By David Mikics for Tablet Magazine
Beate and Serge Klarsfeld’s moving memoirs trace the evolution of a new idea: that Germans were responsible for the Nazi past. Can today’s Europe learn from their moral courage?
Beate Klarsfeld had been saying for weeks that she would slap the chancellor. Twenty-five years earlier Kurt Georg Kiesinger had been Hitler’s assistant director of foreign propaganda in France. Now he was Germany’s head of state, and this ought to be a scandal, Klarsfeld thought. On Nov. 7, 1968, the 29-year-old Klarsfeld rushed across the stage during a meeting of Kiesinger’s Christian Democratic party and struck the surprised chancellor across the face. “Ohrfeige für den Kanzler!” (“A slap for the chancellor!”) the newspapers excitedly proclaimed.
Sarah Aaronsohn and Her Nili Spy Ring by Gregory J Wallace
About the Book
Though she lived only to twenty-seven, Sarah Aaronsohn led a remarkable life. The Woman Who Fought an Empire tells the improbable but true odyssey of a bold young woman—the daughter of Romanian-born Jewish settlers in Palestine—who became the daring leader of a Middle East spy ring.
with Michael Dobkowski for Jewish Book Council
In (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump, Jonathan Weisman explores the disconnect between his own sense of Jewish identity and the expectations of his detractors and supporters. He delves into the rise of the alt-right, their roots in older anti-Semitic organizations, the odd ancientness of their grievances―cloaked as they are in contemporary, techy hipsterism―and their aims―to spread hate in a palatable way through a political structure that has so suddenly become tolerant of their views.
Michael Dobkowski: In many ways your book is about Jewish identity and experience in the Trump era. How has the American Jewish experience changed―generally, and for you, personally?
Jonathan Weisman: I grew up in a very Reform household. Although I was raised to identify as Jewish, I—like many Jews of my generation—drifted away, in part because Jews had become entirely comfortable in a pluralistic, liberal democracy that seemed to be progressing inexorably toward tolerance and acceptance.
Jewish Book Council; Mark Sarvas is the author of Memento Park: A Novel. He is blogging here as part of Jewish Book Council's Visiting Scribe series.
"I’m a terrible Jew," I used to say—by which I meant that I was wholly ignorant of tradition, taking a sort of perverse pleasure in the shock value of the comment. I was raised by postwar, secular European parents who decided they’d had enough of religion. I didn’t know Sukkot from Shavuot, and we grew up with Christmas trees and Easter eggs. Researching this essay, I learned that into her teens, my younger sister thought one of our parents was Catholic and one was Jewish. I remember being asked to sign the ketubah at her wedding (her husband was observant), and looking blankly at the rabbi when he asked me my Jewish name. He ended up coaching me, with some reproach, through a hastily imitated Hebrew “Moishe.”
By Stewart Kampel for Hadassah Magazine
In her debut novel, what to do About the Solomons, Bethany Ball finds many ways for the far-flung dysfunctional Solomon clan to be unhappy—and a few to be happy. As she picks apart the lives, loves, successes and failures of this disparate family, she produces an engaging tale laced with a bit of humor and a heavy dose of sex, drugs and intrigue. Family ties, it seems, even when stretched to the limits, can still pull a group together.
By MyJewishLearning Staff
This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Passover Guide
Questions to consider when buying the book for your seder.
Is your Seder to be conducted in both Hebrew and English and does the balance between the two languages reflect the abilities of your guests?
How much commentary is included and does it reflect the issues that you wish to discuss?
Is the Haggadah attractive, and will you enjoy it over the years?
How many do you have to buy and do you expect to be using them for many years to come?
MyJewishLearning has some other things to consider.
By David Patrikarakos for Tablet Magazine
British political journalist and spy-thriller writer Jonathan Freedland imagined a president in need of removal from office before Trump was elected
Jonathan Freedland is one of Britain’s foremost political journalists, and arguably its most prominent Jewish one. Writing under the pseudonym Sam Bourne, he continues in the British tradition (Chesterton, le Carré) of using genre fiction, especially the conventions of the mystery or spy thriller, with their murders and betrayals and deceit, to meditate on the nature of society, humanity and morality. The result here is To Kill the President, which deftly uses the thriller genre to critique a volatile, likely unhinged, president who remains unnamed throughout. It’s a trope that works to good effect in what is an exceptionally good novel. Naming this man—who comes complete with a “personal bankruptcy lawyer,” is given to fervid tweeting in the middle of the night, is busy rolling out a “registry of Muslim citizens,” and has, by the first few pages of the book, groped a White House cleaner and kissed the Dutch ambassador inappropriately—would be an act of redundancy.
Review by Edward Shapiro for Jewish Book Council
In the last several decades, social history has displaced the more traditional fields of military, economic, diplomatic, and political history as history’s most exciting area of study. Social historians have used innovative technologies and asked new questions regarding birth and death rates, marriage, immigration, religion, education, gender, race relations, urbanization, migration, acculturation and assimilation, mass culture, and, as in the case of Gideon Reuveni’s new book, consumption patterns. Consumer Culture and the Making of Modern Jewish Identity won the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in Modern Jewish Thought and Experience, and is an example of this new social history at its best.
Temple Aliyah Welcomes You!
Temple Aliyah is an egalitarian Conservative congregation in Needham, Massachusetts, with a warm and inviting atmosphere. We are a dynamic and diverse community that embraces people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles. With the guidance of Rabbi Carl Perkins, we encourage our members to enrich their Jewish lives, to enhance their Jewish identities, and to engage in lifelong learning.
Join us for Shabbat services and schmooze during kiddush following services. Check out the exciting Temple Tots programming for our youngest members. Attend the Rabbi's Adult Education classes. Participate in one of our many Social Action projects. Become a member of our Sisterhood or Men's Club.
Not a member? We invite your family to join our family!
Did you know...?
In celebration of Rabbi Perkins’ more than 25 years at Temple Aliyah, here is this week's question: Do you know how many books are in the Rabbi’s Office library at the synagogue? If you guessed 1,223 you would be correct! What would you add to your own home library to round it out Jewishly? Here are some suggested books you might want to consider.
Want to learn more fun facts about Temple Aliyah? Click here!
If you have a fun fact about Temple Aliyah you’d like to share with our community, please email [email protected].
Shabbat and Weekday Services
|Shabbat Morning Services||9:15 am|
|Sunday Morning Minyan*||9:00 am|
|Monday Morning Minyan||7:00 am|
|Weekday Evening Minyan*||7:30 pm|
* During the summer, minyan meets on Monday morning, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Under the direction of our Adult Education Committee and as part of our commitment to lifelong learning, Temple Aliyah offers a wide range of opportunities for our members and others to enrich their Jewish lives throughout education. Click here to see all of our current Adult Education offerings.
Sisterhood welcomes all women of our community, sharing our passion for Judaism, our families and ourselves. We invite you to learn more about becoming part of our amazing community. Whether you're looking for camaraderie, spiritual connection, social action, or the opportunity to get involved, Sisterhood is here for you. Click here to see our full calendar of events for 2017-18.