Join Sammy Spider on his stow-away adventure as he tours Israel and learns the many meanings of shalom.
The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America
The contributors examine a wide range of topics, including the early history of the American Jewish community and the various significant phases of Jewish immigration, which saw the initial group of twenty-three burgeon into a thriving community of several million by the early twentieth century. Also addressed is the role and presence of Jews in the Civil War and in World War II, anti-Semitism in America, the daily life and struggles of American Jewish women, and American Jews and politics. The essays are amply illustrated with items from the rich collection of the Library of Congress's Hebraic Section, among them the first Hebrew bible printed in America and the first Yiddish American cookbook, as well as selections of photographs, prints, diaries, maps, and sheet music.
Central to the Jewish experience in America is that country's commitment to ideals of freedom, opportunity, religious liberty, equality, and pluralism. The continuity of the faith, in fact, depends on it. From Haven to Home--the story of Jews in America--is therefore also the story of America and American ideals. 100 color illustrations.
Selected and edited by the photographer's daughter, Mara Vishniac Kohn, and translator and coeditor Miriam Hartman Flacks, these images show children playing, children studying, children in the midst of a world that was about to disappear. They capture the daily life of their subjects, at once ordinary and extraordinary. The photographs are accompanied by a selection of nursery rhymes, songs, poems, and chants for children's games in both Yiddish and English translation. Thanks to Vishniac's visual artistry and the editors' choice of traditional Yiddish verses, a part of this wonderful culture can be preserved for future generations.
Earlier books of Roman Vishniac's photographs include To Give Them Light: The Legacy of Roman Vishniac (1995), A Vanished World (1983), and Polish Jews (1947).
A major exhibition titled "Children of a Vanished World: Photographs byRoman Vishniac" is scheduled at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. The show will open to the public on March 7 and run through June 4, 2000.
A memoir of family, the Holocaust, trauma, and identity, in which Adam Frankel, a former Obama speechwriter, must come to terms with the legacy of his family's painful past and discover who he is in the wake of a life-changing revelation about his own origins.
"The Survivors is an astonishingly beautiful and profoundly moving book. Frankel's haunting search to unravel the mysteries of his family is so compelling that it reads like a fine novel." -Doris Kearns Goodwin
Adam Frankel's maternal grandparents survived the Holocaust and built new lives, with new names, in Connecticut. Though they tried to leave the horrors of their past behind, the pain they suffered crossed generational lines--a fact most apparent in the mental health of Adam's mother. When Adam sat down with her to examine their family history in detail, he learned another shocking secret, this time one that unraveled Adam's entire understanding of who he is.
In the midst of piecing together a story of inherited familial trauma, Adam discovered he was only half of who he thought he was, knowledge that raised essential questions of identity. Who was he, if not his father's son? If not part of a rich heritage of writers and public servants? Does it matter? What defines a family's bonds? What will he pass on to his own children? To rewrite his story in truth and to build a life for his own young family, Adam had to navigate his pain to find answers and a way forward.
Throughout this journey into the past, his family's psyche, and his own understanding of identity, Adam comes to realize that while the nature of our families' traumas may vary, each of us is faced with the same choice. We can turn away from what we've inherited--or, we can confront it, in the hopes of moving on and stopping that trauma from inflicting pain on future generations. The stories Adam shares with us in The Survivors are about the ways the past can haunt our future, the resilience that can be found on the other side of trauma, and the good that can come from things that are unspeakably bad.
When Soumchi, an eleven-year-old boy growing up in British-occupied Jerusalem just after World War II, receives a bicycle as a gift from his Uncle Zemach, he is overjoyed--even if it is a girl's bicycle. Ignoring the taunts of other boys in his neighborhood, he dreams of riding far away from them, out of the city and across the desert, toward the heart of Africa. But first he wants to show his new prize to his friend Aldo.In the tradition of such memorable characters as Huckleberry Finn and Holden Caulfield, Amos Oz's Soumchi is fresh, funny, and always engaging.
"A beautifully written, formidable and moving tale about the boundaries between an individual and the collective."
--Shani Boianjiu, author of The People of Forever Are Not Afraid
This searing novel tells the journey of a young Israeli soldier at the breaking point, unable to continue carrying out his military service, yet terrified of the consequences of leaving the army. As the soldier and his father embark on a lengthy drive to meet with a military psychiatrist, Yair Assulin penetrates the torn world of the hero, whose journey is not just that of a young man facing a crucial dilemma, but a tour of the soul and depths of Israeli society and of those everywhere who resist regimentation and violence. Weary of being forced to be part of a larger collective, can one fulfill a yearning for an existence free of politics, the news cycle and the imperative of perpetual battle-readiness--without risking the respect of those we love most? A compelling story of an urgent personal quest to reconcile duty, expectations and individual instinct.
"Jerome Charyn is one of the most important writers in American literature." --Michael Chabon
"[Charyn's] sentences are pure vernacular music, his voice unmistakable." --Jonathan Lethem
"One of our most rewarding novelists." --Larry McMurtry
On a windy night in 1937, a seventeen-year-old German naval sub-cadet is wandering along the seawall when he stumbles upon a gang of ruffians beating up a tramp, whose life he saves. The man is none other than spymaster Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the Abwehr, German military intelligence. Canaris adopts the young man and dubs him "Cesare" after the character in the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari for his ability to break through any barrier as he eliminates the Abwehr's enemies.
Canaris is a man of contradictions who, while serving the regime, seeks to undermine the Nazis and helps Cesare hide Berlin's Jews from the Gestapo. But the Nazis will lure many to Theresienstadt, a phony paradise in Czechoslovakia with sham restaurants, novelty shops, and bakeries, a cruel ghetto and way station to Auschwitz. When the woman Cesare loves, a member of the Jewish underground, is captured and sent there, Cesare must find a way to rescue her.
Cesare is a literary thriller and a love story born of the horrors of a country whose culture has died, whose history has been warped, and whose soul has disappeared.
Jerome Charyn is the author of more than fifty works of fiction and nonfiction. Among other honors, he has received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and his novels have been selected as finalists for the Firecracker Award and PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Charyn lives in New York.
Longlisted for the Booker Prize
An electrifying novel about beauty, envy, and carelessness from Deborah Levy, author of the Booker Prize finalists Hot Milk and Swimming Home.
It is 1988 and Saul Adler, a narcissistic young historian, has been invited to Communist East Berlin to do research; in exchange, he must publish a favorable essay about the German Democratic Republic. As a gift for his translator's sister, a Beatles fanatic who will be his host, Saul's girlfriend will shoot a photograph of him standing in the crosswalk on Abbey Road, an homage to the famous album cover. As he waits for her to arrive, he is grazed by an oncoming car, which changes the trajectory of his life.
The Man Who Saw Everything is about the difficulty of seeing ourselves and others clearly. It greets the specters that come back to haunt old and new love, previous and current incarnations of Europe, conscious and unconscious transgressions, and real and imagined betrayals, while investigating the cyclic nature of history and its reinvention by people in power. Here, Levy traverses the vast reaches of the human imagination while artfully blurring sexual and political binaries-feminine and masculine, East and West, past and present--to reveal the full spectrum of our world.
A witty, heartwarming, and heart-wrenching epistolary novel, soon to be a major motion picture starring James Caan, Rosanna Arquette, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, about a dysfunctional family--led by a Jewish pig farmer in Israel--struggling to love and accept each other.
As comic as it is deeply moving, Holy Lands chronicles several months in the lives of an estranged family of colorful eccentrics. Harry Rosenmerck is an aging Jewish cardiologist who has left his thriving medical practice in New York--to raise pigs in Israel. His ex-wife, Monique, ruminates about their once happy marriage even as she quietly battles an aggressive illness. Their son, David, an earnest and successful playwright, has vowed to reconnect with his father since coming out. Annabelle, their daughter, finds herself unmoored in Paris in the aftermath of a breakup.
Harry eschews technology, so his family, spread out around the world, must communicate with him via snail mail. Even as they grapple with challenges, their correspondence sparkles with levity. They snipe at each other, volleying quips across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and Europe, and find joy in unexpected sources.
Holy Lands captures the humor and poignancy of an adult family striving to remain connected across time, geography, and radically different perspectives on life.
Ethel, a Jewish 70] no-nonsense New Yorker, becomes concerned with her daughter Debra's incessant focus on the spiritual quest and a Sanskrit-dubbed Western teacher. One day Ethel gets into her Volvo and heads to the ashram in the Catskill Mountains. Convinced she'll uncover evidence for her worries, she instead finds herself reluctantly charmed by Anandaji's earthy manner and intrigued by his Zen-flavored teachings. Ethel's story takes place over five days and mirrors our own as she plays tug-of-war with the steady pull of truth. She never abandons her prudent skepticism and trademark humor, and through her innocent investigations we come to suspect that the most sublime truths may run parallel to our innate common sense. Backdrop to this theme is a deepening of acceptance between mother and daughter who in turn become each other's gurus.
"Beautifully written, sparkling and astute observations on the introduction of meditative culture to our world. Barbi Schulick is a wonderful storyteller, her marvelous sense of humor enables us to have some good laughs and at the very same time grow in wisdom. A truly unique skill."
--Larry Rosenberg, author of Breath by Breath and Three Steps to Awakening
"A beautiful, tender, life-changing tale; I loved every word. The perfect story for the seeking heart...comforting and inspiring, just like Ethel Katz."
--Juli I. Huss, author of The Faux Gourmet and Happy Maisy Coleman
"Ethel will make you laugh and move your soul. Follow her journey, and you may find your way home."
-- J an Frazier, author of When Fear Falls Away and The Freedom of Being
About the author: Barbi Schulick's essays have appeared in The Sun, Yoga Journal, Spirituality and Health, Hadassah and Tricycle. Ethel Katz Finds Her Guru is her first novel and was inspired by the playful intersection between her mother's skepticism and her teacher's inspiration.
"If I know why they are the way they are, then maybe I can learn why I am the way I am," says Alex Tuchman of her parents. Now that her father is on his deathbed, Alex--a strong-headed lawyer, devoted mother, and loving sister--feels she can finally unearth the secrets of who Victor is and what he did over the course of his life and career. (A power-hungry real estate developer, he is, by all accounts, a bad man.) She travels to New Orleans to be with her family, but mostly to interrogate her tightlipped mother, Barbra.
As Barbra fends off Alex's unrelenting questions, she reflects on her tumultuous life with Victor. Meanwhile Gary, Alex's brother, is incommunicado, trying to get his movie career off the ground in Los Angeles. And Gary's wife, Twyla, is having a nervous breakdown, buying up all the lipstick in drug stores around New Orleans and bursting into crying fits. Dysfunction is at its peak. As each family member grapples with Victor's history, they must figure out a way to move forward--with one another, for themselves, and for the sake of their children.
ALL THIS COULD BE YOURS is a timely, piercing exploration of what it means to be caught in the web of a toxic man who abused his power; it shows how those webs can tangle a family for generations and what it takes to--maybe, hopefully--break free. With her signature "sparkling prose" (Marie Claire) and incisive wit, Jami Attenberg deftly explores one of the most important subjects of our age.
Rachel's current troubles--a middle-aged son mining digital currency in her basement, a scientist granddaughter trying to peek into her genes--are only the latest in a litany spanning dozens of countries, scores of marriages, hundreds of children, and 2,000 years, going back to Roman-occupied Jerusalem. Only one person shares her immortality: an illicit lover who pursues her through the ages. But when her children develop technologies that could change her fate, Rachel must find a way out. From ancient religion to the scientific frontier, Dara Horn pits our efforts to make life last against the deeper challenge of making life worth living.
"[Falk] manages to create extraordinarily beautiful prayers--in Hebrew and English--that are both radically new and deeply resonant with Jewish tradition."
--Judith Plaskow, The Women's Review of Books
"Marcia Falk's work in Hebrew blessings is as beautiful as it is innovative; and it is innovative in the sweetest, most nourishing sense, sat urated in love for the language itself (its overtones and melodies as well as its deep structure), its history, its people. Even those who do not hear the traditional liturgies as exclusionary will respond to the meticulously flowering poet's passion of Marcia Falk's wholly original contribution."
"A truly magisterial and exciting collection of brakhot . . . that invites us to re-encounter not only the blessing, but the Source of blessing. . . . Falk rekindles the flame of Jewish ardor and devotion."
"[Falk's] prayers are re-creations of traditional prayers, her versions striking in the beauty and power of their language, in English and Hebrew: this is a poet's siddur, full of profound meaning."
--Sandee Brawarsky, Jewish Week