Don’t miss the multimedia puppet play based on Kaytek the Wizard by Janusz Korczak at Hudson Hall on July 29!
Friday, July 29 at 7pm
Hadassah Magazine’s Guide to Jewish Literature
The Queen & The Spymaster is a fast-paced tale of palace intrigue that tells the story of the unlikely champions of Ancient Persia, and of a thousand-year vendetta that presages modern historical events in Iran and Afghanistan. It is a thrilling novel, telling the biblical Esther story you never knew.
Fred Isaac ● AJL News and Reviews
What do rabbis talk about? In this book the distinguished Rabbi Elkins takes us behind the scenes, as a group meets every week.Continue reading “New Review – Four Rabbis at Lunch”
Sanford R. Silverburg ● AJL News and Reviews
Nathan and the Lions of Ƚódź told the story, in novel format, of a group of 34 teenagers who lived in the Polish forest of Las Lagienwnicki as partisans during World War II. This follow-up story, The Saga of Nathan, focuses on Nathan Kochinski, a member of the group, and his adventures in the post-World War II period. Like the other survivors, Nathan leaves Poland for Palestine. His war-time experience as a combat leader is recognized and when he joins the Haganah he rises to the rank of captain. His transformative role in this underground movement leads him to become a liaison officer seconded to David Ben-Gurion, director of the Jewish Agency for Security Policy. After the establishment of the State of Israel, Nathan continues to offer his expertise, rising to the level of Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Defense. Finally, Nathan succumbs to an assassination attempt on Ben-Gurion by interfering with a thrown explosive device.
This tale would make a great discussion piece for a reading group if the subject was meritorious efforts by Holocaust survivors.
Midwest Book Review ● General Fiction Shelf
“The Queen & The Spymaster” is a deftly crafted and simply riveting novel by Sandra E. Rapoport that is based on the story of Esther, and adheres to the ancient biblical text while imagining the suspenseful, gripping and ultimately triumphant backstory of the unlikely heroes of Xerxes’ Persia.
Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “The Queen & The Spymaster” is also available in a digital format
Fred Isaac ● AJL Reviews
Rabbi Riemer may be best known for So that Your Values May Live On, his wonderful volume on ethical wills. The Day I Met My Father Isaac… is a smaller, easy-to-read, and wise book meant for a broader audience. It contains some of his sermons while serving as interim Rabbi at Anshe Shalom Congregation in Florida. The book contains drashot (homilies) on thirty-five of the weekly parashot (Torah readings). In them Riemer explores both Torah issues and their parallels in modern life using stories, gentle humor, and a touch of irony. Beginning with Lech Lecha (“A Sermon addressed to the rich people in this Congregation”), his subjects include Yitro (“The Super Bowl and the Sedra”), Bechukotai (“Some of my favorite curses”), and Korach (“Too much rightness can kill you”). Each derasha begins with a story; most of them are contemporary, while others come from the Talmud and the Hasidic literature. They are witty and easy to connect with. He then turns to the Torah and links his introduction to the moral of the parashah. Some of his connections are quite powerful, others are sweet. But all are meaningful. The volume concludes with his “Farewell Shabbat” comments: “The lessons you have taught me.” In this talk he reminds his audience that, at their best, teachers are also students.
There has been a plethora of books over the past few years to assist B’nai Mitzvah students with their drashot. This delightful collection of sermons can be used by 12-year-olds. It would be better employed by adults looking for inspiration, as well as to create their own commentaries. It is a fine (and fun) addition to any synagogue library.
Kaytek the Wizard (written by Janusz Korczak in 1933 and translated into English by Antonia-Lloyd Jones) first premiered as a puppet play in 2016 (BriAnimations Living Entertainment). This production has been performed across the U.S., from Tennessee to Maine to California, at festivals, schools and performing arts centers.
At the August 2018 International Korczak Conference in Seattle, Washington, the production won a recognition award for introducing audiences to this man who is often referred to as “The King of Children”.
A short preview of the puppet play can be seen here.
The following eBooks are on sale at Kobo from Thursday, November 23rd through Tuesday, November 28th:
From the Life in Israel blog:
Illegal Journey is a historical novel, which in my book is an immediate plus. You get to read an enjoyable story while learning about a point in history at the same time. And when the book is written well, when the history is portrayed and the story is riveting, then it is just a great book. As is Illegal Journey.
Illegal Journey is set in Europe, Palestine and eventually Israel. It describes, through its story, the history of illegal immigration from post-war Europe into Palestine. While I am not aware of this story actually having happened – as far as I can tell it is fiction – but it does show what the Jewish survivors of the concentration camps had to go through to get to Palestine, and how they were often turned away by the British.
In Illegal Journey, a gentile in Switzerland becomes aware of a group of Jews in a hospital recovering from what they suffered in the concentration camps. He was so shocked by what he saw that he “adopted” this group and found ways to help them. Eventually this led to his devising a plan to help them sneak into Palestine. Peters drops everything and commits himself completely to this project and becomes very close with the entire group. He even decides to join them in going to Palestine, and so he does.
I don’t want to give away much of the story, because while it is a historical novel, it is also Continue reading “Book Review: Illegal Journey by Edgar Miskin”