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Welcome to FALL 2021 Suggestions


Some FALL 2021 Book Releases/Recommendations Below

Be sure to visit our other pages for releases during the past SUMMER 2021,
releases during the past SPRING 2021,
releases during the past WINTER 2021,
releases during the past Fall 2020,
releases for Summer 2020,
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or browse all the rest of our pages (oFrah, Passover, Hanukkah, MLK books, Tu b'shvat books, and more).


[book] Into the Forest:
A Holocaust Story of Survival,
Triumph, and Love
by Rebecca Frankel
(Foreign Policy mag)
September 7, 2021
St. Martin's Press

From a little-known chapter of Holocaust history, Rebecca Frankel's Into the Forest is one family’s inspiring true story of love, escape, and survival.

In the summer of 1942, the Rabinowitz family narrowly escaped the Nazi ghetto in their Polish town by fleeing to the forbidding Bialowieza Forest, the immense primevel (Bia?owie?a) place. They miraculously survived two years in the woods-through brutal winters, Typhus outbreaks, and merciless Nazi raids-until they were liberated by the Red Army in 1944. After the war they trekked across the Alps into Italy where they settled as refugees before eventually immigrating to the United States.

During the first ghetto massacre, Miriam Rabinowitz rescued a young boy named Philip by pretending he was her son. Nearly a decade later, a chance encounter at a wedding in Brooklyn would lead Philip to find the woman who saved him. And to discover her daughter Ruth was the love of his life.

From a little-known chapter of Holocaust history, one family’s inspiring true story.

[book] An Observant Wife:
A Novel
by Naomi Ragen
September 14, 2021
St. Martin's Press

In this rich and compassionate novel, An Observant Wife, Naomi Ragen continues the love story between newly observant California-girl Leah and ultra-Orthodox widower Yaakov from An Unorthodox Match.

From the joy of their wedding day surrounded by supportive friends and family, Yaakov and Leah are soon plunged into the complex reality of their new lives together as Yaakov leaves his beloved yeshiva to work in the city, and Leah confronts the often agonizing restrictions imposed by religious laws governing even the most intimate moments of their married lives. Adding to their difficulties is the hostility of some in the community who continue to view Leah as a dangerous interloper, questioning her sincerity and adherence to religious laws and spreading outrageous rumors.

In the midst of their heartfelt attempts to reach a balance between their human needs and their spiritual obligations, the discovery of a secret, forbidden relationship between troubled teenage daughter Shaindele and a local boy precipitates a maelstrom of life-changing consequences for all.

Reports from a Haunted Present
by Dara Horn
September 7, 2021

A startling and profound exploration of how Jewish history is exploited to comfort the living.

Renowned and beloved as a prizewinning novelist, Dara Horn has also been publishing penetrating essays since she was a teenager.

Often asked by major publications to write on subjects related to Jewish culture - and increasingly in response to a recent wave of deadly anti-Semitic attacks - Horn was troubled to realize what all of these assignments had in common: she was being asked to write about dead Jews, never about living ones.

In these essays, Horn reflects on subjects as far-flung as the international VENERATION of Anne Frank, the mythology that Jewish family names were changed at Ellis Island, the 2019 shootings at a kosher grocery in Jersey City, NJ, the blockbuster traveling exhibition “Auschwitz” at a museum focused on dead Jews, the marketing of the Jewish history of Harbin, China (oh, those 'rich and smart Jews' that built Harbin before Japanese colonial powers destroyed it... like a Jewish Disneyland), and the little-known life of the "righteous Gentile" Varian Fry.

Throughout, she CHALLENGES readers to confront the reasons – in her view - why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, and so little respect for Jewish lives unfolding in the present.

Horn draws upon her travels, her research, and also her own family life-trying to explain Shakespeare’s Shylock to a curious ten-year-old, her anger when swastikas are drawn on desks in her children’s school, the profound perspective offered by traditional religious practice and study-to assert the vitality, complexity, and depth of Jewish life against an anti-Semitism that, far from being disarmed by the mantra of "Never forget," is on the rise. As Horn explores the (not so) shocking attacks on the American Jewish community in recent years, she reveals the subtler dehumanization built into the public piety that surrounds the Jewish past-making the radical argument that the benign reverence we give to past horrors is itself a profound affront to human dignity.

[book] Jews Don’t Count:
A Times Book of the Year 2021
by David Baddiel
September 7, 2021

The North American Edition of the UK Bestseller
How identity politics failed one particular identity.
‘a must read and if you think YOU don’t need to read it, that’s just the clue to know you do.’ SARAH SILVERMAN; ‘This is a brave and necessary book.’ JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER; ‘a masterpiece.’ STEPHEN FRY

Jews Don’t Count is a book for people who consider themselves on the right side of history. People fighting the good fight against homophobia, disablism, transphobia and, particularly, racism. People, possibly, like you.

It is the comedian and writer David Baddiel’s contention that one type of racism has been left out of this fight. In his unique combination of close reasoning, polemic, personal experience and jokes, Baddiel argues that those who think of themselves as on the right side of history have often ignored the history of anti-Semitism. He outlines why and how, in a time of intensely heightened awareness of minorities, Jews don’t count as a real minority: and why they should.

Jews Don’t Count is a searing look at why anti-Semitism is often seen as a lesser form of racism, with a particular focus on the political left. To be Jewish, explains Baddiel, is to be subject to the contradictory belief that “Jews are somehow both sub-human and humanity’s secret masters”. Anti-semitic tropes are everywhere – yet, he argues, few of those who consider themselves alert to racism notice, let alone care. How, Baddiel asks, can Dave Whelan, the owner of Wigan Athletic football club, say that “Jewish people chase money more than everybody else” and believe it to be a compliment? He ponders Jeremy Corbyn’s insistence that the scale of the anti-Semitism problem during his Labour leadership had been exaggerated for political reasons. And wonders why the powers that be at Radio 4 decided it was acceptable, in 2017, to broadcast a poem of TS Eliot’s containing the words: “The rats are underneath the piles. The Jew is underneath the lot.” Even now, in 2021, Baddiel still has to explain that the Jewish religion is not the same as the Jewish race – he himself is atheist – and that to assume that he, or any Jew, has to have a position on Israel is itself racist. Indeed, he tells us, for a long time, he used to respond to the inevitable replies to his tweets about, say, golf, asking him what he was doing about Israel with the hashtag #BringIsraelPalestineIntoItSomeF**kingHow. --Maryanne Levy – UK inews

[book] The MAGICIAN
September 7, 2021

From one of today’s most brilliant and beloved novelists, a dazzling, epic family saga set across a half-century spanning World War I, the rise of Hitler, World War II, and the Cold War.

Colm Tóibín’s magnificent new novel opens in a provincial German city at the turn of the twentieth century, where the boy, Thomas Mann, grows up with a conservative father, bound by propriety, and a Brazilian mother, alluring and unpredictable. Young Mann hides his artistic aspirations from his father and his homosexual desires from everyone. He is infatuated with one of the richest, most cultured Jewish families in Munich, and marries the daughter Katia. They have six children. On a holiday in Italy, he longs for a boy he sees on a beach and writes the story Death in Venice. He is the most successful novelist of his time, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, a public man whose private life remains secret. He is expected to lead the condemnation of Hitler, whom he underestimates. His oldest daughter and son, leaders of Bohemianism and of the anti-Nazi movement, share lovers. He flees Germany for Switzerland, France and, ultimately, America, living first in Princeton and then in Los Angeles.

In a stunning marriage of research and imagination, Tóibín explores the heart and mind of a writer whose gift is unparalleled and whose life is driven by a need to belong and the anguish of illicit desire. The Magician is an intimate, astonishingly complex portrait of Mann, his magnificent and complex wife Katia, and the times in which they lived—the first world war, the rise of Hitler, World War II, the Cold War, and exile. This is a man and a family fiercely engaged by the world, profoundly flawed, and unforgettable. As People magazine said about The Master, “It’s a delicate, mysterious process, this act of creation, fraught with psychological tension, and Tóibín captures it beautifully.”

[book] The Living and the Lost:
A Novel
by Ellen Feldman
September 7, 2021
St. Martin's Griffin

From the author of Paris Never Leaves You, Ellen Feldman's The Living and the Lost is a gripping story of a young German Jewish woman who returns to Allied Occupied Berlin from America to face the past and unexpected future

“A deeply satisfying and truly adult novel.” -Margot Livesey, New York Times best-selling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

Millie (Meike) Mosbach and her brother David, manage to escape to the States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Millie attends Bryn Mawr on a special scholarship for non-Aryan German girls and graduates to a magazine job in Philadelphia. David enlists in the army and is eventually posted to the top-secret Camp Ritchie in Maryland, which trains German-speaking men for intelligence work.

Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie, works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing; she is consumed with rage at her former country and its citizens, though she is finding it more difficult to hate in proximity. David works trying to help displaced persons build new lives, while hiding his more radical nighttime activities from his sister. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, they suffer from conflicts of rage and guilt at their own good fortune, except for Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, who seems much too eager to be fair to the Germans.

Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where drunken soldiers brawl; the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; werewolves, as unrepentant Nazis were called, scheme to rise again; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a decision she made as a girl in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons.

Atmospheric and page-turning, The Living and the Lost is a story of love, survival, and forgiveness of others and of self.

[book] The Dressmakers of Auschwitz:
The True Story of the Women
Who Sewed to Survive
by Lucy Adlington
September 14, 2021

A powerful chronicle of the women who used their sewing skills to survive the Holocaust, stitching beautiful clothes at an extraordinary fashion workshop created within one of the most notorious WWII death camps.

At the height of the Holocaust twenty-five young inmates of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp—mainly Jewish women and girls—were selected to design, cut, and sew beautiful fashions for elite Nazi women in a dedicated salon. It was work that they hoped would spare them from the gas chambers.

This fashion workshop—called the Upper Tailoring Studio—was established by Hedwig Höss, the camp commandant’s wife, and patronized by the wives of SS guards and officers. Here, the dressmakers produced high-quality garments for SS social functions in Auschwitz, and for ladies from Nazi Berlin’s upper crust.

Drawing on diverse sources—including interviews with the last surviving seamstress—The Dressmakers of Auschwitz follows the fates of these brave women. Their bonds of family and friendship not only helped them endure persecution, but also to play their part in camp resistance. Weaving the dressmakers’ remarkable experiences within the context of Nazi policies for plunder and exploitation, historian Lucy Adlington exposes the greed, cruelty, and hypocrisy of the Third Reich and offers a fresh look at a little-known chapter of World War II and the Holocaust.

[book] The Auschwitz Photographer:
The Forgotten Story of
the WWII Prisoner Who
Documented Thousands of Lost Souls
by Luca Crippa and Maurizio Onnis
September 7, 2021

The Nazis asked him to swear allegiance to Hitler, betraying his country, his friends, and everything he believed in.

He refused.

Poland, 1939. Professional photographer Wilhelm Brasse is deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and finds himself in a deadly race to survive, assigned to work as the camp's intake photographer and take "identity pictures" of prisoners as they arrive by the trainload. Brasse soon discovers his photography skills are in demand from Nazi guards as well, who ask him to take personal portraits for them to send to their families and girlfriends. Behind the camera, Brasse is safe from the terrible fate that so many of his fellow prisoners meet. But over the course of five years, the horrifying scenes his lens capture, including inhumane medical "experiments" led by Josef Mengele, change Brasse forever.

Based on the true story of Wilhelm Brasse, The Auschwitz Photographer is a stark black-and-white reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust. This gripping work of World War II narrative nonfiction takes readers behind the barbed wire fences of the world's most feared concentration camp, bringing Brasse's story to life as he clicks the shutter button thousands of times before ultimately joining the Resistance, defying the Nazis, and defiantly setting down his camera for good.

[book] Defending Britta Stein:
A Novel (Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart, 6)
by Ronald H. Balson
September 14, 2021
ST. Martin's Press

One of Newsweek's 20 New Books to Cozy Up With this Fall

Defending Britta Stein is a story of bravery, betrayal, and redemption-from Ronald H. Balson, the winner of the National Jewish Book Award

Chicago, 2018: Ole Henryks, a popular restauranteur, is set to be honored by the Danish/American Association for his many civic and charitable contributions. Frequently appearing on local TV, he is well known for his actions in Nazi-occupied Denmark during World War II-most consider him a hero.

Britta Stein, however, does not. The ninety-year-old Chicago woman levels public accusations against Henryks by spray-painting “Coward,” “Traitor,” “Collaborator,” and “War Criminal” on the walls of his restaurant. Mrs. Stein is ultimately taken into custody and charged with criminal defacement of property. She also becomes the target of a bitter lawsuit filed by Henryks and his son, accusing her of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Attorney Catherine Lockhart, though hesitant at first, agrees to take up Mrs. Stein's defense. With the help of her investigator husband, Liam Taggart, Lockhart must reach back into wartime Denmark and locate evidence that proves Mrs. Stein's innocence. Defending Britta Stein is critically-acclaimed author Ronald H. Balson's thrilling take on a modern day courtroom drama, and a masterful rendition of Denmark’s wartime heroics.

[book] Jewish Cats Calendar 5782
by Larry Yudelson
September 14, 2021
Ben Yehudah Press

If you don’t love cats, you can stop reading now. If you don’t find yourself needing a wall calendar to know when the Jewish holidays are, or what the weekly Torah portion is - we get it, you’re fully digital. But if you’re still with us, have we got a calendar for you.

The Jewish Cat Calendar 5782 (2021-2022) features gorgeous felines living their fullest Jewish lives - whether at the Shabbat table, the Hanukkah celebrations, or the streets of Jerusalem -- along with the secular and Hebrew dates, Jewish and American holidays, the weekly Torah portions, and candle lighting times for select cities from New York and Los Angeles to Jerusalem and Kathmandu.

The best Jewish cat calendar on the market – Larry Mark,

[book] The Sword of David
a novel
by Charles Lichtman
September 7, 2021
Bombardier Books

An action-packed thriller, The Sword of David tells the story of an Israeli commando traveling across the globe, following clues in search of a major biblical treasure that could change the destiny of the world.

Chaim Klein—a fearless Israeli Special Forces officer—has his hands full. After Klein unexpectedly finds the long-lost Ark of the Covenant, he must then search the globe for the Ten Commandments tablets. Klein must also confront and stop a consortium of Islamic states and terrorist organizations who are planning a simultaneous attack that would obliterate dozens of Western cities and Israel. Along the way, he comes across the mystical and awe-inspiring Sword of David. In this nonstop action-packed thriller, which draws on supernatural elements, Klein and his crew visit Ethiopia, London, Paris, Lebanon, and Rome. We also see the terrorists plotting in the West Bank, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Istanbul. The final climactic confrontation between Klein and the terrorists is unexpected and inspirational.

In The Sword of David, you will meet colorful characters—including Rafsani, the terrorist who trained under the infamous Carlos the Jackal; the Israeli spy Galit who works undercover in Paris under the alias Sister Chloe; Baroness Collins, who has an important position in the UK government as well as being the head of a secret organization long thought to be defunct; a renegade CIA operative; a Palestinian once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize; and the Palestinian’s terrorist grandson.

Based on the author’s painstaking research of biblical artifacts, religion, history, and terrorism, The Sword of David feels authentic and current.

September 1, 2021

Hannah Altman’s husband has died as the Great Depression descends on her family, her friends, and her community. How will Hannah feed her two young children? How will she pay her rent? How will she make her way in the world?

As Hannah struggles to answer these questions, her feisty friend, Tessie, faces her own challenges— a violent husband and a serious health crisis. Each week, the two women meet to talk and support each other over tea and mandel bread in Hannah’s kitchen.

As she works to rebuild her life, Hannah gets a rare opportunity at a small, struggling newspaper. She becomes an advice columnist, whose weekly column, Help Me Hannah, provides guidance for those who must navigate the immigrant experience in New York City.

Help Me Hannah is a book about family, love, loyalty, and friendship. Written in the first person, it follows Hannah Altman’s journey—from helplessness and despair to success and contentment.

[book] Send for Me:
A novel Paperback edition
by Lauren Fox
September 7, 2021

An achingly beautiful work of historical fiction that moves between Germany on the eve of World War II and present-day Wisconsin, unspooling a thread of love, longing, and the powerful bonds of family.

Based on the author’s own family letters, Send for Me tells the story of Annelise, a young woman in prewar Germany. Growing up working at her parents’ popular bakery, she's always imagined a future full of delicious possibilities. Despite rumors that anti-Jewish sentiment is on the rise, Annelise and her parents can’t quite believe that it will affect them; they’re hardly religious. But as she falls in love, marries, and gives birth to her daughter, the dangers grow closer. Soon Annelise and her husband are given the chance to leave for America, but they must go without her parents, whose future and safety are uncertain.

Two generations later in a small Midwestern city, Annelise’s granddaughter, Clare, is a young woman newly in love. But when she stumbles upon a trove of the letters her great-grandmother wrote from Germany after Annelise's departure, she sees the history of her family’s sacrifices in a new light, leading her to question whether she can still honor the past while planning for her future.

[book] How to Find What You're Not Looking For
by Veera Hiranandani
September 14, 2021
Ages 9 – 12

New historical fiction from a Newbery Honor–winning author about how middle schooler Ariel Goldberg's life changes when her big sister elopes following the 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision, and she's forced to grapple with both her family's prejudice and the antisemitism she experiences, as she defines her own beliefs.

Twelve-year-old Ariel Goldberg's life feels like the moment after the final guest leaves the party. Her family's Jewish bakery runs into financial trouble, and her older sister has eloped with a young man from India following the Supreme Court decision that strikes down laws banning interracial marriage. As change becomes Ariel's only constant, she's left to hone something that will be with her always--her own voice.

[book] A Rugrats Chanukah:
The Classic Illustrated Storybook
by Kim Smith (Illustrator)
September 28, 2021
Ages 4-8
Quirk Books

In time for the Rugrats' 30th anniversary, the beloved Chanukah Special is now a delightful picture book for readers of all ages!

On the eighth night of Chanukah, Grandma Minka reads aloud a story about the meaning of the holiday to Tommy, Chuckie, Lil, Phil, and Angelica. The babies imagine themselves as the characters in the story, but then Grandma stops reading to make latkes, and the ending is left unknown.

Soon they’re all off to the synagogue, where Grandpa Boris is acting in the Chanukah play. The kids, misunderstanding the phrase “the meaning of Chanukah,” believe that an actor in the play is the “meany of Chanukah” and storm the stage to save Grandpa. How will the Rugrats get out of trouble this time? And will they ever learn the true meaning of Chanukah?

This storybook is a perfect blend of silly, sweet, and educational and will make a cherished gift for kids, nostalgic millennials, and anyone who’s ever wondered about the true meaning of the holiday.

[book] A Boy Is Not a Ghost
by Edeet Ravel (Aut
September 7, 2021
Ages 9 – 12

In this sequel to the award-winning A Boy Is Not a Bird, a boy is exiled to Siberia during World War II. Based on a true story.

Ripped from his home in Eastern Europe, with his father imprisoned in a Siberian gulag, twelve-year-old Natt finds himself stranded with other deportees in a schoolyard in Novosibirsk. And he is about to discover that life can indeed get worse than the horrific two months he and his mother have spent being transported on a bug-infested livestock train. He needs to write to his best friend, Max, but he knows the Soviet police reads everyone’s mail. So Natt decides to write in code, and his letters are a lifeline, even though he never knows whether Max will receive them.

Every day becomes a question of survival, and where they might be shunted to next. When his mother is falsely arrested for stealing potatoes, Natt is truly on his own and must learn how to live the uncertain life of an exile. Practice being invisible as a ghost, change your name and identity if you have to, watch out for spies, and never draw the attention of the authorities.

Even then, he will need luck on his side if he is ever going to be reunited with his family.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

[book] Moshkeleh the Thief:
A Rediscovered Novel
by Sholom Aleichem
Curt Leviant (Translator)
September 1, 2021
JPS: Jewish Publication Society

This first English translation of Sholom Aleichem’s rediscovered novel, Moshkeleh the Thief, has a riveting plot, an unusual love story, and a keenly observed portrayal of an underclass Jew replete with characters never before been seen in Yiddish literature.

The eponymous hero, Moshkeleh, is a robust chap and horse thief. When Tsireleh, daughter of a tavern keeper, flees to a monastery with the man she loves—a non-Jew she met at the tavern—the humiliated tavern keeper’s family turns to Moshkeleh for help, not knowing he too is in love with her.

For some unknown reason, this innovative novel does not appear in the standard twenty-eight-volume edition of Sholom Aleichem’s collected works, published after his death. Strikingly, Moshkeleh the Thief shows Jews interacting with non-Jews in the Russian Pale of Settlement—a groundbreaking theme in modern Yiddish literature. This novel is also important for Sholom Aleichem’s approach to his material. Yiddish literature had long maintained a tradition of edelkeyt, refinement. Authors eschewed violence, the darker side of life, and people on the fringe of respectability. Moshkeleh thus enters a Jewish arena not hitherto explored in a novel.

[book] Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary:
Revised and Expanded
second edition
Edited by Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath
Paul Glasser (Editor)
September 14, 2021
Indiana University Press

This second edition of the award-winning Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary offers even more entries for anyone working with Yiddish on a personal or professional level.

Based on the work of the late Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter, a noted linguist and Executive Director of the League for Yiddish, the dictionary emphasizes Yiddish as a living language that is spoken in many places around the world.

Featuring 85,000 entries, this second edition has been thoroughly revised and expanded with approximately 1000 new words and phrases and is sure to become a critical resource for Yiddish scholars and speakers for years to come.

[book] A Play for the End of the World:
A novel
by Jai Chakrabarti
September 7, 2021

A dazzling debut novel—set in early 1970's New York and rural India—the story of a turbulent, unlikely romance, a harrowing account of the lasting horrors of the Second World War, and a searing examination of one man's search for forgiveness and acceptance.

“Looks deeply at the echoes and overlaps among art, resistance, love, and history ... an impressive debut.” —Meg Wolitzer, best-selling author of The Female Persuasion

New York City, 1972. Jaryk Smith, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, and Lucy Gardner, a southerner, newly arrived in the city, are in the first bloom of love when they receive word that Jaryk's oldest friend has died under mysterious circumstances in a rural village in eastern India.

Traveling there alone to collect his friend's ashes, Jaryk soon finds himself enmeshed in the chaos of local politics and efforts to stage a play in protest against the government—the same play that he performed as a child in Warsaw as an act of resistance against the Nazis. Torn between the survivor's guilt he has carried for decades and his feelings for Lucy (who, unbeknownst to him, is pregnant with his child), Jaryk must decide how to honor both the past and the present, and how to accept a happiness he is not sure he deserves.

An unforgettable love story, a provocative exploration of the role of art in times of political upheaval, and a deeply moving reminder of the power of the past to shape the present, A Play for the End of the World is a remarkable debut from an exciting new voice in fiction.

[book] The Rational Bible:
by Dennis Prager
June 8, 2021
Moved to September 14, 2021

From the co author of Questions People Ask About Judaism, author of over a dozen other other books, and syndicated radio talk show host, come his latest volume in a series on bible commentary.

Is the Bible, the most influential book in world history, still relevant? Why do people dismiss it as being irrelevant, irrational, immoral, or all of these things?

This explanation of the Book of Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Bible, will demonstrate how it remains profoundly relevant—both to the great issues of our day and to each individual life.

Do you doubt the existence of God because you think believing in God is irrational? This book will cause you to reexamine your doubts.

The title of this commentary is The Rational Bible because its approach is entirely reason-based. The reader is never asked to accept anything on faith alone. In Dennis Prager’s words, “If something I write is not rational, I have not done my job.”

The Rational Bible is the fruit of Prager’s forty years of teaching to people of every faith and no faith at all. On virtually every page, you will discover how the text relates to the contemporary world in general and to you on a personal level.

His goal: to change your mind, and, as a result, to change your life.

[book] System Error:
Where Big Tech Went Wrong
and How We Can Reboot
by Rob Reich,
Mehran Sahami, Jeremy M. Weinstein
September 21, 2021

A forward-thinking manifesto from three Stanford professors—experts who have worked at ground zero of the tech revolution for decades—which reveals how big tech’s obsession with optimization and efficiency has sacrificed fundamental human values and outlines steps we can take to change course, renew our democracy, and save ourselves.

In no more than the blink of an eye, a naïve optimism about technology’s liberating potential has given way to a dystopian obsession with biased algorithms, surveillance capitalism, and job-displacing robots. Yet too few of us see any alternative to accepting the onward march of technology. We have simply accepted a technological future designed for us by technologists, the venture capitalists who fund them, and the politicians who give them free rein.

It doesn’t need to be this way.

System Error exposes the root of our current predicament: how big tech’s relentless focus on optimization is driving a future that reinforces discrimination, erodes privacy, displaces workers, and pollutes the information we get. This optimization mindset substitutes what companies care about for the values that we as a democratic society might choose to prioritize. Well-intentioned optimizers fail to measure all that is meaningful and, when their creative disruptions achieve great scale, they impose their values upon the rest of us.

Armed with an understanding of how technologists think and exercise their power, three Stanford professors—a philosopher working at the intersection of tech and ethics, a political scientist who served under Obama, and the director of the undergraduate Computer Science program at Stanford (also an early Google engineer)—reveal how we can hold that power to account.

Troubled by the values that permeate the university’s student body and its culture, they worked together to chart a new path forward, creating a popular course to transform how tomorrow’s technologists approach their profession. Now, as the dominance of big tech becomes an explosive societal conundrum, they share their provocative insights and concrete solutions to help everyone understand what is happening, what is at stake, and what we can do to control technology instead of letting it control us.

[book] Uncontrolled Spread:
Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and
How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic
by Scott Gottlieb
September 21, 2021

Has America’s COVID-19 catastrophe taught us anything?

In Uncontrolled Spread, physician and former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb shows how COVID-19 was able to trounce America’s pandemic preparations and outlines the steps that must be taken to protect against the next outbreak. As the pandemic unfolded, Gottlieb was in regular contact with all the key players in Congress, the Trump administration, and the drug and diagnostic industries. He provides an inside account of how level after level of American government crumbled as the COVID-19 crisis advanced.

A system-wide failure across government institutions left the nation blind to the threat, and unable to mount an effective response. We’d prepared for the wrong virus. We failed to identify the contagion early enough and became overly reliant on costly and sometimes divisive tactics that couldn’t fully slow the spread. We never considered asymptomatic transmission and we assumed people would follow public health guidance. Key bureaucracies like the CDC were hidebound and outmatched. Weak leadership aggravated these woes. We didn’t view a public health disaster as a threat to our national security.

Uncontrolled Spread argues we must fix our systems and prepare for a deadlier coronavirus variant, a flu pandemic, or whatever else nature may threaten us with. Gottlieb outlines policies and investments that are essential to prepare the United States and the world for future threats.

[book] Preventable:
The Inside Story of How Leadership
Failures, Politics, and Selfishness
Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response
by Andy Slavitt
JUNE 15, 2021
St. Martin's Press

“Painfully good. The book could have been called, ‘Outrageous.’ The story Andy Slavitt tells is not just about Trump’s monumental failures but also about the deeper ones that started long before, with our health system, our politics, and more.” --Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal

The definitive, behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. Coronavirus crisis from one of the most recognizable and influential voices in healthcare

From former head of Obamacare Andy Slavitt, Preventable is the definitive inside account of the United States' failed response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Slavitt chronicles what he saw and how much could have been prevented -- an unflinching investigation of the cultural, political, and economic drivers that led to unnecessary loss of life.

With unparalleled access to the key players throughout the government on both sides of the aisle, the principal public figures, as well as the people working on the frontline involved in fighting the virus, Slavitt brings you into the room as fateful decisions are made and focuses on the people at the center of the political system, health care system, patients, and caregivers. The story that emerges is one of a country in which -- despite the heroics of many -- bad leadership, political and cultural fractures, and an unwillingness to sustain sacrifice light a fuse that is difficult to extinguish.

Written in the tradition of The Big Short, Preventable continues Andy Slavitt’s important work of addressing the uncomfortable realities that brought America to this place. And, he puts forth the solutions that will prevent us from being here again, ensuring a better, stronger country for everyone.

[book] Unrequited Infatuations:
A Memoir
by Stevie Van Zandt
September 28, 2021

Jews are an essential part of Springsteen’s entourage. Stevie is not one of them, but drummer, “Mighty” Max Weinberg, is Jewish and his parents ran a Jewish summer camp. Louis Lahav, a sound engineer for Springsteen is Jewish. Mike Appel and Jon Landau, Bruce's past managers, were MOT. Clive Davis, who signed Springsteen... Jewish. Marc Brickman, sound, also. Rabbi Harold Schulweis influenced songs on The River. Okay.. but back to Van Zandt the E STREET BAND member known for leaving the band at the wrong imes, but pursuing a great career in music, acting, activism and philanthropy

An epic tale of self-discovery by a self-confessed Rock n Roll disciple. The odyssey of the guy in the second seat. A story of the triumph of art over commerce. Van Zandt thought of a memoir a decade ago, but needed to wait for a significant ending, and his output over the past three years in a triumph.

What story begins in a bedroom in suburban New Jersey in the early '60s, unfolds on some of the country's largest stages, and then ranges across the globe, demonstrating over and over again how Rock and Roll has the power to change the world for the better? This story.

The first true heartbeat of UNREQUITED INFATUATIONS is the moment when Stevie Van Zandt trades in his devotion to the Baptist religion for an obsession with Rock and Roll. Groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones created new ideas of community, creative risk, and principled rebellion. They changed him forever. While still a teenager, he met Bruce Springsteen, a like-minded outcast/true believer who became one of his most important friends and bandmates. Van Zandt was a co founder of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. As Miami Steve, Van Zandt anchored the E Street Band as they conquered the Rock and Roll world.

And then, in the early '80s, Van Zandt stepped away from E Street to embark on his own odyssey. He refashioned himself as Little Steven, a political songwriter and performer, fell in love with Maureen Santoro who greatly expanded his artistic palette, and visited the world’s hot spots as an artist/journalist to not just better understand them, but to help change them. Most famously, he masterminded the recording of “Sun City,” an anti-apartheid anthem that sped the demise of South Africa’s institutionalized racism and helped get Nelson Mandela out of prison.

By the '90s, Van Zandt had lived at least two lives—one as a mainstream rocker, one as a hardcore activist. It was time for a third. David Chase invited Van Zandt to be a part of his new television show, the Sopranos—as Silvio Dante, he was the unconditionally loyal consiglieri who sat at the right hand of Tony Soprano (a relationship that oddly mirrored his real-life relationship with Bruce Springsteen... plus with his Naples/Calabria heritage...).

Underlying all of Van Zandt's various incarnations was a devotion to preserving the centrality of the arts, especially the endangered species of Rock. In the twenty-first century, Van Zandt founded a groundbreaking radio show (Underground Garage), a fiercely independent record label (Wicked Cool), and developed a curriculum to teach students of all ages through the medium of music history. He also rejoined the E Street Band for what has now been a twenty-year victory lap.

UNREQUITED INFATUATIONS chronicles the twists and turns of Stevie Van Zandt’s always surprising life. It is more than just the testimony of a globe-trotting nomad, more than the story of a groundbreaking activist, more than the odyssey of a spiritual seeker, and more than a master class in rock and roll (not to mention a dozen other crafts). It's the best book of its kind because it's the only book of its kind.

[book] The Recruiter:
Spying and the Lost Art
of American Intelligence
by Douglas London
September 28, 2021

This revealing memoir from a 34-year veteran of the CIA who worked as a case officer and recruiter of foreign agents before and after 9/11 provides an invaluable perspective on the state of modern spy craft, how the CIA has developed, and how it must continue to evolve.

If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a modern-day spy, Douglas London is here to explain. London’s overseas work – mostly in the Middle East – involved spotting and identifying targets, building relationships over weeks or months, and then pitching them to work for the CIA — all the while maintaining various identities, a day job, and a very real wife and kids at home.

The Recruiter: Spying and the Lost Art of American Intelligence captures the best stories from London's life as a spy, his insights into the challenges and failures of intelligence work, and the complicated relationships he developed with agents and colleagues. In the end, London presents a highly readable insider’s tale about the state of espionage, a warning about the decline of American intelligence since 9/11 and Iraq, and what can be done to recover.

[book] Masters of Scale:
Surprising Truths from the
World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs
by Reid Hoffman
June Cohen Deron Triff
September 7, 2021

What can you learn from a Silicon Valley legend and a pantheon of iconic leaders? The key to scaling a successful business isn’t talent, network, or strategy. It’s an entrepreneurial mindset—and that mindset can be cultivated.

“If you’re scaling a company—or if you just love a well-told story—this is a book to savor.”—Robert Iger, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Ride of a Lifetime

Behind the scenes in Silicon Valley, Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn, investor at Greylock) is a sought-after adviser to heads of companies and heads of state. On each episode of his podcast, Masters of Scale, he sits down with a guest from an all-star list of visionary founders and leaders, digging into the surprising strategies that power their company’s growth. In this book, he draws on their most riveting, revealing stories—as well as his own experience as a founder and investor—to distill the secrets behind the most extraordinary success stories of our times.

Here, Hoffman teams up with Masters of Scale’s executive producers to offer a rare window into the entrepreneurial mind, sharing hard-won wisdom from leaders of iconic companies (including Apple, Nike, Netflix, Spotify, Starbucks, Google, Instagram, and Microsoft) as well as the bold, disruptive startups (such as 23andMe, TaskRabbit, Black List, and Walker & Co.) that are solving the problems of the twenty-first century.

Through vivid storytelling and incisive analysis, Masters of Scale distills their collective insights into a set of counterintuitive principles that anyone can use. How do you find a winning idea and turn it into a scalable venture? What can you learn from a “squirmy no”? When should you stop listening to your customers? Which fires should you put out right away, and which should you let burn? And can you really make money while making the world a better place? (Answer: Yes. But you have to keep your profits and values aligned.)

Based on more than a hundred interviews and including a wealth of new material never aired on the podcast, this unique insider’s guide will inspire you to reimagine how you do business today.

[book] Lily's Promise:
How I Survived Auschwitz
and Found the Strength to Live
by Lily Ebert, Dov Forman (her great g-son)
September 2, 2021

Available in the UK, now or in May 2022 in the USA

A stunningly moving book about the power of hope and love to overcome the very worst of mankind' Piers Morgan

When Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert was liberated in 1945, a Jewish-American soldier gave her a banknote on which he’d written ‘Good luck and happiness’. And when her great-grandson, Dov, decided to use social media to track down the family of the GI, 96-year-old Lily found herself making headlines round the world. Lily had promised herself that if she survived Auschwitz she would tell everyone the truth about the camp. Now was her chance.

In Lily’s Promise she writes movingly about her happy childhood in Hungary, the death of her mother and two youngest siblings on their arrival at Auschwitz in 1944 and her determination to keep her two other sisters safe. She describes the inhumanity of the camp and the small acts of defiance that gave her strength. From there she and her sisters became slave labour in a munitions factory, and then faced a death march that they barely survived.

Lily lost so much, but she built a new life for herself and her family, first in Israel and then in London. It wasn’t easy; the pain of her past was always with her, but this extraordinary woman found the strength to speak out in the hope that such evil would never happen again.

[book] A Complicated Jew:
Selected Essays
by Hillel Halkin
September 7, 2021
Wicked Son

HILLEL HALKIN is the author or translator of over forty notable books, and may others and essays. I guess I first read him in the late 70s, with Letters to an American Jewish Friend: A Zionist's Polemic (1977). Born in the US (his father was a teacher at JTS, his mother a BarIlan), he emigrated to Israel in 1970.

Elegant and learned, personal and universal, literary, philosophical, and historical—Hillel Halkin’s finely wrought essays on themes of Jewish culture and life are an education in themselves.

Hillel Halkin is widely admired for his works of literary criticism, biography, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as for his celebrated achievements as a translator. Born and raised in New York City, he has lived most of his life in Israel. His complex sensibility, deeply rooted in Jewish literature and history no less than in his own personal experience, illuminates everything it touches. In A Complicated Jew, Halkin assembles a selection of essays that form, if not a conventional memoir, a haunting and intimate record of a profoundly Jewish life that defies categorization. It is a banquet for the mind.

“Hillel Halkin is a master storyteller and a brilliant cultural critic, and in A Complicated Jew he combines both talents to take his readers on an intellectual thrill ride through his encounters with Jewish thought, art, and life. I envy him his lifetime of adventures and am grateful to him for sharing them with all of us.” Dara Horn, novelist and author of Eternal Life and People Love Dead Jews

“I have been reading Hillel Halkin for well on to half a century, always deriving pleasure from his stately prose, intellectual profit from his deep learning, and inspiration from his integrity. I am pleased to think of him as my contemporary.” Joseph Epstein, author of Life Sentences: Literary Essays, Narcissus Leaves the Pool and Fabulous Small Jews, and former editor of The American Scholar.

“Hillel Halkin himself has always been even more interesting to me than his highly interesting subjects, and here he gives us full access to his adventurous mind, the dazzling range of his learning, and his passionate spirit. More than a collection of essays, this book charts the intellectual journey of one of our most original Jewish writers.” Ruth Wisse, Professor emeritus of Yiddish and Comparative Literature at Harvard University and author of If Am Not for Myself: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews, Jews and Power, and No Joke: Making Jewish Humor.

“Even when Hillel Halkin exasperates, there is no voice on the contemporary Jewish scene more intellectually alert or lucid. The work of a cultural critic of rare breadth, this keenly personal, fiercely argued volume is as trenchant of tour of Jewry’s dilemmas of the last half-century as any I know.” Steven J. Zipperstein, Professor of Jewish Culture and History at Stanford University and author of Imagining Russian Jewry and Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History.

[book] Enemies and Allies:
An Unforgettable Journey
inside the Fast-Moving &
Immensely Turbulent Modern Middle East
by Joel C. Rosenberg
September 7, 2021
Tyndale House Christian Book Publishers

ANOTHER WRIYER MOVED TO ISRAEL and writes novels for Christian book publishers that involve Israel, its neighboring countries, and espionage

Do recent changes in the Middle East signal peace? One Arab country after another is signing historic, game-changing peace, trade, investment, and tourism deals with Israel. At the same time, Russia, Iran, and Turkey are forming a highly dangerous alliance that could threaten the Western powers. Meanwhile, the U.S. is drawing down its military forces in the Mideast and focusing on matters closer to home. Where’s it all heading?

New York Times bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg, based in Jerusalem, skillfully and clearly explains the sometimes-encouraging, sometimes-violent, yet rapidly shifting landscape in Israel and the Arab/Muslim world. Enemies and Allies will take readers behind closed doors in the Middle East and introduce them to the very kings and crown princes, presidents and prime ministers who are leading the change.

Includes exclusive, never-before-published quotes, insights, and analysis from the author’s conversations with some of the most complex and controversial leaders in the world:
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS)
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Jordan’s King Abdullah II
United Arab Emirates’ Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ)
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli president Reuven Rivlin

[book] The Matzah Ball:
A Novel
by Jean Meltzer
September 28, 2021

"The Matzah Ball had me laughing out all-around terrific read."—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Oy! to the world

Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach.

But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspi`ration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy—Jacob Greenberg.

Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah—and Jacob—in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze.

"A luminous celebration of all types of love, threaded with the message that everyone is worthy of it.”—Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of The Ex Talk

[book] Nazis of Copley Square:
The Forgotten Story
of the Christian Front
by Charles Gallagher
(Boston College)
September 28, 2021

The forgotten history of American terrorists who, in the name of God, conspired to overthrow the government and formed an alliance with Hitler.

On January 13, 1940, FBI agents burst into the homes and offices of seventeen members of the Christian Front, seizing guns, ammunition, and homemade bombs. J. Edgar Hoover’s charges were incendiary: the group, he alleged, was planning to incite a revolution and install a “temporary dictatorship” in order to stamp out Jewish and Communist influence in the United States. Interviewed in his jail cell, the front’s ringleader was unbowed: “All I can say is-long live Christ the King! Down with Communism!”

In Nazis of Copley Square, Charles Gallagher provides a crucial missing chapter in the history of the American far right. The men of the Christian Front imagined themselves as crusaders fighting for the spiritual purification of the nation, under assault from godless Communism, and they were hardly alone in their beliefs. The front traced its origins to vibrant global Catholic theological movements of the early twentieth century, such as the Mystical Body of Christ and Catholic Action. The front’s anti-Semitism was inspired by Sunday sermons and by lay leaders openly espousing fascist and Nazi beliefs.

Gallagher chronicles the evolution of the front, the transatlantic cloak-and-dagger intelligence operations that subverted it, and the mainstream political and religious leaders who shielded the front’s activities from scrutiny. Nazis of Copley Square is a grim tale of faith perverted to violent ends, and a warning for those who hope to curb the spread of far-right ideologies today.

[book] The State of Israel vs. the Jews
by Sylvain Cypel
William Rodarmor (Translator)
September 28, 2021


Israel moves to the right
Israel has a security state
Israel supports authoritarian regies and lets Saudi Arabia murder prople.
Israel is not good for Jewish social justice

REMEMBER THAT INDIANA JONES FILM.... well... there really was an expedition in search for the lost ark of the covenant – in 1909 – not the 1930's...
(Case Western Reserve)
September 21, 2021
St. Martin's Press

This book tells the untold true story of Monty Parker, a British rogue nobleman who, after being dared to do so by Ava Astor, the so-called “most beautiful woman in the world,” headed a secret 1909 expedition to find the fabled Ark of the Covenant. Like a real-life version of Raiders of the Lost Ark, this incredible story of adventure and mystery has almost been completely forgotten today.

In 1908, Monty is approached by a strange Finnish scholar named Valter Juvelius who claims to have discovered a secret code in the Bible that reveals the location of the Ark. Monty assembles a ragtag group of blueblood adventurers, a renowned psychic, and a Franciscan father, to engage in a secret excavation just outside the city walls of Jerusalem.

By digging with his nearly $3 Million budget (in today's dollars), they enraged the local Muslim population and nearly caused a failure in the Ottoman Empire, and were a prelude to future riots about the Temple Mount

Using recently uncovered records from the original expedition and several newly translated sources, True Raiders is the first retelling of this group’s adventures– in the space between fact and faith, science and romance.

PW write: Ricca follows up Olive the Lionheart with another cinematic history of a European aristocrat’s adventures in distant lands. In 1909, Montague “Monty” Parker, an English nobleman and veteran of the Second Boer War, led an expedition to Palestine in search of the Ark of the Covenant. He was hired by businessmen who believed that a Finnish scholar had discovered a cipher in the Old Testament that, when decoded, provided a map to where the Ark was hidden in a network of subterranean tunnels near Jerusalem. Following the scholar’s map and the findings of an earlier British explorer, Charles Warren, Parker and his team of amateur archaeologists excavated Hezekiah’s Tunnel, believed to have been built in the 8th century BCE to provide Jerusalem with water during a siege by the king of Assyria. Ricca details the history of biblical sites including Gihon Spring, also known as the Virgin’s Fountain, where Mary was believed to have washed Jesus’s swaddling clothes, as well as a strike by local laborers, the race to beat a rival expedition funded by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, and allegations that Parker stole antiquities from the Mosque of Omar. Parker’s rumored romance with Ava Astor, the estranged wife of John Jacob Astor, provides a touch of glamour. Archaeology buffs will be enthralled.

[book] Power Born of Dreams:
My Story is Palestine
by Mohammad Sabaaneh
(Cartoonist, Al Hayat al Jdida)
September 21, 2021
Street Noise Books

What does freedom look like from inside an Israeli prison?

The walls of the cell are etched with the names of the prisoners who came before. A bird perches on the cell window and offers a deal: “You bring the pencil, and I will bring the stories,” stories of family, of community, of Gaza, of Palestine.

Mohammad Sabaaneh brings uses his striking linocut artwork to help the world see Palestinian people as human, not as superheroes or political symbols.

[book] Creative Acts for Curious People:
How to Think, Create, and
Lead in Unconventional Ways
(Stanford Library)
by Sarah Stein Greenberg
David M. Kelley (Foreword)
September 21, 2021
Ten Speed Press

“A delightful, compelling book that offers a dazzling array of practical, thoughtful exercises designed to spark creativity, help solve problems, foster connection, and make our lives better.”—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author and host of the Happier podcast

In an era of ambiguous, messy problems—as well as extraordinary opportunities for positive change—it’s vital to have both an inquisitive mind and the ability to act with intention. Creative Acts for Curious People is filled with ways to build those skills with resilience, care, and confidence.

At Stanford University’s world-renowned Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, aka “the,” students and faculty, experts and seekers bring together diverse perspectives to tackle ambitious projects; this book contains the experiences designed to help them do it. A provocative and highly visual companion, it’s a definitive resource for people who aim to draw on their curiosity and creativity in the face of uncertainty. Teeming with ideas about discovery, learning, and leading the way through unknown creative territory, Creative Acts for Curious People includes memorable stories and more than eighty innovative exercises.

Curated by executive director Sarah Stein Greenberg, after being honed in the classrooms of the, these exercises originated in some of the world’s most inventive and unconventional minds, including those of and IDEO founder David M. Kelley, ReadyMade magazine founder Grace Hawthorne, innovative choreographer Aleta Hayes, Google chief innovation evangelist Frederik G. Pferdt, and many more.

To bring fresh approaches to any challenge–world changing or close to home–you can draw on exercises such as Expert Eyes to hone observation skills, How to Talk to Strangers to foster understanding, and Designing Tools for Teams to build creative leadership. The activities are at once lighthearted, surprising, tough, and impactful–and reveal how the hidden dynamics of design can drive more vibrant ways of making, feeling, exploring, experimenting, and collaborating at work and in life. This book will help you develop the behaviors and deepen the mindsets that can turn your curiosity into ideas, and your ideas into action.

[book] Peril
by Bob Woodward,
Robert Costa
September 21, 2021
Simon and Schuster

The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history. But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis.

Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the center of the turmoil, resulting in more than 6,000 pages of transcripts—and a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink.

This classic study of Washington takes readers deep inside the Trump White House, the Biden White House, the 2020 campaign, and the Pentagon and Congress, with vivid, eyewitness accounts of what really happened.

Peril is supplemented throughout with never-before-seen material from secret orders, transcripts of confidential calls, diaries, emails, meeting notes and other personal and government records, making for an unparalleled history.

It is also the first inside look at Biden’s presidency as he faces the challenges of a lifetime: the continuing deadly pandemic and millions of Americans facing soul-crushing economic pain, all the while navigating a bitter and disabling partisan divide, a world rife with threats, and the hovering, dark shadow of the former president.

“We have much to do in this winter of peril,” Biden declared at his inauguration, an event marked by a nerve-wracking security alert and the threat of domestic terrorism.

Peril is the extraordinary story of the end of one presidency and the beginning of another, and represents the culmination of Bob Woodward’s news-making trilogy on the Trump presidency, along with Fear and Rage. And it is the beginning of a collaboration with fellow Washington Post reporter Robert Costa that will remind readers of Woodward’s coverage, with Carl Bernstein, of President Richard M. Nixon’s final days.

[book] Eight Days in May:
The Final Collapse of the Third Reich
by Volker Ullrich
Jefferson Chase (Translator)
September 21, 2021

The best-selling author of Hitler: Ascent and Hitler: Downfall reconstructs the chaotic, otherworldly last days of Nazi Germany.

In a bunker deep below Berlin’s Old Reich Chancellery, Adolf Hitler and his new bride, Eva Braun, took their own lives just after 3:00 p.m. on April 30, 1945-Hitler by gunshot to the temple, Braun by ingesting cyanide. But the Führer’s suicide did not instantly end either Nazism or the Second World War in Europe. Far from it: the eight days that followed were among the most traumatic in modern history, witnessing not only the final paroxysms of bloodshed and the frantic surrender of the Wehrmacht, but the total disintegration of the once-mighty Third Reich.

In Eight Days in May, the award-winning historian and Hitler biographer Volker Ullrich draws on an astonishing variety of sources, including diaries and letters of ordinary Germans, to narrate a society’s descent into Hobbesian chaos. In the town of Demmin in the north, residents succumbed to madness and committed mass suicide. In Berlin, Soviet soldiers raped German civilians on a near-unprecedented scale. In Nazi-occupied Prague, Czech insurgents led an uprising in the hope that General George S. Patton would come to their aid but were brutally put down by German units in the city. Throughout the remains of Third Reich, huge numbers of people were on the move, creating a surrealistic tableau: death marches of concentration-camp inmates crossed paths with retreating Wehrmacht soldiers and groups of refugees; columns of POWs encountered those of liberated slave laborers and bombed-out people returning home.

A taut, propulsive narrative, Eight Days in May takes us inside the phantomlike regime of Hitler’s chosen successor, Admiral Karl Dönitz, revealing how the desperate attempt to impose order utterly failed, as frontline soldiers deserted and Nazi Party fanatics called on German civilians to martyr themselves in a last stand against encroaching Allied forces. In truth, however, the post-Hitler government represented continuity more than change: its leaders categorically refused to take responsibility for their crimes against humanity, an attitude typical not just of the Nazi elite but also of large segments of the German populace. The consequences would be severe. Eight Days in May is not only an indispensable account of the Nazi endgame, but a historic work that brilliantly examines the costs of mass delusion. 20 illustrations

[book] Free as a Jew:
A Personal Memoir of
National Self-Liberation
by Ruth R. Wisse
Harvard, McGill
September 21, 2021
Wicked Son Books

A Jewish child born into the worst of times in Europe grows up during the best of times in North America—only to recognize that it could be moving back in the opposite direction.

First came parents with the good sense to flee Europe in 1940 and the good fortune to reach the land of freedom. Their daughter, Ruth, grew up in the shadow of genocide—but in tandem with the birth of Israel, which remained her lodestar. She learned that although Jewishness is biologically transmitted, democracy is not, and both require intensive, intelligent transmission through education in each and every generation. They need adults with the confidence to teach their importance. Ruth tried to take on that challenge as dangers to freedom mounted and shifted sides on the political spectrum. At the high point of her teaching at Harvard University, she witnessed the unraveling of standards of honesty and truth until the academy she left was no longer the one she had entered.

Professor Wisse, a popular speaker with certain Jewish groups, shares her memoir.
Free as a Jew can be read as a history of the future. Its illuminations are likely to be as urgent one hundred years hence as they are now.” -- Cynthia Ozick
"As this extraordinary memoir demonstrates once again, Ruth Wisse has emerged as the most powerful champion in our time of the Jewish people—its history, its culture, and its unique position at the heart of Western civilization." -- Norman Podhoretz.

[book] My Israel and Me
by Alice Blumenthal McGinty
Rotem Teplow (Illustrator)
Shanker College
September 21, 2021

Ages 6 and up
Kalaniot Books, Endless Mtns

This charming book takes us on a journey to the fascinating country of Israel.

Told in verse, from a child's perspective we are introduced to the diversity of its people.

Explanatory text sheds more light on their cultures and traditions.

At Kalaniot Books, our mission is to help parents expose their children to the rich mosaic of Jewish culture and history. Through our list of exciting and engaging picture books, we hope to entertain, instill pride in, and demonstrate the diversity of this truly dynamic community. Our imprint’s name is inspired by the fragile wild poppies, or “kalaniot” that bloom on the hillsides of Israel in the spring. With careful planning and cultivation, these beautiful flowers have continued to flourish from generation to generation. It is our hope that these books become a tool for families to explore this vibrant culture. In this way, from generation to generation, Jewish culture will continue to flourish as well.

Rabbi Kerry Olitzky
Illustrated by Christina Mattison Ebert
September 21, 2021

Ages 6 and up
Kalaniot Books, Endless Mtns

Every synagogue has one. An older congregant who offers candy (or pretzels or snacks) to kids. Who can forget the pretzel man at Scranton's Temple Israel, Mr. Sam Rosen, who passed away in 2004, a Holocaust survivor from Secovce, Czechoslovakia who ended up working for a pretzel company. He kept the kids happy

In a synagogue, everyone plays an important role: the rabbi, the cantor, the teachers, and even the congregation. But some synagogues are are lucky enough to have a candy man or woman.

Everyone loves the Candy Man at Temple Shalom, especially the kids. It's not just because of the delicious candy that he gives out after Shabbat services, either. Mr Sharansky is always ready to help, whether it's reading a book during Junior Congregation, telling a silly joke, or just sharing a friendly smile. But when the Candy Man goes missing, Josh and Becky get to work to uncover the mystery. In the end, the kids find the Candy Man-and so much more!

Notes at the back of the book include a glossary and an opportunity to explore the Shema prayer. English, Hebrew, and transliterations as well as American Sign Language diagrams are provided to help young people interact more fully in the synagogue experience.

[book] The Rabbi and the Painter
by Shoshona Weiss
Jennifer Kirkham (Illustrator)
September 21, 2021

Ages 6 and up
Kalaniot Books, Endless Mtns

Based on stories handed down from the past, this is the tale of a unique relationship between the sixteenth-century Venetian painter Tintoretto and Rabbi Leon of Modena, also known as Rabbi Judah Aryeh. Both men push at the boundaries of convention. With The Rabbi and the Painter we are transported to a place where cultures mix to create breathtaking masterpieces

[book] A Snake, a Flood,
a Hidden Baby:
Bible Stories for Children
by Meir Shalev
Ilana Kurshan (Translator)
Emanuele Luzzati (Illustrator)
September 21, 2021

Ages 6 and up
Kalaniot Books, Endless Mtns

A Snake, a Flood, a Hidden Baby: Bible Stories for Children<\/em>\x26nbsp;features six popular stories from the Hebrew Bible retold with whimsy by one of Israel\x27s most celebrated authors.

With irresistible humor, Meir Shalev intro\-duces a lively cast of characters.

Whether it's a sneaky snake or a bunch of babbling builders, parents and their children are sure to enjoy these tales anew.

Emanuele Luzzati's playful collage illustrations pair beautifully with this witty retelling, while Ilana Kurshan's translation creates a light and friendly tone that children will love.

[book] RBG's Brave & Brilliant Women:
33 Jewish Women to
Inspire Everyone
by Nadine Epstein (Moment Magazine)
Bee Johnson (Illustrator)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Introduction)
September 21, 2021
Delacorte Press
Ages 10 and up

This collection of biographies of brave and brilliant Jewish female role models--selected in collaboration with Ruth Bader Ginsburg and including an introduction written by the iconic Supreme Court justice herself-- provides young people with a roster of inspirational role models, all of whom are Jewish women, who will appeal not only to young people but to people of all ages, and all faiths.

The fascinating lives detailed in this collection--more than thirty exemplary female role models--were chosen by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or RBG, as she was lovingly known to her many admirers. Working with her friend, journalist Nadine Epstein, RBG selected these trailblazers, all of whom are women and Jewish, who chose not to settle for the rules and beliefs of their time. They did not accept what the world told them they should be. Like RBG, they dreamed big, worked hard, and forged their own paths to become who they deserved to be.

Future generations will benefit from each and every one of the courageous actions and triumphs of the women profiled here. Real Wonder Women, the passion project of Justice Ginsburg in the last year of her life, will inspire readers to think about who they want to become and to make it happen, just like RBG.

[book] Ruth Bader Ginsburg
(Little People, BIG DREAMS)
by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Judit Orosz (Illustrator)
September 21, 2021
Frances Lincoln Books
Preschool to Grade 2

In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the incredible life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the beloved supreme court justice.

Little Ruth’s mom taught her to be a lady—which meant to be her own independent self. Ruth promised herself she would do everything her mother didn’t get the chance to do. And she excelled: at school, as a law professor, and later on the supreme court fighting gender discrimination.

Ruth became one of the most iconic figures in U.S. politics, standing up for what she believed in, fighting for racial and gender equality, and defending democratic values.

This inspiring book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the justice’s life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.

Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

P.S. … if your child is a GOP fan of Donald Trump who thinks he actually won re-election, then you might like this other book on an elderly fashion icon Trumpster: Iris Apfel [book]

[book] Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero
by Saadia Faruqi
September 7, 2021
Quill Tree Books

At a time when we are all asking questions about identity, grief, and how to stand up for what is right, this book by the author of A Thousand Questions will hit home with young readers who love Hena Khan and Varian Johnson—or anyone struggling to understand recent U.S. history and how it still affects us today.

Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life in the small town of Frey, Texas—and nearly that long waiting for the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can win.

Only, this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. Because this year is the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an anniversary that has everyone in his Muslim community on edge.

With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country’s anger from two decades ago hasn’t gone away. Can he hold onto his joy—and his friendships—in the face of heartache and prejudice?

[book] SAY IT LOUD
(Harvard Law School)
September 7, 2021

A collection of provocative essays exploring the key social justice issues of our time—from George Floyd to antiracism to inequality and the Supreme Court. Kennedy is "among the most incisive American commentators on race" (The New York Times).

Informed by sharpness of observation and often courting controversy, deep fellow feeling, decency, and wit, Say It Loud! includes:

The George Floyd Moment: Promise and Peril • Isabel Wilkerson, the Election of 2020, and Racial Caste • The Princeton Ultimatum: Antiracism Gone Awry • The Constitutional Roots of “Birtherism” • Inequality and the Supreme Court • “Nigger”: The Strange Career Continues • Frederick Douglass: Everyone’s Hero • Remembering Thurgood Marshall • Why Clarence Thomas Ought to Be Ostracized • The Politics of Black Respectability • Policing Racial Solidarity

In each essay, Kennedy is mindful of complexity, ambivalence, and paradox, and he is always stirring and enlightening. Say It Loud! is a wide-ranging summa of Randall Kennedy’s thought on the realities and imaginaries of race in America.

PW WRITES: A middle path through America’s racial turmoil is mapped in these trenchant essays. Harvard Law professor Kennedy (For Discrimination) updates previously published pieces that survey hot-button issues and enduring controversies involving race and the law, including the George Floyd protests, campus movements to remove memorials to racists, moral questions surrounding Nat Turner’s bloody 1831 insurrection against Virginia slaveholders, the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, and the tension between integrationism and separatism in Black social thought. It’s a wide-ranging volume that explores constitutional law; harrowing cases of racial oppression; pioneering figures such as Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall, for whom Kennedy clerked; the rise of “distinctively Black names”; and the influential ideas of segregationist George Wallace and Black nationalist Elijah Muhammad. Stoutly defending his centrist stance on race against excesses of the right and left, Kennedy revisits his family’s struggles with racism and tartly dismisses conservative Justice Clarence Thomas as “a Republican apparatchik skilled in bureaucratic self-promotion and the advancement of retrograde policies,” but pushes back against critical race theory in legal studies, speech restrictions (he enunciates the N-word “in full and out loud” in classroom discussions of inflammatory speech), and abolition of the police. In a time of polarized racial politics, Kennedy’s closely reasoned and humanely argued takes offer an appealing alternative.

[book] Red Roulette:
An Insider's Story of Wealth,
Power, Corruption, and Vengeance
in Today's China
by Desmond Shum
September 7, 2021

A riveting insider's story of how the Party and big money work in China today, by a man who, with his wife, Whitney Duan, rose to the zenith of power and wealth—and then fell out of favor. She was disappeared four years ago. News of this book led to a phone call from Whitney, proof that she's alive.

As Desmond Shum was growing up impoverished in China, he vowed his life would be different.

Through hard work and sheer tenacity he earned an American college degree and returned to his native country to establish himself in business. There, he met his future wife, the highly intelligent and equally ambitious Whitney Duan who was determined to make her mark within China’s male-dominated society. Whitney and Desmond formed an effective team and, aided by relationships they formed with top members of China’s Communist Party, the so-called red aristocracy, he vaulted into China’s billionaire class. Soon they were developing the massive air cargo facility at Beijing International Airport, and they followed that feat with the creation of one of Beijing’s premier hotels. They were dazzlingly successful, traveling in private jets, funding multi-million-dollar buildings and endowments, and purchasing expensive homes, vehicles, and art.

But in 2017, their fates diverged irrevocably when Desmond, while residing overseas with his son, learned that his now ex-wife Whitney had vanished along with three coworkers.

This is both Desmond’s story and Whitney’s, because she has not been able to tell it herself.

[book] Vanderbilt:
The Rise and Fall
of an American Dynasty
by Anderson Cooper
Katherine Howe
September 21, 2021

I ignored Anderson Cooper and his career in TV journalism in NYC. Then I attended a panel lecture lunch he attended at work, and was impressed by his talk and depth... nothing like the TV persona. His September 2021 interview with the NYT Book Review solidified this view of him as a thoughtful, grounded person.

In this book, Anderson Cooper teams with historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty—his mother’s family, the Vanderbilts. When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father’s small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires—one in shipping and another in railroads—that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal.

Though his son Billy doubled the money left by “the Commodore,” subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers—the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius’s grandson and namesake had built—the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all.

The Commodore’s great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family’s empire, basked in the Commodore’s wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other.

[book] Belonging and Betrayal:
How Jews Made the Art
World Modern
by Charles Dellheim
Boston University
September 21, 2021
Brandeis University Press

The story of dealers of Old Masters, champions of modern art, and victims of Nazi plunder.

Since the late-1990s, the fate of Nazi stolen art has become a cause célèbre. In Belonging and Betrayal, Charles Dellheim turns this story on its head by revealing how certain Jewish outsiders came to acquire so many old and modern masterpieces in the first place – and what this reveals about Jews, art, and modernity. This book tells the epic story of the fortunes and misfortunes of a small number of eminent art dealers and collectors who, against the odds, played a pivotal role in the migration of works of art from Europe to the United States and in the triumph of modern art. Beautifully written and compellingly told, this story takes place on both sides of the Atlantic from the late nineteenth century to the present. It is set against the backdrop of critical transformations, among them the gradual opening of European high culture, the ambiguities of Jewish acculturation, the massive sell-off of aristocratic family art collections, the emergence of different schools of modern art, the cultural impact of World War I, and the Nazi war against the Jews.

[book] Amber & Rye:
A Baltic Food Journey:
Estonia • Latvia • Lithuania
by Zuza Zak
September 7, 2021

A culinary journey through Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania

In the Baltics, two worlds meet: the Baltic Sea connects Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, bringing with it cultural exchange and culinary influences. All three Baltic capitals, Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, steeped in history and culture.

Amber & Rye explores this exciting part of Eastern Europe, guiding you around the capitals, sharing stories from the locals, and discovering a dynamic, new style of cooking. Contextualized within the Baltics’ rich history and culture, this food journey is a doorway to a deeper understanding of what makes the region so exciting.

The recipes in this book explore new culinary horizons-grounded in Baltic traditions yet inspired by contemporary trends-making them modern, unique, and easy to recreate at home. In addition to the food and stories of travel, there are snippets of poetry, literature, songs, and proverbs, adding a rich layer of context that makes Amber & Rye a cultural reference point for travelers as well as a showcase for the vibrant new cuisine of the Baltic States.

Recipes and Stories from the Balkans
by Katerina Nitsou
Oliver Fitzgerald (Photographer)
September 21, 2021

Discover the flavors and traditions of North Macedonia
The author grew up in the popular Toronto-Macedonian community and absored the culture and recipes. While not Jewish per se, we can pick up some remnants of the Sephardic Balkan food culture.

Macedonian cuisine is a rich mosaic of influences from the Mediterranean and Middle East, and the neighboring countries in the Balkan Peninsula. It is known for its opulent family meals, and the regional dishes play important symbolic roles in local traditions and family celebrations.

Macedonia: The Cookbook is a love letter to Macedonian culture, and a cuisine deeply rooted in its land and traditions. Through over 100 mouthwatering recipes for mezze dishes, salads, soups, fish, poultry, meat, vegetables, and delicious sweets and preserves, chef and food writer Katerina Nitsou shares the authentic flavors and wisdom brought along with her family, recreated and adapted in her North American kitchen.

With beautiful photography of the food, people, and landscapes of North Macedonia, this cookbook captures the country’s essence and belongs on the kitchen shelf of every food lover.

[book] The Christmas Mitzvah
by Jeff Gottesfeld
Michelle Laurentia Agatha (Illustrator)
September 7, 2021
Ages 4 – 8

Al Rosen, a Jewish man, takes on the jobs of his Christian neighbors on Christmas Eve and day so they can spend the holiday with their families, starting a tradition that lasts for decades.

[book] Hannah G. Solomon Dared
to Make a Difference
by Bonnie Lindauer
Sofia Moore (Illustrator)
September 1, 2021
Ages 5 - 10

When Hannah G. Solomon looked around Chicago, the city where she was born, she saw unfairness all around her. Many people were poor and living in terrible conditions. Immigrants from other countries struggled to survive in their new home. Hannah decided to help change that. When she grew up, she founded the National Council of Jewish Women-the first organization to unite Jewish women around the country-and fought to make life better for others, especially women and children, in Chicago and beyond.

[book] A Bear for Bimi
by Jane Breskin Zalben
Yevgenia Nayberg(Illustrator)
September 1, 2021
Ages 4 - 8

When Bimi’s refugee family immigrates to America and moves into Evie’s neighborhood, not everybody is welcoming. But with the help of Evie’s teddy bear, Bimi’s family becomes part of the neighborhood and Evie makes a new friend.

[book] Recipe for Disaster
by Aimee Lucido
September 14, 2021
Ages 8 – 12

In this heartfelt middle school drama, Hannah's schemes for throwing her own bat mitzvah unleash family secrets, create rivalries with best friends, and ultimately teach Hannah what being Jewish is all about.

With a delicious mix of prose, poetry, and recipes, this hybrid novel is another fresh, thoughtful, and accessible Versify novel that is cookin’. - New York Times Best-Selling Author Kwame Alexander

Hannah Malfa-Adler is Jew . . . ish. Not that she really thinks about it. She'd prefer to focus on her favorite pastime: baking delicious food! But when her best friend has a beyond-awesome Bat Mitzvah, Hannah starts to feel a little envious ...and a little left out.

Despite her parents firm no, Hannah knows that if she can learn enough about her own faith, she can convince her friends that the party is still in motion. As the secrets mount, a few are bound to explode. When they do, Hannah learns that being Jewish isn't about having a big party and a fancy dress and a first kiss -- it's about actually being Jewish. Most importantly, Hannah realizes that the only person's permission she needs to be Jewish, is her own.

[book] Flavors of the Sun:
The Sahadi’s Guide to Understanding,
Buying, and Using Middle Eastern Ingredients
by Christine Sahadi Whelan
Kristin Teig (Photographer)
September 7, 2021
Chronicle Books

From our Atlantic Avenue neighbors...
A comprehensive guide to vibrant Middle Eastern ingredients, with more than 120 recipes that let them shine, from James Beard award winning Sahadi's market in Brooklyn, New York.

Sumac. Urfa pepper. Halvah. Pomegranate molasses. Preserved lemons. The seasonings, staples, and spice blends used throughout the Middle East offer deliciously simple ways to transform food—once you know how to use them. In FLAVORS OF THE SUN, the people behind the iconic Brooklyn market Sahadi's showcase the versatility of these ingredients in over 120 everyday dishes, including starters, salads, soups, family-friendly meals, and desserts. With sections devoted to recipes boasting Bright, Savory, Spiced, Nutty, and Sweet accents, it offers inspiration, techniques, and intensely flavorful ways to use everything from Aleppo pepper to za'atar with confidence. Throughout, "no-recipe recipes" help build up your flavor intuition so you can effortlessly incorporate any of the featured spices, condiments, and preserves into your daily repertoire.

120 RECIPES WITH A PUNCH: From an updated take on nachos and mac and cheese to a spectacular pistachio cheesecake and tahini-enriched brownies, FLAVORS OF THE SUN features dozens of the store's most-requested dishes as well as Sahadi family favorites. Simple yet loaded with flavor, these recipes will inspire you to make these distinctive Middle Eastern ingredients essential components of your pantry.

OPTIMUM VERSATILITY: Each section addresses a specific flavor profile and offers a set of essential ingredients for achieving it along with helpful tips on how to use them separately or in combination. Look-and-cook mini recipes provide even more ideas for using distinctive ingredients like tahini, Aleppo pepper, and preserved lemons to give a fresh new spin to everything from salad dressings to cocktails.

EXPERT KNOWLEDGE: Family owned, Sahadi's has been a beloved resource since its founding by Abrahim Sahadi, an immigrant from Lebanon, more than 100 years ago. Now welcoming a fifth generation into the business, the Sahadi family's authentic imported goods and exhaustive knowledge continue to inspire local chefs and adventurous home cooks to taste and explore the diverse world of Middle Eastern spices and sundries.

FOR FANS OF PLENTY: Much like PLENTY, this cookbook dives deep into core ingredients and provides intimate insights into flavorful spice blends like dukkah, berbere, ras el hanout, shawarma spices, and more. Each ingredient profile includes an informative buying guide so you can build your pantry like a pro.

Perfect for: home cooks to seasoned chefs; fans of PLENTY; JERUSALEM; SHUK, and ZAHAV; Sahadi's loyal customers; those interested learning about spices and new ways to use them in everyday dishes

[book] Lemon, Love & Olive Oil
by Mina Stone
September 14, 2021

Author of the cult-favorite Cooking for Artists, Mina Stone, returns with a collection of 80 new recipes inspired by her traditional Greek heritage and her years cooking for some of New York’s most innovative artists.

Growing up in a close-knit Greek-American household, of Cleveland/Jewish and Greek heritage (tahini walnut babka), Mina Stone learned to cook from her Yiayia, who taught her that food doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious—and that almost any dish can be improved with judicious amounts of lemon, olive oil, and salt. In this deeply personal cookbook, Stone celebrates her grandmother and the other influences that have shaped her life, her career, and her culinary tastes and expertise. Lemon, Love & Olive Oil weaves together more than 80 Mediterranean-style dishes with the stories that inspired them.

Stone offers home cooks a taste of her heritage with healthy, flavorful, and uncomplicated dishes such as Syrian Bulgur and Yogurt with Brown Butter Pine Nuts; Persian Figs with Cardamom and Rosewater; Baby Lettuces with Toasted Sesame Seeds, Mint, and Meyer Lemon Yogurt; and Braised Chickpeas with Orange Zest and Garlic Bread Crumbs. These recipes use fresh, flavorful ingredients to create elegantly simple dishes, complemented by beautiful, minimalist photography and original art throughout.

A fresh and unconventional fusion of art and food, Lemon, Love & Olive Oil is an engaging (and delicious!) cultural and culinary tour, all complimented by the design of world-renowned artist Urs Fischer.

[book] The JEWiSH BRIgAGE
by Marvano
September 14, 2021
Dead Reckoning

In the waning years of World War II, as the tragic plight of the European Jews was coming to light in ever more horrific detail, a Jewish fighting force, known as the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group, was born as part of the British Eighth Army. Leslie Toliver, a racecar driver in the pre-war years, eagerly joined the all-volunteer force for a chance to fight with his people against those who sought to murder them.

When the war in Europe ends and the "savage continent" sits on the brink of continental civil war from chaos, terror, and famine, Leslie and the Brigade move to Tarvisio, Italy, a border triangle city perfect for covert action. While out searching for Holocaust survivors, Leslie undertakes vigilante missions in Soviet occupied Eastern Europe hunting down Nazis on the run for both vengeance and justice. With each Nazi found or refugee rescued, he looks for more information to complete his most personal mission: to find his mother and fiancée who went missing in the upheaval of the war.

[book] AFTER:
The Obligation of Beauty
by Mindy Weisel
September 14, 2021

This compelling and candid memoir by Mindy Weisel, an internationally acclaimed artist and author, traces her search for beauty in her life, which began as a child born in the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Person's Camp to parents who had survived the Auschwitz concentration camp. This is not her parents' story, rather, it is a courageous and honest portrait of her struggle to understand the black hole she was born into. Her successful journey in becoming an artist with her own voice, and an unshakable will to live with beauty, is most inspiring. By weaving an eloquent tapestry of her art, narrative, poetry and journals, Ms. Weisel offers moving insights into her life and work, especially her deep-seated conviction that beauty and love can overcome tragedy.

AFTER: The Obligation of Beauty immerses the reader in Mindy's astonishing body of paintings that explore the subtleties of color as a means in expressing emotion. The ''second generation,'' as her generation of survivors' children are referred to, were faced not only with the tragedy their parents had endured but also with their own feelings of guilt and despair. The process of creating art not only became an antidote to the pain and suffering she witnessed and felt, but it also became an ''obligation'' for finding joy and love in the face of pain.

Each chapter of AFTER is accompanied by paintings relating to different periods of Mindy Weisel's life – a life filled with accomplishment, meaning, love and fulfillment, personally and professionally. unusual memoir, a hardbound, slim volume that divides Weisel's life into chapters of her artistic experience, with photos of her work, which includes paintings, glassworks and sculpture, illustrating each section. It's a work that Weisel wrote over the course of eleven years, tracing her search for beauty in her life. She was born after the Holocaust, in the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Person's Camp to parents who survived Auschwitz, and is a cousin to the late Elie Wiesel. Yet despite those complicated beginnings, the book is Weisel's own story, her struggles as a "second generation," a child of survivors. The memoir traces Weisel's lifelong journey to understand her parents' trauma into which she was born and an unshakable will to live with beauty, one that she has attempted to fulfill her entire life. By weaving a tapestry of her art, narrative, poetry and journals, Weisel offers moving insights into her life and work, especially her deep-seated conviction that beauty and love can overcome tragedy. – Times of Israel


[book] That Summer:
A Novel
Part 2 in the Cape Cod Trilogy
by Jennifer Weiner
(pronounced whiner) May 11, 2021
Altria Books

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Summer comes another timely and deliciously twisty novel of intrigue, secrets, and the transformative power of female friendship. Hint hint... Ms. Weiner wrote this novel during #MeToo, The Kavanaugh hearing, testifying about a rape that happened years ago during high school, and having her daughter apply for a job and remembering how Weiner's first job was filled with incidents of harassment.

Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?

While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?

From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written with Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit and sharp observations, That Summer is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of friendship.

Doug Emhoff's Summer read in Washington DC:

Essays by
May 11, 2021

A collection of funny personal essays from one of the writers of Superbad and Pineapple Express and one of the producers of The Disaster Artist, Neighbors, and The Boys. (All of these words have been added to help this book show up in people’s searches using the wonders of algorithmic technology. Thanks for bearing with us!) Hi! I’m Seth! I was asked to describe my book, Yearbook, for the inside flap (which is a gross phrase) and for websites and shit like that, so… here it goes!!!

Yearbook is a collection of true stories that I desperately hope are just funny at worst, and life-changingly amazing at best. (I understand that it’s likely the former, which is a fancy “book” way of saying “the first one.”)

I talk about my grandparents, doing stand-up comedy as a teenager, bar mitzvahs, and Jewish summer camp, and tell way more stories about doing drugs than my mother would like. I also talk about some of my adventures in Los Angeles, and surely say things about other famous people that will create a wildly awkward conversation for me at a party one day.

I hope you enjoy the book should you buy it, and if you don’t enjoy it, I’m sorry. If you ever see me on the street and explain the situation, I’ll do my best to make it up to you.

JUNE 8, 2021

New York Times bestselling author Anne Sebba's moving biography of Ethel Rosenberg, the wife and mother whose execution for espionage-related crimes defined the Cold War and horrified the world.

In June 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a couple with two young sons, were led separately from their prison cells on Death Row and electrocuted moments apart. Both had been convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union, despite the fact that the US government was aware that the evidence against Ethel was shaky at best and based on the perjury of her own brother.

This book is the first to focus on one half of that couple for more than thirty years, and much new evidence has surfaced since then. Ethel was a bright girl who might have fulfilled her personal dream of becoming an opera singer, but instead found herself struggling with the social mores of the 1950’s. She longed to be a good wife and perfect mother, while battling the political paranoia of the McCarthy era, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and a mother who never valued her. Because of her profound love for and loyalty to her husband, she refused to incriminate him, despite government pressure on her to do so. Instead, she courageously faced the death penalty for a crime she hadn’t committed, orphaning her children.

Seventy years after her trial, this is the first time Ethel’s story has been told with the full use of the dramatic and tragic prison letters she exchanged with her husband, her lawyer and her psychotherapist over a three-year period, two of them in solitary confinement. Hers is the resonant story of what happens when a government motivated by fear tramples on the rights of its citizens.

An American Story
A Memoir
Alexander S. Vindman,
Ret Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army
Harper Books
JUNE 15, 2021

Former U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman tells the story of his childhood as a Ukranian immigrant in Brooklyn, his choice to pursue a career in service of his new home in war and at the highest levels of the National Security Council, and his decision to report the infamous phone call that led to a presidential impeachment.

0900, Thursday, July 25, 2019: President Trump called Ukraine’s President Zelensky, supposedly to congratulate him on his recent victory. In the months to follow, the American public would learn what only Alexander Vindman was courageous enough to bring to light: on that call, the President of the United States extorted a foreign ally to bring down a political challenger at home. Vindman’s actions would lead to Trump’s impeachment. It would also lead to the end of Vindman’s decorated career in the US Army, in retribution for his public testimony before Congress.

Here, Right Matters is the story of Vindman’s family, his career, and the moment of truth he faced for his nation. As an immigrant, raised by a father who fled the Soviet Union in pursuit of a better life for his children, Vindman learned about respect for truth and fact throughout his education and military training in his new home country. Speaking up about what happened on July 25th was never a choice: it was Vindman’s duty, as a naturalized citizen and member of the armed forces. And far louder than the partisan attacks he endured in the wake of his testimony was an extraordinary chorus of support from citizens who were collectively intent on reaffirming an abiding American commitment to integrity.

In the face of a sure-fire career derailment and public excoriation, Vindman heeded the lessons from the people and institutions who instilled in him the moral compass and the courage to act decisively. Like so many other American immigrant families, the Vindmans had to learn to build a life from scratch and take big risks to achieve important goals. Here, Right Matters is about the quiet heroes who keep us safe; but, above all, it is a call to arms for those of us who refuse to let America betray its true self.

[book] Morningside Heights:
A Novel
by Joshua Henkin
JUNE 15, 2021

A tender, powerful, and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-winning author of The World Without You and Matrimony

When Ohio-born Pru Steiner arrives in New York in 1976 after graduating from Yale, she follows in a long tradition of young people determined to take the city by storm. She is escaping the strict Orthodox Jewish family in Ohio. When she falls in love with Spence Robin, her hotshot young Shakespeare professor, her life takes a turn she couldn’t have anticipated.

Thirty years later, in 2006, something is wrong with Spence, now 57. The Great Man can’t concentrate; he falls asleep reading The New York Review of Books. It is most likely early onset Alzheimer's. With their daughter Sarah away at medical school, Pru must struggle on her own. One day, feeling particularly isolated, Pru meets a man, and the possibility of new romance blooms. Meanwhile, Spence’s estranged son from his first marriage has come back into their lives (he did spend two years with them as a teen, and loved his father and hip step mother). Arlo Zackheim, a wealthy entrepreneur who invests in biotech, may be his father’s last, best hope (his mother, was a narcissistic vagabond who left Arlo with a deep void, always seeking love.

Morningside Heights is a sweeping and compassionate novel about a marriage surviving hardship. It’s about the love between women and men and children and parents, about the things we give up in the face of adversity, about what endures when life turns out differently from what we thought we signed up for.

Henkin, in real life, grew up in Morningside Heights, the son of academics. He attended Ramaz on the UES, just a neighborhood, but at that time, a world away. His father has Alzheimer's, but not early onset. His mother, a caregiver to his father, attended a caregiver support group at the JCC in Manhattan, which sparked an idea for the novel. Henkin’s is a grandson of Rabbi Yosef Eliyahu Henkin. Henkin's parents had a mixed marriage... haha... his father was frum, his mother Reform.

[book] The Netanyahus
A Novel
by Joshua Cohen
NY Review Bks
JUNE 22, 2021

A job interview goes awry for the exiled patriarch of Israel's First Family in this novel from one of contemporary fiction's most brilliant and audacious writers.

From the author of 2017 novel MOVING KINGS, about post-IDF Israelis working in the moving truck industry... a funny novel based on a comment by the late Yale professor Harold Bloom, who once showed Netanyahu around campus.

Let's pretend that there was a famous Israeli professor who came to the USA to teach and brought his family. He is interviewing for a position at Corbin College in not-quite-upstate New York. In is Winter 1960, Eisenhower is president, Kennedy and Nixon will be running for the White House. Sexual rebellion is nascent, times they are a changing. Ruben Blum, a retired professor, a Jewish historian — but - as he will stress - NOT an historian of the Jews — is co-opted onto a hiring committee to review the application of an exiled Israeli scholar specializing in the Spanish Inquisition. Professor Benzion Netanyahu shows up for an interview. Netanyahu brings his family (the Yahu's as Blum will call them with derision), unexpectedly. Blum (the campus Jew) must play host to them in Corbindale, and their body noises and diapers, reluctantly. Blum by the way is a Jew of poor heritage, while his wife (Edith)'s family are of elite German Jewish stock. (In real life, Professor Netanyahu taught at Dropsie in Philly in 1959). Corbin is that type of school like Alfred where comedian Robert Klein studied, where when he played Shylock on stage, people yelled Jewboy. The Netanyahu's (Benzion, Tzila, Yonatan, Benjamin, Iddo) - obsessed with the Inquisition and a world of Jew hatred - proceed to lay waste in an undignified way to Blum's American complacencies. Imagine having a daughter who hates her big Jewish nose interacting with a proud Israeli family who see Jewish history as 2000 years of holocausts. Mixing fiction with non-fiction, the campus novel with the lecture, "The Netanyahus" is an inventive, comedy of blending, identity, and politics.

[book] THE VIXEN
A Novel
by Francine Prose
JUNE 29, 2021

“Francine Prose is a powerhouse. The Vixen will fascinate and complicate the histories that haunt our present moments. Like Coney Island’s Cyclone, this story tumbles and tangles a reader’s grip of reality. It’s told with the heart, humor and daring of a true artist. Prose’s Vixen is a triumph and a trip though the solid magic that books make real.”—Samantha Hunt

“A rollicking trickster of a novel, wondrously funny and wickedly addictive.”—Maria Semple

Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Francine Prose returns with a dazzling new novel set in the glamorous world of 1950s New York publishing, the story of a young man tasked with editing a steamy bodice-ripper based on the recent trial and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg—an assignment that will reveal the true cost of entering that seductive, dangerous new world.

It’s 1953, and Simon Putnam (a WASPy Jew with the name of a publishing house), a recent Harvard graduate newly hired by a distinguished New York publishing firm, has entered a glittering world of three-martini lunches, exclusive literary parties, and old-money aristocrats in exquisitely tailored suits, a far cry from his loving, middle-class Jewish family in Coney Island (He was hired specifically since he is Jewish and a greenie newbie to publishing, since no one else would take this job to edit a crappy novel).

But Simon’s first assignment — editing “The Vixen, the Patriot and the Fanatic,” a lurid bodice-ripper improbably based on the recent trial and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, a potboiler intended to shore up the firm’s failing finances —makes him question the cost of admission. Because Simon has a secret that, at the height of the Red Scare and the McCarthy hearings, he cannot reveal: his beloved mother was a childhood friend of Ethel Rosenberg’s. His parents mourn Ethel’s death.

Simon’s dilemma grows thornier when he meets The Vixen’s author, the startlingly beautiful, reckless, seductive Anya Partridge, ensconced in her opium-scented boudoir in a luxury Hudson River mental asylum. As mysteries deepen, as the confluence of sex, money, politics and power spirals out of Simon’s control, he must face what he’s lost by exchanging the loving safety of his middle-class Jewish parents’ Coney Island apartment for the witty, whiskey-soaked orbit of his charismatic boss, the legendary Warren Landry. Gradually Simon realizes that the people around him are not what they seem, that everyone is keeping secrets, that ordinary events may conceal a diabolical plot—and that these crises may steer him toward a brighter future.

At once domestic and political, contemporary and historic, funny and heartbreaking, enlivened by surprising plot turns and passages from Anya’s hilariously bad novel, The Vixen illuminates a period of history with eerily striking similarities to the current moment. Meanwhile it asks timeless questions: How do we balance ambition and conscience? What do social mobility and cultural assimilation require us to sacrifice? How do we develop an authentic self, discover a vocation, and learn to live with the mysteries of love, family, art, life and loss?

[book] The Cult of We:
WeWork, Adam Neumann, and
the Great Startup Delusion
by Eliot Brown, Maureen Farrell
JUNE 1, 2021
The definitive inside story of WeWork, its audacious founder, and what the company's epic unraveling exposes about Silicon Valley's delusions and the financial system's desperate hunger to cash in--from the Wall Street Journal reporters whose scoops hastened the company's downfall.

In 2001, Adam Neumann arrived in New York after five years as a conscript in the Israeli navy. Just over fifteen years later, he had transformed himself into the charismatic CEO of a company worth $47 billion--at least on paper. With his long hair and feel-good mantras, the 6-foot-five Neumann, who grew up in part on a kibbutz, looked the part of a messianic Silicon Valley entrepreneur. The vision he offered was mesmerizing: a radical reimagining of work space for a new generation, with its fluid jobs and lax office culture. He called it WeWork. Though the company was merely subleasing "amenity"-filled office space to freelancers and small startups, Neumann marketed it like a revolutionary product--and investors swooned.

As billions of funding dollars poured in, Neumann's ambitions grew limitless. WeWork wasn't just an office space provider, he boasted. It would build schools, create WeWork cities, even colonize Mars. Could he, Neumann wondered from the ice bath he'd installed in his office, become the first trillionaire or a world leader? In pursuit of its founder's grandiose vision, the company spent money faster than it could bring it in. From his private jet, sometimes clouded with marijuana smoke, the CEO scoured the globe for more capital. In late 2019, just weeks before WeWork's highly publicized IPO, a Hail Mary effort to raise cash, everything fell apart. Neumann was ousted from his company--but still was poised to walk away a billionaire.

Calling to mind the recent demise of Theranos and the hubris of the dotcom era bust, WeWork's extraordinary rise and staggering implosion were fueled by disparate characters in a financial system blind to its risks, from a Japanese billionaire with designs on becoming the Warren Buffet of tech, to leaders at JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs who seemed intoxicated by a Silicon Valley culture where sensible business models lost out to youthful CEOs who promised "disruption." Why did some of the biggest names in banking and venture capital buy the hype? And what does the future hold for Silicon Valley "unicorns"? Wall Street Journal reporters Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell explore these questions in this definitive account of WeWork's unraveling.

[book] The Philip Roth
We Don't Know:
Sex, Race, and Autobiography
by Jacques Berlinerblau
September 14, 2021
University of Virginia Press

Let it be said, Philip Roth was never uncontroversial. From his first book, Roth scandalized literary society as he questioned Jewish identity and sexual politics in postwar America. Scrutiny and fierce rebukes of the renowned author, for everything from chauvinism to anti-Semitism, followed him his entire career. But the public discussions of race and gender and the role of personal history in fiction have deepened in the new millennium. In his latest book, Jacques Berlinerblau offers a critical new perspective on Roth’s work by exploring it in the era of autofiction, highly charged racial reckonings, and the #MeToo movement.

The Philip Roth We Don’t Know poses provocative new questions about the author of Portnoy’s Complaint, The Human Stain, and the Zuckerman trilogy first by revisiting the long-running argument about Roth’s misogyny within the context of #MeToo, considering the most current perceptions of artists accused of sexual impropriety and the works they create, and so resituating the Roth debates. Berlinerblau also examines Roth’s work in the context of race, revealing how it often trafficked in stereotypes, and explores Roth’s six-decade preoccupation with unstable selves, questioning how this fictional emphasis on fractured personalities may speak to the author’s own mental state. Throughout, Berlinerblau confronts the critics of Roth -as well as his defenders, many of whom were uncritical friends of the famous author-arguing that the man taught us all to doubt "pastorals," whether in life or in our intellectual discourse.

[book] The Authority of the Court
and the Peril of Politics
by Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice
U.S. Supreme Court
September 14, 2021
Harvard University Press

A sitting justice reflects upon the authority of the Supreme Court-how that authority was gained and how measures to restructure the Court could undermine both the Court and the constitutional system of checks and balances that depends on it.

A growing chorus of officials and commentators argues that the Supreme Court has become too political. On this view the confirmation process is just an exercise in partisan agenda-setting, and the jurists are no more than “politicians in robes”-their ostensibly neutral judicial philosophies mere camouflage for conservative or liberal convictions.

Stephen Breyer, drawing upon his experience as a Supreme Court justice, sounds a cautionary note. Mindful of the Court’s history, he suggests that the judiciary’s hard-won authority could be marred by reforms premised on the assumption of ideological bias. Having, as Hamilton observed, “no influence over either the sword or the purse,” the Court earned its authority by making decisions that have, over time, increased the public’s trust. If public trust is now in decline, one part of the solution is to promote better understandings of how the judiciary actually works: how judges adhere to their oaths and how they try to avoid considerations of politics and popularity.

Breyer warns that political intervention could itself further erode public trust. Without the public’s trust, the Court would no longer be able to act as a check on the other branches of government or as a guarantor of the rule of law, risking serious harm to our constitutional system.

[book] Seekers of the Face:
Secrets of the Idra Rabba
(The Great Assembly)
of the Zohar
(Studies in Jewish Mysticism) 1st Edition by Melila Hellner-Eshed
Hebrew University, Shalom Hartman Jerusalem
September 14, 2021
Stanford University Press

A magisterial, modern reading of the deepest mysteries in the Kabbalistic tradition.

Seekers of the Face opens the profound treasure house at the heart of Judaism's most important mystical work: the Idra Rabba (Great Gathering) of the Zohar. This is the story of the Great Assembly of mystics called to order by the master teacher and hero of the Zohar, Rabbi Shim'on bar Yochai, to align the divine faces and to heal Jewish religion. The Idra Rabba demands a radical expansion of the religious worldview, as it reveals God's faces and bodies in daring, anthropomorphic language.

For the first time, Melila Hellner-Eshed makes this challenging, esoteric masterpiece meaningful for everyday readers. Hellner-Eshed expertly unpacks the Idra Rabba's rich grounding in tradition, its probing of hidden layers of consciousness and the psyche, and its striking, sacred images of the divine face. Leading readers of the Zohar on a transformative adventure in mystical experience, Seekers of the Face allows us to hear anew the Idra Rabba's bold call to heal and align the living faces of God.

[book] Man Ray:
The Artist and His Shadows
(Jewish Lives series)
by Arthur Lubow
September 14, 2021
YALE University Press

A biography of the elusive but celebrated Dada and Surrealist artist and photographer connecting his Jewish background to his life and art

Man Ray (1890–1976), a founding father of Dada and a key player in French Surrealism, is one of the central artists of the twentieth century. He is also one of the most elusive. In this new biography, journalist and critic Arthur Lubow uses Man Ray’s Jewish background as one filter to understand his life and art.

Man Ray began life as Emmanuel Radnitsky, the eldest of four children born in Philadelphia to a mother from Minsk and a father from Kiev. When he was seven the family moved to the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, where both parents worked as tailors. Defying his parents’ expectations that he earn a university degree, Man Ray instead pursued his vocation as an artist, embracing the modernist creed of photographer and avant-garde gallery owner Alfred Stieglitz.

When at the age of thirty Man Ray relocated to Paris, he, unlike Stieglitz, made a clean break with his past.

[book] The Forest of Vanishing Stars:
A Novel
by Kristin Harmel
JULY 6, 2021

The New York Times bestselling author of the “heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism” (People) The Book of Lost Names returns with an evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis—until a secret from her past threatens everything.

After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything.

Inspired by incredible true stories of survival against staggering odds, and suffused with the journey-from-the-wilderness elements that made Where the Crawdads Sing a worldwide phenomenon, The Forest of Vanishing Stars is a heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author whose writing has been hailed as “sweeping and magnificent” (Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author), “immersive and evocative” (Publishers Weekly), and “gripping” (Tampa Bay Times).

SADLY, MANY REViEWERS ONLINE HAVE GIVEN THIS SUMMER BEST SELLING THRILLER VERY LOW REVIEWS? WHY?? Because the author dedicates the book to the U.S. CAPITOL POLICE who defended Democracy on January 6, 2021, because the author has characters social distance, because the author mentions that the Israeli PM (at the time) was under investigation for corruption, and because the author criticizes the Kremlin. I read this book and enjoyed it immensely. Please ignore the critics who are more concerned that the author disagrees with them about politics

A Novel
(Gabriel Allon, #21)
by Daniel Silva
JULY 13, 2021
Bloomsbury Continuum

Master of international intrigue Daniel Silva follows up his acclaimed #1 New York Times bestsellers The Order, The New Girl, and The Other Woman with this riveting, action-packed tale of espionage and suspense featuring art restorer and spy Gabriel Allon.

The fatal poisoning of a Russian billionaire sends Gabriel Allon on a dangerous journey across Europe and Rosh Pina and into the orbit of a musical virtuoso who may hold the key to the truth about his friend’s death. The plot Allon uncovers leads to secret channels of money and influence that go to the very heart of Western democracy and threaten the stability of the global order. The Cellist is a breathtaking entry in Daniel Silva’s “outstanding series” (People magazine) and reveals once more his superb artistry and genius for invention—and demonstrates why he belongs “firmly alongside le Carré and Forsyth as one of the greatest spy novelists of all time” (The Real Book Spy).

[book] Ladyparts:
A Memoir
by Deborah Copaken
August 3, 2021

A frank, witty, and dazzlingly written memoir of one woman trying to keep it together while her body falls apart—from the “brilliant mind” (Michaela Coel, creator of I May Destroy You) behind Shutterbabe

“The most laugh-out-loud story of resilience you’ll ever read and an essential road map for the importance of narrative as a tool of healing.”—Lori Gottlieb, bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

I’m crawling around on the bathroom floor, picking up pieces of myself. These pieces are not a metaphor. They are actual pieces.

Twenty years after her iconic memoir Shutterbabe, Deborah Copaken is at her darkly comedic nadir: battered, broke, divorcing, dissected, and dying—literally—on sexism’s battlefield as she scoops up what she believes to be her internal organs into a glass container before heading off to the hospital . . . in an UberPool.

Ladyparts is her irreverent inventory of both the female body and the body politic of womanhood in America, the story of one woman brought to her knees by the one-two-twelve punch of divorce, solo motherhood, healthcare Frogger, unaffordable childcare, shady landlords, her father’s death, college tuitions, sexual harassment, corporate indifference, ageism, sexism, and plain old bad luck. Plus seven serious illnesses, one atop the other, which provide the book’s narrative skeleton: vagina, uterus, breast, heart, cervix, brain, and lungs. She bounces back from each bum body part, finds workarounds for every setback—she transforms her home into a commune to pay rent; sells her soul for health insurance; turns FBI informant when her sexual harasser is nominated to the White House—but in her slippery struggle to survive a steep plunge off the middle-class ladder, she is suddenly awoken to what it means to have no safety net.

Side-splittingly funny one minute, a freak horror show the next, quintessentially American, Ladyparts is an era-defining memoir for our time.

FROM JEWISH INSIDER: She details horrific scenes with bursts of humor, like the time she woke her daughter — jet-lagged and recently home from Birthright Israel — when Copaken was hemorrhaging large blood clots. “When the 18th clot emerged from my body, we were counting them, my daughter and I, and I joke, ‘Oh, it’s a chai, right?’” she recalled, referring to the Hebrew word for life, signified by the number 18. Copaken’s Jewishness percolates throughout the book almost by accident. When she was asked recently to write a blog post about how her faith has influenced her writing, she balked — she thought, at first, that it hadn’t. “Originally I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can write anything about that.’ And then I re-read my book, and I thought, ‘Oh, my god, there’s so much Judaism here,’” she said. “I’m not a religious Jew,” Copaken writes. “I’m more of a bagel Jew.” And yet Judaism has been a major force in her life. Growing up outside of Washington, D.C., Copaken had a bat mitzvah, and then did bar mitzvah tutoring to make extra money in high school. “You can take the Jew out of the shtetl, but you can’t take the shtetl out of the Jew,” Copaken remarked. “I am my grandparents’ grandchild.” Before escaping pogroms in Europe, her grandfather had been tossed from his crib by Cossacks, leaving him with an injured arm for the rest of his life. “To grow up Jewish is to grow up knowing relatives of yours and people in your circle who know people who’ve been killed in the Holocaust — people who have been abused and discriminated against, and that you can’t separate out your Jewish identity from the history of Judaism,” Copaken explained. “It seeps into everything.” …. ...Copaken left war photography when she wanted to have children. “I got really tired really quickly of the danger,” she recalled. “A friend of mine from my college, who also took photography [classes] with me, was killed in Iraq. That was kind of a watershed moment where I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, this is serious.’ You feel

Translated from Hebrew by Daniella Zamir
August 17, 2021
Astra House

Ahead of his much anticipated novel in 2022, a collection of stories by the 29 year old writer.
"This vigorous, inventive work will surely fire up readers' neurons." — Starred Review, Publisher's Weekly
For fans of Etgar Keret, a debut collection that fuses the humor of everyday life in Israel with technology's challenges and the latest discoveries about the human brain (which makes sense, since the author studies Israeli brains).

At once compassionate, philosophical, and humorous, Jerusalem Beach is a foray into the human condition in all its contradictions. Through a series of snapshots of contemporary life in Israel, Gefen reveals a world that’s a step from the familiar.

A man’s grandfather joins an army platoon of geriatrics looking for purpose in old age. A scheming tech start-up exposes the dire consequences of ambition in trying to share human memories. An elderly couple searches for a beach that doesn’t exist. And, a boy mourns his brother’s death in an attempt to catch time like flies in his fist.

Entirely heartfelt and infused with pathos, Jerusalem Beach is an exploration of both technology and the brain. Whether ruminating on the stakes of familial love or pitching the reader headlong into the absurdity of success and failure, Gefen leaves the reader intrigued throughout. reviewed it best with... “In this stimulating debut, Gefen explores the mysteries of the human mind through realist and fantastical lenses. In “The Geriatric Platoon,” an Israeli grandfather is deployed to guard a remote settlement near the Jordanian border, much to the puzzlement of his practical son and rudderless, war-scarred grandson. The setup lends itself to some Catch 22-style absurdist humor—one soldier receives special nap dispensations—but the family relationships resonate emotionally as well. Another military-themed story, “Neptune,” offers a darker vision. Set at a remote outpost, it describes a mock trial over a stolen grilled cheese sandwich that devolves into a brutal display of violence and power. Gefen is also a neurocognitive researcher, and several chilling tales venture into the mysteries of cognition, dream worlds, and mental illness. In the dreamlike title story, a husband tries to help his Alzheimer’s-suffering wife relive a special memory. And in the powerful “Exit,” two parents helplessly watch as their young daughter, who suffers from a mysterious condition in which she believes her dreams last for years, becomes lost in the “infinity of her private future” and withdraws from the waking world. Other stories, like “101.3 FM,” about a radio that can tune into people’s inner thoughts, and “Girl Who Lived Near the Sun,” an interplanetary coming-of-age tale, transcend their conceits thanks to a sharp voice. This vigorous, inventive work will surely fire up readers’ neurons.”

[book] Isaac's Beacon:
A Kibbutz based Novel
by David L. Robbins
August 10, 2021

In the tradition of epic novels like Exodus and Cast a Giant Shadow, Isaac’s Beacon is a sweeping historical tale based on the real events of Israel’s founding—bringing alive the power and complexities of the birth of the Jewish state out of the ashes of the Holocaust.

Bestselling author David L. Robbins, called “the Homer of World War II,” turns his mastery of the historical novel to another defining moment of the twentieth century: the birth of the state of Israel.

Isaac’s Beacon is a small, vulnerable kibbutz on the edge of the Negev. Here, the lives of three memorable characters—an Irgun fighter, a young woman farmer, and an American journalist—collide to shape an epic narrative of love, loss, violence, and courage.

Deeply researched and closely based on actual events, Isaac’s Beacon is the first in a series of Robbins’s novels which will explore the tumultuous, complex history and lasting impact of Israel’s creation.

[book] More Than I Love My Life:
A novel
by David Grossman
Translated from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen
August 24, 2021

From the internationally best-selling author, a remarkable novel of suffering, love, and healing: the story of three generations of women and a secret that needs to be told

More Than I Love My Life is the story of three strong women: Vera, age ninety; her daughter, Nina; and her granddaughter, Gili, who at thirty-nine is a filmmaker and a wary consumer of affection. A bitter secret divides each mother and daughter pair, though Gili—abandoned by Nina when she was just three—has always been close to her grandmother. With Gili making the arrangements, they travel together to Goli Otok, a barren island off the coast of Croatia, where Vera was imprisoned and tortured for three years as a young wife after she refused to betray her husband and denounce him as an enemy of the people. This unlikely journey—filtered through the lens of Gili’s camera, as she seeks to make a film that might help explain her life—lays bare the intertwining of fear, love, and mercy, and the complex overlapping demands of romantic and parental passion.

More Than I Love My Life was inspired by the true story of one of David Grossman’s longtime confidantes, a woman who, in the early 1950s, was held on the notorious Goli Otok (“the Adriatic Alcatraz”). With flashbacks to the stalwart Vera protecting what was most precious on the wretched rock where she was held, and Grossman’s fearless examination of the human heart, this swift novel is a thrilling addition to the oeuvre of one of our greatest living novelists, whose revered moral voice continues to resonate around the world.

[book] The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters:
A True Story of Family Fiction
by Julie Klam
August 10, 2021
Riverhead Books

New York Times–bestselling author Julie Klam’s funny and moving story of the Morris sisters, distant relations with mysterious pasts.

Ever since she was young, Julie Klam has been fascinated by the Morris sisters, cousins of her grandmother. According to family lore, early in the twentieth century the sisters’ parents decided to move the family from Eastern Europe to Los Angeles so their father could become a movie director. On the way, their pregnant mother went into labor in St. Louis, where the baby was born and where their mother died. The father left the children in an orphanage and promised to send for them when he settled in California—a promise he never kept. One of the Morris sisters later became a successful Wall Street trader and advised Franklin Roosevelt. The sisters lived together in New York City, none of them married or had children, and one even had an affair with J. P. Morgan.

The stories of these independent women intrigued Klam, but as she delved into them to learn more, she realized that the tales were almost completely untrue.

The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters is the revealing account of what Klam discovered about her family—and herself—as she dug into the past. The deeper she went into the lives of the Morris sisters, the slipperier their stories became. And the more questions she had about what actually happened to them, the more her opinion of them evolved.

Part memoir and part confessional, and told with the wit and honesty that are hallmarks of Klam’s books, The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters is the fascinating and funny true story of one writer’s journey into her family’s past, the truths she brings to light, and what she learns about herself along the way.

I started and decades ago to complement a project I was working on about an “MBA readers the weekly parshat” - but it wasnt about prosperty or wealth but about treating workers well and managing with heart. Alas, the project is not completed. But here is a similar tangential book you might enjoy:

[book] The Tree of Life
and Prosperity:
21st Century Business Principles
from the Book of Genesis
by Michael A. Eisenberg
August 24, 2021
Wicked Son books

“The Tree of Life and Prosperity is one of the most important business books out there right now for people looking to build, create, and do so with their heads and hearts.” -Laurie Segall, Correspondent for 60 Minutes+ and Founder of Dot Dot Dot Media
"Eisenberg has produced a book that will entertain, stimulate, and teach, whether the reader comes from the world of business or is literate in religious ideas, or both." -Dan Senor, Co-Author of Start-Up Nation

One of Israel’s most successful venture capitalists uses the words and actions of the Hebrew patriarchs to lay the foundations for a modern growth economy based on timeless business principles and values.

Entrepreneurs, businessmen, and investors are constantly looking for principles and rules that will pave the way for success. Usually, those at the forefront are successful entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley or legendary Wall Street investors. But the principles of economic growth, wealth creation and preservation were written long before the rise of the modern market economy and its heroes.

Michael Eisenberg—one of the most successful venture capitalists in Israel, and one of the first investors in Lemonade, and Wix—reveals in The Tree of Life and Prosperity the eternal principles for successful business, economics, and negotiation hidden in the Torah—and shows their relevance to the modern world we live in.

Note: Wicked Son books is new imprint for Jewish books at Post Hill Press under the leadership of publisher Adam Bellow and executive editor David S. Bernstein. Why “Wicked Son”? Adam Bellow explains: “The Wicked Son is everyone’s favorite character in the Passover Haggadah, and it is easy to see why. He is irreverent, witty, and sly, and while he reserves the right to evaluate Jewish tradition by his own lights, he asks the most challenging question. Wicked Son will embody this contrarian spirit by publishing books that grapple with big questions, advance unconventional views, and promote greater Jewish engagement with history, culture and ideas.” The Israel-based associate editor is David Hazony. Inquiries may be sent to or to

[book] Forget Prayers, Bring Cake:
A Single Woman's Guide to Grieving
by Merissa Nathan Gerson
August 17, 2021

Though at times it may seem impossible, we can heal with help from our friends and community– if we know how to ask. This heartrending, relatable account of one woman’s reckoning with loss is a guide to the world of self-recovery, self-love, and the skills necessary to meeting one's own needs in these times of pain– especially when that pain is suffered alone.

Grief is all around us. In the world of today it has become common and layered, no longer only an occasional weight. A book needed now more than ever, Forget Prayers, Bring Cake is for people of all ages and orientations dealing with grief of any sort—professional, personal, romantic, familial, or even the sadness of the modern day. This book provides actions to boost self-care and self-worth; it shows when and how to ask for love and attention, and how to provide it for others. It shows that it is okay to define your needs and ask others to share theirs. In a moment in which community, affection, and generosity are needed more than ever, this book is an indispensable road map.

This book will be a guiding light to a healthier mental state amid these troubled times.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is a New Orleans-based writer, professor and sex educator. Her written work has been seen in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Playboy, and Tablet among others. She was inherited trauma consultant for Amazon’s Emmy Award winning television show, Transparent, and continues to speak nationwide on sex, Judaism, LGBTQ inclusion in Jewish spaces, and the inheritance of trauma and memory. She has been invited to lecture at The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, Georgetown Center for Jewish Life, and The Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle and her 2018 Eli Talk on Talmud and consent became KenMeansYes, a pulpit-based Jewish consent advocacy campaign. A member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex and the American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Trainers, Merissa thrives at the intersection of art, academia, sex, gender, and trauma theory. She holds an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, CO where she studied Shamatha meditation in the Shambhala lineage. She is a certified yoga teacher in the Sivananda lineage, and has trained with Kohenet: Hebrew Priestess Institute, Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and with Rabbis James Jacobs Maisels and Jeffrey Roth in the practice of Jewish meditation.

[book] We Share the Same Sky:
A Memoir of Memory & Migration
by Rachael Cerrotti
August 17, 2021

'Cerrotti brings her podcast of the same name to the page with the gripping and deeply moving debut account of her late Jewish grandmother’s experience growing up in Nazi-occupied territory during WWII.'' --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
An Apple Best Book of the Month for August
A granddaughter's decade-long journey to retrace her grandmother's wartime escape and weave together the thin threads of family history.

In 2009, Rachael Cerrotti, a college student pursuing a career in photojournalism, asked her grandmother, Hana, if she could record her story. Rachael knew that her grandmother was a Holocaust survivor and the only one in her family alive at the end of the war. Rachael also knew that she survived because of the kindness of strangers. It wasn't a secret. Hana spoke about her history publicly and regularly. But, Rachael wanted to document it as only a granddaughter could. So, that's what they did: Hana talked and Rachael wrote.

Upon Hana's passing in 2010, Rachael discovered an incredible archive of her life. There were preserved albums and hundreds of photographs dating back to the 1920s. There were letters waiting to be translated, journals, diaries, deportation and immigration papers as well as creative writings from various stages of Hana's life.

Rachael digitized and organized it all, plucking it from the past and placing it into her present. Then, she began retracing her grandmother's story, following her through Central Europe, Scandinavia, and across the United States. She tracked down the descendants of those who helped save her grandmother's life during the war. Rachael went in pursuit of her grandmother's memory to explore how the retelling of family stories becomes the history itself.

We Share the Same Sky weaves together the stories of these two young women -- Hana as a refugee who remains one step ahead of the Nazis at every turn, and Rachael, whose insatiable curiosity to touch the past guides her into the lives of countless strangers, bringing her love and tragic loss. Throughout the course of her twenties, Hana's history becomes a guidebook for Rachael in how to live a life empowered by grief.

[book] Pumpkin Pie for Sigd:
A Holiday Tale
by Tzivia Macleod
Denise Damanti (Illustrator)
August 1, 2021
Berhman / Apples & Honey
Ages 3 - 6

Maddie has just moved to Israel and is excited to celebrate the Ethiopian Jewish holiday of Sigd with her new friend Orly. But what about her own favorite fall holiday, Thanksgiving? Will Maddie be able to celebrate it in her new country? She's determined to find out!

Together, Maddie and Orly go on a quest to find the ingredients for a delicious pumpkin pie and bring a taste of the United States to Israel.

Along the way, they'll discover how their two holidays (and they themselves) have so much in common.

[book] Rosh Hashanah with Uncle Max
A Board book
by Varda Livney
Kibbutz Gezer
August 1, 2021
Ages 3 - 6

Uncle Max is coming to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the birthday of the world, with the people he loves. They watch the sun go down, eat their holiday meal, dip challah and apples into honey for a sweet year, and listen to the sound of the shofar.

[book] Gitty and Kvetch
by Caroline Kusin Pritchard
Ariel Landy (Illustrator)
August 31, 2021
Ages 3 - 8

In this hilariously sweet story about an opposites-attract friendship, chock-full of Yiddish humor, a girl and her best bird friend’s perfect day turns into a perfect opportunity to see things differently.

Gitty and her feathered-friend Kvetch couldn’t be more different: Gitty always sees the bright side of life, while her curmudgeonly friend Kvetch is always complaining and, well, kvetching about the trouble they get into.

One perfect day, Gitty ropes Kvetch into shlepping off on a new adventure to their perfect purple treehouse. Even when Kvetch sees signs of impending doom everywhere, Gitty finds silver linings and holds onto her super special surprise reason for completing their mission.

But when her perfect plan goes awry, oy vey, suddenly it’s Gitty who’s down in the dumps. Can Kvetch come out of his funk to lift Gitty’s spirits back up?

[book] Happy Roo Year:
It's Rosh Hashanah
Board book
by Jessica Hickman
Elissambura (Illustrator)
August 1, 2021
Ages 2 - 6

They think about the year gone by.

They celebrate and schmooze.

They’re really just like you and me-

except they’re KANGAROOS.

Join a kooky cartoon-y kangaroo family in the Australian outback as they celebrate Rosh Hashanah! Learn about the traditions of the Jewish New Year in this rhyming board book, as a community of rambunctious ‘roos celebrates the holiday.

[book] Something New for Rosh Hashanah
by Jane Yolen
Christine Battuz (Illustrator)
August 1, 2021
Ages 2 - 6

Becca refuses to try any news foods, until her family persuades her that Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time to try something new. While dad suggests shaving off his mustache for a new look, and mom thinks she'll take up knitting as a new project, Becca decides she's ready to try something new, too!

[book] Starlight Soup:
A Sukkot Story
by Elana Rubinstein
Jennifer Naalchigar (Illustrator)
August 1, 2021
Berhman / Apples & Honey
Ages 3 - 6

In this second book about Saralee Siegel, the girl with the superpower smell, Saralee decides to create a new recipe for Sukkot--out of starlight, the secret ingredient that magically makes the soup taste just like each person's favorite soup in the world. But there's a problem with the magic soup that only the magic of friendship can fix.

See also: [book]

[book] Shabbat Shalom!
Board book – Picture Book
by Douglas Florian
Hannah Tolson (Illustrator)
August 3, 2021
Ages 2 - 6

A family enjoys their weekly Sabbath dinner in a board book full of warm illustrations and a simple narration sure to appeal to young children.

Shabbat shalom!
We hurry home.

Dressed in their best, a family lights the Shabbat candles. Then it’s time to share a traditional meal with red wine and challah bread. After dinner, singing joyful songs has everyone feeling cozy and ready for bed. With a rhyming text and friendly illustrations, this inviting window into one family’s celebration of the Jewish Sabbath is a welcome addition for young children of any faith.

[book] WE GO TO SHUL
Board book – Picture Book
by Douglas Florian
Hannah Tolson (Illustrator)
August 3, 2021
Ages 2 - 6

A family heads to synagogue together in a charming board book for little listeners with a rhyming text and child-friendly illustrations.

A day of rest with which we’re blessed.
We all get dressed.

It’s Saturday, and one family is setting out to walk together to shul. Inside the synagogue, they all say hello to their friends and the rabbi, then listen and watch as the Torah is read and held aloft. Singing aloud with everyone else is fun! In a welcome addition for children of any faith, this simple, warmly illustrated story takes an inviting look at a weekly Jewish tradition.

[book] Sharkbot Shalom
by Jenna Waldman
Sharon Davey (Illustrator)
August 1, 2021
Berhman / Apples & Honey
Ages 3 - 6

A Shabbat recharge is just what Sharkbot needs. But will he be ready in time?

Get ready for an under water, steam-punk Shabbat! Count down with this cheerful shark robot as he sets the table, stirs the seaweed soup, and braids kelp into challah loaves. You'll want a byte of the food when a stingray brings seagrass cakes and algae sweets. Some pufferfish made a plankton pie!

Sharkbot sweeps the ocean floor

Before his guests swim through the door . . .

'Slime of snail and tail of trout!

My charge is low -- I might run out!'

[book] Between You and Me
by Between Carpools LLC
August 2021
Ages 8 and up

A Journal for Jewish Kids


There are so many things that are special and interesting about YOU! You’re a friend, a student, a son or daughter, a sister or brother. You like playing certain games and have a favorite Jewish song. You have hobbies and fears and hopes and dreams. There’s stuff you think is great, and places where you’d love to go. You’re YOU! If you want to get to know yourself better — this is the book for you! Every page in this journal has a fun and fascinating question about... YOU! This is your book, and you choose: Fill it out yourself and keep it super-private, or share the questions with your family.

You can also use the questions to have interesting discussions with your friends or siblings. You’re a great kid. You’re going to write a great book. And you’re going to have a great time doing it! It’s your life! Live it And write it down!

For ages 8-13

[book] The Flight of a Wild Duck:
An Improbable Journey Through
Life and Technology
by Avram Miller
September 2021
"You always needed a wild duck like Avram, a nonlinear thinker that stirred up the others. I always try to have an Avram on my team. Always. They disrupt and create." -Andy Grove, former Intel CEO

In The Flight of a Wild Duck, Avram Miller describes how luck, intuition, imagination, humor, and risk-taking enabled him to become one of Silicon Valley's visionaries and leading venture capitalists. He recalls his journey of overcoming childhood illness, a troubled family, and an inability to function in the education system to eventually become a senior executive at one of the world's leading technology companies.

Never one to follow a conventional path, Miller broke away from a difficult childhood, leaving home to become a merchant seaman and later a hippie and activist in 1960s San Francisco. Though he had no formal education, his childhood interest in electronics provided him with a foundation in technology, and he ended up working in medical research. He was appointed as an associate professor at twenty-nine. He later transitioned from a successful medical science career to the computer industry, landing at Intel, where he cofounded Intel Capital, one of the top venture capital organizations in the world.

The Flight of a Wild Duck is rich with personal stories, told with humor and honesty, interwoven with the history of the computer industry. Throughout, Miller provides insights into the legendary industry pioneers with whom he worked, including Andy Grove, Bill Gates, and Ken Olsen. The book documents several critical events that gave rise to the personal computer, the Internet, and the creation of broadband communication, in which Miller played a leading role

[book] The Prince and the Emperors:
The Life and Times of Rabbi Judah the Prince
by Dov Zakheim, PhD
September 1, 2021

Zakheim, a Yeshiva grad, served many GOP presidents and administration and was among the Vulcans in the Rice State Department. He wrote a criticism of Bush regarding Afghanistan and other essays. For Koren, he wrote a book on Nechemia. Here is a book on a Talmudic luminary using Hebrew and Roman sources.

Zakheim builds a bio of this Talmudic luminary, focusing on his rulings, life and those around him. Bringing context to the Mishna amd Babylonian/Jerusalem Talmuds/ Since many stories of the time were about Roman leaders, the author includes stories of 2 emperors who the author writes were models for the rabbi's foils.

[book] The Soul of the Mishna
by Yakov Nagen
September 1, 2021

As the foundational text of the Oral Torah, the Mishna is analyzed to understand Jewish law and the workings of the halakhic system. But, there is also an inner spirit to the work that often goes unnoticed, a profundity that provides important principles and insights for everyday life, such as those relating to God’s presence in the world, relationships between parents and children and between husbands and wives, social justice, the Temple, the Land of Israel, and more. The Soul of the Mishna looks at over two hundred mishnayot and identifies the fascinating literary devices used by the Sages to reveal the deeper meaning of the text. To bring the mishnayot closer to contemporary readers, Rabbi Nagen also interweaves personal reflections throughout his interpretations. The Soul of the Mishna is a profound, eye-opening, and soulful approach that will revolutionize the way you learn Mishna.

“I am trying to regain this cornerstone of Judaism,” Rabbi Nagen said. Although it’s often seen as curt, dry, clipped, a just-the-fact summary, “the Mishna is a very deliberate creation,” Rabbi Nagen said. “I am trying to look at it with new eyes, using literary techniques and always searching for meaning.”... For example, the women of Jerusalem dance on Tu b’Av, as many people know. “It often is seen as a way to find a husband,” Rabbi Nagen said. “But in the Mishnah, the dance is also on Yom Kippur. “To show what it really is about, I show that the chapter is an interplay with Shir HaShirim,” the Song of Songs, “in which you have the beloved looking for the dodi,” the lover, “which is understood as the Jewish people’s love story with God. “One Mishnah, in the tradition of pairs of rabbis arguing, is about Hillel and Menachem. You have heard of Hillel, but not of Menachem. But Menachem didn’t argue with Hillel, so Shammai entered to do his job.” The Mishnah just tells us that Menachem went out, and then there was Shammai. There was no explanation; that was left for the Talmud. “The Mishnah is minimalistic,” Rabbi Nagen said. “There’s a word here, a word there, that could make a point without being explicit.” It’s more direct, more specific, “less poetic, less romantic,” but its very specificity allows it to be useful, he said. Rabbi (Genack) Nagen’s smicha is from Yeshiva University’s RIETS; he also earned a Ph.D. in Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He now is the director of Ohr Torah Stone’s Beit Midrash for Judaism and Humanity, and he teaches Talmud, halacha, Jewish thought, and kabbalah at an Israeli hesder yeshiva called Yeshivat Otniel.

[book] PSALMS
Tehillim with Chinese Translation (Hebrew and Chinese Edition)
by Aaron Waldman
September 30, 2021

This unique new edition of Tehillim (Psalms) features the original Hebrew text with Chinese translation in simplified Chinese letters, along with the Chinese translation of Rabbi Sacks' commentary. Translated by Aaron Waldman. Aaron Waldman is a translator who was born in Tianjin, China and made aliya in 2015. He is a Torah scholar and calligrapher based in Haifa, Israel.

[book] Three Sisters:
A Novel
by Heather Morris
October 5, 2021
St. Martin's Press
BOOK 3 of 3 in the trilogy

From Heather Morris, the New York Times bestselling author of the multi-million copy bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz and of Cilka's Journey: a story of family, courage, and resilience, inspired by a true story.

Against all odds, three Slovakian sisters have survived years of imprisonment in the most notorious death camp in Nazi Germany: Auschwitz. Livia, Magda, and Cibi have clung together, nearly died from starvation and overwork, and the brutal whims of the guards in this place of horror. But now, the allies are closing in and the sisters have one last hurdle to face: the death march from Auschwitz, as the Nazis try to erase any evidence of the prisoners held there. Due to a last minute stroke of luck, the three of them are able to escape formation and hide in the woods for days before being rescued.

And this is where the story begins. From there, the three sisters travel to Israel, to their new home, but the battle for freedom takes on new forms. Livia, Magda, and Cibi must face the ghosts of their past--and some secrets that they have kept from each other--to find true peace and happiness.

Inspired by a true story, and with events that overlap with those of Lale, Gita, and Cilka, The Three Sisters will hold a place in readers' hearts and minds as they experience what true courage really is.

[book] Can We Talk About Israel?:
A Guide for the Curious,
Confused, and Conflicted
by Daniel Sokatch
The New Israel Fund, CEO
Christopher Noxon (Illustrator)
OCTOBER 19, 2021

From the expert who understands both sides of one of the world's most complex, controversial topics, a modern-day Guide for the Perplexed-a primer on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Can't you just explain the Israel situation to me? In, like, 10 minutes or less?" This is the question Daniel Sokatch is used to answering on an almost daily basis as the head of the New Israel Fund, an organization dedicated to equality and democracy for all Israelis, not just Jews.

Can We Talk About Israel? is the story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, grappling with a century-long struggle between two peoples that both perceive themselves as (and indeed are) victims. And it's an attempt to explain why Israel (and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) inspires such extreme feelings-why it seems like Israel is the answer to "what is wrong with the world" for half the people in it, and "what is right with the world" for the other half. As Sokatch asks, is there any other topic about which so many intelligent, educated, and sophisticated people express such strongly and passionately held convictions, and about which they actually know so little?

Complete with engaging illustrations by Christopher Noxon, Can We Talk About Israel? is an easy-to-read yet penetrating and original look at the history and basic contours of one of the most complicated conflicts in the world.

[book] Bluebird
by Sharon Cameron
October 5, 2021

Author of Reese's Book Club YA Pick The Light in Hidden Places, Sharon Cameron, delivers an emotionally gripping and utterly immersive thriller, perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys's Salt to the Sea.

In 1946, Eva leaves behind the rubble of Berlin for the streets of New York City, stepping from the fiery aftermath of one war into another, far colder one, where power is more important than principles, and lies are more plentiful than the truth. Eva holds the key to a deadly secret: Project Bluebird -- a horrific experiment of the concentration camps, capable of tipping the balance of world power. Both the Americans and the Soviets want Bluebird, and it is something that neither should ever be allowed to possess.

But Eva hasn't come to America for secrets or power. She hasn't even come for a new life. She has come to America for one thing: justice. And the Nazi that has escaped its net.

Critically acclaimed author of The Light in Hidden Places Sharon Cameron weaves a taut and affecting thriller ripe with intrigue and romance in this alternately chilling and poignant portrait of the personal betrayals, terrifying injustices, and deadly secrets that seethe beneath the surface in the aftermath of World War II.

[book] Four Wars, Five Presidents:
A Reporter's Journey
from Jerusalem to Saigon
to the White House
by TeRence Smith
October 5, 2021

Terence Smith’s memoir recounts his extraordinary journalistic career with The New York Times, CBS News and PBS, covering everything from the inner workings of the White House to fours wars and stories drawn from the daily lives of people in 44 countries. He also provides a first-hand account of the evolution of journalism from print to digital.

Terence Smith followed his famous sportswriter father, Red, into newspapering’s heyday. “You’re writing a letter home,” an editor advised the fledgling foreign correspondent heading out into the world. Four Wars, Five Presidents is just that – a remarkable recounting of Terry’s fifty adventurous years in print and television reporting and editing, a rumination on the transformation of news gathering and the world, and a loving letter home to the illustrious parent who set the high bar that his son has now cleared.

Hopefully I will attend his pre launch event at the Polish Tea Room and fill in this synopsis more fully.

[book] Thank You Modeh Ani
by Rabbi Alyson Solomon
Bryony Clarkson (Illustrator)
October 1, 2021
Berhman / Apples & Honey
Ages 3 - 6

Starting the day with gratitude is positive, and positively Jewish. Rabbi Alyson Solomon takes inspiration from two prayers traditionally recited each morning to create a joyful celebration of our bodies in all their intricacies and diversity, and start each day in the mood to move, to sing, to rejoice.
Includes a note for families explaining the Jewish texts on which the book is based.

[book] Shield of the Maccabees:
A Hanukkah Graphic Novel
by Eric Kimmel
Dov Smiley (Illustrator)
October 1, 2021
Berhman / Apples & Honey
Ages 10 – 13

Our story begins just before the very first Hanukkah . . . Greeks and Jews are living in an uneasy peace in ancient Judea. Jonathan, a Jewish boy, sees a Greek boy begin attacked by bullies and stands up to defend him.

They become best friends. But when war comes to their land, Jonathan joins the Maccabees while his friend Jason joins the Greek army. They seem destined to fight one another. How will their friendship survive?

(((Wasn't this a play by Dan Fishback in 2012?)))

[book] Larry's Latkes
by Jenna Waldman
Ben Whitehouse (Illustrator)
October 1, 2021
Berhman / Apples & Honey
Ages 3 - 6

Everyone knows that Big Larry (a reptile) makes the best latkes in town.

This year he is throwing a Hanukkah party for all this friends, and the latkes need to be extra special. So he goes on a quest to find some brand new flavors. But peaches are a soggy mess, and turnips are a flop. Big Larry’s kitchen is a latke disaster. Good thing he has some help from his friends.

Jenna Waldman brings her joyful rhymes and a friendly alligator to Hanukkah, helped by a sweet menagerie created by Ben Whitehouse.

[book] Pinky Bloom and the Case
of the Magical Menorah
by Judy Press, Erica-Jane Waters (Illustrator)
October 1, 2021
Reading Ages 8 - 12

Pinky Bloom, Brooklyn's greatest kid detective, takes on a new case just in time for Hanukkah.

When an extremely valuable ancient Israeli coin is stolen from her synagogue, Pinky sets out to find the thief.

But other strange events keep distracting her. Could they be connected to the supposedly magical menorah that her neighbor has left in her family's care? Only Pinky can get to the bottom of this-with a little help from her annoying little brother.

[book] Hello, Hanukkah!
Board book
by Susan S. Novich (Illustrator)
(Rhode Island School of Design RISD)
October 1, 2021
Reading Ages 2 - 6

"Hello, Hanukkah!" says the friendly badger as he prepares to count the candles in the Hanukkah menorah. This whimsical board book features a cute and clever badger teaching counting and coloring concepts along with Hanukkah customs.

[book] Sorry For Your Loss
by Joanne Levy
October 12, 2021
Reading Ages 8 - 12

Evie Walman is not obsessed with death. She does think about it a lot, though, but only because her family runs a Jewish funeral home. At twelve, Evie already knows she’s going to be a funeral director when she grows up.

So what if the kids at school call her “corpse girl” and say she smells like death? They’re just mean and don’t get how important it is to have someone take care of things when your world is falling apart.

Evie loves dusting caskets, polishing pews, and vacuuming the chapel-and on funeral days, she dresses up and hands out tissues and offers her condolences to mourners. She doesn’t normally help her parents with the grieving families directly, until one day when they ask her to help with Oren, a boy who was in a horrific car accident that killed both his parents. Oren refuses to speak and Evie, who is nursing her own private grief, is determined to find a way to help him deal with his loss.

[book] The Sour Cherry Tree
by Ms. Naseem Hrab
Nahid Kazemi (Illustrator)
October 12, 2021
Reading Ages 4 - 8

A heartwarming look at love, loss, and memorable objects through the eyes of a child

After her grandfather’s death, a young girl wanders through his house. As she tours each room, the objects she discovers stir memories of her grandfather-her baba bozorg. His closet full of clothes reminds her of the mints he kept in his pockets. His favorite teacup conjures thoughts of the fig cookies he would offer her. The curtains in the living room bring up memories of hide-and-seek games and the special relationship that she and her baba bozorg shared, even though they spoke different languages.

The Sour Cherry Tree is an authentic look at death and loss centred on the experiences of a child, both strikingly whimsical and matter-of-fact. Drawing on the Iranian-Canadian author’s childhood memories, this tender meditation on grief, love, and memory is at once culturally specific and universally relatable.

[book] Welcome Back,
Maple Mehta-Cohen
by Kate McGovern
October 12, 2021
Reading Ages 9-12

Maple is in fifth grade—again. Now everyone will find out she struggles with reading—or will they? An engaging read for anyone who has ever felt different.

Maple Mehta-Cohen has been keeping a secret: she can’t read all that well. She has an impressive vocabulary and loves dictating stories into her recorder—especially the adventures of a daring sleuth who’s half Indian and half Jewish like Maple herself—but words on the page just don’t seem to make sense to her. Despite all Maple’s clever tricks to hide her troubles with reading, her teacher is on to her, and now Maple has to repeat fifth grade. Maple is devastated—what will her friends think? Will they forget about her? She uses her storytelling skills to convince her classmates that she's staying back as a special teacher’s assistant (because of budget cuts, you know). But as Maple navigates the loss of old friendships, the possibility of new ones, and facing her reading challenges head-on, her deception becomes harder to keep up. Can Maple begin to recognize her own strengths, and to love herself—and her brain—just the way she is? Readers who have faced their own trials with school and friendships will enjoy this heartwarming story and its bright, creative heroine.

[book] The Three Latkes
by Eric A. Kimmel (
Feronia Parker-Thomas (Illustrator)
October 1, 2021
Reading Ages 4 - 8

When three Hanukkah latkes fight over which of them tastes the best, the winner is decided by the family cat. Which will he choose? The excited latkes can’t wait to find out, but perhaps they should be careful what they wish for!

[book] With Great Power:
The Marvelous Stan Lee
by Annie Hunter Eriksen
Lee Gatlin (Illustrator)
October 5, 2021
Page Street Kids
Reading Ages 8-12

Every superhero has their origin story: a radioactive spider bite turns ordinary teen Peter Parker into Spider-Man, wealthy Tony Stark escapes captivity by building his Iron Man suit, scientist Bruce Banner survives gamma rays only to transform into the Hulk.

For Stan Lee, it was books of adventure, monsters, and magic that helped him transform from an ordinary boy to a superstar superhero creator. At first, reading these stories was a pathway to a world bigger than his family’s tiny apartment in New York City, but it wasn’t long until Stan was crafting his own stories, creating comics professionally when he was still just a teenager! Still, writing wasn’t exciting when the heroes were always the same: strong, perfect, and boring. Stan had a revolutionary idea. What if anyone-even an ordinary kid-could be a superhero?

Discover more about the life of the Cameo King, known to many for his appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how he revolutionized comics with this vibrant introduction bustling with action, humor, and references for fans new and old. ‘Nuff said!

[book] The Welcome Chair
Picture Book
by Rosemary Wells
Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator)
Fall 2021
Simon & Schuster / Paula Wiseman
Reading Ages 4-8

Based in part on a 100-year-old family journal, Rosemary Wells brings to life a story that the diary’s fragile pages tell. It’s the story of a wooden rocking chair handmade in about 1825 by her great-great-grandfather, an immigrant Jewish boy who made his way to America from Germany in the early 1800s.

In 1807, Sam Siegbert is born in southern Germany. Sam’s favorite pastime is carpentry, much to his father’s displeasure. His mother says he has a gift from God in his hands. After moving to America, he builds a wooden chair with the word WILLKOMMEN on the back. The chair’s back panel was later marked with welcomes by four generations of the family in four different languages.

After the family lost track of the old chair, the author created a new life for it among new owners from other corners of the world. All the families who loved the chair came to America, escaping religious conformity, natural disasters, tyrannies, war, and superstition. In its lifetime, the rocking chair, with its earliest word WILLKOMMEN, stood for openness, hospitality, and acceptance to all who owned it or rocked safely in its embrace.

[book] The Genius Under the Table:
Growing Up Behind
the Iron Curtain
by Eugene Yelchin
October 5, 2021
Candlewick Press
Ages 10 - 15

With a masterful mix of comic timing and disarming poignancy, Newbery Honoree Eugene Yelchin offers a memoir of growing up in Cold War Russia.

Drama, family secrets, and a KGB spy in his own kitchen! How will Yevgeny ever fulfill his parents’ dream that he become a national hero when he doesn’t even have his own room? He’s not a star athlete or a legendary ballet dancer. In the tiny apartment he shares with his Baryshnikov-obsessed mother, poetry-loving father, continually outraged grandmother, and safely talented brother, all Yevgeny has is his little pencil, the underside of a massive table, and the doodles that could change everything.

With equal amounts charm and solemnity, award-winning author and artist Eugene Yelchin recounts in hilarious detail his Soviet Jewish childhood in Cold War Russia as a young boy desperate to understand his place in his family.

[book] Red and Green and
Blue and White by Lee Wind
Paul O. Zelinksy (Illustrator)
October 19, 2021
Reading Ages 4-7

On a block dressed up in Red and Green
one house shone Blue and White.

It's a holiday season that both Isaac, whose family is Jewish, and Teresa, whose family is Christian, have looked forward to for months! They've been counting the days, playing in the snow, making cookies, drawing (Teresa) and writing poems (Isaac). They enjoy all the things they share, as well as the things that make them different.

But when Isaac's window is smashed in the middle of the night, it seems like maybe not everyone appreciates "difference."

Inspired by a true story, this is a tale of a community that banded together to spread light.

[book] Conspiracy U:
A Case Study
by Scott A. Shay
October 19, 2021

Conspiracy U exposes how conspiracy theories drawn from far-right and far-left ideologies masquerade as scholarship at many universities, endangering our norms and conceptions of morality and truth.

In Conspiracy U, Shay presents a case study of his alma mater, Northwestern University, in order to challenge the proliferation of anti-Zionist conspiracy theories championed on college campuses by both the far right and far left.

Shay tackles the thorny question of how otherwise brilliant minds willingly come to embrace and espouse such patent falsehoods. He explains why Zionism, the movement for Jewish national self-determination, has become the focal point for both far-right and far-left conspiracy theories. His keen analysis reveals why Jews serve as the canary in the coal mine.

Conspiracy U delivers an urgent wake-up call for everyone who cares about the future of civil society and is concerned that universities today are failing at teaching students how to strive for truth but rather guiding students to blindly trust theories driven by ideology. The book provides a roadmap for reform based on universal moral and intellectual standards and offers a way out of the culture wars that are ripping America apart.

[book] I'll Keep You Close
by Jeska Verstegen
Bill Nagelkerke (Translator)
Fall 2021
Reading Ages 8-12

Jeska doesn't know why her mother keeps the curtains drawn so tightly every day. And what exactly is she trying to drown out when she floods the house with Mozart? What are they hiding from?

When Jeska's grandmother accidentally calls her by a stranger's name, she seizes her first clue to uncovering her family's past, and hopefully to all that's gone unsaid. With the help of an old family photo album, her father's encyclopedia collection, and the unquestioning friendship of a stray cat, the silence begins to melt into frightening clarity: Jeska's family survived a terror that they've worked hard to keep secret all her life. And somehow, it has both nothing and everything to do with her, all at once.

A true story of navigating generational trauma as a child, I'll Keep You Close is about what comes after disaster: how survivors move forward, what they bring with them when they do, and the promise of beginning again while always keeping the past close.

[book] My Mother's Delightful Deaths
by Carla Haslbauer
Fall 2021
NorthSouth Books
Reading Ages 4-8

What could it mean that your mom is paid to die? It could mean she’s an opera singer!

How does it feel to grow up as the child of a glamorous opera singer? It’s anything but boring! In a single day, Mom’s mood can change—from very quiet to loud to quick-tempered. By day she plays with the children, but at night a transformation occurs! Who will Mother be today? When Mom is on stage, she delights her audience and her countless tragic, but also funny, death scenes leave a special impression. But to her family, she is always Mom.

Carla Haslbauer’s hilarious debut picture book, inspired by the world of opera, reminds us that we all slip into many different roles

[book] The Lost Café Schindler:
The Lost Cafe Schindler:
One Family, Two Wars,
and the Search for Truth
by Meriel Schindler
October 12, 2021

An extraordinary memoir of a Jewish family spanning two world wars and its flight from Nazi-occupied Austria.

Meriel Schindler spent her adult life trying to keep her father, Kurt, at bay. But when he died in 2017, he left behind piles of Nazi-era documents related to her family’s fate in Innsbruck and a treasure trove of family albums reaching back to before World War I. Meriel was forced to confront not only their fractured relationship, but also the truth behind their family history.

The Lost Café Schindler re-creates the journey of an extraordinary family, whose relatives included the Jewish doctor who treated Hitler’s mother when she was dying of breast cancer; the Kafka family; and Alma Schindler, the wife of Gustav Mahler. But the narrative centers around the Café Schindler, famous for its pastries, home-distilled liquors, live entertainment, and hospitality-which was expropriated during the Nazi era. This is a story of tragic loss-several relatives disappeared in Terezín and Auschwitz-but ultimately of reclamation and reconciliation.

[book] In the Midst of Civilized Europe:
The Pogroms of 1918–1921
and the Onset of the Holocaust
by Jeffrey Veidlinger
(((University of Michigan)))
October 12, 2021

“The mass killings of Jews from 1918 to 1921 are a bridge between local pogroms and the extermination of the Holocaust. No history of that Jewish catastrophe comes close to the virtuosity of research, clarity of prose, and power of analysis of this extraordinary book. As the horror of events yields to empathetic understanding, the reader is grateful to Veidlinger for reminding us what history can do.” -Timothy Snyder, author of Bloodlands

Between 1918 and 1921, over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine and Poland by peasants, townsmen, and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution.

In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbors with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them, and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms-ethnic riots-dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of complete extermination. Twenty years later, these dire predictions would come true.

Drawing upon long-neglected archival materials, including thousands of newly discovered witness testimonies, trial records, and official orders, acclaimed historian Jeffrey Veidlinger shows for the first time how this wave of genocidal violence created the conditions for the Holocaust. Through stories of survivors, perpetrators, aid workers, and governmental officials, he explains how so many different groups of people came to the same conclusion: that killing Jews was an acceptable response to their various problems. In riveting prose, In the Midst of Civilized Europe repositions the pogroms as a defining moment of the twentieth century.

[book] Meir Kahane:
The Public Life and Political
Thought of an American Jewish Radical
by Shaul Magid
October 12, 2021

The life and politics of an American Jewish activist who preached radical and violent means to Jewish survival

Meir Kahane came of age amid the radical politics of the counterculture, becoming a militant voice of protest against Jewish liberalism. Kahane founded the Jewish Defense League in 1968, declaring that Jews must protect themselves by any means necessary. He immigrated to Israel in 1971, where he founded KACH, an ultranationalist and racist political party. He would die by assassination in 1990. Shaul Magid provides an in-depth look at this controversial figure, showing how the postwar American experience shaped his life and political thought.

Magid sheds new light on Kahane’s radical political views, his critique of liberalism, and his use of the “grammar of race” as a tool to promote Jewish pride. He discusses Kahane’s theory of violence as a mechanism to assure Jewish safety, and traces how his Zionism evolved from a fervent support of Israel to a belief that the Zionist project had failed. Magid examines how tradition and classical Jewish texts profoundly influenced Kahane’s thought later in life, and argues that Kahane’s enduring legacy lies not in his Israeli career but in the challenge he posed to the liberalism and assimilatory project of the postwar American Jewish establishment.

This incisive book shows how Kahane was a quintessentially American figure, one who adopted the radicalism of the militant Left as a tenet of Jewish survival.

[book] The Spirit within Me:
Self and Agency in Ancient Israel
and Second Temple Judaism
(The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)
by Carol A. Newsom, John Collins
October 12, 2021

The first full-length study of the evolution of self and agency in ancient Israelite anthropology

“Newsom presents a wide-ranging look at the human self and moral agency as reflected in biblical and Second Temple texts. She breathes new life into familiar passages from the Psalms and Proverbs, Genesis, Deuteronomy, and Ezekiel. While her approach is rigorously analytical and tightly argued, behind it stands a profoundly moral thinker for whom the Bible remains an essential point of departure.”—James Kugel

Conceptions of “the self” have received significant recent attention in philosophy, anthropology, and cultural history. Scholars argue that the introspective self of the modern West is a distinctive phenomenon that cannot be projected back onto the cultures of antiquity. While acknowledging such difference is vital, it can lead to an inaccurate flattening of the ancient self.

In this study, Carol A. Newsom explores the assumptions that govern ancient Israelite views of the self and its moral agency before the fall of Judah, as well as striking developments during the Second Temple period. She demonstrates how the collective trauma of the destruction of the Temple catalyzed changes in the experience of the self in Israelite literature, including first-person-singular prayers, notions of self-alienation, and emerging understandings of a defective heart and will. Examining novel forms of spirituality as well as sectarian texts, Newsom chronicles the evolving inward gaze in ancient Israelite literature, unveiling how introspection in Second Temple Judaism both parallels and differs from forms of introspective selfhood in Greco-Roman cultures.

[book] Mooncakes and Milk Bread:
Sweet and Savory Recipes
Inspired by Chinese Bakeries
by Kristina Cho
October 12, 2021
HARPER Horizon

In Mooncakes & Milk Bread, food blogger Kristina Cho ( introduces readers to Chinese bakery cooking with fresh, uncomplicated interpretations of classic recipes for the modern baker.

Inside you’ll find sweet and savory baked buns, steamed buns, Chinese breads, unique cookies, whimsical cakes, juicy dumplings, Chinese breakfast dishes, and drinks. Recipes for steamed buns, pineapple buns with a thick slice of butter, silky smooth milk tea, and chocolate Swiss rolls all make an appearance--because a book about Chinese bakeries wouldn’t be complete without them!

Kristina teaches you to whip up these delicacies like a pro, including how to
Knead dough without a stand mixer
Avoid collapsed steamed buns
Infuse creams and custards with aromatic tea flavors
Mix the most workable dumpling dough
Pleat dumplings like an Asian grandma

This is the first book to exclusively focus on Chinese bakeries and cafes, but it isn’t just for those nostalgic for Chinese bakeshop foods--it’s for all home bakers who want exciting new recipes to add to their repertoires.

[book] Jewish Food:
The Ultimate Cookbook
by Joshua Korn, Scott Gilden,
Kimberly Zerkel, Jim Sullivan (Photographer)
October 19, 2021
Cider Mill Press

800 PAGES!

Lamb chops??

Jewish Food: The Ultimate Cookbook is a beautiful and thorough collection of recipes drawn from Jewish traditions and inspired by the contemporary international cultures rooted in this incredible cuisine.

The over 300 recipes featured in Jewish Food: The Ultimate Cookbook span traditional High Holiday preparations and contemporary spins on dishes that reach back thousands of years. Learn the history of Jewish food traditions and come to understand how strict religious guidelines coexist with food that is not religious but deeply cultural, and how some of this food has evolved over time as it has traveled the globe and embraced European, Asian, and New World influences. This beautiful and thorough collection of recipes draws from Jewish traditions and is inspired by the contemporary international cultures rooted in this incredible cuisine.

[book] The Loneliest Americans
by Jay Caspian Kang
October 12, 2021

A riveting blend of family history and original reportage by a conversation-starting writer for The New York Times Magazine that explores—and reimagines—Asian American identity in a Black and white world.

In 1965, a new immigration law lifted a century of restrictions against Asian immigrants to the United States. Nobody, including the lawmakers who passed the bill, expected it to transform the country’s demographics. But over the next four decades, millions arrived, including Jay Caspian Kang’s parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. They came with almost no understanding of their new home, much less the history of “Asian America” that was supposed to define them.

The Loneliest Americans is the unforgettable story of Kang and his family (including – in adulthood - his Jewish wife and child) as they move from a housing project in Cambridge to an idyllic college town in the South and eventually to the West Coast. Their story unfolds against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding Asian America, as millions more immigrants, many of them working-class or undocumented, stream into the country. At the same time, upwardly mobile urban professionals have struggled to reconcile their parents’ assimilationist goals with membership in a multicultural elite—all while trying to carve out a new kind of belonging for their own children, who are neither white nor truly “people of color.”

Kang recognizes this existential loneliness in himself and in other Asian Americans who try to locate themselves in the country’s racial binary (are they white, or POC?). There are the businessmen turning Flushing into a center of immigrant wealth; the casualties of the Los Angeles riots; the impoverished parents in New York City who believe that admission to the city’s exam schools is the only way out; the men’s right’s activists on Reddit ranting about intermarriage; and the handful of protesters who show up at Black Lives Matter rallies holding “Yellow Peril Supports Black Power” signs. He also focuses on Asian American men and their sense of sexual rejection in America.
Kang’s exquisitely crafted book brings these lonely parallel climbers together amid a wave of anti-Asian violence. In response, he calls for a new form of immigrant solidarity—one rooted not in bubble tea and elite college admissions but in the struggles of refugees and the working class.

[book] In the Midst of Civilized Europe:
The Pogroms of 1918–1921
and the Onset of the Holocaust
by Jeffrey Veidlinger
October 12, 2021

“The mass killings of Jews from 1918 to 1921 are a bridge between local pogroms and the extermination of the Holocaust. No history of that Jewish catastrophe comes close to the virtuosity of research, clarity of prose, and power of analysis of this extraordinary book. As the horror of events yields to empathetic understanding, the reader is grateful to Veidlinger for reminding us what history can do.”
-Timothy Snyder, author of Bloodlands

Between 1918 and 1921, over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine by peasants, townsmen, and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbors with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them, and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms-ethnic riots-dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of complete extermination. Twenty years later, these dire predictions would come true.

Drawing upon long-neglected archival materials, including thousands of newly discovered witness testimonies, trial records, and official orders, acclaimed historian Jeffrey Veidlinger shows for the first time how this wave of genocidal violence created the conditions for the Holocaust. Through stories of survivors, perpetrators, aid workers, and governmental officials, he explains how so many different groups of people came to the same conclusion: that killing Jews was an acceptable response to their various problems. In riveting prose, In the Midst of Civilized Europe repositions the pogroms as a defining moment of the twentieth century.

[book] Rifqa
by Mohammed El-Kurd
Aja Monet (Foreword)
October 12, 2021

The book is published by HAYMARET... so you realize it will vilify the State of Israel and be filled with instances of hate

Rifqa is Mohammed El-Kurd’s debut collection of poetry, written in the tradition of Ghassan Kanfani’s Palestinian Resistance Literature. The book narrates the author’s own experience in Sheikh Jarrah, the neighborhood in Jerusalem (which the author writes is Palestine) and his accusations against the Israeli government and the United States and settler organizations. The book, named after the author’s late grandmother, whom he writes had to flee Haifa in 1948 to escape murderous Jews. He accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing.

[book] Come and Hear:
What I Saw in My
Seven-and-a-Half-Year Journey
through the Talmud
by Adam Kirsch
October 26, 2021
Brandeis Univ Press

A literary critic’s journey through the Talmud.

Spurred by a curiosity about Daf Yomi—a study program launched in the 1920s in which Jews around the world read one page of the Talmud every day for 2,711 days, or about seven and a half years—Adam Kirsch approached Tablet magazine to write a weekly column about his own Daf Yomi experience.

An avowedly secular Jew, Kirsch, an editor at The Wall Street Journal, did not have a religious source for his interest in the Talmud; rather, as a student of Jewish literature and history, he came to realize that he couldn’t fully explore these subjects without some knowledge of the Talmud.

This book is for readers who are in a similar position. Most people have little sense of what the Talmud actually is — how the text moves, its preoccupations and insights, and its moments of strangeness and profundity. As a critic and journalist Kirsch has experience in exploring difficult texts, discussing what he finds there, and why it matters. His exploration into the Talmud is best described as a kind of travel writing—a report on what he saw during his seven-and-a-half-year journey through the Talmud. For readers who want to travel that same path, there is no better guide.

[book] The Book of Mac:
Remembering Mac Miller
by Donna-Claire Chesman
October 26, 2021
Permuted Press

An album-by-album celebration of the life and music of Mac Miller through oral histories, intimate reflections, and critical examinations of his enduring work.

Following Mac Miller’s tragic passing in 2018, Donna-Claire Chesman dedicated a year to chronicling his work through the unique lens of her relationship to the music and Mac’s singular relationship to his fans. Like many who’d been following him since he’d started releasing mixtapes at eighteen years old, she felt as if she’d come of age alongside the rapidly evolving artist, with his music being crucial to her personal development.

“I want people to remember his humanity as they’re listening to the music, to realize how much bravery and courage it takes to be that honest, be that self-aware, and be that real about things going on internally. He let us witness that entire journey. He never hid that.” —Kehlani, friend and musician.

The project evolved to include intimate interviews with many of Mac’s closest friends and collaborators, from his Most Dope Family in Pittsburgh to the producers and musicians who assisted him in making his everlasting music, including Big Jerm, Rex Arrow, Wiz Khalifa, Benjy Grinberg, Just Blaze, Josh Berg, Syd, Thundercat, and more. These voices, along with the author’s commentary, provide a vivid and poignant portrait of this astonishing artist—one who had just released a series of increasingly complex albums, demonstrating what a musical force he was and how heartbreaking it was to lose him.

“As I’m reading the lyrics, it’s crazy. It’s him telling us that he hopes we can always respect him. I feel like this is a message from him, spiritually. A lot of the time, his music was like little letters and messages to his friends, family, and people he loved, to remind them of who he really was.” —Quentin Cuff, best friend and tour manager.

[book] Abraham Joshua Heschel:
A Life of Radical Amazement
(Jewish Lives)
by Julian E. Zelizer
(((Princeton University)))
October 26, 2021
Yale University Press

A biography of the rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who became a symbol of the marriage between religion and social justice

“When I marched in Selma, I felt my legs were praying.” So said Polish-born American rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–1972) of his involvement in the 1965 Selma civil rights march alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Heschel, who spoke with a fiery moralistic fervor, dedicated his career to the struggle to improve the human condition through faith. In this new biography, author Julian Zelizer tracks Heschel’s early years and foundational influences—his childhood in Warsaw and early education in Hasidism, his studies in late 1920s and early 1930s Berlin, and the fortuitous opportunity, which brought him to the United States and saved him from the Holocaust, to teach at Hebrew Union College and the Jewish Theological Seminary. This deep and complex portrait places Heschel at the crucial intersection between religion and progressive politics in mid-twentieth-century America. To this day Heschel remains a symbol of the fight to make progressive Jewish values relevant in the secular world.

The must read for Rosh Hashanah

[book] The Essential Jewish Baking
Cookbook: 50 Traditional Recipes
for Every Occasion
by Beth A. Lee
OCTOBER 5, 2021
Rockridge Press

Make traditional Jewish baked goods at home

Baking is an integral part of Jewish culture and traditions. Whether you're making challah for Shabbat, macaroons for Passover, or babka for family brunch, The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook helps you capture the essence of traditional Jewish baking in your own kitchen. It’s filled with 50 classic recipes-ones you might remember your bubbe or mom whipping up-with clear instructions to help you make them successfully every time.

Inside this Jewish cookbook for home bakers, you’ll find:

Your favorite baked goods-From bagels and bialys to rugelach, kugel, and more, you’ll discover a variety of sweet and savory recipes that are perfect for everyday baking and holidays alike.
An intro to Jewish baking-Gain the knowledge and confidence you need to get started, with guidance on kosher baking, plus essential techniques, tools, and ingredients.
Beginner-friendly recipes-Each recipe includes easy-to-follow directions and uses basic ingredients to ensure you get it right, even if you’ve never tried your hand at Jewish baking before.

Discover the joy of Jewish baking with The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook.

Nathan Myhrvold
Francisco Migoya
October 5, 2021
About $400 for the set

Modernist Pizza is the definitive guide to the world’s most popular food. Created by the team that published the critically acclaimed Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Bread, this groundbreaking set is the culmination of exhaustive research, travel, and experiments to collect and advance the world’s knowledge of pizza. Authors Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya share practical tips and innovative techniques, which are the outcome of hundreds of tests and experiments.

Spanning 1,708 pages, including three volumes plus a recipe manual, Modernist Pizza is much more than a cookbook: it’s an indispensable resource for anyone who not only loves to eat pizza but is also interested in the science, stories, cultures, and history behind it.

Each gorgeously illustrated chapter examines a different aspect of pizza, from its history and top travel destinations to dough, sauce, cheese, toppings, equipment, and more. Housed in a red stainless-steel case, Modernist Pizza contains over 1,000 traditional and avant-garde recipes to make pizza from around the globe, each carefully developed with both professional and home pizzaioli in mind. Modernist Pizza will provide you with the tools to evolve your craft, invent, and make sublime creations. There’s never been a better time to make pizza.

[book] Sandor Katz’s Fermentation Journeys:
Recipes, Techniques, and Traditions
from around the World
by Sandor Ellix Katz
October 7, 2021
Chelsea Green
From James Beard Award winner and New York Times–bestselling author of The Art of Fermentation: the recipes, processes, cultural traditions, and stories from around the globe that inspire Sandor Katz and his life’s work-a cookbook destined to become a modern classic essential for every home chef.

For the past two decades, fermentation expert and bestselling author Sandor Katz has traveled the world, both teaching and learning about the many fascinating and delicious techniques for fermenting foods. Wherever he’s gone, he has gleaned valuable insights into the cultures and traditions of local and indigenous peoples, whether they make familiar ferments like sauerkraut or less common preparations like natto and koji.

In his latest book, Sandor Katz’s Fermentation Journeys, Katz takes readers along with him to revisit these special places, people, and foods.

This cookbook goes far beyond mere general instructions and explores the transformative process of fermentation through:

Detailed descriptions of traditional fermentation techniques Celebrating local customs and ceremonies that surround particular ferments Profiles of the farmers, business owners, and experimenters Katz has met on his journeys
It contains over 60 recipes for global ferments, including:
Chicha de jora (Peru)
Misa Ono’s Shio-koji, or salt koji (Japan)
Doubanjiang (China)
Efo riro spinach stew (Nigeria)
Whole sour cabbages (Croatia)
Chucula hot chocolate (Colombia)

Sandor Katz’s Fermentation Journeys reminds us that the magical power of fermentation belongs to everyone, everywhere. Perfect for adventurous foodies, armchair travelers, and fermentation fanatics who have followed Katz’s work through the years-from Wild Fermentation to The Art of Fermentation to Fermentation as Metaphor-this book reflects the enduring passion and accumulated wisdom of this unique man, who is arguably the world’s most experienced and respected advocate of all things fermented.

[book] Baking with Dorie:
Sweet, Salty & Simple
by Dorie Greenspan
Mark Weinberg (Photographer)
October 19, 2021
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt HMH

From James Beard Award-winning and NYT best-selling author Dorie Greenspan, a baking book of more than 150 exciting recipes

Say Dorie, and people think of Finding Nemo
Say “Dorie Greenspan” and they think baking.

The renowned author of thirteen cookbooks and winner of five James Beard and two IACP awards offers a collection that celebrates the sweet, the savory, and the simple. Every recipe is signature Dorie: easy—beginners can ace every technique in this book—and accessible, made with everyday ingredients. Are there surprises? Of course!

You’ll find ingenious twists like Berry Biscuits.
Footlong cheese sticks made with cream puff dough.
Apple pie with browned butter spiced like warm mulled cider.
A s’mores ice cream cake with velvety chocolate sauce, salty peanuts, and toasted marshmallows.
Lemon meringue layer cake
caramel crunch chocolate cookies, made in muffin tins instead of a cookie sheet
Paris-stye Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (because she is living in France half the year)
dense Lisbon chocolate cake with cheese swirled babka buns

It’s a book of simple yet sophisticated baking. The chapters are classic: Breakfast Stuff • Cakes • Cookies • Pies, Crusts Curds (all in a single chapter) Tarts, Cobblers and Crisps • Two Perfect Little Pastries • Salty Side Up. The recipes are unexpected. And there are “Sweethearts” throughout, mini collections of Dorie’s all-time favorites. Don’t miss the meringue Little Marvels or the Double-Decker Caramel Cake. Like all of Dorie’s recipes, they lend themselves to being remade, refashioned, and riffed on.

[book] Ottolenghi Test Kitchen:
Shelf Love:
Recipes to Unlock the Secrets
of Your Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer:
A Cookbook Paperback
by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi
October 19, 2021

From the New York Times bestselling author and his superteam of chefs, this is Ottolenghi, unplugged: 85+ irresistible recipes for relaxed, flexible home cooking that will bring the love to every shelf in your pantry, fridge, and freezer.

Led by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad, the revered team of chefs at the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen gives everyday home cooks the accessible yet innovative Middle Eastern-inspired recipes they need to put dinner on the table with less stress and less fuss in a convenient, flexibound package. With fit-for-real-life chapters like “The Freezer Is Your Friend,” “That One Shelf in the Back of Your Pantry,” and “Who Does the Dishes?” (a.k.a. One-Pot Meals), Shelf Love teaches readers how to flex with fewer ingredients, get creative with their pantry staples, and add playful twists to familiar classics.

All the signature Ottolenghi touches fans love are here—big flavors, veggie-forward appeal, diverse influences—but are distilled to maximize ease and creative versatility. These dishes pack all the punch and edge you expect from Ottolenghi, using what you've got to hand—that last can of chickpeas or bag of frozen peas—without extra trips to the grocery store. Humble ingredients and crowd-pleasing recipes abound, including All-the-Herbs Dumplings with Caramelized Onions, Mac and Cheese with Za'atar Pesto, Cacio e Pepe Chickpeas, and Crispy Spaghetti and Chicken.

With accessible recipe features like MIYO (Make It Your Own) that encourage ingredient swaps and a whimsical, lighthearted spirit, the fresh voices of the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen will deliver kitchen confidence and joyful inspiration to new and old fans alike.

[book] Claudia Roden's Mediterranean:
Treasured Recipes from
a Lifetime of Travel
by Claudia Roden
October 26, 2021

“I could not love this book more. A palpable instant classic, infused with wisdom, generosity, and achievable deliciousness. Every page feels like a blessing.”—Nigella Lawson

“Claudia Roden channels the sun and warm glow of the Mediterranean. To read Claudia is to sit at her table, with everything, simply, as it should be. Pull up a chair for the food; stay at the table for the stories.”—Yotam Ottolenghi

The MED has been her lifelong focus. She was born and raised in a once-cosmopolitan Egypt, surrounded by a mix of cultures – Greek, Italian, French, north African – and she longs for that way of being. But at home in London, cooking brings her there. The smell of garlic frying with crushed coriander takes her to the Egypt of her childhood; the scent of orange zest and cinnamon takes her to Spain; saffron and orange zest mingled with aniseed and garlic triggers memories of the French Riviera. Roden started to collect recipes at 20, which were from Jews leaving Egypt in 1956 after the Suez Crisis. They were recipes passed down in Jewish communities – a mosaic of families from the old Ottoman Empire and around the Mediterranean. Three of her grandparents had come from Aleppo. Every recipe was hugely precious and full of emotional baggage. And, yes, there was hummus and baba ghanoush, grilled halloumi and bulgur pilaf. The first ones she wrote down changed her life. They also changed the way people eat in Britain and around the world. Before “A Book of Middle Eastern Food” was published in 1968, there had been no cookbooks at all about this cuisine, no recipes in magazines or newspapers.

So turn on as “Ya Mustafa”, sung by Bob Azzam; squirt on some Diorissimo eau de toilette, and join world-renowned food writer Claudia Roden on a culinary journey across the Mediterranean, all from the comfort of your own dinner table. Widely credited with revolutionizing Western attitudes to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, Claudia is a living legend. Though best known for her deep dives into cuisines, in this timeless collection of simple, beautiful recipes, she shares the food she loves and cooks for friends and family.

You’ll find tried-and-true favorites from France, Greece, and Spain to Egypt, Turkey, and Morocco, inspired by Claudia’s decades of travel and research throughout the region.

The many flavors of the Mediterranean are highlighted in dishes such as Chicken with Apricots and Pistachios, Vegetable Couscous, Eggplant in a Spicy Honey Sauce with Soft Goat Cheese, Bean Stew with un-kosher meats, Plum Clafoutis, and so many more.

From appetizers to desserts, Claudia distills a life’s worth of traveling and eating her way through the Mediterranean, presenting a selection of the recipes that she cooks the most often because they bring the most joy.

[book] A Tale of Two Omars:
A Memoir of Family, Revolution,
and Coming Out During the Arab Spring
by Omar Sharif Jr
October 5, 2021

One Omar Sharif was a film star in Egypt and America... Hollywood royalty.
The other Omar, his grandson, is a gay, Jewish actor, and … Canadian.

"A powerful and essential memoir of self-discovery . . . Brimming with beautiful remembrances of his grandfather and terrifying stories of abuse and homophobia, this is an essential book that shines a much-needed light on the intersection of Arab and queer identity." —Abdi Nazemian, Lambda Literary Award–winning author of Like a Love Story, a Stonewall Honor Book

The grandson of Hollywood royalty on his father’s side and Holocaust survivors on his mother’s, Omar Sharif Jr. learned early on how to move between worlds, from the Montreal suburbs to the glamorous orbit of his grandparents’ Cairo. His famous name always protected him wherever he went. When, in the wake of the Arab Spring, he made the difficult decision to come out in the pages of The Advocate, he knew his life would forever change. What he didn’t expect was the backlash that followed.

From bullying, to illness, attempted suicide, becoming a victim of sex trafficking, death threats by the thousands, revolution and never being able to return to a country he once called home, Omar Sharif Jr. has overcome more challenges than one might imagine. Drawing on the lessons he learned from both sides of his family, A Tale of Two Omars charts the course of an iconoclastic life, revealing in the process the struggles and successes that attend a public journey of self-acceptance and a life dedicated in service to others.

[book] Squirrel Hill:
The Tree of Life Synagogue
Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood
by Mark Oppenheimer
October 5, 2021

A piercing portrait of the struggles and triumphs of a singular community in the wake of unspeakable tragedy that highlights the hopes, fears, and tensions all Americans must confront on the road to healing.

Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in the country, known for its tight-knit community and the profusion of multigenerational families. On October 27, 2018, a gunman killed eleven Jews who were worshipping at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill--the most deadly anti-Semitic attack in American history.

Many neighborhoods would be understandably subsumed by despair and recrimination after such an event, but not this one. Mark Oppenheimer poignantly shifts the focus away from the criminal and his crime, and instead presents the historic, spirited community at the center of this heartbreak. He speaks with residents and nonresidents, Jews and gentiles, survivors and witnesses, teenagers and seniors, activists and historians.

Together, these stories provide a kaleidoscopic and nuanced account of collective grief, love, support, and revival. But Oppenheimer also details the difficult dialogue and messy confrontations that Squirrel Hill had to face in the process of healing, and that are a necessary part of true growth and understanding in any community. He has reverently captured the vibrancy and caring that still characterize Squirrel Hill, and it is this phenomenal resilience that can provide inspiration to any place burdened with discrimination and hate.

Note: Oppenheimer's great great great grandparents co-founded the burial society in Squirrel Hill

[book] A Queen to the Rescue:
The Story of Henrietta Szold,
Founder of Hadassah
by Nancy Churnin
Yevgenia Nayberg (Illustrator)
October 5, 2021
Ages 4 – 8

Henrietta Szold took Queen Esther as a model and worked hard to save the Jewish people. In 1912, she founded the Jewish women's social justice organization, Hadassah. Henrietta started Hadassah determined to offer emergency medical care to mothers and children in Palestine. When WWII broke out, she rescued Jewish children from the Holocaust, and broadened Hadassah's mission to include education, youth development, and women's rights. Hadassah offers free help to all who need it and continues its mission to this day.

[book] Damascus Station:
A Novel
by David McCloskey
October 5, 2021

"Damascus Station is the best spy novel I have ever read." -General David Petraeus, former director of the CIA
Why I liked this is that McClosky actually worked in the region as an analyst for the CIA and was intimately aware of the regime in Damascus. Sure the pedophilia, atrocities, and murders are fictionalized, but have their basis in actual events

A CIA officer and his recruit arrive in war-ravaged Damascus to hunt for a killer in this pager-turner that offers the "most authentic depiction of modern-day tradecraft in print." (Navy SEAL sniper and New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr).

CIA case officer Sam Joseph is dispatched to Paris to recruit Syrian Palace official Mariam Haddad. The two fall into a forbidden relationship, which supercharges Haddad’s recruitment and creates unspeakable danger when they enter Damascus to find the man responsible for the disappearance of an American spy.

But the cat and mouse chase for the killer soon leads to a trail of high-profile assassinations and the discovery of a dark secret at the heart of the Syrian regime, bringing the pair under the all-seeing eyes of Assad’s spy catcher, Ali Hassan, and his brother Rustum, the head of the feared Republican Guard. Set against the backdrop of a Syria pulsing with fear and rebellion, Damascus Station is a gripping thriller that offers a textured portrayal of espionage, love, loyalty, and betrayal in one of the most difficult CIA assignments on the planet.

[book] Play Nice But Win:
A CEO's Journey from Founder to Leader
by Michael Dell
James Kaplan
October 5, 2021

From dorm room to the board room
How to be a mensch in the Silicon Valley
From Michael Dell, renowned founder and chief executive of one of America’s largest technology companies, the inside story of the battles that defined him as a leader

In 1984, soon-to-be college dropout Michael Dell hid signs of his fledgling PC business in the bathroom of his University of Texas dorm room. Almost 30 years later, at the pinnacle of his success as founder and leader of Dell Technologies, he found himself embroiled in a battle for his company’s survival. What he’d do next could ensure its legacy—or destroy it completely.

Play Nice But Win is a riveting account of the three battles waged for Dell Technologies: one to launch it, one to keep it, and one to transform it. For the first time, Dell reveals the highs and lows of the company's evolution amidst a rapidly changing industry—and his own, as he matured into the CEO it needed. With humor and humility, he recalls the mentors who showed him how to turn his passion into a business; the competitors who became friends, foes, or both; and the sharks that circled, looking for weakness. What emerges is the long-term vision underpinning his success: that technology is ultimately about people and their potential.

More than an honest portrait of a leader at a crossroads, Play Nice But Win is a survival story proving that while anyone with technological insight and entrepreneurial zeal might build something great—it takes a leader to build something that lasts.

[book] Career and Family:
Women’s Century-Long Journey
toward Equity
by Claudia Goldin
(Harvard University)
October 5, 2021
Princeton University Press

Around 1980, I took a course in Labor Econ at Penn with this renowned economist and economic historian. In this book she traces women’s journey to close the gender wage gap and sheds new light on the continued struggle to achieve equity between couples at home

A century ago, it was a given that a woman with a college degree had to choose between having a career and a family. Today, there are more female college graduates than ever before, and more women want to have a career and family, yet challenges persist at work and at home. This book traces how generations of women have responded to the problem of balancing career and family as the twentieth century experienced a sea change in gender equality, revealing why true equity for dual career couples remains frustratingly out of reach.

Drawing on decades of her own groundbreaking research, Claudia Goldin provides a fresh, in-depth look at the diverse experiences of college-educated women from the 1900s to today, examining the aspirations they formed-and the barriers they faced-in terms of career, job, marriage, and children. She shows how many professions are “greedy,” paying disproportionately more for long hours and weekend work, and how this perpetuates disparities between women and men. Goldin demonstrates how the era of COVID-19 has severely hindered women’s advancement, yet how the growth of remote and flexible work may be the pandemic’s silver lining.

Antidiscrimination laws and unbiased managers, while valuable, are not enough. Career and Family explains why we must make fundamental changes to the way we work and how we value caregiving if we are ever to achieve gender equality and couple equity.

[book] The City Beautiful
by Aden Polydoros
October 5, 2021
Inkyard Press

"An achingly rendered exploration of queer desire, grief, and the inexorable scars of the past." —Katy Rose Pool, author of There Will Come A Darkness
Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical fantasy about a city, a boy, and the shadows of the past that bind them both together.
Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he’ll have enough money to bring his mother and sisters to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania.
But when Alter’s best friend, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys, his dream begins to slip away. While the rest of the city is busy celebrating the World’s Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov’s dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of corruption and deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows.

Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter’s body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer—before the killer claims them next.

"Chillingly sinister, warmly familiar, and breathtakingly transportive, The City Beautiful is the haunting, queer Jewish historical thriller of my darkest dreams."—Dahlia Adler, creator of LGBTQreads and editor of That Way Madness Lies

[book] Judah Benjamin:
Counselor to the Confederacy
(Jewish Lives)
by James Traub
(NYU, Foreign Policy)
October 5, 2021
YALE University Press

A moral examination of one of the first Jewish senators, confidante to Jefferson Davis, and champion of the cause of slavery

Judah P. Benjamin (1811–1884) was a brilliant and successful lawyer in New Orleans, and one of the first Jewish members of the U.S. Senate. He then served in the Confederacy as secretary of war and secretary of state, becoming the confidant and alter ego of Jefferson Davis. In this new biography, author James Traub grapples with the difficult truth that Benjamin, who was considered one of the greatest legal minds in the United States, was a slave owner who deployed his oratorical skills in defense of slavery.

How could a man as gifted as Benjamin, knowing that virtually all serious thinkers outside the American South regarded slavery as the most abhorrent of practices, not see that he was complicit with evil? This biography makes a serious moral argument both about Jews who assimilated to Southern society by embracing slave culture and about Benjamin himself, a man of great resourcefulness and resilience who would not, or could not, question the practice on which his own success, and that of the South, was founded.

[book] The Last Checkmate:
A Novel
by Gabriella Saab
October 19, 2021

Readers of Heather Morris’s The Tattooist of Auschwitz and watchers of The Queen’s Gambit won’t want to miss this amazing debut set during World War II. A young Polish resistance worker, imprisoned in Auschwitz as a political prisoner, plays chess in exchange for her life, and in doing so fights to bring the man who destroyed her family to justice.

Maria Florkowska is many things: daughter, avid chess player, and, as a member of the Polish underground resistance in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, a young woman brave beyond her years. Captured by the Gestapo, she is imprisoned in Auschwitz, but while her family is sent to their deaths, she is spared. Realizing her ability to play chess, the sadistic camp deputy, Karl Fritzsch, decides to use her as a chess opponent to entertain the camp guards. However, once he tires of exploiting her skills, he has every intention of killing her.

Befriended by a Catholic priest, Maria attempts to overcome her grief, vows to avenge the murder of her family, and plays for her life. For four grueling years, her strategy is simple: Live. Fight. Survive. By cleverly provoking Fritzsch’s volatile nature in front of his superiors, Maria intends to orchestrate his downfall. Only then will she have a chance to evade the fate awaiting her and see him punished for his wickedness.

As she carries out her plan and the war nears its end, she challenges her former nemesis to one final game, certain to end in life or death, in failure or justice. If Maria can bear to face Fritzsch—and her past—one last time.

[book] Master of the Game:
Henry Kissinger and
the Art of Middle East Diplomacy
by Martin Indyk
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel
October 19, 2021

A perceptive and provocative history of Henry Kissinger's diplomatic negotiations in the Middle East that illuminates the unique challenges and barriers Kissinger and his successors have faced in their attempts to broker peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

“A wealth of lessons for today, not only about the challenges in that region but also about the art of diplomacy . . . the drama, dazzling maneuvers, and grand strategic vision.”—Walter Isaacson, author of The Code Breaker

More than twenty years have elapsed since the United States last brokered a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. In that time, three presidents have tried and failed. Martin Indyk—a former United States ambassador to Israel and special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in 2013—has experienced these political frustrations and disappointments firsthand.

Now, in an attempt to understand the arc of American diplomatic influence in the Middle East, he returns to the origins of American-led peace efforts and to the man who created the Middle East peace process—Henry Kissinger. Based on newly available documents from American and Israeli archives, extensive interviews with Kissinger, and Indyk's own interactions with some of the main players, the author takes readers inside the negotiations. Here is a roster of larger-than-life characters—Anwar Sadat, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Hafez al-Assad, and Kissinger himself.

Indyk's account is both that of a historian poring over the records of these events, as well as an inside player seeking to glean lessons for Middle East peacemaking. He makes clear that understanding Kissinger's design for Middle East peacemaking is key to comprehending how to—and how not to—make peace.

[book] Power Born of Dreams:
My Story is Palestine
by Mohammad Sabaaneh
October 19, 2021
Street Noise Books

FROM THE COVER: What does freedom look like from inside an Israeli prison? A bird perches on the cell window and offers a deal: “You bring the pencil, and I will bring the stories,” stories of family, of community, of Gaza, of the West Bank, of Jerusalem, of Palestine. The two collect threads of memory and intergenerational trauma from ongoing settler-colonialism. Helping us to see that the prison is much larger than a building, far wider than a cell; it stretches through towns and villages, past military checkpoints and borders. But hope and solidarity can stretch farther, deeper, once strength is drawn of stories and power is born of dreams. Translating headlines into authentic lived experiences, these stories come to life in the striking linocut artwork of Mohammad Sabaaneh, helping us to see Palestinians not as political symbols, but as people.

[book] A Small Book of Jewish Comedians
by Tony Nourmand (Editor),
Bobby Slayton (Introduction)
October 19, 2021
Reel Art Press

An unmissable gift book, A Small Book of Jewish Comedians is a perfect (please God) post-pandemic pick-me-up

In 1978, Time magazine estimated that around 80 percent of professional American comics were Jewish, and Jewish humor remains a foundation stone of American popular culture and humor. This book is not intended as a definitive tome but is instead a joyful and irreverent celebration of great photography and some of the greatest one-liners of the 20th century, ripe in satire, anecdote, self-deprecation and irony.

Featuring photographs of comedians such as Larry David, Fran Lebowitz, Mel Brooks, Sid Caesar, Lenny Bruce, Rita Rudner, Joan Rivers and George Burns, the book’s portraits are accompanied by one-liners such as: “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” (Groucho Marx); “When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick.” (George Burns); “It was a Jewish porno film … one minute of sex and nine minutes of guilt.” (Joan Rivers); “You know who wears sunglasses inside? Blind people and assholes.” (Larry David); “I am not the type who wants to go back to the land; I am the type who wants to go back to the hotel.” (Fran Lebowitz).

[book] I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye:
A Memoir of Loss, Grief,
and Love
by Ivan Maisel
October 26, 2021

Parents and everyone are guaranteed nothing.
Life is fragile

In this deeply emotional memoir, a longtime ESPN writer reflects on the suicide of his son Max and delves into how their complicated relationship led him to see grief as love.

In February 2015, Ivan Maisel received a call that would alter his life forever: his son Max's car had been found abandoned in a parking next to Lake Ontario. Two months later, the body of Max, a student at RIT who suffered from depression, was found in the lake.

There’d been no note or obvious indication that Max wanted to harm himself; he’d signed up for a year-long subscription to a dating service; he’d spent the day he disappeared doing photography work for school. And this uncertainty became part of his father’s grief. I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye explores with grace, depth, and refinement the tragically transformative reality of losing a child. But it also tells the deeply human and deeply empathetic story of a father’s relationship with his son, of its complications, and of Max and Ivan’s struggle — as is the case for so many parents and their children — to connect.

I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye is a stunning, poignant exploration of the father and son relationship, of how our tendency to overlook men’s mental health can have devastating consequences, and how ultimately letting those who grieve do so openly and freely can lead to greater healing.

Maisel, a Jewish guy from Alabama, is well known from his work as a senior writer at ESPN.

[book] The Shoemaker's Son:
The Life of a Holocaust
by Laura Beth Bakst
October 1, 2021

When the Soviet Union invaded Iwje, Poland in September 1939, David Bakszt's life was thrown into turmoil. His father's business was shuttered, his family was impoverished overnight, and his tight-knit community was disbanded. Though David did not know it at the time, a similar fate had befallen many Eastern European Jews, including the Silberfarb family in Serniki, Poland.

Then, the Nazis arrived.

From crowded ghettos and frigid forests to the battlefields on the Eastern Front, The Shoemaker's Son tells the true story of the Bakszts' and Silberfarbs' fights for survival, their struggles to rebuild in the aftermath, and the lives that they saved and lost in the process.

Written by a third-generation survivor, this book provides a sober but loving account of her refugee family's extraordinary resistance efforts against the Nazis, the survivors' remarkable ability to embrace life amid so much death, and the indelible impact left on them and future generations.

[book] Guide to Biblical Coins
by David Hendin
October 1, 2021
Numismatic Society

Forty-five years after its first edition, Hendin has revised and updated this book to reflect relevant discoveries in archaeology and numismatics of ancient Israel. The metallurgy of Judean coins, symbols on Hasmonean cons, the Hasmonean coin chronology, Herodian mints, irregular issues, the Jewish War, and coin denominations are only a few of the topics that Hendin has updated.

New to the sixth edition is numismatic information about the Kingdom of Adiabene, the Ituraean Kingdom, the Roman Governors of Syria, and coins with images of Old Testament stories. Many hundreds of new and improved graphics help illuminate the text. The photo plates have been expanded dramatically as have the images in the catalog and text. This book includes a complete concordance between previous editions as well as other key references, elaborate end notes, an expanded bibliography, a full index, and an index of Latin inscriptions on the Judaea Capta coins. (captured Judea)


[book] The Israeli Century:
How the Zionist Revolution
Changed History and
Reinvented Judaism
by Yossi Shain
(Tel Aviv University; Georgetown (Emeritus)
November 2, 2021

As Israel increasingly becomes the center of global Jewish life, Jews everywhere are undergoing a process of Israelization.

“The Israeli Century is one of the most important books of our generation, emphasizing how Israel is becoming the center of the Jewish People’s existence and is laying the solid foundations for its future.”—Isaac Herzog, President of Israe

In this important breakthrough work, Yossi Shain takes us on a sweeping and surprising journey through the history of the Jewish people, from the destruction of the First Temple in the sixth century B.C.E. up to the modern era. Over the course of this long history, Jews have moved from a life of Diaspora, which ultimately led to destruction, to a prosperous existence in a thriving, independent nation state. The new power of Jewish sovereignty has echoed around the world and gives Israelis a new and significant role as influential global players.

In the Israeli Century, the Jew is reborn, feeling a deep responsibility for his tradition and a natural connection to his homeland. A sense of having a home to return to allows him to travel the wider world and act with ease and confidence. In the Israeli Century, the Israeli Jew can fully express the strengths developed over many generations in the long period of wandering and exile.

As a result, Shain argues, the burden of preserving the continuity of the Jewish people and defining its character is no longer the responsibility of Diaspora communities. Instead it now falls squarely on the shoulders of Israelis themselves. The challenges of Israeli sovereignty in turn require farsighted leaders with a clear-eyed understanding of the dangers that confront the Jewish future, as well as the incredible opportunities it offers.

[book] Operation Joktan
(A Nir Tavor Mossad Thriller)
Amir Tsarfati, Steve Yohn
November 16, 2021

The thrilling first installment in a new series from bestselling prophecy author Amir Tsarfati and Steve Yohn

In present-day Israel, Mossad intelligence catches word that a foreign militia is planning a drone strike on Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Nir Tavor, an Israeli secret service member turned Mossad agent, has noticed an increasing number of Arab nations being targeted by radicals in the lead-up to the Abraham Accords.

Reteaming with Nicole le Roux, a fellow agent and former flame, Nir is prepared to do everything he can to stop this attack. Yet Nicole has reentered his life as a changed woman with a newfound peace. As they work together to stop the radicals using a combination of cutting-edge technology and on-the-ground manpower, Nir grows increasingly captivated by the hope that has transformed Nicole since they were last together.

Authors Amir Tsarfati and Steve Yohn draw on true events as well as political and tactical insights Amir learned from his time in the Israeli Defense Forces. For believers in God’s life-changing promises, Operation Joktan is a suspense-filled page-turner that illuminates the blessing Israel can be to the world.

[book] Transmitting Jewish History:
Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi
in Conversation with Sylvie Anne Goldberg
by Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi (Harvard)
Sylvie Anne Goldberg,
Benjamin Ivry (Translator),
Alexander Kaye (Foreword)
November 8, 2021
Brandeis Univ Press

Scholar Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi (1932–2009) possessed a stunning range of erudition in all eras of Jewish history, as well as in world history, classical literature, and European culture. What Yerushalmi also brought to his craft was a brilliant literary style, honed by his own voracious reading from early youth and his formative undergraduate studies. This series of interviews paints a revealing portrait of this giant of history, bringing together exceptional material on Yerushalmi’s personal and intellectual journeys that not only attests to the astonishing breakthrough of the issues of Jewish history into “general history,” but also offers profound insight into being Jewish in today's world.

[book] Twelve Tribes:
Promise and Peril
in the New Israel
by Ethan Michaeli
November 16, 2021
Custom House

“In Twelve Tribes, Ethan Michaeli proves he is a master portraitist – of lives, places, and cultures. His rendering of contemporary Israel crackles with energy, fueled by a historian’s vision and a journalist’s unrelenting curiosity.” — Evan Osnos, New York Times bestselling author of Age of Ambition, winner of the National Book Award
A groundbreaking portrait of contemporary Israel, revealing the polyphonic diversity of this extraordinary yet volatile nation by weaving together personal histories of ordinary citizens from all walks of life.

In 2015, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin warned that the country’s citizens were dividing into tribes: by class and ethnicity, by geography, and along lines of faith: “In the State of Israel, the basic systems that form peoples’ consciousness are tribal and separate, and will most likely remain so.”

In Twelve Tribes, award-winning author Ethan Michaeli portrays this increasingly fractured nation by intertwining interviews with Israelis of all tribes into a narrative of social and political change. Framed by Michaeli’s travels across the country over four years and his conversations with Israeli family, friends, and everyday citizens, Twelve Tribes illuminates the complex dynamics within the country, a collective drama with global consequences far beyond the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians.

Readers will meet the aging revolutionaries who founded Israel’s kibbutz movement and the brilliant young people working for the country’s booming Big Tech companies. They will join thousands of ultra-Orthodox Haredim at a joyous memorial for a long-dead Romanian Rebbe in a suburb of Tel Aviv, and hear the life stories of Ethiopian Jews who were incarcerated and tortured in their homeland as “Prisoners of Zion” before they were able to escape to Israel. And they will be challenged, in turn, by portraits of Israeli Arabs navigating between the opportunities in a prosperous, democratic state and the discrimination they suffer as a vilified minority, as by interviews with both the Palestinians striving to build the institutions of a nascent state and the Israeli settlers seeking to establish a Jewish presence on the same land.

Immersive and enlightening, Twelve Tribes is a vivid depiction of a modern state contending with ancient tensions and dangerous global forces at this crucial historic moment. Through extensive research and access to all sectors of Israeli society, Michaeli reveals Israel to be a land of paradoxical intersections and unlikely cohabitation—a place where all of the world’s struggles meet, and a microcosm for the challenges faced by all nations today.

[book] When I Grow Up:
The Lost Autobiographies
of Six Yiddish Teenagers
by Ken Krimstein
November 16, 2021

From the prize-winning author of The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt, a stunning graphic narrative of newly discovered stories from Jewish teens on the cusp of WWII.

When I Grow Up is New Yorker cartoonist Ken Krimstein's new graphic nonfiction book, based on six of hundreds of newly discovered, never-before-published autobiographies of Eastern European Jewish teens on the brink of WWII-found in 2017 hidden in a Lithuanian church cellar.

These autobiographies, long thought destroyed by the Nazis, were written as entries for three competitions held in Eastern Europe in the 1930s, just before the horror of the Holocaust forever altered the lives of the young people who wrote them.

In When I Grow Up, Krimstein shows us the stories of these six young men and women in riveting, almost cinematic narratives, full of humor, yearning, ambition, and all the angst of the teenage years. It's as if half a dozen new Anne Frank stories have suddenly come to light, framed by the dramatic story of the documents' rediscovery.

Beautifully illustrated, heart-wrenching, and bursting with life, When I Grow Up reveals how the tragedy that is about to befall these young people could easily happen again, to any of us, if we don't learn to listen to the voices from the past.

[book] Both/And:
A Life in Many Worlds
by Huma Abedin
November 2, 2021

So many people have an opinion on Huma Abedin (and Hillary Clinton) without knowing the facts. They think of her as a driven focused power hungry political player who attached herself to the Clinton's, married a political striver (Anthony Weiner) to form a power couple of a new generation, and had it all fall apart as Clinton lost and Anthony Weiner was jailed. BUT this memoir sets the record straight. In her book, Huma Abedin — Hillary Clinton’s famously private top aide and longtime adviser — takes command and defines her own story.

In her memoir, she writes that she is the daughter of Indian and Pakistani intellectuals and advocates who split their time between Saudi Arabia, the UK, and the United States. She grapples with family, legacy, identity, faith, marriage, and motherhood.

Abedin scored a college internship in the office of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1996. She found that thrived in rooms with diplomats and sovereigns, entrepreneurs and artists, philanthropists and activists (I mean, who wouldn't? It is much easier to thrive among celebrities than with regular people...), and Huma witnessed many crucial moments including Camp David's attempts at Mideast peace, Ground Zero in the days after the 9/11 attacks, the inauguration of Barack Obama, the the time Hillary was nominated at the DNC as the party's first female presidential candidate.

Abedin’s relationship with Clinton has seen both women through extraordinary personal and professional highs, as well as the lows that were played out in public. Both women had to deal with spouses who were sex addicts or used sex for power. Both women had to deal with whisper campaigns about infidelity and being LGBT. But in her memoir, she writes of Clinton as mentor, confidante, and role model. Abedin cuts through caricature, rumor, and misinformation to reveal a crystal-clear portrait of Clinton as a brilliant and caring leader a steadfast friend, generous, funny, hardworking, and dedicated. Both/And is a candid and heartbreaking chronicle of Abedin’s marriage to Anthony Weiner, what drew her to him, how much she wanted to believe in him, the devastation wrought by his betrayals—and their shared love for their son.

It is also a timeless story of a young woman with aspirations and ideals coming into her own in high-pressure jobs, and a testament to the potential for women in leadership to blaze a path forward while supporting those who follow in their footsteps. Both/And describes Abedin’s journey through the opportunities and obstacles, the trials and triumphs, of a full and complex life. Abedin’s compassion and courage, her resilience and grace, her work ethic and mission are an inspiration to people of all ages.

“This journey has led me through exhilarating milestones and devastating setbacks,” said Abedin. “I have walked both with great pride and in overwhelming shame. It is a life I am—more than anything—enormously grateful for and a story I look forward to sharing.”

[book] Huda F Are You?
by Huda Fahmy
November 2, 2021
Dial Books

From the creator of Yes, I'm Hot In This, this cheeky, hilarious, and honest graphic novel asks the question everyone has to figure out for themselves: Who are you?

Huda and her family just moved to Dearborn, Michigan, a small town with a big Muslim population. In her old town, Huda knew exactly who she was: She was the hijabi girl. But in Dearborn, everyone is the hijabi girl.

Huda is lost in a sea of hijabis, and she can't rely on her hijab to define her anymore. She has to define herself. So she tries on a bunch of cliques, but she isn't a hijabi fashionista or a hijabi athlete or a hijabi gamer. She's not the one who knows everything about her religion or the one all the guys like. She's miscellaneous, which makes her feel like no one at all. Until she realizes that it'll take finding out who she isn't to figure out who she is.

[book] Klezmer!
by Kyra Teis
November 2, 2021
AGES 4 - 8

When Eastern European Jewish immigrants bring their klezmer music with them to America, it takes on a rockin’ new vibe, adding elements of Jazz borrowed from its new country. In the beautifully illustrated Klezmer!, a child makes an exciting music-filled visit to her grandparents’ apartment in New York City, learning all about the evolution of this toe-tapping music genre.

[book] The Rabbi and the Reverend:
Joachim Prinz, Martin Luther King Jr.,
and Their Fight against Silence
by Audrey Ades
Chiara Fedele (Illustrator)
AGES 4 - 8

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington, he did not stand alone. He was joined by Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a refugee from Nazi Germany, who also addressed the crowd. Though Rabbi Prinz and Dr. King came from very different backgrounds, they were united by a shared belief in justice. And they knew that remaining silent in the face of injustice was wrong. Together, they spoke up and fought for a better future.

Martin Luther King, Jr. gained inspiration that fueled his passionate and relentless work for justice and civil rights from many people, such as Mahatma Gandhi, and places, such as the segregated South where he spent his youthful years. One of his lesser-known influences was Rabbi Joachim Prinz, who both experienced and spoke out against racism in Nazi Germany. When Prinz was forced to flee to America, he was shocked to see the same kind of treatment he was fleeing being experienced by Black individuals in America. Prinz began to speak out, proclaiming that silence about injustices is the greatest threat to justice for all. This book parallels the lives of the two men as well as their shared message, eventually covering how it led them to speak together during the 1963 March on Washington. This is a short but important book that gives readers one more angle on the Civil Rights story, another venue for sharing the message of justice, a reinforcement of the vital need to speak up against wrongs, and an example of how it takes many individuals to create a movement. The subdued tones and unfinished lines of the drawings add to the seriousness and reflect the unfinished nature of the subject. Included at the end of the story is a helpful timeline, a photograph of the event, and several suggested books for further reading.

[book] Sydney A. Frankel's
Summer Mix-Up
by Danielle Joseph
AGES 8-12

Sydney Frankel, soon to be a sixth-grader, is looking forward to a summer of fun with her best friend, Maggie. She figures she deserves some time to herself to do what she wants before her mom delivers Sydney's new sibling in just four months. Too bad Sydney's mom has other plans for her.

Sydney's forced to take a summer course at the South Miami Community Center. She's allowed to take any class, except for what she really wants-a reading course. But when Maggie comes up with a switcheroo plan so that they can both take the classes they like, unexpected complications arise.

[book] The Backyard Secrets
of Danny Wexler
by Karen Pokras
AGES 8-12

Eleven-year-old Danny Wexler, the only Jewish boy in his blue-collar town during the late 1970s, is obsessed with the Bermuda Triangle. When a local child goes missing, Danny's convinced it's connected to an old Bermuda Triangle theory involving UFOs. With his two best friends and their Spacetron telescope, Danny heads to his backyard to investigate.

But hunting for extraterrestrials is complicated, and it doesn't help that his friend Nicholas's mom doesn't want her son hanging out with a Jewish boy. Equipped with his super-secret spy notebook, Danny sets out to fight both the aliens and the growing anti-Semitism in the town, in hopes of mending his divided community.

[book] Expect the Unexpected:
Ten Lessons on Truth,
Service, and the Way Forward
by Anthony Fauci, MD
November 2, 2021

In his own words, world-renowned infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci shares the lessons that have shaped his life philosophy, offering an intimate view of one of the world's greatest medical minds as well as universal advice to live by.

Before becoming the face of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and America’s most trusted doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci had already devoted three decades to public service. Those looking to live a more compassionate and purposeful life will find inspiration in his unique perspective on leadership, expecting the unexpected, and finding joy in difficult times.

With more than three decades spent combating some of the most dangerous diseases to strike humankind-- AIDS, Ebola, COVID-19--Dr. Fauci has worked in daunting professional conditions and shouldered great responsibility. The earnest reflections in these pages offer a universal message on how to lead in times of crisis and find resilience in the face of disappointments and obstacles.

Sure to strike a chord with readers, the inspiring words of wisdom in this book are centered around life lessons compiled from hours of interviews, offering a concrete path to a bright and hopeful future.

[book] The Nazis Knew My Name:
A Remarkable Story of Survival
and Courage in Auschwitz
by Magda Hellinger
Maya Lee, David Brewster
November 9, 2021

The extraordinarily moving memoir by a Holocaust survivor who saved an untold number of lives at Auschwitz through everyday acts of courage and kindness—in the vein of A Bookshop in Berlin and The Nazi Officer’s Wife.

In March 1942, twenty-five-year-old kindergarten teacher Magda Hellinger and nearly a thousand other young women were deported as some of the first Jews to be sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The SS soon discovered that by putting prisoners in day-to-day charge of the accommodation blocks, they could deflect attention away from themselves. Magda was one such prisoner selected for leadership and put in charge of hundreds of women in the notorious Experimental Block 10. She found herself constantly walking a dangerously fine line: saving lives while avoiding suspicion by the SS and risking execution. Through her inner strength and shrewd survival instincts, she was able to rise above the horror and cruelty of the camps and build pivotal relationships with the women under her watch, and even some of Auschwitz’s most notorious Nazi senior officers.

Based on Magda’s personal account and completed by her daughter’s extensive research, this awe-inspiring tale offers us incredible insight into human nature, the power of resilience, and the goodness that can shine through even in the most horrific of conditions.

[book] A Jewish Bestiary:
Fabulous Creatures from Hebraic
Legend and Lore
by Mark Podwal
November 9, 2021
AN update from 1984
Penn State University Press

Dr. Podwal has illustrated our Jewish lives for decades.
Here is a collection of some of his bestiary drawings

“Ask the beast and it will teach thee, and the birds of heaven and they will tell thee.” -Job 12:7

In the Middle Ages, the bestiary achieved a popularity second only to that of the Bible. In addition to being a kind of encyclopedia of the animal kingdom, the bestiary also served as a book of moral and religious instruction, teaching human virtues through a portrayal of an animal’s true or imagined behavior. In A Jewish Bestiary, Mark Podwalrevisits animals, both real and mythical, that have captured the Jewish imagination through the centuries.

Originally published in 1984 and called “broad in learning and deep in subtle humor” by the New York Times, this updated edition of A Jewish Bestiary features new full-color renderings of thirty-five creatures from Hebraic legend and lore. The illustrations are accompanied by entertaining and instructive tales drawn from biblical, talmudic, midrashic, and kabbalistic sources. Throughout, Podwal combines traditional Jewish themes with his own distinctive style. The resulting juxtaposition of art with history results in a delightful and enlightening bestiary for the twenty-first century.

From the ant to the ziz, herein are the creatures that exert a special force on the Jewish fancy.

[book] Tunnels
by Rutu Modan
Ishai Mishory (Translator)
November 9, 2021

A race for the Ark of the Covenant finds an exploration into the ethics and world of the international antiquity trade

When a great antiquities collector is forced to donate his entire collection to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Nili Broshi sees her last chance to finish an archaeological expedition begun decades earlier-a dig that could possibly yield the most important religious artifact in the Middle East. Motivated by the desire to reinstate her father’s legacy as a great archaeologist after he was marginalized by his rival, Nili enlists a ragtag crew-a religious nationalist and his band of hilltop youths, her traitorous brother, and her childhood Palestinian friend, now an archaeological smuggler. As Nili’s father slips deeper into dementia, warring factions close in on and fight over the Ark of the Covenant!

Backed by extensive research into this real-world treasure hunt, Rutu Modan sets her affecting novel at the center of a political crisis. She posits that the history of biblical Israel lies in one of the most disputed regions in the world, occupied by Israel and contested by Palestine. Often in direct competition, Palestinians and Israelis dig alongside one another, hoping to find the sacred artifact believed to be a conduit to God. Two time Eisner Award winner Rutu Modan’s third graphic novel, Tunnels, is her deepest and wildest yet. Potent and funny, Modan reveals the Middle East as no westerner could.

Ishai Mishory is a longtime New York City-and newly Bay Area-based translator and sometimes illustrator. He is currently conducting research for a PhD dissertation on 16th century Italian printing.

[book] Under Jerusalem:
The Buried History of the
World's Most Contested City
by Andrew Lawler (Archaeology magazine)
November 2, 2021


A sweeping history of the hidden world below the Holy City—a saga of biblical treasures, intrepid explorers, and political upheaval

In 1863, a French senator arrived in Jerusalem hoping to unearth relics dating to biblical times. Digging deep underground, he discovered an ancient grave that, he claimed, belonged to an Old Testament queen. News of his find ricocheted around the world, evoking awe and envy alike, and inspiring others to explore Jerusalem’s storied past.

In the century and a half since the Frenchman broke ground, Jerusalem has drawn a global cast of fortune seekers and missionaries, archaeologists and zealots, all of them eager to extract the biblical past from beneath the city’s streets and shrines. Their efforts have had profound effects, not only on our understanding of Jerusalem’s history, but on its hotly disputed present. The quest to retrieve ancient Jewish heritage has sparked bloody riots and thwarted international peace agreements. It has served as a cudgel, a way to stake a claim to the most contested city on the planet. Today, the earth below Jerusalem remains a battleground in the struggle to control the city above.

Under Jerusalem takes readers into the tombs, tunnels, and trenches of the Holy City. It brings to life the indelible characters who have investigated this subterranean landscape. With clarity and verve, acclaimed journalist Andrew Lawler reveals how their pursuit has not only defined the conflict over modern Jerusalem, but could provide a map for two peoples and three faiths to peacefully coexist.

[book] Filled with Fire and Light:
Portraits and Legends from the Bible,
Talmud, and Hasidic World
by the late Elie Wiesel
Edited by Alan Rosen
November 2, 2021

Here are magnificent insights into the lives of biblical prophets and kings, talmudic sages, and Hasidic rabbis from the internationally acclaimed writer, Nobel laureate, and one of the world’s most honored and beloved teachers.

From a multitude of sources, Elie Wiesel culls facts, legends, and anecdotes to give us fascinating portraits of notable figures throughout Jewish history. Here is the prophet Elisha, wonder-worker and adviser to kings, whose compassion for those in need is matched only by his fiery temper. Here is the renowned scholar Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai, whose ingenuity in escaping from a besieged Jerusalem on the eve of its destruction by Roman legions in 70 CE laid the foundation for the rabbinic teachings and commentaries that revolutionized the practice and study of Judaism and have sustained the Jewish people for two thousand years of ongoing exile. And here is Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad Hasidism, languishing in a Czarist prison in 1798, the victim of a false accusation, engaging in theological discussions with his jailers that would form the basis for Chabad’s legendary method of engagement with the world at large.

In recounting the life stories of these and other spiritual masters, in delving into the struggles of human beings trying to create meaningful lives touched with sparks of the divine, Wiesel challenges and inspires us all to find purpose and transcendence in our own lives.

[book] Watching Darkness Fall:
FDR, His Ambassadors, and the Rise
of Adolf Hitler
by David McKean
November 2, 2021
St. Martin's

A gripping and groundbreaking account of how all but one of FDR's ambassadors in Europe misjudged Hitler and his intentions

As German tanks rolled toward Paris in late May 1940, the U.S. Ambassador to France, William Bullitt, was determined to stay put, holed up in the Chateau St. Firmin in Chantilly, his country residence. Bullitt told the president that he would neither evacuate the embassy nor his chateau, an eighteenth Renaissance manse with a wine cellar of over 18,000 bottles, even though “we have only two revolvers in this entire mission with only forty bullets.”

As German forces closed in on the French capital, Bullitt wrote the president, “In case I should get blown up before I see you again, I want you to know that it has been marvelous to work for you.” As the fighting raged in France, across the English Channel, Ambassador to Great Britain Joseph P. Kennedy wrote to his wife Rose, “The situation is more than critical. It means a terrible finish for the allies.”

David McKean's Watching Darkness Fall will recount the rise of the Third Reich in Germany and the road to war from the perspective of four American diplomats in Europe who witnessed it firsthand: Joseph Kennedy, William Dodd, Breckinridge Long, and William Bullitt, who all served in key Western European capitals-London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and Moscow-in the years prior to World War II. In many ways they were America’s first line of defense and they often communicated with the president directly, as Roosevelt's eyes and ears on the ground. Unfortunately, most of them underestimated the power and resolve of Adolf Hitler and Germany’s Third Reich.

Watching Darkness Fall is a gripping new history of the years leading up to and the beginning of WWII in Europe told through the lives of five well-educated and mostly wealthy men all vying for the attention of the man in the Oval Office.

[book] The Cactus and Snowflake at Work:
How the Logical and Sensitive
Can Thrive Side by Side
by Devora Zack
November 2, 2021
Berrett Koehler

From the networking specialist who is a popular speaker in corporate America and among Jewish orgs.

This hilarious and profound workplace guide proves the rigorously rational and the supremely sympathetic can meet in the middle and merge their strengths. Readers will discover how blending with their opposite opens the pathway to being their truest selves.

The famed Myers-Briggs personality scale says that Feelers (who lead with their hearts) put more weight on personal concerns and the people involved, and Thinkers (who lead with their heads) are guided by objective principles and impartial facts. This book calls them Cacti and Snowflakes—each singularly transcendent. But can people with such fundamentally different ways of making sense of and engaging with the world work together?

Yes, says Devora Zack! The key is not to try to change each other. Zack says we can directly control only three things: what we say, what we think, and what we do. The best use of our energy is to focus on our own reactions and perceptions rather than try to “fix” other people.

This book includes an assessment so readers can learn where they are on the Thinker/Feeler spectrum—and because it’s a spectrum, readers might well be a snowcactus or a cactusflake. Then Zack helps them figure out where other people might be, guiding them through myraid modes of communication and motivation based on personality type. She includes real-life scenarios that show how to nurture one’s nature while successfully connecting with those on the other side.

As always, Zack fearlessly and entertainingly dispels myths, squashes stereotypes, and transforms perceived liabilities into strengths. And she once again affirms that, like chocolate and peanut butter, we are better together.

[book] God: An Anatomy
by Francesca Stavrakopoulou
November 23, 2021

An astonishing and revelatory history that re-presents God as he was originally envisioned by ancient worshippers--with a distinctly male body, and with superhuman powers, earthly passions, and a penchant for the fantastic and monstrous.

From the professor of Hebrew bible and specialist in the religion of ancient Israel/Judea. The scholarship of theology and religion teaches us that the God of the Bible was without a body, only revealing himself in the Old Testament in words mysteriously uttered through his prophets, and in the New Testament in the body of Christ. The portrayal of God as corporeal and masculine is seen as merely metaphorical, figurative, or poetic. But, in this revelatory study, Francesca Stavrakopoulou presents a vividly corporeal image of God: a human-shaped deity who walks and talks and weeps and laughs, who eats, sleeps, feels, and breathes, and who is undeniably male. Here is a portrait--arrived at through the author's close examination of and research into the Bible--of a god in ancient myths and rituals who was a product of a particular society, at a particular time, made in the image of the people who lived then, shaped by their own circumstances and experience of the world. From head to toe--and every part of the body in between--this is a god of stunning surprise and complexity, one we have never encountered before.

[book] Why Do Jewish?
A Manifesto for 21st
Century Jewish Peoplehood
by Zack Bodner
November 23, 2021

How do I live a more meaningful life? How might I feel more connected to others, to the world around me, to the past and the future? In an era when we can choose our own identities, why might we choose to identify as Jews? These are just some of the questions Zack Bodner addresses as he thoughtfully shifts from asking “Why be Jewish?” to “Why do Jewish?” After laying out a compelling answer to that question, he goes on to explain what Jewish Peoplehood is and why he believes we are in the throes of an evolution to the next era: Jewish Peoplehood 4.0. He also provides a road map for how to do Jewish in the twentyfirst century - including proposing “the next big Jewish idea. Insisting that taking action is what matters most, Bodner proposes a creative new framework for doing Jewish based on an acronym from the Yiddish word TACHLIS, which means “getting down to brass tacks.” Through a combination of personal stories, insights from some of the world’s greatest teachers, and contemporary analysis, Why Do Jewish? takes one of our oldest wisdom traditions and provides an accessible guide for anyone looking for answers to life’s most important questions.

[book] All About Me!:
My Remarkable Life in
Show Business
by Mel Brooks
November 30, 2021

At 95, the legendary Mel Brooks continues to set the standard for comedy across television, film, and the stage. Now, for the first time, this EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winner shares his story in his own words.

“I hope fans of comedy will get a kick out of the stories behind my work, and really enjoy taking this remarkable ride with me.”—Mel Brooks

For anyone who loves American comedy, the long wait is over. Here are the never-before-told, behind-the-scenes anecdotes and remembrances from a master storyteller, filmmaker, and creator of all things funny.

All About Me! charts Mel Brooks’s meteoric rise from a Depression-era kid in Brooklyn to the recipient of the National Medal of Arts. Whether serving in the United States Army in World War II, or during his burgeoning career as a teenage comedian in the Catskills, Mel was always mining his experiences for material, always looking for the perfect joke. His iconic career began with Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, where he was part of the greatest writers’ room in history, which included Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, and Larry Gelbart. After co-creating both the mega-hit 2000 Year Old Man comedy albums and the classic television series Get Smart, Brooks’s stellar film career took off. He would go on to write, direct, and star in The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, and Spaceballs, as well as produce groundbreaking and eclectic films, including The Elephant Man, The Fly, and My Favorite Year. Brooks then went on to conquer Broadway with his record-breaking, Tony-winning musical, The Producers.

All About Me! offers fans insight into the inspiration behind the ideas for his outstanding collection of boundary-breaking work, and offers details about the many close friendships and collaborations Brooks had, including those with Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Gene Wilder, Madeleine Kahn, Alfred Hitchcock, and the great love of his life, Anne Bancroft.

Filled with tales of struggle, achievement, and camaraderie (and dozens of photographs), readers will gain a more personal and deeper understanding of the incredible body of work behind one of the most accomplished and beloved entertainers in history.

[book] 52 Shabbats:
Friday Night Dinners
Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen
by Faith Kramer
Clare Rice (Photographer)
November 30, 2021
Collective Book Studio

Wasn't this the title of a show on Broadway by Billy Crystal?

Whether you are a longtime host of weekly Shabbat dinners or new to this global Jewish tradition, 52 Shabbats will spice up your Friday night in one way or another. This book offers a holistic scope of the Shabbat tradition for every reader, Jewish or otherwise. In it you’ll find:

Over fifty primary recipes to anchor your menu
More than twenty recipes for side dishes, accompaniments, and desserts
Short essays that detail global foodways and histories
Explanation of the Shabbat ritual
Faith Kramer outlines recipe pairings in a mix-and-match friendly format, incorporating easy substitutes throughout the cookbook to make Shabbat accessible for all lifestyles. From gefilte fish to challah, berbere lentils to cardamom cheesecakes, these seasonally organized recipes will never fail to inspire your weekly dinner menu.

[book] Solid Ivory:
by James Ivory
Peter Cameron (Editor)

November 2, 2021

James Ivory, a Catholic from Oregon made famous films for Merchant Ivory teaming up with a Muslim and a German Jew (Ruth)
Here is his irreverent, brilliant memoir, filled with memories and lots of the guys he kissed over the decades

In Solid Ivory, a carefully crafted mosaic of memories, portraits, and reflections, the Academy Award–winning filmmaker James Ivory, a partner in the legendary Merchant Ivory Productions and the director of A Room with a View, Howards End, Maurice, and The Remains of the Day, tells stories from his remarkable life and career as one of the most influential directors of his time. At times, he touches on his love affairs, looking back coolly and with unexpected frankness.

From first meeting his collaborator and life partner, Ismail Merchant, at the Indian Consulate in New York to winning an Academy Award at age eighty-nine for Call Me by Your Name; from seeing his first film at age five in Klamath Falls, Oregon, to memories of Satyajit Ray (with whom he studied), Jean Renoir, The New Yorker magazine’s foul mouthed film critic Pauline Kael (his longtime enemy), Vanessa Redgrave, J. D. Salinger, George Cukor, Kenneth Clark, Bruce Chatwin, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (his German Jewish collaborator), and Merchant-Ivory writes with invariable fluency, wit, and perception about what made him who he is and how he made the movies for which he is known and loved.

Solid Ivory, edited by Peter Cameron, is an utterly winning portrait of an extraordinary life told by an unmatched storyteller.

[book] Madam:
The Biography of Polly Adler,
Icon of the Jazz Age
by Debby Applegate

November 2, 2021

The compulsively readable and sometimes jaw-dropping story of the life of a notorious madam who played hostess to every gangster, politician, writer, sports star and Cafe Society swell worth knowing, and who as much as any single figure helped make the twenties roar—from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Most Famous Man in America.

Simply put: Everybody came to Polly's. You can read that as dirtier if u want, using a double meaning

Pearl "Polly" Adler (1900-1962) was a diminutive dynamo whose Manhattan brothels in the Roaring Twenties became places not just for men to have the company of women but were key gathering places where the culturati and celebrity elite mingled with high society and with violent figures of the underworld—and had a good time doing it.

As a Jewish immigrant from eastern Europe, Polly Adler's life is a classic American story of success and assimilation that starts like a novel by Henry Roth and then turns into a glittering real-life tale straight out of F. Scott Fitzgerald. She declared her ambition to be "the best goddam madam in all America" and succeeded wildly. Debby Applegate uses Polly's story as the key to unpacking just what made the 1920s the appallingly corrupt yet glamorous and transformational era that it was and how the collision between high and low is the unique ingredient that fuels American culture.

Recovering the Lost Stories
of Looted Art
by Darsie Alexander, Sam Sackeroff
w/ Julia Voss, Mark Wasiuta
November 2, 2021

See the show at the JM – Jewish Museum, New York in Fall 2021

A strikingly original exploration of the profound impact of World War II on how we understand the art that survived it

By the end of World War II an estimated one million artworks and 2.5 million books had been seized from their owners by Nazi forces; many were destroyed. The artworks and cultural artifacts that survived have traumatic, layered histories. This book traces the biographies of these objects—including paintings, sculpture, and Judaica—their rescue in the aftermath of the war, and their afterlives in museums and private collections and in our cultural understanding. In examining how this history affects the way we view these works, scholars discuss the moral and aesthetic implications of maintaining the association between the works and their place within the brutality of the Holocaust—or, conversely, the implications of ignoring this history.

Afterlives offers a thought-provoking investigation of the unique ability of art and artifacts to bear witness to historical events. With rarely seen archival photographs and with contributions by the contemporary artists Maria Eichhorn, Hadar Gad, Dor Guez, and Lisa Oppenheim, this catalogue illuminates the study of a difficult and still-urgent subject, with many parallels to today’s crises of art in war.

[book] The Oxford Handbook
of the Jewish Diaspora
by Hasia R. Diner
((( NYU )))
November 2, 2021

For as long as historians have contemplated the Jewish past, they have engaged with the idea of diaspora. Dedicated to the study of transnational peoples and the linkages these people forged among themselves over the course of their wanderings and in the multiple places to which they went, the term “diaspora” reflects the increasing interest in migrations, trauma, globalism, and community formations.

The Oxford Handbook of the Jewish Diaspora acts as a comprehensive collection of scholarship that reflects the multifaceted nature of diaspora studies. Persecuted and exiled throughout their history, the Jewish people have also left familiar places to find better opportunities in new ones. But their history has consistently been defined by their permanent lack of belonging. This Oxford Handbook explores the complicated nature of diasporic Jewish life as something both destructive and generative. Contributors explore subjects as diverse as biblical and medieval representations of diaspora, the various diaspora communities that emerged across the globe, the contradictory relationship the diaspora bears to Israel, and how the diaspora is celebrated and debated within modern Jewish thought. What these essays share is a commitment to untangling the legacy of the diaspora on Jewish life and culture.

This volume portrays the Jewish diaspora not as a simple, unified front, but as a population characterized by conflicting impulses and ideas. The Oxford Handbook of the Jewish Diaspora captures the complexity of the Jewish diaspora by acknowledging the tensions inherent in a group of people defined by trauma and exile as well as by voluntary migrations to places with greater opportunity.

[book] By the Grace of the Game:
The Holocaust, A Basketball Legacy,
and an Unprecedented American Dream
by Dan Grunfeld
November 16, 2021

When Lily and Alex entered a packed gymnasium in Queens, New York in 1972, they barely recognized their son. The boy who escaped to America with them, who was bullied as he struggled to learn English and cope with family tragedy, was now a young man who had discovered and secretly honed his basketball talent on the outdoor courts of New York City. That young man was Ernie Grunfeld, who would go on to win an Olympic gold medal and reach previously unimaginable heights as an NBA player and executive.

In By the Grace of the Game, Dan Grunfeld, once a basketball standout himself at Stanford University, shares the remarkable story of his family, a delicately interwoven narrative that doesn't lack in heartbreak yet remains as deeply nourishing as his grandmother's Hungarian cooking, so lovingly described. The true improbability of the saga lies in the discovery of a game that unknowingly held the power to heal wounds, build bridges, and tie together a fractured Jewish family. If the magnitude of an American dream is measured by the intensity of the nightmare that came before and the heights of the triumph achieved after, then By the Grace of the Game recounts an American dream story of unprecedented scale.

From the grips of the Nazis to the top of the Olympic podium, from the cheap seats to center stage at Madison Square Garden, from yellow stars to silver spoons, this complex tale traverses the spectrum of the human experience to detail how perseverance, love, and legacy can survive through generations, carried on the shoulders of a simple and beautiful game.

[book] The Cookie Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum
November 16, 2021
Mariner Books

The ultimate cookie cookbook, from best-selling author of The Baking Bible Rose Levy Beranbaum

Bluntly... her book answers any question you can image

Recipes are followed by her BAKING GEMS, lessons

This is your must-have cookie book, featuring nearly every cookie imaginable, from rustic Cranberry Chocolate Chippers to elegant French macarons, and everything in between—simple drop cookies, rolled-and-cut holiday cookies, brownies and other bars, pretty sandwich cookies, luxurious frosted or chocolate-dipped treats, and much more.

With legendary baker Rose Levy Beranbaum’s foolproof recipes—which feature detail-oriented instructions that eliminate guesswork, notes for planning ahead, ingenious tips, and other golden rules for success—it’s easy to whip up a batch of irresistible, crowd-pleasing cookies anytime, for any occasion. Standout classics and new favorites include:

Rose’s Dream Chocolate Chip Cookies (can be refrigerated for 4 weeks)
Lemon Lumpies
Black Tahini Crisps
Peanut Butter and Jelly Buttons
Double Ginger Molasses Cookies
Caramel Surprise Snickerdoodles
Mom’s Coconut Snowball Kisses
Chocolate Sablés
Gingerbread Folks (with a special sturdy variation for gingerbread houses)
Pecan Freezer Squares
Brownie Doughnuts
Brandy Snap Rolls
Plus “extra special” details including homemade Dulce de Leche, Wicked Good Ganache, Lemon Curd, and more


[book] Year with Martin Buber:
Wisdom on the Weekly Torah Portion
(JPS Daily Inspiration)
by Rabbi Dennis S. Ross
December 1, 2021
JPS, Nebraska, Jewish Publication Society

The teachings of the great twentieth-century Jewish thinker Martin Buber empower us to enter a spiritual dimension that often passes unnoticed in the daily routine. In A Year with Martin Buber, the first Torah commentary to focus on his life’s work, we experience the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and eleven Jewish holidays through Buber’s eyes.

While best known for the spiritual concept of the I-Thou relationship between people, Buber graced us with other fundamentals, including Over Against, Afterglow, Will and Grace, Reification, Inclusion, and Imagine the Real. And his life itself—for example, Buber’s defiance of the Nazis, his call for Jewish-Arab reconciliation, and his protest of Adolf Eichmann’s execution—modeled these teachings in action.

Rabbi Dennis S. Ross demonstrates Buber’s roots in Jewish thought and breaks new ground by explaining the broader scope of Buber’s life and work in a clear, conversational voice. He quotes from the weekly Torah portion; draws lessons from Jewish commentators; and sets Buber’s related words in context with Buber’s remarkable life story, Hasidic tales, and writing. A wide variety of anecdotal illustrations from Buber as well as the author’s life encourages each of us to “hallow the everyday” and seek out “spirituality hiding in plain sight.”

Rabbi Ross is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an Intentional Interim Rabbi at Temple Am Echad in Lynbrook, N. Y. He served congregations in Manhattan, Chappaqua, Monroe, Neponsit, and Albany, New York, Summit, N.J., Washington, D. C. and Massachusetts.

[book] The Ambulance Chaser
by Brian Cuban
December 7, 2021
Post Hill Press

Yes, Brian is a law school grad and the brother of celebrity wealthy person Mark Cuban. He is up front about his past addictions and recoveries. Here is a mystery book.

After being accused of the murder of a high school classmate thirty years prior, lawyer Jason Feldman becomes a fugitive from justice to find the one person who can prove his innocence and save the life of his son.

Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer and part-time drug dealer Jason Feldman’s life goals are simple: date hot women, earn enough cash to score cocaine on a regular basis, and care for his dementia-ravaged father. That all changes when a long-lost childhood friend contacts him about the discovery of buried remains belonging to a high school classmate who went missing thirty years prior, and the fragile life Jason’s built over his troubled past is about to come crashing down.

Soon, he’s on the run across Pittsburgh and beyond to find his old friend, while trying to figure out whom to trust among Ukrainian mobsters, vegan drug dealers, washed-up sports stars, an Israeli James Bond, and an ex-wife who happens to be the district attorney. The only way he’ll survive is if he overcomes his addictions so he can face his childhood demons.

[book] A Knock at the Door:
The Story of My Secret
Work With Israeli MIAs and POWs
by Ory Slonim
December 7, 2021

The inside story of Israel’s secret negotiations to bring home their soldiers taken hostage by terrorist groups.

Ory was a lawyer in Israel when he and his wife were injured in a terror attack. They recovered from their primary injuries. Years later, President Herzog approached Ory to help with negotiations on the down low....

Suppose one day, your son or husband, while serving in the military or working as a journalist, is taken hostage by a terrorist group—and you have no idea whether your loved one is dead or alive or how to even make contact with the insurgents holding him. It’s a nightmare scenario that has sadly taken place dozens of times in the past twenty years in the Middle East.

Here in the U.S., the government does not always get involved. Instead, it will engage the services of a neutral country to negotiate with the terrorists. Unfortunately, many times the terrorists insist on never-ending demands in order to torment the family of the hostage. Unlike Israel, we’ve never had a central address for these types of scenarios. But maybe after reading this book, it’s an idea we could, and should, consider. Ory Slonim, the international “door knocker” was an invention of necessity by the Israeli government.

There were many good and brave human beings involved in this matter. Here for the first time is the story of the one man in Israel who, for more than two decades, was known as the “door knocker.” He had been a private Israeli lawyer when he was asked to undertake, on behalf of the Israeli government, secret negotiations to find out the whereabouts of Israeli soldiers who were taken hostage by terrorist groups. His ultimate mission was to bring them home, dead or alive. In his capacity as negotiator, his story will take into you into the worlds of the furtive Mossad, the twisted minds of terrorists, the forever traumatized lives of the parents whose children never came home from battle, and into Ory’s own resilient, compassionate, and amazingly resolute negotiations when ordinary people would have easily broken down.

[book] The Pharisees
Edited by Joseph Sievers and
Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt)
December 2, 2021

A multidisciplinary appraisal of the Pharisees: who they were, what they taught, and how they’ve been understood and depicted throughout history For centuries, Pharisees have been well known but little understood—due at least in part to their outsized role in the Christian imagination arising from select negative stereotypes based in part on the Gospels. Yet historians see Pharisees as respected teachers and forward-thinking innovators who helped make the Jewish tradition more adaptable to changing circumstances and more egalitarian in practice. Seeking to bridge this gap, the contributors to this volume provide a multidisciplinary appraisal of who the Pharisees actually were, what they believed and taught, and how they have been depicted throughout history.

The topics explored within this authoritative resource include:
the origins of the Pharisees
the meaning of the name “Pharisee”
Pharisaic leniency, relative to the temple priesthood, in judicial matters
Pharisaic concerns for the Jewish laity
Pharisaic purity practices and why they became popular
the varying depictions of Pharisaic practices and beliefs in the New Testament
Jesus’s relationship to the Pharisees
the apostle Paul and his situation within the Pharisaic tradition
the question of continuity between the Pharisaic tradition and Rabbinic Judaism
the reception history of the Pharisees, including among the rabbis, the church fathers, Rashi, Maimonides, Luther, and Calvin
the failures of past scholarship to deal justly with the Pharisees
the representations, both positive and negative, of the Pharisees in art, film, passion plays, and Christian educational resources
how Christian leaders can and should address the Pharisees in sermons and in Bible studies
Following the exploration of these and other topics by a team of internationally renowned scholars, this volume concludes with an address by Pope Francis on correcting the negative stereotypes of Pharisees that have led to antisemitic prejudices and finding resources that “will positively contribute to the relationship between Jews and Christians, in view of an ever more profound and fraternal dialogue.”

Contributors: Luca Angelelli, Harold W. Attridge, Vasile Babota, Shaye J. D. Cohen, Philip A. Cunningham, Deborah Forger, Paula Fredriksen, Yair Furstenburg, Massimo Grilli, Susannah Heschel, Angela La Delfa, Amy-Jill Levine, Hermut Löhr, Steve Mason, Eric M. Meyers, Craig E. Morrison, Vered Noam, Henry Pattarumadathil, Adele Reinhartz, Jens Schröter, Joseph Sievers, Matthias Skeb, Abraham Skorka, Günter Stemberger, Christian Stückl, Adela Yarbro Collins, and Randall Zachman.

[book] An Unchosen People:
Jewish Political Reckoning
in Interwar Poland
by Kenneth B. Moss
December 14, 2021

Most American Jews of Polish Jewish heritage are descended from the mass of Polish Jewry and not the political intellectuals. So little is studied about the Polish Jewish political theorists and activists between WWI and WWII.

This is a revisionist, academic account of interwar Europe’s largest Jewish community that upends histories of Jewish “agency” to rediscover reckonings with nationalism’s pathologies, diaspora’s fragility, Zionism’s promises, and the necessity of choice.

What did the future hold for interwar Europe’s largest Jewish community, the font of global Jewish hopes? When intrepid analysts asked these questions on the cusp of the 1930s, they discovered a Polish Jewry reckoning with “no tomorrow.” Assailed by antisemitism and witnessing liberalism’s collapse, some Polish Jews looked past progressive hopes or religious certainties to investigate what the nation-state was becoming, what powers minority communities really possessed, and where a future might be found-and for whom. A very pessimistic outlook

The story of modern Jewry is often told as one of creativity and contestation. Kenneth B. Moss traces instead a late Jewish reckoning with diasporic vulnerability, nationalism’s terrible potencies, Zionism’s promises, and the necessity of choice. Moss examines the works of Polish Jewry’s most searching thinkers as they confronted political irrationality, state crisis, and the limits of resistance. He reconstructs the desperate creativity of activists seeking to counter despair where they could not redress its causes. And he recovers a lost grassroots history of critical thought and political searching among ordinary Jews, young and powerless, as they struggled to find a viable future for themselves-in Palestine if not in Poland, individually if not communally.

Focusing not on ideals but on a search for realism, Moss recasts the history of modern Jewish political thought. Where much scholarship seeks Jewish agency over a collective future, An Unchosen People recovers a darker tradition characterized by painful tradeoffs amid a harrowing political reality, making Polish Jewry a paradigmatic example of the minority experience endemic to the nation-state.


[book] God, Grades, and Graduation:
Religion's Surprising Impact on Academic Success
by Ilana Horwitz
January 3, 2022
Oxford Univ Press

The surprising ways in which a religious upbringing shapes the academic lives of teens

It's widely acknowledged that American parents from different class backgrounds take different approaches to raising their children. Upper and middle-class parents invest considerable time facilitating their children's activities, while working class and poor families take a more hands-off approach. These different strategies influence how children approach school. But missing from the discussion is the fact that millions of parents on both sides of the class divide are raising their children to listen to God. What impact does a religious upbringing have on their academic trajectories?

Drawing on 10 years of survey data with over 3,000 teenagers and over 200 interviews, God, Grades, and Graduation offers a revealing and at times surprising account of how teenagers' religious upbringing influences their educational pathways from high school to college. Dr. Ilana Horwitz estimates that approximately one out of every four students in American schools are raised with religious restraint. These students orient their life around God so deeply that it alters how they see themselves and how they behave, inside and outside of church.

This book takes us inside the lives of these teenagers to discover why they achieve higher grades than their peers, why they are more likely to graduate from college, and why boys from lower middle-class families particularly benefit from religious restraint. But readers also learn how for middle-upper class kids--and for girls especially--religious restraint recalibrates their academic ambitions after graduation, leading them to question the value of attending a selective college despite their stellar grades in high school. By illuminating the far-reaching effects of the childrearing logic of religious restraint, God, Grades and Graduation offers a compelling new narrative about the role of religion in academic outcomes and educational inequality.

[book] For the Freedom of Zion:
The Great Revolt of Jews
against Romans, 66–74 CE
by Guy MacLean Rogers
January 4, 2022
Yale Univ Press

A definitive account of the great revolt of Jews against Rome and the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple

This deeply researched and insightful book examines the causes, course, and historical significance of the Jews’ failed revolt against Rome from 66 to 74 CE, including the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. Based on a comprehensive study of all the evidence and new statistical data, Guy Rogers argues that the Jewish rebels fought for their religious and political freedom and lost owing to military mistakes.

Rogers contends that while the Romans won the war, they lost the peace. When the Romans destroyed the Jerusalem Temple, they thought that they had defeated the God of Israel and eliminated Jews as a strategic threat to their rule. Instead, they ensured the Jews’ ultimate victory. After their defeat Jews turned to the written words of their God. Following those words led the Jews to recover their freedom in the promised land, and the war’s tragic outcome still shapes the worldview of billions of people today.

January 11, 2022
Tyndale House (Christian) Publishing House
Book 4 of 4

A new thriller from Rosenberg, a resident of Israel, who specializes in Christian oriented thrillers.

A game-changing peace treaty between Israel and the Saudis is nearly done. The secretary of state is headed to the region to seal the deal. And Special Agent Marcus Ryker is leading an advance trip along the Israel-Lebanon border, ahead of the secretary’s arrival.

But when Ryker and his team are ambushed by Hezbollah forces, a nightmare scenario begins to unfold. The last thing the White House can afford is a new war in the Mideast that could derail the treaty and set the region ablaze. U.S. and Israeli forces are mobilizing to find the hostages and get them home, but Ryker knows the clock is ticking.

When Hezbollah realizes who they’ve captured, no amount of ransom will save them-they’ll be transferred to Beirut and then to Tehran to be executed on live television. In the fourth installment of Rosenberg’s gripping new series, Marcus Ryker finds himself in the most dangerous situation he has ever faced-captured, brutalized, and dragged deep behind enemy lines.

Should he wait to be rescued? Or try to escape? How? And what if his colleagues are too wounded to run? This is the CIA’s most valuable operative as you have never seen him before.

[book] The Jerusalem Assassin:
A Marcus Ryker Series
Political and Military Action Thriller:
(Book 3 of 4)
by Joel C. Rosenberg
January 26, 2022
Tyndale House (Christian) Publishing House

The enemy is invisible and moving fast. The body count is rising. And time is running out. Marcus Ryker has spent his entire career studying killers. One thing he knows for sure: a peace summit is the ultimate stage for an assassination.

President Andrew Clarke is determined to announce his historic peace plan from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But when senior American officials who support the plan begin violently dying, Clarke orders Ryker and his team of CIA operatives to hunt down those responsible and bring the killing spree to an end.

When the Palestinians denounce the American plan, the Saudis signal they may be ready to forge a historic treaty with Israel. Could the Saudi king’s support be the missing ingredient that will lead to peace at long last?

Ryker soon uncovers a chilling plot to kill the American president. A well-resourced international alliance is dead set against the peace plan. They will stop at nothing to strike a blow against the Americans and seize leadership of the Muslim world.

With all eyes on Jerusalem and the president in the crosshairs, it’s up to Ryker to eliminate the terrible evil that’s been set in motion. The fate of the region depends on his success. He has 48 hours.

[book] Maybe It’s Me:
On Being the Wrong Kind
of Woman
by Eileen Pollack
January 25, 2022

Eileen is nine and too smart for the third grade, but when the clownish school psychologist tries to gain her trust with an offer of Oreos, she refuses. After all, she doesn’t accept gifts from strangers! This is the start of a love-hate relationship with the rules as they were laid out for a girl in 1960s upstate New York—and as they persist in some form today. As she ascends from her rural public high school, where she wasn't allowed to take the advanced courses in science and math because she was female, through a physics degree at Yale, to a post-graduate summer that leaves her “peed on, shot at, and kidnapped,” to a marriage where both careers theoretically are respected but, as the wife, she is expected to do all the housework and child-rearing, pay the taxes, and make sure the Roto-Rooter guy arrives on time, Pollack shares with poignant humor and candid language the trials of being smart and female in a world that is just learning to imagine equality between the sexes. Maybe It’s Me is a question all smart women have asked themselves. Pollack’s autobiographical essays take us on a roller-coaster ride from gratifyingly humorous street-level stories of innocent curiosity to the calculated meanness of tweeny girls to the defensive strategies of threatened men to the 20,000-foot overview of how we all got here. In the end, Pollack’s message is one of human connection and tenacity because even in her sixth decade, still searching for love, acceptance, and equality, she is still very much in the game.

May You Go
[book] From Strength to Strength:
Finding Success, Happiness,
and Deep Purpose in the
Second Half of Life
by Arthur C. Brooks
Harvard, The Atlantic
January 11, 2022

The roadmap for finding purpose, meaning, and success as we age, from bestselling author, Harvard professor, and the Atlantic's happiness columnist Arthur Brooks.

Many of us assume that the more successful we are, the less susceptible we become to the sense of professional and social irrelevance that often accompanies aging. But the truth is, the greater our achievements and our attachment to them, the more we notice our decline, and the more painful it is when it occurs.

What can we do, starting now, to make our older years a time of happiness, purpose, and yes, success?

At the height of his career at the age of 50, Arthur Brooks embarked on a seven-year journey to discover how to transform his future from one of disappointment over waning abilities into an opportunity for progress. From Strength to Strength is the result, a practical roadmap for the rest of your life.

Drawing on social science, philosophy, biography, theology, and eastern wisdom, as well as dozens of interviews with everyday men and women, Brooks shows us that true life success is well within our reach. By refocusing on certain priorities and habits that anyone can learn, such as deep wisdom, detachment from empty rewards, connection and service to others, and spiritual progress, we can set ourselves up for increased happiness.
Read this book and you, too, can go from strength to strength.

Brooks was formerly a professor of public policy at Syracuse University and then president of the American Enterprise Institute for 10 years. He is presently William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, where he teaches on nonprofit management, leadership, and happiness. He wants social science and public policy not to treat the question of happiness as an afterthought, but rather spend more time understanding how we can bring happiness into our lives and less on what he calls the widgets of a machine we might not even understand. He has a “How to Build a Life” column for The Atlantic, and his “Art of Happiness” podcast. Brooks says that there is very little going on in academia that ties leadership to creating greater happiness, that talks about the happiness of leaders, and how leaders can bring more happiness to other people. He says, “You can get better at happiness, but you have to do three things. Number one, you need to understand it. So, you can be happier, but you have to understand it and do the work, do the reading, do the studying, do the thinking, do the analysis. The second is that you need to apply the things that you learned in your life. That's actually what the real work is. And the last part there is you have to share what you know. If you do these three things—understand, apply, share--happiness will come to you in greater abundance. You won't be happy all the time, but that said, to have more happiness in your life, you've got to do those three things.”

The secret to happiness: money, power, pleasure, and prestige? These bring DIS satisfaction to many. They put you on a hedonic treadmill, where you run and run and you never make any distance. So then what? Read the book. It will be dedicated to the young strivers who are going out in the world, and the older strivers that want their life to be better.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel
2017-2021, DJ Trump Administration
February 8, 2022
Broadside Books, Harper Collins

The Trump Administration's Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, tells the story of how the Abraham Accords — the deals between Israel and five Muslim led nations — came to pass. In 2020, the United States brokered a series of peace deals between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors. The Abraham Accords normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, Kosovo and Morocco. The accords were the result of painstaking, behind-the-scenes work by a small team with no prior diplomatic experience, including Ambassador David Friedman. Sledgehammer is the story of the accords from Friedman's POV — its origin and how it was successfully achieved.

He writes that in the past, Middle Eastern diplomacy was led from the perspective of extensive prior experience and detailed knowledge of the region’s history and culture. But all parties used these old rules and policies to stall — each hoping to achieve a deal better for their side further down the road.

The Trump Administration and Friedman blamed the Palestinian leaders for intransigence, the the Israelis for chaotic politics and coalitions. Friedman suggested a new route. The United States needed to find a way to facilitate peace, a detour that would ignore the Palestinians.

Friedman takes us across the globe and back, from the Oval Office to the highest echelons of power in the Middle East and puts us at the table during the intense negotiations that led to this historic breakthrough. The inside story of arguably the greatest achievement of the Trump Administration, Sledgehammer is an important, inspiring story of the hard but hopeful work necessary to bring long overdue—and lasting—peace to one of the most turbulent and tragic regions of the globe.

Forthcoming Title
By Jared Kushner
Spring 2022
Broadside Books, HarperCollins

Jared Kushner, a former senior advisor in the Trump White House will write about his White House experiences, including his role in negotiating normalization deals between Israel and selected Arab nations, including United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco (Abraham Accords); criticisms over his family's 666 Fifth Avenue bailout by an Arab country investment; U.S. prison reform; bilateral trade deals; U.S-China policies; the White House response to the coronavirus pandemic; his statemet that we would all be dead by June 2020 (in private) but all would be great in public; Russia’s interference in the 2016 election; the two times that President Trump, his father-in-law, was impeached; the issues related to immigration and the Mexican border and the caging and separation of children; his views on the murder by police of George Floyd in Minneapolis; the 2020 election results; his hopes that Saudi Arabia would be the key to Mideast Peace but how the MBS murder of the WaPo journalist in Turkey and the use of a body double and bone saw ruined it; the Trump-related siege on January 6, 2021 on the Congress; rumors of he and his wife's bisexuality and its effect on future politics; and his family's move from Washington DC to Miami in 2021, and his alleged distancing himself from his father in law in order to pursue future opportunities.

[book] Blacks and Jews in America:
An Invitation to Dialogue
by Terrence L. Johnson
Jacques Berlinerblau
Yvonne Chireau (Contributor)
Susannah Heschel (Contributor)
February 1, 2022
Georgetown University Press

A Black-Jewish dialogue lifts a veil on these groups' unspoken history, shedding light on the challenges and promises facing American democracy from its inception to the present

In this uniquely structured conversational work, two scholars - one of African American politics and religion, and one of contemporary American Jewish culture - explore a mystery: Why aren't Blacks and Jews presently united in their efforts to combat white supremacy? As alt-right rhetoric becomes increasingly normalized in public life, the time seems right for these one-time allies to rekindle the fires of the civil rights movement.

Blacks and Jews in America investigates why these two groups do not presently see each other as sharing a common enemy, let alone a political alliance. Authors Terrence L. Johnson and Jacques Berlinerblau consider a number of angles, including the disintegration of the "Grand Alliance" between Blacks and Jews during the civil rights era, the perspective of Black and Jewish millennials, the debate over Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Ultimately, this book shows how the deep roots of the Black-Jewish relationship began long before the mid-twentieth century, changing a narrative dominated by the Grand Alliance and its subsequent fracturing. By engaging this history from our country's origins to its present moment, this dialogue models the honest and searching conversation needed for Blacks and Jews to forge a new understanding.

[book] Once More with Chutzpah
by Haley Neil
February 1, 2022

A moving YA debut about a girl who grapples with questions of her Jewish identity, mental health struggles, and sexuality while on a temple exchange trip through Israel.

When high school senior Tally and her twin brother Max head off on an exchange trip to Israel over their winter break, Tally thinks it will be a good distraction for Max; he might be trying to hide it, but she knows he's still struggling in the wake of a car crash that injured him and killed the driver. Maybe this will help him get back on track and apply to college the way he and Tally always planned.

But as the group travels across the country, Tally realizes her plan might not be working, and that her brother might not be the only one with a lot on his mind. When a new relationship gets complicated in the face of her own anxiety-about her future, her sexual and romantic identity, and her place within the Jewish diaspora-Tally must grapple not only with the past, but also with what life will be like when they get back home.

Debut author Haley Neil offers a relatable and deeply felt story about identity on the cusp of adulthood.

[book] Karaism:
An Introduction to the Oldest
Surviving Alternative Judaism
by Professor Daniel Lasker
(((Ben Gurion University of the Negev)))
February 1, 2022
Liverpool University Press
Littman Library

Karaite Judaism emerged in the ninth century in the Islamic Middle East as an alternative to the rabbinic Judaism of the Jewish majority.

Karaites rejected the underlying assumption of rabbinic Judaism, namely, that Jewish practice is to be based on two divinely revealed Torahs, a written one, embodied in the Five Books of Moses, and an oral one, eventually written down in rabbinic literature.

Karaites accept as authoritative only the Written Torah, as they understand it, and their form of Judaism therefore differs greatly from that of most Jews. Despite its permanent minority status, Karaism has been an integral part of the Jewish people continuously for twelve centuries. It has contributed greatly to Jewish cultural achievements, while providing a powerful intellectual challenge to the majority form of Judaism.

This book is the first to present a comprehensive overview of the entire story of Karaite Judaism:
its unclear origins;
a Golden Age of Karaism in the Land of Israel;
migrations through the centuries;
Karaites in the Holocaust;
unique Jewish religious practices,
beliefs, and philosophy;
biblical exegesis and literary accomplishments;
polemics and historiography;
and the present-day revival of the Karaite community in the State of Israel.

[book] The Books of Jacob:
A Novel
by Olga Tokarczuk
Jennifer Croft (Translator)
February 1, 2022
Riverhead Books

THE TABLET wrote: The novel follows the messianic religious leader Jacob Frank as he travels through 18th-century Europe, attracting a fervent following and a list of avowed enemies. Translated into Hebrew (with the financial support of the Polish Ministry of Culture) and published in Israel in 2020, this enormously complex and rich book, 700 pages in its Hebrew version, has become an Israeli cultural phenomenon. An eagerly awaited English translation by Jennifer Croft will be published in 2022. In their presentation of the award to Tokarczuk, the Nobel Prize committee praised The Books of Jacob, whose subtitle is “The Great Journey through Seven Borders, Five Languages, and Three Religions,” for its expansive reach. The Nobel award statement said that Tokarczuk displayed “a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.” One of those boundaries is the one between Judaism and Christianity, and the exploration of Jacob Frank’s crossing of that boundary is the novel’s central theme.....Tokarczuk told an interviewer for Israel Hayom, ….that “the fact that this book has been published in Hebrew is, in my opinion, the most important event that has happened with this book.” …. Tokarczuk continued that “The book tells the story of the shared history of the Poles and the Jews.” Deeply aware that this is a troubled “shared history,” Tokarczuk added that “Many Israelis and Poles are apathetic about their shared history … I believe that The Books of Jacob, one of many chapters in the history of the Jewish diaspora in Europe and Poland, presents the infinite complexity of human relations, which only literature can really describe.”

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature–winner’s richest, most sweeping and ambitious novel yet follows the comet-like rise and fall of a mysterious, messianic religious leader as he blazes his way across eighteenth-century Europe.

In the mid-eighteenth century, as new ideas—and a new unrest—begin to sweep the Continent, a young Jew of mysterious origins arrives in a village in Poland. Before long, he has changed not only his name but his persona; visited by what seem to be ecstatic experiences, Jacob Frank casts a charismatic spell that attracts an increasingly fervent following. In the decade to come, Frank will traverse the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires with throngs of disciples in his thrall as he reinvents himself again and again, converts to Islam and then Catholicism, is pilloried as a heretic and revered as the Messiah, and wreaks havoc on the conventional order, Jewish and Christian alike, with scandalous rumors of his sect’s secret rituals and the spread of his increasingly iconoclastic beliefs. The story of Frank—a real historical figure around whom mystery and controversy swirl to this day—is the perfect canvas for the genius and unparalleled reach of Olga Tokarczuk. Narrated through the perspectives of his contemporaries—those who revere him, those who revile him, the friend who betrays him, the lone woman who sees him for what he is—The Books of Jacob captures a world on the cusp of precipitous change, searching for certainty and longing for transcendence.

[book] Satisfaction Guaranteed:
How Zingerman's Built a Corner Deli
into a Global Food Community
by Micheline Maynard
March 1, 2022

From the Detroit bureau chief of the NYT,
a lively look at the inception, growth, future, and unique management style of Zingerman’s—a beloved, $70 million-dollar Michigan-based specialty food store with global reach.

Certain businesses are legendary, exerting immense influence in their field. Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is one of those places. Over the years the flagship deli has expanded into a community of more than a dozen businesses, including a wildly successful mail order operation, restaurants, bakery, coffee roastery, creamery, candy maker, and events space—transforming Ann Arbor into a destination for food lovers.

Founded in 1982 by Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman’s philosophy of good food, excellent service, and sound finances has turned it into a company whose reach spans all corners of the gourmet food world.? Famous for its generous deli sandwiches, fresh bread, and flavorful coffee—all locally produced—Zingerman’s is also widely celebrated for its superb customer service and employee equity. The culture is one of respect and innovation, while maintaining very high standards. Every employee has access to the financial records, everyone has a voice, and everyone is heard. It has legions of enthusiastic customers, fans across the food world, and business principles and a work ethic that have been admired, analyzed, and copied. All that is revealed here, in Micheline Maynard’s Satisfaction Guaranteed.

Readers will discover how by 2019, Zingerman’s employed hundreds of employees and achieved close to $70 million in annual sales. When the pandemic struck, Zingerman’s growth momentarily screeched to a halt—but it survived by reinventing itself, while still serving its beloved food and selling its wide array of groceries. Now, as Zingerman’s approaches its 40th anniversary, it is on track for stronger results than ever. A recipe for success in business and in life, Satisfaction Guaranteed provides a roadmap for manifesting joy and purpose in business.

[book] The Rational Passover Haggadah
by Dennis Prager
March 1, 2022
Regnery Faith Book Publishing (Salem Media Group)

Dennis Prager, author of The Rational Bible—which, upon its first publication, was the number one bestselling non-fiction book in America—turns his attention to the Haggadah, the book used for the most widely celebrated Jewish ritual, the Passover Seder. As with Prager’s multi-volume commentary on the Torah, the explanations included with this Haggadah are equally valuable for religious and non-religious Jews, as well as for non-Jews. It provides enough thought-provoking ideas and insights to last the reader a lifetime.

Not sure yet if there is Hebrew, English, transliteration, etc

[book] Becoming Elijah:
Prophet of Transformation
(Jewish Lives)
by Daniel C. Matt
March 1, 2022
Yale University Press

In the Bible, Elijah is a zealous prophet, attacking idolatry and injustice, championing God. He performs miracles, restoring life and calling down fire. When his earthly life ends, he vanishes in a whirlwind, carried off to heaven in a fiery chariot. Was this a spectacular death, or did Elijah escape death entirely? The latter view prevailed. Though residing in heaven, Elijah revisits earth—to help, rescue, enlighten, and eventually herald the Messiah. Because of his Messianic role, Jews open the door for Elijah during each Seder—the meal commemorating liberation from slavery and anticipating final redemption.

How did this zealot turn into a compassionate hero—apparently the most popular figure in Jewish folklore? Becoming Elijah explores these questions, tracing how Elijah develops from the Bible to Rabbinic Judaism, Kabbalah, and Jewish ritual (as well as Christianity and Islam). This book shows that Elijah’s transformation is pertinent and inspirational for our polarized, fanatical world.

[book] Alias Anna:
A True Story of Outwitting the Nazis
by Susan Hood, Greg Dawson
March 22, 2022
Ages 10 and up

The moving true story of how young Ukrainian Jewish piano prodigies Zhanna (alias “Anna”) and her sister Frina outplayed their pursuers while hiding in plain sight during the Holocaust. A middle grade nonfiction novel-in-verse by award-winning author Susan Hood with Greg Dawson (Zhanna’s son).

She wouldn’t be Zhanna. She’d use an alias. A for Anna. A for alive.

When the Germans invade Ukraine, Zhanna, a young Jewish girl, must leave behind her friends, her freedom, and her promising musical future at the world’s top conservatory. With no time to say goodbye, Zhanna, her sister Frina, and their entire family are removed from their home by the Nazis and forced on a long, cold, death march. When a guard turns a blind eye, Zhanna flees with nothing more than her musical talent, her beloved sheet music, and her father’s final plea: “I don’t care what you do. Just live.”

This incredible true story in-verse about sisterhood, survival, and music is perfect for fans of Lifeboat 12, Inside Out and Back Again, and Alan Gratz.

Includes extensive back matter with original letters and photographs, additional information, and materials for further reading.

[book] The Auschwitz Protocols:
Czeslaw Mordowicz and the Race
to Save Hungary's Jews
by Fred R. Bleakley
March 22, 2022

As Adolf Eichmann sent hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz gas chambers, the Jews of Budapest needed the eyewitness testimony of escapee Czeslaw Mordowicz to save them.

The clock was ticking on the Nazi plan to annihilate the last remnants of Hungarian Jewry. But after nearly suffocating in an underground bunker, Auschwitz prisoners Czeslaw Mordowicz and Arnost Rosin escaped and told Jewish leaders what they had seen. In mid June 1944, their testimony corroborated earlier hard-to-believe reports of mass killing in Auschwitz by lethal gas and provided eyewitness accounts of record daily arrivals of Hungarian Jews meeting the same fate. It was the spark needed to stir a call for action to pressure Hungary’s premier to defy Hitler—just hours before more than 200,000 Budapest Jews were to be deported.

[book] The Cambridge Companion to Antisemitism
(Cambridge Companions to Religion)
by Steven Katz
(Boston University)
March 22, 2022
Cambridge University Press

A History of Anti-Semitism examines the history, culture and literature of antisemitism from antiquity to the present. With contributions from an international team of scholars, whose essays were specially commissioned for this volume, it covers the long history of antisemitism starting with ancient Greece and Egypt, through the anti-Judaism of early Christianity, and the medieval era in both the Christian and Muslim worlds when Jews were defined as 'outsiders,' especially in Christian Europe. This portrayal often led to violence, notably pogroms that often accompanied Crusades, as well as to libels against Jews. The volume also explores the roles of Luther and the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the debate over Jewish emancipation, Marxism, and the social disruptions after World War 1 that led to the rise of Nazism and genocide. Finally, it considers current issues, including the dissemination of hate on social media and the internet and questions of definition and method.

[book] Who by Fire:
War, Atonement, and the
Resurrection of Leonard Cohen
by Matti Friedman
March 29, 2022
Spiegel and Grau

The little-known story of Leonard Cohen's 1973 tour of Israel during the Yom Kippur War, including previously unpublished writings by Leonard Cohen

"Who by Fire is a stunning resurrection of a moment in the life of Leonard Cohen and the history of Israel. It’s the story of a young artist in crisis and a young country at war, and the powerful resonance of the chord struck between them. A beautiful, haunting book full of feeling." -Nicole Krauss, author of To Be a Man

In October 1973, the Canadian Jewish poet and singer Leonard Cohen – 39 years old, famous, unhappy, and at a creative dead end – traveled to the Sinai desert and inserted himself into the chaos and bloodshed of the Yom Kippur War.

Moving around the front with a guitar and a pick-up team of local musicians, Cohen dived headlong into the midst of a national crisis and met hundreds of fighting men and women at the worst moment of their lives. His audiences knew that his songs might be the last thing they heard, and those who survived never forgot the experience.

And the experience transformed Cohen himself, recharging his sense of purpose, career, and family. Instead of leaving music and his family behind, he returned to Hydra (the Greek island) to have a second child with Suzanne and began touring again. Cohen’s war tour was an electric cultural moment, one that inspired some of his greatest songs – but a moment that only few knew about, until now.

In Who by Fire, Canadian-Israeli journalist Matti Friedman gives us a riveting account of what happened during those weeks. With access to never-before-seen material written by Cohen himself, along with dozens of interviews and rare photographs, Friedman revives this fraught and formative time, presenting an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the artist, and of the young people who heard him sing in the midst of combat. Who by Fire brings us close to one the greatest, most brilliant and charismatic voices of our times, and gives us a rare glimpse of war, faith, and belonging.

Notes: In Fall 1973, Cohen was staying on the Greek island of Hydra with his girlfriend Suzanne Elrod and their son Adam. Their relationship was experiencing some turmoil and it was an unhappy period for him. Cohen’s abrupt decision to book a flight to Israel may have been partly inspired by rising tensions between the Jewish state and its neighbors, but it appears there were other reasons as well. In his unpublished manuscript “The Final Revision of My Life in Art,” Cohen wrote: “…because it is so horrible between us I will go and stop Egypt’s bullet. Trumpets and a curtain of razor blades.” Cohen didn’t know anyone in Israel. A married couple on the flight offered him to stay with relatives of theirs in Herzliya. According to his biographer Ira Nadel, Cohen had a string of short affairs with several women during this period, with the singer often spending his evenings wandering the streets of Tel Aviv in a rather lonely state of existence. One day, after the war had broken out, a group of Israeli musicians including singers Oshik Levi, Matti Caspi and Ilana Rovina, were sitting in Tel Aviv’s popular Pinati Café when Levi spotted a man who looked just like Leonard Cohen sitting alone in the corner. When Levi approached Cohen and confirmed it was indeed him, the local singer asked the international celebrity what he was doing in Israel. Cohen answered that he was looking to volunteer on a kibbutz so that he could help tend to the harvest while the locals went off to war. The Israeli musicians explained to Cohen that it was not harvest time, adding that they were about to head down to the Sinai desert to entertain the troops who were desperately trying to fend off the surprise Egyptian attack. They offered Cohen to join their group. The visitor was hesitant, offering a string of excuses: He was a pacifist, he had no guitar, his songs were sad and hardly morale-boosting, but all of these were brushed aside and Cohen eventually agreed to join the band.... The singer’s experiences during the Yom Kippur War were a major source of inspiration for his next album, “New Skin for the Old Ceremony,” released in August, 1974. In addition to “Lover, Lover, Lover,” the album also included songs with such titles as “Field Commander Cohen,” “There is a War,” and “Who by Fire,” a song famously based on the Yom Kippur prayer “Unetanneh Tokef.”

[book] The Man Who Sold Air
in the Holy Land:
by Omer Friedlander
April 12, 2022
Random House

People strive for connection in this debut work of fiction set in Israel and the Middle East: a magically rich collection of stories in the tradition of Michael Chabon, Nicole Krauss, and Nathan Englander.

The poignant, whimsically imaginative stories in Omer Friedlander's debut transport readers to the narrow limestone alleyways of Jerusalem, the desolate beauty of the Negev Desert, and the sprawling orange groves of Jaffa. Across the sharply drawn borders that divide them, Friedlander’s characters, often outsiders or even outcasts, are haunted by the past, or by the promise of a future that they can see but often cannot reach. A divorced con artist and his young daughter sell empty bottles of "holy" air to credulous tourists; a Lebanese Scheherazade enchants with her nightly tales the three young soldiers occupying a radio station in Beirut; a lonely young boy, obsessed with the bravery of a Polish-Jewish ballerina during the Holocaust, daringly “rooftops” at night, climbing steel cranes in his scuffed sneakers; an Israeli volunteer at a West Bank checkpoint mourns the death of her son, a soldier killed in Gaza.

In The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land, moments of fragile intimacy mix with comedy and notes of the absurd; these are fairy tales turned on their heads by the stakes of real life. These stories are the literary equivalent of Chagall’s brushstrokes, offering enchantment as they take you somewhere far away yet achingly near, revealing the shared humanity that transcends physical, political, and religious boundaries, with a universal appeal to the heart.

[book] Lies My Mother Told Me:
Tall Tales from a Short Woman
by Melissa Rivers
April 12, 2022
Post Hill Press

If you think Joan Rivers said funny, outrageous, and ridiculous things ONSTAGE, wait ’til you read the funny, outrageous, and ridiculous things she said OFFSTAGE…things that will make you laugh out loud…and keep Melissa in therapy for the foreseeable future.
The only thing my mother loved more than making people laugh was lying…or as she’d say, “embellishing.” Her motto was: “Why let the truth ruin a good story?”
This book contains some of those stories.

[book] Zabar's:
A Family Story,
with Recipes
by Lori Zabar
Julia Moskin – The New York Times(Foreword)
May 3, 2022

The fascinating, mouthwatering story (with recipes!) of the immigrant family that created a New York gastronomic legend: “The most rambunctious and chaotic of all delicatessens, with one foot in the Old World and the other in the vanguard of every fast-breaking food move in the city.” —Nora Ephron

When Louis and Lilly Zabar rented a counter in a dairy store on 80th Street and Broadway in 1934 to sell smoked fish, they could not have imagined that five decades later their store would occupy half a city block and become a beloved, world-renowned mecca for quality food of all kinds. A passion for perfection, a keen business sense, cutthroat competitive instincts, and devotion to their customers led four generations of Zabars to create the Upper West Side shrine to the cheese, fish, meat, produce, baked goods, and prepared products that heralded the 20th-century revolution in food production and consumption.

Lori Zabar—Louis's granddaughter—begins with her grandfather's escape from Ukraine in 1921, following a pogrom in which his father, a sister, and an uncle were killed, and his (illegal!) entry into the United States from Canada. She describes Zabar’s gradual expansion, Louis’s untimely death in 1950, and the passing of the torch to Saul, Stanley, and partner Murray Klein, who raised competitive pricing to an art form and added top-tier houseware and appliances to Zabar’s shelves. She paints a delectable portrait of Zabar’s as it is today—the intoxicating aromas, the crowds, the devoted staff—and shares behind-the-scenes anecdotes of the long-time employees, family members, eccentric customers, and celebrity fans who have created a uniquely American institution that honors its immigrant roots, revels in its New York history, and is relentless in its devotion to the art and science of selling gourmet food.


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