A noteworthy review of Our Cultural Heritage from Association of Jewish Libraries on June 1, 2004
A timely publication during Celebrate 350!, the commemoration of 350 years of Jewish life in America, this covers all of that period in 32 illustrated pages printed in fairly large type. To say it is simple is an understatement yet its information is selected judiciously, without sacrificing accuracy. Moreover, the book is attractive to look at and engrossing to read, with some succinct interesting fact sidebars and attention to the achievements of Jewish women, such as that of Judith Kaplan, the first Bat Mitzvah, and Sherry Lansing, the head of Paramount Pictures. As a rule, individuals, especially athletes and entertainers, rather than historical events are highlighted, although Jewish involvement in the labor movement and the Holocaust, for example, are not ignored. There are four chapters: A Scattered people, Coming to America, Becoming American, and Famous Jewish Americans as well as a time line, a glossary, short lists of books, websites, and places to visit, and an index. As an introductory work for grades 3 – 5, this is preferable to several similar recent books, including Jewish Immigrants, 1880-1924 by Haberle (Blue Earth Books) and Jewish Americans by Stein (Barron’s Educational Series).
—Linda R. Silver
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