viagra without a doctor prescription usa cialis otc cost of viagra viagra cialis levitra comparison

Tag : Kidlit

July 16, 2020 by

Reading The Diary

Had she lived, Anne Frank would be turning 75 in 2004. Her diary has sold millions of copies in more than 55 languages since it was first published in Dutch in 1947. Naomi Danis elicits some new reactions to the most-read book about the Holocaust.

Continue Reading

  • No Comments
  •  

June 25, 2020 by

Books for the 90s

These books tackle issues which are only now the topics of public discussion with children: senility, body image, divorce. Many of them also portray Judaism infused with feminism, with mothers as rabbis and women taking major roles in the classic biblical tales. An idiosyncratic sampler:

Belinda’s Bouquet (Alyson Publications, 1991), by Leslea Newman, handles the self-image problems girls face from our culture’s pervasive pressures to starve themselves. Newman also wrote Heather Has Two Mommies (Alyson Publications. 1989), a story of one girl’s acceptance of her lesbian parents.

Grandma’s Soup (Kar-Ben, 1989), by Nancy Karkowsky, poignantly shows how one girl copes with the slow onset of her beloved grandmother’s mental deterioration, while emphasizing the family’s continued love.

Once I Was a Plum Tree (Morrow, 1980), by Johanna Hurwitz, is the story of a girl who has to teach herself about her Jewish identity because her family is so assimilated.

Ima On the Bima (Kar-Ben, 1986), by Mindy Avra Portnoy, shows how some mommies are rabbis too (and some rabbis mommies), in a natural and comfortable depiction of a girl and her mother’s Jewish rituals. Another of Portnoy’s books. Mommy Never Went To Hebrew School (Kar-Ben, 1989), tells how one child learns to understand that his mommy didn’t grow up Jewish.

Who Will Make Kiddush? (UAHC Press, 1985), by Barbara Pomerantz, shows how a family doesn’t need to lose stability after the parents divorce. The family’s Judaism and daughter’s special relationship with each parent continue.

Esther’s Story (Morrow Junior Books, 1996), by Dianne Wolkstein, is one of many new books of feminist midrash, with its 14- year-old Purim heroine going from orphan to queen. Similar is But God Remembered (Jewish Lights, 1995), by Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso; she creates four new tales about oft-forgotten biblical women, including our own Lilith.

 

Continue Reading

  • No Comments
  •  

June 25, 2020 by

Powerful Adolescent Girls

Tragedy, courage, chance, loss and healing, fear and hope— women who survived the Holocaust as youngsters are telling their stories for young readers. Four Perfect Pebbles by Lila Perl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan (Greenwillow, 1996); Parallel Journeys by Eleanor Ayer (Atheneum, 1995); Hiding to Survive edited by Maxine B. Rosenberg (Clarion, 1994); and The Holocaust Lady by Ruth Minsky Sender (Macmillan, 1992) are recent examples. These join memoirs such as Aranka Siegal’s Upon the Head of the Goat, Johanna Reiss’s The Upstairs Room; Esther Hautzig’s The Endless Steppe and Judith Kerr’s fictionalized autobiography When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, in documenting, with great spirit, this terrible chapter of human history, which we read about in The Diary of Anne Frank.

Young readers apprehensive about this subject can approach it with some of their most beloved novelists. In Judy Blume’s Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself (Bantam, 1977) Sally, in 1947 Florida, is certain that an elderly neighbor is Hitler in disguise and determines to help capture him. In Jane Yolen’s The Devil’s Arithmetic (Puffin, 1990), a bored Hannah Stern opens the door at her family seder in Brooklyn, circa 1990, to step into a Polish shtetl in 1942 on the eve of a Nazi roundup.

Several authors who are not Jewish also write about the Holocaust. Anti-Semitism, these authors are saying, is not only the problem of Jews, but of those who hate them, and of those who witness that hate. Eve Bunting’s picture book Terrible Things (Jewish Publication Society, 1989) is an allegorical treatment. Novelist Lois Lowry in Number the Stars (Dell, 1989) tells of brave ten-year-old girlfriends in Denmark, one from a righteous gentile family who helps her family and others escape the Nazis. And Laura Williams tells of a thirteen-year-old Hitler Youth group member who discovers her parents are hiding a Jewish family—Behind the Bedroom Wall (Milkweed, 1996).

It’s no surprise that a post-Holocaust generation of powerful adolescent Jewish girls are portrayed in fiction set in Israel. Feminism (females are human) and Zionism (Jews are human), are woven seamlessly in Israeli author Gila Almagor’s Under the Domim Tree (Simon and Schuster, 1995). The female protagonist shares the growing pains of young survivors at a residential school who, having lost the important grownups in their lives, learn to be family to each other. In Nessa Rapoport’s Preparing for Sabbath (Biblio Press—currently out of print), a religious teenage girl in the maelstrom of the 1970′s searches for love and spirituality in the Holy Land. And Lynne Reid Banks brings us, in Broken Bridge (William Morrow, 1993), a young Canadian immigrant to Israel, Nili, who explores complicated issues of Israeli- Arab co-existence through her controversial decision to keep a secret.

Historical fiction of an earlier period, not to be missed, includes Miriam Chaiken’s I Should Worry, I Should Care (Harper, 1979), set in Brooklyn; Karen Hesse’s A Time of Angels (Hyperion, 1995), set in the 1918 worldwide flu epidemic; and Johanna Hurwitz’s The Rabbi’s Girls (Morrow, 1982) set in the 1920′s in the American Midwest. Real life role models spring from biographies such as Betty Friedan: Fighter for Women’s Rights (Enslow, 1990) by Sondra Henry and Emily Taitz, Our Golda (Viking, 1986) by David Adler, and Molly Picon: A Gift of Laughter (Jewish Publication Society, 1990) by Lila Perl.

Continue Reading

  • No Comments
  •  

June 25, 2020 by

Jewish (But Not Feminist)

When we set out to re-examine the books which influenced us religiously, we needed to ask, where are the girls and women? Many otherwise good books wound us with their absence of female characters. Although these works were very important to our development as Jews, the Judaism they model is incomplete.

Chaim Potok, for example, gives us novels for teens and adults about traditionally observant men who grapple with complex religious and emotional issues. The Chosen and The Promise tell of two friends from different religious backgrounds (read: Chassidic and Modern Orthodox) who confront divergent expectations for their futures. My Name is Asher Lev is a narrative of a young ultra-Orthodox painter who must reconcile his artistic impulses with his strict religious teachings. These books (often assigned to junior high school students) delineate the conflicts these men feel between their personal aspirations and their religious fervor.

The novel which most influenced my own religious development was Milton Steinberg’s As a Driven leaf (Behrman House, 1939, recently reissued), the fictionalized and spiced-up story of the sage and heretic Elisha Ben Abuya, which I read at 14. This book shows Elisha grappling with whether belief in God should motivate his religious observance. While I disagreed with his conclusion—if you don’t believe, you shouldn’t practice Judaism—I definitely empathized with his inability to see God in his everyday life. But there is no female counterpart to Elisha. Even Bruriah, a potential female Tannaitic role model, is Just used as a love interest in the book, following the theory that only men have earth-shattering religious struggles.

These few books are key in defining the challenges which face intellectual religious Jews. Where are the novels about women wrestling with these spiritual crises? Potok’s underappreciated Davita’s Harp has its eponymous female character, but she rarely grapples seriously with the religious issues which so absorb the men in Steinberg’s and Potok’s books. Although these texts can help us develop into thoughtful Jews, they’re little help transforming us into aware Jewish women.

Continue Reading

  • No Comments
  •  

June 25, 2020 by

Feminist (But Not Jewish)

While discussing in the LILITH office the young adult books that influenced us the most, we were all struck—despite the wide range in our ages—by the incompleteness of many of the books we’d read. Lots of our favorite books had strong female role models, but no Jewish content. Others had powerful Jewish characters, but were far too… well, male. Our literature presented us with a very compartmentalized picture: we learned how to be women, we learned how to be Jews. But where were the Jewish women?

Our nominees in the “Feminist (but not Jewish)” category were not so different from those of our respondents: Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie and Little Women, with their strong and somewhat iconoclastic female role models. Betty Smith’s books, notably A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Joy in the Morning, still reach readers today with their realistic and exhilarating stories of life in poverty torn Brooklyn. (Despite scattered anti-Semitic passages, many of us had the sense that Francie and other characters felt Jewish, even when they obviously weren’t. What do we make of that?)

Some of the most familiar and admired personae in modern children’s literature are women, attracting a wide spectrum of adolescent readers, both male and female. Cynthia Voight’s books about Dicey Tillerman and her family {Homecoming and Dicey’s Song, among others) feature many powerfully nonconformist women of all generations, such as the teenage Dicey, who leads her siblings across the East Coast, and the unconventional grandmother who takes them in. Madeleine L’Engle’s books, too, are replete with female role models, though very Christian: Meg and her scientist mom in the award-winning A Wrinkle in Time fantasy series are two.

In a category all by itself is Judy Blume’s assortment of wonderful books for teens and young adults. Many girls, teetering on the edge of puberty, turn to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret for their first exposure to issues of adolescence in a humorous and personal way. Her novels that portray young women coping with a parent’s death (Tiger Eyes) and divorce (It’s Not The End Of The World) have proved invaluable for young adults going through these difficult times. Several of her books also contain Jewish characters; in Margaret, the protagonist struggles with her parents’ intermarriage as she these to ”choose” one religion in sixth grade.

 

Continue Reading

  • No Comments
  •  

June 25, 2020 by

Finding Else Ury’s Suitcase at Auschwitz

When I was a child in Germany in the 1930s, Else Ury was the most popular author of children’s books, credited with close to forty publications. Her most popular series of books was Nesthaekchen, or Fledgling, a detailed ten-volume chronicle. The books were best-sellers, eagerly read by children growing up in the turbulent days of Hitler’s rise to power.

My girlfriends and I, Jewish and non-Jewish, passed the volumes among us, making sure that we had not omitted a single one. While the first volume dealt with Nesthaekchen’s life in the nursery with her dolls and toys, succeeding books took the reader through her first school year, her stay in a children’s home, her teens, marriage, motherhood and finally grand motherhood.

The narrative was uncomplicated, the adventures innocent yet appealing. What drew us to the stories? Most of us could hardly identify with the little girl with blond curls and blue eyes who lived in an affluent home. We felt that our world was no longer secure. Life had changed for the girls in Hitler’s Germany We were aware of the marching brown shirts and the growing anti-Semitism. Gentile girls were coerced into wearing the uniform of the Hitler Youth and were taught loyalty to the swastika above obedience to family.

Our lives were a far cry from the life described by Else Ury. Her books were non-political and non-denominational. Few people knew that she was Jewish.

In May of 1933, when the Nazis were ordered to burn all books by Jewish authors, hers were surely among them. Unlike other writers, such as Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Stefan Zweig and Berthold Brecht, she did not flee Germany She remained in Berlin until January 12,1943, when she was deported to Auschwitz with one of the last groups of Jews to leave the city She was sixty-six years old. The Gedenkbuch—an extensive listing of all West German Jews who perished in the Holocaust—lists her simply as verschollen, disappeared.

Recently, an interest in Else Ury has surfaced in Germany her works are being reissued by Hoch Verlag and Stuttgart, and the Heimatmuseum—a local museum in the area where she lived in Berlin—has devoted an exhibit to her.

An article in a Berlin newspaper. Das Tageblatt, provides more news. Students from a high school in the suburbs of Berlin, decided— after seeing “Schindler’s List”—to visit Auschwitz. There they obtained a list of Berlin residents who perished in the gas chambers. A group of girls made it their goal to inform the next-of-kin of the death dates of their family members, and Else Ury’s name struck a chord with the students. They found out that the author had died on the day of her arrival at the death camp, and to their surprise, they discovered her suitcase among the confiscated properties of the victims. It was marked with her name and the compulsory addition of “Sara.”

It pleases me that Else Ury is coming into her own again after close to sixty years. I only regret that the German publisher failed to note on the cover that the author was killed at Auschwitz because she was Jewish. Even as growing girls continue to enjoy the books by Louisa May Alcott and Johanna Spyri, we dare not forget the times still in the memory of those alive, when an author and her books were consigned to the flames.

Anne L. Fox was born in Berlin and lives in Merion, Pennsylvania. Her most recent book, My Heart in a Suitcase (Valentine Mitchell, 1996), is a memoir of her life in England during the war.

Continue Reading

  • No Comments
  •  

June 25, 2020 by

Israeli Bedtime Stories

My new immigrant mother and father didn’t read any bedtime stories. But, before putting out the light they recalled strange tales of Eastern Europe, where they were born. I could envision everything: a river frozen in the winter (I hadn’t ever seen snow), dark woods (I saw only pines planted by the Jewish National Fund), gray sky, so different from the sharp yellow light that surrounded me.

Strange words were whispered: “shtetl,” “Hasidic,” “Yiddish.” But we already loved In Hebrew and cursed in Hebrew, wearing short khaki pants and our bodies embraced by the unforgiving sun.

How could my parents replace their old lives? How did they find their way to this almost forgotten land? I remember myself cuddled in bed, trying to figure out the mystery. My mother never mentioned the Holocaust, yet I always knew about Auschwitz.

Under the fragile layer of new life was another story, not meant for young ears. An invisible page, burning with great pain and loss. I can see myself covering my head, threatened by this nightmare, letting my imagination run loose. Perhaps my mother and father had secret wings and flew to Israel? When I grew up I made this vision into my book, Flying Lessons.

Nava Semel was born in Israel and has published seven books and three plays. Two of her books are available in English, Becoming Gershona (Viking Penguin) and Flying Lessons (Simon & Schuster).

Continue Reading

  • No Comments
  •  

June 25, 2020 by

Roseanne (Yes!) on Yidn in Utah

Growing up Jewish in Utah was a kind of Diaspora experience of its own. The Bible is quoted from regularly, and is often at the heart of even casual conversation.

I pored over it, looking for examples that upset prevailing logic, such as the passage in Genesis that says, “The sons of God visited themselves upon daughters of man and saw that they were fair.”

My Mormon friends got a blank look when I showed them that one, and a shocked look when I showed then the passage in Psalms where David says to God, “My skin is black,” because Jesus was a descendant of David, and at the time Mormons considered black skin a curse from Cain.

I felt powerful, strange, and exotic all at the same time, to think that it was my people’s history that formed the basis of the dominant culture’s codes of moral, legal and scientific wisdom. Paradoxically, my ancestors and my God were at the center of everything holy to the culture from which my people were excluded.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Roseanne knew by the age of three that she was going to be a comic and have her own show. She would entertain family members on Friday evenings when they would all gather in her grandmother’s apartment for Sabbath dinner. The reviews she received convinced her she was indeed the Center of the Universe, which she believes to this day. “Roseanne ” debuted on ABC in October 1988 and continues to be a top-rated series on television. Roseanne’s autobiographies, Roseanne: My Life As A Woman, and My Lives (published in 1994) also established her as a best-selling author.

Continue Reading

  • No Comments
  •  

June 25, 2020 by

At Last, Jewish Fairy Tales

The stories I loved best as a child were fairy tales, mostly from Andrew Lang’s color fairy books. There was little there from the Jewish tradition. And so when I finally discovered Isaac Bashevis Singer’s books—like Zlateh the Goat—as an adult, and later the folk tale collections by Howard Schwartz and Peninnah Schram, I had, at last, Jewish folk and fairy tales to share with my children and grandchild.

Jane Yolen is the author of over 200 books for children and young readers, among them The Devil’s Arithmetic (Viking/Penguin), O Jerusalem (Scholastic), and Milk and Honey (Putnam).

 

Continue Reading

  • No Comments
  •  

June 25, 2020 by

Jewish Before I Was American

My grandparents, my aunt, uncle, two cousins, my parents and I lived in one Williamsburg, Brooklyn brownstone until the early 30s. I spoke Yiddish before I learned English. I was taught to read and write in Hebrew and in Yiddish. Aunt Dora generously shared her public library books of Yiddish poetry and stories with me. We read daily Yiddish newspapers. “Yiddishkeit” was part of my everyday life, not just reserved for Shabbat and holidays.

I wrote about my early years in my first juvenile novel {Ruthie, Meredith Press, 1965). Thinking back to those Williamsburg years, I realize that I became a Jewish person before I became an American person.

Norma Simon is the author of more than 50 children’s books, 13 on Jewish holidays or subjects; 2 new ones due out in 1997 on Passover and Hannukah (HarperCollins). She moved to Cape Cod 27 years ago.

 

Continue Reading

  • No Comments
  •