Exodus: A Memoir by Deborah Feldman

Exodus: A Memoir by Deborah Feldman

In 2009, at the age of twenty-three, Deborah Feldman walked away from the rampant oppression, abuse, and isolation of her Satmar upbringing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to forge a better life for herself and her young son. Since leaving, Feldman has navigated remarkable experiences: raising her son in the “real” world, finding solace and solitude in a writing career, and searching for love. Culminating in an unforgettable trip across Europe to…

A Town of Empty Rooms by Karen E. Bender

A Town of Empty Rooms by Karen E. Bender

Author Karen Bender weaves a number of provocative themes into this emotional and timely story set in a small community in North Carolina. Dan and Serena, newly relocated from New York City to a small southern town, face a daunting transition. Moving from the city in shame, with a lot of literal and figurative baggage, two small children, and one new job, they must find their way as Jews, whether…

I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits

I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits

What is life really like as a Satmar? I Am Forbidden opens the window and then pushes the reader right through the door of the insular Williamsburg, Brooklyn religious community. Anouk Markovits, raised in the Satmar sect, creates a gripping novel as she explores that world. The everyday demands, obligations, rules, and secrets are imparted from within a world not usually permeated by outsiders. The characters move through seventy years…

The Passover Story With Zombies: For Children Who Love Zombies by Rachel Mintz and David Levin

The Passover Story With Zombies: For Children Who Love Zombies by Rachel Mintz and David Levin

For 7-13 years old children who love Zombies, and are bored from cutie tales! When there are Zombies in the plot, it’s just gets better! 20 Chapters on the Jewish people who were slaves in Egypt, and saved by God and Moses from Pharaoh and his Zombies. Pharaoh and Zombies are the “bad guys” refusing to let the Children of Israel go. With the Ten Commandments, and Zombie crafted illustrations…

Rabbinic Discourse as a System of Knowledge: “The Study of Torah is Equal to them All”

Rabbinic Discourse as a System of Knowledge: "The Study of Torah is Equal to them All"

By Hannah E. Hashkes In Rabbinic Discourse as a System of Knowledge Hannah Hashkes employs contemporary philosophy in describing rabbinic reasoning as a rational response to experience. Hashkes combines insights from the philosophy of Quine and Davidson with the semiotics of Peirce to construe knowledge as systematic reasoning occurring within a community of inquiry. Her reading of the works of Emmanuel Levinas and Jean-Luc Marion allows her to create a…

Saul Bellow: There Is Simply Too Much to Think About: Collected Nonfiction

Saul Bellow: There Is Simply Too Much to Think About: Collected Nonfiction

Editor: Benjamin Taylor The year 2015 marks several literary milestones: the centennial of Saul Bellow’s birth, the tenth anniversary of his death, and the publication of Zachary Leader’s much anticipated biography. Bellow, a Nobel Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and the only novelist to receive three National Book awards, has long been regarded as one of America’s most cherished authors. Here, Benjamin Taylor, editor of Saul Bellow: Letters, presents lesser-known aspects…

Lincoln and the Jews: A History by Jonathan D. Sarna and Benjamin Shapell

Lincoln and the Jews: A History by Jonathan D. Sarna and Benjamin Shapell

One hundred and fifty years after Abraham Lincoln’s death, the full story of his extraordinary relationship with Jews is told here for the first time. Lincoln and the Jews: A History provides readers both with a captivating narrative of his interactions with Jews, and with the opportunity to immerse themselves in rare manuscripts and images, many from the Shapell Lincoln Collection, that show Lincoln in a way he has never…

A Cultural History of Aramaic by Holger Gzella

A Cultural History of Aramaic by Holger Gzella

From the Beginnings to the Advent of Islam Aramaic is a constant thread running through the various civilizations of the Near East, ancient and modern, from 1000 BCE to the present, and has been the language of small principalities, world empires, and a fair share of the Jewish-Christian tradition. Holger Gzella describes its cultural and linguistic history as a continuous evolution from its beginnings to the advent of Islam. For…

The Myth of the Cultural Jew: Culture and Law in Jewish Tradition by Roberta Rosenthal Kwall

The Myth of the Cultural Jew: Culture and Law in Jewish Tradition by Roberta Rosenthal Kwall

A myth exists that Jews can embrace the cultural components of Judaism without appreciating the legal aspects of the Jewish tradition. This myth suggests that law and culture are independent of one another. In reality, however, much of Jewish culture has a basis in Jewish law. Similarly, Jewish law produces Jewish culture. A cultural analysis paradigm provides a useful way of understanding the Jewish tradition as the product of both…

Visible City by Tova Mirvis (The Book of Life podcast)

Visible City by Tova Mirvis

The newest episode of The Book of Life podcast, hosted by librarian Heidi Estrin, features an interview with Tova Mirvis, author of The Ladies Auxiliary and The Outside World, about her newest novel, Visible City. You can hear the podcast online at: http://www.jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2015/03/visible-city.html Book Description For fans of Meg Wolitzer and Allegra Goodman, an intimate and provocative novel about three couples whose paths intersect in their New York City neighborhood,…