Some rabbis have even invoked the Jewish ideal of shalom bayit, of maintaining peace in the home, as justification for sending a woman back to her abuser. TThe author notes that while a few organizations, such as Hadassah, have responded to this problem on a national level by, say, supporting the Violence Against Women Act, there is little action at the community level. Kaufman suggests that organizations work together to forcefully attack this problem by offering premarital education, encouraging rabbis to speak out and providing Jewish safe houses. The author takes a hard look at the Jewish community, its rules, regulations, and followers, and discovers the ways in which it helps and hinders victims of abuse. Click to read more.
The Civilization of the Ancient World
by Norman F. Cantor, NYU Professor Emeritus
Kirkus writes, "Unintimidating, adroitly structured grounding in the enduring legacies of ancient civilizations. Although best known as an energetic medieval scholar (In the Wake of the Plague, 2001, etc.), Cantor (History, Sociology, and Comparative Literature Emeritus/New York Univ.) has made enough previous literary forays into the various civilizations of antiquity so that integrating and contrasting them is a cinch for him. Furthermore, he makes some fairly provocative educated guesses (labeled as such) with ease and confidence. While other academics fret, for example, over why Hebrew society would invent the Jews' Egyptian bondage-it's now generally accepted that there's no evidence for it after decades of archaeological and related scientific research-he suggests that the progenitors of "elitist" Judaism may not have been above laying a guilt trip ("We deserve . . .") on the rest of civilization. The impact of recent DNA studies on anthropological theory is also evident in Cantor's conclusions, although he seems to embrace a more extended time frame for the seminal African emigration than some scientists do. The author has helpfully rendered his work in two sections. The chapters in "Basic Narrative" present fundamental information about how major civilizations originated, waxed, and waned in the Near and Middle East, Greece, and Rome. Cantor sees Rome's decline, for example, as primarily due to plagues during the second century CE. that killed off irreplaceable taxpayers; he also notes that societies heavily dependent on slave labor tend to stifle their own capacity for technological innovation, a crucial factor in the wars against the Visigoths. The second section, "Societies and Cultures,"probes more deeply into the religions, philosophies, laws, politics, and arts of the same key civilizations. A final case for the melding of Hellenic culture and Judaism as the central pillar of Western civilization is dazzlingly put. A lifetime's worth of crib notes for late-blooming history buffs." Click the book cover above to read more.
SCATTERED AMONG THE PEOPLES
THE JEWISH DIASPORA IN TWELVE PORTRAITS
THE JEWISH DIASPORA IN 12 PORTRAITS
by ALLAN LEVINE
September 26 2003. Overlook
From Seville in 1492 to Kiev in 1967... In addition to Seville, where the story begins with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, and Kiev, where the refusenik Jews fought for the right to emigrate to Israel, there is Venice in 1516 and the establishment of the first ghetto, Constantinople in 1666 and the Jewish physicians to the sultans, Amsterdam in 1700 and the glorious rebirth of Sephardic Jewish culture, Vienna in 1730 and the immensely powerful yet vulnerable court Jews, St Petersburg in 1881 and the pogroms inflicted on the shtetls, Paris in 1895 and the Dreyfus scandal, New York in 1913 and the tenement life and culture of the Lower East Side, and the dreadful plight of the Vilna ghetto in 1944. But the focus of each chapter is the personal and public lives of individuals. A few, such as merchant and poet Don Isaac Abravanel, soldier Alfred Dreyfus, and writer and editor Abraham Cahan, are well known; others, like doctor Moses Hamon, financier Samuel Oppenheimer, Abraham Pereira, Boris Kochubiyevsky, and journalist Judah Leib Gordon, are now unjustly forgotten. Their successes or failures as teachers, rabbis, merchants, writers, soldiers, and physicians add a colorful and human dimension to the sprawling saga of the Diaspora Click the book cover above to read more.
When the Birds Stopped Singing
Life in Ramallah Under Siege
by Raja Shehadeh
September 2003. Steerforth
Raja, who write last year's Stangers In The House, is, like his father, a lawyer and activist in Ramallah. Here he writes his thoughts during 2002 when the Israel Defense Forces entered Ramallah to crush violent forces, and he and his neighbors are under curfew and life comes to a standstill. Click the book cover above to read more.
THE YOM KIPPUR WAR
And the Airlift Strike That Saved Israel
The Two o clock war
by Walter Boyne, USAF Ret
September 2003. St Martins paperback edition
A great book which didn't sell as well under the prior title of The Two O Clock War, the title has been changed for the paperback edition. The players during this war in 1973 are: Sadat and Mubarak, Meir and Sharon, Nixon and Kissinger, Brezhnev and Dobyrnin. It was a war that brought Arab and Jew into vicious conflict. A war in which Israel almost unleashed her nuclear arsenal and set two superpowers on a treacherous course of nuclear escalation. And a war that eventually brought peace. But a peace fraught with delicate tensions, disputed borders, and a legacy of further bloodshed. This is a spellbinding chronicle of the international chess game that was played out in October 1973. It is a story of diplomacy and military might that accounts for many of the dilemmas faced in the present-day Middle East.
When Israel suddenly found itself on the point of losing a war because of a lack of ammunition, planes and tanks, the United States, after much vacillation, finally elected to help Israel, beginning a tremendous airlift (code name: Operation Nickel Grass) which incurred the wrath of the Arab states, and their sponsor, the Soviet Union. Kissinger wanted Israel brought low, but the USAF wanted Israel saved. Nixon brought the SAC to a higher level of emergency and repositioned the US Fleet. Fortunately the airlift came just in time for Israeli ground forces to stabilize their positions and eventually turn the tide in the Sinai and Golan Heights. And it was all made possible by an operation that dwarfed the Berlin Airlift and the Soviets' simultaneous efforts in Egypt and Syria. This is bound to become the definitive addition to the war's history. Click the book cover above to read more.
WE JUST WANT TO LIVE HERE
A Palestinian Teenager, an Israeli Teenager - An Unlikely Friendship
by Amal Rifa'I and Odelia Ainbinder, with SYkle Tempel
September 12, 2003. St Martins
The two teenage women met at a language class in Switzerland, and returned to Jerusalem as the 2nd intifada started. These are the letters they exchanged in 2002. Click the book cover above to read more.
A POLITICAL BIOGRAPHY
by Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin
September 2003. Oxford.
Yasir Arafat stands as one of the most resilient, recognizable and controversial political figures of modern times. The object of unrelenting suspicion, steady admiration and endless speculation, Arafat has occupied the center stage of Middle East politics for almost four decades. Yasir Arafat is the most comprehensive political biography of this remarkable man. Disavowing terrorism repeatedly, he also practiced it constantly. Arafat's elusive behavior ensured that radical regimes saw in him a comrade in arms, while moderates backed him as a potential partner in peace. He got kicked out of Jordan, Lebanon, and even Tunis. After years of devotion to armed struggle, Arafat made a dramatic agreement with Israel that let him return to his claimed homeland and transformed him into a legitimized ruler. Yet at the moment of decision at the Camp David summit and afterward, when he could have achieved peace and a Palestinian state, he sacrificed the prize he had supposedly sought for the struggle he could not live without. The authors follow Arafat as he moves to Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and finally to Palestinian-ruled soil. It shows him as he REWRITES his origins, experiments with guerrilla war, develops a doctrine of terrorism, fights endless diplomatic battles, and builds a movement, constantly juggling states, factions, and world leaders. Whole generations and a half-dozen U.S. presidents have come and gone over the long course of Arafat's career. But Arafat has outlasted them all, spanning entire eras, with three constants always present: he has always survived, he has constantly seemed imperiled, and he has never achieved his goals. While there has been no substitute for Arafat, the authors conclude, Arafat has been no substitute for a leader who could make peace. Click the book cover above to read more.
The Fire That Changed America
by David Von Drehle (New York Times pubic editor)
September 2003. Atlantic Monthly Press
On Saturday, March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York's Greenwich Village. 1911 was a time that ready to wear clothes took off, prior to this period people either made their own clothes or had personal tailors. Strollers rushed to the site near Washington Square Park to witness the fire. Firemen who arrived at the scene were unable to rescue those trapped inside: their ladders simply weren't tall enough. Desperate workers jumped to their death. The final toll was 146 people -- 123 of them women. Maybe 100 workers didn't work there on Saturday cuz they were Orthodox. This is the only book that lists all the names of the dead (except for 6 unknown names). The book follows the waves of Jewish and Italian immigration that inundated New York in the early years of the century, filling its slums and supplying its garment factories with cheap, mostly female labor. It portrays the Dickensian work conditions that led to a massive waist-worker's strike in which an unlikely coalition of socialists, socialites, and suffragettes took on bosses, police, and magistrates. The factory had locked the exit doors since they thought workers would sneak outside and steal dresses. Only the main door with a guard was open. The building was filled with rags, since the rag vendor had not picked up the garbage in many weeks. There were, of course, no sprinklers. Von Drehle shows how popular revulsion at the Triangle catastrophe led to an unprecedented alliance between idealistic labor reformers and the supremely pragmatic politicians of the corrupt Tammany Hall political machine. Click the book cover above to read more.
A Trumpet in the Wadi
by Sami Michael
August / September 2003. Simon and Schuster
You saw the Israeli film, now read the book. Leading Israeli novelist Sami Michael shares his gift for navigating the cultural conflicts in modern Israel with A Trumpet in the Wadi, a novel that transcends its Middle Eastern setting with an honest and heartbreaking story of impossible love and the strength of family.
Set in the months preceding the 1982 Israeli-Arab conflict in Lebanon, this beautifully written tale is the coming-of-age story of two fatherless Christian Arab sisters, Huda and Mary, who live in the wadi -- the Arab quarter in the Jewish city of Haifa on the northern coast of Israel. An extraordinary bond of love and mutual respect unites the sisters -- polar opposites from their appearances to their tempers. Huda, the narrator of the story, is thin and withdrawn and, after abandoning her chance at marriage a few years back, has prematurely resigned herself to the monotonous life of an old maid. Her younger sister, Mary, is voluptuous, carnal, and perennially unemployed. Wrapped in the love of their sometimes bitter mother, their iconoclast grandfather, and the cheerful and omnipresent neighbor Jamilla, the sisters' lives change when a peculiar young Russian Jewish immigrant, Alex, moves into the upstairs flat. The melodies of the soulful trumpet player become the intoxicating theme music for Huda's unexpected reawakening -- and for Mary's dangerous foray into a love triangle with the heir of the local Muslim mob and her country cousin. Click the book cover above to read more.
Stars of David
Rock'N'Roll's Jewish Stories
by Scott R. Benarde
September 2003. University Press of New England
A fascinating look into how Judaism has shaped and influenced the makers of rock music over the past fifty years. What Grammy-award winning band's Jewish members recite kiddush before their Friday night concerts? What member of a world-famous band blows the shofar at his synagogue on the High Holy Days? What famous rock musician packed his menorah as well as his drum set when preparing to go on world-wide concert tours? How did Judaism's historic affinity with music-the Torah was meant to be sung-translate into some of the best-loved rock 'n' roll songs of the past century? Inspired by a backstage conversation with David Lee Roth during which the rock star revealed that he first learned to sing preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, Scott R. Benarde spent five years combining his love of Judaism, journalism, and rock 'n' roll investigating the Jewish contribution to rock music from 1953 to the present. Noting that outside of the Christian rock genre the media had rarely (with the exception of Bob Dylan) dealt with a rock star's religion or spirituality, Benarde was determined to find out how Judaism influenced rock music and the people who created it. Jews kvell when they discover that someone famous or accomplished in any field is a member of the tribe, but wouldn't it really be something if these celebrities cared about being Jewish?
Stars of David offers a highly readable collection of short vignettes that demonstrate the rich strand of Jewish belief and sentiment that underscores the work of many of the best-known rock stars of our time. Among those discussed or interviewed are the legendary songwriting teams of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, performers such as Bob Dylan, Melissa Manchester, Janis Ian, Randy Newman, Billy Joel, Kinky Friedman (of the Texas Jewboys), and David Lee Roth, and members of groups such as the Tokens, Jay and the Americans, Country Joe and the Fish, Yes, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bon Jovi, Phish, the Wallflowers and many others.
Benarde reveals how Judaism has played a greater role in rock music than we realize and discovers that many Jewish rockers are more in tune with their Judaism than we would have imagined. Based largely on one-on-one interviews with the artists, the result is a surprisingly personal and introspective consideration of faith, art, and the relationship between pop culture and spirituality. Also revealed is the sheer variety of the Jewish experience in rock 'n' roll: from the deeply religious childhood of some to the late-in-life religious reawakening of others; from the explicit use of scripture in song to the subtle yet resonant religious motifs that influence this most secular genre of music. With entertaining anecdotes and personal revelations enhanced by more than seventy photographs, Stars of David is not so much about how Jewish these artists are but ultimately, how they are Jewish, and how their Jewishness has affected rock 'n' roll. Click the book cover above to read more.
SAUL AND PATSY
by Charles Baxter
September 9, 2003. Pantheon
PW write: "... Saul Bernstein, a literary descendant of Bellow's Herzog, is a transplanted Baltimore Jew, observing his newfound hometown-the "dusty, luckless" fictional city of Five Oaks, Mich.-with an ill-at-ease hyperawareness. Young-marrieds Saul and Patsy move to Five Oaks from Evanston, Ill., when Saul is hired to teach at the local high school. They rent a farmhouse, where they make love in every room and even in the backyard, settling into the rhythms of domestic life. Patsy, a former modern dancer who finds work as a bank teller, gives birth to a daughter, and with infinite patience tolerates her "professional worrier" of a husband. The narrative is dense with quotidian detail, precisely charted shifts of consciousness and pitch-perfect moments of emotional truth, but Baxter (The Feast of Love; Believers, etc.) doesn't have full control of the novel's architecture. The narrative crests occasionally on signs and wonders (early on, Saul has a spiritual epiphany after sighting an albino deer), but turns on the inexplicable suicide of Saul's illiterate, inarticulate student, Gordy Himmelman. Blamed by some for the boy's death, Saul must struggle against real community hostility instead of imagined anti-Semitism. Resolutely, he refuses to give up on his adopted Midwestern hometown, bringing this luminously prosaic if sometimes meandering novel to a quietly triumphant conclusion." Click the book cover above to read more.
The Fortress of Solitude
by Jonathan Lethem
September 2003. Doubleday
This is the story of two boys, Dylan Ebdus and Mingus Rude. They are friends and neighbors, but because Dylan is white and Mingus is black, their friendship is not simple. This is the story of their Brooklyn neighborhood, Boerum Hill, between the Heights, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, and Park Slope, which is almost exclusively black despite the first whispers of something that will become known as "gentrification." The protagonist of the novel is Dylan Ebdus, who arrives on Dean Street in 1970 when he is 5 years old. His father, Abraham, is a painter and a recluse. The more massive presence in Dylan's life is his mother, Rachel. (As in the author's real life, in this story the mother is Jewish, the father is not). Rachel Ebdus is young, wildly articulate in the manner of Brooklynites, a pot-smoker, a Nixon-hater. She is fiercely protective of her son, but also wants him to grow up as a street kid to acquire street smarts. So she sends him to P.S. 38 rather than Packer Collegiate or St. Ann's, and at one point Dylan overhears her boasting to a friend that her son is the only white child in his school. What she doesn't say, what she might not even notice, is that he is learning next to nothing, and getting mugged by black children almost every day. This is the story of 1970s America, a time when the most simple human decisions-what music you listen to, whether to speak to the kid in the seat next to you, whether to give up your lunch money-are laden with potential political, social and racial disaster. This is the story of 1990s America, when no one cared anymore. This is the story of punk, that easy white rebellion, and crack, that monstrous plague. This is the story of the loneliness of the avant-garde artist and the exuberance of the graffiti artist. This is the story of what would happen if two teenaged boys obsessed with comic book heroes actually had superpowers: They would screw up their lives. This is the story of joyous afternoons of stickball and dreaded years of schoolyard extortion. This is the story of belonging to a society that doesn't accept you. This is the story of prison and of college, of Brooklyn and Berkeley, of soul and rap, of murder and redemption. Periodically, one of the characters sitting on a stoop or leaning out an open window for air will pause to take the temperature of the block, and it is almost always summer: "Brooklyn was a tropical place, faint marimba notes suspended in the yellow air, now a Mister Softee truck's incessant, circular tune, rising and falling like an ambulance whine as it positioned itself on Bergen, Bond, Dean, Pacific, drawing sluggish kids like ants to a soda spill. Manhattan seemed a thousand miles away, another city." For the last 200 pages of the novel, Lethem switches from the third person to the first, confining himself to Dylan's voice. Dylan has grown up. He is a music journalist in California, writing liner notes for boxed sets of oldies. But he never stops thinking about his childhood in Gowanus ("My childhood is the only part of my life that wasn't, uh, overwhelmed by my childhood," he tells his understandably exasperated black girlfriend), and in the last part of the book he tries to fathom the sources of this haunting and to do something about it. Why is it Jewish?? Firstly, there are several clues to his hidden Judaism. To his neighbors he is white. To Himself he has a shame of Jewishness. In Brooklyn, he chalks out a new game on the sidewalk. There are two overlapping triangles chalked onto the street. Nobody gets it, but when he erases it, it remains etched lightly on the street. There is haunts him... a Jewish star. Secondly, Rachel Ebdus was born Abramovitz. Thirdly, on Page 460, the family's Jewishness is mentioned quickly. For an excellent discussion on this book, check out NextBook.com Click the book cover above to read more.
WHO KILLED DANIEL PEARL?
by Bernard Henri Levi
September 1, 2003. Melville House.
France's greatest living philosopher turns his attention to the Daniel Pearl videotape. Why did it still include a ransom demand-for F-16 fighters to be delivered to Pakistan? Were the kidnappers really just maniacal fundamentalists who killed Pearl because he was American and Jewish, as was widely assumed? Operating via a series of ruses-such as using his expired diplomatic passport-LÚvy set off to trace Pearl's final steps . . . and those of his killer. The result is a spell-binding book that combines a novelist's eye with riveting investigative journalism, as LÚvy travels the globe for the terrifying true story: to Los Angeles to talk to Pearl's family about his final, encrypted words; to England and Bosnia on the trail of the plot's mastermind; to Dubai, on the terrorist's money trail; to New Delhi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi . . . And, most perilously, to Karachi-where terrorists cross paths with nuclear scientists and the dreaded "services" . . . where long-time sources are suddenly too petrified to talk . . . where LÚvy, Jewish himself, confronts the very dangers faced by Pearl-and uncovers a series of stunning revelations. It is a moving and heartfelt homage to the man LÚvy calls his "posthumous friend," and an unprecedented overview of the jihadist movement. It is, as well, a clarion call to come to a fuller understanding of the forces behind Daniel Pearl's murder . . . before it is too late. What that secret is grows and changes, but in the final analysis it comes down to Sheikh being an operative of both the ISI and al-Qaida and then taking the fall for both at the trial. Pearl, Levy argues, was killed not for who he was, but because of what he had discovered. The conclusions, however, are in a sense less important than the ride that gets us there. Click the book cover above to read more.
Frank Lloyd Wright, E. J. Kaufmann, and America's Most Extraordinary House
by Franklin Toker
September 30, 2003. Knopf
Franklin Toker, a professor of the history of art and architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, has published books on church architecture in French Canada, the ancient cathedral of Florence (which he excavated), and the architecture and urbanism of Pittsburgh. He turns his attention to FallingWater, the greatest American house of its time that was built as a collaboration of Wright, and merchant prince, E. J. Kaufman. When he got the commission to design the house, Wright was nearing seventy, his youth and his early fame long gone. It was the Depression, and Wright had no work in sight. Into his orbit stepped Edgar J. Kaufmann, a Pittsburgh department-store mogul-"the smartest retailer in America"-and a philanthropist with the burning ambition to build a world-famous work of architecture. It was an unlikely collaboration: the Jewish merchant who had little concern for modern architecture and the brilliant modernist who was leery of Jews. But the two men collaborated to produce an extraordinary building of lasting architectural significance that brought international fame to them both and confirmed Wright's position as the greatest architect of the twentieth century. Fallingwater Rising is also an enthralling family drama, involving Kaufmann, his beautiful cousin/wife, Liliane, and their son, Edgar Jr. Involving such key figures of the l930s as Frida Kahlo, Albert Einstein, Henry R. Luce, William Randolph Hearst, Ayn Rand, and Franklin Roosevelt, Fallingwater Rising shows us how E. J. Kaufmann's house became not just Wright's masterpiece but a fundamental icon of American life. One of the pleasures of the book is its rich evocation of the upper-crust society of Pittsburgh-Carnegie, Frick, the Mellons-a society that was socially reactionary but luxury-loving and baronial in its tastes, hobbies, and sexual attitudes (Kaufmann had so many mistresses that his store issued them distinctive charge plates they could use without paying). Click the book cover above to read more.
I Only Like What I Like
by Julie Baer
M Saccardi writes: "Dewey Jackson Braintree-Berg only likes what he likes: round food in the morning, alphabet noodles, red apples, parents who stay home, his cat, yellow-and-white houses, and a bright light in his room at night. But each day of the week, one of his original notions is shattered as his list of what is acceptable grows. He discovers that rectangular waffles, squiggly macaroni, and even a different baby-sitter can be enjoyable. Jewish New Year at home and going to Grandma's for the Sabbath also help broaden the youngster's horizons. Baer bombards readers with unusual illustrations. She uses found images to create cut-paper pictures, achieving a panoply of designs that calls for hours of perusal. The collages are each framed, and the borders and backgrounds are filled with mosaics and shapes that often reflect the text, as when Dewey talks about his preference for noodles formed like letters. The colors and shadows on the characters' faces resemble what Chuck Close achieves using photography. An endnote states the publisher's aim to "make books that don't fall into the normal order of things," and this tour de force achieves that goal. Dewey Jackson Braintree-Berg is not the only one who discovers new things here. Readers do, too, among these extraordinary images." Click the book cover above to read more.
A Little Joy, A Little Oy
2004 Day-To-Day Calendar
by Marnie Winston - Macauley (Author)
Did you know that there are "Jewish" craters on the moon? Or that the first featherweight to life more than 800 pounds and take the Olympic gold in 1956 was a cantor and rabbi's son? Or that a Brooklyn kid became a high-ranking officer in the United States and was also appointed the first lieutenant general in the Israeli Army in two thousand years? Back for a third year, this unique and acclaimed calendar celebrates the Jewish experience with entries that are hilarious, fascinating, nostalgic, and spiritual. It's filled with facts, humor, anecdotes, and historical moments in Judaism that will surprise, inform, entertain, and move all readers. From the Alphabet of Jewish Humor to Yinglish to Famous Firsts to deeply spiritual stories and remembrances, readers will treasure the wit and wisdom and joys and oys found on every page of this remarkable calendar. Click the book cover above to read more.
by Peter G. Engelman
The Minyanaires is about a dedicated group of Jewish individuals who for various reasons feel drawn to the synagogue on a daily basis. Through their attendance, they provide the daily minyan or quorum required for the recitation of the Mourner's Kaddish, a Holy prayer affirming the glory of God. Nineteen participants and five members of the clergy are interviewed by the author. Discussions focus on the concept of God, the soul, prayer, immanance and transcendence. Click the book cover above to read more.
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