A Rabbi’s Take on ‘Harry Potter’


(Kveller via JTA) — This summer, as I put my 8-year-old on the bus to sleepaway camp, he turned to his friend and said, “Let’s get on the bus quickly before our parents can say goodbye and be so embarrassing.”

As they ran toward the bus, I...
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Rabbi Maurice Lamm, author of ‘Jewish Way in Death and Mourning,’ dies

(JTA) — Rabbi Maurice Lamm, the author of “The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning” and several other notable Jewish books, has died.

Lamm died Wednesday night “surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren singing him to the heavens,” his granddaughter Lisa Lamm Pasternak said in a Facebook post. He...
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Israeli author Etgar Keret awarded $100,000 Bronfman Prize

(JTA) — Israeli author Etgar Keret has been named the recipient of the 2016 Charles Bronfman Prize.

The prize recognizes Keret’s work “conveying Jewish values across cultures and imparting a humanitarian vision throughout the world,” the prize said in an announcement Wednesday.

The annual prize, which carries a $100,000 award,...
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Lauren Belfer’s ‘And After the Fire’ explores anti-Jewish, classical music strains


And After the Fire by Lauren Belfer. Harper Collins Publishers, New York City. 2016. 451 pp. $26.99

Is it possible for music that lifts the soul to come from a place of hatred? This is part of the underpinning theme of Lauren Belfer’s most recent historical novel...
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Passover books for one kid — or many


(JTA) — Afikomen hunts, a rambunctious pup and the catchy classic “Dayenu.” All are featured in a half-dozen new Passover books for children that will inform and entertain even the littlest kid — or a whole herd of ’em.

The eight-day holiday kicks off this year on the...
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Author Imre Kertesz, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, dies at 86

(JTA) — Imre Kertesz, a Holocaust survivor who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, has died.

Kertesz, who portrayed the horrors of Auschwitz in some of his writings, died Thursday at his Budapest home, said his publisher, the Magyeto Kiado firm. He was 86 and reportedly suffered from Parkinson’s disease.

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Dennis Ross, Shulem Deen among National Jewish Book Awards winners

(JTA) — Dennis Ross, a former top U.S. official, and Shulem Deen, who wrote about leaving the Hasidic world, were among the winners of 2015 National Jewish Book Awards.

“Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle For Israel, 1917-1947,” a book by Bruce Hoffman about Jewish operations in prestate Israel, was tapped as...
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Canadian court to hear $3 million case over disputed Holocaust memoir

(JTA) – The Federal Court of Canada will consider a lawsuit filed by three filmmakers alleging that a Canadian author and her publisher plagiarized a family history presented in their documentary.

Judy Maltz, an Israeli-American journalist, along with Barbara Bird and Richie Sherman, both associate professors of film at Penn...
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Amos Oz to receive South Korean literary award

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Acclaimed Israeli author Amos Oz will receive South Korea’s most prestigious literary award.

Oz, 76, will receive the Park Kyong-ni prize later this month in South Korea, according to Haaretz. While there, Oz is expected to deliver a lecture and give interviews.

He is the author...
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Best-selling novelist Jackie Collins dies at 77

(JTA) — Jackie Collins, whose steamy novels sold more than 500 million copies, has died following a six-year battle with breast cancer that she never divulged to the public.

Collins, the daughter of a Jewish father and an Anglican mother, died Saturday in Los Angeles. She was 77.

Her best-selling...
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