December 17, 2014

L704Shlomo grew up frum in a nice frum family. He loved his parents and they loved him. In fact, they loved him so much they didn’t want to hurt him, ever. So, no one ever told him he was adopted from a non-Jewish family. He only found out after he was married! That sent him into a tailspin of shailos and internal confusion, as he attempted to clarify exactly who he was—and wasn’t.

Imagine if everything you knew about yourself wasn’t true. That’s the unenviable position that Mendy Brand finds himself in. For nearly 20 years he lived the life of a top-notch yeshivah bochur with a sterling reputation. Then a shady fellow posing as a newly-arrived chavrusah, lures him into the terrorist underworld of Hamas. Soon Hamas sends him to be a double agent at Israel’s Secret Service Department, but who is really using who?

Is he Mendy or Gil or Jamil?

Who are his real parents?

Above all, whose mission will he ultimately fulfill, and at what price?

 WARNING: This is Rachel Schorr at her best. Do not read before bedtime!

Guest Blogger: Sara Miriam Gross

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NEW RELEASE! A Lighter Burden

December 16, 2014

L702Ever since the Garden of Eden, women and food have had a complicated and frequently dysfunctional relationship.  We all know that we eat in order to live, but it is all too easy to slip into a warped existence where we are living to eat, or on the other end of the spectrum – living in order to exert control over our eating by starving ourselves. Somewhere in between is the ideal middle ground – a place where the role food plays in our lives is healthy – we don’t exaggerate its importance and we don’t downplay it. We eat normally, reach a reasonable weight for our frame and are at peace with the numbers on the scale. For many of us, however, that highly-desired middle ground continues to elude us…

Freidy Dvir is the pen name of a young woman who has been through too much in her life.  Although she began as everyone’s darling little girl with adorably chubby cheeks, by the time she was a 220 pound teenager, everyone was giving her unsolicited advice and uncomfortable looks.

How long can a girl daven for a thyroid disorder or a food allergy to explain away her ballooning weight?

How many weight loss programs and diets can a teenager flunk out of and still feel good about herself as a person?

Is it even possible for a young woman to achieve personal and professional goals when life is one continuous food fight?

Freidy is a remarkable woman – with enough spunk to battle on despite the continual pain, criticism and public embarrassment. This is her journal. Join her as she bares her heart, her obsession with all things edible, and ultimately, her journey to a normal weight and peace of mind. Although she undergoes bariatric surgery in the end, the biggest and bravest changes occur within  her own mind.

A Lighter Burden is not only a book about weight loss – it’s a guiding light for anyone who is struggling to achieve balance in their life.

Guest Blogger: Sara Miriam Gross

Click here to purchase online.


December 16, 2014

L703My son was scared to go get the chocolate, but the fear wasn’t enough to keep him away from one of his favorite treats.

After being punched by a tougher, older boy as he walked from cheder to the bus stop one afternoon,  “Noach” wasn’t seeking a sympathetic hug or a kind word from his parents – he wanted justice.

Harnessing spunk that defied his tender age and slender frame, he did his homework well.  He found out where the bully attends school – and then called the boy’s principal at home to speak about the issue. (He made the call from a friend’s house, otherwise I probably would have been the one on the phone.) Two days later he was invited by the principal to come over to the school to identify the juvenile offender.

Accompanied by a friend who was eyewitness to the attack, Noach nervously made his way to the school and was given the opportunity to view one of the older grade’s classes in session.  “Did anyone here hit this boy?” the principal asked the students. Sure enough, the boy cowering in the corner was the culprit. He was suspended for a few days and ordered to bring in some nice chocolates for Noach – along with a note of apology.

Noach forgave the boy and has since moved on to other more consuming topics such as the latest illustrated novel and when Shimmy can come to us for Shabbos.

If only every  fight and falling-out could be resolved so easily…

Eliyahu Matlon is hiding –  from himself.  An orphan from birth, he betrayed the only family he ever had, and crossing the ocean to begin a new life in America, did nothing to ease his guilt and heartache. Those closest to him do not even know what he did – not his wife, not his daughters, and certainly not his neighbors who view him as a generous, upright supporter of their local Torah community. The only remaining victim is his brother Yosef, back in Yerushalayim.  And Yosef will neither  forgive nor forget.

Welcome to the complex world of the Matlon brothers. Travel back and forth in time between the present  day  and Yerushalayim of Old, as Eliyahu struggles to overcome 40 years of estrangement and gain his brother’s forgiveness.  Yosef knows that Eliyahu’s unspeakable misdeed can never be righted. It is unforgiveable and yet Eliyahu pleads: Forgive Me.

Guest Blogger: Sara Miriam Gross

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Middos Man Volume II – Being a Nice Friend

December 15, 2014

C384I know mothers are supposed to be the paradigm of patience for their children—you know, role modeling and all that—but I shamefully confess to have been very impatient these past few weeks. Yes, I have been guilty of muttering, “What’s taking so long?!” under my breath a number of times, and I’ve been the one nudging others to find out if there’s anything that could be done to speed up a certain process.

Wait—don’t “t-t-t” me like that! My impatience was for very good reason. You see, what I’ve been so impatiently awaiting these past few weeks was the release of the second volume of MiddosMan, and after I explain to you the wonders of this children’s book, you’ll understand exactly why I was so anxious for it to come out already. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you start tapping your feet impatiently, too, waiting to run out and buy your own copy of the book!

The MiddosMan series has all the maalos a parent could ever wish for in a children’s book. These books are adorable, with rich and vivid illustrations (laminated pages, too!); easy-to-understand stories featuring a cast of warm and relatable characters that will instantly capture your child’s interest; and an accompanying read-along/sing-along musical CD. Through all this, the series teaches real-life, practical middos lessons to young children—and, as our experience has shown, kids just love it!

We’ve been told by parents that the book and CD keep their kids glued to the couch for hours, as they carefully follow along with the story by themselves. The funny voices and catchy songs on the CD enhance the entertainment, and there’s nothing like that “brrring” sound that indicates it’s time to turn the page.

The first MiddosMan book, Learning to Share, was so popular among kids, the book was almost completely sold out within a very short time. Now the second book, Being a Nice Friend, has just made its debut—and I’m running to pick one up for my kids before it sells out, too! So come join me—you can always read more of my blogging later! But the enjoyment this book guarantees to provide is one thing you don’t want your kids to be left out of.

Click here to purchase online.



December 1, 2014

C383Looking for a great gift for that action-loving tween of yours? Look no further than our newest tween book: Not For Sale.

On Chanukah we celebrate the victory of good over evil, of the pintele Yid triumphing over the darkness of wicked people who surround it… These are messages all parents want their children to absorb. Not For Sale, by popular author Bracha Rosman, is a thriller for tweens that emphasizes these very messages.

In this exciting book, readers will meet the Rosens, a warm and close-knit family whose move to town is apparently making someone very displeased. But who is that someone? And why would anyone be opposed to Rabbi Rosen’s plan for creating a community center to be used by all the Jewish people in the city?

Questions and suspicions swirl around, as danger abounds at every twist and turn of this story… There are break-ins and broken dreams…a suspicious utility worker and a dedicated detective hoping to crack the case… And throughout it all, the Rosens sticks together, determined to overcome all obstacles placed in their path and to triumph over their unknown perpetrators, who are only too eager to see them fail…

Sounds like a goose-bump-raising roller coaster of a book, doesn’t it? Well, we told you it was for that action-loving kid of yours, didn’t we? :)

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Who Is the Real Weatherman?

November 25, 2014

C382I remember the first snowstorm of my married life. There I was, watching from my living room window as the snow fell from the sky by the shovelful, my heart sinking to somewhere near my ankles. To me, snow means treacherous road conditions…hours spent cleaning off your car and walkway…coming late to work…dealing with the mess of melted snow in the front hallway of the house… Yeah, you could call me a summer gal. Winter and snow—they just aren’t my thing.

You can understand my confusion, then, when my husband came home later that day with an exuberant grin on his face. What was he so excited about, with such lousy weather outdoors? I wondered.

“Snow!” he fairly shouted. “Look how much snow there is! I’m going back outside to clean off the car, ‘kay?” And so saying, he bounded out of the house in his winter gear, all ready to tackle the fun and exciting task of…shoveling out the car?

It took a few minutes until comprehension set in. Snow. Oh, of course! To him, snow was a big deal. Growing up in Australia, my husband hadn’t seen much snow in his childhood. Even after years spent in American yeshivos, it seemed he still hadn’t lost that childlike enthusiasm for the wet stuff blanketing the ground.

Hmm. To each his own, I guess. (At least I got a shoveled-out car off the deal!)

But aside from those who, like my husband, did not grow up with snow, I think it’s quite safe to say that most adults do not find snow days to be fun. Exhausting, yes; nerve-wracking, yes—but not fun. Kids, on the other hand…

Peek in on any household with children over the age of three, on a morning when the kids have just been woken up with the magical words, “It’s snowing outside!” and watch those kids fly to the window to watch the wonder unfold before their eyes. And if the magical words the parents uttered happened to have been, “No school today—it’s a snow day!”—well, you may need earplugs to protect your ears from those joyful shouts of glee!

But what happens when, no matter what the weatherman predicts, the snow does not come?

In Who Is the Real Weatherman?  young readers are introduced to Chesky, who loves the snow and can’t wait to do all his snow-related activities…if only the snow will begin to fall! As time marches on and winter slowly fades into spring, Chesky learns some important lessons on Who is the only One Who controls the weather.

And then he gets the biggest shock of the season…

If you’ve got kids pining for the real winter weather to begin, this is a book you’ll want to read to them. It’s got fun and excitement on every page, plus lots of important lessons for children to absorb.

And—who knows—it may even stir up some excitement in you for the snowy weather!

Happy shoveling! :)

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Culture Shock

November 6, 2014

L700When the song “Sfashkenaz,” produced by Abie Rotenberg on Journeys Volume 4, burst onto the scene of Jewish music back in 2003, it became an instant hit. Was it the adorable lyrics that hold such an important message within them? Was it simply because it’s such a catchy song?
Perhaps it’s both, but I’d venture to say that people are intrigued by the idea of the Sephardic and Askenazic worlds embracing and becoming enmeshed in each other. There’s something so…satisfying, even heartwarming, about Rachamim speaking Yiddish and Kalman enjoying a big bowl of couscous every day…know what I mean?

Well, Culture Shock, by popular writer C. Rosenberg, incorporates a twist of this very idea into its captivating plot. When Yemenite Yemima meets up with Yerushalmi Gittel, after fleeing her pogrom-ridden country and arriving on the shores of Eretz Yisrael, neither girl dreams of the deep friendship that will spring up between the two. But life in the Holy Land in the mid 1900s is anything but easy for any of its residents, and with the burden each girl carries on her shoulders, it is little wonder that Gittel and Yemima find so much in common—despite their differences in dress, appearance, language, and customs…

Culture Shock will introduce you to the very real challenges experienced by the residents of Eretz Yisrael during a most turbulent era in recent history. If you’re looking for a beautifully-written historical novel that will both entertain and enlighten you—and yes, provide you with lots of heartwarming satisfaction, too!—this is the book you need to read!

Click here to purchase online.


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