First of the Jewish Books

17. Silence Is Thy Praise: The Life and Ideals of Rabbanit Batya Karelitz by Esther Austern

I am so grateful to the person who told me to read this recently, as I had meant to do so a year ago, and never quite got around to it! It’s well written, and fascinating both because of the Rebbetzin, and because of the detail on the people and places surrounding her. The author got to know the Karelitzes when her son married into the family, and her great respect for them is very evident. Very inspirational.

I actually finished this yesterday morning on the bus (as I did the following one this morning) but didn’t have it on the scrap of paper where I put the details of the day’s work reading, so forgot to add it to the list!

18. The Jewel and the Journey by Miriam Walfish

A nicely written and produced novel of a Jewish family travelling from near Vilna to Eretz Yisrael in the early 19th century. Some of the foreshadowing could be done with a slightly lighter hand, but that doesn’t take away from the story. Jewish terms are translated the first time in brackets straight after the term, which I like, and there are endnotes to give context on historical figures mentioned.

Who Am I? by Ruchy Schon

I amn’t counting this for the list, seeing as it’s a board book, but it really is gorgeous, so I wanted to mention it. It’s got toddlers dressed up as if in different professions, and it’s just nice. It’s expecting an Orthodox Jewish background.

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