Mar 31, 2017

Cherishing Family Traditions at Passover

Passover begins in just a couple weeks, and what better way to spend the holiday than with a new book and a tasty recipe?

Kar-Ben has three new books about Passover this season—Sammy Spider’s Passover Shapes, Passover Scavenger Hunt, and A Different Kind of Passover. This post features A Different Kind of Passover by Linda Leopold Strauss.

In A Different Kind of Passover, Jessica’s family has to deal with Grandpa being too weak to join them for seder due to illness. Jessica’s been practicing her Four Questions, and it won’t be the same if Grandpa isn’t able to tell the family the story of Passover like he always does. With a little problem solving, Jessica discovers a way to include Grandpa and make this year’s seder one to remember.

Jessica’s story, especially her desire to celebrate familiar traditions, is a reminder of how the holidays bring family together, and the joy that results. What family traditions do you look forward to each year? Is it where you gather? Who leads the seder? Maybe special foods that you look forward to all year?

Start a new family tradition and make your own seder memorable with this delicious, colorful dish for Passover:

Gefilte Fish Loaf
2 packages frozen gefilte fish
1 10 oz. package frozen spinach
1 1lb. can sliced carrots
Defrost gefilte fish and divide evenly into three bowls.  Defrost spinach, squeeze out water, and mix into one bowl of fish.  Mash carrots and mix into a second bowl.  Spray a large loaf pan with non-stick spray.  Layer the spinach-fish mixture on the bottom and pat down.  Cover with the plain fish.  Top with the carrot-fish mixture.  Cover with waxed paper or foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Enjoy!

Mar 13, 2017

Meeting A Hero: The Six-Day War's Most Iconic Photo

by Joni Sussman, Kar-Ben Publisher

June 7, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War. Kar-Ben has just released a new book that explores the Six-Day War and the concept of heroism through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy. In The Six-Day Hero by award-winning YA author Tammar Stein, the main character, Motti, knows that war is coming. Israel is only nineteen years old—the same age as his brave older brother, Gideon—
and the tiny country is surrounded by enemies. Motti knows his older brother is a hero—but through the six days of the war that will decide Israel's fate, he discovers other heroes in surprising places. He may even be a hero himself. The book introduces young readers to a pivotal chapter in Israel's history, while opening a provocative discussion about what makes a hero.

I remember the Six-Day-War. It’s hard to believe it was 50 years ago. Glued to our television, we watched the war unfold. The photo below, one of the most famous photos of that war, shows the young paratroopers of Israel’s 55th Paratroop Brigade liberating the Kotel on June 7, 1967. (The 92-year-old photographer, David Rubinger, died March 3.) A few years ago, when I attended the Jerusalem Book Fair in 2013, I had the opportunity to meet Yitzhak Yifat, the young man in the middle of this iconic photo. 

I was attending a Shabbat service at the Kotel with Women of the Wall, (Neshot Hakotel  הכותל נשות in Hebrew) a group of Jewish women from Israel and around the world working to achieve the right for women to wear tallitot, pray aloud and read from the Torah at the Kotel. The day I was there, there were many reporters in attendance. They were gathered around a gentleman in the crowd  -- it was the young soldier from the photograph, Yitzhak Yifat! 

“We came today to identify with them [the women],” said Dr. Yifat, a gynecologist from Kiryat Malachi, in the interview with reporters. “The Kotel belongs to everyone and not just one segment of the population.”
My hero. I got to shake his hand. 

To learn more about The Six-Day Hero, and/or to purchase a copy, visit