Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category.
Some of you may remember that the library used to subscribe to Nextbook Reader, a large format magazine. (We still have all the issues out, on the second white shelf.) The paper magazine ceased to exists, but the people who were behind it created an online version called Tablet Magazine. It launched June 2009 and has been adding content daily. Even if you don’t agree with all of their choices for topics, their writing style or opinion, it is still very much worth to follow them, as they produce quality and quantity of interesting Jewish content.
The magazine’s “arts & Culture” section has a subsection dedicated to books. I could say that I read it “cover to cover”, but there are no covers in online magazines and being on ongoing publications there aren’t even single “issues or volumes”. Here is a selection just from their April articles. I omitted the names of the authors from these taglines on purpose, because I think they are interesting enough in themselves without having to resort to namedropping.
- In stories written in Poland and the U.S., the modernist master Isaac Bashevis Singer mined folk tales to convey the 20th century’s essential cruelty
- Thane Rosenbaum’s young-adult novel The Stranger Within Sarah Stein, takes on the Holocaust and Sept. 11 but can’t reconcile Jewish past and future.
- Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind remains as important as ever, and as misunderstood, 25 years after the 1980s culture wars. (See corresponding picture right.)
- In a new English translation of Second Person Singular, Israeli novelist Sayed Kashua gives voice to the Arab minority in the Jewish state.
Some (or many) of you’ve heard about Pinterest, a picture based social networking site that ”lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web” according to its self definition. The library didn’t join, but the librarian did. One of my “boards” (aka category of posted pictures) there is on the “World of Jewish Books.” I post there 5-10 pictures/links a week, mostly on new books that come to my attention. Nowadays I don’t have as much time to write or even read as I would like to, but this is a good way of keep some track of books (and anything book related) that interest me. Here are some of my latest entry from there:
- An introduction to the life and work of David Vogel, author of Viennese Romance, and how it relates to the creation of Modern Hebrew Literature – Tablet Magazine.
- Announcing a new publisher of Jewish Books, Mosaica Press, aiming “to uplift, explain and inspire – without negativity.” (See logo on the right)
- On Kar-Ben, a great publisher of Children books, opening its eBookstore, with over 170 of its Jewish interest eBooks available across age levels and topic.
- Sharing the news about The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition, a new book, edited by Peter Cole
- Linking to the crowdfunding efforts of Penny Wolin, a local artist, to raise money so she could publish her book on American Photographers of Jewish Ancestry.
Last week I introduced the latest issue of the American Jewish Archives Journal. Since then we received the new issue of Jewish Bible Quarterly, another great publication. The current issue, volume XXXVIII:4 (152) is for October-December 2010. Each of the articles listed below in the table of contents, is a short, eight to ten pages long treatise on a specific idea, expounding a biblical verse or two. The short summaries are my own.
- Saving Zoar: How Did Lot Succeed? Gad Dishi
A comparison of the actions, words, personalities and circumstances of Abraham and Lot, explaining how they both managed to save others via different methods.
- How Should We Understand Ecclesiastes 2:26? Aron Pinker
Analyzing traditional interpretations such as “poetic justice” or “divine arbitrariness”, but ultimately decides that ti was a added by a “pious glossator”.
- “What Is It?” Interpreting Exodus 16:15 Zvi Ron
Trying to find the answer for the question whether the word “manna” is Hebrew or not.
- The Mantle of the Matriarchs: Ruth 4:11-15 Alan T. Levenson
Using intra-biblical interpretation the author detail the connection between the peculiar Ruth verses and the Matriarchs and draws conclusions the realm of midrash, feminism and character development.
- Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh Gerardo Sachs
Four, mutually exclusive, contradictory interpretive translations of the famous words with a focus on in Moses’ personal history.
- Hot Pursuit Into Canaan Shubert Spero
Exploring and resolving the tension between the events described in Numbers 21:1-3 and Judges 1:16-18.
- Tzefarde’a: Frogs or Crocodiles? Natan Slifkin
Expounding Ibn Ezra’s reasoning on how the second plague might have referred to crocodiles, but disproving the assumption.
- The Three Tenses in the Kingdom of God: God of Israel or of the World Jacob Chinitz
“When Scripture uses past, present, and future with regard to God, does the choice have any particular theological meaning? Or do we have here representation of different aspects and variant temporal reflections in relation to a concept similar eschatological connotation embodied in the well-known phrase, the Kingdom of God?”
- Book Review: The Dawn of Redemption: What the Books of Ruth and Yona Teach About Alienation, Despair and Return Mattan Erder
- Book Review: Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary David Zucker
Finally a picturs to prove, that this journal can be enjoyed at any age.
A six minute excerpt from Maggie Anton’s lecture at our shul October 29, 2008
Invitation to the 2009 Susy Raful essay contest for Jewish high school students in Sonoma County, CA
Essay contest details at: http://bit.ly/essaycontest09
Written and read by Kyla Wegman
Produced by Bob Raful
Shot and edited by Gabor Por
I personally know Ari, who sent the message below, which should be of interest to readers of this blog,
We are pleased to announce that on March 1, 2009, the Jewish Women’s Archive will launch the free, online version of Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Previously available only on CD-ROM, the Encyclopedia is the first comprehensive source on the history of Jewish women and includes more than 1,700 biographies, 300 thematic essays, and 1,400 photographs and illustrations (minus a few for which we do not have web display permission). The Encyclopedia nearly doubles the content available on our website (jwa.org) and gives Internet users all over the world free and easy access to a wealth of information. A press release is attached. We encourage you to forward it to your friends and colleagues.
For the next two weeks we will making final pre-release adjustments. If you are interested in participating in the Preview/Beta, please email firstname.lastname@example.org ; if you would like to get a sense of who is in the Encyclopedia, or to find out more, please visit http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/preview
Our formal press release is at http://qa.jwa.org/press/2009/2009-0202-encyclopedia.html
February is Black History Month. Last year same time I wrote an entry about our books on African-American Jewish relations and another one the book titled Glimpses by Reverend Ann Gray Byrd, who visited our synagogue that month.
This year I would like to recommend two books that relate to the topic in different ways. A patron just inquired about one of them today. (Thank you Susan for pointing me to this item we had and I was not familiar with.) “The flying camel; Essays on identity by women of North African and Mid. Eastern Jewish heritage“ , edited by Loolwa Khazzoom, contains 16 essays. Here is the description from the back cover:
Expanding the very definition of what is Jewish, this collection reveals and explores the often-hidden experiences and identities of Jewish women descended from, two rich and varied regions: North Africa and the Middle East. Writing from their unique perspectives, contributors bridge divisions between East and West, “foreign” and “familiar”, and discuss the impact of historical and contemporary tensions between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity have had on them and their families. Essays include a harrowing and desperate flight from persecution in Libya; an exploration of the category “Arab Jew”; discrimination in the Ivy League; and a light-skinned, Moroccan-born woman’s attempts to pass in order to gain acceptance among European Jews in Israel. A tender, honest, and above all, brave collection, “The flying camel” offers a new, critical perspective on the interplay of Arab and Jew and the complexities of people.
The other book also puts Jews and Africa together but in a different way and period. Gary Greenberg‘s “The Moses mystery: The African origins of the Jewish people” asks the question ” Why does the archaeological record show no evidence for the origins of biblical Israel? ” Here is an excerpt from the author’s website with the framework of the answer he gives
According to Greenberg, Moses served as Chief Priest to Pharaoh Akhenaten, whose religious changes provoked a major social and governmental crisis in Egypt. Shortly after Akhenaten’s death, the religious establishment regained control over the government and under Pharaoh Horemheb the government launched a full scale effort to purge the Egyptian record of any reference to Akhenaten’s existence, an effort that included the persecution of Akhenaten’s associates and followers. Moses fled Egypt at this time but returned on Horemheb’s death, claiming the throne as the only legitimate blood heir. This resulted in a civil war between the allies of Moses and Ramesses I, Horemheb’s co-regent at the time. Moses lost and led his followers out of Egypt, an event remembered in the bible as the Exodus.
Today I attended the second meeting of the PJ Library Committee at Jewish Community Federation’s Levitas Library in San Francisco. (Reminder: the PJ Library is a program sending children’s Jewish bedtime stories and music every month FREE!) The program is going great, lots of new families signed up. We are working to sign up many more. In order to do so I will spread the word about it more actively in Sonoma County. Now I have not only printout of the signup sheets, but beautiful postcards and posters too. Meanwhile you can sign up online as well for your own child or grandchild.
As a mere coincidence the monthly email newsletter was also sent today. Here are the books that will be sent out this month:
Age 1: When It’s Purim
Age 2: The Bedtime Sh’ma
Age 3: Five Little Gefiltes
Age 4: The Shabbat Box
Age 5: Bone Button Borscht
The winners for the Sophie Brody Medal, “an award for the U.S. author of the most distinguished contribution to Jewish literature for adults,” was announced earlier this month.. Excerpt from the announcement:
This year’s winner is Peter Manseau for “Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter” (Free Press). The narrator of this book, an American Catholic translator, tells the colorful story of an elderly Yiddish poet, covering a century of events in Israel, Poland, Russia and the United States. The interwoven stories are a tour de force of writing styles demonstrating the power of passion and commitment to Jewish culture.
Three books received honorable mentions. “Beaufort,” by Ron Leshem (Delacorte Press), winner of Israel’s highest literary award, the Sapir Prize, depicts a group of young Israeli soldiers occupying an ancient Crusader fort in Lebanon. The dialogue of these young men engaged in a battle against an unseen enemy depicts the absurdity and futility of war in a very real way.
“Friendly Fire,” by A.B. Yehoshua (Harcourt), one of Israel’s best known novelists, has given us a beautifully written portrait of a close-knit Israeli family. The slice of daily life in contemporary Israel, the issue of identity raised by a character’s rejection of all things Israeli and Jewish and the imagery of “friendly fire” make this a compelling story.
“From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books,” by Arie Kaplan (Jewish Publication Society) recognizes that the “story of Jews’ involvement in comic books is a reflection of Jews’ changing status in American society.” Kaplan’s illustrated history details the ways in which Jews–and traditionally Jewish beliefs–contributed to what is now called the graphic novel. “From Krakow to Krypton” is engagingly written, a popular history whose readability often conceals a wealth of original research.
I am happy to announce that we just purchased a copy of the medal winner book. If everything goes well by the end of next week it will be borrowable.
Absolute Music presents a Chamber Music Concert not to be missed!
On Sunday, February 15 at 2 p.m. at the Friedman Center in Santa Rosa, String Circle, fine and talented classical string artists Katie Kyme and Lisa Weiss, violins; Anthony Martin, viola; and Thalia Moore and Robert Howard, cellos will perform:
- Haydn‘s Sunrise Quartet (Opus 76, No.4)
- Schubert‘s Quintet in C Major
Please come and support our efforts to bring great artists and great music to our community at affordable prices. Tickets at the door are $18. Students are free.