Heroes with Chutz­pah: 101 True Tales of Jew­ish Trail­blaz­ers, Change­mak­ers and Rebels

  • Review
By – June 17, 2024

This is an inspir­ing book about a wide vari­ety of Jew­ish indi­vid­u­als who made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to their com­mu­ni­ties as well as to soci­ety at large. While some are more well known than oth­ers, the book com­mu­ni­cates that they are all impor­tant, each in their own way.

While it is com­mon knowl­edge that for­mer Unit­ed States Supreme Court Jus­tice Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg was the first Jew­ish woman to serve on the Supreme Court, it may be some­what less well known that she was turned away by prac­ti­cal­ly every New York City law firm because she was a woman. Indeed, the authors make clear that Ginsburg’s expe­ri­ences with employ­ment dis­crim­i­na­tion fueled her lat­er activism for gen­der equal­i­ty in the Unit­ed States.

One less­er-known hero who made vital con­tri­bu­tions — in this case, to the ear­ly his­to­ry of Amer­i­can sup­port for the State of Israel — is Edward (“Eddie”) Jacob­son. Jacob­son was a long­time friend of Pres­i­dent Har­ry S. Tru­man; the friend­ship pre­dat­ed Truman’s pres­i­den­cy by sev­er­al decades. Even though Jacob­son usu­al­ly refrained from mak­ing polit­i­cal requests of Tru­man, he asked the pres­i­dent to take posi­tions that were vital to Israel’s for­ma­tion as a state.

The authors also include descrip­tions and illus­tra­tions of indi­vid­u­als who are sig­nif­i­cant fig­ures in today’s world, such as the CEO of Pfiz­er, Albert Bourla; Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Zelen­skyy of Ukraine; come­di­an and actor Sarah Sil­ver­man; his­to­ri­an and diplo­mat Deb­o­rah Lip­stadt; and solar activist Yos­si Abramowitz.

While Heroes with Chutz­pah was writ­ten for chil­dren, read­ers of all ages can learn from and enjoy these mini biographies.

Nathan Weissler is a 2021 col­lege grad­u­ate from Mary­land, and has been review­ing for Jew­ish Book Coun­cil for over ten years.

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