Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Rabbi Shoshana Gelfand in Longwood for U.S. book launch


Rabbi Shoshana Gelfand, author of “The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales,” will be in Longwood for a meet-and-greet.

“There is no substitute for books in the life of a child.” This comment by American educator, teacher and author Mary Ellen Chase could not be truer in an age when books yield to electronic media in the lives of our children. Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, author of “The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales,” and a mother of three children, brings her latest book to a storytelling and meet-and-greet session on Tuesday evening, Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m., at Congregation Beth Am, 3899 Sand Lake Road in Longwood. Rabbi Gelfand will share her new illustrated book of Jewish folk tales and lead a discussion of how to make “once-upon-a-time” last forever. Signed copies of the book will be available.

Rabbi Gelfand received her rabbinic ordination in 1993 from the Jewish Theological Seminary and now serves as the director of JHub in London. JHub is an operating program of the London-based Pears Foundation and promotes social action, innovation and entrepreneurship in the British Jewish community by providing physical office space, mentoring, networking, seed grants and professional development opportunities. Previously, she was the chief executive of the U.K. Movement for Reform Judaism and prior to that, vice president of the Wexner Heritage Foundation in New York. She writes a monthly column for the Jewish Chronicle, appears regularly on BBC Radio, presented at TEDxJerusalem and just finished a speaking tour of South Africa. She is an internationally known speaker; and while her teaching takes her around the world, she is never happier than when it brings her to her home community of Florida.

Her newest book, “The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales,” published by Barefoot Books, is a collection of eight stories of Jewish heritage. Drawn from the Bible to 19th-century Poland, the stories are told in eventful, stand-alone chapters that make for excellent reading aloud for children ages 6 and older. All of the stories have an uplifting quality and deliver a powerful message that, though delivered in a religious context, have meaning well beyond the originally intended audience. The stories explore many of the questions that challenge all of us: Why do bad things happen to good people? Is it more important to be clever, or kind? What happens to us when we die? This anthology is sure to resonate with children and adults of all faiths.

For more information on this special evening and upcoming events at Beth Am contact Julia Lustig, education resource and family planning coordinator, at jlustigcba@gmail.com or go to the Congregation Beth Am web site at http://www.CongBethAm.org.


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