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Biographies & Memoirs

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  1. Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, His Vision, Wisdom, & Warmth Lit Up the World

    Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, His Vision, Wisdom, & Warmth Lit Up the World

    $24.75

    He taught so many of us to learn. He taught so many of us to pray. 
    Now, through his engrossing life story, Reb Meir Zlotowitz will teach us how to become better parents, better children, better friends. Better people.

    Many of us know the story of how Meir Zlotowitz, a young graphic artist, started a company -- and a Torah revolution -- called ArtScroll. In this scrupulously researched and beautifully written biography, author Yisroel Besser paints a stunning portrait of a remarkable man, one of the greatest Torah disseminators of our time; a giant with global impact who managed, at the same time, to be devoted to his family and loyal to his friends. Busy building a Torah empire, he somehow always managed to find the time to advise and help the countless friends and strangers who sought him out.

    What was the secret of Rabbi Zlotowitz's phenomenal success? How did he establish relationships with the greatest Torah luminaries of the time? How did his personal challenges affect the person he became? What role did his rebbi, Rav Moshe Feinstein, play? How did he attract supporters from the entire spectrum of Jewish life even while being unapologetically rooted in the world of the yeshiva? What sort of advice and guidance did he offer younger businessmen, educators and activists who looked to "Uncle Meir' as a mentor?

    Most important of all: How did he maintain his care and concern for every individual, while devoting himself so wholeheartedly to the entire Jewish people?

    This book is a page-turner, a hard-to-put-down masterpiece that will inspire you to reach out and change the world -- while investing yourself in those closest to you, your family and friends. It's a story not only about what Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz did, but about what he was. A story of one man’s courage, his vision, and his unwavering faith in the Jewish People and their Torah. Learn More

  2. From Djerba to Jerusalem, The Extraordinary Story of Rebbetzin Shulamit Bitton Blau

    From Djerba to Jerusalem, The Extraordinary Story of Rebbetzin Shulamit Bitton Blau

    $24.75

    Many countries. Many lives. 
    And one overwhelming love, for Hashem, His Torah and His People. 
    Meet Shulamit Bitton-Blau. You're going to love her.

    One foggy day in northern England, a young woman danced into the relatively new girl's seminary that had been founded in Gateshead, wearing an enchanting smile, a bright purple coat, and sandals. The only child of a family deeply rooted in Djerba, the legendary island of Kohanim, Shulamit Cohen was Sefardic, a miracle child whose Jewish education had taken place entirely at home. Yet within moments of her arrival she felt entirely at home in Gateshead - and Gatehead felt entirely at home with its new, unusual and exuberant student.

    It was that exuberance, coupled with her rock-solid emunah and her unparalleled love for Torah, which carried Shulamit through her many journeys and challenges. That wide-eyed student grew up to be the wife of an impoverished Torah scholar in Gateshead, a rabbanit in Marseilles when her husband was appointed av beis din, a widow who married off eight children, and, after her remarriage, the wife of one of the outstanding figures in Yerushalayim's Eida Chareidis.

    Quite a journey; and Shulamit was quite a personality. Bestselling author Libby Lazewnik brings her to vivid life: her unusual optimism in the face of daunting circumstances and her devotion to her family - a family that included all of Klal Yisrael.

    From Djerba to Jerusalem is an engrossing story. More: it's an eye-opening, heart-opening look at the power of chesed, emunah, and love. Learn More

  3. Kosher Investigator, How Rabbi Berel Levy Built the OK and Transformed the World of Kosher Supervision

    Kosher Investigator, How Rabbi Berel Levy Built the OK and Transformed the World of Kosher Supervision

    $24.75

    Kosher Investigator: How Rabbi Berel Levy Built the OK and Transformed the World of Kosher Supervision

    Even as a young child, Berel Levy was determined and fearless in the pursuit of his goals. From the home of his uncle, “the Malach,” to the Lubavitch yeshivah in Otwock, Poland, he followed his dream of studying Torah, despite his parents’ disapproval and the looming clouds of World War II. In the halls of Torah Umesorah and the clandestine Jewish schools of the Soviet Union, he bolstered Jewish education and observance in the face of political opposition and an oppressive Communist regime. Perhaps most remarkably, as the head of the Organized Kashrus Laboratories, he forever changed the world of kosher supervision. Rabbi Levy’s life story is told for the first time in these pages.

    “Kosher Investigator pays honor to a founding father of modern industrial kosher certification. Rabbi Berel Levy’s passionate commitment to yiddishkeit and his keen powers of investigation helped transform the American kosher certification system into a model of reliable private regulation.”

    – Professor Timothy D. Lytton, author of Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food

    “Kosher Investigator beautifully captures Rabbi Berel Levy’s remarkable contributions to kosher food – and, more generally, to Judaism. A skilled investigator himself, author Dovid Zaklikowski draws on oral interviews, obscure printed sources, and Rabbi Levy’s previously unknown personal papers to provide a revelatory account of his life. Written with great sympathy – and not shying away from controversial topics – this carefully researched book is a page-turner that readers will thoroughly enjoy.”

    – Dr. Roger Horowitz, author of Kosher USA: How Coke became kosher and other tales of modern food Learn More

  4. Miracles in Switzerland, A Hidden Child of the Holocaust Tells Her Story

    Miracles in Switzerland, A Hidden Child of the Holocaust Tells Her Story

    $24.75

    War and Holocaust were raging all around little Jutta Zehner, but this young Jewish child, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of a Swiss village, was safe.

    Or was she?

    Jutta had been sent to the Swiss Alps as her only hope of recovery from tuber-culosis. In Miracles in Switzerland, Jutta (Zehner) Luksenberg shares the riveting and largely unknown story of a group of Jewish children who survived the Holocaust years in sanitariums in Switzerland. With their parents lost in the ruins of Nazi Europe, these children were being raised as Christians - until a group of dedicated and compassionate Jews declared that they would not let these hidden children be lost to their eternal heritage.

     
    Learn More
  5. The Night Is Not Dark, story of a young boy and the gedolim who took him into their homes and hearts

    The Night Is Not Dark, story of a young boy and the gedolim who took him into their homes and hearts

    $24.75

    Why did The Chofetz Chaim give a blessing to a priest?

    Why did 2,000 secular kibbutzniks pay tribute to a 100 year old rabbi?

    How did a mischievous boy cement a friendship with R' Aharon Kotler?

    How did that same boy parlay eggs and herring into a yeshiva education?

    The Night is Not Dark tells the story of Yitzchak Bernstein, a young boy, an ilui with a well-developed streak of mischief - and of the gedolim of Europe who took him in, taught him, disciplined him and loved him.

    Yitzchak'l Bernstein left home at age 7 to become a yeshiva bachur. He learned b'chavrusa with R' Yisrael Gustman, satisfied Rav Shimon Shkop's exacting standards, was accepted as a student of R' Elchonon Wasserman in Baranovitz, and was nursed back to health by Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky - all before his bar mitzvah. When the Polish army came to draft him, it was Rav Leizer Yudel Finkel who interceded to keep him safe.

    In The Night is Not Dark we journey down the streets of Baranovitch, the lanes of Grodno, and the cobbled pathways of Mir. We meet the great roshei yeshiva of Europe, some still unknown lamdanim toiling at their gemaras, others in their prime. More than the story of one precocious boy, this book evokes the rhythms and lives of pre-war Europe, the great men and the simple ones, the triumphs and the tragedies of the Jewish people. Learn More

  6. Incredible! From the Bronx to Bnei Brak: The amazing true story of Rabbi Yossi Wallis

    Incredible! From the Bronx to Bnei Brak: The amazing true story of Rabbi Yossi Wallis

    $25.75

    This is a true story so full of non-stop action, physical and spiritual courage, Divine Providence, spine-tingling adventure -- and an utter dedication to Torah -- that it can only be called: Incredible!

    As CEO of Arachim, the ultra-successful global kiruv organization, Rabbi Yossi Wallis has touched and transformed the lives of tens of thousands of Jews, and has developed personal, warm relationships with many of our greatest Torah leaders.

    Before he became a renowned kiruv master, Yossi ("Joe") Wallis lived a life of breathtaking exploits and hair-raising escapes. It began on the tough New York streets, where Joe led the Bronx's first all-Jewish gang, black leather jackets and all. It was a life that included dangerous encounters with the Mafia underworld, a stint in the Israeli air force, and an unexpected discovery of his Torah heritage while waiting in a restaurant for his treife sandwich.

    Rabbi Wallis wasn't the only illustrious member of his family. Under the deft hands of master storyteller Rabbi Nachman Seltzer we meet Rabbi Wallis's ancestor, Rafael Vallis, one of the three last Jews to be publicly burned in a Spanish auto-da-fe. And Yeedle Wallis, Rabbi Wallis's father, whose against-all-odds survival in the Holocaust and journey to pre-State Palestine is something you'd expect only to find in fiction.

    This is a story that reads like a thriller, and, at the same time, it is an inspiring account of a spiritual journey.

    This is a story that is simply Incredible! Learn More

  7. Nouri, The story of Isidore Dayan, and the growth of a vibrant community in America

    Nouri, The story of Isidore Dayan, and the growth of a vibrant community in America

    $26.75

    The orphan, raised by his grandmother, caught in an unusual custody battle that only a bet din can resolve.

    The prosperous businessman building up a family and a community on the quiet streets of Bensonhurst, lending money to others so that they can open a business that will compete with his own.

    The generous philanthropist cleaning up the synagogue he helped to build.

    The indomitable optimist who pulled himself out of poverty, but who always knew where his success really came from.

    This is Nouri's story

    He was a man of many names: Ezra, Nouri (which, appropriately, means "my light"), Isidore, Izzy. He was a larger-than-life personality, helping to create a larger-than-life community, and it needs a larger-than-life book to tell his story. This is Nouri's book.

    Nouri: The Story of Isidore Dayan, and the growth of a vibrant community in America focuses on one of the most intriguing personalities of the modern Jewish world. The tale spans almost a century, includes two World Wars, and features a panoramic background ranging from Baghdad and Damascus to Brooklyn, from Czechoslovakia to Baltimore to tiny Vineland, New Jersey.

    In the pages of this biography-that-reads-like-a-novel, you will meet famed gedolim: Hacham Murad, Nouri's mentor and eventually his father-in-law; Rav Avraham Kalmanowitz, the Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, whose efforts and care for Klal Yisrael included the Sephardim of America; and Rav Yitzchok Hutner, who, together with Nouri's daughter and son-in-law, underwent a harrowing terrorist plane hijacking.

    You will meet men who create businesses built on generosity and adherence to Jewish values; Sephardic grandmothers filled with the unyielding strength of simple devotion; and a new generation of young Sephardim determined to reach - and teach - higher levels of Torah learning. And, of course, you will meet Nouri, the quiet, unassuming, and friendly man who became a legend in his community.

    The young, poor orphan becomes a wealthy businessman: it's almost a cliche. But in Nouri's story there are no cliches. There are only remarkable instances of Divine Providence, self-sacrifice, devotion, and an almost extraordinary level of chesed and caring - a true life odyssey that reads like a novel. Learn More

  8. A Boy Named 68818 (hardcover)

    A Boy Named 68818 (hardcover)

    $26.75

    "From now on this is going to be your name: 68818".

    Everything had been taken from him except his name. Now they were taking that too.

    Who was the boy behind the number? As you discover 68818 in this gripping Holocaust memoir, you may just discover yourself, as well.

    This poignant, gripping account of the extraordinary courage of a young boy in the holocaust comes to life with the rich illustrations of Gadi Pollack. It is ready to be used as an educational text with historical overview of the war years, maps, timelines, a chapter-by-chapter learning guide color coded with historical, psychological, heroic, Jewish heritage and literary lessons. Learn More

  9. אלה תולדות פרץ

    אלה תולדות פרץ

    $24.50

    תולדות חייו של המשפיע ר' פרץ מוצקין Learn More
  10. Six Million and One

    Six Million and One

    $25.75

    Six Million and One

    Six million tragedies. And one more.

    The tragedy of a life lived in the shadow of pain…the life of a survivor and the lives of the second and third generations.

    In the turmoil and terror that was Holland during World War II, identical twins Chana and Shprintze are torn apart, one destined for life, the other, for annihilation. The quest to memorialize her lost sister becomes an obsession for Chana Eichler, but she is denied the gift of a daughter. All her yearning is now fixed on the third generation, and when her son marries, his wife discovers that the path to her mother-in-law’s heart is blocked by the past.

    Bayla Green, a Dutch Holocaust survivor living in New Jersey, sets out on a journey to uncover what really happened in an Amsterdam convent during the war years. She enlists the help of Jan Bricker, a righteous Dutch gentile, who is swiftly and inexorably drawn into a web of intrigue and deception.

    When Chana returns to Holland for the first time since the war, she finds herself caught up in events beyond her control, and is suddenly forced to confront the secrets of her family’s history.

    Six Million and One will take you on a suspenseful journey, from America to Holland to Eretz Yisrael, from Holocaust survivors determined to unearth the truth, to evil-minded individuals who seek only death and destruction. Who will triumph: the elderly nun desperate to cover her tracks; or the Bricker and Eichler families, dedicated to life and truth? The answer lies behind the door with three locks... Learn More

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