Executive Editor Stream

Off the Shelf: A biography, a memoir and a history by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Courage and determination: that’s what ties the stories found in the three non-fiction works in this review. Whether it’s fighting for the right of workers to unionize, helping the French resistance, or using a road race to symbolically represent a defeat of fascism, each character or na…

In My Own Words: Remembering Larry by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

July 2020 marks the 10th yahrzeit (anniversary of death) of my little brother Larry. He was six-and-a-half years younger than me and a very important part of my life from the time he was born until the day he died.

Larry was born with a hole in his heart and developmental disabilities, in h…

Off the Shelf: Different styles of love by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Sometimes when looking at a book featuring a love story, I end up debating to which genre it belongs. Would it be placed on the romance shelves of a bookstore or with works of literary fiction? The reason for my debate is that I like to judge a work by what the author is attempting to accomp…

Off the Shelf: Family and finding a home by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

How do people determine what city or country feels like home? This question was raised by two recent memoirs: “I Want You to Know We’re Still Here: A Post-Holocaust Memoir” by Esther Safran Foer (Tim Duggan Books) and “I Belong to Vienna: A Jewish Family’s Story of Exile and Return…

In My Own Words: Changing the police force by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I grew up with mixed feelings about the police. On the one hand, I was told that the police were the ones who would help me if I was lost or in danger. On the other hand, music from the Broadway show “Fiorello,” which tells the story of Fiorello La Guardia, regularly played in our househ…