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The Book of Life is an interview-format podcast about Jewish kidlit, mostly, with occasional coverage of YA/adult books, music, film and web,  established in December 2005. Host Heidi Rabinowitz is a Judaica librarian at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, FL, and the podcast reveals the backstory of materials that might be found in a synagogue library like Heidi's. As director of the Feldman Children's Library at B'nai Israel, Heidi focuses on material aimed at youth, but the podcast does cover a range of subject matter for all ages. If you are a creator of Jewish books, music, film, or web content, please see our submission guidelines.

Oct 12, 2023


On October 7, 2023, the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war, the terrorist group Hamas launched a brutal attack against Israel, murdering and kidnapping civilians young and old as well as striking military targets on multiple fronts. At the time of writing, Israel is at war.

With Israel on my mind and in my heart, I went back and listened to Tammar Stein's 2017 interview on The Book of Life about her middle grade novel, The Six Day Hero, which is about the 1967 Six Day War. I thought you might like to hear it too. FYI, in 2020 Tammar published a companion book, Beni's War, about the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Both books are excellent.

I left the original "tune in next time" teaser on the end of the recording because I found it moving. It was Fawzia Gilani-Williams, author of Yaffa and Fatima, Shalom Salaam, dedicating her episode to the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom because of their message of peace. There's a link to that interview in the show notes.

For a tikkun olam moment of my own, I'm making a donation to Magen David Adom, the Israeli version of the Red Cross. I invite you to join me.

Please see below for additional book recommendations and past podcasts about Israel-related youth literature.



Yaffa and Fatima, Shalom Salaam with guest Fawzia Gilani-Williams

The Language of Angels with guest Richard Michelson

The Nazi Hunters with guest Neal Bascome

Unsettled: the Problem of Loving Israel with guest Marc Aronson

Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel with guest Laura Gehl

Shalom Sesame with guest Veronica Wulff 

Wherever You Go with guest Joan Leegant

The Last Shepherd with guest actors Uri Lifshitz and Roni Weissman, writer Gai Bosco, and post production manager Dovi Shraga

A Musical Israel @ 60 with guests Yuval Ron, Fran Manushkin, and Michael Dorf