Fig Tree Books Blog

Our blog features essays from the publisher and editors, book reviews and appreciations, coverage of FTB titles, and noteworthy news of American Jewish experience.

To Blurb Or Not To Blurb

By Fredric Price

May 29, 2020

Guest blog from Anonymous:  I’m all things bookish and Jewish: author, editor, book club leader, blubber, and reviewer. I’m tough on myself, having set standards that other editors whom I admire impressed upon me when I was younger and just starting out as a writer. It’s helped me enormously; I walk away from my own […]

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Kibbutzim

By Fredric Price

May 26, 2020

Kibbutzim have changed radically since they first appeared (to the world) as a representative of what life was like in pre-state Israel starting a hundred years ago. (See: bit.ly/2zB6n8G.) The changes have been even more dramatic since the Six Day War in 1967. Jessamyn Hope gives us a view of the complicated lives of kibbutzniks from […]

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‘Disruptive’ Judaism

By Fredric Price

May 19, 2020

I was privileged to be interviewed on Judaism Unbound, a groundbreaking podcast by Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg. The subject was ‘Doing Jewish for Yourself.’ If you want to know more about disruptive Judaism, sign up for this podcast. Here’s what they’re all about: “Judaism Unbound, a project of the Institute for the Next Jewish Future, is […]

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The Plan of the Jewish Year

By Fredric Price

May 11, 2020

The Plan of the Jewish Year “Everything has an appointed season, and there is a time for every matter under heaven” (Kohelet 3:1). The Jewish calendar, with its seasons and holidays, breathes into the Jewish experience a rhythm and ritual that connects us to each other, to our history, and to the earth. When understood and […]

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Podcasts – A Lifeline to Others During the Covid-19 ‘Lockdown’

By Fredric Price

May 4, 2020

During these unusual times when many of us are homebound, it’s comforting to know that we can interact with friends and families via video conferencing, download books and movies from streaming services, and listen to podcasts that we might ordinarily know about. Here are four of our favorite podcasts that deal with important issues that […]

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Why do we discuss the Passover story?

By Fredric Price

April 5, 2020

From Robert Friedman: Q: At the Seder on Passover the text we use is called a “Haggadah”. The word means “telling”. Why are we enjoined to tell and discuss the Passover story at the Seder rather than sitting back in a comfortable chair and reading quietly about it? A: Exodus 10:2 tells us, “And in order that […]

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What will the 2013 Pew Survey of American Jewry look like?

By Fredric Price

March 23, 2020

From Miranda Eisenstadt: Q: What would a supposed 2113 Pew survey of American Jewry (A Portrait of Jewish Americans) have to say? A: In 2013, it reported that, “American Jews overwhelmingly say they are proud to be Jewish and have a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people.” But the survey also suggests that Jewish identity […]

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Deborah Kalb Interview with Thane Rosenbaum

By Fredric Price

March 20, 2020

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb — https://deborahkalbbooks.blogspot.com Friday, March 20, 2020 Q&A with Thane Rosenbaum Thane Rosenbaum is the author of the new book Saving Free Speech…from Itself. His many other books include Payback and The Myth of Moral Justice, and his work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The New York Times […]

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Why are Jews called “The People of the Book”?

By Fredric Price

March 16, 2020

From Allen Schwartz: “Book” is our current technology for written speech—individual and interpersonal language made visible. Writing and reading books are encouraged by Jews as sacred to our concepts of justice, equality, and growth. Books are the embodiment of “text”, our ancient interplay of writing and speech known as Torah. It confirms Law and Covenant in Jews’ unique, yet […]

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Why are so many authors who are Jewish prefer not to be labeled as ‘Jewish Authors’?

By Fredric Price

March 9, 2020

From Rebecca Mitrani: Q: Why are so many authors who are Jewish prefer not to be labeled as ‘Jewish Authors’? A: It’s said of many famous American authors who are Jewish that they don’t define themselves as ‘Jewish writers.’ It’s hard to square that from the likes of Philip Roth, author of Operation Shylock, The Plot Against […]

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