October 7, 2014

L694You did it!

You cooked all the meals for all three sets of three-day Yamim Tovim, and now your clothes smell so strongly of fried onions, you wonder if people get hungry when you walk past.

You entertained the kids throughout the long days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur—by now, you are an expert at Guess Who? (you know to ask about the size of the nose to figure out if the mystery person is Peter or Paul) and Aleph-Beis Match-Ups (you know that the card with the back that’s peeling in the bottom-left corner is a vav—shh, don’t tell anyone else!).

And now it’s Sukkos, and while the men fret over how to keep their aravos from getting wilted, all you want to do is collapse on the couch with a good book as your treat.

But you don’t want just any good book. I mean, you worked hard! You should get one of the very best books out there on the market! That’s what you deserve! Right?

So, here it is, folks: a brand-new book from bestselling author Etka Gitel Schwartz. Yup, you heard right. The famous Binah writer, whose historical novels have been known to keep readers up till four in the morning…she’s back with a new book this season, called Caravan.

Ahh…say no more…I’m already sold…

Yes, yes, we know that, but there’s even more to it: it’s a short story book, so you don’t have to worry about being in the middle of a massively thick novel right when your husband is calling you to the sukkah for Kiddush (with our apologies to Full Harvestwhich is an excellent book, too, of course…just not exactly on the thin side). And each of the short stories in Caravan is so magnificently written, and full of such tochen, and so gripping…that you will get all the “treat” that you want and need, plus more, in this book.

So go ahead and indulge. Like we said, you deserve it. Carvana bestselling author providing quality literature to her readers.

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Six Million and One

October 7, 2014

L689Not long ago it wasn’t uncommon to see numbers on forearms during the summer months. It is now. Many survivors have left the world, often taking their untold stories away with them. It would be easy to presume that the saga called the Shoah is nearly over, but that is a premature conclusion; As long as the Holocaust echoes strongly in the lives of the second and third generations, we as a people must still grapple with its secrets and traumas.

When my friend Hadassah was a little girl, she already knew the names of her future children. Hadassah isn’t a prophetess, she’s the daughter of an Auschwitz survivor. She knew what she had to do. Her son would be named for the grandfather she had never met. Her daughter would be named for the grandmother she had never met. When Hadassah played house Yirmiyahu and Eidel were her make-believe children. When she married and was indeed blessed with a son and a daughter, reality caught up with her childhood dreams.

“Both my parents were the sole survivors in their families. I felt pressure to be so good, to be the best consolation — because I was their only hope, because they had lost everything,” Hadassah reflects. “In terms of the names, it wasn’t as much a request from my parents as it was self-understood.”

Imagine how her parents would have felt if their lifelong hope of naming grandchildren after their loved ones wasn’t self-understood. Now we can begin to understand Chana Eichler.

Six Million and One by Rivka Galai, is based on the true story of a hidden child from Holland who establishes her own family but is only blessed with  sons. A blessing, true, but also an enormous test that gets handed down to the next generation: Who will name a child for Chana’s twin sister Shprintze? Surely Chana’s daughter-in-law will accommodate such an understandable request. Or will she?

And what really happened at the convent where Chana weathered the war? The dark sins and secrets will soon be known to all…

-Guest Blogger: Sara Miriam Gross

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NEW RELEASE! The Carpool Clan – Book 3 – Crash Course

October 6, 2014

C378Is your tween a Carpool Clan fan yet? Do you hear from her about the antics, angst, and adventures of Shevy, Tehilla, Penina, and the others? If not, now’s as good a time as ever to get her hooked on this bubbly and fun-loving bunch!

With the release of Crash Course, the third book in this terrific series of fun and wholesome reading for tweens, readers will enter the life of Sara Leah and get to know her and her family from up close. There’s lots of excitement going on in that family, that’s for sure…but there’s quite a bit of stress and anxiety, too…

How does Sara Leah deal with all this? And how does the rest of the carpool clan get involved? Because with these friends, one thing is certain: if there’s adventure for one, the rest of the girls are usually not far behind, either…

Find out more about it in this superb book, Crash Course!

Click here to purchase online.


October 6, 2014

L695There are biographies written about gedolim—and then there are books like Maran: The Life and Scholarship of Hacham Ovadia Yosef. Books where you don’t just get to read some nice stories about the gadol in question and get to learn about his background and family—but where you are actually given a clear window into the gadol’s whole mehalech hachaim, an understanding into how he paskened and wrote teshuvos—indeed, an authoritative account of the Torah giant’s life and scholarship.

This describes celebrated Sephardic author Yehuda Azoulay’s newest jewel, Maran—a book about as unique as Hacham Ovadiah himself was.

Yes, you’ll learn about Hacham Ovadiah’s history and family, too, in this book, and there are certainly a plethora of amazing stories about Hacham Ovadia in these pages. But Maran is so much more than that.

Firstly, much of this book is based on Hacham Ovadia’s own words in his lectures and writings. Secondly, this work is a product of years of extensive research conducted by Yehuda Azoulay and his team, who combed through Hacham Ovadia Yosef’s fifty-three published works. The autobiographical information, anecdotes, and opinions of Hacham Ovadia, which they unearthed among his halachic responsa, have become the heart of this book. In this way, by reading Maran, you are getting the most close-up look possible at this beloved and influential Torah sage.

Hacham Ovadia was many things: an extraordinary posek, an engaging teacher, a sensitive and devoted bet din judge, a political powerbroker, and a rabbi tirelessly dedicated to the Jewish People. This book focuses on his life, his mission in restoring the primacy of halachah among Sephardic communities, his infinite ahavat Yisrael, and his vast scholarship, brilliant halachic rulings, and the halachic approach he developed and promulgated.

Read this book—and you’ll feel like you had the privilege of knowing Maran yourself.

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Never Too Late

October 6, 2014

L693When you’re on a bus in Yerushalayim and you hear someone speaking on her cell phone and saying what an amaaazing chavayah (experience) she just had on a tiyul, or how incredible the speaker was at the yom iyun, or the awesome atmosphere she felt while strolling down the streets of Me’ah She’arim…well, chances are that you’ve met up with a seminary girl.

I have nothing against seminary girls, of course. Once upon a time, I, too, was a seminary girl, living and breathing my Sefer Yirmiyahu notes, waxing poetic about a guest speaker’s inspirational speech, and staying up till the wee hours of the night with friends, discussing how we could make the world a better place and other such topics. 

Some seminary girls, though, have other worries on their minds—concerns that have nothing to do with the model lesson they’re due to give or where they could find a place to go to for Shabbos and which friends will go with them there.

Take Gitty Neiman, for example, the main character in Never Too Late. Popular and smart, Gitty seems to have it all—especially in her roommate Penina’s eyes—yet with the burden Gitty carries, that can’t be further from the truth. Her past is shrouded in mystery, and it’s only now, in her seminary year, that the curtain drawn on it slowly begins to lift, revealing secrets almost too painful to bear…

But there are bright spots in Gitty’s life, too. Like Tami, the Belgian girl she becomes close to, and like Miriam, the woman she helps out, who becomes an invaluable source of support for Gitty. Together, the three try to make sense out of Gitty’s broken home and mysterious past—but little does anyone realize what the cost of this will be…

For readers both in seminary and beyond, here is a book that will tug at your heartstrings in a way few books can.

Click here to purchase online.


October 5, 2014

L698Class trips as a high school girl were always loads of fun. There was the time we went to an amusement park somewhere in Pennsylvania for Lag B’Omer…there was the Rosh Chodesh Iyar outing we took in a stunning park (to get some fresh “air”—Iyar—get it?)…and of course our twelfth grade graduation trip to Niagara Falls… But the funny thing is, as great a time as my friends and I had on those trips, flying down the loops of roller coasters, soaking ourselves to the skin at Cave of the Winds in those oversized yellow raincoats they give you (which don’t do much in the face of Niagara’s powerful spray, but which do make for some pretty hysterical pictures), and spending ridiculous amounts of money on equally ridiculous items in souvenir gift shops, those weren’t usually the best parts. The highlight of each trip was usually…the bus ride.

There’s nothing like a nice, long bus ride, especially in the dark, when you’re on your way home from a full-day trip, to get teens talking and sharing and bonding with each other in a way that just can’t happen in a noisy and hopping locale, fun as it may be. Those coach buses, with their scratchy seats and musty air, were privy to many a DMC that my friends and I had back then, schmoozes that comprise some of my best memories from high school.

Teens and DMCs…they kind of go hand-in-hand. If you know a teen (or you are a teen) who loves a good DMC, here’s a book you’ve got to go out and buy.

Teens Talk is the private-journal-like book of twenty-two teens and their true accounts. There are lots of novels and fiction books out there in the world of Jewish literature—but this book is different. Teens Talk is all about real teens telling their very real stories.

You’ll read about Malka, who moves away from her hometown and all that’s familiar and secure, to a brand new country which she fears she’ll never acclimate to; and Aviva, who suspects that she has a dreaded disease; and lots of other teens, each of whom has her own set of unique circumstances and challenges.

These stories are full of depth, frankness, and wit. They are about teens just like you…and indeed, don’t be surprised to find yourself among these teens, as well…

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Halfway? No Way!

October 3, 2014

C379When I was growing up, one of my mother’s most oft-quoted sayings was: “When you start a job, finish it.” Maybe that was due to too many half-set tables; baking projects that yielded delicious cakes and cookies…but a messy kitchen, too, which none of the eager bakers wanted to clean; and laundry that was folded but not put away, so that the baby felt free to do as he saw fit with the neat piles left out in the open.

But it seems my siblings and I weren’t the only members of the I-Have-No-Patience-To-Finish-This-Job Club. Listen in on many a frustrated mom’s gripes, and you’ll hear the same complaint from them all: Why can’t my child do a complete job, from start to finish? Why can’t he/she see the project through until the end?

In Halfway? No Way! Mrs. Abigail Rozen, long-time writer and veteran in the field of chinuch, tackles this very issue, in a most clever and appealing way. Her portrayal of Yosef as a sweet and helpful boy, who just happens to be lacking the quality of stick-to-itiveness, will resonate well with children. As readers follow the story and see the results of Yo’s half-baked actions and accomplishments, they are taught a very clear lesson on the importance of following through with whatever you take on to do…

Charmingly written, with humor laced throughout the story, this is a book your kids will clamor to hear or to read again and again. (And here’s to hoping that, after hearing the book so many times, the kids will actually go finish off those chores they started on…!)

Click here to purchase online.


October 2, 2014

L697There’s something about Meir Uri Gottesman’s books that sets them apart from all others. Is it the imaginative thread that runs through them—the element of fantasy (oftentimes historical fantasy) that so thrills readers? Is it the heart—the neshamah—that lies at the core of each of Gottesman’s books? Perhaps it’s the author himself—a distinguished rav in his own right, who so skillfully is able to weave truth and fiction together in a story so gripping and so spellbinding that it touches you in the deepest parts of your neshamah, leaving you forever a changed person afterward.

Whatever it is, all will agree that each Gottesman book is a masterpiece. And now, as a special Yom Tov treat, we offer you a brand new masterpiece, Gottesman’s newest full-length novel: The Shul Boy. In this book, you’ll meet Lipa Wallerstein, whose greatest ambition is to learn from his grandfather’s set of Mishnayos—and understand what he’s learning. It isn’t long before a whole new world opens up for Lipa…in Yerushalayim, where a hunger rages….in Vienna, where an awful calamity takes place…on the shores of the Mediterranean—wait! We won’t ruin this story for you!

Find out where Lipa’s journeys take him, and the tremendous ramifications of them all, in this exquisite, “genuinely Gottesman” book!

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Yom Tov Yummies

October 1, 2014


Sukkos! Honey cake and esrog pie…yum…

Purim! Hamantaschen…double yum…

Pesach! Crunchy matzah…and those scrumptious Pesach-dik chocolate brownies….triple yum…

Shavuos! Creamy, dreamy cheesecake, with a caramel topping…quadruple yum (with a cherry on the top!)…

(Getting hungry, anyone?)

From the youngest age, children often associate the Yamim Tovim with the delicious and unique foods each holiday brings along with it—and this positive association helps our kids look forward to Yom Tov with such longing and delight!

Share the excitement with your children! Let the traditional Yom Tov foods whip up joy and anticipation for each Jewish holiday!

This was our goal in creating the book Yom Tov Yummies. In this absolutely delicious book, your kids will be taken on an exciting and mouthwatering trip around the year in a one-of-a-kind bakery that churns out special foods for each Yom Tov in a really unique way! Your kids will love the adorable rhymes and pictures, and you’ll feel good knowing that you are doing your part toward creating positive memories of Yom Tov for your children.

Click here to purchase online.