Passover wisdom: Our Jewish Authors Inspire Us to Celebrate Freedom, Diversity and Compassion
Since our publishing house was founded in , we have welcomed a diverse family of authors—including Christians, Jews, Muslims and Native Americans. That is a shining example of hope in these turbulent times, when minorities often are pitted against each other.
As this year’s Passover nears, we are shining a spotlight on our Jewish authors.
When Passover begins, millions of Jewish families around the world host seders, lengthy dinners with traditional symbolic foods, readings, songs and lots of conversation. The seder combines both a detailed remembrance of God leading the people out of slavery in Egypt—and a pointed challenge to those around the table to relate that ancient story to the needs of the world today. Many seder hosts spend weeks preparing for these meals, both the menu and the kinds of questions that will spark discussion among the guests.
Check out these links, below, and you will find books that will make you laugh as well as cry—that will delight and inspire—and that are likely to make you want to roll up your sleeves and work on peacemaking, yourself. The world certainly could use your help.
Please, start by meeting one of these authors via the convenient title links in this column that take you to their Amazon pages.
- Rabbi Jack Riemer—The late Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel described the rabbi’s storytelling this way:
Jack Riemer’s words are songs of hope and faith. Listen to them as I do.Finding God in Unexpected Places also is our newest book of Jewish wisdom, drawn from the holiday-themed teachings of this master storyteller.
- Rabbi Robert Alper—Best known as a full-time standup comic and a star of satellite radio’s
clean comedychannels, Alper shares some of his favorite stories in two volumes: Life Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This and Thanks. I Needed That.
- Rabbi Joseph Krakoff—Collaborating with artist Michelle Sider, Krakoff transforms his years of expertise with the Jewish Hospice Network into an illustrated book for families to treasure—either before or after the end of a loved one’s life. Never Long Enough is an invitation for families to gather around a loved one, open this richly illustrated book and share their own stories as these pages turn. This is a unique treasure for families from any spiritual background. If you are in southeast Michigan, Krakoff and Sider are launching a new coloring book / workbook supplement to their popular book on at the Huntington Woods Library.
- Brenda Rosenberg—Jewish peace activist and trainer Brenda Rosenberg collaborated with Arab-American pro-Palestinian activist Samia Bahsoun on Harnessing the Power of Tension, A paradoxical approach to building alliances at home, in the board room, on campus and in communities. That lengthy title captures the value of their thought-provoking guidebook. Then, in 2020, Brenda added an essential book for anyone exploring interfaith relationships, called Reuniting the Children of Abraham: The Sacred Story that Calls Jews, Christians and Muslims to Peace.
- Debra Darvick—Want to know more about the Jewish holidays? We highly recommend a classic, This Jewish Life, Stories of Discovery, Connection and Joy. Debra takes us through the Jewish year, marking the major observances with inspiring true stories by a wide range of men and women.
- Lynne Meredith Golodner—Want a taste of the holidays? The Flavors of Faith: Holy Breads includes two delicious challah recipes—as well as stories and recipes from other religious and cultural traditions.
- WISDOM Women—The new edition of Friendship and Faith has more than 50 true, inspiring stories of women daring to cross religious boundaries to form new friendships. Many of the women who contributed their stories to this book are Jewish.
- Linda Jarkey—Collaborating with her sister, artist Julie Jarkey-Kozlowski, these two veteran educators created a new kind of children’s picture book, Sadie Sees Trouble. The theme is timely: A little girl’s beloved dog Sadie struggles to regain the girl’s attention when she becomes obsessed with a new digital device. Readers also are invited to download free coloring pages to take part in this creative adventure.
- Robert Pasick—Veteran teacher and psychologist Robert Pasick offers wisdom for successful living in his guidebook, Balanced Leadership in Unbalanced Times, and his reflections on Conversations with My Old Dog.
- Suzy Farbman—You’re likely to laugh and cry as you journey with journalist Suzy Farbman through her spiritual adventures in survival from a dire diagnosis of cancer. Her book-length memoir is called GodSigns. In addition, Suzy writes a weekly column called GodSigns, which introduces readers of magazine to remarkable men and women who make our world a better place each day.