A Compassionate Spin on a Hanukkah Tale: The Story Behind Writing Tizzy the Dizzy Dreidel

When we sat down to write our first Hanukkah picture book, we began with a question: How would you feel if you were a dreidel who always got passed over during the holiday fun?  Tizzy —a hopeful but balance-impaired dreidel—anticipates
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My Iraqi Jewish Bangle

I love to wear my grandmother’s bangle because it identifies me as Iraqi. People stop me to ask, “Are you Iraqi? My mother, my grandmother had a bangle exactly like that.” And they join me in remembering where we come from.   I always
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Recalling My Childhood: My Name is Hamburger

As the author of over fifty children’s books, I have written about the US Constitution, a gigantic mythical bird, Pluto’s demotion, Rabbi Akiva, goblins, a boy with magic sneakers, and an eclectic mix of other topics. But until My Name is
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Behind the Scenes of The Button Box

Co-authors of The Button Box , Bridget Hodder and Fawzia Gilani-Williams, discuss their hopes for their new middle-grade novel about cousins, one Jewish and one Muslim, who travel back in time to ancient Morocco.  Where did you get the
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Behind the Bookcase: A brief history of Miep Gies

Miep Gies risked her life to keep a secret. Behind the bookcase in her office, stairs led to a hiding place where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis. Once a refugee herself, Miep knew the power of kindness. Her selflessness,
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Meet Jessica Hickman, Author of her Debut Children’s Book "Alligator Seder"

This week we have been celebrating the release of Jessica Hickman's title Alligator Seder. This cute little board book is her debut book in the world of children's literature. Read through our interview with the debut author and learn about her process and why she thought alligators have Seders!
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New Beginnings in Fall - Fresh New Books from Kar-Ben

September always feels like a new beginning—the start of the school year, the launch of a new book season, and the start of the Jewish New Year. All three converge at Kar-Ben Publishing, an imprint of Lerner Publishing, proudly the largest publisher of exclusively Jewish-themed children’s books in the world!

Just as the new year (which happens to be 5780) begins on Rosh Hashanah, Kar-Ben’s new book season kicks off with a Rosh Hashanah board book featuring an old friend. In Shanah Tovah,Grover!, Grover and his Sesame Street friends prepare for the holiday and wish each other “Shanah Tovah” (Hebrew for “a good year”)!

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Compelling Story of Modern Exodus Shared In Israel

This is a story of radical hope. Yuvi’s Candy Tree (Kar-Ben Books 2011)  is a children’s picture book written by Canadian writer Lesley Simpson.  The book was inspired by Yuvi Tashome, who as a five year old girl, outwitted robbers in her exodus from Ethiopia to a Sudanese refugee camp. The book grew out of an interview Simpson, a Canadian journalist and children’s book writer (lesleysimpson.ca) requested with Yuvi Tashome when she was in North America in 2009, raising awareness and money for the NGO she founded in Israel called Friends by Nature.  When Simpson heard Tashome describe her Biblical-like exodus, it felt to her as if the Haggadah was coming alive before her eyes. She imagined a picture book and then wrote Yuvi’s Candy Tree.
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Celebrating Family Time

In 1995, when my boys were 11 and 14, I purchased a lovely book called Eight Nights, Eight Lights: Family Values for Each Night of Hanukkah, compiled by Rabbi Kerry Olitzky. It contained short inspirational passages to be read aloud as part of the candle-lighting ceremony. Some sections were written by modern rabbis. Others came from older Jewish texts. But each one provided a meaningful moment of reflection which added to our Hanukkah celebration, making this family time together more than just a gift-giving event.


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The Paper Clips Project in Whitwell, Tennessee Celebrates Promoting Tolerance for 20 Years

The Paper Clips Project in Whitwell, Tennessee Celebrates Promoting Tolerance for 20 Years

As we mourn the deaths of those in the Tree of Life Synagogue tragedy, it’s comforting to know that there are many good people in the world who stand with us. November 9 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Paper Clips Project in Whitwell, Tennessee, in which the teachers and students of this small rural community undertook to understand the magnitude of the death of the six million Jews who died in the Shoah. Our book, “Six Million Paper Clips,” which documents this project, continues to sell well throughout the world. Here are the remarks by our good friends and authors Peter Schroeder and Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand, which will be read at the 20th anniversary event.        

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