Israel in snatches Review

Unexpected Israel by Ruth Corman. Jerusalem: Gefen Publishing House, 2016. 184 pages. $24.98. In the mid-1970s, my family and I were members of Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in the Upper Galilee. During the time I worked in the kibbutz guest house, every day I walked past an old stone building on my way to the hotel…. Read More

King David with blessings and flaws Review

“The Secret Chord” by Geraldine Brooks. New York: Penguin Books, 2016. 329 pages. $16. Sometimes fiction is the best way to deepen our understanding of historical figures. This is especially true of people in the Hebrew Bible. The only source that we have for knowing about most biblical characters are the holy scriptures themselves. Unfortunately,… Read More

A justice in her own words Review

“My Own Words” by Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016. 383 pages. $30. “My Own Words” is not a classic autobiography. It is a collection of speeches, introductions, essays, statements, articles, opinions and more written over the years by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,… Read More

Angels, fetuses populate these Washington stories Revue

“Bertrand Court” by Michelle Brafman.  Prospect Books, 2016. 264 pages. $24.95 This book deals with the nitty gritty of human existence, the highs and lows of everyday life. In a series of connected short stories, which were previously published in various venues, it focuses on, among other issues, a woman haunted by her inability to… Read More

Finding ‘compelling element of truth’ in Israeli, Palestinian narratives Review

Dreams Deferred: A Concise Guide to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict & the Movement to Boycott Israel” by Cary Nelson. Bloomington, Ind. and Chicago: Indiana University Press and MLA Members for Scholars Rights, 2016. 339 pages. $12. Are you reticent about standing up for Israel because you believe you don’t know enough about the Mideast conflict? If… Read More

Won’t you go home, Disraeli? Review

“Disraeli: The Novel Politician” by David Cesarani. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015, 236 pages. $25. When we play the Jewish pride game — you know, slapping ourselves figuratively on the back and naming Albert Einstein in physics, Sigmund Freud in psychiatry and Karl Marx in political philosophy as Jews of the modern era who… Read More

True stories of Israeli achievements — maybe

“Israel’s Edge: Talpiot The IDF’s Most Elite Unit” by Jason Gewirtz. Jerusalem: Gefen Publishing, 2016. 230 pages, $18. A long time ago, I was a reporter for an English-language, Tel Aviv-based news weekly called Newsview. One evening, Mabat L’Hadashoat, the Israeli nightly news program — there was only one Israeli TV channel back then —… Read More