The New Reform Judaism: Challenges and Reflections

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By Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan Jewish Publication Society, 367 pages By now, the changing landscape of modern American Jewry is not news, what with soaring rates of intermarriage and assimilation and, with the exception of Orthodox Jews, the dramatic reduction in synagogue attendance and affiliation. What some may not have heard is what might be… Read More

Jabotinsky: A Life

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By Hillel Halkin Yale University Press, 235 pages Vladimir Jabotinsky was passionate, unpredictable and full of contradictions. He was also the fiery leader of the Revisionist Zionist Movement. Author Hillel Halkin deftly tells Jabotinsky’s story, first taking considerable time to illustrate why growing up in a city like Odessa truly shaped Jabotinsky’s outlook — on… Read More

Slices of Life, A Food Writer Cooks Through Many a Conundrum

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By Leah Eskin Running Press, 408 pages Sometimes it’s best to describe something in terms of what it’s not. In that vein, readers looking for the newest entrant in the cookbook genre of today — think coffee-table tomes of glossy photos that make mouths water and desires burn — will not find it in culinary… Read More

This Year in Jerusalem

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By Jeffrey F. Barken Banjo Press, 128 pages What begins as a collection of short stories quickly turns into an intriguing narrative in “This Year in Jerusalem.” Barken, who based the book on his own experiences living on a kibbutz in southern Israel from 2009 to 2010, incorporates characters from almost every walk of life… Read More

Unaccountable

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By Marty Makary, M.D. Bloomsbury Press, 246 pages Dr. Marty Makary, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital and an associate professor of health policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, has written a spell-binding, deeply troubling book on the shameful condition of U.S. hospital care and what steps should be taken to reform… Read More

The Story Of The Jews

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By David J. Goldberg     Andre Deutsch, 96 pages Venturing into a field characterized more by the voluminous tomes written over the last couple of centuries, David J. Goldberg offers a coffee table worthy bird’s-eye view of Jewish history. As rabbi emeritus of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, Goldberg is perhaps better known for his interfaith… Read More

Habad Portraits: Interesting People, Events, and Curiosities in Habad Hasidism

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By Rabbi Chaim Dalfin Jewish Enrichment Press, 226 pages Looking at the title of Chasidic ethnographer Rabbi Chaim Dalfin’s latest work, it would be easy to conclude that “Habad Portraits” is the sort of book that only appeals to either adherents or the academics studying them. Such an impression would be wrong. Presenting a collection… Read More

The Imposter Bride

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By Nancy Richler St. Martin’s Griffin, 368 pages “The Imposter Bride” begins with the wedding of Lily Azerov, fresh from the experience of World War II, to Nathan Kramer, a Jew from Montreal. Lily is not who she claims to be. She is working hard to put her past behind her and build a new… Read More

Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation after My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood

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By Leah Vincent Nan A. Talese, 228 pages, “Cut Me Loose” is a memoir describing Leah Vincent’s journey of leaving strict Jewish Orthodoxy and ending up a non-Observant Harvard attendee. The book begins with her rebellious teen years in Pittsburgh. Eventually, she is sent to Israel to study in a seminary for older girls who… Read More

The Keeper of Secrets

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By Julie Thomas William Morrow Paperbacks, 384 pages “The Keeper of Secrets” weaves together the stories of three men, each facing his own battle but sharing a love of classical music. The novel begins with the journey of Daniel Horowitz, a young boy in the United States who is a gifted and internationally acclaimed violinist…. Read More