Saturday, October 31st 2020   |

Books

Al Franken learned about justice from his childhood rabbi

By CURT SCHLEIER

(JTA) — In February 2015, Sen. Jim Inhofe carried a snowball on to the floor of the Senate to prove global warming did not exist.

Everyone knows “it is very, very cold outside,” the Oklahoma Republican said. “Unseasonable.”

That, said Al Franken, gave him an idea.

“I thought about coming into the chamber with a snowball and just packing it very tight the way we do in...

Review: ‘Lashon Hakodesh History, Holiness & Hebrew’

By ALEXA DAYAN

“Lashon HaKodesh History, Holiness, and Hebrew” examines the Hebrew language as well as its history to bring forth a greater understanding and appreciation of the language. From a historical perspective, this book examines what languages were spoken during different time periods in the Bible and how the modern Hebrew language evolved. Klein’s analysis provides passion that truly distinguishes the Hebrew language from any other ancient or spoken...

Brian Horowitz has new Russian book released

Tulane University’s Jewish Studies Department Sizeler Family chair Brian Horowitz has a new academic book featuring 12 different essays about the Jewish community connection to Russia. Horowitz, who was the first chair of the academic department that began first as a Jewish studies program, will step down as department chair in June, but remain on the Tulane faculty.

The book titled “‘The Russian-Jewish Tradition” is a scholarly work that contains...

7 new kids’ books for Passover, from seder guides to stories

By PENNY SCHWARTZ

(JTA) — From the wizardry of Harry Potter that echoes with Passover’s themes to a cartoon frog who wisecracks his way through the seder, this year’s new crop of Passover books for kids offers something for all ages and interests.

The selection of fresh reads, including two family-friendly Haggadahs, also includes an unusual Jewish immigrant tale set in rural Argentina and a heartwarming, intergenerational story about an...

Present day meets history in ‘Dream of Zion’

REVIEWED By BRIAN HOROWITZ

Lawrence J. Epstein.  The Dream of Zion: The Story of the First Zionist Congress.  London Rowman and Littlefield, 2016. 172 pp. $36.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-4422-5466-4.

The topic of this book is specific: the First Zionist Congress in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland. The hero of the event is Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, who famously announced at the meeting, “In Basel I founded the Jewish state.” However, the...

8 books for 8 nights of Chanukah

By VICTOR WISHNA

(JTA) — Chanukah is “late” this year (no disrespect to lunar-calendar literalists), which means winter will be well underway by the time those first lights are lit. What better time to curl up with a good book than when the weather outside is frightful, but the latkes are so delightful?

So, in the spirit of Chanukah, whether you’re looking to rededicate yourself to literature or just find...

Jewish author gunned down in Istanbul

(JTA) — A Jewish author was shot and killed outside her Istanbul home by at least one assailant, a woman, Turkey’s main Jewish newspaper reported.

Beki İkala Erikli was shot three times Thursday evening outside her apartment building, according to the weekly Salom. The gunman fled.

Police were investigating security camera footage as part of their investigation, the report said.

Erikli, the author of self-help books including “Living with Angels,”...

Rabbi Weinreb’s commentaries being published by OU Press

Many of the past commentaries of Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, published weekly as “The Person in the Parsha” on the CCJN website for the past four years, are being released as part of a new book being issued by the Orthodox Union Press, published in conjunction with Maggid Books. The Person in the Parsha: Discovering the Human Element in the Weekly Torah Portion, offers a compilation of Weinreb’s essays.

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10 awesome books for the Days of Awe (and after)

(JTA) — Here is a new fall season of Jewishy books, including the first novel since 5766 (by now almost 40-year-old) wunderkind Jonathan Safran Foer — perhaps you’ve heard the buzz.

Presented below is JSF’s latest, plus nine other volumes, from the humorous to the humbling, that you’ll want on your reading list to help heighten the holidays.

Here I Am: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) By Jonathan Safran...

Rock enigma Michael Bloomfield bio re-released

By ALAN SMASON, Special to the CCJN

On February 15, 1981 rock music lost one of its early favorite sons, a guitarist who oversaw the transition of pop and folk music into a medium that featured electric amplification and extended solo blues performances. That man was Michael Bloomfield and his story is fully explored in Michael Bloomfield: The Rise and Fall of an American Guitar Hero.

Written by Ed  Ward,...