Book list: Exploring culture, religion and individualism

Bestinau got that-

A book list prepared by the Richmond Public Library about their latest books in the Dayson collection.

A list of the Richmond Public Library’s latest additions to the Dayson collection.

Growing Up Below Sea Level – Rachel Biale
Ever wondered what it would be like to grow up on a kibbutz in the 50’s and 60’s? Just ask Rachel Biale. Her memoir, a collection of stories ranging from her parents’ love letters to her childhood in a children’s home, offers a glimpse into life on the kibbutz for children and adults alike.

House on Endless Waters - Elon, Emunah

House on Endless Waters – Emunah Elon
An exploration of identity and connectedness that questions how well we know the people around us – and ourselves. Author Yoel Blum travels to his hometown, Amsterdam, and is launched into a desperate search for the truth when he finds a family photo with a baby he doesn’t recognize.

Judaism for the World - Green, Arthur

Judaism for the World – Arthur Green
Calling all seekers of Judaism, Jewish or not, this book provides answers to questions about human existence and how to live. With over 50 years of experience as a scholar and theologian, Arthur Green leads readers on an inward journey, exploring Jewish mysticism and thought in new ways.

The Lost Shtetl - Gross, MaxThe Lost Shtetl – Max Gross
Kreskol, a traditional Yiddish-speaking village, has remained hidden for decades. When a young woman who wants to divorce her husband shows up, the village suddenly comes to the forefront of the media. Kreskol is suddenly faced with the challenges of modern society that have been missed all along. Can the village ever go back to what it was?

The Last Interview - Nevo, Eshkol

The Last Interview – Eshkol Nevo
A desperate writer tries to answer a series of interview questions sent to him by a website, but finds he can no longer respond in his usual calculated way. What tumbles out instead is the whole, raw, unfiltered truth—revealing deep cracks in the front that he’s worked so hard to maintain.

The Plum Trees - Shorr, Victoria

The Plum Trees – Victoria Shorr
When Consie returns home for a funeral, she comes across an old family letter that shakes her: according to the letter, her great-uncle Hermann may have escaped Auschwitz. But what happened to him? Driven by a need for truth, Consie sets out to find out what really happened to Hermann and bring peace to a family torn apart.

How Yiddish Changed America and How America Changed Yiddish

How Yiddish Changed America and America Changed Yiddish – Ilan Stavans & Joshua N. Lambert
A vibrant anthology of poems, essays, memoirs, letters and more, capturing Yiddish voices in America from generation to generation. This collection showcases the diversity of Yiddish culture through themes such as politics, language, literature, and the evolution of Yiddish culture through the generations.

Funny you don’t look like a rabbi – Lynnda Targan
Despite living a fulfilling life, Lynnda Targan always felt that something was missing, so she chose to follow the path of science and spirituality at age 50 to become a rabbi. This inspiring and compelling memoir shows readers that it is never too late to find and pursue your true calling.

My name is Selma – Selma Van de Perre
The remarkable story of courage in the most trying times. In 1942, at the start of World War II, seventeen-year-old Selma joined the resistance, using a fake ID to travel across Europe under the guise of “Margareta”. Although she was eventually captured by the Nazis, Selma was finally able to reveal her true identity. This is her story about her story.

Heirs of Yesterday – Emma Wolf
Originally published in 1900, Emma Wolf’s Yesterday’s heirs explores topics such as individualism and anti-Semitism through the stories of physicist Philip May and pianist Jean Willard. This newly published edition also contains background information about Wolf himself, along with information about the rise of Reform Judaism in the 19th centurye century Jewish community in San Francisco.

Ginny Dunnill is a community service librarian at the Richmond Public Library. The books highlighted in this list are part of the Ben and Esther Dayson Judaica Collection, a collection that celebrates and shares Jewish culture. To learn more about the Dayson collection and other great books, visit

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