The Jewish Preview of Books—August 2018

Posted on August 13th, 2018
By Rachel Scheinerman for Jewish Review of Books


Here at the Jewish Review of Books we receive 40-50 books a week. These are some of the books coming out in August that we’re looking forward to reading and—who knows?—maybe reviewing.

 

If book publishing is any measure, this is a good month for the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary. JTS professor Jack Wertheimer’s latest contribution, The New American Judaism: How Jews Practice Their Religion Today (Princeton), is due at the end of the month. You can start with Allan Arkush’s discussion in his cover article “In the Melting Pot” from our Summer issue. Wertheimer’s colleague Alan Mittleman’s new book answers the question Does Judaism Condone Violence? Holiness and Ethics in the Jewish Tradition (Princeton). (Does the title give away Mittleman’s answer?)

Continue reading.

My Very Unorthodox Kabbalist

Posted on August 6th, 2018
By Sigal Samuel for Jewish Book Council


To study Kabbalah, you’re supposed to be (a) forty years old, (b) married, and (c) a man. I am none of these things. Luckily, I grew up with a dad who was a professor of Jewish mysticism and was willing to share its secrets with me.
Raised in Montreal’s Orthodox community, I attended a school with strict gender norms. I was expected to obey all of Judaism’s 613 commandments. But, as a girl, I wasn’t allowed to take an interest in the religion’s more esoteric branches.

Continue reading.
 

Torah and the Thermodynamics of Life: An Interview with Jeremy England

Posted on July 30th, 2018
By Rachel Scheinerman for Jewish Review of Books
 

We frequently hear from theologians who reckon with the relationship between religion and science, but it is less common to hear from accomplished scientists on the subject. I spoke with Jeremy England, a research scientist whose work on the origins of life has led some to speculate he might be the next Darwin. This acclaim has resulted in England being described in a recent Dan Brown novel as “the toast of Boston academia, having caused a global stir,” though as England, who is an observant Jew, was quick to point out in The Wall Street Journal Brown misunderstood the implications of his research for religion. I had an opportunity to ask him about his work as a scientist, his Jewish commitment, and how those two reinforce one another.

Continue reading.

Lovesick: Stefan Zweig’s ‘Letter From an Unknown Woman’

Posted on July 23rd, 2018
By Alexander Aciman


Bookworm: The Austrian novelist dissects a broken heart


Dying of flu, a woman sends a letter to the man she has loved all her life—a man who would not know her from a stranger in the street. If he has received this letter, she warns, it means that she has died; otherwise the letter will be torn up. Over the next 70 pages she describes the first time they met, when she was a young girl, then the second time, when she was 18, and finally the third time, years later, when still unable to recognize her, he would pay for an evening of her time as a prostitute. She tells the story of life in the shadow of someone else, of a love from afar, not just unrequited, but unacknowledged, kept secret from the world except for in this letter.

Continue reading.

“In Order that They Didn’t Die Alone”: Remembering Claude Lanzmann

Posted on July 16th, 2018
By Henry Gonshak for Jewish Review of Books


Claude Lanzmann directed what many critics consider the definitive film on the Holocaust, the nine-and-a-half-hour 1985 documentary Shoah. One of the survivors he interviewed, Abraham Bomba, served as a barber while a prisoner at Treblinka. The gruesome job forced on Bomba by the Nazis was to cut the hair of women and girls bound for the gas chambers. (The shorn hair was then used by the Germans in pillows and mattresses.)

Continue reading.

Pages

Synagogue Website Essentials

Gain new insights into how you can create a dynamic online home for your community. 

Get Your Guide

Get in Touch

Have a question? Thinking of a new website for your synagogue? Want to share an idea for a project? We love to hearing from you. 

Contact Us

Jewish Resources

Connect your community to the latest news, trends, and stories happening within the Jewish world.

Learn More

Unique Insights

Engagement ideas and digital marketing strategies for growing your Jewish community.

Blog

Celebrate Shabbat

Shabbat guide 2017

Dynamic Shabbos-themed resources for you to share with your community.

Request Your Guide