One Author's Perspective
Dr. Ron Wolfson is an author and Professor of Education for AJU's Fingerhut School of Education. He is the co-founder and current President of Synagogue 3000, an institute whose mission is to catalyze excellence in synagogue life.
Q. Ron, you have been an educator at AJU for more than 35 years, you are a pioneer in the field of Jewish family education, and your series on the Art of Jewish Living has sold over 100,000 copies. In this interview I would like to ask you specifically about your latest three books.
A. The Spirituality of Welcoming, God's To-Do List, and The Seven Questions You're Asked in Heaven all published by Jewish Lights.
AT THE LIBRARY
What One Father Learned about Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love from His Extraordinary Son
The Ostrow Library is proud to host Tom Fields-Meyer, a former senior writer for People and author of Following Ezra, for a conversation and book signing. Following Ezra is the story of a father and son on a ten-year-journey, from Ezra's diagnosis with Autism to the day of his one-of-a-kind bar mitzvah. Full of tender moments and unexpected humor, the book celebrates Ezra's evolution from a remote toddler to an extraordinary young man, connected in his own remarkable ways to the world around him.
Unlike other memoirs, Following Ezra focuses not on a "battle against a disease," but rather on the surprisingly rich and textured life one experiences in raising such a child. Fields-Meyer has also written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Forward. The event will take place on Monday February 6, at 11:00 A.M. To register, call (310) 440.1246 or visit our web site wcce.ajula.edu.
Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza
By Adina Hoffmann and Peter Cole
Reviewed by Rabbi Pinchas Giller, Ph.D., Author, Chair of the Jewish Studies Department and Professor in Medieval Jewish Thought at AJU
For all of us lonely acolytes, by which I mean Jewish scholars obsessed by the ancient text in all of its mystery, Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole's Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza is an enthralling and vindicating academic detective story. Hoffman and Cole chronicle a world of 20th century scholars, with all the dramas and upheavals of their lives and times, and the thrilling discoveries that they made in the writings found in the Cairo Geniza.
A geniza is a place used for storing the detritus of Jewish religious life, the materials that were used as sacred objects, but are worn out. They can't be thrown away, so they have to be buried or otherwise stored indefinitely. In late antiquity and the Middle Ages, any Hebrew writing was viewed as ancient, and the attic of the Ben Ezra Synagogue of old Cairo held a thousand years worth of such scraps.