For many Jews and non-Jews, American Jewish culture is defined by stereotypes such as the pushy mother, the shleppy father, chopped liver swans, too much food (“just in case…”) accountants, doctors, and holidays in the Catskills or Florida. But a new generation of Jews are so hip, Americanized and assimilated that they are not even familiar with those stereotypes. They may think, for example, that Bar Kochba is the name of a nightclub — at least according to Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman in “The Big Jewish Book for Jews.” The authors of “Yiddish With Dick and Jane,” Weiner and Davilman will make you chuckle, cause you to give away that Holocaust memoir, and maybe even teach you something about American-Jewish cultural history in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Despite the much-touted death of the physical book, the Orthodox Jewish publishing industry is booming. Perhaps because of the prohibition against using electricity on holidays or on the Sabbath, the ?ArtScroll revolution? is well under way.
‘Why Rashi and why me,” asks Elie Wiesel, in the preface to “Rashi,” a slim biography that is the latest offering in the Jewish Encounters series by NextBooks.
“Another soldier,” Anastasia Michaeli Samuelson said, patting her belly proudly when asked the sex of her soon-to-be-born eighth child.