Celebrating Jewish Literature: Jewish food from across the world

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Pages from “P is for Pastrami: The ABCs of Jewish Food” by Alan Silberberg. (Photos used with the permission of Penguin/Random House)

Confession: I frequently anthropomorphize objects from stuffed animals to mechanical devices. Yes, I can assign almost any in…

Celebrating Jewish Literature: A mystery, a rom-com and a generational saga

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

A mystery 

There’s nothing like a good murder to bring three generations together. OK, not everyone would agree with that statement. In fact, in “Mother-Daughter Murder Night” by Nina Simon (William Morrow), Beth wishes her mother, Lena, would concentrate on…

Celebrating Jewish Literature: Finding your life path

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Some novels are difficult to define because they combine elements of several genres. For example, “A Shot in the Dark” by Victoria Lee (Dell ) and “The Breakaway” by Jennifer Weiner (Atria Books) are definitely not rom-coms, although their plots contain a he…

Celebrating Jewish Literature: Adjusting to different worlds

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Jewish history is filled with fascinating tales. Sometimes, though, it takes fiction to make these stories come alive: a novel can fill in thoughts and emotions to which historians rarely have access. That’s shown in two recent novels; “Our Little Histories” b…

Celebrating Jewish Literature: Yearning for real connections

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Americans are facing an epidemic of loneliness, at least according to newspaper articles. These reports note that people feel they have few friends and even fewer people they can count on in times of need. Rabbi Sharon Brous recognizes this desire for connections …