Axelrod, Matt. Raising the Bar Mitzvah: Reimagining what our kids learn
It’s time to re-evaluate how our kids learn and prepare to be knowledgeable and engaged members of the Jewish community. Raising the Bar Mitzvah is the book that will lead Jewish professionals as well as lay congregants on a more productive and meaningful path.
Biala, Tamar. Dirshuni: Contemporary Women’s Midrash
The first ever English edition of an historic collection of midrashim composed by Israeli women. The volume features a comprehensive introduction to Midrash for the uninitiated reader by the distinguished scholar Tamar Kadari and extensive annotation and commentary by Tamar Biala
Blum, Hila. How to Love Your Daughter
The seemingly inexplicable estrangement between a woman and her grown daughter opens up a troubling conundrum: What damage do we do in the blindness of love? Thousands of miles from home, a woman stands on a dark street, peeking through well-lit windows at two little girls. They are the grandchildren she’s never met, daughters of the daughter she has not seen in years. At the center of this mesmerizing story is the woman’s quest to understand how a relationship that began in bliss–a mother besotted with her only child–arrived at a point of such unfathomable distance. Weaving back and forth in time, she unravels memories and long-buried feelings, retracing the infinite acts of parental care, each so mundane and apparently benign, that in ensemble may have undermined what she most treasured.
Gradowski, Zalmen. The Last Consolation Vanished: the testimony of a Sonderkommando in Auschwitz. (Library Holocaust Collection)
On October 7, 1944, a group of Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz obtained explosives and rebelled against their Nazi murderers. It was a desperate uprising that was defeated by the end of the day. More than four hundred prisoners were killed. Filling a gap in history, The Last Consolation Vanished is the first complete English translation and critical edition of one prisoner’s powerful account of life and death in Auschwitz, written in Yiddish and buried in the ashes near Crematorium III.
Chakrabarti, Jai. A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness: Stories
From the National Jewish Book Award winning author, his new book is a collection of fifteen masterful stories that cross continents and cultures to explore what it means to cultivate a family today, across borders, religions, and race. The author captures men and women struggling with transformation and familial bonds; they traverse the intersections of countries and cultures to illuminate what it means to love in uncertain times;
Ragen, Naomi. The Enemy Beside Me: a novel
Taking over from her father and grandfather as the head of the Survivor’s Campaign, an organization whose purpose is to bring Nazi war criminals to justice, Milia Gottstein has dedicated her life to making sure the voices of Holocaust victims will never be silenced. It is an overwhelming and heartbreaking mission that has often usurped her time and energy being a wife to busy surgeon Julius, and a mother and grandmother. But now, just as she is finally ready to pass on her work to others, making time for her personal life, an unexpected phone call suddenly explodes all she thought she knew about her present and her future.
Ruttenberg, Danya. On Repentance and Repair: making amends in an unapologetic world
Winner NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARDS in Contemporary Jewish Life & Practice and the Myra H. Kraft Memorial Award, A crucial new lens on repentance, atonement, forgiveness, and repair from harm—from personal transgressions to our culture’s most painful and unresolved issues.
Yehoshua, A.B. The Only Daughter, a novel
Rachele Luzzato is twelve years old when she learns her father is gravely ill. While her family plans for her upcoming Bat-Mitzvah, Rachele finds herself cast as the Madonna in her school’s Christmas play. Caught between spiritual poles, struggling to cope with her father’s mortality, Rachele feels as if the threads of her everyday life are unravelling. A diverse circle of adults is there to guide young Rachele as she faces the difficult passing of childhood, including her charismatic Jewish grandfather, her maternal Catholic grandparents, and even an old teacher who believes the young girl might find solace in a nineteenth-century novel. These spiritual tributaries ultimately converge in Rachele’s imagination, creating a fantasy that transcends the microcosm of her daily life with one simple hope: an end to the loneliness felt by an only daughter.
Drazin, Meira. Honey and Me
Set in a modern Orthodox Jewish community in an American suburb, Honey and Me follows Milla and Honey through the course of sixth grade, and the holidays of the Jewish calendar, as they encounter dramas large and small: delivering meals to their unpredictable elderly neighbor, trying to impress the most popular teacher, accidentally choosing the same topic for their school’s public speaking contest, going to their first bat mitzvahs and studying for their own, and so much more. When tragedy strikes close, Milla must learn to define her own strengths and find confidence. Her relatable struggle—filled with honest and tender observations—comes together to form a classic coming-of-age story that is funny, wise, and authentic..
Hest, Amy. Letters to Leo
The joys and trials of fourth grade —and of life with her father now that her mother is gone — play out in charming letters from Annie to her dog, Leo. Genuine and funny, Amy Hest’s first-person narration revisits a winning young character as she takes on a new year — and a new dog — with humor, honesty, and resilience.
Hurwitz, Johanna. The Unexpected Adventures of C.A.T.
Fourth-grader Chaya Ann Tober loves cats. Even her initials, C.A.T., are perfect for her! Chaya is Jewish, and her family is observant. This part of her identity is nicely integrated into the story and presented in a natural and unassuming way. She feels so cat-like herself that when her actual cat Ollie, a very picky eater, refuses to eat a mysterious new kind of cat food, she tries to encourage him by tasting a tiny bit of it herself (and finds it, surprisingly, not awful.) That night Chaya has the craziest dream–she dreams she really has become a cat, one with orange fur, the exact color of her own hair. Or is it a dream?
Lemelman, Martin. The Miracle Seed
The thrilling true story of an ancient plant, wonderfully reborn in the modern era through the hard work of two female scientists. Thousands of years ago, in a time of rebellion, the Jewish people fought against their Roman rulers. The brutal Emperor Titus ordered the destruction of everything precious to the Jews: towns, villages, even their beloved Judean date palm trees. Centuries passed. The Jewish people were scattered, and the Judean date palm faded into extinction. Then, in 1963, a team of archaeologists uncovered two-thousand-year-old date palm seeds at the ruined fortress of Masada. For another forty years the seeds waited-until 2004, when Israeli scientist Dr. Sarah Sallon had a big, courageous idea. What if those ancient seeds could bring the Judean date palm back to life? Dr. Sallon recruited her friend Dr. Elaine Solowey, and their amazing experiment began…Intertwining world history, the scientific process, and colorfully detailed artwork,
Mlynowski, Sarah. Two Peas in a Pod
Abby is feeling slighted by not being chosen festival leader at school, and her brother Jonah thinks that a trip through the magic mirror is just what she needs–but when they find themselves in a strange version of the Princess and the pea, and Abby is tagged as the princess, who will be the next ruler of the Kingdom of Bog (which is very damp and infested with alligators), she is not so much complimented as desperate to find an alternate princess and get herself and her brother home.
Ross, Susan. Searching for Lottie
Charlie, a budding violinist, decides to research the life of her great-aunt and namesake for her middle school ancestry project. Everyone in Charlie’s family believes Great-Aunt Charlotte (called Lottie), a violin prodigy, died at the hands of the Nazis, but the more Charlie uncovers about her long-lost relative, the more muddied Great-Aunt Lottie’s story becomes. Could it be that Lottie somehow survived the war by hiding in Hungary? Could she even still be alive today? Inspired by the author’s family history.
Snyder, Laurel. The Witch of Woodland
Here is Zipporah Chava McConnell, but everyone calls her Zippy. Things used to be simple—until a few weeks ago. Now her best friend, Bea, is acting funny; everyone at school thinks she’s weird; and her mom is making her start preparing for her bat mitzvah, even though they barely ever go to synagogue. In fact, the only thing that still seems to make sense is magic. See, the thing is, she’s a witch. “I’ve been casting spells since I was little. And even if no one else wants to believe in magic anymore, it’s always made sense to me, always felt true. But I was still shocked the day I found a strange red book at the library and somehow…I conjured something.”
Gilani-Williams, Fawzia. The Promise
A garden is a prayer. It is also a promise. In a Moroccan village, a Jewish boy and a Muslim boy are best friends. Jacob and Hassan play together every day in the cool shade of Jacob’s family garden. They take care of the garden together, watching the roses and the orange trees grow tall. When news of terrible things happening to Jews in Europe reaches their little village, Jacob’s family must leave Morocco. Hassan promises to care for their beloved garden. “While the garden lives, our friendship will never die,” Jacob says. Years pass until, one day, the prayer of the garden is answered. Inspired by a true story.
Kimmelman, Leslie. A Book About Bupkes
This is a book about bupkes: nothing, zero, zilch. Sometimes, though, what looks like nothing turns out to be the most important thing of all. An empty garden seems like nothing―bupkes! But it means that Zoe and her mom have taken a big basket of fresh veggies to their neighbor. An empty bench at the playground seems like nothing―bupkes! But Zoe has made a new friend and now no one needs to sit on the bench. An empty soup bowl seems like nothing―bupkes! But Zoe takes chicken soup to her sick mom and, after eating it, her mom feels better. The funny thing is that bupkes may mean nothing, but it can feel like everything.
McGinty, Alice. My Israel and Me
Join us on a journey to meet the people of Israel. Throughout history, many have felt a deep connection with this tiny desert land. Everyone leaves a unique mark on Israel and Israel leaves its mark on them. The result is a country with an incredible diversity of cultures and traditions, where Israel means something special to each person. This connection leads everyone, in their own way, to think of Israel as “”my Israel.””
Snir, Mark. An Egg for Shabbat
Every day Ben’s mom sends him out to fetch an egg from the chicken pen. But each day, havoc ensues and Ben comes back empty-handed. Until finally, just in time for Shabbat, he achieves his goal. and each day learns a new lesson about carrying an egg.
Tarcov, Susan. The Rabbi and His Donkey
Hamor the donkey proudly takes Rabbi Moses Maimonides to the sultan’s palace every day, but when Hamor is replaced by a faster horse, both Hamor and the Rabbi soon miss their symbiotic relationship.
Wiemer, Lisa. Out and About, a Tale of Giving
In this inspiring story, we follow Daniel as he tries to find out where his parents are going and what’s inside the mysterious boxes they’re carrying. Daniel’s imagination runs wild―could there be a new baseball and glove inside? A giant birthday cake? A new toy car? As it turns out Daniel learns much more than what’s in those boxes―he learns the true meaning of giving.