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Book Review Stream

This stream is dedicated to articles about book reviews.

Off the Shelf: Another haggadah – this time by Tablet

I have a friend who collects haggadot (the plural of haggadah). She’s always looking for new and interesting ones for her collection. That means finding those with either beautiful illustrations, contemporary readings or new commentary. I don’t think of myself as a collector and have tur…

Off the Shelf: Jewish food studies by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Wikipedia defines the discipline of food studies as “the critical examination of food and its contexts within science, art, history, society and other fields. It is distinctive from other food-related areas of study such as nutrition, agriculture, gastronomy and culinary arts in that it te…

Off the Shelf: Views of the past by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

One reason to read historical novels is to gain insight into our ancestors’ lives. Of course, it’s impossible for authors to completely rid themselves of contemporary notions and totally understand the sensibilities of those who lived centuries ago. However, written works from those time…

Off the Shelf: History through letters by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

With the advent of the Internet, many people now stay in contact with family and friends through electronic means. Some discourage printing the letters and/or documents due to ecological concerns. Yet, it is physical documents that can help historians uncover what occurred in past decades an…

Off the Shelf: Life in the Catskills by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Jewish life in the Catskill Mountains during the 20th century took a variety of forms. Some people lived in the villages all year-round, while others came only for the summer. Some visitors spent their vacations in fancy hotels that catered to their every whim, while others owned small vacat…