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A Brief and Visual History of Antisemitism

A Brief and Visual History of Antisemitism

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The world is in crisis: antisemitism, the "longest hatred," is rearing its ugliest heads, again. Although much has been written about the subject, very little has been done to educate the public specifically about antisemitism--existing curricula are either outdated or not comprehensive, and none are designed to be engaging, especially to the younger audiences that need to learn this subject most.

A Brief and Visual History of Antisemitism aims to fill that glaring gap, not merely as a history textbook but as an epidemiological study that analyzes the pathology of the antisemitism virus from ancient to modern times: when, where, and how did antisemitism first emerge?

How did the disease of Jew-hatred spread so far and wide? Why has the hateful virus proven so resilient over time? The goal of this highly visual book is thus not merely to inform
of what has already transpired, but to empower individuals to make sense of the avalanche of anti-Jewish invective in real-time. As an
added feature, Augmented Reality technology allows readers to use their phones (and a free app) to scan highlighted areas and reveal a trove of bonus contents such as archival footage, animations, official documents, and 3D objects that offer immersive perspectives on historical landmarks.

A State At Any Cost- PB

A State At Any Cost- PB

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2019 National Jewish Book Award Finalist

[A] fascinating biography . . . a masterly portrait of a titanic yet unfulfilled man . . . this is a gripping study of power, and the loneliness of power. --The Economist

As the founder of Israel, David Ben-Gurion long ago secured his reputation as a leading figure of the twentieth century. Determined from an early age to create a Jewish state, he thereupon took control of the Zionist movement, declared Israel's independence, and navigated his country through wars, controversies and remarkable achievements. And yet Ben-Gurion remains an enigma--he could be driven and imperious, or quizzical and confounding.

In this definitive biography, Israel's leading journalist-historian Tom Segev uses large amounts of previously unreleased archival material to give an original, nuanced account, transcending the myths and legends that have accreted around the man. Segev's probing biography ranges from the villages of Poland to Manhattan libraries, London hotels, and the hills of Palestine, and shows us Ben-Gurion's relentless activity across six decades. Along the way, Segev reveals for the first time Ben-Gurion's secret negotiations with the British on the eve of Israel's independence, his willingness to countenance the forced transfer of Arab neighbors, his relative indifference to Jerusalem, and his occasional "nutty moments"--from UFO sightings to plans for Israel to acquire territory in South America. Segev also reveals that Ben-Gurion first heard about the Holocaust from a Palestinian Arab acquaintance, and explores his tempestuous private life, including the testimony of four former lovers.

The result is a full and startling portrait of a man who sought a state "at any cost"--at times through risk-taking, violence, and unpredictability, and at other times through compromise, moderation, and reason. Segev's Ben-Gurion is neither a saint nor a villain but rather a historical actor who belongs in the company of Lenin or Churchill--a twentieth-century leader whose iron will and complex temperament left a complex and contentious legacy that we still reckon with today.

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.

A Traveling Homeland: The Babylonian Talmud As Diaspora

A Traveling Homeland: The Babylonian Talmud As Diaspora

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A word conventionally imbued with melancholy meanings, "diaspora" has been used variously to describe the cataclysmic historical event of displacement, the subsequent geographical scattering of peoples, or the conditions of alienation abroad and yearning for an ancestral home. But as Daniel Boyarin writes, diaspora may be more constructively construed as a form of cultural hybridity or a mode of analysis. In A Traveling Homeland, he makes the case that a shared homeland or past and traumatic dissociation are not necessary conditions for diaspora and that Jews carry their homeland with them in diaspora, in the form of textual, interpretive communities built around talmudic study.

For Boyarin, the Babylonian Talmud is a diasporist manifesto, a text that produces and defines the practices that constitute Jewish diasporic identity. Boyarin examines the ways the Babylonian Talmud imagines its own community and sense of homeland, and he shows how talmudic commentaries from the medieval and early modern periods also produce a doubled cultural identity. He links the ongoing productivity of this bifocal cultural vision to the nature of the book: as the physical text moved between different times and places, the methods of its study developed through contact with surrounding cultures. Ultimately, A Traveling Homeland envisions talmudic study as the center of a shared Jewish identity and a distinctive feature of the Jewish diaspora that defines it as a thing apart from other cultural migrations.

A VISIT TO MOSCOW

A VISIT TO MOSCOW

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A Visit to Moscow is inspired by the true experience of an American rabbi who travels to the Soviet Union in the 1960s, a dangerous time of uncertainty and fear for Jews in the nation.

2023 Eisner Award Nominee, Best Adaptation from Another Medium

2022 Brightness Illustration Award Longlist

In 1965, an American rabbi travels to the Soviet Union to investigate reports of persecution of the Jewish community. Moscow welcomes him as a guest--but provides a strict schedule he and the rest of his group must follow. One afternoon, the rabbi slips away. With an address in hand and almost no knowledge of the Russian language, he embarks on a secret journey that will change his life forever. Inspired by the true experience of Rabbi Rafael Grossman, A Visit to Moscow captures the formidable perseverance and strength of the Jewish people during the "Let My People Go" movement, a modern exodus that is often overlooked.

"With starkly dramatic text and haunting images, author and illustrator convey the devastating oppression of Soviet Jewish life, and the commitment of one Jew to bring their horrifying reality into the light [...] Whether readers are familiar with the harrowing subject matter or learning about it for the first time, Rabbi Grossman's story will immerse them in a harsh world and in the persistent truth-telling needed to bring about change. A Visit to Moscow is highly recommended." --Jewish Book Council

"This briefly told story is compelling and will provoke curiosity about a topic that isn't often told or taught. While readers may be familiar with the Holocaust, where 6 million Jews were murdered, not many are aware that in the era of Communism, a different type of Holocaust, a spiritual Holocaust, was also happening in the USSR. This is a worthy read and hopefully will jump-start the discussion of Soviet Jews who lived behind what was known as the "iron curtain.""--School Library Journal "Good Comics for Kids"

"The concise text is brilliantly illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg, who is herself a former Soviet Jew. Her angular drawings, often with subdued colors, neatly fit the narrative and greatly enhance the story. The combination of a moving narrative and outstanding artwork makes for a most compelling read. I highly recommend A Visit to Moscow. Like any fine book, it will leave a deep impression. It is a story you will not forget reading or seeing."--The Detroit Jewish News

"Yevgenia Nayberg's art is evocative and claustrophobic and lives in that liminal space between simple children's book illustration and profound abstract comics work. Her choices in coloring are particularly well-matched to the emotional tone of the narrative. This is ultimately a story of hope--how the actions of one person can reverberate through generations to come--and as story, this is appropriate and uplifting." --SOLRAD

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 and the Holocaust

America and the Holocaust

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2023 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

The first comprehensive volume to teach about America's response to the Holocaust through visual media, America and the Holocaust: A Documentary History explores the complex subject through the lens of one hundred important documents that help illuminate and amplify key episodes and issues.

Each chapter pivots on five key documents: two in image form and three in text form. Individual introductions that contextualize the documents are followed by explanatory text, analysis of historical implications, and suggestions for further reading. A concluding state-of-the-field essay documents how scholars have arrived at the presented information. A complementary teacher's guide with questions for discussion is available online.

The twenty chapters address a broad range of subjects and events, among them America's response to Hitler's rise, U.S. public opinion about Jews, immigration policy, the Wagner-Rogers bill to save children, American rescuers, news coverage of atrocities, American Jewish and Christian responses to the Holocaust, the campaign for U.S. rescue action, the question of bombing Auschwitz, and liberation.

Viewing real documents as a means to understanding core issues will deepen reader involvement with this material. High school and college students as well as general readers of all levels of knowledge will be engaged in understanding this crucial chapter in American history and weighing questions regarding mass atrocities in our own era.

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.

American Jewish Philanthropic

American Jewish Philanthropic Complex

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The first comprehensive history of American Jewish philanthropy and its influence on democracy and capitalism

For years, American Jewish philanthropy has been celebrated as the proudest product of Jewish endeavors in the United States, its virtues extending from the local to the global, the Jewish to the non-Jewish, and modest donations to vast endowments. Yet, as Lila Corwin Berman illuminates in The American Jewish Philanthropic Complex, the history of American Jewish philanthropy reveals the far more complicated reality of changing and uneasy relationships among philanthropy, democracy, and capitalism.

With a fresh eye and lucid prose, and relying on previously untapped sources, Berman shows that from its nineteenth-century roots to its apex in the late twentieth century, the American Jewish philanthropic complex tied Jewish institutions to the American state. The government's regulatory efforts--most importantly, tax policies--situated philanthropy at the core of its experiments to maintain the public good without trammeling on the private freedoms of individuals. Jewish philanthropic institutions and leaders gained financial strength, political influence, and state protections within this framework. However, over time, the vast inequalities in resource distribution that marked American state policy became inseparable from philanthropic practice. By the turn of the millennium, Jewish philanthropic institutions reflected the state's growing investment in capitalism against democratic interests. But well before that, Jewish philanthropy had already entered into a tight relationship with the governing forces of American life, reinforcing and even transforming the nation's laws and policies.

The American Jewish Philanthropic Complex uncovers how capitalism and private interests came to command authority over the public good, in Jewish life and beyond.

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.

ARCHAEOLOGY, STAMPS AND COINS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL

ARCHAEOLOGY, STAMPS AND COINS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL

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This book explains how archaeology is used in the politics and nationalism of the State of Israel through its stamps, coins and currency. Taking the reader from the pre-state years to the modern day, Archaeology, Stamps and Coins of the State of Israel catalogs and analyzes the Israeli government issued materials that employ archaeological motifs.

Architects of Terror: Paranoia, Conspiracy and Anti-Semitism in Franco's Spain

Architects of Terror: Paranoia, Conspiracy and Anti-Semitism in Franco's Spain

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A TIMES HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR

From the preeminent historian of 20th century Spain Paul Preston, Architects of Terror is a new history of how paranoia, conspiracy and anti-Semitism was used to justify the military coup of 1936 and enabled the construction of a dictatorship built on violence and persecution.

It is the previously untold story of how antisemitic beliefs were weaponised to justify and propagate the Franco overthrow of liberal Spain.

The Spanish military coup of 1936 was launched to overturn the social and economic reforms of the democratic Second Republic, and its educational and cultural challenges to the established order. The consequent civil war was fought in the interests of the landowners, industrialists, bankers, clerics and army officers whose privileges were threatened. However, a central justification for a war that took the lives of around 500,000 Spaniards was that it was being fought to combat an alleged scheme for world domination by a non-existent 'Jewish- Masonic-Bolshevik Conspiracy'. Despite the fact that Spain had only a tiny minority of Jews and Freemasons, Franco and his inner circle were ardent believers in this fabricated conspiracy and spread the notion that the survival of Catholic Spain, as well, of course, of the establishment 's economic interests, required the total annihilation of Jews and Freemasons.

Architects of Terror is the story of how fake news, mendacity, corruption and nostalgia for lost empire generated violence and hatred. The book presents vivid portraits of the key ideologues who propagated the myth of the Jewish-Masonic-Bolshevik Conspiracy and of the military figures who implemented the atrocities that it justified. Among the convictions shared by these individuals was their belief in the idea that Freemasonry was responsible for Spain 's loss of empire and in the factual veracity of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious fiction about the global domination of the Jews.

This is a history that reverberates in our own political moment

Authentic Annals of the Early Hebrews

Authentic Annals of the Early Hebrews

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This is an modern edition of an ancient Hebrew extra-Biblical book known as Sefer Ha Yasher or The Book of Jasher. With notes, analysis, commentaries and original prefaces to earlier translated editions, it is a valuable resource when studying the first five books of the Bible.

Bais Hamikdash B'Yerushalayim

Bais Hamikdash B'Yerushalayim

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Building After Auschwitz

Building After Auschwitz

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The first major study to examine the rise to prominence of Jewish architects since 1945 and the connection of their work to the legacy of the Holocaust

Since the end of World War II, Jewish architects have risen to unprecedented international prominence. Whether as modernists, postmodernists, or deconstructivists, architects such as Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Louis I. Kahn, Daniel Libeskind, Richard Meier, Moshe Safdie, Robert A.M. Stern, and Stanley Tigerman have made pivotal contributions to postwar architecture. They have also decisively shaped Jewish architectural history, as many of their designs are influenced by Jewish themes, ideas, and imagery. Building After Auschwitz is the first major study to examine the origins of this "new Jewish architecture."

Historian Gavriel D. Rosenfeld describes this cultural development as the result of important shifts in Jewish memory and identity since the Holocaust, and cites the rise of postmodernism, multiculturalism, and Holocaust consciousness as a catalyst. In showing how Jewish architects responded to the Nazi genocide in their work, Rosenfeld's study sheds new light on the evolution of Holocaust memory.

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.

Chai From Thai

Chai From Thai

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One might not think of Thailand as a bastion of Jewish life. Don’t tell that to Rabbi Yosef Kantor and a team of Shluchim—emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Meet adventure-seeking backpackers who discover something much more valuable—the beauty of their own heritage; hospital patients in dire need; family members seeking lost relatives; unfortunate prisoners whose lives might have otherwise whittled away; visitors in trouble with the authorities; and Thai royalty praising Chabad. Sharing his vulnerabilities and successes, Rabbi Kantor demonstrates Divine Providence at every turn. The Rebbe coined the Far East as, “A place not called near.” There is no such thing as a Jew who is far, whether in Thailand or anywhere else. Culled from Rabbi Kantor’s weekly emails, enjoy these inspiring vignettes.
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.