Now You’re an Immigrant!

Book Review of "Chutzpah & High Heels: The Search for Love and Identity in the Holy Land" by Jessica Fishman. In this memoir, Jessica Fishman details the trials and tribulations of making what we call "Aliyah" - literally meaning to "go up" to Israel. This reminds me of an old, old joke, which goes something … Continue reading Now You’re an Immigrant!

Paths of love and sorrow

An Undisturbed Peace by Mary Glickman In 19th century America, as the government worked to disenfranchise the country's native tribes and push them off their lands, waves of immigrants came in their wake, hoping to make their dreams of freedom and prosperity into a reality. Mary Glickman's latest novel follows one such immigrant, a Jew, … Continue reading Paths of love and sorrow

The First Modern Graphic Novel

Book Review of "A Contract with God and other Tenement Stories" by Will Eisner. After I made a seemingly disparaging comment about comic books on another website, one of the commentators challenged me to write a review of a graphic novel. What better graphic novel to review than the one that most sites have dubbed … Continue reading The First Modern Graphic Novel

A Literal Fly on the Wall

Jacob's Folly by Rebecca Miller Jacob Cerf was an impoverished, religious Jewish peddler in 18th Century Paris. Circumstance led him away from his family and faith and into a world of impious debauchery. 300 years later, he's back, but now he's a fly in 21st Century New York and involved in the lives of two … Continue reading A Literal Fly on the Wall

Gambits and Pawns

The Death's Head Chess Club by John Donoghue SS Obersturmführer (1st Lieutenant) Paul Meissner's battle injury has taken him off the front lines, and put him in Auschwitz, assigned to bolster flagging morale in the camps. His superiors are skeptical about his chess club idea, especially if he's allowing officers and enlisted men to play … Continue reading Gambits and Pawns

Rabbi Aviva Cohen is Solving Murders Again!

Unleavened Dead by Rabbi Ilene SchneiderThose of you who have read Ilene Schneider’s first book – Chanukah Guilt – will remember our beloved Rabbi Aviva Cohen. She’s the unruly-haired, rotund rabbi of the small, Walford New Jersey synagogue 'Mishkan Or,' who has been divorced twice, and has a lesbian niece Trudy, who now has two … Continue reading Rabbi Aviva Cohen is Solving Murders Again!

Abandonment and Devotion

Neither Here Nor There by Miriam Drori Esty is 19 and unmarried, and that's practically an "old maid" in Jerusalem's Haredi (ultra-orthodox) community. However, the reason she hasn't agreed to marry anyone is that she knows the Haredi life is not for her. Once she's married, she might be trapped forever. Gathering up all her … Continue reading Abandonment and Devotion

When Souls Collide

Book Review of "The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss Alma Singer is almost 15 years old. She was named after every girl in a book called "The History of Love." Alma believes that she can find the real Alma from the book. She doesn't know is who Leo Gursky is, that he was the … Continue reading When Souls Collide

Stories that reveal much but say little

White Tiger on Snow Mountain by David Gordon I've always believed that short stories are far too under-appreciated. However, I continue to live in hope that since Alice Munro received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature for her career of writing only short stories, more people will become interested in and have respect for this … Continue reading Stories that reveal much but say little

The Masters of Misogyny

The War on Women in Israel: How Religious Radicalism is Smothering the Voice of a Nation by Elana Maryles Sztokman When I began reading this book, I was truly hoping that I wouldn't be learning anything new. I thought I was fully aware of how the Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) parties manipulated the governments they've sat in … Continue reading The Masters of Misogyny