The Cholent Brigade

Michael Her­man; Sharon Harmer, illus.
  • Review
By – August 18, 2017

On a snowy day, Mon­ty Nudel­man shov­els the dri­ve­ways of every­one in the neigh­bor­hood. How­ev­er, come Shab­bat, Mr. Nudel­man doesn’t show up at syn­a­gogue because he hurt his back from all the shov­el­ing. The chil­dren of the con­gre­ga­tion bring him lots of cholent to make him feel bet­ter, and togeth­er they enjoy Shab­bat lunch. The charm­ing sto­ry illus­trates com­mu­ni­ty coop­er­a­tion and indi­vid­u­als help­ing one anoth­er, ren­dered in a way chil­dren can relate to eas­i­ly with fun and a touch of humor.

The pic­tures in The Cholent Brigade are expres­sive and engag­ing, and show a diverse com­mu­ni­ty of Jews of var­i­ous col­ors and lev­els of obser­vance all work­ing togeth­er to per­form a deed of lov­ing-kind­ness for Mr. Nudelman.

The end of the book includes a descrip­tion of, and recipe for, cholent. The cholent looks deli­cious and this can be a great intro­duc­tion to this tra­di­tion­al food for the young read­ers of this book.

Rec­om­mend­ed for chil­dren ages 3 to 7.

Paula Chaiken has worked in a vari­ety of capac­i­ties in the Jew­ish world — teach­ing in reli­gious school, curat­ing at the Sper­tus Muse­um and fundrais­ing for the Fed­er­a­tion — for more than twen­ty years. She also runs a bou­tique pub­lic rela­tions con­sult­ing firm and enjoys read­ing all sorts of books with her three sons.

Discussion Questions