Jewish Community Library

Off the Shelf: Three new short story collections

Short-story collections: Three for the road or the nightstand - J.

In transit, on a nightstand or kept close for stolen moments of leisure, collections of short fiction provide a perennial source of pleasure. These three anthologies, which mark their authors' debuts, remind us that short can offer incredible breadth. "The Worlds We Think We Know" contains 20 short works by Dalia Rosenfeld, who was raised ...

Off the Shelf: Jewish immigrants wove stories from Harlem to Hollywood

Jewish immigrants wove stories from Harlem to Hollywood - J.

In response to the recent political environment, increased attention has been paid to the centrality of the immigrant experience to the Jewish encounter with America. As I enjoy studying history from various perspectives, I want to share three new books that explore dimensions of that experience through different lenses: a neighborhood, cartoons and a movie.

Off the Shelf: Three new novels on life in Israel

Three new novels - unusual takes on life in Israel - J.

The strength of Israel's literary scene became evident last month when two Israeli titles appeared among the 13 nominees for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize, the world's most prestigious award for literature translated into English. In tribute, I'd like to share a few new novels set in Israel.

Off the Shelf: Hebrew, Esperanto have amazing stories to tell

Hebrew, Esperanto have some amazing stories to tell

In 1957, Noam Chomsky's father, William, published " Hebrew: The Eternal Language," but in the five decades since then, we haven't had a similar effort in English to create a concise history of the Hebrew language. Until now.

Times of Israel: This turn-of-the-century Crossdressing Feminist Proves that Yiddish Theater ain’t no Drag

This turn-of-the-century crossdressing feminist proves that Yiddish theater ain't no drag

Singing satirical songs while cross-dressed in Hasidic costume, Pepi Littman was once a controversial star of the Yiddish theater. Littman faded into obscurity after her death in 1930. Today, a young San Francisco-based Yiddish singer called Jeanette Lewicki is key to her revival.

Off the Shelf: Authors Offer Differing Perspectives on the History of Israel

Authors offer differing perspectives on the history of Israel

The National Jewish Book Awards were announced last month, and the winner of the Book of the Year award was Rabbi Daniel Gordis' " Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn." Gordis, who made aliyah in 1998, has gravitated from writing on Jewish thought to writing mostly about Israel.

‘Good food and moral guidance’ — The Story of a 1901 Cookbook

'Good food and moral guidance' - the story of a 1901 cookbook

Determined to teach Milwaukee's Eastern European Jews to cook American, in 1901 Lizzie Black Kander and her committee of Jewish clubwomen raised $18 to publish what was to become the most successful fundraising cookbook in U.S. history, according to author Bob Kann.

From Israel to S.F., a Palette of Vistas by ‘accidental’ Painter

From Israel to S.F., a palette of vistas by 'accidental' painter

When you ask Shalom Flash about his paintings, he laughs slightly and then corrects you. He isn't painting; he's color-reading. "It's all just spots of color," Flash says about his prolific body of work, a portion of which is currently hanging at the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco.

Local singer brings to life cross-dressing Yiddish vaudevillian

Local singer brings to life cross-dressing Yiddish vaudevillian

Pepi Litman may have been born in the 1800s, but from reading the details of her life, you wouldn't know it. A cross-dressing performer with undeniable Yiddish swagger, Litman toured Eastern Europe with her vaudeville theatre troupe, singing songs about politics, archaic religions and the death of bureaucracy.

Off the Shelf: Striking Yiddish stories rescued from oblivion

Striking stories help rescue Yiddish and Ladino from oblivion

Silent movie fans like myself tend to be haunted by the sobering knowledge that the vast majority of films made during the silent era are permanently lost and will never be seen again.