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Children's Books by Local Jewish Authors Bring Education and Joy - J.

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When San Francisco nutritionist and chef Micah Siva searched for a Jewish counting book for her new niece last summer, she was disappointed with the choice. So Shiva, who writes a food column for J., and her husband Josh, who works in the pharmaceutical industry, decide to write and publish the column themselves.

“1, 2, 3, Nosh With Me” (30 pages, for children under 5) Teach counting using traditional holiday foods such as matzah balls, sufgani yots and hamantashen. (Buckwheat, Shiva’s dog, also appears in the book, illustrated by Ukrainian artist Sviatoslav Franco.)

Cover of “I grew up in an Ashkenazi family and my husband in a Sephardi family. [for the book] Mika Shiva, 30, told J.

Shiva, from Calgary, Canada, said she was surprised at how many non-Jewish parents bought the book to diversify their children’s bookshelves. “They asked me how to pronounce the word,” she said. Good thing.” (Shiva will read at the JCC in San Francisco on September 17th and teach a Kara baking class at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette on September 18th.)

Children’s books about new food, “Try a bite” (Dial Books, 40 pages, ages 4-8) is a clever role-reversal story about very health-conscious children who intervene with their junk food eating parents. Children try to bribe adults into eating broccoli, kale, quinoa, and other whole foods.

Don’t let the fact that one of the authors is Berkeley-based Adam Mansbach fool you. He is best known for his profane children’s books, which are actually intended for adults. This is a truly kid-friendly book featuring an adorable multi-ethnic family illustrated by Mike Bolt.

Mansbach co-wrote “Just Try One Bite” with Camila Alves McConaughey, a healthy eating advocate who came up with the idea of ​​role reversal. ,” Mansbach wrote in an email to J. Use the humor cheat code, at least in my house. It also inspires us to move beyond the kinds of deadlocks we all have and move into more fruitful (and veggie-rich) territory.

Two incredible Jewish women in history get their due in a new non-fiction biopic.

Bonnie Lindauer tells the life of the founder of the National Council of Jewish Women. “Hannah G. Solomon dared to make a difference” (Kar-Ben, page 32, ages 5-9). Born in Chicago in 1858 to German immigrant parents, Solomon survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 (dramatically portrayed by Sophia Moore), and was killed by a Jewish woman at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. organized an event for

Cover of As the NCJW’s first president, he helped improve the lives of immigrants and children by campaigning for safer housing, free childcare, and public playgrounds. She also promoted vocational training for women and joined the women’s suffrage movement with her friend Susan B. Anthony.

“[She did] All of this while she was still a devoted mother and wife,” San Francisco resident and Congregation am Tikwer member Lindauer said at a Jewish Community Library virtual event in December. “Certainly, like some women of her time, she transformed her Jewish mother from a quiet guardian of the home into a woman who was deeply devoted to domestic life and capable of making an important contribution to society.” It helped me change.”

“The Woman Who Divided Atoms: The Life of Lise Meitner” (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 264 pages, ages 10-14) was a Viennese-born physicist who collaborated with Albert Einstein and discovered nuclear fission with Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann in 1938 — when she escaped the Nazis. It was just after I settled in Sweden. However, Hahn was the only one to win the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this discovery. Injustice is highlighted by Marissa Moss of San Francisco in this fascinating book, which includes Moss’ own illustrations at the beginning of each chapter.

Cover of Marissa Moss's The Woman Who Broke Atoms: The Life of Lise MeitnerMoss, a prolific children’s book author best known for his “Amelia’s Notes” series, told J. that he learned about Meitner from his son, who is studying astrophysics in graduate school. “I fell in love with her,” Moss said. “She was born in a time when Austrian women couldn’t even go to high school, but when the law changed, she packed into high school and attended college. She was determined to study science, but it was It wasn’t something women do. She had the power of courage and conviction, and I was inspired by them.”

How did Meitner feel about her careless contribution to the creation of nuclear weapons? He noted that Meitner had refused to cooperate with the Manhattan Project.”After the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, she spoke of the obligation to prevent this from happening again.” .”

Finally, young readers excited about the supernatural have plenty to savor in two Kabbalah-inspired picture books.

“Marka’s Notebook: A Journey to the Mysterious Aleph Bet” (The Collective Book Studio, 312 pages, all ages) follows a young girl in an ancient city as she learns the Hebrew alphabet and explores the secret meanings behind the letters. herself. Author Mila Z. Amiras, an anthropologist who retired from San Jose State University in 2012, draws on sources as diverse as the Zohar and archaeological accounts of ancient Near Eastern deities.

Cover of San Francisco resident Amirath said her father’s character was inspired by her own father, Seymour Frommer, who founded the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life in Berkeley and gifted her the first Aleph Bet book. “I still have it. To tell you the truth, I think it shaped my whole life,” she said. “I wouldn’t have said it then, but what I learned is that Alefbet is animistic, which means that each character is alive.”

“Marka’s Notebook” includes Israel-based sofas and stunning illustrations by artist Josh Baum. A related animated film, The Day Before Creation, is available to stream online for free. (Amiras will discuss and read the book at his Afikomen Judaica in Berkeley on August 28th.)

by David Funkshen “Grandpa has supernatural powers” (Fulton Books, page 28, ages 5-9), a San Francisco grandfather gains mystical powers through the study of Kabbalah. He uses these powers to help his grandchildren overcome life’s challenges.

Cover of He helps find a stolen bike by casting a spell on a thief, and helps another win a basketball game by creating new golem teammates from the mud of Lake Merced.

“I’ve always enjoyed crafting stories for my grandchildren,” Fankushen, a former physician and chairman of Berkeley’s Chochmat HaLev, told J. It lives and teaches some aspects of the history of Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah. ”

All the books mentioned in this column can be ordered from Berkeley’s Afikomen Judaica and other online retailers.