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We Are Here
by Ellen Cassedy

Ellen Cassedy set off into the Jewish heartland of Lithuania to study Yiddish and connect with her Jewish forebears. Then her uncle, a Holocaust survivor, pulled a worn slip of paper from his pocket. “Read this,” he said.

When she did, she learned something she had never suspected, and what had begun as a personal quest expanded into a larger exploration of memory and moral dilemmas in a nation scarred by genocide. Cassedy’s deeply felt account offers important insights – and hope.

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Jacob's Courage
by Charles S. Weinblatt

How would you feel if, at age seventeen, the government removed you from school, evicted you from your home, looted your bank account and took all of your family's possessions? How would you feel if ruthless police prevented your parents from working and then deported you and your loved ones to a prison camp run by brutal taskmasters? How would you feel if you suddenly lost contact with everyone that you know and love? How would you feel if you were sent to the most frightening place in history, and then forced to perform unspeakable acts of horror in order to remain alive?

To read the rest of the book's synopsis,  or to read the book itself, please click here.

 
 
 

Annie's Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret
by Steve Luxenberg

"The homework assignment seems clear enough: Do a family tree. I turn the paper sideways, and in no time at all, I’ve filled Dad’s side with brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, first and second cousins, more than two dozen names from Michigan and elsewhere. I’ve met them all at one family gathering or another, so I can jot down their names and draw the lines without asking Dad or Mom for help.

On Mom’s side, though, I’ve reached a dead end after just three names—Mom, Bubbe and Zayde. I’ve heard Mom mention an uncle, but I don’t know his name or where he lives or whether he’s related to Bubbe or Zayde. And did Mom once say something about a cousin, or am I making that up? " Read more ››

 
 
 

The Lost Synagogues of Brooklyn
by Ellen Levitt

"Jewish life in Brownsville, East New York, Flatbush-East Flatbush, Bedford-Stuyvesant and other nearby areas of Brooklyn through the 1950s was a lively, rich and varied environment. Over the next few decades it dissipated greatly. As Jews moved to other areas, they left behind their synagogues. The 'Lost Synagogues of Brooklyn' is a photographic essay of these ex-shuls; what happened to them, and how they appear today. Many became churches whose facades still have Jewish symbols.

The book offers photographs, interviews and analysis on ninety-one of these former Jewish houses of worship. Some have been faithfully preserved while others are in disrepair. Described in the book are memories of Jews who belonged to these old congregations as well as the Christians who now fill the pews. All this is supported by extensive research and stirring stories..."
To read a few excerpts from this book, click here ››

This book can be ordered by clicking here.

 
 
 

Harvest of Blossoms: Poems From a Life Cut Short
by Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger

"Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger died in a Nazi SS labor camp on December 17, 1942. She was eighteen. In the course of a life cut short, Selma reached out to the world with poetry, and her words grabbed life, even as the world around her was slipping into an arena of death. During these grim times, she wrote more than fifty poems in German and translated another five from Yiddish, French, and Romanian. With startling honesty, she wrote about love and heartbreak, desire and loss, injustice and marred hope. Selma found beauty in the fragility of chestnuts, comfort in the loneliness of rain, and grief in rural poverty and, with despairing courage, faced a future that wanted her--and an entire way of being--to 'fade like smoke and leave no trace' ('Tragedy')..."   more ››

 

 
 
 

The Jewish Quarter of Philadelphia: A History and Guide 1881-1930
By Harry D. Boonin

The Jewish quarter was the area around 5th & South Streets in Philadelphia where immigrant Jews began to settle after the 1882 Russian and Polish pogroms.  Soon the area was crowded with pickle barrels, pavement salesman, peddlers, market hucksters, horse droppings, small shop owners, sewing machine operators, runners going to and fro from wholesale clothiers, sweatshops, synagogues, Yiddish theatres, immigrant banks, bathhouses, mikvehs, yeshivas and Talmud Torahs.  These sites, sounds and smells are described in the book which Stephen Frank—Collections Curator, National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia—wrote is “…fascinating – full of wonderful detail and color…” more ››

This book can be ordered by clicking
here.

 
 
 


 

 

Messiahs of 1933:
How American Yiddish Theatre Survived Adversity through Satire


From the author, Joel Schechter:

"The book opens with discussion of Nadir’s play, Messiah in America, and a speculative discussion of what might have happened if his play, as well as Yiddish language and culture were more widely known by Americans in the 1930s.  I suggest that Yiddish stage satire was not as far removed from mainstream American culture as it now appears to be; the language in which it was performed kept it separate from other political and popular theatre, but it made important contributions to American culture..."  more ››

 


 


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