I recently received two different books on similar themes of cooking and eating with Jewish spiritual mindfulness. While recording interviews with these two authors didn't fit into my plans, I did think you'd be interested in learning more about these titles.
SPIRITUAL KNEADING by Dahlia Abraham Klein
Dahlia says, "Long before I was conducting Rosh Chodesh groups in my home, I was introduced to challah baking by my friend, Brenda. She invited me to her home on a Thursday night to participate in a Segula Challah bake. It was my very first time baking challah. It was touching, I thought, that Brenda and I were part of the forty women from around the community, baking in our own homes — all connecting to a shared intention. There was something very holy and meditative about the whole process. In a sense, I felt like I was part of the pulse of the Jewish heartbeat.
The next day, I adorned my Shabbat table with these fresh, homemade challahs, covered with a very colorful African-inspired challah cover — an ode to my South African husband’s roots. My husband, Mervin, oohed and aahed with every bite. His appreciation, combined with the experience of the segulah challah bake, inspired me to begin trying to bake challah for Shabbat regularly.
At that time, I was also participating in a women’s meditation group, which is where I met a brilliant Torah scholar, Jocelyn. It was during one of our discussions that Jocelyn told me that gatherings of women were an inherent part of Judaism. She told me about Rosh Chodesh and how it was a woman’s holiday, and that was when my idea of creating a Rosh Chodesh Challah Baking group came to me. When I shared my idea with Jocelyn, she excitedly pointed me to numerous Torah references on challah. I discovered that there is even an entire tractate in the Mishna called Challah. Through serious study, I found ways to connect baking challah with a relevant theme of each Jewish month."
JEWISH SOUL FOOD by Carol Ungar
Carol says, "With so many who don't have Moms or bubbies to hand down recipes, I decided to fill in; my book is a surrogate bubbie. I'm a bubbie myself but I'm bubbieless--both my father's and mother's mothers were killed in Auschwitz. I organized Jewish Soul Food
around Jewish time, Shabbat and the holidays and each recipe is accompanied by mini essay explaining it's meaning and/ or connection to the holidays.There are drawings with instructions and 26 specially shaped challahs you can bake all through the year."
Challah Shapes from Jewish Soul Food on PhotoPeach
Librarian Ana Kurland has created a LibGuide to help readers find multicultural Jewish books for children and adults, and she credits The Book of Life's Diversity episode as the resource that made it possible!
What is a Multicultural Jewish Family?
It can be anything.
It can be a family with parents of different backgrounds. One could be Ashkenazi, one Sephardic. One could have been raised in the USA, and the other in Israel or Argentina.
They can all be Jewish, or be interfaith.
They can be of different races, ethnic groups, or native languages.
It can have children of different backgrounds.
She invites your suggestions of titles to add to the list. Check out her LibGuide here
, and email Ana
if you have additional titles to share.
I don't know if it's too late to participate in this questionnaire, but the form is still up so let's give it a whirl. NPR asks "What's your favorite podcast episode?"
If you enjoy The Book of Life, consider sharing a favorite episode with NPR listeners! Maybe you appreciated the recent discussion of diversity. Maybe you enjoy the coverage of events like Book Expo America. Maybe you recall fondly (as I do) the time Simms Taback sang a Yiddish song on the show! (That was in August, 2006.)
Click here to access the form and tell NPR about The Book of Life! Bonus points if you share the URL.
Thanks for helping more people learn about the show!
I am thrilled to share with the you winners of the 2015 Sydney Taylor Book Awards for Jewish children's and teen literature! A blog tour will feature interviews with gold and silver medalists, February 8-13, 2015 - watch the AJL blog for details. The gold medalists will be presented with their awards at the 50th annual conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries in Washington DC this June. Mazel tov to all the authors and illustrators and their publishers!
If you haven't tried it yet, take the Sydney Taylor Buzzfeed Quiz "Which All-of-a-Kind Family Sibling Are You?" Awards committee member Elissa Gershowitz and her Horn Book colleague Shoshana Flax were instrumental in creating the quiz!
|Elissa Gershowitz (STBA committee member) with podcaster Heidi Estrin|
at the 2014 AJL Conference
THE 2015 SYDNEY TAYLOR BOOK AWARDS
ANNOUNCED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH LIBRARIES
The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers:
My Grandfather’s Coat by Jim Aylesworth with illustrations by Barbara McClintock
The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Older Readers:
Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier & Greg Salsedo with illustrations by Marc LIzano
(First Second, and imprint of an imprint of Roaring Brook Press)
The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Teen Readers:
Storm by Donna Jo Napoli
(a Paula Wiseman Book, published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Younger Readers:
Goldie Takes a Stand by Barbara Krasner with illustrations by Kelsey Garrity-Riley
(Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.)
Never Say a Mean Word Again by Jacqueline Jules with illustrations by Durga Yael Bernhard
Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Older Readers:
Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart
The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren , illustrated by Fabio Santomauro
(Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.)
Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Teen Readers:
Isabel’s War by Lila Perl
(Lizzie Skurnick Books, an imprint of IG Publishing)
Like No Other by Una LaMarche
(Razor Bill, an imprint of Penguin Group)
Notable Books for Younger Readers:
Anna & Solomon by Elaine Snyder illustrated by Harry Bliss
Here is the World by Lesléa Newman illustrated by Susan Gal
(Abrams Books for Young Readers)
The Mitten String by Jennifer Rosner illustrated by Kristina Swarner
(Random House Books for Young Readers)
Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons by Alice B. McGinty illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
Simon and the Bear by Eric Kimmel illustrated by Matthew Trueman
The Story of Passover by David A. Adler illustrated by Jill Weber
Notable Books for Older Readers:
Fleabrain Loves Franny by Joanne Rocklin
(Harry N. Abrams)
From Foe to Friend & Other Stories: A Graphic Novel by S.Y. Agnon and illustrated by Shay Charka
(The Toby Press)
I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosin illustrated by Lee White
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Schools of Hope: How Julius Rosenwald Helped Changed African American Education
by Norman Finkelstein
Under the Egg, by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
( Penguin Young Readers)
Notable Books for Teens:
Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi by Susan Goldman Rubin
Gottika by Helaine Becker illustrated by Alexander Griggs-Burr
(Dancing Cat Books)
Playing for the Commandant by Suzy Zail
Prisoner of Night & Fog by Anne Blankman
(Balzer + Bray)
Rachel’s Hope by Shelly Sanders
(Second Story Press)
The Association of Jewish Libraries
has teamed up with The Horn Book
and Lizzie Skurnick Books
to create a fun Buzzfeed quiz, "Which All-of-a-Kind Family
Sibling Are You?"All-of-a-Kind Family
is a classic of Jewish-American literature, the first book in a series about five sisters growing up on the Lower East Side at the turn of the last century. The character of Sarah in the books represented the author herself, Sydney Taylor. In memory of Taylor's literary achievement, the Association of Jewish Libraries presents the annual Sydney Taylor Book Awards
to the best in Jewish children's literature. The 2015 winners will be announced in a matter of weeks, as of this writing!
The quiz is very entertaining, and a fun way to share your excitement about the upcoming award announcements! Take the quiz here
, and share your results on social media! (Full disclosure: I got Ella!)
I will be attending BookExpo America this year and I'm very excited!
As in past years, I'll be recording interviews for The Book of Life
, and I'll be talking to publishers about the Sydney Taylor Book Award
(I'm past chair of the award committee, so I like to promote it whenever I can).
Here's a message from the current awards chair, Diane Rauchwerger, for all you publishers out there:
Entries are now being considered for the 2015 Sydney Taylor Award, which recognizes the best children's literature of Jewish content. We would like to invite you to submit any children's books with a 2014 copyright that meets the criteria below. In order to be considered, a review copy must be sent to each of the nine members of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. No application form is necessary; simply mail the books to each member in a package labeled "Sydney Taylor Book Award Submission."
The awards will be announced in January, 2015. To ensure that the committee has enough time to evaluate all of the submissions, there is no guarantee that books received after November 30, 2014 will be considered for the awards. Please send submissions as soon as they are available. The committee is happy to receive a pre-publication version while waiting for the bound book.
The criteria used to evaluate books for the Sydney Taylor Book Award are:
1. The book has literary merit.
2. The book has positive or authentic Jewish religious or cultural content.
3. The book is appropriate for the intended grade level in style, vocabulary, format, and illustration.
4. Whether fiction or nonfiction, the book is solidly rooted in authentic and accurate detail through scholarship and research by the author.
5. Textbooks and reprints are not eligible, although revised editions and re-illustrated editions are eligible.
You can read about past years' awards at the www.SydneyTaylorBookAward.org, a section of the website of the Association of Jewish Libraries. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. The committee looks forward to evaluating your new books.
Diane Rauchwerger, Chair
Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee
The Association of Jewish Libraries