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.

Shavuot

Sleepless on Shavuot: Let My People Learn

By Erika Dreifus

May 30, 2017

We’re about to embark on the Shavuot holiday, which means that many of us may be up very, very late tonight.

The Shavuot chapter in Abigail Pogrebin’s My Jewish Year is one of my own favorites. (In fact, it’s inspiring me to attempt an all-night study-fest this year myself, for the very first time.) So it was especially gratifying to receive a request from the team at the Reform Judaism site regarding the possibility of sharing a chapter excerpt.

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newsletter

A Brief Reminder About Our Newsletter

By Erika Dreifus

May 23, 2017

A few brief notes about our monthly newsletter.

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AJE

Read About American Jewish Experience (AJE) Around the Web

By Erika Dreifus

May 16, 2017

Welcome to the latest installment of “American Jewish Experience Around the Web.” In these posts, we share some of the most compelling items we’ve discovered online lately that address American Jewish Experience (AJE).

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event

New Events Added to Our Calendar

By Erika Dreifus

May 9, 2017

Tonight in New York City, in an event titled “Reclaiming Ritual: A Jewish Woman’s Education,” our Abigail Pogrebin (My Jewish Year) will be in conversation with Rabba Sara Hurwitz and Rabba Yaffa Epstein. They will be introduced by Rabbi Avi Weiss. Reservations are required, though the event is free. It is co-sponsored by Yeshivat Maharat, ImmerseNYC, and the Pardes Institute.

But if you’re can’t make this event—or you’re not in the New York area in the first place—we’ve got some good news for you: The My Jewish Year calendar continues to expand.

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Allegra Goodman

Wallant Winner: Allegra Goodman’s KAATERSKILL FALLS

By Erika Dreifus

May 2, 2017

As we have mentioned, this blog runs a certain series. In each series post, we take an appreciative look back on a book that has won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award. Wallant, as you may recall, died at the tragically young age of 36 back in 1962. The previous year, he published the classic novel The Pawnbroker, […]

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AJE

American Jewish Experience Around the Web

By Erika Dreifus

April 25, 2017

Welcome to the latest installment of “American Jewish Experience Around the Web.” In these posts, we share some of the most compelling items we’ve discovered online lately that address American Jewish Experience (AJE).

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Abigail Pogrebin’s (More than) 15 Minutes of Fame

By Erika Dreifus

April 18, 2017

Welcome back from the Passover holiday, everyone! We hope that it has been a meaningful time for all. For us, it has certainly been a busy time. And much of that busy-ness is due to Abigail Pogrebin’s recent television appearances. (Yes, note the plural!)

We’re delighted and honored that Abby and My Jewish Year have been featured recently on The Today Show and on Face the Nation. If you’ve missed these events when they were broadcast, you can watch the video clips below.

Bonus: we’ll also provide for you a “teaser” clip for Abby’s next on-screen appearance: an interview coming up tomorrow on the Jewish Broadcasting Service.

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Passover Stories and Lessons

By Erika Dreifus

April 4, 2017

There were many wonderful moments in last week’s conversation between our Abigail Pogrebin and Rabbi Joseph Telushkin at the Jewish Theological Seminary. But one of my favorites occurred during the audience Q&A period, when a Passover-related question from one attendee prompted Rabbi Telushkin to refer to a story by the acclaimed Israeli writer S.Y. Agnon (1888-1970).

The questioner had brought up the commandment found within the Haggadah: “Let all who are hungry come and eat.” In the exchange that followed, Rabbi Telushkin recalled that the commandment is, in fact, twofold: “Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in need come and celebrate Passover.” He noted that this fuller perspective illuminates one of Agnon’s stories. Which, of course, I then immediately wanted to read.

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Book Clubs

Great News for Book Clubs: Discounts and More

By Erika Dreifus

March 28, 2017

FTB titles make excellent choices for book clubs, and we try to make it extra-easy and appealing for you to use them. Let’s take a look at Abigail Pogrebin’s My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew, as an example.

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AJE

American Jewish Experience Around the Web

By Erika Dreifus

March 21, 2017

Welcome to the latest installment of “American Jewish Experience Around the Web.” In these posts, we share some of the most compelling items we’ve discovered online lately that address American Jewish Experience (AJE).

Read More