Jewish-American Heritage Month

This May, discover an enriching array of books celebrating Jewish-American Heritage Month!

Cover of Jew-ish: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch

Jew-ish: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch

Jake Cohen

Food writer presents a collection of recipes based on the foods he grew up with as part of his Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, and draws on influences from his husband's Persian-Iraqi traditions. Categories include breakfast, appetizers and snacks, salads, vegetables, carbohydrates, soups and stews, mains, desserts, and drinks. Some strong language. 2021. Food writer presents a collection of recipes based on the foods he grew up with as part of his Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, and draws on influences from his husband's Persian-Iraqi traditions. Categories include breakfast, appetizers and snacks, salads, vegetables, carbohydrates, soups and stews, mains, desserts, and drinks. Some strong language. 2021.

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Digital Book Number: DB106242

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Cover of Zen Judaism

Zen Judaism: For You, A Little Enlightenment

David M. Bader

Humorous combining of Zen principles with Jewish culture and wisdom. Includes bits of advice like "If you wish to know The Way, don't ask for directions. Argue." 2002.

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Digital Book Number: DB102732

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Cover of Sister of Auschwitz

The Sisters of Auschwitz: The True Story of Two Jewish sisters' Resistance in the Heart of Nazi Territory

Roxane van Iperen

In 1943 Janny and Lien Brilleslijper, two Jewish sisters from Amsterdam, joined the Dutch resistance fight against Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. They helped save dozens of others, risking their own lives in the process. Draws on the Brilleslijpers' personal archives and additional research. Translated from the original 2018 Dutch edition. Contains some strong language.; Contains violence. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019.

Book Length: Cover of Sisters of Auschwitz
Digital Book Number: DB105506

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Cover of Masada

Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth

Jodi Magness

Two thousand years ago, 967 Jewish men, women, and children-the last holdouts of the revolt against Rome following the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple-reportedly took their own lives rather than surrender to the Roman army. This dramatic event, which took place on top of Masada, a barren and windswept mountain overlooking the Dead Sea, spawned a powerful story of Jewish resistance that came to symbolize the embattled modern State of Israel. The first extensive archaeological excavations of Masada began in the 1960s, and today the site draws visitors from around the world. And yet, because the mass suicide was recorded by only one ancient author-the Jewish historian Josephus-some scholars question if the event ever took place. Jodi Magness, an archaeologist who has excavated at Masada, explains what happened there, how we know it, and how recent developments might change understandings of the story. Incorporating the latest findings, she integrates literary and historical sources to show what life was like for Jews under Roman rule during an era that witnessed the reign of Herod and Jesus's ministry and death. This is an engaging exploration of an ancient story that continues to grip the imagination today.

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Digital Book Number: DB110964

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Cover of Daughter of Auschwitz

The Daughter of Auschwitz: My Story of Resilience, Survival and Hope

Tova Friedman

A powerful memoir by one of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz, Tova Friedman, following her childhood growing up during the Holocaust and surviving a string of near-death experiences in a Jewish ghetto, a Nazi labor camp, and Auschwitz. "I am a survivor. That comes with a survivor's obligation to represent one and half million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis. They cannot speak. So I must speak on their behalf." Tova Friedman was one of the youngest people to emerge from Auschwitz. After surviving the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Central Poland where she lived as a toddler, Tova was four when she and her parents were sent to a Nazi labour camp, and almost six when she and her mother were forced into a packed cattle truck and sent to Auschwitz II, also known as the Birkenau extermination camp, while her father was transported to Dachau. During six months of incarceration in Birkenau, Tova witnessed atrocities that she could never forget, and experienced numerous escapes from death. She is one of a handful of Jews to have entered a gas chamber and lived to tell the tale. As Nazi killing squads roamed Birkenau before abandoning the camp in January 1945, Tova and her mother hid among corpses. After being liberated by the Russians they made their way back to their hometown in Poland. Eventually Tova's father tracked them down and the family was reunited. In The Daughter of Auschwitz, Tova immortalizes what she saw, to keep the story of the Holocaust alive, at a time when it's in danger of fading from memory. She has used those memories that have shaped her life to honour the victims. Written with award-winning former war reporter Malcolm Brabant, this is an extremely important book. Brabant's meticulous research has helped Tova recall her experiences in searing detail. Together they have painstakingly recreated Tova's extraordinary story about the world's worst ever crime." -- Provided by publisher.

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Digital Book Number: DB110626

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Cover of People Love Dead Jews

People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present

Dara Horn

Renowned and beloved as a prizewinning novelist, Dara Horn has also been publishing penetrating essays since she was a teenager. Often asked by major publications to write on subjects related to Jewish culture - and increasingly in response to a recent wave of deadly anti-Semitic attacks - Horn was troubled to realize what all of these assignments had in common: She was being asked to write about dead Jews, never about living ones. In these essays, Horn reflects on subjects as far-flung as the international veneration of Anne Frank, the mythology that Jewish family names were changed at Ellis Island, the blockbuster traveling exhibition Auschwitz, the marketing of the Jewish history of Harbin, China, and the little-known life of the "righteous Gentile" Varian Fry. Throughout, she challenges us to confront the reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, and so little respect for Jewish lives unfolding in the present. Horn draws upon her travels, her research, and also her own family life - trying to explain Shakespeare's Shylock to a curious 10-year-old, her anger when swastikas are drawn on desks in her children's school, the profound perspective offered by traditional religious practice and study - to assert the vitality, complexity, and depth of Jewish life against an anti-Semitism that, far from being disarmed by the mantra of "Never forget", is on the rise. As Horn explores the (not so) shocking attacks on the American Jewish community in recent years, she reveals the subtler dehumanization built into the public piety that surrounds the Jewish past - making the radical argument that the benign reverence we give to past horrors is itself a profound affront to human dignity.

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Digital Book Number: DB117558

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Reading Lists

South Carolina Talking Book Services creates and manages suggested titles reading lists for our patrons. Check out some of our lists below.