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24 Hours in the Life of the IDF

24 Hours in the Life of IDF (Israel Defense Forces)

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The IDF. The Israeli Army. One of the foremost technologically advanced armies in the world today. Yet what is an army without the men and women that it is composed of? Join us for a day, February 8th, 2000 - 2nd of Adar I, 5760, as fifty-four photographers follow and capture moments of these men and women at their posts in the IDF. From a pre-dawn swim in the sea to night patrol on the northern border; from Shacharit in the desert to lunch on a jeep, basketball games and paratrooper training, it's all in this large 13½" x 9½" book. Makes a great bar/bat mitzvah gift for any young adult looking to be inspired by Jewish heroism happening today. "A day in the life of the IDF. Everyday army routines. It is a seamless story where day flows into a night that flows into day, and where that day flows into the next dusk that turns into the shadows of night and then the next sunrise." Hardcover / 206 Pages 9.5" x 13" Publisher: IDF Publishing House, 2005

A Tap on the Shoulder

A Tap on the Shoulder

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Day after day. Week after week. Year after year. Neshamah after neshamah -- Rabbi Meir Schuster was at the Kosel, the Central Bus Station, the Hebrew University campus, searching for people who were searching for meaning -- and bringing them to places where they would find it.

 

He was the most unlikely of outreach professionals. He was shy, tongue-tied, inarticulate and decidedly “uncool.” And yet, more than almost anyone, he brought Jews -- thousands, perhaps tens of thousands -- back to their Torah heritage.

 

A Tap on the Shoulder brings us the stories (so many stories!) of the young men and women who traded their backpacks for Torah. It brings to life a magical moment, the decades when searching youth found meaning and a “baal teshuvah movement” was born.

 

A Tap on the Shoulder shows us how one man -- with absolute dedication, boundless caring, and almost unbelievable siyata d’Shmaya -- can change the world. One neshamah at a time.

Above Us Only Sky

Above Us Only Sky

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ALL ABOUT EVA

All About Eva; A Holocaust-Related Memoir, with a Hollywood Twist Paperback

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Rudy Brook had just passed the German bar exam and married his childhood sweetheart. Hitler's coming to power put an end to Rudy's law career, and his wife, Eva, dashed his Zionist dream, insisting they emigrate to America instead of Palestine. Their arrival in 1938 on Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass) spared them that calamity and the even graver one to follow. But that's only half the story. Eva's connections to the upscale refugee colony in Los Angeles led Rudy to become a gardener to stars such as Judy Garland, and Eva to become a masseuse to other celebrities, actor Alexander Granach among them. Granach was a big name in pre-Nazi Germany and featured in Ninotchka with Greta Garbo. His affair with Eva would wreak havoc on the budding Brook family and leave Eva with a life-altering decision about herself and the author's older brother. Harrowing yet uplifting, All About Eva combines elements of the memoir and the historical novel to tell a compelling tale of three remarkable individuals and the tumultuous times in which they lived.

"All About Eva is a madcap, yet also tragically serious, genre-defying story of a Jewish couple's flight from Nazi Germany to Los Angeles. Sumptuously illustrated, it is a saga of betrayal, intra-Jewish tension, imprisonment, eroticism, and salty , delicious gossip. It ultimately provides a painful yet also rollicking picture of old worlds destroyed and new ones in the making. "
Steven E. Aschheim
author of Brothers and Strangers: The East European Jew in German and German Jewish Consciousness, 1800–1923"What makes this Holocaust survivor tale so fascinating is its focus on a love triangle among three Jewish émigrés: the author's German parents, Rudy and Eva, and Polish actor Alexander Granach. Along the way, we encounter a remarkable array of their friends and clients in Los Angeles: Fritz Lang, Salka Viertel, Lion Feuchtwanger, Peter Lorre, Robert Ryan, Judy Garland, and George and Ira Gershwin. It's a story too amazing to be true, but it is! "
Steven J. Ross
author of Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America"Vincent Brook's considerable film knowledge takes a personal turn in this candid and affecting memoir of his parents, whose tale of escape from Nazified Berlin to Los Angeles illustrates the challenges faced by Hollywood's German-speaking émigré community in the late 1930s and beyond."
Donna Rifkind
author of The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler's Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood

All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir Paperback

All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir Paperback

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A moving and revealing exploration of ultra-Orthodox Judaism and one man's loss of faith

Shulem Deen was raised to believe that questions are dangerous. As a member of the Skverers, one of the most insular Hasidic sects in the US, he knows little about the outside world--only that it is to be shunned. His marriage at eighteen is arranged and several children soon follow. Deen's first transgression--turning on the radio--is small, but his curiosity leads him to the library, and later the Internet. Soon he begins a feverish inquiry into the tenets of his religious beliefs, until, several years later, his faith unravels entirely. Now a heretic, he fears being discovered and ostracized from the only world he knows. His relationship with his family at stake, he is forced into a life of deception, and begins a long struggle to hold on to those he loves most: his five children. In All Who Go Do Not Return, Deen bravely traces his harrowing loss of faith, while offering an illuminating look at a highly secretive world.

Named one of "forty-two books to read before you die" by the  Independent  (UK)
2015 National Jewish Book Award Winner 
2016 Winner of the GLCA New Writers Award in Nonfiction
One of Star Magazine's "Fab 5 Can't-Miss Entertainment Picks "


A moving and revealing exploration of Hasidic life, and one man's struggles with faith, family, and community

Shulem Deen was raised to believe that questions are dangerous. As a member of the Skverers, one of the most insular Hasidic sects in the US, he knows little about the outside world - only that it is to be shunned. His marriage at eighteen is arranged and several children soon follow. Deen's first transgression - turning on the radio - is small, but his curiosity leads him to the library, and later the Internet. Soon he begins a feverish inquiry into the tenets of his religious beliefs, until, several years later, his faith unravels entirely.

Now a heretic, he fears being discovered and ostracized from the only world he knows. His relationship with his family at stake, he is forced into a life of deception, and begins a long struggle to hold on to those he loves most: his five children. InAll Who Go Do Not Return , Deen bravely traces his harrowing loss of faith, while offering an illuminating look at a highly secretive world.

Amazing Jewish Heroes: Down Through the Ages

Amazing Jewish Heroes: Down Through the Ages

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There have been many amazing heroes down through the ages. The achievements of American heroes like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln certainly resonate, but how many heroes of Jewish heritage come to mind? Each of the eleven Jewish heroes presented in this volume, some famous and others less so, overcame tremendous challenges to achieve greatness, persevering through their faith in God and belief in freedom and human dignity. Queen Esther maintained her traditions in the house of Ahasuerus for nine years while also hiding her true origins, and then orchestrated the salvation of the Jewish Persians at great personal risk. When urgent funding was needed for the Continental Army in 1781, General George Washington turned to none other than a financial genius named Haym Salomon. Felix Zandman survived World War II as a teenager by living with three others in a pit for seventeen months, and then went on to graduate from the Sorbonne and found a company that was innovational in the world of electronics and communication. Our heroes many feats and great accomplishments, and their dedication to freedom and its ideals, are truly amazing, and their stories stand the test of time.

America's Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today

America's Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today

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Pamela S. Nadell weaves together the complex story of Jewish women in America--from colonial-era matriarch Grace Nathan and her great-granddaughter, poet Emma Lazarus, to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Recounting how Jewish women have been at the forefront of social, economic, and political causes for centuries, Nadell shows them fighting for suffrage, labor unions, civil rights, feminism, and religious rights--shaping a distinctly Jewish American identity.

Angels in the Sky: How a Band of Volunteer Airmen Saved the New State of Israel

Angels in the Sky: How a Band of Volunteer Airmen Saved the New State of Israel

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In 1948, when the newly founded nation of Israel came under siege from a coalition of Arab states, a band of volunteer airmen from the United States, Canada, Britain, France, and South Africa arrived to help. They were a small group, fewer than 150. Many were World War II veterans; most of them knowingly violated their nations' embargoes on the shipment of arms and aircraft to Israel. The airmen risked everything--their careers, citizenship, and lives--to fight for Israel. The saga of the volunteer airmen in Israel's war of independence stands as one of the most stirring--and little-known--war stories of the past century.

Ani Maamin: Biblical Criticism, Historical Truth, and the Thirteen Principles of Faith

Ani Maamin: Biblical Criticism, Historical Truth, and the Thirteen Principles of Faith

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For two centuries the academic study of the Bible has confronted the believing Jew with the most challenging of questions: Are the accounts of the Tanakh historically accurate? Was there an Exodus? Why does the Torah provide multiple versions of its law and its stories? What are the warrants for believing the Torah is a divine text? Can a Jew seeking intellectual honesty maintain fidelity to the Thirteen Principles of Faith? The credentials Rabbi Dr. Joshua Berman brings to address these issues are unparalleled. An internationally acclaimed speaker, writer and educator, Rabbi Berman is also a professor of Tanakh at Bar-Ilan University and the author of two books published by Oxford University Press on the five books of the Torah. This landmark work is the first full-length treatment of these charged issues by an Orthodox thinker, offering the believing Jew an academically and traditionally based approach of spiritual and intellectual integrity.
Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York

Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York

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New York is the greatest restaurant city the world has ever seen.

In "Appetite"" City," the former "New York Times "restaurant critic William Grimes leads us on a grand historical tour of New York's dining culture. Beginning with the era when simple chophouses and oyster bars dominated the culinary scene, he charts the city's transformation into the world restaurant capital it is today. "Appetite City "takes us on a unique and delectable journey, from the days when oysters and turtle were the most popular ingredients in New York cuisine, through the era of the fifty-cent French and Italian table d'hotes beloved of American "Bohemians," to the birth of Times Square--where food and entertainment formed a partnership that has survived to this day.

Enhancing his tale with more than one hundred photographs, rare menus, menu cards, and other curios and illustrations (many never before seen), Grimes vividly describes the dining styles, dishes, and restaurants succeeding one another in an unfolding historical panorama: the deluxe ice cream parlors of the 1850s, the boisterous beef-and-beans joints along Newspaper Row in the 1890s, the assembly-line experiment of the Automat, the daring international restaurants of the 1939 World's Fair, and the surging multicultural city of today. By encompassing renowned establishments such as Delmonico's and Le Pavillon as well as the Bowery restaurants where a meal cost a penny, he reveals the ways in which the restaurant scene mirrored the larger forces shaping New York, giving us a deliciously original account of the history of America's greatest city.

Rich with incident, anecdote, and unforgettable personalities, "Appetite City "offers the dedicated food lover or the casual diner an irresistible menu of the city's most savory moments."

Ayn Rand and the World She Made

Ayn Rand and the World She Made

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Ayn Rand was one of the most influential champions of laissez-faire capitalism & individual rights. This text chronicles her troubled childhood in Russia before & during the Russian Revolution, her lone arrival in America at the age of 21, & the courage & tenacity with which she produced her popular novels in the 1940s & 50s.
Biblical Images: Men & Women of the Book

Biblical Images: Men & Women of the Book

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The characters of the Bible are some of the best known in all of history, art and literature. Yet the heroes and heroines of the BibleAbraham, Jacob, Joseph, Eve, Sarah, Deborah and the othersremain elusive and enigmatic. Biblical Images, a collection of twenty-five portraits of biblical figures, explores what is hinted at in the biblical text to help us understand these characters from within, to analyze their motives, and to appreciate their spiritual experiences and aspirations. It is a subtle yet penetrating study of the men and women of the Bible, who personify profound truths about the human experience.

Although the figures of the Jewish Bible are some of the best known in all of history and literature, they remain among the most elusive and enigmatic. In Biblical Images, a collection of 25 portraits of Biblical characters, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz clarifies what is hinted at in the Biblical text in order to understand the Biblical figures from within, to analyze their motives, and to appreciate their spiritual experiences and aspirations.

Bride for One Night: Talmud Tales

Bride for One Night: Talmud Tales

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Ruth Calderon has recently electrified the Jewish world with her teachings of talmudic texts. In this volume, her first to appear in English, she offers a fascinating window into some of the liveliest and most colorful stories in the Talmud. Calderon rewrites talmudic tales as richly imagined fictions, drawing us into the lives of such characters as the woman who risks her life for a sister suspected of adultery; a humble schoolteacher who rescues his village from drought; and a wife who dresses as a prostitute to seduce her pious husband in their garden. Breathing new life into an ancient text, A Bride for One Night offers a surprising and provocative read, both for anyone already intimate with the Talmud and for anyone interested in one of the most influential works of Jewish literature. Ruth Calderon has a doctorate in Talmud from Hebrew University and was elected to the Israeli Knesset in January 2013. She became a national celebrity when she taught a page of Talmud in the Israeli parliament, arguing that the text was the heritage of the entire Jewish people. She is founder and former director of Elul Beit Midrash in Jerusalem and founder and chair of Alma: Home for Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv. Ilana Kurshan is the books editor of Lilith magazine. She is the author of Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? as well as several articles about Talmud, literature, and Jewish life.
Building for Eternity: Life and Legacy of Reb Moshe Reichmann

Building for Eternity: Life and Legacy of Reb Moshe Reichmann

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"When you left his study, you didn’t just have a generous check: you had dignity, respect, and a new sense of pride in what you were doing."

"I’ve seen people for whom Margaret Thatcher showed respect, and I’ve seen people for whom Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky stood up. But I have known only one man for whom Rav Yaakov would express admiration, and toward whom heads of state would bow. "

It’s the story of a journey to spiritual greatness, to faith, humility, and extraordinary generosity, a story that takes us through construction sites and boardrooms as well as the hallowed halls of yeshivos and batei midrash.

Aristocratic in conduct and speech, Reb Moshe Reichmann treated other people in a way that left them feeling that they had brushed with royalty, elevating himself and those around him. The kindness and attention he invested in his family flowed outward to impact every corner of the Torah world, conveying respect and encouragement along with his donations.

The most respected financiers on earth were in awe of him, yet this same Mr. Reichmann would bow deferentially when speaking to Torah scholars. He was patron to institutions and individuals, giving not just money, but time, attention, and genuine concern. Yisroel Besser, author of many bestselling books, including the unforgettable Just Love Them, brings us a story that will make us newly sensitive to the potential to give that lies within us.

Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town

Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town

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In 1900, in a small Prussian town, a young boy was found murdered, his body dismembered, the blood drained from his limbs. The Christians of the town quickly rose up in violent riots to accuse the Jews of ritual murder--the infamous blood-libel charge that has haunted Jews for centuries. In an absorbing narrative, Helmut Walser Smith reconstructs the murder and the ensuing storm of anti-Semitism that engulfed this otherwise peaceful town. Offering an instructive examination of hatred, bigotry, and mass hysteria, The Butcher's Tale is a modern parable that will be a classic for years to come.

Winner of the Fraenkel Award and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2002.

BY THE GRACE OF THE GAME

BY THE GRACE OF THE GAME

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When Lily and Alex entered a packed gymnasium in Queens, New York in 1972, they barely recognized their son. The boy who escaped to America with them, who was bullied as he struggled to learn English and cope with family tragedy, was now a young man who had discovered and secretly honed his basketball talent on the outdoor courts of New York City. That young man was Ernie Grunfeld, who would go on to win an Olympic gold medal and reach previously unimaginable heights as an NBA player and executive.

In By the Grace of the Game, Dan Grunfeld, once a basketball standout himself at Stanford University, shares the remarkable story of his family, a delicately interwoven narrative that doesn't lack in heartbreak yet remains as deeply nourishing as his grandmother's Hungarian cooking, so lovingly described. The true improbability of the saga lies in the discovery of a game that unknowingly held the power to heal wounds, build bridges, and tie together a fractured Jewish family. If the magnitude of an American dream is measured by the intensity of the nightmare that came before and the heights of the triumph achieved after, then By the Grace of the Game recounts an American dream story of unprecedented scale.

From the grips of the Nazis to the top of the Olympic podium, from the cheap seats to center stage at Madison Square Garden, from yellow stars to silver spoons, this complex tale traverses the spectrum of the human experience to detail how perseverance, love, and legacy can survive through generations, carried on the shoulders of a simple and beautiful game.

Carta Jerusalem Atlas

Carta Jerusalem Atlas

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Required reading in universities and colleges worldwide, The Carta Jerusalem Atlas remains the premier Atlas for the study of history, geography and archaeology of the Holy City. The Carta Jerusalem Atlas has been enlarged for easier reading, thoroughly revised and updated to record the latest findings, and expanded to provide the best possible overview of one of the most fascinating and contested cities in the history of mankind. Includes 20 full-page maps, c. 250 plans, reconstructions, drawings, and photographs, and a detailed map of the Old City of Jerusalem today.
CARTOONS AND EXTREMISM: ISRAEL AND THE JEWS IN ARAB AND WESTERN MEDIA

CARTOONS AND EXTREMISM: ISRAEL AND THE JEWS IN ARAB AND WESTERN MEDIA

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The outrage sparked by the Danish cartoon affair - the publication of images of the Prophet Muhammad in the European press - was a sharp reminder of the potency of the cartoon in the modern media. It is one of the most popular and effective means of communication. By exaggerating and exasperating, cartoons by their very nature lack neutrality, and the cartoon is an important weapon in the Middle Eastern crisis. In response to the Danish cartoon affair, an Iranian newspaper announced a competition for cartoons about the Holocaust, even though it had nothing to do with Israel or the Jewish people. Antisemitic cartoons have long been rife in the Arab-Muslim media. The September 2001 Durban Conference against Racism, intended to denounce and combat racism in all its forms, also featured the distribution of antisemitic cartoons by an Arab organization, yet this elicited no reaction from Western NGOs at the conference. This event set the author on a trail that revealed thousands of such drawings. In the name of anti-Zionism, Jews are depicted as sadistic and bloodthirsty monsters, solely interested in money and power. This return to anti-Jewish hatred is of a new order, in line with current trends - an Arab-Muslim form unexpectedly metamorphosed from the antisemitism traditionally linked with the Christian West. By reproducing more than 400 of these cartoons, taken from both Arab and Western media, this book denounces the use of hatred in the media and hopes to raise the alarm.
Chosen Game: A Jewish Basketball History

Chosen Game: A Jewish Basketball History

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A few years after its invention by James Naismith, basketball became the primary sport in the crowded streets of the Jewish neighborhood on New York's Lower East Side. Participating in the new game was a quick and enjoyable way to become Americanized. Jews not only dominated the sport for the next fifty-plus years but were also instrumental in modernizing the game.

Barney Sedran was considered the best player in the country at the City College of New York from 1909 to 1911. In 1927 Abe Saperstein took over management of the Harlem Globetrotters, playing a key role in popularizing and integrating the game. Later he helped found the American Basketball Association and introduced the three-point shot. More recently, Nancy Lieberman played in a men's pro summer league and became the first woman to coach a men's pro team, and Larry Brown became the only coach to win both NCAA and the NBA championships.

While the influence of Jewish players, referees, coaches, and administrators has gradually diminished since the mid-1950s, the current basketball scene features numerous Jews in important positions.

Through interviews and lively anecdotes from franchise owners, coaches, players, and referees, The Chosen Game explores the contribution of Jews to the evolution of present-day pro basketball.

CODEX JUDAICA - Chronological Index of Jewish History

Codex Judaica Chronological Index of Jewish History

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Jewish History of over 5,000 years in a year by year format, with heavy cross-referencing and exhaustive index.

Easy reading - a browsers delight, with little snippets of fascinating facts.

Documents - in a scholarly manner - the ancestral history of Biblical and Talmudic eras, and provides meticulous and erudite bibliography-references.

Coming to Terms with America: Essays on Jewish History, Religion, and Culture

Coming to Terms with America: Essays on Jewish History, Religion, and Culture

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Coming to Terms with America examines how Jews have long "straddled two civilizations," endeavoring to be both Jewish and American at once, from the American Revolution to today.

In fifteen engaging essays, Jonathan D. Sarna investigates the many facets of the Jewish-American encounter--what Jews have borrowed from their surroundings, what they have resisted, what they have synthesized, and what they have subverted. Part I surveys how Jews first worked to reconcile Judaism with the country's new democratic ethos and to reconcile their faith-based culture with local metropolitan cultures. Part II analyzes religio-cultural initiatives, many spearheaded by women, and the ongoing tensions between Jewish scholars (who pore over traditional Jewish sources) and activists (who are concerned with applying them). Part III appraises Jewish-Christian relations: "collisions" within the public square and over church-state separation.

Originally written over the span of forty years, many of these essays are considered classics in the field, and several remain fixtures of American Jewish history syllabi. Others appeared in fairly obscure venues and will be discovered here anew. Together, these essays--newly updated for this volume--cull the finest thinking of one of American Jewry's finest historians.


Jonathan D. Sarna is University Professor and the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, as well as the director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University. He is also the chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History. Sarna has written, edited, or coedited more than thirty books, including JPS: The Americanization of Jewish Culture 1888-1988 and American Judaism: A History, and is the winner of six awards, including the National Jewish Book Award's Jewish Book of the Year.


Constant Challenge: Sports And American Judaism

Constant Challenge: Sports And American Judaism

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For American Jewish historian Jeffrey S. Gurock, the sports metaphor highlights the challenges that Jewish life has faced in modern American society. Although athletics were once seen as the incursion of a foreign cultural phenomenon into Jewish life, attitudes have shifted in recent generations. What was once branded as an unproductive questionable activity has entered into the American Jewish experience, and has captured the allegiance of Jews on the track, gridiron, diamond, and court. Constant Challenge: Sports and American Judaism brings together nine intriguing essays that explore the different approaches to athletic activities within Jewish life. Together, this anthology identifies and discusses how Jewish communities cope with these challenges, navigating the delicate balance between religious identification and American sports culture.
Crossing Cairo

Crossing Cairo

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In Crossing Cairo, Rabbi Ruth Sohn has written an exceptional family portrait of the experience of living in Egypt with her husband and children. Advised not to share the fact that they are Jewish, they discover what it means to hide and then increasingly share their identity. Would it be possible to cross the boundaries of language, culture and religion to form real friendships and find a home among Egyptians? As she navigates new routines of daily life to make friends, find an Arabic teacher, and get to know the mysterious veiled woman that came with the rental of their apartment, Sohn takes us on a remarkable journey as she encounters the many faces of Cairo. In the Epilogue she returns to Cairo after the fall of Mubarak to find a newly exuberant and infectious patriotism and hope. Throughout this probing contemplation of self and other in a world that is foreign and in many ways inimical to her own as an American Jew, Sohn shows how even the seemingly mundane events of daily life can yield unexpected discoveries. "With remarkable evenhandedness and...openness, Sohn has written a provocative and mesmerizing book of extraordinary passion and insight. I could not put it down!" Rabbi David Ellenson, President Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Defending Israel

Defending Israel

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World-renowned lawyer Alan Dershowitz recounts stories from his many years of defending the state of Israel.

Alan Dershowitz has spent years advocating for his most challenging client--the state of Israel--both publicly and in private meetings with high level international figures, including every US president and Israeli leader of the past 40 years. Replete with personal insights and unreported details, Defending Israel offers a comprehensive history of modern Israel from the perspective of one of the country's most important supporters. Readers are given a rare front row seat to the high profile controversies and debates that Dershowitz was involved in over the years, even as the political tides shifted and the liberal community became increasingly critical of Israeli policies.

Beyond documenting America's changing attitude toward the country, Defending Israel serves as an updated defense of the Jewish homeland on numerous points--though it also includes Dershowitz's criticisms of Israeli decisions and policies that he believes to be unwise. At a time when Jewish Americans as a whole are increasingly uncertain as to who supports Israel and who doesn't, there is no better book to turn to for answers--and a pragmatic look toward the future.

Defining Neighbors

Defining Neighbors

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How religion and race--not nationalism--shaped early encounters between Zionists and Arabs in Palestine

As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict persists, aspiring peacemakers continue to search for the precise territorial dividing line that will satisfy both Israeli and Palestinian nationalist demands. The prevailing view assumes that this struggle is nothing more than a dispute over real estate. Defining Neighbors boldly challenges this view, shedding new light on how Zionists and Arabs understood each other in the earliest years of Zionist settlement in Palestine and suggesting that the current singular focus on boundaries misses key elements of the conflict.

Drawing on archival documents as well as newspapers and other print media from the final decades of Ottoman rule, Jonathan Gribetz argues that Zionists and Arabs in pre-World War I Palestine and the broader Middle East did not think of one another or interpret each other's actions primarily in terms of territory or nationalism. Rather, they tended to view their neighbors in religious terms--as Jews, Christians, or Muslims--or as members of scientifically defined races--Jewish, Arab, Semitic, or otherwise. Gribetz shows how these communities perceived one another, not as strangers vying for possession of a land that each regarded as exclusively their own, but rather as deeply familiar, if at times mythologized or distorted, others. Overturning conventional wisdom about the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gribetz demonstrates how the seemingly intractable nationalist contest in Israel and Palestine was, at its start, conceived of in very different terms.

Courageous and deeply compelling, Defining Neighbors is a landmark book that fundamentally recasts our understanding of the modern Jewish-Arab encounter and of the Middle East conflict today.