Postcards from the Shoah

Amy Newman Smith

Stamps and the paper they traveled on create a historical record of the Holocaust, capturing, for instance, “the exact historical moment when one person reached out in desperation to another."

Not of This World

Not of This World

Amy Newman Smith

In writing his first book for young readers, Aharon Appelfeld seems to have split himself and his life story between the two title characters: resourceful Adam, a boy of the land whose knowledge of the forest keeps them safe and fed, and bookish Thomas, a doubter in both faith and his own abilities.

A Cedar of Lebanon

A Cedar of Lebanon

Amy Newman Smith

In addition to the weight survivors feel, Friedman bears the burden of giving voice to the place that shaped young men’s lives and took others, while leaving no official trace.

Water Shall Flow from Jerusalem

Water Shall Flow from Jerusalem

Amy Newman Smith

In Israel even well-to-do families can be seen scooping bath water out of the tub to water backyard plants and  hygiene classes teach students to use the least amount of water when showering and brushing their teeth. Israel's way with water may be the way out chronic water shortages.

A Spy’s Life

Amy Newman Smith

Sylvia Rafael: The Life and Death of a Mossad Spy opens not with an intrepid secret agent about to pull off a bold maneuver, as books with such titles usually do, but with nine men gathered around a table in 1977, studying a picture of an Israeli agent.

Homage to Mahj

Homage to Mahj

Amy Newman Smith

A traveling exhibit attempts to explain the Jewish fascination with Mah Jongg, a favorite past-time of mid-century Jewish suburbia, Jewish country clubs, and Catskill resorts.