Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
The event space at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at New York City’s famous Lincoln Square plays host to a stream of important book readings and signings. One recent gathering brought together four diverse children and young adult book authors, each reading from their individual creations that shared one common theme: Israel.
The authors – Sonia Levitin, Kathy Walden Kaplan, Mark H. Podwal and Tammar Stein – each had works selected for inclusion on the Anti-Defamation League’s new Israel Book Connections list. The list, a new addition to the ADL’s website, is designed as a resource for educators.
The event drew an enthusiastic audience that included local educators and librarians. Dana Lehrman, librarian at the Jane Addams Vocational High School in the South Bronx, said that the books featured at the reading had the potential for wide appeal to her students.
“I work in a public high school where the student population is mostly black and Hispanic, but I think it’s very valuable for me to be involved in a multicultural forum like this,” Lehrman said.
She said that the fact that the students at her school had no personal connection to Israel did not dissuade them from reading books such as the ones presented at the reading.
“The universality of good literature is recognized by teenagers,” she said.
Levitin, the most prolific of the authors in attendance, with over 40 different books published to date, had two of her works named to the ADL’s list: The Return, a story of the Ethiopian Jewish immigration to Israel, both written and set in the 1980′s, and The Singing Mountain, her 1998 novel about a youth’s religious transformation after a visit to Israel.
At the reading, Levitin recalled how she visited Israel for the first time in the wake of Operation Moses, which in the course of several weeks in 1985 brought some 6,500 Ethiopian Jews to Israel via Sudan. By the early 1990′s, Levitin had already visited Israel 14 times.
Israel, as seen through Levitin’s writing, is a sacred land of hope, immersed in history and meaning. The wide-eyed explorations that her protagonists experience in Israel mirror the author’s own convictions – that Israel is a land of wonder, unlike any other place in the world.
”I think that everybody who goes to Israel, whether they are Jewish or they are not Jewish, feels a connection right away.”
Kathy Walden Kaplan lived in Haifa for only a short time in the early 1970′s, but it made a lasting impression. Kaplan, who is perhaps best known for her career in sculpture, experienced the Yom Kippur War while in Israel, and eventually retold her story through the eyes of children and a stray dog some three decades later in her book, The Dog of Knots.
Kaplan said that since her book was published in 2004, many school librarians have embraced it and added this unusual historical novel to student reading lists.
“The dog is very symbolic of the problems in the region that may seem intractable and unmanageable,” Kaplan said.
Even through the backdrop of war, the dog became a focal point that bonded the neighborhood together and reinforced the strength of humanity and compassion during a tumultuous moment in history, reviewers noted.
Tammar Stein’s Light Years takes place during another difficult time in Israel’s history. In her 2005 novel, set in Israel and the United States in the late 1990′s, Stein’s heroine, Maya, is forced to confront the reality of losing a loved one in a terror attack.
Stein, who has lived extensively in Israel and the United States, said that while it would be unfair to define Israel by the terrorism to which it has been subjected, she did not wish to shy away from the subject in her work. She said she spent five years working on the book, striving to develop her characters in the most realistic and honest manner possible, drawing on her relationships with real Israelis.
“[The way Israel often appeared in the media] really gave the impression to people who have never been to Israel and don’t know much about the country that it is a very backwards and dangerous kind of place . . . [I wanted to] show what it is like to be an intelligent, modern person and have to deal with [the specter of terrorism] and how traumatic it is to deal with that,” Stein said.
Her book goes on to depict the breadth of Israeli life beyond the conflict, as she felt it should, since that is the reality, and realism was her goal.
Stein said the Israel of Light Years is as much “about a lot of the wonderful aspects of the country, the modernity, the nightlife, the amazing foods and even the high-tech industry,” as it is about the challenges of living in a time of terrorism.
Mark H. Podwal’s book, Jerusalem Sky: Stars, Crosses and Crescents, was published in 2005 and is intended for the youngest of audiences. As such, its popularity draws as much from Podwal’s experience as an illustrator as a writer.
Podwal told the audience how his ecumenical story illuminates for the youngest of readers the role of Jerusalem as the holiest place for Jews, as well as its holiness to Christians and Moslems.
While the stories each author brought to the reading were very different from each other, the unique and multifaceted cultural wealth of Israel was the common denominator that unified the reading.
About the Author:
Comments are closed.
Dear Dr. Yael:
Do you really believe that the Internet is the reason why the divorce rate is so high among young couples? This may be so in some cases, but what about the fact that many singles are pressured to get married at a young age despite not having any idea what they are looking for in a mate? And add to that the fact that many are pressured to make a decision about marriage after dating for a very short period of time.
From the moment they stand under the chuppah, newlyweds have two years to enjoy the special bliss that new love brings. This new finding, reported by the New York Times, is based on a study undertaken by American and European researchers. 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over 15 years were followed. The research shows that after two years the couples moved into a more companionable state in their relationships.
Shel Silverstein’s 1974 poem “Where The Sidewalk Ends” is intended to paint a magical picture of a world of peace and serenity far away from the “black and dark streets.” At the time, perhaps the end of the sidewalk was a place that was “measured and slow.” Today, however, for many parents, where the sidewalk ends can feel like a scary place.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Florida is famous for sparkling water. We have the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico surrounding our coast. We have bays, lakes, canals and, of course, an incredible abundance of swimming pools in homes, resorts, apartment complexes and city parks.
The buzz is back as Camp Gan Israel Florida Overnight gears up for another fantastic summer, CGI Florida style. What makes CGI Florida so different from all the other overnight camps? It’s all in the details.
Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
There is always a lot of confusion surrounding sensory processing disorder – mainly because there are many different diagnoses that fall under the catch-all phrase sensory processing disorder (SPD). Among them are three specific subcategories:
The doctor had warned us that even if we did everything right and followed the protocol after the follicle was of the right size, there was no guarantee of success. Fertilization still had to occur, and just like couples do not necessarily become pregnant every month, we had no way to know if we were actually expecting for two full weeks.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
The event space at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at New York City’s famous Lincoln Square plays host to a stream of important book readings and signings.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/telling-israels-stories-to-kids/2007/01/31/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: