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Title: Jewish Woman Next Door
Author: Debby Flancbaum
Publisher: Urim Publications
Urim Publications (Israel) excels in producing wonderful intellectual content to the reading world and The Jewish Woman Next Door is another example of such excellence.
The introduction to Debby Flancbaum’s book underscores a terrible injustice in mainstream media: the subtle anti-Semitism of portraying Jewish women in vulgar, unflattering manner and then cashing in on the canard. Flancbaum explains that she wants to set the reality record straight ” and positively showcase Jewish women as they are, not as they appear in the media.” The author succeeds with a compelling cross-section of heroics by Jewish women from various streams of Jewish life.
Each chapter in this 135-page hardcover describes how specific Jewish females saved one person or many people. Holocaust refugees or Syrian Jews trapped behind governmental lies and machinations found safe haven in the USA due to specific Jewish women who simply decided to save them and figured out how to do so.
One woman taught the IDF how to help bereaved fiancées deal with the pain of losing a soldier to whom they’d been engaged to marry. Other Jewish women around the globe, represented in this book, made additionally impressive contributions to society. Bereaved parents heal the pain of loneliness of similarly affected adults by sponsoring Pregnancy Loss workshops and social outings in which participants understand each other though they are strangers at first meeting.
Other women teach the public how to psychologically help someone going through extensive hospitalization and/or treatments, even how to help recovering Jewish addicts. A Jewish teen takes the devastating consequences of the tragic administration of DES and becomes an activist helping DES cancer victims with her award-winning film (A Healthy Baby Girl). Another heroine translates the Torah portions into universally- understood Sign Language for hearing impaired Jews.
There are other stories in The Jewish Woman Next Door and each one deserves repeated readings. The details of how these women persevered until they succeeded are lessons for the ages.
Famed journalist Ruth Gruber posed as a WW II general, with White House insistence and assistance for the sake of her safety, during the perilous mission she initiated to save Holocaust survivors. Jewish women, from Geneva to Westchester and elsewhere, involve their youngsters and neighbors when working with the organization, Tzahal Shalom so that disfigured IDF soldiers can lose their inhibitions and rejoin the world with active social lives and productive careers.
Someone else uses her wits and braves relevant dangers to create a “Peace Through Humor” project that brings Druze, Jewish and Muslim children together in socially enhancing activities. Jewish women with medical skills help whomever they can, regardless of race, religion or other irrelevant factors.
This book helps combat the all-too-frequent insulting portrayals of Jewish women in popular culture. The Jewish Woman Next Door is a book that deserves to be in your home, synagogue and community library.
Yocheved Golani is the author of “It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry if I Need To: A Life Book for Helping You to Dry Your Tears and Cope with a Medical Challenge.”