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Celebrating Jewish Literature: Family, friends and other connections

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The phrase “a woman’s novel” is considered an insult in many literary circles, as if the deeds of daily life can be easily dismissed and are of interest only to women. For me, a woman’s novel encompasses a wide range of basic and important human behaviors th…

Celebrating Jewish Literature: Exploring emotions and the past

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Making jGirls voices heard

Adults often look back at their youth through rose-colored glasses. But life is not always easy for the teenagers, something that becomes clear in the poems, stories, essays and artwork by Jewish teens that appear in “Salt and Honey: Je…

Celebrating Jewish Literature: In Germany before the war

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Novels that take place in Germany when the Nazis began to control the country, but before World War II and the Holocaust occurred, can offer a different perspective on the feelings of German Jews. Two recent works – “Reunion” by Fred Uhlman (Everyman’s Libra…

Celebrating Jewish Literature: The Prague Ghetto and Chelm

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

When writing Jewish fiction, one important consideration is the general tone of the work. Of course, that decision may be partly based on when a particular story or novel was written. Take, for example, Siegfried Kapper’s “Tales of the Prague Ghetto” (Karolinu…

Celebrating Jewish Literature: Exploring biblical personalities

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Is it really possible to analyze a biblical character? The text itself offers limited information, which means that these analytical works often either focus on a specific aspect of the story or use additional, non-biblical material to supplement and expand what is …