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Welcome to our pages of Fall 2013, Summer 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2013, Fall 2012, and oh so many more Book Suggestions. For our Home Page, Please visit


August 05, 2013: Najla Said, daughter of the late Professor Edward Said, reads from Looking for Palestine - Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family. Based on her one woman show. B&N NYC UWS 86th and Bway
August 17, 2013: The Honorable U.S. Rep. John Lewis reads from “March, Book 1, Vol. 1” at B&N Buckhard, Atlanta Georgia
August 22, 2013: NY Jewish Week and Congregation Rodeph Shalom present chef/authors Einat Admony (Balaboosta) and Kim Kushner (Modern Menu). NYC UWS 7PM (I will miss it, since I have a challah baking class at Breads Bakery on Union Square, sigh)

September 09, 2013: Film critic Molly Haskell (widow of film critic Andrew Sarris) reads from My Brother, My Sister: Story of a Transformation. B&N NYC UWS 82nd and Bway
September 10, 2013: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen reads from The Devil That Never Dies The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism. B&N UWS NYC 82nd and Bway
September 11, 2013: Billy Crystal reads from Still Foolin' 'Em Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? B&N Union Square, NYC
September 12, 2013: Jonathan Lethem reads from Dissident Gardens. B&N UWS NYC 82nd and Bway
September 16, 2013: Michael Chabon (author of Mysteries of Pbg) reads from Telegraph Avenue. B&N Homestead PA
September 16, 2013: Adelle Waldman reads from The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. A Novel at B&N UeS NYC 86th and Lexington
September 17, 2013: Delia Ephron reads from Sister Mother Husband Dog Etc. B&N UeS NYC 86th/Lex
September 17, 2013: Dara Horn reads from A Guide for the Perplexed. B&N UWS NYC 82nd and Bway
September 22: Brooklyn Book Fair and DC Book Fair
September 26, 2013: Billy Crystal reads from Still Foolin' 'Em Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? B&N The Grove, Los Angeles CA

October 01, 2013: Geoff Gehman reads from The Kingdom of the Kid: growing Up in the Long Lost Hamptons. B&N UWS NYC
October 01, 2913: Yossi Klein Halevi reads with Ambassador Michael Oren from LIKE DREAMERS. Park Avenue Synagogue of Manhattan (E 87th) 7:30 PM (free book to those who pay $1000.
October 01, 2013: Etgar Keret reads from “Suddenly, a Knock on the Door”. UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. LA, CA
October 04, 2013: Dr. Henry Kissinger speaks about the Yom Kippur War (40 years Later) (and maybe someone will ask him about Matti Golan’s The secret conversations of Henry Kissinger) Park Avenue Synagogue on NYC after 6:15 PM worship services
October 08, 2013: Abraham Foxman reads from VIRAL HATE. NYC Jewish Center (86th St) $22
October 08, 2013: Erica Jong converses with Jennifer Weiner: 40th anniversary of fear of Flying. B&N UWS NYC
October 10, 2013: Jessica Seinfeld reads from The Can’t Cook Book. B&N UES NYC
October 15, 2013: The Man Behind Humans of New York. Brandon Stanton launches his book. B&N Union Sq NYC
October 16, 2013: Christopher Rice reads with Anne Rice from The Wolves of Midwinter. B&N Union Sq NYC
October 17, 2013: Malcolm Gladwell reads from David and Goliath. B&N Union Square, NYC
October 23, 2013: Alan Greenspan, husband of Andrea Mitchell, objectivist lover of Ayn Rand, reads from The Map and The Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting. B&N Union Sq NYC
October 24, 2013: Tori Spelling reads from Smelling It Like It Is. B&N NYC Citicorp Midtown
October 27, 2013: Jewish Refugees in Shanghai 1933-1047. UCLA Hillel. Conference. UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. LA, CA
October 28, 2013: Susan Shulman reads from Backstage Pass to Broadway. B&N UWS NYC
October 29, 2013: James Goodman reads from But Where is The Lamb? Imagining the Story of Abraham and Isaac. B&N UWS NYC
October 30, 2013: Susan Katz Miller reads from Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family. B&N UWS NYC 7PM
October 30, 2013: Alisa Solomon on Wonder of Wonders; A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof. With Tony Kushner. $15. Museum of Jewish Heritage NYC.

November 03, 2013: Dr. Ruth Wisse on No Joke: Making Jewish Human. NYC
November 05, 2013: Yossi Klein Halevi reads from Like Dreamers The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation. B&N NYC UWS
November 14, 2013: Emil Draitser reads from Taking Penguins ti trge Movies: Ethnic Humor in Russia. UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. LA, CA
November 18, 2013: Yossi Klein Halevi and Dr. David Senesh at JTS. NYC UWS
November 19, 2013: Paul Auster reads from Report From The Interior. B&N Union Sq NYC
November 19, 2013: Daniel Menaker reads from My Mistake. B&N NYC UWS
November 20, 2013: Jewish Theological Seminar presents lecture on the ethnomusic legacy of Professor Spector
November 21, 2013: Ari Shavit reads from My Promised Land- The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. Politics and Prose. Washington DC
November 21, 2013: Bo Larrsson on the topic of Urban Planning and te Treatment of Vanished Population Groups in Lviv/Lvov, Cernivci, Chisinau, and Wroclaw. UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. LA, CA
November 22-24: Over a dozen famous Jewish authors at The Miami Book Fair, Miami FL
November 21, 2013: Ari Shavit reads from My Promised Land- The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. Miami Book Fair Intnl – Miami Dade College Miami FL
November 23: Attorney Alan Dershowitz speaks on the Vanishing American Jew. Ruth B. WIldes Memorial Lecture. MJE, NYC UWS.
November 24, 2013: Congress Member Michele Bachmann and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson and others at ZOA annual dinner. Grand Hyatt Hotel, NYC
November 24, 2013: Rabbi Meir Y. Soloveichik, PhD. Installation as rabbi of The Spanish Portuguese Synagogue in NYC, 2:30PM
November 25, 2013: The Future of American Jewry – Understanding the Pew Report. Stephen Wise Free Synagogue NYC UWS 7PM
November 25, 2013; Gary Vaynerchuk reads from Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World on social media marketing at B&N Union Square NYC

December 2-8, 2013: Various dates and venues. David Krakauer and Mohammed Fairouz perform with others. UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. LA, CA
December 02, 2013: Ari Shavit reads from My Promised Land- The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. JCC San Francisco
December 03, 2013: Ari Shavit reads from My Promised Land- The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley CA
December 04, 2013: Ari Shavit reads from My Promised Land- The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. Skirball Cultural Center Los Angeles
December 04, 2013: Rabbi Marc Schneier, Imam Shamsi Ali read from Sons of Abraham A Candid Conversation about the Issues That Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims. B&N NYC UWS
December 12, 2013: Ari Shavit reads from My Promised Land- The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. JCC of Saint Louis, MO


[book] Fifty Shades of Oy Vey
A Parody
by E L JAMESbergstein
Alfred A. Knish
160 pages for under $9.
Sex. Bondage. Bagels. When college senior Anatevka Stein meets bagel tycoon Chaim Silver, she encounters a mensch like none she has ever known— brilliant, lecherous and reeking of herring. The combination is impossible to resist. Chaim wants her too, subject to conditions spelled out in a Kinky Ketubah. What sexual techniques will he teach her in his Blue Room of Broadloom? Why is the first night of Passover with Chaim truly different from all other nights? And why does he play such sorrowful music on his accordion? Is it because of the wedgies he received at Jewish summer camp? Erotic, exotic and Ashkenazic, this passionate love story will touch your heart, stir your soul, and stay with you forever, not unlike a homemade matzah ball. Bonus! Includes selections from Volume II: Fifty Shades Meshuggener and Volume III: Fifty Shades Fried Latkes. This book is intended for mature and somewhat immature readers.
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[book] LINEUP
A crime thriller novel
By Liad Shoham
September 2013
Israel’s #1 bestselling author Liad Shoham makes his American debut in this compelling, superbly plotted crime thriller.
What makes the thriller Israeli is that it is set in Tel Aviv and told from a number of POVs. Like Rashomon, each character tells the story from their opinion and worldview, they also make choices with Israeli Improvisation, without planning, in ways that may break rules, but which they feel is right. Also, the story occurs in Israel, where it seems that everyone meddles, everyone is a cousin, and there is no escape; the victim and the criminal and the investigators all live in the same small city and country.

After a brutal rape disturbs a quiet Tel Aviv neighborhood, baffled detectives find no clues, no eyewitnesses, and no suspects. The father of the shattered victim refuses to rest until justice is done, so he begins his own investigation. Keeping watch over his daughter's apartment from the street, he notices Ziv Nevo lurking in the shadows.
All circumstances — and the victim — point to Nevo's guilt, and it appears the case is closed.
But appearances can be deceiving. Detective Eli Nachum is eager to wrap up this high-profile case, which threatens to thwart his career. He sees an easy conviction when the father, determined to succeed where the police have failed, hands over Nevo. But why does the suspect keep silent during the interrogation? What secret is he hiding? What should Nachum and the idealistic young district attorney understand from the suspect's silence?
What unfolds is a brilliant, fast-paced story that will keep you guessing until the very last page. Lineup is a twisted tale of mistaken identity, organized crime, a disgraced detective looking for redemption, a tireless young reporter, and an innocent man with a not-so-innocent past. Which lines will they cross and what will they be willing to risk, as their worlds begin to collapse? This seamless, gripping novel introduces a powerful new voice in crime fiction.
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A Cookbook
by Einat Admony
September 2013
Einat Admony is a 21st-century balaboosta (Yiddish for “perfect housewife”). She’s a mother and wife, but also a chef busy running three bustling New York City restaurants: Taim, and Balaboosta.
I must mention that everytime I go to Taim, the takeout Israeli cuisine is quite above average, but they have so much staff attitude that I usually avoid the place. That is why I like the cookbook better; you get the food and nice feelings, without the unnecessary snide attitude.
This is Admony’s debut cookbook and it contains over 130 recipes she cooks for the people she loves. Here, Einat’s mixed Israeli heritage (Yemenite, Persian) seamlessly blends with the fresh, sophisticated Mediterranean palate she honed while working in some of New York City’s most beloved kitchens. The result is a melting pot of meals for every need and occasion: exotic and exciting dinner-party dishes (harissa-spiced Moroccan fish, beet gnocchi), meals just for kids (chicken schnitzel, root veggie chips), healthy options (butternut squash and saffron soup, quinoa salad with preserved lemon and chickpeas), satisfying comfort food (creamy, cheesy potatoes, spicy chili), and so much more.
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I thought it said the Partisan Deli
A Cookbook
by Nick Zukin and Michael Zusman
September 2013
If you don’t happen to live near one of the new wave of artisan-style Jewish delis that have sprung up around North America over the last few years, not to worry. With this book, the world of Jewish deli, in all its unsubtle splendor—can be yours in the comfort (and privacy) of your own kitchen. And it’s not that hard. Really. On top of all the Jewish deli classics, The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home offers updates and new angles on the oldways that are bound to thrill the palates of a modern generation of eaters focused on quality ingredients and a lighter-handed approach to a traditionally heavy cuisine.
The chapters are organized into: Starters and Sides; Soups and Salads; Eggs, Fish, and Dairy; Beef; Bagels, Bialys, and Breads; and Pastries, Desserts, and Drinks. The range of favorite recipes include: Crispy Potato Latkes with Chunky Ginger Applesauce; Summer Chicken Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumber and Cracklings; Wise Sons’ Chocolate Babka French Toast; Home Oven Pastrami; and Celery Soda.
Added cultural context comes from quick-hitting interviews with Joan Nathan and other Jewish food luminaries; histories of a few deli stalwarts such as bagels and pastrami; and first-hand reports from within the walls of the authors’ favorite temples of modern Jewish gastronomy located across the country including: Mile End Delicatessen in New York City; Wise Sons Delicatessen in San Francisco; Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen in Portland, OR; Stopsky's Delicatessen in Mercer Island, Washington; and Caplansky's Delicatessen in Toronto.
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by David Kolotkin and Joey Allaham
September 2013
Opened in 2000 in Midtown Manhattan, The Prime Grill became the first high-end kosher steakhouse in New York City and is a regular on Page Six and in various other publications. Its mouthwatering signature dishes, such as Smoked BBQ Short Ribs, Texas Style Rib Eye, Miso Glazed King Salmon, and fresh sushi, have forever altered the public's perception of kosher food. This cookbook provides some of the secrets of the restaurant's success.
From sophisticated interpretations of traditional home cooking to exotic combinations of subtle flavors, this cookbook provides secrets to the Prime Grill's innovative menu. As a framework for their extraordinary accomplishment of creating a one-of-a-kind kosher restaurant, the authors share their engaging personal stories, including the history of owner Joey Allaham's family and Chef David Kolotkin's experiences working in a kosher kitchen. Mouthwatering signature recipes include Seafood Ceviche, Apricot-Glazed Beignets, Southern Pecan and Chocolate Chip Pie, Prime Grill Rosemary Potato Chips, and a host of dairy-free desserts as well as a foundation of stocks, sauces, and dressings. All are designed to be successful in any kitchen run by the most modest of home cooks. Owner Allaham realized a dream when, in 2000, he opened the first high-end kosher steakhouse in New York. The elegant restaurant, located in Midtown Manhattan, slowly gained fame for its commitment to quality and flavor while maintaining the strictest kosher guidelines. Serendipity brought these men together, and their creative collaboration has exploded, giving the restaurant a new flavor that focused around taste, quality, and experience found only in the best restaurants. Allaham's passion for well-cut and aged meats, along with Kolotkin's incredible ability to creatively adapt his professional experience to the structures of a kosher kitchen, has brought them national and international acclaim. The Prime Grill Cookbook takes you inside the kitchen of this outstanding restaurant at the forefront of the kosher culinary revolution. Joey Allaham, a fourth-generation butcher from Syria, brought his meat expertise to the United States in the early nineties and began a journey to change the public perception of kosher dining. He founded a wholesale meat business and recognized the need for a kosher steakhouse. A resourceful businessman with no formal training but very clear ideas, Allaham made his dream a reality and continues to forge ahead in the highly competitive hospitality industry. His well-trained palate and his search for the best meats combined with his passion for excellent service have made him a force to be reckoned with in New York's competitive fine dining scene. Chef David Kolotkin's first cooking experience was making ice cream in his garage at twelve years old. From this auspicious start, nurtured by the matriarchs of his family and his mentors, Adriano Bokinac and Michael Lomonaco, Kolotkin began his lifelong journey as a culinary innovator. He went on to attend the Culinary Institute of America, graduating with the Most Likely to Succeed award. He apprenticed at the world famous 21 Club under the tutelage of Chef Lomonaco and went on to work many notable restaurants, including Aretsky's Patroon, Butterfield 81, and Windows on the World, before finding a home at the Prime Grill. Working in the challenging environment of a kosher kitchen, Kolotkin's creativity and inventive style have given the Prime Grill an internationally renowned status.
In The Prime Grill Cookbook, readers will find delicious recipes such as Truffled Deviled Eggs, kosher "Crab" Cakes with Horseradish Aioli, Mediterranean Tuna Tartar, and other original interpretations of classic dishes such as their Coffee Rubbed Flatiron Steak with Stuffed Baked Potato. With every turn of the page, each recipe offers a unique insight into an amazing kitchen that just happens to be kosher. Chef Kolotkin has taken recipes created in a partnership with Allaham and adapted them for the home kitchen. This book will serve as a testament to the versatility and international appeal of modern kosher cooking for everyone's table.
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[book] Gluten Is My Bitch
Rants, Recipes, and Ridiculousness
for the Gluten-Free
by April Peveteaux
Stewart and Tabori and Chang
Gluten Is My Bitch offers a brutally honest and hilarious take on the realities of living a gluten-free life. As the 18 million gluten-intolerants and 3 million celiac disease sufferers in the United States can attest, living gluten-free isn’t a lot of fun, but author April Peveteaux has at least managed to make it funny. Described as the “Chelsea Handler of the gluten-free set,” April employs her unique sense of humor to provide the perfect guide to navigating a gluten-free life. In addition to her hysterical wisdom, she offers 40 gluten-free comfort food recipes that will make even the most frustrated gluten-intolerant smile with relief. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

A Cookbook
by Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade
A fun and playful cookbook featuring retro, decadent, and kid-friendly mac-and-cheese recipes from the popular Oakland restaurant Homeroom.
Think Outside the Box!
Macaroni and cheese is one of America’s favorite comfort foods, beloved by kids and adults alike. But there’s no need to rely on prefab mixes—all you need is a handful of kitchen staples, some tasty cheese, and a little insider advice courtesy of Homeroom restaurant. This perennially popular Oakland, California, eatery—with its entire menu devoted to mac and cheese—now shares its secrets for the best-ever mac recipes.
These inventive dishes offer something for everyone: nostalgic homestyle recipes like Tuna Mac, international varieties like Sriracha Mac, decadent delights like Truffle Mac, and even the logic-defying Vegan Mac. You’ll also find recipes for quick veggie sides like Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and old-school desserts like frozen Peanut Butter Pie. With a basics section on perfecting mac sauce, choosing the best noodles, and customizing add-ins and toppings, plus an emphasis on quality ingredients and simple techniques, this fun, playful cookbook shows cheese-loving readers how to take this comfort-food staple to creative new heights
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Love Song to a Forgotten Fat
by Michael Ruhlman
Photos by Donna Turner Ruhlman (some relation)
From the famed cookbook author and judge from Iron Chef, a definitive book on schmaltz--a staple in Jewish cuisine and a "thread in a great tapestry," by one of America's most respected culinary writers.
For culinary expert Michael Ruhlman, the ultimate goal in cooking is flavor, and for certain dishes nothing introduces it half as well as schmaltz. A staple ingredient in traditional Jewish cuisine, schmaltz (or rendered chicken fat), is at risk of disappearing from use due to modern dietary trends and misperceptions about this versatile and flavor-packed ingredient.
THE BOOK OF SCHMALTZ acts as a primer on schmaltz, taking a fresh look at traditional dishes like kugel, kishke, and kreplach, and also venturing into contemporary recipes that take advantage of the versatility of this marvelous fat. Potatoes cooked with schmaltz take on a crispness and satisfying flavor that vegetable oil can't produce. Meats and starches have a depth and complexity that set them apart from the same dishes prepared with olive oil or butter.
What's more, schmaltz provides a unique link to the past that ought to be preserved. "Schmaltz is like a thread that runs through a great tapestry," says Ruhlman's neighbor Lois, whose cooking inspired his own journey into the world of schmaltz. "It's a secret handshake among Jews who love to cook and eat."
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[book] My Berlin Kitchen
A Love Story (with Recipes)
Paperback by Luisa Weiss
“Luisa has a way of telling a story that’s nothing short of entrancing.” —Deb Perelman, author of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Chocolate and Zucchini.  101 Cookbooks. The Julie/Julia Project. In the early days of food blogs, these were the pioneers whose warmth and recipes turned their creators’ kitchens into beloved web destinations. Luisa Weiss was working in New York when she decided – before her marriage - to cook her way through her massive recipe collection. The Wednesday Chef, the cooking blog she launched to document her adventures, charmed readers around the world. But Luisa never stopped longing to return to her childhood home in Berlin. Luisa was born in Berlin, in a former Jewish neighborhood of West Berlin, after her Italian (with a Sicilian uncle) mother and Jewish American father met in a German class in Europe. They subsequently divorced (oh those were heady academic time when the grad students had their phones bugged) and young Luisa spent her time shuttling between the Boston area and Berlin.
A food memoir with recipes, My Berlin Kitchen deliciously chronicles how she finally took the plunge and went across the ocean in search of happiness—only to find love waiting where she least expected it.
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Speaking of cookbooks and stories and having one Jewish parent and being named Luisa...

[book] The New Persian Kitchen
Louisa Shafia
April 2013
10 Speed Press
The loss to the stage, is a gain to cooks
This luscious and contemporary take on the alluring cuisine of Iran from cookbook author Louisa Shafia features 75 recipes for both traditional Persian dishes and modern reinterpretations using Middle Eastern ingredients.
In The New Persian Kitchen, acclaimed chef Louisa Shafia explores her Iranian heritage by reimagining classic Persian recipes from a fresh, vegetable-focused perspective. These vibrant recipes demystify Persian ingredients like rose petals, dried limes, tamarind, and sumac, while offering surprising preparations for familiar foods such as beets, carrots, mint, and yogurt for the busy, health-conscious cook. The nearly eighty recipes—such as Turmeric Chicken with Sumac and Lime, Pomegranate Soup, and ice cream sandwiches made with Saffron Frozen Yogurt and Cardamom Pizzelles—range from starters to stews to sweets, and employ streamlined kitchen techniques and smart preparation tips. A luscious, contemporary take on a time-honored cuisine, The New Persian Kitchen makes the exotic and beautiful tradition of seasonal Persian cooking both accessible and inspiring.
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Louisa adds that growing up, she did not eat pork, since her father is Muslim and her mother is Jewish. She yearned for fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Her mother focused on French and European cooking as well as fried matzoh, latkes, borscht, dill pickles, and bagels with lox. Her father loved flatbread, tart yogurt, fluffy saffron rice, charred and juicy kebabs, fragrant and complex Persian stews like eggplant and tomato bademjan, and mouth-puckering torshi pickles.
Fortunately, also, Shafia had a “nanny”, Mrs. D(uGan), in suburban Philly who was a former cook who imparted a love of food. The 1992 Penn grad has a chickpea and almond flour icebox cookie recipe here:
The cookbook includes: Persian "Matzoh Balls" with Chickpeas and Chicken (Gondi), Pomegranate Walnut Stew (Fesenjan), Rice with Rose Petals and Barberries (Zereshk Polo), Nutty Chocolate Bark with Cardamom and Coffee (Sholeh Zard)

[book] Oma and Bella
The Cookbook
Das Kochbuch
by Alexa Karolinski
Alexa grew up in the Jewish community of Berlin. Two of its oldest members are her grandmother and her grandmother’s friend. The cook a lot. They speak in Yiddish, English, Yiddish and more. Alexa made a film of their lives which can be seen online. Here is the cookbook of their recipes.
The book has German text on one page and English text on the facing page
Das Oma & Bella Kochbuch ist eine Sammlung Osteuropäisch-jüdischer Rezepte, die Alexa Karolinski von ihrer Oma Regina und deren besten Freundin Bella erzählt wurden. Die osteuropäisch-jüdischen Rezepte sind die Resultate ihrer jahrzehntelangen Versuche, die Geschmäcke und kulinarischen Eindrücke ihrer Kindheit, vor dem Krieg, nachzuempfinden . Um dieses Kochbuch zu realisieren kochte Alexa an der Seite von Oma und Bella und übersetzte „Handvolls” in halben Tassen, „Prisen” in Teelöffelgrößen und „Teller-Volls” in Portionen . Die im Buch immer wieder auftauchenden Farbillustrationen stammen aus der Hand der Künstlerin Joana Avillez. Die Fotos hat Bella Liebererg gemacht. Das Buch ist komplett zweisprachig in Deutsch und Englisch verfasst.
The Oma & Bella Cookbook is a collection of recipes from Eastern- Europe, as told to Alexa Karolinski by her grandmother Regina (Oma) and her best friend Bella. Oma and Bella's recipes, classics of Jewish cuisine, come from decades of them recreating --from memory -- the tastes of their childhoods the war. To bring this vivid and personal cookbook into being, Alexa cooked with Oma and Bella in their kitchen, translating "handfuls" into half cups, "pinches" into teaspoons, and "platefuls" into servings. Color illustrations by the artist Joana Avillez are interspersed throughout the cookbook. The book also includes color photographs of the two ladies by Bella Lieberberg. Each book includes both German and English texts.

In Berlin? Buy the book at UCHBOX BERLIN Lettestr. 5, 10437 Berlin; BÜCHERSTUBE MARGA SCHOELLER, Knesebeckstr. 33, 10623 Berlin; DUSSMANN, Friedrichstr. 90, 10117 Berlin; KOLHAAS & COMPANY, Buchhandlung im Literaturhaus, Fasanenstr. 23, 10719 Berlin; and KOSHER DELIi - koschere Lebensmittel, Goethestr. 61, 10625 Berlin
Want to see them cook? Look at
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[book] The Land of the Five Flavors:
A Cultural History of Chinese Cuisine
by Thomas O. Höllmann
Karen Margolis (Translator)
Columbia University Press
Renowned sinologist Thomas O. Höllmann tracks the growth of food culture in China from its earliest burial rituals to today's Western fast food restaurants, mapping Chinese cuisine's geographical variations and local customs, indigenous factors and foreign influences, trade routes, and ethnic associations. Höllmann details the food practices of major Chinese religions and the significance of eating and drinking in rites of passage and popular culture. He enriches his narrative with thirty of his favorite recipes and a selection of photographs, posters, paintings, sketches, and images of clay figurines and other objects excavated from tombs.
Höllmann's award-winning history revisits the invention of noodles, the role of butchers and cooks in Chinese politics, debates over the origin of grape wines, and the causes of modern-day food contamination. He discusses local crop production, the use of herbs and spices, the relationship between Chinese food and economics, the influence of Chinese philosophy, and traditional dietary concepts and superstitions. Citing original Chinese sources, Höllmann uncovers fascinating aspects of daily Chinese life, constructing a multifaceted compendium that inspires a rich appreciation of Chinese arts and culture.
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[book] Scheherazade's Feasts:
Foods of the Medieval Arab World
by Habeeb Salloum, Muna Salloum, and Leila Salloum Elias
University of Pennsylvania Press
The author of the thirteenth-century Arabic cookbook Kit?b al-?ab?kh proposed that food was among the foremost pleasures in life. Scheherazade's Feasts invites adventurous cooks to test this hypothesis.
From the seventh to the thirteenth centuries, the influence and power of the medieval Islamic world stretched from the Middle East to the Iberian Peninsula, and this Golden Age gave rise to great innovation in gastronomy no less than in science, philosophy, and literature. The medieval Arab culinary empire was vast and varied: with trade and conquest came riches, abundance, new ingredients, and new ideas. The emergence of a luxurious cuisine in this period inspired an extensive body of literature: poets penned lyrics to the beauty of asparagus or the aroma of crushed almonds; nobles documented the dining customs obliged by etiquette and opulence; manuals prescribed meal plans to deepen the pleasure of eating and curtail digestive distress.
Drawn from this wealth of medieval Arabic writing, Scheherazade's Feasts presents more than a hundred recipes for the foods and beverages of a sophisticated and cosmopolitan empire. The recipes are translated from medieval sources and adapted for the modern cook, with replacements suggested for rare ingredients such as the first buds of the date tree or the fat rendered from the tail of a sheep. With the guidance of prolific cookbook writer Habeeb Salloum and his daughters, historians Leila and Muna, these recipes are easy to follow and deliciously appealing. The dishes are framed with verse inspired by them, culinary tips, and tales of the caliphs and kings whose courts demanded their royal preparation. To contextualize these selections, a richly researched introduction details the foodscape of the medieval Islamic world.
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[book] Big Gods
How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict
by Ara Norenzayan
Late Summer 2013
How did human societies scale up from small, tight-knit groups of hunter-gatherers to the large, anonymous, cooperative societies of today--even though anonymity is the enemy of cooperation? How did organized religions with "Big Gods"--the great monotheistic and polytheistic faiths--spread to colonize most minds in the world? In Big Gods, Ara Norenzayan makes the surprising and provocative argument that these fundamental puzzles about the origins of civilization are one and the same, and answer each other.
Once human minds could conceive of supernatural beings, Norenzayan argues, the stage was set for rapid cultural and historical changes that eventually led to large societies with Big Gods--powerful, omniscient, interventionist deities concerned with regulating the moral behavior of humans. How? As the saying goes, "watched people are nice people." It follows that people play nice when they think Big Gods are watching them, even when no one else is. Yet at the same time that sincere faith in Big Gods unleashed unprecedented cooperation within ever-expanding groups, it also introduced a new source of potential conflict between competing groups.
In some parts of the world, such as northern Europe, secular institutions have precipitated religion's decline by usurping its community-building functions. These societies with atheist majorities--some of the most cooperative, peaceful, and prosperous in the world--climbed religion's ladder, and then kicked it away. So while Big Gods answers fundamental questions about the origins and spread of world religions, it also helps us understand another, more recent social transition--the rise of cooperative societies without belief in gods.
Ara Norenzayan is a social psychologist at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. His areas of research include evolutionary and cognitive approaches to religious thought and behavior, issues of cultural variability and universality in human psychology, and relations between culture and evolution. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1999. Prior to UBC, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre de Recherche en Épistemologie Appliquée (CREA), École Polytechnique, Paris, after which he served on the faculty of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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[book] Still Foolin' 'Em
Where I've Been, Where I'm Going,
and Where the Hell Are My Keys?
By Billy Crystal
September 2013
Henry Holt
Arranged by decade, a memoir, and probably soon to be stage play a la 700 Sundays
A hilarious and heartfelt look at aging, by one of America's biggest movie stars on the eve of his 65th birthday
Billy Crystal is turning 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners out with half your meal on your shirt. In humorously titled chapters like "Drugs We Did Then, Drugs We Do Now" and "Sex at 65," Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a roadmap to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him, urging them to "celebrate the fact that you made it around the sun one more time" and that "the ancient Mayans were wrong." He looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from his final conversation with his father, which would haunt him, to the birthday ritual he shared with his mother. Readers get a front row seat to his one day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever "test positive for Maalox"), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his first brush with the afterlife. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion ("the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon and Prozac"), death, and the things he wishes he had known as a younger man. As wise and poignant as it is funny, Crystal’s reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.

[book] A Guide for the Perplexed
A Novel
By Dara Horn
September 2013
WW Norton and Company
Dara, a resident a NJ with her husband and four children is a winner of two, count them, two National Jewish Book Awards.
Dara Horn returns with a spellbinding novel of how technology changes memory and how memory shapes the soul.
Software prodigy Josie Ashkenazi has invented an application that records everything its users do. When an Egyptian library invites her to visit as a consultant, her jealous sister Judith persuades her to go. But in Egypt’s postrevolutionary chaos, Josie is abducted—leaving Judith free to take over Josie’s life at home, including her husband and daughter, while Josie’s talent for preserving memories becomes a surprising test of her empathy and her only means of escape.
A century earlier, another traveler arrives in Egypt: Solomon Schechter, a Cambridge professor hunting for a medieval archive hidden in a Cairo synagogue. Both he and Josie are haunted by the work of the medieval philosopher Moses Maimonides, a doctor and rationalist who sought to reconcile faith and science, destiny and free will. But what Schechter finds, as he tracks down the remnants of a thousand-year-old community’s once-vibrant life, will reveal the power and perils of what Josie’s ingenious work brings into being: a world where nothing is ever forgotten.
An engrossing adventure that intertwines stories from Genesis, medieval philosophy, and the digital frontier, A Guide for the Perplexed is a novel of profound inner meaning and astonishing imagination.

By Thomas Harding (UK)
September 2013
Simon and Schuster
Thomas Harding has written a book of two intersecting lives: His uncle, a German Jew and potential Nazi victim, and Rudolf Hss, Kommandant of Auschwitz. In a neat historical irony, his uncle became a British officer who tracked down war criminals, including one of the worst mass murderers. A fascinating account, with chunks of new information, about one of history's darkest chapters. (Richard Breitman, Author of The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and The Final Solution and Editor-in-chief of the U.S. Holocaust Museum's Holocaust and Genocide Studies.)
This important and moving book describes the unlikely intersection of two very different livesthat of Hanns Alexander, the son of a prosperous German family in Berlin who became a refugee in London in the 1930s and Rudolf Hss, the Kommandant of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Well-researched and grippingly written it provides a unique insight into the fate of Germany under National Socialism. (Antony Polonsky, Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Brandeis University)
Thomas Harding’s “Hanns and Rudolf” not only declines to forget, but challenges and defies the empty sententiousness characteristic of those who privately admit to being tired of hearing about the Holocaust. In this electrifying account of how a morally driven British Jewish soldier pursues and captures and brings to trial the turntail Kommandant of Auschwitz, Thomas Harding commemorates (and, for the tired, revivifies) a ringing Biblical injunction:Justice, justice, shalt thou pursue". (Cynthia Ozick)
Two lives. One Catholic. One Jewish. Diverged, Intersected

[book] We Won't See Auschwitz
by Jeremie Dres
September 2013
PW writes: The book, an English translation of Dres's Italian graphic novel of the same name, details the author's journey to Poland with his brother, Martin, to trace their Jewish roots after the death of their grandmother. Told in a clean journalistic style that prizes accuracy over adventure, the volume provides a good history lesson but lacks emotional impact. The book gets off to a promising start, describing the humorous and touching relationship between Dres and his grandmother. It then delves meticulously into the brothers' journey to Poland and the surprises they find there regarding their Jewish heritage. As the title suggests, the brothers choose not to visit Auschwitz and instead focus on the current state of Jews and Judaism in modern-day Poland. It's a smart decision to avoid this already-well-trodden territory, but ultimately the story's a bit dry. It's easy to understand why the trip has affected the creator personally, but the book doesn't entirely succeed in engaging readers. Simple, pared-down b&w visuals are a good match for the subject matter, and the more active and emotionally resonant scenes, like the one describing the discovery of the grave sites of the brothers' ancestors, are far superior to those featuring talking heads, which make up the bulk of the book
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September 2013
A uniquely original encounter with one of the most compelling and resonant stories ever told—the story of God's command to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. A history and meditation that illuminates the myriad ways in which it has been interpreted and understood down through the ages. Who wrote it and for whom?
A mere nineteen lines in the book of Genesis, the story rests at the heart of the history, literature, theology, and sacred rituals of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and for more than two millennia, people have struggled with the troubling questions about sacrifice, authority, obedience, and faith the story gives rise to. James Goodman recounts the history of that struggle, from the story's origins to its place in the cultures and faiths of our own time. He introduces us to the commentary of late-antiquity rabbis and priests and then early Islamic exegetes (many of whom believed that Ishmael was the son that Abraham nearly sacrificed). He examines Syriac hymns (in which Sarah plays a major role), the Hebrew chronicles of the First Crusade (in which Isaac often dies), and the medieval English mystery plays. He delineates the story's presence in the art of Europe's golden age, the philosophy of Kant and Kierkegaard, and the panoply of both sacred and profane reflection upon the story in the twentieth-century.

Speaking of Abraham... an oldie but goodie
[book] "My Brother Esau Is a Hairy Man"
Hair and Identity in Ancient Israel
By Susan Niditch (Amherst)
The story of Jacob and Esau is told in the book of Genesis. With his mother's help, Jacob impersonates his hairy older twin by dressing in Esau's clothes and covering his own hands and the nape of his neck with the hairy hide of goats. Fooled by this ruse, their blind father, Isaac, is tricked into giving the younger son the blessing of the firstborn. This is only one of many biblical stories in which hair plays a pivotal role.
In recent years, there has been an explosion of scholarly interest in the relationship between culture and the body. Hair plays an integral role in the way we represent and identify ourselves. The way we treat our hair has to do with aesthetics, social structure, religious identity, and a host of other aspects of culture. In societies modern and ancient, the hairdo is one key to a group's cultural code. In ancient Israel, hair signifies important features of identity with respect to gender, ethnicity, and holiness.
Susan Niditch seeks a deeper understanding of Israelite culture as expressed, shaped, and reinforced in images of hair. Among her examples is the tradition's most famous long-haired hero, Samson. The hair that assures Samson's strength is a common folktale motif, but is also important to his sacred status as a Nazirite. Niditch examines the meaning of the Nazirite identity held by Samuel as well as Samson arguing that long hair is involved in a complex set of cultural assumptions about men, warrior status, and divine election. In addition to biblical texts, Niditch looks at pictorial and other material evidence. She concludes by examining the troubling texts in which men impose hair cutting or loosening upon women, revealing much about attitudes to women and their place in Israelite culture. Much has been written on the presentation of the body in various literatures, including the Bible, but the role of hair in ancient Israel has been neglected. This book charts a new path for studies on the body, religion, and culture..

Speaking of hairy... an oldie but goodie
[book] David, Saul, and God
Rediscovering an Ancient Story
by Paul Borgman
The biblical story of King David and his conflict with King Saul (1 and 2 Samuel) is one of the most colorful and perennially popular in the Hebrew Bible. In recent years, this story has attracted a great deal of scholarly attention, much of it devoted to showing that David was a far less heroic character than appears on the surface. Indeed, more than one has painted David as a despicable tyrant. Paul Borgman provides a counter-reading to these studies, through an attentive reading of the narrative patterns of the text. He focuses on one of the key features of ancient Hebrew narrative poetics -- repeated patterns -- taking special note of even the small variations each time a pattern recurs. He argues that such "hearing cues" would have alerted an ancient audience to the answers to such questions as "Who is David?" and "What is so wrong with Saul?" The narrative insists on such questions, says Borgman, slowly disclosing answers through patterns of repeated scenarios and dominant motifs that yield, finally, the supreme work of storytelling in ancient literature. Borgman concludes with a comparison with Homer's storytelling technique, demontrating that the David story is indeed a masterpiece and David (as Baruch Halpern has said) "the first truly modern human."

Edited by Roger Bennett
September 2013
54 leading young Jewish writers, artists, photographers, screenwriters, architects, actors, musicians, and graphic artists grappling with the first five books of the Bible and giving new meaning to the 54 Torah portions that are traditionally read over the course of a year. From the foundational stories of Genesis and Exodus to the legalistic minutiae of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, Unscrolled is a reinterpreting, a re-imagining, a creative and eclectic celebration of the Jewish Bible.
Here’s a graphic-novel version of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, by Rebecca Odes and Sam Lipsyte. Lost creator Damon Lindelof writing about Abraham’s decision to sacrifice his son—as if Abraham were a mental patient in the wake of that incident. Here’s Sloane Crosley bringing Pharaoh into the 21st century, where he’s checking out “boils,” “lice,” and “plague of frogs” on WebMD. Plus there’s Joshua Foer, Amichai (Storahtelling) Lau Lavie, Aimee (sad lemon cake) Bender, A. J. Jacobs, David Auburn, Jill (Six Feet Under) Soloway, a poised Ben (New Yorker) Greenman, Josh Radnor, Shoshana Berger, Dennis (WSJ) Berman, Ariel Kaminer, Rich (I’m a tough Jew) Cohen, Rachel (Daily Show) Axler, Adam Mansbach, Marc (build me a tabernacle) Kushner, vinyl loving Josh Kun, . and more.
Edited by Roger Bennett, a founder of Reboot, a network of young Jewish creatives and intellectuals, Unscrolled is a gathering of brilliant, diverse voices that will speak to anyone interested in Jewish thought and identity—and, with its singular design and use of color throughout, the perfect bar and bat mitzvah gift.
For each parshat, it presents a sentence, then a synopsis of the Torah portion that is written by Bennett. This is followed by a drash on the story by an author in forms that range from the aforementioned graphic novel and transcript to stories, poems, memoirs, letters, plays, infographics, monologues — each designed to give the reader a different take on some of the oldest, wisest, and occasionally weirdest stories of the Western world, while inspiring new ideas about the Bible and its meaning, value, and place in our lives.
Some work; some don’t work as well. You decide.
Rebecca Odes and Sam Lipsyte render a cartoon of Moses on Mount Sinai; Joshua Foer (with two equally famous and achieving brothers) writes an essay on Jacob and Esau and brutal rivalry (was Isaac really blind? Did he pretend to be fooled by Jacob?); David Auburn (playwright) has a short play in response to Yosef being sold into slavery; Sloane Crosley imagines a frantic Pharaoh checking Google and WebMD as Egypt is afflicted with plagues; Damon Lindelof, a producer of LOST, imagines Abraham being evaluated by a psych ward after almost sacrificing his son Isaac; Eli Attie (who wisely preferred Ess A Bagel to H&H), a former Gore speechwriter and West Wing writer, discusses Nitzavim (One’s standing) as a TV script in which Moses (with his tunic in a bunch) takes a meeting with two overweight men in suits (they think he is Willie Nelson). They specialize in crisis management or strategic communications; Jil Soloway, on Lech L’kha gives us a rashomon-like treatment from various points of view that reflect on Sarah, Abraham, Hagar, and the children. You get the idea. There is something here for everyone and plenty to study and contemplate

[book] Dissident Gardens
A Novel
By Jonathan Lethem
September 2013
A dazzling novel from one of our finest writers—an epic yet intimate family saga about three generations of all-American radicals
At the center of Jonathan Lethem’s superb new novel stand two extraordinary women. Rose Zimmer, the aptly nicknamed Red Queen of Sunnyside, Queens, is an unreconstructed Communist and mercurial tyrant who terrorizes her neighborhood and her family with the ferocity of her personality and the absolutism of her beliefs. Her brilliant and willful daughter, Miriam, is equally passionate in her activism, but flees Rose’s suffocating influence and embraces the Age of Aquarius counterculture of Greenwich Village.
Both women cast spells that entrance or enchain the men in their lives: Rose’s aristocratic German Jewish husband, Albert; her nephew, the feckless chess hustler Lenny Angrush; Cicero Lookins, the brilliant son of her black cop lover; Miriam’s (slightly fraudulent) Irish folksinging husband, Tommy Gogan; their bewildered son, Sergius. These flawed, idealistic people all struggle to follow their own utopian dreams in an America where radicalism is viewed with bemusement, hostility, or indifference.
As the decades pass—from the parlor communism of the ’30s, McCarthyism, the civil rights movement, ragged ’70s communes, the romanticization of the Sandinistas, up to the Occupy movement of the moment—we come to understand through Lethem’s extraordinarily vivid storytelling that the personal may be political, but the political, even more so, is personal.
Brilliantly constructed as it weaves across time and among characters, facing faltering memories and recollections, Dissident Gardens is riotous and haunting, satiric and sympathetic—and a joy to read.

[book] The Gallery of Vanished Husbands
A Novel Paperback
by Natasha Solomons
A stunning new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The House at Tyneford
London, 1958. It's the eve of the sexual revolution, but in Juliet Montague's conservative Jewish community where only men can divorce women, she finds herself a living widow, invisible. Ever since her husband disappeared seven years ago, Juliet has been a hardworking single mother of two and unnaturally practical. But on her thirtieth birthday, that's all about to change. A wealthy young artist asks to paint her portrait, and Juliet, moved by the powerful desire to be seen, enters into the burgeoning art world of 1960s London, which will bring her fame, fortune, and a life-long love affair.

I NEVER HEARD OF POOLISH before reading this book
Gluten-Free Baking from a Jewish-American Kitchen
By Lisa Stander-Horel, Tim Horel
With a foreword by Arthur Schwartz
September 2013
The Experiment
Growing up in a Jewish home, Lisa Stander-Horel was accustomed to helping her mother make special dishes and baked goods for all the holidays. When gluten-free blogger Lisa made the decision to go gluten-free, she wanted to make sure her family could carry on those traditions as a gluten-free household.
Once she had conquered recipes for Mom’s Marble Chiffon Cake, Rugelach, Challah, and other holiday classics, she moved her focus to “everyday” sweet treats, baked goods you could “nosh” on at any time. The result is a collection of diverse recipes that elevate gluten-free baking.
Nosh on This features over 100 recipes for the gluten-free baker who craves traditional Jewish baking.
From Apple Upside-Down Cake to Cherry Chocolate Mandelbrot and more, there are recipes for cookies, cakes, pies & tarts, bars & brownies, pastries, cupcakes, donuts, macaroons, quick breads, muffins, and biscuits, breads, savories, matzoh, and crackers.
There’s even a bonus “Out of the Box” chapter for making the most of a gluten-free mix. Every single recipe is paired with a full-page photograph that provides the readers with an expectation of the result. Lisa’s unique recipe-writing style is explanatory to a tee, and extremely open (meaning she doesn’t shy from admitting if she had a cakewreck the first time she made something, and what she learned). Many recipes are Dairy-Free or include a Dairy-Free option.
Complete with an introduction to gluten-free flour (including a tutorial for the Horels’ special blend that can be used in each recipe) and valuable gluten-free baking tips and process photos throughout, Nosh on This is a comprehensive gluten-free baking resource.

I have to admit... I did not know half of these items were “Jew-ish.” Yes, there are recipes for gluten free babka, honey cake, Mandelbrot, linzer heart, macaroons, challah, challah corn bread stuffing, latkes, kugels, brownies, nutella bites, un-sad lemon bars, cakes rolls, many cupcakes, and pies, but also for meringue bites, peanut butter cups, marshmallows, various donuts, an éclair, a sacher torte, a pavlova and more.
Don’t get caught up with “Jewish.” There are fluffy biscuits (uses buttermilk); caramel banana bread with cranberries (uses nutmeg, cocoa powder, pepper, rum flavoring, orange extract); quick challah (uses Pellegrino water – now I gave away a MAJOR SECRET); marble chiffon cake, and more importantly, there is Flo’s Danish recipe, which the author received in the mail three days after Flo passed away.

[book] MARGOT
September 2013
Personally, I am a member of “Don’t Touch My Holocaust” and I am not a fan of fictional novels based on the reimagined lives of Holocaust victims, but it is a popular genre, and this is a good member of this genre.
Philadelphia-bred Cantor, a graduate of Penn State and the University of Arizona reimagines the life of Anne Frank’s sister. She isn’t killed, but instead moves to America.
The author, Cantor, read The Diary of a Young Girl as a teen and identified with it. She too was an aspiring writer, though not hidden in an attic in a war. She did not even remember that Anne had an older sister. Cantor grew up, married a Jewish man, had kids; but when her grandfather died, she felt compelled to organize her first Passover Seder. Around the same time she read Anne Frank’s diary, and now she was struck by Anne’s suster, Margot. Now, Cantor was 33, not 13. Margot also had a diary, but it was never found. Cantor assumes (or does she project) that Margot was quiet and responsible. This book imagzines the life of Margot.

Anne Frank has long been a symbol of bravery and hope, but there were two sisters hidden in the annex, two young Jewish girls, one a cultural icon made famous by her published diary and the other, nearly forgotten.
In the spring of 1959, The Diary of Anne Frank has just come to the silver screen to great acclaim, and a young woman named Margie Franklin is working in Philadelphia as a secretary at a Jewish law firm. On the surface she lives a quiet life, but Margie has a secret: a life she once lived, a past and a religion she has denied, and a family and a country she left behind.
Margie Franklin is really Margot Frank, older sister of Anne, who did not die in Bergen-Belsen as reported, but who instead escaped the Nazis for America. But now, as her sister becomes a global icon, Margie’s carefully constructed American life begins to fall apart. A new relationship threatens to overtake the young love that sustained her during the war, and her past and present begin to collide. Margie is forced to come to terms with Margot, with the people she loved, and with a life swept up into the course of history.

(Boston Consulting Group – BCG)
September 2013
Random House/Penguin
A fabulous business book. Jewish? Well, no. But I am pretty sure that Montreal born Alan Iny – a graduate of Columbia Business School – is a specialist in Ladino songs.

When BIC, manufacturer of disposable ballpoint pens, wanted to grow, it looked for an idea beyond introducing new sizes and ink colors. Someone suggested lighters. LIGHTERS? With an idea that seemed crazy at first, that bright executive, instead of seeing BIC as a pen company—a business in the PEN “box”—figured out that there was growth to be found in the DISPOSABLE “box.” And he was right. Now there are disposable BIC lighters, razors, even phones. The company opened its door to a host of opportunities.
Your business can, too. And simply thinking “out of the box” is not the answer. True ingenuity needs structure, hard analysis, and bold brainstorming. It needs to start THINKING IN NEW BOXES
—a revolutionary process for sustainable creativity from two strategic innovation experts from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
To make sense of the world, we all rely on assumptions, on models—on what Luc de Brabandere and Alan Iny call “boxes.” If we are unaware of our boxes, they can blind us to risks and opportunities.
This innovative book challenges everything you thought you knew about business creativity by breaking creativity down into five steps:
• Doubt everything. Challenge your current perspectives.
• Probe the possible. Explore options around you.
• Diverge. Generate many new and exciting ideas, even if they seem absurd.
• Converge. Evaluate and select the ideas that will drive breakthrough results.
• Reevaluate. Relentlessly. No idea is a good idea forever. And did we mention Reevaluate? Relentlessly.
Creativity is paramount if you are to thrive in a time of accelerating change. Replete with practical and potent creativity tools, and featuring fascinating case studies from BIC to Ford to Trader Joe’s, Thinking in New Boxes will help you and your company overcome missed opportunities and stay ahead of the curve. This book isn’t a simpleminded checklist. This is Thinking in New Boxes.
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[book] Eating Asian America
A Food Studies Reader
Edited by Robert Ji-Song Ku
Martin F. Manalansan and Anita Mannur
September 2013
NYU New York University Press
Chop suey. Sushi. Curry. Adobo. Kimchi. The deep associations Asians in the United States have with food have become ingrained in the American popular imagination. So much so that contentious notions of ethnic authenticity and authority are marked by and argued around images and ideas of food.
Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader collects burgeoning new scholarship in Asian American Studies that centers the study of foodways and culinary practices in our understanding of the racialized underpinnings of Asian Americanness. It does so by bringing together twenty scholars from across the disciplinary spectrum to inaugurate a new turn in food studies: the refusal to yield to a superficial multiculturalism that naively celebrates difference and reconciliation through the pleasures of food and eating. By focusing on multi-sited struggles across various spaces and times, the contributors to this anthology bring into focus the potent forces of class, racial, ethnic, sexual and gender inequalities that pervade and persist in the production of Asian American culinary and alimentary practices, ideas, and images. This is the first collection to consider the fraught itineraries of Asian American immigrant histories and how they are inscribed in the production and dissemination of ideas about Asian American foodways.

By Merelyn Frank Chalmers, Natanya Eskin
Lauren Fink, Lisa Goldberg, Paula Horwitz
and Jaqui Israel
Photography by Alan Benson
September 2013
Harper Collins Publishers
In 2006 a group of Sydney Jewish women came together to share recipes and talk about food. They cooked, ate, drank endless cups of tea and—often heatedly—discussed the merits of different recipes. After just a few weekly meetings, the Monday Morning Cooking Club was born and a legacy of food and recipes spanning many cultures and generations began to take shape. Five years and hundreds of dishes later, six members of the sisterhood have handpicked their favorite recipes for publication in their first book of the same name. More than 100 culturally diverse recipes from more than 60 cooks have been tried, tested, and refined for inclusion in the Monday Morning Cooking Club book. Each recipe begins with a short story of the cook and their history of the dish. These stories, interweaved with amazing recipes, narrate the rich and personal history of far-flung communities and families who find a deep connection through food and the memory of generations that have gone before.
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[book] Joy of Kosher
Fast, Fresh Family Recipes
by Jamie Geller
Fall 2013
William Morrow
Jamie Geller, “The Jewish Rachael Ray” (New York Times) and founder of the Kosher Media Network, including Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine and, shares more than 200 ideas for fast, fresh family-friendly recipes, each with tips on how to dress them up for entertaining or dress them down for everyday meals.
Accompanied by gorgeous full-color photos, Joy of Kosher includes original ideas for authentically kosher, foolproof, flexible recipes for scrumptious, nutritious, and easy dishes—all with no slaving over a hot stove or rabbi required.
Enjoy such delectable dishes as Crystal Clear Chicken Soup with Julienned Vegetables and Angel Hair (Dress It Down: Chicken Noodle Alphabet Soup), Garlic Honey Brisket (Dress It Down: Honey Brisket Pita Pockets?), Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (Dress It Down: Mac and Cheese Muffin Cups)?, and Gooey Chocolate Cherry Cake (Dress It Up: Red Wine Chocolate Cherry Heart Cake). Plus, Jamie offers a whole chapter on the art of making challah, 10 sweet and savory recipes, holiday menus, a special Passover section.
Here is her reipe for a carrot honey cake for rosh hashana CLICK HERE
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[book] The Fresh Honey Cookbook
84 Recipes from a Beekeeper's Kitchen
by Laurey Masterton
September 10, 2013
Andrews Mcmeel
Indulge in these 84 luscious recipes inspired by honey bees, the food they pollinate, and the wonderful range of honey they produce. Highlighting a different honey varietal each month (tupelo, orange blossom, acacia, avocado, raspberry, tulip poplar, sourwood, blueberry, cranberry, eucalyptus, chestnut, and sage), beekeeper and chef Laurey Masterton offers amazing dishes made from simple, fresh ingredients. You'll love Avocado and Mango Salad, Candy Roaster Squash Soup, Turkey Roulade in Puffed Pastry with Cranberry Chutney, Wild Salmon with a Smoky Onion Crust, Sweet Potato Salad with Sourwood Honey, Strawberry-Rhubarb Cream, Elsie's Cranberry Pie, and Coconut Macaroons with Dried Cherries. You'll also find honey-tasting tips and fascinating glimpses into the life of a beehive. Laurey grew up in Vermont and now resides in North Carolina where she runs Laurey’s Café. (Yes, she is of Jewish heritage too)
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September 2013
A play on words... namely Julia Child's famed book on the art of French Cooking
Anya and her mother dream of food growing up in the Soviet Union. A maternal grandchild of the Frumkin's, she knew of scarcity, and even when she emigrated and landed in Philly in the 1970s, as a child, she craved the flavors of Soviet candy and meats, and worse, mayonnaise.
A James Beard Award-winning writer captures life under the Red socialist banner in this wildly inventive, tragicomic memoir of feasts, famines, and three generations
With startling beauty and sardonic wit, Anya von Bremzen tells an intimate yet epic story of life in that vanished empire known as the USSR—a place where every edible morsel was packed with emotional and political meaning.
Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen. She sang odes to Lenin, black-marketeered Juicy Fruit gum at school, watched her father brew moonshine, and, like most Soviet citizens, longed for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, drab, naively joyous, melancholy—and ultimately intolerable to her anti-Soviet mother, Larisa. When Anya was ten, she and Larisa fled the political repression of Brezhnev-era Russia, arriving in Philadelphia with no winter coats and no right of return.
Now Anya occupies two parallel food universes: one where she writes about four-star restaurants, the other where a taste of humble kolbasa transports her back to her scarlet-blazed socialist past. To bring that past to life, in its full flavor, both bitter and sweet, Anya and Larisa, embark on a journey unlike any other: they decide to eat and cook their way through every decade of the Soviet experience—turning Larisa’s kitchen into a "time machine and an incubator of memories.” Together, mother and daughter re-create meals both modest and sumptuous, featuring a decadent fish pie from the pages of Chekhov, chanakhi (Stalin’s favorite Georgian stew), blini, and more.
Through these meals, Anya tells the gripping story of three Soviet generations— masterfully capturing the strange mix of idealism, cynicism, longing, and terror that defined Soviet life. We meet her grandfather Naum, a glamorous intelligence chief under Stalin, and her grandmother Liza, who made a perilous odyssey to icy, blockaded Leningrad to find Naum during World War II. We meet Anya’s hard-drinking, sarcastic father, Sergei, who cruelly abandons his family shortly after Anya is born; and we are captivated by Larisa, the romantic dreamer who grew up dreading the black public loudspeakers trumpeting the glories of the Five-Year Plan. Their stories unfold against the vast panorama of Soviet history: Lenin’s bloody grain requisitioning, World War II hunger and survival, Stalin’s table manners, Khrushchev’s kitchen debates, Gorbachev’s disastrous anti-alcohol policies. And, ultimately, the collapse of the USSR. And all of it is bound together by Anya’s passionate nostalgia, sly humor, and piercing observations.
Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is that rare book that stirs our souls and our senses.
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Speaking of Soviets and Russians… This is a worthwhile read if you dare to talk about the Olympics and Putin.
[book] The Man Without a Face
The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin
Paperback Edition
by Masha Gessen
A chilling and unflinching portrait of one of the most fearsome figures in world politics.
In 1999, the “Family” surrounding Boris Yeltsin went looking for a successor to the ailing and increasingly unpopular president. Vladimir Putin, with very little governmental or administrative experience—he’d been deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, and briefly, director of the secret police—nevertheless seemed the perfect choice: a “faceless” creature whom Yeltsin and his cronies could mold in their own image. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see in him the progressive leader of their dreams—even as Putin, with ruthless efficiency, dismantled the country’s media, wrested control and wealth from the business class, and destroyed the fragile mechanisms of democracy. Within a few brief years, virtually every obstacle to his unbridled control was removed and every opposing voice silenced, with political rivals and critics driven into exile or to the grave.
Masha Gessen has experienced and reported this history firsthand, and brings it up to its present moment of unrest and uncertainty. Her spellbinding account of Putin’s rise and reign will stand as a classic of narrative nonfiction
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This author/journalist is scary! Ask me about the time he ran up the aisle on a small Russian jet and barged into the cockpit, freaking out the crew. The jet was later met when it landed by armed security forces to question the author. But maybe you have to be a little insane to be a fearless reporter in somewhat corrupt locations.
[book] Fragile Empire
How Russia Fell In and Out of
Love with Vladimir Putin
by Ben Judah (Reuters)
Yale University Press
From Kaliningrad on the Baltic to the Russian Far East, journalist Ben Judah has travelled throughout Russia and the former Soviet republics, conducting extensive interviews with President Vladimir Putin’s friends, foes, and colleagues, government officials, business tycoons, mobsters, and ordinary Russian citizens. Fragile Empire is the fruit of Judah’s thorough research: a probing assessment of Putin’s rise to power and what it has meant for Russia and her people.
Despite a propaganda program intent on maintaining the cliché of stability, Putin’s regime was suddenly confronted in December 2011 by a highly public protest movement that told a different side of the story. Judah argues that Putinism has brought economic growth to Russia but also weaker institutions, and this contradiction leads to instability. The author explores both Putin’s successes and his failed promises, taking into account the impact of a new middle class and a new generation, the Internet, social activism, and globalization on the president’s impending leadership crisis. Can Russia avoid the crisis of Putinism?
Judah offers original and up-to-the-minute answers.
Judah is the son of author and journalist Tim Judah, and Rosie Whitehouse, the publisher and editor.
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[book] Our Harsh Logic
Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the
Occupied Territories, 2000--2010
by Breaking the Silence
September 2013
Support for Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory—both internationally and within Israel itself—rests on the belief that the Israeli army’s presence in the West Bank and Gaza is essentially protective, aimed at safeguarding the country from terror. But Israeli soldiers themselves tell a profoundly different story. In this landmark work, which includes more than a hundred soldiers’ testimonies collected over a decade, what emerges is a broad policy that is as much offensive as defensive. In their own words, the soldiers reveal in vivid detail how key planks of the army’s program have served to accelerate Israeli acquisition of Palestinian land, cripple all normal political and social life, and ultimately thwart the possibility of Palestinian independence.
Taking aim at a silence of complicity that perpetuates the justification for occupation, the soldiers who speak out here offer 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.
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How the Impossible Became Possible . . . on Schindler's List
By Leon Leyson, Marilyn J. Harran, and Elisabeth B. Leyson
Atheneum for Young Reader
Ages 9 – 14
Even in the darkest of times—especially in the darkest of times—there is room for strength and bravery. A remarkable memoir from Leon Leyson, one of the youngest children to survive the Holocaust on Oskar Schindler’s list.
Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.
This, the only memoir published by a former Schindler’s List child, perfectly captures the innocence of a small boy who goes through the unthinkable. Most notable is the lack of rancor, the lack of venom, and the abundance of dignity in Mr. Leyson’s telling. The Boy on the Wooden Box is a legacy of hope, a memoir unlike anything you’ve ever read.
160 pages for under $9.

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[book] THE WALL
By William Sutcliffe
Ages 12 and up
William Sutcliffe is a British Jewish novelist who is not to keen on Israel.
Here is his latest tale which he re-wrote after attending a PalFest Palestinian literary festival and needed to speak on what he says is Israel’s military belligerence
Joshua lives with his mother and step-father in Amarias (AS IN SAMARIA??), an isolated town, where all the houses are brand new.
Amarias is surrounded by a high wall, guarded by soldiers, which can only be crossed through a heavily fortified checkpoint. Joshua has been taught that the Wall is the only thing keeping his people safe from a brutal and unforgiving enemy.
He loses a soccer ball and crosses the wall to retrieve it. He finds a house and a tunnel. The chance to catch a glimpse of life on the other side of The Wall is too tempting to resist. He's heard plenty of stories about the other side, but nothing has prepared him for what he finds. There are inequalities. He is chased by boys on the other side who seek to harm him and he is saved by a girl (Leila) who risks her life and the lives of her family to save him. Later, back home, he feels out of place. Did I mention that Joshua (you know as in Joshua made the walls tumble down in Jericho) moved to Amarias 4 years ago when his beloved good father was killed in the military and a new man – Liev, the evil bigoted zealot-like stepfather – moved the family to here.
Set in a tense reality closely mirroring Israel's West Bank (the author visited the West Bank many times and speaks out against Israel and its Wall), this story of a boy who undertakes a short journey to another world lingers long after completion.
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[book] WALLS
Travels Along the Barricades
by Marcello Di Cintio
September 2013
Soft Skull Press
When I heard him interviewed on the BCC, it made me sick, listending to them fawn over him and lick his ego and focus on evil Israel and noble Palistinians
Book Blurb: What does it mean to live against a wall? In this ambitious first person narrative, Marcello Di Cintio travels to the world’s most disputed edges to meet the people who live alongside the razor wire, concrete, and steel and how the structure of the walls has influenced their lives. Di Cintio shares tea with Saharan refugees on the wrong side of Morocco’s desert wall. He meets with illegal Punjabi migrants who have circumvented the fencing around the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. He visits fenced-in villages in northeast India, walks Arizona’s migrant trails, and travels to Palestinian villages to witness the protests against Israel’s security barrier.
From Native American reservations on the U.S.-Mexico border and the “Great Wall of Montreal” to Cyprus’s divided capital and the Peace Lines of Belfast, Di Cintio seeks to understand what these structures say about those who build them and how they influence the cultures that they pen in. He learns that while every wall fails to accomplish what it was erected to achieve – the walls are never solutions – each wall succeeds at something else. Some walls define Us from Them with Medieval clarity. Some walls encourage fear or feed hate. Some walls steal. Others kill. And every wall inspires its own subversion, either by the infiltrators who dare to go over, under, or around them, or by the artists who transform them.
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[book] The Outer Limits of Reason
What Science, Mathematics, and Logic
Cannot Tell Us
by Noson S. Yanofsky (Brooklyn)
The MIT Press
Many books explain what is known about the universe. This book investigates what cannot be known. Rather than exploring the amazing facts that science, mathematics, and reason have revealed to us, this work studies what science, mathematics, and reason tell us cannot be revealed. In The Outer Limits of Reason, Noson Yanofsky considers what cannot be predicted, described, or known, and what will never be understood. He discusses the limitations of computers, physics, logic, and our own thought processes.
Yanofsky describes simple tasks that would take computers trillions of centuries to complete and other problems that computers can never solve; perfectly formed English sentences that make no sense; different levels of infinity; the bizarre world of the quantum; the relevance of relativity theory; the causes of chaos theory; math problems that cannot be solved by normal means; and statements that are true but cannot be proven. He explains the limitations of our intuitions about the world -- our ideas about space, time, and motion, and the complex relationship between the knower and the known.
Moving from the concrete to the abstract, from problems of everyday language to straightforward philosophical questions to the formalities of physics and mathematics, Yanofsky demonstrates a myriad of unsolvable problems and paradoxes. Exploring the various limitations of our knowledge, he shows that many of these limitations have a similar pattern and that by investigating these patterns, we can better understand the structure and limitations of reason itself. Yanofsky even attempts to look beyond the borders of reason to see what, if anything, is out there.
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Foreword by Samuel G. Freedman
September 2013
Beacon Press
A prominent rabbi and imam, each raised in orthodoxy, overcome the temptations of bigotry and work to bridge the chasm between Muslims and Jews
Sons of Abraham relates the unlikely friendship between the orthodox Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali. Despite the anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic prejudices they were exposed to in their youth, these two men forged a lasting friendship in the tumultuous decade following the attacks of 9/11. Here they share their vision of how Jews and Muslims can work to find common ground. To that end, they analyze some of the religious texts that divide—but can also unite—Jews and Muslims, and address the pressing issues of the day, such as why Jews should be concerned about Islamophobia and why Muslims should care about anti-Semitism. In a time when Jews and Muslims are viewed as incorrigible enemies, Sons of Abraham is an example of a genuine alliance that gives readers a cause for hope.
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[book] WHAT IF...?
by Rabbi Yitzchok Zilberstein

I love this book
It will be a great Bat/Bat Mitvah gift
Start the Torah Conversation What If... makes a wonderful addition to our Shabbos table.
Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein shlita is a noted rav and posek, as well as a son-in-law of Rav Elyashiv zt'l. What If... presents hundreds of halachic questions and answers in the order of the weekly parashah, making it the perfect starting point for fascinating Torah conversations. The questions are short, and each includes a practical, real-world scenario. The answers, too, are concise, and though they contain a world of Torah knowledge, they are easy to follow. A man jokingly tells his friend to microwave an esrog to make it ripen quickly - who is responsible for the damage?
A surgeon learns a new technique from a presentation, without paying the entrance fee. May he use that technique, or is it stealing? A yeshiva accepts the gift of an expensive home if they promise to care for the health of the owner. The owner gets a rare disease, can they get out of the promise?
A mother doesn't want to reveal her child's illness, thus keeping people from praying for him. Is that permitted?
Challenge your family or guests with these thought-provoking halachic questions, and watch the energy around the table begin to surge. This is Torah conversation at its best.
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A Hot To Guide on Managing Your Covert Terror Group? [book] THE TERRORIST'S DILEMMA
September 2013
Princeton University Press
How do terrorist groups control their members? Do the tools groups use to monitor their operatives and enforce discipline create security vulnerabilities that governments can exploit? The Terrorist's Dilemma is the first book to systematically examine the great variation in how terrorist groups are structured. Employing a broad range of agency theory, historical case studies, and terrorists' own internal documents, Jacob Shapiro provocatively discusses the core managerial challenges that terrorists face and illustrates how their political goals interact with the operational environment to push them to organize in particular ways.
Shapiro provides a historically informed explanation for why some groups have little hierarchy, while others resemble miniature firms, complete with line charts and written disciplinary codes. Looking at groups in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, he highlights how consistent and widespread the terrorist's dilemma--balancing the desire to maintain control with the need for secrecy--has been since the 1880s. Through an analysis of more than a hundred terrorist autobiographies he shows how prevalent bureaucracy has been, and he utilizes a cache of internal documents from al-Qa'ida in Iraq to outline why this deadly group used so much paperwork to handle its people. Tracing the strategic interaction between terrorist leaders and their operatives, Shapiro closes with a series of comparative case studies, indicating that the differences in how groups in the same conflict approach their dilemmas are consistent with an agency theory perspective.
The Terrorist's Dilemma demonstrates the management constraints inherent to terrorist groups and sheds light on specific organizational details that can be exploited to more efficiently combat terrorist activity.
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by David Shields and Shane Salerno
September 3, 2013
Simon & Schuster
Based on eight years of research and interviews with more than 200 people — and published in coordination with the international theatrical release of a major documentary film from the Weinstein Company — Salinger is a global cultural event: the biography of one of the most beloved and mysterious / reclusive figures of twentieth century American literature.

For more than fifty years, the author of The Catcher in the Rye has been the subject of a relentless stream of newspaper and magazine articles as well as several biographies. Yet all of these attempts have been hampered by a fundamental lack of access and by the persistent recycling of inaccurate information. Salinger remained an enigma.
In the eight years since “Salinger” was begun, and especially in the three years since his death, many who previously refucsed to talk about the man have granted interviews.
This oral biography offers direct eyewitness accounts from Salinger’s World War II brothers-in-arms, his family members, his close friends, his lovers, his classmates, his neighbors, his editors, his publishers, his New Yorker colleagues, and people with whom he had relationships that were secret even to his own family.
Shields and Salerno illuminate most brightly the last fifty-six years of Salinger’s life: a period that, until now, had remained completely dark to biographers. Provided unprecedented access to never-before-published photographs (more than 100 throughout the book), diaries, letters, legal records, and secret documents, readers will feel they have, for the first time, gotten beyond Salinger’s meticulously built-up wall. The result is the definitive portrait of one of the most fascinating figures of the twentieth century.
I think you will debate whether having just one testicle caused Salinger to choose only young girl’s, virgins, or the naïve to sleep with or if that drove him into seclusion, but I am not a psychologist.
SPOILERS:::: five new books by Salinger (Glass family, Caulfields) will be released beginning in 2015; a “manual” of Vedanta, the Hindu philosophy Salinger followed during the second half of his life will be included; and he annulled his marriage his first wife when he learned she had helped the Gestapo. Click the cover for more information or to purchase the book

[book] The Firm
The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business
By Duff McDonald
September 2013
Simon and Schuster
A behind-the-scenes, revelatory history of McKinsey & Co., America’s most influential and controversial business consulting firm, told by one of the nation’s leading financial journalists.
Founded in 1926, McKinsey & Company has become one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, helping to invent American business and shaping its course for decades. Ushering in the age of American industrial dominance, McKinsey remapped the power structure in the White House, helped create the bar code, revolutionized business schools, and introduced the idea of budgeting as a management tool. McKinsey consultants have created the corporate behaviors that shaped our world—reinventing our idea of American capitalism and exporting it across the globe.
At the same time, however, McKinsey can also be associated with a list of striking failures. Its consultants were on the scene when General Motors drove itself into the ground, and they played a critical role in building the bomb known as Enron. Yet they are rarely blamed for the failures—at least not publicly.
McKinsey employees are trusted and distrusted, loved and despised. And far from prying eyes, they are doing behind-the-scenes work for the most powerful people in the world. In The Firm, star financial journalist Duff McDonald uncovers how these high-powered, high-priced business savants have ushered in waves of structural, financial, and technological shifts to the biggest and best American organizations. With unrivaled access to company documents and current and former employees, McDonald reveals the inner workings of what just might be the most influential private organization in America.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi
Resisters Against Hitler in Church and State
By Fritz Stern and Elisabeth Sifton
September 2013
NY Review of Books
The Third Reich was the twentieth century’s most popular tyranny. After Adolf Hitler took power in 1933, most of Germany’s civil servants and professional elite collaborated with the Nazis or else tried to remain “unpolitical,” to retreat into “inner emigration.” Those who resisted were intimidated and silenced, often through terror and murder. To oppose the regime was rare and dangerous; to do so to protect the sanctity of law and faith was rarer still.
But nonetheless some did. Claus von Stauffenberg, who was at the center of the conspiracy that attempted to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944, is only the best-known member of the German resistance. No Ordinary Men is the story of two of the Nazi regime’s most courageous and admirable opponents: the pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his close friend and brother-in-law Hans von Dohnanyi. Bonhoeffer opposed Nazi racial thought and fought the Nazis’ efforts to control the German Protestant churches. Dohnanyi, a lawyer working in the Wehrmacht’s counterintelligence section, kept records of Nazi crimes to be used as evidence once the regime fell, helped victims, tried to sabotage Nazi policies, and conspired to assassinate Hitler. Both were arrested in April 1943 and interrogated about their resistance activities, and both were executed, after terrible suffering, in April 1945 as the Third Reich was collapsing.
Bonhoeffer’s writings were collected after the war; his Letters and Papers from Prison found a wide audience, and both his theological ideas and his resistance activities attracted much interest. Dohnanyi was less well known but his work in opposing the Nazis—and that of other members of their family—was intimately bound up with Bonhoeffer’s. In No Ordinary Men, Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern demonstrate that the resistance to the Nazi regime was a larger and more complicated drama than is usually depicted. Among those opposed to Hitler’s rule, their growing outrage about the treatment of the Jews was what motivated their decision to resist and to try to remove him, for they knew it was a barbarism that would be a burden of guilt for their nation ever after.
Bonhoeffer and Dohnanyi embodied qualities all too rare among their countrymen at the time: integrity and hard work, selflessness, and remarkable bravery. Sifton and Stern honor both Bonhoeffer’s human decency and his theological legacy, as well as Dohnanyi’s preservation of the highest standard of civic virtue in an utterly corrupted state. Dohnanyi remarked that they had simply taken “the path that a decent person inevitably takes.” Their story expands our understanding of the responses to the Nazi
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[book] DUSK
September 2013
Ages 3 - 8
One December afternoon, boy with dog and grandfather with beard take a walk to watch the sun begin to set over the river. When the sun drops low in the sky, they start home. Buildings grow dimmer. People are rushing. As nature's lights go out, one by one, city's lights turn on, revealing brilliant Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Christmas displays in streets, homes, and stores. A stunning picture book that's sure to be a winter holiday classic by Caldecott Medalist Uri Shulevitz.
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Ages 8 - 10
Julie Sternberg was raised Jewish in the South and read a lot of books all the time. Her family had a store, just like in the book, Summer of My German Soldier. I wonder if she knows Erich from Maison Blanc. She is an attorney and studied children's book authorship at the New School for Social Research in NYC. You probably remember her other book, Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie.
In this book. our hero is sent to camp. She writes: I hate camp. I just hate it. I wish I didn’t. But I do. Being here is worse than bug juice on a burger. Or homework on Thanksgiving. Or water seeping into my shoes.
In this sequel to the critically acclaimed Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, Eleanor is off to summer camp. Her grandmother has sent her At first she’s excited to carry on the family tradition at Camp Wallumwahpuck (not to be confused with the camp at Lake Wallenpaupack), but when she gets there she finds icky bugs, terrible food, and worst of all: swim class, where she is assigned to the worst swimmer class and just can’t seem to keep up with everyone else. Did I mention the spider webs in the bunk. But as the days go on, Eleanor realizes that even the most miserable situations can be full of special surprises and that growing up is full of belly flops.
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[book] Jews in Gotham
New York Jews in a Changing City, 1920-2010
(City of Promises: a History of the Jews of New York)
by Jeffrey S. Gurock
NYU Press
Jews in Gotham follows the Jewish saga in ever-changing New York City from the end of the First World War into the first decade of the new millennium. This lively portrait details the complex dynamics that caused Jews to persist, abandon, or be left behind in their neighborhoods during critical moments of the past century. It shows convincingly that New York retained its preeminence as the capital of American Jews because of deep roots in local worlds
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[book] Free Spirit
Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid
by Joshua Safran
September 2013
Joshua Safran may be best known for the award winning documentary Crime After Crime, about two pro bono attorneys who attempt to free a woman in California from prison who was not guilty, and how is Judaism plays a role in his pursuit of justice.
But here is his back story of an unusual childhood.
When Joshua Safran was four years old, his mother -- determined to protect him from the threats of nuclear war and Ronald Reagan -- took to the open road with her young son, leaving the San Francisco countercultural scene behind. Together they embarked on a journey to find a utopia they could call home. In Free Spirit, Safran tells the harrowing, yet wryly funny story of his childhood chasing this perfect life off the grid--and how they survived the imperfect one they found instead. Encountering a cast of strange and humorous characters along the way, Joshua spends his early years living in a series of makeshift homes, including shacks, teepees, buses, and a lean-to on a stump. His colorful youth darkens, however, when his mother marries an alcoholic and abusive guerrilla/poet.
Throughout it all, Joshua yearns for a "normal" life, but when he finally reenters society through school, he finds "America" a difficult and confusing place. Years spent living in the wilderness and discussing Marxism have not prepared him for the Darwinian world of teenagers, and he finds himself bullied and beaten by classmates who don't share his mother's belief about reveling in one's differences.
Eventually, Joshua finds the strength to fight back against his tormentors, both in school and at home, and helps his mother find peace.
But Free Spirit is more than just a coming-of age story. It is also a journey of the spirit, as he reconnects with his Jewish roots; a tale of overcoming adversity; and a captivating read about a childhood unlike any other.
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By Rabbi Neil Gillman
September 2013
Jewish Lights
An intimate and candid examination of the changing nature of belief and where it can lead us from the life experience of one of Judaism s leading thinkers. For over five decades, Rabbi Neil Gillman has helped people think through the most challenging questions at the heart of being a believing religious person. In this intimate rethinking of his own theological journey he explores the changing nature of belief and the complexities of reconciling the intellectual, emotional and moral questions of his own searching mind and soul.
If what we have in recognizing, speaking of and experiencing God is a wide-ranging treasury of humanly crafted metaphors, what, then, is the ultimate reality, the ultimate nature of God? What lies beyond the metaphors? If humanity was an active partner in revelation if the human community participated in what was revealed and gave it meaning what then should be the authority of Jewish law? How do we cope intellectually, emotionally and morally with suffering, the greatest challenge to our faith commitment, relationship with God and sense of a fundamentally ordered world? Death is inevitable but why is it built in as part of the total life experience?
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[book] The American Way of Poverty
How The Other Half Still Lives
By Sasha Abramsky
September 2013
Fifty years after Michael Harrington published his groundbreaking book The Other America, in which he chronicled the lives of people excluded from the Age of Affluence, poverty in America is back with a vengeance. It is made up of both the long-term chronically poor and new working poor—the tens of millions of victims of a broken economy and an ever more dysfunctional political system. In many ways, for the majority of Americans, financial insecurity has become the new norm.
The American Way of Poverty shines a light on this travesty. Sasha Abramsky brings the effects of economic inequality out of the shadows and, ultimately, suggests ways for moving toward a fairer and more equitable social contract. Exploring everything from housing policy to wage protections and affordable higher education, Abramsky lays out a panoramic blueprint for a reinvigorated political process that, in turn, will pave the way for a renewed War on Poverty.
It is, Harrington believed, a moral outrage that in a country as wealthy as America, so many people could be so poor. Written in the way of the 2008 financial collapse, in an era of grotesque economic extremes, The American Way of Poverty brings that same powerful indignation to the topic.
Abramsky is a graduate of Oxford and Columbia J School. He is working on a family memoir which will be published in the UK in 2014 (I assume he is related to Professors Shimshon and Ros Abramsky). Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

By Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff
September 2013
In an incredibly fun and accessible two-color graphic-book format, the cofounders of Honest Tea tell the engaging story of how they created and built a mission-driven business, offering a wealth of insights and advice to entrepreneurs, would-be entrepreneurs, and millions of Honest Tea drinkers about the challenges and hurdles of creating a successful business--and the importance of perseverance and creative problem-solving.
Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff began Honest Tea fifteen years ago with little more than a tea leaf of an idea and a passion to offer organic, freshly brewed, lightly sweetened bottled tea. Today Honest Tea is a rapidly expanding national brand sold in more than 100,0000 grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores and drugstores across the country. The brand has flourished as American consumers move toward healthier and greener lifestyles.
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September 2013
In 2011, in Toronto, the Taiwanese-born author of this novel saw a film about a Polish woman who his Jews and also HID a German soldier. (Franciszka and Helena Halamajowa) The author enjoyed the story, researched the Holocaust and Polish History, spoke to some Holocaust historians and specialists and wrote this novel. The author says she was directed by the universe to write this story, especially after she was visited Yad Vashem and her son pointed out the dedication to Franciszka and Helena. The book may be incorporated into the March of the Living program
From the cover: A novel based on a true story, a mother and daughter risk their lives to provide shelter to two families and a German soldier--all unbeknownst to each other--in a tiny two-room house in Sokal, Poland, during the Nazi invasion. Based on a true story, MY MOTHER'S SECRET is an uplifting tale intertwining the lives of two Jewish families in hiding from the Nazis, a fleeing German soldier, and the clever and "righteous" mother and daughter who teamed up to save them.
Franciszka and her daughter, Helena, are unlikely heroines. They are simple people who mind their own business and don't stand out from the crowd. Until 1939, when crisis strikes. The Nazis have invaded Poland and they are starting to persecute the Jews. Providing shelter to a Jew has become a death sentence. And yet, Franciszka and Helena decide to do just that. In their tiny, two-bedroom home in Sokal, Poland, they cleverly hide a Jewish family of two brothers and their wives in their pigsty out back, a Jewish doctor with his wife and son in a makeshift cellar under the kitchen floorboards, and a defecting German soldier in the attic--each group completely unbeknownst to the others. For everyone to survive, Franciszka will have to outsmart her neighbors and the German commanders standing guard right outside her yard.
Told simply and succinctly from four different perspectives, MY MOTHER'S SECRET is a reminder that there are, in fact, no profiles of courage and each individual's character is a personal choice.
This book was inspired by the true story of Franciszka Halamajowa, who, with her daughter, saved the lives of fifteen Jews in Poland during the Second World War. She also hid a young German soldier in her attic at the same time. Before the war, there were six thousand Jews in Sokal, Poland. Only thirty survived the war and half of those did so because of Franciszka.
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A E Book
By Ruchama King Feuerman
September 2013
New York Review of Books
An eczema-riddled, middle-aged former Lower East Side haberdasher, Isaac Markowitz, moves to Israel where he becomes, much to his own surprise, the assistant to a famous old rabbi who daily dispenses wisdom (and soup) to the collection of seekers gathered in his courtyard. It is there that he meets Tamar, a young American woman on a mission to live a spiritual life with a spiritual man, and who sees Isaac as that man long before he sees himself that way. Into both of their lives comes Mustafa, a devout Muslim, deformed at birth, unloved by his own mother, a janitor who works on the Temple Mount, holy to both Muslims and Jews.
When Isaac, quite by accident, runs into the crippled custodian going about his work and suggests that he is, by cleaning this holy site, like a Kohain, a Jewish high priest, Mustafa is overcome: This Jew is the first person in his life who sees him as someone worthy. In turn, Mustafa sees Isaac as someone wise who can help him. When Mustafa finds an ancient shard of pottery that may date back to the first temple, he brings it to Isaac in gratitude. That gesture sets in motion a series of events that land Isaac in the company of Israel’s worst criminal riff raff, put Mustafa in mortal danger, and Tamar trying to save them both.
As these characters – immigrants and natives; Muslim and Jewish; prophets and lost souls – move through their world, they are never sure if they will fall prey to the cruel tricks of luck or be sheltered by a higher power.
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[book] Shattered Hopes
The Failure Of Obama's Middle East Peace Process
By Josh Ruebner
September 2013
Verso Press

A polemic by a leader of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. He criticizes Obama for abandoning the Palestinians and criticizes Obama for insisting on non violence on the part of Palestinians.
Publishers Weekly says “....shrill, thinly reasoned...” but you can read it and make your own decisions

Book cover blurb: On just the second day of his first term, Barack Obama appointed former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as his special envoy for Middle East peace and boldly asserted that his administration would "actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians." At the outset of Obama’s second term, here is the first hard-hitting analysis of why the administration has entirely failed on this issue, a failure brought on in part because of Obama’s wrongheaded obeisance to Israeli policy and its US advocates.
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September 2013
One World
David Harris-Gershon and his wife, Jamie, moved to Jerusalem full of hope. Then, in the midst of a historic cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians, a bomb shrieked through Hebrew University’s cafeteria. Jamie was hurled across the room, her body burned and sliced with shrapnel; the friends sitting next to her were instantly killed. David was desperate for answers—why now? why here? why my wife? But when a doctor handed him some shrapnel removed from Jamie’s body, he refused to accept that this bit of metal made him “one of us”—another traumatized victim who would never be able to move on. Instead, he dug into Israeli government records to uncover what triggered the attack, then returned to East Jerusalem to meet the terrorist and his family.
Part memoir, part political thriller, part exposé of the conduct of the peace process, this fearless debut confronts the personal costs of the Middle East conflict—and reveals the human capacity for recovery and reconciliation, no matter the circumstance.
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[book] The Liberty Incident Revealed
The Definitive Account of the 1967
Israeli Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship
by A Jay Cristol
September 2013
Naval Institute Press
The liberty Incident is always the go-to issue for many anti Israel debaters. They love to bring it up to show disloyalty or why Israel can’t be trusted, etc. etc.
Foreign Affairs journal says this is a superb account.
It shows that the Israeli attack was an error and the Liberty was mistaken for a Egyptian vessel. It is worthwhile to read it, since anti-Israel pundits are going to be reading it and they will say it is a lie and deceptive.
The “Liberty Incident Revealed” tells the story of how the Israeli Air Force and Navy attacked the USS Liberty during the Six Day War in June 1967. Cutting through all of the controversy and conspiracy theories about Israel's deadly attack, Cristol revises his well-regarded book about the event with an expanded and in-depth analysis of all of the sources, including the released tapes of the National Security Agency (NSA) intercepts.
When Cristol's first book on the subject, The Liberty Incident, was published in 2002, there remained many unanswered questions about Israeli Air Force audio tapes. The NSA intercepts tapes had not yet been released in 2002. Some conspiracy theorists alleged the NSA tapes would prove that the Israeli attack was premeditated. Cristol's successful Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the NSA, while resulting in the release of those tapes, has been greeted by anti-Israel sources insisting that the NSA tapes are fraudulent and are part of a larger conspiracy to deceive the American public
Cristol currently serves as a federal bankruptcy judge and teaches law as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami. In 2007, Judge Cristol awarded the rights of O.J. Simpson's book If I Did It to the family of Ronald Goldman to satisfy a $38 million wrongful death judgment against Simpson
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September 2013
Little Brown
A groundbreaking--and terrifying--examination of the widespread resurgence of antisemitism in the 21st century, by the prize-winning and #1 internationally bestselling author of Hitler's Willing Executioners.
Antisemitism never went away, but since the turn of the century it has multiplied beyond what anyone would have predicted. It is openly spread by intellectuals, politicians and religious leaders in Europe, Asia, the Arab world, America and Africa and supported by hundreds of millions more. Indeed, today antisemitism is stronger than any time since the Holocaust. And no one is shocked by it. When a religious leader says Jews should be eliminated, it is ignored.

In THE DEVIL THAT NEVER DIES, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen reveals the unprecedented, global form of this age-old hatred; its strategic use by states; its powerful appeal to individuals and groups; and how technology (and Al Jazeera) has fueled the flames that had been smoldering like embers prior to the millennium.

A remarkable work of intellectual brilliance, moral stature, and urgent alarm, THE DEVIL THAT NEVER DIES is destined to be one of the most provocative and talked-about books of the year.
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[book] Hitler's Furies
German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields
by Wendy Lower
Fall 2013
From Booklist: Lower, a consultant for the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., sheds some much-needed light on an aspect of WWII history that has remained in the shadows for decades. “The consensus in Holocaust and genocide studies,” the author writes, “is that the systems that make mass murder possible would not function without the broad participation of society, and yet nearly all histories of the Holocaust leave out half of those who populated that society, as if women’s history happens somewhere else.” Based on two decades of research and interviews, the book looks at the role of women in Nazi Germany, in particular women who participated in the Nazi extermination of the Jews. Not merely subservient observers, some women—the author dubs them Hitler’s Furies, a reference to the mythological “goddesses of vengeance”—actively took part in the murders of Jews and in looting and stealing from Jewish homes. Lower writes about horribly violent female concentration-camp guards; of young girls trained in the use of firearms; of brutality that would rival anything perpetrated by their male counterparts. Surprising and deeply unsettling, the book is a welcome addition to the literature on the Holocaust.
Hitler’s Furies builds a fascinating and convincing picture of a morally “lost generation” of young women, born into a defeated, tumultuous post–World War I Germany, and then swept up in the nationalistic fervor of the Nazi movement—a twisted political awakening that turned to genocide. These young women—nurses, teachers, secretaries, wives, and mistresses—saw the emerging Nazi empire as a kind of “wild east” of career and matrimonial opportunity, and yet could not have imagined what they would witness and do there. Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival and field work on the Holocaust, access to post-Soviet documents, and interviews with German witnesses, presents overwhelming evidence that these women were more than “desk murderers” or comforters of murderous German men: that they went on “shopping sprees” for Jewish-owned goods and also brutalized Jews in the ghettos of Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus; that they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also taking their turn at the mass shooting. And Lower uncovers the stories, perhaps most horrific, of SS wives with children of their own, whose female brutality is as chilling as any in history.
Hitler’s Furies will challenge our deepest beliefs: genocide is women’s business too, and the evidence can be hidden for seventy years.

Note: The idea for Hitler’s Furies came to Lower during a 1992 trip to Kiev. There she came across material previously hidden in archives “behind the Iron Curtain.” Twenty years in the making, Hitler’s Furies tells of the half-million German women who went east during the war. One-third of German women were “actively engaged in a Nazi Party organization,” Lower notes, and they participated in growing numbers from 1933 to 1945. Those who chose to go east were modern, “the daughters of those first-time [female] Weimar voters [who] imagined possibilities in Germany and beyond.” Their vehicle of advancement was the workplace: Female teachers, nurses, secretaries, stenographers, typists, and telephone operators were in demand. These women found the east “a place of liberation” with abundant “freedom for self-expression” and “social mobility.” To this degree, theirs was a conventional twentieth-century progression: the acquisition of valuable skills, the departure from stifling hometown and family circle, the prospect of self-fulfillment through work and travel. Yet there was nothing typical about their destinies in the bloodlands or killing fields, and many women went east with a fierce anti-Semitism in their hearts. Some 30,000 women were “certified by Himmler’s SS,” directly involved in the planning and execution of the Holocaust. Lower refers to the secretaries of Odilo Globocnik, the SS figure responsible for the murder of Warsaw’s Jews among other crimes, who “‘cheerfully’ prepared lists of Jewish deportees to Treblinka, lists of Jews who died, and lists of confiscated property.” ~ Michael Kimmage, New Republic
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By Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali
Foreword by Samuel G. Freedman
September 2013
Rabbi Marc Schneier, the eighteenth generation of a distinguished rabbinical dynasty, grew up deeply suspicious of Muslims, believing them all to be anti-Semitic. Imam Shamsi Ali, who grew up in a small Indonesian village and studied in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, believed that all Jews wanted to destroy Muslims. Coming from positions of mutual mistrust, it seems unthinkable that these orthodox religious leaders would ever see eye to eye. Yet in the aftermath of 9/11, amid increasing acrimony between Jews and Muslims, the two men overcame their prejudices and bonded over a shared belief in the importance of opening up a dialogue and finding mutual respect. In doing so, they became not only friends but also defenders of each other’s religion, denouncing the twin threats of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and promoting interfaith cooperation.
In Sons of Abraham, Rabbi Schneier and Imam Ali tell the story of how they became friends and offer a candid look at the contentious theological and political issues that frequently divide Jews and Muslims, clarifying erroneous ideas that extremists in each religion use to justify harmful behavior. Rabbi Schneier dispels misconceptions about chosenness in Judaism, while Imam Ali explains the truth behind concepts like jihad and Shari’a. And on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the two speak forthrightly on the importance of having a civil discussion and the urgency of reaching a peaceful solution.
As Rabbi Schneier and Imam Ali show, by reaching a fuller understanding of one another’s faith traditions, Jews and Muslims can realize that they are actually more united than divided in their core beliefs. Both traditions promote kindness, service, and responsibility for the less fortunate—and both religions call on their members to extend compassion to those outside the faith. In this sorely needed book, Rabbi Schneier and Imam Ali challenge Jews and Muslims to step out of their comfort zones, find common ground in their shared Abrahamic traditions, and stand together and fight for a better world for all.

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A Provocative Guide to the Birds of the Bible
By Debbie Blue
Abingdon Press
From biblical times to today, people have found meaning and significance in the actions and symbolism of birds. We admire their mystery and manners, their strength and fragility, their beauty and their ugliness—and perhaps compare these very characteristics to our own lives in the process. From the well-known image of the dove to the birds that gorge on the flesh of the defeated “beast” in Revelation, birds play a dynamic part in Scripture. They bring bread to the prophets. They are food for the wanderers. As sacrifices, they are the currency of mercy. They also challenge, offend, devour, and fight. Highlighting 10 birds throughout Scripture, author Debbie Blue explores their significance in both familiar and unfamiliar biblical stories and illustrates how and why they have represented humanity across culture, Christian tradition, art, and contemporary psyche. With these (usually) minor characters at the forefront of human imaginations, poignant life lessons illuminate such qualities as desire and gratitude, power and vulnerability, insignificance and importance—and provide us with profound lessons about humanity and faith.
Not a Jewish book but interesting to browse.
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[book] Fanny von Arnstein
Daughter of the Enlightenment
Paperback by Hilde Spiel
Foreword by Michael Z. Wise
Translated by Christine Shuttleworth
"This is a beautifully written account of a major figure in the history of European Jewry from the early years of emancipation. Told with elegance and imagination, this book is indispensable for those interested in the history of culture, the role of women, and the transition of the Jewish community out of the ghetto toward the center of European life." - Leon Botstein, President of Bard College, author of Judentum und Modernität and co-editor of Vienna: Jews and the City of Music
"In capturing the fascination of Fanny von Arnstein and her times, Hilde Spiel provides both a finely drawn portrait of a defining figure of her era, but also of the times themselves. The appearance of this excellent English translation could not be more appropriate. Europe of 2013 is as uncertain as was Europe of 1813." - John Kornblum, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany and the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
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[book] The Eighth Menorah
by Lauren L. Wohl
Illustrated by Laura Hughes
September 2013
Hanukkah is a few weeks away, and Sam can't wait to celebrate with his family, especially his grandma. At Sunday school, everyone in his class is busy making clay menorahs to give as Hanukkah gifts! Sam likes how his menorah is turning out, but he's worried--his family already has seven menorahs! Will they want another one? His teacher reassures him that his parents will love it, but Sam is determined to solve this problem on his own and find the perfect home for his menorah.
Sam's dilemma in this sweet and simple Hanukkah story is one that rings true for kids and their families.
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[book] Lola Bensky
A novel
by Lily Brett
Lola Bensky is a nineteen-year-old rock journalist who irons her hair straight and asks a lot of questions. A high-school dropout, she's not sure how she got the job – but she's been sent by her Australian newspaper right to the heart of the London music scene at the most exciting time in music history: 1967.
Lola spends her days planning diets and interviewing rock stars. In London, Mick Jagger makes her a cup of tea, Jimi Hendrix (possibly) propositions her and Cher borrows her false eyelashes. At the Monterey International Pop Festival, Lola props up Brian Jones and talks to Janis Joplin about sex. In Los Angeles, she discusses being overweight with Mama Cass and tries to pluck up the courage to ask Cher to return those false eyelashes.
Lola has an irrepressible curiosity, but she begins to wonder whether the questions she asks these extraordinary young musicians are really a substitute for questions about her parents' calamitous past that can't be asked or answered. (they were prisoners and starved in a Nazi death camp, just like the author’s actual parents)
As Lola moves on through marriage, motherhood, psychoanalysis and a close relationship with an unexpected pair of detectives, she discovers the question of what it means to be human is the hardest one for anyone—including herself—to answer.
 Lola marries someone referred to as “Mr. Former Rock Star,” divorces him for “Mr. Someone Else,” and becomes a writer of detective fiction. The narrative meanders between the present and past, and, through it all, Lola remains a curious, anxious Jewish girl on a quest for self-understanding and insight into the human condition. Based on Australian author Brett’s own experiences as a rock journalist and daughter of Holocaust survivors, this is an inside look at an exciting time in rock ’n’ roll history and it’s great fun to eavesdrop on Lola’s conversations with the iconic figures.
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[book] The Message
The Reselling of President Obama
by Richard Wolffe
September 2013
They had 99 problems but Mitt Romney wasn't one.
At the start of an epic election, the team trying to reelect President Obama faced a mountain of challenges: a dismal economy, the faded hopes of the first campaign, and a struggle to raise enough cash to compete. No president had risen so fast, or fallen so far, in the modern era. And no president in living memory had earned a second term in such troubled times. To resell the president, they needed to redefine the world they were living in. They needed to retell their own story and rewrite the characters.
They needed to find The Message.
But first, they needed to fight the enemy within: each other. For six years they kept a lid on their internal disputes-the ego clashes, the disappointed ambitions, and the battle to control the Obama brand. Everything was out of public view and under wraps. They called their style No Drama Obama, and the phrase matched the mood of the candidate. But it was never completely true.
In 2008 they found a way around their rivalries. Four years later, their hostilities threatened to undermine the reelection of a president at a time when most voters were deeply unhappy and ready for change.
Drawing on unrivaled access to the key characters, THE MESSAGE tells the inside story of the Mad Men-the marketers, message-shapers, and admakers-who held the Obama presidency in their hands.
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[book] Dancing with the Enemy
My Family's Holocaust Secret Hardcover
by Paul Glaser
September 2013
The gripping story of the author’s aunt, a Jewish dance instructor who was betrayed to the Nazis by the two men she loved, yet managed to survive WWII by teaching dance lessons to the SS at Auschwitz. Her epic life becomes a window into the author’s own past and the key to discovering his Jewish roots.
Raised in a devout Roman Catholic family in the Netherlands, Paul Glaser was shocked to learn as an adult of his father's Jewish heritage. Grappling with his newfound identity and stunned by his father’s secrecy, Paul set out to discover what happened to his family during World War II and what had caused the long-standing rift between his father and his estranged aunt, Rosie, who moved to Sweden after the war. Piecing together his aunt’s wartime diaries, photographs, and letters, Paul reconstructed the dramatic story of a woman who was caught up in the tragic sweep of World War II.
Rosie Glaser was a magnetic force – hopeful, exuberant, and cunning. An emancipated woman who defied convention, she toured Western Europe teaching ballroom dancing to high acclaim, falling in love hard and often. By the age of twenty-five, she had lost the great love of her life in an aviation accident, married the wrong man, and sought consolation in the arms of yet another. Then the Nazis seized power. For Rosie, a nonpracticing Jew, this marked the beginning of an extremely dangerous ordeal. After operating an illegal dance school in her parents’ attic, Rosie was betrayed by both her ex-husband and her lover, taken prisoner by the SS and sent to a series of concentration camps. But her enemies were unable to destroy her and, remarkably, she survived, in part by giving dance and etiquette lessons to her captors. Rosie was an entertainer at heart, and her vivacious spirit, her effervescent charm, and her incredible resourcefulness kept her alive amid horrendous tragedy. Of the twelve hundred people who arrived with her at Auschwitz, only eight survived. Illustrated with more than ninety photos, Dancing with the Enemy recalls an extraordinary life marked by love, betrayal, and fierce determination. It is being published in ten languages.
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[book] Katz's:
Autobiography of a Delicatessen
by Jake Dell, Baldomero Fernandez and Adam Richman
September 2013
Located on the corner of Ludlow and E. Houston in New York City, Katz's Deli is a destination for thousands of tourists and for the many regulars who have kept the tradition of Friday evening hot dogs going strong for 125 years. Established in 1888, Katz's has carried on the tradition of Jewish deli food long after the refrigerator made pickled meats an aesthetic choice instead of a necessity. Hundreds of colour photographs document the unique character of Katz's Deli. Included are the people on both sides of the counter - cutters and customers - the pastrami stations, photo-covered walls, kitchen and more. The text outlines the deli's long history, defines the difference between pastrami and corned beef, and more. This first-ever book on Katz's Deli will prove irresistible to regulars whose grandfather took them for their first pastrami, and to the uninitiated who have yet to walk on the sawdust-covered terrazzo floor, ticket in hand
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[book] Kabbalah in Art and Architecture
by Alexander Gorlin
Summer 2013
Thames and Bauer
When he was 13, the author’s mother took him to a kabbalistic astrologer, Mr. Obloe. He told Gorlin that he would do well in Real Estate. He became an architect instead. Gorlin’s thesis at Cooper Union was an analysis of Ezekiel’s vision of the Temple, in contract to Union Square (the sacred and the profane). When he was asked to design a synagogue for King’s Point, NY in 1995, he read Gershom Scholem for ideas.
The Kabbalistic idea of creation, as expressed through light, space and geometry, has left its unmistakable mark on our civilization. Drawing upon a wide array of historical materials and images of contemporary art, sculpture and architecture, architect Alexander Gorlin explores the influence,
whether actually acknowledged or not,
of the Kabbalah on modern design.
The Home should be a place of light, and light is the giver of form and life.
Comprising ten chapters that each outline key concepts of the Kabbalah and its representations, both in historic diagrams and the modern built environment, Kabbalah in Art and Architecture puts forth an unparalleled and compelling reinterpretation of art and architecture through the lens of the Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism.
A chapter on the Golem, and an epilogue that discusses German artist Anselm Kiefers powerful interpretations of the Kabbalah, complete this unique book.
Hint: Take a look at the Ronchamp Church by Le Corbusier
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[book] Inside the Room
Writing Television with the Pros
at UCLA Extension Writers' Program
by Linda Venis
Summer 2013
Accomplished writers from the renowned UCLA Extension Writers’ Program provide an invaluable how-to book for aspiring television writers
What does it take to go from being a TV fan to a professional TV writer? Television writers whose many produced credits include The Simpsons; Mad Men; Frasier; X-Files; Battlestar Gallactica; CSI: Miami; Law and Order; and House, M.D.; take aspiring writers through the process of writing their first spec script for an on-air series, creating one-hour drama and sitcom pilots that break out from the pack, and revising their scripts to meet pro standards. They also learn how to launch and sustain a writing career and get a rare look inside the process of creating, selling, and getting a TV show made. Edited by Linda Venis, Director of the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, Inside the Room is an unmatched resource for everything readers need to know to write their way into the Writers Guild of America.
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Writing for the Screen
Writing Feature Films with the Pros
at UCLA Extension Writers' Program
by Linda Venis
Summer 2013
Accomplished writers from the renowned UCLA Extension Writers’ Program provide an invaluable how-to book for aspiring feature film writers
Millions of people dream of writing a screenplay but don’t know how to begin, or are already working on a script but are stuck and need some targeted advice. Or maybe they have a great script, but no clue about how to navigate the choppy waters of show business.  Enter Cut to the Chase, written by professional writers who teach in UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, whose alumni’s many credits include Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl; Twilight; and the Academy Award nominated Letters from Iwo Jima.  From learning how to identify story ideas that make a good movie to opening career doors and keeping them open, this authoritative, comprehensive, and entertaining book, edited by Writers’ Program Director Linda Venis, will be the film-writing bible for decades to come.
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[book] Enemies Within
Inside the NYPD's Secret Spying Unit
and bin Laden's Final Plot Against America
by Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman
Fall 2013
Two Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists examine one of the most sensitive post–9/11 national security investigations—a breathtaking race to prevent an al-Qaeda bomber from launching Osama bin Laden’s final attack on American soil.

Is the ENEMIES the terrorists? Or is it Deputy NYPD Commissioner David Cohen who sends “mosque crawlers” to Muslim worship centers in an effort to find terror cells. He thinks mosques have smoldering embers ready to set fire to American cities.

In Enemies Within, Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman lay bare the complex and often contradictory state of counterterrorism and intelligence in America through the pursuit of Najibullah Zazi, a terrorist bomber who trained under one of bin Laden’s most trusted deputies. Zazi and his coconspirators represented America’s greatest fear: a terrorist cell operating inside America.
Apuzzo and Goldman lift the veil of secrecy to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of our counterterrorism measures. This real-life spy story—uncovered in previously unpublished secret NYPD documents and interviews with intelligence sources—shows that while many of these programs are more invasive than ever, they are often counterproductive at best.
After 9/11, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly initiated an audacious plan for the Big Apple: dispatch a vast network of plainclothes officers and paid informants—called “rakers” and “mosque crawlers”—into Muslim neighborhoods to infiltrate religious communities and eavesdrop on college campuses. Police amassed data on innocent people, often for their religious and political beliefs. But when it mattered most, these strategies failed to identify the most imminent threats.
Enemies Within tackles the tough questions about the measures that we take to protect ourselves from real and perceived threats. Apuzzo and Goldman take readers inside America’s sprawling counterterrorism machine while it operates at full throttle. They reveal what works, what doesn’t, and what Americans have unknowingly given up.
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[book] The Nazi and the Psychiatrist
Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a
Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII
by Jack El-Hai
Fall 2013
In 1945, after his capture at the end of the Second World War, Hermann Göring arrived at an American-run detention center in war-torn Luxembourg, accompanied by sixteen suitcases and a red hatbox. The suitcases contained all manner of paraphernalia: medals, gems, two cigar cutters, silk underwear, a hot water bottle, and the equivalent of $1 million in cash. Hidden in a coffee can, a set of brass vials housed glass capsules containing a clear liquid and a white precipitate: potassium cyanide. Joining Göring in the detention center were the elite of the captured Nazi regime—Grand Admiral Dönitz; armed forces commander Wilhelm Keitel and his deputy Alfred Jodl; the mentally unstable Robert Ley; the suicidal Hans Frank; the pornographic propagandist Julius Streicher—fifty-two senior Nazis in all, of whom the dominant figure was Göring.
To ensure that the villainous captives were fit for trial at Nuremberg, the US army sent an ambitious army psychiatrist, Captain Douglas M. Kelley, to supervise their mental well-being during their detention. Kelley realized he was being offered the professional opportunity of a lifetime: to discover a distinguishing trait among these arch-criminals that would mark them as psychologically different from the rest of humanity. So began a remarkable relationship between Kelley and his captors, told here for the first time with unique access to Kelley’s long-hidden papers and medical records.
Kelley’s was a hazardous quest, dangerous because against all his expectations he began to appreciate and understand some of the Nazi captives, none more so than the former Reichsmarshall, Hermann Göring. Evil had its charms.
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Fall 2013
In Between Friends, Amos Oz returns to the kibbutz of the late 1950s, the time and place where his writing began. These eight interconnected stories, set in the fictitious Kibbutz Yekhat, draw masterly profiles of idealistic men and women enduring personal hardships in the shadow of one of the greatest collective dreams of the twentieth century.
A devoted father who fails to challenge his daughter’s lover, an old friend, a man his own age; an elderly gardener who carries on his shoulders the sorrows of the world; a woman writing poignant letters to her husband’s mistress—amid this motley group of people, a man named Martin attempts to teach everyone Esperanto.
Each of these stories is a luminous human and literary study; together they offer an eloquent portrait of an idea and of a charged and fascinating epoch. Amos Oz at home. And at his best.
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Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
By Sheri Fink, M.D>
Fall 2013
Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina – and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice
In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amid chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. 
Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing. In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are in America for the impact of large-scale disasters—and how we can do better.  A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.
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The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin,
the Genius Who Transformed the Internet
by Molly Knight Raskin
Fall 2013
De Capo Press
No Better Time tells of a young, driven mathematical genius who wrote a set of algorithms that would create a faster, better Internet. It’s the story of a beautiful friendship between a loud, irreverent student and his soft-spoken MIT professor, of a husband and father who spent years struggling to make ends meet only to become a billionaire almost overnight with the success of Akamai Technologies, the Internet content delivery network he cofounded with his mentor.
Danny Lewin’s brilliant but brief life is largely unknown because, until now, those closest to him have guarded their memories and quietly mourned their loss. For Lewin was almost certainly the first victim of 9/11, stabbed to death at age 31 while trying to overpower the terrorists who would eventually fly American Flight 11 into the World Trade Center. But ironically it was 9/11 that proved the ultimate test for Lewin’s vision—while phone communication failed and web traffic surged as never before, the critical news and government sites that relied on Akamai—and the technology pioneered by Danny Lewin—remained up and running
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The Untold Story of How Denmark’s Jews
Escaped the Nazis…
By Bo Lidegaard
Fall 2013
Amid the dark, ghastly history of World War II, the literally extraordinary story, never before fully researched by a historian, of how the Danish people banded together to save their fellow Jews from the Nazis—told through the remarkable unpublished diaries and documents of families forced to run for safety, leaving their homes and possessions behind, and of those who courageously came to their aid.
In 1943, with its king and administration weakened but intact during the Nazi occupation, Denmark did something that no other country in Western Europe even attempted. Anticipating that the German occupying powers would soon issue the long-feared order to round up the entire population of Jews for deportation to concentration camps, the Danish people stood up in defiance and resisted. The king, politicians, and ordinary civilians were united in their response—these threatened people were not simply Jews but fellow Danes who happened to be Jewish, and no one would help in rounding them up for confinement and deportation.
While diplomats used their limited but very real power to maneuver and impede matters in both Copenhagen and Berlin, the warning that the crisis was at hand quickly spread through the Jewish community. Over fourteen harrowing days, as they were helped, hidden, and protected by ordinary people who spontaneously rushed to save their fellow citizens, an incredible 7,742 out of 8,200 Jewish refugees were smuggled out all along the coast—on ships, schooners, fishing boats, anything that floated—to Sweden.
While the bare facts of this exodus have been known for decades, astonishingly no full history of it has been written. Unfolding on a day-to-day basis, Countrymen brings together accounts written by individuals and officials as events happened, offering a comprehensive overview that underlines occupied Denmark’s historical importance to Hitler as a prop for the model Nazi state and revealing the savage conflict among top Nazi brass for control of the country. This is a story of ordinary glory, of simple courage and moral fortitude that shines out in the midst of the terrible history of the twentieth century and demonstrates how it was possible for a small and fragile democracy to stand against the Third Reich.

Leon Wieseltier writes: “Countrymen is extraordinary. I will not soon forget this epic of decency, this saga of humanism saving lives. The idea of humanism has been under attack for so long now, as false and sentimental and impotent, as insufficiently radical to make a difference, that it is stirring to be given a grand example of the opposite case—of a clear, muscular, brave, and effective humanism, and in the whole of a society. Bo Lidegaard's moving and meticulous book is itself an expression of the idealism that it documents.”

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[book] Oy, My Buenos Aires:
Jewish Immigrants and the Creation of Argentine National Identity
by Mollie Lewis Nouwen
Fall 2013
University of New Mexico Press
Between 1905 and 1930, more than one hundred thousand Jews left Central and Eastern Europe to settle permanently in Argentina. This book explores how these Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazi immigrants helped to create a new urban strain of the Argentine national identity. Like other immigrants, Jews embraced Buenos Aires and Argentina while keeping ethnic identities--they spoke and produced new literary works in their native Yiddish and continued Jewish cultural traditions brought from Europe, from foodways to holidays. The author examines a variety of sources including Yiddish poems and songs, police records, and advertisements to focus on the intersection and shifting boundaries of ethnic and national identities.
In addition to the interplay of national and ethnic identities, Nouwen illuminates the importance of gender roles, generation, and class, as well as relationships between Jews and non-Jews. She focuses on the daily lives of ordinary Jews in Buenos Aires. Most Jews were working class, though some did rise to become middleclass professionals. Some belonged to organizations that served the Jewish community, while others were more informally linked to their ethnic group through their family and friends. Jews were involved in leftist politics from anarchism to unionism, and also started Zionist organizations. By exploring the diversity of Jewish experiences in Buenos Aires, Nouwen shows how individuals articulated their multiple identities, as well as how those identities formed and overlapped

[book] The Iranian Talmud
Reading the Bavli in Its Sasanian Context
(Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion)
by Shai Secunda (Hebrew University Fellow)
Fall 2013
University of Pennsylvania Press
Although the Babylonian Talmud, or Bavli, has been a text central and vital to the Jewish canon since the Middle Ages, the context in which it was produced has been poorly understood. Delving deep into Sasanian material culture and literary remains, Shai Secunda pieces together the dynamic world of late antique Iran, providing an unprecedented and accessible overview of the world that shaped the Bavli.
Secunda unites the fields of Talmudic scholarship with Old Iranian studies to enable a fresh look at the heterogeneous religious and ethnic communities of pre-Islamic Iran. He analyzes the intercultural dynamics between the Jews and their Persian Zoroastrian neighbors, exploring the complex processes and modes of discourse through which these groups came into contact and considering the ways in which rabbis and Zoroastrian priests perceived one another. Placing the Bavli and examples of Middle Persian literature side by side, the Zoroastrian traces in the former and the discursive and Talmudic qualities of the latter become evident. The Iranian Talmud introduces a substantial and essential shift in the field, setting the stage for further Irano-Talmudic research

[book] Silence
A Christian History
by Diarmaid MacCulloch (Oxford)
Fall 2013
Viking Press
In this essential work of religious history, the New York Times bestselling author of Christianity explores the vital role of silence in the Christian story.
How should one speak to God? Are our prayers more likely to be heard if we offer them quietly at home or loudly in church? How can we really know if God is listening? From the earliest days, Christians have struggled with these questions. Their varied answers have defined the boundaries of Christian faith and established the language of our most intimate appeals for guidance or forgiveness.
MacCulloch shows how Jesus chose to emphasize silence as an essential part of his message and how silence shaped the great medieval monastic communities of Europe. He also examines the darker forms of religious silence, from the church’s embrace of slavery and its muted reaction to the Holocaust to the cover-up by Catholic authorities of devastating sexual scandals.
Part One opens with “Silence in Christian Prehistory: The TaNaKh” and Israel and the Celebration of Noise; A God Who Speaks; be Still Before the Lord; and The Suffering Servant. Part Two looks at Monastic Silence, Ignatius, Gnostics, Monks and more. Part Three reviews Silence Through Three Reformations (through Erasmus in 1500, the Protestants through 1700, and Tridentine Mystics. Part Four concerns Nicodemism, Jewish Conversos in Iberia and Silence, Nicodemites, Gay Anglo-Catholics, Building Identity Through Forgetfulness, Silence as it relates to Gender, Shame, Concealing Child Sex Abuse, the Holocaust, Slavery, Ecumenism in Silence, Whistle-blowing, and more.
A groundbreaking work that will change our understanding of the most fundamental wish to be heard by God, Silence gives voice to the greatest mysteries of faith.

[book] Lawrence IN Arabia:
War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the
Making of the Modern Middle East
by Scott Anderson
Fall 2013
A thrilling and revelatory narrative of one of the most epic and consequential periods in 20th century history – the Arab Revolt and the secret “great game” to control the Middle East
The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, “a sideshow of a sideshow.” Amidst the slaughter in European trenches, the Western combatants paid scant attention to the Middle Eastern theater. As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power.
Curt Prüfer was an effete academic attached to the German embassy in Cairo, whose clandestine role was to foment Islamic jihad against British rule. Aaron Aaronsohn was a renowned agronomist and committed Zionist who gained the trust of the Ottoman governor of Syria. William Yale was the fallen scion of the American aristocracy, who traveled the Ottoman Empire on behalf of Standard Oil, dissembling to the Turks in order gain valuable oil concessions. At the center of it all was Lawrence. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in the sands of Syria; by 1917 he was the most romantic figure of World War One, battling both the enemy and his own government to bring about the vision he had for the Arab people.
The intertwined paths of these four men – the schemes they put in place, the battles they fought, the betrayals they endured and committed – mirror the grandeur, intrigue and tragedy of the war in the desert. Prüfer became Germany’s grand spymaster in the Middle East. Aaronsohn constructed an elaborate Jewish spy-ring in Palestine, only to have the anti-Semitic and bureaucratically-inept British first ignore and then misuse his organization, at tragic personal cost. Yale would become the only American intelligence agent in the entire Middle East – while still secretly on the payroll of Standard Oil. And the enigmatic Lawrence rode into legend at the head of an Arab army, even as he waged secret war against his own nation’s imperial ambitions.
Based on years of intensive primary document research, LAWRENCE IN ARABIA definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.


October 2013
Metropolitan Books
EVEN IF you only read the intro, the book is worth the purchase price
Since when did Tevye and Fiddler on the Roof, a 50-year-old musical based on 100 year old short stories come to represent the nostalgia and idea of shtetl Jewish life and Jewish life before the mass American immigration
This is a sparkling and eye-opening history of the Broadway musical that changed the world.
In the half-century since its premiere, Fiddler on the Roof has had an astonishing global impact. Beloved by audiences the world over, performed from rural high schools to grand state theaters, Fiddler is a supremely potent cultural landmark.
In a history as captivating as its subject, award-winning drama critic Alisa Solomon traces how and why the story of Tevye the milkman, the creation of the great Yiddish writer Sholem-Aleichem, was reborn as blockbuster entertainment and a cultural touchstone, not only for Jews and not only in America. It is a story of the theater, following Tevye from his humble appearance on the New York Yiddish stage, through his adoption by leftist dramatists as a symbol of oppression, to his Broadway debut in one of the last big book musicals, and his ultimate destination—a major Hollywood picture.
Solomon reveals how the show spoke to the deepest conflicts and desires of its time: the fraying of tradition, generational tension, the loss of roots. Audiences everywhere found in Fiddler immediate resonance and a usable past, whether in Warsaw, where it unlocked the taboo subject of Jewish history, or in Tokyo, where the producer asked how Americans could understand a story that is “so Japanese.”
Rich, entertaining, and original, Wonder of Wonders reveals the surprising and enduring legacy of a show about tradition that itself became a tradition.

[book] The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem
The Remarkable Life and Afterlife of the Man Who Created Tevye
By Jeremy Dauber
October 2013
The first comprehensive biography of one of the most beloved authors of all time: the creator of Tevye the Dairyman, the stories that inspired Fiddler on the Roof.
Novelist, playwright, journalist, essayist, and editor, Sholem Aleichem was one of the founding giants of modern Yiddish literature and a folk hero in his own right. The creator of a pantheon of memorable characters who have been immortalized in books and plays, he provided readers with a fascinating window onto the world of Eastern European Jews as they began to confront the forces of cultural, political, and religious modernity that tore through the Russian empire in the final decades of the nineteenth century. But just as compelling as the fictional lives of his characters was Sholem Aleichem's own life story. Born Sholem Rabinovitch in Ukraine in 1859, he endured an impoverished childhood, married into fabulous wealth, and then lost it all through bad luck and worse business sense. Turning to his pen to support himself, he switched from writing in Russian and Hebrew to Yiddish in order to create a living body of literature for the Jewish masses. He enjoyed spectacular success as both a writer and a performer of his work in Jewish communities throughout Europe and the United States, and his death from chronic tuberculosis in New York in 1916 was front-page news around the world. His funeral was attended by more than 150,000 people, and a New York Times editorial mourned the loss of "the Jewish Mark Twain." But his greatest fame lay ahead of him, as the English-speaking world began to discover his work in translation and his beloved characters were introduced to an audience that would extend beyond his wildest dreams.  In this magnificent biography, we encounter a Sholem Aleichem for the ages.
This biography is part of the critically-acclaimed JEWISH ENCOUNTERS series, a collaboration between Schocken Books and Nextbook Press.

[book] The Rise of Abraham Cahan
By Seth Lipsky
October 2013
The first general-interest biography of the legendary editor of The Jewish Daily Forward, the iconic Yiddish-language newspaper of the laboring masses that inspired, educated, and entertained millions of readers, helped redefine journalism during its golden age, and transformed American culture.
Abraham Cahan took the helm of a failing Yiddish Socialist daily in New York City in 1902 and over the next fifty years turned it into a national newspaper that changed American politics and earned him the adulation of millions of Jewish immigrants and the friendship of the greatest newspapermen of his day, from Lincoln Steffens to H. L. Mencken. Cahan--whose tenure at the Forward spanned the Russian Revolution, the First World War, the rise of political Zionism, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the creation of the State of Israel--did more than cover the news. He led revolutionary reforms--spreading social democracy, organizing labor unions, battling communism, and assimilating immigrant Jews into American society, most notably via his groundbreaking advice column, "A Bintel Brief." Cahan was also a celebrated novelist whose works are read and studied to this day as brilliant examples of fiction that turned the immigrant narrative into an art form. Acclaimed journalist Seth Lipsky, creator of the English-language successor to Cahan's Forward, gives us the fascinating story of a man of profound contradictions: an avowed socialist who wrote fiction with transcendent sympathy for a wealthy manufacturer; an internationalist who turned against the anti-Zionism of the left; an assimilationist whose final battle was against religious apostasy. Lipsky's Cahan is a prism through which to understand the paradoxes and transformations of American Judaism itself. A towering newspaperman in the manner of Horace Greeley and Joseph Pulitzer, Abraham Cahan revolutionized our idea of what newspapers could accomplish.
This biography is part of the critically-acclaimed JEWISH ENCOUNTERS series, a collaboration between Schocken Books and Nextbook Press.

[book] The Tragedy of a Generation
The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism in Eastern Europe
by Joshua M. Karlip
The Tragedy of a Generation is the story of the rise and fall of an ideal: an autonomous Jewish nation in Europe. It traces the origins of two influential but overlooked strains of Jewish thought—Yiddishism and Diaspora Nationalism—and documents the waning hopes and painful reassessments of their leading representatives against the rising tide of Nazism and, later, the Holocaust.
Joshua M. Karlip presents three figures—Elias Tcherikower, Yisroel Efroikin, and Zelig Kalmanovitch—seen through the lens of Imperial Russia on the brink of revolution. Leaders in the struggle for recognition of the Jewish people as a national entity, these men would prove instrumental in formulating the politics of Diaspora Nationalism, a middle path that rejected both the Zionist emphasis on Palestine and the Marxist faith in class struggle. Closely allied with this ideology was Yiddishism, a movement whose adherents envisioned the Yiddish language and culture, not religious tradition, as the unifying force of Jewish identity.
We follow Tcherikower, Efroikin, and Kalmanovitch as they navigate the tumultuous early decades of the twentieth century in pursuit of a Jewish national renaissance in Eastern Europe. Correcting the misconception of Yiddishism as a radically secular movement, Karlip uncovers surprising confluences between Judaism and the avowedly nonreligious forms of Jewish nationalism. An essential contribution to Jewish historiography, The Tragedy of a Generation is a probing and poignant chronicle of lives shaped by ideological conviction and tested to the limits by historical crisis.
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October 2013
Other Press
A mesmerizing debut novel that spans a thousand years of European and Jewish history seen through the beguiling members of the Spinoza family
Since the eleventh century, the Spinoza family has passed down, from father to son, a secret manuscript containing the recipe for immortality. Now, after thirty-six generations, the last descendant of this long and illustrious chain, Ari Spinoza, doesn’t have a son to whom to entrust the manuscript. From his deathbed, he begins his narrative, hoping to save his lineage from oblivion.
Ari’s two main sources of his family’s history are a trunk of yellowing documents inherited from his grandfather, and his great-uncle Fernando’s tales that captivated him when he was a child. He chronicles the Spinozas’ involvement in some of Europe’s most formative cultural events with intertwining narratives that move through ages of tyranny, creativity, and social upheaval: into medieval Portugal, Grand inquisitor Torquemada’s Spain, Rembrandt’s Amsterdam, the French Revolution, Freud’s Vienna, and the horrors of both world wars.
The Elixir of Immortality blends truth and fiction as it rewrites European history through comic, imaginative, scandalous, and tragic tales that prove “the only thing that can possibly give human beings immortality on this earth: our ability to remember.”

A debut novel
By Ronald H. Balson (Univ of Chicago)
October 2013
St. Martin’s Griffin
A gripping tale of two boys, as close as brothers, who find themselves on opposite side during the Holocaust. Elliot Rosenzweig is a philanthropist. While attending a fund raiser, he is accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Platek. Can it be true about the respected civic leader. Is he the Butcher of Zamosc. Is Solomon right? Is he the man who was raised by Solomon’s Jewish family, who later betrayed them to the Nazis?
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October 2013
Yale University Press
Leonard Bernstein was a charismatic and versatile musician — a brilliant conductor who attained international super-star status, and a gifted composer of Broadway musicals (West Side Story), symphonies (Age of Anxiety), choral works (Chichester Psalms), film scores (On the Waterfront), and much more.
Bernstein was also an enthusiastic letter writer, and this book is the first to present a wide-ranging selection of his correspondence. The letters have been selected for the insights they offer into the passions of his life—musical and personal—and the extravagant scope of his musical and extra-musical activities.
Bernstein’s letters tell much about this complex man, his collaborators, his mentors, and others close to him. His galaxy of correspondents encompassed, among others, Aaron Copland, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins, Thornton Wilder, Boris Pasternak, Bette Davis, Adolph Green, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and family members including his wife Felicia and his sister Shirley.
The majority of these letters have NEVER been published before.
They have been carefully chosen to demonstrate the breadth of Bernstein’s musical interests, his constant struggle to find the time to compose, his turbulent and complex sexuality, his political activities, and his endless capacity for hard work. Beyond all this, these writings provide a glimpse of the man behind the legends: his humanity, warmth, volatility, intellectual brilliance, wonderful eye for descriptive detail, and humor.

A reviewer in The New York Times found the collection disappointing since he felt Bernstein was not too deep in his letters, and the people he corresponded with were much deeper and insightful. If you think you will find a letter about how it was to leave his wife so that he could live as a gay man, you won’t find it in the collection -- except in a few exchanges with Aaron Copeland. The NYT reviewer found the letters vague. He adds, “The reader of these 650 letters will not discover Bernstein’s feelings about his surprise smash New York Philharmonic debut in 1943. Or his opinion on “Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s,” the eviscerating essay Tom Wolfe published in New York magazine after the Bernsteins hosted a legal-defense fund-raiser for imprisoned Black Panthers in 1970. Or his thoughts about his separation from his wife, Felicia, in 1976 and ’77, when he felt he could finally live openly with a man.” His accounts of the musicians with whom he worked are just as unilluminating. “Callas is greater than ever,” he writes while rehearsing Bellini’s “Sonnambula” with her in Milan. She “sings like a doll.” We get little sense of Bernstein, who was constantly on tour, as a profound observer of the world. “Germany and Austria were fabulous, filthy, Nazi, exciting,” he writes, which may well have been true in 1948, but skims the surface nevertheless. There’s a dashed-off quality to many of these travelogues: a lot of “Milano was the greatest” and “Paris a joy, as ever.”

[book] The Two Hotel Francforts
A Novel
by David Leavitt
October 2013
Bloomsbury USA
It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon, Portugal, is the only neutral port left in Europe—a city filled with spies, crowned heads, and refugees of every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time until their escape. Awaiting safe passage to New York on the SS Manhattan, two couples meet: Pete and Julia Winters, expatriate Americans fleeing their sedate life in Paris; and Edward and Iris Freleng, sophisticated, independently wealthy, bohemian, and beset by the social and sexual anxieties of their class. As Portugal’s neutrality, and the world’s future, hang in the balance, the hidden threads in the lives of these four characters — Julia’s status as a Jew, Pete and Edward’s improbable affair, Iris’s increasingly desperate efforts to save her tenuous marriage—begin to come loose.
This journey will change their lives irrevocably, as Europe sinks into war.
Gorgeously written, sexually and politically charged, David Leavitt’s long-awaited new novel is an extraordinary work

[book] The Sisters Weiss
A novel by Naomi Ragen
October 2013
St. Martin’s Press
In 1950’s Brooklyn, sisters Rose and Pearl Weiss grow up in a loving but strict ultra-Orthodox family, never dreaming of defying their parents or their community’s unbending and intrusive demands. Then, a chance meeting with a young French immigrant turns Rose’s world upside down, its once bearable strictures suddenly tightening like a noose around her neck. In rebellion, she begins to live a secret life – a life that shocks her parents when it is discovered. With nowhere else to turn, and an overwhelming desire to be reconciled with those she loves, Rose tries to bow to her parents’ demands that she agree to an arranged marriage. But pushed to the edge, she commits an act so unforgivable, it will exile her forever from her innocent young sister, her family, and all she has ever known.
Forty years later, pious Pearl’s sheltered young daughter Rivka suddenly discovers the ugly truth about her Aunt Rose, the outcast, who has moved on to become a renowned photographer. Inspired, but nave and reckless, Rivka sets off on a dangerous adventure that will stir up the ghosts of the past, and alter the future in unimaginable ways for all involved.
Powerful, page-turning and deeply moving, Naomi Ragen's The Sisters Weiss is an unforgettable examination of loyalty and betrayal; the differences that can tear a family apart and the invisible bonds that tie them together.

[book] DARLING
By Richard Rodriquez
October 2013
Penguin Viking
An award–winning writer delivers a major reckoning with religion, place, and sexuality in the aftermath of 9/11
Hailed in The Washington Post as “one of the most eloquent and probing public intellectuals in America,” Richard Rodriguez now considers religious violence worldwide, growing public atheism in the West, and his own mortality.
Rodriguez’s stylish new memoir—the first book in a decade from the Pulitzer Prize finalist—moves from Jerusalem to Silicon Valley, from Moses to Liberace, from Lance Armstrong to Mother Teresa. Rodriguez is a homosexual who writes with love of the religions of the desert that exclude him. He is a passionate, unorthodox Christian who is always mindful of his relationship to Judaism and Islam because of a shared belief in the God who revealed himself within an ecology of emptiness. And at the center of this book is a consideration of women—their importance to Rodriguez’s spiritual formation and their centrality to the future of the desert religions.
Only a mind as elastic and refined as Rodriguez’s could bind these threads together into this wonderfully complex tapestry.

[book] SOME DAY
A Novel
Translated from Hebrew by Yardenne Greenspan
October 13, 2013
New Vessel Press
On the shores of Israel’s Sea of Galilee lies the city of Tiberias, a place bursting with sexuality and longing for love. The air is saturated with smells of cooking and passion. Seven-year-old Shlomi, who develops a remarkable culinary talent, has fallen for Ella, the strange girl next door with suicidal tendencies; his little brother Hilik obsessively collects words in a notebook.
In the wild, selfish but magical grown-up world that swirls around them, a mother with a poet’s soul mourns the deaths of literary giants while her handsome, wayward husband cheats on her both at home and abroad.
Some Day is a gripping family saga, a sensual and emotional feast that plays out over decades. The characters find themselves caught in cycles of repetition, as if they were “rhymes in a poem, cursed with history.” They become victims of inspired recipes that bring joy and calamity to the cooks and diners. Mysterious curses cause people’s hair to fall out, their necks to swell and the elimination of rational thought amid capitulation to unhealthy urges.
This is an enchanting tale about tragic fates that disrupt families and break our hearts. Zarhin’s hypnotic writing renders a painfully delicious vision of individual lives behind Israel’s larger national story.

October 2013
A great American writer’s confrontation with a great European critic—a personal and intellectual awakening
A hundred years ago, the Viennese satirist Karl Kraus was among the most penetrating and farsighted writers in Europe. In his self-published magazine, Die Fackel, Kraus brilliantly attacked the popular media’s manipulation of reality, the dehumanizing machinery of technology and consumer capitalism, and the jingoistic rhetoric of a fading empire. But even though he had a fervent following, which included Franz Kafka and Walter Benjamin, he remained something of a lonely prophet, and few people today are familiar with his work. Luckily, Jonathan Franzen is one of them.
In The Kraus Project, Franzen, whose “calm, passionate critical authority” has been praised in The New York Times Book Review, not only presents his definitive new translations of Kraus but annotates them spectacularly, with supplementary notes from the Kraus scholar Paul Reitter and the Austrian author Daniel Kehlmann. Kraus was a notoriously cantankerous and difficult writer, and in Franzen he has found his match: a novelist unafraid to voice unpopular opinions strongly, a critic capable of untangling Kraus’s often dense arguments to reveal their relevance to contemporary America.
While Kraus is lampooning the iconic German poet and essayist Heinrich Heine and celebrating his own literary hero, the Austrian playwright Johann Nestroy, Franzen is annotating Kraus the way Kraus annotated others, surveying today’s cultural and technological landscape with fearsome clarity, and giving us a deeply personal recollection of his first year out of college, when he fell in love with Kraus’s work. Painstakingly wrought, strikingly original in form, The Kraus Project is a feast of thought, passion, and literature.

An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought
By Leora Batnitzky (Princeton)
October 2013
Is Judaism a religion, a culture, a nationality--or a mixture of all of these? In How Judaism Became a Religion, Leora Batnitzky boldly argues that this question more than any other has driven modern Jewish thought since the eighteenth century. This wide-ranging and lucid introduction tells the story of how Judaism came to be defined as a religion in the modern period--and why Jewish thinkers have fought as well as championed this idea.
Ever since the Enlightenment, Jewish thinkers have debated whether and how Judaism--largely a religion of practice and public adherence to law--can fit into a modern, Protestant conception of religion as an individual and private matter of belief or faith. Batnitzky makes the novel argument that it is this clash between the modern category of religion and Judaism that is responsible for much of the creative tension in modern Jewish thought. Tracing how the idea of Jewish religion has been defended and resisted from the eighteenth century to today, the book discusses many of the major Jewish thinkers of the past three centuries, including Moses Mendelssohn, Abraham Geiger, Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, Zvi Yehuda Kook, Theodor Herzl, and Mordecai Kaplan. At the same time, it tells the story of modern orthodoxy, the German-Jewish renaissance, Jewish religion after the Holocaust, the emergence of the Jewish individual, the birth of Jewish nationalism, and Jewish religion in America.
More than an introduction, How Judaism Became a Religion presents a compelling new perspective on the history of modern Jewish thought.
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The Trolley problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong
Presented by David Edmonds
October 2013
You’ve probably seen the Harvard class on video or youtube in which the teacher asks students what they would do if they saw a runaway trolley. And the scenario keeps changing to see what choices you would make
A runaway trolley is racing toward five men who are tied to the track. Unless the train is stopped, it will inevitably kill all five men. You are standing on a footbridge looking down on the unfolding disaster. However, a fat man, a stranger, is standing next to you: if you push him off the bridge, he will topple onto the line and, although he will die, his chunky body will stop the train, saving five lives. Would you kill the fat man?
The question may seem bizarre. But it's one variation of a puzzle that has baffled moral philosophers for almost half a century since it was written in Britain by a female philosophy professor, and that more recently has come to preoccupy neuroscientists, psychologists, and other thinkers as well.
In this book, David Edmonds, coauthor of the best-selling Wittgenstein's Poker, tells the story of why and how philosophers have struggled with this ethical dilemma, sometimes called the trolley problem. In the process, he provides an entertaining and informative tour through the history of moral philosophy.
I got a little irritated by the format, trying to recreate police reports and testimonies, but in the end it is a good teaching tool
Most people feel it's wrong to kill the fat man. But why? After all, in taking one life you could save five. As Edmonds shows, answering the question is far more complex--and important--than it first appears. In fact, how we answer it tells us a great deal about right and wrong.
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I think his format is a little too hokey, trying to recreate legal documents and police reports, but it will work for many readers.
A trolley is careering out of control. Up ahead are five workers; on a spur to the right stands a lone individual. You, a bystander, happen to be standing next to a switch that could divert the trolley, which would save the five, but sacrifice the one—do you pull it? Or say you’re watching from an overpass. The only way to save the workers is to drop a heavy object in the trolley’s path. And you’re standing next to a really fat man….
This ethical conundrum—based on British philosopher Philippa Foot’s 1967 thought experiment—has inspired decades of lively argument around the world. Now Thomas Cathcart, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, brings his sharp intelligence, quirky humor, and gift for popularizing serious ideas to “the trolley problem.” Framing the issue as a possible crime that is to be tried in the Court of Public Opinion, Cathcart explores philosophy and ethics, intuition and logic. Along the way he makes connections to the Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham, Kant’s limits of reason, St. Thomas Aquinas’s fascinating Principle of Double Effect, and more.
Read with an open mind, this provocative book will challenge your deepest held notions of right and wrong. Would you divert the trolley? Kill one to save five? Would you throw the fat man off the bridge?.
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Edited by AbdelWahab Meddeb and Benjamin Stora
October 2013
This is the first encyclopedic guide to the history of relations between Jews and Muslims around the world from the birth of Islam to today. Richly illustrated and beautifully produced, the book features more than 150 authoritative and accessible articles by an international team of leading experts in history, politics, literature, anthropology, and philosophy. Organized thematically and chronologically, this indispensable reference provides critical facts and balanced context for greater historical understanding and a more informed dialogue between Jews and Muslims.
Part I covers the medieval period; Part II, the early modern period through the nineteenth century, in the Ottoman Empire, Africa, Asia, and Europe; Part III, the twentieth century, including the exile of Jews from the Muslim world, Jews and Muslims in Israel, and Jewish-Muslim politics; and Part IV, intersections between Jewish and Muslim origins, philosophy, scholarship, art, ritual, and beliefs. The main articles address major topics such as the Jews of Arabia at the origin of Islam; special profiles cover important individuals and places; and excerpts from primary sources provide contemporary views on historical events.
Contributors include Mark R. Cohen, Alain Dieckhoff, Michael Laskier, Vera Moreen, Gordon D. Newby, Marina Rustow, Daniel Schroeter, Kirsten Schulze, Mark Tessler, John Tolan, Gilles Veinstein, and many more.
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[book] ISA DOES IT
Amazingly Easy Wildly Delicious
Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week
A Cookbook
By Isa Chandra Moskowitz
October 2013
Little Brown and Company
Recipes, tips, and strategies for easy, delicious vegan meals every day of the week, from America's bestselling vegan cookbook author. How does Isa Chandra Moskowitz make flavorful and satisfying vegan meals from scratch every day, often in 30 minutes or less? It's easy! In ISA DOES IT, the beloved cookbook author shares 150 new recipes to make weeknight cooking a snap. Mouthwatering recipes like Sweet Potato Red Curry with Rice and Purple Kale, Bistro Beet Burgers, and Summer Seitan Saute with Cilantro and Lime illustrate how simple and satisfying meat-free food can be. The recipes are supermarket friendly and respect how busy most readers are. From skilled vegan chefs, to those new to the vegan pantry, or just cooks looking for some fresh ideas, Isa's unfussy recipes and quirky commentary will make everyone's time in the kitchen fun and productive.
Isa's blog gets 5 million visits a year, and she has more than 20,000 Twitter followers.
By the way, Isa grew up in Brooklyn with powdered potatoes and hamburger helper. Then she went vegan and her mother bought her a small stack of cookbooks. She dropped out of HS for Music and Art, focused on cooking, and now we have this, her latest cookbook.
Here are two items I want to mention. Her coconut chana saag uses coconut instead of a tomato base (although it does use tomato juice and a can of whole ones). She also skips the spinach and uses kale instead. Her warm potato salad uses grilled seitan and asparagus..

[book] Being Both
Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family
By Susan Katz Miller
October 2013
Beacon Press
A book on the growing number of interfaith families raising children in two religions. Former New Scientist and Newsweek reporter, Susan Katz Miller, grew up with a Jewish father and Christian mother, and was raised Jewish. Now in an interfaith marriage herself, she is a leader in the growing movement of families electing to raise children in both religions, rather than in one religion or the other (or without religion).
Miller draws on original surveys and interviews with parents, students, teachers, and clergy, as well as on her own journey, in chronicling this grassroots movement. Being Both is a book for couples and families considering this pathway, and for the clergy and extended family who want to support them. Miller offers inspiration and reassurance for parents exploring the unique benefits and challenges of dual-faith education, and she rebuts many of the common myths about raising children with two faiths. Being Both heralds a new America of inevitable racial, ethnic, and religious intermarriage, and asks couples who choose both religions to celebrate this decision.

Three Journeys Into The Heart of the Twentieth Century
By David Laskin
October 2013
The author of the The Children’s Blizzard delivers an epic work of twentieth century history through the riveting story of one extraordinary Jewish family. With cinematic power and beauty, bestselling author David Laskin limns his own genealogy to tell the spellbinding tale of the three drastically different paths that his family members took across the span of 150 years.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century Laskin’s great-great-grandfather, a Torah scribe named Shimon Dov HaKohen, raised six children with his wife, Beyle, in a yeshiva town at the western fringe of the Russian empire. The pious couple expected their sons and daughters to carry the family tradition into future generations. But the social and political upheavals of the twentieth century decreed otherwise.
The HaKohen family split off into three branches. One branch emigrated to America and founded the fabulously successful Maidenform Bra Company; one branch went to Palestine as pioneers and participated in the contentious birth of the state of Israel; and the third branch remained in Europe and suffered the Holocaust.
In tracing the roots of his own family, Laskin captures the epic sweep of twentieth-century history. A modern-day scribe, Laskin honors the traditions, the lives, and the choices of his ancestors: revolutionaries and entrepreneurs, scholars and farmers, tycoons and truck drivers. The Family is an eloquent masterwork of true grandeur—a deeply personal, dramatic, and universal account of a people
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[book] Goliath:
Life and Loathing in Greater Israel
By Max Blumenthal
October 2013
Nation Books.
The book is published by NATION BOOKS, so you will not be surprised by the content and theme.
A rightist Wall Street Journal editor said they threw the book into the trash
The left of center Eric Alterman said that he book is naïve and juvenile and should be sold by the Hamas Book of the Month Club, since he seems to love Islamists.
In Goliath, Max Blumenthal (son of Sidney Blumenthal of Clinton White House fame) takes the reader on a journey through Israel-Palestine, painting a portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as its occupation of the Palestinians deepens.
Blumenthal tells the story of Israel in the wake of the collapse of the Oslo peace process.
Blumenthal writes that Israel has become a country where right-wing leaders like Avigdor Lieberman and Binyamin Netanyahu are sacrificing democracy on the altar of their power politics; where the loyal opposition largely and passively stands aside and watches the organized assault on civil liberties; where state-funded Orthodox rabbis publish books that provide instructions on how and when to kill Gentiles; where half of Jewish youth declare their refusal to sit in a classroom with an Arab; and where mob violence targets Palestinians and African asylum seekers scapegoated by leading government officials as "demographic threats."
He rails against Israeli myopia, the liberal enablers of right wing policies
As his journey deepens, he painstakingly reports on the occupied Palestinians challenging schemes of demographic separation through unarmed protest. He talks at length to the leaders and youth of Palestinian society inside Israel now targeted by security service dragnets and legislation suppressing their speech, and provides in-depth reporting on the small band of Jewish Israeli dissidents who have shaken off a conformist mindset that permeates the media, schools, and the military. Blumenthal illuminates the histories of Palestinian neighborhoods and villages now gone and forgotten; how that history has set the stage for the current crisis of Israeli society; and how the Holocaust has been turned into justification for occupation.
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[book] The Can't Cook Book
Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified!
By Jessica Seinfeld
October 2013
Many know Seinfeld as the wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, or they are jealous and badmouth her because she left her first husband after a few weeks after she met Seinfeld or they malign her for her best selling Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious cookbooks.
I say to them to getta life
In her newest book, she has a collection of more than 100 simple recipes that will transform even the most kitchen-phobic “Can’t Cooks” into “Can Cooks.”
If you find cooking scary or stressful or just boring, Jessica has a calm, confidence building approach to cooking, even for those who’ve never followed a recipe or used an oven. Jessica shows you how to prepare simple food — from Caesar salad, rice pilaf, and roasted asparagus to lemon salmon, roast chicken, and flourless fudge cake.
At the beginning of each dish, she explains up front what the challenge will be, and then shows you exactly how to overcome any hurdles in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. Designed to put the nervous cook at ease, The Can’t Cook Book is perfect for anyone who wants to gain confidence in the kitchen—and, who knows, maybe even master a meal or two.

[book] Jacob's Oath
A Novel
by Martin Fletcher
yes, the same Martin Fletcher, the reporter
October 2013
Thomas Dunne
As World War II winds to a close, Europe's roads are clogged with twenty million exhausted refugees walking home. Among them are Jacob and Sarah, lonely Holocaust survivors who meet in Heidelberg. But Jacob is consumed with hatred and cannot rest until he has killed his brother’s murderer, a concentration camp guard nicknamed "The Rat." Now he must choose between revenge and love, between avenging the past and building a future.
Martin Fletcher, who won the National Jewish Book Award for Walking Israel, proved his chops as a novelist with The List, which was selected as the One Book, One Jewish Community title for the city of Philadelphia. Now, Fletcher brings us another touching novel of love, loyalty, and loss, set in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
In an interview with former NYC Asst D.A. Lenny Picker, Fletcher said he was drawn to telling a story of the days after WWII and the Holocaust, when tens of thousands of DP’s roamed the roads in search of new lives
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Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered
Economics of Everyday Life
By Uri Gneezy and John List
Foreword by Steve Levitt
October 2013
Two superstars revolutionizing economics—indeed all social science— provide breakthrough ideas for taking on big, complicated problems, using colorful stories from their travels and experiments around the world
Based on groundbreaking original research, The Why Axis is a colorful examination of why people do what they do—observed through the lens of incentives that can spur people to achieve.
Uri Gneezy and John List are like the anthropologists who spend months in the field studying the people in their native habitats. But in their case they embed themselves in our messy world to try and solve big, difficult problems, such as the gap between rich and poor students and the violence plaguing inner city schools; the real reasons people discriminate; whether women are really less competitive than men; and how to correctly price products and services.
Their field experiments in the factories, communities, and shops where real people live, work, and play show how economic incentives can change outcomes. Their results will change the way we both think about and take action on big and little problems, and force us to rely no longer on assumptions, but upon the evidence of what really works.
Uri Gneezy is the Arthur Brody Endowed Chair in Behavioral Economics and professor of economics and strategy at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego. He has also been on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Israel’s Technion, and the University of Haifa. John List is the Homer J. Livingston Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago.
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Edited by Rochelle Davis and Mimi Kirk
Indiana University Press
October 2013
Recent developments in Palestinian political, economic, and social life have resulted in greater insecurity and diminishing confidence in Israel’s willingness to abide by political agreements or the Palestinian leadership’s ability to forge consensus. This volume examines the legacies of the past century, conditions of life in the present, and the possibilities and constraints on prospects for peace and self-determination in the future. These historically grounded essays by leading scholars engage the issues that continue to shape Palestinian society, such as economic development, access to resources, religious transformation, and political movements.
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The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who
Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation
By Yossi Klein haLevi
October 2013
Yossi grew up in NYC. You remember the documentary on the lives of his family. His father, a survivor of the death camps flew to Israel after the 1967 war, renewed of spirit and life and hope. These hopes were crushed in ’73, as well as after the Lebanon War. How did the paratroppers of 1967 and Jerusalem come to define the nation and its spirit?
In “Like Dreamers,” acclaimed journalist Yossi Klein Halevi interweaves the stories of a group of 1967 paratroopers who reunited Jerusalem, tracing the history of Israel and the divergent ideologies shaping it from the Six-Day War to the present.
Following the lives of seven young members from the 55th Paratroopers Reserve Brigade, the unit responsible for restoring Jewish sovereignty to Jerusalem, Halevi reveals how this band of brothers played pivotal roles in shaping Israel’s destiny long after their historic victory. While they worked together to reunite their country in 1967, these men harbored drastically different visions for Israel’s future.
One emerges at the forefront of the religious settlement movement, while another is instrumental in the 2005 unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. One becomes a driving force in the growth of Israel’s capitalist economy, while another ardently defends the socialist kibbutzim. One is a leading peace activist, while another helps create an anti-Zionist terror underground in Damascus.
Featuring an eight pages of black-and-white photos and maps, Like Dreamers is a nuanced, in-depth look at these diverse men and the conflicting beliefs that have helped to define modern Israel and the Middle East.
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October 2013
odeled after the BBC, the Palestine Broadcasting Service was launched in 1936 to serve as the national radio station of Mandate Palestine, playing a pivotal role in shaping the culture of the emerging middle class in the region. Despite its significance, the PBS has become nearly forgotten by scholars of twentieth-century Middle Eastern studies. Drawn extensively from British and Israeli archival sources, “This Is Jerusalem Calling” traces the compelling history of the PBS’s twelve years of operation, illuminating crucial aspects of a period when Jewish and Arab national movements simultaneously took form.
Andrea L. Stanton describes the ways in which the mandate government used broadcasting to cater to varied audiences, including rural Arab listeners, in an attempt to promote a “modern” vision of Arab Palestine as an urbane, politically sophisticated region. In addition to programming designed for the education of the peasantry, religious broadcasting was created to appeal to all three main faith communities in Palestine, which ultimately may have had a disintegrating, separatist effect. Stanton’s research brings to light the manifestation of Britain’s attempts to prepare its mandate state for self-governance while supporting the aims of Zionists. While the PBS did not create the conflict between Arab Palestinians and Zionists,
the service reflected, articulated, and magnified such tensions
during an era when radio broadcasting was becoming a key communication tool for emerging national identities around the globe..
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October 2013
Atria – Cash Money Press
Al Sharpton has been called many things. A reverend, a pundit, a leader, a con-artist, a promoter, an unrepentant spokesman for Tawana Brawley, a civil rights entrepreneur, an extortionist, a leader of goon squads, a street provocateur, a future mayor or elected politician, and more. Currently, a host of cable TV/MSNBC's PoliticsNation, he is outspoken. In this, his first book in over a decade, Sharpton gives you his behind the scenes recollections of officiating at Michael Jackson's funeral, visiting President Barack Obama at the White House, and “taking charge” of the Trayvon Martin case in Florida. He also writes how he came to his unexpected conclusions in such areas as Immigration, Gay Rights, Religion and the Family.
But the heart of the book is an intimate discussion of his own personal evolution from street activist, pulpit provocateur and civil rights leader to the man he is today - one hundred pounds slimmer, and according to the New York Observer “the most thoughtful voice on cable.” No, the Sharpton of 2001 isn’t the same man in 2013. He wants people to transform their hearts and minds.
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[book] Ivan Ramen
Love, Obsession, and Recipes from
Tokyo's Most Unlikely Noodle Joint
by Ivan Orkin and Chris Ying
with a foreword by David Chang
October 2013
Ten Speed
The end-all-be-all guide to ramen from Ivan Orkin, the iconoclastic Syosset, Long Island-New York-born owner of Tokyo's top ramen shop.
While scores of people line up outside American ramen powerhouses like Momofuku Noodle Bar, chefs and food writers in the know revere Ivan Orkin's traditional Japanese take on ramen. Ivan Ramenchronicles Orkin's journey from dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker to the chef and owner of one of Japan's most-loved ramen restaurants, Ivan Ramen.
Ivan Orkin’s passion for ramen is contagious, his story fascinating, and his recipes to-die-for, including master recipes for the fundamental types of ramen, and variations on each. Likely the only chef in the world with the knowledge and access to convey such a candid look at Japanese cuisine to a Western audience, Orkin is perfectly positioned to author what will be the ultimate English-language overview on ramen and all of its components.

Orkin cooked at Mesa Grill and Lutèce before he moved to Japan and opened two wildly successful ramen shops in Tokyo in 2007 and 2010. The original ten-seat Ivan Ramen opened in 2007 in Setagaya, Tokyo, with a second, in Kyodo, in 2010. Being perceived as a Western interloper to a thriving market of some 80,000 shops dominated by tonkotsu masters and venerated traditions was a given, but Orkin's attention to detail won him praise. Sapporo Ichiban began production of an instant line, with Orkin's face on the microwave-safe bowl, and his origin story featured prominently in the first issue of Lucky Peach. Orkin imparts a bit of his Jewish upbringing to his menu by rendering his own schmaltz "ramen in Japan is really like a slice of pizza in NY," meant to be slurped on the fly. His preoccupation with any given bowl of soup, he says, is nailing what he calls the "slurping ratio" of fat and al dente noodles.
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I am too lazy to remove this book from the site, even after Guido Barilla’s comments, so don’t buy the book even though the link is here
October 2013
Taunton Press
Smooth or ribbed, long or short, pasta is a “machine” designed to “capture” the sauce, to hold it, to transport it in the proper quantity to the mouth, to define the flavor of the recipe. The ribbings increase the surface area, to extend the staying power of the sour or sweet notes of the various seasonings; the loops catch small fragments of flavor; the spirals withhold and amplify the density of sauces. Pasta was created as a carrier of sauces, and there are no limits to it in this marvelous vocation. And Italian gastronomic tradition, so widely varied in its regional and territorial products, offers an extraordinary wealth of combinations, worthy of being proposed a new for an international audience, to respond to the hasty and quotidian repetitiveness resulting in unchanging cuisine. Thus was born the idea for a new book on pasta, the fruit of Academia Barilla’s gastronomic experience and of Barilla’s centuries-old technological competencies, to promote 360° knowledge about pasta, giving value to the extraordinary variety of the formats produced today in Italy — at least 300 — combining them in simple and varied preparations, each one tested and experimented with by the chefs at Academia Barilla, along with text and suggestions for excellence in the final result…
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A cookbook by Oretta Zanini de Vita and Maureen B Fant
October 2013
Not Jewish per se, but a fascinating cookbook
The indispensable cookbook for genuine Italian sauces and the traditional pasta shapes that go with them.
Cooking pasta the Italian way means:
Keep your eye on the pot, not the clock.
Respect tradition, but don’t be a slave to it.
Choose a compatible pasta shape for your sauce or soup, but remember they aren’t matched by computer. (And that angel hair goes with broth, not sauce.)
Use the best ingredients you can find—and you can find plenty on the Internet. Resist the urge to embellish, add, or substitute. But minor variations usually enhance a dish.
How much salt? Don’t ask, taste!

Jewish readers will be drawn to the Sugo coi carciofi, the artichoke sauces.
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[book] Dining at the White House
From the President's Table to Yours
by Chef John Moeller
Fall 2013
If you think this is a book of White House recipes, you are only partially correct. For the first 200 pages, Chef Moeller tells the story of his road to culinary excellence and the White House, and then explains the protocols of dining at the White House.
As a teen, Moeller attended a Vo-Tech high school program in Lancaster, PA. He graduated from Johnson and Wales University in 1981 and then traveled to the UK a bit. Later, striking up a conversation in France, he was offered an extra bedroom in Dijon and a chance to study French and work in some famous regional French kitchens (places where when you cook a chicken, you have to first get rid of the feathers and head; by the way, real French dressing is not pink). Returning to the States in 1986, he went to visit his brother in DC before he accepted a job in the Caribbean. On a lark he popped into a DC French restaurant and asked about a job. He got the job on the spot since the chef knew the places at which he worked in France. When that restaurant closed three years later, he scored a job with another chef who needed someone in the White House, and that is where he stayed for the next three administrations.
Did you know that White House dinners are served family style; a designated host at each table serves the guests from a main serving plate? You learn this and many other tidbits on White House dining , along with stories on guests, some of the 400 menu cards Chef Moeller saved, catering at Camp David, grocery shopping, the kitchen's small size, George W's recipe for Chex Mix, commemorative plates, Julia Child's visits, and more. The First Family pays for their own groceries, so when a former first lady shows up and dines with the FLOTUS and they want fresh dover sole - cost $120 for two portions - the first family pays for it. The book shows some breakfast orders from overnight guests (Lee Iacocca, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg), a self-typed job recommendation letter from George HW and Barbara Bush, and menu cards, including those for Putin (2001), the President of Spain (1997) and the State Governors (1997). Nelson Mandela's event featured Halibut with Sesame Crust, Bibb Endive & Watercress; Boris Yeltsin's served Rack of Lamb; the Emperor of Japan's had breast of quail; and the celebration for the signing of a Palestinian and Israeli Interim Agreement featured broiled salmon with black peppercorn and ginger potato and celeriac puree; mesclun salad with leeks and beets, and black raspberry sorbet.
After Page 242, the recipes and chef-notes begin, along with the menu cards for the dinner and luxurious photos. There are starters, main courses, and one dessert. The recipe for Artichoke and Leek Soup from the Vladimir Putin lunch is there, as is the Chanterelle Mushroom Soup from the 2004 Holiday Dinner (I once watched him prepare this soup and sweat the vegetable at the Miami Culinary Institute and Miami Book Fair. He loves koshering salt and the use of chicken stock as a foundation for nearly everything) The 2004 Holiday Dinner recipes also include a Warm Tamale Salad with Avocado, Tomato, and Black Bean and Citrus Dressing.
The recipe for Grilled Shitake Mushrooms from the Silvio Berlusconi luncheon is included, as are the Ragout of Lobster in Riesling Sauce for Gerhard Schroeder, and the Pheasant Soup with Tiny Raviolis (pheasant breast and ricotta) for the National Medal of Arts Dinner. Other unique recipes include the grilled Salmon Fillet "Mignon" for Tony Blair's dinner; the Florida Yellowtail Snapper and Sauteed Leeks with Saffron Corn sauce for President Mubarak's luncheon; and the Herb-Crusted Lamb Chops for the 2002 Christmas Dinner.
The book closes with a recipe for a warm flourless chocolate torte with raspberry sauce and almond tuile. A picture of it graces the cover jacket of this book. Why did they use a simple dessert for the cover when the book is filled with so many elegant entrees from famous celebratory meals? There is a story behind the torte the epitomizes White House dining.. It was February 2003, over a weekend, when the Bush family was away at Camp David and the kitchen staff was off. Chef Moeller got a call; the butler reported that the family was headed back, the Space Shuttle Columbia had met a tragic end. Moeller gathered up some groceries to prepare some meals, and on his own made this flourless torte for dessert for 18. The POTUS And FLOTUS and their guests were floored by its taste and kvelled over it. It was a simple dessert that brought some joy and comfort to people on a tragic day.
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[book] L.A. Son
My Life, My City, My Food
by Roy Choi
with Tien Nguyen and Natasha Phan
Of Kogi BBQ fame
Fall 2013
Los Angeles: A patchwork megalopolis defined by its unlikely cultural collisions; the city that raised and shaped Roy Choi, the boundary-breaking chef who decided to leave behind fine dining to feed the city he loved—and, with the creation of the Korean taco, reinvented street food along the way.
Abounding with both the food and the stories that gave rise to Choi's inspired cooking, L.A. Son takes us through the neighborhoods and streets most tourists never see, from the hidden casinos where gamblers slurp fragrant bowls of pho to Downtown's Jewelry District, where a ten-year-old Choi wolfed down Jewish deli classics between diamond deliveries; from the kitchen of his parents' Korean restaurant and his mother's pungent kimchi to the boulevards of East L.A. and the best taquerias in the country, to, at last, the curbside view from one of his emblematic Kogi taco trucks, where people from all walks of life line up for a revolutionary meal.
Filled with over 85 inspired recipes that meld the overlapping traditions and flavors of L.A.—including Korean fried chicken, tempura potato pancakes, homemade chorizo, and Kimchi and Pork Belly Stuffed Pupusas—L.A. Son embodies the sense of invention, resourcefulness, and hybrid attitude of the city from which it takes its name, as it tells the transporting, unlikely story of how a Korean American kid went from lowriding in the streets of L.A. to becoming an acclaimed chef.
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[book] Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic
by Karen Wilson
Univ of California Press
Speaking of Los Angeles.
Influenced by popular notions that the West is a place of vanishing Jews and disappearing Judaism, most people draw a blank at the words “Los Angeles Jew.” Yet, the region is home to the second largest number of Jews in North America, and boasts the fourth largest Jewish population in the world, behind only Tel Aviv, New York City, and Jerusalem. This book, and its companion exhibition at the Autry National Center, reveals how Los Angeles has shaped Jewish identities and how Jewish Angelenos have shaped the metropolis.
Six incisive essays look at the mutual influence of people and place as they examine Jewish engagement with frontier society, yidishe kultur and union activism, ethnic identity and Hollywood movies, Jewish women and local politics, and Jews making music in Los Angeles. The book is illustrated with a wealth of images that illustrate how Jews, operating both at the center and the margins of power, have contributed to the place and myth called Los Angeles
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[book] Pok Pok
Food and Stories from the Streets,
Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand
by Andy Ricker
with JJ Goode and Austin Bush
Fall 2013
Ten Speed Press
A guide to bold, authentic Thai cooking from Andy Ricker, the chef and owner of the wildly popular and widely lauded Pok Pok restaurants.
After decades spent traveling throughout Thailand, Andy Ricker wanted to bring the country’s famed food stateside. In 2005 he opened Pok Pok, so named for the sound a wooden pestle makes when it strikes a clay mortar, in an old shack in a residential neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. Ricker has since gone on to open five more wildly popular Pok Pok restaurants, and today he is considered one of the leading American voices on Thai cooking.
In this much-anticipated debut cookbook, Ricker shares seventy of the most popular recipes from Thailand and his Pok Pok restaurants—ranging from Khao Soi Kai (Northern Thai curry noodle soup with chicken) to Som Tam Thai (Central Thai–style papaya salad) to Pok Pok’s now-classic (and obsessed-over) Fish-Sauce Wings.
But Pok Pok is more than just a collection of favorite recipes: it is also a master course in Thai cooking from one of the most passionate and knowledgeable authorities on the subject. Clearly written, impeccably tested recipes teach you how to source ingredients; master fundamental Thai cooking techniques and skills; understand flavor profiles that are unique to Southeast Asian cuisine; and combine various dishes to create show-stopping, well-balanced meals for family and friends.
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[book] Thai Street Food
by David Thompson
Fall 2013
Ten Speed
Thai Street Food transports readers straight into the bustling heart of Thailand’s colorful street stalls and markets--from the predawn rounds of monks fanning out along the aisles to the made-to-order stalls ablaze in neon and jammed with hungry locals after dark. Featuring nearly 100 authentic dishes plus lavish photography accompanying every recipe, this stunning cookbook is the definitive guide to Thailand’s culinary street culture. The recipes, such as Steamed Fish with Chilli and Lime Sauce, Pork Satay, Roast Duck and Egg Noodle Soup, and Sweet Banana Roti illuminate the beguiling world of food so integral to the Thais.
Scholar and chef David Thompson lives with a singular passion for Thailand’s customs, culture, and people. Although he claims “It’s all about the food,” this ambitious work shares his insights into the rhythms and nuances of Thai daily life along with a fascinating history of its richly diverse street cuisine. This cookbook is a tempting, inspiring, and authoritative account of Thai street food, the vibrant culinary mosaic rich with community.
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[book] One Good Dish
by David Tanis
Fall 2013
In this, his first non-menu cookbook, the New York Times food columnist offers 100 utterly delicious recipes that epitomize comfort food, Tanis-style. Individually or in combination, they make perfect little meals that are elemental and accessible, yettotally surprising—and there’s something to learn on every page. Among the chapter titles there’s “Bread Makes a Meal,” which includes such alluring recipes as a ham and Gruyère bread pudding, spaghetti and bread crumbs, breaded eggplant cutlets, and David’s version of egg-in-a-hole. A chapter called “My Kind of Snack” includes quail eggs with flavored salt; speckled sushi rice with toasted nori; polenta pizza with crumbled sage; raw beet tartare; and mackerel rillettes. The recipes in “Vegetables to Envy” range from a South Indian dish of cabbage with black mustard seeds to French grandmother–style vegetables. “Strike While the Iron Is Hot” is all about searing and quick cooking in a cast-iron skillet. Another chapter highlights dishes you can eat from a bowl with a spoon. And so it goes, with one irrepressible chapter after another, one perfect food moment after another: this is a book with recipes to crave.

David Tanis was a longtime chef at the acclaimed Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif. He credits Jewish cooking with inspiring him. He grew up in Dayton, Ohio, where he would eat on Friday nights at the home of his Aunt Edith and Uncle Marvin. There he learned to eat chremsel and matzoh balls and matzoh brie and herring. For many years he has worked half a year in Calfiornia, and half in Paris, where he has run a small private dining club that he and his partner Randal Breski dubbed Aux Chiens Lunatique, At the Crazy Dogs’ Place, after their dogs, Arturo and Ajax. Now he write for The Times.
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[book] The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book
Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop
by Emily Elsen and her sister Melissa Elsen
Fall 2013
Grand Central
The Elsen sisters are third generation Midwestern pie bakers who now reside in Brooklyn and own a renowned Brooklyn shop and café. Here comes the ultimate pie-baking book for a new generation of bakers.
This collection features more than 60 pie recipes organized by season, with unique and mouthwatering creations such as Salted Caramel Apple, Green Chili Chocolate, Black Currant Lemon Chiffon, and Salty Honey. There is also a detailed and informative techniques section. Lavishly designed, it has 90 photographs by Gentl & Hyers, two of the most sought-after food photographers working today.
With its new and creative recipes, this may not be you mother's cookbook, but it's sure to be one that every baker from novice to pro will turn to again and again.
Are they Jewish? No. But we can learn to make pies from them
Melissa and Emily were born and raised in the rural farm town of Hecla, South Dakota. Their mother and her sisters owned the popular Calico Kitchen restaurant for which their Grandmother Liz made all the pies. After finishing a degree in Finance at the University of South Dakota, Melissa traveled throughout Scotland, New Zealand and Australia before settling down in Brooklyn to make pie. Emily has lived in Brooklyn for fifteen years and is a co-founder of the non-profit art and design studio the Gowanus Studio Space in Brooklyn. She has a BFA in Sculpture from Pratt Institute.
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[book] Roberta's Cookbook
by Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hoy, Chris Parachini, and Katherine Wheelock
Fall 2013
Clarkson Potter
The Brooklyn destination the New York Times called “one of the most extraordinary restaurants in the country”—which began as a pizza place and quickly redefined the urban food landscape—releases its highly anticipated debut cookbook.
When Roberta’s (named for their mother) opened in 2008 in a concrete bunker in Bushwick, it was a pizzeria where you could stop in for dinner and stumble out hours later, happy.
The first time I found it, it was a warehouse building with no signage on the Morgan Stop on the “L” Train. I had no idea what the building was, til I stumbled in and followed a line and found a packed restaurant in the middle of the afternoon. I was never there without at least an hour wait for a shared table.
They founders rented the bunker like building from an Orthodox Jewish couple in what was then an industrial wasteland of warehouses in Bushwick (now East Williamsburg). Roberta’s was an anchor for further redevelopment
It’s still a down-the-rabbit-hole kind of place but has also become a destination for groundbreaking food, a wholly original dining experience, and a rooftop garden that marked the beginning of the urban farming movement in New York City. The forces behind Roberta’s—chef Carlo Mirarchi and co-owners Brandon Hoy and Chris Parachini—share recipes, photographs, and stories meant to capture the experience of Roberta’s for those who haven’t been, and to immortalize it for those who’ve been there since the beginning.
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[book] Roth Unbound
A Writer and His Books
by Claudia Roth Pierpont
October 2013
A critical evaluation of Philip Roth—the first of its kind—that takes on the man, the myth, and the work. Philip Roth—one of the most renowned writers of his generation—hardly needs introduction. From his debut, Goodbye, Columbus, which won the National Book Award, to his Pulitzer Prize–winning American Pastoral, to his eternally inventive later works such as Exit Ghost and Nemesis, Roth has produced some of the greatest literature of the past hundred years. And yet there has been no major critical work about him, until now.
Here, at last, is the story of Roth’s creative life. Claudia Roth Pierpont, a writer for The New Yorker for more than twenty years, tells an engaging story even as she delves into the many complexities of Roth’s work and the controversies it has raised. This is not a biography—though it contains many biographical details—but something more rewarding: an attempt to understand a great writer through his art.
Pierpont, who has known Roth for several years, peppers her gracefully written and carefully researched account with conversational details, providing insights and anecdotes previously accessible only to a very few, touching on Roth’s family, his inspirations, his critics, the full range of his fiction, and his literary friendships with such figures as Saul Bellow and John Updike. Roth Unbound is a major achievement, a fascinating and highly readable work that will set the standard for Roth scholarship for years to come.

By Hank Shaw
October 1, 2013
Ten Speed Press
Not to be confused with the children's book of the same name
Duck is having a renaissance in American restaurants and kitchens as cooks discover that diverse breeds, species, and cuts of meat offer an exciting range of flavors and textures. Many cooks—and even hunters—have a fear of cooking fowl. Duck, Duck, Goose shows you how to cook duck and goose like a pro: perfectly crisp skin crackling with each bite, succulent confit, and more.
Hank Shaw, an award-winning food writer, hunter, and cook on the forefront of the marsh-to-table revolution, provides all you need to know about obtaining, cleaning, and cooking these flavorful birds. Duck, Duck, Goose includes detailed guides on species and breeds, selecting a duck in the market, and plucking and hanging a wild bird. Shaw’s delicious and doable recipes include basics such as Grilled Duck Breast and Slow-Roasted Duck; international favorites like Duck Pho, Sichuan Fragrant Duck, Italian Duck Meatballs (sorry it uses lard, but includes kosher salt), Chinese Char Sui BBQ Duck, Duck Tagine, Poached Duck Breast with Rude Vegetables, Duck Breast with Black Currant Sauce, Arroz Con Cazador, Goose Stew, Goose Meatballs, Mexican Duck with Green Mole, and Cassoulet; and celebration-worthy fare such as Perfect Roast Goose. It also features an array of duck and goose confit and charcuterie, from fresh sausages to dry-cured salami.
The most comprehensive guide to preparing and cooking both domestic and wild ducks and geese, Duck, Duck, Goose will be a treasured companion for anyone who wants to free themselves from the tyranny of chicken and enjoy perfectly cooked waterfowl.

[book] Return to the Rivers
by Vikas Khanna
with contributions from Andrew Blackmore-Dobbyn
Late Fall 2013
Lake Isle Press
Return to the Rivers is an incredible collection of recipes, photos, and memories as a means to preserve and share the sacred foodways, values, and simple gifts of friendship that the Himalayan people bestowed Khanna. Exploring the regions the great Himalayas directly touch upon – Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, Northern India, Myanmar, Western China, Pakistan – Khanna was met with immeasurable kindness and hospitality. The dishes are beautifully simple and appealing, such as Eggplant Fritters with Ginger, Spinach and Cheese Momos, Chile-Scallion Buckwheat Noodles, Nepalese Black Lentils and Rice, Burmese Fish Noodle Soup, Pressed Rice with Yogurt and Almonds, and Tibetan Scallion Pancakes.

[book] David and Goliath
Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
by Malcolm Gladwell
October 2013
Little Brown
Gladwell begins by mentioning Goliath in Palestine. What? The place was not renamed Palestine until the Roman conquest. The Philistines lived in the Philistine Pentapolis or Canaan… not in Palestine.
Sorry to quibble, but it is not like Gladwell to be loose with meanings
What we think are advantages are not always advantageous

The Bible tells a story of a shepherd boy who fells a mighty warrior with merely his sling and a stone. Ever since, David and Goliath have been the meme for the underdogs and the giant (or if you are Lutheran, for a puppet boy and his dog).
The idea is that David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won.
Or should he have?
In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.
Gladwell begins with his version of the meeting of the giant and the shepherd boy. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland's Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms---all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity.
In the tradition of Gladwell's previous bestsellers---The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw---David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us.

[book] My Basmati Bat Mitzvah
by Paula J. Freedman
October 2013
During the fall leading up to her bat mitzvah, Tara (Hindi for "star") Feinstein has a lot more than her Torah portion on her mind. Between Hebrew school and study sessions with the rabbi, there doesn't seem to be enough time to hang out with her best friend Ben-O--who might also be her boyfriend--and her other best friend, Rebecca, who's getting a little too cozy with the snotty Sheila Rosenberg.
Not to mention working on her robotics project with the class clown Ryan Berger, or figuring out what to do with a priceless heirloom sari that she accidentally ruined.
Amid all this drama, Tara considers how to balance her Indian and Jewish identities and what it means to have a bat mitzvah while questioning her faith. With the cross-cultural charm of Bend It Like Beckham, this delightful debut novel is a classic coming-of-age story and young romance with universal appeal.

[book][book] Mira in the Present Tense
(Also known as Artichoke Hearts in the UK)
by Sita Brahmachari
Ages 9 – 13 Winner of the 2011 Waterstone's Children's Book Prize.
Note: Mira on the book cover should be browner that the cover art suggests
Twelve-year-old Mira Levenson (half Indian, half Jewish heritage) comes from a chaotic, artistic, and outspoken family in which it's not always easy to be heard. Her father and grandmother are Jewish
Mira’s period starts on her twelfth birthday, a fact she is reluctant to reveal to either her mother or her best friend. In fact, she finds herself becoming more secretive in general. A crush blossoms into a first romance (with the mysterious Jide, a boy with a hidden troubled past), which she also tries to hide. Mira keeps a diary for her writing class, and there she is completely honest, particularly about her beloved Nana Josie, who is “busy dying at the moment.” As she helps her Nana paint her casket, say good-bye to beloved places, and eventually move into a hospice, Mira notices how “the whole of life is in slow motion.” This is a gentle coming-of-age story built around a heartbreaking event. Mira, a compelling narrator with an artist’s eye for detail, benefits from a lifetime surrounded by people who love her. Her story resonates with truth (despite the secrets) and joy (despite the sorrow.)
An incredibly insightful, honest novel exploring the delicate balance--and often injustice--of life and death. But at its heart, it's a celebration of friendship, culture--and life.
PW adds: Originally published as Artichoke Hearts in the U.K., where it won the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Award in 2011, Brahmachari’s debut novel is worth the heartache it provokes. Londoner Mira Levenson, who’s of Indian and Jewish descent, gets her first period on her 12th birthday, the same day that her grandmother’s coffin shows up at the door; they plan to decorate it before Nana’s imminent death from cancer. Mira is generally introspective and bashful, but the instructor at a writing workshop encourages Mira to shed her self-consciousness and speak boldly. To Mira’s surprise, she has plenty to say—about her fellow writer and romantic interest Jidé, who narrowly escaped death in Rwanda; about her best friend Millie, whom she no longer confides in; and about her caring but often overwhelming family. Readers will enjoy watching Mira gather strength through writing in her diary and confronting her fears. While the story deals with the heaviness and “necessary heartbreak” of losing a close relative, Mira’s energetic voice reminds readers that inspiration and hope can be found in the everyday.
The Smithsonian adds: On the evening of her 12th birthday, Mira Levenson receives three life-changing (death-defying) gifts: a diary, a charm, and her period. .. As Mira watches her 74-year-old grandmother weaken from cancer, Mira bears witness to her Nana’s indomitable spirit, never letting go of her sense of fun, justice, and boundless love for her family and friends. Nana gifts her favorite charm to Mira on her birthday: a tiny artichoke that represents Nana’s long life with more than enough room to hold Mira’s future. As Mira tries on her sparkly birthday skirt – another gift from Nana – she realizes her period has arrived, physical proof that she’s no longer the little girl the adults still believe her to be. Perhaps not quite ready herself, Mira doesn’t tell a soul – not about that, and not about her butterfly-inducing feelings for a boy with the alliterative name of Jidé Jackson. … emotionally charged, deeply resonating journey of a hapa Jewish Indian British girl coming-of-age in the midst of saying goodbye to one of the most important adults in her life. While Mira dreads losing Nana, she begins to claim distance from those to whom she has always been closest as she moves toward new maturity, including the uncontrollable pull of first love. Her cocooned, comfortable London daily life faces harsh new realities, not only with Nana’s impending death (although not without joy and humor as she helps her eccentric artist grandmother paint her own coffin!), but as she learns of surprising, even shocking details of her classmates’ lives, from missing parents to surviving the Rwandan genocide. Brahmachari’s story is symphonic in scope, effortlessly melding elements as surprising as beatniks, Frida Kahlo, Margaret Thatcher, ethnic pride, hospice care, foundlings puppies named Moses, and so much more.
The author is the daughter of an Indian doctor father and an English nurse mother. Talking about the inspiration for the book and Nana Josie on her publisher's website,, Brahmachari explained that she had first met her mother-in-law (mother of Martin Levenson) when she was 18 and that "when she died five years ago our family, my husband and three children and I missed her so much. She was a totally funky grandma. I wanted to write about her because I think sometimes people look at old people and that's all they see ... their age. I wanted to go beyond that to show what a great character she was, what a wonderful life she lived and what she taught us all in the brave way she faced her own death."

By Alan Dershowitz
October 2013
America's most prominent legal mind and the #1 bestselling author of Chutzpah and The Best Defense, Alan Dershowitz, recounts his legal autobiography, describing how he came to the law, as well as the cases that have changed American jurisprudence over the past 50 years, most of which he has personally been involved in.
In Taking the Stand, Dershowitz reveals the evolution of his own thinking on such fundamental issues as censorship and the First Amendment, Civil Rights, Abortion, homocide and the increasing role that science plays in a legal defense. Alan Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard University, and the author of such acclaimed bestsellers as Chutzpah, The Best Defense, and Reversal of Fortune, for the first time recounts his legal biography, describing his struggles academically at Yeshiva High School growning up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, his successes at Yale, clerking for Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, his appointment to full professor at the Harvard at age 28, the youngest in the school's history. Dershowitz went on to work on many of the most celebrated cases in the land, from appealing (successfully) Claus Von Bulow's conviction for the murder of his wife Happy, to the O.J. Simpson trial, to defending Mike Tyson, Leona Helmsley, Patty Hearst, and countless others. He is currently part of the legal team advising Julian Assange.

[book] The Paris Architect
A Novel
by Charles Belfoure
October 2013
A thrilling debut novel of World War II Paris, from an author who's been called "an up and coming Ken Follett." (Booklist)
In 1942 Paris, gifted architect Lucien Bernard accepts a commission that will bring him a great deal of money – and maybe get him killed. But if he's clever enough, he'll avoid any trouble. All he has to do is design a secret hiding place for a wealthy Jewish man, a space so invisible that even the most determined German officer won't find it. He sorely needs the money, and outwitting the Nazis who have occupied his beloved city is a challenge he can't resist.
But when one of his hiding spaces fails horribly, and the problem of where to hide a Jew becomes terribly personal, Lucien can no longer ignore what's at stake. The Paris Architect asks us to consider what we owe each other, and just how far we'll go to make things right.
Written by an architect whose knowledge imbues every page, this story becomes more gripping with every soul hidden and every life saved..
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[book] TEXTILE
October 2013
A wealthy Israeli family is at a precipice in their lives in this nuanced, contemporary novel. As Amanda Gruber, the matriarch of the family, undergoes an invasive cosmetic procedure, Lirit, her rebellious daughter, takes over operations at the family's pajama factory. Her brother Dael serves in the Israeli army as a sniper, while Irad, their neglectful father, a genius scientist, travels to the United States to conduct research on flak jackets. Each family member is pulled in conflicting directions, forced to examine their contentious relationships to one another. With surprising humor, Textile details the gradual disintegration of a family strained by distance and the corrosive effects of consumerism and militarism.

Orly Castel-Bloom is considered a leading voice in Hebrew literature today. Her postmodern classic Dolly City has been included in UNESCO's Collection of Representative Works, and was nominated in 2007 as one of the ten most important books since the creation of the state of Israel. She has received the Tel Aviv Foundation Award, the Alterman Prize for Innovation, the Prime Minister's Prize three times (1994, 2001, 2011), the Newman Prize, the French WIZO Prize for Human Parts, and the Leah Goldberg Prize. Her books have been translated into eleven languages.

[book] The Can't Cook Book
Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified!
by Jessica Seinfeld
October 2013
Lucky Jerry Seinfeld! Not only does he have a good residual income and fun cars, but he has a wife who can cook and hide the nutrients
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Deceptively Delicious, an essential collection of more than 100 simple recipes that will transform even the most kitchenphobic “Can’t Cooks” into “Can Cooks.”
If you find cooking scary or stressful or just boring, Jessica has a calm, confidence building approach to cooking, even for those who’ve never followed a recipe or used an oven. Jessica shows you how to prepare deliciously simple food—from Caesar salad, rice pilaf, and roasted asparagus to lemon salmon, roast chicken, and flourless fudge cake. At the beginning of each dish, she explains up front what the challenge will be, and then shows you exactly how to overcome any hurdles in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.
REMEMBER.. THIS IS FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN'T COOK OR DON'T ENJOY IT.. so if you are a cook, of course you will find this simple, since it was not designed for you.
Designed to put the nervous cook at ease, The Can’t Cook Book is perfect for anyone who wants to gain confidence in the kitchen—and, who knows, maybe even master a meal or two.
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Neither Jimmy Choo, nor British born Tamara (nee Yeardye) Mellon are Jewish.. but “the Jews” end up running the business and being the buyers.
[book] IN MY SHOES
BY TAMARA MELLON with Wm. Patrick
October 2013
Portfolio Books
When Tamara Mellon’s father (a Rock Hudson double stand-in and co-founder of the Vidal Sassoon hair salon chain) lent her 150,000 UK pounds as seed money to start a high-end shoe company, he cautioned her: “Don’t let the accountants run your business.” She had left Vogue in London after 5 years and decided to pursue her entrepreneurial idea.
Little did he know. Over the next fifteen years, the struggle between “financial” and “creative” would become one of the central themes as Mellon’s business savvy, creative eye, and flair for design built Jimmy Choo into a premier name in the competitive fashion industry. (Mellon saw a niche for high end shoes and got Jimmy Choo – a cobbler in London who made shoes for Vogue shoots, Princess Diana and other affluent buyers - on board and found factories, etc)
She portrays her mothers as mean and drunk, and Jimmy Choo as an angry guy who steals toilet paper rolls from hotels (she reports that Choo finally sold his stake in the company back to the company for 9 million in 2001, and he died in 2004. He was forbidden from speaking of the company without prior approval)
Over time, Mellon (she was the wife of banking scion, Mellon) grew Jimmy Choo into a billion dollar brand. She became the British prime minister’s trade envoy and was honored by the Queen with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) — yet it’s her personal glamour that keeps her an object of global media fascination.
Vogue photographed her wedding.
Vanity Fair covered her divorce and the criminal trial that followed.
Harper’s Bazaar toured her London and Manhattan residences
The Wall Street Journal hinted at the real red meat: the three private equity deals, the relentless battle between “the suits” and “the creatives,” and Mellon’s triumph against a brutally hostile takeover attempt.
But despite her eventual fame and fortune, Mellon didn’t have an easy road to success. Her seemingly glamorous beginnings in the mansions of London and Beverly Hills were marked by a tumultuous and broken family life, battles with anxiety and depression, and a stint in rehab. Determined not to end up unemployed, penniless, and living in her parents’ basement under the control of her alcoholic mother (the former model), Mellon honed her natural business sense and invested in what she knew best: fashion.
In creating the shoes that became a fixture on Sex and the City and red carpets around the world, Mellon relied on her own impeccable sense of what the customer wanted—because she was that customer. What she didn’t know at the time was that success would come at a high price—after struggles with an obstinate business partner, a conniving first CEO, a turbulent marriage, and a mother who tried to steal her hard-earned wealth. (she sued her mother and brothers and hadn’t talked to them in years). Now Mellon shares the whole larger-than-life story, with shocking details that have never been presented before. From her troubled childhood to her time as a young editor at Vogue to her partnership with cobbler Jimmy Choo to her very public relationships, Mellon offers an honest and gripping account of the episodes that have made her who she is today. As Mellon readies herself for her next entrepreneurial venture, In My Shoes is a definitive book for fashion aficionados, aspiring entrepreneurs, and anyone who loves a juicy true story about sex, drugs, money, power, high heels, and overcoming adversity.

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[book] JFK, Conservative
by Ira Stoll
Fall 2013
Ira Stoll, formerly of The Forward and The Jerusalem Post reconsiders John F. Kennedy’s record and achievements. JFK is lionized by liberals. He inspired LBJ to push for landmark civil rights laws. His “New Frontier” promised new spending on education and medical care for the elderly. His champions insist he would have done great liberal things had he not been killed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

But what if we judge him by the lengthy record of his actual political career, in historical perspective? What if this hero of liberals was, in fact, the opposite of a liberal?

Ira Stoll argues, by the standards of both his time and our own, John F. Kennedy was a conservative. His two great causes were anticommunism and economic growth. His tax cuts, which spurred one of the greatest economic booms in our history, were fiercely opposed by his more liberal advisers. He fought against unions. He pushed for free trade and a strong dollar. And above all, he pushed for a military buildup and an aggressive anticommunism around the world. Indeed, JFK had more in common with Ronald Reagan than with LBJ.
Not every Republican is a true heir to Kennedy, but hardly any Democrats deserve that mantle. JFK, Conservative is sure to appeal to conservative readers — and will force liberals to reconsider one of their icons.
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Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them
By Joshua Greene (Harvard)
October 2013
A pathbreaking neuroscientist reveals how our social instincts turn Me into Us, but turn Us against Them—and what we can do about it Our brains were designed for tribal life, for getting along with a select group of others (Us) and for fighting off everyone else (Them). But modern times have forced the world’s tribes into a shared space, resulting in epic clashes of values along with unprecedented opportunities. As the world shrinks, the moral lines that divide us become more salient and more puzzling. We fight over everything from tax codes to gay marriage to global warming, and we wonder where, if at all, we can find our common ground.
A grand synthesis of neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy, Moral Tribes reveals the underlying causes of modern conflict and lights the way forward. Greene compares the human brain to a dual-mode camera, with point-and-shoot automatic settings (“portrait,” “landscape”) as well as a manual mode. Our point-and-shoot settings are our emotions—efficient, automated programs honed by evolution, culture, and personal experience. The brain’s manual mode is its capacity for deliberate reasoning, which makes our thinking flexible. Point-and-shoot emotions make us social animals, turning Me into Us. But they also make us tribal animals, turning Us against Them. Our tribal emotions make us fight—sometimes with bombs, sometimes with words—often with life-and-death stakes.
An award-winning teacher and scientist, Greene directs Harvard University’s Moral Cognition Lab, which uses cutting-edge neuroscience and cognitive techniques to understand how people really make moral decisions. Combining insights from the lab with lessons from decades of social science and centuries of philosophy, the great question of Moral Tribes is this: How can we get along with Them when what they want feels so wrong to Us?
Ultimately, Greene offers a set of maxims for navigating the modern moral terrain, a practical road map for solving problems and living better lives. Moral Tribes shows us when to trust our instincts, when to reason, and how the right kind of reasoning can move us forward.
A major achievement from a rising star in a new scientific field, Moral Tribes will refashion your deepest beliefs about how moral thinking works and how it can work better.
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[book] Heart:
An American Medical Odyssey
by Dick Cheney and Jonathan Reiner M.D. (GWU)
October 2013
We wonder if this is the same Reiner who is Penn'81
For as long as he has served at the highest levels of business and government, Vice President Dick Cheney has also been one of the world’s most prominent heart patients. Now, for the first time ever, Cheney, together with his longtime cardiologist, Jonathan Reiner, MD, shares the very personal story of his courageous thirty-five-year battle with heart disease, from his first heart attack in 1978 to the heart transplant he received in 2012.
In 1978, when Cheney suffered his first heart attack, he received essentially the same treatment President Eisenhower had had in 1955. Since then, cardiac medicine has been revolutionized, and Cheney has benefitted from nearly every medical breakthrough. At each juncture, when Cheney faced a new health challenge, the technology was one step ahead of his disease. Cheney’s story is in many ways the story of the evolution of modern cardiac care.
Heart is the riveting, singular memoir of both doctor and patient. Like no US politician has before him, Cheney opens up about his health struggles, sharing harrowing, never-before-told stories about the challenges he faced during a perilous time in our nation’s history. Dr. Reiner provides his perspective on Cheney’s case and also gives readers a fascinating glimpse into his own education as a doctor and the history of our understanding of the human heart. He masterfully chronicles the important discoveries, radical innovations, and cutting-edge science that have changed the face of medicine and saved countless lives.
Powerfully braiding science with story and the personal with the political, Heart is a sweeping, inspiring, and ultimately optimistic book that will give hope to the millions of Americans affected by heart disease.
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[book] Days of Fire
Bush and Cheney in the White House
by Peter Baker (NYTimes)
October 2013
In “Days of Fire,” Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times, takes us on a journey through the eight years of the Bush and Cheney administration in a narrative of a dramatic and controversial presidency. It was the most captivating American political partnership since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger: a bold and untested president and his seasoned, relentless vice president. Confronted by one crisis after another, they struggled to protect the country, remake the world, and define their own relationship along the way.
Peter Baker chronicles the history of the most consequential presidency in modern times through the prism of its two most compelling characters, capturing the elusive and shifting alliance of George Walker Bush and Richard Bruce Cheney as no historian has done before. He brings to life with in-the-room immediacy all the drama of an era marked by devastating terror attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, and financial collapse.
The real story of Bush and Cheney is a far more fascinating tale than the familiar suspicion that Cheney was the power behind the throne. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with key players, and thousands of pages of never-released notes, memos, and other internal documents, Baker paints a riveting portrait of a PARTNERSHIP that evolved dramatically over time, from the early days when Bush LEANED ON Cheney, making him the most influential vice president in history, to their final hours, when the two had GROWN SO FAR APART that they were clashing in the West Wing.
Days of Fire is a monumental and definitive work that will rank with the best of presidential histories. As absorbing as a thriller, it is eye-opening and essential reading.

We haven’t read it yet, since it is not out yet as we write this but we hear the following from people with advance access to the book: Here are a few notes from early readers: By the time they left office, Bush and Cheney were on opposite sides of almost every major issue, including North Korea, Syria, Lebanon, Russia, Middle East peace talks, gun rights, gay rights, climate change, surveillance, detention and the auto bailout. And that was all BEFORE the Scooter Libby pardon. There were more doubts about invading Iraq inside the Bush team than were publicly known at the time. Karen Hughes, one of the president's closest confidantes, worried that it would be a mistake to go to war and brought up her concerns with Bush. The president sent her to Condoleezza Rice for reassurance, but she was never fully convinced and at several points tried to keep Bush from feeling trapped into going to war. As one senior official who came to rue his involvement in Iraq put it, “The only reason we went into Iraq, I tell people now, is we were looking for somebody’s ASS TO KICK. Afghanistan was too easy.” Iraq took more of a toll on Bush than he was willing to let on. As violence worsened in his second term, one adviser said Bush was DISCOURAGED “almost to the point of despondence” and at some briefings “it was almost as if he was pleading with us not to give him any more bad news.” It got to the point that Bush was GRINDING his teeth so hard they hurt. Laura Bush took to inviting his brother, Marvin, to the White House on weekends to distract the president from his troubles. What really sank the Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court was not opposition among conservatives but secret murder boards by administration lawyers who discovered how little she understood about constitutional issues like Fourth Amendment search and seizure rules or the Fifth Amendment bar on self-incrimination. “She literally knew nothing about it at all, nothing,” said one official. Cheney could only shake his head. “I tried to tell him,” he confided to an aide. When Bush first met Vladimir Putin and declared that he had “a sense of his soul,” Cheney’s staff was “rolling our eyes.” Cheney told people that when he looked into Putin’s soul, he saw: “KGB, KGB, KGB.” David Frum (who is not so frum) a former Bush speechwriter, wrote: “The Bush administration opened with a second Pearl Harbor, ended with a second Great Crash and contained a second Vietnam in the middle. Peter Baker (who covered the Bush White House first for The Washington Post, then for The New York Times) neither accuses nor excuses. He writes with a measure and balance that seem transported backward in time from some more dispassionate future. Yet ‘Days of Fire’ is not a dispassionate book. Its mood might rather be described as poignant: sympathetic to its subjects, generous to their accomplishments and extenuating none of their errors. Almost every leading figure in the Bush White House has now published his or her version of events, and Baker has painstakingly worked through them all. The result is what you might call a polished second draft of history, most likely the most polished draft we’ll have until the archives are opened and the academics can get to work.”
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Game Change 2012
By Mark Halperin and John Heilemann
Fall 2013
Even better than the book is the NYT Book Review review by Michael Kinsley (Nov 10, 2013) in which he chides the authors for using obscure words like suasive, chasmal, freneticism, appetent, pyretic, acuminate, hoggery, coriaceous, vomitous, and noisomeness; and weird alliterative metaphors, like “as likely as a terrier reciting Tennyson”. He says this may be the first political book written where there is more excrement than sex (people serve it to one another on a bun or are buried in it.)
And now on to the book:
John Heilemann and Mark Halperin set the national conversation on fire with their bestselling account of the 2008 presidential election, Game Change. In Double Down, they apply their unparalleled access and storytelling savvy to the 2012 election, rendering an equally compelling narrative about the circuslike Republican nomination fight, the rise and fall of Mitt Romney, and the trials, tribulations, and Election Day triumph of Barack Obama.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Heilemann and Halperin deliver another reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, Double Down offers a panoramic account of a campaign at once intensely hard fought and lastingly consequential. For Obama, the victory he achieved meant even more to him than the one he had pulled off four years earlier. In 2008, he believed, voters had bet on a hope; in 2012, they passed positive judgment on what he’d actually done, allowing him to avert a loss that would have rendered his presidency a failed, one-term accident. For the Republicans, on the other hand, 2012 not only offered a crushing verdict but an existential challenge: to rethink and reconstitute the party or face irrelevance—or even extinction. Double Down is the occasionally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of an election of singular importance.
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By Denise Spellberg (Univ of Texas, Austin)
October 2013
Alfred A. Knopf
Once upon a time, a U.S. President was accused of being Muslim. The U.S. was on its way to war with an Islamic nation. Americans and their lawmakers questioned the patriotism of Muslims. Plays were performed about Mohammed. The time was 200 years ago, when Thomas Jefferson was seen as Muslim and U.S. troops went to Tripoli to battle. A play by Voltaire about Mohammed was performed in Baltimore during the Revolutionary War
In this original and illuminating book, Denise A. Spellberg reveals a little-known but crucial dimension of the story of American religious freedom—a drama in which Islam played a surprising role. In 1765, eleven years before composing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson bought a Qur’an. This marked only the beginning of his lifelong interest in Islam, and he would go on to acquire numerous books on Middle Eastern languages, history, and travel, taking extensive notes on Islam as it relates to English common law. Jefferson sought to understand Islam notwithstanding his personal disdain for the faith, a sentiment prevalent among his Protestant contemporaries in England and America. But unlike most of them, by 1776 Jefferson could imagine Muslims as future citizens of his new country.
Based on groundbreaking research, Spellberg compellingly recounts how a handful of the Founders, Jefferson foremost among them, drew upon Enlightenment ideas about the TOLERATION of Muslims (then deemed the ultimate outsiders in Western society) to fashion out of what had been a purely speculative debate a practical foundation for governance in America. John Locke wrote in 1689 for toleration of Jews, Pagans and the Mahumetan.
In this way, Muslims, who were not even known to exist in the colonies, became the IMAGINARY OUTER LIMIT for an unprecedented, uniquely American religious pluralism that would also encompass the actual despised minorities of Jews and Catholics. The rancorous public dispute concerning the inclusion of Muslims, for which principle Jefferson’s political foes would vilify him to the end of his life, thus became decisive in the Founders’ ultimate judgment not to establish a Protestant nation, as they might well have done.
As popular suspicions about Islam persist and the numbers of American Muslim citizenry grow into the millions, Spellberg’s revelatory understanding of this radical notion of the Founders is more urgent than ever. Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an is a timely look at the ideals that existed at our country’s creation, and their fundamental implications for our present and future.
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[book] Citizen Strangers
Palestinians and the Birth of Israel's Liberal Settler State
(Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern…
by Shira Robinson (Elliott School at GWU)
October 2013
Stanford University
Following the 1948 war and the creation of the state of Israel, Palestinian Arabs comprised just fifteen percent of the population but held a much larger portion of its territory. Offered immediate suffrage rights and, in time, citizenship status, they nonetheless found their movement, employment, and civil rights restricted by a draconian military government put in place to facilitate the colonization of their lands. Citizen Strangers traces how Jewish leaders struggled to advance their historic settler project while forced by new international human rights norms to share political power with the very people they sought to uproot.
For the next two decades Palestinians held a paradoxical status in Israel, as citizens of a formally liberal state and subjects of a colonial regime. Neither the state campaign to reduce the size of the Palestinian population nor the formulation of citizenship as a tool of collective exclusion could resolve the government's fundamental dilemma: how to bind indigenous Arab voters to the state while denying them access to its resources. More confounding was the tension between the opposing aspirations of Palestinian political activists. Was it the end of Jewish privilege they were after, or national independence along with the rest of their compatriots in exile? As Shira Robinson shows, these tensions in the state's foundation—between privilege and equality, separatism and inclusion—continue to haunt Israeli society today.
Also by Robinson, a former teacher at Iowa, is "My Hairdresser Is a Sniper" in The Struggle for Sovereignty Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005. Joel Beinin and Rebecca L. Stein, eds., (Stanford Univ. Pr, 2006).
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[book] The NEW YORK Nobody Kows
Walking 6,000 MILES in the CITY
By William B. HelmReich, PhD
October 2013
As a kid growing up in Manhattan, William Helmreich played a game with his father (who passed away a few years ago at 102) they called "Last Stop." They would pick a subway line and ride it to its final destination, and explore the neighborhood there. Decades later, Helmreich teaches university courses about New York, and his love for exploring the city is as strong as ever (He used to drive a cab).
Putting his feet to the test (you know, his father walked 7 miles a day into his 70s), he decided that the only way to truly understand New York was to walk virtually every block of all five boroughs--an astonishing 6,000 miles. His epic journey lasted four years and took him to every corner of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Helmreich spoke with hundreds of New Yorkers from every part of the globe and from every walk of life, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former mayors Rudolph Giuliani, David Dinkins, and Edward Koch. Their stories and his are the subject of this captivating and highly original book.
We meet the Guyanese immigrant who grows beautiful flowers outside his modest Queens residence in order to always remember the homeland he left behind, the Brooklyn-raised grandchild of Italian immigrants who illuminates a window of his brownstone with the family's old neon grocery-store sign, yje Chabad follower who is the dean of discipline at a junior high school in the Bronx, and many, many others. Helmreich draws on firsthand insights to examine essential aspects of urban social life such as ethnicity, gentrification, and the use of space. He finds that to be a New Yorker is to struggle to understand the place and to make a life that is as highly local as it is dynamically cosmopolitan. Truly unforgettable, The New York Nobody Knows will forever change how you view the world's greatest city.
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Why did the authors of the bible write what they wrote. What was the aim. Why did they write it as they wrote it. What did they leave out.
October 2013
Joel Baden, a leading expert on the Old Testament, offers a controversial look at the history of King David, the founder of the nation of Israel whose bloodline leads to Jesus, challenging prevailing popular beliefs about his legend in The Historical David.
Baden makes clear that the biblical account of David is an attempt to shape the events of his life politically and theologically. The 7th Century Books of Samuel and Kings are apologies for David’s ruthlessness. 300 years later, the Book of Chronicles expunges all the nasty stories. It is akin to the stories of Saul. The writings from his lifetime paint a rosy picture. The writings that sought to glorify David paint Saul in a bad, insane, depressed light. Going beyond the biblical bias, he explores the events that lie behind the David story, events that are grounded in the context of the ancient Near East and continue to inform modern Israel.
The Historical David exposes an ambitious, ruthless, flesh-and-blood man who achieved power by any means necessary, including murder, theft, bribery, sex, deceit, and treason. As Baden makes clear, the historical David stands in opposition not only to the virtuous and heroic legends, but to our very own self-definition as David’s national and religious descendants. King David in the hands of Baden is a wife-stealing murderer who steals power, did not write the psalms, and never killed Goliath.

Provocative and enlightening, The Historical David provides the lost “truth” about David and poses a challenge to us: how do we come to terms with the reality of a celebrated hero who was, in fact, similar to the ambitious power-players of his day?
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[book] Bernard Berenson
A Life in the Picture Trade
(Jewish Lives)
by Rachel Cohen
October 2013
When Gilded Age millionaires wanted to buy Italian Renaissance paintings, the expert whose opinion they sought was Bernard Berenson, with his vast erudition, incredible eye, and uncanny skill at attributing paintings. They visited Berenson at his beautiful Villa I Tatti, in the hills outside Florence, and walked with him through the immense private library—which he would eventually bequeath to Harvard—without ever suspecting that he had grown up in a poor Lithuanian Jewish immigrant family that had struggled to survive in Boston on the wages of the father’s work as a tin peddler. Berenson’s extraordinary self-transformation, financed by the explosion of the Gilded Age art market and his secret partnership with the great art dealer Joseph Duveen, came with painful costs: he hid his origins and felt that he had betrayed his gifts as an interpreter of paintings. Nevertheless his way of seeing, presented in his books, codified in his attributions, and institutionalized in the many important American collections he helped to build, goes on shaping the American understanding of art today.
This finely drawn portrait of Berenson, the first biography devoted to him in a quarter century, draws on new archival materials that bring out the significance of his secret business dealings and the way his family and companions—including his patron Isabella Stewart Gardner, his lover Belle da Costa Greene, and his dear friend Edith Wharton—helped to form his ideas and his legacy. Rachel Cohen explores Berenson’s inner world and exceptional visual capacity while also illuminating the historical forces—new capital, the developing art market, persistent anti-Semitism, and the two world wars—that profoundly affected his life..
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[book] Guises of Desire
A biographical novel
by Hilda Reilly
October 2013
Vienna 1880. A wealthy young Jewish woman succumbs to a mysterious illness. Diagnosis hysteria. Her doctor treats her with hypnosis and a new form of therapy called the 'talking cure'. Guises of Desire is a vividly imagined account of the case of Bertha Pappenheim – the ‘Anna O’ whose treatment formed the basis of Freudian psychoanalysis. It presents the story of a young woman’s struggle to survive a repressive upbringing, neurological disorders, drug addiction and a pathological attachment to the doctor who misdiagnosed her.
Hilda Reilly is originally from Perth in Scotland and now lives in Glenshee, after spending most of her adult life abroad. Her occupations have ranged from the stupefyingly dull to the wondrously surreal. When asked that common question: ‘What do you do?’ she has generally found that the most accurate reply is: ‘I live on my wits.’ She has an MSc in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology, for which she specialized in the neuroscience of religious experience, and an MA in Creative Writing.
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[book] For the Next Generation
A Wake-Up Call to Solving Our Nation's Problems
by Member of Congress Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida)
with Julie M. Fenster
October 2013
St. Martin’s Press
Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz challenges the nation to resolve tough issues for future generations. America has witnessed the dangers that come with shortsightedness, writes Debbie Wasserman Schultz in For the Next Generation. If we want to ensure prosperity for ourselves and an improved way of life for young Americans, we have to change, starting now. We must: Create jobs; Turn around our economy; Formulate a long-term energy solution; Reform immigration policies; and Enhance and expand health-care coverage
Yet these important issues have been sidelined by gridlock in a Congress that is too concerned about the next election to worry about the future. The group of Americans who have the most to lose from this dysfunction are the ones least represented in government: America’s children. For the Next Generation is a call to action, one mother’s challenge to her congressional colleagues and to the rest of the nation, to adopt a parent’s perspective for doing right by kids. Marked by clarity and by Debbie’s characteristic poise, this polemic is informed by the congresswoman’s own personal and professional experiences. It digs deep, exposing very real threats that America faces as a result of its failure to confront tough decisions. Debbie conveys a vision of an America that has learned hard lessons from its recent past, an America galvanized by a renewed sense of purpose for applying that wisdom through forward-thinking policies on education, civil rights, and foreign policy. She describes how she will fight to overcome the legislative obstacles that inhibit progress, and she calls upon fair-minded Americans to lend their own strengths to securing a better tomorrow for the next generation.
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[book] This is Rage
A Novel of Silicon Valley
and Other Madness
by Ken Goldstein
Fall 2013
His is the story of Investors, Bankers, and Operators in Silicon Valley and the variation on real they’re creating for our consumption.
This is the sardonic story of a disgraced shock jock turned Internet radio phenomenon and how he becomes the catalyst he never imagined being.
This is the story of two entrepreneurs-turned kidnappers-turned anti-heroes.
This is business in the Twenty-first Century.
This is the unpredictability of the human element.
This is rage.
Ken Goldstein advises start-ups and established corporations in technology, entertainment, media, and e-commerce. He served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of SHOP.COM, a market leader in online consumer commerce acquired by Market America. He previously served as executive vice president and managing director of Disney Online, and as vice president of entertainment at Broderbund Software. Earlier in his career, he developed computer games for Philips Interactive Media and Cinemaware Corporation, and also worked as a television executive. He is active in children's welfare issues and has served on the boards of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, and Full Circle Programs, and is currently actively in local government. He received his BA in Theater Studies and Philosophy from Yale. THIS IS RAGE is his first novel.
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[book] [book] DOT COMPLICATED
Untangling Our Wired Lives
by Randi Zuckerberg
November 2013
Just back from a quick visit to Israel for some Venture Philanthropy, Randi Zuckerberg has written “Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives.”
Randi Zuckerberg offers an entertaining, incredibly awesome, essential and amazing guide to understanding how technology and social media influence and inform our lives online and off.
Zuckerberg has been on the frontline of the social media movement since Facebook’s early days and her following six years as a marketing executive for the company. Her part memoir, part how-to manual addresses issues of privacy, online presence, networking, etiquette, and the future of social change..
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It is enjoyable to read books by people who have found their higher purpose in life.
[book] Recipes for a Sacred Life
True Stories and a Few Miracles
by Rivvy Neshama
November 2013
Divine Arts
When Rivvy Neshama was 22 and about to get married, her mother gave her a book of handwritten recipes that taught her how to make a good roast -- but not much else. And no one gave her the recipe to make a good marriage or a good life. That took years of searching on a path with many turns.
Now, like a handwritten recipe book, Recipes for a Sacred Life is passing on the most meaningful and inspiring stories from the author's life. From dancing to forgiving to walking at dawn, from a rabbi from Vienna to Irish Rita from the Bronx, they feature people and experiences that taught the author how to live a good life -- one touched with sacredness.
Rivvy, despite an aversion to change, was a teacher and social worker in Harlem; a political campaign manager in Boulder CO; a college instructor in Queens, NY; and a founding director of the famed bike advocacy group, Transportation Alternatives.
And, thankfully, as it turned out, the best recipes came from her mom.
Written with heart and humor and steeped in ancient wisdom, these short, true tales reveal how ordinary encounters -- with friends, nature, family, and strangers -- can suddenly connect us with the sacred, adding love, joy, and purpose to our lives.
In the spirit of Anne Lamott, Mitch Albom, Sylvia Boorstein, and Rachel Naomi Remen, Recipes for a Sacred Life is luminous and uplifting -- a gift for all.
“Rivvy's delightful stories open the heart and raise us to a higher level of compassion and generosity. Read them, one at a time, and then daydream on them … and you will take on a glow of joy and feel more secure in God’s world.” — Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, author of Davening: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer
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[book] The JGuy's Guide
The GPS for Jewish Teen Guys
by Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler and Dr. Shulamit Reinharz
November 2013
Jewish Lights
What does it mean to be a young Jewish man?
Who am I? How do I feel about myself? Do I seem cool? Do I fit in? These overarching teen boys concerns are addressed head on through the voices of contemporary Jewish teens, men, and biblical and historical stories. The JGuy s Guide helps young teens see how Judaism can help them navigate the often choppy waters of adolescence while it strengthens Jewish identity and pride.
This interactive book encourages personal reflection and discussion, making it ideal for the individual teenager as well as education and discussion groups. Its candid approach explores dilemmas boys face in their daily lives: the pressure to excel at sports, school and social life; the courage to speak up when friends make questionable choices or parents act hypocritically; and more. Like the Talmud, the book offers many perspectives and reflection questions to help boys find their own truths.
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by Stefan Zweig
Translated by Anthea Bell
November 2013
Pushkin Press
The collected stories of Stefan Zweig, one of the most popular writers of short fiction of the twentieth century
This collection brings together twenty-three of Stefan Zweig's best-loved short stories. Written in his typically flowing and readable style, these tales are characterised by their pacing, their psychological insightfulness, and above all their pervading humanity.
Including Twenty-four Hours in the Life of a Woman, Amok, Fantastic Night and Letter from an Unknown Woman, translated by Anthea Bell, this gift edition hardback would be an great introduction to Zweig, or a wonderful treat for any fan of his work.
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[book] Mitzi's Mitzvah
by Gloria Koster
Illustrated by Hollil Conger
October 2013
Adorable puppy Mitzi visits a nursing home where she helps the residents celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New year.

[book] Buffoon Men
Classic Hollywood Comedians and Queered Masculinity
(Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series)
by Scott Balcerzak (Northern Illinois)
October 2013
Wayne State University Press
Film scholars and fans have used distinctive terms to describe the Classic Hollywood comedian: He is a "trickster," a "rebel," or a "buffoon." Yet the performer is almost always described as a "he." In Buffoon Men: Classic Hollywood Comedians and Queered Masculinity, Scott Balcerzak reads the performances of notable comedians such as W. C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello through humor and queer theory to expose a problematic history of maleness in their personas. He argues that contrary to popular notions of Classic Hollywood history, these male comedians rearranged or, at times, rejected heteronormative protocols.
Balcerzak begins by defining the particular buffoonish masculinity portrayed by early film comedians, a gender and genre construct influenced by the cultural anxieties of the 1930s and '40s. In chapter 1, he considers the onscreen pairing of W. C. Fields and Mae West to identify a queered sexuality and drag persona in Fields's performance, while in chapter 2 he examines the two major constructions of Fields's film persona-the confidence man and the husband-to show Fields to be a conflicted and subversive figure. In chapter 3, Balcerzak considers the assimilation and influence of Eddie Cantor as a Jewish celebrity, while he turns to the cross-media influence of Jack Benny's radio persona in chapter 4. In Chapters 5 and 6, he moves beyond the individual performer to examine the complex masculine brotherhood of comedy duos Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey.
Buffoon Men shows that the complicated history of the male comedian during the early sound era has much to tell us about multimedia comedic stars today. Fans and scholars of film history, gender studies, and broadcast studies will appreciate Balcerzak's thorough exploration of the era's fascinating gender constructs.

November 2013
Raphaël Jerusalmy’s debut novel takes the form of the journal of Otto J. Steiner, a former music critic of Jewish descent suffering from tuberculosis in a Salzburg sanatorium in 1939. Drained by his illness and isolated in the gloomy sanatorium, Steiner finds solace only in music. He is horrified to learn that the Nazis’ are transforming a Mozart festival into a fascist event. Steiner feels helpless at first, but an invitation from a friend presents him with an opportunity to fight back. Under the guise of organizing a concert for Nazi officials, Steiner formulates a plan to save Mozart that could dramatically change the course of the war.
Raphaël Jerusalmy is a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Sorbonne, has made a career in the Israeli military intelligence before conducting humanitarian operations and education. He is now book dealer in Tel Aviv. Saving Mozart is his first novel.
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By Corey Feldman (child actor)
October 2013
St. Martin’s Press
A memoir by a survivor… I mean a survivor of Hollywood (and its pedophilia and lifestyles and talent agents and managers).

A personal and revealing memoir and Hollywood-survival story by child actor who is best known for The Lost Boys and Stand By Me star, and the other Corey (compared to late Corey Haim)
You know Corey Feldman from Stand by Me, Gremlins, The Goonies, and The Lost Boys. Growing up onscreen, he exuded tough guy edge with a heart of gold. And he lived the life that went along with his success: he palled around with Michael Jackson, dated Drew Barrymore, and was best friends with Corey Haim (aka "the other Corey").
But now that two of those close friends — Corey Haim and Michael Jackson — have passed away, along with others, Corey has decided that it’s time to come clean about his past, a past that included physical, drug, and sexual abuse, a dysfunctional family from whom he was emancipated at age fifteen, and a stint in rehab. He zones in on his close friendship with Haim: the two actors shared a darker story of abuse, which led to Haim’s lifelong battle with various addictions and his eventual death.
On the 1986 set of "Lucas," Corey Haim told Corey Feldman that “an adult male convinced him that it was perfectly normal for older men and younger boys in show business to have sexual relations, that it was what all the guys do. So they walked off to a secluded area between two trailers ... and Haim allowed himself to be sodomized. Corey Feldman suffered abuse himself, specifically by a man named "Ron," whom his father hired as his personal assistant. Ron allegedly took advantage of Feldman him supplying him with illegal drugs. “Corey Haim was raped at the age of eleven,” Feldman writes, “and like many, many victims, drug use became an easy, if also tragic, way for him to escape the weight of that shame.”

Feldman has overcome the worst traps that have ensnared so many others of his generation, others who have not made it to where he is today—still acting, a touring musician, and a loving father. At the same time, he still fights for his career and his health, every single day. Coreyography is a tale of survival and redemption.

The 2012 Presidential Campaign
By Mark Halperin and John Heilemann
November 2013
Why did Clint Eastwood perform that piece at the GOP convention in 2012? Why did Obama debate so poorly in October 2012 in Denver, and why did his staff know he was going to be awful?BR> Why did Bloomberg detest Obama but endorse him
Why did NJ Gov Christie sing Obama’s praises after super storm sandy?
Why didn’t Romney do more damage control over his 47% comment?
What was up with Bill Clinton and Obama?
What was the role of Karl Rover in 2012?
From the authors of the number one New York Times bestseller Game Change, an explosive account of the 2012 presidential election, pulling back the curtain to reveal the exhilarating, newsbreaking story behind the headlines for the first time
John Heilemann and Mark Halperin set the national conversation on fire with their bestselling account of the 2008 presidential election, Game Change. In Double Down, they apply their unparalleled access and storytelling savvy to the 2012 election, rendering an equally compelling narrative about the circuslike Republican nomination fight, the rise and fall of Mitt Romney, and the trials, tribulations, and Election Day triumph of Barack Obama.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Heilemann and Halperin deliver another reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, Double Down offers a panoramic account of a campaign at once intensely hard fought and lastingly consequential. For Obama, the victory he achieved meant even more to him than the one he had pulled off four years earlier. In 2008, he believed, voters had bet on a hope; in 2012, they passed positive judgment on what he’d actually done, allowing him to avert a loss that would have rendered his presidency a failed, one-term accident. For the Republicans, on the other hand, 2012 not only offered a crushing verdict but an existential challenge: to rethink and reconstitute the party or face irrelevance—or even extinction. Double Down is the occasionally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of an election of singular importance..
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[book] The President's Devotional
The Daily Readings That Inspired President Obama
By Joshua DuBois
November 2013
SHALL I QUIBBLE?? If I send the President some bible thoughts each day, do I even know if he opens each of them? And if they have any meaning to him ? If the President says that he enjoys reading them in a speech, do I believe him or is it speech fluff? Should the title be “Daily Readings that maybe perhaps had some inspiration for the President?”
Now on to the book.
Joshua Debois was a Princeton public policy grad student and joined the campaign to elect Obama President. As an associate pastor, he began to send Obama's blackberry, at a time when the election campaign was not going well, a daily inspirational Jesus-focused message. After Obama won, Dubois was appointed the Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. (He now teaches at NYU and consults/advises on faith-based partnerships)
He has collected 365 devotionals from various days during the Obama Presidency. Most that I read deal with staying the course, being strong and confident, remembering the mission, not fearing critics, and asking god to help with words and communication to the people. It would have been helpful to add what the issues of that day were at the time, and what the President's public schedule looked like that week. .

[book] PASCIN
by Joann Sfar
November 2013
Pascin, a biography of the noted Jewish modernist painter (Julius Mordecai Pincas, known as Pascin, March 31, 1885–June 5, 1930), is Joann Sfar's most personal and important work. Pascin is portrayed by Sfar both as a kindred spirit and an aesthetic revolutionary struggling to redefine an art form. Sfar revels in the artist's celebration of all things corporeal in the world of art. Though the story is drenched in sex, it is never eroticized. Created in a direct and immediate drawing style, Sfar focuses more on the artist's personal and sexual life than on his art, and brings Pascin to life as the ultimate bohemian.

[book] The New Reform Judaism
Challenges and Reflections
by Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan and Rabbi Rick Jacobs (Afterword)
with a Foreword by Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie
November 2013
JPS Nebraska
This is the book that American Jews and particularly American Reform Jews have been waiting for: a clear and informed call for further reform in the Reform movement.
In light of profound demographic, social, and technological developments, it has become increasingly clear that the Reform movement will need to make major changes to meet the needs of a quickly evolving American Jewish population. Younger Americans in particular differ from previous generations in how they relate to organized religion, often preferring to network through virtual groups or gather in informal settings of their own choosing.
Dana Evan Kaplan, an American Reform Jew and pulpit rabbi, argues that rather than focusing on the importance of loyalty to community, Reform Judaism must determine how to engage the individual in a search for existential meaning. It should move us toward a critical, scholarly understanding of the Hebrew Bible, that we may emerge with the perspectives required by a postmodern world. Such a Reform Judaism can at once help us understand how the ancient world molded our most cherished religious traditions and guide us in addressing the increasingly complex social problems of our day.
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[book] Kaddish
Women's Voices
Edited by Michal Smart and Barbara Ashkenas
(Teva Learning Center, founder)
November 2013
Urim Jerusalem
For centuries, Jews have turned to the Mourner’s Kaddish prayer upon experiencing a loss. This groundbreaking book explores what the recitation of Kaddish has meant specifically to women. Did they find the consolation, closure, and community they were seeking? How did saying Kaddish affect their relationships with God, with prayer, with the deceased, and with the living? With courage and generosity, 52 authors from around the world reflect upon their experiences of mourning. They share their relationships with the family members they lost and what it meant to move on; how they struggled to balance the competing demands of child rearing, work, and grief; what they learned about tradition and themselves; and the disappointments and particular challenges they confronted as women. The collection shares viewpoints from diverse perspectives and backgrounds and examines what it means to heal from loss and to honor memory in family relationships, both loving and fraught with pain. It is a precious record of women searching for their place within Jewish tradition and exploring the connections that make human life worthwhile..
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BY VERN L. BENGTSON, USC Professor Emeritus
November 2013
Few things are more likely to cause heartache to devout parents than seeing their child leave the faith.
In Jewish families, the majority of children retain the religion of their parents and continue to identify with it and practice it
Is religious change between generations common? How does religion get passed down from one generation to the next? How do some families succeed in passing on their faith while others do not? Families and Faith: How Religion is Passed Down across Generations seeks to answer these questions and many more.
For almost four decades, Vern Bengtson and his colleagues have been conducting the largest-ever study of religion and family across generations. Through war and social upheaval, depression and technological revolution, they have followed more than 350 families composed of more than 3,500 individuals whose lives span more than a century--the oldest was born in 1881, the youngest in 1988--to find out how religion is, or is not, passed down from one generation to the next.
What they found may come as a surprise: despite enormous changes in American society, a child is actually more likely to remain within the fold than leave it, and even the nonreligious are more likely to follow their parents' example than to rebel. And while outside forces do play a role, the crucial factor in whether a child keeps the faith is the presence of a strong fatherly bond. Mixing unprecedented data with gripping interviews and sharp analysis, Families and Faith offers a fascinating exploration of what allows a family to pass on its most deeply-held tradition--its faith.
Older generations view god as tangible, younger generations de=objectify god.
85% of Jews and Mormons transmit the religion to children
63% of non affiliated parents had children who remained un affiliated
60% of baby boomers share the same religion (or non religion) with their children
Children are 10-20% more likely to stay in religion if they are close to their parents
A strong paternal bond transmits religion, except in Judaism, where a strong maternal bond has the greatest influence
As children age, they are more likely to return to religion

November 2013
Spiegel and Grau
A groundbreaking, ambitious, and authoritative examination of Israel by one of the most influential columnists writing about the Middle East today
My Promised Land tells the story of Israel as it has never been told before. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Through revealing stories of significant events and of ordinary individuals—pioneers, immigrants, entrepreneurs, scientists, army generals, peaceniks, settlers, and Palestinians—Israeli journalist Ari Shavit illuminates many of the pivotal moments of the Zionist century that led Israel to where it is today. We meet the youth group leader who recognized the potential of Masada as a powerful symbol for Zionism; the young farmer who bought an orange grove from his Arab neighbor in the 1920s, and with the Jaffa orange helped to create a booming economy in Palestine; the engineer who was instrumental in developing Israel’s nuclear program; the religious Zionists who started the settler movement. Over an illustrious career that has spanned almost thirty years, Shavit has had rare access to people from across the Israeli political, economic, and social spectrum, and in this ambitious work he tells a riveting story that is both deeply human and of profound historical dimension.
As it examines the complexities and contradictions of the Israeli condition, My Promised Land asks difficult but important questions: Why did Israel come to be? How did it come to be? And can Israel survive? Culminating with an analysis of the issues and threats that Israel is currently facing, both internal and external, My Promised Land uses the defining events of the past to shed new light on the present. The result is a landmark portrait of a small, vibrant country living on the edge, whose identity and presence play a crucial role in today’s global political landscape.

In The New York Times, Leon Wieseltier wrote, “It is one of the achievements of Ari Shavit’s important and powerful book to recover the feeling of Israel’s facticity and to revel in it, to restore the grandeur of the simple fact in full view of the complicated facts.”

[book] Get Big Fast and Do More Good
Start Your Business, Make It Huge,
and Change the World
by Ido Leffler and Lance Kalish
(Yes To Inc. Yes To Carrots, Yes To … )
November 2013
New Harvest
Get Big Fast and Do More Good is a guide to modern entrepreneurship and accelerated brand-building from the founders of Yes To Inc, the company behind the breakthrough natural beauty brand Yes to Carrots.
Ido Leffler and Lance Kalish, two 29-year-old Australians with very different backgrounds and skills, cofounded their company in 2006 with little more than a dream—and made it big. Yes to Carrots has become one of the biggest natural beauty brands in the world and is one of the fastest-growing skincare brands. Leffler and Kalish have accomplished it all while maintaining solid principles, investing in meaningful business relationships, giving back to the community, and still making it home in time for dinner.
The authors started their business with nothing but chutzpah and great instincts for products with potential. They’ve since made lots of great decisions and some really, really bad ones, and are ready to share their hard-won secret to success: a strong, resilient, trusting partnership coupled with a great sense of humor.

Some background: Ido was born in Israel, but when he was four, his family moved to Sydney for his father's work. At the age of 12, Ido's father's business went under down under and Ido and his brother had to go to public school to save money. The family became closer and tighter. Dealing with anti Jewish kids in public school, Ido became stronger, thick skinned and depended on family. After college he started a firm that delivered baked goods and bagels to people's homes. He then traveled through Indonesia and Mumbai for four years on his walkabout, and built up a wellness business. In 2006, he started a company with Lance Kalish. They saw a need for products that represented natural, green, but fun organic choices. Ido personally lives by the mantra, "Yes to positivity." So he and Lance came up with the company name Yes To, with the slogan, "Yes to the Real You."

[book] The Clown Car in The Gold Mine
Inside the Improbable Rise of Twitter
By Nick Bilton (NY Times)
November 2013
In 2005, Odeo was a struggling podcasting start-up founded by free-range hacker Noah Glass and staffed by a motley crew of anarchists. They chose their staff by seeing how fringe they were
Less than two years later, its days were numbered and half the staff had been let go. But out of Odeo’s ashes, the remaining employees worked on a little side venture.. that by 2013 had become an $11.5 billion business and announced its IPO on the NYSE in October 2013.
That much is widely known. But the full story of Twitter’s hatching has never been told before. It’s a drama of betrayed friendships and high-stakes power struggles, as the founders went from everyday engineers to wealthy celebrities featured on magazine covers, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show, and Time’s list of the world’s most influential people.
New York Times columnist and reporter Nick Bilton takes readers behind the scenes as Twitter grew at exponential speeds. He gets inside the heads of the four hackers out of whom the company tumbled:

Evan “Ev” Williams, the ambitious farm boy from Clarks, Nebraska, who had already created Blogger and sold it to Google for millions. Quiet and protective, Ev is a shrewd businessman who made tough choices in the interest of his companies, firing cofounders and employees who were once friends. He owns 12%
Jack Dorsey, the tattooed “nobody” who helped mastermind the original concept of Twitter, became a billionaire tech titan, and convinced the media that he was the next Steve Jobs. He also plotted against his co-leaders, and spreadfalse tales of his own genius and creation myth to fuel his ego. He owns 4.9%.
Christopher “Biz” Stone, the joker and diplomat who played nice with everyone. As drama ensued, he was the only founder who remained on good terms with his friends and to this day has no enduring resentments.
Noah Glass, the shy but energetic geek who invested his whole life in Twitter, AND INVENTED THE NAME TWITTER, only to be kicked out and expunged from the company’s official history by Ev Williams and others.
As Twitter grew, the four founders fought bitterly for money, influence, publicity, and control over a company that grows larger and more powerful by the day. Ultimately they all lost their grip on it. Today, none of them is the CEO. Dick Costolo, a fifty-year-old former comedian, runs the company. By 2013 Twitter boasted close to 300 million active users around the world. In barely six years, the service has become a tool for fighting political oppression in the Middle East, a marketing musthave for business, and the world’s living room during live TV events. Today, notables such as the pope, Oprah Winfrey, and the president of the United States are regular Twitter users. A seventeen-year-old with a mobile phone can now reach a larger audience than an entire crew at CNN. Bilton’s unprecedented access and exhaustive investigating reporting—drawing on hundreds of sources, documents, and internal e-mails—have enabled him to write an intimate portrait of four friends who accidentally changed the world, and what they all learned along the way.
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[book] JONY IVE
The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
by Leander Kahney
November 2013
Jony Ive’s designs have not only made Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world; they’ve overturned entire industries, from music and mobile phones to PCs and tablets.
But for someone who has changed the world as much as he has, little is widely known about Apple’s senior vice president of industrial design. Unlike his former boss and creative partner Steve Jobs, Ive shuns the spotlight. Naturally shy and soft-spoken, he lets his work speak for itself and concerns himself only with his craft.
In the first book to focus on Ive, Leander Kahney offers a rigorous and systematic examination of a remarkably creative career and provides insight into the principles underlying Ive’s success.
Having covered Apple as an editor since the 1990s and interviewed Ive on numerous occasions, Kahney offers a unique perspective on how this man designs killer products that attract fanatically loyal customers..
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[book] Unclean Lips
Jews, Obscenity, and American Culture
(The Goldstein-Goran Series in American Jewish History)
by Josh Lambert
November 2013
NYU Press
Jews have played an integral role in the history of obscenity in America. For most of the 20th century, Jewish entrepreneurs and editors led the charge against obscenity laws. Jewish lawyers battled literary censorship even when their non-Jewish counterparts refused to do so, and they won court decisions in favor of texts including Ulysses, A Howl, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and Tropic of Cancer. Jewish literary critics have provided some of the most influential courtroom testimony on behalf of freedom of expression.
The anti-Semitic stereotype of the lascivious Jew has made many historians hesitant to draw a direct link between Jewishness and obscenity. In Unclean Lips, Josh Lambert addresses the Jewishness of participants in obscenity controversies in the U.S. directly, exploring the transformative roles played by a host of neglected figures in the development of modern and postmodern American culture.
The diversity of American Jewry means that there is no single explanation for Jews' interventions in this field. Rejecting generalizations, this bookoffers case studies that pair cultural histories with close readings of both contested texts and trial transcripts to reveal the ways in which specific engagements with obscenity mattered to particular American Jews at discrete historical moments.
Reading American culture from Theodore Dreiser and Henry Miller to Curb Your Enthusiasm and FCC v. Fox, Unclean Lips analyzes the variable historical and cultural factors that account for the central role Jews have played in the struggles over obscenity and censorship in the modern United States.
Josh Lambert is Academic Director of the Yiddish Book Center and Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
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The Meaning of Machiavelli’s Masterpiece
By Maurizio Viroli (Princeton)
November 2013
In Redeeming "The Prince," one of the world's leading Machiavelli scholars puts forth a startling new interpretation of arguably the most influential but widely misunderstood book in the Western political tradition. Overturning popular misconceptions and challenging scholarly consensus, Maurizio Viroli also provides a fresh introduction to the work. Seen from this original perspective, five centuries after its composition, The Prince offers new insights into the nature and possibilities of political liberation.
Rather than a bible of unscrupulous politics, The Prince, Viroli argues, is actually about political redemption--a book motivated by Machiavelli's patriotic desire to see a new founding for Italy. Written in the form of an oration, following the rules of classical rhetoric, the book condenses its main message in the final section, "Exhortation to liberate Italy from the barbarians." There Machiavelli creates the myth of a redeemer, an ideal ruler who ushers in an era of peace, freedom, and unity. Contrary to scholars who maintain that the exhortation was added later, Viroli proves that Machiavelli composed it along with the rest of the text, completing the whole by December 1513 or early 1514.
Only if we read The Prince as a theory of political redemption, Viroli contends, can we at last understand, and properly evaluate, the book's most controversial pages on political morality, as well as put to rest the cliché of Machiavelli as a "Machiavellian."
Bold, clear, and provocative, Redeeming "The Prince" should permanently change how Machiavelli and his masterpiece are understood.
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November 2013
Jews and the Military is the first comprehensive and comparative look at Jews' involvement in the military and their attitudes toward war from the 1600s until the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Derek Penslar shows that although Jews have often been described as people who shun the army, in fact they have frequently been willing, even eager, to do military service, and only a minuscule minority have been pacifists. Penslar demonstrates that Israel's military ethos did not emerge from a vacuum and that long before the state's establishment, Jews had a vested interest in military affairs.
Spanning Europe, North America, and the Middle East, Penslar discusses the myths and realities of Jewish draft dodging, how Jews reacted to facing their coreligionists in battle, the careers of Jewish officers and their reception in the Jewish community, the effects of World War I on Jewish veterans, and Jewish participation in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Penslar culminates with a study of Israel's War of Independence as a Jewish world war, which drew on the military expertise and financial support of a mobilized, global Jewish community. He considers how military service was a central issue in debates about Jewish emancipation and a primary indicator of the position of Jews in any given society.
Deconstructing old stereotypes, Jews and the Military radically transforms our understanding of Jews' historic relationship to war and military power.

[book] Into the Fullness of the Void
A Spiritual Autobiography
(New Spiritual Voices from Israel)
by Dov Elbaum
November 2013
Jewish Lights
A mystical spiritual journey both deeply personal and strikingly universal.
Into the Fullness of the Void is the spiritual autobiography of one of Israel s leading cultural figures that provides insights and guidance for all of us. Growing up in an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem family, Elbaum was a prodigy who seemed destined for greatness in the ultra-Orthodox world of Talmud study. But in his late teens, he dramatically broke with the ultra-Orthodox world and set out into secular Israeli society.
In this book, Elbaum seeks to understand what compelled his decision and to grasp its consequences. With the structure of the Kabbalah as his road map, Elbaum moves into the deep recesses of his self and his soul. The ultimate goal of his journey is the Void, a Kabbalistic space that precedes God s creation of the world, and a psychological state that precedes our emergence as individuals. It is a space of great vulnerability but also of hope for renewal and rebirth. This is an intimate, honest, revealing work, both deeply personal and strikingly universal. The Hebrew edition was a bestseller and sold over 50,000 copies.

November 2013
September, 1939. Przemysl, Poland. No one has explained to three-year-old Renatka what war is. She knows her Tatus, a doctor, is away with the Polish Army, that her beautiful Mamusia is no longer allowed to work at the university, and that their frequent visitors—among them Great Aunt Zuzia and Uncle Julek with their gifts of melon and clothes—have stopped appearing. One morning Mamusia comes home with little yellow six-pointed stars for them to wear. Renatka thinks they will keep her family safe. In June of 1942, soldiers in gray-green uniforms take Renata, Mamusia, and grandmother Babcia to the Ghetto where they are crammed into one room with other frightened families. The adults are forced to work long hours at the factory and to survive on next to no food. One day Mamusia and Babcia do not return from their shifts.
Six years old and utterly alone, Renata is passed from place to place and survives through the willingness of ordinary people to take the most deadly risks. Her unlikely blonde hair and blue eyes and other twists of fate save her life but stories become her salvation. Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales transport her to an enchanted world; David Copperfield helps her cope on her own; and she longs for the family in Swallows and Amazons.
A chronicle of the horrors of war, Let Me Tell You a Story is a powerful and moving memoir of growing up in a disturbing world, and of the magical discovery of books.

November 2013
NYU Press
Jews have played an integral role in the history of obscenity in America. For most of the 20th century, Jewish entrepreneurs and editors led the charge against obscenity laws. Jewish lawyers battled literary censorship even when their non-Jewish counterparts refused to do so, and they won court decisions in favor of texts including Ulysses, A Howl, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and Tropic of Cancer. Jewish literary critics have provided some of the most influential courtroom testimony on behalf of freedom of expression.
The anti-Semitic stereotype of the lascivious Jew has made many historians hesitant to draw a direct link between Jewishness and obscenity. In Unclean Lips, Josh Lambert addresses the Jewishness of participants in obscenity controversies in the U.S. directly, exploring the transformative roles played by a host of neglected figures in the development of modern and postmodern American culture.
The diversity of American Jewry means that there is no single explanation for Jews' interventions in this field. Rejecting generalizations, this bookoffers case studies that pair cultural histories with close readings of both contested texts and trial transcripts to reveal the ways in which specific engagements with obscenity mattered to particular American Jews at discrete historical moments.
Reading American culture from Theodore Dreiser and Henry Miller to Curb Your Enthusiasm and FCC v. Fox, Unclean Lips analyzes the variable historical and cultural factors that account for the central role Jews have played in the struggles over obscenity and censorship in the modern United States.
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November 2013
This is the book that American Jews and particularly American Reform Jews have been waiting for: a clear and informed call for further reform in the Reform movement.
In light of profound demographic, social, and technological developments, it has become increasingly clear that the Reform movement will need to make major changes to meet the needs of a quickly evolving American Jewish population. Younger Americans in particular differ from previous generations in how they relate to organized religion, often preferring to network through virtual groups or gather in informal settings of their own choosing.
Dana Evan Kaplan, an American Reform Jew and pulpit rabbi, argues that rather than focusing on the importance of loyalty to community, Reform Judaism must determine how to engage the individual in a search for existential meaning. It should move us toward a critical, scholarly understanding of the Hebrew Bible, that we may emerge with the perspectives required by a postmodern world. Such a Reform Judaism can at once help us understand how the ancient world molded our most cherished religious traditions and guide us in addressing the increasingly complex social problems of our day.
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[book] 1941
Translated from Serbo-Croatian by Michael Gable
November 2013
NY Review of Books Press
640 pages! Ouch
The distinguished Croatian journalist and publisher Slavko Goldstein says, “Writing this book about my family, I have tried not to separate what happened to us from the fates of many other people and of an entire country.” 1941: The Year That Keeps Returning is Goldstein’s astonishing historical memoir of that fateful year—when the Ustasha, the pro-fascist nationalists, were brought to power in Croatia by the Nazi occupiers of Yugoslavia. On April 10, when the German troops marched into Zagreb, the Croatian capital, they were greeted as liberators by the Croats. Three days later, Ante Paveli?, the future leader of the Independent State of Croatia, returned from exile in Italy and Goldstein’s father, the proprietor of a leftist bookstore in Karlovac—a beautiful old city fifty miles from the capital—was arrested along with other local Serbs, communists, and Yugoslav sympathizers. Goldstein was only thirteen years old, and he would never see his father again.
More than fifty years later, Goldstein seeks to piece together the facts of his father’s last days. The moving narrative threads stories of family, friends, and other ordinary people who lived through those dark times together with personal memories and an impressive depth of carefully researched historic details. The other central figure in Goldstein’s heartrending tale is his mother—a strong, resourceful woman who understands how to act decisively in a time of terror in order to keep her family alive.
From 1941 through 1945 some 32,000 Jews, 40,000 Gypsies, and 350,000 Serbs were slaughtered in Croatia. It is a period in history that is often forgotten, purged, or erased from the history books, which makes Goldstein’s vivid, carefully balanced account so important for us today—for the same atrocities returned to Croatia and Bosnia in the 1990s. And yet Goldstein’s story isn’t confined by geographical boundaries as it speaks to the dangers and madness of ethnic hatred all over the world and the urgent need for mutual understanding..
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Translate from the Czech by Craig Cravens
November 2013
Acclaimed Czech writer Ivan Klíma shares his remarkable personal and artistic life in an intimate autobiography, spanning six decades that faced war, totalitarianism, censorship, and the fight for democracy.
Growing up without religious affiliation, it came as a surprise when, in 1941, Klíma’s family was transported to the Terezín concentration camp—and an even greater surprise when most of them survived. They returned home to a Prague that was scarred, in political turmoil, and falling into the grip of Communism. It wasn’t until Klíma was working as a writer and an editor, and after his father was arrested, that the true colors of oppression became clear to him and many of his peers, among them Milan Kundera, Václav Havel, and Pavel Kohout. Their call for human and civil rights, for free speech, seemed to be answered with the Prague Spring of 1968—but when Soviet troops invaded the country, the hope of freedom was crushed. Klíma’s books were banned, and he was forced to publish samizdat. Yet the dissident movement refused to die, Charter 77 was drafted, and the eventual collapse of the Communist regime in the Velvet Revolution of 1989 allowed Klíma’s work to be published in his homeland.
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November 2013
It isn’t a Jewish book, but I found it gripping, fascinating, engrossing.
Writing with an exuberant love of language and detail, Anjelica Huston shares her enchanted childhood in Ireland, her teen years in London, and her coming of age as a model and nascent actress in New York. John Huston was filming The African Queen—in the Belgian Congo—when he received a telegram from his wife announcing the birth of a healthy baby girl. She named her Anjelica, after her mother.
Now, the magnificent Academy Award-winning actress shares the story of her deeply unconventional life. Living with her glamorous and artistic mother, educated by tutors and nuns, intrepid on a horse, Huston was raised on an Irish estate to which—between movies—her father brought his array of extraordinary friends, from Carson McCullers and John Steinbeck to Peter O’Toole and Marlon Brando. Every morning, Anjelica and her brother visited their father while he took his breakfast in bed. “What news?” he’d ask. “I’d seen him the night before,” Anjelica recalls, “There wasn’t much to report.” So she became a storyteller.
In London, where she lives with her mother and brother in the early Sixties when her parents separate, Huston encounters the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac. She understudies Marianne Faithful in Hamlet. Seventeen, striking, precocious, but still young and vulnerable, she is devastated when her mother dies in a car crash.
Months later she moves to New York, falls in love with the much older, brilliant but disturbed photographer, Bob Richardson, and becomes a model. Living in the Chelsea Hotel, working with Richard Avedon and other photographers, she navigates a volatile relationship and the dynamic cultural epicenter of New York in the Seventies.
A Story Lately Told ends as she launches her Hollywood life. The second part of her story—Watch Me—opens in Los Angeles in 1973 and will be published in Fall 2014. A stunning literary achievement, Huston’s beguiling memoir ranks among the best in the genre.
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By Candy Chang
November 2013
St. Martin’s Press
What do you want to do before you die? When artist Candy Chang painted the side of an abandoned building with chalkboard paint and asked her neighbors this question, she never expected it to become a worldwide phenomenon. Within a day of the wall’s completion, however, it was covered in colorful chalk dreams as people stopped and reflected on their lives. Since then, more than two hundred walls have been created by people all over the world.
In Israel, the wall was of course “sponsored” by a deceased z”l philanthropist
This inspiring book is a celebration of these walls. Filled with our hopes, fears, humor, and heartbreak, it’s a reminder of our shared connections and a chance to ponder life’s ultimate question.
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November 2013
Center Street
Marion Grodin, daughter of funnyman Charles Grodin (A descendant of a long line of rabbis), knows firsthand that laughter is truly the best medicine, having not only survived breast cancer and divorce, but also, various addictions-including an inappropriate relationship with Haagen Dazs.
Her hilarious riffs include; the story of growing large breasts that appeared seemingly overnight (Unfortunately this happened during the summer that she spent on the set of King Kong with her father and Jeff Bridges on whom she developed a huge crush); Her post divorce life, its slight weight gain and how she relied on her wise support group, her cats "BabyFighter" Edmond and "fashionably sporty, forensic expert" Snuggles.
In this cleverly written memoir Marion integrates her diverse and challenging life experiences and unstoppable ability to make everything funny in a way that is both entertaining and helpful. She hopes that her book will send a message to those who feel they are misfits and to those locked in addiction: there is a way out - and life can be very good when you kick the habit.

November 2013
Paul Auster’s most intimate autobiographical work to date
In the beginning, everything was alive. The smallest objects were endowed with beating hearts . . .
Having recalled his life through the story of his physical self in Winter Journal, internationally acclaimed novelist Paul Auster now remembers the experience of his development from within through the encounters of his interior self with the outer world in Report from the Interior.
From his baby’s-eye view of the man in the moon, to his childhood worship of the movie cowboy Buster Crabbe, to the composition of his first poem at the age of nine, to his dawning awareness of the injustices of American life, Report from the Interior charts Auster’s moral, political, and intellectual journey as he inches his way toward adulthood through the postwar 1950s and into the turbulent 1960s.
Auster evokes the sounds, smells, and tactile sensations that marked his early life—and the many images that came at him, including moving images (he adored cartoons, he was in love with films), until, at its unique climax, the book breaks away from prose into pure imagery: The final section of Report from the Interior recapitulates the first three parts, told in an album of pictures. At once a story of the times—which makes it everyone’s story—and the story of the emerging consciousness of a renowned literary artist, this four-part work answers the challenge of autobiography in ways rarely, if ever, seen before.  

[book] Lillian Hellman
An Imperious Life
(Jewish Lives Series) by Dorothy Gallagher
November 2013
Yale University Press
Glamorous, talented, audacious—Lillian Hellman knew everyone, did everything, had been everywhere. By the age of twenty-nine she had written The Children’s Hour, the first of four hit Broadway plays, and soon she was considered a member of America’s first rank of dramatists, a position she maintained for more than twenty-five years.
Apart from her literary accomplishments — eight original plays and three volumes of memoirs — Hellman lived a rich life filled with notable friendships, controversial political activity, travel, and love affairs, most importantly with Dashiell Hammett. But by the time she died, the truth about her life and works had been called into question. Scandals attached to her name, having to do with sex, with money, and with her own veracity.
Dorothy Gallagher confronts the conundrum that was Lillian Hellman — a woman with a capacity to inspire outrage as often as admiration. Exploring Hellman’s leftist politics, her Jewish and Southern background, and her famous testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Gallagher also undertakes a new reading of Hellman’s carefully crafted memoirs and plays, in which she is both revealed and hidden.
At the same time, Gallagher uses Hellman’s life as a way to think about her own liberal thinking mother.
The author likes to use double negatives, such as ‘it was not unimportant’ and in one chapter she compares Hellman to Stein. Sure they had a dinner party together but were mostly opposites
In publishing this book, it seems as if the series wants to illuminate Hellman’s life, and show a Jewish Life that I personally would not want to emulate. Hellman was anti Semitic, lied, used the words yids and kikes, had many lovers and perhaps 7 abortions, and required the intensive help from the drunk, abusive, threesome and prostitute loving Dashiell Hammett to edit her works.
Gallagher sorts through the facts and the myths, explores Hellman’s ancestors, discusses whether the story of “Julia” is false, and arrives at a sharply drawn portrait of a woman who lived large to the end of her remarkable life, tried to craft or control her memoirs and legacy, and never backed down from a fight.

Fall 2013
Yale University Press
Susan Sontag, one of the most internationally renowned and controversial intellectuals of the latter half of the twentieth century, still provokes. In 1978 Jonathan Cott, a founding contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine, interviewed Sontag first in Paris and later in New York. Only a third of their twelve hours of discussion ever made it to print. Now, more than three decades later, Yale University Press is proud to publish the entire transcript of Sontag’s remarkable conversation, accompanied by Cott’s preface and recollections.
Sontag’s (nee Susan Rosenblatt) musings and observations reveal the passionate engagement and breadth of her critical intelligence and curiosities at a moment when she was at the peak of her powers. Nearly a decade after her death, these hours of conversation offer a revelatory and indispensable look at the self-described "besotted aesthete" and "obsessed moralist." Sontag proclaims a personal credo, declaring:
"Thinking is a form of feeling; feeling is a form of thinking."

November 2013
Yale University Press
In 1943, twenty-four-year-old Primo Levi had just begun a career in chemistry when, after joining a partisan group, he was captured by the Italian Fascist Militia and deported to Auschwitz. Of the 650 Italian Jews in his transport, he was one of fewer than 25 who survived the eleven months before the camp’s liberation. Upon returning to his native Turin, Levi resumed work as a chemist and was employed for thirty years by a company specializing in paints and other chemical coatings. Yet soon after his return to Turin, he also began writing—memoirs, essays, novels, short stories, poetry—and it is for this work that he has won international recognition. His first book, If This Is a Man, issued in 1947 after great difficulty in finding a publisher, remains a landmark document of the twentieth century.
Berel Lang's groundbreaking biography shines new light on Levi’s role as a major intellectual and literary figure—an important Holocaust writer and witness but also an innovative moral thinker in whom his two roles as chemist and writer converged, providing the “matter” of his life. Levi’s writing combined a scientist’s attentiveness to structure and detail, an ironic imagination that found in all nature an ingenuity at once inviting and evasive, and a powerful and passionate moral imagination. Lang’s approach provides a philosophically acute and nuanced analysis of Levi as thinker, witness, writer, and scientific detective

National Jewish Book Award Finalist
November 2013
Open Road
The forbidden, tempestuous, and tragic love story of a beautiful Jewish immigrant and a debonair black man in the South during the early twentieth century
Mags Preacher, a young black woman with a dream, arrives in St. Louis from the piney woods of her family home in 1916, hoping to learn the beauty trade. She knows nothing about Jews except that they killed the Lord Jesus Christ. Then she begins working for Mr. Fishbein, an Eastern European émigré who fled the pogroms that shattered his life to become the proprietor of Fishbein’s Funeral Home. By the time he saves Mags from certain death during the 1917 race riots in East St. Louis, all her perceptions have changed. But Mr. Fishbein’s daughter, the troubled redheaded beauty Minerva, is a different matter. There is something wrong with the girl, something dangerous, something fateful. And it is Magnus Bailey, Mags’s first friend in the city, who learns to what heights and depths the girl’s willful spirit can drive a man.
Marching to Zion is the tragic story of Minerva Fishbein and Magnus Bailey, a charismatic black man and the longtime business partner of Minerva’s father. From the brutal riots of East St. Louis to Memphis, Tennessee, during the 1920s and the Depression, Marching to Zion is a tale of passion, betrayal, and redemption during an era in America when interracial love could not go unpunished. Readers of Mary Glickman’s One More River will celebrate the return of Aurora Mae Stanton, who joins a cast of vibrant new characters in this tense and compelling Southern-Jewish novel that examines the price of love and the interventions of fate. .
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By Louise Steinman
November 2013
Beacon Press
A lyrical literary memoir that explores the exhilarating, discomforting, and ultimately healing process of Polish-Jewish reconciliation taking place in Poland today.

First some background… Ssteinman would attend a shul in Southern Caluifornia with a Zan Rabbi, Rabbi Singer. He would go to Poland each winter to teach and be at the Bearing Witness Retreat and focus on Jewish – Polish reconciliation. You see, not all Poles were murderers according to Rabbi Singer. The author thought differently at first.
I sort of felt a kinship with this author.
We are both the children of pharmacists who had stores that were open over 12 hours a day; we are both of Polish Jewish heritage; we both visited Poland; we both found items from WWII of our fathers’ (but she wrote a book about it); and while she visited a Radomsk cemestery in NYC, I visited a Zarszyn one.
So I was eager to read this book.
Although an estimated 80 percent of American Jews are of Polish descent, many in the postwar generation and those born later know little about their families’ connection to their ancestral home.
In fact, many Jews continue to think of Poland as a bastion of anti-Semitism, since nearly the entire population of Polish Jewry was killed in the Holocaust. The reality is more complex: although German-occupied Poland was the site of great persecution towards Jews, it was also the epicenter of European Jewish life for centuries.
In this book, Louise Steinman examines the burgeoning Polish-Jewish reconciliation movement through the lens of her own family's history, joining the ranks of Jews of Polish descent who are confronting both Poland’s heroism and occupation-afflicted atrocities, and who are seeking to reconnect with their families’ Polish roots.

You may find it provocative, or redemptive, or you might just say screw Poland and the Poles, I have better things to think about.

A New York Childhood
By Roger Rosenblatt
November 2013
None year old Roger, growing up in Gramercy park, thought of himself as a detective, a private eye seeking out imaginary criminals.
Here is his story
The Washington Post hailed Roger Rosenblatt's Making Toast as "a textbook on what constitutes perfect writing," and People lauded Kayak Morning as "intimate, expansive and profoundly moving." Classic tales of love and grief, the New York Times bestselling memoirs are also original literary works that carve out new territory at the intersection of poetry and prose. Now comes The Boy Detective, a story of the author's childhood in New York City, suffused with the same mixture of acute observation and bracing humor, lyricism and wit.
Resisting the deadening silence of his family home in the elegant yet stiflingly safe neighborhood of Gramercy Park, nine-year-old Roger imagines himself a private eye in pursuit of criminals. With the dreamlike mystery of the city before him, he sets off alone, out into the streets of Manhattan, thrilling to a life of unsolved cases.
Six decades later, Rosenblatt finds himself again patrolling the territory of his youth: The writing class he teaches has just wrapped up, releasing him into the winter night and the very neighborhood in which he grew up. A grown man now, he investigates his own life and the life of the city as he walks, exploring the New York of the 1950s; the lives of the writers who walked these streets before him, such as Poe and Melville; the great detectives of fiction and the essence of detective work; and the monuments of his childhood, such as the New York Public Library, once the site of an immense reservoir that nourished the city with water before it nourished it with books, and the Empire State Building, which, in Rosenblatt's imagination, vibrates sympathetically with the oversize loneliness of King Kong: "If you must fall, fall from me."
As he walks, he is returned to himself, the boy detective on the case. Just as Rosenblatt invented a world for himself as a child, he creates one on this night—the writer a detective still, the chief suspect in the case of his own life, a case that discloses the shared mysteries of all our lives. A masterly evocation of the city and a meditation on memory as an act of faith, The Boy Detective treads the line between a novel and a poem, displaying a world at once dangerous and beautiful. Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

Now in paperback
[book] Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza
Engaging the Islamist Social Sector
By Sara Roy (Auth
November 2013
Many in the United States and Israel believe that Hamas is nothing but a terrorist organization, and that its social sector serves merely to recruit new supporters for its violent agenda. Based on Sara Roy's extensive fieldwork in the Gaza Strip and West Bank during the critical period of the Oslo peace process, Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza shows how the social service activities sponsored by the Islamist group emphasized not political violence but rather community development and civic restoration. Roy demonstrates how Islamic social institutions in Gaza and the West Bank advocated a moderate approach to change that valued order and stability, not disorder and instability; were less dogmatically Islamic than is often assumed; and served people who had a range of political outlooks and no history of acting collectively in support of radical Islam. These institutions attempted to create civic communities, not religious congregations. They reflected a deep commitment to stimulate a social, cultural, and moral renewal of the Muslim community, one couched not only--or even primarily--in religious terms.
Vividly illustrating Hamas's unrecognized potential for moderation, accommodation, and change, Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza also traces critical developments in Hamas's social and political sectors through the Second Intifada to today, and offers an assessment of the current, more adverse situation in the occupied territories. The Oslo period held great promise that has since been squandered. This book argues for more enlightened policies by the United States and Israel, ones that reflect Hamas's proven record of nonviolent community building.
In a new afterword, Roy discusses how Hamas has been affected by changing regional dynamics and by recent economic and political events in Gaza, including failed attempts at reconciliation with Fatah.
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November 2013
This is my favorite read of Fall 2013 so far. You can read it and watch how a master of the language structures his stories. You can read it and scream with delight as he tells you about his life from 3 months to now. How many people have an uncle named for Friedrich Engels (one who gets him into the Olympics in Mexico City)? He recaptures a time of vacation camps, gin rummy, slow Summer days, school, editing, and the intellectual life of NYC
Daniel Menaker started as a fact checker at The New Yorker in 1969. With luck, hard work, and the support of William Maxwell, he was eventually promoted to editor. Never beloved by William Shawn, he was advised early on to find a position elsewhere; he stayed for another twenty-six years. He then moved on to work for Tina Brown's husband, acquire a tell-all book about him, and also name “Primary Colors.”
Now Menaker, a red diaper baby, cancer survivor, and a descendant of famous Talmud scholars, brings us a new view of life in that wonderfully strange place and beyond, throughout his more than forty years working to celebrate language and good writing.
In My Mistake, Menaker tells his own story, too — with irrepressible style and honesty — of a life plowing through often difficult, nearly always difficult-to-read, situations.
Haunted by a self-doubt sharpened by his role in his brother’s unexpected death (you can learn to deal with a death, but you don’t really ever get over it, and maybe you never get over blaming yourself, no matter how remote that actual guilt is), he offers wry, hilarious observations on publishing, child-rearing, petty thefts, immaturity, parent-losing, and the writing life.
Ss the years pass, we witness something far beyond the incidental: a moving, thoughtful meditation on years well lived, well read, and well spent. Full of mistakes, perhaps. But full of effort, full of accomplishment, full of life.
Note: I had to keep a running log of the dozen or so words I had to look up. Also there were references that I did not directly understand. For example, when he tells the reader how great a Swarthmore professor was in describing a swan poem by YEATS, I had to spend 30 minutes to find out about the poem and its imagery, and to understand why the professor’s opening line was so great.
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[book][book] Maimonides
Life and Thought
by Moshe Halbertal (NYU, IDC, Herzliya)
November 2013
Maimonides was the greatest Jewish philosopher and legal scholar of the medieval period, a towering figure who has had a profound and lasting influence on Jewish law, philosophy, and religious consciousness. This book provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to his life and work, revealing how his philosophical sensibility and outlook informed his interpretation of Jewish tradition.
Moshe Halbertal vividly describes Maimonides's childhood in Muslim Spain, his family's flight to North Africa to escape persecution, and their eventual resettling in Egypt. He draws on Maimonides's letters and the testimonies of his contemporaries, both Muslims and Jews, to offer new insights into his personality and the circumstances that shaped his thinking. Halbertal then turns to Maimonides's legal and philosophical work, analyzing his three great books--Commentary on the Mishnah, Mishneh Torah, and The Guide of the Perplexed. He discusses Maimonides's battle against all attempts to personify God, his conviction that God's presence in the world is mediated through the natural order rather than through miracles, and his locating of philosophy and science at the summit of the religious life of Torah. Halbertal examines Maimonides's philosophical positions on fundamental questions such as the nature and limits of religious language, creation and nature, prophecy, providence, the problem of evil, and the meaning of the commandments.
A stunning achievement, Maimonides offers an unparalleled look at the life and thought of this important Jewish philosopher, scholar, and theologian.
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Translated from Hebrew by Philip Simpson
Hemda Horovitz is nearing the end of her life. As she lies in bed in Jerusalem, memories from the past flood her thoughts: her childhood in the kibbutz spent under the gaze of her stern, pioneer father; the lake that was her only solace; and her own two children—one she could never love enough, and the other whom she loved too much.
Avner, the beloved child, has grown up to be a heavy, anguished man, disillusioned by his work and trapped in a loveless marriage. When visiting his mother in the hospital, he witnesses a devoted couple’s final moments together; after the man’s death Avner becomes obsessed with finding the woman, and a strange and delicate relationship unfolds.
Dina, Hemda’s daughter, has put aside her career in order to give her teenage daughter, Nitzan, the warmth she never received from her own mother. But Nitzan is withdrawing from her, and Dina is overcome by a longing to adopt another child—a longing that, if fulfilled, may destroy her fragile family.
Zeruya Shalev’s electrifying new novel is at once a meditation on the state of modern Israel and a profound exploration of family, yearning, compromise, and the insistent pull of the past.
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[book] New and Selected Poems
Paperback edition
by David Lehman
November 2013
From the poet of Yeshiva Boys is a collection of new and used poems. Including the one on the death of his mother, and how his father dies twice a year in Judaism (English date and yahrzeit on the Hebrew date)
Drawing from a wealth of material produced over the course of more than forty years, David Lehman’s New and Selected Poems displays the remarkable range of his poetic genius. From the beginning Lehman has combined the traditional with the experimental, intellect with passion, creating a singular body of work in a manner all his own.
Beginning with a selection of compelling new poems that feature the poet’s customary wit and ingenuity and add a layer of surprise and suspense, the book follows with carefully selected pieces from Lehman’s seven full-length books of poetry since 1986: Yeshiva Boys (2009), When a Woman Loves a Man (2005), The Evening Sun (2002), The Daily Mirror: A Journal in Poetry (2000), Valentine Place (1996), Operation Memory (1990), and An Alternative to Speech (1986). A group of uncollected works, including hard-to find early poems from the late 1960s and 1970s, rounds out the volume.
These are poems that captivate as they stimulate thought, poems that capture the romance, irony, and pathos of love, and poems that are lyrical and lovely in unexpected, sometimes even comic ways. A master of his craft, Lehman is as fluent in the prose poem as in the sonnet, the sestina, the villanelle, and verse forms of his own invention. He departs from autobiography not only in fictional forays but in poems that ponder the lives of World Historical Individuals (Napoleon, Wittgenstein, Freud), the persistence of ancient myths in modern life, the mysteries of love and desire, and his own heritage as the son of Holocaust refugees. Lehman’s poems are dazzling in their evocation of the recent past. As Mary Jo Bang has written, “the whole of a world is here, and the remnants of an era—from Dinah Shore to Bob Dylan, from Hitler to Nixon.” This is as inspiring and thought-provoking and beautiful a book as any David Lehman has written.
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[book] The Archaeology of Jerusalem
From the Origins to the Ottomans
by Katharina Galor and Hanswulf Bloedhorn
November 2013
Yale University Press
PW writes: “This chronological survey of Jerusalem’s complex archaeology begins with a description of flint tools from the Chalcolithic period (fourth millennium B.C.E.) and ends with the Ottomans in 1917. As they guide readers through various archaeological periods, the authors—Galor is an expert in Judaic studies and architecture and Bloedhorn is an expert in the archeology of Jerusalem—lucidly identify distinctive ancient finds and explain their significance. An ancient Bronze Age water system shows how early settlement was made possible in this semiarid mountainous area. Jerusalem’s destruction by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. is evident in layers of burnt remains uncovered in Iron Age dwellings. Well-preserved Hellenistic houses uncovered in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter feature high-quality artistic flourishes that demonstrate the status of Jews living there before the destruction of the Second Temple. Marble statuettes of gods and board games possibly incised by soldiers on paving stones attest to the Roman occupation, Byzantine oil lamps with inscriptions about Christ’s light confirm a Christian presence, and the Mamluk-built Aqsa Mosque demonstrates Jerusalem’s significance to Islam. Although authoritative from an archaeological standpoint and generously illustrated, the dry narrative is neither suitable for a wider, nonprofessional audience nor does it enliven the historical anecdotes”
Katharina Galor is the Hirschfeld Visiting Assistant Professor in the Program in Judaic Studies at Brown University and an Adjunct Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design in the Department of History of Art and Visual Culture and the Department of Architecture. She lives in Providence, RI. Hanswulf Bloedhorn is an expert on Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine architecture and decoration of public and sacred buildings, and a leading authority on the archaeology of Jerusalem. He lives in Tübingen, Germany.

[book] The Angel Effect
The Powerful Force That Ensures We Are Never Alone
by John Geiger
November 2013
Weinstein Books
The author of the bestselling The Third Man Factor examines the shockingly common phenomenon of the “Angel Effect”: when people feel visited by an otherworldly presence in times of great danger or desperation.
Do “angels” exist?
Has the Chabad Rebbe appeared to people and saved them?
If so, are they heaven-sent or products of the human brain?
After the publication of the bestseller The Third Man Factor, which examined the phenomenon of explorers who found themselves at the edge of death and experienced a benevolent presence that led them out of the impossible, John Geiger was inundated with firsthand accounts from people who had the same experience—a vivid presence that aided them as they faced crises ranging from physical and sexual assaults to automobile accidents, airplane crashes, serious illness, childbirth, and depression. The Angel Effect examines this phenomenon, and Geiger argues that it has the potential to aid us, even to save us, and asks whether it is a trainable skill. He investigates the numerous experiences along with historical accounts and scientific research as he reveals compelling discoveries about the human brain and our innate capacity to hope.
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January 2014
Random House
Shteyngart, the author of Super Sad True Love Story; The Russian Debutante’s Handbook; and Absurdistan, has penned a memoir – a candid and deeply poignant story of a Soviet (Jewish) family that arrives in America in 1979 to discovers its future. Shteygart wrote, “I’ve finally written a book that isn’t a ribald satire, and because it’s actually based on my life, contains almost no sex whatsoever. I’ve lived this troubled life so others don’t have to. Learn from my failure, please.”
Born Igor Shteyngart in Leningrad during the twilight of the Soviet Union, the curious, diminutive, asthmatic boy grew up with a persistent sense of yearning—for food, for acceptance, for words—desires that would follow him into adulthood. At five, Igor wrote his first novel, Lenin and His Magical Goose, and his grandmother paid him a slice of cheese for every page.
In the late 1970s, world events changed Igor’s life. Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev made a deal: exchange grain for the safe passage of Soviet Jews to America—a country Igor viewed as the enemy. Along the way, Igor became Gary so that he would suffer one or two fewer beatings from other kids. Coming to the United States from the Soviet Union was equivalent to stumbling off a monochromatic cliff and landing in a pool of pure Technicolor.
Shteyngart’s loving but mismatched parents dreamed that he would become a lawyer or at least a “conscientious toiler” on Wall Street, something their distracted son was simply not cut out to do. Fusing English and Russian, his mother created the term Failurchka—Little Failure—which she applied to her son. With love. Mostly.
As a result, Shteyngart operated on a theory that he would fail at everything he tried. At being a writer, at being a boyfriend, and, most important, at being a worthwhile human being.
Swinging between a Soviet home life and American aspirations, Shteyngart found himself living in two contradictory worlds, all the while wishing that he could find a real home in one. And somebody to love him. And somebody to lend him sixty-nine cents for a McDonald’s hamburger.
Provocative, hilarious, and inventive, Little Failure reveals a deeper vein of emotion in Gary Shteyngart’s prose. It is a memoir of an immigrant family coming to America, as told by a lifelong misfit who forged from his imagination an essential literary voice and, against all odds, a place in the world.
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For those with a desire to be a Hillel Director, School Chaplain, Navy Chaplain..
[book] College & University Chaplaincy in the 21st Century
A Multifaith Look at the Practice of Ministry
on Campuses across America
Edited by The Rev. Dr. Lucy Forster-Smith
November 2013
Skylight Paths/JL
Discover how college and university chaplains support, challenge, stir the imagination of and address this generation s urgent longing for connection and meaning. Caregiver, educator, trustee of institutional traditions, public religious voice and, occasionally, prophet: in an increasingly multi-faith, multicultural global world, the role of the college or university chaplain has changed. This book examines experiences and perspectives that arise at the intersection of religious practice, distinct campus culture, student counseling, and the challenges of the secular context of today’s college or university campus.
Contributors who are actively engaged in the work of college chaplaincy from educational institutions as diverse as Stanford University, Williams College, Jesuit-affiliated Creighton University and Louisiana s historically black Dillard University, and from many faith traditions explore the many aspects of campus ministry: serving multifaith constituencies while being anchored in a particular denomination, navigating the secular academy as religious professionals, honoring and supporting the increasingly hyphenated religious identities of young people, and more.
This is a first-of-its-kind practical resource for chaplains and campus ministers, and it will provide a much-needed perspective for seminarians and pastors who are considering work in this field. Faculty and campus administrators, high school youth group leaders and others who work with today s spiritually seeking young people will also find this book essential.
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[book] The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov
by Denise Levertov
Edited by Paul A. Lacey
Introduction by Eavan Boland
November 2013
New Directions
The landmark collected work of one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.
How splendid and impressive to have a complete, clear, and unobstructed view of Denise Levertov at last. Covering more than six decades and including, chronologically, every poem she ever published, Levertov’s Collected Poems presents her marvelous, ground breaking work in full.
Born in England, Denise Levertov emigrated in 1948 to the United States, where she was acclaimed by Kenneth Rexroth in the New York Times as “the most subtly skillful poet of her generation, the most profound, the most modest, the most moving.” A staunch antiwar activist and environmentalist, and the winner of the Robert Frost Medal, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the Lannan Prize, Denise Levertov inspired generations of writers.
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[book] Hanukkah Bear
by Eric A. Kimmel
Illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
November 2013
Holiday House
A bear wakes to a wonderful smell that leads him to the house of Bubba Brayna. Bubba Brayna makes the best latkes in the village, but at ninety-seven, she doesn't hear or see well. When the bear arrives at her door, she believes he is her rabbi. Bubba Brayna and the bear light the menorah, play the dreidel game, and eat all the latkes. The mix-up is revealed, Bubba Brayna has a laugh about it, and everyone works together to make more latkes. The Chanukkah Guest by Eric A. Kimmel (Holiday House, 1990, o.p.) now has a new title, a shorter text, new illustrations
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November 2013
Seal Press
In the early 1960s, most middle-class American women in their twenties had their lives laid out for them: marriage, children, and life in the suburbs. Most, but not all.
Breathless is the story of a girl who represents those who rebelled against conventional expectations. Paris was a magnet for those eager to resist domesticity, and like many young women of the decade, Nancy K. Miller was enamored of everything French—from perfume and Hermès scarves to the writing of Simone de Beauvoir and the New Wave films of Jeanne Moreau. After graduating from Barnard College in 1961, Miller set out for a year in Paris, with a plan to take classes at the Sorbonne and live out a great romantic life inspired by the movies. She wanted to shed her nice Jewish Girl life.

After a string of sexual misadventures, she gave up her short-lived freedom and married an American expatriate who promised her a lifetime of three-star meals and five-star hotels. But her husband wasn't who he said he was, and she eventually had to leave Paris and her dreams behind.
This stunning memoir chronicles a young woman’s coming-of-age tale, and offers a glimpse into the intimate lives of girls before feminism.
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A Handy Primer on the Customs, Culture & Practice of the Chosen People
By Emil Stone
Fall 2013
This handy primer on all things Jewish is filled with funny, surprising and informative facts about Jewish life, culture, and religious practice—all presented in an entertaining and witty voice and accompanied by bold illustrations that pack a graphic punch. Jews, lapsed Jews, and their spouses and friends will surely learn a thing or ten while devouring this addictively readable mix of practical information, fun facts and figures, and amusing trivia. Including information on key figures from Saul to Seinfeld, a lesson in proper Jew-fro care, and a basic guide to all those second-tier holidays no one ever celebrates, this engaging compendium is perfect for gifting or for simply learning more while being thoroughly entertained.
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[book] How to Build a Hovercraft
Air Cannons, Magnetic Motors, and
25 Other Amazing DIY Science Projects
By Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe
Fall 2013
From the Coke and Mentos fountain makers who found initial fame via Maker Faire and YouTube (more than 150 million views!) comes this collection of DIY science projects guaranteed to inspire a love of experimentation. Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz, also known as EepyBird, share their favorite projects: a giant air vortex cannon, a leaf blower hovercraft, a paper airplane that will fly forever, and many more. Each experiment features instructions that will take users from amateur to showman level—there's something here for all skill levels—alongside illustrations, photographs, and carefully explained science. How to Build a Hovercraft is guaranteed to engage curious minds and create brag-worthy results!
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My father fought at Elsenborn Ridge, 99th Infantry, at Krinkelt, but I will recommend this book nevertheless.
The Christmas Battle For Bastogne
by Leo Barron and Don Cygan
November 2013
NAL Press
On Christmas morning, 1944, there was little reason to celebrate.… As the Battle of the Bulge raged, a small force of American solders—including the famed 101st Airborne division, tank destroyer crews, engineers, and artillerymen—was completely surrounded by Hitler’s armies in the Belgian town of Bastogne. Taking the town was imperative to Hitler’s desperate plan to drive back the Allies and turn the tide of the war. The attack would come just before dawn. As the outnumbered, undersupplied Americans gathered in church for services or shivered in their snow-covered foxholes on the fringes of the front lines, freshly reinforced German forces of men and tanks attacked. The battle was up close and personal, with the cold, exhausted soldiers of both armies fighting for every square foot of frozen earth. In the end, the Allied forces would hold the town of Bastogne, with the hard-won victory boosting morale and sounding the death-knell for Hitler’s Third Reich. After this battle, the Nazis would never go on the offensive again. Featuring interviews with the soldiers who were there, as well as never-before-seen or translated documents, No Silent Night is a compelling chronicle of one day that changed the course of the war—and the world.
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[book][book] Eating the Bible
Over 50 Delicious Recipes to Feed Your Body and Nourish Your Soul
by Rena Rossner (you know her from the Jerusalem Post)
November 2013
SkyHorse Press
Feed your body, challenge your mind, and nourish your soul
One weekend, a decade ago, author Rena Rossner was served a bowl of lentil soup at dinner. The portion of the Bible that had been discussed that week was the chapter in which Esau sells his birthright to his brother Jacob for a bowl of red lentil soup. Rossner was struck by the ability to bring the Bible alive in such a tactile way and decided on the spot to see whether she could incorporate the Bible into a meal each week. And so she has. The result, Eating the Bible, is an innovative cookbook with original, easy-to-prepare recipes that will ignite table conversation while pleasing the stomach. Every meal will become both a tactile and intellectual experience as the recipes enrich both the soul of the cook and the palates of those at the table.
Every cook must glance at a recipe countless times before completing a dish. Often recipes involve five- to ten-minute periods during which one must wait for the water to boil, the soup to simmer, or the onions to sauté. It is Rossner’s goal to help enrich those moments with biblical verse and commentary, to enable cooks to feed their souls as they work to feed the members of the household and guests. From the zesty “Garden of Eden Salad” to the “Honey Coriander Manna Bread,” each recipe will delight the palate and spark the mind.
213 color photographs
Rena Rossner has written extensively for the Jerusalem Post and the Jerusalem Report. Her Jerusalem Post cooking column, “The Weekly Portion,” combined recipes with biblical verse. As a mom to five kids, she is always looking for ways to bring more meaning to her family’s meals, and she blogs about this process at She holds an MA in history from McGill University and a BA in nonfiction writing from Johns Hopkins University’s Writing Seminars program. Her poetry and short stories have been published in various print and online magazines. Raised in Miami, she also lived in Canada and Ireland before making her home with her family in Jerusalem, but she still travels extensively to North America and the United Kingdom.
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[book] Granny Is My Wingman
by Kayli Stollak
November 2013
New Harvest/Amazon, HMH
At 23, Kayli Stollak, assumed that she and her boyfriend, Charlie, would be together forever. Besides a rockin’ sex life, they shared a passion for motorcycle adventures, hedonistic European music festivals, and wearing matching glittery spandex to the disco. What more could a gal ask for? She envisioned their love burning well into their sixties.
And then he dumped her.
Heartbroken, Kayli turned to her 75 year old grandmother for support.
But granny Gail is a ball-busting, sh*t-talking, gossipy yenta with an anecdote or piece of unsolicited advice for every situation. Granny didn’t sugarcoat the truth or let Kayli dwell on her failed relationship. No, Granny told her to CUT THE CRAP and SNAP OUT OF IT.
Why didn’t Kayli give “one of those dating websites” a shot? With her ego on the line, Kayli threw the dare right back at her—if it was so wonderful, why didn’t single Granny join her in the world of cyber romance?
So they bother joined JDate
Granny Is My Wingman chronicles Kayli’s and Granny’s misadventures in online dating. What ensues is a hilarious tour through the obstacles of modern love: drunken hookups, late-night Facebook stalking, breathy phone calls with geriatric suitors, and the occasional rude dude. While Kayli powers through a marathon of OkCupid dates—the corporate drone married to his BlackBerry, the nail-biting thirty-three-year-old who still lives at home with his mom, the serial online dater—we learn about Granny’s romantic past and the bittersweet affair she carried on, even while married, for more than thirty years. The two women cheer each other on and become even closer as they share their dating exploits, learning that the hunt for happiness is the same whether you’re twenty-five or seventy-five.
Fresh, funny, and honest, Granny Is My Wingman is a book for anyone who has ever found love, lost it, and been crazy enough to do it all over again.
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[book] Outside the Bible,
3-Volume Set:
Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture
Edited by Dr. Louis H. Feldman
James L. Kugel Ph.D.
And Lawrence H. Schiffman Ph.D.
December 2013
JPS/ Nebraska
The Hebrew Bible is only part of ancient Israel s writings. Another collection of Jewish works has survived from late- and post-biblical times, a great library that bears witness to the rich spiritual life of Jews in that period. This library consists of the most varied sorts of texts: apocalyptic visions and prophecies, folktales and legends, collections of wise sayings, laws and rules of conduct, commentaries on Scripture, ancient prayers, and much, much more.
While specialists have studied individual texts or subsections of this library, Outside the Bible seeks for the first time to bring together all of its major components into a single collection, gathering portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint, the biblical apocrypha, and pseudepigrapha, and the writings of Philo of Alexandria and Josephus.
The editors have brought together these diverse works in order to highlight what has often been neglected; their common Jewish background. For this reason the commentaries that accompany the texts devote special attention to their references to Hebrew Scripture and to issues of halakhah (Jewish law), their allusions to motifs and themes known from later Rabbinic writings in Talmud and Midrash, their evocation of recent or distant events in Jewish history, and their references to other texts in this collection.
The work of more than seventy contributing experts in a range of fields, Outside the Bible offers new insights into the development of Judaism and early Christianity. This three-volume set of translations, introductions, and detailed commentaries is a must for scholars, students, and anyone interested in this great body of ancient Jewish writings.
The collection includes a general introduction and opening essays, new and revised translations, and detailed introductions, commentaries, and notes that place each text in its historical and cultural context. A timeline, tables, and a general index complete the set.
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Hmm… her History is sure to raise an eyebrow
Note.. this is the year after the ghetto was destroyed and made Jew-free. [book] Warsaw 1944
Hitler, Himmler, and the Warsaw Uprising
by Alexandra Richie
December 2013
The full untold story of how one of history’s bravest revolts ended in one of its greatest crimes
In 1943, the Nazis liquidated Warsaw’s Jewish ghetto. A year later, they threatened to complete the city’s destruction by deporting its remaining residents. A sophisticated and cosmopolitan community a thousand years old was facing its final days—and then opportunity struck. As Soviet soldiers turned back the Nazi invasion of Russia and began pressing west, the underground Polish Home Army decided to act. Taking advantage of German disarray and seeking to forestall the absorption of their country into the Soviet empire, they chose to liberate the city of Warsaw for themselves.
Warsaw 1944 tells the story of this brave, and errant, calculation. For more than sixty days, the Polish fighters took over large parts of the city and held off the SS’s most brutal forces. But in the end, their efforts were doomed. Scorned by Stalin and unable to win significant support from the Western Allies, the Polish Home Army was left to face the full fury of Hitler, Himmler, and the SS. The crackdown that followed was among the most brutal episodes of history’s most brutal war, and the celebrated historian Alexandra Richie depicts this tragedy in riveting detail. Using a rich trove of primary sources, Richie relates the terrible experiences of individuals who fought in the uprising and perished in it. Her clear-eyed narrative reveals the fraught choices and complex legacy of some of World War II’s most unsung heroes.
Alexandra Richie is the author of Faust’s Metropolis, a comprehensive cultural and political history of Berlin that Publishers Weekly named one of the top ten books of 1999. She currently lives in Warsaw with her husband, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski.
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[book] The Routes Not Taken
A Trip Through New York City's
Unbuilt Subway System
by Joseph B. Raskin
December 2013
Fordham University Press
Delves deep into the underbelly of the NYC subway system to reveal the tunnels and stations that might have been.
Robert A. Van Wyck, mayor of the greater city of New York, broke ground for the first subway line by City Hall on March 24, 1900. It took four years, six months, and twenty-three days to build the line from City Hall to West 145th Street in Harlem. Things rarely went that quickly ever again. The Routes Not Taken explores the often dramatic stories behind the unbuilt or unfinished subway lines, shedding light on a significant part of New York City's history that has been almost completely ignored until now. West Harlem and the Upper West Side became a Jewish mecca.
NYC is home to one of the world's largest subway systems. It made constant efforts to expand its underground labyrinth, efforts that were often met with unexpected obstacles: financial shortfalls, clashing agendas of mayors and borough presidents, battles with local community groups, and much more.
After discovering a copy of the 1929 subway expansion map, author Joseph Raskin began his own investigation into the city's underbelly. Using research from libraries, historical societies, and transit agencies throughout the New York metropolitan area, Raskin provides a fascinating history of the Big Apple's unfinished business that until now has been only tantalizing stories retold by public-transit experts. The Routes Not Taken sheds light on the tunnels and stations that were completed for lines that were never fulfilled: the efforts to expand the Hudson tubes into a full-fledged subway; the Flushing line, and why it never made it past Flushing; a platform underneath Brooklyn's Nevins Street station that has remained unused for more than a century; and the 2nd Avenue line long the symbol of dashed dreams deferred countless times since the original plans were presented in 1929.
Raskin also reveals the figures and personalities involved, including why Fiorello LaGuardia could not grasp the importance of subway lines and why Robert Moses found them to be old and boring. By focusing on the unbuilt lines, Raskin illustrates how the existing subway system is actually a Herculean feat of countless political compromises.
Filled with illustrations of the extravagant expansion plans, The Routes Not Taken provides an enduring contribution to the transportation history of New York City.
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[book] Netanya
(Hebrew Literature Series)
by Dror Burstein
Todd Hasak-Lowy (Translator)
December 2013
Dalkey Archive
Netanya is a fascinating blend of reminiscence, fiction, and amateur science, seeking to convey not only a personal story but the big picture in which the saga of life on Earth and of the stars that surround it have the same status as anecdotes about one’s aunts and uncles. With a tip of the hat to W. G. Sebald and Yoel Hoffmann, Netanya seeks to transform human history into an intimate family story, and demonstrates how the mind at play can bring a little warmth into a cold universe.
The “plot” of Dror Burstein’s dazzling meditation consists of nothing more than the author’s lying on a bench, looking up at the night sky. What results from this simple action is, however, a monologue whose scope is both personal and cosmic, with Burstein’s thoughts ricocheting between stories from his past and visions of the origin and end of the universe. The result is a fascinating blend of reminiscence, fiction, and amateur science, seeking to convey not only a personal story but the big picture in which the saga of life on Earth and of the stars that surround it have the same status as anecdotes about one’s aunts and uncles. With a tip of the hat to W. G. Sebald and Yoel Hoffmann, Netanya seeks to transform human history into an intimate family story, and demonstrates how the mind at play can bring a little warmth into a cold universe.
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[book] Entree to Judaism for Families
Jewish Cooking and Kitchen Conversations
with Children
by Tina Wasserman
December 2013
URJ Press
Entree to Judaism for Families provides the essential tools for helping children learn to cook with confidence, with clear, step-by-step instructions for every recipe and tips for adults to make the experience safe and rewarding. Every recipe is also a story, and Entree to Judaism for Families provides opportunities to share those stories, by learning the rich history of the communities that created the food, and sharing that food with your own family.
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[book] A Town of Empty Rooms
A Novel
Paperback edition
by Karen E. Bender
January 2014
Southern Jewish life
Karen E. Bender burst on to the literary scene a decade ago with her luminous first novel, Like Normal People, which garnered remarkable acclaim.
A Town of Empty Rooms presents the story of Serena and Dan Shine, estranged from one another as they separately grieve over the recent loss of Serena’s father and Dan’s older brother. Serena’s actions cause the couple and their two small children to be banished from New York City, and they settle in the only town that will offer Dan employment: Waring, North Carolina. There, in the Bible belt of America, Serena becomes enmeshed with the small Jewish congregation in town led by an esoteric rabbi, whose increasingly erratic behavior threatens the future of his flock. Serena gets a job at the synagogue, but is immediately recruited to the Board, and therefore immersed in all the issues of small congregations. Dan and their young son are drawn into the Boy Scouts by their mysterious and vigilant neighbor, who may not have their best intentions at heart. Tensions accrue when matters of faith, identity, community, and family all fall into the crosshairs of contemporary, small-town America. A Town of Empty Rooms presents a fascinating insight into the lengths we will go to discover just where we belong.
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[book] All Russians Love Birch Trees
by Olga Grjasnowa
Translated by Eva Bacon
January 2014
Other Press
Set in Frankfurt, All Russians Love Birch Trees follows a young immigrant named Masha. Fluent in five languages and able to get by in several others, Masha lives with her boyfriend, Elias. Her best friends are Muslims struggling to obtain residence permits, and her parents rarely leave the house except to compare gas prices. Masha has nearly completed her studies to become an interpreter, when suddenly Elias is hospitalized after a serious soccer injury and dies, forcing her to question a past that has haunted her for years.
She moves to Israel when she scores a job as a translator, but since she is Jewish, lived in Germany, and speaks Arabic, she is treated with suspicion, and the author paints a picture of Israel as a paranoid violent trauma filled neurotic nation. Yippee.
Olga Grjasnowa has a unique gift for seeing the funny side of even the most tragic situations. With cool irony, her debut novel tells the story of a headstrong young woman for whom the issue of origin and nationality is immaterial—her Jewish background has taught her she can survive anywhere. Yet Masha isn’t equipped to deal with grief, and this all-too-normal shortcoming gives a particularly bittersweet quality to her adventures.Click the book cover or title to read more or to purchase the book

[book] The Longest Date
Life as a Wife
by Cindy Chupack
January 2014
Over a decade ago, Cindy Chupack, the humorous Jeiwsh writer who hails from Oklahoma and was the chief writer and exec producer for HBO’s Sex and The City taight me a lesson about blind dating. She said that each party should being a mix tape (cd) with them. It might show some part of their soul, and if the date doesn’t work out, as least you have a new mix tape to take home.
Chupack spent much of her adult life writing about dating and relationships (Sex and The City, Oprah Magazine). After her she and her husband were divorced (he realized he is gay, they are still friends and he calls for dating advice), and after many many dates (you have to go on dozens to find a good one, she found THE ONE: Los Angelese Public Defender Ian Wallach. She was 39.
Soulful yet self-deprecating, “The Longest Date” retells the story of her her marriage and divorce, and the meeting of Husband No. 2, Ian. After the courtship and ceremony, both Cindy and Ian realized that happily ever after takes some practice, and near constant negotiation over everyday matters like cooking, sex, holidays, monogamy, and houseguests.
The Longest Date takes a serious turn when it comes to infertility. (Cindy Chupack's endured nasty shots, vile-tasting teas, and a little electro-acupuncture. She's stood on her head and imagined her husband's face on tail-whipping sperm. All in an effort to get pregnant)
And the St Bernard
And life in Los Angeles
The Longest Date is the perfect companion for anyone navigating a serious relationship, be it newlyweds or couples moving in that direction.
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Added bonus… some paragraphs from the Tulsa Jewish paper: She (the rabbi for Cindy’s marriage to Ian) blinked, and nodded — appropriately unfazed. Then she asked, “Was he Jewish?” This seemed like a moot point to me, but I told her yes, he was. I remember how happy my parents were that I was marrying a Jewish doctor. It was like winning the Jewish lottery, until he turned out to be gay. After that, my parents cared less about my boyfriend’s religion than his ability to name at least three pro ballplayers. Therefore it was nice, but not essential, that Ian was Jewish. Ian was a bad-boy motorcycle-riding tattooed lawyer/poet/chef who proposed to me on a beach at sunset riding a white horse and dressed as a knight. The fact that he was Jewish was among the least remarkable things about him. Among the most remarkable things about him was that after hearing my story, he remained straight (note: because nearly every time Cindy told a man in LA at parties that her first husband decided he wanted to be gay, the man replied that he too was thinking of dating men, was married to a man, was bi-sexual, or liked opera.)

[book] ARIK
The Life of Ariel Sharon
by David Landau(Haaretz)
January 2014
From the former editor in chief of Haaretz, the first in-depth comprehensive biography of Ariel Sharon, the most important Israeli political and military leader of the last forty years.
The life of Ariel Sharon spans much of modern Israel's history: A commander in the Israeli Army from its inception in 1948, Sharon participated in the 1948 War of Independence, and played decisive roles in the 1956 Suez War and the six day War of 1967, and most dramatically is largely credited with the shift in the outcome of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. After returning from the army in 1982, Sharon became a political leader and served in numerous governments, most prominently as the defense minister during the 1983 Lebanon War in which he bore "personal responsibility" according to the Kahan Commission for massacres of Palestinian civilians by Lebanese militia, and he championed the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. But as prime minister he performed a dramatic reversal: orchestrating Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Landau brilliantly chronicles and analyzes his surprising about-face. Sharon suffered a stroke in January 2006 and remains in a persistent vegetative state. Considered by many to be Israel's greatest military leader and political statesman, this biography recounts his life and shows how this leadership transformed Israel, and how Sharon's views were shaped by the changing nature of Israeli society.

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[book] ON THE EDGE
January 2014
Grand Central
On the Edge is an engaging leadership manual that provides concrete insights garnered from various extreme environments ranging from Mt Everest to the South Pole. By reflecting on the lessons learned from her various expeditions, author Alison Levine makes the case that the leadership principles that apply in extreme adventure sport also apply in today's extreme business environments. Both settings require you to be able to make crucial decisions on the spot when the conditions around you are far from perfect. Your survival - and the survival of your team-depend on it. On the Edge provides a framework to help people scale whatever big peaks they aspire to climb-be they literal or figurative-by offering practical, humorous, and often unorthodox advice about how to grow as a leader.
Alison Levine has climbed the highest peak on each of the seven continents.  She has skied to both the North and South Poles.  Levine is a former Associate at Goldman Sachs; and she is the team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition. She is an adjunct lecturer at the US Military Academy at West Point, and has an MBA from Duke.
Levine hails from Phoenix. Born in 1966, her father was an FBI agent but was shunned after he spoke out against J. Edgar Hoover. She has achieved the educational, career, and physical stamina highlights even though she suffered from a congenital heart illness and Raynaud’s Disease.
Funny story: Levine was a restaurant hostess in college in Arizona and convinced some Mattel exec who were dining there to give her an internship. To help finance her college education, Levine founded a start-up to source and sell logoed items to various groups and associations on multiple college campuses. After college, Levine worked for Allergan and then Iridex. For three years, she worked as a deputy finance director for Arnold Schwarzenegger campaign to be governor of California

An account of her visit to the Jewish Federation of Washington DC: When first asked to be the team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, Levine originally said, “no.” But after 9/11/2001, Levine realized, you can’t let fear keep you from doing what you want to do and accepted the role as team captain. However, the hard part was just beginning. She needed to find the funds to buy the needed equipment to make it to the top of Everest. It just so happened that her expedition coincided with the launch of the Ford Expedition, providing perfect marketing for the full-size SUV. Levine jokes that she is glad it worked out with Ford because she was also in talks with Chevy whose full-size SUV was named the Avalanche… Much better to go with the Expedition than the Avalanche when climbing a mountain. With her team and funding secured, it came time to climb the mountain. Climbing Mt. Everest typically takes two months. Starting at the base camp, a team will climb to Camp I and spend a night there. After that night, they will climb back down to base camp and let their bodies recover. Next, they will climb up to Camp II and then, after spending some time there, climb back down to base camp again. They then repeat this process with Camp III. The repeated trips are necessary because the body starts to degenerate after 18,000 ft. above sea level and the back and forth between the camps allows the body to adjust to the air pressure. Levine admits that this process, constantly having to go backwards, can be mentally frustrating. The important thing, she continues, is to remember that even when you are going backwards, you are still making progress- sometimes you have to go backwards to get where you want to be.
At the Khumbu Icefall (located between Base Camp and Camp I at the head of the Khumbu glacier), Levine learned that “Fear is okay, complacency is what will kill you.” The fear keeps you on the edge of your game, aware of your surroundings. The fear gets you across the icefall alive.
At Camp IV, her team reached the death zone. Altitudes above 26,000 ft. are considered to be in the death zone, the height at which the body begins to die. At this point, the climbers must take ten to fifteen breaths for every step they take. Ten to fifteen breaths. For one step. Insane. This is also the point at which Levine began to freak out. She told herself, “I just need to make it to that piece of ice.” Then, when she had reached that piece of ice, “I just need to make it to that rock.” When she was ready to give up, she told herself, “Just make it to the next landmark.” The task ahead can seem overwhelming if you look at it as a whole, but breaking it into smaller parts makes it manageable, and that is how Levine moved through the death zone.
About 500 ft. from the summit, the situation began to change. Storm clouds appeared, and the weather conditions quickly worsened. Levine’s team had to choose between moving forward and risking their lives in the storm, or turning around and abandoning their summit attempt. A team only gets one chance at the summit because they only bring enough supplies to make it through the death zone once-turning back meant losing the chance to reach the top. Making the decision to turn back was harder than continuing on for Levine, but she had to think of the members of her team. You can’t always stick to the plan and action must be taken based on the situation at the time. Levine’s teamed turned around, and in the end they made it back down the mountain with their lives. (Levine made it to the summit 8 years later)
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January 2014
This book traces the global, national, and local origins of the conflict between Muslims and Jews in France, challenging the belief that rising anti-Semitism in France is rooted solely in the unfolding crisis in Israel and Palestine. Maud Mandel shows how the conflict in fact emerged from processes internal to French society itself even as it was shaped by affairs elsewhere, particularly in North Africa during the era of decolonization.
Mandel examines moments in which conflicts between Muslims and Jews became a matter of concern to French police, the media, and an array of self-appointed spokesmen from both communities: Israel's War of Independence in 1948, France's decolonization of North Africa, the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the 1968 student riots, and François Mitterrand's experiments with multiculturalism in the 1980s. She takes an in-depth, on-the-ground look at interethnic relations in Marseille, which is home to the country's largest Muslim and Jewish populations outside of Paris. She reveals how Muslims and Jews in France have related to each other in diverse ways throughout this history--as former residents of French North Africa, as immigrants competing for limited resources, as employers and employees, as victims of racist aggression, as religious minorities in a secularizing state, and as French citizens.
In Muslims and Jews in France, Mandel traces the way these multiple, complex interactions have been overshadowed and obscured by a reductionist narrative of Muslim-Jewish polarization.

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[book] Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn
A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing,
and the Beginning of Everything
By Amanda Gefter
January 2014
In a memoir of family bonding and cutting-edge physics for readers of Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality and Jim Holt’s Why Does the World Exist?, Amanda Gefter tells the story of how she conned her way into a career as a science journalist—and wound up hanging out, talking shop, and butting heads with the world’s most brilliant minds. At a Chinese restaurant outside of Philadelphia, a father asks his fifteen-year-old daughter a deceptively simple question: “How would you define nothing?” With that, the girl who once tried to fail geometry as a conscientious objector starts reading up on general relativity and quantum mechanics, as she and her dad embark on a life-altering quest for the answers to the universe’s greatest mysteries. Before Amanda Gefter became an accomplished science writer, she was a twenty-one-year-old magazine assistant willing to sneak her and her father, Warren, into a conference devoted to their physics hero, John Wheeler. Posing as journalists, Amanda and Warren met Wheeler, who offered them cryptic clues to the nature of reality: The universe is a self-excited circuit, he said. And, The boundary of a boundary is zero. Baffled, Amanda and Warren vowed to decode the phrases—and with them, the enigmas of existence. When we solve all that, they agreed, we’ll write a book.
Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn is that book, a memoir of the impassioned hunt that takes Amanda and her father from New York to London to Los Alamos. Along the way, they bump up against quirky science and even quirkier personalities, including Leonard Susskind, the former Bronx plumber who invented string theory; Ed Witten, the soft-spoken genius who coined the enigmatic M-theory; even Stephen Hawking.
What they discover is extraordinary: the beginnings of a monumental paradigm shift in cosmology, from a single universe we all share to a splintered reality in which each observer has her own. Reality, the Gefters learn, is radically observer-dependent, far beyond anything of which Einstein or the founders of quantum mechanics ever dreamed—with shattering consequences for our understanding of the universe’s origin. And somehow it all ties back to that conversation, to that Chinese restaurant, and to the true meaning of nothing.
Throughout their journey, Amanda struggles to make sense of her own life—as her journalism career transforms from illusion to reality, as she searches for her voice as a writer, as she steps from a universe shared with her father to at last carve out one of her own. It’s a paradigm shift you might call growing up.
By turns hilarious, moving, irreverent, and profound, Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn weaves together story and science in remarkable ways. By the end, you will never look at the universe the same way again.
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[book] The Book of Jonah
A Novel
by Joshua Max Feldman
February 2014
Henry Holt
A major literary debut, an epic tale of love, failure, and unexpected faith set in New York, Amsterdam, and Las Vegas.
The modern-day Jonah at the center of Joshua Max Feldman’s brilliantly conceived retelling of the book of Jonah is a young Manhattan lawyer named Jonah Jacobstein. He’s a lucky man: healthy and handsome, with two beautiful women ready to spend the rest of their lives with him and an enormously successful career that gets more promising by the minute. He’s celebrating a deal that will surely make him partner when a bizarre, unexpected biblical vision at a party changes everything. Hard as he tries to forget what he saw, this disturbing sign is only the first of many Jonah will witness, and before long his life is unrecognizable. Though this perhaps divine intervention will be responsible for more than one irreversible loss in Jonah’s life, it will also cross his path with that of Judith Bulbrook, an intense, breathtakingly intelligent woman who’s no stranger to loss herself. As this funny and bold novel moves to Amsterdam and then Las Vegas, Feldman examines the way we live now while asking an age-old question: How do you know if you’re chosen?
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If Jonah above needed a physician in the belly of a Fish... dr. fong would probably appear:
[book] [book] [book] Extreme Medicine
How Exploration Transformed Medicine
in the Twentieth Century
By Kevin Fong M.D.
February 2014
Kevin (Jeremy Sam Yoong) Fong, 42, is an expert on space medicine and Extreme Environment Medicine in England. He is a doctor, trauma specialist, and also has a degree in astrophysicis. An explorer, he is famous guest on BBC-2 science shows and has visited trauma medicine centers throught the planet Earth.
'If you want to know what the human body can take, and why we must continue to push ourselves beyond the limit in the name of exploration, then read this book.' Professor Brian Cox
The book begins with Robert Falcon Scott at the Antarctic in 1912, and goes through his death from hypothermia, organ by organ. His body knows it cant be saved, and it mechanically makes him shiver and slowly seeks energy to delay the death. He was 12 miles from help.
From here, we travel with Dr. Fong, with organs and energy and cells and membranes and equilibrium and fighting entropy and disorder as he discusses the deadly Danish polio outbreak, the 1999 london bombings, SARS in Asia, the Norwegian medical student who froze, went into cardiac arrest for 3 hours, but was brought back to life; and breakthroughs in heart transplants, skin grafting, ICU's, and more.
In anaesthetist Dr Kevin Fong's television programmes he has often demonstrated the impact of extremes on the human body by using his own body as a 'guinea pig'. So Dr Fong is well placed to share his experience of the sheer audacity of medical practice at extreme physiological limits, where human life is balanced on a knife edge. Through gripping accounts of extraordinary events and pioneering medicine, Dr Fong explores how our body responds when tested by the extremes of heat and cold, vacuum and altitude, age and disease. He shows how science, technology and medicine have taken what was once lethal in the world and made it survivable. This is not only a book about medicine, but also about exploration in its broadest sense - and about how, by probing the very limits of our biology, we may ultimately return with a better appreciation of how our bodies work, of what life is, and what it means to be human.
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February 2014
WW Norton / Countryman Press
Manhattan is home to millions of people and yet it harbors an extraordinary array of wondrous places that have remained relatively unknown and undiscovered. Who better than an emeritus geologist at the American Museum of Natural History to be your guide to uncovering these fantastic sites.
Author Sidney Horenstein gives us a unique guide to more than 100 sites that range from prehistoric potholes to lost river beds to the ginko tree of Isham Park. Each of these marvelous sites is described in a brief essay that is accompanied by a photo. The book is organized by neighborhood, with a locator map for each covered areas of Manhattan. His astute exploration of these sites will give the reader a scientifically accurate insight into the history, geology, and landscape of Manhattan. You’ll never see the island in the same way again!
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[book] The Priority List
A teacher’s Final Quest to Discover Life’s Greatest lessons
By David Menasche
January 2014
In this poignant and inspiring memoir, a beloved high school English teacher with terminal brain cancer undertakes a cross-country journey to reunite with his former students from Miami Florida area in order to find out if he made a difference in their lives, discovering along the way what is truly important in life.
At thirty-four years old, David Menasche was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was given two months to live. Six years later and fifteen years after he began teaching, Menasche suffered a catastrophic seizure that began to steal his vision, memories, mobility, and perhaps most tragically of all—his ability to continue teaching.
But teaching is something David Menasche can’t quit. Undaunted by the difficult road ahead of him, he decided to end his treatments and make life his classroom. Cancer had taken his past and would certainly, at some point, take his future, but he wouldn't allow it to take his present. He put out a call on Facebook and within hours of posting his plan to travel the country, former students now living in more than fifty cities replied with offers to help and couches to sleep on. The lasting lessons he collected on his journey make up The Priority List.
Based on one of Menasche’s favorite lessons, The Priority List is a remarkable book of insights that explores many of life’s biggest themes, such as love, wealth, family, ambition, and friends, and asks us all to consider what really matters.
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[book] Stranger in My Own Country
A Jewish Family in Modern Germany
by Yascha Mounk
January 2014
As a Jew in postwar Germany, Yascha Mounk felt like a foreigner in his own country. When he mentioned that he is Jewish, some made anti-Semitic jokes or talked about the superiority of the Aryan race. Others, sincerely hoping to atone for the country’s past, fawned over him with a forced friendliness he found just as alienating.
Vivid and fascinating, Stranger in My Own Country traces the contours of Jewish life in a country still struggling with the legacy of the Third Reich and who, inevitably, continue to live in its shadow. Marshaling an extraordinary range of material into a lively narrative, Mounk surveys his countrymen’s responses to the “Jewish question.” Examining history, the story of his family, and his own childhood, he shows that anti-Semitism and far-right extremism have long coexisted with self-conscious philo-Semitism.
But of late a new kind of resentment against Jews has come out in the open. Unnoticed by much of the outside world, the desire for a “finish line” that would spell a definitive end to the country’s obsession with the past is feeding an emphasis on German victimhood. Mounk shows how, from the government’s pursuit of a less “apologetic” foreign policy to the way the country’s idea of the “Volk” makes life difficult for its immigrant communities, a troubled nationalism is shaping Germany’s future.
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My Loves and Lives with Calvin Klein
By Nick Gruber
A tell all memoir by Nick Gruber, 23, a former estranged boyfriend of designer and fashion leader, Calvin Klein, 70. Silly details, like that Klein forced the former porn actor to take lie detector tests to find out if he was cheating, and that Gruber made Klein eat a Big Mac — which Klein requested as “medium rare” from the McDonald’s employee.

[book] THE AGENT
With Evan Arkush
February 2014
Thomas Dunne, Saint Martin’s Press
Leigh Steinberg is the famed sports agent and attorney, Berkeley and Boadt Hall grad, upon whom the film character of Jerry Maguire is said to have been based. Here is his behind the scenes look at the life of a super-agent and his deals, and his game changing behavior in the world of professional sports
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[book] A Child of Christian Blood
Murder and Conspiracy in Tsarist Russia
The Beilis Blood Libel
by Edmund Levin
February 2014
A riveting account of one of the most notorious blood libels of the twentieth century: a Jewish factory worker is falsely accused of ritually murdering a Christian boy in Russia in 1913, and his trial becomes an international cause célèbre. A parallel to the Leo Frank case of Marietta Georgia in 1913.
On March 20, 1911, thirteen-year-old Andrei Yushchinsky was found stabbed to death in a cave on the outskirts of Kiev. Four months later, Russian police arrested Mendel Beilis, a 37-year-old father of five who worked as a clerk in a brick factory nearby, and charged him not only with Andrei’s murder but also with the Jewish ritual murder of a Christian child. Despite the fact that there was no evidence linking him to the crime, that he had a solid alibi, and that his main accuser was a professional criminal who was herself under suspicion for the murder, Beilis was imprisoned for more than two years before being brought to trial. As a handful of Russian officials and journalists diligently searched for the real killer, the rabid anti-Semites known as the Black Hundreds whipped into a frenzy men and women throughout the Russian Empire who firmly believed that this was only the latest example of centuries of Jewish ritual murder of Christian children.
With the full backing of Tsar Nicholas II’s teetering government, the prosecution called an array of “expert witnesses”—pathologists, theologians, a psychological profiler—whose laughably incompetent testimony horrified liberal Russians and brought to Beilis’s side an array of international supporters that included Thomas Mann, H. G. Wells, Anatole France, Arthur Conan Doyle, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Jane Addams. The jury’s stunning, split verdict allowed both sides to claim victory: they agreed with the prosecution’s description of the wounds on the boy’s body—a description that was worded to imply a ritual murder—but they determined that Beilis was not the murderer. After the fall of the Romanovs in 1917, many of those involved in the investigation and the trial were themselves imprisoned or murdered by the Bolsheviks. A renewed effort to find Andrei’s killer was not successful, and his grave has become a pilgrimage site for those convinced that the boy was murdered by a Jew so that his blood could be used in making Passover matzo. Visitors today will find it covered with flowers.
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A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage
May 2014
Simon and Schuster
HEY. I know Molly Wizenberg (daughter of the late Dr. Morris Weisenberg Wizenberg of Oklahoma City) is Episcopalian, and the name Delancey refers to a restaurant in Seattle and not Loisaida NYC, but it is an interesting book and I am adding it to the site)
In this funny, frank, and tender new memoir, the author of the New York Times bestseller A Homemade Life and the blog Orangette recounts how opening a pizza restaurant in the Seattle area sparked the first crisis of her young marriage.
When Molly Wizenberg married Brandon Pettit, she vowed to support him and work with him to make their hopes and dreams come true. Even when Brandon’s enthusiasms—building a boat, constructing a violin, and opening an ice cream shop—turned out to be nothing more than passing ideas, Molly stayed by his side, supportive and optimistic.
So when Brandon decided to open a pizza restaurant, Molly was certain it would join the boat, the violin, and the ice cream shop on his list of abandoned projects. Before she knew it, he’d signed a lease on a space. The restaurant, Delancey, was going to be a reality, and all of Molly’s assumptions about her married life were about to change.
The two partners gutted and renovated the space, built their own furniture, hired staff, and passed health inspections. When their restaurant turned out to be a success, Molly tried her best to convince herself she was happy in their new life. But that was before Halloween night, when she was forced to admit she hadn’t been honest with herself or Brandon.
With twenty new home kitchen recipes and evocative photos by Molly, Delancey is a moving and honest account of how two young people learned to give in and let go in order to strengthen their bond and receive something more.
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[book] Mad as Hell
The Making of Network and the
Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies
by Dave Itzkoff
February 2014
Times Books
The behind-the-scenes story of the making of the iconic movie Network, which transformed the way we think about television and the way television thinks about us
“I’m mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!”
Those words, spoken by an unhinged anchorman named Howard Beale, “the mad prophet of the airwaves,” took America by storm in 1976, when Network became a sensation. With a superb cast (including Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, and Robert Duvall) directed by Sidney Lumet, the film won four Academy Awards and indelibly shaped how we think about corporate and media power.
In Mad As Hell, Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times recounts the surprising and dramatic story of how Network made it to the screen. Such a movie rarely gets made any more—one man’s vision of the world, independent of studio testing or market research. And that man was Paddy Chayefsky, the tough, driven, Oscar-winning screenwriter whose vision—outlandish for its time—is all too real today. Itzkoff uses interviews with the cast and crew, as well as Chayefsky’s notes, letters, and drafts to re-create the action in front of and behind the camera at a time of swirling cultural turmoil. The result is a riveting account that enriches our appreciation of this prophetic and still-startling film.
Itzkoff also speaks with today’s leading broadcasters and filmmakers to assess Network’s lasting impact on television and popular culture. They testify to the enduring genius of Paddy Chayefsky, who foresaw the future and whose life offers an unforgettable lesson (he battled anti-Semitism) about the true cost of self-expression.
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[book] GENESIS
American Jews,
and the Origins
of the
Arab/Israeli Conflict
by John B. Judis (TNR The New Republic)
January 2014
A probing look at one of the most incendiary subjects of our time—the relationship between the United States and Israel There has been more than half a century of raging conflict between Jews and Arabs—a violent, costly struggle that has had catastrophic repercussions in a critical region of the world. In Genesis, John B. Judis argues that, while Israelis and Palestinians must shoulder much of the blame, the United States has been the principal power outside the region since the end of World War II and as such must account for its repeated failed efforts to resolve this enduring strife.
The fatal flaw in American policy, Judis shows, can be traced back to the Truman years. What happened between 1945 and 1949 sealed the fate of the Middle East for the remainder of the century. As a result, understanding that period holds the key to explaining almost everything that follows—right down to George W. Bush’s unsuccessful and ill-conceived effort to win peace through holding elections among the Palestinians, and Barack Obama’s failed attempt to bring both parties to the negotiating table. A provocative narrative history animated by a strong analytical and moral perspective, and peopled by colorful and outsized personalities, Genesis offers a fresh look at these critical postwar years, arguing that if we can understand how this stalemate originated, we will be better positioned to help end it.
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By Tamar Caspi
January 2014
Seal Press
Have you been single longer than the Jews wandered the desert?
Or are you newly single and hoping to hook up with a hot MOT*?
Either way, Tamar Caspi is on a mission to help you find your Chosen One... and who better to do that than the advice columnist from the massively popular dating site
In How to Woo a Jew, your very own Jewish Carrie Bradshaw takes you through each facet of the dating world—from traditional Jewish matchmaking and mixers to modern online dating portals, from honing your Jewdar to kosher sex. Whatever mishegas you’ve made of your love life, Caspi has words of wisdom—and a few enlightening quizzes, charts, and illustrations—to help you find your Jewish soul mate
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January 2014
In today's world, customers don't want to hear sales pitches, but so many salespeople still rely on them. In his breakthrough handbook, Ditch the Pitch, Steve Yastrow, founder of a successful business strategy consulting firm, asks us to throw out everything we've been taught about pitching to customers. Steve's advice: tear up your sales pitch and instead improvise persuasive conversations.
Ditch the Pitch is an essential read for salespeople, business managers, and anyone wishing to persuade those around them. Organized into six habits, with each habit consisting of three practices necessary for mastery, Ditch the Pitch is designed to teach Yastrow's approach to fresh, spontaneous, persuasive conversations. These new skills will show the reader how to identify the details that make each customer unique and subsequently navigate a conversation that focuses on the right message for the right customer at the right time.
Throughout the book, the author quotes well-known improv comedians and musicians. He translates the techniques these artists use when improvising to create persuasive situations with customers. With the new confidence Ditch the Pitch offers, you will become master of the art of on-the-spot, engaging, and effective customer interactions. Let go of pre-written scripts and embrace Yastrow's guidelines for effortlessly enabling spontaneous conversations that persuade customers to say "yes."
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February 2014
St. Martin’s Press
Svelte and supple as unleavened bread, Shlepping the Exile rends the shmaltz from Jewish fiction and replaces it with a pound of real flesh.
It's the story of Yoine Levkes, a hassidic boy of the Canadian prairies, his refugee parents, and the Jewish community of Coalbanks, Alberta in the late 1950s. Confronted with dying people, an ailing culture, the perils of near-orphanhood and the allures of Sabina Mandelbroit, whose family doesn't keep the Sabbath, Yoine can no longer tell whether he's a human being or a loot-bag of conflicting traditions. He's too religious to be 'normal,' too 'normal' not to realize this, and too much of a kid to be able to make any sense of it.  
Shlepping the Exile is Michael Wex's inside portrait of orthodox, post-Holocaust Judaism in a place that it never expected to be.
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[book] Beyond Magenta
Transgender Teens Speak Out
By Susan Kuklin
February 2014
Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender, and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves
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[book] The Broken and the Whole
Discovering Joy after Heartbreak
by Rabbi Charles S. Sherman
Rabbi of Temple Adath Yeshurun in Syracuse NY for over 28 years
March 2014
Rabbi Sherman and his wife are the father of five. He is a grad of Yeshiva College and JTS and nearing the time when many synagogue leaders retire. I only made it through the first few chapters so far; my eyes kept leaking for his stories.
The book open in the Poconos. Sherman and his family are in their vacation house, away from congregants and being a regular family and playing at a pool. He is relaxing and thinking of sermons and classes for the upcoming Fall. All is well. The book continues the next Spring when he is awoken by his youngest son who is ill. The rush from their pastel bathroom to the hospital and the prognosis is awful. The doctors advise that they should allow nature to let their son – Eyal (Force) - pass away
They fight. They find a physician who can do surgery and says there is a chance. After multiple surgeries and hospital stays their pre school son come home: quadriplegic; partially blind, in need of a feeding tube and respirator, and 24/7 care. Yet with support and care and love and prayer, he is now in his 30’s and recently graduated with a degree in Art (he paints with a brush in his teeth)
This is Rabbi Sherman’s story of his path to joy, even though his ideas of a heavy load prestigious congregation and glory and ambition and ego were reduced three decades ago.
It is a powerful, inspiring memoir about the wisdom a rabbi gained after his young son suffered a catastrophic brain stem stroke that left him quadriplegic and dependent on a ventilator for each breath. As a young, ambitious rabbi at one of New York’s largest synagogues, Charles Sherman had high hopes for what his future would hold — a happy and healthy family, professional success, and recognition. Then, early one morning in 1986, everything changed. His son Eyal spiked a fever and was soon in serious respiratory distress. Doctors discovered a lesion on the four-year-old’s brain stem. Following high-risk surgery, Eyal suffered a catastrophic stroke. Sherman and his wife later learned that their son would never walk, talk, feed himself, or breathe on his own again—yet his mind was entirely intact. He was still the curious, intelligent boy they had always loved. Rabbi Sherman found himself confronting life’s biggest questions: To what lengths should parents go to protect their children? How can we maintain faith in God when tragedies like this occur? Is it possible to experience joy after heartbreak?
Now, with deep insight, refreshing honesty, humor, and intelligence, Rabbi Charles Sherman reflects back on his life and describes his struggle to address and ultimately answer these questions. The Broken and the Whole is a moving and affecting meditation on rebuilding your life when everything you’ve known has been shattered to pieces.
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March 2014
Jewish Encounters Series
A fascinating biography of the sixth prime minister of Israel that explains how the pre-state terrorist became the first Israeli leader to sign a peace treaty with an Arab country.
Reviled as a fascist demagogue by his great rival Ben-Gurion, venerated by Israel’s underclass, the first Israeli to win the Nobel Peace Prize, a proud Jew but not a conventionally religious one, Menachem Begin was a complex and controversial figure. Born in Poland in 1913, Begin was a youthful admirer of the Revisionist Zionist Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and soon became a leader within Jabotinsky’s Betar movement. A powerful orator and mesmerizing public figure, Begin was imprisoned by the Soviets in 1940, joined the Free Polish Army in 1942, and arrived in Palestine as a Polish soldier shortly thereafter. Joining the underground paramilitary Irgun in 1943, he achieved instant notoriety for the organization’s devastating bombings of British military installations and other violent acts.
Intentionally left out of the newly established Israeli government, Begin’s right-leaning Herut political party became a fixture of the opposition to the Labor-dominated governments of Ben-Gurion and his successors, until the surprising parliamentary victory of his political coalition in 1977 made him prime minister of Israel. Welcoming Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Israel and co-signing a peace treaty with him on the White House lawn in 1979, Begin accomplished what his predecessors could not. His welcoming of Ethiopian Jews and Vietnamese “boat people” was universally admired, and his decision to bomb Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981 is now regarded as an act of courageous foresight. But the disastrous invasion of Lebanon in 1982 to end the PLO’s shelling of Israel’s northern cities, combined with declining health and the death of his wife, led Begin to resign in 1983. He spent the next nine years in virtual seclusion, until his death in 1992. Begin was buried not alongside Israel’s prime ministers, but alongside the Irgun comrades who died in the struggle to create the Jewish national home to which he had devoted his life.
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by Lipika Pelham
March 2014
The Other Press
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict seen by an outsider who craves to make sense of herself, her marriage, and the city she lives in – Jerusalem
The Unlikely Settler is none other than a young Bengali BBC World Service journalist who moves to Jerusalem with her English-Jewish husband and two children. He speaks Arabic and is an arch-believer in the peace process; she leaves her BBC career behind to follow his dream. Jerusalem propels Pelham into a world where freedom from tribal allegiance is a challenging prospect. From the school you choose for your children to the wine you buy, you take sides at every turn.
Pelham’s complicated relationship with her husband, Leo, is as emotive as the city she lives in, as full of energy, pain, and contradictions. As she tries to navigate the complexities and absurdities of daily life in Jerusalem, often with hilarious results, Pelham achieves deep insights into the respective woes and guilt of her Palestinian and Israeli friends. Her intelligent analysis suggests a very different approach to a potential resolution of the conflict.
Although the cover art is nice, I think this book would sell much better if they had a subtitle that mentioned that Lipika was born on the border of India and Bangladesh, was a prize winning filmmaker and journalist, and gave inkling into the contents of the book. You probably know Lipika from her award winning film, “Deadly Honour” about 9 Bedouin women killed in Israel in the past 7 years for showing skin, not being modest enough, or other honour killing issues. Pelham hints that Israeli authorities have failed to properly investigate the murders and lets Bedouins kill as they wish.
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[book] THE LIE
March 2014
A “page-turner that will engage your mind and emotions in a way few novels do” (Stephen King) about a left-wing Israeli lawyer—famous for defending Palestinians—whose views face the ultimate test when her own son is captured and tortured by terrorists.
Devoted mother, soon-to-be divorced wife, attractive lover of an American television correspondent, Dahlia Barr is a brash and successful Israeli attorney whose life’s work is defending Palestinians accused of terrorism. One day, to her astonishment, the Israeli national police approach Dahlia with a tantalizing proposition: Join us, and become the government’s arbiter on when to use the harshest of interrogation methods—what some would call torture. Dahlia is intrigued. She has no intention of permitting torture. Can she change the system from within? She takes the job.
Then, one horrible day, Dahlia’s son Ari, a twenty-year-old lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces, is kidnapped by Hezbollah and whisked over the border to Lebanon. As fate would have it, the one man who may hold the key to Ari’s rescue is currently locked in a cell in police headquarters. He is an Arab who has a long and complicated history with Dahlia. And he’s not talking.
A nail-biting thriller, pulsing with insight into the inner-workings of Israel’s security apparatus, The Lie is an unforgettable story of human beings on both sides of the terror equation whose lives turn out to share more in common than they—and the reader—ever could have imagined.
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[book] The Double Life of Paul De Man
By Evelyn Barish (CUNY, Professor Emeritus)
March 2014
Liveright WW Norton
Also known as “Paul de Man: A Life of Betrayals”
An explosive biography, decades in the making, reveals the secret past of the academic who held an entire generation in his thrall.
Thirty years after his death in 1983, Yale University professor Paul de Man remains a haunting figure. The Nazi collaborator and chameleon-like intellectual created with Deconstruction a literary movement so pervasive that it threatened to topple the very foundation of literature and history itself.
The revelation in 1988 that de Man had written a collaborationist and anti-Semitic article that said Jewish writers were mediocre and that isolating Jews would not affect literature too much, led to his intellectual downfall, yet biographer Evelyn Barish apprehended that nothing appeared to contextualize the life he assiduously sought to conceal.
Relying on archival research and hundreds of interviews, Barish evokes figures such as Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Hardwick, and Jacques Derrida. Reexamining de Man’s life, particularly in prewar Europe and his reincarnation in postwar America, she reveals, among other things, his embezzlement schemes (he was sentenced to 6 years in prison in absentia after embezzling funds), his lack of an undergraduate degree, and his bigamous marriage. He abandoned his first wife and three sons and never supported the children even in later years. The life of the man who despised narrative, particularly biography, finally is revealed in depth in this searching portrait of Paul de Man and his era. 8 pages of photographs
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[book] Exodus
A memoir by the author of Unorthodox
by Deborah Feldman
March 2014
Blue Rider Press
The memoir open with Feldman on a couch with a therapist imagining herself as a child in Williamsburg. Will it help her overcome her sexual dysfunction?
Feldman recounts her new life as a young woman, free of her family, a religious refugee, a 26 year old single mother, and her search for a personal Jewish identity in rural New England near a lake that reflects her new image
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May 2014
Other Press
Short-listed for the Tractatus Essay Prize, an examination of the innovative strategies Arendt used to achieve intellectual freedom
After observing the trial of Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt articulated her controversial concept of the “banality of evil,” thereby posing one of the most chilling and divisive moral questions of the twentieth century: How can genocidal acts be carried out by non-psychopathic people? By revealing the full complexity of the trial with reasoning that defied prevailing attitudes, Arendt became the object of severe and often slanderous criticism, losing some of her closest friends as well as being labeled a “self-hating Jew.” And while her theories have continued to draw innumerable opponents, Arendt’s work remains an invaluable resource for those seeking greater insight into the more problematic aspects of human nature.
Anchoring its discussion in the themes of translation, forgiveness, dramatization, and even laughter, Unlearning with Hannah Arendt explores the ways in which this iconic political theorist “unlearned” recognized trends and patterns—both philosophical and cultural—to establish a theoretical praxis all her own. Through an analysis of the social context and intellectual influences—Karl Jaspers, Walter Benjamin, and Martin Heidegger—that helped shape Arendt’s process, Knott has formed a historically engaged and incisive contribution to Arendt’s legacy.
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By Georg Rauch
The 2006 memoir of George Rauch, who was one quarter Jewish in Vienna and helped his mother hide Jews. Drafter into the German army in WWII, he served on the Russian front reluctantly and battled more for his own survival than for Hitler. Rauch passed away in 2006.
Rauch finds himself near death many times, but his talents as a shortwave radio operator, chef, and even harmonica player all play a role in his survival. Captured by the Russians in the autumn of 1944, Rauch faces brutality and near-fatal illness as a POW. Recruitment for Russian espionage saves his life this time, but his story isn't over yet. Based on eighty letters sent home from the Russian trenches, a riveting tale of paradox and survival during World War II.

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


[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.
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