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Writing for Children about the Holocaust

AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHELLE BISSON, AUTHOR OF “HEDY’S JOURNEY” by Jacob L. Perl   “She and I talked about the Holocaust a lot over the years, but I, also for many years, did not understand. I just thought that she was obsessive and talked too much about it. And then when she died … Something […]

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Rabbi Sandy Sasso

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso became the first woman ordained as rabbi by the Reconstructionist movement on this date in 1974. She was also the first woman to serve as rabbi in a Conservative congregation (Indianapolis’ Beth-El Zedeck), and she and her husband Rabbi Dennis Sasso were likely the first rabbinical couple in Jewish history and certainly […]

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The Sesame Street Animator

Jane Aaron, who created more than 150 animated shorts for Sesame Street that brought to life numbers, letters of the alphabet, words, and concepts, was born in New York on this date in 1948. Aaron’s animation mixed drawn images with live-action footage that she shot all over the country. She “dreamed up many innovative techniques,” […]

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Sanity for Jewish Mothers and Their Kids

Discussed in this essay: Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do To Raise Successful, Creative, Empathic, Independent Children, by Marjorie Ingall. Harmony Books, NY, 2016, 239 pages. by D. Yael Bernhard “IS THIS the hill you want to die on?” So asks author and Forward and Tablet columnist Marjorie Ingall in her thought-provoking book on […]

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The Paper Pushcart

Jewish Currents has acquired a stack of some of the most creative and progressive books for kids in two age groups, 2-5 and 6-10 — and we’d like to send them to your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, one book per one month for the next six months. The cost of enrolling in the Paper […]

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Rediscovering Ezra Jack Keats

by Helen Engelhardt From the Autumn, 2011 issue of Jewish Currents EZRA JACK KEATS IS KNOWN to many of us as the author of the modern classic children’s book, The Snowy Day, in which a young boy named Peter wakes to find his urban neighborhood transformed by a snowfall in the night. He puts on […]

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March 11: Ezra Jack Keats

Ezra Jack Keats (Jacob Ezra Katz), who transformed children’s literature with his colorful collage-and-ink style and his introduction of African-American children as central characters, was born in poverty in Brooklyn on this date in 1916. His artistic talent was well-recognized by the time he was in high school, but poverty beset him at several junctures […]

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June 10: Let the Wild Rumpus Start

Maurice Sendak, creator of Where the Wild Things Are (1964) and other classics of children’s literature, was born on this date in 1928. He was the child of poor Polish Jewish immigrants and lost nearly the entirety of his extended family in the Holocaust. Sendak’s drawings were filled with craft, detail, and cross-hatched grotesquerie; his […]

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February 12: God? It’s Me, Judy

Judy Blume, who redefined the terms of acceptable discourse in children’s literature on her way to selling eighty million copies of her books and seeing them translated into thirty-one languages, was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on this date in 1938. Her best-known works include Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, which deals with […]

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