How An Extremist Changed His Ways

Read the re-released 'Memoirs' of Yossi Klein Halevi to understand Jewish rage and violence.

Editor and Publisher

Talk about bad timing.

Yossi Klein Halevi’s re-released book, “Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist: The Story of a Transformation,” was first published 19 years ago, two days after Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated. It should have become a best seller for at least two reasons.

Gary Rosenblatt

The King Of Comedy Reclaims His Throne

His comedy may not be kosher, but Brooklyn-born comedy giant, Andrew Dice Clay, is one hundred percent Jewish.

Contributing Writer

“Oh … it’s a whole thing here,” said Clay with his infamous wry grin when he was asked to pose for photographers, faux-signing a book, before the real signing began. The event had barely begun and the jokes were already rolling. 

King David, ‘A Very Problematic Character’


Noting that a character’s first recorded words in the Bible reveal a great deal about his personality, Rabbi David Wolpe pointed out at a Jewish Week Forum here last week that as a youngster, the future King David’s first words in the Book of Samuel are, “What will be given to the man who slays Goliath?”

Rabbi David Wolpe described the Bible's King David as a "very problematic character." Michael Datikash/JW

Prague’s Longtime Chief Rabbi Leaves Colorful And Controversial Legacy


When the novel “Altschul’s Method” hit the shelves in Czech bookstores this March, it was hailed as a brilliant political and psychological thriller combining elements of science fiction, alternate history and Jewish mysticism.

Rabbi Karol Sidon stepped down as Prague’s chief rabbi amid reports about his love life. Petr Balajka/Prague Jewish Community

‘Love Me, Love My Book’

A personal account of a two-minute pitch that can catapult or sink an author.

Editor and Publisher

It’s every author’s dream. And nightmare.

The chance to address several hundred people from around the country who, deeply attentive, have come to New York for three days and one purpose — to find speakers for their local Jewish community book fairs, sisterhood luncheons and other cultural programs.

Gary Rosenblatt

PJ Library-Like Program Comes To Jaffa

Israel’s reading-readiness project provides 45,000 schoolchildren with Arabic-language children’s books.

Israel Correspondent

Jaffa, Israel — The children at the Arabic-speaking Ofek preschool in Jaffa have spent a lot of time this month thinking about a mouse named Soumsoum, the character of a picture book all the kids read with their parents at home. 

Jaffa preschoolers work on art project about “Soumsoum the Mouse” as part of program modeled on PJ Library. Michele Chabin/JW

I Would Like To Acknowledge…

Special To The Jewish Week

Gratitude, scientists tell us, is one of the healthiest of emotions. Jewish liturgy is replete with prayers of thankfulness; the reason why many observant Jews attend morning minyan, they say, is to start each day with an “attitude of gratitude.” The Torah suggests that God created humanity, in part, because He needed applause for his sublime authorship. And not just people — the Rabbis believed that every living thing acclaimed God with the song of its own species; these lyrics are contained in the ancient text, “Perek Shirah” (“Chapter of Song”).

Ted Merwin

The Skinny On ‘From Scratch’

Jewish Week Correspondent

Former New York Times reporter Allen Salkin interviewed more than 200 people for “From Scratch: Inside the Food Network” (Penguin Group). The book, which was ranked among the top 10 of 2013 by NPR, makes juicy revelations about controversial stars such as Emeril Lagasse; Paula Deen, who cooked fatty foods without disclosing she had diabetes and then later fell from grace amid reports of racist comments; and Chef Robert Irvine, who was replaced for a season of “Restaurant Impossible” after questions emerged about his resumé.

Allen Salkin: Not popular at the Food Network for his behind-the-scenes book.

Matti Friedman Wins Rohr Prize

Matti Friedman was awarded the largest Jewish literary prize, the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, for "The Aleppo Codex” (Algonquin). His book, published in 2012, traces the unusual history and complicated provenance of the precious manuscript, considered to be the authoritative text of the Bible. The codex was hand-written about a thousand years ago.

Lens On American Jewry

Special To The Jewish Week

In his thoughtful and provocative new book, “The American Jewish Story Through Cinema” (University of Texas Press), Eric A. Goldman refers to Hollywood films about American Jewish life as “a Haggadah,” the Passover text that is savored and studied annually.

Eric Goldman investigates nine movies that define the Jewish experience. Rachel Banai
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