Current Authors

Sandra Seltzer Silberman HBI Conversations Series

Judy Bolton-Fasman

October 12, 2021

Sandra Seltzer Silberman HBI Conversations Series Launch and Dedication in Honor of Sandy Silberman.

Asylum, A Memoir of Family Secrets

Judy Bolton-Fasman's Asylum explores her family’s secret and tumultuous past with warmth, passion, and subtle humor, firmly rooted in Jewish tradition. 

After complying with her father's request to burn his still unread letter, Bolton-Fasman began to explore her bifurcated ancestry - a Sephardic, Spanish/Ladino-speaking culture inherited from her mother and an Ashkenazi, English-only, old-fashioned American patriotism from her father. While Asylum asks how much do we really know about the lives of our parents and the secrets lodged in their past, Bolton-Fasman shows that the answers may lie in the exploration itself.  

HBI is honored to have supported Bolton-Fasman’s research and writing during the early phases of her project.

Available now at Amazon or your local bookseller.  

Judy Batalion

October 27, 2021

The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos

“Guns, grenades and espionage” are the words Judy Batalion uses to describe her thrilling dive into “Freuen in di Ghettos,” Yiddish for “Women in the Ghettos,” the blueprint for her new book, The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos. Her book, soon to be the basis for a Steven Spielberg movie, reveals the previously untold stories of brave ghetto women who fought and fooled the Nazis. 

Read more in the New York Times

HBI is honored to have funded a portion of Batalion’s research.

Available now at Bookshop, Amazon, or your local bookseller. 

HBI is a network member of the Jewish Book Council.

Rabbi Haviva Ner-David

December 8, 2021

Hope Valley

Rabbi Ner David’s Hope Valley is the moving story of the friendship of two women, one Jewish-Israeli and one Palestinian-Israeli, living in the Galilee at the start of the Second Intifada in 2000. Ner-David beautifully weaves together the lives and family histories of Tikva and Ruby, who live on opposite sides of the fence separating Moshav Sapir from the Palestinian village of Bir al-Demue, into a thought-provoking conversation not only about Jews’ and Arabs’ co-existence, shared lands and intertwined histories but also about women’s lives, chronic illness, past choices, and yes, hope.

Available now at Bookshop, Amazon, or your local bookseller. 

HBI is a network member of the Jewish Book Council. 

Carole Kessner, Ph.D.

December 15, 2021

Carole Kessner, Ph.D., in conversation with Peter Osnos

Marie Syrkin: Values Beyond the Self  (HBI Series on Jewish Women and National Jewish Book Award for Biography)

Co-Sponsor: The Brandeis Alumni Association

Marie Syrkin’s life spanned ninety years of the twentieth century, 1899–1989. As a polemical journalist, socialist Zionist, poet, educator, literary critic, translator, and idiosyncratic feminist, she was eyewitness to and reporter on most of the major events in America, Israel, and Europe. During her lifetime Syrkin’s name was widely recognized in the world of Jewish life and letters. Yet, inevitably, since her death, recognition of her name is no longer quite so immediate. Carole S. Kessner’s intention is to restore for a new generation the singular legacy of Syrkin’s life.

Learn more about Syrkin from her biographer and former student, professor emerita Carole Kessner (Brandeis '53, P'80, G'15) , and her cousin Peter Osnos (Brandeis '64), acclaimed publisher and former Washington Post reporter. 

Available now at Brandeis University Press, Amazon, or your local bookseller.

Rachel Sharona Lewis

January 19, 2022

The Rabbi Who Prayed With Fire

Co-Sponsor: The Brandeis Alumni Association

Drawing inspiration from Harry Kemelman’s "Rabbi Small" series of the 1960s and 1970s, author Rachel Sharona Lewis (Brandeis '09) brings us fiction’s newest sleuth, the queer young Rabbi Vivian. When the Beth Abraham synagogue is burned down, the thoughtful bold rabbi works both inside and outside of the synagogue community to solve the case, illuminating the contrasting realities of lives across the city and challenging biases along the way. 

Available now at Bookshop, Amazon, or your local bookseller. 

Laura Arnold Leibman, Ph.D.

February 15, 2022

Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multi-Racial Jewish Family

In this important American story, Leibman takes a deep look into the background of Blanche Moses, a member of a prominent American Jewish family that can trace its lineage to the time of the American Revolution. An avid, even obsessive, genealogist, Moses nonetheless died in 1949 without learning that her grandmother Sarah Brandon Moses had begun her life Christian—and enslaved—in late eighteenth-century Barbados.

Meticulously tracing the family’s history, Leibman uncovers a largely forgotten population of mixed African and Jewish ancestry—one that constituted as much as fifty percent of the Jewish communities in Barbados and elsewhere on the Atlantic in the early 1800s. In doing so, Leibman not only sheds new light on the fluidity of race in early America and the role of religion in racial shift, but also shows that the diversity of today’s Jewish community is part of a long tradition.

HBI is honored to have funded a portion of Dr. Leibman's research.

Available now at Bookshop, Amazon, or your local bookseller. 

HBI is a network member of the Jewish Book Council.

Judy Heumann

March 23, 2022

Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist

Co-sponsors: Hadassah's Attorneys and Judges Council and Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. 

Being Heumann: The Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist is the powerful story of one Jewish woman’s fight to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in society for herself and disabled people in the United States and later, around the world. Born in the late 1940s to Jews who fled Nazi Germany, and paralyzed from polio at eighteen months, Judy Heumann’s struggle for equality began early in life when she was legally barred from grade school due to being a “fire hazard” as there were no protections of disabled American’s civil rights at the time.  

With inspiration and support from her parents, Judy went on to become one of the most influential disability rights activists in the US, leading sit-ins and protests that ultimately lead to the passage of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the first disability civil rights law to be enacted in the U.S. which later set the stage for the Americans with Disabilities Act. Many may have seen the fierce yet loving teenage Judy spreading her leadership wings in Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, the 2020 Netflix film executive produced by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama about a groundbreaking summer camp which galvanized a group of teens with disabilities to help build a movement, forging a new path toward greater equality in the 1970s. 

Available now at Bookshop, Amazon, or your local bookseller.  

Marcia Falk

April 11, 2022

Night of Beginnings: A Radical Re-visioning of the Passover Seder 

 Co-Sponsor: The Brandeis Alumni Association

Marcia Falk (Brandeis '68) will read from and discuss her new Passover haggadah, Night of Beginnings: A Passover Haggadah, which returns to the roots of the festival with a full recounting of, and original commentary on the Exodus story. This “radicalizing” of the seder—rooting it to its most ancient source, which is largely absent from the traditional haggadah and modern haggadot—is also radical in another sense, re-creating the rabbinic offerings with new blessings, poems, and kavanot (“directions of the heart”).

Available now at Bookshop, Amazon, and  Jewish Publication Society/University of Nebraska Press. If you order the book from JPS/UNP, you can save 40% with the code 6AS22. 

HBI is honored to have funded a portion of Falk’s research.