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Welcome to our pages of Winter 2015, Fall 2014, Summer 2014, Spring 2014, Winter 2014, Fall 2013, and oh so many more Book Suggestions. For our Home Page, Please visit


September 01, 2015: Linda Hirshman reads from Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World. B&N UWS NYC
September 05, 2015: National Book Festival, Washington DC
September 10, 2015: Rita Gabis reads from A Guest at the Shooters' Banquet: My Grandfather's SS Past, My Jewish Family, A Search for the Truth. B&N NYC UWS
September 20, 2015: Brooklyn Book Festival
September 23, 2015: Yom Kippur
September 24, 2015: Jesse Eisenberg reads from Bream Gives Me Hiccups. B&N Union Square NYC.

October 02-04, 2015: New Yorker Festival NYC. With readings by Jesse Eisenberg, Damian Lewis, Adam Driver, Marc Maron, Calvin Trillin, Larry Kramer, Rep. John Lewis, David Remnick, Jeffrey Tambor, Ariel Levy, Jonathan Safran Foer, Norman Lear, Andrew Jarecki, Ilana Gazer, Emily Nussbaum, Abbi Jacobson, Jason Segel, Billy Joel, Joshua Rothman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Larry Wilmore, Zaha Hadid, and more
October 07, 2015. Comics and the Jews. To celebrate NYCC Super Week, the American Jewish Historical Society is gathering comics historians Karen Green and Arie Kaplan with former Marvel writer/editor Danny Fingeroth and former DC Comics president Paul Levitz to discuss the essential influence of Jewish creators on the world's greatest superheroes. After the panel, participate in a silent art auction to win a custom comic book made for the event by Rich Buckler, Jerry Ordway, Joe Staton, Roy Thomas and more. Center for Jewish History NYC
October 06, 2015: Anita Diamant reads from Boston Girl. B&N NYC UWS 82nd & Bway
October 08, 2015: Geraldine Brooks reads from The Secret Chord. B&N NYC UWS 82nd & Bway
October 08-11,2015: Comic Con NYC
October 08, 2015, 7 pm Arabic Literature at the Center for Fiction - Editor Philip Kennedy and New York Review contributor Marina Warner will moderate a panel with Amitav Ghosh, Elias Khoury and Sinan Antoon. NYC
October 11, 2015: Yivo Institute NYC screens “No Asylum: The Untold Chapter of Anne Frank's Story.”
October 13, 2015: Yivo Institute NYC commemorates the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate – Second Vatican Council
October 14, 2015: Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli, with Ted Merwin, Associate Professor of Religion and Judaic Studies at Dickinson College (PA), where he is Founding Director of the Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life. NY Public Library Mid Manhattan Branch 630PM
October 15, 2015: Chaya Deitsch reads from Here and There: Leaving Hasidism, Keeping My Family. B&N NYC UWS 82nfd and Bway
October 15, 2015: Former US Secretary of the Treasury and President Emeritus of Harvard Lawrence Summers (and son of Bob and Anita Arrow Summers) discusses Academic Freedom and Anti-Semitism on college campuses and BDS Movement. Yivo Institute NYC 630 PM
October 18, 2015: Opening Night of Washington DC JCC Jewish Literary Festival featuring Etgar Keret and his memoir, The Seven Good Years.
October 19, 2015: Washington DC JCC Jewish Literary Festival featuring Replacement Lives: David Bezmozgis, Boris Fishman & Lara Vapnyar In Conversation at Folger Shakespeare Library.
October 19, 2015: Sarah Abrevaya Stein (UCLA) on “Saharan Jews and the Fate of French Algeria”, with Aomar Bourn and Joshua Streie. UCLA Bunche Hall
October 20, 2015: Washington DC JCC Jewish Literary Festival featuring John Klima, The Game Must Go On: Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII.
October 20, 2015: Rita Gabis on “A Guest at the Shooters' Banquet” (Ruth Gay Seminar in Jewish Studies) Yivo Institute NYC, 7PM
October 20, 2015: Dr. Ron Wolfson reads from The Best Boy in the USA.
October 21, 2015: Washington DC JCC Jewish Literary Festival – An Evening with Michael Pollan.
October 22, 2015: Shulem Deen reads from All Who Go Do Not Return.
October 22, 2015: Washington DC JCC Jewish Literary Festival - The Helen & Milton Covensky Fund - Dina Gold, Stolen Legacy: Nazi Theft and the Quest for Justice at Krausenstrasse 17/18, Berlin.
October 25, 2015: Movie screening of Deli Man by Erik Greenburg Anjou with food from Katz's Delicatessan, Mile End, and Second Avenue Deli. 11AM $45 NYC.
October 25, 2015: Roman Vishniac Rediscovered. Symposium. Center for Jewish History NYC 10AM-6PM
October 25, 2015: Washington DC JCC Jewish Literary Festival featuring Alan Dershowitz, Abraham: The World's First (But Certainly Not Last) Jewish Lawyer.
October 26, 2015: Washington DC JCC Jewish Literary Festival featuring Intrepid Time Travelers: New Fiction by Novelists Jessamyn Hope, Jami Attenberg and Mary Morris
October 27, 2015: Aomar Bourn on “Memories of Absence: How Muslims Remember Jewis in Morocco” UCA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies. UCLA Royce Hall
October 27, 2015: Washington DC JCC Jewish Literary Festival - Local Jewish Authors Fair
October 28, 2015: Washington DC JCC Jewish Literary Festival Closing Night - The Gerald L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture - Shalom Auslander is HAPPYish

October 28, 2015: Israeli Brig. General Relik Shafir, Steven Spiegel (UCLA), and Saba Soomekh (UCLA) on Historical Perspectives on a Nuclear Middle East... UCLA
November 01, 2015: Panel on YL Peretz and the Forging of Medern Jewish Culture, featuring Michael Steinlauf, Jeremy Dauber, and Martin Peretz. YIVO Institute NYC
November 3, 2015: Gil P. Klein on Sabbath as City: Rabbinic Urbanism and Imperial Territoriality in Roman Palestine. UCLA Royce Hall
November 04, 2015: The Official 20th Anniversary Commemoration of REMEBERING RABIN, presented with the Consulate General of the State of Israel, NYC. 7PM Free, Temple Emanuel.
November 05, 2015: David Evanier reads from Woody: A Biography. B&N NYC UWS 82nd & Bway
November 05, 2015: David Bezmozgis reads from The Betrayers, his National Jewish Book Award winning 2014 novel. UCLA RoyceHall. 4PM
November 04, 2015: Why #BlackLivesMatter is a Jewish Issue. A panel with Stosh Cotler, Opel Tometi, Yavilah McCoy, and David Goodman.
November 10, 2015: Kenneth Wishnia reads from Jewish Noir: Contemporary Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds. B&N UWS NYC
November 10, 2015: Jesse Eisenberg reads from Bream Gives My Hiccups. Skylight Books, Los Angeles CA
November 11, 2015: Eli Horowitz reads from The Pickle Index. Skylight Books, Los Angeles CA

November 15-16, 2015: UCLA Conference. On the Margins of the Holocaust. Jews, Muslims, and Colonialism in North Africa During the Second World War. UCLA Faculty Center
November 15-22, 2015 – Miami International Book Fair – Miami Florida
November 15, 2015: A Trial of Biblical Proportions. Be a juror. The People versus MOSES. Alan Dershowitz is Defense. Dan Abrams is the Prosecutor. Hon. Federal Judge Alison J. Nathan presides. $35.
November 16, 2015: Miami Book Fair - An Evening with Robert B. Reich. Chapman Conference Center (Building 3, 2nd Floor, Room 3210), 300 NE Second Ave., Miami
November 17, 2015: Kerri P. Steinberg reads from JEWISH MAD MEN. UCLA. Royce Hall
November 18, 2015: Joe Klein reads from CHARLIE MIKE: A True Story of War and Finding the Way Home, the story of Eric Greitans, a decorated Navy SEAL is is Jewish. Jewish Book Council and
November 19, 2015: Micah Goodman reads from MAIMONIDES AND THE BOOK THAT CHANGED JUDAISM.
November 19, 2015: Miami Book Fair - An Evening With David Axelrod 8PM - Chapman Conference Center (Building 3, 2nd Floor, Room 3210), 300 NE Second Ave., Miami, Fl
November 20, 2015: Miami Book Fair - Authors Congressman John Lewis, and Andrew Aydin discuss MARCH: BOOK 2 – 8:30 AM - Chapman Conference Center (Building 3, 2nd Floor, Room 3210), 300 NE Second Ave., Miami, Fl (also repeated Saturday 11/21)
November 20, 2015: Miami Book Fair - Author Kate Schatz reads from RAD AMERICAN WOMEN A-Z – 10AM
November 20, 2015: Miami Book Fair. In a redux of a BEA panel, Authors Dave Barry, Adam Mansbach & Alan Zweibel chat. 1:00 PM -
November 21, 2015: Miami Book Fair - Global Environmental Challenges: New Nonfiction. Philip Warburg reads from Harness The Sun (the author leads Friends of Israel's Environment FIE) and takes readers on a far-flung journey that explores America’s solar revolution. In his bracing response to climate change, Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization, Roy Scranton combines memoir, reportage, philosophy, and Zen wisdom to explore what it means to be human in a rapidly evolving world. Wen Stephenson‘s What We’re Fighting for Now is Each Other: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Climate Justice is an urgent look at some of the “new American radicals” who have laid everything on the line to build a stronger climate justice movement
November 21, 2015: Miami Book Fair By the Book: The New York Times’ Pamela Paul Talks Books with Some of MBF’s Favorite Authors. 10 AM
November 21, 2015: Miami Book Fair - A Conversation on Indian Cuisine with 7 -time James Beard Award–winning author Madhur Jaffrey and her newest book ”Vegetarian India” 10AM
November 21, 2015: Miami Book Fair - Intersections: Technology and Culture - Authors Kentaro Toyama. Martin Ford, and Craig Lambert
November 21, 2015: Miami Book Fair – Villified journalist Judith Miller defends her choices in a book
November 21, 2015: Miami Book Fair - Our Parents, Ourselves: Family Memories. Featuring NPR's and NYT Bob Morris and his memoir “Bobby Wonderful: An Imperfect Son Buries His Parents;” and Homer Hickam and his novel, Carrying Albert Home; and NPR's Scott Simon and his memoir, Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime. Bring a kleenex tissue 1030 AM
November 21, 2015: Miami Book Fair - The Art of the Typewriter - The founders of the world’s largest visual and concrete poetry archive, Marvin and Ruth Sackner, discuss The Art of Typewriting, a definitive overview of typewriter art.
November 21, 2015: Miami Book Fair – It isnt Moreino Schwartz of Susan Schmidt's Challah Pena blog, but - Culinary Traditions: Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela with Doreen Colondres, Lorena Garciaand and Jose Rafael Lovera
November 21, 2015: Miami Book Fair - New Florida Thrillers - Paul Levine brings together all three of the heroes from his two South Florida-based, legal-thriller series — Lassiter, Solomon and Lord — in Bum Rap. And Congressman Steve Israel chats about his thriller
November 21, 2015: Miami Book Fair = Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman chats on The History of Psychiatry
November 21-22, 2015: Miami Book Fair – readings from Ben Mezrich (Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs); Eric Bogosian (Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide); Hallie Ephron, Ru Freeman, and Marita Golden; genius Ben Lerner; Mitch Albom; Elliot Ackerman; Morgan Entrekin; PJ O'Rourke; BA Shapiro; Joshua Cohen; Sister Souljah, Ted Koppel; Gail Sheehey; and dozens more
November 21, 2015: Miami Book Fair – 1230PM - Jewish Stories, World Histories - Former Jerusalem bureau chief for Newsweek and the Daily Beast, Dan Ephron, analyzes the single most consequential event in Israel’s recent history, in Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel. Rita Gabis comes to terms with an unthinkable revelation about her family story, in A Guest at the Shooter’s Banquet: My Grandfather’s SS Past, My Jewish Family, A Search for Truth
November 22, 2015: Simon Rutberg, owner of Hatikva Music, on Yiddish music recordings. UCLA Hillel. 4PM
November 22, 2015: Miami Book Fair – Jessie Eisenberg, Joyce Carol Oates and others read. Also at 1:30, with Tablet Magazine, Panel on Tragedy, Comedy, Versace: A Look at Jews, Identity, and the Creation of American Materialism... Contrary to some people’s conception, Jews aren’t ONLY people of the book. From the immigrants who birthed the contemporary fashion industry to the modernists who fled Hitler to create the modern American home, Jews have been at the center of nearly every industry devoted to the “stuff” of the American dream. But why? And more importantly, what does their involvement mean—for Jews, and for America? Find out from moderator More: Alana Newhouse, founder and editor in chief of Tablet Magazine; authors Joshua Cohen, Bob Morris, and David Samuels; and visual artist Gillian Laub
November 24, 2015: Yona Sabar (UCLA), a notive speaker of Aramaic, on The Book of Daniel in Jewish Neo-Aramaic Translation. UCLA Royce Hall 12 Noon

December 06, 2015: Soviet Songs with a Jewish Flavor, featuring Evgeny Kissing, Boris Sandler, Margarita and Nukhim Koyfman concert. YIVO NYC
December 13, 2015: Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein: Jewish Roots in American Music concert. YIVO Institute NYC

[book] The Marriage of Opposites
A Novel
by Alice Hoffman
Simon and Schuster
August 2015
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things: a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro—the Father of Impressionism.
Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.
Building on the triumphs of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, set in a world of almost unimaginable beauty, The Marriage of Opposites showcases the beloved, bestselling Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Frédérick is a story that is as unforgettable as it is remarkable.

[book] The Case Against the Iran Deal:
How Can We Now Stop Iran from Getting Nukes?
by Alan Dershowitz
Rosetta Books
August 2015
The greatest danger the world faces in the twenty-first century is an Iranian nuclear arsenal. That is why decisions regarding Iran’s nuclear program may be the most important of our time. The negotiations that led to this bad deal were deeply flawed. But it doesn’t follow that the deal should be rejected by Congress. If the President is right that rejecting this deal will be worse than accepting, then he has put us in the terrible position of choosing between bad and worse.
In The Case Against the Iran Deal: How Can We Stop Iran From Getting Nukes?, Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz evaluates the pros and cons of the Iran nuclear agreement. He asks the fundamental questions about what the deal means, how it will be implemented, and whether we now have the capacity to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
As a lawyer with decades of negotiation experience, and a regular commentator on Middle Eastern politics, Dershowitz explains how we could have gotten a better deal, and offers a unique analysis of the Obama administration's negotiations with Iran and the implications of a deal for Israel, the Middle East, and the global community. It is a call for both intelligent reflection and for determined action to stop Iran from getting the bomb.
The clock is ticking. We must find ways to repair the damage this deal threatens to do. This book proposes solutions along with its constructive criticism.

[book] Talia and the Very YUM Kippur
by Linda Elovitz Marshall
Illustrated by Francesca Assirelli
August 2015
Kar Ben
. Ages 3 – 8
Talia of Talia and the RUDE Vegetable fame is back with another pun-driven story of misheard words and malapropisms.
When Grandma talks abour preparing for break the YOM Kippur fast, Talia instead hears breakfast and YUM, creating a series of funny events

[book] [book] SHANGHAI SUKKAH
By Heidi Smith Hyde
Illustrated by Jing Jang Tsang
August 2015
Kar Ben
Ages 5 – 9
Fleeing the anti-Semitic laws in Germany
Marcus moves with his family from Berlin to Shanghai
Will such an unfamiliar city fee llike home?
But he befriends Liang
Teamed with Liang and the answers to a rabbi's riddle
Marcus sets out to build a unique Sukkah in time for the
holiday of SUkkot

By Ellie B. Gellman
Illustrated by Katherine Janus Kahn
August 2015
Kar Ben
Ages 3 – 8
Something's missing, Tamar decides, as she studies her family's sukkah. It takes a lot of friends -- each one a little bigger -- to add the decorations, furnishings, and snacks that make it "just right."

[book] Nonna's Hanukkah Surprise
by Karen Fisman
Illustrated by Martha Avil's
Kar Ben
Ages 3 – 8
Rachel loves visiting her Italian grandmother, even though Nonna celebrates Christmas and Rachel and her parents celebrate Hanukkah. Rachel plans to share Hanukkah with her whole family, so when Rachel's special hanukkiah goes missing, Nonna steps in to save the day.

By Isaac Bashevis Singer
Illustrated by Suzanne Raphael Berkson
When young David and Mama and Papa are celebrating Hanukkah one frosty winter evening in Brooklyn, Papa sees a parakeet sitting on the window ledge. He lets the parakeet in and everyone is delighted to find that it speaks Yiddish. They name it Dreidel and it becomes part of their family. Many years later, when David is in college, he is at a party one night and tells Dreidel's story--only to discover that Zelda, a young woman at the party, owned the bird herself as a child. Papa and Mama are worried that they will have to give their beloved pet back, but then David and Zelda decide to get married after college, and everyone agrees that they should take Dreidel with them as they start their own family

[book] Is It Hanukkah Yet?
by Chris Barash
Illustrated by Alessandra Psacharopulo
Ages 3 – 8
From snow on the ground to making applesauce and latkes to lighting the menorah, this sweet, lyrical story shows the seasonal and traditional ways we know Hanukkah is on its way

Stir, Fry and Bake
Applesauce, Latkas, and Cookies, We'll Make

[book] Hanukkah Cookies with Sprinkles
by David A. Adler
Illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
Ages 3 – 8
Sara sees an old man pick up a bruised apple from the discarded pile next to the local market. She wonders if he's hungry, as she eats her own breakfast. She wonders if he's lonely, as she shares Shabbat dinner with Mom and Grandma. As Hanukkah approaches, a season of light and hope, Sara discovers that tzedakah can be as bright and colorful as a Hanukkah cookie with sprinkles.
A Note for Families provides context about the story and traditions of Hanukkah, and about the meaning of tzedakah, and challenges readers to think about ways they can give tzedakah, too.

By Tracy Newman
Illustrated by Viviana Garofoli
Kar Ben
Ages 1-4
A board book
Part of the series, including Shabbat is Coming.
Readers join a cute family and their dog as they light the menorah, eat latkes, unwrap gifts, sing songs, play dreidel, eat chocolate Hanukkah gelt and march like Maccabees during the eight nights of Hanukkah in this cute 12-page board book. Includes '3D-feeling' art by Viviana Garofoli, who illustrates all the books in this series.

[book] Oskar and the Eight Blessings
by Tanya Simon and Richard Simon
Illustrated by Mark Siegel
Fall 2015
Roaring Brook
A refugee seeking sanctuary from the horrors of Kristallnacht, Oskar arrives by ship in New York City with only a photograph and an address for an aunt – Aunt Esther - he has never met.
It is both the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, 1938.
As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his new home in the north of the city, he passes experiences the city's many holiday sights, and encounters it various residents. Each offers Oskar a small act of kindness, welcoming him to the city and helping him on his way to a new life in the new world.
Even in Bad times, People Can Be Good, and You Have to Look For Blessings
Count Basie shows up as does Eleanor Roosevenlt
This is a heartwarming, timeless picture book.

[book] Kissinger's Shadow
The Long Reach of America's
Most Controversial Statesman
by Greg Grandin
August 25, 2015
Metropolitan Books
A new account of America's most controversial diplomat that moves beyond praise or condemnation to reveal Kissinger as the architect of America's current imperial stance.

In his fascinating new book, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin argues that to understand the crisis of contemporary America--its never-ending wars abroad and political polarization at home--we have to understand Henry Kissinger.
Examining Kissinger's own writings, as well as a wealth of newly declassified documents, Grandin reveals how Richard Nixon's top foreign policy advisor, even as he was presiding over defeat in Vietnam and a disastrous, secret, and illegal war in Cambodia, was helping to revive a militarized version of American exceptionalism centered on an imperial presidency. Believing that reality could be bent to his will, insisting that intuition is more important in determining policy than hard facts, and vowing that past mistakes should never hinder future bold action, Kissinger anticipated, even enabled, the ascendance of the neoconservative idealists who took America into crippling wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Going beyond accounts focusing either on Kissinger's crimes or accomplishments, Grandin offers a compelling new interpretation of the diplomat's continuing influence on how the United States views its role in the world.

[book] Salvaged Pages
Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust,
Second Edition Now in Paperback
Edited by Alexandra Zapruder
AlexandraZapruder dot com
August 25, 2015
Yale University Press
This stirring collection of diaries written by young people, aged twelve to twenty-two years, during the Holocaust has been fully revised and updated. Some of the writers were refugees, others were in hiding or passing as non-Jews, some were imprisoned in ghettos, and nearly all perished before liberation. This seminal National Jewish Book Award winner preserves the impressions, emotions, and eyewitness reportage of young people whose accounts of daily events and often unexpected thoughts, ideas, and feelings serve to deepen and complicate our understanding of life during the Holocaust.

The second paperback edition includes a new preface by Alexandra Zapruder examining the book’s history and impact. Simultaneously, an enhanced e-book incorporates a wealth of new content in a variety of media, including photographs of the writers and their families, images of the original diaries, artwork made by the writers, historical documents, glossary terms, maps, survivor testimony (some available for the first time), and video of the author teaching key passages. In addition, an in-depth, interdisciplinary curriculum in history, literature, and writing developed by the author and a team of teachers, working in cooperation with the educational organization Facing History and Ourselves, is now available to support use of the book in middle- and high-school classrooms.

Of The Heart For The Jewish
High Holiday Season
Brandeis University Press
The Jewish High Holidays—the ten days beginning with the New Year Festival of Rosh Hashanah and culminating with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement—constitute the most sacred period of the Jewish year. During this season, religious as well as nonaffiliated Jews attend synagogue services in unparalleled numbers. Yet much of what they find there can be unwelcoming in its patriarchal imagery, leaving many worshipers unsatisfied.
For those seeking to connect more deeply with their Judaism, and for all readers in search of a contemplative approach to the themes of the fall season, poet and scholar Marcia Falk re-creates the holidays’ key prayers and rituals from an inclusive perspective. Among the offerings in The Days Between are Hebrew and English blessings for festive meals, prayers for synagogue services, and poems and meditations for quiet reflection. Emphasizing introspection as well as relationship to others, Falk evokes her vision of the High Holidays as “ten days of striving to keep the heart open to change.”
Accessible and welcoming to modern readers, The Days Between is steeped in traditional sources and grounded in liturgical and biblical scholarship. It will serve as a meaningful alternative or supplement to the traditional liturgy for individuals, families, synagogues, and communities small and large—that is, for all who seek fresh meaning in the High Holidays.

[book] New Mitzvah Stories for
the Whole Family
Compiled by Goldie Milgram, Ellen Frankel, Arthur Kurzweil,
Batya Podos, Peninnah Schram, Mindy Shapiro,
Danny Siegel, Shoshana Silberman, and more
and Covers by Susan Leopold and Taylor Rozek
Reclaiming Judaism Press
Created by leading Jewish authors and storytellers for both youth and adult readers, these forty-three true and fictional stories excite the imagination and open the heart. Each tale poses challenges that highlight the life-enhancing effect of mitzvah-centered living throughout each waking day. NEW MITZVAH STORIES celebrates contemporary, inclusive Jewish values. A wide range of families and individuals will be able to find themselves in these compelling tales. Each story is followed by a Jewish Spiritual Education Study Guide with sections for reflection, discussion and action. Designed for reading and retelling across the generations.
Contributing authors:

Anne Andrew, Noa Baum, Janet Berenson, Randi Ya'el Chaikind, Mitchell Chefitz, Rachel Coles, Gerald Fierst, Rinah Galper, Yehudit Goldfarb, Dan Gordon, Leslie Gorin, Daniel T. Grossman, Jill Hammer, Nancy Handwerger, Alide Huyser-Frijda, Barbara Solomon Josselsohn, Jennifer Voigt Kaplan, Melissa Klein, Geri Kolesar, Arthur Kurzweil, Alex Lazarus-Klein, Janet Madden, Cindy Rivka Marshall, Goldie Milgram, Lynnie Mirvis, Seth F. Oppenheimer, Marden David Paru, Gail Pasternack, Geela Rayzel Raphael, Jack Riemer, Barbara Rush, Cassandra Sagan, Peninnah Schram, Rebecca Schram-Zafrany, Sandor Schuman, Cherie Karo Schwartz, Howard Schwartz, Danny Siegel, Donna Jacobs Sife, Shoshana Silberman, Anna Sher Simon, Devorah Spilman, Susan Stone, Marc Young, Jennifer Rudick Zunikoff

BY Rabbi Natan Slifkin
Unicorns, mermaids, dragons, and phoenixes may feel at home in fantasy literature, but references to these and other mysterious creatures go back much further in history. The Bible, Talmud, and Midrash refer to many such strange creatures. In this beautifully designed and richly illustrated book, Natan Slifkin, the famed "zoo rabbi" and author of Seasons of Life, Nature's Song, and The Challenge of Creation, examines a host of mythic and not so mythic creatures from both their Torah descriptions and modern zoological research, giving us a new perspective on the interface between science, myth, and Torah thought. Greatly expanding on a prior book, Mysterious Creatures, Rabbi Slifkin explores conflicts between the Talmud and science in the context of Torah mysteries of zoology.

The Talmud and Midrash discuss a wide range of bizarre creatures, including mermaids, unicorns, griffins, dragons, sea-serpents and phoenixes, as well as strange biological concepts such as spontaneous generation. Sacred Monsters discusses these cases in detail and brings a range of different approaches for understanding them. It is an essential book for any student or educator who has ever struggled with conflicts between the Talmud and science. Strikingly designed, and including extraordinary photographs and illustrations, this is a truly stimulating work. The goal of this book is not merely to persuade readers that the Talmud and Midrash are worthy of their interest. It is important to discuss these creatures for the same reason that the Sages of the Talmud and Torah scholars throughout the ages saw fit to discuss them &emdash; namely, that they are also part of Torah.

Torah is not just about history, religious ritual and laws of interpersonal conduct. It is an extremely broad field of study that encompasses many different topics. Some areas of the Torah are more popular or more relevant than others, but we should not neglect the others. The animals of this book are discussed in classical Jewish literature for a variety of reasons. With some, such as the tachash, it is a matter of understanding the construction of the Tabernacle. With others, such as the mermaid, the goal is to clarify a matter of law. And with yet others, such as Leviathan, the point is to convey various theological messages. Furthermore, there is a particular pressing need for a book of this nature. When people encounter references to such creatures in the Talmud, they can be left with anything from gnawing questions to a severe crisis of faith. Did such creatures really exist? Did the Sages of the Talmud really believe in such creatures? What are we to make of it? This book studies the history of the various approaches that have traditionally been taken by Torah scholars in resolving such issues.

Yoel Amital
Koren – Jerusalem
For decades, thousands from around the world gathered to join Rabbi Yehuda Amital zt l as he led the High Holiday prayers at Yeshivat Har Etzion. Right before the most critical points in the services, at moments of high spiritual intensity, he would pause to address the assembled with words that uplifted, inspired and enlightened. He poured into these words the depths of feeling, insight and experience he had accumulated on his personal journey from the ashes of the holocaust to the miraculous revival of Jewish statehood and in his life s work as an educational visionary and pioneering thinker. When God is Near presents a compilation of these powerful discourses by one of the most profound religious leaders of our time. Bringing together Rabbi Amital s wisdom, sensitivity, humanity and uncompromising search for truth, this volume guides readers on the path to sincere prayer and true repentance.

RABBI YEHUDA AMITAL (1924 2010) was raised in pre-Holocaust Hungary, where he spent his youth immersed in yeshiva study. At the age of nineteen, he was deported to a Nazi labor camp and emerged as the sole survivor of his family. Upon his liberation, he made his way to the Land of Israel. Fulfilling a promise that if he survived he would study Torah in Jerusalem, he attended Yeshivat Hevron for the next several years until he joined the Israel Defense Forces. After fighting in Israel s War of Independence, Rabbi Amital embarked on a remarkable career in Jewish education. In 1968, he founded Yeshivat Har Etzion and, alongside Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, built it into a world-renowned center of higher Torah learning and service to the Jewish people. From 1995 96, he served as a minister in the Israeli government in charge of religious-secular and Israel-Diaspora relations. After heading the largest hesder yeshiva for four decades and appointing his successors, Rabbi Amital retired in 2008. An exceptional public figure and religious teacher, Rabbi Amital lived a life of deep faith, humility, ethical responsibility, and commitment to individual and national vibrancy.

[book] Learning to Live:
An Unforgettable Spiritual Portrait
of HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt"l
by Rav Tzvi Weissfish
So much more than a biography, Learning to Live draws you into the holy life and treasured teachings of Maran Harav Elyashiv, zt"l as no other title can. With over 650 soul-stirring pages of firsthand accounts, profound insights, powerful messages, hanhagos, anecdotes, stories, and life lessons, this is truly a sefer kodesh to savor and cherish.
For over 30 years, the author, Harav Tzvi Weissfish, basked in the presence of Harav Eliyashiv, keeping a meticulous journal of all he learned and experienced. Add to that dozens of interviews with immediate family and close talmidim, and what emerges is an unforgettable mussar sefer of breathtaking scope.
Tens of thousands of the Hebrew edition, Gedolah Shimushah, have already motivated and uplifted the lives of readers worldwide, and now this English edition is ready to transform your life as well.

(Litvish instead of Hungarian...)
[book] The Torah of BRISK
and Other Gedolim
Inspiraation for the Days of Repentence
Edited by Rabbi Shimon Yosef Miller Feldheim Publishing

August 03, 2015
Paperback edition
WW Norton & Company
“Gripping, eloquent, moving, this is a powerful tale about what remains hidden and/or unspeakable in history.” -Elie Wiesel

I, one
Henryk Stanislaw Wyrzykowski,
Head Clerk of Closed Files,
a department of one,
in a forgotten well of ghostly sighs

This astonishing novel in verse tells the story of Henryk Wyrzykowski, a drifting, haunted young man hiding from the Vietnam War in the basement of a San Francisco welfare building and translating his mother’s diaries. The diaries concern the Jedwabne massacre, an event that took place in German-occupied Poland in 1941. Wildly inventive, dark, beautiful, and unrelenting, The Wherewithal is a meditation on the nature of evil and the destruction of war.

[book] The Encyclopedia of Jewish Values
by Rabbi Dr. Nachum Amsel
August 25, 2015
A follow-up to his widely acclaimed The Jewish Encyclopedia of Moral and Ethical Issues, this is a comprehensive reference book on Jewish ethics for contemporary times. The topics addressed in this work include Jewish attitudes toward homosexuality, stem cell medical procedures, the environment, Internet piracy, and more. Gleaning from the Bible and classic Jewish texts, as well as later authorities such as Maimonides, Nachmanides, Rashi, and the Code of Jewish Law, this work is accessible to readers of all backgrounds.

Rabbi Dr. Amsel received his doctorate in Education (E.D.D.) from the Azrieli Graduate School of Yeshiva University. He received his Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, as well as a B.A., B.S. and Masters in Education from Yeshiva University. He has served in almost every capacity in Jewish education, including as a teacher in elementary, high school, and afternoon congregational schools. He has also been a principal of Elementary, High School and Congregational Schools, and was the principal of the Hillel Academy in Connecticut for three years. He has also held the position of Dean in a girls Seminary. Nachum has also taught in Bar Ilan University and Touro College, and ran the Bar Ilan University Overseas program for 7 years (both days and nights). Nachum also founded and set up the STARS program (Student Torah Alliance for Russian Speakers)

[book] Transforming the World
The Jewish Impact on Modernity
by Leo Dee
Summer 2015
Rabbi Leo Dee answers the fundamental question: why bother being Jewish in a modern world?
Using history and logic, Rabbi Dee explains how Judaism enhances daily life to make it more meaningful. Transforming the World: The Jewish Impact on Modernity focuses on the tolerance and equality of all mankind that is fundamental in Judaism. With a combination of commandments, traditions, and history, Rabbi Dee shows how Jewish culture transforms your life and the wider world for the better.

[book] The Shame Borne in Silence
Spouse Abuse in the Jewish Community
by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD (
URIM paperback
Providing a religious lens on the topic, this book directly addresses the problem of spousal abuse in the Jewish community, in hopes of confronting the truth and taking definitive steps to end this violation of all that Judaism stands for. A leading rabbi and psychiatrist reveals with striking candor, firmness, and compassion what may have been closely kept dark secrets in many Jewish families and offers urgently needed advice and direction. Rabbi Twerski’s book was one of the first titles to break open the issue, and this new edition relates the recognition of abuse, the warning signs, and how to respond.


The deli... a place where uncouth could be uncouth, and waiters could treat customers with complete disdain and arrogance. Made Jewish people feel at home :-)
An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli
by Ted Merwin
Associate Professor of Religion
and Judaic Studies at Dickinson College
September 2015
NYU Press
For much of the twentieth century, the New York Jewish deli was an iconic institution in both Jewish and American life. As a social space it rivaled—and in some ways surpassed—the synagogue as the primary gathering place for the Jewish community. In popular culture it has been the setting for classics like When Harry Met Sally. And today, after a long period languishing in the trenches of the hopelessly old-fashioned, it is experiencing a nostalgic resurgence.

Pastrami on Rye is the first full-length history of the New York Jewish deli. The deli, argues Ted Merwin, reached its full flowering not in the immigrant period, as some might assume, but in the interwar era, when the children of Jewish immigrants celebrated the first flush of their success in America by downing sandwiches and cheesecake in theater district delis. But it was the kosher deli that followed Jews as they settled in the outer boroughs of the city, and that became the most tangible symbol of their continuing desire to maintain a connection to their heritage. Ultimately, upwardly mobile American Jews discarded the deli as they transitioned from outsider to insider status in the middle of the century. Now contemporary Jews are returning the deli to cult status as they seek to reclaim their cultural identities.

Richly researched and compellingly told, Pastrami on Rye gives us the surprising story of a quintessential New York institution..

By David Gregory
Simon & Schuster
Rosh Hashana 2015
Join former NBC newsman and Meet the Press moderator David Gregory as he probes various religious traditions to better understand his own faith and answer life’s most important questions: who do we want to be and what do we believe? While David was covering the White House, he had the unusual experience of being asked by President George W. Bush “How’s your faith?”
David’s answer was just emerging. Raised by a Catholic mother and a Jewish dad, he had a strong sense of Jewish cultural and ethnic identity, but no real belief—until his marriage to a Protestant woman of strong faith inspired him to explore his spirituality for himself and his growing family.
David’s journey has taken him inside Christian mega-churches and into the heart of Orthodox Judaism. He’s gone deep into Bible study and asked tough questions of America’s most thoughtful religious leaders, including evangelical preacher Joel Osteen and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Catholic Archbishop of New York. It has brought him back to his childhood, where belief in God might have helped him through his mother’s struggle with alcoholism, and through a difficult period of public scrutiny and his departure from NBC News, which saw his faith tested like never before.
David approaches his faith with the curiosity and dedication you would expect from a journalist accustomed to holding politicians and Presidents accountable. But he also comes as a seeker, one just discovering why spiritual journeys are always worthwhile.

A Novel
by Nicole Dweck
Thomas Dunne Books
September 2015
A USA TODAY Bestseller

Bestselling author Nicole Dweck brings to life one of history's greatest yet overlooked stories of love and resilience.
In 2002, thirty-two-year-old Selim Osman, the last descendant of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, flees Istanbul for New York. In a twist of fate he meets Hannah, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and an artist striving to understand a father she barely knows. Unaware the connection they share goes back centuries, the two feel an immediate pull to one another. But as their story intertwines with that of their ancestors, the heroic but ultimately tragic decision that bound two families centuries ago ripples into the future, threatening to tear Hannah and Selim apart.
From a 16th-century harem to a seaside village in the Holy Land, from Nazi-occupied Paris to modern-day Manhattan, Nicole Dweck's The Debt of Tamar weaves a spellbinding tapestry of love, history, and fate that will enchant readers from the very first page.

[book] The Israeli Mind
How the Israeli National Character
Shapes Our World
by Alon Gratch, PhD (Columbia)
St. Martin’s Press
September 2015
Drawing on a broad cultural and historical canvas, and weaving in the author's personal and professional experience, as an Israeli-American clinical psychologist, teacher, consultant for corporate branding, and author of two books on psychology, The Israeli Mind presents a portrait of the Israeli national character.
Dr. Gratch posits that Israeli Jews are struggling to forge an identity based on Jewish history and Zionism. He writes that they are grand and grandiose, visionary and generous but also delusional and self-centered. Deeply caring because of the history of Jewish victimization, they also demonstrate a shocking indifference to the sufferings of others.
Gratch says that Israeli national character says “no” and it is their first, second and third line of defense, even as they are totally capable of complete and sudden capitulation. They are willing to sacrifice themselves for the collective but also to sacrifice that very collective-for a higher, and likely unattainable ideal.
Alon Gratch draws a vivid, provocative portrait of the conflicts embedded in the Israeli mind.
Annihilation anxiety,
a failure to fully process the Holocaust,
post-traumatic stress, and
an often unexamined narrative of self-sacrifice,
all clash with the nation's aspiration for normalcy or even greatness. Failure to resolve these conflicts, Gratch speculates, will threaten Israel's very existence, will injure its ability to deal with Iran and BDS, and threaten the whole Western modern world.

In USA TODAY in Spring 2015, Dr. Gratch wrote that, “…in the aftermath of WWII, Israeli foreign policy rested on the idea that if you want to make history, you must forget history. This idea allowed the government to negotiate with Germany over diplomatic relations and financial restitution on the basis of self-interest rather than emotions. It resulted in a tremendous economic growth and greater security for the fledgling state. But then came the Adolf Eichmann trial of 1961, bringing home to all Israelis the horrific personal stories of the survivors and ushering in what historian Hanna Yablonka called "the privatization of the Holocaust." Starting then, Israel gradually embraced the opposite idea, the notion that those who are unwilling to remember history are doomed to repeat it, as the organizing principle of its foreign policy… foreign observers often fail to grasp the extent to which the trauma of the Holocaust has penetrated every aspect of Israeli life… the Holocaust has become the central building block of the national identity of many Israelis. A 1992 study among university students studying to become teachers found that close to 80% identified with the statement, "We are all Holocaust survivors." And in present-day Israel, hardly a day goes by without some mention of Holocaust in the media. Underlying this national preoccupation are the twin emotions of anxiety and rage, along with the refusal or inability to tolerate any feelings of helplessness. "Never again will Jews go like lambs to the slaughter" is a phrase inculcated in the mind of every Israeli child. More than anything else, it is this psychological burden that will determine Israeli reaction to the West's negotiations with Iran. If the Obama administration can reduce Israeli anxiety, it will mitigate the rage, the corollary of which is the call to bomb Iran. But there is no reducing the anxiety without addressing the underlying fear of helplessness.”

[book] Let There Be Water
Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World
by Seth M. Siegel
September 15, 2015
Thomas Dunne Books
St. Martin's Press
As every day brings urgent reports of growing water shortages around the world, there is no time to lose in the search for solutions. The US government predicts that forty of our fifty states-and sixty percent of the earth's land surface-will soon face alarming gaps between available water and the growing demand for it. Without action, food prices will rise, economic growth will slow, and political instability is likely to follow.
LET THERE BE WATER illustrates how Israel can serve as a model for the US and countries everywhere by showing how to blunt the worst of the coming water calamities.
Even with 60 percent of its country a desert, not only doesn't Israel have a water problem; it has an abundance of water. Israel even supplies water to its neighbors-the Palestinians and the Kingdom of Jordan-every day. Based on meticulous research and hundreds of interviews, Let There Be Water reveals the methods and techniques of the often off-beat inventors who enabled Israel to lead the world in cutting-edge water technology. Let There Be Water also tells unknown stories of how cooperation on water systems can forge diplomatic ties and promote unity.
Remarkably, not long ago, now-hostile Iran relied on Israel to manage its water systems, and access to Israel's water know-how helped to warm China's frosty relations with Israel. Every town, every country, and every reader can benefit from learning what Israel did in order to transform itself from a parched land into a water superpower. Beautifully written, Let There Be Water is an inspiring account of vision and sacrifice that will long be admired by government officials and engaged citizens facing water shortages and other seemingly insurmountable challenges.
With blurbs from Dan Senor, Tony Blair, Shimon Peres, and Robt Kennedy Jr. Seth Siegel is an attorney, activist, writer, and member of the U.S. Council of Foreign Relations

Click the cover to read more

NYT writes – this book may be one of the most important books on education to come along in years
[book] THE PRIZE:
September 2015
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Chris Christie (NJ Governor), and Cory Booker (Mayor of Newark NJ, now a Senator) were ready to reform our failing schools. They got an education. Mark pledged $100 Million to Newark to fix the schools in five years. Booker got matching funds. Washington Post reporter embedded herself in the process for five years. What happened?

When Mark Zuckerberg announced in front of a cheering Oprah audience his $100 million pledge to transform the Newark Schools — and to solve the education crisis in every city in America — it looked like a huge win for then-mayor Cory Booker and governor Chris Christie. But their plans soon ran into a constituency not so easily moved — Newark’s key education players, fiercely protective of their billion-dollar-per-annum system. It’s a prize that, for generations, has enriched seemingly everyone, except Newark’s students. (less the 40% of its students can read at grade level, and about 50% of students never finish high school in Newark)

Expert journalist Dale Russakoff delivers a story of high ideals and hubris, good intentions and greed, celebrity and street smarts — as reformers face off against entrenched unions, skeptical parents, and bewildered students.
(You realize that much of the millions went to $1000 a day consultants who profit from failing schools)
The growth of charters forces the hand of Newark’s superintendent Cami Anderson, who closes, consolidates, or redesigns more than a third of the city’s schools — a scenario on the horizon for many urban districts across America. Most moving are Russakoff’s portraits from inside the district’s schools, of home-grown principals and teachers, long stuck in a hopeless system — and often the only real hope for the children of Newark. The Prize is a portrait of a titanic struggle over the future of education for the poorest kids, and a cautionary tale for those who care about the shape of America’s schools..

Fixing Workplaces and Careers
One Truth At A Time
By Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford GSB
September 2015
The author of Power, Stanford business school professor, and a leading management thinker offers a hard-hitting dissection of the leadership industry and ways to make workplaces and careers work better.
The leadership enterprise is enormous, with billions of dollars, thousands of books, and hundreds of thousands of blogs and talks focused on improving leaders. But what we see worldwide is employee disengagement, high levels of leader turnover and career derailment, and failed leadership development efforts.
In Leadership BS, Jeffrey Pfeffer shines a bright light on the leadership industry, showing why it’s failing and how it might be remade. He sets the record straight on the oft-made prescriptions for leaders to be honest, authentic, and modest, tell the truth, build trust, and take care of others. By calling BS on so many of the stories and myths of leadership, he gives people a more scientific look at the evidence and better information to guide their careers.
Rooted in social science, and will practical examples and advice for improving management, Leadership BS encourages readers to accept the truth and then use facts to change themselves and the world for the better.
Click the cover to read more

[book] Sisters in Law
How Sandra Day O'Connor
and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Went to the Supreme Court
and Changed the World
by Linda Hirshman
September 2015
The author of the celebrated Victory tells the fascinating story of the intertwined lives of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first and second women to serve as Supreme Court justices.
The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher’s daughter and Brooklyn girl—transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women.
Linda Hirshman’s dual biography includes revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for their own recognition in a male-dominated profession—battles that would ultimately benefit every American woman. She also makes clear how these two justices have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, including employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women’s lives.
Sisters-in-Law combines legal detail with warm personal anecdotes that bring these very different women into focus as never before. Meticulously researched and compellingly told, it is an authoritative account of our changing law and culture, and a moving story of a remarkable friendship.

September 2015
A grand tour of the science of cooking explored through popular American dishes, illustrated in full color.
Ever wondered how to pan-fry a steak with a charred crust and an interior that's perfectly medium-rare from edge to edge when you cut into it? How to make homemade mac 'n' cheese that is as satisfyingly gooey and velvety-smooth as the blue box stuff, but far tastier? How to roast a succulent, moist turkey (forget about brining!)-and use a foolproof method that works every time?
As Serious Eats's culinary nerd-in-residence, J. Kenji López-Alt has pondered all these questions and more. In The Food Lab, Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Kenji shows that often, conventional methods don’t work that well, and home cooks can achieve far better results using new-but simple-techniques. In hundreds of easy-to-make recipes with over 1,000 full-color images, you will find out how to make foolproof Hollandaise sauce in just two minutes, how to transform one simple tomato sauce into a half dozen dishes, how to make the crispiest, creamiest potato casserole ever conceived, and much more. Over 1000 color photographs.

[book] < [book] BREAM GIVES ME HICCUPS
Grove Atlantic Press
September 2015
“Eisenberg is truly a talented writer. . . Hilarious and poignant.”—Entertainment Weekly
Bream Gives Me Hiccups: And Other Stories is the whip-smart fiction debut of Academy Award-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg. His publisher says he is an emerging voice in fiction. I plan to see his new play in Manhattan during the BookExpo
I havent enjoyed this so much since reading A Model World by Chabon and Without Feathers by Woody Allen

Taking its title from a group of stories that begin the book, Bream Gives Me Hiccups moves from contemporary Los Angeles to the dorm rooms of an American college to ancient Pompeii, throwing the reader into a universe of social misfits, reimagined scenes from history, and ridiculous overreactions.
In one story, a tense e-mail exchange between a young man and his girlfriend is taken over by the man’s sister, who is obsessed with the Bosnian genocide;
In another, a college freshman forced to live with a roommate is stunned when one of her ramen packets goes missing (she didn’t have “one” of my ramens. She had a chicken ramen);
in another piece, Alexander Graham Bell has teething problems with his invention (I’ve been calling Mabel all day, she doesn’t pick up! Yes, of course I dialed the right number – 2!).
United by Eisenberg’s gift for humor and character, and grouped into chapters that each open with an illustration by award-winning cartoonist Jean Jullien, the witty pieces collected in Bream Gives Me Hiccups explore the various insanities of the modern world, and mark the arrival of a fantastically funny, self-ironic, and original voice.

[book] An Improbable Friendship:
The Remarkable Lives of
Israeli Ruth Dayan and
Palestinian Raymonda Tawil and
Their Forty-Year Peace Mission
by Anthony David
September 1, 2015
Sometimes you can find the most astounding of friendships in the most unlikely of places. An Improbable Friendship is the dual biography of Israeli Ruth Dayan, Moshe Dayan’s widow, now ninety-seven, and Palestinian journalist Raymonda Tawil, Yasser Arafat’s mother-in-law, now seventy-four. It reveals for the first time the two women’s surprising and secret forty-year friendship and delivers the story of their extraordinary and turbulent lives growing up in a war-torn country.
Based on personal interviews, diaries, and journals drawn from both women—Ruth lives today in Tel Aviv, Raymonda in Malta—author Anthony David delivers a fast-paced, fascinating narrative that is a beautiful story of reconciliation and hope in a climate of endless conflict. By telling their stories and following their budding relationship, which began after the Six-Day War in 1967, we learn the behind-the-scenes, undisclosed history of the Middle East’s most influential leaders from two prominent women on either side of the ongoing conflict.
An award-winning biographer and historian, Anthony David brings us the story of unexpected friendship while he discovers the true pasts of two outstanding women. Their story gives voice to Israelis and Palestinians caught in the Middle East conflict and holds a persistent faith in a future of peace.

[book] Nine Essential Things
I've Learned About Life
by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
(Temple Israel, Natick MA)
September 1, 2015
A profoundly inspiring yet practical guide to well-being from one of modern Judaism's most beloved sages.
As a congregational rabbi for half a century and the best-selling author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People and thirteen other books on faith, ethics, and how to apply the timeless wisdom of religious thought to everyday challenges, Harold S. Kushner has proven his understanding of what it means to live a good life. In this compassionate new work, Kushner distills nine essential lessons from the sum of his teaching, study, and experience, offering a lifetime's worth of spiritual food for thought, pragmatic advice, inspiration for a more fulfilling life, and strength for trying times.
With fresh, vital insight into everything from belief ("there is no commandment in Judaism to believe in God") to conscience (the Garden of Eden story as you've never heard it) to mercy ("forgiveness is a favor you do yourself, not a favor to the person who offended you"), grounded in Kushner's brilliant readings of scripture, history, and popular culture, Nine Essential Things I've Learned About Life is the capstone to Kushner's luminous oeuvre.

September 2015
Former New York Times columnist Cintra Wilson treks around America to decode the deeper meanings of this country’s regional fashion statements.
Cintra Wilson takes her celebrated eye for style on the road, traveling around the “belt regions” of the United States: the Cotton, Rust, Bible, Sun, Frost, Corn, and Gun Belts. She tackles the fashion choices of scantily clad club-goers on South Beach, unpacks the altogether impractical clothing choices at the Sundance Festival in Utah, and digs beneath the sartorial armor of politicians and their wives in Washington, DC.
In this smart and rollicking book, Wilson illustrates how every closet is a declaration of the owner’s politics, sexuality, class, education, hopes, and dreams. She also documents her own personal fashion journey, tracing her coming-of-age in San Francisco’s punk scene to her unlikely appointment to the New York Times Style section. With her signature wit and utterly irreverent humor, Wilson proves that, by donning our daily costume, we create our future selves, for good or ill. Indeed: your fate hangs in your closet. Dress wisely.

September 2015
In the Old Testament, God wrestles with a man (and loses). In the Talmud, God wriggles his toes to make thunder and takes human form to shave the king of Assyria. In the New Testament, God is made flesh and dwells among humans. For religious thinkers trained in Greek philosophy and its deep distaste for matter, sacred scripture can be distressing. A philosophically respectable God should be untainted by sensuality, yet the God of sacred texts is often embarrassingly sensual.
Setting experts' minds at ease was neither easy nor simple, and often faith and logic were stretched to their limits. Focusing on examples from both Christian and Jewish sources, from the Bible to sources from the Late Middle Ages, Aviad Kleinberg examines the way Christian and Jewish philosophers, exegetes, and theologians attempted to reconcile God's supposed ineffability with numerous biblical and postbiblical accounts of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and even tasting the almighty. The conceptual entanglements ensnaring religious thinkers, and the strange, ingenious solutions they used to extricate themselves, tell us something profound about human needs and divine attributes, about faith, hope, and cognitive dissonance.

Guide and Ground Our Lives
by Rabbi Niles Elliot Goldstein (Loyola Chicago)
September 2015
JPS/ Nebraska
Eight Questions of Faith is a spiritual exploration of some of life’s biggest questions—questions that have been asked by prophets and kings, mystics and sinners, and that continue to be asked by every one of us today.
Niles Elliot Goldstein uses eight questions found in the Bible to explore the human journey from cradle to grave, confronting such important existential experiences and themes as mortality, responsibility, forbidden knowledge, sin, and the afterlife. By interweaving texts from the Bible, commentaries, philosophy, psychology, and literature with his own experiences, Goldstein also meditates on midlife. This book will appeal to believers and nonbelievers alike and is aimed at anyone who has ever faced a challenge or wondered what life is all about.

[book] The Grammar of God:
A Journey into the Words
and Worlds of the Bible
by Aviya Kushner
September 2015
Spiegel & Grau
For readers of Bruce Feiler’s Walking the Bible and Kathleen Norris’s The Cloister Walk comes a powerful exploration of the Bible in translation.
Aviya Kushner grew up in a Hebrew-speaking family, reading the Bible in the original Hebrew and debating its meaning over the dinner table. She knew much of it by heart—and was therefore surprised when, while getting her MFA at the University of Iowa, she took the novelist Marilynne Robinson’s class on the Old Testament and discovered she barely recognized the text she thought she knew so well. From differences in the Ten Commandments to a less ambiguous reading of the creation story to a new emphasis on the topic of slavery, the English translation often felt like another book entirely from the one she had grown up with.
Kushner began discussing the experience with Robinson, who became a mentor, and her interest in the differences between the ancient language and the modern one gradually became an obsession. She began what became a ten-year project of reading different versions of the Hebrew Bible in English and traveling the world in the footsteps of the great biblical translators, trying to understand what compelled them to take on a lifetime project that was often considered heretical and in some cases resulted in their deaths.

In this eye-opening chronicle, Kushner tells the story of her vibrant relationship to the Bible, and along the way illustrates how the differences in translation affect our understanding of our culture’s most important written work. A fascinating look at language and the beliefs we hold most dear, The Grammar of God is also a moving tale about leaving home and returning to it, both literally and through reading.

“Aviya Kushner has written a passionate, illuminating essay about meaning itself. The Grammar of God is also a unique personal narrative, a family story with the Bible and its languages as central characters.”—Robert Pinsky
“Kushner reminds us in The Grammar of God that in Hebrew beautiful things are also beautiful words. Her gift as a writer is to take us very near to the text, breathe into it, and give it a new life.”—Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in the Lotus

[book] The Occupation Trilogy
La Place de l'Étoile
The Night Watch
Ring Roads
by Patrick Modiano
Nobel Prize for Literature
September 22, 2015
Bloomsbury USA
Born at the close of World War II, 2014 Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano was a young man in his twenties when he burst onto the Parisian literary scene with these three brilliant, angry novels about the wartime Occupation of Paris.
The epigraph to his first novel, among the first to seriously question Nazi collaboration in France, reads: "In June 1942 a German officer goes up to a young man and says: 'Excuse me, monsieur, where is La Place de l'Étoile?' The young man points to the star on his chest." The second novel, The Night Watch, tells the story of a young man caught between his work for the French Gestapo, his work for a Resistance cell, and the black marketeers whose milieu he shares. Ring Roads recounts a son's search for his Jewish father who disappeared ten years earlier, whom he finds trying to weather the war in service to unsavory characters.
Together these three brilliant, almost hallucinatory evocations of the Occupation attempt to exorcise the past by exploring the morally ambiguous worlds of collaboration and resistance. Award-winning translator Frank Wynne has revised the translations of The Night Watch and Ring Roads--long out of print--for our current day, and brings La Place de l'Étoile into English for the first time. The Occupation Trilogy provides the perfect introduction to one of the world's greatest writers.

The Holocaust as History and Warning
by Timothy Snyder
September 2015
Tim Duggan Books
A brilliant, haunting, and profoundly original portrait of the defining tragedy of our time.
In this epic history of extermination and survival, Timothy Snyder presents a new explanation of the great atrocity of the twentieth century, and reveals the risks that we face in the twenty-first. Based on new sources from eastern Europe and forgotten testimonies from Jewish survivors, Black Earth recounts the mass murder of the Jews as an event that is still close to us, more comprehensible than we would like to think, and thus all the more terrifying.
The Holocaust began in a dark but accessible place, in Hitler's mind, with the thought that the elimination of Jews would restore balance to the planet and allow Germans to win the resources they desperately needed. Such a worldview could be realized only if Germany destroyed other states, so Hitler's aim was a colonial war in Europe itself. In the zones of statelessness, almost all Jews died. A few people, the righteous few, aided them, without support from institutions. Much of the new research in this book is devoted to understanding these extraordinary individuals. The almost insurmountable difficulties they faced only confirm the dangers of state destruction and ecological panic. These men and women should be emulated, but in similar circumstances few of us would do so.
By overlooking the lessons of the Holocaust, Snyder concludes, we have misunderstood modernity and endangered the future. The early twenty-first century is coming to resemble the early twentieth, as growing preoccupations with food and water accompany ideological challenges to global order. Our world is closer to Hitler's than we like to admit, and saving it requires us to see the Holocaust as it was -- and ourselves as we are. Groundbreaking, authoritative, and utterly absorbing, Black Earth reveals a Holocaust that is not only history but warning.

Heritage Recipes from
The Country Cat
by Adam and Jackie Sappington
with Ashley Garland
Agent: Betsy Amster
Editor: Justin Schwartz
September 2015
I was never in Portland. I have the Portlandia cookbook. I was not aware of the Portland restaurant and culinary scene. But I read the Washington Post, July 1, 2015, story on its Quirky Comfort Food scene. In it they mentioned Le Pigeon, Ataula, Bollywood Theater, Pok Pok, Ox, Langhaan, and more. But not Country Cat. So I picked up this cookbook.
Heartlandia is based on Adam and Jackie Sappington’s acclaimed Portland restaurant, The Country Cat Dinner House & Bar. Adam, grew up on a Midwest farm and is the Executive Chef and a self-taught expert in whole animal butchery. His spouse and business partner Jackie, who mastered her first recipe at the age of ten, is the Executive Pastry Chef. They specialize in comfort food, or heritage recipes. Some of the mouthwatering dishes include Autumn Squash Soup with Apple Cider and Brown Butter, Red Wine-Braised Beef with Wild Mushroom Steak Sauce, and Brick-Pressed Cornish Game Hen with Grated Tomato Vinaigrette.
They are famous for their Skillet-Fried Chicken and the Challah French Toast with Maker’s Mark Custard and Clabber Cream, as well as Bourbon Peach Crumble Pie. The chicken is based on a recipe of granny Cris who served it to inmates at the old Maries County Jail (note... you can use beef tallow instead of the pig lard, but maybe u need to skip the buttermilk)
They should be famous for the Chanterelle and Blackberry Succotash; and the Honey Paprika Potatoes (uses salata cheese and honey)
The book opens (after a section on tools and techniques, with Breakfast and Buttermilk Biscuits, and Pancakes. The Challah French Toast (includes challah recipe) uses aggs (of course) but also half and half, vanilla extract, bourbon, and cinnamon. The Clabber cream on it uses heavy cream, confectioners sugar, and sour cream. (what the heck is a “knob” of butter?) Braiding: “2nd crosses over, first divides the rest, repeat”
Breakfast continues with Morel and Spring Vegetable Hash; Wedge Salad with Soft Paches Egg and Green Goddess Dressing; Chanterelle, GreenBean, and Freekah Salad with Huckleberry Vinaigrette; Sugar Snap Pea and Soft Goat Cheese Salad with Cornbread Muffins; and more. Their Ranch Dressing (when in doubt, serve ranch) includes thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, lemon pepper, egg yolks, sour cream, and more. In their “homage to the Range,” the focus on recipes for kettles. Jill's Chili uses ground dark meat turkey, kidney and pinto beans, chicken stock and more than a half a dozen spices. (The secret to deviled eggs...? perhaps it is live juice and ground celery seed) I will skip the meat candy recipe (beef jerky). They make their own ketchup for their onion rings and home fries. It uses juniper and allspice berries, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, cornstarch, ginger, two vinegars, and of course tomatoes and tomato paste. Adam's Chicken Fried Steak is akin to American Schnitzel. His “Woo” gravy is just an easier way to say Worcestershire Sauce gravy (but it uses bacon fat with cofee, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and more).”
Additional chapters include one for drinks and another for pickles and preserves. The cookbook also has beautiful photographs that capture not only the amazing food but also the spirit of the restaurant and the heartland.

[book] The New Kosher
Simple Recipes to Savor and Share
by Kim Kushner
August 2015
Weldon Owen Books
Born in Montreal, Canada, Kim grew up in an Orthodox home, learned to cook from her Moroccan-born mother, and spent summers with family in Israel. A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, Kim worked as a recipe developer for Food & Wine and Chile Pepper magazines and a private chef before becoming an instructor; her classes have been sold out for the last four consecutive years. She has appeared on the Today show and been featured in The Huffington Post and The Chicago Tribune. Kim lives in New York City with her husband and three children. Her self-published first cookbook, The Modern Menu, is now in its third printing.

Kosher cooking has been redefined for the modern family. The New Kosher is filled with healthy recipes, exquisite flavors, and a fresh sensibility for the modern lifestyle. Emphasizing fast, easy, and delicious dishes for everyday meals and special occasions, this is your comprehensive guide to kosher cooking.
Kim Kushner comes from a diverse foodie background and her easygoing, mix and match style has helped her redefine kosher cooking. With over 100 recipes from all over the world, there’s something for everyone in this unique cookbook.
Looking for a modern twist on a traditional dish? Try Kim’s sticky date and caramel challah bread pudding, homemade challah with za’atar everything topping, 5-minute sundried tomato hummus or Mediterranean-inspired lentil, carrot and lemon soup.
Trying to find a new family favorite? Whip up some coconut- banana muffins with dark chocolate, penne with lemon zest, pine nuts and Parmesan “pesto”, easy dill chicken and stew or a crispy rice cake with saffron crust. Need a dessert everyone will love? You can’t go wrong with recipes like deconstructed s’mores, crunchy-chewy-nutty “health” cookies, miniature peanut butter cups and dark chocolate bark with rose petals, pistachios and walnuts.

Warmly written with personal narratives and detailed nuance, Kim’s recipes reflect her experience as a generous instructor who loves to teach and a mom who cooks tasty and nourishing fare for a big family.

Click the book cover to read more, purchase the book, or to read a free recipe for Sticky Date and Caramel Challah Bread Pudding

[book] The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen:
A Fresh Take on Tradition
by Amelia Saltsman
Photos by Staci Valentine
Foreword by Deborah Madison
August 2015
Sterling Epicure.
Amelia Saltsman is the daughter of a Romanian mother and an Iraqi father who met in the Israeli army and immigrated to Los Angeles, where she was born and raised. Her first book, The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook, is beloved. You probably know her from KCRW FM – Santa Moinca’s Good Food with Evan Kleiman
Here is a fresh, new way to think about Jewish food.
In The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen, Amelia Saltsman takes us far beyond deli meats and kugel to a world of diverse flavors ideal for modern meals. Inspired by the farm-to-table movement, her 150 recipes offer a refreshingly different take on traditional and contemporary Jewish cooking.

Amelia traces the delicious thread of Jewish cuisine from its roots to today’s focus on seasonality and sustainability. Guided by the Jewish lunar calendar, she divides the book into six micro-seasons that highlight the deep connection of Jewish traditions to the year’s natural cycles.
Amelia draws on her own rich food history to bring you a warmly personal cookbook filled with soul-satisfying spins on beloved classics and bold new dishes. From her Iraqi grandmother’s kitchri—red lentils melted into rice with garlic slow-cooked to sweetness—to four-ingredient Golden Borscht with Buttermilk and Fresh Ginger and vibrant Blood Orange and Olive Oil Polenta Upside-Down Cake, Amelia’s game-changing approach is sure to win over a new generation of cooks. You’ll find naturally vegan dishes, Middle Eastern fare, and new ways to use Old-World ingredients—buckwheat, home-cured herring, and gribenes—in fresh, modern meals.

The recipe list here HERE
(but please come back to buy the book from us hehe)

[book] A Jewish Baker's Pastry Secrets
Recipes from a New York Baking
Legend for Strudel, Stollen, Danishes,
Puff Pastry, and More
by George Greenstein and Elaine Greenstein
Julia Greenstein and Isaac Bleicher
August 2015
Ten Speed Press
This follow-up to the author's James Beard award-winning Secrets of a Jewish Bakeris a charming collection of European-style bakery classics, such as coffee cake and strudel.

George Greenstein had a gift for teaching home bakers to think, work, and bake like the pros with his evocative and tactile descriptions of baking. In A Jewish Baker’s Pastry Secrets, he crafts master dough recipes for Jewish holiday baking and European classics, creating a comprehensive set of building blocks for both beginners and baking enthusiasts. Greenstein’s expert guidance for making doughs like bundt, babka, strudel, gugelhopf, stollen, pressburger, puff pastry, and Danish create a jumping-off point for more than 200 variations of classic pastries, including napoleons, coffee cakes, and sweet buns.
The book also offers an in-depth guide to ingredients and equipment, including both professional and home ovens, as well as basic recipes for fillings, icings, and glazes. With Greenstein’s steady guidance and familiar voice, home bakers and professionals alike will be encouraged to turn out flawless pastry creations for any occasion.

[book] Something Sweet:
Desserts, Baked Goods,
and Treats for Every Occasion
by Miriam Pascal
August 26, 2015
It is from MESORAH PUBLICATIONS, Miriam is a top source for recipes, she has a huge family. Need I say more about the greatness of this book?
There's always room for Something Sweet! Desserts and treats for every occasion; Accessible ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions; Detailed 'Plan Ahead' instructions for every recipe; Baking, Holiday and Party Guides; and Every recipe is accompanied by a mouthwatering, full-color photo

As the creator of the immensely popular food blog, Miriam Pascal shares her innovative, exciting, and delicious recipes with literally hundreds of thousands of eager home cooks. She now presents close to 100 brand-new, never-seen recipes plus a number of her readers' favorite treats.
Miriam's frequent interaction with readers has given her a unique understanding of what today's cooks need. You'l see this influence in numerous reader-requested features: handy ingredient substitutions, such as oil in place of margarine in many recipes, a number of health-conscious and allergy-friendly recipes, and additional helpful variations. She also shares 'plan ahead' instructions on freezing and storage, and she presents special guides that offer tips and ideas for holidays and parties. In the Baking Guide, Miriam provides information about ingredients, substitutions, kitchen tools, and baking tips.
Miriam is a master at taking familiar kosher ingredients and combining them into creative treats that look beautiful, taste amazing, and aren't hard to create. And, with her infectious enthusiasm, she makes it so much fun Something Sweet is for everyone who loves dessert. And isn't that all of us?

[book] Ingredients:
A Visual Exploration of 75 Additives
& 25 Food Products
by Dwight Eschliman
and Steve Ettlinger
September 29, 2015
In the bestselling tradition of The Elements and Salt Sugar Fat, an unprecedented visual exploration of what is really inside our food, setting the record straight on the controversial and fascinating science of chemical and synthetic additives in processed food—from Twinkies and McNuggets to organic protein bars and healthy shakes. What’s really in your food?
We’ve all read the ingredients label on the back of a can, box, or bag from the grocery store. But what do all those mysterious-sounding chemicals and additives actually do?
Focusing on 75 of the most common food additives and 25 ordinary food products that contain them, acclaimed photographer Dwight Eschliman and science writer Steve Ettlinger demystify the contents of processed food. Together they reveal what each additive looks like, where it comes from, and how and why it is used.
Essential for everyone who is concerned about the wholesomeness of their diet or merely curious about “polysorbate 60” or “tertiary butylhydroquinone,” Ingredients is a visually and scientifically stunning journey from ketchup to Cool Whip.
You’ll be surprised at what you find.
* * *
Ingredients focuses on processed food additives from acesulfame potassium to xanthan gum, including artificial and natural flavorings, sweeteners, colorings, preservatives, thickeners, emulsifiers, dessicants, and more.
It also shows what is inside Amy's Burrito Especial, Campbell's Chunky Classic Chicken Noodle Soup, Doritos Cool Ranch Flavored Tortilla Chips, Dr. Pepper, General Mills Raisin Nut Bran, Hebrew National Beef Franks, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Hidden Valley The Original Ranch Light Dressing, Hostess Twinkies, Klondike Reese's Ice Cream Bars, Kraft Cool Whip Original, Kraft Singles - American Skim Milk Fat Free, McDonald's Chicken McNuggets, MorningStar Farms Original Sausage Patties, Nabisco Wheat Thins, Naked Green Machine 100% Juice Smoothie, Nestle Coffee-Mate Fat Free The Original Coffee Creamer, Ocean Spray Cran-Grape Juice Drink, Oroweat Healthy Multi-Grain Bread, PowerBar Performance Energy Bar Oatmeal Raisin, Quaker Instant Oatmeal Strawberries and Cream, Red Bull Energy Drink, Snickers Bar, Trident Perfect Peppermint Sugar Free Gum, and Vlasic Ovals Hamburger Dill Chips.

Early Encounters of Jews, Christians, and Muslims
By Robert C. Gregg (Stanford)
September 2015
Oxford University Press
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are considered kindred religions-holding ancestral heritages and monotheistic belief in common-but there are definitive distinctions between these "Abrahamic" peoples. Shared Stories, Rival Tellings explores the early exchanges of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and argues that their interactions were dominated by debates over the meanings of certain stories sacred to all three communities.

Robert C. Gregg shows how Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interpreters--artists as well as authors--developed their unique and particular understandings of narratives present in the two Bibles and the Qur'an. Gregg focuses on five stories: Cain and Abel, Sarah and Hagar, Joseph and Potiphar's Wife, Jonah and the Whale, and Mary the Mother of Jesus. As he guides us through the often intentional variations introduced into these shared stories, Gregg exposes major issues under contention and the social-intellectual forces that contributed to spirited, and sometimes combative, exchanges among Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Offering deeper insight into these historical moments and their implications for contemporary relations among the three religions, Shared Stories, Rival Tellings will inspire readers to consider--and reconsider--the dynamics of traditional and current social-religious competition.

[book] The Pentagon's Brain:
An Uncensored History of DARPA,
America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency
by Annie Jacobsen
September 2015
Little, Brown
DARPA. They gave us drones, the internet, MMORPGs, rifles, weapons, and more. The definitive history of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency.
No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department's most secret, most powerful, and most controversial military science R&D agency. In the first-ever history about the organization, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen draws on inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents, and declassified memos to paint a picture of DARPA, or "the Pentagon's brain," from its Cold War inception in 1958 to the present.
This is the book on DARPA--a compelling narrative about this clandestine intersection of science and the American military and the often frightening results.

[book] The Crime and the Silence:
Confronting the Massacre of Jews
in Wartime Jedwabne
by Anna Bikont
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
September 2015
A monumental work of nonfiction on a wartime atrocity, its sixty-year denial, and the impact of its truth by one of Poland’s award winning journalists who wrote about issues that people want to forget

In 2001, Jan Gross's hugely controversial NEIGHBORS was a historian's disclosure of the events in the small Polish town of Jedwabne on July 10, 1941, when the citizens rounded up the Jewish population and burned them alive in a barn.
The massacre was a shocking secret that had been suppressed for more than sixty years, and it provoked the most important public debate in Poland since 1989. From the outset, Anna Bikont reported on the town, combing through archives and interviewing residents who survived the war period and survivors in Poland, Central America, Israel and the USA. Her writing became a crucial part of the debate and she herself an actor in a national drama.
Part history, part memoir, The Crime and the Silence is the journalist's account of these events: both the story of the massacre told through oral histories of survivors and witnesses, and a portrait of a Polish town coming to terms with its dark past. Including the perspectives of both heroes and perpetrators, Bikont chronicles the sources of the hatred that exploded against Jews and asks what myths grow on hidden memories, what destruction they cause, and what happens to a society that refuses to accept a horrific truth.
She discusses the other massacres in neighboring towns, and investigates why people blamed the Germans when it was actually the Polish Catholics
A profoundly moving exploration of being Jewish in modern Poland that Julian Barnes called "one of the most chilling books," The Crime and the Silence is a vital contribution to Holocaust history and a fascinating story of a town coming to terms with its dark past..

a novel
by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman
September 2015
From two #1 bestselling masters of crime fiction comes an extraordinary thriller about family, murder, and the secrets that refuse to stay buried.
It’s been more than a year since LAPD detective Jacob Lev learned the remarkable truth about his family, and he’s not coping well. He’s back to drinking, he’s not talking to his father, the LAPD Special Projects Department continues to shadow him, and the memory of a woman named Mai haunts him day and night.
And while Jacob has tried to build a bridge to his mother, she remains a stranger to him, imprisoned inside her own tattered mind.
Then he comes across the file for a gruesome unsolved murder that brings the two halves of his life into startling collision. Finding the killer will take him halfway around the world, to Paris—the city of romance, but also of gritty streets, behind the lights. It’s a dangerous search for truth that plunges him into the past. And for Jacob Lev, there is no place more frightening.
Jonathan Kellerman has long been known for his mastery of criminal psychology and his ability to create thrilling novels of nuanced drama and suspense. But in The Golem of Paris, he and Jesse Kellerman raise that suspense to a whole new level.

A Modern Field Manual for Detecting
and Rooting Out Everyday Behavior s That
Undermine Your Workplace
by Robert M. Galford, Bob Frisch
and Cary Greene
September 2015
DO you serve on a synagogue committee or any working group? PTA? Maybe the OSS manual can help you deal with unintentional sabotage.

Inspired by the Simple Sabotage Field Manual released by the Office of Strategic Services in 1944 to train European resistors, this is the essential handbook to help stamp out unintentional sabotage in any working group, from major corporations to volunteer PTA committees.
In 1944, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)—the predecessor of today’s CIA—issued the Simple Sabotage Field Manual that detailed sabotage techniques designed to demoralize the enemy. One section focused on eight incredibly subtle—and devastatingly destructive—tactics for sabotaging the decision-making processes of organizations. While the manual was written decades ago, these sabotage tactics thrive undetected in organizations today:

Insist on doing everything through channels.
Make speeches. Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Refer all matters to committees.
Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible. Haggle over precise wordings of communications.
Refer back to matters already decided upon and attempt to question the advisability of that decision.
Advocate caution and urge fellow-conferees to avoid haste that might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
Be worried about the propriety of any decision.

Everyone has been faced with someone who has used these tactics, even when they have meant well. Filled with proven strategies and techniques, this brief, clever book outlines the counter-sabotage measures to detect and reduce the impact of these eight classic sabotage tactics to improve productivity, spur creativity, and engender better collegial relationships

[book] SCHMUCK
by Seth Kushner
September 2015
Alternate Comics
Schmuck drips with self-loathing, near-sightedness, and sexually frustrated Ashkenazi goodness. In Schmuck, Kushner tells "true" stories based on his own mishaps and mortifying memories, which are energetically illustrated by the cream of the indie comix crop."—Megan Sass, Heeb Magazine

One man's awkward coming-of-age-quest to find love in New York City, illustrated by twenty-two artists, whose individual short stories together tell a complete narrative. Artists include Josh Neufeld, Nick Bertozzi, Dean Haspiel, Gregory Benton, Noah Van Sciver, Stephan DeStefano, and Christa Cassano. Cover art by Joseph Remnant. Book design by Eisner award-winner Eric Skillman. Foreword by Jonathan Ames.

a graphic novel
by Dean Haspiel
September 2015
Alternate Comics
Haspiel grew up on the Upper West Side and went to the LG HS for Music and Art
In this story, a native New York bruiser is fed up with life in the dregs of a drug-addled Alphabet City where his neighbors are shut-ins and his bicycle is always getting stolen.
He escapes from Manhattan to make a fresh start in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, only to face a new strain of street logic — where most everything he encounters is not as it seems.
(And as a former resident of Carroll Garden and Kane St synagogue member, I can attest to the author's perceptions
Emmy award-winning artist on HBO's Bored To Death—Dean Haspiel's comics include The Fox with Mark Waid, The Alcoholic with Jonathan Ames, and The Quitter with Harvey Pekar.

[book] A Guest at the Shooters' Banquet:
My Grandfather's SS Past,
My Jewish Family,
A Search for the Truth
by Rita Gabis
September 2015
Bloomsbury USA
Rita Gabis comes from a family of Eastern European Jews and Lithuanian Catholics. She was close to her Catholic grandfather as a child and knew one version of his past: prior to immigration he had fought the Russians, whose brutal occupation of Lithuania destroyed thousands of lives before Hitler's army swept in.
Five years ago, Gabis discovered an unthinkable dimension to her family story: from 1941 to 1943, her grandfather had been the chief of security police under the Gestapo in the Lithuanian town of Svencionys, near the killing field of Poligon, where eight thousand Jews were murdered over three days in the fall of 1941. In 1942, the local Polish population was also hunted down. Gabis felt compelled to find out the complicated truth of who her grandfather was and what he had done.
Built around dramatic interviews in four countries, filled with original scholarship, and mesmerizing in its lyricism, A Guest at the Shooters' Banquet is a history and family memoir like no other, documenting "the holocaust by bullets" with a remarkable quest as Gabis returns again and again to the country of her grandfather's birth to learn all she can about the man she thought she knew.

[book] The Last Season:
A Father, a Son,
and a Lifetime of College Football
by Stuart Stevens
September 2015
What ever happened to Stuart Stevens, the author of NIGHT TRAIN TO TURKMISTAN and MALARIA DREAMS back in the late 1980s? I did not know he was the same guy who went on to write for TV shows including NORTHERN EXPOSURE, and worked as a GOP political consultant (BIG ENCHILADA) and as a senior strategist for Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Here is his latest book, Stevens goes to Ole Miss with his 95 year old father Phineas to explore football and Mississippi culture.
As an adolescent in an affluent, liberal enclave of Jackson, Mississippi, home of Ole Miss, Stevens idolized British travel writers like Evelyn Waugh and Peter Fleming (brother of Ian) because their stories offered a temporary escape from the provincialism of the Deep South. He also was a football fan; his father Phineas was a top player. (I think his grandfather was Judge John Morgan Stevens)
Fathers, sons, and sports are enduring themes of American literature. Here, in this fresh and moving account, a son returns to his native South to spend a special autumn with his ninety-five-year-old dad, sharing the unique joys, disappointments, and life lessons of Saturdays with their beloved Ole Miss Rebels.
After growing up in Jackson, Stuart Stevens built a successful career as a writer and political consultant. But in the fall of 2012, not long after he turned sixty, the presidential campaign he’d worked on suffered a painful defeat. Grappling with a profound sense of loss and mortality, he began asking himself some tough questions, not least about his relationship with his father. The two of them had spent little time together for decades. He made a resolution: to invite his father to attend a season of Ole Miss football games together, as they’d done when college football provided a way for his father to guide him through childhood—and to make sense of the troubled South of the 1960s. Now, driving to and from the games, and cheering from the stands, they take stock of their lives as father and son, and as individuals, reminding themselves of their unique, complicated, precious bond.
Poignant and full of heart, but also irreverent and often hilarious, The Last Season is a powerful story of parents and children and of the importance of taking a backward glance together while you still can.
Note: The Stevens are Methodists, not Jewish, but I like his books, and this should be an interesting read.

[book] The Modern Family Cookbook
by Modern Family Writers and 20th Century Fox
September 2015
Oxmoor House
From the hit television phenomenon Modern Family comes an unconventional cookbook that invites you into the kitchen with the CHARACTERS you know and love. NOTE... these a recipes by characters in character. In addition to recipes are scenes and dialogue from famous episodes, and an episode guide
There are more than 100 recipes
The Modern Family Cookbook teaches you how to make Phil's Traditional First-Day-of-School Pancakes (don't forget the whipped cream smile!), Claire's Spooky Pumpkin Cheese Ball with Crudités, Mitchell's PB & J (pear, brie, and jambon) Sandwiches, Jay's Sloppy Jay's (like a sloppy joe but made by Jay)
Gloria's Carnitas al Diablo, and other delicious dishes.
From Haley's forty cupcakes to Lily's first taste of pho, and all the family dinners in between, the show's most memorable moments come to life in a recipe collection that will please fans and foodies alike.
The recipes are very basic. Sloppy joes are beef and sauce and buns
Of course, family meals aren't just about eating. The Modern Family Cookbook also features some of the Dunphy-Tucker-Pritchett clan's most hilarious moments. Find out if you're a parent or a peer-ent and what to do when house guests overstay their welcome. Discover Lily's diva tips, Manny's love poems, and Jay's childhood recipe for "the perfect mom." Ever wondered what it looks like inside Phil Dunphy's brain? Open this book to find out.

[book] Underground in Berlin:
A Young Woman's Extraordinary Tale
of Survival in the Heart of Nazi Germany
by Marie Jalowicz Simon
Translated by Anthea Bell
Foreword and Afterword by Hermann Simon
September 8, 2015
Little, Brown
A thrilling piece of undiscovered history, this is the true account of a young Jewish woman who survived World War II in Berlin. In 1941, Marie Jalowicz Simon, a nineteen-year-old Berliner, made an extraordinary decision. All around her, Jews were being rounded up for deportation, forced labor, and extermination. Marie took off her yellow star, turned her back on the Jewish community, and vanished into the city.

In the years that followed, Marie lived under an assumed identity, forced to accept shelter wherever she found it. Always on the run, never certain whom she could trust, Marie moved between almost twenty different safe-houses, living with foreign workers, staunch communists, and even committed Nazis. Only her quick-witted determination and the most hair-raising strokes of luck allowed her to survive.

The Life and Work of Frank Gehry
by Paul Goldberger
September 2015
From Pulitzer Prize–winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger: an engaging, nuanced exploration of the life and work of FRANK GEHRY, undoubtedly the most famous architect of our time.
This first full-fledged critical biography presents and evaluates the work of a man who has almost single-handedly transformed contemporary architecture in his innovative use of materials, design, and form, and who is among the very few architects in history to be both respected by critics as a creative, cutting-edge force and embraced by the general public as a popular figure.

BUILDING ART shows the full range of Gehry’s work, from early houses constructed of plywood and chain-link fencing to lamps made in the shape of fish to the triumphant success of such late projects as the spectacular art museum of glass in Paris. It tells the story behind Gehry’s own house, which upset his neighbors and excited the world with its mix of the traditional and the extraordinary, and recounts how Gehry came to design the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, his remarkable structure of swirling titanium that changed a declining city into a destination spot. Building Art also explains Gehry’s sixteen-year quest to complete Walt Disney Concert Hall, the beautiful, acoustically brilliant home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Although Gehry’s architecture has been written about widely, the story of his life has never been told in full detail. Here we come to know his Jewish immigrant family, his working-class Toronto childhood, his hours spent playing with blocks on his grandmother’s kitchen floor, his move to Los Angeles when he was still a teenager, and how he came, unexpectedly, to end up in architecture school. Most important, Building Art presents and evaluates Gehry’s lifetime of work in conjunction with his entire life story, including his time in the army and at Harvard, his long relationship with his psychiatrist and the impact it had on his work, and his two marriages and four children. It analyzes his carefully crafted persona, in which a casual, amiable “aw, shucks” surface masks a driving and intense ambition. And it explores his relationship to Los Angeles and how its position as home to outsider artists gave him the freedom in his formative years to make the innovations that characterize his genius. Finally, it discusses his interest in using technology not just to change the way a building looks but to change the way the whole profession of architecture is practiced.
At once a sweeping view of a great architect and an intimate look at creative genius, Building Art is in many ways the saga of the architectural milieu of the twenty-first century. But most of all it is the compelling story of the man who first comes to mind when we think of the lasting possibilities of buildings as art.

[book] The Power of Resilience:
How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected
by Yossi Sheffi
MIT Press
September 2015
From Yossi Sheffi - Technion trained and MIT based – and the founder of at least five companies.
A catastrophic earthquake is followed by a tsunami that inundates the coastline, and around the globe manufacturing comes to a standstill.
State-of-the-art passenger jets are grounded because of a malfunctioning part.
A strike halts shipments through a major port.
A new digital device decimates the sales of other brands and sends established firms to the brink of bankruptcy.
The interconnectedness of the global economy today means that unexpected events in one corner of the globe can ripple through the world's supply chain and affect customers everywhere. In this book, Yossi Sheffi shows why modern vulnerabilities call for innovative processes and tools for creating and embedding corporate resilience and risk management. Sheffi offers fascinating case studies that illustrate how companies have prepared for, coped with, and come out stronger following disruption -- from the actions of Intel after the 2011 Japanese tsunami to the disruption in the "money supply chain" caused by the 2008 financial crisis.

Sheffi, author of the widely read The Resilient Enterprise, focuses here on deep tier risks as well as corporate responsibility, cybersecurity, long-term disruptions, business continuity planning, emergency operations centers, detection, and systemic disruptions. Supply chain risk management, Sheffi shows, is a balancing act between taking on the risks involved in new products, new markets, and new processes -- all crucial for growth -- and the resilience created by advanced risk management.

[book] MAKE IT NEW
By Barry M. Katz
(Stanford, IDEO, Calif Coll of the Arts)
MIT Press
September 2015
Barry believes that there is no design problem that does not have its roots in history,
California's Silicon Valley is home to the greatest concentration of designers in the world: corporate design offices at flagship technology companies and volunteers at nonprofit NGOs; global design consultancies and boutique studios; research laboratories and academic design programs. Together they form the interconnected network that is Silicon Valley. Apple products are famously "Designed in California," but, as Barry Katz shows in this first-ever, extensively illustrated history, the role of design in Silicon Valley began decades before Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak dreamed up Apple in a garage.

Offering a thoroughly original view of the subject, Katz tells how design helped transform Silicon Valley into the most powerful engine of innovation in the world. From Hewlett-Packard and Ampex in the 1950s to Google and Facebook today, design has provided the bridge between research and development, art and engineering, technical performance and human behavior. Katz traces the origins of all of the leading consultancies -- including IDEO, frog, and Lunar -- and shows the process by which some of the world's most influential companies came to place design at the center of their business strategies. At the same time, universities, foundations, and even governments have learned to apply "design thinking" to their missions. Drawing on unprecedented access to a vast array of primary sources and interviews with nearly every influential design leader -- including Douglas Engelbart, Steve Jobs, and Don Norman -- Katz reveals design to be the missing link in Silicon Valley's ecosystem of innovation.

Lake Union Publishing
September 2015
It’s 1935. Rita Feuerstahl comes to the university in Krakow intent on enjoying her freedom. But life has other things in store—marriage, a love affair, a child, all in the shadows of the oncoming war. When the war arrives, Rita is armed with a secret so enormous that it could cost the Allies everything, even as it gives her the will to live. She must find a way both to keep her secret and to survive amid the chaos of Europe at war. Living by her wits among the Germans as their conquests turn to defeat, she seeks a way to prevent the inevitable doom of Nazism from making her one of its last victims. Can her passion and resolve outlast the most powerful evil that Europe has ever seen?

In an epic saga that spans from Paris in the ’30s and Spain’s Civil War to Moscow, Warsaw, and the heart of Nazi Germany, The Girl from Krakow follows one woman’s battle for survival as entire nations are torn apart, never to be the same.

[book] Grit to Great:
How Perseverance, Passion, and
Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary
by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval
September 8, 2015
In Grit to Great, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval tackle a topic that is close to their hearts, one that they feel is the real secret to their own success in their careers--and in the careers of so many people they know and have met. And that is the incredible power of grit, perseverance, perspiration, determination, and sheer stick-to-it-tiveness. We are all dazzled by the notion that there are some people who get ahead, who reach the corner office because they are simply gifted, or well-connected, or both. But research shows that we far overvalue talent and intellectual ability in our culture. The fact is, so many people get ahead--even the gifted ones--because they worked incredibly hard, put in the thousands of hours of practice and extra sweat equity, and made their own luck. And Linda and Robin should know--they are two girls from the Bronx who had no special advantages or privileges and rose up through their own hard work and relentless drive to succeed to the top of their highly competitive profession.

In a book illustrated with a cornucopia of stories and the latest research on success, the authors reveal the strategies that helped them, and countless others, succeed at the highest levels in their careers and professions, and in their personal lives. They talk about the guts--the courage--necessary to take on tough challenges and not give up at the first sign of difficulty. They discuss the essential quality of resiliency. Everyone suffers setbacks in their careers and in life. The key, however, is to pick yourself up and bounce back. Drawing on the latest research in positive psychology, they discuss why optimists do better in school, work, and on the playing field--and how to reset that optimistic set point. They talk about industriousness, the notion that Malcolm Gladwell popularized with the 10,000-hour rule in his book Outliers. Creativity theorist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi believes it takes a minimum of 10 years for one's true creative potential to be realized. And the authors explore the concept of tenacity--the quality that allows us to remain focused and avoid distraction in order to get the job done--an increasingly difficult task in today's fragmented, cluttered, high-tech, connected world.
Written in the same short, concise format as The Power of Nice and leavened with the natural humor that characterizes Linda's and Robin's lives--and books--Grit to Great is destined to be the book everyone in business needs.

American Law and the New Global Realities
By Stephen Breyer
Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States
September 15, 2015
He has been on the US Supreme Court for over 20 years, but only 3% of Americans in a recent poll could identify him or heard of him. But such are American voters.

In this original, far-reaching, and timely book, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer examines the work of the Supreme Court of the United States in an increasingly interconnected world, a world in which all sorts of activity, both public and private — from the conduct of national security policy to the conduct of international trade — obliges the Court to understand and consider circumstances beyond America’s borders.

It is a world of instant communications, lightning-fast commerce, and shared problems (like public health threats and environmental degradation), and it is one in which the lives of Americans are routinely linked ever more pervasively to those of people in foreign lands. Indeed, at a moment when anyone may engage in direct transactions internationally for services previously bought and sold only locally (lodging, for instance, through online sites), it has become clear that, even in ordinary matters, judicial awareness can no longer stop at the water’s edge of America's traditional borders.

To trace how foreign considerations have come to inform the thinking of the Court, Justice Breyer begins with that area of the law in which they have always figured prominently: national security in its constitutional dimension—how should the Court balance this imperative with others, chiefly the protection of basic liberties, in its review of presidential and congressional actions? He goes on to show that as the world has grown steadily “smaller,” the Court’s horizons have inevitably expanded: it has been obliged to consider a great many more matters that now cross borders. What is the geographical reach of an American statute concerning, say, securities fraud, antitrust violations, or copyright protections? And in deciding such matters, can the Court interpret American laws so that they might work more efficiently with similar laws in other nations?

While Americans must necessarily determine their own laws through democratic process, increasingly, the smooth operation of American law—and, by extension, the advancement of American interests and values—depends on its working in harmony with that of other jurisdictions. Justice Breyer describes how the aim of cultivating such harmony, as well as the expansion of the rule of law overall, with its attendant benefits, has drawn American jurists into the relatively new role of “constitutional diplomats,” a little remarked but increasingly important job for them in this fast-changing world.
Written with unique authority and perspective, The Court and the World reveals an emergent reality few Americans observe directly but one that affects the life of every one of us. Here is an invaluable understanding for lawyers and non-lawyers alike.

A Memoir of Family and Medicine
by Janet Sternburg
September 2015
White Matter: A Memoir of Family and Medicine is the story of a Bostonian close-knit Jewish working-class family of five sisters and one brother and the impact they and their next generation endured due to the popularization of lobotomy during the 20th century. When Janet Sternburg’s grandfather abandoned his family, and her uncle, Bennie, became increasing mentally ill, Sternburg’s mother and aunts had to bind together and make crucial decisions for the family’s survival. Two of the toughest familial decisions they made were to have Bennie undergo a lobotomy to treat his schizophrenia and later to have youngest sister, Francie, undergo the same procedure to treat severe depression. Both heartrending decisions were largely a result of misinformation disseminated that popularized and legitimized lobotomy.
Woven into Sternburg’s story are notable figures that influenced the family as well as the entire medical field. In 1949, Egas Moniz was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for developing the lobotomy, and in the three years that followed his acceptance of the award, more Americans underwent the surgery than during the previous 14 years. By the early 1950s, Walter Freeman developed an alternate technique for lobotomy, which he proselytized during his travels throughout the country in a van he dubbed the “Lobotomobile.”

[book] In the Country
by Mia Alvar
These nine globe-trotting, unforgettable stories from Mia Alvar, a remarkable new literary talent, vividly give voice to the women and men of the Filipino diaspora. Here are exiles, emigrants, and wanderers uprooting their families from the Philippines to begin new lives in the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere—and, sometimes, turning back again. These people are from the strata of Filipine society who would not mix back in Manila and the country, but in the diaspora.. the mix

A hospital pharmacist living in New York smuggles morphine to his ailing father in Manila, only to discover alarming truths about his family and his past.
In Bahrain, a Filipina teacher drawn to a special pupil finds, to her surprise, that she is questioning her own marriage. Should she lie to her employer to maintain a high salary?
A college student leans on her brother, a laborer in Saudi Arabia, to support her writing ambitions, without realizing that his is the life truly made for fiction.
A cleaner in the WTC has a love affair with her employer. As she watches the Word Trade Center collapse, should she pretend to be a nurse and race to Lower Manhattan?
And in the title story, a journalist and a nurse face an unspeakable trauma amidst the political turmoil of the Philippines in the 1970s and ’80s.

In the Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home. From teachers to housemaids, from mothers to sons, Alvar’s powerful debut collection explores the universal experiences of loss, displacement, and the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined. Deeply compassionate and richly felt, In the Country marks the emergence of a formidable new writer.

[book] No One Understands You
and What to Do About It
by Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD (Columbia)
HBR Press
Person Perception, Illusion of Transparency, and the failure of facial expressions (what if your listening face is perceived by others as your angry face?

Why do people perceive you differently than you think they do?

Have you ever felt you’re not getting through to the person you’re talking to, or not coming across the way you intend? Perhapos you are a rabbi giving a drash. Maybe you are a leader in a Jewish group in a meeting and no one gets you. You’re not alone.
That’s the bad news.
But there is something we can do about it. Heidi Grant Halvorson, social psychologist and bestselling author, explains why we’re often misunderstood and how we can fix that. Most of us assume that other people see us as we see ourselves, and that they see us as we truly are. But neither is true. Our everyday interactions are colored by subtle biases that distort how others see us—and also shape our perceptions of them.
You can learn to clarify the message you’re sending once you understand the lenses that shape perception:
• Trust. Are you friend or foe?
• Power. How much influence do you have over me?
• Ego. Do you make me feel insecure?

Based on decades of research in psychology and social science, Halvorson explains how these lenses affect our interactions—and how to manage them.
Once you understand the science of perception, you’ll communicate more clearly, send the messages you intend to send, and improve your personal relationships. You’ll also become a fairer and more accurate judge of others. Halvorson even offers an evidence-based action plan for repairing a damaged reputation.
This book is not about making a good impression, although it will certainly help you do that. It’s about coming across as you intend. It’s about the authenticity we all strive for.

[book] Out of Jordan:
A Sabra in the Peace Corps
Tells Her Story
by Dalya Cohen-Mor, PhD (Georgetown)
September 15, 2015
A riveting memoir of the first Israeli-born Jewish American to be sent as a Peace Corps volunteer to Jordan.
A good memoir is a survivor’s tale—the story of a person who has faced obstacles and made it through well enough to tell it. Dalya Cohen-Mor, a Sabra-born American woman, volunteered to serve in the Peace Corps, went through a lengthy and highly competitive application process, was accepted, and was sent to serve in the predominantly Palestinian country Jordan. Upon arrival in Jordan, Cohen-Mor was instructed by Peace Corps supervisors to conceal her Jewish identity, use an alias instead of her real last name, and pretend that she was Christian so as not to compromise her safety and efficacy as a Peace Corps volunteer.
As a single woman, a Sabra, and an American Peace Corps volunteer in a conservative Arab society, Cohen-Mor was forced to navigate unchartered territory, redefine her values and attitudes, and discover what it means to be perceived as the Other. She lived in the household of a Bedouin host family in a remote village in the eastern desert of Jordan, teaching English at the village girls’ elementary school.
As she traveled around the Kingdom, she often found herself in delicate, complicated, and dangerous situations. After three months of hard work in the Peace Corps, she was accused of being involved in intelligence activities and unceremoniously sent back home.
Although she lost her dream to serve in the Peace Corps, she found something more precious in the process: her core identity and sense of self.
Out of Jordan paints a penetrating portrait of contemporary life in Jordan, with insight into the complexities of a family life, women’s roles, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the perception of America in the minds of ordinary people. Cohen-Mor recounts her personal journey across borders and cultures into the living realities of two peoples—Arabs and Jews—with conflicting national identities but a common humanity.

New York Review Books
September 1, 2015
The House of Twenty Thousand Books is the story of Chimen Abramsky, an extraordinary polymath and bibliophile who amassed a vast collection of socialist literature and Jewish history. For more than fifty years Chimen and his wife, Miriam, hosted epic gatherings in their house of books that brought together many of the age’s greatest thinkers.

The atheist son of one of the century’s most important rabbis, Chimen was born in 1916 near Minsk, spent his early teenage years in Moscow while his father served time in a Siberian labor camp for religious proselytizing, and then immigrated to London, where he discovered the writings of Karl Marx and became involved in left-wing politics. He briefly attended the newly established Hebrew University in Jerusalem, until World War II interrupted his studies. Back in England, he married, and for many years he and Miriam ran a respected Jewish bookshop in London’s East End. When the Nazis invaded Russia in June 1941, Chimen joined the Communist Party, becoming a leading figure in the party’s National Jewish Committee. He remained a member until 1958, when, shockingly late in the day, he finally acknowledged the atrocities committed by Stalin. In middle age, Chimen reinvented himself once more, this time as a liberal thinker, humanist, professor, and manuscripts’ expert for Sotheby’s auction house.

Journalist Sasha Abramsky re-creates here a lost world, bringing to life the people, the books, and the ideas that filled his grandparents’ house, from gatherings that included Eric Hobsbawm and Isaiah Berlin to books with Marx’s handwritten notes, William Morris manuscripts and woodcuts, an early sixteenth-century Bomberg Bible, and a first edition of Descartes’s Meditations. The House of Twenty Thousand Books is a wondrous journey through our times, from the vanished worlds of Eastern European Jewry to the cacophonous politics of modernity.

The House of Twenty Thousand Books includes 43 photos.

Translated from Arabic by Jonathan Wright
September 2015
Winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction
Josephine Mendoza escapes poverty by coming to Kuwait from the Philippines to work as a maid, where she meets Rashid, an idealistic only son with literary aspirations. Josephine, with all the wide-eyed naivety of youth, believes she has found true love. But when she becomes pregnant, and with the rumble of war growing ever louder, Rashid bows to family and social pressure, and sends her back home with her baby son, José.

Brought up struggling with his dual identity, José clings to the hope of returning to his father's country when he is eighteen. He is ill-prepared to plunge headfirst into a world where the fear of tyrants and dictators is nothing compared to the fear of 'what will people say.' And with a Filipino face, a Kuwaiti passport, an Arab surname and a Christian first name, will his father's country welcome him?
The Bamboo Stalk takes an unflinching look at the lives of foreign workers in Arab countries and confronts the universal problems of identity, race and religion.

[book] Return:
A Palestinian Memoir
by Ghada Karmi
Verso Books
A memoir of exile and the impossibility of finding home, from the author of In Search of Fatima
“The journey filled me with bitterness and grief. I remember looking down on a nighttime Tel Aviv from the windows of a place taking me back to London and thinking hopelessly, ‘flotsam and jetsam, that’s what we’ve become, scattered and divided. There’s no room for us or our memories here. And it won’t be reversed.’”
Having grown up in Britain following her family’s exile from Palestine, doctor, author and academic Ghada Karmi leaves her adoptive home in a quest to return to her homeland. She starts work with the Palestinian Authority and gets a firsthand understanding of its bizarre bureaucracy.
In her quest, she takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the heart of one of the world’s most intractable conflict zones and one of the major issues of our time. Visiting places she has not seen since childhood....she questions what role exiles like her have in the future of their country and whether return is truly possible.

[book] OREO
By Fran Ross
New Directions
A pioneering, dazzling satire about a biracial black girl from Philadelphia searching for her Jewish father in New York City Oreo is raised by her maternal grandparents in Philadelphia. Her black mother tours with a theatrical troupe, and her Jewish deadbeat dad disappeared when she was an infant, leaving behind a mysterious note that triggers her quest to find him. What ensues is a playful, modernized parody of the classical odyssey of Theseus with a feminist twist, immersed in seventies pop culture, and mixing standard English, black vernacular, and Yiddish with wisecracking aplomb. Oreo, our young hero, navigates the labyrinth of sound studios and brothels and subway tunnels in Manhattan, seeking to claim her birthright while unwittingly experiencing and triggering a mythic journey of self-discovery like no other.

[book] Backyard Kitchen
Mediterranean Salads:
A Cookbook from Sarina's Sephardic Cuisine
by Sarina Roffé
Sarina Roffé, whose recipes have also been featured in NY Times Jewish Cookbook and Joan Nathan's Jewish Cooking in America, has released Backyard Kitchen: Mediterranean Salads.
In the first in a series of user-friendly cookbooks, she includes 36 authentic recipes for Middle Eastern salads, couscous salads and pickles. Sarina is the creator of Sarina's Sephardic Cuisine (, an iPhone app, and write a cooking blog.
The inspiration for Backyard Kitchen came from Sarina's grandmother, Esther Cohen Salem, the first Syrian Jewish caterer in Brooklyn, NY. It was in the mid-20th century era when weddings and special occasions were still held in the home. Esther's garage was converted into a backyard kitchen. The basement was a storage area for gallons of pickles and imported Syrian spices. The backyard kitchen became the center of life for the surrounding community and the place where Sarina, her sisters and her cousins learned to prepare this unique Middle Eastern cuisine. Sarina picked up her grandmother’s art, crafting every dish with care and love. Sarina learned her secrets and techniques about the subtleties of Syrian cooking that make the difference between a good cook and a great chef. She wanted to pass on the lessons learned from the women in her family to her children as a way of preserving Sephardic culture. The cookbook includes 36 authentic recipes handed down from mother to daughter with love and are traditional foods found in the Levant. The book also has links to video demonstrations. Perfect for vegetarians, the diet conscious and kosher cooks.
Sample cookbook recipes are Syrian Potato Salad which uses red new potatoes, diced celery, onion, eggs, parsley, oil, allspice, white pepper, lemon, and kosher salt. Tex-Mex Guacamole adds green pepper to the avocados, as well as cumin and chili powder. The Moroccan Peppers and Tomato Salad uses 8 cloves of garlic, paprika, salt, tomatoes, 6 green peppers, cumin and more (you broil the peppers in a broiler before peeling them.)

[book] Ordinary Medicine
Extraordinary Treatments, Longer Lives,
and Where to Draw the Line
(Critical Global Health: Evidence, Efficacy, Ethnography)
by Sharon R. Kaufman
Duke University Press
Most of us want and expect medicine’s miracles to extend our lives. In today’s aging society, however, the line between life-giving therapies and too much treatment is hard to see—it’s being obscured by a perfect storm created by the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries, along with insurance companies. In Ordinary Medicine Sharon R. Kaufman investigates what drives that storm’s “more is better” approach to medicine: a nearly invisible chain of social, economic, and bureaucratic forces that has made once-extraordinary treatments seem ordinary, necessary, and desirable.
Since 2002 Kaufman has listened to hundreds of older patients, their physicians and family members express their hopes, fears, and reasoning as they faced the line between enough and too much intervention.
Their stories anchor Ordinary Medicine. Today’s medicine, Kaufman contends, shapes nearly every American’s experience of growing older, and ultimately medicine is undermining its own ability to function as a social good. Kaufman’s careful mapping of the sources of our health care dilemmas should make it far easier to rethink and renew medicine’s goals.

[book] Arms and the Dudes:
How Three Stoners from Miami Beach
Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History
by Guy Lawson
Simon and Schuster
The page-turning, inside account of how three kids from Florida became big-time weapons traders—and how the US government turned on them. When I read about their arrest a few years ago, I hoped that if guilty they would be given very long sentences of hard labor for leading to so many deaths.

In January of 2007, three young stoners from Miami Beach won a $300 million Department of Defense contract to supply ammunition to the Afghanistan military. Incredibly, instead of fulfilling the order with high-quality arms, Efraim Diveroli, David Packouz, and Alex Podrizki—the dudes—bought cheap Communist-style surplus ammunition from Balkan gunrunners. The dudes then secretly repackaged millions of rounds of shoddy Chinese ammunition and shipped it to Kabul—until they were caught by Pentagon investigators and the scandal turned up on the front page of The New York Times.

That’s the “official” story. The truth is far more explosive. For the first time, journalist Guy Lawson tells the thrilling true tale. It’s a trip that goes from a dive apartment in Miami Beach to mountain caves in Albania, the corridors of power in Washington, and the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Lawson’s account includes a shady Swiss gunrunner, Russian arms dealers, corrupt Albanian gangsters, and a Pentagon investigation that impeded America’s war efforts in Afghanistan. Lawson exposes the mysterious and murky world of global arms dealing, showing how the American military came to use private contractors like Diveroli, Packouz, and Podrizki as middlemen to secure weapons from illegal arms dealers—the same men who sell guns to dictators, warlords, and drug traffickers.

Why is this book on Well, you guessed it.\ right. Efraim Diveroli was 14 when he was kicked out of a Miami area yeshiva and sent to Los Angeles to live with his uncle, a domestic arms dealer. Diveroli was a yeshiva student — but part of a crowd of Orthodox Jewish kids who smoked weed on the beach. By 16, he was a traveling salesman hustling Glocks and Sig Sauers with a passion. Then he happened on FedBizOpps, the federal weapons procurement site. Diveroli was “hellbent” on getting a piece of the action. After a fallout with his uncle, he returned to Miami and set up AEY, a company dedicated to scoring defense contracts. He hooked up with a Mormon businessman for financing and a shady Swiss arms dealer who had access to stockpiled weapons.When sales increased to more than $7 million, he enlisted his old yeshiva buddy David Packouz. A masseur, he became heady when Diveroli told him he had $1.8 million cash in the bank. Packouz’s ambition was to fund his dream of becoming a rock star. Each morning, they would “wake and bake” before showing up at their office. They then recruited another yeshiva buddy to be their man in Albania. Of course, the pentagon is also to blame for buying shoddy crap, and the arms industry for take 9-10% commissions on the arms.
Watch for the FILM in 2016, starring Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, directed by Todd Phillips (Hangover I, II, III)

How did Huntsville process the Nazi pasts of the engineers... or FAIL to process... in light of their own segregated town and racism and climate during the Civil Rights period? Did the children of the Nazis distance themselves from the whites and their bigotry? How did the local Jews react to the Huntsville's attempt to get a pardeon for Rudolph's war crimes?
[book] German Rocketeers in the Heart of Dixie
Making Sense of the Nazi Past
during the Civil Rights Era
by Monique Laney
Yale University Press
This thought-provoking study by historian Monique Laney focuses on the U.S. government–assisted integration of German rocket specialists and their families into a small southern community soon after World War II.

In 1950, Wernher von Braun and his team of rocket experts relocated from a Texas army barracks to Huntsville, Alabama, a town that would celebrate the team, despite their essential role in the recent Nazi war effort, for their contributions to the U.S. Army missile program and later to NASA’s space program.
Based on oral histories, provided by members of the African American and Jewish communities, and by the rocketeers’ families, co-workers, friends, and neighbors, Laney’s book demonstrates how the histories of German Nazism and Jim Crow in the American South intertwine in narratives about the past.
This is a critical reassessment of a singular time that links the Cold War, the Space Race, and the Civil Rights era while addressing important issues of transnational science and technology, and asking Americans to consider their country’s own history of racism when reflecting on the Nazi past.

[book] Game of Queens:
A Novel of Vashti and Esther
by India Edghill
Sept 2015
St. Martin's Press
For fans of The Red Tent and The Dovekeepers, India Edghill breathes new life into the biblical story of Vashti and Esther with her signature historical richness, epic scope, and sweeping romance.
You may know part of the story already, but you only know what history has passed along. The story of how Vashti, Queen of Queens, the most beautiful woman in all the empire, defied the king her husband and so lost her crown. The story of how Ahasuerus, King of Kings, commanded that the most beautiful maidens be sent to his court so he might choose a new queen. And you may know how he set the queen's crown upon the head of the virtuous and beautiful Esther, and how Queen Esther herself defied both king and law to save her people from a treacherous fate.
What India Edghill brings us in Game of Queens is the story of power and treachery, blood and deception, bravery and romance that surrounds the court of Ahasuerus and brings to life two of the most celebrated female heroines in all of history.

[book] What You Really Need to Lead:
The Power of Thinking and
Acting Like an Owner
by Robert Steven Kaplan
Harvard Business Review Press
September 15, 2015
You might believe that leaders are born, not made. Perhaps you think that you need to hold an important job to be a leader—that you need permission to lead. Leadership is one of the most important aspects of our society. Yet there is enormous disagreement and confusion about what leadership means and whether it can really be learned.
As Harvard Business School professor Robert Steven Kaplan explains in this powerful new book, leadership qualities are not something you either have or you don’t. Leadership is not a destination or a state of being. Leadership is about what you do, rather than who you are, and it starts with an ownership mind-set. For Kaplan, learning to lead involves three key elements:

• Thinking like an owner
• A willingness to act on your beliefs
• A relentless focus on adding value to others

Kaplan compellingly argues that great organizations are built around a nucleus of people who think and act with an ownership mind-set. He believes that leadership is not a role reserved only for those blessed with the right attributes or situated in the right positions of power. Leadership is accessible to each of us—today. It requires a process of hard work, willingness to ask questions, and openness to learning.
This book aims to demystify leadership and outlines a specific regimen that will empower you to build your leadership skills. Kaplan tells real-life stories from his own experience of working with various types of leaders seeking to improve their effectiveness and make their organizations more successful. He asks probing questions, provides exercises, and suggests concrete follow-up steps that will help you develop your skills, create new habits, and move you toward reaching your unique leadership potential.
What You Really Need to Lead will help you develop your capacity to lead by unlocking your power to think and act like an owner.

Robert Steven Kaplan was the Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice and Senior Associate Dean at Harvard Business School. He is also and co-chairman of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a global venture philanthropy firm. Rob served as Vice Chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., and he nows serves the Federal Reserve as of August 2015. He is the founding Co-Chair of the Harvard Neuro Discovery Center. He is also Co-Chairman of the Board of Project A.L.S., Co-Chairman of the Board of the TEAK Fellowship, Co-chair of the Executive Committee for Harvard University Office of Sustainability Greenhouse Gas Emission Implementation Planning, and is a member of the Boards of the Harvard Medical School, Harvard Management Company, the Ford Foundation, and the Jewish Theological Seminary.

[book] Rad American Women A-Z:
Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries
Who Shaped Our History...
and Our Future!
by Kate Schatz, Illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl
Like all A-Z books, this one illustrates the alphabet—but instead of "A is for Apple", A is for Angela—as in Angela Davis, the iconic political activist. B is for Billie Jean King, who shattered the glass ceiling of sports; C is for Carol Burnett, who defied assumptions about women in comedy; D is for Dolores Huerta, who organized farmworkers; and E is for Ella Baker, who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King and helped shape the Civil Rights Movement.
And the list of great women continues, spanning several centuries, multiple professions, and 26 diverse individuals. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers, and agents of change of all kinds.
The book includes an introduction that discusses what it means to be "rad" and "radical," an afterword with 26 suggestions for how you can be "rad," and a Resource Guide with ideas for further learning and reading.
American history was made by countless rad—and often radical—women. By offering a fresh and diverse array of female role models, we can remind readers that there are many places to find inspiration, and that being smart and strong and brave is rad.
Rad American Women will be appreciated by various age groups. It is Common Core aligned for students grades 3 - 8. Pre-school and young children will be captured by the bright visuals and easily modified texts, while the subject matter will stimulate and inspire high-schoolers and beyond.

An Imperfect Son Buries His Parents
by Bob Morris
Twelve Books
His mother's last word was his name. His father's was "Wonderful." Together they inspired the title for this true story of love and redemption. Bob Morris was always the entertainer in his family, but not always a perfect son. When he finds his parents approaching the end of their lives, he begins to see his relationship to them in a whole new light and it changes his way of thinking.
How does an adult child with flaws and limitations figure out how to do his best for his ailing parents while still carrying on and enjoying his own life? And when their final days on earth come, how can he give them the best possible end? In the tradition of bestselling memoirs by Christopher Buckley, Joan Didion, and with a dash of David Sedaris, BOBBY WONDERFUL recounts two poignant deaths and one family's struggle to find the silver lining in them. As accessible as he is insightful, Bob Morris infuses each moment of his profound emotional journey with dark comedy, spiritual inquiry and brutally honest self-examination.
This is a little book. But it captures a big and universal experience.

[book] Despite the Best Intentions:
How Racial Inequality Thrives
in Good Schools
by Amanda E. Lewis and John B. Diamond
Oxford University Press
September 2015
On the surface, “Riverview High School” looks like the post-racial ideal. Serving an enviably affluent, diverse, and liberal district, the school is well-funded, its teachers are well-trained, and many of its students are high-achieving. Yet Riverview has not escaped the same unrelenting question that plagues schools throughout America: why is it that even when all of the circumstances seem right, black and Latina/o students continue to lag behind their peers?

Through five years' worth of interviews and data-gathering at Riverview, Amanda Lewis and John Diamond have created a powerful and illuminating study of how the racial achievement gap continues to afflict American schools more than fifty years after the formal dismantling of segregation. As students progress from elementary school to middle school to high school, their level of academic achievement increasingly tracks along racial lines, with white and Asian students maintaining higher GPAs and standardized testing scores, taking more advanced classes, and attaining better college admission results than their black and Latina/o counterparts. Most research to date has focused on the role of poverty, family stability, and other external influences in explaining poor performance at school, especially in urban contexts. Diamond and Lewis instead situate their research in a suburban school, and look at what factors within the school itself could be causing the disparity. Most crucially, they challenge many common explanations of the "racial achievement gap," exploring what race actually means in this situation, and how it matters.

Diamond and Lewis' research brings clarity and data into a debate that is too often dominated by stereotyping, race-baiting, and demagoguery. An in-depth study with far-reaching consequences, Despite the Best Intentions revolutionizes our understanding of both the knotty problem of academic disparities and the larger question of the color line in American society.

[book] The Responsive Self:
Personal Religion in Biblical Literature
of the Neo-Babylonian and Persian Periods
(The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)
by Susan Niditch (Amherst)
Fall 2015
Yale University Press
Professor Niditch is an expert in many things, especially the period following the conquest of Judea by Nebuchadnezzar II’s Babylonian forces, a time in which people increased their focus on personal vows (If God Does this, then I promise to do that), and I suppose an increase in the writings of lamentations and complex suffering and memoirs (when things did not work out).
Works created in the period from the Babylonian conquest of Judea through the takeover and rule of Judea and Samaria by imperial Persia reveal a profound interest in the religious responses of individuals and an intimate engagement with the nature of personal experience. Using the rich and varied body of literature preserved in the Hebrew Bible, Susan Niditch examines ways in which followers of Yahweh, participating in long-standing traditions, are shown to privatize and personalize religion.

Their experiences remain relevant to many of the questions we still ask today: Why do bad things happen to good people? Does God hear me when I call out in trouble? How do I define myself? Do I have a personal relationship with a divine being? How do I cope with chaos and make sense of my experience? What roles do material objects and private practices play within my religious life?
These questions deeply engaged the ancient writers of the Bible, and they continue to intrigue contemporary people who try to find meaning in life and to make sense of the world.

The Responsive Self studies a variety of phenomena, including the use of first-person speech, seemingly autobiographic forms and orientations, the emphasis on individual responsibility for sin, interest in the emotional dimensions of biblical characters, and descriptions of self-imposed ritual. This set of interests lends itself to exciting approaches in the contemporary study of religion, including the concept of “lived religion,” and involves understanding and describing what people actually do and believe in cultures of religion.

A Memoir
By Caroline Heller
Random House
A stunning elegy to a vanished time, Caroline Heller’s memoir traces the lives of her parents, her uncle, and their circle of intellectuals and dreamers from Central Europe on the eve of World War II to present-day America.
In this unforgettable dual memoir of her parents’ lives and her own, Caroline Heller brings to life the lost world of European café culture, and reminds us of the sustaining power of literature in the most challenging of times.
Heller vividly evokes prewar Prague, where her parents lived, loved, and studied. Her mother, Liese Florsheim, was a young German refugee initially drawn to Erich Heller, a bright but detached intellectual, rather than to his brother, Paul. As Hitler’s power spreads and World War II becomes inevitable, their world is destroyed and they must flee the country and continent. Paul, who will eventually become the author’s father, is trapped and sent to Buchenwald, where he survives under hellish conditions.
Though Paul’s life nearly ends in Europe, he reunites with Liese in the United States, where they marry. Their daughter Caroline, restless and insecure, carries the trauma of her parents’ story with her, but her quest to make peace with her heritage is eased by her love of books and writers, part of her family legacy. Through the darkest years of Hitler’s rule, Caroline’s parents and uncle had turned time and time again to literature to help them survive—and so she does as well.
Written with sensitivity and grace, Reading Claudius is a profound meditation on the ways we strive to solve the mysteries of our pasts, and a window into understanding the ones we love.

A Memoir of Two Yeas in Solitude
By Howard Axelrod
September 2015
Beacon Press
Named one of the best books of the year by Slate, Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Entropy Magazine, and named one of the top 10 memoirs by Library Journal. Into the Wild meets Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man—a lyrical memoir of a life changed in an instant and of the perilous beauty of searching for identity in solitude.

Howard grew up in a prosperous Jewish family in the Boston area. Many in his family were attorneys. A student at Harvard, he had sort of a ticket to normalcy and success. But then, on a May afternoon at the end of his junior year at Harvard, Howard Axelrod played a pick-up game of basketball. In a skirmish for a loose ball, a boy’s finger hooked behind Axelrod’s eyeball and left him permanently blinded in his right eye. A doctor would not call an ambulance. Howard took a cab. The physicians were not alarmed by his blindness. A week later, he returned to the same dorm room, but to a different world. A world where nothing looked solid, where the distance between how people saw him and how he saw had widened into a gulf. He acts like a cad with some woman. Does a single eye blindness give him permission to be an ass? He took a fellowship in Italy and falls for a German woman. Desperate for a sense of orientation he could trust, he retreated – like Thoreau, sort of - to a jerry-rigged house in the Vermont woods, where he lived without a computer or television, and largely without human contact, for two years. Bearded, walking naked in the woods, he has no reason to dress for others or himself. He needed to find, away from society’s pressures and rush, a sense of meaning that couldn’t be changed in an instant (or was it a way to write undisturbed or create a cool image for a movie deal.. hehe). Reading it... will make you cringe. He is no selfless hero. His friends worry… is he a new Unabomber? His family worries… But hurray… he becomes a writer with many pieces in great publications and now this memoir.


The government of Israel liked the book so much that they are annexing it and building more settlements on the back cover...
[book] Doomed to Succeed:
The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman
to Obama
By Dennis Ross
October 2015

A MUST READ FOR EVERYONE. SERIOUSLY. Dennis Ross has consulted to Israeli PM's, American ambassadors to Mideast countries, and American Presidents for three decades. He was there on the scene. He was there when Obama had to defend Israel and Netanyahu against the threats from European leaders. A fascinated analysis

A necessary and unprecedented account of America's changing relationship with Israel
When it comes to Israel, U.S. policy has always emphasized the unbreakable bond between the two countries and our ironclad commitment to Israel's security. Today our ties to Israel are close--so close that when there are differences, they tend to make the news. But it was not always this way. Dennis Ross has been a direct participant in shaping U.S. policy toward the Middle East, and Israel specifically, for nearly thirty years. He served in senior roles, including as Bill Clinton's envoy for Arab-Israeli peace, and was an active player in the debates over how Israel fit into the region and what should guide our policies. In Doomed to Succeed, he takes us through every administration from Truman to Obama, throwing into dramatic relief each president's attitudes toward Israel and the region, the often tumultuous debates between key advisers, and the events that drove the policies and at times led to a shift in approach. Ross points out how rarely lessons were learned and how distancing the United States from Israel in the Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush, and Obama administrations never yielded any benefits and why that lesson has never been learned. Doomed to Succeed offers compelling advice for how to understand the priorities of Arab leaders and how future administrations might best shape U.S. policy in that light.

[book] Living in the Shadow of Death:
A Rabbi Copes with Cancer
by Rabbi Stuart G. Weinblatt
Congregation Bnai Tzedek, Potomac MD
October 2015
URIM, Ktav
A heartfelt account of how Rabbi Weinblatt confronts cancer after receiving this devastating diagnosis, this memoir traces his journey from beginning to end. It deals with his emotions, fears, and treatment and offers comfort, encouragement, and inspiration from a Jewish perspective. Using humor and coupling it with the wisdom of Jewish and Biblical sources as reflected in his sermons and other communications and writings, his words are a vehicle for sharing his experience and insights as he battles this disease. As a comforter to others, as well as a recipient of comfort, support, and love from family, friends, and members of his congregation, this book is also a valuable tool for clergy and health care professionals who interact with and counsel individuals in similar situations

[book] The Death of Cancer
After Fifty Years on the Front Lines of Medicine,
a Pioneering Oncologist Reveals
Why the War on Cancer Is Winnable
and How We Can Get There
by Vincent T. DeVita and Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn
Fall 2015
Sarah Chrichton
Cancer touches everybody’s life in one way or another. But most of us know very little about how the disease works, why we treat it the way we do, and the personalities whose dedication got us where we are today.
For fifty years, Dr. Vincent T. DeVita Jr. has been one of those key players: he has held just about every major position in the field, and he developed the first successful chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a breakthrough the American Society of Clinical Oncologists has called the top research advance in half a century of chemotherapy.
As one of oncology’s leading figures, DeVita knows what cancer looks like from the lab bench and the bedside. The Death of Cancer is his illuminating and deeply personal look at the science and the history of one of the world’s most formidable diseases. In DeVita’s hands, even the most complex medical concepts are comprehensible.

Cowritten with DeVita’s daughter, the science writer Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, The Death of Cancer is also a personal tale about the false starts and major breakthroughs, the strong-willed oncologists who clashed with conservative administrators (and one another), and the courageous patients whose willingness to test cutting-edge research helped those oncologists find potential treatments. An emotionally compelling and informative read, The Death of Cancer is also a call to arms. DeVita believes that we’re well on our way to curing cancer but that there are things we need to change in order to get there. Mortality rates are declining, but America’s cancer patients are still being shortchanged-by timid doctors, by misguided national agendas, by compromised bureaucracies, and by a lack of access to information about the strengths and weaknesses of the nation’s cancer centers.
With historical depth and authenticity, DeVita reveals the true story of the fight against cancer. The Death of Cancer is an ambitious, vital book about a life-and-death subject that touches us all.

[book] ABRAHAM
By Alan M. Dershowitz
October 2015
One of the world’s best-known attorneys gives us a no-holds-barred history of Jewish lawyers: from the biblical Abraham, who argued with God on behalf of the doomed sinners of Sodom, through modern-day advocates who have changed the world by challenging the status quo, defending the unpopular, contributing to the rule of law, and following the biblical command to pursue justice.
As Alan Dershowitz sees it, the Hebrew Bible’s two great examples of advocacy on behalf of problematic defendants—Abraham trying to convince God not to destroy the people of Sodom, and Moses trying to convince God not to destroy the golden-calf-worshipping Children of Israel—established the template for Jewish lawyers for the next four thousand years. Whether because throughout history Jews have found themselves unjustly accused of crimes ranging from deicide to ritual child murder to treason or because the biblical exhortations regarding “justice, justice, shall you pursue” have been implanted in the Jewish psyche, Jewish lawyers have been at the forefront of the battles against tyranny, in advocating for those denied due process, in negotiating for just and equitable solutions to complex legal problems, and in the efforts to ensure a fair trial for anyone accused of a crime.

In this survey of Jewish lawyers throughout history, Dershowitz profiles Jewish lawyers both wellknown and unheralded, admired and excoriated, victorious and defeated—and, of course, gives us some glimpses into the gungho practice of law Dershowitz-style. Louis Brandeis, Theodor Herzl, Judah Benjamin, Max Hirschberg, Rene Cassin, Bruno Kreisky, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan are just a few of the “idol-smashers, advocates, collaborators, rescuers, and deal-makers” whose advocacy helped to change history. Dershowitz’s concluding thoughts on the future of the Jewish lawyer—given today’s rates of intermarriage and assimilation—are presented with the same thought-provoking insight, shrewdness, and candor that are the hallmarks of more than four decades of his writings on the law and how it is (and should be!) practiced.

October 2015
A rich and utterly absorbing novel about the life of King David, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of People of the Book and March
With more than two million copies of her novels sold, New York Times bestselling author Geraldine Brooks has achieved both popular and critical acclaim. Now, Brooks takes on one of literature’s richest and most enigmatic figures: a man who shimmers between history and legend. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.
The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David’s life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected. We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him—from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans.

[book] Maimonides, Between Philosophy and Halakhah:
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s Lectures on
the Guide of the Perplexed Hardcover
Edited by Lawrence J. Kaplan
Foreword by Dov Schwartz
October 2015
This is the first and only comprehensive study of the philosophy of Maimonides by the noted 20th-century rabbinic scholar and thinker, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Based on a complete set of notes, taken by Rabbi Gerald (Yaakov) Homnick, on R. Soloveitchik’s lectures on Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed at the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and edited by the noted scholar Lawrence Kaplan, this work constitutes a major contribution to our knowledge of both Maimonides and Soloveitchik. In these lectures Soloveitchik emerges as a major commentator on the Guide. In a wide-ranging analysis he eloquently and incisively explores such diverse topics in Maimonides’ philosophy as his views on prophecy, the knowledge of and approach to God—normative, intellectual, and experiential; divine knowledge; human ethics and moral excellence; the divine creative act; imitation of God; and the love and fear of God. He also undertakes an extensive and penetrating comparison and contrast of Maimonides’ and Aristotle’s philosophical views. Over the course of these lectures develops a very profound and challenging overall approach to and interpretation of the Guide’s central and critical issue: the relationship between philosophy and divine law. This work sheds a bright light on the thought of both Maimonides and Soloveitchik—two great philosophers and rabbinic scholars..

[book] Nefesh HaTzimtzum, Volume 1:
Rabbi Chaim Volozhin’s Nefesh HaChaim
with Translation and Commentary
by Avinoam Fraenkel
October 2015
Nefesh HaTzimtzum provides the single most comprehensive and accessible presentation of the teachings and worldview of the Vilna Gaon’s primary student, Rabbi Chaim Volozhin. It is focused on Rabbi Chaim’s magnum opus, Nefesh HaChaim, a work that has lain in almost total obscurity for nearly two centuries due to its deep Kabbalistic subject matter. Nefesh HaTzimtzum opens up the real depth of the ideas presented in Nefesh HaChaim together with all of Rabbi Chaim’s related writings, making them accessible to the public for the first time in any language. In addition to the complete English translation, Nefesh HaTzimtzum includes the full facing page Hebrew text of Nefesh HaChaim and many other writings by Rabbi Chaim, along with in-depth explanations, an informative historical overview, an easily consumable innovative presentation layout and a full index.
After centuries of confusion, extensive clarification is provided of the central Kabbalistic concept of Tzimtzum, or the secret of how an infinite God occupies a finite world. Most importantly, it unequivocally demonstrates that the key Kabbalists, including the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Chaim Volozhin and the Baal HaTanya, all unanimously agreed on the underlying principles of the concept of Tzimtzum and that contrary to widespread historical misunderstanding, there was no fundamental dispute about the philosophical principles of Judaism between the Hasidim and the Mitnagdim. Based on this Nefesh HaTzimtzum shows that both Nefesh HaChaim and Sefer HaTanya present the same methodology for serving God which is rooted in their identical understanding of the concept of Tzimtzum.
Nefesh HaTzimtzum is published in two volumes which are sold separately.
This volume contains the complete Hebrew text of Nefesh HaChaim which is brought to life by an illuminating translation and incisive commentary. It additionally provides extensive translated source material necessary to properly understand the basic text. The text is further complemented by an informative introduction which includes a historical overview.

[book] Nefesh HaTzimtzum, Volume 2:
Understanding Nefesh HaChaim
through the key concept of of Tzimtzum
and Related Writings
by Avinoam Fraenkel
October 2015
Nefesh HaTzimtzum provides the single most comprehensive and accessible presentation of the teachings and worldview of the Vilna Gaon’s primary student, Rabbi Chaim Volozhin. It is focused on Rabbi Chaim’s magnum opus, Nefesh HaChaim, a work that has lain in almost total obscurity for nearly two centuries due to its deep Kabbalistic subject matter. Nefesh HaTzimtzum opens up the real depth of the ideas presented in Nefesh HaChaim together with all of Rabbi Chaim’s related writings, making them accessible to the public for the first time in any language. In addition to the complete English translation, Nefesh HaTzimtzum includes the full facing page Hebrew text of Nefesh HaChaim and many other writings by Rabbi Chaim, along with in-depth explanations, an informative historical overview, an easily consumable innovative presentation layout and a full index.
After centuries of confusion, extensive clarification is provided of the central Kabbalistic concept of Tzimtzum, or the secret of how an infinite God occupies a finite world. Most importantly, it unequivocally demonstrates that the key Kabbalists, including the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Chaim Volozhin and the Baal HaTanya, all unanimously agreed on the underlying principles of the concept of Tzimtzum and that contrary to widespread historical misunderstanding, there was no fundamental dispute about the philosophical principles of Judaism between the Hasidim and the Mitnagdim. Based on this Nefesh HaTzimtzum shows that both Nefesh HaChaim and Sefer HaTanya present the same methodology for serving God which is rooted in their identical understanding of the concept of Tzimtzum.
Nefesh HaTzimtzum is published in two volumes which are sold separately.
This companion volume presents a number of important concepts, including the concept of Tzitmzum, which together enable the true depth of Nefesh HaChaim to be understood. It also adds valuable insight by providing the full Hebrew text and translation of all of Rabbi Chaim Volozhin’s published writings which are related to Nefesh HaChaim. Additional related writings are also included together with detailed outlines and a full index for both volumes.

Translation and Commentaryu
Introduction and Chapters 1 – 9
by the MaHaRaL of Prague
Translated by Rabbi Ramon Widmonte
October 2015
The famed Maharal of Prague, a 16th-century mystic, is known for the legend of the Golem, but his Torah scholarship has remained a closed book to English speakers for far too long. While several attempts have been made to translate or abridge the Maharal’s Torah, the complexity of his thought has defied standard translation methodologies. This edition of the Tiferet Yisrael (the Splendor of Israel) seeks to present the Maharal’s thought in all its majesty and to enable beginners and scholars alike to grasp the overall structure of the Maharal’s concepts through the addition of innovative summaries and graphical aids. In the work, the Maharal contemplates questions of Jewish life, such as How can there be ritually observant Jews who behave immorally? What is the reason for performing Mitzvot (commandments)? Is there any relevance or meaning to performing Mitzvot if one doesn’t understand God’s reasons for commanding them? What is the path to self-fulfillment? The translation is lucid and faithful, with in-line comments to guide the reader in exploring the Maharal’s depths.

Artisanal Baking From Around The World
By Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez
and Julia Turshen
and the bakers of Hot Break Kitchen
October 2015
Clarkson Potter
Authentic multiethnic breads from the New York City bakery with a mission.
At first glance Hot Bread Kitchen may look like many other bakeries. Multigrain sandwich loaves, sourdough batards, baguettes, and Parker House rolls line the glass case up front in the small shop. But so, too, do sweet Mexican conchas, rich m’smen flatbreads, mini bialys sporting a filling of caramelized onion, and chewy Indian naan. In fact, the breads are as diverse as the women who bake them—because the recipes come from their homelands.
Hot Bread Kitchen is a bakery that employs and empowers immigrant women, providing them with the skills to succeed in the culinary industry. The tasty corollary of this social enterprise is a line of authentic breads you won’t find anywhere else. Featured in some of New York City’s best restaurants and carried in dozens of retail outlets across the country, these ethnic gems can now be made at home with The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook.
The book opens with tips and techniques and a history of the kitchen in East Harlem. The first recipe area is devoted to Primordial Breads – Unleavened Flatbreads, including M'Smen, Chapati, Paratha, Matzo (as per Daniel Boulud), Eier Kichel (as per her great grandmother Minnie Starkman) (similar to torta de aceite), lavash, soft lavash, as well as go-withs, such as gefilte fish, chopped liver (IN A BUNDT PAN), and Bandladeshi curry a la Lutfunessa. In a chapter for Slightly Elevated – Leavended Flatbreads, we find instructions for 100% Teff Injera, Hyrbid Injera, Nan-e Barbari, Olive Oil Focaccia, Nan-e Quandi, Naan, Pita, and complements like hummus, Doro Wat, and Muffuletta. For Masa y Mas – Tortillas and More opens with a recipe for Masa from Nixtamal since tortillas, tamales, gorditas, and tostadas are “only as good as the masa from which you make them.” Also included are several Mexican foods, Tortilla Chips with Chile, Cumin and Lime, and Guac. A chapter on Leans Breads and rolls shares recipes for Pate Fermentee which is needed as an ingredient for other preparations. After which are recipe for Rustic Batard, Pan Bagnat, Cemita Rolls, Pepita Multigrain, Onion Bialys, Olive Boules, Ciabatta, Corn Rye, Grindstone Rye, and a New Yorker Rye Loaf (with or without her Toronto grandfather Laibish Perlmutter's kimmel (caraway seeds)).
What follows is a section on Challahs and enriched breads. She includes four challahs (with braiding, one Sephardic style), parker house rolls, Hamburger and hot dog buns, conchas, cinnamony, sugary monkey bread, bahn mi style baguettes, and quick carrot and daikon pickles. The section on filled doughs includes kreplach, knishes, albanian cheese triangles, Tibetan momos (and Tibetan Sepen hot sauce), Palestinian spinach pies, empanadas, and Ecuadoran Morocho. Short And Sweet shares recipes for Irish soda bread; Dominican Torta Corn Bread; Guyanese Coconut Buns; Banana Bread; Nut Roll (a la grandmother Rita Kozak of Grand Rapids, Michigan); German Stollen; Mexican Pan De Muertos for November 1; Guaguas De Pan for Ecuadoran Dia de los Disfuntos (Nov 2); Rosca de Reyes; Hot Cross Buns; and more. The book closes with recipes for leftover bread (crumbs, puddings, and more)
I love it since it is food and ethnography combined. JESSAMYN WALDMAN RODGRIGUEZ is the founder and CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen. Since launching the company out of her home kitchen in 2007, she has received numerous awards and been featured in Food & Wine magazine and the New York Times. She has an MPA from Columbia University and worked in immigration advocacy for ten years before learning to bake and becoming the first female bread baker at Daniel Boulud’s eponymous restaurant. Rodriguez lives in New York City.

October 6, 2015
Abingdon Press
Pastor Neumark has a passion to repair the world. Even more now.
Pastor Heidi Neumark’s (D. Div, Hon) life changed when a few computer keystrokes exposed a generation of family secrets. Late one night while her family slept, Neumark discovered her hidden Jewish heritage—and uncovered hundreds of questions: Did her grandfather really die in a concentration camp? How did she never know her grandmother was a death-camp survivor? Why had the family history and faith been rejected and hidden? (Her daughter was up late one night and googled Neumark's grandfather's name and discovered his Jewish past, his life at Theresienstadt, and death at a Nazi death camp)
Heidi’s search for the truth quickly became more than a personal journey; it also became spiritual. It caused profound ponderings on her thirty-year vocation as a Lutheran pastor.
It was a shocking revelation that her Jewish roots and successive family loss and trauma now suddenly and inherently connected her to the multi-ethnic, marginalized community in the South Bronx and Manhattan she had been ministering to for three decades. She currently leads a shelter for LGBTQ youth

Hidden Inheritance takes the reader on a journey that seamlessly weaves personal narrative, social history, and biblical reflection to challenge readers to explore their own identity, vocation, and theology. Neumark boldly calls readers to explore the harsh places of the past, uncover the possible buried secrets, ask new questions, forge new understanding, and discover new hope for transformation that is only possible when what has been hidden is finally brought to light.
Neumark grapples with anti-Semitism in the church and the role of the church in silencing trauma. The story is profound.
As Kierkegaard wrote; Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forward.

A Novel
by Michel Houellebecq
Translated from French by Lorin Stein
October 2015
A controversial, intelligent, and mordantly funny new novel from France's most famous living literary figure
It's 2022. François is bored. He's a middle-aged lecturer at the New Sorbonne University and an expert on J. K. Huysmans, the famous nineteenth-century Decadent author. But François's own decadence is considerably smaller in scale. He sleeps with his students, eats microwave dinners, rereads Huysmans, queues up YouPorn.
Meanwhile, it's election season. And although Francois feels "about as political as a bath towel," things are getting pretty interesting. In an alliance with the Socialists, France's new Islamic party sweeps to power. Islamic law comes into force. Women are veiled, polygamy is encouraged, and François is offered an irresistible academic advancement--on the condition that he convert to Islam.
Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker has said of Submission that "Houellebecq is not merely a satirist but--more unusually--a sincere satirist, genuinely saddened by the absurdities of history and the madnesses of mankind." Michel Houellebecq's new book may be satirical and melancholic, but it is also hilarious, a comic masterpiece by one of France's great novelists.

Contemporary Tales of Crime
and Other Dark Deeds
Edited by Kenneth Wishnia
October 2015
This is NOT an Akashic Noir series book
but such is the noir life
A unique collection of all-new stories by award-winning authors.
This anthology includes the work of numerous authors such as Marge Piercy, Harlan Ellison, S. J. Rozan, Nancy Richler, Moe Prager (Reed Farrel Coleman), Wendy Hornsby, Charles Ardai, and Kenneth Wishnia. The stories explore such issues as the Holocaust and its long-term effects on subsequent generations, anti-Semitism in the mid- and late-20th-century United States, and the dark side of the Diaspora (e.g., the decline of revolutionary fervor, the passing of generations, the Golden Ghetto, etc.). The stories in this collection include “Trajectories,” Marge Piercy’s story of the divergent paths taken by two young men from the slums of Cleveland and Detroit in a rapidly changing post–WW II society; “Some You Lose,” Nancy Richler’s empathetic exploration of the emotional and psychological challenges of trying to sum up a man’s life in a eulogy; and “Yahrzeit Candle,” Stephen Jay Schwartz’s take on the subtle horrors of the inevitable passing of time. These works include many “teachable moments” about the history of prejudice, the contradictions of ethnic identity, and assimilation into American society and culture.

[book] Moadei HaRav
Public Lectures on the Festivals
by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik
by Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Pick
October 2015
A concise and organized collection of ideas on Jewish festivals—from one of the seminal Jewish thinkers
Through a collection of essays and lectures, Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Pick provides insight on Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s thoughts on Jewish festivals. Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik was not only one of the outstanding Talmudists of the 20th century, but was also one of its most creative and seminal Jewish thinkers. Moadei HaRav provides lectures by the Rav on the major Jewish holidays, such as Passover and Sukkot, as well as Hanukah and Purim. An introductory essay analyzes the Rav’s works and interests in Judaism as well as his methodology of Talmud analysis.

[book] AKIVA
Life, Legend, Legacy
Rabbi Reuven Hammer
October 2015
JPS/ Nebraska
I know you expected it to say Life, Legend, Legacy & Lover, right?

The legendary Akiva ben Yosef has fascinated Jews for centuries. One of and arguably the most important of the Tannaim, or early Jewish sages, he lived during a crucial era in the development of Judaism as we know it today, and his theology played a major part in the development of Rabbinic Judaism. Reuven Hammer details Akiva’s life as it led to a martyr’s death and delves into the rich legacy Akiva left us.

That legacy played an extraordinarily important role in helping the Jewish people survive difficult challenges and forge a vibrant religious life anew and it continues to influence Jewish law, ethics, and theology even today. Akiva’s contribution to the development of Oral Torah cannot be overestimated, and in this first book written in English about the sage since 1936, Hammer reassesses Akiva’s role from the period before the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE until the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135 CE. He also assesses new findings about the growth of early Judaism, the reasons why Akiva was so outspoken about “Christian Jews,” the influence of Hellenism, the Septuagint, and the canonization of the Hebrew Bible. Ultimately, Hammer shows that Judaism without Akiva would be a very different religion.

By Sir Rabbi Lord Jonathan
October 13, 2015
In this groundbreaking work of biblical analysis and interpretation, one of the most admired religious leaders of our time shows that religiously inspired violence has as its source misreadings of the texts of the Bible that have influenced all three of the Abrahamic faiths.
When religion becomes a zero-sum conceit--i.e., my religion is the only “right” path to God, therefore your religion is by definition “wrong”--violence between peoples of different beliefs is the only natural outcome, argues Rabbi Sacks. But by looking anew at seminal biblical texts in the Book of Genesis--in which we find the foundational stories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--Rabbi Sacks offers an entirely different understanding of God's multiple relationships: with Jacob, patriarch of Judaism; with Ishmael, patriarch of Islam; and with Esau, whose blessing is understood to confirm God's relationship with monotheists from other faiths and overarching relationship with all of humanity. By analyzing the texts that recount how Abraham's immediate descendants resolved their various sibling rivalries, Rabbi Sacks teaches us a powerful lesson in the existence of multiple pathways to God.
Rabbi Sacks’s bold statement of our need to look with new eyes at specific scriptural passages--passages that, when interpreted literally, can lead to hatred, violence, and war--is an eloquent, clarion call for people of goodwill from all faiths to join together to end the misunderstandings that threaten to destroy us all.

[book] Renewing the Process of Creation:
A Jewish Integration of Science and Spirit
by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, PhD/DHL
October 2015
Jewish Lights
Science and religion embrace to inspire an open future that is creative, compassionate and honest.
This challenging integration of science and faith is aimed at Jews and non-Jews seeking to reconcile their religious beliefs and modern science, as well as readers who are seeking a deeper understanding of the intersection of Judaism and Process Thought.
We humans like to think of ourselves as the capstone of creation, above nature-we yearn to be special, distinct and superior. The result of this delusion is that we feel fractured, incomplete and perpetually missing an explanation for who we are, what we are doing, where we come from and where we are headed. But what if we realized that humanity and all that it does is an integral part of all creation, and that creation is best understood not as a singular event but as a continuous process in which we participate? How does this impact our pursuit of meaningful lives and inclusive communities of justice, compassion and love? How does it help us extend our capacity to love other people, the earth itself and the cosmos as a whole?
In this daring blend of Jewish theology, science and Process Thought, theologian Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson explores our actions through Judaism and the sciences as dynamically interactive and mutually informative. He shows us how integrating human knowing with human living can help us arrive at a plausible and likely account of what we can know about the beginning and unfolding of our cosmos. He offers us new ways to find fresh insights in the cultural and spiritual resources of the Jewish tradition-Torah, midrash, philosophy-and new possibilities for human wholeness.

By Brandon Stanton
October 2015
St. Martin's
Part 2 of his bestseller of 2013. More street pictures of New Yorkers and stories. Stanton was living in Illinois working a a securities/bond trader when he lost his job. He came to NYC and started taking pictures and posting them on a blog/facebook. After hundreds of thousands of followers and hundreds of posts, he got a book deal, and now another one. Where is the fridge magnet and calendar?

Actually, I expected more “deeper” stories. But for nearly all of the over 800 pictures, there is still just one, two, or five sentences or so. It still leaves you hanging and wondering. The title should be “Story Tidbits.” I did recognize one celebrity if you are into that. Whimsical, sadness, joy, humor. Like on Page 77... the lacrosse team... Page 82 (I have an hour break between therapy and family therapy); Page 104 “we've been friends for 43 years. Every few years we meet up for a few hours... ; Page 113 (mental illness); Page 140 (a woman works 95 hours a week at 3 service jobs, put one child through Yale, and 2 others in college); Page 148-149 A father and family and the effect of their special needs son on the family); Page 179 (laughing at divorce papers); Page 180 (disagreement over the paper on which a post divorce letter was written shows shy they got divorced)... Page 214 (dreams and therapy); Page 224 (an adult remembering the pain of no kid coming to his tenth bday party); Page 261 (a former coke-addled amateur-professional wrestler); Page 263 (remembering a summer teen trip to France in 1959... and sex with a Frenchman who was really a creepy Chicagoan)... Page 205 (remembering their Star Wars themed wedding at Disney); Page 335 (the road to a divorce recalled); Page 371 (a husband on his love for his wife); Page 370 (remembering a best friend's suicide from decades ago); Page 395 (declining to comment for fear of it becoming just a soundbite); Page 402 (overcoming abandonment by his mother but making it through high school and college, without the cheers, encouragement or support); Page 427 (advice to artists... dont press down too hard on your crayons)

FIG TREE BOOKS?? WHY ARE YOU PUBLISHING SUCH INTERESTING JEWISH NOVELS?? Cuz it is a new publisher and specializing in the AJE – American Jewish Experience – stories that are interesting and speak to the Jewish community of readers.
By Ben Nadler
October 2015
Fig Tree Press
Set in post-Giuliani New York City, The Sea Beach Line melds mid-20th- century pulp fiction and traditional Jewish folklore as it updates the classic story of a young man trying to find his place in the world.
After being expelled from Oberlin for hallucinogenic drug use, Izzy Edel seeks out his estranged father—a Polish Jew turned Israeli soldier turned New York street vendor named Alojzy who is reported to be missing, possibly dead. To learn about Alojzy’s life and discover the truth behind his disappearance, Izzy takes over his father’s outdoor bookselling business and meets the hustlers, gangsters, and members of a religious sect who peopled his father’s world. He also falls in love.
As Izzy soon discovers, appearances can deceive; no one, not even his own father, is quite whom he seems to be. Vowing to prove himself equal to Alojzy’s legacy of fearlessness, Izzy plunges forward on a criminal enterprise that will bring him answers—at great personal cost.
Fans of Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn, Nathan Englander’s For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, and Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union will relish to Ben Nadler’s combined mystery, love story, and homage to text and custom.

By Joseph Matthews
October 2015
PM Press
At a time when the issues of identity, immigration, and class remain both universally important and enormously controversial, this book is an accessible and captivating tale of one boy’s historically famous experience in the extraordinary setting of roiling pre-WWII Paris. On November 7, 1938, a small, slight 17-year-old Polish-German Jew named Herschel Grynszpan entered the German embassy in Paris and shot dead a consular official. Three days later, in supposed response, Jews across Germany were beaten, imprisoned, and killed, their homes, shops, and synagogues smashed and burned—Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. Based on the historical record and told through his “letters” from German prisons, this novel begins in 1936, when 15-year-old Herschel flees Germany, and continues through his show trial, in which the Nazis sought to demonstrate through his actions that Jews had provoked the war. But Herschel throws a last-minute wrench in the plans, bringing the Nazi propaganda machine to a grinding halt and provoking Hitler to postpone the trial and personally give an order regarding Herschel’s fate.

From Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Maxine Kumin comes a timeless memoir of life, love, and poetry.
Maxine Kumin left an unrivaled legacy as a pioneering poet and feminist. The Pawnbroker’s Daughter charts her journey from a childhood in a Jewish community in Depression-era Philadelphia, where Kumin’s father was a pawnbroker, to Radcliffe College, where she comes into her own as an intellectual and meets the soldier-turned-Los Alamos scientist who would become her husband; to her metamorphosis from a poet of “light verse” to a “poet of witness”; to her farm in rural New England, the subject and setting of much of her later work.
Against all odds, Kumin channels her dissatisfaction with the life that is expected of her as a wife and a mother into her work as a feminist and one of the most renowned and remembered twentieth-century American poets.

Wallant died in 1962. a film was made of The Pawnbroker. Here is a 2015 REISSUE of the novel
By Edward Lewis Wallant
A Foreword by Dara Horn
Fall 2015
Fig Tree Books
For most of us, remembering the Holocaust requires effort; we listen to stories, watch films, read histories. But the people who came to be called “survivors” could not avoid their memories. Sol Nazerman, protagonist of Edward Lewis Wallant’s The Pawnbroker, is one such sufferer.

At 45, Nazerman, who survived Bergen-Belsen although his wife and children did not, runs a Harlem pawnshop. But the operation is only a front for a gangster who pays Nazerman a comfortable salary for his services. Nazerman’s dreams are haunted by visions of his past tortures. (Dramatizations of these scenes in Sidney Lumet’s 1964 film version are famous for being the first time the extermination camps were depicted in a Hollywood movie.)

Remarkable for its attempts to dramatize the aftereffects of the Holocaust, The Pawnbroker is likewise valuable as an exploration of the fraught relationships between Jews and other American minority groups. That this novel, a National Book Award finalist, remains so powerful today makes it all the more tragic that its talented author died, at age 36, the year after its publication. The book sold more than 500,000 copies soon after it was published.

[book] THE GOLDEN RULE and the
The Ultimate Strategy for a
Meaning-FILLED Life
By Rabbi Rami Shapiro
October 2015
Skylight Paths
One thing almost everyone shares is a passion for the Golden Rule. Another thing almost everyone shares is a tendency to ignore it.
People play two kinds of games. In finite zero-sum games, like football, the goal is to defeat your opponent within the fixed timeframe of the game. In infinite non-zero games, such as a loving friendship, the goal is to keep the game going by continually enhancing the status of all players so they will want to continue the game. In finite games, there are clear winners and losers; in infinite games-the most important relationship games of life-everybody wins. This book is for people who want to play more infinite games and it presents the Golden Rule as the ultimate strategy for playing well.
This provocative and challenging exploration of the Golden Rule, widely accepted as humanity's moral true north, neither praises the Rule uncritically nor naively insists that it is applicable in every situation. Rather, it looks critically at the Rule in the context of game theory to see where it works and where it doesn’t, when it is applicable and when it isn’t. It shows you why knowing the difference can offer you a powerful way to transform your life from one driven by fear to one driven by love.
This philosophical game changer is written for people of all faiths or none who praise the Rule and yet violate it over and over again. It invites you into the fascinating world of ethical decision making in a way that helps you use the Golden Rule as a fulcrum for shifting your life from fearful and often unethical competition to compassionate and even loving cooperation.

Jewish Lives
Yale University Press
October 2015
One of twentieth-century America’s most influential patrons of the arts, Peggy Guggenheim (1898–1979) brought to wide public attention the work of such modern masters as Jackson Pollock and Man Ray. In her time, there was no stronger advocate for the groundbreaking and the avant-garde. Her midtown gallery was the acknowledged center of the postwar New York art scene, and her museum on the Grand Canal in Venice remains one of the world’s great collections of modern art. Yet as renowned as she was for the art and artists she so tirelessly championed, Guggenheim was equally famous for her unconventional personal life, and for her ironic, playful desire to shock.
Acclaimed best-selling author Francine Prose offers a singular reading of Guggenheim’s life that will enthrall enthusiasts of twentieth-century art, as well as anyone interested in American and European culture and the interrelationships between them. The lively and insightful narrative follows Guggenheim through virtually every aspect of her extraordinary life, from her unique collecting habits and paradigm-changing discoveries, to her celebrity friendships, failed marriages, and scandalous affairs, and Prose delivers a colorful portrait of a defiantly uncompromising woman who maintained a powerful upper hand in a male-dominated world. Prose also explores the ways in which Guggenheim’s image was filtered through the lens of insidious antisemitism.

[book] PROUST
Jewish Lives
Yale University Press
Fall 2015
Marcel Proust came into his own as a novelist comparatively late in life, yet only Shakespeare, Balzac, Dickens, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky were his equals when it came to creating characters as memorably human. As biographer Benjamin Taylor suggests, before writing In Search of Lost Time, his multivolume masterwork, Proust was a literary lightweight, but, following a series of momentous historical and personal events, he became—against all expectations—one of the greatest writers of his, and indeed any, era.
This insightful, beautifully written biography examines Proust’s artistic growth and stunning metamorphosis in the context of his times. Taylor provides an in-depth study of the author’s life while exploring how Proust’s personal correspondence and published works were greatly informed by his mother’s Judaism, his homosexuality, and such dramatic historical events as the Dreyfus Affair and, above all, the First World War.

[book] ZAHAV
A World of Israeli Cooking
by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook
October 2015
The James Beard Award–winning chef and co-owner of Philadelphia's Zahav restaurant reinterprets the glorious cuisine of Israel for American home kitchens.
Ever since he opened Zahav in 2008, chef Michael Solomonov has been turning heads with his original interpretations of modern Israeli cuisine, attracting notice from the New York Times, Bon Appétit, ("an utter and total revelation"), and Eater ("Zahav defines Israeli cooking in America").
Zahav showcases the melting-pot cooking of Israel, especially the influences of the Middle East, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. Solomonov's food includes little dishes called mezze, such as the restaurant's insanely popular fried cauliflower; a hummus so ethereal that it put Zahav on the culinary map; and a pink lentil soup with lamb meatballs that one critic called "Jerusalem in a bowl." It also includes a majestic dome of Persian wedding rice and a whole roasted lamb shoulder with pomegranate and chickpeas that's a celebration in itself. All Solomonov's dishes are brilliantly adapted to local and seasonal ingredients.
Zahav tells an authoritative and personal story of how Solomonov embraced the food of his birthplace. With its blend of technique and passion, this book shows readers how to make his food their own.

Highlights include “My Mom's Coffee-Braised Brisket” (unfortunately brisket is no longer cheap... my grandmother made her brisket with carrots, potatoes, and Heinz Chili Sauce... My mother added coffee – she doesnt remember wh, but she's pretty brilliant, actually. Unlike stock... that takes hours to make, coffee is ready in minutes. And its deep roasted flavors work really well with beef (coffee makes a great addition to bbq sauce, too.) I add cardamom to evole Turkish coffee. I've also replaced the sweetness of that chili sauce with dried apricots....); Israeli Salas with Mango, Cucumber, and Sumac Onions; Tehina (The Secret Sauce); and Hummus.
Chapters include (1) Tehina (The Secret Sauce); (2) Salatim; (3) Beyond Chicken Soup; (4) My Grandmoter's Borekas; (5) Mezze; (6) Live Fire; (7) Ben Gurion's Rice; (8)Mesibah (Party Time); (9) Milk and Honey.

[book] Modern Israeli Cooking:
100 New Recipes for
Traditional Classics
by Danielle Oron
Page Street
An Incredible Food Culture at Its Best.
Danielle Oron is on a mission to make you hungry...very hungry. She offers recipes with an incredible array of flavors, some you may not be familiar with but will want to make and eat. Her cooking has been compared to Yotam Ottolenghi. It is a vibrant, passionate culinary exploration inspired by the ancient food traditions of the region with a modern take. Each dish is clean, fresh and in a way, new again or at least uniquely Danielle's. The result is simply inspiring food that will excite food lovers from all over.
Danielle Oron is the chef and owner of Moo Milk Bar, a "milk & cookies bakery" in Toronto. Obsessed with food and family-style meals, Danielle studied at The French Culinary Institute-now the International Culinary Center-and founded the blog I Will Not Eat Oysters. She also contributes to and Pepper Passport. Danielle's Israeli and Moroccan background mesh with her French training to create one of the most unique and refreshing food landscapes around. Danielle splits her time between Toronto, Canada and Atlanta, Georgia.

Last year, we wrote about this book in its French version. Now it is available in English:
[book] Submission
A Novel by Michel Houellebecq
Translated by Lorin Stein
October 20, 2015
A controversial, intelligent, and mordantly funny new novel from France's most famous living literary figure
It's 2022. François is bored. He's a middle-aged lecturer at the New Sorbonne University and an expert on J. K. Huysmans, the famous nineteenth-century Decadent author. But François's own decadence is considerably smaller in scale. He sleeps with his students, eats microwave dinners, rereads Huysmans, queues up YouPorn.
Meanwhile, it's election season. And although Francois feels "about as political as a bath towel," things are getting pretty interesting. In an alliance with the Socialists, France's new Islamic party sweeps to power. Islamic law comes into force. Women are veiled, polygamy is encouraged, and François is offered an irresistible academic advancement--on the condition that he convert to Islam.
Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker has said of Submission that "Houellebecq is not merely a satirist but--more unusually--a sincere satirist, genuinely saddened by the absurdities of history and the madnesses of mankind." Michel Houellebecq's new book may be satirical and melancholic, but it is also hilarious, a comic masterpiece by one of France's great novelists.

[book] Holocaust Cinema in the Twenty-First Century:
Images, Memory, and the Ethics of Representation
by Gerd Bayer (Editor)
October 2015
In the first fifteen years of the twenty-first century, a large number of films were produced in Europe, Israel, the United States, and elsewhere addressing the historical reality and the legacy of the Holocaust. Contemporary Holocaust cinema exists at the intersection of national cultural traditions, aesthetic conventions, and the inner logic of popular forms of entertainment. It also reacts to developments in both fiction and documentary films following the innovations of a postmodern aesthetic. With the number of witnesses to the atrocities of Nazi Germany dwindling, medialized representations of the Holocaust take on greater cultural significance. At the same time, visual responses to the task of keeping memories alive have to readjust their value systems and reconsider their artistic choices. Both established directors and a new generation of filmmakers have tackled the ethically difficult task of finding a visual language to represent the past that is also relatable to viewers. Both geographical and spatial principles of Holocaust memory are frequently addressed in original ways. Another development concentrates on perpetrator figures, adding questions related to guilt and memory. Covering such diverse topics, this volume brings together scholars from cultural studies, literary studies, and film studies. Their analyses of twenty-first-century Holocaust films venture across national and linguistic boundaries and make visible various formal and intertextual relationships within the substantial body of Holocaust cinema

[book] Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein
by Amanda Peet and
Andrea Troyer
October 2015
Preschool – 2 Yrs old.
Rachel Rosenstein is determined to celebrate Christmas this year—and the fact that her family is Jewish is not going to stop her. In a series of hilarious and heartwarming mishaps, Rachel writes a letter to Santa explaining her cause, pays him a visit at the mall, and covertly decorates her house on Christmas Eve (right down to latkes for Santa and his reindeer). And while Rachel may wrestle with her culture, customs, and love of sparkly Christmas ornaments, she also comes away with a brighter understanding of her own identity and of the gift of friends and family.

[book] The Hours Count
A Novel
by Jillian Cantor
October 2015
A spellbinding historical novel about a woman who befriends Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and is drawn into their world of intrigue, from the author of Margot. On June 19, 1953, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed for conspiring to commit espionage. The day Ethel was first arrested in 1950, she left her two young sons with a neighbor, and she never came home to them again. Brilliantly melding fact and fiction, Jillian Cantor reimagines the life of that neighbor, and the life of Ethel and Julius, an ordinary-seeming Jewish couple who became the only Americans put to death for spying during the Cold War.

A few years earlier, in 1947, Millie Stein moves with her husband, Ed, and their toddler son, David, into an apartment on the eleventh floor in Knickerbocker Village on New York’s Lower East Side. Her new neighbors are the Rosenbergs. Struggling to care for David, who doesn’t speak, and isolated from other “normal” families, Millie meets Jake, a psychologist who says he can help David, and befriends Ethel, also a young mother. Millie and Ethel’s lives as friends, wives, mothers, and neighbors entwine, even as chaos begins to swirl around the Rosenbergs and the FBI closes in. Millie begins to question her own husband’s political loyalty and her marriage, and whether she can trust Jake and the deep connection they have forged as they secretly work with David. Caught between these two men, both of whom have their own agendas, and desperate to help her friends, Millie will find herself drawn into the dramatic course of history.

As Millie—trusting and naive—is thrown into a world of lies, intrigue, spies and counterspies, she realizes she must fight for what she believes, who she loves, and what is right.

[book] The Jewish Study Bible
Second Edition
Edited by Adele Berlin
And by Marc Zvi Brettler
Oxford University Press
October 2015
From Publishers Weekly: Serious students of Judaism will want to have a copy of this outstanding and surprisingly affordable study Bible, which stands in the tradition of Oxford's great study Bibles. Using the Jewish Publication Society translation, the books of the Jewish canon are presented in their traditional order: Torah (the five books of Moses); Nevi'im (the major and minor prophets); and Kethuvim (the other writings). Leading Jewish scholars introduce each book and offer extensive sidebar commentary, discussing the views of ancient and modern rabbinic scholars. In addition, the volume provides two dozen scholarly essays on different aspects of interpretation: the Bible's use in various periods in Jewish history, in the liturgy, in the Dead Sea Scrolls. There are essays on biblical languages, canonization, textual criticism, philosophical and mystical traditions, and biblical poetry. This landmark volume is at once serious and accessible, and spans the spectrum of Jewish thought.

[book] Wealth and Poverty in Jewish Tradition
Volume 26
Edited by Leonard J. Greenspoon (Creighton)
Purdue University Press
October 2015
Economic inequity is an issue of worldwide concern in the twenty-first century. Although these issues have not troubled all people at all times, they are nonetheless not new. Thus, it is not surprising that Judaism has developed many perspectives, theoretical and practical, to explain and ameliorate the circumstances that produce serious economic disparity. This volume offers an accessible collection of articles that deal comprehensively with this phenomenon from a variety of approaches and perspectives. Within this framework, the fourteen authors who contributed to Wealth and Poverty in Jewish Tradition bring a formidable array of experience and insight to uncover interconnected threads of conversation and activities that characterize Jewish thought and action.

Among the questions raised, for which there are frequently multiple responses: Is the giving of tzedakah (generally, although imprecisely, translated as charity) a command or an impulse?
Does the Jewish tradition give priority to the donor or to the recipient? To what degree is charity a communal responsibility?
Is there something inherently ennobling or, conversely, debasing about being poor?
How have basic concepts about wealth and poverty evolved from biblical through rabbinic and medieval sources until the modern period?
What are some specific historical events that demonstrate either marked success or bitter failure?
And finally, are there some relevant concepts and practices that are distinctively, if not uniquely, Jewish?
It is a singular strength of this collection that appropriate attention is given, in a style that is both accessible and authoritative, to the vast and multiform conversations that are recorded in the Talmud and other foundational documents of rabbinic Judaism. Moreover, perceptive analysis is not limited to the past, but also helps us to comprehend circumstances among todays Jews. It is equally valuable that these authors are attuned to the differences between aspirations and the realities in which actual people have lived.

When Larry Summers and I were shopping at the mall with my security team, I picked this book up
October 2015
Ben S. Bernanke’s rise to chair of the Fed, the massive financial crisis, and the Fed’s bold and effective response.
In 2006, Ben S. Bernanke was appointed chair of the Federal Reserve, capping a meteoric trajectory from a rural South Carolina childhood to professorships at Stanford and Princeton, to public service in Washington’s halls of power. There would be no time to celebrate, however-the burst of the housing bubble in 2007 set off a domino effect that would bring the global financial system to the brink of meltdown.
In The Courage to Act, Ben Bernanke pulls back the curtain on the tireless and ultimately successful efforts to prevent a mass economic failure. Working with two U.S. presidents and two Treasury secretaries, Dr. Bernanke and his colleagues used every Fed capability, no matter how arcane, to keep the U.S. economy afloat. From his arrival in Washington in 2002 and his experiences before the crisis, to the intense days and weeks of the crisis itself, and through the Great Recession that followed, Dr. Bernanke gives readers an unequaled perspective on the American economy. This narrative will reveal for the first time how the creativity and decisiveness of a few key leaders prevented an economic collapse of unimaginable scale. 16 pages of photographs

Bernanke was born in Augusta, Georgia, and was raised in Dillon, SC.[ His father Philip was a pharmacist. The Bernankes were one of the few Jewish families in Dillon. His maternal grandfather was Harold Friedman, a hazzan and shochet. His father's father was pharmacy owner Jonas Bernanke.

By Robert B. Reich (Berkeley)
Autumn 2015
Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, was born in the holy city of Scranton PA, so we should buy and read his book.
The author of Aftershock and The Work of Nations, his most important book to date—a myth-shattering breakdown of how the economic system that helped make America so strong is now failing us, and what it will take to fix it.

Perhaps no one is better acquainted with the intersection of economics and politics than Robert B. Reich, and now he reveals how power and influence have created a new American oligarchy, a shrinking middle class, and the greatest income inequality and wealth disparity in eighty years. He makes clear how centrally problematic our veneration of the “free market” is, and how it has masked the power of moneyed interests to tilt the market to their benefit.
Reich exposes the falsehoods that have been bolstered by the corruption of our democracy by huge corporations and the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street: that all workers are paid what they’re “worth,” that a higher minimum wage equals fewer jobs, and that corporations must serve shareholders before employees. He shows that the critical choices ahead are not about the size of government but about who government is for: that we must choose not between a free market and “big” government but between a market organized for broadly based prosperity and one designed to deliver the most gains to the top. Ever the pragmatist, ever the optimist, Reich sees hope for reversing our slide toward inequality and diminished opportunity when we shore up the countervailing power of everyone else.
Passionate yet practical, sweeping yet exactingly argued, Saving Capitalism is a revelatory indictment of our economic status quo and an empowering call to civic action.

[book] FIND A WAY
Autumn 2015
I saw Nyad speak in New York City at a breakfast in May 2015 and was amazed and energized by her few paragraphs and storytelling. She was quite inspiring. She even coached another breakfast speaker to get him over his stage fright and tell her how to control his speech and the audience. SO I am including her book.
Diana Nyad's amazing, inspiring firsthand account of her record-breaking swim, after four failed attempts, from Cuba to Florida, at the age of sixty-four--and of her extraordinary quest to live life at the highest level, in and out of the water.
On September 2, 2013, at the age of sixty-four, Diana Nyad emerged onto the shores of Key West after completing a 110-mile, fifty-three-hour, record-breaking swim through shark-infested waters from Cuba to Florida and delivered three messages to the world: never, ever give up; you're never too old to chase your dreams; and it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team. Millions of people around the world cheered for her and were moved by her incredible tenacity and determination, her triumph after so many bitter failures, and by the mantra--find a way--that enabled her to realize a dream in her sixties that had eluded her as a young Olympian in peak form.
In Find a Way, she tells the passionate, singularly inspiring story of this feat of epic endurance and the extraordinary life experiences and lessons that helped her to realize her dream. She was a world-class swimmer by the time she left high school; AND WHY NOT? Her father once sat her down and in his Greek accented English and took out a dictionary to show her that her name was important. It was in the dictionary. She should be proud and aspire to greatness

In 1975, at the age of twenty-six, she circumnavigated the island of Manhattan and became a star. She made her first attempt at the Cuba-to-Florida swim soon after, but was blown off course and pulled from the water after 79 miles. A year later, on her thirtieth birthday, she broke the open-ocean world record for both men and women, swimming 102 miles unassisted and without a shark cage. She did not swim another stroke for three decades.
Why, at sixty-four, was she able to achieve what she could not at thirty? How did her repeated failures contribute to her success? What inner resources did Nyad draw on during her days and nights in the water, and how did the power of her mind and spirit trump the limitations of her body? This is the story of an unforgettable journey--physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological--and a galvanizing meditation on facing fears, engaging our passions, and living life with no regrets.

[book] The Catskills:
Its History and How It Changed America
by Stephen M. Silverman and Raphael D. Silver
October 2015
The Catskills (“Cat Creek” in Dutch), America’s original frontier, northwest of New York City, with its seven hundred thousand acres of forest land preserve and its five counties—Delaware, Greene, Sullivan, Ulster, Schoharie; America’s first great vacationland; the subject of the nineteenth-century Hudson River School paintings that captured the almost godlike majesty of the mountains and landscapes, the skies, waterfalls, pastures, cliffs . . . refuge and home to poets and gangsters, tycoons and politicians, preachers and outlaws, musicians and spiritualists, outcasts and rebels . . .
Stephen Silverman and Raphael Silver tell of the turning points that made the Catskills so vital to the development of America: Henry Hudson’s first spotting the distant blue mountains in 1609; the New York State constitutional convention, resulting in New York’s own Declaration of Independence from Great Britain and its own constitution, causing the ire of the invading British army . . . the Catskills as a popular attraction in the 1800s, with the construction of the Catskill Mountain House and its rugged imitators that offered WASP guests “one-hundred percent restricted” accommodations (“Hebrews will knock vainly for admission”), a policy that remained until the Catskills became the curative for tubercular patients, sending real-estate prices plummeting and the WASP enclave on to richer pastures . . .
Here are the gangsters (Jack “Legs” Diamond and Dutch Schultz, among them) who sought refuge in the Catskill Mountains, and the resorts that after World War II catered to upwardly mobile Jewish families, giving rise to hundreds of hotels inspired by Grossinger’s, the original “Disneyland with knishes”—the Concord, Brown’s Hotel, Kutsher’s Hotel, and others—in what became known as the Borscht Belt and Sour Cream Alps, with their headliners from movies and radio (Phil Silvers, Eddie Cantor, Milton Berle, et al.), and others who learned their trade there, among them Moss Hart (who got his start organizing summer theatricals), Sid Caesar, Lenny Bruce, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and Joan Rivers.
Here is a nineteenth-century America turning away from England for its literary and artistic inspiration, finding it instead in Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” and his childhood recollections (set in the Catskills) . . . in James Fenimore Cooper’s adventure-romances, which provided a pastoral history, describing the shift from a colonial to a nationalist mentality . . . and in the canvases of Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, Frederick Church, and others that caught the grandeur of the wilderness and that gave texture, color, and form to Irving’s and Cooper’s imaginings.
Here are the entrepreneurs and financiers who saw the Catskills as a way to strike it rich, plundering the resources that had been likened to “creation,” the Catskills’ tanneries that supplied the boots and saddles for Union troops in the Civil War . . . and the bluestone quarries whose excavated rock became the curbs and streets of the fast-growing Eastern Seaboard.
Here are the Catskills brought fully to life in all of their intensity, beauty, vastness, and lunacy.

October 2015
Roberta Kaplan’s (Twitter @kaplanrobbie) gripping story of her defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) before the Supreme Court.
Attorney Roberta Kaplan (Partner, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison) knew it was the perfect case. Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer had stayed together for better or worse, for forty-four years-battling through society’s homophobia and Spyer’s paralysis from MS. The couple married in Canada in 2007, but when Spyer died two years later, the US government refused to recognize their marriage, forcing Windsor to pay a huge estate tax (over $360,000).
In this landmark work, Attorney Kaplan describes her strategy in the lower courts and her preparation and rehearsals before moot courts, and she shares insights into the dramatic oral argument before the Supreme Court justices. Then Comes Marriage is the story of the relationship behind the watershed case, Kaplan’s own difficult coming-out journey, and the fascinating unfolding of United States v. Windsor. Full of never-before-told details, this is the momentous account of a thrilling historic and political victory for gay rights.

Kaplan, known in legal circles as a powerhouse corporate litigator, is one of a handful of attorneys who over the past decade have decisively shaped and driven the legal fight for same-sex marriage nationally. She lost her first major case, a 2004 suit filed by 13 couples in New York State, including a woman awaiting a liver transplant who wanted to make sure her partner of 24 years could visit her in the hospital. But because the ruling said lawmakers should be the ones to decide if the laws should be changed, it paved the way for the 2011 vote in New York’s legislature legalizing same-sex marriages in the state.
Atty. Kaplan was raised in Cleveland and at her Bat Mitzvah, here parshah was Shoftim (Tzedek, Tzedek Shall You Pursue). She majored in Russian at Harvard. She spent time in Moscow and met Jewish Refuseniks. At Columbia Law School, she studied Talmud with famed scholar Rabbi Saul Berman. Kaplan and her wife, Rachel Lavine married in 2005 in Toronto
Client Windsor is a Temple University graduate from Philadelphia. Windsor met Spyer, who was born in Amsterdam but who fled the Holocaust with her family and eventually came to the United States as a refugee, at a Greenwich Village restaurant called Portofino in 1963, six years before the gay rights movement was born at the Stonewall Inn, a few blocks away. The pair danced all night and, in 1967, got engaged with a diamond brooch rather than a ring—a ruse to protect Windsor, a mathematics major and rising IBM executive, from having to answer questions at work about her fiance. They moved into an apartment in the Village, bought a place in the Hamptons, and kept dancing, even after the progression of Spyer’s illness, diagnosed in 1977, left her confined to a motorized wheelchair. They were among the first to register as domestic partners in New York City in 1993 and celebrated their 40th anniversary by getting married in Toronto—a marriage that was recognized by New York State because it was legal under Canadian law. Windsor was 77; Spyer was 75. The wedding was announced in the New York Times.

St. Martin’s Press
October 2015
Two brothers are admitted to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital with horrific injuries. Their mother, a young American, devoutly recites Psalms at the bedside, refusing to answer any questions. Brought in to investigate, Detective Bina Tzedek follows a winding path that takes her through Jerusalem's Old City, kabbalists, mystical ancient texts, and terrifying cult rituals, until she finally uncovers the shocking truth.

From internationally bestselling author Naomi Ragen, THE DEVIL IN JERUSALEM is a chilling tale of the paths that so easily lead us astray, and the darkness within us all

[book] The Mystics of Mile End
A Novel
by Sigal Samuel
October 2015
Brother and sister Lev and Samara Meyer live in Montreal’s Mile End—a mashup of hipsters and Hasidic Jews. They have a fairly typical childhood, other than that around the corner Mr. Katz is trying to recreate the Biblical Tree of Knowledge out of plucked leaves, toilet paper rolls, and dental floss. When their father, a professor of Jewish mysticism, is diagnosed with an unusual heart murmur, he becomes convinced that his heart is whispering divine secrets. But when their father’s frenzied attempts to ascend the Tree of Life lead to tragedy, Samara and Lev set out (in separate and divisive ways) to finish what he’s started. It falls to next-door neighbor and Holocaust survivor Chaim Glassman to shatter the silence that divides the members of the Meyer family. But can he break through to them in time? A remarkable debut novel reminiscent of The History of Love by Nicole Krauss and Bee Season by Myla Goldberg.

[book] [book] A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka
A Memoir
by Lev Golinkin
Now in paperback
Anchor Press
October 2015
A compelling story of two intertwined journeys: a Jewish refugee family fleeing persecution and a young man seeking to reclaim a shattered past. In the twilight of the Cold War (the late 1980s), nine-year old Lev Golinkin and his family cross the Soviet border with only ten suitcases, $600, and the vague promise of help awaiting in Vienna. Years later, Lev, now an American adult, sets out to retrace his family's long trek, locate the strangers who fought for his freedom, and in the process, gain a future by understanding his past.

Lev Golinkin's memoir is the vivid, darkly comic, and poignant story of a young boy in the confusing and often chilling final decade of the Soviet Union. It's also the story of Lev Golinkin, the American man who finally confronts his buried past by returning to Austria and Eastern Europe to track down the strangers who made his escape possible . . . and say thank you. Written with biting, acerbic wit and emotional honesty in the vein of Gary Shteyngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, and David Bezmozgis, Golinkin's search for personal identity set against the relentless currents of history is more than a memoir—it's a portrait of a lost era. This is a thrilling tale of escape and survival, a deeply personal look at the life of a Jewish child caught in the last gasp of the Soviet Union, and a provocative investigation into the power of hatred and the search for belonging. Lev Golinkin achieves an amazing feat—and it marks the debut of a fiercely intelligent, defiant, and unforgettable new voice.

[book] Ben Shahn's New Deal Murals
Jewish Identity in the American Scene
by Diana Linden
Wayne State University Press
October 2015
A study of Ben Shahn's New Deal murals (1933-43) in the context of American Jewish history, labor history, and public discourse.
Lithuanian-born artist Ben Shahn learned fresco painting as an assistant to Diego Rivera in the 1930s and created his own visually powerful, technically sophisticated, and stylistically innovative artworks as part of the New Deal Arts Project's national mural program. In Ben Shahn's New Deal Murals: Jewish Identity in the American Scene author Diana L. Linden demonstrates that Shahn mined his Jewish heritage and left-leaning politics for his style and subject matter, offering insight into his murals' creation and their sometimes complicated reception by officials, the public, and the press.
In four chapters, Linden presents case studies of select Shahn murals that were created from 1933 to 1943 and are located in public buildings in New York, New Jersey, and Missouri. She studies Shahn's famous untitled fresco for the Jersey Homesteads-a utopian socialist cooperative community populated with former Jewish garment workers and funded under the New Deal-Shahn's mural for the Bronx Post Office, a fresco Shahn proposed to the post office in St. Louis, and a related one-panel easel painting titled The First Amendment located in a Queens, New York, Post Office. By investigating the role of Jewish identity in Shahn's works, Linden considers the artist's responses to important issues of the era, such as President Roosevelt's opposition to open immigration to the United States, New York's bustling garment industry and its labor unions, ideological concerns about freedom and liberty that had signifcant meaning to Jews, and the encroachment of censorship into American art.
Linden shows that throughout his public murals, Shahn literally painted Jews into the American scene with his subjects, themes, and compositions. Readers interested in Jewish American history, art history, and Depression-era American culture will enjoy this insightful volume.

[book] Notorious RBG:
The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
October 2015
Dey Street Books
Irin Carmon: I heard you can do 20 pushups.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Yes, but we do ten at a time. And then I breathe for a bit and do the second set.
Nearly a half-century into being a feminist and legal pioneer, something funny happened to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: the octogenarian won the internet. Across America, people who weren’t even born when Ginsburg made her name are tattooing themselves with her face, setting her famously searing dissents to music, and making viral videos in tribute. In a class of its own, and much to Ginsburg’s own amusement, is the Notorious RBG Tumblr, which juxtaposes the diminutive but fierce Jewish grandmother with the 350-pound rapper featuring original artwork submitted from around the world.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg offers a visually rich, intimate, unprecedented look at the Justice and how she changed the world. From Ginsburg’s refusal to let the slammed doors of sexism stop her to her innovative legal work, from her before-its-time feminist marriage to her perch on the nation’s highest court—with the fierce dissents to match—get to know RBG as never before. As the country struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stands as a testament to how far we can come with a little chutzpah.

October 2015
Random House
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Gloria Steinem—writer, activist, organizer, and inspiring leader—now tells a story she has never told before, a candid account of her life as a traveler, a listener, and a catalyst for change.
When people ask me why I still have hope and energy after all these years, I always say: Because I travel. Taking to the road—by which I mean letting the road take you—changed who I thought I was. The road is messy in the way that real life is messy. It leads us out of denial and into reality, out of theory and into practice, out of caution and into action, out of statistics and into stories—in short, out of our heads and into our hearts.
Gloria Steinem had an itinerant childhood. When she was a young girl, her father would pack the family in the car every fall and drive across country searching for adventure and trying to make a living. The seeds were planted: Gloria realized that growing up didn’t have to mean settling down. And so began a lifetime of travel, of activism and leadership, of listening to people whose voices and ideas would inspire change and revolution.
My Life on the Road is the moving, funny, and profound story of Gloria’s growth and also the growth of a revolutionary movement for equality—and the story of how surprising encounters on the road shaped both. From her first experience of social activism among women in India to her work as a journalist in the 1960s; from the whirlwind of political campaigns to the founding of Ms. magazine; from the historic 1977 National Women’s Conference to her travels through Indian Country—a lifetime spent on the road allowed Gloria to listen and connect deeply with people, to understand that context is everything, and to become part of a movement that would change the world.
In prose that is revealing and rich, Gloria reminds us that living in an open, observant, and “on the road” state of mind can make a difference in how we learn, what we do, and how we understand each other.

[book] The Best Of The Cutting Edge
1965 – 1966:
The Bootleg Series Vol. 12
By Bob Dylan
Format: A
October 2015
Between 1965 and 1966 Bob Dylan recorded three albums that many believe changed the course of modern music: Bringing It All back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde.
The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Volume 12 takes you inside the studio during the recording of those three albums. With a staggering wealth of unreleased songs, outtakes, rehearsals and alternate versions - The Cutting Edge provides a unique insight into a legendary icon's creative process.
1. 2-CD featuring the best of Bob Dylan's unreleased studio recordings from 1965 and 1966, Includes alternate versions of songs such as 'Like A Rolling Stone', 'Desolation Row', 'Visions Of Johanna' and 'Highway 61 Revisited'.
Packaged with a 60-page booklet with exclusive photography and liner notes.

by Garth Hallberg
October 2015
A big-hearted, boundary-vaulting novel that heralds a remarkable new talent: set in 1970s New York, a story outsized in its generosity, warmth, and ambition, its deep feeling for its characters, its exuberant imagination.
The individuals who live within this extraordinary first novel are: Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, estranged heirs to one of the city's largest fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Samantha, two suburban teenagers seduced by downtown's punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter and his idealistic neighbor; and the detective trying to figure out what any of them have to do with a shooting in Central Park. Their entangled relationships open up the loneliest-seeming corners of the crowded city. And when the infamous blackout of July 13, 1977, plunges this world into darkness, each of these lives will be changed forever. A novel about love and betrayal and forgiveness, about art and truth and rock 'n' roll, about how the people closest to us are sometimes the hardest to reach--about what it means to be human.

War, Revolution, and the Making
Of the Modern Middle East, 1908-1923
By Sean McMeekin (Bard)
October 2015
Penguin Press
An astonishing retelling of twentieth-century history from the Ottoman perspective, delivering profound new insights into World War I and the contemporary Middle East
Between 1911 and 1922, a series of wars would engulf the Ottoman Empire and its successor states, in which the central conflict, of course, is World War I—a story we think we know well. As Sean McMeekin shows us in this revelatory new history of what he calls the “wars of the Ottoman succession,” we know far less than we think. The Ottoman Endgame brings to light the entire strategic narrative that led to an unstable new order in postwar Middle East—much of which is still felt today.
The Ottoman Endgame: War, Revolution, and the Making of the Modern Middle East draws from McMeekin’s years of groundbreaking research in newly opened Ottoman and Russian archives. With great storytelling flair, McMeekin makes new the epic stories we know from the Ottoman front, from Gallipoli to the exploits of Lawrence in Arabia, and introduces a vast range of new stories to Western readers. His accounts of the lead-up to World War I and the Ottoman Empire’s central role in the war itself offers an entirely new and deeper vision of the conflict. Harnessing not only Ottoman and Russian but also British, German, French, American, and Austro-Hungarian sources, the result is a truly pioneering work of scholarship that gives full justice to a multitiered war involving many belligerents.
McMeekin also brilliantly reconceives our inherited Anglo-French understanding of the war’s outcome and the collapse of the empire that followed. The book chronicles the emergence of modern Turkey and the carve-up of the rest of the Ottoman Empire as it has never been told before, offering a new perspective on such issues as the ethno-religious bloodletting and forced population transfers which attended the breakup of empire, the Balfour Declaration, the toppling of the caliphate, and the partition of Iraq and Syria—bringing the contemporary consequences into clear focus.
Every so often, a work of history completely reshapes our understanding of a subject of enormous historical and contemporary importance. The Ottoman Endgame is such a book, an instantly definitive and thrilling example of narrative history as high art.

By Mark Segal
(Founder, Philadelphia Gay News)
October 2015
Akashic / OpenLens
"Mark Segal's ideas run from the alpha to the omega. Sometimes I think there's got to be more than one Mark Segal: he has done way too much for one lifetime. I highly recommend this book. If you can’t get to meet Mark in person, this is the next best thing!"
--Michael Luongo, author of Gay Travels in the Muslim World

"Before there was Ellen, Will, Grace, Rosie, Andy, and Anderson, Mark Segal was the squeaky gay wheel of American television, pulling stunts that forced the medium to open its closet door. If Walter Cronkite were still alive, he'd say: Not HIM again! And that's the way it is. And was. Read all about it."
--Bruce Vilanch, Six-Time Emmy Award Winner

Sgeal stood out. One of just two Jews in his South Philly school, he stood out singing a Christian song. At 18, he writes that he was in Manhattan at Stonewall and was carded by cops. He founded a gay newspaper over 3 decades ago in Philadelphia and lived as a social activist.
On December 11, 1973, Mark Segal disrupted a live broadcast of the CBS Evening News when he sat on the desk directly between the camera and news anchor Walter Cronkite, yelling, "Gays protest CBS prejudice!" He was wrestled to the studio floor by the stagehands on live national television, thus ending LGBT invisibility. But this one victory left many more battles to fight, and creativity was required to find a way to challenge stereotypes surrounding the LGBT community. Mark Segal's job, as he saw it, was to show the nation who gay people are: our sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers.

Because of activists like Mark Segal, whose life work is dramatically detailed in this poignant and important memoir, today there are openly LGBT people working in the White House and throughout corporate America. An entire community of gay world citizens is now finding the voice that they need to become visible.

Foreword by Barbra Streisand
October 2015
In this candid memoir, renowned designer Donna Karan shares intimate details about her lonely childhood, her four-plus decades in the fashion industry, her two marriages, motherhood, and her ongoing quest for self-acceptance and spiritual peace.

Donna Karan was born into the fashion business—her father was a tailor, and her mother was a showroom model and Seventh Avenue saleswoman—yet Karan dreamed of becoming a dancer like Martha Graham or a singer like Barbra Streisand. Fashion was her destiny, though. My Journey traces Karan’s early days as an intern at Anne Klein, the creation of her Seven Easy Pieces (which forever changed the way working women dressed), and the meteoric rise of her company. Along with juicy industry stories, Karan candidly discusses her difficult mother and traumatic childhood, her turbulent romantic life, all the loved ones she has lost over the years, and the personal awakening that occurred just as she reached the height of professional and financial success.

That awakening set Karan down a path of spiritual discovery and self-improvement. From est to Kabbalah, from silent retreats to leech therapy, Karan tried everything to find, as she writes, “calm in the chaos.” But she also reveals how a chaotic life, fueled by endless curiosity and childlike impulses, helped her design seminal collections season after season for global powerhouse brands Donna Karan New York and DKNY. She also details how she has channeled her creativity (and her urge to solve problems and nurture others) into philanthropic work, particularly her early outspoken advocacy for AIDS awareness and research, and the creation of her Urban Zen Foundation, focusing on integrated healthcare and education as well as preservation of culture, which led to her current efforts in Haiti.

Karan’s life has been crowded with glamorous characters and adventures around the world. But she sometimes still feels like that awkward teen from Long Island who never fit in—which makes her all the more endearing. Brimming with Karan’s infectious energy, My Journey is about much more than the fashion world: It is the story of a young woman whose vision and hard work made her a role model for women everywhere—a woman who dreamed big, fought to have it all, broke the rules, and loved passionately along the way.

October 2015

The love of God is perhaps the most essential element in Judaism--but also one of the most confounding. In biblical and rabbinic literature, the obligation to love God appears as a formal commandment. Yet most people today think of love as a feeling. How can an emotion be commanded? How could one ever fulfill such a requirement? The Love of God places these scholarly and existential questions in a new light.
Jon Levenson traces the origins of the concept to the ancient institution of covenant, showing how covenantal love is a matter neither of sentiment nor of dry legalism. The love of God is instead a deeply personal two-way relationship that finds expression in God's mysterious love for the people of Israel, who in turn observe God's laws out of profound gratitude for his acts of deliverance. Levenson explores how this bond has survived episodes in which God's love appears to be painfully absent--as in the brutal persecutions of Talmudic times--and describes the intensely erotic portrayals of the relationship by biblical prophets and rabbinic interpreters of the Song of Songs. He examines the love of God as a spiritual discipline in the Middle Ages as well as efforts by two influential modern Jewish thinkers--Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig--to recover this vital but endangered aspect of their tradition.
A breathtaking work of scholarship and spirituality alike that is certain to provoke debate, The Love of God develops fascinating insights into the foundations of religious life in the classical Jewish tradition.

Between Anti-semitism and Anti-Judaism
by Robert C. Holub (Ohio State University)
October 2015

For more than a century, Nietzsche's views about Jews and Judaism have been subject to countless polemics. The Nazis infamously fashioned the philosopher as their anti-Semitic precursor, while in the past thirty years the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. The increasingly popular view today is that Nietzsche was not only completely free of racist tendencies but also was a principled adversary of anti-Jewish thought. Nietzsche's Jewish Problem offers a definitive reappraisal of the controversy, taking the full historical, intellectual, and biographical context into account. As Robert Holub shows, a careful consideration of all the evidence from Nietzsche's published and unpublished writings and letters reveals that he harbored anti-Jewish prejudices throughout his life.
Nietzsche's Jewish Problem demonstrates how this is so despite the apparent paradox of the philosopher's well-documented opposition to the crude political anti-Semitism of the Germany of his day. As Holub explains, Nietzsche's "anti-anti-Semitism" was motivated more by distaste for vulgar nationalism than by any objection to anti-Jewish prejudice.
A richly detailed account of a controversial issue that goes to the heart of Nietzsche's reputation and reception, Nietzsche's Jewish Problem will fascinate anyone interested in philosophy, intellectual history, or the history of anti-Semitism.

[book] NOPI:
(North of Picadilly / SoHo)
The Cookbook
by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
October 2015
Ten Speed Press
A cookbook from acclaimed London restaurant Nopi, by powerhouse author Yotam Ottolenghi and Nopi head chef Ramael Scully. Yotam Ottolenghi is beloved in the food world for his beautiful, inspirational cookbooks, as well as his Ottolenghi delis and his fine-dining restaurant, Nopi. In The NOPI Cookbook, head chef Ramael Scully's Asian-inspired pantry meets Ottolenghi's Middle Eastern influences and brings the restaurant's favorite dishes within reach of the home cook..

PW writes: London’s NOPI (North of Picadilly) in Soho, the most formal of the Ottolenghi family of eateries, is the inspiration for this cookbook from the acclaimed chef/author. More than 100 chic plates for ambitious cooks expand Ottolenghi’s trademark fare. With head chef Ramael Scully, Ottolenghi (Jerusalem) presents NOPI’s signature dishes, collaborations between two world cuisines: Scully’s Malaysian-Australian roots combine with Ottolenghi’s Israeli-inspired palate to create bold, vibrant fare with Mediterranean/Asian twists. Garlicky lamb, marinated with rosemary and then grilled, combines with coconut milk and peanuts. There are beef brisket croquettes served with lime, snap peas, and Asian coleslaw. Seared quail in an oven-charred miso butterscotch paste is dressed with pomegranate walnut salsa. Recipes include starters, salads, sides; fish, meat, vegetables; brunches; and desserts. Cocktails, condiments, meal suggestions, and a key ingredient list from the NOPI pantry are also featured. Many detailed dishes involve multiple levels of preparation, with some marinades and garnishes requiring smoking or pickling. Ottolenghi offers tips to ease preparation, such as mise en place, proper recipe reading, equipment suggestions, and so-called alternative routes. Nevertheless, he sometimes faces difficulty translating labor-intensive restaurant dishes into something accessible for home cooks, and some of the more cumbersome recipes just may exceed their grasp.

Extraordinary Recipes from the
Restaurant That Is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine
by Tal Ronnen and Scot Jones and Serafina Magnussen
October 2015
Reinventing plant-based eating is what Tal Ronnen is all about. At his Los Angeles restaurant, Crossroads, the menu is vegan, but there are no soybeans or bland seitan to be found. He and his executive chef, Scot Jones, turn seasonal vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains into sophisticated Mediterranean fare—think warm bowls of tomato-sauced pappardelle, plates of spicy carrot salad, and crunchy flatbreads piled high with roasted vegetables. In Crossroads, Ronnen teaches readers to make his recipes and proves that the flavors we crave are easily replicated in dishes made without animal products. With accessible, unfussy recipes, Crossroads takes plant-based eating firmly out of the realm of hippie health food and into a cuisine that fits perfectly with today’s modern palate. The recipes are photographed in sumptuous detail, and with more than 100 of them for weeknight dinners, snacks and appetizers, special occasion meals, desserts, and more, this book is an indispensable resource for healthy, mindful eaters everywhere.

Author and chef, Tal Ronnen, is a Petal Pusher. His artichoke-shaped "Petal Pusher" tattoo tells us so; and this book of plant-based vegan recipes from his West Hollywood eatery, Crossroads, confirms it. He was born on a moshav near Jerusalem, the son of an art collector and famed Jerusalem Post journalist/cartoonist. At age six, he moved with his mother to NYC.
The book opens with recipes for Harissa Potato Chips; Smoked White Bean Hummus; Marinated Olives with Rosemary Fried Almonds; Lentil Skillet Bread; Pickled Vegetables; Spicy Tomato-Pepper Jam; Leek Pate; Egyptian Fava Bean Spread; Pistachio-Kalamata Tapenade; and Warm Kale and Artichoke Dip. The Hummus is made with cannellini beans. At Crossroads they smoke beans and some vegetables to impart a rustic earthy taste. Tal teaches us how to do this with a steamer insert at home. The recipe for Rosemary Fried Almonds uses a skillet, rosemary and oil, heated to 300 degrees (no thermometer needed, Tal's cooking tip trick is included).
The Salads section includes recipes for a Spring Chopped Salad with Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette; Baby Beet Salad with Apples, Walnuts and Balsamic Reduction; Spicy Moroccan Carrot Salad with Chili and Cumin (inspired by the secret recipe of his Moroccan-Israeli childhood nanny); Watermelon Salad with Persian Cucumbers; Melon Salad with Watercress and OroBlanco Vinaigrette; Shaved Brussel Sprouts with Za'atar, Lemon, and Pine Nuts; Kale Salad with Currants, Pine Nuts, and Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette; Israeli Couscous with Champagne Grapes and Spanish Marcona Almonds; Butternut Squash Farinata with Arugula Salad and Pomegranate; Bloomsdale Spinach Salad, and more.
Recipes for flatbreads follow and include ones for Roasted Spring Root Vegetable flatbread; Roasted Cauliflower flatbread; Butternut Squash puree flatbread; Tagine flatbread with Eggplant and Minted Spinach. and more. Soups include recipes for a Summer Minestrone with Basil Pesto; Cauliflower Bisque with Fried Capers; French Lentil (puy) with Crispy Kale; Cream of Fava Bean.. and Pea Soup (if you think of Chianti, Tal makes a joke about it); and more. The Minestone is an homage to Scot's Akron, Ohio roots. When he owned Grappa there, and served this soup as the staff (family) meal, the person who got the bay leaf in their bowl had to do the dishes. This can be done in your own home for fun and excitement.
There is a recipe of Sweet Potato Latkes with spiked Apple Sauce which I recommend (the secret... no egg is used, but chia seeds are used).
There are recipes for over eight pastas, including one for Acorn Squash Ravioli with Kales and Black Garlic Butter Sauce (on the book's cover). Ten sauce recipes include ones for the restaurant's Marinara sauce; a Basil Pesto; and Cashew Cream. You can use Scoty's Marinara as a base for a Puttanesca Sauce. Among the 8 recipes for desserts is one for their Decadent Dark Chocolate Cake with Fresh Fig Jam and Hazelnuts (there is a gluten free option recipe added).

[book] The Southerner's Cookbook
Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories
by Editors of Garden and Gun
October 2015
Harper Wave
I enjoy reading Garden and Gun magazine at the doctor's office (hehe). And on a recent trip to Memphis and Birmingham, I used their restaurant reviews and stories for visit ideas. So when I noticed that they published a cookbook WITH ESSAYS in October 2015, I snatched one up.
The inside back and front covers contain an illustration of The Southern States, from Texas to the Mason-Dixon Line, dotted with a variety of foodstuffs, like beef, fish, seafood, peanuts, chilis, and bourbon. The book contains essays by Roy Blount, Jr, Rick Bragg, Matt Lee, Ted, Lee, and others. The book opens with recipes and ideas for Party Bite & Appetizers. This secton includes THREE - no four - pimento cheeses; delta style hot tamales; bourbon balls; West Indies salad; Benedictine, pickapeppa pecans, devilISH eggs, lots of shrimp and crab items and more.
Section 2 is devoted to Chicken, and includes an essay by Julia Reed, three styles of Fried Chicken, King Ranch Chicken; a Chicken Bog (like a Toad in the Hole), Spicy-Pickle Chicken Salad with Chicken Skin Crackers, and Chicken Thigh Potpie. Section Three is focuses "Pork, Beef, and Lamb"... and actually so many of the recipes include Hog products sprinkled throughout the book. Section Three includes recipes for hams, hogs, pork chops, bacons, and a Cane Syrup & Spice-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin. Also included are Chicken-Fried Short Ribs, Kentucky-Style Smoked Lamb; Yakamein (a New Orleans staple), Natchitoches Meat Pies, and Meat&Three-Style Hamburger Steak with Onion Gravy.
The highlights of Secton Four: Fish And Seafood are a Ramp-Stuffed Trout; Smoked Trout Hash; and Greek Style Flounder (a la the Greek community of Birmingham and its Bright Star restaurant). Jonathan Miles contributed an essay for Section Five on "Game." It has recipes for Dove and Wild Turkey Breasts, Quail, and Duck, and even Chili Con Venison. A duck is paired with Satsuma, since both are in season in November (satsumas are oranges with a tangy lime taste). Section Six starts with an essay from Alison Glock on Vegetables And Sides. If you avoid meat, you can make the recipes sans pork products. There are recipes for Fresh-Corn Spoonbread; Cast Iron Charred Corn; Sweet Potato Casserole with Sorghum; Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salad; Slowly Simmer Field Peas; Pickled Cucumbers with Shiso; Pool Room Slaw; Fried Okra, Fried Pickle Chips, and of course, Fried Green Tomatoes (a la Fannie Flagg and her aunt's Irondale Cafe).
Section Seven, on Baked Goods and Desserts, begins with Sorghum-Bourbon Pecan Pie and Mardi Gras Moon Cakes. Other recipes include ones for Applejack Stack Cake; Peach Ice Cream; Classic Buttermilk Biscuits; Banana Pudding with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream; and Skillet Cornbread. The Strawberry Moonshine Fried Hand Pies should be eaten while listening to Fried Pie Blues. These are from Belton, SC's Grits and Groceries. Section Eight's Condiments' recipes includes those for five (5) BBQ sauces: from Memphis, Texas, Eastern NC, SC, and Alabama; Comeback Sauce; a Creole Remoulade; Peanut Butter; Pesto; Mostarda; Chunky Sweet Onion Jezebel Sauce; and more. The last section on Cocktails has recipes for nearly a dozen.
Devilish Eggs are based on TN raised Chef Trevor Higgins (now Greenville, SC) recipe. It uses Sriracha, white wine vinegar, and grainy mustard (and bacon grease). It includes a tip on how to shell an egg the best way. We learn that West Indies Salad is actually from Birmingham Alabama and is based on crabmeat, The Extra Crispy version of Fried Chicken gives a nod to the Korean communities that dot the South and use rice flour or cornstarch and brine the chickens first. The Meat and Three pays homage to Southern steam tables (one meat and three sides). It elevates the burger by adding sirloin and a richer ground chuck, and adding red wine to the Vidalia onion gravy. The fried pickle recipe is from Bernell "Fatman" Austin. You can find none better. The Pool Room Slaw is like chowchow and cole slaw. It's a tad bit Northern Alabama, and a little bit Middle Tennessee. It is not creamy mayo style. The rustic Appalachian Applejack Stack Cake (like a huge stack of pancakes) was originally a communal project with each home making a stack and bringing it for inclusion. Here we learn to make it the non communal way. Most importantly, the editors teach that you should not slice an okra. You get to avoid the mucilage this way. And just fry them whole.

[book] Lost Recipes of Prohibition:
Drugstore Whiskey
Pharmacy Gin
Notes from a Bootlegger's Manual
by Matthew Rowley
October 28, 2015
Countryman Press
A secret, handwritten collection of illicit booze recipes-hidden in a volume of poetry during the Prohibition-annotated and explained in fascinating detail
Nearly everyone has heard of bathtub gin, but how many people know what it really was-or how to make it? During the height of the Prohibition, one anonymous physician compiled more than 200 recipes for “compounding” spirits, hiding the manuscript from authorities. By adding extracts, essences, and oils to plain old sugar moonshine, bootleggers would simulate the taste of gin, whiskey, cordials, rums, absinthes…booze that was otherwise impossible to procure. The potential profits were staggering.
This document fell into the hands of author Matthew Rowley, who became fascinated with the process of compounding and the historical events that lead to this mysterious and lucrative manuscript. In addition to annotating the actual pages of the book, Rowley provides a historical background, and gives his readers an overview of the process, updating some of the recipes for modern distillers, bartenders, and cocktail enthusiasts.

Illustrated by Dan Krall
October 2015
Simon & Schuster for Young Readers
A pampered pup takes center stage at her parents’ party in this charmingly hilarious picture book from film and Broadway star Nathan Lane (of The Lion King and The Producers fame) and Devlin Elliott!

Meet Mabel, she is five (it's the new three) and the fanciest French bulldog the Hamptons have ever seen. Mabel is many things: sassy, classy (and sometimes a bit gassy!), but especially...naughty! Actually, she is VERY NAUGHTY. Mabel’s always getting herself into trouble—and with style like hers, can you really blame her? She knocked over a tree, ate jewels, crashed a gold cart.
We learn a lot about her likes and dislikes, and the drawings reflect her naughty escapades (not ice capades).
There is only 1 reason to give her a bath. They are throwing a party. When Naughty Mabel’s parents try to leave her out of the fun, of course she must take matters into her own perfectly pedicured paws. As the hilarity ensues, Mabel and her parents learn that through thick and thin, naughty or nice, they’ll always be a family, just as they are. (and Mabel knows how to clear a room faster than Nathan Lane singing?)

A novel
By Aharon Appelfeld
Triangle Square Books for Young Reader
October 2015
Age 8 - 12
Adam and Thomas is the story of two nine-year-old Jewish boys who survive World War II by banding together in the forest. They are alone, visited only furtively, every few days by Mina, a mercurial girl who herself has found refuge from the war by living with a peasant family. She makes secret journeys and brings the boys parcels of food at her own risk.

Adam and Thomas must learn to survive and do. They forage and build a small tree house, although it's more like a bird's nest. Adam's family dog, Miro, manages to find his way to him, to the joy of both boys. Miro brings the warmth of home with him. Echoes of the war are felt in the forest. The boys meet fugitives fleeing for their lives and try to help them. They learn to disappear in moments of danger. And they barely survive winter's harshest weather, but when things seem to be at their worst, a miracle happens.

a graphic novel memoir
By Riad Sattouf
October 2015
A best seller in France.
The Arab of the Future, the #1 French best-seller, tells the unforgettable story of Riad Sattouf's childhood, spent in the shadows of 3 dictators--Muammar Gaddafi, Hafez al-Assad, and... his father.
In striking, virtuoso graphic style that captures both the immediacy of childhood and the fervor of political idealism, Riad Sattouf recounts his nomadic childhood growing up in rural France, Gaddafi's Libya, and Assad's Syria--but always under the roof of his father, a Syrian Pan-Arabist who drags his family along in his pursuit of grandiose dreams for the Arab nation.
Riad, delicate and wide-eyed, follows in the trail of his mismatched parents; his mother, a bookish French student, is as modest as his father is flamboyant. Venturing first to the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab State and then joining the family tribe in Homs, Syria, they hold fast to the vision of the paradise that always lies just around the corner. And hold they do, though food is scarce, children kill dogs for sport, and with locks banned, the Sattoufs come home one day to discover another family occupying their apartment.

The ultimate outsider, Riad, with his flowing blond hair, is called the ultimate insult… Jewish.

And in no time at all, his father has come up with yet another grand plan, moving from building a new people to building his own great palace

[book] The Witch of Lime Street
Séance, Seduction, and Houdini
in the Spirit World
by David Jaher
October 2015
History comes alive in this textured account of the rivalry between Harry Houdini and the so-called Witch of Lime Street, whose iconic lives intersected at a time when science was on the verge of embracing the paranormal.

The 1920s are famous as the golden age of jazz and glamour, but it was also an era of fevered yearning for communion with the spirit world, after the loss of tens of millions in the First World War and the Spanish-flu epidemic. A desperate search for reunion with dead loved ones precipitated a tidal wave of self-proclaimed psychics—and, as reputable media sought stories on occult phenomena, mediums became celebrities.

Against this backdrop, in 1924, the pretty wife of a distinguished Boston surgeon came to embody the raging national debate over Spiritualism, a movement devoted to communication with the dead. Reporters dubbed her the blonde Witch of Lime Street, but she was known to her followers simply as Margery. Her most vocal advocate was none other than Sherlock Holmes' creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who believed so thoroughly in Margery's powers that he urged her to enter a controversial contest, sponsored by Scientific American and offering a large cash prize to the first medium declared authentic by its impressive five-man investigative committee. Admired for both her exceptional charm and her dazzling effects, Margery was the best hope for the psychic practice to be empirically verified. Her supernatural gifts beguiled four of the judges. There was only one left to convince...the acclaimed escape artist, Harry Houdini.

David Jaher's extraordinary debut culminates in the showdown between Houdini, a relentless unmasker of charlatans, and Margery, the nation's most credible spirit medium. He also discusses the anti Semitic invective against Houdini. The Witch of Lime Street, the first book to capture their electric public rivalry and the competition that brought them into each other’s orbit, returns us to an oft-mythologized era to deepen our understanding of its history, all while igniting our imagination and engaging with the timeless question: Is there life after death?

By Jennifer Hayden
Top Shelf
October 2015
“Heartbreaking and riveting, Jennifer Hayden's caustic, sarcastic wit streams through her quirky drawings, unfolding a survivor's tale and so much more. The Story of My Tits takes us from her flat-chested adolescence to small-boobed acceptance, then loss - until the dramatic reconstruction of Jennifer herself." - Marisa Acocella Marchetto, author of Cancer Vixen and Ann Tenna

"Hayden's work reminds me of why I began drawing comics, and why I continue... comforting, straightforward and strongly connected to life." - Gabrielle Bell, author of Lucky and Cecil & Jordan in New York "Hayden's cheerful profanity and scratchy lines give the work a homey, intimate feel." - Publishers Weekly

A landmark work of graphic memoir and a cancer narrative that pulls no punches! When Jennifer Hayden was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 43, she realized that her tits told a story. Across a lifetime, they'd held so many meanings: hope and fear, pride and embarrassment, life and death. And then they were gone. Now, their story has become a way of understanding her story. Growing up flat-chested and highly aware of her inadequacies... heading off to college, where she "bloomed" in more ways than one... navigating adulthood between her mother's mastectomy, her father's mistress, and her musician boyfriend's problems of his own - not to mention his sprawling family. Then the kids come along... As cancer strikes three different lives, some relationships crumble while others emerge even stronger, and this sarcastic child of the '70s finally finds a goddess she can believe in. For everyone who's faced cancer personally, or watched a loved one fight that battle, Hayden's story is a much-needed breath of fresh air, an irresistible blend of sweetness and skepticism. Rich with both symbolism and humor, The Story of My Tits will leave you laughing, weeping, and feeling grateful for every day.

[book] Kissinger's Shadow
The Long Reach of America's
Most Controversial Statesman
by Greg Grandin
August 25, 2015
Metropolitan Books
A new account of America's most controversial diplomat that moves beyond praise or condemnation to reveal Kissinger as the architect of America's current imperial stance.

In his fascinating new book, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin argues that to understand the crisis of contemporary America--its never-ending wars abroad and political polarization at home--we have to understand Henry Kissinger.
Examining Kissinger's own writings, as well as a wealth of newly declassified documents, Grandin reveals how Richard Nixon's top foreign policy advisor, even as he was presiding over defeat in Vietnam and a disastrous, secret, and illegal war in Cambodia, was helping to revive a militarized version of American exceptionalism centered on an imperial presidency. Believing that reality could be bent to his will, insisting that intuition is more important in determining policy than hard facts, and vowing that past mistakes should never hinder future bold action, Kissinger anticipated, even enabled, the ascendance of the neoconservative idealists who took America into crippling wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Going beyond accounts focusing either on Kissinger's crimes or accomplishments, Grandin offers a compelling new interpretation of the diplomat's continuing influence on how the United States views its role in the world.

1923 – 1960
Part 1 of 2
By Niall Ferguson
October 2015
Penguin Press
The definitive biography of Henry Kissinger, based on unprecedented access to his private papers
No American statesman has been as revered or as reviled as Henry Kissinger. Once hailed as “Super K”—the “indispensable man” whose advice has been sought by every president from Kennedy to Obama—he has also been hounded by conspiracy theorists, scouring his every “telcon” for evidence of Machiavellian malfeasance. Yet as Niall Ferguson shows in this magisterial two-volume biography, drawing not only on Kissinger’s hitherto closed private papers but also on documents from more than a hundred archives around the world, the idea of Kissinger as the ruthless arch-realist is based on a profound misunderstanding.
The first half of Kissinger’s life is usually skimmed over as a quintessential tale of American ascent: the Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Germany who made it to the White House. But in this first of two volumes, Ferguson shows that what Kissinger achieved before his appointment as Richard Nixon’s national security adviser was astonishing in its own right. Toiling as a teenager in a New York factory, he studied indefatigably at night. He was drafted into the U.S. infantry and saw action at the Battle of the Bulge—as well as the liberation of a concentration camp—but ended his army career interrogating Nazis. It was at Harvard that Kissinger found his vocation. Having immersed himself in the philosophy of Kant and the diplomacy of Metternich, he shot to celebrity by arguing for “limited nuclear war.” Nelson Rockefeller hired him. Kennedy called him to Camelot. Yet Kissinger’s rise was anything but irresistible. Dogged by press gaffes and disappointed by “Rocky,” Kissinger seemed stuck—until a trip to Vietnam changed everything.
The Idealist is the story of one of the most important strategic thinkers America has ever produced. It is also a political Bildungsroman, explaining how “Dr. Strangelove” ended up as consigliere to a politician he had always abhorred. Like Ferguson’s classic two-volume history of the House of Rothschild, Kissinger sheds dazzling new light on an entire era. The essential account of an extraordinary life, it recasts the Cold War world.

Black America Since MLK
An Illustrated Chronology
by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Kevin M. Burke
October 2015
Ecco, HarperCollins
The companion book to Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s PBS series, And Still I Rise—a timeline and chronicle of the past fifty years of black history in the U.S. in more than 350 photos.
Beginning with the assassination of Malcolm X in February 1965, And Still I Rise: From Black Power to the White House explores the last half-century of the African American experience. More than fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the birth of Black Power, the United States has both a black president and black CEOs running Fortune 500 companies—and a large black underclass beset by persistent poverty, inadequate education, and an epidemic of incarceration. Harvard professor and scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. raises disturbing and vital questions about this dichotomy. How did the African American community end up encompassing such profound contradictions? And what will “the black community” mean tomorrow?
Gates takes readers through the major historical events and untold stories of the sixty years that have irrevocably shaped both the African American experience and the nation as a whole, from the explosive social and political changes of the 1960s, into the 1970s and 1980s—eras characterized by both prosperity and neglect—through the turn of the century to today, taking measure of such racial flashpoints as the Tawana Brawley case, OJ Simpson’s murder trial, the murders of Amadou Diallo and Trayvon Martin, and debates around the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policies. Even as it surveys the political and social evolution of black America, And Still I Rise is also a celebration of the accomplishments of black artists, musicians, writers, comedians, and thinkers who have helped to define American popular culture and to change our world.

October 2015
A heartfelt and inspiring personal account of a woman raised as a Lubavitcher Hasid who leaves that world without leaving the family that remains within it.
Even as a child, Chaya Deitsch felt that she didn’t belong in the Hasidic world into which she’d been born. She spent her teenage years outwardly conforming to but secretly rebelling against the rules that tell you what and when to eat, how to dress, whom you can befriend, and what you must believe. Loving her parents, grandparents, and extended family, Chaya struggled to fit in but instead felt angry, stifled, and frustrated. Upon receiving permission from her bewildered but supportive parents to attend Barnard College, she discovered a wider world in which she could establish an independent identity and fulfill her dream of an unconfined life that would be filled with the secular knowledge and culture that were largely foreign to her friends and relatives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. As she gradually shed the physical and spiritual trappings of Hasidic life, Chaya found herself torn between her desire to be honest with her parents about who she now was and her need to maintain a loving relationship with the family that she still very much wanted to be part of.
Eventually, Chaya and her parents came to an understanding that was based on unqualified love and a hard-won but fragile form of acceptance. With honesty, sensitivity, and intelligence, Chaya Deitsch movingly shows us that lives lived differently do not have to be lives lived apart.

[book] KETZEL
October 2015
A kitten’s stroll down a keyboard leads to a celebrated one-minute composition in this charming portrait of a remarkable true friendship.

Moshe Cotel was a composer who lived in a noisy building on a noisy street in a noisy city. But Moshe didn’t mind. Everything he heard was music to his ears. One day, while out for a walk, he heard a small, sad sound that he’d never heard before. It was a tiny kitten! "Come on, little Ketzel," Moshe said, "I will take you home and we will make beautiful music together." And they did—in a most surprising way. Inspired by a true story, Lesléa Newman and Amy June Bates craft an engaging tale of a creative man and the beloved cat who brings unexpected sweet notes his way.

[book] HOME
by Ellen Degeneres
Grand Central
October 2015
Someone once told me that the best property flipper was Ellen Degeneres. She has amazing design sense and know what sells and improves value. She has bought and renovated nearly a dozen homes over the last twenty-five years, and describes her real-estate and decorating adventures as "an education." She has long cared deeply about design: "I think I wanted to be an interior designer when I was thirteen."
This deluxe edition of Home is printed on extremely high quality paper, printed on a sheet-fed press, and bound in a real cloth covered case with a tipped in photo of Ellen DeGeneres' living room featuring her Picasso. In Home, DeGeneres will, for the first time, share her passion for home design and style. She believes, "You don't have to have money to have good taste," and she is eager to share what she has learned over the years. DeGeneres offers a personal look at every room in each of her homes. Included are seven of her homes past and present, from the famous "Brody House" up to her current homes, and she offers tips and advice on what each house taught her. An added bonus is a look at the homes of her friends and collaborators-some of the finest designers in the country. They share their advice on home design, furnishings, as well as a glimpse at their awe-inspiring rooms.
Full of beautiful photographs, this book is a treasure trove of amazing California architecture, unique home furnishings, breathtaking art, and hundreds of ideas on putting together the home you've always dreamed of.

By Despina Stratihakos
Fall 2015
Kale University Press
Despina Stratigakos’s intriguinig book examines how successive remodelling of Hitler’s residences in Munich, Berlin and Berchtesgaden reflected both his changing self-image, and the evolution of his representation of the people
Adolf Hitler’s makeover from rabble-rouser to statesman coincided with a series of dramatic home renovations he undertook during the mid-1930s. This provocative book exposes the dictator’s preoccupation with his private persona, which was shaped by the aesthetic and ideological management of his domestic architecture. Hitler’s bachelor life stirred rumors, and the Nazi regime relied on the dictator’s three dwellings—the Old Chancellery in Berlin, his apartment in Munich, and the Berghof, his mountain home on the Obersalzberg—to foster the myth of the Führer as a morally upstanding and refined man. Author Despina Stratigakos also reveals the previously untold story of Hitler’s interior designer, Gerdy Troost, through newly discovered archival sources.

At the height of the Third Reich, media outlets around the world showcased Hitler’s homes to audiences eager for behind-the-scenes stories. After the war, fascination with Hitler’s domestic life continued as soldiers and journalists searched his dwellings for insights into his psychology. The book’s rich illustrations, many previously unpublished, offer readers a rare glimpse into the decisions involved in the making of Hitler’s homes and into the sheer power of the propaganda that influenced how the world saw him.

The Pope's Secret War AGAINST Hitler
by Mark Riebling, Phd (Berkeley)
Fall 2015
Basic Books
See.... all youze people who said the Pope was silent during WWII and did not help to defeat Hitler and fascists... Mark Riebling has found the secret information on how the Pope helped the German resistance.
The Vatican's silence in the face of Nazi atrocities remains one of the great controversies of our time. History has accused wartime pontiff Pius the Twelfth of complicity in the Holocaust and dubbed him "Hitler's Pope." But a key part of the story has remained untold.
Pope Pius the 12th ran the world's largest church, smallest state, and oldest spy service. Saintly but secretive, he skimmed from church charities to pay covert couriers, and surreptitiously tape-recorded his meetings with top Nazis. When he learned of the Holocaust, Pius played his cards close to his chest. He sent birthday cards to Hitler--while plotting to overthrow him.

Church of Spies documents this cross-and-dagger intrigue in shocking detail. Gun-toting Jesuits stole blueprints to Hitler's homes. A Catholic book publisher flew a sports plane over the Alps with secrets filched from the head of Hitler's bodyguard. The keeper of the Vatican crypt ran a spy ring that betrayed German war plans and wounded Hitler in a briefcase bombing.
The plotters made history in ways they hardly expected. They inspired European unification, forged a U.S.-Vatican alliance that spanned the Cold War, and challenged Church teachings on Jews. Yet Pius' secret war muted his public response to Nazi crimes. Fearing that overt protest would impede his covert actions, he never spoke the "fiery words" he wanted.
Told with heart-pounding suspense, based on secret transcripts and unsealed files, Church of Spies throws open the Vatican's doors to reveal some of the most astonishing events in the history of the papacy. The result is an unprecedented book that will change perceptions of how the world's greatest moral institution met the greatest moral crisis in history.
Rabbi David Dalin, a professor at Catholic based Ave Maria Universiyty recommends this book. He is an author of a few books on Jewish Catholic relations and the myths surrounding Pope Pius.

The Myths and Misery
Secrets and Psychology of
Waiting in Line
By David Andrews
November 2015
How we wait, why we wait, what we wait for—waiting in line is a daily indignity that we all experience, usually with a little anxiety thrown in (why is it that the other line always moves faster?!?). This smart, quirky, wide-ranging book (the perfect conversation starter) considers the surprising science and psychology—and the sheer misery—of the well-ordered line. On the way, it takes us from boot camp (where the first lesson is to teach recruits how to stand rigidly in line) to the underground bunker beneath Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle (home of the world’s most advanced, state-of-the-art queue management technologies); from the 2011 riots in London (where rioters were observed patiently taking their turns when looting shops), to the National Voluntary Wait-in-Line days in the People’s Republic of China (to help train their non-queuing populace to wait in line like Westerners in advance of the 2008 Olympics).
Citing sources ranging from Harvard Business School professors to Seinfeld, the book comes back to one underlying truth: it’s not about the time you spend waiting, but how the circumstances of the wait affect your perception of time. In other words, the other line always moves faster because you’re not in it.

[book] YOU BLEW IT!
An Awkward Look at the Many Ways
in Which You've Already Reuined Your Life
by Josh Gondelman and Joe Berkowitz
Plume Penguin Random House
October 2015
A hilarious examination of faux pas for readers of Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half and Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
Humankind is doomed. Especially you.
It’s already too late. From overstaying your welcome at a party, to leaving passive-aggressive post-its on your roommate’s belongings, to letting your date know the extent of the internet reconnaissance you did on them—you're destined to embarrass yourself again and again. In You Blew It!, Josh Gondelman, comedian and co-creator of the “Modern Seinfeld” twitter account, teams up with Joe Berkowitz, an equally wry and ruthless social-observer, to dissect a range of painfully hilarious faux pas. Breaking down the code violations of modern culture—particularly our fervent, ridiculous addiction to technology—Gondelman and Berkowitz will keep you laughing as they explore how social blunders are simply part of the mystery that is you.

Shakespeare in 1606
By James Shapiro
Simon & Schuster
October 2015

Why did the word, “God,” disappear from Shakespeare’s plays in 1606?

Did you know that Shakespeare bought a 15 year old play called “King Leir” from a bookshop? How did he use it to create King Lear?

From James Shapiro, the author of Shakespeare and the Jews, comes a book of the year 1606, a year that shaped three great tragedies: King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra. In the years leading up to 1606, since the death of Queen Elizabeth and the arrival in England of her successor, King James of Scotland, Shakespeare’s great productivity had ebbed, and it may have seemed to some that his prolific genius was a thing of the past. But that year, at age forty-two, he found his footing again, finishing a play he had begun the previous autumn—King Lear—then writing two other great tragedies, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.
It was a memorable year in England as well—and a grim one, in the aftermath of a terrorist plot conceived by a small group of Catholic gentry that had been uncovered at the last hour. The foiled Gunpowder Plot (Guy Fawkes) would have blown up the king and royal family along with the nation’s political and religious leadership and 30,000 people. The aborted plot renewed anti-Catholic sentiment and laid bare divisions in the kingdom.
And there was the rumor that King James had been assassinated.
It was against this background that a 42 year old Shakespeare finished Lear, a play about a divided kingdom, then wrote a tragedy that turned on the murder of a Scottish king, Macbeth. He ended this astonishing year with a third masterpiece no less steeped in current events and concerns: Antony and Cleopatra. The Year of Lear sheds light on these three great tragedies by placing them in the context of their times, while also allowing us greater insight into how Shakespeare was personally touched by such events as a terrible outbreak of plague and growing religious divisions. For anyone interested in Shakespeare, this is an indispensable book.

by Richard H. King
October 2015
German-Jewish political philosopher Hannah Arendt (1906–75) fled from the Nazis to New York in 1941, and during the next thirty years in America she wrote her best-known and most influential works, such as The Human Condition, The Origins of Totalitarianism, and On Revolution. Yet, despite the fact that a substantial portion of her oeuvre was written in America, not Europe, no one has directly considered the influence of America on her thought—until now. In Arendt and America, historian Richard H. King argues that while all of Arendt’s work was haunted by her experience of totalitarianism, it was only in her adopted homeland that she was able to formulate the idea of the modern republic as an alternative to totalitarian rule.

Situating Arendt within the context of U.S. intellectual, political, and social history, King reveals how Arendt developed a fascination with the political thought of the Founding Fathers. King also re-creates her intellectual exchanges with American friends and colleagues, such as Dwight Macdonald and Mary McCarthy, and shows how her lively correspondence with sociologist David Riesman helped her understand modern American culture and society. In the last section of Arendt and America, King sets out the context in which the Eichmann controversy took place and follows the debate about “the banality of evil” that has continued ever since. As King shows, Arendt’s work, regardless of focus, was shaped by postwar American thought, culture, and politics, including the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War.

INDIAN FOOD?? Well didnt you know that Ms Jaffrey hung out with Jewish people in the late 1950's and used Jewish pumpernickel for chapatti haha
[book] Vegetarian India (Cookbook)
A Journey Through The Best
of Indian Home Cooking
by Madhur Jaffrey
October 27, 2015
No one knows Indian food like Madhur Jaffrey. For more than forty years, the “godmother of Indian cooking” (The Independent on Sunday) has introduced Western home cooks to the vibrant cuisines of her homeland. Now, in Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking, the seven-time James Beard Award–winning author shares the delectable, healthful, vegetable- and grain-based foods enjoyed around the Indian subcontinent.

Vegetarian cooking is a way of life for more than 300 million Indians. Jaffrey travels from north to south, and from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal, collecting recipes for the very tastiest dishes along the way. She visits the homes and businesses of shopkeepers, writers, designers, farmers, doctors, weavers, and more, gathering their stories and uncovering the secrets of their most delicious family specialties. From a sweet, sour, hot, salty Kodava Mushroom Curry with Coconut originating in the forested regions of South Karnataka to simple, crisp Okra Fries dusted with chili powder, turmeric, and chickpea flour; and from Stir-Fried Spinach, Andhra Style (with ginger, coriander, and cumin) to the mung bean pancakes she snacks on at a roadside stand, here Jaffrey brings together the very best of vegetable-centric Indian cuisine and explains how home cooks can easily replicate these dishes—and many more for beans, grains, and breads—in their own kitchens. Indian styles, Sri Lankan, Tamil Nadu, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Konkan, Bihari, Marwari, Banarasi, Andhra, Northern Konkan-Coast, Uttar Pradesh/Muslim, Kannada Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin, Hyderabadi, Telengana, Kerala, Kodava, Koshambari STYLES AND MORE.

With more than two hundred recipes, beautifully illustrated throughout, and including personal photographs from Jaffrey’s own travels, Vegetarian India is a kitchen essential for vegetable enthusiasts and home cooks everywhere.

By Nadia Arumugam
October 27, 2015
Women Chefs of New York is a colorful showcase of twenty-five leading female culinary talents in the restaurant capital of the world. In a fiercely competitive, male-dominated field, these women have risen to the top, and their stories--and their cookbook recipes--make it abundantly clear why.
Food writer Nadia Arumugam braves the sharp knives and the sputtering pans of oil for intimate interviews, revealing the chefs' habits, quirks, food likes, and dislikes, their proudest achievements, and their aspirations. Each chef contributes four signature recipes--appetizers, entrees, and desserts--to recreate the experience of a meal from their celebrated kitchens. This gorgeous full-color cookbook includes portraits of these inspiring women, inviting interior shots of their restaurants, and mouthwatering pictures of the featured dishes, styled by the chefs themselves--all captured by celebrated food photographer Alice Gao.
Women Chefs of New York features all-stars such as Amanda Cohen (Dirt Candy 2.0), Amanda Freitag (Vong, Empire Diner), Jody Williams, April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig, The Breslin), Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune), Leah Cohen, Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar), Einat Admony (balaboosta, Bolonat, Taim), Rawia Bishara, (Tanoreen), and Alex Raij (La Vara, Txikito, El Quinto) as well as up-and-coming players like Zahra Tangorra (Brucie), Ann Redding (Uncle Boons), and Sawako Ockochi (SHALOM JAPAN).

October 27, 2015
From the guitarist of the pioneering riot grrrrl band Sleater-Kinney, the book Kim Gordon says “everyone has been waiting for” — a candid, funny, and deeply personal look at making a life—and finding yourself—in music.

Before Carrie Brownstein became a music icon, she was a young girl growing up in the Pacific Northwest just as it was becoming the setting for one the most important movements in rock history. Seeking a sense of home and identity, she would discover both while moving from spectator to creator in experiencing the power and mystery of a live performance.
With Sleater-Kinney, Brownstein and her bandmates rose to prominence in the burgeoning underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s. They would be cited as “America’s best rock band” by legendary music critic Greil Marcus for their defiant, exuberant brand of punk that resisted labels and limitations, and redefined notions of gender in rock.
HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL is an intimate and revealing narrative of her escape from a turbulent family life (anorexic mother, corporate lawyer father) into a world where music was the means toward self-invention, community, and rescue.
Along the way, Brownstein chronicles the excitement and contradictions within the era’s flourishing and fiercely independent music subculture, including experiences that sowed the seeds for the observational satire of the popular television series Portlandia years later. PLEASE NOTE.. POSTLANDIA IS MENTIONED ONLY ONCE, IN THE EPILOGUE. THIS IS NOT ABOUT COMEDY. IT IS ABOUT CHILDHOOD, BLOOMING LOVE, MUSIC, AND NEUROSIS
With deft, lucid prose Brownstein proves herself as formidable on the page as on the stage. Accessibly raw, honest and heartfelt, this book captures the experience of being a young woman, a born performer and an outsider, and ultimately finding one’s true calling through hard work, courage and the intoxicating power of rock and roll.

October 27, 2015
A trip through Paris as it will never be again-dark and dank and poor and slapdash and truly bohemian

Paris, the City of Light, the city of fine dining and seductive couture and intellectual hauteur, was until fairly recently always accompanied by its shadow: the city of the poor, the outcast, the criminal, the eccentric, the willfully nonconforming. In The Other Paris, Luc Sante gives us a panoramic view of that second metropolis, which has nearly vanished but whose traces are in the bricks and stones of the contemporary city, in the culture of France itself, and, by extension, throughout the world.Drawing on testimony from a great range of witnesses-from Balzac and Hugo to assorted boulevardiers, rabble-rousers, and tramps-Sante, whose thorough research is matched only by the vividness of his narration, takes the reader on a whirlwind tour. Richly illustrated with more than three hundred images, The Other Paris scuttles through the knotted streets of pre-Haussmann Paris, through the improvised accommodations of the original bohemians, through the whorehouses and dance halls and hobo shelters of the old city. A lively survey of labor conditions, prostitution, drinking, crime, and popular entertainment, and of the reporters, réaliste singers, pamphleteers, and poets who chronicled their evolution, The Other Paris is a book meant to upend the story of the French capital, to reclaim the city from the bons vivants and the speculators, and to hold a light to the works and lives of those expunged from its center by the forces of profit.

[book] The Gate of Tears:
Sadness and the Spiritual Path
by Jay Michaelson
October 2015
Ben Yehuda Press
The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path explores the counter-intuitive insight that sadness and joy are not opposites – and that human capacities often suppressed or rejected can, instead, be gateways to deep joy, creativity, and liberation. Its eighty-two short, poetic, sometimes epigrammatic chapters draw on contemplative traditions, art, even pop songs. They are reflections on the path of surrender, alchemy, and the sacred.
Written over a ten year period, and completed in the mourning period after the death of the author’s mother, The Gate of Tears is not a self-help book. If anything, it is a self-helpless book, discovering a happiness deeper than transitory joys that emerges precisely when the resistance to sadness is released. As the contemporary Buddhist teacher Lama Surya Das says in his foreword to the book, “the only thing that prevents happiness is searching for it.”
The Gate of Tears draws on Jay Michaelson’s fifteen years as a student, and now a teacher, of Buddhist and Jewish contemplative paths. Michaelson is a rabbi, and holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Thought, and has taught Jewish mysticism in and outside the academic world. Yet he is also a longtime teacher of insight meditation in Western Buddhist and secular mindfulness contexts, who has sat many months-long silent meditation retreats. With his usual blend of erudition and accessibility, Michaelson weaves together Hasidic tales and Dharma teachings, Leonard Cohen and Langston Hughes.
Equally important, and perhaps uniquely, Dr. Michaelson is also a public figure: a columnist for the Daily Beast andForward newspaper, and a frequent commentator on religion, law, and LGBT issues who has appeared on NPR, CBS, and MSNBC. The Gate of Tears is not a New Age book with easy answers; it is infused with a contemporary sensibility, skepticism, and humor.
All of us, if we are to be fully human, experience pain. The Gate of Tears is about how the embrace of that experience ennobles, empowers, and liberates us.

[book] Between Gods
A Memoir
by Alison Pick
October 20, 2015
Harper Perennial
Alison Pick, the winner of Canada's Jewish Book Award, shares her story of depression and her family;s flight from Nazi atrocities
The memoir opens at a Toronto book award. Alison is stressed by life and family and love. She meets Rabbi Goldstein (Kolel) at the party who tells her that what she finds a harrowing story is really a story of success.
Profound, honest, and masterfully written — Between Gods forces us to reexamine our beliefs and the extent to which they define us. Growing up in a tight-knit Christian family in Newfoundland, Alison Pick went to church regularly. But as a teenager, she discovered a remarkable family secret: her paternal grandparents fled from the Czech Republic at the start of WWII because they were Jewish. Tragically, other family members who hesitated to emigrate were sent to Auschwitz and murdered. Haunted by the Holocaust, Alison's grandparents established themselves in their new lives as Christians. Not even Alison's father knew of his parents' past until he visited the Jewish cemetery in Prague as an adult. This atmosphere of shame and secrecy haunted Alison's journey into adulthood.
It also was not good for her father's or her bouts with depression
Drowning in a sense of emptiness, she eventually came to realize that her true path forward lay in reclaiming her history and identity as a Jew, and she began attending conversion classes. But the process was far from easy as old wounds were opened, and all of her relationships were tested.

[book] Charlie Mike:
A True Story of Heroes Who Brought
Their Mission Home
by Joe Klein
October 20, 2015
Simon and Schuster
This is the true story of two decorated combat veterans linked by tragedy, who come home from the Middle East and find a new way to save their comrades and heal their country.

In Charlie Mike, Joe Klein tells the dramatic story of Eric Greitens and Jake Wood, larger-than-life war heroes who come home and use their military discipline and values to help others. This is a story that hasn’t been told before, one of the most hopeful to emerge from Iraq and Afghanistan—a saga of lives saved, not wasted.
Greitens, a Navy SEAL and Rhodes Scholar, (yes, he is Jewish) spends years working in refugee camps before he joins the military. He enlists because he believes the innocent of the world need heavily armed, moral protection. Wounded in Iraq, Greitens returns home and finds that his fellow veterans at Bethesda Naval Hospital all want the same thing: they want to continue to serve their country in some way, no matter the extent of their injuries. He founds The Mission Continues to provide paid public service fellowships for wounded veterans.
One of the first Mission Continues fellows is charismatic former Marine sergeant Jake Wood, a natural leader who began Team Rubicon, organizing 9/11 veterans for dangerous disaster relief projects around the world. “We do chaos,” he says.
The chaos they face isn’t only in the streets of Haiti after the 2011 earthquake or in New York City after Hurricane Sandy—it’s also in the lives of their fellow veterans, who’ve come home from the wars traumatized and looking for a sense of purpose. Greitens and Wood believe that the military virtues of discipline and selflessness, of sacrifice for the greater good, can save lives—and not just the lives of their fellow veterans. They believe that invigorated veterans can lead, by personal example, to stronger communities—and they prove it in Charlie Mike. Their personal saga is compelling and inspirational: Greitens and Wood demonstrate how the skills of war can also provide a path to peace, personal satisfaction, and a more vigorous nation.

October 2015
The remarkable story of Josef Hartinger, the German prosecutor who risked everything to bring to justice the first killers of the Holocaust and whose efforts would play a key role in the Nuremberg tribunal.
At 9 am on April 13, 1933, deputy prosecutor Josef Hartinger received a telephone call summoning him to the newly established concentration camp of Dachau. Four prisoners had been shot. The SS guards claimed that the men had been trying to escape. But what Hartinger found when he arrived convinced him that something was terribly wrong. All four victims were Jews.
Before Germany was engulfed by Nazi dictatorship, it was a constitutional republic. And just before Dachau became a site of Nazi genocide, it was a legal state detention center for political prisoners. In 1933, that began to change. In Hitler’s First Victims, Timothy W. Ryback evokes a society on the brink—one in which civil liberties are sacrificed to national security, in which citizens increasingly turn a blind eye to injustice, in which the bedrock of judicial accountability chillingly dissolves into the martial caprice of the Third Reich. This is an astonishing portrait of Hitler’s first moments in power, and the true story of one man’s race to expose the Nazis as murderers on the eve of the Holocaust.

[book] Uncivil Rites:
Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom
by Steven Salaita
October 2015
In the summer of 2014, American Indian studies professor Steven Salaita had his appointment to a tenured professorship revoked by the board of trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Salaita’s employment was terminated in response to his vile public tweets criticizing the Israeli government’s summer war with Hamas in Gaza. Salaita’s firing generated an outcry by some; five thousand scholars pledged to boycott UIUC.

In this book, Salaita combines personal reflection and political critique to shed new light on his termination. He situates his case at the intersection of important issues that affect both higher education and activism.

Hollywood, Berlin and a CENTURY
Translated by Shelley Frisch
October 2015
Magisterial in scope, this dual biography examines two complex lives that began alike but ended on opposite sides of the century’s greatest conflict. Born at the dawn of the twentieth century, Leni Riefenstahl and Marlene Dietrich both came of age in Weimar Berlin, a time of great political ferment. Glamour and decadence thrived beside abject poverty, and the German capital’s outpouring of literature, fashion, and film marked it as the most vital European metropolis. As young women of this era, Dietrich and Riefenstahl lived so close to each other that Riefenstahl could see into Dietrich’s apartment from the roof of her building. Both women seized upon the revolutionary energy of the 1920s, seeking careers on the stage and in film.
In 1929, filmmakers were casting what would become the iconic role of Lola-Lola (who made "Falling in Love Again" a sensation) in the groundbreaking sound film The Blue Angel. Riefenstahl-whose work in her "mountain films" had already made her a national emblem for the athletic rigor and spirited independence of the New Woman-hoped for the part but didn’t get it. Only a few years later she became the official filmmaker of the Third Reich. Dietrich, however, won the role and the adoration of millions when she moved to Hollywood and redefined the "vixen" for a new era.
While Dietrich's slender and androgynous beauty made her a fashion icon whose influence can be seen to this day, Riefenstahl’s own iconography is no less indelible. With her work on two of the most notorious-if artistically sophisticated-propaganda films of all time-Triumph of the Will and Olympia-Riefenstahl was a progenitor of fascist symbolism. After the war she proclaimed her ignorance of Hitler’s motives, but she could never completely distance herself from her Nazi collaboration. Dietrich vehemently condemned Hitler during World War II and found a renewed sense of purpose touring with the USO, but as a result she could never comfortably return to her native Germany.
Both women were "prodigies of will, discipline, endurance, self-reinvention, and exaltation of the body in all its muscular, androgynous, pose-striking pagan glory" (James Wolcott), and both had their grand passions, but neither abandoned ambition for the sake of love. As award-winning biographer Karin Wieland shows, in their later years, both women grappled with controlling their image-Riefenstahl by pursuing an additional career in photography, and Dietrich by eventually hiding at home as her famous beauty was ravaged by time.
Skillfully juxtaposing these two fascinating lives, Wieland brings to vivid life a time of international upheaval, chronicling radical evolutions of politics, fame, and femininity on a grand stage. Examining the moral responsibility of the artist, Wieland poses questions as deeply relevant to our century as to the last. A magisterial portrait of two diverging but lasting images of the modern woman, Dietrich & Riefenstahl is "a superb" (Die Zeit) panorama of the twentieth century.

by Marvin Sackner and Ruth Sackner
October 2015
Thames & Hudson .

The first definitive overview of typewriter art in decades-with a unique algorithm giving each volume its own cover design
The beloved typewriter-its utilitarian beauty, the pleasing percussive action of striking its keys, the singularity of the impressed page-is enjoying a genuine renaissance across the creative industries.
In this authoritative publication, the founders of the Sackner Archive of Visual and Concrete Poetry, the largest such collection in the world, apply their experience, mining the collection they have created over four decades to present examples produced by more than 200 of the world’s finest typewriter artists. From the early ornamental works produced by secretaries in the late nineteenth century to more recent works that consider the unique position of the typewritten document in the digital age, there is an astonishing and delightful range of creativity in every artwork.
The Art of Typewriting features three main sections: an introduction to the history of the typewriter and its art; an expansive plate section showing key works rendered in exquisite detail; and a reference section featuring biographies of the genre’s most influential artists and writers. The book’s layout has been created by London’s leading graphic design studio, Graphic Thought Facility, and each book has a cover with a unique combination of front and back image, meaning no two books are the same. 570+ illustrations

Love and Loss in an Era of Endlesss War
by Yochi Dreazen
Fall 2015
Now in paperback
Remember that Yehuda Amichai poem about them solider killed in battle who is a hero, and the soldier who dies elsewhere years later, who is forgotten...

The unforgettable story of a military family that lost two sons—one to suicide and one in combat—and channeled their grief into fighting the armed forces’ suicide epidemic.

Major General Mark Graham was a decorated two-star officer whose integrity and patriotism inspired his sons, Jeff and Kevin, to pursue military careers of their own. His wife Carol was a teacher who held the family together while Mark's career took them to bases around the world. When Kevin and Jeff die within nine months of each other—Kevin commits suicide and Jeff is killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq—Mark and Carol are astonished by the drastically different responses their sons’ deaths receive from the Army. While Jeff is lauded as a hero, Kevin’s death is met with silence, evidence of the terrible stigma that surrounds suicide and mental illness in the military. Convinced that their sons died fighting different battles, Mark and Carol commit themselves to transforming the institution that is the cornerstone of their lives.

The Invisible Front is the story of how one family tries to set aside their grief and find purpose in almost unimaginable loss. The Grahams work to change how the Army treats those with PTSD and to erase the stigma that prevents suicidal troops from getting the help they need before making the darkest of choices. Their fight offers a window into the military’s institutional shortcomings and its resistance to change – failures that have allowed more than 3,000 troops to take their own lives since 2001. Yochi Dreazen, an award-winning journalist who has covered the military since 2003, has been granted remarkable access to the Graham family and tells their story in the full context of two of America’s longest wars. Dreazen places Mark and Carol’s personal journey, which begins when they fall in love in college and continues through the end of Mark's thirty-four year career in the Army, against the backdrop of the military’s ongoing suicide spike, which shows no signs of slowing. With great sympathy and profound insight, The Invisible Front details America's problematic treatment of the troops who return from war far different than when they'd left and uses the Graham family’s work as a new way of understanding the human cost of war and its lingering effects off the battlefield.

My takeaway from General Graham... the U.S. And its military must make clear that seeking help is a sign of strength and not weakness. The invisible wound is a wound as scarring as the physical wound. Generals need to admit to their PTSD and war related depressions, and if they do, their military careers should not be derailed.


[book] Killing a King
The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin
and the Remaking of Israel
by Dan Ephron
November 2015
Sheds new light on the assassination
A riveting story about the murder that changed a nation: the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Ephron was a Mid East correspondent for Newsweek. He writes about the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by Yigal Amir, an Orthodox Jew, twenty years ago this November remains the single most consequential event in the country’s recent history.
Killing a King relates the parallel stories of Rabin and Amir over the two years leading up to the assassination, as one of them plotted political deals he hoped would lead to peace and the other plotted murder. This deeply reported narrative is based on a trove of documents from the era and interviews with all of the key players, including members of the assassin’s family. Only through the prism of the murder is it possible to understand Israel today, from the paralysis in peacemaking to the fraught relationship between Netanyahu and Obama. Dan Ephron covered both the rally where Rabin was assassinated and the subsequent murder trial. 16 pages of illustrations.

Fall 2015
Open Road Media
A brilliant new collection from one of American literature’s most original and hilarious purveyors of dark comedy
Silenced by the horrors of Nazi Germany, a Jewish satirist is inspired to write again by his biggest fan: Joseph Goebbels. A retired English teacher dies on the operating table and wakes up to an afterlife in which literature does not exist; he can claim any masterpiece as his own, from The Catcher in the Rye to Crime and Punishment—if only he can remember what actually happens in those stories. On his first trip to the Holy Land, a down-on-his-luck filmmaker reluctantly agrees to help a young Israeli Arab escape to New York, only to watch in dismay as the upstart lands a buxom, Yiddish-speaking girlfriend and a monster movie deal.
Mario Puzo once said that the world of Bruce Jay Friedman’s short fiction is “like a Twilight Zone with Charlie Chaplin.” Ironic, clever, perceptive, and hysterical, The Peace Process is vintage Friedman—fourteen finely crafted tales that take dead aim at the sweet spot between pleasure and pain.

[book] ABBA EBAN
By Asaf Siniver, PhD
November 3, 2015
Overlook Press
The definitive biography of Abba Eban, an Israeli diplomat often revered by every nation except the one he represented.
The book draws from a wide range of primary sources to create a complex portrait of a man who left an indelible mark on the quest for peace in the Middle East.
A skilled debater, a master of languages, and a passionate defender of Israel, Abba Eban’s diplomatic presence was in many ways a contradiction unlike any the world has seen since. While he was celebrated internationally for his exceptional wit and his moderate, reasoned worldview, these same qualities painted him as elitist and foreign in his home country.
The disparity in perception of Eban (a cousin to Oliver Sacks) at home and abroad was such that both his critics and his friends agreed that he would have been a wonderful prime minister?in any country but Israel. In Abba Eban, Asaf Siniver paints a nuanced and complete portrait of one of the most complex figures in twentieth-century foreign affairs.
We see Eban growing up and coming into his own as part of the Cambridge Union, and watch him steadily become known as “The Voice of Israel.” Siniver draws on a vast amount of interviews, writings, and other newly available material to show that, in his unceasing quest for stability and peace for Israel, Eban’s primary opposition often came from the homeland he was fighting for; no matter how many allies he gained abroad, the man never understood his own domestic politics well enough to be as effective in his pursuits as he hoped. The first examination of Eban in nearly forty years, Abba Eban is a fascinating look at a life that still offers a valuable perspective on Israel even today. .

[book] Destiny and Power
The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush
by Jon Meacham
November 2015
Random House
In this brilliant biography, Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author, chronicles the life of George Herbert Walker Bush. Drawing on President Bush’s personal diaries, on the diaries of his wife, Barbara, and on extraordinary access to the forty-first president and his family, Meacham paints an intimate and surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times. From the Oval Office to Camp David, from his study in the private quarters of the White House to Air Force One, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the first Gulf War to the end of Communism, Destiny and Power charts the thoughts, decisions, and emotions of a modern president who may have been the last of his kind. This is the human story of a man who was, like the nation he led, at once noble and flawed.
His was one of the great American lives. Born into a loving, privileged, and competitive family, Bush joined the navy on his eighteenth birthday and at age twenty was shot down on a combat mission over the Pacific. He married young, started a family, and resisted pressure to go to Wall Street, striking out for the adventurous world of Texas oil. Over the course of three decades, Bush would rise from the chairmanship of his county Republican Party to serve as congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, head of the Republican National Committee, envoy to China, director of Central Intelligence, vice president under Ronald Reagan, and, finally, president of the United States. In retirement he became the first president since John Adams to see his son win the ultimate prize in American politics.
With access not only to the Bush diaries but, through extensive interviews, to the former president himself, Meacham presents Bush’s candid assessments of many of the critical figures of the age, ranging from Richard Nixon to Nancy Reagan; Mao to Mikhail Gorbachev; Dick Cheney to Donald Rumsfeld; Henry Kissinger to Bill Clinton. Here is high politics as it really is but as we rarely see it.
From the Pacific to the presidency, Destiny and Power charts the vicissitudes of the life of this quietly compelling American original. Meacham sheds new light on the rise of the right wing in the Republican Party, a shift that signaled the beginning of the end of the center in American politics. Destiny and Power is an affecting portrait of a man who, driven by destiny and by duty, forever sought, ultimately, to put the country first.

November 2015
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill/Workman
“B. A. Shapiro once again pens the art world into vivid, sensual life. Set during World War II and the dawn of Abstract Expressionism, The Muralist is an intriguing story masterfully imagined about art, war, family, truth, and freedom. If you liked The Art Forger, you're going to love The Muralist!” —Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice

Alizée Benoit, an American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940 amid personal and political turmoil. No one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who while working at an auction house uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind recently found works by those now famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt?
Entwining the lives of both historical and fictional characters, and moving between the past and the present, The Muralist plunges readers into the divisiveness of prewar politics and the largely forgotten plight of European refugees refused entrance to the United States. It captures both the inner workings of today’s New York art scene and the beginnings of the vibrant and quintessentially American school of Abstract Expressionism.
B. A. Shapiro is a master at telling a riveting story while exploring provocative themes. In Alizée and Danielle she has created two unforgettable women, artists both, who compel us to ask, What happens when luminous talent collides with inexorable historical forces? Does great art have the power to change the world? And to what lengths should a person go to thwart evil?

In 2008, in Mumbai, India, Muslim terrorists attacked a hotel and Jewish center, and murdered many. Later, the NYPD ran a simulation. Terrorists arrive at the South Street Seaport, take hostages, and kill people at Grand Central and Macy’s. But this is a diversion for the larger hotel targets. How do simulations affect thinking and get one to question current strategies and tactics?
[book] RED TEAM
How to Succeed By Thinking Like the Enemy
by Micah Zenko, PhD (Brandeis)
November 2015
Basic Books
RED TEAMING changes, even temporarily, an individual’s meta-cognition (how they think about thinking) and awakens their obligation to question and challenge conventional wisdom.
RED TEAMING is a practice as old as the Devil’s Advocate, the eleventh-century Vatican official charged with discrediting candidates for sainthood.
Today, RED TEAMS — comprised primarily of fearless skeptics and those assuming the role of saboteurs who seek to better understand the interests, intentions, and capabilities of institutions or potential competitors — are used widely in both the public and private sector.
Red teaming, including simulations, vulnerability probes, and alternative analyses, helps institutions in competitive environments to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses, challenge assumptions, and anticipate potential threats ahead of the next special operations raid, malicious cyber attack, or corporate merger. But not all red teams are created equal; indeed, some cause more DAMAGE than they prevent. The attack of Bin Laden in 2011 was red teamed first. When a helicopter failed, the SEALs were prepared and trained for that scenario.

In Red Team, national security expert Micah Zenko (CFR Foreign Relations) provides an in-depth investigation into the work of red teams, revealing the best practices, most common pitfalls, and most effective applications of these modern-day Devil’s Advocates. The best practices of red teaming can be applied to the CIA, NYPD, or a pharmaceutical company, and executed correctly they can yield impressive results: red teams give businesses an edge over their competition, poke holes in vital intelligence estimates, and troubleshoot dangerous military missions long before boots are on the ground. But red teams are only as good as leaders allow them to be, and Zenko shows not only how to create and empower red teams, but also what to do with the information they produce.

The failures are priceless. We learn that you CANNOT grade you own homework. When Rumsfeld had Lt General Paul Van Riper (USMC, retired) lead a red team effort, the red team overwhelmed the military in less than ten minutes with simulated missiles and speedboat suicide attacks. How did the Pentagon respond? They made the red team follow rules that would allow the blue team to win. A lot of good that did. The Nuclear NRC faked their anti-terror drills. The government ignored McKinsey’s “pressure test” of the Obamacare computer system ( and when it failed, they acted surprised. The Pentagon analyzed their own rescue mission plans and did not find flaws. So when Carter’s Operation Eagle Claw failed in Tehran, the army was dumbfounded.
Essential reading for business leaders and policymakers alike, Red Team will revolutionize the way organizations think about, exploit, compensate for, and correct their institutional strengths and weaknesses. Drawing on little-known case studies and unprecedented access to elite red teamers in the United States and abroad, Zenko shows how any group—from military units to friendly hackers—can win by thinking like the enemy.

Fun Quotes: “When you hear ‘best practices,’ run for your lives. The Titanic was built with best practices. It was faithfully operated in accordance with best practices.” —Retired U.S. Army Colonel Gregory Fontenot, director of the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies (Red Team University), 2011
“When I pinned on my fourth star in December of ’08, I had a four-star coming through the receiving line to congratulate me and he leaned over and he whispered, ‘You realize that, from this point forward, no one will ever tell you the truth again.’” —General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2011
“A better channel should be established to convey speculative and/or unorthodox views of experienced analysts to the upper echelons of the various intelligence agencies. This might be done by means of gists of only a paragraph or two. Acquaintance with such views could provide officials with a better grasp of Soviet options and also serve to warn them of possible Soviet actions or intentions.” —Robert Gates, Central Intelligence Agency analyst of the Soviet Union, 1973
“The one thing I learned doing red teaming was that no matter what technological barriers were in place, with just a little bit of surveillance you can figure out how to beat every single defensive system.” —Bogdan Dzakovic, former head of the Federal Aviation Administration Red Team, 2013
“I have never learned anything from any man who agreed with me.” —Dudley Field Malone, defense attorney in The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, 1925

University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies, The Applied Critical Thinking Handbook, version 7.0, January 2015.
David Dunning, Self-Insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself (New York, NY: Psychology Press, 2005).
Irving L. Janis, Victims of Groupthink: A Psychological Study of Foreign-Policy Decisions and Fiascoes (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972).
Paul B. Carroll and Chunka Mui, Billion Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn from the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years (New York, NY: Penguin Putnam, 2009).

Cuisine and the Making of
National Identity in Israel
by Yael Raviv, PhD(NYU)
November 2015
University of Nebraska
When people discuss food in Israel, their debates ask politically charged questions: Who has the right to falafel? Whose hummus is better? But Yael Raviv’s Falafel Nation moves beyond the simply territorial to divulge the role food plays in the Jewish nation. She ponders the power struggles, moral dilemmas, and religious and ideological affiliations of the different ethnic groups that make up the “Jewish State” and how they relate to the gastronomy of the region. How do we interpret the recent upsurge in the Israeli culinary scene—the transition from ideological asceticism to the current deluge of fine restaurants, gourmet stores, and related publications and media?

Focusing on the period between the 1905 immigration wave and the Six-Day War in 1967, Raviv explores foodways from the field, factory, market, and kitchen to the table. She incorporates the role of women, ethnic groups, and different generations into the story of Zionism and offers new assertions from a secular-foodie perspective on the relationship between Jewish religion and Jewish nationalism. A study of the changes in food practices and in attitudes toward food and cooking, Falafel Nation explains how the change in the relationship between Israelis and their food mirrors the search for a definition of modern Jewish nationalism.

BY ERIC GARTMAN (US Dept of Defense)
November 2015
JPS/ Nebraska
The history of modern Israel is a story of ambition, violence, and survival. Return to Zion traces how a scattered and stateless people reconstituted themselves in their traditional homeland, only to face threats by those who, during the many years of the dispersion, had come to regard the land as their home. This is a story of the “ingathering of the exiles” from Europe to an outpost on the fringes of the Ottoman Empire, of courage and perseverance, and of reinvention and tragedy.
Eric Gartman focuses on two main themes of modern Israel: reconstitution and survival. Even as new settlers built their state, they faced constant challenges from hostile neighbors and divided support from foreign governments, being attacked by larger armies no fewer than three times during the first twenty-five years of Israel’s history. Focusing on a land torn by turmoil, Return to Zion is the story of Israel—the fight for independence through the Israeli Independence War in 1948, the Six-Day War of 1967, and the near collapse of the Israeli Army in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Gartman examines the roles of the leading figures of modern Israel—Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Yitzchak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon—alongside popular perceptions of events as they unfolded in the post–World War II decades. He presents declassified CIA, White House, and U.S. State Department documents that detail America’s involvement in the 1967 and 1973 wars, as well as proof that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was a case of mistaken identity. Return to Zion pulls together the myriad threads of this history from inside and out to create a seamless look into modern Israel’s truest self.

November 2015
Seven Stories Press

Well... the Seven Stories Press is known for books on radical activism. Authors include Angela Davis and Noam Chomsky. This book has its main blurb from Stephen Walt who wrote an indictment of “The Israel Lobby.” A rep of SSP said that the book was timely this Fall “given Bibi's latest nonsense.”... so you can guess that this book is not going to be very balanced on the topic of Israel...
Thesis appears to be that members of Congress need to get elected and reelected and make sure money is not spent to support their opponents. Israel is a kin country and constituents are more vocal in support of Israel, if any. Staffers are busy and rely on lobbyists and research services that may be biased toward Israel. Ergo, legislation is more supportive of Israel.

Yet having interviewed over 200 players in and around the DC Beltway, and having taught Middle East and Egyptian studies some of America's top universities, the book does have interesting information.

BOOK COVER: “How does one explain US Middle East policy? When Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer wrote their bestselling book The Israel Lobby, they attributed our pro-Israel policy to the power of the lobby itself. Others have criticized this approach as overly simplistic. Longtime Middle East watcher Professor Kirk Beattie provides a profound assessment of Congress’s role by examining the vetting of congressional candidates, campaign financing, congressional staffing, bipartisan alliances within the Senate and the House, and the agenda-driven allocation of foreign aid and policymaking. He addresses the many internal and external pressures that impact such processes. His findings, based on roughly two hundred interviews with congressional staffers, lobbyists, members of Congress, and foreign embassy officials across years of research, untangle the issue to show us how Congress really works.

Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and
the History of American Comedy
November 3, 2015
Grove Atlantic
In The Comedians, comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff brings to life a century of American comedy with real-life characters, forgotten stars, mainstream heroes and counterculture iconoclasts. Based on over two hundred original interviews and extensive archival research, Nesteroff’s groundbreaking work is a narrative exploration of the way comedians have reflected, shaped, and changed American culture over the past one hundred years.

Starting with the vaudeville circuit at the turn of the last century, Nesteroff introduces the first stand-up comedian—an emcee who abandoned physical shtick for straight jokes. After the repeal of Prohibition, Mafia-run supper clubs replaced speakeasies, and mobsters replaced vaudeville impresarios as the comedian’s primary employer. In the 1950s, the late-night talk show brought stand-up to a wide public, while Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, and Jonathan Winters attacked conformity and staged a comedy rebellion in coffeehouses. From comedy’s part in the Civil Rights movement and the social upheaval of the late 1960s, to the first comedy clubs of the 1970s and the cocaine-fueled comedy boom of the 1980s, The Comedians culminates with a new era of media-driven celebrity in the twenty-first century.

[book] The Pater
The Pater, My Father, My Judaism, My Childlessness
by Elliot Jager, PhD
(former LES fixer and Jerusalem Post editor)
November 2015
From Bible stories to Hasidic folktales to contemporary media, the discourse on infertility is becoming an increasingly widespread topic for open discussion. However, it largely remains within the context of womanhood.
In THE PATER, writer and journalist Elliot Jager tackles what has until now been an almost taboo subject: what it feels like to be a childless Jewish man. After a 30-year estrangement from his Hasidic father, a halting reconciliation is overshadowed by the elderly man’s desire that Jager father a male child.
The Pater, as Jager dubs the Romanian born Holocaust-survivor father who abandoned him as a small child on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, now implores his son to visit the graves of holy men to seek Divine intervention that will surely end his childlessness.
As Jager grapples with his relationship with the Pater and with the stigmas that Jewish tradition maintains towards the childless, he talks to other men single and married, gay and straight and shares their intense experiences for the first time.
Part memoir, part reportage, part self-help guide, THE PATER lifts the discussion out of the familiar rhetoric by sensitively chronicling how Jewish men process being the last in line of their family. Brave, sentimental, and uncompromisingly honest, THE PATER is a revealing personal and spiritual journey about earthly and Divine fathers and the about the meaning of life without children.

[book] The Mad Feast:
An Ecstatic Tour Through America's Food
by Matthew Gavin Frank
November 2015
A richly illustrated culinary tour of the United States through fifty signature dishes, and a radical exploration of our gastronomic heritage.
Following his critically acclaimed Preparing the Ghost, renowned essayist Matthew Gavin Frank takes on America’s food. In a surprising style reminiscent of Maggie Nelson or Mark Doty, Frank examines a quintessential dish in each state, interweaving the culinary with personal and cultural associations of each region. From key lime pie (Florida) to elk stew (Montana), The Mad Feast commemorates the unexpected origins of the familiar. Brazenly dissecting the myriad intersections between history and food, Frank, in this gorgeously designed volume, considers politics, sexuality, violence, grief, and pleasure: the cool, creamy whoopie pie evokes toughness in the face of New England winters, while the stewlike perloo serves up an exploration of food and race in the South. Tracing an unpredictable map of our collective appetites, The Mad Feast presents a beguiling flavor profile of the American spirit. 50 illustrations.

[book] Vino Business:
The Cloudy World of
French Wine
by Isabelle Saporta
Translated by Kate Deimling
Grove Press
November 2015
Published in France to huge media attention and great debate within the wine community worldwide, Vino Business exposes big money interests and corruption within the wine industry in France, particularly in Bordeaux.
For centuries a bastion of tradition and excellence, Bordeaux has in recent years become dogged by controversy, particularly regarding the 2012 classification of the wines of St.-Émilion, the most prestigious appellation of Bordeaux’s right bank. St.-Émilion is an area increasingly dominated by big international investors, especially from China, who are keen to speculate on the area’s wines and land, some of whose value has increased tenfold in the last decade alone. In the controversial 2012 classification, as Saporta shows, certain châteaux were promoted to a more prestigious class because of insider deals that altered the scoring system for the classification of wines into premier crus and grand crus. This system now takes into account the facilities of each château’s tasting room, the size of its warehouse, and even the extent of its parking lot. The quality of the wine counts for just 30% of the total score for the wines of the top ranking, those deemed premier grand cru classé A.
In Vino Business, Saporta shows how backroom deals with wine distributors, multinational investors like the luxury company LVMH, and even wine critics, have fundamentally changed this ancient business in the course of a decade. Saporta also investigates issues of wine labeling and the use of pesticides, and draws comparisons to Champagne, Burgundy and the rest of the wine world. Based on two years of research and reporting, Vino Business draws back the curtain on the secret world of Bordeaux, a land ever more in thrall to the grapes of wealth.

[book] ARDENNES 1944
Hilter’s Last Gamble
By Antony Beevor
November 2015
On December 16, 1944, Hitler launched his ‘last gamble’ in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes in Belgium, believing he could split the Allies by driving all the way to Antwerp and forcing the Canadians and the British out of the war. Although his generals were doubtful of success, younger officers and NCOs were desperate to believe that their homes and families could be saved from the vengeful Red Army approaching from the east. Many were exultant at the prospect of striking back.
The allies, taken by surprise, found themselves fighting two panzer armies. Belgian civilians abandoned their homes, justifiably afraid of German revenge. Panic spread even to Paris. While some American soldiers, overwhelmed by the German onslaught, fled or surrendered, others held on heroically, creating breakwaters which slowed the German advance.
The harsh winter conditions and the savagery of the battle became comparable to the Eastern Front. In fact the Ardennes became the Western Front’s counterpart to Stalingrad. There was terrible ferocity on both sides, driven by desperation and revenge, in which the normal rules of combat were breached. The Ardennes—involving more than a million men—would prove to be the battle which finally broke the back of the Wehrmacht.
In this deeply researched work, with striking insights into the major players on both sides, Antony Beevor gives us the definitive account of the Ardennes offensive which was to become the greatest battle of World War II.

[book] The Art of Grace
On Moving Well Through Life
by Sarah L. Kaufman
Fall 2015
A Pulitzer Prize–winning dance critic teaches us to appreciate-and enact-grace in every dimension, from the physical to the emotional.
We are naturally drawn to smooth, harmonious movement. Both social and physical graces have been taught since the dawn of civilization. Yet grace seems forgotten in our pushy, hectic modern world. Sarah L. Kaufman argues that we bring it back. She celebrates grace in the way bodies move, exploring how to stand, walk, and dress well. She deplores the rarity of grace among public figures and glories in it where found (Beyoncé at a fashion show). She singles out grace in sports and in the arts, from tennis and football to sculpture, pop music, and, of course, dance, and in the everyday ways people interact, from the grace of a good host to the unexpected kindness of strangers.
Cary Grant is this book’s muse. His uncanny ease flowed from training as an acrobat but, equally, from his wit, humility, and genuine concern for others. So too, Kaufman suggests, we might unearth the potential for grace in ourselves.

[book] The Burdens of Brotherhood:
Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France
by Ethan B. Katz
Harvard University Press
November 2015
Headlines from France suggest that Muslims have renewed an age-old struggle against Jews and that the two groups are once more inevitably at odds. But the past tells a different story. The Burdens of Brotherhood is a sweeping history of Jews and Muslims in France from World War I to the present. Here Ethan Katz introduces a richer and more complex world that offers fresh perspective for understanding the opportunities and challenges in France today.
Focusing on the experiences of ordinary people, Katz shows how Jewish-Muslim relations were shaped by everyday encounters and by perceptions of deeply rooted collective similarities or differences. We meet Jews and Muslims advocating common and divergent political visions, enjoying common culinary and musical traditions, and interacting on more intimate terms as neighbors, friends, enemies, and even lovers and family members. Drawing upon dozens of archives, newspapers, and interviews, Katz tackles controversial subjects like Muslim collaboration and resistance during World War II and the Holocaust, Jewish participation in French colonialism, the international impact of the Israeli-Arab conflict, and contemporary Muslim anti-Semitism in France.
We see how Jews and Muslims, as ethno-religious minorities, understood and related to one another through their respective relationships to the French state and society. Through their eyes, we see colonial France as a multiethnic, multireligious society more open to public displays of difference than its postcolonial successor. This book thus dramatically reconceives the meaning and history not only of Jewish-Muslim relations but ultimately of modern France itself.

[book] Why Torture Doesn't Work
The Neuroscience of Interrogation
by Shane O'Mara
Harvard University Press
November 2015
Torture is banned because it is cruel and inhumane. But as Shane O’Mara writes in this account of the human brain under stress, another reason torture should never be condoned is because it does not work the way torturers assume it does.
In countless films and TV shows such as Homeland and 24, torture is portrayed as a harsh necessity. If cruelty can extract secrets that will save lives, so be it. CIA officers and others conducted torture using precisely this justification. But does torture accomplish what its defenders say it does? For ethical reasons, there are no scientific studies of torture. But neuroscientists know a lot about how the brain reacts to fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, and immersion in freezing water, all tools of the torturer’s trade. These stressors create problems for memory, mood, and thinking, and sufferers predictably produce information that is deeply unreliable-and, for intelligence purposes, even counterproductive. As O’Mara guides us through the neuroscience of suffering, he reveals the brain to be much more complex than the brute calculations of torturers have allowed, and he points the way to a humane approach to interrogation, founded in the science of brain and behavior.
Torture may be effective in forcing confessions, as in Stalin’s Russia. But if we want information that we can depend on to save lives, O’Mara writes, our model should be Napoleon: “It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile.”

[book] Newton's Apple and Other Myths about Science
Edited by Ronald L. Numbers and Kostas Kampourakis
Harvard University Press
November 2015
A falling apple inspired Isaac Newton’s insight into the law of gravity-or so the story goes. Is it true? Perhaps not. But the more intriguing question is why such stories endure as explanations of how science happens. Newton’s Apple and Other Myths about Science brushes away popular misconceptions to provide a clearer picture of great scientific breakthroughs from ancient times to the present.

Among the myths refuted in this volume is the idea that no science was done in the Dark Ages, that alchemy and astrology were purely superstitious pursuits, that fear of public reaction alone led Darwin to delay publishing his theory of evolution, and that Gregor Mendel was far ahead of his time as a pioneer of genetics. Several twentieth-century myths about particle physics, Einstein’s theory of relativity, and more are discredited here as well. In addition, a number of broad generalizations about science go under the microscope of history: the notion that religion impeded science, that scientists typically adhere to a codified “scientific method,” and that a bright line can be drawn between legitimate science and pseudoscience.
Edited by Ronald Numbers and Kostas Kampourakis, Newton’s Apple and Other Myths about Science debunks the widespread belief that science advances when individual geniuses experience “Eureka!” moments and suddenly comprehend what those around them could never imagine. Science has always been a cooperative enterprise of dedicated, fallible human beings, for whom context, collaboration, and sheer good luck are the essential elements of discovery.

Food and Life
in a Thai-Khmer Village
by Jeffrey Alford
November 2015
In the small village of Kravan in rural Thailand, the food is like no other in the world. The diet is finely attuned to the land, taking advantage of what is local and plentiful. Made primarily of fresh, foraged vegetables infused with the dominant Khmer flavours of bird chilies, garlic, shallots and fish sauce, the cuisine is completely distinct from the dishes typically associated with Thailand.
Best-selling food writer and photographer Jeffrey Alford has been completely immersed in this unique culinary tradition for the last four years while living in this region with his partner Pea, a talented forager, gardener and cook. With stories of village and family life surrounding each dish, Alford provides insight into the ecological and cultural traditions out of which the cuisine of the region has developed. He also describes how the food is meant to be eaten: as an elaborate dish in a wedding ceremony, a well-deserved break from the rice harvest, or just a comforting snack at the end of a hard day.
Chicken in the Mango Tree follows the cycle of a year in Kravan, and the recipes associated with each season—steamed tilapia during the rainy season, mushroom soup, called tom yam het, during the cold season, rice noodles with seafood during the hot months and spicy green papaya salad as comfort food all year round. With helpful substitutes for the more exotic ingredients and cooking methods, Alford’s recipes and stories blend together to bring a taste of this little-known region to North American homes.

[book] Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly
(Mary Flexner Lectures of Bryn Mawr College)
by Judith Butler
(UC Berkeley)
Harvard University Press
November 2015
Judith Butler elucidates the dynamics of public assembly under prevailing economic and political conditions, analyzing what they signify and how. Understanding assemblies as plural forms of performative action, Butler extends her theory of performativity to argue that precarity-the destruction of the conditions of livability-has been a galvanizing force and theme in today’s highly visible protests.
Butler broadens the theory of performativity beyond speech acts to include the concerted actions of the body. Assemblies of physical bodies have an expressive dimension that cannot be reduced to speech, for the very fact of people gathering “says” something without always relying on speech. Drawing on Hannah Arendt’s view of action, yet revising her claims about the role of the body in politics, Butler asserts that embodied ways of coming together, including forms of long-distance solidarity, imply a new understanding of the public space of appearance essential to politics.
Butler links assembly with precarity by pointing out that a body suffering under conditions of precarity still persists and resists, and that mobilization brings out this dual dimension of corporeal life. Just as assemblies make visible and audible the bodies that require basic freedoms of movement and association, so do they expose coercive practices in prison, the dismantling of social democracy, and the continuing demand for establishing subjugated lives as mattering, as equally worthy of life. By enacting a form of radical solidarity in opposition to political and economic forces, a new sense of “the people” emerges, interdependent, grievable, precarious, and persistent.

Big Dreams, False Starts, and My Midlife Quest
to Dance the Nutcracker
by Lauren Kessler
Da Capo Press
November 2015
When I was six, my father nicknamed me Laurisa Kesslova because, he said, all great dancers were Russians, and since I was going to be a great dancer, I needed a Russian name. I aim to reclaim that name.

When Lauren Kessler was twelve, her ballet instructor crushed not just her dreams of being a ballerina but also her youthful self-assurance. Now, many decades and three children later, Kessler embarks on a journey to join a professional company to perform in The Nutcracker. Raising the Barre is more than just one woman's story; it is a story about shaking things up, taking risks and ignoring good sense, and forgetting how old you are and how you're "supposed" to act. It's about testing limits and raising the bar(re) on your own life.

Indians and the Contest for the American Coast
by Andrew Lipman (Barnard)
Yale University Press
November 2015
Similar to and much more expanded version of Lipman's Penn disseration, his eye-opening first book is the previously untold story of how the ocean became a “frontier” between colonists and Indians. When the English and Dutch empires both tried to claim the same patch of coast between the Hudson River and Cape Cod, the sea itself became the arena of contact and conflict.
During the violent European invasions, the region’s Algonquian-speaking Natives were navigators, boatbuilders, fishermen, pirates, and merchants who became active players in the emergence of the Atlantic World. Drawing from a wide range of English, Dutch, and archeological sources, Lipman uncovers a new geography of Native America that incorporates seawater as well as soil.
Looking past Europeans’ arbitrary land boundaries, he reveals unseen links between local episodes and global events on distant shores. Lipman’s book “successfully redirects the way we look at a familiar history” (Neal Salisbury, Smith College). Extensively researched and elegantly written, this latest addition to Yale’s seventeenth-century American history list brings the early years of New England and New York vividly to life.

[book] JFK's Forgotten Crisis:
Tibet, the CIA, and Sino-Indian War
by Bruce Riedel
Brookings Institution Press
November 2015
Bruce Riedel provides new perspective and insights into Kennedy's forgotten crisis in the most dangerous days of the cold war.
The Cuban Missile Crisis defined the presidency of John F. Kennedy. But during the same week that the world stood transfixed by the possibility of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, Kennedy was also consumed by a war that has escaped history's attention, yet still significantly reverberates today: the Sino-Indian conflict.
As well-armed troops from the People's Republic of China surged into Indian-held territory in October 1962, Kennedy ordered an emergency airlift of supplies to the Indian army. He engaged in diplomatic talks that kept the neighboring Pakistanis out of the fighting. The conflict came to an end with a unilateral Chinese cease-fire, relieving Kennedy of a decision to intervene militarily in support of India.
Bruce Riedel, a CIA and National Security Council veteran, provides the first full narrative of this crisis, which played out during the tense negotiations with Moscow over Cuba. He also describes another, nearly forgotten episode of U.S. espionage during the war between India and China: secret U.S. support of Tibetan opposition to Chinese occupation of Tibet. He details how the United States, beginning in 1957, trained and parachuted Tibetan guerrillas into Tibet to fight Chinese military forces. The United States did not abandon this covert support until relations were normalized with China in the 1970s.
Riedel tells this story of war, diplomacy, and covert action with authority and perspective. He draws on newly declassified letters between Kennedy and Indian leader Jawaharlal Nehru, along with the diaries and memoirs of key players and other sources, to make this the definitive account of JFK's forgotten crisis. This is, Riedel writes, Kennedy's finest hour as you have never read it before.

[book] Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes:
From Your Favorite KOSHER Cafes,
Takeouts & Restaurants
by Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek
November 3, 2015
Following their bestselling Secret Restaurant Recipes, Leah & Victoria go back into the kitchen, visiting your favorite cafes, takeout spots, and restaurants to bring you recipes that are easy to prepare for any day and every day.
Over 100 Family-Friendly Recipes for Any Day of the Week; Secret Techniques and Tips Direct from Restaurant Kitchens Exquisite Full-Color Photos for Every Dish. And Shortcuts and Easy-to-Find Ingredients for Home Cooks
Recreate the recipes of...
Sushi K Bar,
Brooklyn Ditmas LA,
Los Angeles Mozart Cafe,
Miami Va Bene,
New York City Café Renaissance, Brooklyn Wandering Cue,
New York Maple Grill, Vancouver China Bistro,
Miami Borchov 88, Ra'anana Pantry, Toronto Cafe Greg,
Israel Mendelsohn's, Brooklyn Eat a Pita,
Lakewood Boeuf & Bun, Brooklyn House of Dogs,
Miami Fish Grill, Los Angeles Zat the Baker,
Miami Dini's, Beijing Pizza De Solo,
New York City Zishe's Bakery, Monsey & dozens more

In case you missed it last Fall (2014)
[book] Secret Restaurant Recipes
From the World's Top KOSHER Restaurants
by Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek
November 2014
The finest restaurants. The most talented chefs. The most delicious food. All in your kitchen. Discover the secrets of the world's best kosher chefs. Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek authors of the bestselling Made Easy cookbook series, explored the kitchens of restaurants from Miami to Manhattan, from LA to London. Here are recipes, tips, techniques, and cooking secrets from today s most acclaimed kosher chefs.
Adapted by Leah and Victoria for home use, these recipes range from sophisticated and elegant to downhome delicious, from ultra-modern to beautifully traditional, all using accessible ingredients.
Ready for something new? Try Chef Jeff Nathan's Popcorn Chicken, a specialty of Abigael's, in New York. Savor Zeppoli Doughnuts from California's Tierra Sur and enjoy a taste of Jerusalem with salad ideas from the famed Café Rimon and Red Heifer bistros, and many more.
As in all their books, Leah and Victoria come with you into the kitchen to chat and share their personal tips. You will enjoy reading through the techniques and advice of the leading chefs in the best restaurants of the kosher world.
Recreate the recipes of...
The Prime Grill, New York City • Soyo, London • Trattoria Haba, Jerusalem • Pizza Pita, Montreal • Café Rimon, Jerusalem • My Most Favorite Food, New York City • Wolf & Lamb Steakhouse, New York City • Etc. Steakhouse, Teaneck • The Urban Grill, Mexico City • Red Heifer Steakhouse, Jerusalem • Reserve Cut, New York City • Citron & Rose, Philadelphia • Basil Pizza, Brooklyn • Milk Street Café, Boston • Mocha Bleu, Teaneck • Darna, Panama City • Milt's BBQ, Chicago • Gam Gam Kosher, Venice • Tierra Sur, Los Angeles • Java Café, Toronto & dozens more

a novel
by Eli Horowitz
November 2014
Thrills, chills, spills, and dills. It’s a three-ring publication—paperback, hardcover, app!—for the riotous story of a hapless circus troupe turned prison-breakers. Zloty Kornblatt is the hapless ringmaster of an even more hapless circus troupe. But one fateful night, Zloty makes a mistake: he accidentally makes his audience laugh. Here on the outskirts of Burford--where the population subsists on a diet and a whole economy keyed primarily to pickles-laughter is a rare occasion. It draws the immediate attention of the local bureaucracy, and by morning Zloty has been branded an "instigator, conspirator, and fomenter" and is detained.
When the circus troupe awakes, they gloomily assume that their leader has abandoned them in the night. But when a local functionary spills the truth about Zloty's fate, the performers rouse themselves to spring their leader from his cell, their arcane talents (an escape artist who can fold his body into compact shapes, a strongman with an affinity for miming, an old dog with the ferocious heart of a lion...) suddenly strangely useful. Unlikely success follows unlikely success until, suddenly, it doesn't...and it's left to Flora Bialy, Zloty's understudy and our shy narrator, to save the day.
The Pickle Index is a delightful and charming fable of a novel-but it is also an exhilarating, innovative storytelling experience by an author who, as the cocreator of The Silent History and The New World, has long been pushing the edges of literary fiction. The Pickle Index is his most dazzling, holistic achievement yet.

The True Life Story of Chef Rossi
by Rossi
November 10, 2015
Feminist Press
Once I began to read this on the subway, I stayed for extra stops just so I could read more pages of it. It is too funny and engrossing.

When their high-school-aged, punk, runaway daughter is found hosting a Jersey Shore hotel party in Point PLeasant, Rossi's parents feel they have no other choice: they ship her off to live with a Hasidic rabbi in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Heck... even the Lubavitcher rebbe gives her some wine to drink.

Within the confines of this restrictive culture, Rossi's big city dreams take root. Once she makes her way to Manhattan, Rossi's passion for cooking, which first began as a revolt against her mother's microwave, becomes her life mission.

The Raging Skillet is one woman's story of cooking her way through some of the most unlikely kitchens in New York City—at a "beach" in Tribeca, an East Village supper club, and a makeshift grill at ground zero in the days immediately following 9/11. Forever writing her own rules, Rossi ends up becoming the owner of one of the most sought-after catering companies in the city. This heartfelt, gritty, and hilarious memoir shows us how the creativity of the kitchen allows us to give a nod to where we come from, while simultaneously expressing everything that we are. Includes unpretentious recipes for real people everywhere (lots of hot dog recipes).

Rossi is the owner and executive chef of The Raging Skillet, described as a "rebel anti-caterer" by the New York Times. Rossi has written for many publications, including Bust, the Daily News, the New York Post, the Huffington Post, Time Out New York, and McSweeney's. She is the host of a long-running radio show in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

KIRKUS WRITES: “Growing up as an overweight Orthodox Jew, Rossi’s first introduction to cooking came about as a means to survive after her mother started microwaving all of the family food instead of creating goulashes and stews that simmered on the stove all day. “Suddenly,” she writes, “that elusive sensation of being the only one who could provide what everyone wanted was in my grasp, wedged between the kitchen mitts and the platter of cheese ravioli.” From the pizza bagels that launched her career in the kitchen, Rossi wends her way through the ups and downs and side streets of her rise to cooking fame. With a good shot of humor, a splash of self-deprecation, and a smidgen or two of sadness and regret, she chronicles her introductions to bartending and cooking, her coming out as a lesbian and non–Orthodox Jew to her family, and her rocky relationship with her mother, who, like many good Jewish mothers, used guilt as her favorite spice. Rossi intertwines character descriptions of the chefs, cooks, and waiters she’s worked with and for over the years as she moves through the decades and the numerous positions she held before she launched her own catering service. There’s Big S, who was “stirring tomato sauce, wearing nothing but a black lace bra, matching panties, and an apron,” and the French chef who abhorred having women in the kitchen, let alone a gay Jewish woman. Each of the author’s stories is well-rounded, redolent of salty sweat, sweet love, and the joy of food. The inclusion of numerous recipes related to each narrative is an added garnish to an already satisfying meal. A humorous and witty chronicle of a woman’s pulling-herself-up-by-her-bootstraps rise through the culinary ranks.”

By John Schiemann
Oxford University Press
November 2015
When the Senate released its so-called "Torture Report" in December 2014 the world would learn that, for years, the CIA had used unimaginably brutal methods to interrogate its prisoners - often without yielding any useful or truthful information. The agency had long and adamantly defended its use of torture, staunchly arguing that it was not only just but necessary for the country's safety. And even amid the revelations of the report, questions abound about whether torture can be considered a justifiable tool of national security.
Is interrogational torture an effective method of extracting information? How good does the information extracted need to be for the torture to be considered successful? How often or how vigorously must torture be used to achieve valuable information? It may be the case that interrogational torture can never be justified under any circumstances, but, according to John Schiemann, if it is to be justified at all, it must be effective. According to more than one national poll, most Americans do believe that torture can work, and that it can be justified under certain circumstances. But if the information that torturers extract is bad, then the method amounts to nothing more than pure sadism. So, how can we solve the dilemma over whether to torture or not to torture?
In this book, John Schiemann takes a truly unique approach to the question of torture: game theory. Thinking of torture as a "game" played between an interrogator and a detainee, the book walks the reader through the logic of interrogational torture, comparing the outcomes to the claims made by torture proponents. The book draws on a wide variety of sources ranging from records of the Inquisition to secret CIA memos to trace this logic, illustrating each outcome of the model with a narrative from the real world of interrogational torture. Does Torture Work? is an absorbing and provocative take on one of most discussed human rights and security dilemmas of our time.

[book] HUBRIS
The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century
by Alistair Horne
November 2015
This book will rekindle an interest in Zhukov
Sir Alistair Horne has been a close observer of war and history for more than fifty years and in this wise and masterly work, he revisits six battles of the past century and examines the strategies, leadership, preparation, and geopolitical goals of aggressors and defenders to reveal the one trait that links them all: HUBRIS.
In Greek tragedy, hubris is excessive human pride that challenges the gods and ultimately leads to total destruction of the offender.
From the 1905 Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War, to Hitler's 1941 bid to capture Moscow, to MacArthur's disastrous advance in Korea, to the French downfall at Dien Bien Phu, Horne shows how each of these battles was won or lost due to excessive hubris on one side or the other.
In a sweeping narrative written with his trademark erudition and wit, Horne provides a meticulously detailed analysis of the ground maneuvers employed by the opposing armies in each battle. He also explores the strategic and psychological mindset of the military leaders involved to demonstrate how devastating combinations of human ambition and arrogance led to overreach. Making clear the danger of hubris in warfare, his insights hold resonant lessons for civilian and military leaders navigating today's complex global landscape.
He also explains why he chose these battles and not others. That analysis in and of itself is worth reading
A dramatic, colorful, stylishly-written history, Hubris is a much-needed reflection on war from a master of his field.

The Myths and Misery
Secrets and Psychology of
Waiting in Line
By David Andrews
November 2015
How we wait, why we wait, what we wait for—waiting in line is a daily indignity that we all experience, usually with a little anxiety thrown in (why is it that the other line always moves faster?!?). This smart, quirky, wide-ranging book (the perfect conversation starter) considers the surprising science and psychology—and the sheer misery—of the well-ordered line. On the way, it takes us from boot camp (where the first lesson is to teach recruits how to stand rigidly in line) to the underground bunker beneath Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle (home of the world’s most advanced, state-of-the-art queue management technologies); from the 2011 riots in London (where rioters were observed patiently taking their turns when looting shops), to the National Voluntary Wait-in-Line days in the People’s Republic of China (to help train their non-queuing populace to wait in line like Westerners in advance of the 2008 Olympics).
Citing sources ranging from Harvard Business School professors to Seinfeld, the book comes back to one underlying truth: it’s not about the time you spend waiting, but how the circumstances of the wait affect your perception of time. In other words, the other line always moves faster because you’re not in it.

By Yehuda Amichai
Edited by Robert Alter
November 2015
The largest English-language collection to date from Israel's finest poet
Few poets have demonstrated as persuasively as Yehuda Amichai why poetry matters. One of the major poets of the twentieth century, Amichai created remarkably accessible poems, vivid in their evocation of the Israeli landscape and historical predicament, yet universally resonant. His are some of the most moving love poems written in any language in the past two generations?some exuberant, some powerfully erotic, many suffused with sadness over the fate of separation that casts its shadow on love. In a country torn by armed conflict, these poems poignantly assert the preciousness of private experience, cherished under the repeated threats of violence and death.
Amichai's poetry has attracted a variety of gifted English translators on both sides of the Atlantic from the 1960s to the present. Assembled by the award-winning Hebrew scholar and translator Robert Alter, The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai is by far the largest selection of the master poet's work to appear in English, gathering the best of the existing translations as well as offering English versions of many previously untranslated poems. With this collection, Amichai's vital poetic voice is now available to English readers as it never has been before.

Fall 2015
You will sup with the Devil, Dan. You will do everything the Devil requires. Whatever it takes, you will maintain the transfer of Jews from Germany to Israel. Remember not to fear him. After all, he thinks it is you who is the Devil.
1937. In a fictional turn of historical events, the British Cabinet accepts the recommendations of the Peel Commission, establishing a Jewish State in the Land of Israel. Dan Lavi is a young diplomat sent by Ben-Gurion to serve as the country's first ambassador to Berlin, in an effort to save as many Jews as possible under the controversial Transfer Agreement. Surrounded by the terror and atrocities of the Third Reich, Dan struggles to uphold good relations and diplomatic protocol with those who want him dead, to negotiate Nazi party politics and Allied pressures, to reconcile his love for his family with his loyalty to his country, and to stop the Final Solution even if it costs him everything.
Yehuda Avner's political insight meets Matt Rees's novelistic skill in this fast-paced counter-historical thriller about a diplomatic mission to the Devil.

The late ambassador, Yehuda Avner, represented the State of Israel in Ireland, Britain, NYC, Washington, DC, and Sydney, Australia. Matt Rees writes mysteries about Omar Yussef, a Palestinian sleuth

[book] Great Is the Truth:
Secrecy, Scandal, and the Quest for
Justice at the Horace Mann School
by Amos Kamil and Sean Elder
Fall 2015
A shocking exposé of sexual abuse and the struggle for justice at one of America's most prestigious schools.
In June 2012, Amos Kamil's New York Times Magazine cover story, "Prep-School Predators," caused a shock wave that is still rippling. In his piece, Kamil detailed a decades-long pattern of sexual abuse at the highly prestigious Horace Mann School in the Bronx. Kamil, an Israeli-born Montclair resident, said that report “was the tip of the iceberg.” After it was published, “the amount of people coming forward” compelled him to take a much broader look at the sordid allegations against one of the nation’s most prominent private schools. While the article revealed the misdeeds of three teachers, this was just the beginning: an extraordinary twenty-two former Horace Mann teachers and administrators have since been accused of abuse.
In Great Is the Truth, Kamil and his coauthor, Sean Elder, tell the riveting story of how one of the country's leading schools was beset by scandal. In 1970, Horace Mann hired R. Inslee "Inky" Clark Jr. as its headmaster. As Yale's wunderkind dean of admissions, Clark had helped revolutionize the Ivy League by recruiting a more diverse student body. In the coming years, he would raise Horace Mann to new heights of academic distinction even as serious complaints against beloved teachers were ignored. Kamil and Elder introduce those teachers, among them a popular football coach who had reportedly tried out for the Washington Redskins, a distinguished conductor who took his prize students on foreign trips, an otherworldly English teacher who discussed Eastern philosophy over tea and helped tend the school's gardens, and another English instructor, who told his students that they were mere dust under his foot in comparison to Shakespeare.
In gripping detail, Kamil and Elder relate what happened as survivors of abuse came forward and sought redress. We see the school and its influential backers circle the wagons. We meet Horace Mann alumni who work to change New York State's sexual abuse laws. We follow a celebrity lawyer's contentious efforts to achieve a settlement. And we encounter a former teacher who candidly recalls his inappropriate relationships with students. Kamil and Elder also examine other institutions-from prep schools to the Catholic Church-that have sought to atone for their complicity in abuse and to prevent it from reoccurring.
"Great is the truth and it prevails" may be the motto of Horace Mann, but for many alumni the truth remains all too hard to come by. This book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand how an elite institution can fail those in its charge, and what can be done about it.

November 2015
From bean stew to brandied apples, from quinoa to butterscotch brownies, Simply Delicious contains delicious recipes for all your cooking needs! Complete with an introductory guide to herbs and legumes, Simply Delicious makes cooking a delight.

Mindy Ginsberg is an imaginative cooking expert who has lovingly assembled and shared over fifty years of proven recipes. She is based in New York and Tel Aviv and has had three previous cookbooks published in Israel.



PRIMO LEVI DID NOT CARE TO KNOW IF THERE WAS A Murderer deep inside him, but he did know that he was an innocent victim and not a murderer
Edited by Ann Goldstein
3 Volumes
Liveright Publishing
The Complete Works of Primo Levi, which includes seminal works like If This Is a Man and The Periodic Table, finally gathers all fourteen of Levi’s books—memoirs, essays, poetry, commentary, and fiction—into three slipcased volumes.
Primo Levi, the Italian-born chemist once described by Philip Roth as that “quicksilver little woodland creature enlivened by the forest’s most astute intelligence,” has largely been considered a heroic figure in the annals of twentieth-century literature for If This Is a Man (in America it was packaged as Survival at Auschwitz), his haunting account of Auschwitz.
Yet Levi’s body of work extends considerably beyond his experience as a survivor. Now, the transformation of Levi from Holocaust memoirist to one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers culminates in this publication of The Complete Works of Primo Levi.
This magisterial collection finally gathers all of Levi’s fourteen books—memoirs, essays, poetry, and fiction—into three slip-cased volumes. Thirteen of the books feature new translations, and the other is newly revised by the original translator. Nobel laureate Toni Morrison introduces Levi’s writing as a “triumph of human identity and worth over the pathology of human destruction.” The appearance of this historic publication will occasion a major reappraisal of “one of the most valuable writers of our time” (Alfred Kazin).
The Complete Works of Primo Levi features all new translations of: The Periodic Table, The Drowned and the Saved, The Truce, Natural Histories, Flaw of Form, The Wrench, Lilith, Other People’s Trades, and If Not Now, When?—as well as all of Levi’s poems, essays, and other nonfiction work, some of which have never appeared before in English.

Fall 2015
My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”
—Oliver Sacks

No writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks. During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death.

“It is the fate of every human being,” Sacks writes, “to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.” Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life.

“Oliver Sacks was like no other clinician, or writer. He was drawn to the homes of the sick, the institutions of the most frail and disabled, the company of the unusual and the ‘abnormal.’ He wanted to see humanity in its many variants and to do so in his own, almost anachronistic way—face to face, over time, away from our burgeoning apparatus of computers and algorithms. And, through his writing, he showed us what he saw.”
—Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal

Edited by Saba Soomekh (UCLA)
December 2015
Purdue University Press
Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in America includes academics, artists, writers, and civic and religious leaders who contributed chapters focusing on the Sephardi and Mizrahi experience in America. Topics will address language, literature, art, diaspora identity, and civic and political engagement. When discussing identity in America, one contributor will review and explore the distinct philosophy and culture of classic Sephardic Judaism, and how that philosophy and culture represents a viable option for American Jews who seek a rich and meaningful medium through which to balance Jewish tradition and modernity. Another chapter will provide a historical perspective of Sephardi/Ashkenazi Diasporic tensions. Additionally, contributors will address the term Sephardi as a self-imposed, collective, ethnic designation that had to be learned and naturalizedand its parameters defined and negotiatedin the new context of the United States and in conversation with discussions about Sephardic identity across the globe. This volume also will look at the theme of literature, focusing on Egyptian and Iranian writers in the United States. Continuing with the Iranian Jewish community, contributors will discuss the historical and social genesis of Iranian-American Jewish participation and leadership in American civic, political, and Jewish affairs. Another chapter reviews how art is used to express Iranian Diaspora identity and nostalgia. The significance of language among Sephardi and Mizrahi communities is discussed. One chapter looks at the Ladino-speaking Sephardic Jewish population of Seattle, while another confronts the experience of Judeo-Spanish speakers in the United States and how they negotiate identity via the use of language. In addition, scholars will explore how Judeo-Spanish speakers engage in dialogue with one another from a century ago, and furthermore, how they use and modify their language when they find themselves in Spanish-speaking areas today.

[book] Vladimir Jabotinsky's
Story of My Life
by Vladimir Jabotinsky
Edited by Brian Horowitz (Tulane)
Wayne State University Press
December 2015
Vladimir Jabotinsky is well remembered as a militant leader and father of the right-wing Revisionist Zionist movement, but he was also a Russian-Jewish intellectual, talented fiction writer, journalist, playwright, and translator of poetry into Russian and Hebrew. His autobiography, Sippur yamai, Story of My Life-written in Hebrew and published in Tel Aviv in 1936-gives a more nuanced picture of Jabotinsky than his popular image, but it was never published in English. In Vladimir Jabotinsky's Story of My Life, editors Brian Horowitz and Leonid Katsis present this much-needed translation for the first time, based on a rough draft of an English version that was discovered in Jabotinsky's archive at the Jabotinsky Institute in Tel Aviv.
Jabotinsky's volume mixes true events with myth as he offers a portrait of himself from his birth in 1880 until just after the outbreak of World War I. He describes his personal development during childhood and early adult years in Odessa, Rome, St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Istanbul, during Russia's Silver Age, a period known for spiritual searching, but also political violence, radicalism, and pogroms. He tells of his escape to Rome as a youth, his return to Odessa, and his eventual adoption of Zionism. He also depicts struggles with rivals and colleagues in both politics and journalism. The editors introduce the full text of the autobiography by discussing Jabotinsky's life, legacy, and writings in depth.
As Jabotinsky is gaining a reputation for the quality of his fictional and semi-fictional writing in the field of Israel studies, this autobiography will help reading groups and students of Zionism .

[book] Operation Thunderbolt:
Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport,
the Most Audacious Hostage Rescue
Mission in History
by Saul David
December 2015
Little, Brown
The definitive account of one of the greatest Special Forces missions ever, the Raid of Entebbe, by acclaimed military historian Saul David.
On June 27, 1976, an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris was hijacked by a group of Arab and German terrorists who demanded the release of 53 terrorists. The plane was forced to divert to Entebbe, in Uganda--ruled by the murderous despot Idi Amin, who had no interest in intervening.
Days later, Israeli commandos disguised as Ugandan soldiers assaulted the airport terminal, killed all the terrorists, and rescued all the hostages but three who were killed in the crossfire. The assault force suffered just one fatality: its commander, Yoni Netanyahu (brother of Israel's current Prime Minister.) Three of the country's greatest leaders: Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin planned and pulled off one of the most astonishing military operations in history.

David also writes about Amin’s murder of one of the hospitalized hostages, the air traffic controllers, and many hundreds of ethnic Kenyans (because Kenya helped the Israelis). He also writes about the fight between Peres and Rabin – Defense Minister and Prime Minister, respectively - over whether to greenlight the rescue raid.

[book] Too Much of a Good Thing:
How Four Key Survival Traits Are Now Killing Us by Lee Goldman, MD
Little, Brown and Company
December 2015
Dr. Lee Goldman is dean of the medical school at Columbia University. An internationally renowned cardiologist, he developed the Goldman Criteria (a set of guidelines for healthcare professionals to determine which patients with chest pain require hospital admission) and the Goldman Index (which predicts which patients will have heart problems after surgery). He's the author of more than 480 medical articles and also the lead editor of Goldman-Cecil Medicine, the oldest continuously published medical textbook in the U.S.

Dr. Goldman explains that the traits that let humans survive and thrive are now killing us. We love high calorie carbs. We are living twice as long as in the past. But we are developing more heart disease and diabetes
Dean Goldman explains why our bodies are out of sync with today's environment and how we can correct this to save our health. Over the past 200 years, human life-expectancy has approximately doubled. Yet we face soaring worldwide rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, mental illness, heart disease, and stroke. In his fascinating new book, Dr. Lee Goldman presents a radical explanation: The key protective traits that once ensured our species' survival are now the leading global causes of illness and death. Our capacity to store food, for example, lures us into overeating, and a clotting system designed to protect us from bleeding to death now directly contributes to heart attacks and strokes. A deeply compelling narrative that puts a new spin on evolutionary biology, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING also provides a roadmap for getting back in sync with the modern world.

[book] Tom Clancy
Commander in Chief
A Jack Ryan Novel
by Mark Greaney
December 2015
The newest electrifying thriller in the #1 New York Times–bestselling series has President Jack Ryan and his allies facing a treacherous foe threatening to unleash chaos around the globe

When Russian President Valeri Volodin’s ambitions are foiled in Dagestan, he faces a difficult choice. The oligarchs who support him expect a constant flow of graft, but with energy prices cratering, the Russian economy sputters to a virtual halt. Unable to grow the Russian market at home, his hold on power relies on expansion abroad—a plan that has been thwarted by the United States in the past.

But this time Volodin has determined that an indirect approach is the best. A floating natural gas facility in Lithuania is blown up. A Venezuelan prosecutor is assassinated. A devastating attack on a Russian troop train kills dozens. A chaotic world is the best camouflage for a series of seemingly unrelated attacks.

Only one man recognizes an ominous pattern in the reports of terror from around the globe. U.S. President Jack Ryan sees a guiding hand in the worldwide chaos, but before he can act he needs proof. While his intelligence agencies race to uncover the truth behind the attacks, the President struggles to unite a fractious and distrustful coalition of Western nations against the schemes of the Russian dictator.

With five thousand Russian troops poised to invade a NATO nation, can Jack Ryan move swiftly enough to stop Volodin’s grand plan of global conflict and conquest? Or will he succeed in changing the balance of world power forever?

[book] Groucho Marx
The Comedy of Existence
by Lee Siegel
Yale University Press
Jewish Lives series
January 2016
Born Julius Marx in 1890, the brilliant comic actor who would later be known as Groucho was the most verbal of the famed comedy team, the Marx Brothers, his broad slapstick portrayals elevated by ingenious wordplay and double entendre. In his spirited biography of this beloved American iconoclast, Lee Siegel views the life of Groucho through the lens of his work on stage, screen, and television. The author uncovers the roots of the performer’s outrageous intellectual acuity and hilarious insolence toward convention and authority in Groucho’s early upbringing and Marx family dynamics.

The first critical biography of Groucho Marx to approach his work analytically, this fascinating study draws unique connections between Groucho’s comedy and his life, concentrating primarily on the brothers’ classic films as a means of understanding and appreciating Julius the man. Unlike previous uncritical and mostly reverential biographies, Siegel’s “bio-commentary” makes a distinctive contribution to the field of Groucho studies by attempting to tell the story of his life in terms of his work, and vice versa.

[book] Deciphering the New Antisemitism
by Alvin H. Rosenfeld
January 2016
Indiana University Press
Deciphering the New Antisemitism addresses the increasing prevalence of antisemitism on a global scale. Antisemitism takes on various forms in all parts of the world, and the essays in this wide-ranging volume deal with many of them: European antisemitism, antisemitism and Islamophobia, antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and efforts to demonize and delegitimize Israel. Contributors are an international group of scholars who clarify the cultural, intellectual, political, and religious conditions that give rise to antisemitic words and deeds. These landmark essays are noteworthy for their timeliness and ability to grapple effectively with the serious issues at hand. writes: The 18 essays assembled in this illuminating book explore what editor Rosenfeld (Resurgent Antisemitism) identifies as a recent increase in global anti-Semitism. The many thoughtful and informative articles include Bernard Harrison’s parsing of claims concerning the Holocaust’s uniqueness; Gunther Jikeli and Sina Arnold’s analyses of anti-Semitism in, respectively, France and the American left; and Eirik Eiglad’s look at connections between anarchism and anti-Zionism. Jean Axelrad Cahan contributes an impassioned essay about how the work of social constructionists in literary theory, such as Edward Said, Erich Auberbach, and Hayden White, might delegitimize Israeli statehood by challenging its foundational national story. The essays occasionally fall into polemics, labeling opponents as idiots and crackpots, but most take pains to be fair to the individuals whose ideas the authors oppose. This volume, rich in information, is not for the casual reader, but is recommended as a valuable compilation of research and analysis that will help concerned readers track the evolution of anti-Semitism and determine which trends are most worrisome.

[book] Excellent Daughters:
The Secret Lives of Young Women
Who Are Transforming the Arab World
by Katherine Zoepf
January 2016
The never-before-reported story of this generation of Arab women, who are questioning authority, changing societies, and leading revolutions.
For more than a decade, Katherine Zoepf has lived in or traveled throughout the Arab world, reporting on the lives of women, whose role in the region has never been more in flux. Only a generation ago, female adolescence as we know it in the West scarcely existed in the Middle East. There were only children and married women. Today, young Arab women outnumber men in universities, and a few are beginning to face down religious and social tradition in order to live independently, to delay marriage, and to pursue professional goals. Hundreds of thousands of devout girls and women are attending Qur’anic schools—and using the training to argue for greater freedoms from an Islamic perspective. And, in 2011, young women helped to lead antigovernment protests in the Arab Spring. But their voices have not been heard. The world changes because of wars and terrorist attacks, but it also changes because daughters make different decisions than the ones their mothers made. This is an investigation into the changing lives of this generation of Arab daughters.
Excellent Daughters brings us a new understanding of the changing Arab societies—from 9/11 to Tahrir Square to the rise of ISIS—and gives voice to the remarkable women at the forefront of this change.

[book] OSTEND
Stefan Sweig, Joseph Roth
and the Summer Before The Dark
by Volker Weidermann
translated from German by Carol Brown Janeway
Pantheon Books
January 2016
The true story of two of the twentieth century’s great writers, exiled from Nazi Germany to a Belgian seaside resort, and the world they built there: written with a novelist’s eye for pacing, chronology, and language—a dazzling work of historical nonfiction.

It’s the summer of 1936, and the writer Stefan Zweig is in crisis. His German publisher no longer wants him, his marriage is collapsing, and his home in Austria has been seized. He’s been dreaming of Ostend, the Belgian beach town—a paradise of promenades, parasols, and old friends. So he journeys there with his new lover, Lotte Altmann, and reunites with his semi-estranged fellow writer and close friend Joseph Roth, himself newly in love. For a moment, they create a fragile paradise. But as Europe begins to crumble around them, the writers find themselves trapped on vacation, in exile, watching the world burn. In Ostend, Volker Weidermann lyrically recounts “the summer before the dark,” when a coterie of artists, intellectuals, drunks, revolutionaries, and madmen found themselves in limbo while Europe teetered on the edge of fascism and total war.

BY JOHN M. EFRON (Berkeley)
January 2016

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as German Jews struggled for legal emancipation and social acceptance, they also embarked on a program of cultural renewal, two key dimensions of which were distancing themselves from their fellow Ashkenazim in Poland and giving a special place to the Sephardim of medieval Spain. Where they saw Ashkenazic Jewry as insular and backward, a result of Christian persecution, they depicted the Sephardim as worldly, morally and intellectually superior, and beautiful, products of the tolerant Muslim environment in which they lived. In this elegantly written book, John Efron looks in depth at the special allure Sephardic aesthetics held for German Jewry.
Efron examines how German Jews idealized the sound of Sephardic Hebrew and the Sephardim's physical and moral beauty, and shows how the allure of the Sephardic found expression in neo-Moorish synagogue architecture, historical novels, and romanticized depictions of Sephardic history. He argues that the shapers of German-Jewish culture imagined medieval Iberian Jewry as an exemplary Jewish community, bound by tradition yet fully at home in the dominant culture of Muslim Spain. Efron argues that the myth of Sephardic superiority was actually an expression of withering self-critique by German Jews who, by seeking to transform Ashkenazic culture and win the acceptance of German society, hoped to enter their own golden age.

Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination
(Literature Now)
by Sarah Phillips Casteel
January 2016
Columbia University Press
With what may seem surprising frequency, Caribbean writers have turned to Jewish Caribbean experiences of exodus and reinvention, from the arrival of Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal in the 1490s to the flight of European Jewish refugees to Trinidad and elsewhere in the 1930s. Examining this historical migration through the lens of postwar Caribbean fiction and poetry, Sarah Phillips Casteel conducts the first major study of representations of Jewishness in Caribbean literature. Bridging the gap between postcolonial and Jewish studies, Calypso Jews enriches crosscultural investigations of Caribbean creolization.

Caribbean writers invoke both the 1492 expulsion and the Holocaust as part of their literary archaeology of slavery and its legacies. Despite the unequal and sometimes fraught relations between Blacks and Jews in the Caribbean before and after emancipation, Black-Jewish literary encounters reflect sympathy and identification more than antagonism and competition. Proposing an alternative to U.S.-based critical narratives of Black-Jewish relations, Casteel reads Derek Walcott, Maryse Condé, Michelle Cliff, Jamaica Kincaid, Caryl Phillips, David Dabydeen, and Paul Gilroy, among others, to reveal a distinctive inter-diasporic relationship refracted through the creative innovations of two resilient cultures.

[book] Israel's Edge
The Story of Talpiot,
the IDF's Most Elite Unit
by Jason Gewirtz
January 2016
Instead of being trained only to fight, the few soldiers each year selected for Talpiot are taught how to think. In order to join this unit they have to commit to being in the army for ten years, rather than the three years a normal soldier serves. Talpiots are educated in the military applications for computer science, physics and math and they have an enormous influence on the weapons Israel develops and on the Israeli economy, through the businesses they establish after leaving the army.
The book contains dozens of interviews with Talpiot graduates and some of the early founders of the program. It explains Talpiot's highly successful recruiting methods and discloses many of the secrets of the program's success. The book also profiles some of the most successful businesses founded by Talpiot graduates including CheckPoint, Compugen, Anobit, recently bought by Apple, and XIV, recently bought by IBM.
No other military unit has had more of an impact on the State of Israel. The soldiers of Talpiot are truly unsung heroes.

[book] Le Marais:
A Rare Steakhouse - Well Done
by Jose Meirelles and Mark Hennessey
January 2016
Although it seems as if every kosher eatery wants to publish a cookbook.
Le Marais’s is worthwhile
"Where else would a non-Jewish Portuguese immigrant open a French bistro, hire an Irish-Italian Catholic as its executive chef, and create one of the finest and most successful kosher restaurants in the United States?" As former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman and his wife Hadassah wrote in their foreword to the Le Marais cookbook, this is "a classic New York story."
Get to know the personalities behind the Le Marais experience while learning how to create its incredible delicacies at home. In sections covering sauces; soups; salads; bread, pasta, and risotto; beef; classics; lamb; veal; poultry; fish; sides; and desserts, this beautifully illustrated cookbook gives you the techniques and recipes you'll need to bring French gourmet into the kosher kitchen (or any kitchen).
Hip and irreverent, the Le Marais cookbook is your entrée to the world of French cuisine that just happens to be fully kosher. Braised duck legs with white pearl onions and petite pois, anyone?

January 2016
Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Sharply funny and compulsively readable, The Gilded Razor is a dazzling and harrowing memoir from debut author Sam Lansky.
The Gilded Razor is the true story of a double life. By the age of seventeen, Sam Lansky was an all-star student with Ivy League aspirations in his final year at an elite New York City prep school. But he was addicted to Adderall which made him feel like a superman and it spiraled rapidly out of control, compounded by a string of reckless affairs with older men, leaving his bright future in jeopardy. At 19, he had been through rehab seven times. After a terrifying overdose, he tried to straighten out. Yet as he journeyed from the glittering streets of Manhattan, to a wilderness boot camp in Utah, to a psych ward in New Orleans, he only found more opportunities to create chaos—until finally, he began to face himself, get sober (but go to bars and pretend to be drunk in the ineffective hope that a hot guy would take advantage of him).
He is now 26 and a deputy culture editor for Time Magazine.
In the vein of Elizabeth Wurtzel and Augusten Burroughs, Lansky scrapes away at his own life as a young addict and exposes profoundly universal anxieties. Told with remarkable sensitivity, biting humor, and unrelenting self-awareness, The Gilded Razor is a coming-of-age story of searing honesty and lyricism that introduces a powerful new voice to the confessional genre.

[book] "How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?":
Women and Jewish American Identity
in Contemporary Graphic Memoirs
(Gender and Culture Series)
by Tahneer Oksman
February 2, 2016
Columbia University Press
American comics reflect the distinct sensibilities and experiences of the Jewish American men who played an outsized role in creating them, but what about the contributions of Jewish women? Focusing on the visionary work of seven contemporary female Jewish cartoonists, Tahneer Oksman draws a remarkable connection between innovations in modes of graphic storytelling and the unstable, contradictory, and ambiguous figurations of the Jewish self in the postmodern era.

Oksman isolates the dynamic Jewishness that connects each frame in the autobiographical comics of Aline Kominsky Crumb, Vanessa Davis, Miss Lasko-Gross, Lauren Weinstein, Sarah Glidden, Miriam Libicki, and Liana Finck. Rooted in a conception of identity based as much on rebellion as identification and belonging, these artists' representations of Jewishness take shape in the spaces between how we see ourselves and how others see us. They experiment with different representations and affiliations without forgetting that identity ties the self to others. Stemming from Kominsky Crumb's iconic 1989 comic "Nose Job," in which her alter ego refuses to assimilate through cosmetic surgery, Oksman's study is an arresting exploration of invention in the face of the pressure to disappear.

[book] THE YID
February 2, 2016
In is February 1953. We are in Moscow under Stalin. Stalin will be dead in a week. But his final pogrom and purge against Jews is in full swing. Three USSR agents arrive at the flat of Solomon ShimonoVich Levinson in order to arrest him. He is an actor from the defunct State Jewish Theater. Levinson is old, retred, and a veteran of Soviet wars. His reponse to the goons sets in motion a zany series of events. He has a plot. To assassinate a tyrant with a ragtag group. Of heroes that includes Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, one of Moscow's top surgeons but a former machine gunner; Kima Petrova; and an Africa American woman who came to the USSR to build smelters but stayed as an engineer.. It is Inglorious Basterds meets Moscow and Chagall and Paul Robeson. Violent and intellectual.

February 2016
University of Nebraska
Despite consensus about the importance of multigenerational analysis for studying the long-term impact of immigration, most studies in Israel have focused on the integration of first-generation migrants, neglecting key changes (in economic, social, linguistic, and identity outcomes) that occur intergenerationally. Rebeca Raijman tackles this important but untold story with respect to Jewish South African immigration in Israel. By collecting data from three generational cohorts, Raijman analyzes assimilation from a comparative multigenerational perspective. She also combines both quantitative and qualitative evidence with in-depth interviews and participant observation, thereby providing a rich and more complete picture of the complex process of migrant assimilation.
While the migrant subpopulation of South Africa has not received the attention that immigrant populations from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia have, as English-speaking migrants they are a powerful and significant group. Given the status of English as an international language, this study has important implications for understanding the expected assimilation trajectories of Anglophone immigrants in Israel as well as in other non-English-speaking societies. South African Jews in Israel not only contributes empirical material concerning immigrants in Israeli society but also articulates theoretical understanding of the social mechanisms underlying the integration of various generations of immigrants into a variety of societal domains.

[book] Piece of Mind
A Novel
by Michelle Adelman
WW Norton
February 2016
A funny, poignant tale for readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
At twenty-seven, Lucy knows everything about coffee, comic books, and Gus (the polar bear at the Central Park Zoo), and she possesses a rare gift for drawing. But since she suffered a traumatic brain injury at the age of three, she has had trouble relating to most people. She’s also uncommonly messy, woefully disorganized, and incapable of holding down a regular job. When her father’s unexpected death forces her out of the comfortable and protective Jewish home where he cared for her, and into a cramped studio apartment in New York City with her college-age younger brother, she must adapt to an entirely different life-one with no safety net. And when her “normal” brother snaps under the pressure and disappears, Lucy discovers that she has more strengths than she herself knew. Told with warmth and intelligence, Piece of Mind introduces one of the most endearing and heroic characters in contemporary fiction. 20 illustrations

The Nazi Plunder of Jewish Books
by Mark Glickman
February 2016
Jewish Publication Society / Nebraska
Stolen Words is an epic story about the largest collection of Jewish books in the world—tens-of millions of books that the Nazis looted from European Jewish families and institutions. Nazi soldiers and civilians emptied Jewish communal libraries, confiscated volumes from government collections, and stole from Jewish individuals, schools, and synagogues. Early in their regime, the Nazis burned some books in spectacular bonfires, but most they saved, stashing the literary loot in castles, abandoned mine shafts, and warehouses throughout Europe. It was the largest and most extensive book-looting campaign in history.

After the war, Allied forces discovered these troves of stolen books but quickly found themselves facing a barrage of questions. How could the books be identified? Where should they go? Who had the authority to make such decisions? Eventually, the army turned the books over to an organization of leading Jewish scholars called Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc.—whose chairman was the acclaimed historian Salo Baron, and whose on-the-ground director was the philosopher Hannah Arendt—with the charge to establish restitution protocols.

Stolen Words is the story of how a free civilization decides what to do with the material remains of a world torn asunder, and how those remains connect survivors with their past. It is the story of Jews struggling to understand the new realities of their post-Holocaust world and of Western society’s gradual realization of the magnitude of devastation wrought by World War II. Most of all, it is the story of people —of Nazi leaders, ideologues, and Judaica experts; of Allied soldiers, scholars, and scoundrels; and of Jewish communities, librarians, and readers around the world.

John Demjanjuk and the Last
Great Nazi War Crimes Trial
by Lawrence Douglas
January 2016
Princeton University Press
In 2009, Harper’s Magazine sent war-crimes expert Lawrence Douglas to Munich to cover the last chapter of the lengthiest case ever to arise from the Holocaust: the trial of eighty-nine-year-old John Demjanjuk. Demjanjuk’s legal odyssey began in 1975, when American investigators received evidence alleging that the Cleveland autoworker and naturalized US citizen had collaborated in Nazi genocide. In the years that followed, Demjanjuk was twice stripped of his American citizenship and sentenced to death by a Jerusalem court as “Ivan the Terrible” of Treblinka—only to be cleared in one of the most notorious cases of mistaken identity in legal history.
Finally, in 2011, after eighteen months of trial, a court in Munich convicted the native Ukrainian of assisting Hitler’s SS in the murder of 28,060 Jews at Sobibor, a death camp in eastern Poland.
An award-winning novelist as well as legal scholar, Douglas offers a compulsively readable history of Demjanjuk’s bizarre case. The Right Wrong Man is both a gripping eyewitness account of the last major Holocaust trial to galvanize world attention and a vital meditation on the law’s effort to bring legal closure to the most horrific chapter in modern history.

A Spiritual Autobiography
By Nathan Lopes Cardozo
February 2016
Lonely But Not Alone tells the highly unusual story of Dutch–Israeli Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo, a child of an intermarriage between a Christian woman and Jewish man who discovers Judaism in his teens and subsequently undergoes a ritual conversion. Weaving together his history and his novel approach to Judaism borne out of his unconventional experiences, Cardozo tackles the problems of religiosity, doubt, faith, and the holy land of Israel and offers his vision for an improved Judaism. This volume blends Cardozo’s personal account, testimony by his mother about concealing his father’s family during the Holocaust, seminal essays on Jewish thought, and an interview with the author.

By Jay Neugeboran
Feb 2016
When Jay Neugeboren's first novel, Big Man, was published, James Michener called it "as good a sports novel as has ever been written." Now, nearly a half-century later, Neugeboren is publishingMAX BAER AND THE STAR OF DAVID (Mandel Vilar Press Trade Paperback Original; February 9, 2016), his 22nd book--a remarkable novel that is centered on the life of the world heavyweight champion Max Baer. In 1933, Baer--who was one-quarter Jewish and wore a Star of David on his boxing trunks--won the greatest fight of his career, defeating Nazi Germany's heavyweight champion, Max Schmeling, before a crowd of 60,000 fans at Yankee Stadium. A year later, he earned the heavyweight title, defeating Primo Carnera in front of 50,000 fans at Madison Square Garden Bowl. Baer was a flashy performer and showman who entertained America during the Great Depression. At the height of his fame, he starred in more than a dozen movies, played the vaudeville circuits, and was romantically involved with innumerable actresses, starlets, show girls, and socialites.

[book] NATIVE
Israeli-Palestinian Life
By Sayed Kashua
Translated from Hebrew by Ralph Mandel
February 2016
Sayed Kashua has been praised by the New York Times as “a master of subtle nuance in dealing with both Arab and Jewish society.” An Arab-Israeli who lived in Jerusalem for most of his life, Kashua started writing with the hope of creating one story that both Palestinians and Israelis could relate to, rather than two that cannot coexist together. He devoted his novels and his satirical weekly column published in Haaretz to telling the Palestinian story and exploring the contradictions of modern Israel, while also capturing the nuances of everyday family life in all its tenderness and chaos.

With an intimate tone fueled by deep-seated apprehension and razor-sharp ironic wit, Kashua has been documenting his own life as well as that of society at large: he writes about his children’s upbringing and encounters with racism, about fatherhood and married life, the Jewish-Arab conflict, his professional ambitions, travels around the world as an author, and—more than anything—his love of books and literature. He brings forth a series of brilliant, caustic, wry, and fearless reflections on social and cultural dynamics as experienced by someone who straddles two societies. Written between 2006 and 2014, Native reads like an unrestrained, profoundly thoughtful personal journal.

Profiles of the Eastern Mediterranean
February 2016
Everyone has a unique life story to tell. In The Place I Live The People I Know, author Lori Mendel shares stories from people she knows, gathered from Eilat in the south to Kibbutz Ne'ot Mordecai in the north near the Syrian border. There's Bishara from Nazereth, Edna from Beer Sheba, Ilan from Jerusalem, Noa from Tel Aviv, Sara from Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov, and many more. Some escaped the Holocaust, some are sabras-born in Israel, some are new immigrants; Jews, Arabs, Christians, and Druze living in this extraordinary country, full of passions and contradictions.
Praise for The Place I Live The People I Know
"Lori Mendel's vibrant experiment in oral history helps us to understand the amazing diversity of the Jewish state" -Patrick Tyler, Author, Fortress Israel
"A gold mine of memories, the drama of Israel through the stories of those who live it. Lori Mendel has performed a valuable service, collecting the life stories of dozens of people, a true cross-section of that fascinating nation - moving, real and illuminating" -Martin Fletcher, NBC News and PBS Special Correspondent and author of Walking Israel, winner of the National Jewish Book Award.

PW Booklife writes: n her debut, Mendel sketches portraits of the important people she has come to know in Israel. Most of the people Mendel profiles, ranging in age from 27 to 88, have compelling stories, such as Berliner Abe Rosenfeld, who escaped from Germany to what was then Palestine during WWII, and Erika Peitzer Miron, who survived life in the Warsaw ghetto. More recent immigrants include Americans such as Eva Shaibe Rockman, who moved because she didn’t want to marry a non-Jew, and New Yorker Stanley Rubenstein, spurred to immigrate because of the upheavals in the U.S. during the 1960s and early ’70s. Many came with high hopes for the Israeli state, only to be disappointed: in the words of one, “I am... apprehensive.... We have to reach a compromise with our neighbors.” Yet for all the potentially fascinating narratives, and despite liberal, lively use of exclamation points, the accounts tend to read like transcripts: each participant answered a list of identical questions, and their responses were then compiled into this anthology. One wishes Mendel had followed up with in-depth interviews of at least some of the responders. Many, especially the older Israelis, have stories that deserve to be expanded.

[book] The New Yiddish Kitchen:
Gluten-Free and Paleo KOSHER
Recipes for the Holidays and Everyday
by Jennifer Robins and Simone Miller
March 2016
Page Street Publishing
The New Yiddish Kitchen is a modern take on the great Jewish cooking tradition. It's a lifesaver for Jewish home cooks around the world who have cut processed grains and/or dairy from their diets. With 100 traditional Jewish foods adapted for the Paleo diet, photos to go with each and bonus practical guides, readers will enjoy the holidays and everyday meals stress-free.

Some example recipes in the book are grain-free Challah, Matzo Balls, Sweet Potato Latkes, Smoked Squash Hummus, Everything Bagels with Cashew Cream Cheese and Blintzes with Blueberry Topping. Of course, you don't have to be Jewish to love homemade bagels or matzo ball soup, so even non-Jewish readers will enjoy the variety of Paleo and gluten-free dishes. No Jewish grandmother or mother will want to miss out on this essential, fun cookbook.

[book] Bubbe and Me in the Kitchen:
A Kosher Cookbook of Beloved
Recipes and Modern Twists
A Kosher Cookbook
by Sonoma Press
March 2016
Sonoma Press
Jerry Seinfeld’s fictional dentist Tim Whatley famously converted to Judaism “for the jokes,” but if there’s one thing that defines Jewish culture as much as humor it’s food. This touching, hilarious, and versatile cookbook celebrates the storied and flavorful kosher recipes that characterize and continue to reinvent Jewish food culture from the perspective of a bubbe (grandmother) and her granddaughter.
It includes:
• Generational perspectives on keeping kosher and how observance and the foods we eat have changed through the years
• Two versions of every recipe—one traditional and one modern—for a total of 150 recipes
• Recipes written with common dietary restrictions and adaptations in mind, including vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free
• Sample holiday menus that offer recipe suggestions for a traditional meal, a modern meal, and a meal that offers a mix of both

Whether you like it bubbe’s way or prefer fresh and healthy takes on keeping kosher, you’ll find both here in this very special cookbook written by and for the family.

[book] Rhapsody in Schmaltz
Yiddish Food and Why We
Can't Stop Eating It
by Michael Wex
April 12, 2016
St. Martin’s Press
Bagels, deli sandwiches and gefilte fish are only a few of the Jewish foods to have crossed into American culture and onto American plates. Rhapsody in Schmaltz traces the history and social impact of the cuisine that Yiddish-speaking Jews from Central and Eastern Europe brought to the U.S. and that their American descendants developed and refined. The book looks at how and where these dishes came to be, how they varied from region to region, the role they played in Jewish culture in Europe, and the role that they play in Jewish and more general American culture and foodways today.
Rhapsody in Schmaltz traces the pathways of Jewish food from the Bible and Talmud, to Eastern Europe, to its popular landing pads in North America today. With an eye for detail and a healthy dose of humor, Michael Wex also examines how these impact modern culture, from temple to television. He looks at Diane Keaton's pastrami sandwich in Annie Hall, Andy Kaufman's stint as Latke on Taxi and Larry David's Passover seder on Curb Your Enthusiasm, shedding light on how Jewish food permeates our modern imaginations.
Rhapsody in Schmaltz is a journey into the sociology, humor, history, and traditions of food and Judaism.

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.
Click the book cover to read more.



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