A photographic journey from Yemen to Israel, and back
The Jews of Yemen:
The Last Generation
photography and text by Zion Ozeri
9.5x12, 159 pages
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ZION OZERI was born in 1951 to a Yemenite family that had come to Israel two years earlier in “Operation Magic Carpet.” Here he returns to his roots — both the Yemenite Jews of Israel and the remaining Jews of Yemen. These 138 photographs are of people in both countries, mostly in scenes of daily life. The introduction, in Hebrew and English, is a fascinating essay by the author on his own family's history.
To look at these photos is to be present in the moment they were taken — in a felafel stand in Israel, or on laundry day in Yemen. And more than that, Ozeri has an uncanny knack for capturing personality in a photograph. To look at these photos is to feel that you know the people in the pictures. That's what great photography is all about.
A book for any language lover, for the entire year
300 Ways to Ask the Four Questions
by Murray Spiegel and Rickey Stein
11x8.5, 400p softcover, full color, WOW!
single copy $39.95 3 or more $34.95
This is a crazy, huge book — it’s exactly what the title says: the Four Questions in 300 languages.
But oy, the languages! Start with the ones you'd expect: Yiddish, Ladino, English, French, Russian, Spanish, Polish . . . ; then add ones you'd maybe not expect: Chinese, Zulu, Latin, Old English, Navajo . . . ; and then there are the “constructed” languages like Lawyerese, Valley Girl, Shakespearian, Klingon, Jamaican Reggae, Pig Latin . . . .
Also included are a CD and a DVD, containing highlights recordings, games, and more. You can hear the questions asked in Klingon, by the world's most accomplished speaker of that language (an Orthodox Jew; what else were you expecting?) or in the click languages of southern Africa. The authors provide information about every language they use: number of speakers, where it is spoken, and more.
This is not a casual compilation. The authors spent over 20 years collecting, and they’ve done a painstaking and fine job.
Personal testimony: my mother-in-law, who is very quiet and seldom speaks up at the seder, got to ask the questions last year in Polish, her first language. For that alone, the book is worth the price. read more
The Old Masters Haggadah
by Mark Fisch
9.6" square, 104pp hard cover, full color
$34.95 3 or more $31.95
This is not your average haggadah.
It is much more an art book, an impressive coffee table book, that just happens to have the standard haggadah text on one spread out of three. The rest is 17th century biblical art — by Rembrandt, Rubens, Caravaggio and other artists of the “Old Masters” who painted biblical scenes. A few are about the exodus story; but once the author got going, he couldn’t resist including all his favorite biblical art.
The text is the same standard haggadah that you would find anywhere. It's nicely laid out, on two of every six pages. No commentary; but hey, this is an art book! So don't buy it for the whole family, but for the pure visual feast of looking at what the Hebrew bible looked like to the great artists of the greatest era of western painting.
Small warning: Some of the art is not for the faint of heart. These Old Masters liked to show some pretty vivid stuff — “Rubenesque” women, bloody murders, you get the picture. If you are looking for a children’s haggadah, see Richard Codor's Joyous Haggadah elsewhere on this site!
An engagement, wedding or
anniversary gift that will stir the heart
A Celebration of Jewish Love and Marriage in Words and Images
by David Moss
9.5x13.25, 244 pages
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BEGINNING IN THE LATE 1960s, David Moss began to revive the handwritten, illuminated ketubah (pl. ketubot), the traditional Jewish marriage contract. The illuminated ketubah, a centuries-old artistic tradition, had virtually disappeared due to the development of quick and affordable printing. Love Letters presents a vast collection of the stunningly imaginative illuminated ketubot of David Moss, creator of the acclaimed Moss Haggadah. His ketubot are “illuminated” in the medieval meaning of the term — artistically rendered to enlighten intellectually and spiritually, to clarify, and to celebrate.
“David Moss’s work over his thirty-five year career has made a major contribution to the revival of the tradition of the ketubah — celebrating love and marriage through this unique medium in Jewish art. This book captures Moss’s achievement — allowing each couple’s unique story to flower within the framework of an age-old ritual practice — and always at a highest possible standard of calligraphy, illustration, and production, which is his hallmark. Moss’s work is a truly admirable marriage of tradition and technique.“
— James S. Snyder, director, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem