Tagged Jewish Book Council

A former Jewish punk rocker wrote an acclaimed novel about Holocaust memory

The last picture of Jacob Rand before “the hell into which he was cast … For most of the students, it would be their last photo ever.” Rand is all the way on the left, in the double-breasted suit. (Courtesy of Presser)

(JTA) — At first glance, Bram Presser looks more like a punk rocker than a sensitive novelist. He has two big lip piercings, a few scraggly dreadlocks and a quirky beard only under his chin line. And, yes, Presser, 43, was the lead singer and songwriter of Yidcore, an… Read more »

Nazi hunters’ memoir wins top national Jewish book award

(JTA) — Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, two prominent French Nazi hunters, won the Jewish Book Council’s top national book award on Wednesday. “Hunting the Truth: Memoirs of Serge and Beate Klarsfeld” includes first person accounts of the couple’s 50-plus years of pursuing Nazi war criminals. The Jewish Book Council… Read more »

Beating health scares, Jonathan Sarna seals status as rock star Jewish historian

Jonathan Sarna at Brandeis University, his undergraduate alma mater and where he has taught for more than 25 years, May 10, 2016. (Uriel Heilman)

WALTHAM, Mass. (JTA) – When Jonathan Sarna was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 1999 at the age of 44, it changed his life. Already a highly regarded historian at Brandeis University, Sarna was in the midst of writing his seminal study of American Jewish history when he realized with… Read more »

Meet the new ‘Jewish Oprah’

Naomi Firestone-Teeter (Courtesy Jewish Book Council)

(JTA) — On April 1, Naomi Firestone-Teeter became executive director of the Jewish Book Council, which promotes the reading, writing, publishing and distribution of English-language Jewish books. Firestone-Teeter, whose predecessor Carolyn Hessel has been called “the Jewish Oprah” for her success at promoting books, has been working her way up in the organization since graduating from… Read more »

Carolyn Starman Hessel, Jewish world’s book maven, turns the page

(JTA) — When Carolyn Starman Hessel joined the New York-based Jewish Book Council in 1994 — at the request of friend Marsha Posner — she knew nothing about the publishing world. Since then, she’s been called the “Jewish Oprah” for her ability to help authors find audiences, and has… Read more »

Jewish bookstores writing new chapters in competition with Internet

Daniel Levine, fourth-generation owner of Manhattan's J. Levine Books and Judaica, says that while online booksellers such as Amazon hurt his business a decade ago, now he's been able to use the Web to boost his sales. (Alexandra Halpern)

NEW YORK (JTA) — The books are in the back at J. Levine Books and Judaica. Before finding the volumes of Jewish titles at the midtown Manhattan store, customers encounter a rotating display of mezuzahs on the left, followed by shelves of kiddush cups and a rack featuring a Hebrew-language… Read more »