Curious George Goes to Arkansas…From Nazi-Occupied France

Curious George Goes to Arkansas…From Nazi-Occupied France

You’ve probably known Curious George all your life, right? You remember when he pranked the fire department, when he got a job, and maybe even when he learned his ABCs. You might even know that he had his share of real-life adventures as well. It’s such a cool story, in fact, that an exhibit has been touring the country, and is currently on display at the Laman Library in North Little Rock,…

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Ever wished you knew where your great-great-grandparents were buried? Ever wanted to visit the grave of a distant relative but don’t know where to find it? There’s a new social network designed to help you out.

Shelly Furman Asa has created Neshama.info, a website where you can search for the location of graves of ordinary people. Asa got the idea when she realized that there were sites that helped you find graves for Israeli soldiers killed in battleHolocaust victims, and heroes of various stripes, but none for everyday Jews who died in everyday circumstances.

A New, Digital Wonderland of Jewish Text: Sefaria

A New, Digital Wonderland of Jewish Text: Sefaria

Imagine a digital wonderland where every Jewish text is available free and open-source, where the extraordinary expanse of our texts are waiting to be combed, prodded, and commented upon by interested parties the world over. Good news: this exists.

Started by writer Joshua Foer and techie Brett Lockspeiser—two Jews with a passion for text—Sefariatakes the Jews’ bookish legacy and gives it a…

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So excited for this graphic novel!

In the beginning, there was the Lower East Side – the place where it all began for hundreds of thousands of Eastern European Jews. Crowded, dirty, poor. Home to more hopes and tragedies than should ever be squeezed into two square miles.

Author-artist Leela Corman perfectly captures the tumult and heartbreak of the neighborhood circa 1910 in her graphic novel Unterzakhn (Yiddish for “underthings”). It’s the story of twin sisters growing up in relentless poverty with an overbearing mother, whose lives take dramatically different paths. Death stalks nearly every page – death by horse cart, by botched abortion, by Cossacks (in a flashback). If tragedy isn’t your thing, you might not love this one – but if amazing illustrations are, you will.

Read more here.

The Ladder by Hamutal Bar-Yose

The Ladder by Hamutal Bar-Yose

For most of Israel’s existence, the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea has been discussed as the site of human conflict. But with the poem that opens the latest English translation (by Esther Cameron) of her selected poems, The Ladder, Tel Aviv-based poet Hamutal Bar-Yosef offers another view of the region, as “an overgrazed, ashen growth that produces small purple miracles…

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Fear of Flying by Erica Jong

Fear of Flying by Erica Jong

What modern lovers refer to as “casual sex” was, at one time, known by a very different, very transgressive name.

In 1973, Jewish American writer Erica Jong infamously published Fear of Flying, a radical novel that immediately garnered attention from all sides for its progressive views of female sexuality. The book—about a young poet who accompanies her second husband to Vienna for his…

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The Property by Rutu Modan

In a complicated tale of family ties, old loves, and chutzpadik tourists, an Israeli granddaughter and grandmother set off for Warsaw to file a property restitution claim. It could read like a madcap adventure, but in Israeli graphic novelist Rutu Modan’s graphic novel The Property, it’s an engrossing and sweet story of individuals struggling to live and love against the background of a dark history.

The Property Hardcover by Rutu Modan

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What Ever Happened to Italy’s Jews?

We usually think of historical fiction as storytelling that attempts to simulate the events and atmosphere of the past—but what if historical fiction recreated not the past itself, but the historian’s process of trying to put the past back together?

Trieste, a newly translated novel by Croatian writer Dasa Drndic does just that. In northern Italy, surrounded by a lifetime of artifacts—newspaper clippings, photographs, biographies of S.S. officers, transcripts from war crimes trials, lists of names—retired mathematician Haya Tedeschi struggles to assemble a coherent narrative of her family’s lost Jewishness, their persecution under Fascism, and the disappearance of her son…

Trieste by Dasa Drndic

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Chinese Self-Help Books Teach You to Be Like the Jews

Chinese Self-Help Books Teach You to Be Like the Jews

Head to the self-help or business section at a bookstore in China and you’re likely to see books with titles like Learn To Make Money With the Jews, and Jewish People and Business: The Bible of How to Live Their Lives. These cringy titles might suggest something weird, or even anti-Semitic, but they’re actually part of a booming philo-Semitic culture in China, where Jews are widely perceived as…

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More All-Of-A-Kind Family Paperback by Sydney Taylor

More All-Of-A-Kind Family Paperback by Sydney Taylor

All-of-a-Kind Family, the mid-century classic Sydney Taylor children’s series of Lower East Side literature, is back!

And not in an “Oh how awful, they tarted up 80’s kid favorite Strawberry Shortcake” kind of way. Lizzie Skurnick has gone from reminiscing fondly about the books for Jezebel to re-releasing the novels—about a loving, working-class Jewish family of five girls and, finally, a baby…

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Moyshe Kulbak: The Zelmenyaners: A Family Saga

Moyshe Kulbak: The Zelmenyaners: A Family Saga

A Forgotten Satire of Yiddishe Mamas and Soviet Fools

Stories of a bustling courtyard populated by hapless sages and wise young fools fill Moyshe Kulbak’s classic satirical novel of Soviet Minsk. It’s a compelling, tender read, newly translated by Hillel Halkin with a rich introduction by Jewniverse’s own Sasha Senderovich.

The premise is familiar from other beloved Yiddish works—think Sholem…

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Testimony: The Legacy of Schindler’s List and the USC Shoah Foundation

After creating Schindler’s List, the film which is likely America’s—perhaps the world’s—surest narrative lifeline to the Holocaust, director Steven Spielberg began the daunting project of creating the Shoah Foundation, an archive of video testimonies from survivors and other eyewitnesses.

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