Hadassah Magazine's Guide to Jewish Literature
A selection of books to entice any reader. Everything from novels to nonfiction, memoirs to mysteries.
Provides the tools and understanding you need to create a conscious Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience. Step-by-step guides and riveting true stories help all involved to feel personally “touched by Torah.” Featured at the Jewish Futures Conference, this innovative approach reduces stress, while teaching the building blocks of a mitzvah-centered life through connections to family, friends, community and heritage. “Excellent and useful”—Jewish Book Council.
Snatched from a near certain death in a concentration camp, Hedy is taken to a totally strange environment in an opulent villa in Berlin. This is the residence of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and she is forced to live in his harem for nearly three years. Here the rules were unknown but the punishment swift.
Available on Amazon.
Helen left New York on a California-bound train in 1936 seeking a change of scene. But when she arrived, she found herself steeped in a world of bookies, mobsters, and a Nazi underworld that she must infiltrate on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League. Anita Mishook’s well-researched and brilliantly written Depression-era novel portrays the under-told history of the German American Bund, the pro-Nazi Silver Shirts, and their efforts to undermine democracy while building a summer retreat for Hitler on the Pacific shore.
Available 1/24/17 in print and e-book. Buy online (Amazon, etc.) or ask for it at a bookstore near you. $16.95.
One daughter. One mother. One summer camp. Twenty years apart. “Mann’s superb descriptive details about camp life and her ability to convey the difficulties all young people face . . . make the book an excellent read.” -The Jewish Advocate. A great choice for your mother-daughter book club.
The Sidowitz family arrives in America during the Roaring Twenties. They share immigrant problems faced by Jacov and Reuven (renamed Jack and Rubin) as they find jobs, date girls, enjoy burlesque and bagels while Mama Ida bemoans the fate of her eldest son who stayed behind in Russia. A decade of romance and prosperity followed by the Depression and WWII changes everything. Jack is drafted, trained as an interpreter, and parachuted into Europe where he continues searching for his older brother in the liberated concentration camps of Germany.
Available as an e-book or paperback from Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.
We spend months working on manners training, toilet training, yet we let our children be surprised by pain. The authors combine their knowledge, art and experience to gently teach children ages two and up to get pain needs met as they occur.
Print $7.99, e-book $2.99. B&N, Amazon and other booksellers. www.mypainalert.com.
Based on a true story, but transferred to 1930’s England, “Discovering Humanity” tells of a Jewish mother who commits suicide and in her suicide note blames her half-Jewish son for his anti-Semitism. To escape society he goes on an expedition to Madagascar to study lemurs, with surprising results.
“The Tolerant Atheist” describes why I am a Jewish Atheist, with explanations about DNA and genealogy.
Atlantic City: casinos, excitement, winners and losers. This is the setting, but the book deals with the lives of people. A Holocaust survivor searches for news of her family. A child is lost on a beach. A woman faces a frightening new beginning. A man redefines his life. Are they winners or losers? Take the journey with them. You decide who wins, who loses.
Available in paperback online from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Page Publishing.
In Tel Aviv, under daily missile attack during Operation Desert Storm, when every heart seeks comfort and companionship, complex affairs and a world of crisis bring conflicts of love, betrayal and unforeseen commitments. A young charismatic nurse lives and works by her own code of honor in a strict Orthodox hospital—until one day a married doctor emerges with a campaign of seduction that could endanger her livelihood, reputation and self-respect. “…a powerful first-hand look at what everyday life was like in Israel when most Americans were watching Shock and Awe on the 24-hour news channel.”—Mike Ball, Erma Bombeck award-winning author.
Every Jew’s doing yoga. Avrum, whose business is shvach; Essie, today’s bubbe; Suri, whose Jewish identity grows on an organic farm; and Daniel Aaron who’s in recovery, into meditation, and loves Israel. Follow these Neshama Guides’ journey through Yiddische Yoga. It’ll make you laugh. And plotz a little.
High-quality trade paperback, full-color illustrations. $12.95 US/$14.95 CAN. Order at www.benyehudapress.com/books/yiddische-yoga/.
In a compelling drama, the Millers, a Bronx family, fight to overcome hardships through wit, wisdom and tenacity as their younger daughter Tyra searches for faith and reconciliation amidst danger during the Six Day War in Israel. A beautiful narrative that weaves the Fifties and Sixties in an authentically rich journey of American and Jewish history, identity and soul. A must-read for book clubs!
A book club favorite and finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, this acclaimed memoir of growing up a Turkish Jew in a fortune-telling, belly-dancing family illustrates Sephardic life, the foods, fear of the Evil Eye and the author’s struggle to walk again after polio. Booklist calls it “A joy to read…a profoundly moving memoir.” Now in paperback with Discussion Questions!
“Compelling…engaging…a moving family saga.” Kirkus Reviews. Until her beautiful French mother died and her famous uncle became her guardian, Paige never knew the family history in the Holocaust and the power and passion of the secrets in a hidden diary. A rich tapestry spanning three generations, a young girl’s coming-of-age and a man’s search for a lost love.
Get this accessible introduction to mussar, a thousand-year-old Jewish spiritual practice almost lost in the Holocaust. Whatever your level of Jewish literacy, you can begin this practice of mindful living. Bring your humility, patience, trust and ten other soul traits into balance through small actions in your everyday life. Ancient teachings explained with modern examples. English only.
978-0-7387-4865-8, Trade paperback, 264 pages, $16.99. To purchase, call 1-800-843-6666 ext. 8223 or go to www.llewellyn.com.
Life-long friends Naomi, Miriam and Becky are approaching middle-age gracefully and are content—despite a few hot flashes and mood swings—until life tosses each woman a crisis and a dusty discovery delivers a potentially lethal blow to their friendship. While two of the women fight to save the relationship, one desires nothing more than its demise.
Available in print and e-book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and independent bookstores.
Second-Night Seder includes chapters from Exodus that tell the story of Moses and the exodus of Israel from Egypt. Also included are blessings and passages from the traditional seder. Enjoy the ritual retelling of the story with colorful illustrations. Less than 30 minutes, from start to finish.
Available on Amazon.
Experience Jewish life during the first-century CE as Miriam bat Isaac traces the leak of an alchemical secret in Roman Caesarea while Judean terrorists target her for assassination. But who is really trying to kill Miriam? The Deadliest Hate won honorable mention for fiction at the 2016 New York Book Festival. 4.8 of 5 stars on Amazon.
Paperback ($13.95) and Kindle e-book ($6.99) on Amazon.
Gourmand World Cookbook Award Winner for Best Historical Recipes in the USA. This cookbook/memoir brings to life the culture of Eastern European Jewry and celebrates the courage and resilience of Holocaust survivors through recipes and stories. More than 150 original family recipes—appetizers to entrees, desserts and wine recommendations—and memories with full-color photographs and techniques updated for today’s cooks. Recipes are enriched by priceless remembrances—sweet, bitter and bittersweet—placing the food in the context of the rich Jewish life before the Holocaust. Inspire your family memories and traditions, and bring the mouthwatering food of yesterday to your table today!
Booksellers Dan and Rivka Sherman acquire a rare volume: the Menorat ha-maor, “The Candlestick of Light, ” a guide to righteous living for Jews in the Middle Ages. Israel Finestein, renowned restorer of old books, just finished his work on it when his life was brutally snuffed out and the book disappeared. What makes this precious text so valuable that someone is compelled to kill for it? The eighteenth-century Yiddish translation depicted in Death Steals A Holy Book was actually inherited by author Larry Mild and inspired him to create the plot for this captivating mystery.
It is estimated that well over one third of the nation (over 100 million and growing) is either directly or indirectly affected by caregiving and advocacy. In Bed Alone makes for a better understanding of psychiatric emotions and behaviors such as anxieties, depression and irrational exuberant manifestations of bipolar disease. Additionally, it covers neurologic diseases affecting movement, cognition and vital senses such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
You’ve been served! At the age of 75, married for 56 years, I was served divorce papers at a New Year’s Eve party. Don’t assume “it will never happen to me.” Age be damned, this guide gives you advice with humor, a smattering of zing and a touch of spice and shows you how to let the fun of being a ‘one’ begin.
Foreward Reviews Indie Fab Finalist * USA Best Book Finalist “In this engaging debut novel, readers gain three different views of the effects of World War II on ordinary people”–Library Journal. “Bitterness is the driving force in this stirring novel of Holocaust survivor guilt—guilt about being safe, told with candor and tenderness.”–Booklist. “…Succeeds in both educating and engaging readers.”–Kirkus.
Paperback and e-books available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold.
Vibrant non-fiction through fantasy, these new and adapted stories by leading authors, storytellers and educators are inclusive for gender, family structure and the full spectrum of Jewish life and learning. Reveals the soulful essence of inclusive, mitzvah-centered living. Each tale is paired with a stimulating Study Guide for reflection, discussion and action. Forty-three stories reveal the nourishing spirituality of Jewish values and are designed for reading and retelling across the generations.
Reclaiming Judaism Press. Quality paperback, 336 pp. $19.99. Available through all major booksellers.
Gittle, only 10 months old when her mother dies, is educated beyond the norm for Jewish girls in 19th century Czarist Russia. She grows up to inhabit a world that ranges far outside the shtetl. Based on memoirs of the author’s own grandmother, this vivid narrative about a woman who does what she must to rescue her family from oppression is a page-turner.
Order on www.amazon.com, paperback $12.99, e-book $9.99.
Adam Levtov is a rabbi’s son with a guilty conscience, a troubled family and an angry Russian playwright on his tail. This short novel works the borderlands between tragedy and comedy, and “…creates a compelling family drama filled with love, compassion, humor and a keen understanding of the human condition.”—Richard Berlin, M.D.
Price: $13.95, 182 pages. Available from iUniverse or Amazon.com.
This true account of Jewish life in nineteenth century Czarist Russia chronicles the life of a man, who, while still a child, was kidnapped and sold into 25 years of servitude in the army. Against all odds he held fast to his Jewish faith and persevered through love and loss, war and exile, and final triumph at the demise of the hated Romanov dynasty.
Available on Amazon in paperback.
Kirkus Reviews: “An accomplished debut novel.” “Goldsmith’s ear for dialogue is superb.” “Payoff is smoothly and confidently orchestrated.” A young female rabbi starting a Jewish community in Alaska encounters a visiting egocentric and narcissistic, recently-widowed Miami Beach cosmetic surgeon who, together with his troubled son, finds redemption and a path back to Judaism, life and love amongst the Frozen-Chosen. Other reviews on Amazon.
ISBN 978-1-5150-9434-0, Softcover, 354 pages. Available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon and other booksellers.
Amusing. Seductive. Stimulating. We’re talking about the Talmud? Right. Take fifty actual Talmudic discussions, mix in pithy sayings by luminaries like Mae West, Amy Schumer, George Washington and Gandhi, add some cartoons, and voila—best-selling author Maggie Anton reveals how Jewish tradition is more progressive, and more bawdy, than one might think. Hadassah Magazine calls it a “delightful little gem of a book recommended for any Jewish adult who has ever had or wanted to have sex…the perfect gift for that non-Jewish son- or daughter-in-law.”
E-book-$2.99, Print-$6.95. www.fiftyshadesoftalmud.com.
Take an armchair ride back along NY Route 17 to the colorful landmark that fed over a million people annually. Bring your best memories, or create new ones, with this inside story of growing up amid the high and the humble in a 24-hour family business. You’ll laugh a lot, cry a little, as 50-plus years of history and nostalgia unfold. A book to treasure or gift.
Softcover 8”x10”, 265 pages, 57 photos. Order at: StopattheRedApple@gmail.com.
Christian missionaries calling themselves messianic “Jews,” Jews ingratiating themselves to Evangelical Christians for their support of Israel, the overuse of the term “Judeo-Christian” and the increasing use of Jewish rituals in Christian churches are among the factors that blur the lines between Judaism and Christianity. Judaism and Christianity: A Contrast explains, from a Jewish perspective, the irreconcilable differences and mutually exclusive beliefs of the two faiths.
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in hardcover, paperback and in all e-book formats.