How This Author Went From Muslim Activist To Educator Of Rabbis
BY GARY ROSENBLATT for The Jewish Week
Haroon Moghul’s ‘How to Be a Muslim’ explores his struggles with his religion and inner demons.
HHaroon Moghul’s powerful new memoir, “How to Be a Muslim: An American Story” (Beacon Press), is not a how-to manual for religious practice — far from it. Rather, it’s a searing, intimate portrait of a brilliant but troubled young man struggling with spiritual, psychological and physical challenges while trying to balance a commitment to his religion’s tenets and succeed in a secular society.
He happens to be Muslim, but his story is as universal in appeal as it is particular in its details. At times funny and at times painfully raw, the book reads like a confessional — an extended exercise in self-reflection shared with the public as a cautionary tale.
Five Books That Counter the “Negative” Narrative of Jewish Literature
Devorah Baum for Jewish Book Council
Grace Paley – Collected Stories
Everyone should read Grace Paley. She deals with tough stuff with wit, vitality and grace and she tempers what many would consider tragic storylines with an insistence that where there is life there can always be ‘enormous changes at the last minute’. Unlike the dominant male voices in American Jewish letters, who’ve tended to resist the labeling of either themselves or their fictions as Jewish, Grace Paley showed no such commitment phobia: “I like being Jewish” she once – shockingly – said.
Hélène Cixous – Reveries of the Wild Woman, Primal Scenes
Jews vs Aliens (Volume 1)
Review by Inger Saphire-Bernstein for Jewish Book Council
Two companion collections of short stories edited by Lavie Tidhar and Rebecca Levene explore interactions or collisions between Jews and aliens and Jews and zombies, respectively. The editors invited accomplished science fiction writers to submit new stories related to the open-ended themes. Inclusion of Jews (or Judaism), aliens and/or zombies were the only expectations. As a result, the stories vary widely in subject matter, accessibility, and tone.
A New JBC Book Club Kit and Paperbacks
Jewish Book Council
Every month, JBC Book Clubs offers weekly email subscribers a dedicated email with special book club features that will enhance a book club or add to your personal reading experience.
Whether your book club is formal or informal; social or educational; interested in reading only books of Jewish content, just a few Jewish books throughout the year, or good literature that happens to have Jewish themes, JBC has a book for you and the resources to take you to the next level.
Jewish in America: Living George Washington’s Promise By Richard L. Rubin
By Leah F. Finkelshteyn for Hadassah Magazine
Jewish in America is a work of history that is as much about the future as it is about the past. In much of the book, author Richard Rubin details American Jewish history from colonial times to the present, highlighting the uniqueness of the American Jewish experience. He deftly intersperses his own experience with anti-Semitism—as a child, when applying to college and while serving in the army in the mid-20th century—with historical observation and social science data.