MyJewishBooks.com
Your online discount Jewish Bookstore
Books for the People of the Book

Our Shelves

FALL 2012 JEWISH BOOKS
Home

BOOKS BY
Season
Summer 2013
Spring 2013
Winter 2013
Fall 2012
Summer 2012
Spring 2012
Winter 2012
Fall 2011
Summer 2011
Spring 2011
Winter 2011
Fall 2010
Summer 2010
Spring 2010
Winter 2010
Fall 2009
Summer 2009
Spring 2009
Winter 2009
Fall 2008
Summer 2008
Spring 2008
Winter 2008
Fall 2007
Summer 2007
Spring 2007
Winter 2007
More Fall 2006
Fall 2006
Summer 2006
Spring 2006
Winter 2006
Fall 2005
Summer 2005
Spring 2005
Winter 2005
Late Fall 2004
Fall 2004
Summer 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 2004
Late Fall 2003
Fall 2003
Summer 2003
Spring 2003
Winter 2003
FALL 2002
Summer 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
Winter 2002
Dec 2001
Nov 2001
Oct 2001
Sept 2001
Fall 2001
Summer 2001
May 2001 Books
April 2001 Books
March 2001 Books
February 2001 Books
January 2001 Books
December 2000 Books
Hanukkah Books
November 2000 Books
October 2000 Books
September 2000 Books
August 2000 Books
July 2000 Books
June 2000 Books
Spring 2000 Books
April 2000 Books
March 2000 Books
More March 2000
Winter2000 Books

Special Topics
Jewish Audio

Winners of the
National Jewish Book
Awards, 2011


Winners of the
National Jewish Book
Awards, 2010


Winners of the
National Jewish Book
Awards, ‘09


Winners of the
National Jewish Book
Awards, ‘08


Jewish Book Award Winners

OFRAH's BookClub
Jewish Book of the Week
SEARCH

CHAT About Books
Novels
Cookbooks
Yiddish Culture
THE MAD DANCERS

Jewish Themes in Classical Music
Jewish Mysteries and Science Fiction
Wrabbis Rite Books
Holocaust Studies
Jewish Bio's
Jewish Biz
Jewish Travel
Must Reads
Israel

Israel Travel
Jewish Renewal
Theology
Bibles Torah
Kabbalah

Jewish MUSEUMS

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

Jewish Textbooks

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


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

Holidays
HighHoliday Books
Shavuot Books
Passover Books


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


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

Music/CD's

Piano Music

Hollywood and Films

The Jewish Best Sellers

Our partner Amazon.com's Top 100 Books

Amazon.com's Top 100 Music

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


Search

Email us at: Admin@myjewishbooks.com



SOME LINKS
Jewish Book Council

JewLicious.com

NYTimes.com

NYTimes in Mandarin

NYT in Chinese

JewishFilm.com

Our NEWS Links Page

Our films page on Facebook

Our books page on Facebook

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

Visit our Tzedakah Page

Tzedaka.ORG
penny harvest

Siddur Audio

heeb magazine
bar mitzvah disco
the Hasidic rebel blog about his dislikes in the Hasidic world
Yeshiva Univ Library Blog
Matt Messinger Casting

American Jewish World Service
Lend For Peace – West Bank Microfinance
Dry Bones
Urban Kvetch
Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
Elat Chayim
New Shul Scottsdale
Shalom Center
Tikkun Leil Shabbat
Times Fool
Association of Jewish Librarians Jewish Values site
Avhana.co.il
Avodah
Beach Hillel
Assoc of Jewish Libraries
Bikkurim - Jewish incubator
Cambridge Minyan
Workmen's Circle/Arbiter Ring
Tehillah Riverdale
DC Minyan
Darkhei Noam
Gawker.com
gizmodo
Hazon
IKAR
Isabella Freedman
JCRC Boston
Jdub Records
Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
Jewish Community Action
SchmoozeDance 2005
SchmoozeDance 2006
schmoozedance 2007
Jewish Funds for Justice
Selah Cohorts
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish Organizing Initiative
JewLicious
JewSchool
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
Jewish Social Policy Action Network
Jspot- Jewish Justice spot
Jews United for Justice
Kavana Seattle
Moishe/Kavod House Boston
Hadar
Kol HaKfar
Kol Tzedek West Philly
Kol Zimrah
Mazon
Minyan Tehillah Cambridge
Mitziut Chicago
Nashuva LA
network 2020
PANIM
Panim Hadashot DC
Park Slope Minyan
Progressive Jewish Alliance
Rabbis for Human Rights - North America
Riverway Project Boston
Storahtelling
Synagogue 3000
Tekiah
Tikkun Ha-Ir
wonkette
delete
Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies
JEWISH LITERARY REVIEW
South Jerusalem Blog by Gorenberg and Watzman

JEWISH TWITTER LIST
Jewlicious
Jewlicious
Panim Institute
Volunteers for Israel
Jewish Teen Funders Network
Jewish Heart Africa
Jewschool
Jcrc NY
Lisa Klug Cool Jew
Judios Latino
Israel Films
Israeli Films
Masa Israel
Birthright Israel Next
JTA News
Hazon
Jewish Dly Forward
Jewish Book Council
JB Books
MyJewishBooks
Jewishfilms
Jewishfilm
NY Jewish Week
Jewishfood
WJFF
Jewish Camps Fdtn
Jewishfilm



Welcome to our pages of Summer 2011, Spring 2011, Winter 2011, Fall 2010, and oh so many more Book Suggestions. For our Home Page, Please visit MyJewishBooks.com

SOME FALL 2012 BOOK READINGS


August 21, 2012: Jonathan Tropper reads from One Last Thing Before I Go. B&N UWS NYC

Sep 04, 2012: Ed Rendell reads from A Nation of Wusses How America's Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great. B&N Pineville NC
Sep 05, 2012: Gretchen Craft Rubin (daughter in law of Robert Rubin) and author of the Happiness Project reads from Happier at Home Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life. B&N UES 86Th St NYC
Sep 07, 2012: David Levithan reads from Every Day. B&N Union Sq NYC
Sep 11, 2012: Ayad Akhtar reads from American Dervish. B&N UES 86th
Sep 17, 2012: Michael Chabon reads from Telegraph Avenue, Fort Greene Bookstore
Sep 19, 2012: Michael Chabon reads from Telegraph Avenue, B&N Union Square
Sep 19, 2012: Andrew McCarthy reads from The Longest Way Home: A Memoir. McNally Jackson, NYC
Sep 23, 2012: Brooklyn Book Festival, 10AM – 6PM BrooklynBookFestival.org
Sep 22-23, 2012: Library of Congress Book Festival – Washington DC

Oct 04, 2012: Rabbi Harold Kushner reads from The Book of Job When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person. B&N Framingham MA
October 05-13, 2012: LitQuake.ORG, San Francisco
October 11, 2012: John Connelly speaks on “The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on The Jews, 1933-1965. UCLA Bunche Hall LA, CA
October 11-14, 2012: WORDstock Festival of Books. Portland OR, wordstockfestival.com
October 11-14, 2012: New York Comic-Con. NYC
Oct 12, 2012: Stanley Tucci reads from his Tucci Cookbook. B&N UWS NYC
October 12-14,2012: Southern Festival of Books. Nashville
October 14-24,2012: The Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival. WashingtonDCjcc.ORG for tickets
October 14, 2012: Washington DC JC Literary Festival – featuring Michael Chabon and Joy Ladin
October 14, 2012: Washington DC JC Literary Festival – featuring Daniel Katz and Peter Cole
October 15, 2012: Washington DC JC Literary Festival –Hasidic Worlds in Fiction featuring Eishes Chayil and Anouk Markovits
October 15, 2012: Washington DC JC Literary Festival – featuring Deborah Grayson Riegel
October 16, 2012: Washington DC JC Literary Festival – featuring Kafka's Last Story: An Evening of Film and Theater
Oct 16, 2012: Markas Zingeris lectures on Reclaiming the Jewish Narrative in Lithuania Today. YIVO NYC
Oct 17, 2012: Chris Elliott chats with Dave Hill and reds from The Guy Under The Sheets. B&N TriBeCa NYC. B&N UWS NYC
October 17, 2012: Daniel Mendelsohn reads from Waiting for the Barbarians. B&N UWS NYC
October 18, 2012: Washington DC JC Literary Festival – featuring Anne-Marie O'Connor
October 18, 2012: Attorney Jeffrey Tobin in conversation with Anderson Cooper on The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court. B&N Union Square NYC 6PM
October 20, 2012: Washington DC JC Literary Festival – featuring one of the greatest thinkers of our generation, Eric Kandel in Conversation with David Brooks (I mean Eric is the thinker)
October 21, 2012: Washington DC JC Literary Festival – featuring Rachelle Bergstein. Also a panel on “Funny Because It’s True:” A Panel on Humour and Fiction featuring Devan Sipher, Jonathan Tropper and Lisa Zeidner
October 21, 2012: Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews. Exhibit Open. UCLA Fowler Museum Noon. LA, CA
October 21, 2012: Imagining Madoff, a revised production of the play by Deb Margolin (rewritten after Elie Wiesel threatened legal action) will be performed in NYC at JCC UWS 3PM
October 21, 2012: Thane Rosenbaum, Elie Wiesel, and John Turturro discuss the 1997 film, The Truce, by Francisco Rossi (based on memoir by Primo Levi). Fordham Law School Forum on Law, Culture & Society. Fordham Law NYC 3PM
October 22, 2012: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies colloquium on Authoritative Traditions and Ritual Power in the Ancient Jewish, Christian, Greek, Roman, Near Eastern, and Egyptian World. UCLA Royce Hall LA, CA 9AM
October 22, 2012: Washington DC JC Literary Festival – featuring Ariel Sabar and Alicia Oltuski

October 22, 2012: NY Public Library Dorot Jewish Division hosts Dr. Mitchell Davis (Kitchen Sense, and The Mensch Chef), Noah and Rae Bernamoff (Miles End Cookbook), Joan Nathan (Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous), and David Sax (Save the Deli) for a discussion of “Where Have All The Delis Gone?”

October 23, 2012: Attorney Raoul Felder with Avery Corman on Reflections in A Mirror. B&N UES NYC
October 23, 2012: Washington DC JC Literary Festival – featuring Samuel Popkin
October 23, 2012: An Evening with Romanian Jewish author Norman Manea. YIVO NYC
October 24, 2012: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies presents Gil Cohen-Magen, a talk with him on his photography of Hasidim. UCLA Royce Hall. LA, CA
October 24, 2012: Washington DC JC Literary Festival – featuring William Mann
October 24, 2012: Nili Shalev, Israel Economic Minister to North America and others speak on Israeli Entrepreneuship. Yeshiva University NYC. PriceWaterhouseCoopers 300Mad 6PM
October 24, 2012: Moshe Halbertal speaks at the Ethics and 21st Century Military Conflict conference. Roosevelt Hotel, NYC (See Friends of the IDF, Beit Morasha Jersualem). See http://www.fidf.org/document.doc?id=303 for more information.
October 24, 2012: Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi., London based authors of JERUSALEM A COOKBOOK in conversation with Chef Rozanne Gold. Congregation Beth Elohim, Park Slope Brooklyn, 730 PM $10
October 25, 2012: Gina Gershon reads from In Search of Cleo: How I Found My Pussy and Lost My Mind. B&N TriBeCa NYC (or is it a meditation on searching for the Shekhina?) Canceled
October 25, 2012: UCLA Hillel panel on the Iranian Jewish Experience in Los Angeles. LA, CA
October 25, 2012: Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi in conversation with Jonathan Safran Foer. Strand Bookstore, NYC 7PM
October 26, 2012: Yotam Ottolenghi signs JERUSALEM; A COOKBOOK. Williams Sonoma, Columbus Circle NYC
October 27, 2012: Boston Book Festival BostonBookFest.ORG
October 27-29, 2012: Texas Book Festival. Austin TexasBookFestival.ORG
October 27-28: The Israel Real Estate Exhibit – NYC. Marriott Marquis Times Square NYC
October 28, 2012: Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, London based authors of JERUSALEM A COOKBOOK cooking demo and book signing. William Sonoma in San Francisco Union Square 2 PM
October 30, 2012: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. Ssteven Zipperstein (Stanford) speaks on the Kishinev Pogrom in Myth and History. The Transmutation of the 1903 Riot in Hebrew Poetry, Jewish Politics, and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. UCLA Bunche Hall 12 Noon. LA, CA
Oct 30, 2012: Sam Sifton in Conversation With Julia Moskin and Kim Severson all of The New York Times - CookFight 2 Cooks, 12 Challenges, 125 Recipes, an Epic Battle for Kitchen Dominance. B&N UWS NYC 7PM
October 30, 2012: Matthew Broderick and cast of Nice Work If You Can Get it. B&N UES 4PM signing cast recording

Nov 01, 2012: The Middlesteins. Eat Your Feelings: Stories of Food, Jews, and Your Mom with Jami Attenberg and Friends. Housing Works NYC 126 Crosby 7PM
Nov 01, 2012: Paul Auster with Don Delillo. Congregation Beth Elohim, Brooklyn Park Slope 730PM
Nov 04, 2012: Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, London based authors of JERUSALEM A COOKBOOK. Joan’s on Third, 12 – 3pm. 8350 West Third Street (between La Cienega Blvd. and Fairfax Ave.) Los Angeles CA
Nov 05, 2012: Jami Attenberg reads from The Middlesteins. B&N NYC UWS
Nov 07-10, 2012, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College RRC.ORG Institute for Prospective Rabbinical Students. Contact them to sign up
Nov 08, 2012: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. UCLA Hillel. Steven Sage speaks on Bulgaria and The Holocaust. UCLA Hillel LA, CA
Nov 08, 2012: Nijh.org National Institute of Jewish Hospice mtg, Renaissance Hotel Newark NJ
Nov 11, 2012: Jami Attenberg reads from The Middlesteins. B&N Skokie IL 2PM
Nov 11-18, 2012: Miami Book Fair International. MiAmiBookFair.com
Nov 12, 2012: Franklin Foer, Marc Tracy, Jonathan Safran Foer, George Packer and more read from Jewish Jocks An Unorthodox Hall of Fame. B&N Union Square NYC
Nov 14, 2012: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. LiHong Song (Nanjing University) speaks on Jewish Studies in China. UCLA Faculty Center 4PM LA, CA
Nov 15, 2012: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. LiHong Song (Nanjing University) speaks on Chinese and Western Perspectives on the Jewish Community of Kaifeng. Towards a Fusion of Horizons (why do Chinese and Western scholars, using same source material, draw drastically different conclusions). UCLA Royce Hall 12 Noon. LA, CA
Nov 27, 2012: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. Jennifer Glaser (Cincinnati) speaks on The Color of Marriage. Jews, Races, and Intermarriage in America (Books discussed: How I Became Hetti Jones (1990); Her First American by Lore Segal (1985); and Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (2010)). UCLA Royce Hall. 12 Noon LA, CA
Nov 28, 2012: Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame Co-Editors Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy in Conversation with Kevin Arnovitz and Chad Millman. Congregation Beth Elohim, Brooklyn Park Slope 730PM

December 02, 2012: Pro Mussica Hebbraica presents From Psalm to Laamentation. A Concert of Cantorial Masterpieces with Cantor Netanel Hershtik. Eldridge Street Synagogue.
December 04, 2012: reading of When General Grant Expelled the Jews. Museum of Jewish Heritage, NYC
December 06, 2012: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. Daniel Green (Chicago) speaks on The Jewish Origins of Cultural Pluralism. UCLA Royce Hall, LA, CA
December 12, 2012: The Jewish Family Novel with writers Jami Attenberg (The Middlesteins) and Joshua Henkin (The World Without You) in conversation. Museum of Jewish Heritage, NYC 7PM
December 19, 2012: Joshua Eli Plaut reads from A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to Be Jewish, Museum of Jewish Heritage, NYC

January 17, 2013: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. UCLA Hillel Symposium on Forbidden Art. Camp Art from the Auschwitz Memorial. LA, CA
January 24, 2013: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. Daniel Itzkovitz (Stonehill) speaks on Birthright Vegas. Wandering the Desert in Search of Jewishness. UCLA Royce Hall. LA, CA
January 29, 2013: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth) on “Why This New Fascination? Islam in the Modern Jewish Imagination” UCLA Faculty Center. 4PM LA, CA
January 31 2013: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. Tammi J. Schneider (Claremont) on Women In The Bible: Now That We Are Out of the garden, Where Do We Go?” UCLA Humanities. LA, CA
February 04, 2013: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. Lisa Silverman (Wisconsin) on Vienna’s Jewish Geography: Beyond the Leopoldstadt. UCLA Royce Hall. LA, CA
February 21, 2013: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. Dan Horowitz on Thnik Yiddish. Dress British. Jews, Anti-Semitism, and the Ivy League Style at Yale in the 1960s. UCLA Royce Hall. LA, CA




We recall with affection two creative leaders who passed away in August 2012. They are David Rakoff and Marvin Hamlisch. David’s most recent books was HALF EMPTY. My favorite, which included essays on growing up Jewish in Toronto and time in Israel was FRAUD. A video of his last appearance on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show can be seen HERE. Marvin Hamlisch, who composed so many soundtracks, songs, and memorable scores, passed away in Los Angeles. His most famous score was for A CHORUS LINE.







SEPTEMBER 2012 BOOKS


[book] No Easy Day
The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden
By Mark Owen
With Kevin Maurer
September 04, 2012
Dutton
Mark Owen is the nom de plume of a U.S. Navy Seal, now retired, who was part of the mission to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden.
His reasons to write it – fact or misinformation – are beside the point.
Fox News has already revealed the author’s real name, but we will keep it as printed in the book.
This is a first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist and witnessed his final moments alive, or his first moments dead in a pool of blood.
From Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group--commonly known as SEAL Team Six-- has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines.
“No Easy Day” puts readers alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the twenty-four-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives. The blow-by-blow narrative of the assault, beginning with the helicopter crash that could have ended Owen’s life straight through to the radio call confirming Bin Laden’s death, is an essential piece of modern history. In “No Easy Day,” Owen also takes readers onto the field of battle in America’s ongoing War on Terror and details the selection and training process for one of the most elite units in the military. Owen’s story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs’ quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. Owen describes many previously unreported alleged missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11.
The book sheds light on the operation and contradicts the official version of events, stating that Bin Laden was killed when he looked out of a window and was already dead when the SEALS arrived at his third floor room.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book




[book] SEASONS OF OUR JOY
A MODERN GUIDE TO THE JEWISH HOLIDAYS
BY RABBI ARTHUR O. WASKOW
Illustrated by Martin Farren and Joan Benjamin-Farren
With recipes from Rose Gertz, Hannah Waskow,
Rose Sue Berstein, and Rabbi Phyllis O. Berman
With a new afterword by Rabbi Waskow
September 2012
Jewish Publication Society / Nebraska
A treat to all of us to have this updated for 2012
Original, provocative, renewing, enriching, innovative, and filled with reverent renewal
Circling the Jewish calendar from Rosh Hashanah to Tisha B’Av, this lively, accessible guide provides rituals, recipes, songs, prayers, and suggestions for new approaches to holiday observance. Rabbi Arthur O. Waskow explores the meaning of each holiday in relation to the history of the Jewish people and individual spirituality, examines how the place of each holiday in the cycle of the moon and the changing seasons affects the mood of the day, and suggests ritual and spiritual ways to prepare for each festival.
In his extensive afterword to this new edition of Seasons of Our Joy, Rabbi Waskow addresses the many changes Judaism has undergone in the last thirty years, as feminist Judaism, neo-Chassidic mysticism, eco-Judaism, and Jewish meditation have newly colored our understanding of the festivals. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book










[book] Telegraph Avenue
A Novel
By Michael Chabon
September 2012,
Harper
The music filled novel opens with a scene of two young boys riding down the street. The shite kid drafts on the breeze of the brown kid.
As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there—longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, two semi-legendary midwives who have welcomed more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the dented utopia at whose heart — half tavern, half temple — stands Brokeland.
When ex–NFL quarterback Gibson Goode, the fifth-richest black man in America, announces plans to build his latest Dogpile megastore on a nearby stretch of Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom for their vulnerable little enterprise. Meanwhile, Aviva and Gwen also find themselves caught up in a battle for their professional existence, one that tests the limits of their friendship. Adding another layer of complication to the couples' already tangled lives is the surprise appearance of Titus Joyner, the teenage son Archy has never acknowledged and the love of fifteen-year-old Julius Jaffe's life.
An intimate epic, a NorCal Middlemarch set to the funky beat of classic vinyl soul-jazz and pulsing with a virtuosic, pyrotechnical style all its own, Telegraph Avenue is the great American novel we've been waiting for. Generous, imaginative, funny, moving, thrilling, humane, and triumphant.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] City of Promises:
A History of the Jews of New York,
3-volume box set
By Deborah Dash Moore, Howard B. Rock, Annie Polland, Daniel Soyer, and Jeffrey S. Gurock
September 2012
NYU Press
Vol. I, Haven of Liberty, 2012 Runner-Up for the Dixon Ryan Manuscript Award presented by the New York Historical Association
New York Jews, so visible and integral to the culture, economy and politics of America’s greatest city, has eluded the grasp of historians for decades. Surprisingly, no comprehensive history of New York Jews has ever been written. City of Promises: The History of the Jews in New York, a three volume set of original research, pioneers a path-breaking interpretation of a Jewish urban community at once the largest in Jewish history and most important in the modern world.
Volume I, Haven of Liberty, by historian Howard Rock, chronicles the arrival of the first Jews to New York (then New Amsterdam) in 1654and highlights their political and economic challenges. Overcoming significant barriers, colonial and republican Jews in New York laid the foundations for the development of a thriving community.
Volume II, Emerging Metropolis, written by Annie Polland and Daniel Soyer, describes New York’s transformation into a Jewish city. Focusing on the urban Jewish built environment—its tenements and banks, synagogues and shops, department stores and settlement houses—it conveys the extraordinary complexity of Jewish immigrant society.
Volume III, Jews in Gotham, by historian Jeffrey S.Gurock, highlights neighborhood life as the city’s distinctive feature. New York retained its preeminence as the capital of American Jews because of deep roots in local worlds that supported vigorous political, religious, and economic diversity.
Each volume includes a “visual essay” by art historian Diana Linden interpreting aspects of life for New York’s Jews from their arrival until today. These illustrated sections, many in color, illuminate Jewish material culture and feature reproductions of early colonial portraits, art, architecture, as well as everyday culture and community.
Overseen by noted scholar Deborah Dash Moore, City of Promises offers the largest Jewish city in the world, in the United States, and in Jewish history its first comprehensive account.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book












[book] WE HAVE SINNED
CONFESSION IN JUDAISM
ASHAMNU AND AL CHET
Edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman
Late Summer 2012
Jewish Lights
A varied and fascinating look at sin, confession and pardon in Judaism.
Few liturgical acts strike modern worshipers as more problematic than the public act of confession. Does anyone even believe in sin any more, let alone reward and punishment? At least, we think, the sins we confess should be our own, not a manufactured list of misdeeds arranged (of all things) according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet rather than according to the likelihood of our actually having committed them.
Yet confession in Judaism on the most sacred day of the Jewish year is precisely that. Not just one, in fact, but two public confessions—Ashamnu and Al Chet—are liturgical staples by now for anyone attending Yom Kippur services. These confessions are recited no fewer than ten times in the course of twenty-four hours at prayer. No one can miss them, and no one can avoid wondering about them.
This third volume in the Prayers of Awe series, turns to a varied and fascinating look at sin, confession and pardon in Judaism, as suggested by the centrality of these two prayers that people know so well but understand so little. Through a series of lively introductions and commentaries, almost forty contributors—men and women, scholars, rabbis, theologians and poets, representing all Jewish denominations—examine the history of confession in Judaism, its roots in the Bible, its evolution in rabbinic and modern thought, and the very nature of confession for men and women today.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book










[book] Helen Nash's New Kosher Cuisine
Healthy, Simple & Stylish
By Helen Nash
September 2012
Overlook Press
Helen Nash's first two cookbooks, Kosher Cuisine and Helen Nash’s Kosher Kitchen, are classics of the art of kosher cooking. Reviewing her first publication in The New York Times, cookbook guru Craig Claiborne praised Nash for food that is "seamlessly kosher and endlessly inventive." Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine represents the best and most health-conscious addition to the art of kosher cooking. Using ingredients that have only recently become available, Nash’s latest work contains many new and imaginative fusion recipes that are as modern as they are delicious. But her signature dishes, based on traditional Eastern European cuisine, are still very much in evidence. A delicious mixture of old and new, homey and contemporary, this book shatters the myth that Jewish food is all gefilte fish and chopped liver!
PW WRITES: Despite the limitations placed on kosher chefs, Nash, in her third cookbook (Kosher Cuisine and Kosher Kitchen), attacks the problem head-on. She promises to shake up even the most jaded eater of gefilte fish and stuffed cabbage. Inspired by personal tragedy, she decided to focus on taste as experience and health as a must. Incorporating both New Age fusion (such as in white fish pate and southwestern ratatouille) and classic Eastern European dishes (see cholent and pot roast), Nash expands upon the oft-criticized kosher cuisine’s lack of imagination. Realizing that most people don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen, Nash recommends preparing and freezing a dish in advance, “so that you can feed a family or entertain without too much hassle at the last minute.” Perhaps even more useful than the actual recipes, though, are the indexes placed at the back of the book. Ranging from helpful tips on equipment and cooking (for example, “to rescue a soup or stew that is too salty, add a raw potato”) to specifics on technique (e.g., how to seed tomatoes), the back sections are indispensable for cooks of any level.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book










[book] The Mile End Cookbook
Redefining Jewish Comfort Food
from Hash to Hamantaschen
by Noah Bernamoff and Rae Bernamoff
September 2012
Clarkson Potter
Inspiring Jewish cooking from the owners of the Mile End restaurants in Brooklyn and Nolita/Manhattan, which brings Montreal style Jewish cooking to NYC. 100 comfort food recipes. From brisket, borscht and latkes to challah and smoked meat. And easy pickles, and smoked meat hash.
WHEN NOAH AND RAE BERNAMOFF OPENED MILE END, their tiny Brooklyn restaurant, they had a mission: to share the classic Jewish comfort food of their childhood.
Using their grandmothers’ recipes as a starting point, Noah and Rae updated traditional dishes and elevated them with fresh ingredients and from-scratch cooking techniques. The Mile End Cookbook celebrates the craft of new Jewish cooking with more than 100 soul-satisfying recipes and gorgeous photographs. Throughout, the Bernamoffs share warm memories of cooking with their families and the traditions and holidays that inspire recipes like blintzes with seasonal fruit compote; chicken salad whose secret ingredient is fresh gribenes; veal schnitzel kicked up with pickled green tomatoes and preserved lemons; tsimis that’s never mushy; and cinnamon buns made with challah dough. Noah and Rae also celebrate homemade delicatessen staples and share their recipes and methods for pickling, preserving, and smoking just about anything.
For every occasion, mood, and meal, these are recipes that any home cook can make, including: SMOKED AND CURED MEAT AND FISH: brisket, salami, turkey, lamb bacon, lox, mackerel; PICKLES, GARNISHES, FILLINGS, AND CONDIMENTS: sour pickles, pickled fennel, horseradish cream, chicken con?t, sauerkraut, and soup mandel; SUMPTUOUS SWEETS AND BREADS: rugelach, jelly-filled doughnuts, flourless chocolate cake, honey cake, cheesecake, challah, rye; ALL THE CLASSICS: the ultimate chicken soup, gefilte fish, corned beef sandwich, latkes, knishes
With tips and lore from Jewish and culinary mavens, such as Joan Nathan and Niki Russ Federman of Russ & Daughters, plus holiday menus, Jewish cooking has never been so inspiring.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book










[book] The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
By Deb Perelman
Fall 2012
Knopf

Want to see her Jewish recipe archive?
http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/category/jewish/

The long-awaited cookbook by Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen—home cook, photographer, and celebrated food blogger.
Deb Perelman loves to cook. She isn’t a chef or a restaurant owner—she’s never even waitressed. Cooking in her tiny Manhattan kitchen was, at least at first, for special occasions—and, too often, an unnecessarily daunting venture. Deb found herself overwhelmed by the number of recipes available to her. Have you ever searched for the perfect birthday cake on Google? You’ll get more than three million results. Where do you start? What if you pick a recipe that’s downright bad?
So Deb founded her award-winning blog, Smitten Kitchen, on the premise that cooking should be a pleasure, and that the results of your labor can—and should—be delicious . . . every time. Deb is a firm believer that there are no bad cooks, just bad recipes. She has dedicated herself to creating and finding the best of the best and adapting the recipes for the everyday cook.
And now, with the same warmth, candor, and can-do spirit her blog is known for, Deb presents her first cookbook: more than 100 recipes—almost entirely new, plus a few favorites from the site—all gorgeously illustrated with hundreds of her beautiful color photographs.
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is all about approachable, uncompromised home cooking. Here you’ll find better uses for your favorite vegetables: asparagus blanketing a pizza; ratatouille dressing up a sandwich; cauliflower masquerading as pesto. These are recipes you’ll bookmark and use so often they become your own, recipes you’ll slip to a friend who wants to impress her new in-laws, and recipes with simple ingredients that yield amazing results in a minimum amount of time. Deb tells you her favorite summer cocktail; how to lose your fear of cooking for a crowd; and the essential items you need for your own kitchen. From salads and slaws that make perfect side dishes (or a full meal) to savory tarts and galettes; from Mushroom Bourguignon to Chocolate Hazelnut Crepe Cake, Deb knows just the thing for a Tuesday night, or your most special occasion.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book










[book] Cooking from the Heart
A Jewish Journey through Food
By Gaye Weeden and Hayley Smorgon
Fall 2012
Hardie Grant
This edition is in American measurements.
Heartwarming heirloom recipes and stories from around the globe.
Cooking From the Heart is a sumptuous celebration of cookery from around the world. This book reveals the stories and recipes of twenty-seven Jewish cooks and captures the importance and celebration of food in the Jewish home as a link to former homelands, their heritage, and a way to maintain the togetherness of family. We meet cooks from places as diverse as the Philippines, Morocco, Romania, and Ethiopia. They recount their sometimes tragic but always inspiring stories and detail their histories, the origins of recipes, and their experiences of food as they were growing up.
From Georgia to Italy to Israel, Japan, and South Africa, the common thread is how food and flavors fill a Jewish home with love. Their unique journeys and reminiscences are accompanied by glorious color photographs and delicious recipes—from traditional dumplings, noodles, and soups to biscuits, pastries, and doughnuts. Some dishes are simple, made from the freshest ingredients, while others are complex and elaborate. There is the spicy fragrance of Indian curry contrasted with the indulgent Almond Custard Cake or Chocolate Ganache Cake and of course, legendary chicken soup, gefilte fish, and strudel. The variety of tastes and flavors is truly amazing.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book










See also: [book] Cooking From Memory
A Journey Through Jewish Food
By Hayley Smorgon
2007
Hardie Grant
Part cookbook, part history lesson, this book illustrates the story of the Jewish Diaspora in Australia through personal stories and delicious recipes that rouse taste buds and memories of the past. Readers meet 21 cooks who have migrated to Australia from places like Georgia, Italy, and Israel, as well as from Japan, South Africa, and Vietnam. While their stories of courage and hardship differ, food and flavors filled their Jewish homes with love, no matter where they lived. Readers can feast their eyes on beautiful photography while learning recipes for Sephardi couscous, chicken soup, gefilte fish, and strudel—as well as indulging in rich Jewish culture and tradition.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book










See also (It retails for over $50, but here you can get a good discount): [book] Stella's Sephardic Table
Jewish family recipes from the Mediterranean island of Rhodes
By Stella Cohen with Marc Hoberman (Photographer)
2012
Hoberman
To be seated at a Sephardic table is to be a witness to centuries of a mesmerizingly rich cultural heritage overflowing with traditions and festivities, symbols and superstitions, stories and insights, fragrances, tastes and culinary secrets – all handed down from generation to generation around the ever-present Sephardic feast.
Following the expulsion of the Jews in 1492 by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, Sephardic Jewish communities spread to new shores bringing with them their rich gastronomic heritage from Moorish Spain which naturally evolved into a wonderfully complex fusion of flavours incorporating Ottoman Turkish, Greek, Hispanic, African and other influences.
Deeply inspired by her roots and constantly immersed in its traditions, author, artist and Sephardic cuisine expert Stella Cohen has set out to record the legacy of this vibrant, fascinating yet vanishing world for posterity and tell the story of her own family’s cultural journey from Rodos (where her great-grandfather Haham Yaacov Capouya, was the esteemed sage and Rabbi of Rhodes) to Rhodesia (today known as Zimbabwe) where she has raised her family to continue the traditions as passed on to her. In 1986, “Sephardic Cuisine” by Stella Cohen, a humble spiral bound cookbook, was independently published under the auspices of the Sephardic community of Zimbabwe and quickly became an international success, being reprinted many times over. For more than ten years, Stella has worked at revising and extending the original to include a more thorough exploration of the age-old subject and the techniques and traditions around it.
Stella’s Sephardic Table is a treasure trove of inspiration for the soul, filled with over 250 sumptuous easy-to-follow recipes, all lavishly illustrated and garnished with anecdotes, Ladino sayings, essays and rare insights into family-cherished tips and tricks traditionally passed from mother to daughter.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book










[book] GET COOKING!
A JEWISH AMERICAN FAMILY COOKBOOK
BY RACHEL HARKHAM and DONI ZASLOFF THOMAS
Fall 2012
Behrman House
So much more than a Jewish holiday cookbook, Get Cooking: A Jewish American Family Cookbook is a full year of celebration of Jewish food and culture.
Packed with holiday activities, jokes, and rocking' tunes on a free CD from popular children's musician Mama Doni, Get Cooking! celebrates Jewish American culture and holidays plus makes a Jewish connection to secular American holidays in an exuberant guide that works for Jewish families of all levels of religious observance. Co-author Rachel Harkham showcases modern reinterpretations of classic recipes, sure-fire kid pleasers, and New Jewish cuisine with a worldly spin to please a wide variety of tastes.
Mama Doni and Recipe Rachel can bring an interactive cooking demonstration and discussion about engaging families to celebrate together. As an option, in addition to the cooking demonstration, Mama Doni can also perform the "Get Cooking! "Family Concert either acoustically (with one other musician) or with her full band. It features songs ALL ABOUT FOOD and celebrations. Original songs include "Falafafull," "Challah Day," "Matzah Pizza," "Latke Man," and more that will have everyone dancing in the aisles, ready to Get Cooking and celebrate. The show will bring the book to life with dancing, recipe cards, food samples, and excerpts/activities from the book.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book










[book] One Last Thing Before I Go
A novel
By Jonathan Tropper
September 2012, Dutton
You don’t have to look very hard at Drew Silver to see that mistakes have been made. His fleeting fame as the drummer for a one-hit wonder rock band is nearly a decade behind him. He lives in the Versailles, an apartment building filled almost exclusively with divorced men like him, and makes a living playing in wedding bands. His ex-wife, Denise, is about to marry a guy Silver can’t quite bring himself to hate. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter Casey has just confided in him that she’s pregnant—because Silver is the one she cares least about letting down.
So when he learns that his heart requires emergency, lifesaving surgery, Silver makes the radical decision to refuse the operation, choosing instead to use what little time he has left to repair his relationship with Casey, become a better man, and live in the moment, even if that moment isn't destined to last very long. As his exasperated family looks on, Silver grapples with the ultimate question of whether or not his own life is worth saving.
With the wedding looming and both Silver and Casey in crisis, this broken family struggles to come together, only to risk damaging each other even more. One Last Thing Before I Go is Jonathan Tropper at his funny, insightful, heartbreaking best.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book for a discounted price
Note to file: Isn’t he married to a Fink from Scranton?






DESTINED TO BE THE GREATEST BAR MITZVAH GIFT
THE GREATEST JEWISH EVENT SINCE THE 1967 ARAB ISRAELI WAR
[book] [book][book][book] JEWISH JOCKS
Edited by Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy
Fall 2012, Hachette Twelve
Franklin Foer of soccer fame, and brother to Jonathan Safran Foer and memory king Joshua Foer, teams up with Tablet honcho, Marc Tracy, to look at Jewish Jocks.
Jews were barred from being jocks for centuries. Even the ancient Greeks were not keen on Jews. But in the past few hundred years, Jews have been emancipated and entered sports as players and not just writers, managers, coaches, and owners.
Foer and Tracy has corralled top writers (not all of them are Jewish) and asked them to write about Jewish Jocks
White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers writes on tennis star Harold Solomon (a top ten tennis player in the Seventies).
Best-selling author Steven Pinker’s subject is basketball coach Red Auerbach. Booker Prize-winning novelist Howard Jacobson has picked ping-pong legend Marty Reisman to write about.
Other contributors include New Yorker editor David Remnick on Howard (Cohen) Cosell, “Friday Night Lights” author Buzz Bissinger on boxer Barney Ross (born Beryl David Rosofsky), and “Freakonomics” co-author Stephen Dubner on a baseball player who was hit in the head in his only major league at-bat. Also David Margolick, tough Jews expert Rich Cohen (on Sid Luckman), and Judith Shulevitz (on Mark Spitz) weigh in. Topics include Art Shamsky, Kerri Strug, Harold Solomon, Sandy Koufax, Shirley Povitch, and many, many more.
The collection will also include a cover design and illustrations throughout by Mark Ulriksen.

You want to know more?
Basketball and boxing were both dominated by Jews during the interwar years between the World Wars. A third of all boxing champions were Jews. Benny Friedman and Sid Luckman created the modern quarterback as we know him. Sid Gilman was the genius who conceived the basic structure of football offense.
Simon Schama writes on Daniel Mendoza, a boxer for the King of England. Timothy Snyder writes on Max Nordau, and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein looks at Tiny Baller: Barney Sedran. Franklin Foer writes on Benny Leonard; Robert Weintraum on Mose Solomon; Douglas Century on Whitey Bimstein (a cutman); and Ron Rosenbaum on Arnold Rothstein, the mobster fixer of sporting events... alleged.
More? Ira Berkow on Hank Greenberg; Joshua Cohen on fencer Helene Mayer; Marc Tarcy on Dolph Schayes; Mark Singer on Jimmy Jacobs (the rabbi of Mike Tyson); David Brooks on Art Shamsky, the Miracle Met; Jonathan Safran Foer on Bobby Fischer; Emory Professor Deborah Lipstadt on Yossef Romano who died at Munich; and Sam Lipsyte writes on Robert Lipsyte, or is it the other way around?
More?
Josh Levin on Ron Mix; Kevin Arnovitz on Nancy Lieberman; David Hirsey on Shep Messing; Shalom Auslander on Harvey the Sensei Sober; Slate’s David Plotz on Kerry Strug; Jeffrey Goldberg on Hezb'allah's favorite wrestler, Bill Goldberg; Etgar Keret on Eyal Berkovic, a soccer sabra, and many more, including a Jewish bullfighter, or actually a gay Jewish bullfighter
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book or to purchase the book






[book] My Life in Jewish Renewal
A Memoir
By Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi with Dr. Edward Hoffman (Yeshiva Univ)
June 2012, Rowman & Littlefield
This powerful memoir chronicles the life of one of America’s most celebrated rabbis—Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi, or “Reb Zalman” as he is fondly known to friends and followers. The book traces his life from a youth in the shadow of the Nazis through the tumultuous 1960s in America to his position as a renowned religious leader today.
Often controversial for his attraction to cultural mavericks and religious rebels, Reb Zalman’s colorful lifetime includes a striking cast of characters, including Timothy Leary, Elie Wiesel, Abraham Maslow, and more. He has developed deep relationships across faith traditions, including the Catholic theologian Thomas Merton. The book discusses these relationships, as well as his historic encounter with the Dalai Lama, as featured in the popular book and film The Jew in the Lotus. It also describes the founding of the now coast-to-coast Jewish Renewal movement and Reb Zalman’s pioneering work on “sage-ing” for the elderly.
Reb Zalman often illustrates his talks with stories from his life, and My Life in Jewish Renewal brings together the complete life story of this beloved leader for the first time.











[book] THE SCIENTISTS
A MEMOIR, A FAMILY ROMANCE
BY MARCO ROTH
September 2012, FS&G
A frank, intelligent, and deeply moving debut memoir. With the precociousness expected of the only child of a doctor and a classical musician—from the time he could get his toddler tongue to a pronounce a word like “De-oxy ribonucleic acid,” or recite a French poem—Marco Roth was able to share his parents’ New York, a world centered around house concerts, a private library of literary classics, and dinner discussions of the latest advances in medicine. That world ended when his father started to suffer the worst effects of the AIDS virus that had infected him in the early 1980s. What this family could not talk about for years came to dominate the lives of its surviving members, often in unexpected ways. The Scientists is a story of how we first learn from our parents and how we then learn to see them as separate individuals; it’s a story of how precociousness can slow us down when it comes to knowing about our desires and other people’s. A memoir of parents and children in the tradition of Edmund Gosse, Henry Adams, and J.R. Ackerley, The Scientists grapples with a troubled intellectual and emotional inheritance, in a style that is both elegiac and defiant.












[book] ALEXANDER TO CONSTANTINE
ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE LAND OF THE BIBLE
By Eric M. Meyers (Duke) and Mark A. Chancey (SMU)
Fall 2012, Yale University Press
Drawing on the most recent, groundbreaking archaeological research, Eric M. Meyers and Mark A. Chancey re-narrate the history of ancient Palestine in this richly illustrated and expertly integrated book. Spanning from the conquest of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE until the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century CE, they synthesize archaeological evidence with ancient literary sources (including the Bible) to offer a sustained overview of the tumultuous intellectual and religious changes that impacted world history during the Greco-Roman period.
The authors demonstrate how the transformation of the ancient Near East under the influence of the Greeks and then the Romans led to foundational changes in both the material and intellectual worlds of the Levant. Palestine's subjection to Hellenistic kingdoms, its rule by the Hasmonean and Herodian dynasties, the two disastrous Jewish revolts against Rome, and its full incorporation into the Roman Empire provide a background for the emergence of Christianity. The authors observe in the archaeological record how Judaism and Christianity were virtually undistinguishable for centuries, until the rise of imperial Christianity with Emperor Constantine. The only book-length overview available that focuses on the archaeology of Palestine in this period, this comprehensive and powerfully illuminating work sheds new light on the lands of the Bible.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] THE CRUSADER STATES
By Malcolm Barber (University of Reading)
Fall 2012, Yale University Press
Life in the Twelfth Century's crusader states
When the armies of the First Crusade won Jerusalem from the Fatimids of Egypt in 1099, they believed that their victory was a sign that God favored them and their cause. To honor God and their victory, they set up cities of Christians in Palestine and Syria. This is the story of these cities that survived until Richard the Lionhearted departed in 1192. The book focuses on Antioch, Jerusalem, Tripoli, and Edessa. Professor Barber reconstructs the crusader's difficult process of establishing and protecting these settlements. Rich with information about the military campaigns and the cultures of the victors and the vanquished, the Knights Templar, the Hospitallers, and more
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] FORTRESS ISRAEL
THE INSIDE STORY OF THE
MILITARY ELITE WHO RUN
THE COUNTRY – AND WHY
THEY CANT MAKE PEACE
BY PATRICK TYLER
Fall 2012, FS&G
From the cover: In the late 1940s, David Ben-Gurion founded a unique military society: the state of Israel. A powerful defense establishment came to dominate the nation, and for half a century Israel’s leaders (bound by martial traditions and stern resolve never to lose sight of the Holocaust, and armed with a secret arsenal of nuclear weapons and the most powerful conventional army in the Middle East) have relished continuous war with the Arabs and an unblinking determination to prevail.
Fortress Israel is an epic portrayal of state militarism overpowering democracy and civilian government—of Sparta presenting itself as Athens. Patrick Tyler takes us inside the tough culture of native-born militants: the sabras, named for an especially rugged species of cactus. He shows generals who make decisions that trump those of elected leaders, generals who disdain diplomacy as a sign of weakness, and statesmen who make peace deals with their neighbors so that they can make arms deals with America. Tyler argues that this martial outlook makes Israel loath to achieve peace with the Muslim world even if it is possible to do so.
Based on a breathtakingly broad array of sources, declassified documents, personal archives, and interviews across the spectrum of Israel’s ruling class, Fortress Israel is a powerful story of character, rivalry, conflict, and the competing impulses for war and for peace.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book cover click here] A BRILLIANT NOVEL IN THE WORKS
A NOVEL
BY YUVI ZALKOW
2012 Rarebird MP Publishing
When Yuvi's wife finds him in his underwear, standing on top of his desk, she isn't terribly impressed with him and his writing habits.
But Yuvi worries. He has a wife who wants things he can't give, an editor who wants a book he can't deliver, a brother-in-law with a gut disease that he can't fix, and dead parents who stubbornly remain dead. As the structure of Yuvi's novel falls apart, so does his life. His novel and his life blend together as he struggles to pull out of the mess. He revisits the fragments of his unreconciled past and his pantsless present, traveling from his suburban Jewish home in Atlanta to the North Carolina mountains of his father's childhood, to several hospital waiting rooms, to the living room of a grieving Palestinian man. Heartbreaking and hilarious, A Brilliant Novel in the Works is the utterly original debut novel from Yuvi Zalkow.






[book] Happy Hanukkah, Curious George
a board book
By H. A. Rey and Margret Rey
September 2012, 14 pages
It is the eighth night of Hanukkah, and George and his friends have gathered for a celebration. They light the menorah, spin the dreidel, make latkes, and learn the importance of mitzvah! In this tabbed board book, youngsters will even find a tasty latke recipe and instructions for constructing a dreidel, with rules for play. A festive foil-stamped cover makes this a fine holiday gift for fans of Curious George. For more monkey fun, investigate www.curiousgeorge.com.












[book] Emanuel and the Hanukkah Rescue
By Heidi Smith Hyde
And Jamel Akib
September 2012,
Kar Ben
Ages 5 – 9
32 pages
Angry that his father is afraid to kindle the Hanukkah lights, Emanuel stows away on a whaling ship. When a storm overtakes the boat, it is his father’s change of heart and the family menorah that light the way home.
In the Eighteenth century, a group of oppressed Jews from Portuguese territories arrived in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The became merchants. Emanuel, age 9, dreams of going to sea, and perhaps one day, he can openly celebrate Jewish holidays and the Sabbath. He runs away, stows away on a ship, and the adventure begins. Watch the way light plays a role in the story.
From School Library Journal: This story, set in an 18th-century whaling community in Massachusetts, successfully blends a fascinating bit of Jewish American history with the cherished notion of religious freedom celebrated during the eight nights of Hanukkah. Nine-year-old Emanuel helps his Portuguese immigrant father sell the supplies to whalers. His father is a crypto-Jew, a descendant of Jews who were coerced into converting to Catholicism during the Spanish Inquisition, but who secretly practice Jewish rituals in their home. Having only known life in America, Emanuel cannot understand his father's reluctance to display the family menorah and thinks he is ruled by fear, unlike brave Captain Henshaw, whose whaling ship is set to sail the next day. Deciding he will run off with the captain, Emanuel leaves his father a note: "I need to know what it's like to be free. I hope someday you can be free, too." But when a sudden storm forces the ship to return to port, it is the Hanukkah lights shining in the windows that guide the ship safely home. Full-page chalk pastel illustrations in tones of deep blue and sepia focus on large shapes and characters, giving them a bold graphic feel, while the dark palette provides a dramatic backdrop for the golden candlelight.











[book] THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT
How The Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses
And Changed The Workplace
By Lynn Povich
September 2012, Public Affairs
Award-winning journalist Lynn Povich began her career at Newsweek as a secretary. In 1975 she became the first woman senior editor in the magazine's history. Since leaving Newsweek in 1991, Povich has been editor-in-chief of Working Woman, managing editor and senior executive producer for MSNBC.com, and a consultant to The New York Times Foundation
On March 16, 1970, Newsweek magazine hit newsstands with a cover story on the fledgling feminist movement entitled "Women in Revolt." That same day, 46 Newsweek women, Lynn Povich among them, announced they'd filed an EEOC complaint charging their employer with "systematic discrimination" against them in hiring and promotion. In The Good Girls Revolt, Povich evocatively tells the story of this dramatic turning point through the lives of several participants, showing how personal experiences and cultural shifts led a group of well-mannered, largely apolitical women, raised in the 1940s and 1950s, to stand up for their rights—and what happened after they did. For many, filing the suit was a radicalizing act that empowered them to "find themselves" and stake a claim. Others lost their way in a landscape of opportunities, pressures, discouragements, and hostilities they weren't prepared to navigate.
With warmth, humor, and perspective, the book also explores why changes in the law did not change everything for today's young women.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] A TALE OF RITUAL MURDER
IN THE AGE OF LOUIS XIV
THE TRIAL OF RAPHAEL LEVY, 1669
BY PIERRE BIRNBAUM
Translated by Arthur Goldhammer
September 2012, Stanford
In the late seventeenth century, France prided itself for its rationality and scientific achievements. Yet it was then that Raphaël Lévy, a French Jew, was convicted, tortured, and executed for an act he did not commit, a fiction deriving from medieval anti-Jewish myth: the ritual murder of a Christian boy to obtain blood for satanic rituals. When Lévy was accused of the ritual murder, it was the first accusation of blood libel for a century. Lévy's trial, however, became a forum for anti-Jewish accusations, and although the Holy Roman Emperor and a representative of the King Louis XIV both tried to intervene, they were ignored by the parliament of Metz.
Pierre Birnbaum explores the cultural, political, and personal elements that led to the accusation and shows that the importance of this story goes beyond local history: at a critical moment in the construction of the nation-state, France was unable to impose its conception of law and order on local officials. Birnbaum reveals the echoes of Lévy's trial in the Dreyfus Affair and suggests that, amid the contemporary retreat of the state and the accompanying explosion of prejudice and violence, it is time to remember the tragic fate of Raphaël Lévy.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] The Count's Hanukkah Countdown
By Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer
Illustrated by Tom Leigh
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 2 – 6
At a gala Hanukkah party on Sesame Street, American and Israeli Muppets light the candles, retell the story of Hanukkah, and feast on latkes. The Count teaches them that EIGHT is the perfect Hanukkah number
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?
By Jane Yolen and Illistrated by Mark Teague
September 2012,
Scholastic Blue Sky Press
Ages 4 – 7
School Library Journal said: “In this addition to the popular series, 10 more mischievous dinosaurs are acting up, this time during the eight nights of Hanukkah. With their characteristic childlike antics, these dinos fuss and fidget during the menorah blessings, blow out the Hanukkah candles, write their own name on all the presents, and squeeze the Hanukkah gelt until it melts. Yet by the fifth night, they are singing the prayers, sharing the dreidel, helping with the dishes, and spending time with the grandparents. While there is nothing particularly new about this title, the tried-and-true formula works here, namely a deceptively simple rhyming text that serves as a sturdy foundation for the brilliantly humorous illustrations. As with the earlier books, children will love seeing what sorts of trouble the dinosaurs get into while appreciating the loving familial feeling that comes from celebrating the holiday together.”
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book























[book] Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama
By Selina Alko
September 2012,
Knopf Picture Book
Ages 4 – 8
FROM THE COVER:
I am a mix of two traditions.
From Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama.
How lucky am I?
Holiday time at Sadie's house means golden gelt sparkling under the Christmas tree, candy canes hanging on eight menorah branches, voices uniting to sing carols about Macabees and the manger, and latkes on the mantel awaiting Santa's arrival.
Selina Alko's joyous celebration of blended families will make the perfect holiday gift for the many Americans who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.
The New York Times Book Review is looking forward to a book on “EastOver”
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book























[book] Emanuel and the Hanukkah Rescue
By Heidi Smith Hyde
Illustrated by Jamel Akib
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 5-9
Angry that is father Is afraid to kindle the Hanukkah lights, Emanuel stows away on a whaling ship.. (Maybe they will use whale oil for the menorah? NOT) When a storm overtakes the ship, it is his father's it is his father;s change of heartand the family hanukkiah that lights the way home.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Jeremy's Dreidel
By Ellie Gellman
Illustrated by Maria Mola
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 5-9
Jeremy's Dreidel tells the story of a boy who creates an unusual dreidel. His friends think he is molding a secret code on his clay dreidel, but he's really making a very special Braille dreidel for his blind father. The author lives in Jerusalem and has 4 children and 2 grandchildren
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Maccabee Meals
By Judye Groner and Madeline Wikler
Illustrated by Ursula Roma
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 7-12
Eight nights of food, fun, and games for Hanukkah. With recipes for young and old, party themes and holiday trivia
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Sammy Spider's New Friend
By Sylvia A. Rouss
Illustrated by Katherine Janus Kahn
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 2-8
An Israeli family moves in next door to the Shapiros. Josh and Sammy Spider learn about the Jewish mitzvah of welcoming guests. They learn some Hebrew words and make a new friend and don;t get squashed.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] OH NO JONAH
By Tilda Balsley
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 5-10
A story in rhyme
The story of Jonah and the Big Fish
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] The Mitzvah Magician
By Linda Elovitz Marshall
Illustrated by Christiane Engel
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 3-8
"One-wish, two-wish, Jew-wish!" Gabriel's magic wand gets him into trouble around the house, until he learns that the greatest magician is a Mitzvah Magician, using his powers to do good deeds.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Speak Up Tommy
By Jacqueline Dembar Green
Illustrated by Deborah Melman
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 3-8
Tommy’s classmates tease him about his Israeli accent and the way he speaks English. But his knowledge of Hebrew makes him a hero when a policeman and his dog come to visit Tommy’s school.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] The Vanishing Gourds
A Sukkot Mystery
By Susan Axe-Bronk
Illustrated by Marta Monelli
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 3-8
When Sara's guours start mysteriously disappearing, the hunt is on for the culprits. The gourds must be used for Sukkah decorations. Surprise, surprise, the family of squirrels reward the family in a special way
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Caleb's Hanukkah
By Lisa Bullard
Illustrated by Constanza Basaluzzo
September 2012, Kar Ben
Ages 3-8
Caleb is excited to spin his dreidel. His family is celebrating Hanukkah. For eight days, they light candles on their hanukkiah menorah. They exhcnage gifts and eat latkes. And of course, they play with their dreidel
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book














[book] Israel
The Will to Prevail
By Danny Danon, MK (Knesset)
September 2012, Palgrave
Danny Danon (Moshav Mishmeret) has been a vocal opponent of disengaging in the Gaza Strip and West bank, and transforming the stalemate “two state/one state” dialogue to include regional partners, at times standing in direct opposition to his own party’s leadership. A well-known and frequent speaker in the global arena, he is the rising voice for a fresh movement toward nationalism among the generation of Israelis currently coming to power. Here, Danon shares this vision with the world. It is a bold and uncompromising stance in the face of attacks on Israel's sovereignty by other Middle Eastern nations as the United States sends mixed signals of support to further its own goals in the region. Danon dissects the missteps and wrong turns that Israel's politicians have taken in the past by working to appease the United States and not offend their neighbors, instead of prioritizing their nation's own viability. With electrifying zeal, he tackles the challenges Israel faces today to undo what he sees as a consequence brought on by years of acquiescence to US policy. Danon believes “US pressure on Israel is hurting Israel and will do nothing to advance peace,” and he is not afraid to sever the close bond between the United States and Israel if it means peace for his homeland.

Danon leads the charge toward a victorious future with an invitation for the United States and the Middle East to participate in, and not just dictate, Israel's international relations and policies (as opposed to an Israel cuckolded with an endless array of caveats toward those who would see it fall). No stranger to controversy, Danon's unabashed insights are a welcome revelation in the current quagmire of Middle-East international relations. A leading speaker to both Jewish groups and Christian Conservatives, the Los Angeles Times says “What Danny says is what Netanyahu is actually thinking.” For Danny Danon, this is only the beginning.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] Vision and Leadership
(Meotzar Horav)
Reflection on Joseph and Moses
By Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903-1993)
Edited by David Shatz, Joel B. Wolowelsky, and Reuven Ziegler
Fall 2012,
Vision and Leadership, the eleventh in the series MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, presents Rabbi Soloveitchik s reflections on biblical narratives and characters, beginning with the Joseph stories and the Jewish people s sojourn in Egypt and ending with the story of Moses death on the brink of return to the Promised Land. Through careful exegesis of verses, illuminating analyses of character, and insightful readings of midrashim and classic medieval commentators, the reflections in this book seek the underlying messages of biblical stories and an understanding of what they teach us about past and present events in the life of the Jewish people. They also shed light on broader concepts, such as the nature of justice, idolatry, spiritual authority, and halakhic thought.
The editors of Vision and Leadership are David Shatz, Professor of Philosophy at Yeshiva University and Editor of the MeOtzar HoRav series; Joel B. Wolowelsky, Dean of the Faculty at the Yeshivah of Flatbush and Associate Editor of the MeOtzar HoRav series; and Reuven Ziegler, Editor-in-Chief of Yeshivat Har Etzion s Virtual Beit Midrash and Director of Research at the Toras HoRav Foundation.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book












[book] Surfing the Middle East
Deviant Journalism from the Lost Generation
By Jesse Aizenstat
2012, Self published Casbah Publishing
Major in political science. Graduate with honors. Fail to find a job. Go surfing in the Middle East. Rogue journalist and self-admitted California wave junky Jesse Aizenstat couldn't find a real job after college. But his two passions, Middle East politics and surfing, seemed like a good fit for a freelance gig. What the hell? Why not surf from Israel to Lebanon? His Jewish background may have earned him a free flight to Israel, but it wouldn't give him a pass to surf in Hezbollah-controlled South Lebanon. Even navigating the tangled towns and streets of his ancestral homeland wouldn't be a cakewalk. But then again, this dyslexic writer with a maddening lust for annoying truths wasn't looking for easy, he was looking for real.
From Day One, the signs of violent conflict are everywhere: rocket craters, barbed wire, tear-gassed protesters, gunfire, and night patrols. But finding a shoreline touched by the best swell in the Med proves a welcoming counterpoint to the tension.
Trouble is, peace, like riding a perfect wave, never lasts long. Turns out you can't just surf from Israel to Lebanon. You gotta take an air/land route. Over an inland desert. Through freaking Syria. Other than hatred, the same surf report, and the desire to blow each other to smithereens, Israel and Lebanon seem to share little else.
Like Aizenstat, they are political, cultural, and generational misfits in search of control over their identities and destinies. The author calls 'em like he sees 'em, and goes along for the ride. It gets a little deviant, a little insane, a little frightening, but in the end is fully satisfying.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] 'A' for Argonaut
By Michael J. Stedman
2012, Self published Clipper
Mack Maran, the most skilled op his nation ever had, stands outside the courthouse at Ft. Bragg, home of his "non-existent" unit. America's unsung hero has been betrayed, ambushed, and disgraced in a mission to rescue young American idealists held by African terrorists. His enemies, led by a major illegal arms dealer in league with Islamist terrorists, are cunning and treacherous. But they don't count on Maran's tenacity. He plans to hunt down the enemies who butchered his men, hobbled his health, and defiled his honor-and then kill them. He sets up his own spy firm and finds he's not a lone victim. The strong and independent diamond courier, Amber Chu, leads Mack on a race to free her kidnapped son and destroy their common enemy. Together they plunge through a maze of danger and intrigue to unravel a massive diamond scam that takes them from the U.S. Diamond Board, to the gemstone cutting tables of Antwerp, to the Congo-and back to the nation's capital. Maran's probe exposes the dark side of unbridled idealism at the highest levels, where the thirst for wealth and power meet.
PW says mediocre and not mesmerizing
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] HISTORY LESSONS
THE CREATION OF AMERICAN JEWISH HERITAGE
BY BETH S. WENGER (Penn)
Fall 2012, Princeton
Most American Jews today will probably tell you that Judaism is inherently democratic and that Jewish and American cultures share the same core beliefs and values. But in fact, Jewish tradition and American culture did not converge seamlessly. Rather, it was American Jews themselves who consciously created this idea of an American Jewish heritage and cemented it in the popular imagination during the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. History Lessons is the first book to examine how Jews in the United States collectively wove themselves into the narratives of the nation, and came to view the American Jewish experience as a unique chapter in Jewish history
Beth Wenger shows how American Jews celebrated civic holidays like Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July in synagogues and Jewish community organizations, and how they sought to commemorate Jewish cultural contributions and patriotism, often tracing their roots to the nation's founding. She looks at Jewish children's literature used to teach lessons about American Jewish heritage and values, which portrayed--and sometimes embellished--the accomplishments of heroic figures in American Jewish history. Wenger also traces how Jews often disagreed about how properly to represent these figures, focusing on the struggle over the legacy of the Jewish Revolutionary hero Haym Salomon.
History Lessons demonstrates how American Jews fashioned a collective heritage that fused their Jewish past with their American present and future.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Dan Gets a Minivan
Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad
By Dan Zevin
2012, Scribner
A coming-of-middle-age tale told with warmth and wit, Dan Gets a Minivan provides the one thing every parent really needs: comic relief. Whether you’re a dude, a dad, or someone who’s married to either, fasten your seat belt and prepare to crack up.
The least hip citizen of Brooklyn, Dan Zevin has a working wife, two small children, a mother who visits each week to “help,” and an obese Labrador mutt who prefers to be driven rather than walked. How he got to this point is a bit of a blur. There was a wedding, and then there was a puppy. A home was purchased in New England. A wife was promoted and transferred to New York. A town house. A new baby boy. A new baby girl. A stay-at-home dad was born. A prescription for Xanax was filled. Gray hairs appeared; gray hairs fell out. Six years passed in six seconds. And then came the minivan.
Dan Zevin, master of “Seinfeld-ian nothingness” (Time), is trying his best to make the transition from couplehood to familyhood. Acclimating to the adult-oriented lifestyle has never been his strong suit, and this slice-of-midlife story chronicles the whole hilarious journey—from instituting date night to joining Costco; from touring Disneyland to recovering from knee surgery; from losing ambition to gaining perspective. Where it’s all heading is anyone’s guess, but, for Dan, suburbia’s calling—and his minivan has GPS.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book














[book] Sons of the 613
By Michael Rubens
September 2012, Clarion
ication Date: September 11, 2012 Isaac's parents have abandoned him for a trip to Italy in the final days before his bar mitzvah. And even worse, his hotheaded older brother, Josh, has been left in charge. An undefeated wrestler, MMA fighter, and bar brawler, Josh claims to be a "Son of the 613"—a man obedient to the six hundred and thirteen commandments in the Tanakh—and he has the tattoo to prove it. When Josh declares that there is more to becoming a man than memorization, the mad "quest" begins for Isaac. From jumping off cliffs and riding motorcycles, to standing-up to school bullies and surviving the potentially fatal Final Challenge, Josh puts Isaac through a punishing gauntlet that only an older brother could dream up. But when Isaac begins to fall for Josh's girlfriend, Leslie, the challenges escalate from bad to worse in this uproarious coming-of-age comedy.
MICHAEL RUBENS was a producer for several years for the award-winning Daily Show with Jon Stewart, writing and directing field pieces with Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, Samantha Bee, Ed Helms and other Daily Show correspondents
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book












[book] The Last of the Rephaim
Conquest and Cataclysm in the Heroic Ages of Ancient Israel
BY Brian R. Doak
September 2012, Harvard Center of Hellenic Studies
The figure of the giant has haunted the literatures of the ancient Mediterranean world, from the Greek Gigantomachy and other Aegean epic literatures to the biblical contexts of the ancient Near East. In The Last of the Rephaim, Brian Doak argues that the giants of the Hebrew Bible are a politically, theologically, and historiographically generative group, and through their oversized bodies, readers gain insight into central aspects of Israel’s symbolic universe. All that is overgrown or physically monstrous represents a connection to primeval chaos, and stands as a barrier to creation and right rule. Giants thus represent chaos-fear, and their eradication is a form of chaos maintenance by both human and divine agents. Doak argues that these biblical traditions participate in a broader Mediterranean conversation regarding giants and the end of the heroic age—a conversation that inevitably draws the biblical corpus into a discussion of the function of myth and epic in the ancient world, with profound implications for the politics of monotheism and monarchy in ancient Israel.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Because Amelia Smiled
By David Ezra Stein
September 2012, Candlewick
Ages 3 and up
Just try not to smile! A positively inspiring picture book from the creator of the Caldecott Honor–winning Interrupting Chicken.
Because Amelia smiles as she skips down the street, her neighbor Mrs. Higgins smiles too, and decides to send a care package of cookies to her grandson Lionel in Mexico. The cookies give Lionel an idea, and his idea inspires a student, who in turn inspires a ballet troupe in England! And so the good feelings that started with Amelia’s smile make their way around the world, from a goodwill recital in Israel, to an impromptu rumba concert in Paris, to a long-awaited marriage proposal in Italy, to a knitted scarf for a beloved niece back in New York. Putting a unique spin on "what goes around comes around," David Ezra Stein’s charmingly illustrated story reminds us that adding even a small dose of kindness into the world is sure to spur more and more kindness, which could eventually make its way back to you!
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] ANNE FRANK UNBOUND
MEDIA, IMAGINATION, MEMORY
Edited by BKG Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Jeffrey Shandler
September 2012, Indiana University Press
As millions of people around the world who have read her diary attest, Anne Frank, the most familiar victim of the Holocaust, has a remarkable place in contemporary memory. Anne Frank Unbound looks beyond this young girl's words at the numerous ways people have engaged her life and writing. Apart from officially sanctioned works and organizations, there exists a prodigious amount of cultural production, which encompasses literature, art, music, film, television, blogs, pedagogy, scholarship, religious ritual, and comedy. Created by both artists and amateurs, these responses to Anne Frank range from veneration to irreverence. Although at times they challenge conventional perceptions of her significance, these works testify to the power of Anne Frank, the writer, and Anne Frank, the cultural phenomenon, as people worldwide forge their own connections with the diary and its author.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] MY LIFE IN JEWISH RENEWAL
A MEMOIR
BY RABBI ZALMAN M. SCHACHTER-SHALOMI
September 2012
Rowman and Littlefield
This powerful memoir chronicles the life of one of America’s most celebrated rabbis—Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi, or “Reb Zalman” as he is fondly known to friends and followers. The book traces his life from a youth in the shadow of the Nazis through the tumultuous 1960s in America to his position as a renowned religious leader today.
Often controversial for his attraction to cultural mavericks and religious rebels, Reb Zalman’s colorful lifetime includes a striking cast of characters across faith traditions, including Timothy Leary, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Thomas Merton, the Dalai Lama, and more. The book traces Reb Zalman’s work creating the vibrant Jewish Renewal movement that emphasizes spiritual experience and continues to touch Jews around the world today. Reb Zalman often illustrates his talks with anecdotes from his life, and My Life in Jewish Renewal brings together the life story of this beloved leader for the first time.
Reb Zalman often illustrates his talks with stories from his life, and My Life in Jewish Renewal brings together the complete life story of this beloved leader for the first time.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] LEAVING LONG ISLAND
AND OTHER DEPARTURES
BY FERN KUPFER
September 2012
Cullicidae
Leaving Long Island is the story of a woman whose life experience includes the loss of a child, the end of a long marriage, and the discovery of a genetic inheritance endemic to the Ashkenazi Jewish population. This is a second-half-of-life memoir, a dead-true depiction of an ordinary life of both pain and happy second chances.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] THE CREATURE FROM THE SEVENTH GRADE
BY BOB BALABAN
Illustrated by Andy Rash
September 2012
Viking
NOT SINCE MIDNIGHT COWBOY has the actor. Director, writer and triple threat, Bob Balaban, created such a work of art. Just kidding
From award-winning actor-writer-producer-director Bob Balaban comes a hilarious new series, perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid
If popularity were a score between one and ten, Charlie Drinkwater would be a zero. He's nerdy and unathletic, and to top it all off, he's suddenly morphed into a giant mutant sea creature sometime between first-period science class and third-period English.
Now Charlie's two best friends are treating him like a science project, there's a petition to get him kicked out of school, the cool kids are recruiting him for their clique, and for some reason his parents are acting like everything is perfectly normal. What's a slimy, scaly, seventh-grade creature to do?
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] EVERY DAY
BY DAVID LEVITHAN
September 2012
Knopf
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
The problem is that EVERY DAY he wakes up in a new body, skinny, fat, white, black, Asian, male, female, and must try to convince her he is he. Sort of like PRELUDE TO A KISS, NO?
With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] I’M YOUR MAN
THE LIFE OF LEONARD COHEN
BY SYLVIE SIMMONS
September 2012
ECCO
The legend behind such songs as “Suzanne,” “Bird on the Wire” and “Hallelujah” and the poet and novelist behind such groundbreaking literary works as Beautiful Losers and Book of Mercy, Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential artists of our era, a man of powerful emotion and intelligence whose work has explored the definitive issues of human life—sex, religion, power, meaning, love. Cohen is also a man of complexities and seeming contradictions: a devout Jew, who is also a sophisticate and ladies’ man, as well as an ordained Buddhist monk whose name, Jikan—“ordinary silence”—is quite the appellation for a writer and singer whose life has been anything but ordinary.
I’m Your Man is the definitive account of that extraordinary life. Acclaimed music journalist Sylvie Simmons crafts a portrait of Cohen as nuanced as the man himself, drawing on a wealth of research that includes Cohen’s personal archives and more than a hundred exclusive interviews with those closest to Cohen—from his lovers, friends, monks, professors, rabbis and fellow musicians to his muses, including Rebecca De Mornay, Marianne Ihlen, Suzanne Elrod and Suzanne Verdal—and most important, with Cohen himself, whose presence infuses these pages.
Starting in Montreal, Cohen’s birthplace, where he first found fame as a poet in the fifties, Simmons follows his trail, via London and the Greek island of Hydra, to New York in the sixties, where he launched his music career. From there she traces the arc of his prodigious achievements to his remarkable retreat in the mid-nineties—when on the cusp of marriage to a beautiful actress and enjoying the success of his best-selling album to date, he entered a monastery on a rocky mountaintop above Los Angeles—and finally to his reemergence for a sold-out world tour almost fifteen years later. Whether navigating Cohen’s journeys through the back streets of Mumbai or the countless hotel rooms where he has stayed along the way, Simmons explores with equal focus every complex, contradictory strand of Cohen’s life—from the halls of academia to the arenas of rock ’n’ roll—and presents a deeply insightful portrait of both the artist and the man whose vision, spirit, depth and talent continue to move people like no one else.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Living Jewishly
A Snapshot of a Generation
(Jewish Identity in Post-Modern Society)
By Stefanie Pervos Bregman and Stacey Ballis
September 2012
Academic Studies Press
In the Jewish communal world, engaging 20- and 30-somethings is a hot button issue: How do we get young Jews to feel connected to Israel? To affiliate with traditional Jewish institutions? To care about Jewish continuity, ritual and tradition? As a member of this elusive generation, Stefanie Bregman set out to tackle these questions and sought out to compile a collection of personal essays and memoirs from Jewish 20- and 30-somethings across the country.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] In History's Grip
Philip Roth's Newark Trilogy
(Stanford Studies in Jewish History
By Michael Kimmage
September 2012
Stanford
In History's Grip concentrates on the literature of Philip Roth, one of America's greatest writers, and in particular on American Pastoral, I Married a Communist, and The Human Stain. Each of these novels from the 1990s uses Newark, New Jersey, to explore American history and character. Each features a protagonist who grows up in and then leaves Newark, after which he is undone by a historically generated crisis. The city's twentieth-century decline from immigrant metropolis to postindustrial disaster completes the motif of history and its terrifying power over individual destiny.
In History's Grip is the first critical study to foreground the city of Newark as the source of Roth's inspiration, and to scrutinize a subject Roth was accused of avoiding as a younger writer—history. In so doing, the book brings together the two halves of Roth's decades-long career: the first featuring characters who live outside of history's grip; the second, characters entrapped in historical patterns beyond their ken and control.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] The Art of Doing Good
Where Passion Meets Action
By Charles Bronfman and Jeffrey Solomon
with John Sedgwick
September 2012, Wiley
How to turn personal passion into an organization with impact
For anyone setting out to change the world, launching a nonprofit venture can be a powerful way to enact change. Whether bringing donated eyeglasses to children who have never seen clearly, revamping inner city schools, or bringing solar cookers to refugee camps, the act of doing good can be life-changing. Yet starting a nonprofit?and running it well?can also pose challenges. The Art of Doing Good is an essential companion for anyone looking to start an organization that makes a real difference. Drawing from their own leadership roles in the nonprofit world, as well as interviews with 18 celebrated social innovators, the authors prepare would-be social entrepreneurs with guidance and real-world advice for sustaining the spirit, ambition, and ingenuity to keep their vision alive and thriving.
Features real-life stories of 18 notable social entrepreneurs and the organizations they run, including Geoffrey Canada (Harlem Children's Zone), Darell Hammond (KaBOOM!), and Michael Brown (City Year)
Reveals what particular issues nonprofit leaders can expect to face throughout the lifespan of their organization and shares strategies for meeting challenges
With thoughtful and comprehensive insight on how the most effective social ventures do well, The Art of Doing Good is essential reading for both new and experienced nonprofit leaders.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more















[book] Nora the Mind Reader
By Orit Gidali and Aya Gordon-Noy
September 2012,
Enchanted Lion Books
Ages 4 and up
One day, Nora returns home from kindergarten upset because a boy in her class told her that she has the legs of a flamingo! When her mother gives her a magic wand to read people's minds, a new and fascinating world opens for her. She discovers that people don't always say what they think or think what they say. Fully of generosity and humor, Nora the Mind Reader is a beautifully imaginative book that illustrates the potential divide between thoughts and words in a clear and thoughtful way.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more















We recall with affection two creative leaders who passed away in August 2012. They are David Rakoff and Marvin Hamlisch.
David’s most recent book was HALF EMPTY. My favorite, which included essays on growing up Jewish in Toronto and his time in Israel, was FRAUD.
A video of his last appearance on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show can be seen HERE. Marvin Hamlisch, who composed so many soundtracks, songs, and memorable scores, passed away in Los Angeles. His most famous score was for A CHORUS LINE.





There are so many recent books on terrorism and the Middle East. Did you read the fascinating account of the demise of an Defense Department Analyst in the Washington Post and how she allegedly foiled a rogue Naval operation in the Persian Gulf? Check it out here. Among the new books are:


[book] No Easy Day
The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden
By Mark Owen
With Kevin Maurer
September 04, 2012
Dutton
Mark Owen is the nom de plume of a U.S. Navy Seal, now retred, who was part of the mission to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden.
Fox News has already revealed the author’s real name, but we will keep it as printed in the book.
This is a first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist and witnessed his final moments alive, or his first moments dead in a pool of blood.
From Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group--commonly known as SEAL Team Six-- has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines.
“No Easy Day” puts readers alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the twenty-four-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives. The blow-by-blow narrative of the assault, beginning with the helicopter crash that could have ended Owen’s life straight through to the radio call confirming Bin Laden’s death, is an essential piece of modern history. In “No Easy Day,” Owen also takes readers onto the field of battle in America’s ongoing War on Terror and details the selection and training process for one of the most elite units in the military. Owen’s story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs’ quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. Owen describes many previously unreported alleged missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11.
The book sheds light on the operation and contradicts the official version of events, stating that Bin Laden was killed when he looked out of a window and was already dead when the SEALS arrived at his third floor room.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book






[book] The Paternity Test
A Novel
By Michael Lowenthal
September 2012
University of Wisconsin Press
Having a baby to save a marriage—it’s the oldest of clichés. But what if the marriage at risk is a gay one, and having a baby involves a surrogate mother?
Pat Faunce is a faltering romantic, a former poetry major who now writes textbooks. A decade into his relationship with Stu, an airline pilot from a fraught Jewish family, he fears he’s losing Stu to other men — and losing himself in their “no rules” arrangement. Stu, the son of a Holocaust survivor, wants a child to perpetuate the family name. Pat wants to raise a child, and build a family SPEARATE from his old one. Yearning for a baby and a deeper commitment, Pat pressures Stu to move from Manhattan to Cape Cod, to the cottage where Pat spent boyhood summers.
As they struggle to adjust to their new life, they enlist a surrogate: Debora, a charismatic Brazilian immigrant, married to Danny, an American carpenter. Gradually, Pat and Debora bond, drawn together by the logistics of getting pregnant and away from their spouses. Pat gets caught between loyalties — to Stu and his family (his Orthodox relative balk at the idea of surrogacy), to Debora, to his own potent desires — and wonders: is he fit to be a father?
In one of the first novels to explore the experience of gay men seeking a child through surrogacy, Michael Lowenthal writes passionately about marriages and mistakes, loyalty and betrayal, and about how our drive to create families can complicate the ones we already have. The Paternity Test is a provocative look at the new “family values.”
Michael Lowenthal is author of three previous novels: The Same Embrace, Avoidance, and Charity Girl, which was a New York Times Book Review Editors Choice title, a Washington Post Top Fiction of 2007 selection, and a Book Sense Top Twenty Pick. He is a core faculty member in Lesley University's MFA program in creative writing. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book




[book] Spies Against Armageddon
Inside Israel's Secret Wars
A best selling paperback
By Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman (A
July 7, 2012
Levant
SPIES AGAINST ARMAGEDDON is a powerful, vivid history of Israel's intelligence services -- led by the respected and feared Mossad -- from the country's independence in 1948, right up to the current Middle East crises. Chapter 1 is titled "Stopping Iran," focused on nuclear threats, and then readers are taken through the entire history. The authors wrote a national best seller, EVERY SPY A PRINCE, about Israeli intelligence, in 1990. This non-fiction -- which reads like a thriller -- brings us to the dangerous challenges and innovative solutions of today. Best-selling spy novelist Daniel Silva writes: "Buyer beware: Once you crack the cover of Spies Against Armageddon, you won't be able to put it down. It is much more than simply the most authoritative book ever written about Israeli intelligence. It is storytelling and drama of the highest order."

In July 2012, The New York Times wrote, “Tehran Abuzz as Book Says Israel Killed 5 Scientists” The latest literary sensation in Tehran is a thriller about Iran’s nuclear program that is laden with espionage, cunning and political murder. But its authors are not former Iranian intelligence operatives or Iranian military fiction writers. They are not the Iranian equivalent of Tom Clancy. The book, “Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars,” has set off a buzz among both government and opposition news media inside Iran for the assertion by its authors — Yossi Melman, widely regarded as a leading Israeli military and intelligence journalist, and Dan Raviv, a CBS national political correspondent — that five Iranian nuclear scientists killed in the past five years were all assassinated by operatives, most likely of Persian Jewish heritage, employed by Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency. Iranian news sources view the book, published Monday in English by Levant Books, a small company in Sea Cliff, N.Y., as an Israeli-written work exposing something the Israeli authorities do not want the world to know. “Spies Against Armageddon” offers a broad overview of a widely reported Israeli campaign to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, which Israeli authorities contend is a guise for developing nuclear weapons, an accusation the Iranians strenuously deny. But the book’s assertion that the assassins were all Mossad agents who used agency safe houses maintained inside Iran since the era of the shah is new. Iran’s state-financed Press TV focused in a Persian-language article on the book’s assertion that a Mossad unit known as Kidon — meaning Tip of the Spear in Hebrew, and responsible for assassinations and kidnapping — sent operatives to Tehran to carry out the assassinations over the past five years. The Press TV report focused on the operatives’ nationality, pointing out that almost all the assassins employed by Kidon were either Iranian nationals or had dual citizenship. The implication was that they were citizens of Iran and Israel. Most people who hold such citizenship are of Iranian Jewish extraction. A Web site whose Persian name translates to Soft War, which is dedicated to documenting all forms of “psychological operations and soft war” against Iran, ridicules the book’s assertions as “the biggest joke of the century,” specifically the claim that Mossad operatives are skilled enough to have sneaked inside Iran; placed sophisticated, magnetized bombs on the vehicles of four of the five scientists; managed to flood the house of a fifth with carbon monoxide; and escaped safely to Tel Aviv. There are no plans to translate the book into Persian, but interest has spread across the political spectrum, as Iranian reformist newspapers have rushed to summarize and translate its contents. Political blogs on both the left and the right have written analyses and commentary. The authors base their conclusions on reporting of public interviews, statements by Israeli leaders, leaked State Department cables and off-the-record meetings between the authors and Israeli officials. But they do not cite sources for their assertions about the assassins’ nationalities or religious beliefs, which have gathered the greatest reaction in the Iranian press, or their statement that the assassinations were “blue and white,” meaning carried out by Israeli agents from start to finish. Mr. Raviv refers to the book’s style as “synthesis,” assertions stated as facts, without citing interviews, quotations or even anonymous sources. The question of the assassins’ nationalities has been of special interest in Iran, where a suspect in one of the attacks was hanged last month. Officials announced the arrest last month of a group of suspects, describing them as agents of what Iran calls the Zionist regime without identifying their nationalities. Though the book is unlikely to end speculation about who is responsible for the covert assassination campaign against Iran’s nuclear scientists, its assertions correspond with a longstanding assumption among many security experts in Washington’s policy circles.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book





[book] Scattered
A Mostly True Memoir
By Justine Hope Blau
September 2012
Whistle
Whisked from a child's cozy life in Queens to the streets of Manhattan, clutching the hand of her intense and troubled mother, Justine begins a journey over which she has little control. Along with her two adored older brothers, she finds herself wrapped in a fantasy-fueled odyssey engineered by her mother, spending nights in cheap hotels they can't afford, or park benches and subway trains, always on the lookout for food. Meanwhile, her father looms in the distance with his new family, ineffectual--until at long last he takes life-altering action. Gracefully rendered and by turns tender and tough, Scattered haunts us with its truth, humor and keen sensibility?while never letting us forget that it is love that draws us all back.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] MAY WE BE FORGIVEN
A NOVEL

By A. M. Homes
September 2012
Viking
A darkly comic novel of twenty-first-century domestic life and the possibility of personal transformation
Harold Silver has spent a lifetime watching his younger brother, George, a taller, smarter, and more successful high-flying TV executive, acquire a covetable wife, two kids, and a beautiful home in the suburbs of New York City. But Harry, a historian and Nixon scholar, also knows George has a murderous temper, and when George loses control the result is an act of violence so shocking that both brothers are hurled into entirely new lives in which they both must seek absolution. Harry finds himself suddenly playing parent to his brother’s two adolescent children, tumbling down the rabbit hole of Internet sex, dealing with aging parents who move through time like travelers on a fantastic voyage. As Harry builds a twenty-first-century family created by choice rather than biology, we become all the more aware of the ways in which our history, both personal and political, can become our destiny and either compel us to repeat our errors or be the catalyst for change.
May We Be Forgiven is an unnerving, funny tale of unexpected intimacies and of how one deeply fractured family might begin to put itself back together.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book














OCTOBER 2012 BOOKS


A darling of the Literati:
Loss, Disappointment. A perfect read for the start of 2013
Edie Edie Edie, she dared not look in the mirror. Her lament was a familiar one. Bewailing what might have been, what destiny was, how one squandered their skills. Are the solutions to the disappointments in life more painful than the disappojntment...
[book] THE MIDDLESTEINS
A NOVEL
BY JAMI ATTENBERG
October 2012, Grand Central Publishing
For more than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems: Edie's enormous girth. She's obsessed with food--thinking about it, eating it--and if she doesn't stop, she won't have much longer to live.
Even as a child, she was solid and always wanted to be carried around by her father and mother. She was ike someone's gassy uncle after a meal. Yes, she is a lawyer, but do we have to sue her to get her to keep her diabetes and weight in check?
When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control. Robin, their schoolteacher daughter, is determined that her father pay for leaving Edie. Benny, an easy-going, pot-smoking family man, just wants to smooth things over. And Rachelle-- a whippet thin perfectionist-- is intent on saving her mother-in-law's life, but this task proves even bigger than planning her twin children's spectacular b'nai mitzvot party. Through it all, they wonder: do Edie's devastating choices rest on her shoulders alone, or are others at fault, too?
With pitch-perfect prose, huge compassion, and sly humor, Jami Attenberg has given us an epic story of marriage, family, and obsession. The Middlesteins explores the hopes and heartbreaks of new and old love, the yearnings of Midwestern America, and our devastating, fascinating preoccupation with food.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] the signal and the noise
why so many predictions fail – but some don’t
by nate silver
October 2012, Penguin
Silver once responded to the question "What is your favorite body part (on yourself) and why?" with "Nose. I'm half Jewish and it strikes a nice Jewish, Gentile balance."
When not contemplating his nose, Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, predicted the 2012 presidential race for 49 of 50 states, and became a national sensation as a blogger — all by the time he was thirty years old. In 2012, at the age of 34, this East Lansing Michigan native son works with The New York Times to publish FiveThirtyEight.com
Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.
In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science.
Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise.
With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] The New Tycoons
Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity
Industry That Owns Everything
By Jason Kelly
Fall 2012, Wiley Bloomberg Press
What do Dunkin' Donuts, J. Crew, Toys "R" Us, and Burger King have in common? They are all currently or just recently were owned, operated, and controlled by private equity firms. The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry That Owns Everything takes the reader behind the scenes of these firms: their famous billionaire founders, the overlapping stories of their creation and evolution, and the outsized ambitions that led a group of clever bankers from small shops operating in a corner of Wall Street into powerhouse titans of capital. This is the story of the money and the men who handle it.
Go inside the private worlds of founders Henry Kravis, Steve Schwarzman, David Bonderman, and more in The New Tycoons, and discover how these men have transformed the industry and built the some of the most powerful and most secretive houses of money in the world.
With numerous private equity firms going public for the first time, learn how these firms operate, where their money comes from and where it goes, and how every day millions of customers, employees, and retirees play a role in that complex tangle of money. Author Jason Kelly tells the story of how thirty some years ago a group of colleagues with $120,000 of their own savings founded what would become one of the largest private equity shops in the world, completing the biggest buyout the world has ever seen, and making them all billionaires in the process. Presents a never-before-seen look inside a secretive and powerful world on the verge of complete transformation as the industry and its leaders gain public profiles, scrutiny, and political positions. Analyzing the founders and the firms at a crucial moment, when they've elevated themselves beyond their already lofty ambitions into the world of public opinion and valuation, New Tycoons looks at one of the most important, yet least examined, trillion-dollar corners of the global economy and what it portends for these new tycoons.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Rookie Yearbook One
By Tavi Gevinson
Fall 2012,
Drawn and Quarterly
Tavi Gevinson is the editor in chief of Rookie, the website for teenage girls
Tavi started her personal blog, Style Rookie thestylerookie.com, in 2008, when she was eleven years old.
It was a place where, from the confines of her bedroom in the suburbs, she could write about personal style and chronicle the development of her own. Within two years, the blog was averaging fifty thousand hits per day. Soon fashion designers were flying her around the world to attend and write about fashion shows, and to be a guest of honor at their parties.
Soon Tavi’s interests grew beyond fashion, into culture and art and, especially, feminism. In September 2011, when she was fifteen, she launched Rookie (http://rookiemag.com), a website for girls like her: teenagers who are interested in fashion and beauty but also in dissecting the culture around them through a uniquely teen-girl lens. Rookie broke one million page views within its first six days. Rookie Yearbook One collects articles, interviews, photo editorials, and illustrations from the highly praised and hugely popular online magazine.
In its first year, Rookie has established a large inclusive international community of avid readers. In addition to its fifty-plus regular writers, photographers, and illustrators (many of whom are teenage girls themselves), Rookie’s contributors and interviewees have included prominent makers of popular culture such as Lena Dunham, Miranda July, Joss Whedon, Jon Hamm, Zooey Deschanel, David Sedaris, Elle Fanning, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, John Waters, Chloe Sevigny, Liz Phair, Dan Savage, JD Samson, Ira Glass, Aubrey Plaza, Daniel Clowes, Carrie Brownstein, Paul Feig, Bethany Cosentino, Kimya Dawson, Fred Armisen, and Winnie Holzman.
As a young teenager, Gevinson couldn’t find what she was looking for in a teen magazine; Rookie is the one she created herself to fill that void. Her coolheaded intellect shines in Rookie, arguably the most intelligent magazine ever made for a teen-girl audience. Gevinson writes with a humble but keen authority on such serious topics as body image, self-esteem, and first encounters with street harassment. She’s equally deft at doling out useful advice, such as how to do a two-minute beehive, or how to deliver an effective bitchface. Rookie’s passionate staffers and faithful readers have helped make Rookie the strong community that it is.
To date, Gevinson has written for Harper’s Bazaar, Jezebel, Lula, and Pop, and is a contributing editor for Garage magazine. She has been profiled in The New York Times and The New Yorker, and has been on the cover of Pop, L’Officiel, Zeit Magazin, and Bust. As a speaker, she has made numerous presentations at venues such as IdeaCity, TEDxTeen, L2 Forum, and the Economist World in 2012 Festival. Last year Lady Gaga called her “the future of journalism.”
Oh goodie
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Isaac's Army
A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland
By Matthew Brzezinski
October 2012, Random House
Starting as early as 1939, disparate Jewish underground movements coalesced around the shared goal of liberating Poland from Nazi occupation. For the next six years, separately and in concert, they waged a heroic war of resistance against Hitler’s war machine that culminated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Isaac’s Army, Matthew Brzezinski delivers the first-ever comprehensive narrative account of that struggle, following a group of dedicated young Jews—some barely out of their teens—whose individual acts of defiance helped rewrite the ending of World War II.
Based on first-person accounts from diaries, interviews, and surviving relatives, Isaac’s Army chronicles the extraordinary triumphs and devastating setbacks that befell the Jewish underground from its earliest acts of defiance in 1939 to the exodus to Palestine in 1946. This is the remarkable true story of the Jewish resistance from the perspective of those who led it: Isaac Zuckerman, the confident and charismatic twenty-four-year-old founder of the Jewish Fighting Organization; Simha Ratheiser, Isaac’s fifteen-year-old bodyguard, whose boyish good looks and seeming immunity to danger made him an ideal courier; and Zivia Lubetkin, the warrior queen of the underground who, upon hearing the first intimations of the Holocaust, declared: “We are going to defend ourselves.” Joined by allies on the left and right, they survived Gestapo torture chambers, smuggled arms, ran covert printing presses, opened illegal schools, robbed banks, executed collaborators, and fought in the two largest rebellions of the war.
Hunted by the Germans and bedeviled by the “Greasers”—roving bands of blackmailers who routinely turned in resistance fighters for profit—the movement was chronically short on firepower but long on ingenuity. Its members hatched plots in dank basements, never more than a door knock away from summary execution, and slogged through fetid sewers to escape the burning Ghetto to the forests surrounding the city. And after the initial uprising was ruthlessly put down by the SS, they gambled everything on a bold plan for a citywide revolt—of both Jews and Gentiles—that could end only in victory or total destruction. The money they raised helped thousands hide when the Ghetto was liquidated. The documents they forged offered lifelines to families desperate to escape the horror of the Holocaust. And when the war was over, they helped found the state of Israel.
A story of secret alliances, internal rivalries, and undying commitment to a cause, Isaac’s Army is history at its most heart-wrenching. Driven by an unforgettable cast of characters, it’s a true-life tale with the pulse of a great novel, and a celebration of the indomitable spirit of resistance.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book















[book] Out of It
A Novel
By Selma Dabbagh
2012, Bloomsbury
Gaza is being bombed. Rashid - a young, clever Palestinian - has been smoking grass on the roof watching it happen when he gets the e-mail he has been desperate for: he's won a scholarship to London. Rashid's sister, Iman, frustrated by the atrocities and inaction around her, is beginning to take an interest in an Islamic resistance group. Sabri, their intellectual older brother, is working on a history of Palestine from his wheelchair while their mother pickles vegetables and feuds with the neighbors. Out of It follows the lives of Rashid and Iman as they try to forge places for themselves in the midst of occupation, the growing divide between Palestinian factions, and the rise of fundamentalism. Written with extraordinary humanity and humor, and moving between Gaza, London and the Gulf, this book helps to re-define Palestine and its people.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









[book] The Life of Gluckel of Hameln
A Memoir
By Gluckel. Translated by Beth-Zion Abrahams
October 2012, JPS
Glückel of Hameln was a marvel of her time: an accomplished businesswoman as well as the mother of twelve. Devastated by the death of her beloved husband in 1689, she proceeded to write the riveting memoir that would become a timeless classic, revealing much about Jewish life in seventeenth-century Germany.
This volume also features an introduction by translator Beth-Zion Abrahams that provides a fuller background of the author's life and tells how Glückel came to write the memoir that would provide insight for centuries to come into Jewish, European, and women’s history.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] JEWISH FAIRY TALE FEASTS
A LITERARY COOKBOOK
Tales retold by Jane Yolen
Recipes by Heidi E.Y. Stemple Illust by Sima Elizabeth Shefrin
Fall 2012, Interlink
Yolen, a master storyteller, and her daughter combine stories with recipes.
Filled with fun facts, anecdotes, stories ,and recipes.

Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] JACOB
UNEXPECTED PATRIARCH (Jewish Lives series)
BY YAIR ZAKOVITCH (Hebrew University)
Translated by Valerie Zakovitch
October 2012, Yale
A powerful hero of the Bible, Jacob is also one of its most complex figures. Bible stories recounting his life often expose his deception, lies, and greed—then, puzzlingly, attempt to justify them. In this book, eminent biblical scholar Yair Zakovitch presents a complete view of the patriarch, first examining Jacob and his life story as presented in the Bible, then also reconstructing the stories that the Bible writers suppressed—tales that were well-known, perhaps, but incompatible with the image of Jacob they wanted to promote. Through a work of extraordinary “literary archaeology,” Zakovitch explores the recesses of literary history, reaching back even to the stage of oral storytelling, to identify sources of Jacob's story that preceded the work of the Genesis writers.
The biblical writers were skilled mosaic-makers, Zakovitch shows, and their achievement was to reshape diverse pre-biblical representations of Jacob in support of their emerging new religion and identity. As the author follows Jacob in his wanderings and revelations, his successes, disgraces, and disappointments, he also considers the religious and political environment in which the Bible was written, offering a powerful explication of early Judaism.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Rogue Rabbi
A Spiritual Quest-from Seminary to Ashram and Beyond
by Rabbi Jerry Steinberg
October 2012, ecw
The story of exploration by Ontario based Jerry Steinberg, rabbi, author, poet, and therapist.
The fascinating story of a man whose exploration in spiritual existence has not been limited to his life as a rabbi, this autobiography shares Jerry Steinberg’s experience down a path less traveled. Revealing an understanding of God that goes beyond the conventional, the memoir contributes to a different perception of the world today—an open-eyed and open-minded view that will resonate with readers of any religious or spiritual background. After traveling to India and investigating the Christian faith, Jerry went into medical school and narrowed his focus to psychotherapy—working with past-life regression, dreams, and psychogenic illness. For two years, he lived in an Ashram. He also became a rabbi; but Jerry never ceased to explore all aspects of faith, and he took up a specialization in Kabbalah, a discipline of Jewish mysticism.
Jerry’s self-proclaimed focus has been to seek the essence of spirituality through the interface between rationalism and mysticism, and between religion and sexuality. The story of this real-life spiritual explorer will both inspire and instruct through his universally peaceful and accepting example.
He leads Temple B’nai Shalom V’Tikvah in Ajax, Ontario, a member of the Reform movement of synagogues.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Zayde Comes to Live
By Sheri Sinykin and Kristina Swarner
October 2012, Peachtree
Rachel's grandfather, her zayde, has come to live with her family. This is because he is dying, she realizes. Rachel can't help wondering where he will go when he dies. She asks her friends. She asks her rabbi. She asks Zayde. No one has the perfect answer, but eventually Rachel finds a way to make peace with the fact of her grandfather's passing. She learns to gather all the moments she can, and to honor his life one small memory at a time. In this sensitive portrait of a young girl and her grandfather, author Sheri Sinykin approaches the issue of death from a distinctly Jewish perspective while demonstrating respect for all beliefs. Kristina Swarner's lush illustrations add layers of depth and wonder to the story.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] INHERITING ABRAHAM
THE LEGACY OF THE PATRIARCH in JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM
BY JON D. LEVENSON (Harvard Divinity School Professor of Jewish Studies)
October 2012, Princeton
Jews, Christians, and Muslims supposedly share a common religious heritage in the patriarch Abraham, and the idea that he should serve only as a source of unity among the three traditions has become widespread in both scholarly and popular circles. Inheriting Abraham boldly challenges this view, demonstrating Abraham's distinctive role in each tradition, while delineating the points of connection as well.
In this sweeping and provocative book, Jon Levenson subjects the powerful story in Genesis of Abraham's calling, his experience in Canaan and Egypt, and his near-sacrifice of his beloved son Isaac to a careful literary and theological analysis. But Levenson also explores how Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have given distinctive interpretations to these narratives, often reimagining Abraham and his life in mutually exclusive ways. Historically, the three traditions have differed sharply over what Abraham's life foreshadows, how the Abrahamic community is constituted and sustained, and what practices the patriarch's example authorizes. In these disputes, Levenson finds illuminating signs of profound and enduring theological divergences alongside the commonalities.
A stunning achievement that is certain to provoke debate, Inheriting Abraham traces how each community has come to revere Abraham as an exemplar of its own distinctive spiritual teachings and practices. This probing and compelling book also reveals how the increasingly conventional notion of the three equally "Abrahamic" religions derives from a dangerous misunderstanding of key biblical and Qur'anic texts, fails to do full justice to any of the traditions, and is often biased against Judaism in subtle and pernicious ways.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Superman Is Jewish?
How Comic Book Superheroes Came to Serve Truth, Justice, and the Jewish-American Way
By Harry Brod
Fall 2012, Free Press
Many of us know that the superheroes at the heart of the American comic book industry were created by Jews. But we’d be surprised to learn how much these beloved characters were shaped by the cultural and religious traditions of their makers. Superman Is Jewish? follows the “people of the book” as they become the people of the comic book. Harry Brod reveals the links between Jews and superheroes in a penetrating investigation of iconic comic book figures.
With great wit and compelling arguments, Brod situates superheroes within the course of Jewish- American history: they are aliens in a foreign land, like Superman; figures plagued by guilt for not having saved their families, like Spider-Man; outsiders persecuted for being different, like the X-Men; nice, smart people afraid that nobody will like them when they’re angry, like the Hulk. Brod blends humor with sharp observation as he considers the overt and discreet Jewish characteristics of these well-known figures and explores how their creators—including Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby— integrated their Jewish identities and their creativity.
Brod makes a strong case that these pioneering Jews created New World superheroes using models from Old World traditions. He demonstrates how contemporary characters were inspired by the golem, the mystically created artificial superhuman of Jewish lore. And before Superman was first drawn by Joe Shuster, there were those Jews flying through the air drawn by Marc Chagall. As poignant as it is fascinating, this lively guided tour travels from the Passover Haggadah’s exciting action scenes of Moses’s superpowers through the Yiddish humor of Mad to two Pulitzer Prizes awarded in one decade to Jewish comic book guys Art Spiegelman and Michael Chabon.
Superman Is Jewish? explores the deeper story of how an immigrant group can use popular entertainment media to influence the larger culture and in the process see itself in new, more empowering ways. Not just for Jewish readers or comic book fans, Superman Is Jewish? is a story of America, and is as poignant as it is fascinating.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] RETHINKING THE OTHER IN ANTIQUITY
By Erich S. Gruen
October 2012, Princeton
Prevalent among classicists today is the notion that Greeks, Romans, and Jews enhanced their own self-perception by contrasting themselves with the so-called Other--Egyptians, Phoenicians, Ethiopians, Gauls, and other foreigners--frequently through hostile stereotypes, distortions, and caricature. In this provocative book, Erich Gruen demonstrates how the ancients found connections rather than contrasts, how they expressed admiration for the achievements and principles of other societies, and how they discerned--and even invented--kinship relations and shared roots with diverse peoples. Gruen shows how the ancients incorporated the traditions of foreign nations, and imagined blood ties and associations with distant cultures through myth, legend, and fictive histories. He looks at a host of creative tales, including those describing the founding of Thebes by the Phoenician Cadmus, Rome's embrace of Trojan and Arcadian origins, and Abraham as ancestor to the Spartans. Gruen gives in-depth readings of major texts by Aeschylus, Herodotus, Xenophon, Plutarch, Julius Caesar, Tacitus, and others, in addition to portions of the Hebrew Bible, revealing how they offer richly nuanced portraits of the alien that go well beyond stereotypes and caricature. Providing extraordinary insight into the ancient world, this controversial book explores how ancient attitudes toward the Other often expressed mutuality and connection, and not simply contrast and alienation.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] The Book of Job
When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person
By Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
October 2012, Schocken
From one of our most trusted spiritual advisers, a thoughtful, illuminating guide to that most fascinating of biblical texts, the book of Job, and what it can teach us about living in a troubled world—by far, Harold S. Kushner's most important and commercial book since When Bad Things Happen To Good People.
The story of Job is one of unjust things happening to a good man. Yet after losing everything, Job—though confused, angry, and questioning God—refuses to reject his faith, although he challenges some central aspects of it, and is rewarded with abundant good fortune. Rabbi Kushner examines the questions raised by Job's experience, questions that have challenged wisdom-seekers and worshippers for centuries. What kind of God permits such bad things to happen to good people? Why does He test his followers? Can a deeply good God be all-powerful? Rooted in the text, the critical tradition that surrounds it, and his own profoundly moral thinking, Kushner's study gives us the book of Job as a lodestone for our time, teaching us about what can and cannot be controlled, about the power of faith when all seems dark, and about our ability to find God where we look for him.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] The Zohar
Pritzker Edition
Volume Seven
Edited by Daniel Matt
October 2012, Stanford University Press
Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Radiance) has amazed readers ever since it emerged in medieval Spain over seven hundred years ago. Written in lyrical Aramaic, this masterpiece of Kabbalah exceeds the dimensions of a normal book; it is virtually a body of mystical literature, comprising over twenty discrete sections. The bulk of the Zohar consists of a mystical interpretation of the Torah, from Genesis through Deuteronomy.
This seventh volume of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition consists of commentary on more than half the book of Leviticus. How does the Zohar deal with a biblical text devoted largely to animal sacrifices, cereal offerings, and priestly ritual? Here these ancient laws and procedures are spiritualized, transformed into symbols of God's inner life, now that both the Desert Tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem no longer exist. For example, the ascent offering, which was totally consumed on the altar, is known in Hebrew as olah (literally, "that which ascends"). In the Zohar, this symbolizes Shekhinah, last of the ten sefirot (divine potencies), who ascends to unite with Her beloved, the blessed Holy One.
The biblical narrative describes how two of Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, offered alien fire before YHVH and were immediately consumed in a divine blaze. Rabbinic tradition suggested various reasons why they were killed: they lacked the proper priestly garments, or had not washed their hands and feet, or were drunk, or were not married. For the Zohar, marriage enables one to imitate the divine union of male and female energies, and to stimulate that union above. By not marrying, Nadab and Abihu remained incomplete and unfulfilled. According to a related Zoharic passage, their ritual act failed because in their contemplation of the divine qualities they did not include Shekhinah. Without Her, God is incomplete.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book
See also
[book] The Zohar
Pritzker Edition
Volume Six
Edited by Daniel Matt
2011, Stanford University Press



















[book] Economic Fables
By Ariel Rubinstein
2012, OpenBookPublishers.com
"I had the good fortune to grow up in a wonderful area of Jerusalem, surrounded by a diverse range of people: Rabbi Meizel, the communist Sala Marcel, my widowed Aunt Hannah, and the intellectual Yaacovson. As far as I'm concerned, the opinion of such people is just as authoritative for making social and economic decisions as the opinion of an expert using a model." Part memoir, part crash-course in economic theory, this deeply engaging book by one of the world's foremost economists looks at economic ideas through a personal lens. Together with an introduction to some of the central concepts in modern economic thought, Ariel Rubinstein offers some powerful and entertaining reflections on his childhood, family and career. In doing so, he challenges many of the central tenets of game theory, and sheds light on the role economics can play in society at large. Economic Fables is as thought-provoking for seasoned economists as it is enlightening for newcomers to the field.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] PITCHING IN THE PROMISED LAND
A STORY OF THE FIRST AND ONLY SEASON IN THE ISRAEL BASEBALL LEAGUE
BY ARRON PRIBBLE
September 2012, Nebraska Paperback version
It was the first (and last) season of professional baseball in Israel. Aaron Pribble, twenty-seven, had been out of Minor League Baseball for three years while he pursued a career in education when, at his coach’s suggestion, he tried out for the newly formed Israel Baseball League (IBL). Of Jewish descent and a former pro, Pribble was the ideal candidate for the upstart league. In many ways the league resembled the ultimate baseball fantasy camp with its unforgettable cast of characters: the DJ/street artist third baseman from the Bronx, the wildman catcher from Australia, the journeymen Dominicans who were much older than they claimed to be, and seventy-one-year-old Sandy Koufax, drafted in a symbolic gesture as the last player.
After falling in love with a beautiful Yemenite Jew, enduring an alleged terrorist attack on opening day, witnessing a career-ending brain injury, participating in a strike, and venturing into the West Bank despite being strongly advised against it, Pribble must decide whether to forgo a teaching career in order to become the first player from the IBL to sign a pro contract in the United States. His is a story of coming of age in one short season in the throes of romance, Middle Eastern politics, and the dreams of America’s pastime far, far afield from home.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] How to Spell Chanukah...
And Other Holiday Dilemmas:
18 Writers Celebrate 8 Nights of Lights
By Emily Franklin
Paperback holiday anthology
September 2012, Algonquin paperbacks
Ring in the holiday with eighteen writers who extol, excoriate, and expand our understanding of this most merry of Jewish festivals as they offer up funny, irreverent, and, yes, even nostalgic takes on a holiday that holds a special place in Jewish hearts . . . and stomachs. Pieces by Jonathan Tropper, Jennifer Gilmore, Steve Almond, Joanna Smith Rakoff, Adam Langer, and others address pressing issues: what is the weight gain associated with eating 432 latkes in eight nights? Offer joyous gratitude: “What a holiday! No pestilence, no slavery, no locusts, no cattle disease, or atonement. Thank God.” And afford tender truths: “You are reminded of your real gifts: a family you get to come home to.” Whether your family tradition included a Christmas tree or a Chanukah bush, whether the fights among your siblings rivaled the battles of the Maccabees, or even if you haven’t a clue who the Maccabees were, this little book illustrates the joys, frustrations, and small miracles of the season.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] HEZBOLLAH
A HISTORY OF THE PARTY OF GOD
BY DOMINIQUE AVON AND ANAIS-TRISSA KHATCHADOURIAN
Translated by Jane Marie Todd
September 2012, Harvard
For thirty years, Hezbollah has played a pivotal role in Lebanese and global politics. That visibility has invited Hezbollah’s lionization and vilification by outside observers, and at the same time has prevented a clear-eyed view of Hezbollah’s place in the history of the Middle East and its future course of action. Dominique Avon and Anaïs-Trissa Khatchadourian provide here a nonpartisan account which offers insights into Hezbollah that Western media have missed or misunderstood. Now part of the Lebanese government, Hezbollah nevertheless remains in tension with both the transnational Shiite community and a religiously diverse Lebanon. Calling for an Islamic regime would risk losing critical allies at home, but at the same time Hezbollah’s leaders cannot say that a liberal regime is the solution for the future. Consequently, they use the ambiguous expression “civil but believer state.” What happens when an organization founded as a voice of “revolution” and then “resistance” occupies a position of power, yet witnesses the collapse of its close ally, Syria? How will Hezbollah’s voice evolve as the party struggles to reconcile its regional obligations with its religious beliefs? The authors’ analyses of these key questions—buttressed by their clear English translations of foundational documents, including Hezbollah’s open letter of 1985 and its 2009 charter, and an in-depth glossary of key theological and political terms used by the party’s leaders—make Hezbollah an invaluable resource for all readers interested in the future of this volatile force.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] The People of Forever Are Not Afraid
A Novel
By Shani Boianjiu
September 2012, Hogarth (Crown)
Shani Boianjiu's stunning debut gives us a world where girls in the Israeli Defense Forces wait, endlessly--for womanhood, orders, war, peace. Yael trains marksmen and flirts with boys. Avishag stands guard, watching refugees throw themselves at barbed-wire fences. Lea, posted at a checkpoint, imagines stories behind the familiar faces that pass by her day after day. They gossip about boys and whisper of an ever more violent world just beyond view.
They drill, constantly, for a moment that may never come.
They live inside that single, intense second just before danger erupts. And they find that their dreams have stranger repercussions than they have been trained to imagine.
"Shani Boianjiu has found a way to expose the effects of war and national doctrine on the lives of young Israelis. So her subject is serious, but lest I make her work sound in any way heavy let me point out how funny she is, how disarming and full of life. Even when she is writing about death, Boianjiu is more full of life than any young writer I've come across in a long time." – Nicole Krauss
Shani Boianjiu was born in Jerusalem in 1987, from an Iraqi and Romanian background. She was raised in a small town on the Lebanese border. At the age of 18, she entered the Israeli Defense Forces and served for two years. The People of Forever Are Not Afraid is her first book. The author lives in Israel.
The book contains a sandwich shop called WE DON’T JUDGE, where you can get anything you want and they don’t judge. She came up with this idea after living in Tokyo, where you really can’t order anything unqique without being judged. In Israel, she says, there are shops where you can order items and they will accommodate your most miniscule request.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more














[book] VAGINA
A NEW BIOGRAPHY
BY NAOMI WOLF
September 2012, ecco
As the Jewish Women's Archive wrote, the vagina is the new black
An astonishing work of cutting-edge science and cultural history that radically reframes how we understand the vagina—and consequently, how we understand women—from one of our most respected cultural critics and thinkers, Naomi Wolf, author of the modern classic The Beauty Myth.
When an unexpected medical crisis sends Naomi Wolf on a deeply personal journey to tease out the intersections between sexuality and creativity, she discovers, much to her own astonishment, an increasing body of scientific evidence that suggests that the vagina is not merely flesh, but an intrinsic component of the female brain—and thus has a fundamental connection to female consciousness itself. Without her vagina power, she was unable to create.
Utterly enthralling and totally fascinating, Vagina: A New Biography draws on this set of insights about "the mind-vagina connection" to reveal new information about what women really need, and considers what a sexual relationship—and a relationship to the self—transformed by these insights could look like. Exhilarating and groundbreaking, Vagina: A New Biography combines rigorous science, explained for lay readers, with cultural history and deeply personal considerations of the role of female desire in female identity, creativity, and confidence, from interviewees of all walks of life. Heralded by Publishers Weekly as one of the best science books of the year, it is a provocative and deeply engaging book that elucidates the ties between a woman's experience of her vagina and her sense of self; her impulses, dreams, and courage; and her role in love and in society in completely new and revelatory ways sure to provoke impassioned conversation.
A brilliant and nuanced synthesis of physiology, history, and cultural criticism, Vagina: A New Biography explores the physical, political, and spiritual implications of this startling series of new scientific breakthroughs for women and for society as a whole, from a writer whose conviction and keen intelligence have propelled her works to the tops of bestseller lists, and firmly into the realms of modern classics.
See also the essay on Why Nice Jewish Girls Have Vibrators at http://jezebel.com/5926836/even-nice-jewish-girls-have-vibrators
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] CITY OF PROMISE A HISTORY OF THE JEWISH OF NEW YORK
Edited with a foreword by Deborah Dash Moore
3 Volume Boxed Set, 1108 pages
September 2012,
NYU Press
New York Jews, so visible and integral to the culture, economy and politics of America’s greatest city, has eluded the grasp of historians for decades. Surprisingly, no comprehensive history of New York Jews has ever been written. City of Promises: The History of the Jews in New York, a three volume set of original research, pioneers a path-breaking interpretation of a Jewish urban community at once the largest in Jewish history and most important in the modern world.
Volume I, Haven of Liberty, by historian Howard Rock, chronicles the arrival of the first Jews to New York (then New Amsterdam) in 1654and highlights their political and economic challenges. Overcoming significant barriers, colonial and republican Jews in New York laid the foundations for the development of a thriving community.
Volume II, Emerging Metropolis, written by Annie Polland and Daniel Soyer, describes New York’s transformation into a Jewish city. Focusing on the urban Jewish built environment—its tenements and banks, synagogues and shops, department stores and settlement houses—it conveys the extraordinary complexity of Jewish immigrant society.
Volume III, Jews in Gotham, by historian Jeffrey S.Gurock, highlights neighborhood life as the city’s distinctive feature. New York retained its preeminence as the capital of American Jews because of deep roots in local worlds that supported vigorous political, religious, and economic diversity.
Each volume includes a “visual essay” by art historian Diana Linden interpreting aspects of life for New York’s Jews from their arrival until today. These illustrated sections, many in color, illuminate Jewish material culture and feature reproductions of early colonial portraits, art, architecture, as well as everyday culture and community. Overseen by noted scholar Deborah Dash Moore, City of Promises offers the largest Jewish city in the world, in the United States, and in Jewish history its first comprehensive account.Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] Our Harsh Logic:
Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010
By “Breaking the Silence”
September 2012, Metropolitan Books
Israeli soldiers speak out for the first time about the truth of the Palestinian occupation, in "one of the most important books on Israel/Palestine in this generation" (The New York Review of Books)
The very name of the Israel Defense Forces—which many Israelis speak of as "the most moral army in the world"—suggests that its primary mission is the defense of the country's territory. Indeed, both internationally and within Israel, support for the occupation of Palestinian territory rests on the belief that the army's actions and presence in the West Bank and Gaza are essentially defensive and responsive, aimed at protecting the country from terror.
But Israeli soldiers themselves tell a profoundly different story. In this landmark work, which includes hundreds of soldiers' testimonies collected over a decade, what emerges is a broad policy that is anything but defensive. In their own words, the soldiers reveal in human and vivid detail how the key planks of the army's ostensibly protective program—"prevention of terror," "separation of populations," "preservation of the fabric of life," and "law enforcement"—have in fact served to accelerate acquisition of Palestinian land, cripple all normal political and social life, and ultimately thwart the possibility of independence.
The many soldiers who have spoken out have taken aim at a silence of complicity, both within Israel and in the wider world, that perpetuates the justification for occupation. In the process, they have created a gripping and immediate record of oppression. Powerful and incontrovertible, Our Harsh Logic is a supremely significant contribution to one of the world's most vexed conflicts.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] All Gone
A Memoir of My Mother's Dementia. With Refreshments
By Alex Witchel
September 2012, Riverhead
A daughter’s longing love letter to a mother who has slipped beyond reach.
Just past seventy, Alex Witchel’s smart, adoring, ultra-capable mother – a university professor - began to exhibit undeniable signs of dementia. Her smart, adoring, ultra-capable daughter reacted as she’d been raised: If something was broken, they would fix it. But as medical reality undid that hope, and her mother continued the torturous process of disappearing in plain sight, Witchel retreated to the kitchen, trying to reclaim her mother at the stove by cooking the comforting foods of her childhood: “Is there any contract tighter than a family recipe?”
Reproducing the perfect meat loaf was no panacea (uses tomato soup, beef and veal), but it helped Witchel come to terms with her predicament, the growing phenomenon of “ambiguous loss ”— loss of a beloved one who lives on. Gradually she developed a deeper appreciation for all the ways the parent she was losing lived on in her, starting with the daily commandment “Tell me everything that happened today” that started a future reporter and writer on her way.
And she was inspired to turn her experience into this frank, bittersweet, and surprisingly funny account that offers true balm for an increasingly familiar form of heartbreak.
Includes her recipe for kreplach (via Passaic and Scarsdale) and meatloaf
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book












[book] The Great Partnership
Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning
by Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi UK
September 2012, Schocken
An impassioned, erudite, thoroughly researched, and beautifully reasoned book from one of the most admired religious thinkers of our time that argues not only that science and religion are compatible, but that they complement each other—and that the world needs both.
“Atheism deserves better than the new atheists,” states Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “whose methodology consists of criticizing religion without understanding it, quoting texts without contexts, taking exceptions as the rule, confusing folk belief with reflective theology, abusing, mocking, ridiculing, caricaturing, and demonizing religious faith and holding it responsible for the great crimes against humanity. Religion has done harm; I acknowledge that. But the cure for bad religion is good religion, not no religion, just as the cure for bad science is good science, not the abandonment of science.”
Rabbi Sacks’s counterargument is that religion and science are the two essential perspectives that allow us to see the universe in its three-dimensional depth. Science teaches us where we come from. Religion explains to us why we are here. Science is the search for explanation. Religion is the search for meaning. We need scientific explanation to understand nature. We need meaning to understand human behavior. There have been times when religion tried to dominate science. And there have been times, including our own, when it is believed that we can learn all we need to know about meaning and relationships through biochemistry, neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology. In this fascinating look at the interdependence of religion and science, Rabbi Sacks explains why both views are tragically wrong.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more














[book] The Revenge of Geography
What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate
By Robert D. Kaplan (StratFor)
September 2012, Random House
Perhaps you read MONSOON, one of Kaplan’s 14 earlier books, or heard his story of how he snuck into an amazing port being built on the Indian Ocean by China. In this book, the Geopolitical Analyst, author, and former advisor to the U.S. Defense Policy Board, offers us a provocative, startlingly revelatory new look at global upheavals through the prism of geography.
In The Revenge of Geography, Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world’s hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands. The Russian steppe’s pitiless climate and limited vegetation bred hard and cruel men bent on destruction, for example, while Nazi geo-politicians distorted geopolitics entirely, calculating that space on the globe used by the British Empire and the Soviet Union could be swallowed by a greater German homeland.
Kaplan applies the lessons learned to the present crises in Europe, Russia, China, the Indian subcontinent, Turkey, Iran, and the Arab Middle East. The result is a holistic interpretation of the next cycle of conflict throughout Eurasia.
Remarkably, the future can be understood in the context of temperature, land allotment, and other physical certainties: China, able to feed only 23 percent of its people from land that is only 7 percent arable, has sought energy, minerals, and metals from such brutal regimes as Burma, Iran, and Zimbabwe, putting it in moral conflict with the United States. How will this need affect its policies in Africa and Asia and relation to the USA?
Afghanistan’s porous borders will keep it the principal invasion route into India, and a vital rear base for Pakistan, India’s main enemy. How will this fact affect US policy to Pakistan and India and the Afghan War
Why are the borders or Syria and Iraq not as artificial as people think
Is Assad’s extreme pan Arabism and hatred of Israel a cover for Syria’s weak identity as a geographic state? How does the shape of Syria harbor and reinforce divisions in ethnicity and sectarian(religious, tribal) identity
Is the current Iranian regime out of sync with Persian history and how can this be leveraged to bring about its fall?
How does geography explain the Euro debt crisis
Is Putin and paranoia a product of geography
Can Yemen ever strengthen its central government given its mountain terrain
Iran will exploit the advantage of being the only country that straddles both energy-producing areas of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. How will this impact its nuclear ambitions and economy and place in the world
Kaplan posits that the United States might rue engaging in far-flung conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan rather than tending to its direct neighbor Mexico, which is on the verge of becoming a semi-failed state due to drug cartel carnage.
A brilliant rebuttal to thinkers who suggest that globalism will trump geography, this indispensable work shows how timeless truths and natural facts can help prevent this century’s looming cataclysms.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book














I think it is important to know about Somalia, since there is a secret alleged war going on between Israeli drones and Somalian insurgents.
[book] PIRATE ALLEY
Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia
By Rear Admiral Terry McKnight, USN(Ret)
And Michael Hirsh
Foreword by Jim Miklazjewski
September 2012
Naval Institute Press
With piracy on the rise and fast becoming a serious global security issue, Admiral Terry McKnight took command of a new multi-national task force in 2009 to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden. As task force commander, he directed operations that disrupted several hijackings and resulted in the capture of sixteen Somali pirates. After running head-on into a U.S. policy of catch-and-release, he realized that there was more to fighting piracy than just catching youngsters armed with AK-47s and RPGs.
McKnight retired from the Navy and began researching the problem. This book, co-written with journalist Michael Hirsh, is a very readable yet authoritative introduction to the subject. The authors explore every aspect of Somali piracy, from how the pirates operate to how their actions have impacted the world economy. They examine various attempts to solve the problem, including placing armed guards aboard merchant ships, and highlight the best ways to outfit ships for travel through high risk areas. But they warn that a consequence of successfully protecting such targets as container ships and crude oil carriers may be that pirates turn to crime on land, such as the kidnapping of foreigners.
In addressing the worldwide economic impact of piracy, they note that piracy costs as much as $13 billion a year, and in 2011 took 1000 seafarers into captivity. One shipping company argues, however, that over-reaching shipping regulations have a greater negative effect on the economy. The book concludes that in the interest of justice and to protect the free flow of commerce throughout the world, the United States government needs to take additional measures to stop the flow of U.S. dollars for ransoms payments that serves as the only reason for piracy in the region. With a foreword by Jim Miklaszewski.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Love Song
The Lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya
By Ethan Mordden
October 2012, Random
Noted historian of the Broadway musical chronicles the braided lives of two of the twentieth century's most influential artists
For the first time, Ethan Mordden chronicles the romance of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya in Love Song, a dual biography that unfolds against the background of the tumultuous twentieth century, scored to music from Weil's greatest triumphs: Knickerbocker Holiday, Lost in the Stars, Lady in the Dark, Happy End, One Touch of Venus and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. The romance of Weill, the Jewish cantor’s son, and Lenya, the Viennese coachman’s daughter, changed the history of Western music. With Bertolt Brecht, they created one of the definitive works of the twentieth century, The Threepenny Opera, a smash that would live on in musical theatre history. Weill, the jazz Mozart, was the creator whose work is backstage, unseen. Lenya, his epic-theatre femme fatale, was the performer who put the work into view. They heard the same unique music, but he gave it form while she gave it life. Love Song is ultimately the story of a great romance scored to some of the twentieth century's greatest music.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] Beyond Courage
The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust
By Doreen Rappaport
October 2012, Simon and Schuster
In a stirring chronicle, Doreen Rappaport brings to light the courage of countless Jews who organized to sabotage the Nazis and help other Jews during the Holocaust.
Under the noses of the military, Georges Loinger smuggles thousands of children out of occupied France into Switzerland. In Belgium, three resisters ambush a train, allowing scores of Jews to flee from the cattle cars. In Poland, four brothers lead more than 1,200 ghetto refugees into the forest to build a guerilla force and self-sufficient village. And twelve-year-old Motele Shlayan entertains German officers with his violin moments before setting off a bomb. Through twenty-one meticulously researched accounts — some chronicled in book form for the first time — Doreen Rappaport illuminates the defiance of tens of thousands of Jews across eleven Nazi-occupied countries during World War II. In answer to the genocidal madness that was Hitler’s Holocaust, the only response they could abide was resistance, and their greatest weapons were courage, ingenuity, the will to survive, and the resolve to save others or to die trying.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] The Book of Mischief
New and Selected Stories
By Steve Stern
Fall 2012, Graywolf
The Book of Mischief triumphantly showcases twenty-five years of outstanding work by one of our true masters of the short story. Steve Stern’s stories take us from the unlikely old Jewish quarter of the Pinch in Memphis to a turn-of-thecentury immigrant community in New York; from the market towns of Eastern Europe to a down-at-the-heels Catskills resort. Along the way we meet a motley assortment of characters: Mendy Dreyfus, whose bungee jump goes uncannily awry; Elijah the prophet turned voyeur; and the misfit Zelik Rifkin, who discovers the tree of dreams. Perhaps it’s no surprise that Kafka’s cockroach also makes an appearance in these pages, animated as they are by instances of bewildering transformation. The earthbound take flight, the meek turn incendiary, the powerless find unwonted fame. Weaving his particular brand of mischief from the wondrous and the macabre, Stern transforms us all through the power of his brilliant imagination.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] Wild Company
The Untold Story of Banana Republic
By Mel Ziegler and Patricia Ziegler
October 2012, Simon and Schuster
In the tradition of Pour Your Heart Into It and How Starbucks Saved My Life, a surprising and inspiring memoir from the founders of Banana Republic.
With $1,500 and no business experience, Mel and Patricia Ziegler turned a wild idea into a company that would become the international retail colossus Banana Republic. Re-imagining military surplus as safari and expedition wear, the former journalist and artist created a world that captured the zeitgeist for a generation and spoke to the creativity, adventure, and independence in everyone.
In a book that’s honest, funny, and charming, Mel and Patricia tell in alternating voices how they upended business conventions and survived on their wits and imagination. Many retail and fashion merchants still consider Banana Republic’s early heyday to be one of the most remarkable stories in fashion and business history. The couple detail how as “professional amateurs” they developed the wildly original merchandise and marketing innovations that broke all retail records and produced what has been acclaimed by industry professionals to be “the best catalogue of all time.”
A love story wrapped in a business adventure, Wild Company is a soulful, inspiring tale for readers determined to create their own destiny with a passion for life and work and fun.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













OCTOBER 2012 BOOKS


[book] The Aesthetics of Hate
Far Right Intellectals, Antisemitism and Gender
in 1930s France
By Sandrine Sanos
October 2012, Stanford
The Aesthetics of Hate examines the writings of a motley collection of interwar far-right intellectuals, showing that they defined Frenchness in racial, gendered, and sexual terms. A broad, ambitious cultural and intellectual history, the book offers a provocative reinterpretation of a topic that has long been the subject of controversy.
In works infused with rhetorics of abjection, disgust, and dissolution, such writers as Maulnier, Brasillach, Céline, and Blanchot imagined the nation through figures deemed illegitimate or inferior—Jews, colonial subjects, homosexuals, women. Sanos argues that these intellectuals offered an "aesthetics of hate," reinventing a language of far-right nationalism by appealing to the realm of beauty and the sublime for political solutions. By acknowledging the constitutive relationship of antisemitism and colonial racism at the heart of these canonical writers' nationalism, this book makes us rethink how aesthetics and politics function, how race is imagined and defined, how gender structured far-right thought, and how we conceive of French intellectualism and fascism.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] Zoo Time
A Novel
By Howard Jacobson
October 2012, Bloomsbury
Novelist Guy Ableman is in thrall to his vivacious wife Vanessa, a strikingly beautiful red-head, contrary, highly strung and blazingly angry. The trouble is, he is no less in thrall to her alluring mother, Poppy. More like sisters than mother and daughter, they come as a pair, a blistering presence that destroys Guy's peace of mind, suggesting the wildest stories but making it impossible for him to concentrate long enough to write any of them. Not that anyone reads Guy anyway. Not that anyone is reading anything. Reading, Guy fears, is finished. His publisher, fearing the same, has committed suicide. His agent, like all agents, is in hiding. Vanessa, in the meantime, is writing a novel of her own. Guy doesn't expect her to finish it, or even start it, but he dreads the consequences if she does.
In flight from personal disappointment and universal despair, Guy wonders if it's time to take his love for Poppy to another level. Fiction might be dead, but desire isn’t. And out of that desire he imagines squeezing one more great book. By turns angry, elegiac, and rude, Zoo Time is a novel about love—love of women, love of literature, love of laughter. It shows our funniest writer at his brilliant best.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] Hello, Gorgeous
Becoming Barbra Streisand
By William Mann
October 2012, HMH Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
In 1960, Barbra Streisand was just a seventeen-year-old Jewish kid with plenty of talent and even more ambition. Four years later, she had taken over Broadway as the star of Funny Girl and had three platinum albums. In Hello, Gorgeous, Mann charts that climb to fame. He takes us back to her formative years: her relationship with her mother (Diane Streisand Kind), her early lovers (Barry Dennen, as told by Dennen himself, and how she discovered him with a man), and her first husband, Elliott Gould. With access to the previously sealed private collections of Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, and many others, Mann lays out the first-ever ACCURATE account of the making of Funny Girl, fills in an incomplete record of Streisand's early nightclub (Bon Soir, Blue Angel, Village Vanguard, and she was never fired in Winnipeg) and television appearances, and takes us behind the scenes of the canny marketing and merchandising team (Ted Rozar, Don Softness) whose strategies (to market her as a Kook, and then after Funny Girl, to sell her to Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn, Harold Arlen and others) made her stardom seem inevitable.
He also re-creates a vibrant piece of New York theatrical history—the dinner clubs and the birth of Off-Off-Broadway. Everyone of a certain age remembers when the phenomenon of Barbra Streisand rewrote all the rules of stardom. In this intimate portrait, Mann incisively illuminates the woman before she became the icon. He also puts her into the context of the changing America, where Dustin Hoffman, Dick Gregory, Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, Diahann Carroll, and Bill Cosby became mainstream.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] Jerusalem
A Cookbook
By Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
October 2012, Ten Speed Press
A collection of 120 recipes exploring the flavors of Jerusalem from the New York Times bestselling author of Plenty, one of the most lauded cookbooks of 2011.
In “Jerusalem,” Yotam Ottolenghi re-teams with his friend (and the co-owner of his restaurant) Sami Tamimi. Together they explore the vibrant cuisine of their home city — with its diverse Muslim, Jewish, Arab, Christian, and Armenian communities. Both men were born in Jerusalem in the same year — Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west. This cookbook offers recipes from their unique cross-cultural perspectives including Charred Baby Okra with Tomato and Preserved Lemon, Braised Lamb Meatballs with Sour Cherries, and Clementine and Almond Cake.
With five bustling restaurants in London and two stellar cookbooks, Ottolenghi is one of the most respected chefs in the world; Jerusalem is his most personal, original, and beautiful cookbook yet.
Yotam Ottolenghi was born in Jerusalem in 1968. The son of a professor of chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a high-school principal, he grew up Jerusalem's Ramat Denya neighborhood (But as the son of a Chemist, he tells us that he is really not that interested in the Chemistry of Food and Cooking). A grad of TAU with a MA in Comp Lit, he is a celebrated chef and restauranteur in London. In 2002 he established the Ottolenghi deli with partners Sami Tamimi and Noam Bar.
Sami, the same age as Yotam – born after the ‘67 War - grew up in East Jerusalem and the Old City in a middle class secular family and witnessed both his parents cook traditional Palestinian dishes with great care and fervor; Sami set out on his own culinary path as a young teenager. Actually, his mother passed away when Sami was only seven years old, and many of his recipes attempt to recapture the taste memories he has from his mother. Sami started as a comis chef in a Jerusalem hotel and worked his way up, through many restaurants and ethnic traditions, to become head chef of Lilith (which introduced California cuisine to Tel Aviv), one of the top restaurants in Tel Aviv, in the 90’s. In 1997, he moved to London and spent a long period in Baker and Spice, where he re-invented the traiteur section implementing his identifiable cooking style: vibrant, bold yet simple and honest.

Both Tamimi and Ottolenghi are gay 40-somethings and wear fashionable dark-rimmed glasses. Ottolenghi’s mother was of German-Jewish hertaige and his father is of Italian-Jewish heritage. His father would get special deliveries of Italian foods, such as anchovy paste in a tube. Yotam’s sabta re-created her own private Florence in her Tel Aviv suburb; She spoke Italian, sipped espresso, and had furniture from Tuscany. At age 15, Sami left the Old City and got a job as a porter at the Mount Zion Hotel and decided that cooking would be his ticket out of the tradition-bound Arab culture (personally, sexually and professionally) he was determined to escape. Both men ended up in Tel Aviv. Sami dyed his hair pink; Yotam worked for Haaretz. In 1997, both men – not knowing each other - moved to London. Ottolenghi planned to obtain a PhD but enrolled in cooking school first for a course. Sami scored a position at Baker & Spice, where the two men met.

Is it a political book? Yes and No. Sami and Yotam told me that everything is political sooner or later. For example, the naming of a dish or the naming of an ingredient is political and needed to sometimes be discussed and debated. But the book is not overtly political. Nor are they naïve enough to believe that food will bring political ideas, destinies or foes together. It is food. But who knows.

PW writes, "Written as homage to the city that defines the authors, this cookbook offers snapshots of the multicultural, multiflavored city that is Jerusalem. Realizing the difficulties of trying to capture the diversity of a city that has been described as “the center of the universe” Ottolenghi and Tamimi only promise “a glimpse into [the] hidden treasure” of a city constructed upon centuries of fusion, or the lack thereof, of hundreds of cultures being mashed together in such a small space. Not wanting to offend the inhabitants of an already disputed territory, the authors try to cut a cross-section of recipes and ingredients native to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. From Tunisia (shakshuka) to Turkey (Swiss chard fritters) and Iran (broad bean kuku) to Lebanon (the delicious hummus kawarma), this cookbook promises to excite the taste buds of anyone interested in Middle Eastern cuisine. Not happy with just presenting the flavors and textures of the city, the authors try to encapsulate the history and spirit of the city, too. With multiple introductions at its front, explanations of different spices and ingredients, and anecdotal stories peppered throughout, this book offers not only taste but education as well."
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Watch video at http://crownpublishing.com/feature/book-trailer-for-jerusalem-by-yotam-ottolenghi-and-sami-tamimi/











[book] This is a Cookbook
Recipes For Real Life
By Max Sussman and Eli Sussman
October 2, 2012, Weldon Owen
Get into the kitchen. Use what’s in there. And don’t be worried about f’ing it up. James Beard Foundation 2012 Rising Star nominee Max Sussman and his partner in crime, Eli, are over perfection. They care about cooking good food that tastes like you made it. Teaming up with Olive Press, these Brooklyn brothers of Über-hip New York establishments Roberta’s and Mile End have a go-to, hands-dirty method for wannabe-kitchen-badasses.
This is a Cookbook for Real Life features more than 60 killer recipes that demystify the cooking process for at-home chefs, especially young people just starting out. Combining years of elbow grease in the fiery bowels of restaurants, the Sussmans bring readers a plethora of tricks to make life in the kitchen easier and frankly, more fun. This new cookbook also re-creates some of their favorite comfort foods while growing up, as well as some recipes with their origins in brotherly b.s. that wound up tasting delicious.
The Sussmans have got the back of twenty-somethings (they are 26 and 29), who may be too freaked to pick up a cast-iron skillet and instead opt for cop-out take-out as a culinary standby. This is a Cookbook for Real Life is designed to be a go-to kitchen companion with meals fit for one, two, or many, and features plans of attack for dinner shindigs. The best part? All of the book's recipes have easy-to-find ingredients that limit the prep time fuss and can be prepared in small (read: shoebox) kitchens.
Chapters are organized by occasion, eating habits, and time of day so readers can enjoy lazy brunches, backyard grilled grub, a night in, dinner parties, midnight snacks, and sweet stuff. Want to increase your kitchen swag? Each chapter boasts special projects like home-curing bacon; pickling; making pasta from scratch; mixing cocktails, and “what’dya got sandwiches” -- and take it from the Sussmans, creativity in the kitchen makes a good impression in the long run.
They thank nana and papa, ema and abba.
Recipes includes ones for ramps, rigatoni, potatoes, watermelon gazpacho, adam sandler style sloppy joe, thyme spaetzle, the maccabi (fried chicken and latkes), holy schnitz chicken schnitzel, grilled meatball sandwich, pear tart, thin cute fries, flourless chocolate espresso tart, cereal cupcakes, maple bourbon smores, and more
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Secrets of the Best Chefs
Recipes, Techniques, and Tricks from America's Greatest Cooks
By Adam Roberts
Artisan
October 2012
Adam Roberts left Emory School of Law to pursue cooking instead of cases, and playwrighting and tarts instead of tort. See his Jewish recipes here: http://www.amateurgourmet.com/tags/jewish-food
In his latest book he asks top chefs for their hints. Some people say you can only learn to cook by doing. So Adam Roberts, creator of the award-winning blog The Amateur Gourmet, set out to cook in 50 of America's best kitchens to figure out how any average Joe or Jane can cook like a seasoned pro. From Alice Waters's garden to José Andrés's home kitchen, it was a journey peppered with rock-star chefs and dedicated home cooks unified by a common passion, one that Roberts understands deeply and transfers to the reader with flair, thoughtfulness, and good humor: a love and appreciation of cooking. Roberts adapts recipes from Hugh Acheson, Lidia Bastianich, Roy Choi, Harold Dieterle, Sara Moulton, and more.
The culmination of that journey is a cookbook filled with lessons, tips, and tricks from the most admired chefs in America, including how to properly dress a salad, bake a no-fail piecrust, make light and airy pasta, and stir-fry in a wok, plus how to improve your knife skills, eliminate wasteful food practices, and create recipes of your very own. Most important, Roberts has adapted 150 of the chefs' signature recipes into totally doable dishes for the home cook. Now anyone can learn to cook like a pro!
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] THE LAWGIVER
A NOVEL
BY HERMAN WOUK
October 2012, Simon and Schuster
Wouk.
Still writing novels at age 97
In the preface, Wouk writes that he had a file that had notes for a book about Moses that date back five decades, to even before he write The Caine Mutiny. He just could not think of a way that he could present a good novel about Moses or a modern retelling of a Moses character.
But now at age 97, he has found a way:
From the cover - For more than fifty years, legendary author Herman Wouk has dreamed of writing a novel about the life of Moses. Finally, at age ninety-seven, he has found an ingeniously witty way to tell the tale in The Lawgiver, a romantic and suspenseful epistolary novel about a group of people trying to make a movie about Moses in the present day. The story emerges from letters, memos, e-mails, journals, news articles, recorded talk, Skype transcripts, and text messages.
At the center of The Lawgiver is Margo Solovei (as in Soloveichik, hint hint), a brilliant young writer-director who has rejected her rabbinical father’s strict Jewish upbringing to pursue a career in the arts. When an Australian multibillionaire promises to finance a movie about Moses if the script meets certain standards, Margo does everything she can to land the job, including a reunion with her estranged first love, an influential lawyer with whom she still has unfinished business.
Two other key characters in the novel are Herman Wouk himself and his wife of more than sixty years, Betty Sarah, who, almost against their will, find themselves entangled in the Moses movie when the Australian billionaire insists on Wouk’s stamp of approval.
(Wouk’s rabbi begs Wouk to take a meeting with this film group, and Wouk never says no to his rabbi, especially at age 97)
As Wouk and his characters contend with Moses and marriage, and the force of tradition, rebellion, and reunion, The Lawgiver reflects the wisdom of a lifetime. Inspired by the great nineteenth-century novelists, one of America’s most beloved twentieth-century authors has now written a remarkable twenty-first-century work of fiction.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













I thought it said the GOY under the sheets
[book] The Guy Under the Sheets
The Unauthorized Autobiography
By Chris Elliott
October 2012,
Blue Rider Press
The explosive, unauthorized autobiography of Emmy-award winning actor and comedian Chris Elliott - a behind-the-scenes memoir so personal, so provocative, that Elliott nearly sued himself to halt publication.
In this shocking too-true-to-be-false account, SNL alum, Emmy-award-winning comedian and actor Chris Elliott tells the tale of how he rose up from under David Letterman’s seats to soar like an Eagleheart with stops for memorable roles in such films as Groundhog Day and There’s Something About Mary.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













What? He’s Not jewish?
Oh, okay, well here is a Italian cookbook then,
But doesn’t Tucci sound so Jewish?
[book] The Tucci Cookbook
By Stanley Tucci
October 2012, Gallery Books
For acclaimed actor Stanley Tucci, teasing taste buds in the foodie films such as Big Night and Julie & Julia was a logical progression from a childhood filled with innovative homemade meals: decadent Venetian Seafood Salad; rich and gratifying Lasagna Made with Polenta and Gorgonzola Cheese; spicy Spaghetti with Tomato and Tuna; Roast Duck with Fresh Figs; Baked Whole Fish in an Aromatic Salt Crust; savory Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole with Potatoes; buttery Plum and Polenta Cake; and yes, of course, the legendary Timpano of his late grandmother. The book, based on his out of print earlier 1999 cookbook, features almost 200 recipes, paired with wines, The Tucci Cookbook is brimming with robust flavors, beloved Italian traditions, mouthwatering photographs, and engaging, previously untold stories from the family’s kitchen.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] The The Marcel Network
How One French Couple Saved 527 Children
from the Holocaust
By Fred Coleman
Fall 2012, Potomac Books
Syrian immigrant Moussa Abadi was only 33, and his future wife, Odette Rosenstock, 28, when they found themselves trapped in Nazi-occupied France. This young Jewish couple—he a graduate student in theater, and she a doctor—was poor but resolute. Risking their own lives and relying on false papers, the Abadis hid Jewish children in Catholic schools and convents and with Protestant families. In 1943, their clandestine organization—the Marcel Network—became one of the most successful operations of Jewish resistance in Europe. By the end of the war, 527 children owed their survival to the Abadis. Yet their improbable success came with almost unspeakable sacrifice.
As an example of what just two people of good will can accomplish in the face of crimes against humanity, the Abadis' story is a lesson in moral and physical courage. Drawn from a multitude of sources, including hundreds of documents in the Abadis' archives and dozens of interviews with the now grown children they rescued, Fred Coleman tells the Abadis' full story for the first time. The Marcel Network also breaks historic ground, and reveals how the Catholic Church, French Christians, and Jews themselves did far more to save Jewish lives than is generally known.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













A book by a native son of Scranton, PA
[book] Wild Company
The Untold Story of Banana Republic
Mel Ziegler and Patricia Ziegler
Currency
October 2012
Mel was from Scranton PA. He made it to the Bay Area and was a reporter for the Chronicle in the early 1970s when he met Pat, an illustrator. They married and traveled the planet Earth. They brought home items and clothes from abroad. Then the bought 1000 pairs of ghurka togs shorts and needed to sell them.. A business was born.
With $1,500 and no business experience, Mel and Patricia Ziegler turned a wild idea into a company that would become the international retail colossus Banana Republic. Re-imagining military surplus as safari and expedition wear, the former journalist and artist created a world that captured the zeitgeist for a generation – Indiana Jones-wear - and spoke to the creativity, adventure, and independence in everyone.
In a book that’s honest, funny, and charming, Mel and Patricia tell in alternating voices how they upended business conventions and survived on their wits and imagination. Many retail and fashion merchants still consider Banana Republic’s early heyday to be one of the most remarkable stories in fashion and business history. The couple detail how, as “professional amateurs,” they developed the wildly original merchandise and marketing innovations that broke all retail records and produced what has been acclaimed by industry professionals to be “the best catalogue of all time.”
A love story wrapped in a business adventure, Wild Company is a soulful, inspiring tale for readers determined to create their own destiny with a passion for life and work and fun.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] A Goy Who Speaks Yiddish
Christians and the Jewish Language in Early Modern Germany
(Stanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture)
By Aya Elyada
October 2012, Stanford
This book explores the unique phenomenon of Christian engagement with Yiddish language and literature from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the late eighteenth century. By exploring the motivations for Christian interest in Yiddish, and the differing ways in which Yiddish was discussed and treated in Christian texts, A Goy Who Speaks Yiddish addresses a wide array of issues, most notably Christian Hebraism, Protestant theology, early modern Yiddish culture, and the social and cultural history of language in early modern Europe.
Elyada's analysis of a wide range of philological and theological works, as well as textbooks, dictionaries, ethnographical writings, and translations, demonstrates that Christian Yiddishism had implications beyond its purely linguistic and philological dimensions. Indeed, Christian texts on Yiddish reveal not only the ways in which Christians perceived and defined Jews and Judaism, but also, in a contrasting vein, how they viewed their own language, religion, and culture.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] Bridges across an Impossible Divide
The Inner Lives of Arab and Jewish Peacemakers
By Marc Gopin (George Mason Univ)
October 2012, Oxford
Peace between Arabs and Jews seems forever out of reach, both sides caught in a never-ending cycle of violence and revenge. But while treaties and other top-down solutions have had little lasting effect, peacemakers on the ground are creating real change-within themselves and with their enemies. In Bridges across an Impossible Divide, American professor Marc Gopin offers an unprecedented exploration of the spiritual lives of Arab and Jewish peacemakers who have evolved deep friendships despite decades of war and suffering on all sides. Through trial and error the peacemakers in this book have devised their own unique methods of looking inward and reaching out across enemy lines. Gopin provides insightful analysis of the lessons to be learned from these peace builders, outlining the characteristics that make them successful. He argues that lasting conflict and misery between enemies is the result of an emotional, cognitive, and ethical failure to self-examine, and that the true transformation of a troubled society is brought about by the spiritual introspection of extraordinary, determined individuals.
The book is unique in that its central body is the actual words of peacemakers themselves as they speak of their struggles to overcome the death of loved ones and to find common ground with adversaries. Most of these accounts are from peacemakers who have hardly written before. This is a treasure trove for scholars and the general public who seek to understand the conflict and its peacemakers at a far deeper level. These remarkable stories reveal a level of inner examination that is rarely encountered in the literature of political science, international relations, or even conflict resolution theory. They show how building friendships invigorates the effort to bring equality, nonviolent social change, and reconciliation to warring peoples.
Bridges across an Impossible Divide takes readers beyond the rhetoric of political leaders into the spiritual lives of men and women actually making peace with their enemies.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] NO JUSTICE IN GERMANY
THE BRESLAU DIARIES, 1933-1941
By Willy Cohn
Edited by Norbert Conrads
Translated by Kenneth Kronenberg
October 2012, Stanford
With great immediacy, the diaries of Willy Cohn, a Jew and a Social Democrat, show how the process of marginalization under the Nazis unfolded within the vibrant Jewish community of Breslau—until that community was destroyed in 1941. Cohn documents how difficult it was to understand precisely what was happening, even as people were harassed, beaten, and taken off to concentration camps. He chronicles the efforts of the community to maintain some semblance of normal life at the same time as many made plans to emigrate or to get their children out.

Cohn and his wife Gertrud were able to get their three oldest children out of Germany before it was too late. However, burying himself in his work chronicling the history of the Jews in Germany, his diaries, and his memoirs, Cohn missed his own chance to escape. In late 1941, he, Gertrud, and their two young daughters were deported to Lithuania, where they were shot. Willy Cohn was a complex individual: an Orthodox Jew and a socialist; an ardent Zionist and a staunch German patriot; a realist but also an idealist often unable to cope with reality; a democrat and an admirer of certain Nazi policies and of their resoluteness. These contradictions and the wealth of detail that poured from his pen give us a unique view of those disorienting and frightening times in Germany.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] MAO
THE REAL STORY
By Alexander V. Pantsov and Steven I Levine
October 2012, Simon and Schuster
This major new biography of Mao uses extensive Russian documents previously unavailable to biographers to reveal surprising details about Mao’s rise to power and leadership in China. Mao Zedong was one of the most important figures of the twentieth century, the most important in the history of modern China. This revelatory new biography draws on thousands of Russian documents about Mao and other Chinese leaders that were available during the period of glasnost and now are less accessible. Pantsov and Levine trace Mao’s rise to leadership from the small village where he was born and show his relentless drive to succeed, vividly describing his growing role in the nascent Communist party of China. They disclose startling facts about his personal life, particularly regarding his health and his lifelong, serial affairs with young women. Mao was a complex figure, champion of the poor and brutal tyrant, poet and despot. He brought his country from poverty and economic backwardness into the modern age, led a national revolution and made the rest of the world respect China. But he was also responsible for a loss of life exceeding even that of Hitler and Stalin. A disciple of Stalin, he turned against the USSR after Khrushchev came to power, determined that China would depend on no other country. Mao remade his weak country into a powerful one and shrewdly renewed relations with the U.S. as a counter to the USSR. He lived and behaved as China’s last emperor. Now readers will have the full story of his life and rule as never before.








[book] Hitler's Hangman
The Life of Heydrich
By Robert Gerwarth (Dublin)
Fall 2012, Yale
Reinhard Heydrich is widely recognized as one of the great iconic villains of the twentieth century, an appalling figure even within the context of the Nazi leadership. Chief of the Nazi Criminal Police, the SS Security Service, and the Gestapo, ruthless overlord of Nazi-occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and leading planner of the "Final Solution," Heydrich played a central role in Hitler's Germany. He shouldered a major share of responsibility for some of the worst Nazi atrocities, and up to his assassination in Prague in 1942, he was widely seen as one of the most dangerous men in Nazi Germany. Yet Heydrich has received remarkably modest attention in the extensive literature of the Third Reich.
Robert Gerwarth weaves together little-known stories of Heydrich's private life with his deeds as head of the Nazi Reich Security Main Office. Fully exploring Heydrich's progression from a privileged middle-class youth to a rapacious mass murderer, Gerwarth sheds new light on the complexity of Heydrich's adult character, his motivations, the incremental steps that led to unimaginable atrocities, and the consequences of his murderous efforts toward re-creating the entire ethnic makeup of Europe








[book] Mossad
The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service
By Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal
October 2012, Ecco
PW writes: Two insiders—Bar-Zohar, a politician and biographer of David Ben-Gurion, and Mishal a leading Israeli journalist—reveal some of the more fantastic episodes in the history of Israeli intelligence operations around the world. A quick and easy read, this book focuses on the operational details and personalities behind the famed Mossad’s record of assassination, kidnapping, sabotage, and clandestine surveillance. Most of the stories covered—the assassination of Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus, the botched attack on Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al in Amman, Elie Cohen’s rise through the ranks of Syrian society and eventual capture and execution—are well-known, a few are more speculative, concerning highly confidential subjects such as the strikes on Iranian nuclear scientists and facilities. Mostly silent about the political, social, and ethical dimensions of the Mossad’s work, Bar-Zohar and Mishal are resolute cheerleaders, and the writing is patchy and breathless: “The news spread through Damascus like wildfire. Fantastic, absurd, impossible nonsense!... Could one of the leaders of the ruling party... be a spy?!”









[book] DEATH AND THE MAIDEN
A MAX LIEBERMANN MYSTERY
BY FRANK TALLIS
October 2012, Random
Frank Tallis, acclaimed author of the Edgar Award–nominated Vienna Secrets, returns with a new and masterfully woven tale full of deceit, love, and rich mystery. Set in fin de siècle Vienna, it’s perfect for fans of Boris Akunin, Alan Furst, and David Liss.
Ida Rosenkranz is top diva at the Vienna Opera, but she’s gone silent for good after an apparent laudanum overdose. Learning of her professional rivalries and her scandalous affairs with older men, Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt and Dr. Max Liebermann suspect foul play instead. Their investigation leads them into dark and dangerous conflicts with Gustav Mahler, the opera’s imperious director, who is himself the target of a poison pen campaign, and Karl Lueger, Vienna’s powerful and anti-Semitic mayor. As the peril escalates, Rheinhardt grows further into his role as family man, while Liebermann finds himself at odds with his inamorata, Amelia, who’s loosening both her corset and her tongue in the new feminist movement.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] A Kosher Christmas
'Tis the Season to be Jewish
By Rabbi Joshua Plaut, PhD
Foreword by Jonathan D. Sarna (Brandeis)
October 2012, Rutgers
Don’t you just love the cover?
Christmas is not everybody’s favorite holiday. Historically, Jews in America, whether participating in or refraining from recognizing Christmas, have devised a multitude of unique strategies to respond to the holiday season. Their response is a mixed one: do we participate, try to ignore the holiday entirely, or create our own traditions and make the season an enjoyable time?
This book, the first on the subject of Jews and Christmas in the United States, portrays how Jews are shaping the public and private character of Christmas by transforming December into a joyous holiday season belonging to all Americans.
Creative and innovative in approaching the holiday season, these responses range from composing America’s most beloved Christmas songs, transforming Hanukkah into the Jewish Christmas, creating a national Jewish tradition of patronizing Chinese restaurants and comedy shows on Christmas Eve, volunteering at shelters and soup kitchens on Christmas Day, dressing up as Santa Claus to spread good cheer, campaigning to institute Hanukkah postal stamps, and blending holiday traditions into an interfaith hybrid celebration called “Chrismukkah” or creating a secularized holiday such as Festivus.
Through these venerated traditions and alternative Christmastime rituals, Jews publicly assert and proudly proclaim their Jewish and American identities to fashion a universally shared message of joy and hope for the holiday season.
PW writes, “…Plaut… describes the multitude of creative rituals, activities, and responses Jews have developed to COUNTERACT feelings of marginalization and ‘transform Christmastime into a holiday season belonging to all Americans.’ Plaut offers a quirky, provocative, yet solid study of contemporary Jewish behavior and emerging new forms of popular culture.”
Click the cover to read more or to purchase the book








[book] Do You Dream in Color?
Insights from a Girl Without Sight
BY Laurie Rubin
October 2012, Seven Stories Press
Colors, Rubin tells us, affect everyone through sound, smell, taste, and a vast array of emotions and atmospheres. She explains that although she has been blind since birth, she has experienced color all her life.
In her memoir Do You Dream in Color?, Laurie Rubin looks back on her life as an international opera singer who happens to be blind. From her loneliness and isolation as a middle school student to her experiences skiing, Rubin offers her young readers a life-story rich in detail and inspiration drawn from everyday challenges. Beginning with her childhood in California, Rubin tells the story of her life and the amazing experiences that led her to a career as an internationally celebrated mezzo-soprano.
Rubin describes her past as a "journey towards identity," one she hopes will resonate with young people struggling with two fundamental questions: "Who am I?" and "Where do I fit in?" Although most of us aren't blind, Rubin believes that many of us have traits that make us something other than "normal." These differences, like blindness, may seem like barriers, but for the strong and the persistent, dreams can overcome barriers, no matter how large they may seem. This is what makes her story so unique yet universal and so important for young readers
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] But the Giraffe & Brundibar
by Tony Kushner and the late Maurice Sendak
October 2012, Theatre Communications Group
"Exultant. . . . As the unlikely survival of this opera suggests, the joy and beauty that music and art express can outlast evil even when they cannot defeat it."—The New York Times
"It's a tale of the outrage and rebellion of even the natural world of dogs, cats, and sparrows against things as unnatural as injustice and poverty and the suffering of children. It's a story of good defeating evil. But its history is haunted by a single instance of evil defeating good."— Tony Kushner
Tony Kushner provides a new English libretto, and Maurice Sendak the design, for this Czech opera—a beautiful children's story extolling courage in the face of tyranny—that was first performed in a concentration camp. Just before the opera's 1942 premiere, its composer Hans Krasa was arrested and sent to Theresienstadt, or Terezín, a "model ghetto" that was in reality a death camp. After a copy of the score was smuggled in, Krasa took advantage of the large number of talented instrumentalists there to stage the opera with imprisoned children. Performed fifty-five times at Terezín, Brundibar is published here with Kushner's short play But the Giraffe, a sensitively drawn historical backdrop.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] We Killed
The Rise of Women in American Comedy
By Yael Kohen
October 2012, Crichton
More than fifty years of iconic comediennes, unmediated and unfiltered from Yael Kohen, a contributor to Marie Claire, NY Mag, and the NY Sun.
In January 2007, Vanity Fair published an essay by Christopher Hitchens called “Why Women Aren’t Funny.” It was incendiary, much-discussed, and—as proven by Yael Kohen’s fascinating oral history—totally wrongheaded.
In We Killed, Kohen assembles America’s most prominent comediennes (and the writers, producers, nightclub owners, and colleagues who revolved around them) to piece together the revolution that happened to (and by) women in American comedy. We start in the 1950s, when comic success meant ridiculing and desexualizing yourself. Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller emerged as America’s favorite frustrated ladies; the joke was always on them. The Sixties saw the appearance of smart, edgy comediennes (Elaine May, Lily Tomlin), and the women’s movement brought a new wave of radicals: the women of SNL, tough-ass stand-ups, and a more independent breed on TV (Mary Tyler Moore and her sisters). There were battles to fight and preconceptions to shake before we could get to where we finally are: in a world where women (like Tina Fey, or, whether you like them or not, Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler) can be smart, attractive, sexually confident—and most of all, flat-out funny. Like all revolutions, it’s suffered false starts and backslides. But it’s been a remarkable trip, as the more than one hundred people interviewed for this riveting oral history make clear. With a chorus of creative voices and often hilarious storytelling, We Killed is essential cultural and social history.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Losing My Sister,
A Memoir
Judy Goldman
October 2012, Blair
If her Jewish family had a coat of arms, it would be “sisters Matter.”
"Family stories grow to be bigger than the experiences themselves," writes Judy Goldman in her memoir, Losing My Sister. "They become home to us, tell us who we are, who we want to be. Over the years, they take on more and more embellishments and adornments until they eclipse the actual memory. They become our past just as a snapshot will, at first, enhance a memory, then replace it."
As she remembers it now, Goldman's was an idyllic childhood, charmed even, filled with parental love and sisterly confidences. Growing up in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Judy and her older sister, Brenda, did everything together. Though it was clear from an early age that their personalities were very different (Judy was the "sweet" one, Brenda, the "strong" one), they continued to be fairly inseparable into adulthood.
But the love between sisters is complex. Though Judy and Brenda remained close, Goldman recalls struggling to break free of her prescribed role as the agreeable little sister and to assert herself even as she built her own life and started a family.
The sisters' relationship became further strained by the illnesses and deaths of their parents, and later, by the discovery that each had tumors in their breasts Judy's benign, Brenda's malignant. The two sisters came back together shortly before the possibility of permanent loss became very real.
In her uniquely lyrical and poignant style, Goldman deftly navigates past events and present emotions, drawing readers in as she explores the joys and sorrows of family, friendship, and sisterhood. Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids
His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities and
Thought Experiments
By Jerome Pohlen
October 2012, Chicago Review Press
Ages 9 and Up
Best known for his general theory of relativity and the famous equation linking mass and energy, E = mc², Albert Einstein had a lasting impact on the world of science, the extent of which is illuminated—along with his fascinating life and unique personality—in this lively history. In addition to learning all about Einstein's important contributions to science, from proving the existence and size of atoms and launching the field of quantum mechanics to creating models of the universe that led to the discovery of black holes and the big bang theory, young physicists will participate in activities and thought experiments to bring his theories and ideas to life. Such activities include using dominoes to model a nuclear chain reaction, replicating the expanding universe in a microwave oven, creating blue skies and red sunsets in a soda bottle, and calculating the speed of light using a melted chocolate bar. Suggestions for further study, a time line, and sidebars on the work of other physicists of the day make this an incredibly accessible resource for inquisitive children.












[book] The Lebanese Kitchen
By Salma Hage with Toby Glanville (Photographer)
October 2012, Phaidon
A mere 512 pages
Following on from Phaidon's classic home-cooking bibles of national cuisines, which started with The Silver Spoon in 2005 and has continued with 1080 Recipes, Vefa's Kitchen, I Know How to Cook, India Cookbook, and New Nordic cooking, The Lebanese Kitchen is the definitive guide to traditional cuisine from Lebanon.
The Lebanese Kitchen brings together more than 500 recipes, ranging from light, tempting mezes to rich and hearty main courses. On the shores of the eastern Mediterranean and a gateway to the Middle East, the food of Lebanon blends textures, colours, scents and flavours from both, and has long been regarded as one of the most refined cuisines in the Middle East. The diversity of Lebanese food reflects the variety inherent in the country's landscape and climate, from the fertile Beqaa Valley to the snow-covered tops of the Danniyeh mountains. This means that fresh and inspiring vegetable dishes such as the classic tabbouleh (bulgur wheat and parsley salad) are as numerous as the meat specialities like lamb kofte, or traditional desserts such as muhallabieh (a milk and rose water pudding topped with pistachios). Many areas produce a range of home-grown fruit and vegetables such as tomatoes, apples, figs, beans, grapes and citrus fruits, and there are many traditional recipes that show the uses that resourceful home cooks have developed to make the most of seasonal produce. Lebanese food has become increasingly popular in the last few years, and is nutritious and healthy (based on vegetables, oil and pulses and a balanced use of meat), as well as aromatic and tempting. Salma Hage, a Lebanese housewife from Mazarat Tiffah (Apple Hamlet) in the mountains of the Kadisha Valley in north Lebanon, has over 50 years experience of family cooking. In The Lebanese Kitchen she presents a comprehensive list of her own recipes for family favourites along with classic dishes handed from generation to generation. A combination of old favourites and some inspiring surprises, The Lebanese Kitchen is a must for everyone with an interest in this wholesome and delicious cuisine.
There are 7 chapters. The final chapter has guest chefs
Salma Hage, 70, a Lebanese housewife from Mazarat Tiffah (Apple Hamlet) in the mountains of the Kadisha Valley in north Lebanon, has over 50 years experience of family cooking. She learned to cook from her mother, mother-in-law and sisters-in-law, and, having helped bring up her nine brothers and two sisters, would often cook for the whole family. She has also spent many years working as a cook.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] Anne Frank Unbound
Media, Imagination, Memory
(The Modern Jewish Experience)
Edited by BKG Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Jeffrey Shandler
October 2012, Indiana University Press
As millions of people around the world who have read her diary attest, Anne Frank, the most familiar victim of the Holocaust, has a remarkable place in contemporary memory. Anne Frank Unbound looks beyond this young girl's words at the numerous ways people have engaged her life and writing. Apart from officially sanctioned works and organizations, there exists a prodigious amount of cultural production, which encompasses literature, art, music, film, television, blogs, pedagogy, scholarship, religious ritual, and comedy. Created by both artists and amateurs, these responses to Anne Frank range from veneration to irreverence. Although at times they challenge conventional perceptions of her significance, these works testify to the power of Anne Frank, the writer, and Anne Frank, the cultural phenomenon, as people worldwide forge their own connections with the diary and its author.
Includes essays by Edna Nahshon, Leshu Torchin, Henri Lustiger Thaler, Wilfried Wiedemann, Ilana Abramovitch, Brigitte Sion, Liora Gubkin, Sara B. Horowitz, Daniel Belasco, Judah M. Cohen, Sally Charnow, Edward Portnoy, Aviva Weintraub, and more. Sections include I. Mediating; II. Remembering, III. Imagining, and IV. Contesting. Also includes a Musicography of Anne Frank pieces and a Videography
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] THE POLISH BOXER
A novel
BY EDUARDO HALFON
October 2012, Bellevue Literary Press / NYU Medicine
The Polish Boxer covers a vast landscape of human experience while enfolding a search for origins: a grandson tries to make sense of his Polish grandfather’s past and the story behind his numbered tattoo; a Serbian classical pianist longs for his forbidden heritage; a Mayan poet is torn between his studies and filial obligations; a striking young Israeli woman seeks answers in Central America; a university professor yearns for knowledge that he can’t find in books and discovers something unexpected at a Mark Twain conference. Drawn to what lies beyond the range of reason, they all reach for the beautiful and fleeting, whether through humor, music, poetry, or unspoken words. Across his encounters with each of them, the narrator—a Guatemalan literature professor and writer named Eduardo Halfon—pursues his most enigmatic subject: himself.
Mapping the geography of identity in a world scarred by a legacy of violence and exile, The Polish Boxer marks the debut of a major new Latin American voice in English. Eduardo lives in Nebraska and was born in Guatamala.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] THE BOOK OF GENESIS
A BIOGRAPHY
BY RONALD HENDEL (Berkeley)
October 2012, Princeton
During its 2,500-year life, the book of Genesis has been the keystone to almost every important claim about reality, humanity, and God in Judaism and Christianity. And it continues to play a central role in debates about science, politics, and human rights. With clarity and skill, acclaimed biblical scholar Ronald Hendel provides a panoramic history of this iconic book, exploring its impact on Western religion, philosophy, science, politics, literature, and more. Hendel traces how Genesis has shaped views of reality, and how changing views of reality have shaped interpretations of Genesis. Literal and figurative readings have long competed with each other. Hendel tells how Luther's criticisms of traditional figurative accounts of Genesis undermined the Catholic Church; how Galileo made the radical argument that the cosmology of Genesis wasn't scientific evidence; and how Spinoza made the equally radical argument that the scientific method should be applied to Genesis itself. Indeed, Hendel shows how many high points of Western thought and art have taken the form of encounters with Genesis--from Paul and Augustine to Darwin, Emily Dickinson, and Kafka.
From debates about slavery, gender, and sexuality to the struggles over creationism and evolution, Genesis has shaped our world and continues to do so today. This wide-ranging account tells the remarkable story of the life of Genesis like no other book.













[book] Guesstimation 2.0:
Solving Today's Problems on the Back of a Napkin
By Lawrence Weinstein
October 2012,
Princeton
Guesstimation 2.0 reveals the simple and effective techniques needed to estimate virtually anything--quickly--and illustrates them using an eclectic array of problems. A stimulating follow-up to Guesstimation, this is the must-have book for anyone preparing for a job interview in technology or finance, where more and more leading businesses test applicants using estimation questions just like these. The ability to guesstimate on your feet is an essential skill to have in today's world, whether you're trying to distinguish between a billion-dollar subsidy and a trillion-dollar stimulus, a megawatt wind turbine and a gigawatt nuclear plant, or parts-per-million and parts-per-billion contaminants. Lawrence Weinstein begins with a concise tutorial on how to solve these kinds of order of magnitude problems, and then invites readers to have a go themselves. The book features dozens of problems along with helpful hints and easy-to-understand solutions. It also includes appendixes containing useful formulas and more. Guesstimation 2.0 shows how to estimate everything from how closely you can orbit a neutron star without being pulled apart by gravity, to the fuel used to transport your food from the farm to the store, to the total length of all toilet paper used in the United States. It also enables readers to answer, once and for all, the most asked environmental question of our day: paper or plastic?












[book] Why I Left Goldman Sachs
A Wall Street Story
By Greg Smith
October 2012
Grand Central Publishing
On March 14, 2012, more than three million people read Greg Smith's bombshell Op-Ed in The New York Times titled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs."
The column immediately went viral, became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, and drew passionate responses from former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. Mostly, though, it hit a nerve among the general public who question the role of Wall Street in society -- and the callous "take-the-money-and-run" mentality that brought the world economy to its knees a few short years ago. Many supported Smith. Others vilified him for making tons of money from Goldman and then realizing that he was maybe not doing the right thing after a decade. Some were bothered that he mentioned how playing ping pong in Israel helped him change his attitude. Smith now picks up where his Op-Ed left off.
Smith was born and raised in South Africa and went to Stanford in the Bay Area for college. His story begins in the summer of 2000, when an idealistic 21-year-old arrives as an intern at Goldman Sachs and learns about the firm's Business Principle #1: Our clients' interests always come first. This remains Smith's mantra as he rises from intern to analyst to sales trader, with clients controlling assets of more than a trillion dollars.
From the shenanigans of his summer internship during the technology bubble to Las Vegas hot tubs and the excesses of the real estate boom; from the career lifeline he received from an NFL Hall of Famer during the bear market to the day Warren Buffett came to save Goldman Sachs from extinction-Smith will take the reader on his personal journey through the firm, and bring us inside the world's most powerful bank.
Smith describes in page-turning detail how the most storied investment bank on Wall Street went from taking iconic companies like Ford, Sears, and Microsoft public to becoming a "vampire squid" that referred to its clients as "muppets" and paid the government a record half-billion dollars to settle SEC charges. He shows the evolution of Wall Street into an industry riddled with conflicts of interest and a profit-at-all-costs mentality: a perfectly rigged game at the expense of the economy and the society at large.
After conversations with nine Goldman Sachs partners over a twelve-month period proved fruitless, Smith came to believe that the only way the system would ever change was for an insider to finally speak out publicly. He walked away from his career and took matters into his own hands. This is his story
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book














[book] YOU SAVED ME, TOO
What A Holocaust Survivor Taught Me About Living, Dying, Fighting, Loving, and Swearing in Yiddish
By Susan Kushner Resnick (Brown Univ)
October 2012, Skirt! Globe Pequot
Aron Lieb approached Sue Resnick at a Jewish Community Center fifteen years ago, and found a companion and soul mate who was steadfastly by his side for the rest of his life. You Saved Me, Too is the incredible story of how two people shared the hidden parts of themselves and created a bond that was complicated, challenging, but ultimately invaluable.
Sue was first attracted to Aron's warmth and wit, such a contrast to his tragic past and her recent battle with postpartum depression. Soon she would be dealing with his mental illness, fighting the mainstream Jewish community for help with his care, and questioning her faith. The dramatic tension builds when Sue promises not to let Aron die alone. This book chronicles their remarkable friendship, which began with weekly coffee dates and flourished into much more. With beautiful prose, it alternates between his history, their developing friendship, and a current health crisis that may force them to part.

“In well-executed, second-person prose, Resnick speaks directly to the elderly Aron Lieb—a virtually family-less Holocaust survivor whom she befriends—as he lies on his deathbed in a nursing home. Short vignettes skip back and forth through time, covering the history of their relationship: Resnick’s struggle with Jewish identity (“I figured as long as I stayed ambivalent about being Jewish, I might not get killed by the Nazis the next time they came”) and Aron’s own history before, during, and after the war. The writing is sentimental and emotional (culminating in “Who saved whom?”) as much as it is honest and informative; in telling Aron’s story, Resnick unapologetically criticizes both the incompetence of elder-care facilities as well as the failure of Jewish communal organizations to help a person who, after a life of hardship, deserves a break. This painful memoir is not easy to read: Resnick displays her artistic skill as she attempts to make sense of Aron’s life in light of her own (“I own the book of your life, but I can’t read it”). The telling of Aron’s story, a true labor of love, is a reminder of both the individuality of each survivor and the reality that their generation is dying and must be remembered.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] The Warrior's Heart
Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage
By Eric Greitens, Lt Cmdr (Res) USN
October 2012, Houghton Mifflin
In this adaptation of his best-selling book, The Heart and the Fist, Eric speaks directly to teen readers, interweaving memoir and intimate second-person narratives that ask the reader to put themselves in the shoes of himself and others. Readers will share in Eric’s evolution from average kid to globe-traveling humanitarian to warrior, training and serving with the most elite military outfit in the world: the Navy SEALs. Along the way, they’ll be asked to consider the power of choices, of making the decision each and every day to act with courage and compassion so that they grow to be tomorrow’s heroes. Sure to inspire and motivate.
Eric Greitens was born and raised in St Louis, Missouri. After earning a Ph.D. as a Rhodes Scholar and serving as a humanitarian volunteer overseas, Eric joined the US Navy and passed the course to be a Navy SEAL. A boxing champion and a decorated combat veteran, he is the founder of the nonprofit The Mission Continues and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Heart and the Fist. The son of Becky and Rob Greitens. In 2012, he received the $100,000 Charles Bronfman Prize.
Greitens wrote that he spent time in Rwanda working with unaccompanied children who had survived the genocides. He spoke to many children, women, and men that had endured the unimaginable. One young man, who had studied English in Kigali and hid with his sister and two young neighbor girls during the violence, told me that during the violence he thought of Elie Wiesel and his book, Night, which gave him strength.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book














[book] The Gaon of Vilna and His Messianic Vision
By Arie Morgenstern, Shalem Center
October 2012 Gefen
The main discovery of this book is that despite the grave disillusionment and trauma that the Sabbatean crisis (1666) had inflicted, a new awakening for messianic redemption ensued in the eighteenth century.
Some kabbalists continued to insist vehemently that redemption was imminent and that one needed only to find new ways to assure its fulfillment through: mystical kavvanot, ascents of the soul, and cleavage to God. But others declared that redemption can be attained only through mystical groups that would achieve fraternity and unity in Erez? Israel, and exert a theurgic influence. One of the most influential figures in this movement was Rabbi Immanuel Hai Ricchi (1688–1743). Ricchi performed various end-reckonings and geared them to a forty-one-year period that approximated his own time—from 1740 to 1781.
He was not alone in this pursuit. Kabbalist like Rabbi H?ayyim ben Attar , Moses Hayyim Luzzatto , kabbalists from the Kloyz of Brody, and hundreds of Hassidim in 1777, ascent to Eretz Israel out of messianic motives. We also discovered that the Gaon of Vilna was on his way in the year 1778, and even the quest for the Ten Tribes, which, according to tradition, would be discovered and returned at the End of Days, was also a part of that movement.
This book, inspired by newly discovered archive findings, sheds new light on entire eighteenth-century Jewish history, and especially on the most complex, historically unique persona of the Gaon of Vilna (1720-1797), who perceived himself as having a messianic mission: to reveal the Torah as it had been handed down to Moses at Sinai and writing the final code that would lead directly to the imminent redemption of the Jewish people.












[book] The Elected and The Chosen
Why American Presidents Have Supported the Jews and Israel
By Denis Brian
October 2012 Gefen
The Elected and the Chosen, by Denis Brian, reveals how and why, almost without exception, American presidents sought to protect Jews at home and abroad from their often deadly enemies. It explains why American presidents have admired and befriended Jews, appointed them to powerful positions, and eventually helped them achieve their greatest dream: a return to the country of their forebears and the establishment of a Jewish state in which they were masters of their destiny. Based on once-secret documents and little-known diaries, The Elected and the Chosen discloses, for the first time, the close ties that have bound American presidents and the Jews from the dawn of American history.
In a remarkable and provocative preface for this book, Alan M. Dershowitz, Harvard law professor and acclaimed author of several books on Israel and the Jewish people, writes: I think of myself as quite knowledgeable with regard to Israel and Jewish people, having read quite widely in both fields. I was shocked when I read this book to find out how much I didn’t know.… It is a must-read for all who care about maintaining a crucial alliance so important to both the United States and Israel.











[book] The Accordian in the Americas
Klezmer, Polka, Tango, Zydeco, and More
Edited by Helena Simonett
October 2012 University of Illinois Press
An invention of the Industrial Revolution, the accordion provided the less affluent with an inexpensive, loud, portable, and durable "one-man-orchestra" capable of producing melody, harmony, and bass all at once. Imported from Europe into the Americas, the accordion with its distinctive sound became a part of the aural landscape for millions of people but proved to be divisive: while the accordion formed an integral part of working-class musical expression, bourgeois commentators often derided it as vulgar and tasteless.
This rich collection considers the accordion and its myriad forms, from the concertina, button accordion, and piano accordion familiar in European and North American music to the exotic-sounding South American bandoneón and the sanfoninha. Capturing the instrument's spread and adaptation to many different cultures in North and South America, contributors illuminate how the accordion factored into power struggles over aesthetic values between elites and working-class people who often were members of immigrant and/or marginalized ethnic communities. Specific histories and cultural contexts discussed include the accordion in Brazil, Argentine tango, accordion traditions in Colombia, cross-border accordion culture between Mexico and Texas, Cajun and Creole identity, working-class culture near Lake Superior, the virtuoso Italian-American and Klezmer accordions, Native American dance music, and American avant-garde.
Contributors are María Susana Azzi, Egberto Bermúdez, Mark DeWitt, Joshua Horowitz, Sydney Hutchinson, Marion Jacobson, James P. Leary, Megwen Loveless, Richard March, Cathy Ragland, Helena Simonett, Jared Snyder, Janet L. Sturman, and Christine F. Zinni.










[book] A WEDDING IN GREAT NECK
BY YONA ZELDIS MCDONOUGH
October 2012 NAL
The Silverstein family is coming together in Great Neck, Long Island, for the nuptials of the youngest daughter. Always considered the favorite—and the object of much envy and resentment—Angelica has planned a fairy tale wedding to her fiancé, a former fighter pilot. But there are storm clouds on the horizon.
Gretchen, Angelica’s sister, is dealing with a failed marriage and her moody teenage daughter Justine. One brother is a callous businessman while the other is struggling with his search for love and a career. Her mother is in a battle of wills with the wedding planner, while her father, a recovering alcoholic, struggles to confront his ex-wife’s lavish new life in the Long Island manor of her dreams. And her grandmother Lenore has decided it’s high time to take charge and set her grandchildren on their proper paths.
Then an impulsive act by Justine puts the entire wedding at risk and brings the simmering family tensions to the boiling point. Before vows are exchanged, this day will change more than one life forever…











[book] DRIVING THE SAUDIS
A CHAUFFEUR’S TALE OF THE WORLD’S RICHEST PRINCESS
PLUS THEIR SERVANTS NANNIES AND ONE ROYAL HAIRDRESSER
October 2012
Free Press
After more than a decade of working in Hollywood, actress Jayne Amelia Larson found herself out of luck, out of work, and out of prospects. Without telling her friends or family, she took a job as a limousine driver, thinking that the work might be a good way to dig out of debt while meeting A-list celebrities and important movie moguls. When she got hired to drive for the Saudi royal family vacationing in Beverly Hills, Larson thought she’d been handed the golden ticket. She’d heard stories of the Saudis giving $20,000 tips and Rolex watches to their drivers. But when the family arrived at LAX with millions of dollars in cash—money that they planned to spend over the next couple of weeks—Larson realized that she might be in for the ride of her life. With awestruck humor and deep compassion, she describes her eye-opening adventures as the only female in a detail of over forty assigned to drive a beautiful Saudi princess, her family, and their extensive entourage.
To be a good chauffeur means to be a “fly on the wall,” to never speak unless spoken to, to never ask questions, to allow people to forget that you are there. The nature of the employment—Larson was on call 24 hours a day and 7 days a week—and the fact that she was the only female driver gave her an up close and personal view of one of the most closely guarded monarchies in the world, a culture of great intrigue and contradiction, and of unimaginable wealth.
The Saudis traveled large: they brought furniture, Persian rugs, Limoges china, lustrous silver serving trays, and extraordinary coffees and teas from around the world. The family and their entourage stayed at several luxury hotels, occupying whole floors of each (the women housed separately from the Saudi men, whom Larson barely saw). Each day the royal women spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on plastic surgery and mega-shopping sprees on Rodeo Drive. Even the tea setup had its very own hotel room, while the servants were crammed together on rollaway beds in just a few small rooms down the hall.
Larson witnessed plenty of drama: hundreds of hours of cosmetic surgery recovery, the purchasing of Hermès Birkin bags of every color, roiling battles among the upper-echelon entourage members all jockeying for a better position in the palace hierarchy, and the total disregard that most of the royal entourage had for their exhausted staff. But Driving the Saudis also reveals how Larson grew to understand the complicated nuances of a society whose strict customs remain intact even across continents. She saw the intimate bond that connected the royals with their servants and nannies; she befriended the young North African servant girls, who supported whole families back home by working night and day for the royals but were not permitted to hold their own passports lest they try to flee.
While experiencing a life-changing “behind the veil” glimpse into Saudi culture, Larson ultimately discovers that we’re all very much the same everywhere—the forces that corrupt us, make us desperate, and make us human are surprisingly universal.





[book] Reflections in a Mirror
Of Love, Loss, Death and Divorce
By Raoul Felder
October 2012
Barricade Books
A beautifully written, evocative memoir of the improbable lives of two brothers: Author Raoul Felder, well-known lawyer specializing in high-profile divorce cases and his brother Jerome, famous as a songwriter under the pseudonym Doc Pomus (Save the Last Dance For Me; This Magic Moment; He’s a Hero). The tale encapsulates the essence of an urban America of a certain time and place in history. It is a story of essential themes in life: love and death, man's inhumanity to man, crime and divorce, a landscape that is as broad as America and Europe and as deep as the human soul. One can feel the heat of teeming city streets, the power of love, the legal wrestling of federal criminal cases, and the hate of divorces. We find Raoul in med school in Bern Switzerland, and follow him to law school and NYC. We learn of the crushing news when his brother got polio at Summer camp and was placed in an iron lung (he never walked again). Of course we learn how divorce law in 1964 was like proctology in medicine, many people found it unseemly and avoided it.
Sure you might find his grotesque, someone who will kill for his clients in divorces, a master of manipulation, a disgusting person with axes to dring, as in his earlier book written with Jackie Mason, but in this he is more tender.
Clients and friends include the mothers of the children of Tom Jones and Mike Tyson, former Mayor Rudi Giuliani, Actor Richard Harris, Robin Givens, Riddick Bowe, David Gest (was married to Liza), and many more celebutantes. The memoir is, at core center caring and brilliant, funny and heartbreaking.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book












[book] In Search of Cleo
How I Found My Pussy and Lost My Mind
By Gina Gershon (Actress and Author)
October 2012
Gotham
A charming and funny memoir about experiences Gina Gershon has had with cats throughout her life that are analogous to her relationships with men and her ongoing search for true love.
Film and television icon Gina Gershon may be best known for her movie roles in Bound and Showgirls and TV appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm and How to Make It in America, but deep down she is a self-described cat lady.
The book opens as Gina returns from a trip and learns from her assistant (who dots her ‘I’s” with stars) that Gina’s beloved cat has run away. Why? Because the assistant took the cat to be groomed at a dog groomer. Cats do not like that. In Search of Cleo follows Gina’s desperation and despair as she searches for her cat. Did I mention that Gina had just broken up with her boyfriend of eight years, and lost a beloved uncle and her father. Her cat was her friend and stability in this time of overwhelming stress. Gina spends two months roaming the back streets of Los Angeles at all hours of the night, (she found that she was eating a lot of Milano cookies on AMBIEN) searching for Cleo and meeting several quirky and outrageous characters who help or hinder her in different ways, including Ellen DeGeneres, who searches with Gina and recommends her pet psychic, Sonia; Arthur, the six foot four huge African American newspaper delivery man who gives her advice (reminding her of her Southern caregiver from her childhood who spoke with a drawl and got high off Nyquil); and the mysterious fortune-teller, who appears from the shadows to give her a statue of Saint Gertrude, the protector of cats everywhere.
Gina soon finds herself enmeshed in L.A.’s strangest subcultures, doing everything she can to bring Cleo home, including chanting with a bunch of crystal-wielding hippies and being slapped with a chicken by a Santeria priest. Along the way, she reflects on the various cats that have been a part of her life (and baby duck) and shares her travails as a single girl in search of both her cat and some sanity. In Search of Cleo will delight pet lovers and singletons alike, and for some, you will wish that a psychiatrist reads the book and has a friendly interaction... not really.. cuz no harm is done and it is a funny read
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] DAVENING
A GUIDE TO MEANINGFUL JEWISH PRAYER
BY RABBI ZALMAN SCHACHTER-SHALOMI with JOEL SIEGEL
FOREWORD BY RABBI LAWRENCE KUSHNER
Fall 2012,
Jewish Lights
A fresh approach to prayer for all who wish to appreciate the power of prayers, poetry and song — and join the age-old conversation that Jews have had with God. Even Jews who pray regularly know how challenging prayer can be. Some are uneasy with the idea of God, of talking to God as an Other, of petitioning for their needs. Some have trouble with the Hebrew or remain unmoved by the prayer book s kingly metaphors. Others are impatient with the shortcomings we perceive in our synagogues. They don t understand why prayer is relevant to their lives. They want access to prayer they can truly mean rather than just recite.
This fresh look at prayer practice offers a way around these problems through Hassidic spirituality and kabbalah. This is not prayer of obligation but prayer of invitation. Reb Zalman emphasizes the opportunities that prayer offers: opportunities for song and silence; for connection and remembrance; to unburden and to trust. Readers will learn:
How prayer can engage not just spirit, but mind, heart and body.
Meditations that open the door to kavanah, the focus or intention with which we pray.
How to understand the underlying deep structure of our prayer services.
How to find and feel at home in a synagogue.
How to sing and lead niggunim, the simple, wordless tunes that Jews sing to get closer to God.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] On the Chocolate Trail
A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions,
History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes
to the Magic of Cacao
By Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz
Fall 2012,
Jewish Lights
jews-onthechocolatetrail.org
Take a delectable journey through the religious history of chocolate a real treat. Explore the surprising Jewish and other religious connections to chocolate in this gastronomic and historical adventure through cultures, countries, centuries and convictions.
Rabbi Deborah Prinz, a popular speaker, draws from her world travels on the trail of chocolate to enchant chocolate lovers of all backgrounds as she unravels religious connections in the early chocolate trade and shows how Jewish and other religious values infuse chocolate today. With mouth-watering recipes, a glossary of chocolaty terms, tips for buying luscious, ethically produced chocolate, a list of sweet chocolate museums around the world and more, this book unwraps tasty facts such as:
Some people including French (Bayonne) chocolate makers believe that Jews brought chocolate making to France.
The bishop of Chiapas, Mexico, was poisoned because he prohibited local women from drinking chocolate during Mass.
Although Quakers do not observe Easter, it was a Quaker-owned chocolate company Fry’s that claimed to have created the first chocolate Easter egg in the United Kingdom.
A born-again Christian businessman in the Midwest marketed his caramel chocolate bar as a Noshie, after the Yiddish word for snack.
Chocolate Chanukah gelt may have developed from St. Nicholas customs.
The Mayan Book of Counsel taught that gods created humans from chocolate and maize.
Rabbi Prinz serves the CCAR as Interim Director of Program and Member Service. She is also the Rabbi Emerita of Temple Adat Shalom, Poway, California, having served as its Senior Rabbi for almost twenty years. Prior to that she was, for seven fat years, the Rabbi of a synagogue in Bergen County, New Jersey, and also the Assistant Rabbi of Central Synagogue in Manhattan. She was awarded the Starkoff Fellowship from the American Jewish Archives as well as a fellowship from the Rockefeller Library to pursue this research.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book












[book] In Sunlight and in Shadow
By Mark Helprin
October 2012
Houghton Mifflin
Can love and honor conquer all?
Mark Helprin’s enchanting and sweeping novel springs from this deceptively simple question, and from the sight of a beautiful young woman, dressed in white, on the Staten Island Ferry, at the beginning of summer, 1946.
Postwar New York glows with energy. Harry Copeland, an elite paratrooper who fought behind enemy lines in Europe, has returned home to run the family business. Yet his life is upended by a single encounter with the young singer and heiress Catherine Thomas Hale, as they each fall for the other in an instant.
Harry and Catherine pursue one another in a romance played out in Broadway theaters, Long Island mansions, the offices of financiers, and the haunts of gangsters. Catherine’s choice of Harry over her longtime fiancé endangers Harry’s livelihood and eventually threatens his life. In the end, it is Harry’s extraordinary wartime experience that gives him the character and means to fight for Catherine, and risk everything. Not since Winter’s Tale has Mark Helprin written such a magically inspiring saga. Entrancing in its lyricism, In Sunlight and in Shadow so powerfully draws you into New York at the dawn of the modern age that, as in a vivid dream, you will not want to leave.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book












[book] This Is Not My Hat
By Jon Klassen
October 2012
Candlewick Press
Ages 3 and Up
Not a Jewish Book.. but… When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not like he’ll ever know what happened. . . . Visual humor swims to the fore as the best-selling Jon Klassen follows his breakout debut with another deadpan-funny tale.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









See also:
[book]




















Not Jewish.. but of interest to Jewish readers:
[book] FACING THE TORTURER
BY FRANCOISE BIZOT (Sorbonne)
Translated from French by Charlotte Mandell and Antoine Audouard
October 2012
Knopf
The author of the acclaimed memoir The Gate now gives us a mesmerizing account of his personal relationship with one of the most infamous torturers of the twentieth century, and of his transformative experience observing and participating in that man’s recent trial for war crimes.
In 1971, François Bizot was researching Khmer pottery and Buddhist ritual in rural Cambodia when, along with two Cambodian assistants, he was arrested by Communist guerrillas on suspicion of being an American spy. In captivity, Bizot would establish an unlikely rapport with his interrogator, Comrade Duch, a twenty-nine-year-old former math teacher, now commander of the jungle encampment. After many long conversations, Duch would become convinced of Bizot’s innocence, finally deciding to release his prisoner against the wishes of his superiors, including one Saloth Sar—the future Pol Pot. And so it was on Christmas Day 1971 that Bizot was allowed to depart the camp but obliged to leave his assistants behind.
In 1999, Bizot would hear of the arrest of the “butcher of Tuol Sleng (the name of the infamous death camp/killing field).” This was the nom de guerre that Comrade Duch had earned after releasing Bizot and proceeding to exterminate some ten thousand Cambodians, including Bizot’s assistants, Lay and Son. Duch’s unexpected capture after years in hiding presented François Bizot with his first opportunity to confront the man who’d held him captive for three months and whose strange sense of justice had resulted in Bizot’s being the only Westerner to survive imprisonment by the Khmer Rouge. The arrest also forced Bizot to confront a paradox: How could the man who’d been his savior have become one of the most monstrous perpetrators of the Cambodian genocide?
Taking part in the trial as a witness, with Duch the sole defendant, would return Bizot to the heart of darkness. This is the testimony of what he discovered—about the torturer and about himself—on that harrowing journey.
Bizot understands one truly terrible thing: Duch is no monster. He has been fashioned into the appearance of one by circumstance. A memoir and a court record, it is a disturbing read on many levels. And a testimony for those millions who have no voice since Duch, and others like him, silenced them. A difficult but essential read.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









Not Jewish.. but of interest to Jewish readers:
[book] The Medieval Kitchen
A Social History with Recipes
By Hannele Klemettila (Academy of Finland)
Reaktion Books
October 2012
What were people eating in Europe in Medieval times. Were the neighbors of Jewish people eating gruel?
We don’t usually think of haute cuisine when we think of the Middle Ages. But while the poor did eat a lot of vegetables, porridge, and bread, the medieval palate was far more diverse than commonly assumed. Meat, including beef, mutton, deer, and rabbit, turned on spits over crackling fires, and the rich showed off their prosperity by serving peacock and wild boar at banquets. Fish was consumed in abundance, especially during religious periods such as Lent, and the air was redolent with exotic spices like cinnamon and pepper that came all the way from the Far East.
In this richly illustrated history, Hannele Klemettilä corrects common misconceptions about the food of the Middle Ages, acquainting the reader not only with the food culture but also the customs and ideologies associated with eating in medieval times. Fish, meat, fruit, and vegetables traveled great distances to appear on dinner tables across Europe, and Klemettillä takes us into the medieval kitchens of Western Europe and Scandinavia to describe the methods and utensils used to prepare and preserve this well-traveled food. The Medieval Kitchen also contains more than sixty original recipes for enticing fare like roasted veal paupiettes with (bacon) and herbs, rose pudding, and spiced wine.
Evoking the dining rooms and kitchens of Europe some six hundred years ago, The Medieval Kitchen will tempt anyone with a taste for the food, customs, and folklore of times long past.

Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book















Oh, those Hellenists:
[book] TRAVELS WITH EPICURUS
A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life
By Daniel Klein
Penguin Books
October 30, 2012
Klein, the author of a book on half-Jews, and many other topics, travels to Greece and chat philosophy
One of the bestselling authors of Plato and a Platypus travels to Greece with a suitcase full of philosophy books, seeking the best way to achieve a fulfilling old age. Daniel Klein journeys to the Greek island Hydra to discover the secrets of aging happily. Drawing on the lives of his Greek friends, as well as philosophers ranging from Epicurus to Sartre, Klein learns to appreciate old age as a distinct and extraordinarily valuable stage of life. He uncovers simple pleasures that are uniquely available late in life, as well as headier pleasures that only a mature mind can fully appreciate. A travel book, a witty and accessible meditation, and an optimistic guide to living well, Travels with Epicurus is a delightful jaunt to the Aegean and through the terrain of old age led by a droll philosopher. A perfect gift book for the holidays, this little treasure is sure to please longtime fans of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar and garner new ones, young and old
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book















[book] THE ART FORGER
A NOVEL
BY B.A. SHAPIRO
Algonquin Books
October 2012
On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art worth today over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.
Claire makes her living reproducing famous works of art for a popular online retailer. Desperate to improve her situation, she lets herself be lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting—one of the Degas masterpieces stolen from the Gardner Museum—in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when the long-missing Degas painting—the one that had been hanging for one hundred years at the Gardner—is delivered to Claire’s studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery.
Claire’s search for the truth about the painting’s origins leads her into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late nineteenth century may be the only evidence that can now save her life. B. A. Shapiro’s razor-sharp writing and rich plot twists make The Art Forger an absorbing literary thriller that treats us to three centuries of forgers, art thieves, and obsessive collectors. it’s a dazzling novel about seeing—and not seeing—the secrets that lie beneath the canvas.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book


















Publisher’s Weekly said that some readers MAY find the author’s dubious historical accuracy and anti-Semitism “TROUBLING.” Yea, “troubling.”
[book] Jerusalem
Arab Social Life, Traditions and
Everyday Pleasures
By Subhi S. Ghosheh, member of the Palestine National Council
Fall 2012
Interlink Olive Branch
A study of the culture and traditions of Jerusalem that seeks to preserve its Arab traditions: festivals, folk medicine, cuisine, and even the everyday simple pleasures.
It is anti modernization and anti-Israel
The author writes that indigenous Palestinian identity is being “obliterated” by Jews and Israeli brainwashing
Jerusalem is a city of unique grief, a city that has been the target of conquerors more than twenty times. Yet the city has managed to maintain its Arabic culture and traditions--Islamic, Christian, and Jewish--and has emerged victorious time and time again. But beginning with its partial occupation in 1948, its full occupation in 1967, and continuing through today, the Israeli claim on Jerusalem and the government's efforts to change its identity, threatens, finally, to obliterate the traditional Arab culture of the city.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] Venus in the Afternoon
(Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction)
By Tehila Lieberman
Fall 2012
University of North Texas Press
The short stories in this rich debut collection embody in their complexity Alice Munro’s description of the short story as “a world seen in a quick, glancing light.” In chiseled and elegant prose, Lieberman conjures wildly disparate worlds. A middle aged window washer, mourning his wife and an estranged daughter, begins to grow attached to a young woman he sees through the glass; a writer, against his better judgment, pursues a new relationship with a femme fatale who years ago broke his heart; and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor struggles with the delicate decision of whether to finally ask her aging mother how it was that she survived. It is all here—the exigencies of love, of lust, the raw, unlit terrain of grief. Whether plumbing the darker depths or casting a humorous eye on a doomed relationship, these stories never force a choice between tragedy and redemption, but rather invite us into the private moments and crucibles of lives as hungry and flawed as our own.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] Conversion and Narrative
Reading and Religious Authority in Medieval Polemic
(The Middle Ages Series)
By Ryan Szpiech (University of Michigan)
Fall 2012
University of Pennsylvania Press
In 1322, a Jewish doctor named Abner entered a synagogue in the Castilian city of Burgos and began to weep in prayer. Falling asleep, he dreamed of a "great man" who urged him to awaken from his slumber. Shortly thereafter, he converted to Christianity and wrote a number of works attacking his old faith. Abner tells the story in fantastic detail in the opening to his Hebrew-language but anti-Jewish polemical treatise, Teacher of Righteousness.
In the religiously plural context of the medieval Western Mediterranean, religious conversion played an important role as a marker of social boundaries and individual identity. The writers of medieval religious polemics such as Teacher of Righteousness often began by giving a brief, first-person account of the rejection of their old faith and their embrace of the new. In such accounts, Ryan Szpiech argues, the narrative form plays an important role in dramatizing the transition from infidelity to faith.
Szpiech draws on a wide body of sources from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim polemics to investigate the place of narrative in the representation of conversion. Making a firm distinction between stories told about conversion and the experience of religious change, his book is not a history of conversion itself but a comparative study of how and why it was presented in narrative form within the context of religious disputation. He argues that between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, conversion narratives were needed to represent communal notions of history and authority in allegorical, dramatic terms. After considering the late antique paradigms on which medieval Christian conversion narratives were based, Szpiech juxtaposes Christian stories with contemporary accounts of conversion to Islam and Judaism. He emphasizes that polemical conflict between Abrahamic religions in the medieval Mediterranean centered on competing visions of history and salvation. By seeing conversion not as an individual experience but as a public narrative, Conversion and Narrative provides a new, interdisciplinary perspective on medieval writing about religious disputes.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













NOVEMBER 2012 BOOKS


[book] ODDLY NORMAL
One Family's Struggle to Help Their Teenage
Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality
by John Schwartz (New York Times)
November 2012, Gotham
A heartfelt memoir by the father of a gay teen, and an eye-opening guide for families who hope to bring up well-adjusted gay adults.
Three years ago, a year before the IT GETS BETTER campaign, John Schwartz, a national correspondent at The New York Times, got the call that every parent hopes never to receive: his thirteen-year-old son, Joe, was in the hospital following a failed suicide attempt. After finally mustering the courage to come out as gay to his middle school classmates, Joe’s disclosure — delivered in a tirade against their homophobic attitudes — was greeted with dismay and confusion by his fellow students. Hours later, he came home, walked by his mother who was working as a crossing guard, and he took an overdose of Benadryl pills. Fortunately it is not so easy to die from Benadryl

In the aftermath, John and his wife, Jeanne, found that their intellectually gifted, but at times emotionally immature, son’s school was unable to address Joe’s special needs (not just being gay and dying his hair, but other issues of moodiness, reactions to bullying and criticism, and learning styles).
Angry and frustrated, they initiated their own search for services and groups that could help Joe understand that he wasn’t alone, from P-Flag to journals to therapists to camps to their gay rabbi (Rabbi Mark Kaiserman of Temple Emanu-El of West Essex, but currently Bnai Tzedek of Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley) to “gay uncles.” Oddly Normal is Schwartz’s very personal attempt to address his family’s own struggles within a culture that is changing fast, but not fast enough to help gay kids like Joe.

Schwartz follows Joseph through childhood to the present day, from his birth as the third child of the family, to his desire to wear pink as a pre-schooler, and his enjoyment of dolls and Barbies, his advanced vocabulary, his fabulousness, his progression of good and not so good elementary school teachers and principals, and interweaves his narrative with common questions, including:

Are effeminate boys and tomboy girls necessarily gay?
Is there a relationship between being gay and suicide or mental illness?
Should a child be pushed into coming out?
Parents, teachers, and counselors alike will welcome Oddly Normal and its crucial lessons about helping gay kids –and any kid who is different -- learn how to cope in a potentially hostile world.
Schwartz includes a resource list at the end of the book as well web addresses to 122 articles and studies and resources for people in the same boat.

Kirkus Reviews writes: "An honest, earnest, straightforward account of one boy's coming out," and says the "frank discussion of a subject many still find taboo will be helpful to parents of LGBT children as one example of how to accept a natural condition with dignity and love." Best of all: the Kirkus reviewer writes that "An added bonus is the delightful story written and illustrated by Joe."

Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book












[book] Kin
(Hebrew Literature Series)
By Dror Burstein
Translated by Dalya Bilu
November 2012, Dalkey
In prose both minimal and subtly off kilter, acclaimed novelist Dror Burstein introduces us—through the shifting relationships between an adopted child and his two sets of parents—to an Israel that is as peculiar, and poignant, as Donald Barthelme’s America: ranging from an apocalyptic future to the petty annoyances of daily life, from sliding continents to tiny heartbreaks.
Emil, the unwanted child of two young parents, is adopted by Yoel and Leah, a childless couple. Yet, as the years pass, it becomes clear that Emil doesn’t bear much resemblance to the parents who’ve loved and raised him. Is his name the only thing his real parents have left him?
Kin traces the movements of Emil and his four parents as they walk through the same city, nearby but apart, searching for each other in the faces of passersby; until Yoel, now old, becomes determined to do the impossible: return his grown son—a lonely man approaching middle age—to his birth parents. In prose that is both minimal and subtly off kilter, acclaimed Israeli novelist Dror Burstein introduces us to an Israel that is as peculiar, and poignant, as Donald Barthelme’s America: ranging from an apocalyptic future to the petty annoyances of daily life, from shifting continents to tiny heartbreaks.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more















NEW RELEASE FROM THE IDELSOHN SOCIETY!
[book] Twas the Night Before Hanukkah:
The Musical Battle between Christmas and the Festival of Lights
Various Artists
The Idelsohn Society for the Preservation of Jewish Music
November 2012
TWO CD SET
A unique holiday album featuring The Ramones, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, The Klezmatics, Ella Jenkins, Mel Torme, Dinah Shore, Sammy Davis Jr., Benny Goodman, and many more! This album the first of its kind is a double-disc project that examines the arc of Hanukkah, from a festival reclaimed by young Americans in the 1870s to its full-throated explosion in the 20th century as the Jewish alternative to Christmas. The goal of the project is to use music to examine the relationship between the two holidays and their impact on acculturation and negotiations of personal, social, and communal identity within American culture.
Tracks Include: (for full list click the CD cover)
1. Rock Of Ages Courtesy of (Yivo Archives)
2. Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel(Ella Jenkins)
3. Hanukkah Dance(Woody Guthrie)
4. Svivon Sov Sov Sov
5. Klezzified(Klezmer Conservatory Band)
6. Hanukah Tree(The Klezmatics)
8. Mo Oz Tsur(Sol Zim)
9. The Latke Song Live(Debbie Friedman)
11. Maccabee March(Shirley Cohen)
12. Dreidel(Ethan Miller, Jeremiah Lockwood and Luther Dickinson)
1. (The Ramones) Merry Christmas I Dont Wanna Fight Tonight
2. Sweetest Dreams Be Thine(Theo Bikel)
4. The Christmas Song(Mel Torme)
5. Little Drummer Boy(Bob Dylan)
6. Christmas Eve In My Hometown(Eddie Fisher)
7. O Little Town Of Bethlehem(Richard Tucker)
8. Twelve Days Of Christmas(Dinah Shore)
9. O Come All Ye Faithful(Danny Kaye)
10. Its Christmas All Over The World(Sammy Davis Jr.)
11. Santa Clause Came In The Spring(Benny Goodman)
12. I Got a Cold For Christmas(The Ames Brothers)
13. Jingle Bells(Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass)
14. White Christmas(Mitch Miller)
Click the book’s cover or title to read more
















[book] Saul Steinberg
A Biography
By Deirdre Bair
November 2012, Nan Talese
From National Book Award winner Deirdre Bair, the definitive biography of Saul Steinberg, one of The New Yorker's most iconic artists. The issue date was March 29, 1976. The New Yorker cost 75 cents. And on the cover unfolded Saul Steinberg's vision of the world: New York City, the Hudson River, and then...well, it's really just a bunch of stuff you needn't concern yourself with. Steinberg's brilliant depiction of the world according to self-satisfied New Yorkers placed him squarely in the pantheon of the magazine's—and the era's—most celebrated artists.
But if you look beyond the searing wit and stunning artistry, you'll find one of the most fascinating lives of the twentieth century. Born in Romania, Steinberg was educated in Milan and was already famous for his satirical drawings when World War II forced him to immigrate to the United States. On a single day, Steinberg became a US citizen, a commissioned officer in the US Navy, and a member of the OSS, assigned to spy in China, North Africa, and Italy. After the war ended, he returned to America and to his art. He quickly gained entree into influential circles that included Saul Bellow, Vladimir Nabokov, Willem de Kooning, and Le Corbusier. His wife was the artist Hedda Sterne from whom he separated in 1960 but never divorced and with whom he remained in daily contact for the rest of his life. This conveniently freed him up to amass a coterie of young mistresses and lovers. But his truly great love was the United States, where he traveled extensively by bus, train, and car, drawing, observing, and writing.
His body of work is staggering and influential in ways we may not yet even be able to fully grasp, quite possibly because there has not been a full-scale biography of him until now. Deirdre Bair had access to 177 boxes of documents and more than 400 drawings, and conducted several hundred personal interviews. Steinberg's curious talent for creating myths about himself did not make her job an easy one, but the result is a stunning achievement to admire and enjoy.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book












[book] HALLUCINATIONS
By Dr. Oliver Sacks
Professor, NYU School of Medicine
November 2012
Have you ever seen something that wasn’t really there?
Heard someone call your name in an empty house?
Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing?
Hallucinations don’t belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny, Lilliputian figures of animals and people. People with failing eyesight, paradoxically, may become immersed in a hallucinatory visual world. Hallucinations can be brought on by a simple fever or even the act of waking or falling asleep, when people have visions ranging from luminous blobs of color to beautifully detailed faces or terrifying ogres. Those who are bereaved may receive comforting “visits” from the departed. In some conditions, hallucinations can lead to religious epiphanies or even the feeling of leaving one’s own body.
Humans have always sought such life-changing visions, and for thousands of years have used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve them. As a young doctor in California in the 1960s, Oliver Sacks had both a personal and a professional interest in psychedelics. These, along with his early migraine experiences, launched a lifelong investigation into the varieties of hallucinatory experience.
Here, with his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr. Sacks weaves together stories of his patients and of his own mind-altering experiences to illuminate what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture’s folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all, a vital part of the human condition.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more















Yes, yes.. we get it.. Fifty Shades of Kugel, 50 shades of latkes…
[book] Fifty Shades of Chicken
A Parody in a Cookbook
By F.L. Fowler
November 2012
Clarkson Potter
Dripping Thighs, Sticky Chicken Fingers, Vanilla Chicken, Chicken with a Lardon, Bacon-Bound Wings, Spatchcock Chicken, Learning-to-Truss-You Chicken, Holy Hell Wings, Mustard-Spanked Chicken, and more, more, more!
Fifty chicken recipes, each more seductive than the last, in a book that makes every dinner a turn-on.
“I want you to see this. Then you’ll know everything. It’s a cookbook,” he says and opens to some recipes, with color photos. “I want to prepare you, very much.” This isn’t just about getting me hot till my juices run clear, and then a little rest. There’s pulling, jerking, stuffing, trussing. Fifty preparations. He promises we’ll start out slow, with wine and a good oiling . . . Holy crap. “I will control everything that happens here,” he says. “You can leave anytime, but as long as you stay, you’re my ingredient.” I’ll be transformed from a raw, organic bird into something—what? Something delicious.
So begins the adventures of Miss Chicken, a young free-range, from raw innocence to golden brown ecstasy, in this spoof-in-a-cookbook that simmers in the afterglow of E.L. James’s sensational Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Like Anastasia Steele, Miss Chicken finds herself at the mercy of a dominating man, in this case, a wealthy, sexy, and very hungry chef.
And before long, from unbearably slow drizzling to trussing, Miss Chicken discovers the sheer thrill of becoming the main course. A parody in three acts—“The Novice Bird” (easy recipes for roasters), “Falling to Pieces” (parts perfect for weeknight meals), and “Advanced Techniques” (the climax of cooking)—Fifty Shades of Chicken is a cookbook of fifty irresistible, repertoire-boosting chicken dishes that will leave you hungry for more.
With memorable tips and revealing photographs, Fifty Shades of Chicken will have you dominating dinner. Click the book’s cover or title to read more
















[book] SOME GIRLS, SOME HATS, AND HITLER
BY TRUDI KANTER
Fall 2012
Scribner
Click the book’s cover or title to read more
FOR EVEN IN NAZI VIENNA, Trudi realized, women still looked in the mirror. . . . She knows that even in the bleak darkness, we feel, love, desire. She left no child (she and Walter tried, with no success); her hats are long lost, but her book is her legacy, discovered once again.” —From the introduction by Linda Grant, a uthor of The Clothes on Their Backs, The Thoughtful Dresser and We Had It So Good
In 1938 Trudi Kanter, stunningly beautiful, chic and charismatic, was a hat designer for the best-dressed women in Vienna. She frequented the most elegant cafés. She had suitors. She flew to Paris to see the latest fashions. And she fell deeply in love with Walter Ehrlich, a charming and romantic businessman. But as Hitler’s tanks rolled into Austria, the world this young Jewish couple knew collapsed, leaving them desperate to escape.
In prose that cuts straight to the bone, Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler tells the true story of Trudi’s astonishing journey from Vienna to Prague to blitzed London seeking safety for her and Walter amid the horror engulfing Europe. It was her courage, resourcefulness and perseverance that kept both her and her beloved safe during the Nazi invasion and that make this an indelible memoir of love and survival. Sifting through a secondhand bookshop in London, an English editor stumbled upon this extraordinary book, and now, though she died in 1992, the world has a second chance to discover Trudi Kanter’s enchanting story. In these pages she is alive—vivid, tenacious and absolutely unforgettable.















[book] THESE THINGS HAPPEN
a novel
by richard kramer
November 2012, unbridled
A look a Manhattan elites. Wesley is living with his mother and step-father, but goes to live with his father and his father's male partner, in order to spend some father-son time and bond. But when Wesley is involved in a violent episode, and all hell breaks loose as people are forced to question their perceptions and assumptions. The author, Richard Kramer, 60, is the award winning writer for 30something, My so called life, Family, Now and Again, and more.

A domestic story told in numerous original and endearing voices. The story opens with Wesley, a tenth grader, and involves his two sets of parents (the mom and her second husband, a very thoughtful doctor; and the father who has become a major gay lawyer/activist and his fabulous "significant other" who owns a restaurant).
Wesley is a fabulous kid, whose equally fabulous best friend Theo has just won a big school election and simultaneously surprises everyone in his life by announcing that he is gay. No one is more surprised than Wesley, who actually lives temporarily with his gay father and partner, so that he can get to know his rather elusive dad. When a dramatic and unexpected trauma befalls the boys in school, all the parents converge noisily in love and well-meaning support. But through it all, each character ultimately is made to face certain challenges and assumptions within his/her own life, and the playing out of their respective life priorities and decisions is what makes this novel so endearing and so special.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] Passing Life's Tests
Spiritual Reflections on the Trial of Abraham,
the Binding of Isaac
By Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL
November 2, 2012,
Jewish Lights
How can we live richer lives through contemplating God s merciless demand, the horror of Abraham s test, the faith of Isaac s participation and see our own opportunity to grow by reliving the encounter?
Among stories so terrible they rend our hearts, so profound they touch the depths of our souls, and so exalted they reach to heaven, none is more poignant than the Bible story of Abraham s sacrifice of his son, Isaac. Revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims, turned over and over by great secular thinkers searching for meaning, this gripping tale shocks us into complete attention, then takes us—in fourteen short verses—on a roller coaster ride of emotion, challenge and hope
Rabbi Artson draws on generations of Jewish sages, philosophers and scholars to explore this ancient story, known by Jews as the binding of Isaac and often referred to in English as the test of Abraham. Through his own probing commentary and insightful spiritual reflections, he challenges us to go beneath the simple shocking story and ask: who is the tester, who is the tested and what motivates the test? He invites us to use this powerful tale as a tool for our own soul wrestling, to transcend its words to confront our own existential sacrifices and our ability to face—and surmount—life s tests.
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson holds the Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean's Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. He received his Doctorate in Philosophy and Theology from Hebrew Union College/Institute of Religion, focusing on the integration of science and religion advocating Process Theology. He became interested in Jewish Studies at Harvard after meeting the school’s Hillel Rabbi Ben Zion Gold. After graduation from Harvard and an internship with U.S. Senator Alan Cranston and Congressman John Burton, and some time with Willie Brown in Sacramento, he enrolled in JTS, from which he graduated in 1988.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] Sasha and Emma
The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman
By Paul Avrich and Karen Avrich
November 2012,
Harvard University Press
In 1889 two Russian immigrants, Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, met in a coffee shop on the Lower East Side. Over the next fifty years Emma and Sasha would be fast friends, fleeting lovers, and loyal comrades. This dual biography offers an unprecedented glimpse into their intertwined lives, the lasting influence of the anarchist movement they shaped, and their unyielding commitment to equality and justice.
Berkman shocked the country in 1892 with “the first terrorist act in America,” the failed assassination of the industrialist Henry Clay Frick for his crimes against workers. Passionate and pitiless, gloomy yet gentle, Berkman remained Goldman’s closest confidant though the two were often separated—by his fourteen-year imprisonment and by Emma’s growing fame as the champion of a multitude of causes, from sexual liberation to freedom of speech. The blazing sun to Sasha’s morose moon, Emma became known as “the most dangerous woman in America.” Through an attempted prison breakout, multiple bombing plots, and a dramatic deportation from America, these two unrelenting activists insisted on the improbable ideal of a socially just, self-governing utopia, a vision that has shaped movements across the past century, most recently Occupy Wall Street.
Sasha and Emma is the culminating work of acclaimed historian of anarchism Paul Avrich. Before his death, Avrich asked his daughter to complete his magnum opus. The resulting collaboration, epic in scope, intimate in detail, examines the possibilities and perils of political faith and protest, through a pair who both terrified and dazzled the world.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book












[book] El Iluminado
A Graphic Novel
By Ilan Stavans and Steve Sheinkin
November 2012, Basic Books
The cartoon panels open with a young Rolando Pérez falling off the cliffs outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. The erader is curious and intrigued. The mysteries begin immediately. Was he pushed or did he jump? What are the documents he’s willing to give his life to protect from his family, the police, and the Catholic Church?
The next panels are in modern day America, where Professor Stavans lectures – controversially to some - on crypto Jews of Mexico and the American Southwest.
EL ILUMINADO is a graphic roman a clef featuring Amherst teacher and author Ilan Stavans in the role of academic-become-investigator as he tries to seek the truth about Rolando and the secret documents that reveal the mysterious sect of crypto-Jews (whose lineage is traced back to the Inquisition, and who still live today, partially concealed, in the American Southwest). Steve Sheinkin, the artist for the Rabbi Harvey series, and Stavans take the reader on a journey through the centuries in the quest to understand the many inter-locking mysteries of El Iluminado, Santa Fe, and neighborhood tacos.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] When We Were Free to Be
Looking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made
Edited By Lori Rotskoff and Laura L. Lovett
November 2012, North Carolina
If you grew up in the era of mood rings and lava lamps, you probably remember Free to Be . . . You and Me--the groundbreaking children's record, book, and television special that debuted in 1972.
Conceived by actress and producer Marlo Thomas and promoted by Ms. magazine, it captured the spirit of the growing women's movement and inspired girls and boys to challenge stereotypes, value cooperation, and respect diversity.
In this lively collection marking the fortieth anniversary of Free to Be . . . You and Me, thirty-two contributors explore the creation and legacy of this popular children's classic.
Featuring a prologue by Marlo Thomas, When We Were Free to Be offers an unprecedented insiders' view by the original creators, as well as accounts by activists and educators who changed the landscape of childhood in schools, homes, toy stores, and libraries nationwide. Essays document the rise of non-sexist children's culture during the 1970s and address how Free to Be still speaks to families today.
Contributors are Alan Alda, Laura Briggs, Karl Bryant, Becky Friedman, Nancy Gruver, Carol Hall, Carole Hart, Dorothy Pitman Hughes, Joe Kelly, Cheryl Kilodavis, Dionne Kirschner, Francine Klagsbrun, Stephen Lawrence, Laura L. Lovett, Courtney Martin, Karin A. Martin, Tayloe McDonald, Trey McIntyre, Peggy Orenstein, Leslie Paris, Miriam Peskowitz, Deesha Philyaw, Abigail Pogrebin, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Robin Pogrebin, Patrice Quinn, Lori Rotskoff, Deborah Siegel, Jeremy Adam Smith, Barbara Sprung, Gloria Steinem, and Marlo Thomas.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] The Dune's Twisted Edge
Journeys in the Levant
By Gabriel Levin
November 2012, University of Chicago
How to speak of the imaginative reach of a land habitually seen as a seedbed of faiths and heresies, confluences and ruptures . . . trouble spot and findspot, ruin and renewal, fault line and ragged clime, with a medley of people and languages once known with mingled affection and wariness as Levantine?” So begins poet Gabriel Levin in his journeys in the Levant, the exotic land that stands at the crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and northeast Africa. Part travelogue, part field guide, and part literary appreciation, The Dune’s Twisted Edge assembles six interlinked essays that explore the eastern seaboard of the Levant and its deserts, bringing to life this small but enigmatic part of the world.
Striking out from his home in Jerusalem in search of a poetics of the Fertile Crescent, Levin probes the real and imaginative terrain of the Levant, a place that beckoned to him as a source of wonder and self-renewal. His footloose travels take him to the Jordan Valley; to Wadi Rumm south of Petra; to the semiarid Negev of modern-day Israel and its Bedouin villages; and, in his recounting of the origins of Arabic poetry, to the Empty Quarter of Arabia where the pre-Islamic poets once roamed. His meanderings lead to encounters with a host of literary presences: the wandering poet-prince Imru al-Qays, Byzantine empress Eudocia, British naturalist Henry Baker Tristram, Herman Melville making his way to the Dead Sea, and even New York avant-garde poet Frank O’Hara. When he is not confronting ghosts, Levin finds himself stumbling upon the traces of vanished civilizations. He discovers a ruined Umayyad palace on the outskirts of Jericho, the Greco-Roman hot springs near the Sea of Galilee, and Nabatean stick figures carved on stones in the sands of Jordan. Vividly evoking the landscape, cultures, and poetry of this ancient region, The Dune’s Twisted Edge celebrates the contested ground of the Middle East as a place of compound myths and identities.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] Ride or Fry
The Dante Fried Chicken Experience
By Dante Gonzales (Au
November 2012, Sterling Epicure
When the food is good, the party starts cooking! Media wunderkind and award-winning chef Dante Gonzales has fed some of the world's most popular celebrities--including Demi Moore, Theophilus London, and Santigold--at underground parties as well as red-carpet events. He also takes the party to the streets in the Ride or Fry food truck and around the world with his Ride or Fry pop-up stand, celebrated in this innovative cookbook of more than 100 fresh, delicious, recipes (including his signature Fried Chicken). Packed with innovative, eco-conscious meals (with many vegetarian and vegan options), his grandmother's heirloom dishes, and contributions from Dante's musical and culinary collaborators, this book is the only way to bring the Dante Fried Chicken experience into your own home.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] JEWHOOING THE SIXTIES
AMERICAN CELEBRITY AND JEWISH IDENTITY
BY DAVID E KAUFMAN
November 2012, Brandeis
Sandy Koufax, Lenny Bruce, Bob Dylan, and Barbra Streisand first came to public attention in the early 1960s, a period Kaufman identifies as historically ripe for American Jews to reexamine their (Jewish) identities. All four achieved extraordinary success in their respective fields and became celebrities within an American context, while at the same time they were clearly identifiable as Jews--although they were perceived to be Jewish in very different ways.
Kaufman investigates these celebrities' rise to fame, the specific brand of Jewishness each one represented, and how their fans and the public at large perceived their ethnic identity as Jews. Situating Koufax, Bruce, Dylan, and Streisand within the larger history of American Jewish celebrity, Kaufman argues that the four early 1960s figures represent a turning point between celebrity Jews of the past--such as Hank Greenberg, Groucho Marx, Irving Berlin, and Fanny Brice--and those of the present, such as Jon Stewart, Matisyahu, and Natalie Portman. Providing an entry into Jewish celebrity studies, this lively narrative explores the intersection between popular celebrity and Jewish identity and thereby examines the cultural construction of Jewishness in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] AMAZING CHESED
LIVING A GRACE-FILLED JUDAISM
BY RABBI RAMI SHAPIRO
November 2012,
Jewish Lights
The question isn’t whether grace—God s love freely given—is there for you in Judaism. The question is, do you have the courage to accept it?
Ask almost any Jew whether grace is a central concept in Judaism and an essential element in living Jewishly, and, chances are, their answer will be no. But that s the wrong answer. This fascinating foray into God s love freely given offers the reader a way to answer that question in the affirmative.
Drawing from ancient and contemporary, traditional and non-traditional Jewish wisdom, this book reclaims the idea of grace in Judaism in three ways:
-It offers a view of God that helps the reader understand what grace is, why grace is, and how grace manifests in the world.
-It sets forth a reading of Judaism that is grace-filled: an understanding of creation, Shabbat and other Jewish practices from a grace-filled perspective.
-It challenges the reader to be embraced and transformed by grace, and to live life as a vehicle for God s grace, thereby fulfilling the promise of being created in God s image and likeness.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book












[book] THE PHARAOH
LIFE AT COURT AND ON CAMPAIGN
BY GARRY SHAW
November 2012,
Thames and Hudson
A highly illustrated look at what it was like to be the pharaoh of Egypt, revealed through the king’s role as husband, lawmaker, judge, priest, builder, and warrior. The pharaoh is the iconic ruler from the ancient world, immortalized in stone and gold and celebrated today in countless films and books. But how did these monarchs—mortals who lived and died like anyone else—spend their days? How did they become pharaoh? How did they govern and how were they entertained? In this vividly written and authoritative account, Garry Shaw conveys the full experience of what it was like to be pharaoh, from birth to death, in private and in public, at court and on campaign, and shows how a uniquely Egyptian vision of kingship, with its complex ideology and regalia, evolved. We follow daily events, from waking up in the palace to evenings spent banqueting; in between, the king acted as lawmaker, judge, and priest. The most important ceremonies are compellingly described, including accession, coronation, and the royal funeral, as well as the pomp and protocol of an audience before the monarch. Supplemented by numerous box features, from the internal decoration of pyramids and the women who became pharaoh to pharaonic pets, as well as quotations from contemporary sources and a king list with brief biographies of all the major pharaohs, this beautifully illustrated volume provides a comprehensive insight into the Egyptian pharaoh and his world. 234 illustrations
Click the book’s cover or title to read more















[book] THE STORY OF HANUKKAH
BY DAVID A. ADLER
Illustrated by Jill Weber
2012,
Holiday House
No celebration of Hanukkah would be complete without recountng the events of more than two thousand years ago that the holiday commemorates. In a simple yet dramatic text and vibrant paintings, the story of the courageous Maccabees and the miracle that took place in the Temple in Jerusalem is retold. For readers who want to continue the festivities, a recipe for latkes and directions for playing dreidel are included.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] Was Hitler a Riddle?
Western Democracies and National Socialism
By Abraham Ascher, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, CUNY
November 2012, Stanford
Was Hitler A Riddle? is the first comparative study of how British, French, and American diplomats serving in Germany assessed Hitler and the Nazi movement. These assessments provided the governments in London, Paris, and Washington with ample information about the ruthlessness of the authorities in Germany and of their determination to conquer vast stretches of Europe. Had the British, French, and American leaders acted on this information and taken measures to rein in Hitler, the history of the twentieth century would have been far less bloody: the second world war might well have been avoided, the Soviet Union would not have expanded into central and eastern Europe, and the world would have been spared the Cold War.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] Jews in America
By Stephen D. Corrsin (NYPL – Dorot )
Intro by Professor Jonathan Sarna
November 2012
D Giles
Jews in America tells the remarkable story of the Jewish presence in America, from the earliest expeditions to the New World through to the arrival in the future United States This book features rare manuscripts, prints, broadsides, maps, and books from the New York Public Library, including the Letter of Christopher Columbus to Luis de Santangel in Barcelona, 1493 and an introductory essay from leading Jewish Studies scholar, Jonathan Sarna.
Jews in America documents the remarkable story of the Jewish presence in the New World, from the time of Columbus to the 1920s, when the Jewish community in the United States was four million strong and an essential part of American society and culture. Drawing on a mix of contemporary books, manuscripts, globes, maps and engravings from the world-renowned collections of the New York Public Library, Jews in America is a vivid document of everyday Jewish-American life, worship, law, and commerce. It tells the fascinating story of the first Jewish immigrants' arrival in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in 1654 (later New York City), Jewish interaction with the four colonial powers in the Western Hemisphere (Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands and England), and on the ideas and beliefs that they influenced. The final chapter looks at the evolving cultural role of Jews in late 19th and early 20th century New York, especially the rise of the Yiddish theater.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] The Future of the Jewish People in Five Photographs
By Peter S. Temes
November 2012
University of Nebraska Press
The title of this book does not fully explain what it is about. I think it will become a much talked about book, in the same way The Jews and The Lotus was.

Threatened by the love of would-be friends as well as the hatred of long-established enemies, the Jewish people face a number of critical questions about the future.
What matters more: the number of Jewish people, or the qualities of the Jewish soul?
Does asking, “Is it good for the Jews?” diminish the more profound question, “Is it good?”
Should the Torah be seen as the unchanging anchor of faith or as a starting place for continual reinvention?
Does Judaism hold within it a universal and inclusive ethic?

These questions take on more and more significance as Jewish neighborhoods continue to fade. Gone are the Jewish enclaves of his great great granparents on the Lower East Side, and his grandparents in the Bronx. As Jewish identity melts in the embrace of the reality of intermarriage, and as a new generation of American Jews seeks a universal moral vision in a religion built for a people who once stood apart, what is the future.

Each of the five photographs in this book frames one of these critical questions, generating a dialogue that is as honest and practical as it is spiritual and philosophical. Drawing on history, literature, and his upbringing in the Jewish communities of Brooklyn, Peter S. Temes, a former teacher at Harvard and current Principal in West Hollywood, seeks a new understanding of what it means to be Jewish and what the future holds for the Jewish people. The five photographs at the center of his search hint at the possibilities of that future—possibilities that are at once hopeful and inspiring but also challenging and troubling. At this moment I will not tell you what the 5 photos are out of context, but I will mention that Photo Number 3 is the famous picture from 1965 of John Lewis, ML King Jr, Ralph Abernathy, and AJ Heschel and others walking arm in arm from Selma to Montgomery












[book] Do Jews, Christians, and Muslims Worship the Same God?
By Bruce D. Chilton, Jacob Neusner, Baruch A. Levine, Vincent J. Cornell, with Epilogue by Dr Martin Marty
November 2012
Abingdon Press
Most Jews, Muslims, and Christians are devoted and faithful. Still, on any given day, it’s difficult to avoid the vigorous and heated disputes between them, whether over the “Ground Zero” mosque, lobbying state legislatures against Sharia law, sharing worship space, dissecting the fallout of the Arab Spring, protecting civil rights, or challenging the authority of sacred texts. With so much rancor, can there be any common ground? Do they even worship the same God? And can religion, which often is so divisive, be any help at all?
Four internationally known scholars set out to tackle these deceptively simple questions in an accessible way. Some scholars argue that while beliefs about God may differ, the object of worship is ultimately the same. However, these authors take a more pragmatic view. While they may disagree, they nevertheless assert that whatever they answers to these questions, the three faiths must find the will (politically, socially, and personally) to tolerate differences. Perhaps what can help us move forward as pluralistic people is ia focus on the goal – peace with justice for all.












[book] The Fractalist
Memoir of a Scientific Maverick
By Benoit Mandelbrot
November 2012, Pantheon
A fascinating memoir from the man who revitalized visual geometry, and whose ideas about fractals have changed how we look at both the natural world and the financial world.
He died in 2010 before the book was published.
Benoit Mandelbrot, the creator of fractal geometry, has significantly improved our understanding of, among other things, financial variability and biological rhythms. His work reveals hidden order in what was once perceived as rough, unpredictable, or chaotic. In The Fractalist, Mandelbrot recounts the high points of his life with exuberance and an eloquent fluency, deepening our understanding of the evolution of his extraordinary mind. We begin with his early years: born in Warsaw in 1924 to a Lithuanian Jewish family, Mandelbrot was mentored by an eminent mathematician uncle in Paris. As he stayed barely one step ahead of the Nazis until France was liberated, he studied geometry on his own and dreamed of using it to solve fresh, real-world problems. We observe his unusually broad education in Europe, and then at Cal Tech, Princeton, and MIT. We learn about his thirty-five-year affiliation with the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center and his association with Harvard and Yale. An outsider to mainstream scientific research, he managed to do what others had thought impossible: develop a new geometry that combines revelatory beauty with a radical way of unfolding formerly hidden laws governing utter roughness, turbulence, and chaos.













[book] Jews and Words
By Amos Oz and his daughter, Fania Oz-Salzberger
November 2012, Yale University Press
Why are words so important to Jews? Novelist Amos Oz and historian Fania Oz-Salzberger roam the gamut of Jewish history to explain the integral relationship of Jews and words. Through a blend of storytelling and scholarship, conversation and argument, father and daughter tell the tales behind Judaism’s most enduring names, adages, disputes, texts, and quips. These words, they argue, compose the chain connecting Abraham with the Jews of every subsequent generation.
Framing the discussion within such topics as continuity, women, timelessness, and individualism, Oz and Oz-Salzberger deftly engage Jewish personalities across the ages, from the unnamed, possibly female author of the Song of Songs through obscure Talmudists to contemporary writers. They suggest that Jewish continuity, even Jewish uniqueness, depends not on central places, monuments, heroic personalities, or rituals but rather on written words and an ongoing conversation between the generations. Full of learning, lyricism, and humor, Jews and Words offers an extraordinary tour of the words at the heart of Jewish culture and extends a hand to the reader, any reader, to join the dialogue.

“Jews and Words is a conversation between two people who love each other, informed by a wonderful sense of humor and a passionate yet measured analysis of language, people, and literature. Honesty shines through every paragraph of this terrific work.”—Yehuda Bauer (Yehuda Bauer )
Amos Oz is the internationally renowned author of more than fifteen works of fiction and numerous essays on politics, literature, and peace. He is also professor of literature at Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva. He lives in Arad, Israel. Fania Oz-Salzberger is a writer, historian, and professor at the University of Haifa. She recently held the Leon Liberman Chair in Modern Israel Studies at Monash University, and a Visiting Laurance S. Rockefeller Professorship for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University. She lives in Zichron Yaakov













[book] Bridges across an Impossible Divide
The Inner Lives of Arab and Jewish Peacemakers
Bby Marc Gopin
November 2012, Oxford University Press
Peace between Arabs and Jews seems forever out of reach, both sides caught in a never-ending cycle of violence and revenge. But while treaties and other top-down solutions have had little lasting effect, peacemakers on the ground are creating real change-within themselves and with their enemies.
In Bridges across an Impossible Divide, American professor Marc Gopin offers an unprecedented exploration of the spiritual lives of Arab and Jewish peacemakers who have evolved deep friendships despite decades of war and suffering on all sides. Through trial and error the peacemakers in this book have devised their own unique methods of looking inward and reaching out across enemy lines. Gopin provides insightful analysis of the lessons to be learned from these peace builders, outlining the characteristics that make them successful. He argues that lasting conflict and misery between enemies is the result of an emotional, cognitive, and ethical failure to self-examine, and that the true transformation of a troubled society is brought about by the spiritual introspection of extraordinary, determined individuals.
The book is unique in that its central body is the actual words of peacemakers themselves as they speak of their struggles to overcome the death of loved ones and to find common ground with adversaries. Most of these accounts are from peacemakers who have hardly written before. This is a treasure trove for scholars and the general public who seek to understand the conflict and its peacemakers at a far deeper level. These remarkable stories reveal a level of inner examination that is rarely encountered in the literature of political science, international relations, or even conflict resolution theory. They show how building friendships invigorates the effort to bring equality, nonviolent social change, and reconciliation to warring peoples.
Bridges across an Impossible Divide takes readers beyond the rhetoric of political leaders into the spiritual lives of men and women actually making peace with their enemies.













[book] JERUSALEM INTERRUPTED
MODERNITY AND COLONIAL TRANSFORMATION
1917 – PRESENT
Edited by Lena Jayyusi (Zayed University)
November 2012, Interlink
Sigh. The authors bemoan how Jerusalem used to be culturally diverse under Ottoman rule, before it became a predominantly Jewish city
COVER: Most histories of 20th-century Jerusalem published in English focus on the city's Jewish life and neighborhoods; this book offers a crucial balance to that history On the eve of the British Mandate in 1917, Jerusalem Arab society was rooted, diverse, and connected to other cities, towns, and the rural areas of Palestine. A cosmopolitan city, Jerusalem saw a continuous and dynamic infusion of immigrants and travelers, many of whom stayed and made the city theirs. Over the course of the three decades of the Mandate, Arab society in Jerusalem continued to develop a vibrant, networked, and increasingly sophisticated milieu. No one then could have imagined the radical rupture that would come in 1948, with the end of the Mandate and the establishment of the state of Israel.
This collection of essays brings together distinguished scholars and writers and follows the history of Jerusalem from the culturally diverse Mandate period through its transformation into a predominantly Jewish city. Essays detail often unexplored dimensions of the social and political fabric of a city that was rendered increasingly taut and fragile, even as areas of mutual interaction and shared institutions and neighborhoods between Arabs and Jews continued to develop. Essays by Issam Nasser, Samia Halaby, Elias Sahhab, Andrea Stanton, Makram Khoury-Machool, Sandy Sufian, Wadid Kawar, Awad Halabi, and more.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] THE JEWS OF PINSK, 1881 To 1941
By Azriel Shohet
Edited by Mark Mirsky and Moshe Rosman
Translated by Faigie Tropper
November 2012, Stanford
The Jews of Pinsk is the most detailed and comprehensive history of a single Jewish community in any language. This second portion of this study focuses on Pinsk's turbulent final sixty years, showing the reality of life in this important, and in many ways representative, Eastern European Jewish community. From the 1905 Russian revolution through World War One and the long prologue to the Holocaust, the sweep of world history and the fate of this dynamic center of Jewish life were intertwined. Pinsk's role in the bloody aftermath of World War One is still the subject of scholarly debates: the murder of 35 Jewish men from Pinsk, many from its educated elite, provoked the American and British leaders to send emissaries to Pinsk. Shohet argues that the executions were a deliberate ploy by the Polish military and government to intimidate the Jewish population of the new Poland. Despite an increasingly hostile Polish state, Pinsk's Jews managed to maintain their community through the 1920s and 30s—until World War Two brought a grim Soviet interregnum succeeded by the entry of the Nazis on July 4th, 1941.
For the first volume of this two-volume collection, see The Jews of Pinsk, 1506-1880.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] Menachem Begin
A Life
By Avi Shilon (Phd, Bar Ilan)
(Israel Hayom, op-ed editor)
Translated by Danielle Zilberberg and Yoram Sharett
November 2012
Yale University Press
Menachem Begin, father of Israel's right wing and sixth prime minister of the nation, was known for his unflinchingly hawkish ideology. And yet, in 1979 he signed a groundbreaking peace treaty with Egypt for which he and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat received the Nobel Prize for Peace. Such a contradiction was typical in Begin's life: no other Israeli played as many different, sometimes conflicting, roles as Begin, and no other figure inspired such sharply opposing responses. Begin was belittled and beloved, revered and despised, and his career was punctuated by exhilarating highs on the one hand, despair and ostracism on the other. This riveting biography is the first to provide a satisfactory answer to the question, Who was Begin? Based on wide-ranging research among archival documents and on testimonials and interviews with Begin's closest advisers, the book presents a detailed new portrait of the founding leader. Among the many topics the book holds up to new light are Begin's antagonistic relationship with David Ben-Gurion, his controversial role in the 1982 Lebanon War, his unique leadership style, the changes in his ideology over the years, and the mystery behind the total silence he maintained at the end of his career. Through Begin's remarkable life, the book also recounts the history of the right-wing segment of Israeli society, a story essential to understanding the Israel of today.














[book] THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
A BIOGRAPHY
BY JOHN J. COLLINS (Yale)
November 2012, Princeton
Since they were first discovered in the caves at Qumran in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have aroused more fascination--and more controversy--than perhaps any other archaeological find. They appear to have been hidden in the Judean desert by the Essenes, a Jewish sect that existed around the time of Jesus, and they continue to inspire veneration and conspiracy theories to this day. John Collins tells the story of the bitter conflicts that have swirled around the scrolls since their startling discovery, and sheds light on their true significance for Jewish and Christian history.

Collins vividly recounts how a Bedouin shepherd went searching for a lost goat and found the scrolls instead. He offers insight into debates over whether the Essenes were an authentic Jewish sect and explains why such questions are critical to our understanding of ancient Judaism and to Jewish identity. Collins explores whether the scrolls were indeed the property of an isolated, quasi-monastic community living at Qumran, or whether they more broadly reflect the Judaism of their time. And he unravels the impassioned disputes surrounding the scrolls and Christianity. Do they anticipate the early church? Do they undermine the credibility of the Christian faith? Collins also looks at attempts to "reclaim" the scrolls for Judaism after the full corpus became available in the 1990s, and at how the decades-long delay in publishing the scrolls gave rise to sensational claims and conspiracy theories Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book












[book] The One-State Condition
Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine
(Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and I)
By Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir
November 2012
Stanford University Press
Since the start of the occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, Israel's domination of the Palestinians has deprived an entire population of any political status or protection. But even decades on, most people speak of this rule—both in everyday political discussion and in legal and academic debates—as temporary, as a state of affairs incidental and external to the Israeli regime. In The One-State Condition, Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir directly challenge this belief.
Looking closely at the history and contemporary formation of the ruling apparatus—the technologies and operations of the Israeli army, the General Security Services, and the legal system imposed in the Occupied Territories—Azoulay and Ophir outline the one-state condition of Israel/Palestine: the grounding principle of Israeli governance is the perpetuation of differential rule over populations of differing status. Israeli citizenship is shaped through the active denial of Palestinian citizenship and civil rights.
Though many Israelis, on both political right and left, agree that the occupation constitutes a problem for Israeli democracy, few ultimately admit that Israel is no democracy or question the very structure of the Israeli regime itself. Too frequently ignored are the lasting effects of the deceptive denial of the events of 1948 and 1967, and the ways in which the resulting occupation has reinforced the sweeping militarization and recent racialization of Israeli society. Azoulay and Ophir show that acknowledgment of the one-state condition is not only a prerequisite for considering a one- or two-state solution; it is a prerequisite for advancing new ideas to move beyond the trap of this false dilemma.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









[book] Dreaming of Michelangelo Jewish Variations on a Modern Theme
By Asher Biemann (University of Virginia)
November 2012
Stanford University Press
Dreaming of Michelangelo is the first book-length study to explore the intellectual and cultural affinities between modern Judaism and the life and work of Michelangelo Buonarroti. It argues that Jewish intellectuals found themselves in the image of Michelangelo as an "unrequited lover" whose work expressed loneliness and a longing for humanity's response. The modern Jewish imagination thus became consciously idolatrous. Writers brought to life—literally—Michelangelo's sculptures, seeing in them their own worldly and emotional struggles. The Moses statue in particular became an archetype of Jewish liberation politics as well as a central focus of Jewish aesthetics. And such affinities extended beyond sculpture: Jewish visitors to the Sistine Chapel reinterpreted the ceiling as a manifesto of prophetic socialism, devoid of its Christian elements. According to Biemann, the phenomenon of Jewish self-recognition in Michelangelo's work offered an alternative to the failed promises of the German enlightenment. Through this unexpected discovery, he rethinks German Jewish history and its connections to Italy, the Mediterranean, and the art of the Renaissance.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] The Invention of the Land of Israel
From Holy Land to Homeland
By Shlomo Sand
Translated by Geremy Forman
November 2012
Verso Press
A new book from the man they love to dislike, the author of The Invention of the Jewish People.
What is a homeland, and when does it become a national territory? Why have so many people been willing to die for them throughout the twentieth century? What is the essence of the Promised Land?
Following the acclaimed and controversial Invention of the Jewish People, Shlomo Sand examines the mysterious sacred land that has become the site of the longest running national struggle of the twentieth-century. The Invention of the Land of Israel deconstructs the age-old legends surrounding the Holy Land and the prejudices that continue to suffocate it. Sand's account dissects the concept of 'historical right' and tracks the invention of the modern geopolitical concept of the 'Land of Israel' by nineteenth century Evangelical Protestants and Jewish Zionists. This invention, he argues, not only facilitated the colonization of the Middle East and the establishment of the State of Israel; it is also what, the author writes, is threatening the existence of the Jewish state today.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] The Nazi Perpetrator
Postwar German Art and the Politics of the Right
by Paul B. Jaskot
November 2012
Uni of MInnesota Press
Who was responsible for the crimes of the Nazis? Party leaders and members? Rank-and-file soldiers and bureaucrats? Ordinary Germans? This question looms over German disputes about the past like few others. It also looms over the art and architecture of postwar Germany in ways that have been surprisingly neglected. In The Nazi Perpetrator, Paul B. Jaskot fundamentally reevaluates pivotal developments in postwar German art and architecture against the backdrop of contentious contemporary debates over the Nazi past and the difficulty of determining who was or was not a Nazi perpetrator.
Like their fellow Germans, postwar artists and architects grappled with the Nazi past and the problem of defining the Nazi perpetrator—a problem that was thoroughly entangled with contemporary conservative politics and the explosive issue of former Nazis living in postwar Germany. Beginning with the formative connection between Nazi politics and art during the 1930s, The Nazi Perpetrator traces the dilemma of identifying the perpetrator across the entire postwar period. Jaskot examines key works and episodes from West Germany and, after 1989, reunified Germany, showing how the changing perception of the perpetrator deeply impacted art and architecture, even in cases where artworks and buildings seem to have no obvious relation to the Nazi past. The book also reinterprets important periods in the careers of such major figures as Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, and Daniel Libeskind. Combining political history with a close analysis of specific works, The Nazi Perpetrator powerfully demonstrates that the ongoing influence of Nazi Germany after 1945 is much more central to understanding a wide range of modern German art and architecture than cultural historians have previously recognized.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] Becoming Frum
How Newcomers Learn the Language and
Culture of Orthodox Judaism
(Jewish Cultures of the World)
By Sarah Benor (Hebrew Union College, JIR)
November 2012
Rutgers University Press
When non-Orthodox Jews become frum (religious), they encounter much more than dietary laws and Sabbath prohibitions. They find themselves in the midst of a whole new culture, involving matchmakers, homemade gefilte fish, and Yiddish-influenced grammar. Becoming Frum explains how these newcomers learn Orthodox language and culture through their interactions with community veterans and other newcomers. Some take on as much as they can as quickly as they can, going beyond the norms of those raised in the community. Others maintain aspects of their pre-Orthodox selves, yielding unique combinations, like Matisyahu’s reggae music or Hebrew words and sing-song intonation used with American slang, as in “mamish (really) keepin’ it real.”
Sarah Bunin Benor brings insight into the phenomenon of adopting a new identity based on ethnographic and sociolinguistic research among men and women in an American Orthodox community. Her analysis is applicable to other situations of adult language socialization, such as students learning medical jargon or Canadians moving to Australia. Becoming Frum offers a scholarly and accessible look at the linguistic and cultural process of “becoming.”
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









[book] Twentysomething
? Why Do Young Adults Seem Stuck?
By Robin Marantz Henig and Samantha Henig
November 2012, Hudson Street Press
A must read for any Jewish leader who is thinking about the future of the community and America. What does it mean to be young today?
In the summer of 2010, Robin Marantz Henig wrote a provocative article for the New York Times Magazine called “What Is It About 20-Somethings?” It generated enormous reader response and started a conversation that included both millennials and baby boomers. Now, working with her millennial daughter Samantha, she expands the project to give us a full portrait of what it means to be in your twenties today. Looking through many lenses, the Henigs ask whether emerging adulthood has truly become a new rite of passage. They examine the latest neuroscience and psychological research, the financial pressures young people face now, changing cultural expectations, the aftereffects of helicopter parenting, and the changes that have arisen from social media and all things Internet. Most important, they have surveyed more than 120 millennials and baby boomers to give voice to both viewpoints of a conversation that is usually one-sided.












[book] ORAL PLEASURE
KOSINSKI AS STORYTELLER
Edited by Barbara Tepa Lupack
Stories by Jerzy Kosinski
November 2012
Grove Press
Kosinski as Storyteller is a collection of interviews, lectures, and transcriptions of media appearances of the legendary literary figure, Jerzy Kosinski. Compiled by his late widow, Kiki, most are published here for the first time. These texts reveal his extraordinary gifts as a storyteller and bring new insights into the themes in his works, making this strikingly erratic individual more accessible.
After a career clouded by controversy, these pieces provide a glimpse of the man behind the literature. His most famous novel, The Painted Bird (1965), is a dark masterpiece that examines the proximity of terror and savagery to innocence and love. Elie Wiesel called the work “one of the best” in Holocaust literature. In 1982, the praise was overshadowed by fierce accusations of plagiarism from The Village Voice. The paper claimed it was written by another author and the scandal irreversibly tainted Kosinski’s literary career. Grouped together in three main themes—literary, political, and cultural— the pieces cover different aspects of Kosinski’s eventful life. He expounds on the difficulties of writing under a totalitarian government and the importance of freedom of speech, then describes the English language as a filter that enabled him to write about the disturbing events in his youth and the fine line between fiction and autobiography. He discusses the prominent role sex plays in his writing and life as well as the philosophical importance of violence in his novels. It also includes his controversial statements on Jewish identity. Kosinski was an insightful commentator and this collection reveals the brilliant storyteller behind the public figure. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

















[book] SASHA AND EMMA
THE ANARCHIST ODYSSEY OF ALEXANDER BERKMAN AND EMMA GOLDMAN
BY PAUL AVRICH AND KAREN AVRICH
November 2012, Harvard Belknap
In 1889 two Russian immigrants, Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, met in a coffee shop on the Lower East Side. Over the next fifty years Emma and Sasha would be fast friends, fleeting lovers, and loyal comrades. This dual biography offers an unprecedented glimpse into their intertwined lives, the lasting influence of the anarchist movement they shaped, and their unyielding commitment to equality and justice. Berkman shocked the country in 1892 with “the first terrorist act in America,” the failed assassination of the industrialist Henry Clay Frick for his crimes against workers. Passionate and pitiless, gloomy yet gentle, Berkman remained Goldman’s closest confidant though the two were often separated—by his fourteen-year imprisonment and by Emma’s growing fame as the champion of a multitude of causes, from sexual liberation to freedom of speech. The blazing sun to Sasha’s morose moon, Emma became known as “the most dangerous woman in America.” Through an attempted prison breakout, multiple bombing plots, and a dramatic deportation from America, these two unrelenting activists insisted on the improbable ideal of a socially just, self-governing utopia, a vision that has shaped movements across the past century, most recently Occupy Wall Street. Sasha and Emma is the culminating work of acclaimed historian of anarchism Paul Avrich. Before his death, Avrich asked his daughter to complete his magnum opus. The resulting collaboration, epic in scope, intimate in detail, examines the possibilities and perils of political faith and protest, through a pair who both terrified and dazzled the world.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] SINGER'S TYPEWRITER AND MINE
REFLECTIONS ON JEWISH CULTURE
BY ILAN STAVANS, Amherst
November 2012
Univ of Nebraska Press
A cultural critic of extraordinary erudition, encyclopedic knowledge, and boundless curiosity, Ilan Stavans, an Ashkenazic Jew who grew up in Mexico, negotiates wildly varied topics as effortlessly and deftly as he manages the multiple perspectives of a dual national, religious, and ethnic identity.
In Singer’s Typewriter and Mine, a follow-up to The Inveterate Dreamer (Nebraska, 2001), Stavans interweaves his own experience with that of other Jewish writers and thinkers, past and present, to explore modern Jewish culture across the boundaries of language and nation. Juxtaposing the personal and the analytical, these essays and conversations take up the oeuvres of Isaac Bashevis Singer and Mario Vargas Llosa, translation and God’s language, storytelling as midrash, anti-Semitism in Hispanic America, Yiddish and Sephardic literatures, the connection between humor and terror, impostors as cultural agents, the creators of the King James Bible, and the encounter between Jewish and Latino civilizations, to name but a few of Stavans’s topics here. Funny, engaging, and provocative, this collection continues Stavans’s project of opening new vistas in our cross-cultural understanding of language, literature, and life.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] HOWARD FAST
Life and Literature in the Left Lane
by Gerald Sorin, SUNY-New Paltz
November 2012, Indiana Univ Press
Howard Fast's life, from a rough-and-tumble Jewish New York street kid to the rich and famous author of close to 100 books, rivals the Horatio Alger myth. Author of bestsellers such as Citizen Tom Paine, Freedom Road, My Glorious Brothers, and Spartacus, Fast joined the American Communist Party in 1943 and remained a loyal member until 1957, despite being imprisoned for contempt of Congress. Gerald Sorin illuminates the connections among Fast's Jewishness, his writings, and his left-wing politics and explains Fast's attraction to the Party and the reasons he stayed in it as long as he did. Recounting the story of his private and public life with its adventure and risk, love and pain, struggle, failure, and success, Sorin also addresses questions such as the relationship between modern Jewish identity and radical movements, the consequences of political myopia, and the complex interaction of art, popular culture, and politics in 20th-century America.

Chapters include:
1 Paradise Postponed Publish or Perish Politics Delayed
2 The War Against Fascism The Fatal Embrace The Reds and the Blacks
3 The Life of the Party Innocent Abroad The Road Not Taken The Politics of Literature
4 Cold War, Hot Seat The Discouraged American Down and Out in the USA
5 Banned, Barred, and Beseiged It Can't Happen Here War and Peace
6 The Myopia of American Communism Foley Square Follies Waltzing at the Waldorf April in Paris The Poison of Peekskill
7 Literature and Reality Howard Fast: Prisoner Great Expectations
8 Free! But Not at Last
9 Trials and Tribulations Despair, Distraction, and Defeat The Push and Pull of Politics Confrontations Left and Right
10 McCarthyism, Stalinism, and the World according to Fast
11 Culture and the Cold War To Flee or not to Flee An Even Brighter Star in the USSR Signs of Thaw in the Cold War?
12 Things Fall Apart; the Left Doesn't Hold
13 Fast Forward
14 Life in the Fast Lane California to the New York Island Looking Backward, Seeing Red
15 Fast and Loose Disappointment and Despair Fast in Pursuit
16 Fall and Decline
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book








FROM AN OUTSPOKEN LESBIAN LEADER OF THE ACADEMIC BDS BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL AND CRITIC OF PINKWASHING
[book] Israel/Palestine and the Queer International
By Sarah Schulman
November 2012, Duke University Press
This is her anti-Israel Op Ed on Pinkwashing in the NYTimes.com in Fall 2011
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/23/opinion/pinkwashing-and-israels-use-of-gays-as-a-messaging-tool.html

Sarah Schulman is an AIDS and Queer activist, co founder of the MIX Festival and the ACT UP Oral History Project. She is the author of 17 books. She is a Distinguished Professor of Humanities at CUNY-College of Staten Island
You can expect to hear her name a lot in Fall 2012 when CLEGS mounts or attempts to mount a conference led by her on how Israel is craven and commits war crimes. Don't expect to hear an opposing POV at CLEGS
The Introduction tells how Schulman grew up in a Jewish Zionist liberal household. Her first gf at 16 was Jewish. The merchants and relatives were survivors. She was taught to be liberal and help the displaced, the non-white, the subjugated. She would never have believed that Israel displaced people or discriminated. Now as an adult she thinks differently. She thinks that Israel is deliberately reaching out the gays and lesbians and brainwashing them that Israel is good and Arabs are bad. This is called pinkwashing.
From the COVER: In this chronicle of political awakening and queer solidarity, the activist and novelist Sarah Schulman describes her dawning consciousness of the Palestinian liberation struggle. Invited to Israel to give the keynote address at a LGBT studies conference at Tel Aviv University, Schulman declines, joining other artists and academics honoring the Palestinian call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Anti-occupation activists in the United States, Canada, Israel, and Palestine come together to help organize an alternative solidarity visit for the American activist. Schulman takes us to an anarchist, vegan cafe in Tel Aviv, where she meets anti-occupation queer Israelis, and through border checkpoints into the West Bank, where queer Palestinian activists welcome her into their spaces for conversations that will change the course of her life. She describes the dusty roads through the West Bank, where Palestinians are cut off from water and subjected to endless restrictions while Israeli settler neighborhoods have full freedoms and resources.
As Schulman learns more, she questions the contradiction between Israel's investment in presenting itself as gay friendly—financially sponsoring gay film festivals and parades—and its denial of the rights of Palestinians. At the same time, she talks with straight Palestinian activists about their position in relation to homosexuality and gay rights in Palestine and internationally. Back in the United States, Schulman draws on her extensive activist experience to organize a speaking tour for some of the Palestinian queer leaders whom she had met and trusted. Dubbed "Al Tour," it takes the activists to LGBT community centers, conferences, and universities throughout the United States. Its success solidifies her commitment to working to end Israel's occupation of Palestine, and kindles her larger hope that a new "queer international" will emerge and join other movements demanding human rights across the globe.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









[book] THE ELECTED AND THE CHOSEN
WHY AMERICAN PRESODENTS HAVE SUPPORTED JEWS AND ISRAEL
BY DENIS BRIAN
November 2012
Gefen Publishing
Denis Brian is a Welsh born author of over a dozen book. In The Elected and Chosen he tells a story of how and why American presidents sought to protect Jews at home and abroad from their enemies. It explains why American leaders have admired and befriended Jews, appointed them to powerful positions, and eventually helped them achieve their greatest dream: a return to the country of their forebears and the establishment of a Jewish state in which they were masters of their destiny. It starts with George Washington, First President of the US 1789 to 1797 and his friendship with Haym Salomon. James Buchanan, Fifteenth President of the USA 1857 to 1861 appointed a Jewish Congressman, Emmanuel Hart, a colonel in the New York militia, to be surveyor of the port of New York. On August 31, 1858, President Buchanan wrote to his Jewish friend, Judah Benjamin, then the U.S. Senator for Louisiana: “I write for the purpose of tendering you the appointment of Minister of Spain and expressing a strong desire that you may accept it.” The book includes Truman, Nixon, Obama and more.









[book] Twentysomething:
Why Do Young Adults Seem Stuck?
By Robin Marantz Henig and Samantha Henig
November 2012
Hudson Street Press
Who are the young men and women on Birthright?
What does it mean to be young today?
In the summer of 2010, Robin Marantz Henig wrote a provocative article for the New York Times Magazine called “What Is It About 20-Somethings?” It generated enormous reader response and started a conversation that included both millennials and baby boomers. Now, working with her millennial daughter Samantha, she expands the project to give us a full portrait of what it means to be in your twenties today. Looking through many lenses, the Henigs ask whether emerging adulthood has truly become a new rite of passage. They examine the latest neuroscience and psychological research, the financial pressures young people face now, changing cultural expectations, the aftereffects of helicopter parenting, and the changes that have arisen from social media and all things Internet. Most important, they have surveyed more than 120 millennials and baby boomers to give voice to both viewpoints of a conversation that is usually one-sided.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









DECEMBER 2012 BOOKS



[book] The Sanctity of Hate
A Medieval Mystery
By Priscilla Royal
December 2012,
Poisoned Pen Press
The corpse of an unpopular newcomer floats in the priory millpond. A Jewish family, refugees under the 1275 Statute of the Jewry, is accused. Did Jacob ben Asser kill him or was it Gytha, the prioress' maid?
Even Prioress Eleanor now wonders if she wants to unmask the killer.

13th Century England was interesting. William The Conqueror invited Jews to England to restore its economy, lend money, open shops. But by the time of Edward I, the king turned to Italian merchants, he abused the Jews, scapegoated them as the crusades failed, and used them to gain favor with the barons.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book













[book] ISRAEL
A HISTORY
BY ANITA SHAPIRA
December 2012,
Brandeis
What a great cover…
Professor Shapira is a professor emerita at Tel Aviv University and a scholar of the history of Zionism, Jewish-Arab relations, and the State of Israel.
Her volume provides a breathtaking history of Israel from the origins of the Zionist movement in the late 19th century to 2000. Organized chronologically, the volume explores the emergence of Zionism in Europe against the backdrop of relations among Jews, Arabs, and Turks, and the earliest pioneer settlements in Palestine under Ottoman rule. Weaving together political, social, and cultural developments in Palestine under the British mandate, Shapira creates a tapestry through which to understand the challenges of Israeli nation building, including mass immigration, shifting cultural norms, the politics of war and world diplomacy, and the creation of democratic institutions and a civil society. She makes use of literature to illuminate her points.
Publishers Weekly wrote that it is an indispensable guide even though it criticized the book for paying scant attention to military issues on the Suez Crisis, glossing over details, and writing very little about Israeli Arabs which are 20% of the country’s population.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book












[book] The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization
Volume 10: 1973-2005
Edited by Deborah Dash Moore and Nurith Gertz
December 2012
Yale University Press
This first published volume in the Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization introduces readers to the diversity of Jewish civilization since 1973. The volume vividly demonstrates the interaction of Jewish ideas and themes across continents and languages, revealing the complex transnational character of Jewish life and cultural production. With hundreds of examples from literature, visual arts, and popular culture, as well as intellectual and spiritual works, the volume adopts a deliberately pluralistic perspective. High and low, elite and popular, folk and mass, famous and obscure—all have a place in this groundbreaking anthology.
Readers will quickly come to appreciate the impact on Jewish culture of major social, political, and economic events during the past quarter century—the feminist movement, Israeli politics after the Yom Kippur War, Russian Jewish emigration, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, the rise of identity politics in the United States, South American revolutions and dictatorships, and North African emigration to France, among many others. Offering a rich encounter with an array of expressions of Jewish identity, the anthology reflects the exuberance, diversity, and vigor of Jewish culture in the decades since 1973.
Among the hundreds of noted figures in Volume 10 are Bellow, Blume, Dershowitz, Doctorow, Englander, Gehry, Bader Ginsburg, Thomas L. Friedman, Allegra Goodman, Grossman, Malamud, Memet, Nevelson, Ozick, Roth, Sontag, and Wasserstein
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









[book] Moynihan's Moment
The Fight Against Zionism as Racism
By Gil Troy (McGill University)
December 2012
Oxford University Press
On November 10, 1975, the General Assembly of United Nations passed Resolution 3379, which declared Zionism a form of racism. Afterward, a tall man with long, graying hair, horned-rim glasses, and a bowtie stood to speak. He pronounced his words with the rounded tones of a Harvard academic, but his voice shook with outrage: "The United States rises to declare, before the General Assembly of the United Nations, and before the world, that it does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act."
This speech made Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a celebrity, but as Gil Troy demonstrates in this compelling new book, it also marked the rise of neo-conservatism in American politics--the start of a more confrontational, national-interest-driven foreign policy that turned away from Kissinger's detente-driven approach to the Soviet Union--which was behind Resolution 3379.
Moynihan recognized the resolution for what it was: an attack on Israel and a totalitarian assault against democracy, motivated by anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism.
While Washington distanced itself from Moynihan, the public responded enthusiastically: American Jews rallied in support of Israel.
Civil rights leaders cheered.
The speech cost Moynihan his job, but soon won him a U.S. Senate seat from New York State
Troy examines the events leading up to the resolution (coming just months after the fall of South VietNam and the NYC fiscal crisis), vividly recounts Moynihan's speech, and traces its impact in intellectual circles, policy making, international relations, and electoral politics in the ensuing decades.
The mid-1970s represent a low-water mark of American self-confidence, as the country, mired in an economic slump, struggled with the legacy of Watergate and the humiliation of Vietnam. Moynihan's Moment captures a turning point, when the rhetoric began to change and a more muscular foreign policy began to find expression, a policy that continues to shape international relations to this day.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] Bukharan Jews and the Dynamics of Global Judaism
By Alanna E. Cooper, PhD
December 2012, Indiana Univ Press
Part ethnography, part history, and part memoir, this volume chronicles the complex past and dynamic present of an ancient Mizrahi community. While intimately tied to the Central Asian landscape, the Jews of Bukhara have also maintained deep connections to the wider Jewish world. As the community began to disperse after the fall of the Soviet Union, Alanna E. Cooper traveled to Uzbekistan to document Jewish life there before it disappeared. Drawing on ethnographic research there, as well as among immigrants to the US and Israel, Cooper tells an intimate and personal story about what it means to be Bukharan Jewish. Together with her historical research about a series of dramatic encounters between Bukharan Jews and Jews from other parts of the world, this lively narrative illuminates the tensions inherent in maintaining Judaism as a single global religion over the course of its long and varied diaspora history.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book








[book] From Gods to God
How the Bible Debunked, Suppressed, or Changed Ancient Myths and Legends
By Avigdor Shinan, Yair Zakovitch. And Translated by Valerie Zakovitch
Hebrew University
December 2012
Jewish Publication Society
The ancient Israelites believed things that the writers of the Bible wanted them to forget: myths and legends from a pre-biblical world that the new monotheist order needed to bury, hide, or reinterpret.
Ancient Israel was rich in such literary traditions before the Bible reached the final form that we have today. These traditions were not lost but continued, passed down through the ages. Many managed to reach us in post-biblical sources: rabbinic literature, Jewish Hellenistic writings, the writings of the Dead Sea sect, the Aramaic, Greek, Latin, and other ancient translations of the Bible, and even outside the ancient Jewish world in Christian and Islamic texts. The Bible itself sometimes alludes to these traditions, often in surprising contexts. Written in clear and accessible language, this volume presents thirty such traditions. It voyages behind the veil of the written Bible to reconstruct what was told and retold among the ancient Israelites, even if it is “not what the Bible tells us.”
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









[book] Leo Strauss on Moses Mendelssohn
Of course, by Leo Strauss
and Edited Translated by Martin D. Yaffe (North Texas)
December 2012
University of Chicago Press
Moses Mendelssohn (1729–86) was the leading Jewish thinker of the German Enlightenment and the founder of modern Jewish philosophy. His writings, especially his attempt during the Pantheism Controversy to defend the philosophical legacies of Spinoza and Leibniz against F. H. Jacobi’s philosophy of faith, captured the attention of a young Leo Strauss and played a critical role in the development of his thought on one of the fundamental themes of his life’s work: the conflicting demands of reason and revelation.
Leo Strauss on Moses Mendelssohn is a superbly annotated translation of ten introductions written by Strauss to a multi-volume critical edition of Mendelssohn’s work. Commissioned in Weimar Germany in the 1920s, the project was suppressed and nearly destroyed during Nazi rule and was not revived until the 1960s. In addition to Strauss’s introductions, Martin D. Yaffe has translated Strauss’s editorial remarks on each of the passages he annotates in Mendelssohn’s texts and brings those together with the introductions themselves. Yaffe has also contributed an extensive interpretive essay that both analyzes the introductions on their own terms and discusses what Strauss writes elsewhere about the broader themes broached in his Mendelssohn studies.
Strauss’s critique of Mendelssohn represents one of the largest bodies of work by the young Strauss on a single thinker to be made available in English. It illuminates not only a formerly obscure phase in the emergence of his thought but also a critical moment in the history of the German Enlightenment.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] The Holy or the Broken
Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely
Ascent of "Hallelujah"
By Alan Light
December 2012
Atria
Today, “Hallelujah” is one of the most-performed rock songs in history. It has become a staple of movies and television shows as diverse as Shrek and The West Wing, of tribute videos and telethons. It has been covered by hundreds of artists, including Bob Dylan, U2, Justin Timberlake, and k.d. lang, and it is played every year at countless events—both sacred and secular—around the world.
Yet when music legend Leonard Cohen first wrote and recorded “Hallelujah,” it was for an album rejected by his longtime record label. Ten years later, charismatic newcomer Jeff Buckley reimagined the song for his much-anticipated debut album, Grace. Three years after that, Buckley would be dead, his album largely unknown, and “Hallelujah” still unreleased as a single. After two such commercially disappointing outings, how did one obscure song become an international anthem for human triumph and tragedy, a song each successive generation seems to feel they have discovered and claimed as uniquely their own?
Through in-depth interviews with its interpreters and the key figures who were actually there for its original recordings, acclaimed music journalist Alan Light follows the improbable journey of “Hallelujah” straight to the heart of popular culture. The Holy or the Broken gives insight into how great songs come to be, how they come to be listened to, and how they can be forever reinterpreted.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Link to Leonard Cohen singing it: http://youtu.be/YrLk4vdY28Q







[book] NATHAN BIRNBAUM AND JEWISH MODERNITY
ARCHITECT OF ZIONISM, YIDDISHISM, AND ORTHODOXY
BY JESS OLSON
January 2013, Stanford
This book explores the life and thought of one of the most important but least known figures in early Zionism, Nathan Birnbaum. Now remembered mainly for his coinage of the word "Zionism," Birnbaum was a towering figure in early Jewish nationalism. Because of his unusual intellectual trajectory, however, he has been written out of Jewish history. In the middle of his life, in the depth of World War I, Birnbaum left his venerable position as a secular Jewish nationalist for religious Orthodoxy, an unheard of decision in his time. To the dismay of his former colleagues, he adopted a life of strict religiosity and was embraced as a leader in the young, growing world of Orthodox political activism in the interwar period, one of the most successful and powerful movements in interwar central and eastern Europe.
Jess Olson brings to light documents from one of the most complete archives of Jewish nationalism, the Nathan and Solomon Birnbaum Family Archives, including materials previously unknown in the study of Zionism, Yiddish-based Jewish nationalism, and the history of Orthodoxy. This book is an important meditation on the complexities of Jewish political and intellectual life in the most tumultuous period of European Jewish history, especially of the interplay of national, political, and religious identity in the life of one of its most fascinating figures.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] USEFUL ENEMIES
John Demjanjuk and America's Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals
By Richard Rashke
January 2013, Delphinium
John Demjanjuk was the focus of a complex, years-long war crimes trial. It took six decades for the United States Department of Justice to charge him with a crime. Why? The author writes that after WW2, as the Cold War intensified, the US recruited useful Nazi war criminals. Departments in the government worked to hide and shelter former Nazis. Riveting. Deeply researched by the author of Escape from Sobibor. Click the book’s cover or title to read more















[book] DATA, A Love Story
How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match
By Amy Webb
January 2013,
Dutton
A lively, thought-provoking memoir about how one woman "gamed" online dating sites like JDate, OKCupid and eHarmony – and met her eventual husband.
After yet another online dating disaster, Amy Webb was about to cancel her JDate membership when an epiphany struck: It wasn’t that her standards were too high, as women are often told, but that she wasn’t evaluating the right data in suitors’ profiles.
That night, Webb, an admitted compulsive person, an award-winning journalist and digital-strategist, made a detailed, exhaustive list of what she did and didn’t want in a mate. The result: 1 1500 point system with seventy-two requirements ranging from the expected (smart, funny) to the super-specific (likes selected musicals: Chess, Les Misérables. Not Cats. Must not like Cats!).

(seriously, that Cats issue is such a hipster attitude… Cats can be loved from the point of view of producing a long-running show on Broadway. And what is up with her issues surrounding George Michael)

Next Amy turned to her own profile. In order to craft the most compelling online presentation, she needed to assess the competition — so she signed on to JDate again, this time as a man.
Using the same gift for data strategy that made her company the top in its field, she found the key words that were digital man magnets, analyzed photos, and studied the timing of women’s messages, then adjusted her (female) profile to make the most of that intelligence.
Then began the deluge — dozens of men wanted to meet her, men who actually met her requirements. Among them: her future husband, now the father of her love-child.
Forty million people date online each year. Most don’t find true love. Thanks to Data, a Love Story, their odds just got a whole lot better.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more















[book] The Imposter Bride
A NOVEL
By Nancy Richler
January 2013
St. Martin’s Press
An unforgettable novel about a mysterious mail-order bride in the wake of WWII, whose sudden decision ripples through time to deeply impact the daughter she never knew
The Imposter Bride blends gorgeous storytelling and generation-spanning intrigue in the story of Lily Azerov. A young, enigmatic woman, Lily arrives in post-WWII Montreal on her own, expecting to be married to Sol Kramer. But, upon seeing her at the train station, Sol turns her down. Out of pity, his brother Nathan decides to marry her instead, and pity turns into a deep—and doomed—love. But it is immediately clear that Lily is not who she claims to be. Her attempt to live out her life as Lily Azerov shatters when she disappears, leaving a new husband and a baby daughter with only a diary, a large uncut diamond—and a need to find the truth.
Who is Lily and what happened to the young woman whose identity she stole? Why has she left and where did she go? It's up to the daughter Lily abandoned to find the answers to these questions, as she searches for the mother she may never find or truly know.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] GOING TO TEHRAN
Why The United States Must Come To Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran
By Flynt and Hillary Leverett
January 2013, Metropolitan Books
An eye-opening argument for a new approach to Iran, from two of America's most informed and influential Middle East experts. Less than a decade after Washington endorsed a fraudulent case for invading Iraq, similarly misinformed and politically motivated claims are pushing America toward war with Iran. Today the stakes are even higher: such a war could break the back of America's strained superpower status. Challenging the daily clamor of U.S. saber rattling, Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett argue that America should renounce thirty years of failed strategy and engage with Iran—just as Nixon revolutionized U.S. foreign policy by going to Beijing and realigning relations with China.
Former analysts in both the Bush and Clinton administrations, the Leveretts offer a uniquely informed account of Iran as it actually is today, not as many have caricatured it or wished it to be. They show that Iran's political order is not on the verge of collapse, that most Iranians still support the Islamic Republic, and that Iran's regional influence makes it critical to progress in the Middle East. Drawing on years of research and access to high-level officials, Going to Tehran explains how Iran sees the world and why its approach to foreign policy is hardly the irrational behavior of a rogue nation.
A bold call for new thinking, the Leveretts' indispensable work makes it clear that America must "go to Tehran" if it is to avert strategic catastrophe.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more















[book] Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde
A True Story
BY Rebecca Dana
January 2013, Putnam Amy Einhorn
The ultimate fish-out-of-water tale
A child who never quite fit in, Rebecca Dana worshipped at the altar of Truman Capote and Nora Ephron, dreaming of one day ditching Pittsburgh and moving to New York, her Jerusalem. After graduating from college, she made her way to the city to begin her destiny. For a time, life turned out exactly as she’d planned: glamorous parties; beautiful people; the perfect job, apartment, and man. But when it all came crashing down, she found herself catapulted into another world. She moves into Brooklyn’s enormous Lubavitch community, and lives with Cosmo, a thirty-year-old Russian rabbi who practices jujitsu on the side.
While Cosmo, disenchanted with Orthodoxy, flirts with leaving the community, Rebecca faces the fact that her religion — the books, magazines, TV shows, and movies that made New York seem like salvation — has also failed her. As she shuttles between the world of religious extremism and the world of secular excess, Rebecca goes on a search for meaning.
Trenchantly observant, entertaining as hell, a mix of Shalom Auslander and The Odd Couple, Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde is a thought-provoking coming-of-age story for the twenty-first century.
Rebecca Dana is a senior correspondent for Newsweek/DailyBeast. She had prior writing positions at the WSJ and the NYObserver
Click the book’s cover or title to read more















[book] The Zelmenyaners
A Family Saga
By Moyshe Kulbak, Transl. By Hillel Halkin
January 2013
Yale University Press
In 1937, at the age of 41, Kulbak, one of the foremost Yiddish writers was arrested in Minsk by the Stalin regime and murdered.
This is the first complete English translation of his major work. A family saga of a Jewish family facing the new reality of the Soviet regime in Minsk. Think f it as Tevye and his family moving from the farm to Minsk.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









[book] SOLDIER OF CHRIST
THE LIFE OF POPE PIUS XII
By Robert A. Ventresca
January 2013, Harvard Belknap
Debates over the legacy of Pope Pius XII and his canonization are so heated they are known as the “Pius wars.” Soldier of Christ moves beyond competing caricatures and considers Pius XII as Eugenio Pacelli, a flawed and gifted man. While offering insight into the Pope’s response to Nazism, Robert A. Ventresca argues that it was the Cold War and Pius XII’s manner of engaging with the modern world that defined his pontificate.
Laying the groundwork for the Pope’s controversial, contradictory actions from 1939 to 1958, Ventresca begins with the story of Pacelli’s Roman upbringing, his intellectual formation in Rome’s seminaries, and his interwar experience as papal diplomat and Vatican Secretary of State. Accused of moral equivocation during the Holocaust, Pius XII later fought the spread of Communism in Western Europe, spoke against the persecution of Catholics in Eastern Europe and Asia, and tackled a range of social and political issues. By appointing the first indigenous cardinals from China and India and expanding missions in Africa while expressing solidarity with independence movements, he internationalized the Church’s membership and moved Catholicism beyond the colonial mentality of previous eras. Drawing from a diversity of international sources, including unexplored documentation from the Vatican, Ventresca reveals a paradoxical figure: a prophetic reformer of limited vision whose leadership both stimulated the emergence of a global Catholicism and sowed doubt and dissension among some of the Church’s most faithful servants.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] THE GENIUS
ELIJAH OF VILNA AND THE MAKING OF MODERN JUDAISM
BY ELIYAHU STERN (Yale)
January 2013,
Yale University Press
Elijah of Vilna is probably the most understudied of the best known luminaries of Modern Judaism. This study places this Vilna Gaon into context, and uses his life to put forth a new model of understanding modern Jewish events













[book] WE ARE CHILDREN JUST THE SAME
VEDEM,
THE SECRET MAGAZINE BY THE BOYS OF TEREZIN
Selected and Edited by Marie Rut Krizkova
Jurt Jiri Kotuoc, and Zdenek Orenest
Translated from Czech by R. Elizabeth Novak
Edited by Paul R. Wilson
With a foreword by the late Vaclav Havel
January 2013, JPS
Terezín survivor George (Jirí) Brady recalls: “In the tragic struggle for survival, the Nazi-imposed Terezín ‘self-administration’ tried to help the imprisoned children. They were placed in buildings where living conditions were better than in the many barracks that were inside the fortress. . . . I was one of these children. And by pure luck I found myself among the boys who were led by Valtr Eisinger. In a small room overcrowded with three-tiered bunks, he created a new, fascinating world for us behind the ghetto walls. The boys developed talents they never dreamed they had, and it was there too that the illegal children’s magazine on which this book is based was founded.”
From 1942 to 1944, a group of thirteen- to fifteen-year-old Jewish boys secretly produced a weekly magazine called Vedem (In the Lead) at the model concentration camp, Theresienstadt (“Terezín” in Czech). The writers, artists, and editors put together the issues and copied them by hand behind the blackout shades of their cellblock, which they affectionately called the “Republic of Shkid.” Although the material was saved by one of the handful of boys who survived the Holocaust, it was suppressed for fifty years in Czechoslovakia until 1995, when these works were published simultaneously in English, Czech, and German.
Vedem provides a poignant glimpse into the world of boys torn from their comfortable childhoods and separated from their families, ultimately to perish in the Nazi death machine. The edition includes a new preface and epilogue.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more













[book] Why Is Milk White?
& 200 Other Curious Chemistry Questions
By Alexa Coelho and Simon Quellen Field
January 2013, Chicago Review Press
Covering a wide variety of everyday chemistry concepts from the very simple to the more complex, this question-and-answer primer provides straightforward, easy-to-understand explanations for inquisitive young scientists' questions. A dozen unique experiments to try at home—from lifting latent fingerprints from a “crime scene” using super glue (for smooth surfaces) or iodine (for paper) to hollowing out the zinc interior of a penny using muriatic acid—are interspersed with the answers to such questions as What makes soda so fizzy? and Why do you get cavities when you eat too much sugar? From separating food coloring into its component dyes to using easy-to-find chemicals to create “slime,” Silly Putty, or bouncing balls, this handy guide is the ideal resource for the budding chemist.




<







[book] What They Saved
Pieces of a Jewish Past
Now in Paperback
By Nancy K. Miller
January 2013, University of Nebraska Press
After her father’s death, Nancy K. Miller discovered a minuscule family archive: a handful of photographs, an unexplained land deed, a postcard from Argentina, unidentified locks of hair. These items had been passed down again and again, but what did they mean? Miller follows their traces from one distant relative to the next, across the country, and across an ocean. Her story, unlike the many family memoirs focused on the Holocaust, takes us back earlier in history to the world of pogroms and mass emigrations at the turn of the twentieth century.
Searching for roots as a middle-aged orphan and an assimilated Jewish New Yorker, Miller finds herself asking unexpected questions: Why do I know so little about my family? How can I understand myself when I don’t know my past? The answers lead her to a carpenter in the Ukraine, a stationery peddler on the Lower East Side, and a gangster hanger-on in the Bronx. As a third-generation descendant of Eastern European Jews, Miller learns that the hidden lives of her ancestors reveal as much about the present as they do about the past. In the end, an odyssey to uncover the origins of her lost family becomes a memoir of renewal.
Click the book’s cover or title to read more















[book] IGNORANCE
A NOVEL
BY MICHELE ROBERTS (University of East Anglia)
January 2013, Bloomsbury USA
Popular in the UK and France, its comes to the US in January 2013.
In every war there are stories that do not surface. You can try to forget, but sometimes the past can return: in the scent of a bar of soap, in whispers darting through a village after mass, in the color of an undelivered letter.Jeanne Nerin and Marie-Angèle Baudry grow up side by side in the Catholic village of Ste. Madeleine, but their worlds could not be more different. Marie-Angèle is the grocer's daughter, inflated with ideas of her own piety and rightful place in society. Jeanne's mother washes clothes for a living. She used to be a Jew until this became too dangerous. Jeanne does not think twice about stealing food when she is hungry, nor about grasping the slender chances life throws at her. Marie-Angèle does not grasp; she aspires to a life of comfort and influence. When war falls out of the sky, the forces that divide the two girls threaten to overwhelm those that bind them together. In this dizzying new order, the truth can be buried under a pyramid of recriminations.
Michèle Roberts's new novel is a mesmerizing exploration of guilt, faith, desire, and judgment, bringing to life a people at war in a way that is at once lyrical and shocking.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] AN ODE OF SALONIKA
THE LADINO VERSES OF BOUENA SARFATTY
By Renee Levine Melammed
January 2013, Indiana Univ Press
Poems that recall the lost Jewish community of Salonika. Renee Levine Melammed, Dean of the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem, shows how the poetry of Sarfatty (1916-1997) recaptures a community. Through the poetry of Bouena Sarfatty (1916-1997), An Ode to Salonika sketches the life and demise of the Sephardi Jewish community that once flourished in this Greek crossroads city. A resident of Salonika who survived the Holocaust as a partisan and later settled in Canada, Sarfatty preserved the traditions and memories of this diverse and thriving Sephardi community in some 500 Ladino poems known as coplas. The coplas also describe the traumas the community faced under German occupation before the Nazis deported its Jewish residents to Auschwitz. The coplas in Ladino and in Renée Levine Melammed's English translation are framed by chapters that trace the history of the Sephardi community in Salonika and provide context for the poems. This unique and moving source provides a rare entrée into a once vibrant world now lost. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









[book] JEWISH MEN PRAY
Words of Yearning, Praise, Petition, Gratitude
and Wonder from Traditional and Contemporary Sources
Edited by Stuart M. Matlins
And Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky
January 2013,
Jewish Lights
A celebration of Jewish men s voices in prayer—to strengthen, to heal, to comfort, to inspire. This collection of prayers celebrates the variety of ways Jewish men engage in personal dialogue with God with words of praise, petition, joy, gratitude, wonder, and even anger from the ancient world up to our own day.
Drawn from mystical, traditional, biblical, Talmudic, Hasidic, and modern sources, these prayers will help deepen Jewish men s relationship with God and help guide their journey of self-discovery, healing and spiritual awareness. Together they provide a powerful and creative expression of Jewish men s inner lives, and the always revealing, sometimes painful, sometimes joyous—and often even practical—endeavor that prayer can be.
Jewish Men Pray will challenge preconceived ideas about prayer. It will inspire readers to explore new ways of prayerful expression, new paths for finding the sacred in the ordinary, and new possibilities for understanding the Jewish relationship with the Divine. This is a book to treasure and to share.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book












AT FIRST I ASSUMED THIS WAS A PARDOY OF THE LONELY MAN OF FAITH BY RABBI Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
IT ISN’T

[book] The Fed-Up Man of Faith
Challenging God in the Face of Suffering and Tragedy
By Shmuley Boteach
January 2013,
Gefen Publishing
Boteach, a rabbi in the Lubavitch movement of Hasidism, a former candidate for U.S. Congress from New Jersey, author, speaker, media personality and a man who calls himself “America’s Rabbi,” asks, “Where was the hand of G-d on 9/11?; Was G-d absent from Poland in the 1940s?; Does pain make us into more sensitive people?; and Is a person who questions G-d still righteous?” Boteach tackles the ultimate, timeless questions that go to the heart of the human condition and arrives at some surprising answers.
FROM THE COVER: Drawing on numerous confrontations with God from the Bible, and using examples of appalling suffering from current headlines, Shmuley argues against Rabbi Harold Kushner s best-selling “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People” and boldly guides us to the conclusion that challenging God and His actions is not just our right but our foremost obligation as human beings. This revolutionary book turns millennia of mistaken belief on its head, providing a concrete action plan for emboldening ourselves against victimhood. If life has ever defeated you, or if you have ever felt let down by G-d, this is the book for you.
Click the book cover or title to read more or purchase the book
SEE ALSO:
[book]





















FORTHCOMING
UNTiTLED MEMOIR
BY Actor/ Comedian/ Star of Broadway/ Author and Grandfather, Billy Crystal
Henry Holt
Arranged by decade, a memoir, and probably soon to be stage play a la 700 Sundays










[book] BUILDING A PUBLIC JUDAISM
SYNAGOGUES AD JEWISH IDENTITY IN NINETEENTH CENTURY EUROPE
BY SAKIA COENEN SNYDER (University of S.C.)
February 2013, Harvard
Nineteenth-century Europe saw an unprecedented rise in the number of synagogues. Building a Public Judaism considers what their architecture and the circumstances surrounding their construction reveal about the social progress of modern European Jews. Looking at synagogues in four important centers of Jewish life—London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Berlin—Saskia Coenen Snyder argues that the process of claiming a Jewish space in European cities was a marker of acculturation but not of full acceptance. Whether modest or spectacular, these new edifices most often revealed the limits of European Jewish integration.
Debates over building initiatives provide Coenen Snyder with a vehicle for gauging how Jews approached questions of self-representation in predominantly Christian societies and how public manifestations of their identity were received. Synagogues fused the fundamentals of religion with the prevailing cultural codes in particular locales and served as aesthetic barometers for European Jewry’s degree of modernization. Coenen Snyder finds that the dialogues surrounding synagogue construction varied significantly according to city. While the larger story is one of increasing self-agency in the public life of European Jews, it also highlights this agency’s limitations, precisely in those places where Jews were thought to be most acculturated, namely in France and Germany.
Building a Public Judaism grants the peculiarities of place greater authority than they have been given in shaping the European Jewish experience. At the same time, its place-specific description of tensions over religious tolerance continues to echo in debates about the public presence of religious minorities in contemporary Europe.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book










[book] ANTI-JUDAISM
THE WESTERN TRADITION
BY DAVID NIRENBERG (Univ of Chicago)
February 2013, Norton
A powerful history that shows anti-Judaism to be a central way of thinking in the Western tradition. This incisive history upends the complacency that confines anti-Judaism to the ideological extremes in the Western tradition. With deep learning and elegance, David Nirenberg shows how foundational anti-Judaism is to the history of the West.
Questions of how we are Jewish and, more critically, how and why we are not have been churning within the Western imagination throughout its history. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans; Christians and Muslims of every period; even the secularists of modernity have used Judaism in constructing their visions of the world. The thrust of this tradition construes Judaism as an opposition, a danger often from within, to be criticized, attacked, and eliminated. The intersections of these ideas with the world of power—the Roman destruction of the Second Temple, the Spanish Inquisition, the German Holocaust—are well known. The ways of thought underlying these tragedies can be found at the very foundation of Western history.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] THE PRETTY ONE
A NOVEL ABOUT SISTERS
BY LUCINDA ROSENFELD
February 2013, Little Brown
Perfect. Pretty. Political. For nearly forty years, The Hellinger sisters of Hastings-on-Hudson-namely, Imperia (Perri), Olympia (Pia), and Augusta (Gus)--have played the roles set down by their loving but domineering mother Carol. Perri, a mother of three, rules her four-bedroom palace in Westchester with a velvet fist, managing to fold even fitted sheets into immaculate rectangles. Pia, a gorgeous and fashionable Chelsea art gallery worker, still turns heads after becoming a single mother via sperm donation. And Gus, a fiercely independent lawyer and activist, doesn't let her break-up from her girlfriend stop her from attending New Year's Day protests on her way to family brunch.
But the Hellinger women aren't pulling off their roles the way they once did. Perri, increasingly filled with rage over the lack of appreciation from her recently unemployed husband Mike, is engaging in a steamy text flirtation with a college fling. Meanwhile Pia, desperate to find someone to share in the pain and joy of raising her three-year-old daughter Lola, can't stop fantasizing about Donor #6103. And Gus, heartbroken over the loss of her girlfriend, finds herself magnetically drawn to Jeff, Mike's frat boy of a little brother. Each woman is unable to believe that anyone, especially her sisters, could understand what it's like to be her. But when a freak accident lands their mother to the hospital, a chain of events is set in motion that will send each Hellinger sister rocketing out of her comfort zone, leaving her to wonder: was this the role she was truly born to play?
With The Pretty One, author Lucinda Rosenfeld does for siblings what she did for female friendship in I'm So Happy for You, turning her wickedly funny and sharply observant eye on the pleasures and punishments of lifelong sisterhood.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] The Girls' Guide to Love and Supper Clubs
By Dana Bate
February 2013, Hyperion paperback
Hannah Sugarman's life is a recipe for disaster. Her parents scoff at her passions for cooking, she isnt happy with her bf, and her job doesnt fulfill her. She changes things, takes more control, and runs a secret underground supper club in her new landlord's town house. But what about a new romance? What happens if her landlord comes back to town?
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book













[book] BLACK JEWS IN AFRICA AND THE AMERICAS
BY TUDOR PARFITT (University of London)
February 2013, Harvard
Black Jews in Africa and the Americas tells the fascinating story of how the Ashanti, Tutsi, Igbo, Zulu, Beta Israel, Maasai, and many other African peoples came to think of themselves as descendants of the ancient tribes of Israel. Pursuing medieval and modern European race narratives over a millennium in which not only were Jews cast as black but black Africans were cast as Jews, Tudor Parfitt reveals a complex history of the interaction between religious and racial labels and their political uses. For centuries, colonialists, travelers, and missionaries, in an attempt to explain and understand the strange people they encountered on the colonial frontier, labeled an astonishing array of African tribes, languages, and cultures as Hebrew, Jewish, or Israelite. Africans themselves came to adopt these identities as their own, invoking their shared histories of oppression, imagined blood-lines, and common traditional practices as proof of a racial relationship to Jews. Beginning in the post-slavery era, contacts between black Jews in America and their counterparts in Africa created powerful and ever-growing networks of black Jews who struggled against racism and colonialism. A community whose claims are denied by many, black Jews have developed a strong sense of who they are as a unique people. In Parfitt’s telling, forces of prejudice and the desire for new racial, redemptive identities converge, illuminating Jewish and black history alike in novel and unexplored ways.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] Hidden Cities
Travels to the Secret Corners of the
World's Great Metropolises; A Memoir
of Urban Exploration
By Moses Gates
March 2013, Putnam
Gates is a new breed of adventurer for the 21st century. He thrives on the thrill of seeing what others do not see, let alone even know exists. It all began quite innocuously. After moving to New York City and pursuing graduate studies in Urban Planning, he began unearthing hidden facets of the city—abandoned structures, disused subway stops, incredible rooftop views that belonged to cordoned-off buildings. At first it was about satiating a nagging curiosity; yet the more he experienced and saw, the more his thirst for adventure grew, eventually leading him abroad. In this memoir of his experiences, Gates details his travels through underground canals, sewers, subways, and crypts, in metropolises spanning four continents.
In this finely-written book, Gates describes his immersion in the worldwide subculture of urban exploration; how he joined a world of people who create secret art galleries in subway tunnels, break into national monuments for fun, and travel the globe sleeping in centuries-old catacombs and abandoned Soviet relics rather than hotels or bed-and-breakfasts. They push each other further and further—visiting the hidden side of a dozen countries, discovering ancient underground Roman ruins, scaling the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges, partying in tunnels, sneaking into Stonehenge, and even finding themselves under arrest on top of Notre Dame Cathedral.
Ultimately, Gates contemplates why he and other urban explorers are so instinctively drawn to these unknown and sometimes forbidden places—even (and for some, especially) when the stakes are high. Hidden Cities will inspire readers to think about the potential for urban exploration available for anyone, anywhere—if they have only the curiosity (and nerve!) to dig below the surface to discover the hidden corners of this world.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] Sex and the Citadel
Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World
By Shereen El Feki, PhD (Cambridge)
March 2013, Pantheon
A fascinating, groundbreaking look at changing sexual attitudes and behavior in the Arab world, by a leading expert on social practices in the region.
Since the political unrest that swept across the Middle East in 2011, all eyes have been on the streets and squares erupting in protest. But for the past four years, Shereen El Feki has been looking at upheaval a little closer to home—in the sexual lives of men and women across the Arab world. The result is an informative, insightful, and engaging account of a highly sensitive and still largely secret aspect of Arab society.
Sex might seem a strange lens through which to examine change, but it is a prism that refracts the region's complex social spectrum, from religion and culture to politics and economics. Sexual attitudes and behaviors not only are a reflection of the conditions that led to the recent uprisings but will also be a measure of hard-won reforms in the years to come.
By linking sexuality to political, economic, social, and religious trends, Sex and the Citadel opens a window on the greater landscape of the Arab world. This highly personal account, rich with original research and first-person stories, gives us unprecedented and timely insight into a part of the world that is being transformed before our very eyes.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] The Fun Parts
Stories
By Sam Lipsyte
March 2013, FS&G
A hilarious collection of stories from the writer The New York Times called “the novelist of his generation”
Returning to the form in which he began, Sam Lipsyte, author of the New York Times bestseller The Ask, offers up The Fun Parts, a book of bold, hilarious, and deeply felt fiction. A boy eats his way to self-discovery while another must battle the reality-brandishing monster preying on his fantasy realm. Meanwhile, an aerobics instructor, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, makes the most shocking leap imaginable to save her soul. These are just a few of the stories, some first published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, or Playboy, that unfold in Lipsyte’s richly imagined world.
Other tales feature a grizzled and possibly deranged male birth doula, a doomsday hustler about to face the multi-universal truth of “the real-ass jumbo,” and a tawdry glimpse of the northern New Jersey high school shot-putting circuit, circa 1986. Combining both the tragicomic dazzle of his beloved novels and the compressed vitality of his classic debut collection, The Fun Parts is Lipsyte at his best—an exploration of new voices and vistas from a writer Time magazine has said “everyone should read.”
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] The Drunken Botanist
The Plants That Create
The World’s Great Drinks
By Amy Stewart
March 2013, FS&G
Every great drink starts with a plant. Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley. Gin was born from a conifer shrub when a Dutch physician added oil of juniper to a clear spirit, believing that juniper berries would cure kidney disorders. The Drunken Botanist uncovers the enlightening botanical history and the fascinating science and chemistry of over 150 plants, flowers, trees, and fruits (and even one fungus).
Some of the most extraordinary and obscure plants have been fermented and distilled, and they each represent a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history. Molasses was an essential ingredient in American independence: when the British forced the colonies to buy British (not French) molasses for their New World rum-making, the settlers’ outrage kindled the American Revolution. Rye, which turns up in countless spirits, is vulnerable to ergot, which contains a precursor to LSD, and some historians have speculated that the Salem witch trials occurred because girls poisoned by ergot had seizures that made townspeople think they’d been bewitched. Then there’s the tale of the thirty-year court battle that took place over the trademarking of Angostura bitters, which may or may not actually contain bark from the Angostura tree.
With a delightful two-color vintage-style interior, over fifty drink recipes, growing tips for gardeners, and advice that carries Stewart’s trademark wit, this is the perfect gift for gardeners and cocktail aficionados alike.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] LADY AT THE O.K. CORRAL
THE TRUE STORY OF JOSEPHINE MARCUS EARP
(The Jewish wife of Wyatt Earp)
BY ANN KIRSCHNER
March 2013
Harper
Ann Kirschner (Sala’s Gift) tells the story of Josephine Marcus (1860-1944), who was born in NYC to a Prussian Jewish family that relocated to San Francisco. A lively young woman and actress, she joined a traveling theater company and at age 20, she was in Tombstone Arizona Territory, where she met Wyatt Earp. In October 1991, Wyatt and his brothers, along with Doc Holliday, experienced a famous shootout as Josephine watched. After Tombstone, Wyatt and his bride traveled the West in search of opportunities. Theey had a bar in Alaska, and ended up in Hollywoodd as the silent film and talkee industry was being born. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] Black Jews in Africa and the Americas
(The Nathan I. Huggins Lectures)
By Tudor Parfitt
2013
Harvard University Press
Black Jews in Africa and the Americas tells the fascinating story of how the Ashanti, Tutsi, Igbo, Zulu, Beta Israel, Maasai, and many other African peoples came to think of themselves as descendants of the ancient tribes of Israel. Pursuing medieval and modern European race narratives over a millennium in which not only were Jews cast as black but black Africans were cast as Jews, Tudor Parfitt reveals a complex history of the interaction between religious and racial labels and their political uses.
For centuries, colonialists, travelers, and missionaries, in an attempt to explain and understand the strange people they encountered on the colonial frontier, labeled an astonishing array of African tribes, languages, and cultures as Hebrew, Jewish, or Israelite. Africans themselves came to adopt these identities as their own, invoking their shared histories of oppression, imagined blood-lines, and common traditional practices as proof of a racial relationship to Jews.
Beginning in the post-slavery era, contacts between black Jews in America and their counterparts in Africa created powerful and ever-growing networks of black Jews who struggled against racism and colonialism. A community whose claims are denied by many, black Jews have developed a strong sense of who they are as a unique people. In Parfitt’s telling, forces of prejudice and the desire for new racial, redemptive identities converge, illuminating Jewish and black history alike in novel and unexplored ways.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] Being Esther
A Novel
By Miriam Karmel
March 2013, Milkweed
"Growing old is one of the most surprising things that has happened to her. She hadn't given it any thought. Then one day, she was eighty-five. Not just old, but an object of derision, pity. Is there any use explaining that she is still herself — albeit a slower, achier, creakier version of the original?" — from Being Esther
Being Esther intimately explores the interior consciousness of an elderly Jewish woman who lives as much in the past as in the present. As the book opens, she is reading through an old telephone directory, calling people she knew to see if they are still alive. In the corner, the ghost of her dead husband looks on and criticizes her. She asks the husband of an old friend of hers to stop kibitzing and put his wife on the phone… well.. that is not possible, because…
Whereas the past includes pleasant memories of family, love and lust, the happy confines of marriage, and the rare occasions to break those confines—like taking a part-time job as a bookseller at Kroch's & Brentano's—the present includes crossing out the names of the deceased in a phonebook, fending off attempts by her daughter to move into assisted living, daily check-ins with a neighbor, and the occasional outing. Not prone to self-pity, Esther is at moments lucid and then suddenly lost in a world which has disappeared along with many who had inhabited it.
Miriam Karmel's fiction debut brings understanding and tremendous empathy to the character of Esther Lustig, a woman who readers will not soon forget. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] The Mothers
A Novel
By Jennifer Gilmore
April 2013
Scribner
A taut, emotionally gripping novel about one couple’s passionate desire for a child and their heartrending journey through adoption—from a critically acclaimed writer whose “voice is at turns wise and barbed with sharp humor” (Vanity Fair).
Jesse and Ramon are a happy, loving couple but after years trying to get pregnant they turn to adoption, relieved to think that once they navigate the bureaucratic path to parenthood they will finally be able to bring a child into their family. But nothing prepared them for the labyrinthine process—for the many training sessions and approvals, for the ocean of advice, for the birthmothers who would contact them but not choose them, for the women who would call claiming that they had chosen Jesse and Ramon but weren’t really pregnant. All the while, husband and wife grapple with notions of race, class, culture, and changing family dynamics as they navigate the difficult, absurd, and often heart-breaking terrain of domestic open adoption.
Poignant, raw, and wise, Jennifer Gilmore has written a powerful and unforgettable story of love and family.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book











[book] Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots
A Novel
By Jessica Soffer
April 2013
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Two women adrift in New York—an Iraqi Jewish widow and the latchkey daughter of a chef—find each other, solace, and a new kind of family through their shared love of cooking.
Lorca spends hours poring over cookbooks, seeking out ingredients for her distracted chef of a mother, who is about to send her off to boarding school. In one last effort to secure her mother’s love and prove herself indispensable, Lorca resolves to replicate her mother’s ideal meal, an obscure dish called masgouf.
Victoria, an Iraqi-Jewish immigrant, teaches cooking lessons; Lorca signs up. Grappling with grief over her husband’s passing, Victoria has been dreaming of the daughter they gave up forty years ago. Together these two women — a widow and an almost-orphan — begin to suspect they are connected through more than a love of food. In these lessons and their separate investigations, they will be forced to reckon with the past, the future, and the truth — however complicated and unimaginable it might be.
Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots is a novel of loss, remembrance, and revival. It is the heartrending, heartwarming story of two cast-off characters who find in each other a way of accepting the people we love, including ourselves.
Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book









Coming in Mid 2013
LEAN IN
AND CLOSE THE GAP
A Call To Action for Women in Technology
By Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook.com
Knopf
Practical advice for women — and the men who want to help them — on how to “lean in” and close the gap. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is authoring a book on the challenges facing women in the workplace. The title comes from her advice for women to lean in to their work rather than lean back, as many tend to do for a variety of reasons at key points in their careers. In the speeches, Sandberg — who worked in a high-ranking job at Google and also did a stint in government at the Treasury Department in the Clinton administration — also advised women not to “leave before you leave” a job.
“So, my heartfelt message is: Don’t leave before you leave. Don’t lean back, lean in. Keep your foot on the gas pedal until the day you have to make a decision. That’s the only way to ensure you even have a decision to make.”
A call to action with a lot of research and data, laced with anecdotes of the experience of one of Silicon Valley’s most high-profile female executives and also other women. “I believe that the world would be a better place if half our institutions were run by women, and half our homes were run by men” wrote Sandberg. Juggling leadership roles and family has been a central topic of Sandberg’s in numerous speeches she has given in recent years.
Among the key themes she has outlined — most prominently in a TEDTalk in 2010 - is the lack of progress for women in top positions and the loss to society when half the population holds only one-fifth of the top jobs across key industries.





[book] SCENES FROM VILLAGE LIFE
By Amos Oz, Translated by Nicholas de Lange
October 2011 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A portrait of a fictional village, by one of the world’s most admired writers, Amos Oz, 71. In the village of Tel Ilan, something is off kilter. An elderly man complains to his daughter that he hears the sound of digging under his house at night. Could it be his tenant, a young Arab? But then the tenant hears the mysterious digging sounds, too. The mayor receives a note from his wife: "Don’t worry about me." He looks all over; no sign of her. The veneer of new wealth around the village — gourmet restaurants and art galleries, a winery — cannot conceal abandoned outbuildings, disused air raid shelters, rusting farm tools, and trucks left wherever they stopped.
Amos Oz’s novel-in-stories is a brilliant, unsettling glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface of everyday life. Scenes from Village Life is a parable for Israel, and for all of us.
PW writes: There's something rotten in Tel Ilan, Israel, and in each of these eight finely wrought pieces of Oz's novel-in-stories, he skillfully delineates the looming forces threatening to fissure the serenity of this idyllic village. Founded 100 years before, the "pioneer village" has changed from a farming community of vineyards and almond trees into a place of boutiques and art galleries. In the first story, "Heirs," a stranger appears at the home of Arieh Zelnik claiming to be a relative who wants to convert the family land into a "health farm" for paying customers; while in "Singing," a Friday night communal choral group intent on the Sabbath is oblivious to the rumble of air force planes returning from bombing "enemy targets." Most chilling is "Digging," in which a young Arab student writing a book comparing Jewish and Arab village life comes to stay in a back shed belonging to the widow Rachel Franco, whose aged, bitter father, a former Member of the Knesset, becomes obsessed with digging sounds he hears at night. Is the Arab digging for some proof that the land really belongs to him? wonders the old man, who mourns the days when "there was still some fleeting affection between people." Oz (Rhyming Life and Death) writes characterizations that are subtle but surgically precise, rendering this work a powerfully understated treatment of an uneasy Israeli conscience.
[book] Claire Messud, in The New York Times, wrote: these linked stories prove achingly melancholy, a cumulative vision of anomie and isolation in an apparently cozy Israeli village… Tel Ilan is a place of supposed community and mutual support in which each soul struggles privately with longing and disappointment. … It is like a symphony, its movement more impressive together than in isolation,
















QUESTION: Dear MyJewishBooks.com – I heard that the It Get’s Better campaign will be a book. Will it be a Jewish book?

ANSWER: I hear that Penguin USA/Dutton (Dan Savage’s publisher and editor) will issue a collection of essay on It Gets Better in Spring 2011. I am sure that several Jewish people will submit essay and be published. So I would answer that yes, it will be a Jewish book and a book of Jewish interest. While you are waiting for the book, may I suggest you check out YouTube for this growing collection of YouTube videos from NYC’s CBST synagogue leaders: Click here, or Click here, or Click here.




QUESTION: Dear MyJewishBooks.com – What can I read after hearing of a new ponzi scheme in Lakewood?

ANSWER: WE RECOMMEND:

[book] Confronting Scandal
How Jews Can Respond When Jews Do Bad Things
Erica Brown
August 2010, Jewish Lights
Jews seem to be in the news today for all of the wrong reasons. Whether it is Bernie Madoff or money laundering by rabbinic leaders, faking appraisals so you can sell assets to friends, smuggling narcotics to benefit yeshivas, the Jewish community has yet to take stock of what these breaches of civil law and Jewish ethical teachings mean for us as a people.
How do we manage collective discomfort and shame?
Should we feel ghetto mentality shame, or be filled with Dershowitz like Chutzpah?
How do we explain rabbis (or cantors) who commit sex offenses (and then ask for ultra kosher food in prison) or other crimes yet stand at the pulpit week after week offering others moral guidance?
And most importantly, how do we restore honor and dignity to our community by raising the ethical bar and adherence to it? This book explores the difficult and thorny issues surrounding scandals: airing dirty laundry in public, coming to terms with criminality among Jews, examining painful stereotypes of Jews and the difficult position of being a minority in society. A call for us to answer to a higher authority, it also addresses practical ways to strengthen ethical behavior and "do good things" to bring pride back, and to engender greater self-respect and the respect of others.
Dr. Erica Brown, a leading voice on subjects of current Jewish interest, consults for Jewish federations and organizations across the country. She is author of Inspired Jewish Leadership: Practical Approaches to Building Strong Communities, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.
Click the book cover to read more.









[book]



PLEASE CLICK HERE
TO TRANSFER TO OUR HOME PAGE:










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

Books Music Enter keywords...


Amazon.com
                     logo








http://www.myJewishBooks.com -- Revised: 5/14/2012
Copyright © 1996-2012 MyJewishBooks.com

Admin@MyJewishBooks.com


LE FastCounter

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