Jewish Books

First Ex-Chasidic Gay Memoir Defies Niche

Publishers didn't know what shelf to put it on: Jewish or gay?

10/12/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The latest ex-chasidic memoir adds a rainbow twist to an emerging literary genre.

Leah Lax’s "Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home." Courtesy of She Writes Press

How An Extremist Changed His Ways

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

12/30/2014 - 19:00
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 Politician With Literary Chops

Ruth Calderon’s creative (and inclusive) journey through Talmudic literature.

06/09/2014 - 20:00
Culture Editor

Even as she works toward effecting change in Israel as a member of Knesset, Ruth Calderon remains a passionate student and teacher of Talmud. After her election as a member of the Yesh Atid party in February 2013, she gained international acclaim with her debut speech in the Knesset in which she taught a Talmudic unit — as well as the respect of her haredi colleagues who recognized their style of study in her own. Now, she co-leads a weekly Talmud class in the Knesset and has just published a new book, Ilana Kurshan’s fine translation of “A Bride for One Night” (Jewish Publication Society), originally published in Hebrew in 2001, that brings her eloquent conversation about Talmud to an English-speaking audience.

Calderon’s book appears now for the first time in English.  University of Nebraska Press

I Would Like To Acknowledge…

02/24/2014 - 19:00
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

Bookmarks- new information about authors and publishers

A Promotional Feature:

The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic

Edited by Mary L. Zamore

Can Judaica Shops Survive The Amazon Age?

Jewish bookstores writing new chapters in competition with Internet.
05/21/2012 - 20:00

The books are in the back at J. Levine Books and Judaica.

Before finding the volumes of Jewish titles at the midtown Manhattan store, customers encounter a rotating display of mezuzot on the left, followed by shelves of Kiddush cups and a rack featuring a Hebrew-language version of the word game Bananagrams. Sitting on the colorful shelves to the right are kippot, tallitot and assorted Jewish toys.

Sales of Judaica items are outpacing those of books, says J. Levine’s Daniel Levine. jta

From Latvia, With Ambiguity

David Bezmozgis, whose first novel is just out, reflects on the nature of ideologies like Communism and Zionism.
04/04/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The story of the refuseniks is a heroic one. Thousands of Soviet Jews risked their lives, facing imprisonment or worse, so they could live openly as Jews.

“The novel is not an attack on any one [ideology],” says David Bezmozgis.

Funny Girls

Three Jewish women humorists bring light and lightness to the end of 2010.
12/27/2010 - 19:00
Jewish Week Book Critic

This was a year of growth for the e-book and flourishing for the Jewish American novel, with fine new fiction across the generations.

Judith Viorst and Nora Ephron offer up new memories and life stories in their end-of-year memoirs.
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