Over the past several years, the Jewish Book Council has received an influx of titles concerning the plight of Jews outside the boundaries of Europe. No longer are our shelves dominated by the European Jewish experience, as we see an increasing number of books that convey stories of the Jewish experience in Iran, Iraq, India, and Egypt, among other places. As the Jewish communities of these regions shrink, it’s important that we encourage the publication of these gems of history that capture the vibrancy and unique qualities these cultures hold. With Winter at our door, what better time to stay inside and expand your understanding of the Jewish experience.
A few suggestions to you get you going…
My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for his Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq, Ariel Sabar
The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World, Lucette Lagnado
The Septembers of Shiraz, Dalia Sofer
The Last Jews of Kerala: The Two Thousand Year History of India’s Forgotten Jewish Community, Edna Fernandes
Dropped From Heaven, Sophie Judah
The Girl from Foreign: A Search for Shipwrecked Ancestors, Forgotten Histories, and a Sense of Home, Sadia Shepard
Farewell, Babylon: Coming of Age in Jewish Baghdad, Naim Kattan
Have another recommendation? Please comment and let us know!
Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Naomi is the executive director of Jewish Book Council. She graduated from Emory University with degrees in English and Art History and, in addition, studied at University College London. Prior to her role as executive director, Naomi served as the founding editor of the JBC website and blog and managing editor of Jewish Book World. In addition, she has overseen JBC’s digital initiatives, and also developed the JBC’s Visiting Scribe series and Unpacking the Book: Jewish Writers in Conversation.