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Jewish literature takes a turn toward adventure in two recent novels

One does not conventionally turn first to Jewish literature to satisfy a thirst for adventure stories. Nevertheless, the past few weeks have seen the publication of two notable picaresque novels, both set in the European past, portraying Jewish protagonists on the move in a violent world....

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Family histories open new windows on historical events

What makes books on family history so compelling for me is that they offer a fresh and personal lens on historical events while simultaneously illustrating how historical circumstances have a profound impact on the development of people and their descendants....

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Watching for the Signs: How Do I Know if My Teen is in Crisis?

By: Debra Sagan Massey, Senior Educator, Jewish LearningWorks This was not how my teenage son envisioned he would be spending his sophomore year in high school. Developmentally, this is the time adolescents pull away from their parents – a time to develop who they are and what they believe. They…...

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‘The Lost Shtetl’ and ‘The Orchard’: 2 new novels of Jewish culture shock

‘The Lost Shtetl’ and ‘The Orchard’: 2 new novels of Jewish culture shock Books coverage is supported by a generous grant from The Milton and Sophie Meyer Fund. For those attuned to the Torah reading cycle, one of the striking aspects of the Genesis narratives is that the characters are…...

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Gripping memoirs by writers who aren’t exactly famous

Gripping memoirs by writers who aren’t exactly famous – J. Books coverage is supported by a generous grant from The Milton and Sophie Meyer Fund. We tend to gravitate toward the memoirs of public figures whose lives are already of significance to us. However, as in the case of two…...

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Forging a Jewish Path to Resilience

Forging a Jewish Path to Resilience By Dana Sheanin Perhaps one of the most well-known pieces of Jewish wisdom is from Pirke Avot: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?…...

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What became of Queen Vashti? One Bay One Book program tackles ‘The Book of V.’

Whither Vashti? One Bay One Book program tackles ‘The Book of V.’ The Jewish Community Library has chosen Anna Solomon’s new novel “The Book of V.” for its next One Bay One Book program, a popular, community-wide offering served up annually by S.F.-based Jewish LearningWorks. Published in May, Solomon’s third…...

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