JEWels

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JEWels

Teasing Out the Poetry in Jewish Humor and Storytelling

400 pages
index

eBook (EPUB)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

February 2023

978-0-8276-1900-5

$29.95 Add to Cart
Paperback

February 2023

978-0-8276-1552-6

$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

February 2023

978-0-8276-1901-2

$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

JEWels is the first of its kind: the living tradition of Jewish stories and jokes transformed into poems, recording and reflecting Jewish experience from ancient times through the present day. In this novel hybrid—jokes and stories boiled down to their essence in short poems—Jewish witticism is preserved side by side with evocative storytelling and deepened with running commentary and questions for discussion.

Illuminated here are jewels from journeys, from the Old Country, from Torah, shaped by the Holocaust, in glimpses of Jewish American lives, in Jewish foods, in conversations with God, and on the meaning of life. Jewish comedians (Lenny Bruce, Jackie Mason) appear alongside writers and musicians (Elie Wiesel, Sholem Aleichem, Itzhak Perlman) and Hasidic rabbis (the Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov), yet most of the tellers are ordinary Jews. In this cacophony of ongoing dialogue, storytellers, rabbis, poets, and scholars chime in with interpretations, quips, and related stories and life experiences.

In JEWels each of us can see our own reflection.

 

 

Author Bio

Steve Zeitlin is the author or coauthor of several award-winning books on America’s folk culture, including Because God Loves Stories: An Anthology of Jewish Storytelling and The Poetry of Everyday Life: Storytelling and the Art of Awareness. He coproduced the storytelling series American Talkers for NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday and Morning Edition and is the recipient of the American Folklore Society’s Benjamin Botkin Award for lifetime achievement in public folklore.

Praise

“Steve Zeitlin is a national treasure who celebrates the voices of everyday life. Wise, funny, and poignant, his book JEWels brings Judaism to life in short bursts of words that explode off the page and infuse our hearts with light and truth.”—Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps

“I could not put this book down. JEWels is brilliant, intelligent, well researched, and has heart. It’s an immersive experience in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, but the parts are what matter, each jewel standing on its own.”—Amy Shuman, professor in the Department of English at Ohio State University and author of Other People’s Stories

JEWels is a unique, humorous, and sensitive link in the chain of Jewish storytelling, humor, and commentary.”—Rabbi Moshe Waldoks, coeditor of The Big Book of Jewish Humor

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