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The Language Of Memory

01/01/1999
Jewish Week Book Critic

"Not another book on the Holocaust,” a friend of author Anne Michaels lamented, as he came across a new book on the subject, unaware that the first novel Michaels was then working on had a Holocaust theme. “That galvanized me in an important way,” she tells The Jewish Week. “What kind of book could I write that would reach that reader, who felt like he had read it all?” It was a question that Michaels asked herself repeatedly in the 10 years it took her to complete Fugitive Pieces (Knopf).

Books To Light The Way

12/04/1998
Jewish Week Book Critic

A friend who works in a bookstore recounts that whenever Jewish parents or grandparents ask for help in selecting a book, they preface their request: “Oh, he’s 7, but he reads like a 12-year-old,” or “She’s beginning fifth grade but reads on a high-school level.” But despite their parents’ best intentions to get them reading the classics as soon as they can lift them, along with The New York Times, kids really do prefer picture books with great stories.

The Way They Lived

11/20/1998
Jewish Week Book Critic

One of the most striking exhibits in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., is the three towers of photographs taken in Eishyshok, documenting that shtetl’s Jewish life before it was destroyed by the Nazis. Viewers are encircled by 1,600 photographs collected by Dr. Yaffa Eliach, a professor at Brooklyn College who was born in Eishyshok. Now, Eliach has published a book that links together the moments captured in the photographs, presenting a full and textured description of the once vital community: It is a work about one town, with clues to many pasts.

The Hero Of An Israeli Best Seller

09/20/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

When Ram Oren, the Israeli author likened by much of his country to John Grisham, learned of Michael Stolowitzky’s story, he was faced with a choice: He could turn the tale into a work of fiction, like 17 of his previous 20 books, or treat it as history.

But Oren found the choice surprisingly easy.

Bad For Democracy, But Good For The Jews?

06/15/2007
Special to The Jewish Week

 Does the return of Cold War rhetoric between the United States and Russia and an ongoing rollback of democratic rights in Russia mean that the Jewish community of Russia is facing the scepter of a return to the bad old days of the Soviet Union?According to an assortment of Russian Jewish leaders spanning the religious and ideological gamut from the Chabad Lubavitch-affiliated chief rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, to leaders of more secular bodies like the Russian Jewish Congress, the answer is an emphatic “No.” Russia is not, they say, again becoming an uncomfortable and dan

Rebuilding A Shattered Past

12/26/1997
Jewish Week Book Critic

It’s not unusual for strangers to tell Helen Epstein that she changed their lives. They’re referring to her 1979 book, “Children of the Holocaust,” which identified and described an experience that many sons and daughters of survivors shared but few discussed in public. After 18 years, that book — her first — remains in print, still selling.

Goldstone Response Seen As Too Narrow

Israeli military ethics expert says country’s tack on war probe ‘inadequate.’

01/28/2010
Staff Writer

Israel’s reported refusal to conduct an independent, thorough probe of its military’s handling of last winter’s 22-day war against Hamas in Gaza as demanded by the United Nations is a “missed opportunity,” according to Moshe Halbertal, co-author of the Israeli military’s code of ethics.

Moshe Halbertal, co- author of the Israeli military code of ethics. Israel’s war review a “missed opportunity.”

Money Is Vital, But The Power Of Ideas Sustains Us

01/21/2010
Staff Writer

Not surprisingly, as the economic downturn drags on, there is much communal discussion about the need for more and more funding to keep our most precious institutions and programs intact, from the federation system to Birthright Israel to day schools.

But then there is the phenomenon of Limmud.

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