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Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People

Abraham's Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People

Jon Entine

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Could our sense of who we are really turn on a sliver of DNA? In our multiethnic world, questions of individual identity are becoming increasingly unclear. Now in ABRAHAM’S CHILDREN bestselling author Jon Entine vividly brings to life the profound human implications of the Age of Genetics while illuminating one of today’s most …

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History Timeline of Jewish People in America

History Timeline of Jewish People in America

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1630 Holland captures Pernambuco, Brazil from the Portuguese and invites Jewish settlement. A significant Jewish community develops in Recife.  (Recife is the 4 th largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 4,136,506 inhabitants.

1649 Solomon Franco was a merchant, who was granted a weekly stipend by the Puritan authorities on the condition that he leave on …

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The Election of Israel: The Idea of the Chosen People

David Novak

Publisher: Cambridge University

The view of themselves as the chosen people of God has been maintained by Jews from the beginnings of their history to the present. The author explores the development of this idea in Jewish theology and law, and essays a contemporary retrieval of the classical doctrine of election. Through an examination of the philosophical implications of …

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A People Who Live Apart: Jewish Identity and the Future of Israel

Els Van Diggele, Jeannette K. Ringold (translator)

Publisher: Prometheus Books

Fifty years after the founding of the state, the question still remains where the balance between Israel as Jewish state and Israel as democratic state can be found. The Jews returned to Palestine to found a Jewish state, whatever that might mean, but not to establish a pluralistic country or a haven for the …

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The Jewish Woman Next Door: Repairing the World One Step at a Time

The Jewish Woman Next Door: Repairing the World One Step at a Time

Debby Flancbaum

Publisher: Urim Publications

The Jewish Woman Next Door: Repairing the World One Step at a Time is a collection of absorbing essays about contemporary Jewish women – some known throughout the world, others known only in their own communities – who engage in extraordinary acts of kindness.

Although the women featured in this book come from all walks of …

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The Temple in Jerusalem: A Description of the Second Temple

The Temple in Jerusalem: A Description of the Second Temple

Rabbi Israel Dov Levanoni

Publisher: Brit Chalom Editions Ltd.

A beautiful gift book, which describes the Second Temple according to the understanding of the Rambam. Contains numerous color photos of a scale model of the Beis HaMikdash, plus explanatory diagrams. Includes a large, full-color, fold-out floor plan of the Temple compound. Also contains the entire Maseches Middos in Hebrew …

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Iran cleric: Killing Israeli children OK

Evil words in Islamic Republic: A senior Iranian cleric, who is known as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s spiritual mentor, urged followers to continue suicide attacks against Israelis, including children.

Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah, considered one of the Islamic Republic’s most radical clerics, issued a religious edict on his website whereby suicide attacks are not only …

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Dozens injured, many of them children, when bus flips over in central Israel

46 people were injured when a bus carrying children and adults flipped over on Route 6, near Ayal Interchange in central Israel.

The bus was on its way from an event in Jerusalem organized by a branch of the Islamic movement to Majd al-Karum, a north Israel Arab village.

Medical and emergency teams have rushed to the site of the accident to assist and provide treatment for those hurt. …

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Making the Four Children Speak to Us

Making the Four Children Speak to Us

One of goals of the Passover seder is make this ancient, traditional ritual speak to us today. On Monday night, throughout the world, Jewish people will retell the story of the Exodus with the commentary of the Haggadah.

For me, the most poignant part of the seder ritual is the section describing four different individuals. These four children have been used as metaphors throughout the ages …

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Jewish philanthropists help people with disabilities

Jewish philanthropists help people with disabilities

A new initiative aimed at uniting philanthropic efforts to improve the treatment of people with disabilities in the Jewish community and to raise awareness of their needs was announced Friday by the Jewish Funders Network (JFN), an international umbrella organization for Jewish philanthropy.

Some 13 Jewish foundations, including the Ted Arison Family Foundation in Israel, the Jewish …

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Switched Identity

Switched Identity

Who will be left to tell the tale?}}The scene opens in Berlin in the early 1930′s, where two physicians are fast friends despite their differences in background. Meyer Schwartz, a Jew, and Wilhelm Kohlmann, a German, are even so similar in appearance that they can be mistaken for one another. Yet when World War II breaks out, they find themselves on opposite sides, each desperate to survive …

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Who Are the Real Chosen People?: The Meaning of Chosenness in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Reuven Firestone

Publisher: Skylight Paths

Religious people who define themselves as monotheists have often advanced the idea that their relationship with God is unique and superior to all others. Theirs supersedes those who came before, and is superior to those who have followed. This phenomenon tends to be expressed in terms not only of supersessionism, but also chosenness,or election. …

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For the Love of Israel and the Jewish People: Essays and Studies on Israel, Jews and Judaism

Nathan Lopes Cardozo

Publisher: Urim Publications

The Land of Israel and the Jewish people are bound together in mysterious ways that go beyond convention. Here is a nation that has “too much history and too little geography,” as Sir Isaiah Berlin said. Yet even in their exile, the Jews never truly left the land of their birth. Rather, they lifted it from its native soil and …

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Jewish People, Jewish Thought

Jewish People, Jewish Thought

Dr. Robert Seltzer

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Like every distinctive heritage, Judaism must be understood as a creative response to ultimate issues of human concern by members of a group that has faced a unique concatenation of political, economic, and geographical circumstances. And the Jewish historical experience is more unusual than most. Standing both …

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Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King, Jr. & the Jewish Community

Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King, Jr. & the Jewish Community

Many people are familiar with the story of Jewish support for the American civil rights movement, but this history has another side -

one that has not been fully told until now.

Shared Dreams brings to life the impressive, surprising, and long-neglected history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s efforts in support of the Jewish community. This is a story that sheds new light on the …

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A Different Night: The Family Participation Haggadah

Noam Zion

Publisher: Shalom Hartman Institute

This Haggadah offers a rich feast of story and insight for anyone’s Seder Table. It can be used year after year and remain fresh. I look forward to using it with my family” – Rabbi Harold Kushner (Conservative) Author, When Bad Things Happen to Good People

This is not just “another” Haggadah. It is itself a rich, joyful, and …

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HaLaila HaZeh — A New Israeli Haggadah in Hebrew

HaLaila HaZeh -- A New Israeli Haggadah in Hebrew

HaLaila HaZeh is a truly Israeli pluralist family haggadah. Based on the concept Noam Zion and David Dishon’s A Different Night: The Family Participation Haggadah (1997, sold over 125,000 copies), we created a parallel haggadah reflecting, Israeli culture. This is not a translation but a new creation.

In the Haggadah:

The full Traditional text in both Ashkenazi and Edot HaMizrach nusach, …

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A History of the Jews in the Modern World

A History of the Jews in the Modern World

Howard M. Sachar

Publisher: Vintage Books

“A rich and balanced account. . . . There is no other book that attempts, as this one does, to recount the history of the Jews in modern times in all its geographical variation and breathtaking disparity.” – Washington Post Book World

“Magisterial . . . Sachar situates Jews on a global stage. . . . [He] relates an immensely complex …

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What Shall I Do With This People? Jews and the Fractious Politics of Judaism

Milton Viorst

Publisher: Free Press

“What shall I do with this people?” was Moses’ exasperated question to God in Sinai, and it is posed once more in Milton Viorst’s searching account of the crisis in Judaism today. Not since the destruction of the Second Temple, argues Viorst, have Jews displayed such intolerance toward one another or battled so fiercely over ideology. And these …

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The Israelis : Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land

Publisher: Free Press

Israel. It looks like one country on CNN, a very different one on al-Jazeera. The BBC has its version, The New York Times theirs.

But how does Israel look . . . to Israelis?

Who are these people who order Big Macs in the language of the Ten Commandments? Are they the sabras — native-born Israelis — who believe that only sissies wait in line and obey No …

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Chicken Soup with Chopsticks - A Jew’s Struggle for Truth in an Interfaith Relationship

Chicken Soup with Chopsticks - A Jew's Struggle for Truth in an Interfaith Relationship

The moment Jack Botwinik became enamoured of Belinda Cheung, he began to reflect seriously on his Jewish heritage and identity. Confronted with an ancient, rich and fascinating Chinese tradition that he knew nothing about, and that threatened to eclipse his own, Jack was challenged to identify what was ultimately special about his Jewishness.

While embarking with his Chinese girlfriend on a …

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Eretz Yisrael In The Parashah

Eretz Yisrael In The Parashah

Moshe D. Lichtman

Publisher: Devora Publishing

If the Land of Israel plays such an important role in Judaism, why do so many Jews still choose to live in the Diaspora?

To answer this question, and help the reader find his own answers, the author analyzes every reference to Eretz Yisrael in the 54 Torah portions read on Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays. Culling from the vast storehouse …

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Abraham’s Journey: Reflections on the Life of the Founding Patriarch

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, David Shatz (editor), Joel B. Wolowelsky (editor), Reuven Ziegler (editor)

Publisher: Ktav

Abraham’s Journey, the ninth in the series MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, focuses on the life of Avraham Avinu, founding patriarch of the Jewish People. Abraham is not only the first Jew, but also a historical prototype, his …

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These Are the Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life

It's Never Too Little, It's Never Late, It's Never Enough and other timeless insights for challenging times

Arthur Green

Publisher: Jewish Lights

What are the most essential ideas, concepts and terms that an educated person needs to know about Judaism? What is the basic vocabulary of Jewish spiritual life? Let one of the great teachers of our time take you on a historical and spiritual journey through Judaism.

Judaism itself is a language, a group’s way of expressing beliefs, longings, …

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Ask the Rabbi: The Who, What, When, Where, Why, & How of Being Jewish

Ask the Rabbi: The Who, What, When, Where, Why, & How of Being Jewish

Ron Isaacs

Publisher: Jossey-Bass

Does God really have a chosen people? Do Jews believe in an afterlife? Why do all Jewish holidays begin at night? When is it okay to tell a lie? What does Judaism say about being gay?

From the mundane to the perplexing, Rabbi Ron Isaacs answers all your questions about the Jewish faith in a manner that is warm, wise, and witty. Isaacs brings his many …

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Choosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for Their Family and Friends

Choosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for Their Family and Friends

Anita Diamant

Publisher: Schocken Books

People converting to Judaism will find this a helpful handbook for themselves, their families, and friends. Married to a convert herself, Diamant anticipates all the questions, doubts, and concerns, and provides a comprehensive explanation of the rules and rituals of conversion, and offers practical guidance toward creating a Jewish identity .

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The Jewish Identity Project: New American Photography

Joanna Lindenbaum, Ilan Stavans, Susan Chevlowe (editor)

Publisher: Yale University Press

While American Jews are commonly considered a homogenous ethnic group, the reality today is far more complex. Conversion, adoption, intermarriage, and immigration have transformed the fabric of Jewish communities, as they have the United States as a nation. This fascinating book explores questions of …

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Mazal Tov and Happy 88th Birthday, Mr. President

One Hundred children from the Galilee town of Kfar Tabor will sing Happy Birthday to President Shimon Peres Tuesday night, complete with a birthday cake and candles.

His birthday on the English calendar was August 2.

The ageing and ageless president works dawn to night on a schedule that would tire out most people half his age. Tuesday morning, he met with visiting Chinese Chief of …

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Chesed Week: Kids of Courage

Dying sucks, it’s one of those things I hate to reminded of and quite frankly like most people I like to think of myself as immortal, but being a kid who knows you’re gonna die soon sucks even more and that’s where kids of courage comes in to try and  improve the lives of terminally ill children.

A dear fan of mine in Palo Alto has been bugging me for sometime to write about …

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What Chinese People Think about Jews

What Chinese People Think about Jews

My last post began with a list of stereotypes about Jews. We tell jokes; we like Chinese food; etc. While living and teaching in central China a few years ago, I ran into a few stereotypes that were new to me. I was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guizhou Province teaching English at a university WAY off the beaten path. I was one of a small handful of foreigners –- and the only …

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