5 Books I Read in 2022 That Should Be Your Next Jewish Read

We’re well into 2023, but I can’t help but take a look back at some of my favorite Jewish-centered books of 2022. Will any of these be your next Jewish read, or have you already given them a try?

Lily’s Promise: How I Survived Auschwitz and Found the Strength to Live

By Lily Ebert with Dov Forman (2002)

Written with her grandson, Lily Ebert writes her memoir of survival in a way that is accessible to readers of all ages. The amount of sheer will it took to survive and the remarkable story of Lily’s necklace are just a few reasons why I was riveted to this narrative. Her life after liberation is also told with tenderness and humor.

“The truth is that if they had told us exactly where we were going, we would never have believed it.”

Lily Ebert ~ Lily’s Promise

The Rabbi Who Prayed with Fire

By Rachel Sharona Lewis

This mystery, set in a shul and the surrounding neighborhood, addresses anti-semitism and racism in a contemporary setting. Hoping for more from this author, whose self-published debut is polished, solid choice for readers.

“On his way home from Beth Abraham on the East Side, the White side, Raymond unwound against the backdrop of the setting spring sun, singing aloud to the Earth, Wind & Fire CD on heavy rotation in his car.”

The Rabbi Who Prayed with Fire

The Lost Shtetl

By Max Gross

Recommended by the librarian at a nearby shul, I am so glad I listened. A bit of realism and a bit of absurdism, this page-turner imagines a shtetl that made it through the second World War completely unawares. A host of characters and details made this one of my year’s favorite.

The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen

By Isaac Blum

Technically catagorized as YA, this book was a bittersweet look at the close-knit community in which Hoodie Rosen lives and the betwixt and between of secular and religious life. Winner of the 2023 William C. Morris for award of debut YA.

People Love Dead Jews: Report from a Haunted Present

By Dara Horn

Each of these essays offered food for thought, from what some would call the obsession with Anne Frank’s “good at heart” quote to the way in which events in the Jewish community are reported.

“God prays, the sages say. There is a lot on God’s mind.”

Dara Horn ~ People Love Dead Jews
Keep on Reading on! xo, Amy

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