Hadassah Magazine's Guide to Jewish Literature - May/June 2017
A selection of books to entice any reader. Everything from novels to nonfiction, memoirs to mysteries.
“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.
Gorgeous hardcover coffee-table volume featuring great nostalgic vintage photos of the Jersey Shore, Bamberger’s Department Store, Battleship New Jersey (1905), steam locomotives, Colgate Clock in Jersey City, Palisades Amusement Park with “Cousin Brucie,” grand hotels of Lakewood, Cape May and Atlantic City (1890s), Jewish farmers, Newark’s Beth Israel Hospital and Lucy the Elephant.
Send $39.95 (plus $7.00 shipping) to Israelowitz Publishing, P.O.B 228, Brooklyn, NY 11229, Tel. (718) 951-7072.
In hauntingly intimate and comprehensible poetry and prose, Shirlee Sky Hoffman probes the reverberations of living in West Germany for two years in the 1970s. Through reflections on her positive experiences with a close group of German friends, the ironies of her family’s history, and the persistence of evil, she explores how Zahor, remembering the Holocaust, has permeated her life and the Jewish people.
Available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon.com.
Energize your Friday nights, enchant your family’s hearts, souls and modern minds with Debra Band’s new Kabbalat Shabbat: the Grand Unification! Vibrant illuminated paintings of every home and synagogue prayer, custom and song. Poetic translations by Raymond P. Scheindlin and comprehensive new scholarly commentary. Matching bencher available. Exquisite, inspirational gift!
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!
Every Jew’s doing yoga. Avrum, whose business is <em>shvach</em>; 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/.
Pirkei Imahot: The Wisdom of Mothers, The Voices of Women is the first of its kind and one of a kind. This extraordinary book written by women, for everyone, explores women’s voices, insights, experiences and questions—some based on Pirkei Avot: The Ethics of the Fathers and others on writings from contemporary Jewish women across America. Like its predecessor, Pirkei Imahot provides an ethical roadmap by which to live and offers readers new inspiration to engage their voices and energies on behalf of Tikkun Olam.
To order Pirkei Imahot, go to https://wisdomofmothers.com/.
“The unifying theme of Why We Remain Jews is the beauty of the Jewish religion [and] why adherence to Judaism is so tenacious. Very highly recommended for students of Judaism, [for] both community and academic libraries.”–Midwest Book Review. “…valuable and wise reflection of Jewish history and Jewish survival.”—Rabbi David J. Wolpe. “A welcome, warm-hearted book that provides inspiration and amusement.”—Michael Medved.
Paperback, Kindle, hardcover. Available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, etc.
In 1960s Chicago, a young Jewish woman stands in the middle of a musical and social revolution. Leeba Groski lands a job at Chess Records where she begins her own songwriting career and meets future legends Etta James and Chuck Berry. But it’s Red Dupree, a black blues guitarist, who captures her heart and changes her life. With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by her Orthodox family, Leeba and Red find themselves in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement and discover that in times of struggle, music can bring people together.
480 pages. Published by Penguin Random House/Berkley. Available in paperback, e-book, audio & large print on Amazon.
Israel’s heroic biblical women spring to life in Debra Band’s vibrant Arise! Arise! Deborah, Ruth and Hannah, illuminated paintings and compelling commentary of the biblical stories of women who stood up to lead at crucial moments and sculpt the eternal character of Israel. Inspiring Bat Mitzvah gift! Dedicated copies available.
Dive into the works of Amy Azen, a daughter of Jewish Russian immigrants and an accomplished American poet and playwright. The collection consists of over 200 poems (half Jewish-themed) and 11 plays that illuminate the reality of human emotions, from elation to agony. Although Amy’s commentary on societal issues and spirituality is more prevalent, lighthearted themes such as family, technology and everyday tasks echo the humor in her own life. Amy’s creative collection is for any reader who appreciates a variety of unique works written throughout a lifetime.
Available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon.com.
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.
Strengthening and renewal of spirit is essential throughout the journey called life. Discover effective approaches, perspectives, vignettes, exercises, sacred texts in translation and stories from leading Jewish spiritual teachers, scholars and guides. Seeking and Soaring also guides you in healthy Jewish practices for navigating experiences such as transitions, fear, emotional pain, illness, addictions, grief, longing, authentic prayer, ritual, ancestors, rites of passage, character, physical challenges, blessings and much more.
$19.95; Quality Paperback, 381 pages. Available through all major booksellers and www.ReclaimingJudaism.org.
READ THE BOOK THAT STARTED A NATIONAL MOVEMENT! Writing 94 Maidens inspired its author, Rhonda Fink-Whitman, to produce The Mandate Video, which spearheaded the current push to mandate Holocaust and genocide education across America! Recommended as a classroom resource by the PA and NJ Departments of Education and already built into curriculum by the School Districts of Philadelphia and its suburbs, 94 Maidens now offers a FREE downloadable Teacher’s Guide. Fink-Whitman offers up three heart-pounding stories, masterfully woven together, with a surprise ending that will leave you breathless and stay with you long after you’ve finished reading the book.