Book Beginnings: Growing Up Jewish edited by Jay David

Not only does Gilion host the European Reading and TBR 22 in 22 on her Rose City Reader blog but also Book Beginnings on Friday. While I’m no stranger to her European Reading Challenge, only recently I decided to participate in Book Beginnings on Friday. This week I’m back with another post.

For Book Beginnings on Friday Gilion asks us to simply “share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week, or just a book that caught your fancy and you want to highlight.”


From the ghettos of eastern Europe westward.toward America, and in the other direction, eastward to Israel, Jewish children share a common heritage. Perhaps it is because Judaism is a way of life rather than solely a religion that certain ·similarities run through a thousand years of Jewish history.

Last week I featured Frank Blaichman’s 2009 Rather Die Fighting: A Memoir of World War II and the week before that it was Yasmina Khadra’s 2006 novel The Attack. This  week it’s the 1969 anthology Growing Up Jewish edited by Jay David.

Earlier in the week, I cracked this open in a feeble attempt to read more books from my original 20 Books of Summer. It’s one of two books I bought a couple of years ago at the Rose City Book Pub in Portland . (The other one, Max Dimont’s 1978 Jews in America: The Roots and Destiny of American Jews was one of last year’s 20 Books of Summer.) Published over 50 years ago it feels not only well-made but also well-cared for, like it sat treasured in someone’s personal library for decades before being divorced from its owner.

Growing Up Jewish, as the title states is a collection of accounts by Jews recalling their respective childhoods and young adulthoods. For this anthology editor Jay David selected pieces spanning hundreds of years, from the 17th century to the 20th. Old World voices are represented by the likes of Solomon Maimon, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Anne Frank. The New World section contains selections from Alfred Kazin and Robert Koltowitz. Lastly, probably it was published in 1969 the section representing Israelis from modern State of Israel contains just two selections: one by Yemenite Zechariah Nissim and the other by Sabra Yael Dayan.

Hopefully, I’ll enjoy Growing Up Jewish and it will serve as great follow-up reading to Adam Kirsch’s excellent 2016 book The People and the Books: 18 Classics of Jewish Literature.


6 thoughts on “Book Beginnings: Growing Up Jewish edited by Jay David

  1. Pingback: Sunday Salon | Maphead's Book Blog

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  3. Pingback: Sunday Salon | Maphead's Book Blog

  4. Pingback: Book Beginnings: Grand Hotel Abyss by Stuart Jeffries | Maphead's Book Blog

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