Tagged Jonathan Sarna

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 »

Some of Lincoln’s best friends were Jews

The cover of "Lincoln and the Jews: A History," by Jonathan Sarna and Benjamin Shapell. (Courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books)

(JTA) – A whopping 16,000 books have been written about President Abraham Lincoln. But a new book and an exhibit at the New York Historical Society tell a previously untold story about Lincoln: his relationships with Jews. Benjamin Shapell has been collecting documents relating to Lincoln and the Jews… 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 »

Countercultural spirit lives on at iconic 1960s havurah

The davening room at Havurat Shalom, virtually unchanged since the early 1970s. (Jesse Edsell-Vetter)

SOMERVILLE, Mass. (JTA) — To certain first-time visitors to Havurat Shalom, the congregation’s prayer room may look remarkably familiar. From the macrame Jewish star adorning the ark and the Middle Eastern-style lamp serving as a ner tamid to the pillows on a bare floor and the sparely decorated walls,… Read more »