The Prosen People for Jewish Book Council
The following is an excerpt from the 2019 issue of Paper Brigade, the Jewish Book Council's annual literary journal. You can pre-order the issue here.
Amid the recent upsurge of anti-Semitism, we asked prominent authors of recent or forthcoming nonfiction to recommend a book for this list. The breadth of topics and time periods covered by the works below attests to the insidiousness of anti-Semitism, but also to the impressive range of scholarship devoted to examining and overcoming it. Even the spelling of "anti-Semitism"/"antisemitism" is currently under scrutiny; to reflect this, the recommenders’ chosen spellings of the word have been left intact.
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
Israel’s Collplant inks licensing and commercialization deal with major American biotech firm to make human organs.
CollPlant, an Israeli regenerative medicine company focused on 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs, signed a license, development and commercialization agreement with United Therapeutics Corporation of Maryland for 3D bioprinted lung transplants.
By Unorthodox for Tablet Magazine
Episode 87: Danya Shults on giving Jewish life a facelift with her new start-up, and Michael Knowles on his Trump-endorsed gag book
Our Jewish guest is Danya Shults, the founder of Arq, a website and community inspired by Jewish culture. She tells us how her own interfaith marriage inspired her to help people “connect with Jewish life and culture in a relevant, inclusive, and convenient way,” and explains where—if anywhere—actual religion fits into the Arq universe.
Judaism is among the world’s oldest religions, emerging in the Middle East more than 4,000 years ago. Like most world religions, it is not frozen in form but is constantly affected by the times in which its followers live.
This resource provides journalists with background information on Judaism and a brief guide to covering Jews in America. Additional international resources have been added to help users find sources about Judaism anywhere in the world.
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
Israeli seeds are prized everywhere for growing tomatoes that taste better, last longer, resist disease and pack a stronger nutritional punch.
Next time you chop some luscious red tomatoes into your salad or sauce, you can thank Israeli scientists.
Tomatoes didn’t originate in Israel, but our agricultural wizards transformed this wild fruit into a flavorful, long-lasting, nutritious, disease-resistant commercial crop enjoyed everywhere as a fresh ingredient and as a source of healthful extracts.
By Jonathan D. Sarna for Tablet Magazine
Is American anti-Semitism really distinctive from that of other diaspora countries? Just how worried should we be?
In the early morning hours of Oct. 12, 1958, exactly 60 years to the month before the massacre of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, a nitroglycerine bomb equal to 50 sticks of dynamite tore apart the Temple, the oldest and most distinguished Reform congregation in Atlanta. “The sound of the blast traveled heavily for miles,” Melissa Fay Greene recounts in her all-too-timely history of that sadly forgotten anti-Semitic episode, The Temple Bombing. The Confederate Underground, the group that claimed credit for the attack, promised in a telephone call “to blow up all Communist organizations. Negroes and Jews are hereby declared aliens.”
BY DANIEL NEVINS, for JTS
A Family of Covenant
The stories of Genesis are presented as family portraits, but simultaneously they describe the origins of a religious civilization. How did the people of Israel acquire and maintain its distinctive religious mission? Genesis offers not only a window into Israel’s past, but a blueprint for its future. Implicit is an invitation to contribute to this unfolding narrative, attaching the threads of our lives to the tapestry woven by our ancestors.
By David Mikics for Tablet Magazine
Campus Week: How the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement supports the careers of shoddy university scholars
Anti-Zionism is a form of racism like any other: The erasing of a nation’s experience, the denial of their right to speak. Often it comes twinned with the old anti-Semitic gestures. Jews are cruel, enjoying domination for its own sake; they are money-hungry and care nothing about others. They are, in fact, a world historical evil, unique among the nations. The fact that American universities are the new breeding ground for this moral idiocy is no surprise, since the academy has so often provided a home for repellent ideologies. Now that Stalinism and Maoism are passé, anti-Zionism has become the latest way to excuse massacres, now rechristened “resistance,” in the name of history.
Iggy is a proudly gay rabbi and spiritual counselor today and a fashion designer in another life. He grew up Orthodox and is tattooed. He has multiple homelands, and he thanks God for the New York City skyline. He’s comfortable in darkness and loves telling jokes. He studies Talmud daily and loves The Real Housewives. He revels in being a supreme hyphenate.
By Cnaan Liphshiz for JTA
(JTA) — Poland’s main Jewish museum is set to host an event whose organizers say will be the country’s first large-scale kosher market in decades.
Kosher Expo Poland will open on Nov. 6 as part of the 5th Food Safety Congress, which this year will be hosted at the Polin museum in central Warsaw.
By Rebecca Stadlen Amir for Israel21c
From Beyoncé and Jay-Z, to Coldplay and U2 and more, many of the world’s top musicians turn to Israel for show-stopping visual effects and design.
Over the past several years, Israeli directors, producers and animation artists have taken part in the making of some of the most talked-about music videos in history.
From Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s iconic “Apes**t” video at the Louvre, to Coldplay’s Grammy-nominated video for “Up&Up,” many of the music industry’s top performers turn to Israel for show-stopping visual effects, animation and visual design.
By Samantha Ferraro for littleferrarokitchen.com
November usually commences the rugelach baking and I have to admit, I am pretty darn good at it. Even the LA Times said I did a snazzy job!
Usually I play around with sweeter flavors of rugelach, such as my traditional Cherry-Pistachio rugelach (I make that every year) or my other seasonal favorite, pumpkin and candied pecan rugelach, but this time my savory tooth was taking over and what did I do…ditched the sugar!
BY MELISSA HENRIQUEZ for Kveller
Early on Saturday morning — about an hour before the horrific news broke of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left eleven people dead — I was laying out my kids’ clothes, in preparation for a family photo shoot. Since this was a special occasion, I asked my 7-year-old daughter if she wanted to wear her hamsa, a Jewish amulet in the shape of an open hand that’s intended to ward off evil and protect the wearer.
By Letty Cottin Pogrebin for Tablet Magazine
As an educator and feminist activist, Alice Shalvi has been a major force for decades. At 92, she shares her life story in her new memoir, ‘Never a Native.’
Alice Shalvi, now 92, is the most famous Israeli whom the average American Jew has never heard of. Revered Hebrew University English professor, principal of the Pelech school, founder of the Israel Women’s Network, rector of the Schechter Institutes, intrepid feminist activist, prominent advocate for Israeli-Palestinian peace, and winner of multiple honors—among them, the Israel Prize, the country’s Nobel—Shalvi nonetheless remains virtually anonymous in the mainstream Jewish world.
By Eetta Prince-Gibson for Hadassah Magazine
Overjoyed, Esty Shushan stands in the august corridors of Israel’s Supreme Court and emotionally embraces her friend and colleague. “We won! We made history.”
“This is for all haredi women! For all Israeli women! For our daughters!” her friend, Estee Rieder-Indursky, responds.
CONSIDERING INTERFAITH RELATIONS BETWEEN JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND MUSLIMS: AN INTERVIEW WITH PATRICK J. RYAN, S.J.
BY JOSEPH PREVILLE, for World Religion News
WHAT BINDS JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND MUSLIMS TOGETHER IN A FAMILY OF FAITH AND FRIENDSHIP?
Rev. Patrick J. Ryan, S.J. considers this question in his wonderful new book, Amen: Jews, Christians, and Muslims Keep Faith with God (The Catholic University of America Press, October 2018).
Ryan takes a close theological look at Jews, Christians, and Muslims through their eyes, texts, and experiences. He also shares his reflections on his own experience as a Christian in the company of Jewish and Muslim friends. Ryan writes that “we Muslims and Christians and Jews may live together more fruitfully and more peacefully if we recognize the polyvalence of Abraham, the polyvalence of great concepts like faith and revelation, community, and the path of righteousness.”
Most Jewish prayers are recited at regular intervals or on specific occasions, but a few are said in circumstances that are anything but routine.
Most Jewish prayers are recited at specific and regularly recurring times. Think of the blessings said upon waking in the morning, or the specific holiday liturgies, or the blessings recited before and after food and drink.
But some are recited on rarer occasions, or upon seeing or hearing something that isn’t routine. Below are eight of these prayers and blessings you might not have encountered before.
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
Affiliate of Israel’s Paulee CleanTec applies Israeli technology to high-rise buildings for clean, odor-free disposal of solid waste.
Paulee CleanTec of Tel Aviv has announced that its affiliate company Epic CleanTec of California won the grand prize in the Climate Innovation Showcase at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.
The Epic system uses Paulee’s proprietary technology to separate out all the solid waste generated by occupants of a high-rise building and convert it into dry, odorless, sterile, organic fertilizer for landscaping. The system also redirects the building’s used water to toilets, irrigation and cooling towers.
By STEVE NORTH for The Times of Israel
Strangers across the globe share in some unexpected lessons when one reporter’s mother rediscovers a long-lost cookbook handwritten in ancient German script
NEW YORK — I had to stifle a laugh as I read the list of ingredients for the almond cake. Along with the almonds, sugar, eggs, flour and baking soda was this unexpected ingredient: “A touch of mice.” The recipe had been translated for me from the original German, but what could that mean?
BY ELIEZER B. DIAMOND, JTS
To the best of my knowledge, Hayyei Sarah contains the only instance in Tanakh of a parent asking his child’s wishes. Laban and Betuel cannot come to an agreement with Abraham’s servant—who we’ll call Eliezer—about whether Rebecca should remain in Haran for a time or depart immediately to Canaan. And so, they ask Rebecca to state her preference. Contrary to her family’s express wishes, Rebecca decides to leave immediately.