The Jewish Eye
Index - Biographies
Reviews & Book Excerpts
Back to top
- Abraham: The First Historical Biography, by David Rosenberg.
The world's three largest faiths all find a common root in one man: Abraham. Breaking new ground, David Rosenberg portrays Abraham as a man whose whole life, and therefore his legacy, is informed by the Sumerian culture that produced him.
- All But My Life, by Gerda Weissmann Klein.
This is Gerda Weissmann's memoir of the six years she spent under Nazi tyranny, during which she spent three years in Nazi forced labor camp. This story also recounts her liberation and her meeting with Kurt Klein, the young man who was to become her husband. All But My Life is a horrific and heart wrenching story, yet it is also surprising uplifting. It is a classic of Holocaust literature.
- Angel of Orphans, by Malky Weinstock.
The remarkable story of R' Yona Tiefenbrunner and the hundreds of children that he helped save, both during the Holocaust, and after.
- Anne Frank's Family, by Mirjam Pressler.
This fascinating history of Anne Frank and the family that shaped her is based on a treasure trove of thousands of letters, poems, drawings, postcards, and photos.
- Anne Frank's Story - Her Life Retold for Children, by Carol Ann Lee
A concise biography of Anne Frank, written especially for children. This work covers Anne's life from her birth, until her untimely death at the age of fifteen.
- Baruch's Odyssey: An Ethiopian Jew's Struggle to Save His People, by Baruch Tegegne.
In 1955, at age 11, Baruch was sent to study in Israel, and he returned to Ethiopia at 19. In 1974, when the Ethiopian Revolution began, life quickly became unbearable for Ethiopia's Jews. Baruch was determined to get his people out of Ethiopia and into Israel. This is the story of his harrowing journey and his struggles to save his people.
- Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew who Gave us Modernity, by Rebecca N. Goldstein.
Goldstein sets out to rediscover the flesh-and-blood man often hidden beneath the veneer of rigorous rationality, and to crack the mystery of the breach between the philosopher and his Jewish past.
- Biblical Images: Men and Women of the Book, by Adin Steinsaltz.
Although the figures of the Jewish Bible are some of the best known in all of history and literature, they remain among the most elusive and enigmatic. In Biblical Images, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz offers a 25 portraits of Biblical characters.
- Bo, Jenny, and I, by Huguette Herrmann.
Surviving the Holocaust in Britain: A Family Memoir. The story of Huguette Herrmann's untraditional upbringing in Antwerp and her family's daring escape to England in 1940. This memoir follows Herrmann's life until 1945.
- The Book of David, by David Rosenberg.
The Book of David illuminates the original story of David so that it becomes, once again, our founding narrative of spiritual consciousness.
- Burnt Books: Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav and Franz Kafka, by Roger Kamenetz.
Kafka was a secular artist fascinated by Jewish mysticism, and Rabbi Nachman was a religious mystic who used storytelling to reach out to secular Jews. Both men gained prominence with the posthumous publication of their writing, and both left strict instructions at the end of their lives that their unpublished books be burnt.
- By Faith Alone: The Story of Rabbi Yehuda Amital, by Elyashiv Reichner.
This book chronicles the inspiring life story of Israeli religious and political leader, Rabbi Yehuda Amital. From his Holocaust survival to his founding of Yeshivat Har Etzion, Rabbi Amital lived a life of deep faith and ethical responsibility.
- The Chafetz Chaim: Giant in Torah and Middos, by Rebbetzin Shulamit Ezrachi.
Treat your young adults to this special biography of the Chafetz Chaim, whose holy teachings illuminate our lives to this very day.
- Child of War, by Nachman Seltzer.
This is an intimate recounting of Arye Leibish Friedman's childhood experiences during the Holocaust. The young Leibish, a Bobover Chassid boy from Budapest, survived by hiding in plain-sight disguised as a gentile. This book also provides a glimpse into what life was like for the Jews of Budapest, just before and throughout the war.
- Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon - Arnon Milchan, by Meyer Doron and Joseph Gelman.
Arnon Milchan has led a secret double life. This is the story of a secret agent, of nuclear proliferation, billion-dollar high-tech defense transactions, ideology, patriotism, love, heartbreak, and the awe inspiring Hollywood career of a mysterious mogul. In a true story that puts James Bond to shame...
- The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank.
A chronicle of the two, futile years that Anne spent in hiding during the Holocaust.
- Do You Remember Your 21st Birthday?, by Moshe Phillips.
Avshalom Haviv, a soldier of the Etzel, the Irgun Zvai Leumi who was making history on his 21st birthday. He was born in Haifa in the Holy Land of Israel on June 18, 1926. Haviv celebrated his 21st birthday in a British court, and was executed by the British in Acre Prison on July 29, 1947! (Article)
- Edith's Story: Courage, Love, and Survival during World War II, by Edith Van Hessen Velmans.
During World War II, Edith Van Hessen, a young Jewish girl from Holland, was forced to go into hiding to prevent her deportation to a Nazi concentration camp. She hid in plain sight - taking on the persona of a Christian and working as a maid. This is the story of her ordeal and the courageous people who helped to hide her.
- The First Tithe, by Israel Eldad.
Memoirs and Edifying Discourses of the Hebrew War for Freedom - an insightful and candid account of Eldad's life and involvement with, and actions of, the Lehi Underground Army, also known as the Stern Group, or more derogatorily as the Stern Gang.
- The Founding Fathers of Zionism, by Benzion Netanyahu.
This insightful book contains scholarly essays on five of the most significant figures in the evolution of modern Zionism: Leo Pinsker, Theodore Herzl. Max Nordau, Israel Zangwill, and Ze’ev Jabotinsky.
- Fragments of Memory: From Kolin to Jerusalem , by Hana Greenfield.
A chilling memoir of Greenfield's horrific experiences during the Holocaust, that found her in Terezin Ghetto, Auschwitz, Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen and working in Hamburg, Germany as a slave laborer. Also chronicles the fate of the Bialystock children.
- From the Holocaust to a New Dawn, by David Shachar.
A wide-ranging memoir that takes the reader from Shachar's pre-war life in Poland, to his Holocaust experiences and through to his making a new home in Israel and his ceaseless work to support and strengthen the Jewish homeland.
- From Washington Avenue to Washington Street, by Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff.
From Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet, respected Torah scholar, prolific author, and beloved teacher, comes a beautifully written and fascinating scholarly memoir.
- Gersonides: Judaism Within the Limits of Reason, by Seymour Feldman.
Gersonides (1288-1344), known also as Ralbag, was a philosopher of the first rank as well as an astronomer and biblical exegete, yet this is the first English-language study of the significance of his work for Jewish thought.
- A Giant of Pro-Israel Activism in America is Gone: A Tribute to Herb Zweibon, by Moshe Phillips.
Herb Zweibon, the founder and president of Americans For A Safe Israel / AFSI, died on Tu B'Shevat, January 19, 2011. It seems extremely appropriate that someone who focused so much of his energy, money and time dedicated to bringing peace, security and prosperity to the Land of Israel should have his life forever connected to a holiday that has at its core the themes of Israel's agriculture and land, the centrality of Jerusalem and the importance of contributing to charity....
- Gidi: One Chasing a Thousand, by Joseph Evron.
Amihai Paglin, known by his code name Gidi (1922-1965), was a leading fighter to free Palestine of British presence and, since 1946, the operation commander of the Irgun Zvai Leumi. Virtually every famous exploit performed by the Irgun in Palestine was performed under his command. This book deals with Gidi's feats during the underground period.
- The Girls of Room 28: Friendship, Hope, and Survival in Theresienstadt, by Hannelore Brenner.
The memoirs of ten women, who were young girls when they entered the Theresienstadt concentration camp, are chronicled in this unforgettable book. The book looks at their life before, during, and after the Holocaust.
- Golda, by Elinor Burkett.
This is an in-depth biography of Golda Meir that focuses on her public life and political endeavors. At the same time, this book provides unique insights into Israeli history and politics.
- The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World, by Kati Marton.
A joint biography of Edward Teller, John von Neumann, Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, Michael Curtiz, Alexander Korda, Robert Capa, Andre Kertesz, and Arthur Koestler. All nine were Hungarian Jews who fled their homeland due to antisemitism and the looming threat posed by the Nazis, and all went on to make significant contributions in the respective fields.
- Hannah Senesh: Her Life and Diary, by Hannah Senesh.
Israel's national heroine, Senesh returned to her native Hungary in 1943 to help rescue Jews. She was captured by the Nazi's and executed at the age of 23. This is her story...
- Hillel: If Not Now, When?, by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.
Hillel’s teachings, stories, and legal rulings can be found throughout the Talmud; many of them share his emphasis on ethical and moral living as an essential element in Jewish religious practice, including his citing the concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world) as a basis for modifying Jewish law...
- Holy Woman, by Sara Yoheved Rigler.
The Road to Greatness of Rebbetzin Chaya Sara Kramer. This book is more than just a biography of this remarkable tzeddekes, it is also a guide that will lead you to greater spiritual heights.
- I Shall Not Die, by Hart N. Hasten.
"I Shall Not Die!" These four, simple words, taken from Psalm 118, have formed the backbone of an extraordinary life, lived by a remarkable man.
- Immigrant Lessons, by Judith Edelman-Green.
This is the story of two women, forty years apart, crossing the sea to the shores of their promised land one fleeing Hitler, the other pursuing her spirituality and finding gain as well as loss in the transition.
- An Italian Renaissance: Choosing Life in Canada, by Robert Eli Rubinstein.
Having suffered horrific personal losses in the Second World War, Bela Rubinstein and Judit Schwarcz decided that there was no future in Hungary, the land of their birth. Together with a few surviving relatives, they were able to escape just before the Communists sealed the borders...
- Jerusalem's Traitor: Josephus, Masada, and the Fall of Judea, by Desmond Seward.
A dynamic biography of Josephus that explores not only Josephus's life, but also the events surrounding the First Jewish-Roman War, including the Siege of Masada and the Destruction of the Second Temple. It will fascinate general readers and historians alike.
- Jewish Sages of Today, edited by Aryeh Rubin.
Profiles of twenty-seven extraordinary people who are working, each in their own unique way, for the betterment of the Jewish people.
- The Jewish Writings: Hannah Arendt, edited by Jerome Kohn and Ron H. Feldman.
A compendium of Arendt's Jewish related writings from the 1930-1960's, offering keen insights into her life, career, and what being Jewish meant to her.
- Journey to Jerusalem, by Rabbi Moshe Goldstein.
An eyewitness account of the historic meeting between the Minchas Eluzar of Munkacs zt"l and the Saba Kadisha zt"l, which took place in Jerusalem in 1930. This book also includes biographies of these awe-inspiring gedolei.
- The Last Jews in Baghdad, by Nissim Rejwan.
The author's memoir of growing up Jewish in Baghdad in the first half of the 20th century. His story is entwined with insights into the history and culture of the Jews of Iraq.
- The Life of Glückel of Hameln, edited by Beth-Zion Abrahams.
The memoir of a remarkable Jewish woman who lived from 1646-1724. During her life Gluckel bore twelve children, ran a successful business, and buried two husbands. Her memoirs provide not only a unique glimpse into her own life, but also into that of the period in which she lived.
- Kindler of Souls: Rabbi Henry Cohen of Texas, by Rabbi Henry Cohen II.
An intimate portrait of one the foremost American Rabbis, one who influenced not only Jewish history, but also the history of Texas.
- King of the Road: From Bergen-Belsen to the Olympic Games, by Shaul P. Ladany.
A well-written and detailed autobiography of an Israeli Scientist and a World Record-Holding Race Walker, who survived both the holocaust and the Black September Munich Olympic attack of 1972.
- The Life of David, by Robert Pinsky.
Pinsky plumbs the depths of David’s life: his triumphs and his failures, his charm and his cruelty, his divine destiny and his human humiliations.
- A Life of Leadership, by Rochel and George Berman.
Eli Zborowski: from the Underground, to Industry, to Holocaust Remembrance. A biography of Eli Zborowski, who founded the American Society for Yad Vashem.
- Maimonides, by Sherwin B. Nuland.
Maimonidies was one of the most influential Jewish philosophers of his day. In this book, Nuland provides an accessible and intriguing overview of Maimonides' life, and thought.
- Maimonides: A Biography
, by Solomon Zeitlin.
A dated (it was written in 1935), but still intriguing biography of Maimonides, written by one of the most innovative Jewish historians of his time.
- Maimonides after 800 Years: Essays on Maimonides and His Influence, edited by Jay M. Harris.
This volume of sixteen thought-provoking and very informative essays is a collection composed by Maimonides scholars to commemorate the eight hundredth year since Maimonides’ death in 1204.
- Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilizations Greatest Minds, by Joel L. Kraemer.
Kraemer has written a detailed and readable biography of Maimonides. In addition he has placed Maimonidies' life and thoughts within the context of the era in which he lived - the era of the crusades, the battles of Saladin, the clash of cultures, and the persecution of Jews by Christians and Muslims.
- Marc Chagall, by Jonathan Wilson.
A popular biography of Chagall that explores his life and career. This book is part of the Jewish Encounters series.
- Miracle Ride, by Tzipi Caton.
When sixteen-year-old Tzipi Caton was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, she could have just given up. But Tzipi was a fighter, and she took on this fight with equal doses of faith and humor. This book details her fight for survival, and her ultimate triumph of the disease.
- Never again! Yet again!, by Stephen D. Smith.
In this remarkable introduction, Stephen D. Smith describes the inspiring journey he and his family took in creating the first Holocaust center in Britain.
- Noble Lives Noble Deeds (Chapter 24), by Rabbi Dovid Silber. (Book Excerpt)
Captivating stories and biographical profiles of spiritual giants.
- Outsider in the Promised Land & Israel's Years of Bogus Grandeur, by Nissim Rejwan.
A review of the second and third book in Rejwan's autobiography - Outsider in the Promised Land: An Iraqi Jew in Israel and Israel's Years of Bogus Grandeur: From the Six-Day War to the First Intifada.
- Peace in the Making, edited by Harry Hurwitz and Yisrael Medad.
Covering the period from June 1977 until a day before Sadat's assassination in October 1981, this book contains the complete correspondence between Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egypt's President Anwar el-Sadat.
- The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership, by Yehuda Avner.
This is the first and only insider account of Israeli politics from the founding of the Jewish State to the near-present day. The Prime Ministers brings readers into the orbits of world figures, including Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana and the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
- The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the South, by Eli N. Evans.
This is an engaging memoir of the author's life in the American South, interwoven with a narrative history of Southern Jewry from the arrival of the first Sephardic Jews in 1733, through to the present.
- Rashi, by Elie Wiesel.
In this compelling biography that was written for a general audience, Wiesel has crafted a brief, yet memorable introduction to Rashi's life and work.
- The Rav: The World of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, by Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff.
A two-volume work on the life and teachings of of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
- Rav Dessler (Chapter 19), by Yonason Rosenblum. (Book Excerpt)
The life and impact of Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler the Michtav MeEliyahu.
- Reb Elyah (Chapter 7), by Rabbi David J. Schlossberg. (Book Excerpt)
The life and accomplishments of Rabbi Elyah Lopian.
- Reb Shraga Feivel (Chapter 17), by Yonason Rosenblum. (Book Excerpt)
The Life and Times of Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, the Architect of Torah in America.
- Reb Yisrael Salanter, by Yaakov Dovid Shulman.
The Story of Rabbi Yisrael Lipkin, the father of the Mussar movement.
- Remembering Yoni Netanyahu and Entebbe, by Moshe Phillips.
Benjamin Netanyahu's older brother was named Jonathan (Yonotan) Netanyahu and is often remembered as Yoni. Yoni was killed in action fighting anti-Israel terrorists on July 4, 1976 just as the world's oldest democracy celebrated its Bicentennial. Yoni died in a heroic effort which freed over a hundred hijacked hostages in Entebbe, Uganda and saved their lives... (Article)
- The Rishonim, by Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm.
Biographical sketches of 300 prominent 10th-15th-century Rabbinic sages and leaders such as Rashi, Rambam, R' Gershom Meor HaGolah. Traces the beginnings of Jewish communities in each part of the continents.
- The Sages - Volume 1: The Second Temple Period, by Rabbi Binyamin Lau.
The Sages is the first book to appear in English by the charismatic Jerusalem rabbi, Binyamin Lau. It offers fresh perspectives on the individual characters of the Jewish sages (Chazal), the historical contexts in which they lived, and the creativity they brought to the pursuit of Jewish wisdom.
- The Sages, Volume II: Character, Context & Creativity, by Binyamin Lau.
This multi-volume series offers fresh perspectives on the individual characters of the sages (Hazal), the historical contexts in which they lived, and the creativity they brought to the pursuit of Jewish wisdom. Volume II covers the period from Yavne to the Bar Kokhba Revolt.
- Sages of the Talmud: The Lives, Sayings and Stories of 400 Rabbinic Masters, by Mordechai Judovits.
This is a collection of biographical information about the authors of the Talmud. It contains about four hundred entries and hundreds of anecdotes about the sages, all as recorded in the Talmud itself.
- Sane in Damascus, by Amnon Sharon.
A memorable and inspirational account of Sharon's eight months in captivity as a prisoner of the Syrians after his capture during the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
- The Seven Lives of Colonel Patterson, by Denis Brian.
A detailed and eye-opening biography of Colonel John Henry Patterson, the British commander of the Jewish Legion, which saw action in Gallipoli and Palestine during World War One.
- Shush! Growing Up Jewish Under Stalin, by Emil Draitser.
An intimate and often humorous memoir about a young Jewish boy growing up in Odessa during the 1940 and 50s, while the Soviet Union was under the iron grip of Stalin, and during a period when antisemitism was institutionalized.
- Soul to Soul, by Deborah Masel.
When she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2007, Deborah Masel's life collapsed. Two and a half years later, her struggle to find meaning in the shadowy world of terminal disease induced her to write...
- Stern: The Man and His Gang, by Zev Golan.
For decades Israel’s left-leaning academic establishment in Israel, as well as Jewish educators in the U.S., have tried to minimize the impact the Irgun and LEHI had on London's decision to end the British Mandate. The LEHI's story is finally getting the fair treatment it was denied for far too long.
- Strange Haven: A Jewish Childhood in Wartime Shanghai, by Sigmund Tobias.
At the age of six, Sigmund and his family fled Nazi Germany for the safety of Shanghai China. This is his account of his childhood and the experiences that he shared with his fellow refugees living in a Jewish Ghetto in Japanese occupied China.
- Swimming Across: A Memoir, by Andrew S. Grove.
This is a gentle look back upon a turbulent period in Hungarian history, and one man who survived to tell his tale. This autobiography details Grove's life in Hungry and his flight for freedom in 1956 that ended in America.
- Talmudic Images, by Adin Steinsaltz.
This is a collection of 13 intimate portraits of select personalities from the Talmud, including Hillel, Shammai, Rabban Yohanan Ben Zakkai, Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Hananiah and others are accompanied by a glossary, annotated bibliography, and timeline.
- They Called Me Mayer July, by Mayer Kirshenblatt and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett.
Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust.
- Throw Your Feet Over Your Shoulders: Beyond the Kindertransport, by Frieda Korobkin.
An unforgettable account of a young girl's experience as a Kindertransport refugee, one who was only six-years-old when she left her family in Vienna for the relative safety of England. Her account is unique in that it is one of the few accounts written from the perspective of a Kindertransport child that came from an Orthodox family.
- To Survive Sobibor, by Dov Freiberg.
A gripping autobiography from one of the survivors of the Sobibor Revolt, who immigrated to Israel aboard the 'illegal' ship, Exodus, and who has lived in Israel since 1948. This book chronicles his life from his birth in Warsaw Poland in 1927 until his arrival in Israel.
- Torah Leaders (Chapter 6), by The Jewish Observer. (Book Excerpt)
A treasury of biographical sketches.
- Traveling with the Maggid, by Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn.
A Journey to Great Torah Centers of Yesteryear - Part history and part travelogue, this amply illustrated book takes readers on an inspirational tour of the great Yeshivot of pre-war Eastern Europe.
- A Voice Called: Stories of Jewish Heroism, by Yossi Katz.
This is a collection of articles about some of the great Jewish heroes of modern times, including Chaim Nachman Bialik, Sarah Aaronsohn, Rachel the Poetess, David Marcus, Menachem Begin, Manya Shochat, Zivia Lubetkin, Michael Levin, Adam Bier, Alex Singer, Brian Bebchick, Naomi Shemer, Hannah Senesh, Theodor Herzl, and more.
- A Vow Fulfilled, by Fran Laufer.
This is the sotry of a determined young woman who would not let the Nazis beat her down. Fran Laufer crawled out of the ashes of the Holocaust to build a succesful life. Hers is an interesting and inspiring must-read.
- The Wisdom of Maimonides: The Life and Writings of the Jewish Sage, by Edward Hoffman.
This book offers an accessible introduction to the life and wisdom of the famous twelfth-century philosopher-physician Moses Maimonides, along with a psychological analysis of Maimonides.
- Witness, by Ruth Gruber.
A remarkable autobiography of one of the most important photojournalist of the 20th century, this book chronicles the author's experiences during World War II, the events she witnessed during the establishment of the State of Israel, and the ingathering of refugees to Israel from around the world.
- The Worlds of S. An-sky, by Gabriella Safran and Steven J. Zipperstein.
A Russian Jewish Intellectual at the Turn of the Century. A collection of sixteen essays on An-sky, written by scholars in a diverse range of fields including history, literature, anthropology, Slavic, and Jewish studies. Includes a music CD containing Russian and Yiddish songs.
- Yehuda Halevi, by Hillel Halkin.
Yehuda Halevi was a man of many talents. He was a poet, a philosopher, and physician. He is known today for both his religious and secular verse, including his famed "songs of Zion," and for The Kuzari, an elucidation of Judaism in dialogue form. Hillel Halkin tells the tale of Yehuda Halevi's life and works, in this masterful biography.
- Yitzhak Shamir: Warrior & Statesman (1915-2012), by Moshe Phillips.
A brief biography of Yitzhak Shamir that explores his life, his legacy, and his role as one of the founders of the State of Israel. (article)
- You Come for One Reason but Stay for Another, by Rabbi Mordechai Weiss.
In the summer of 2003, Rabbi Mordechai Weiss and his family made aliyah to Israel from the United States. Personal writings from Rabbi Weiss' regular e-mail updates to family and friends, sharing the personal challenges and triumphs of beginning anew in Israel, form the basis of this book.
- The Youngest Partisan (Chapter 14), by A. Romi Cohen and Dr. Leonard Ciaccio. (Book Excerpt)
Biography of a young boy who fought the Nazis.
Questions or Comments? Send an email to:
Copyright © The Jewish Eye 2001 - 2013 All Rights Reserved