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October 24, 2003 - Image 72

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-24

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Jewish Book Fair

Voices With A Detroit Connection

Local Author/Local Interest Fair features a mix of fiction and nonfiction titles.


Special to the Jewish News


orks of fact and works
of fiction — more than
two dozen books in all
— will be featured at
the local authors/local interest seg-
ment of the 52nd annual Jewish
Book Fair.
The writers, whose texts range from
a narrative about Jewish Detroit to an
otherworldly mystery-fantasy, will be
signing their books 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 9, in the Janice
Charach Epstein Gallery at the Jewish
Community Center
in West Bloomfield.
Three of the local
authors — Irwin
Cohen (Echoes of

Detroit's Jewish
Communities: A
History), Debra
Darvick ( This Jewish
Life: Stories of
Discovery, Connection
and Joy) and Rabbi
Sherwin Wine (A Life
of Courage: Sherwin
Wine and Humanistic
Judaism, compiled by
Dan Cohn-Sherbok,
Harry T. Cook and
Marilyn Rowens) —
will be featured
speakers at Book Fair.

issues of the Detroit Jewish News and
other publications to find informa-
tion and documents and also inter-
viewed some of the people mentioned
in the text. "I give the history of
every shul, day school and organiza-
tion, and I tell about the individuals
involved with each one."
Cohen, who has included some 400
pictures to go with the narrative, cov-
ers the early immigrants, robust
growth during the 19th and early
20th centuries and the migration to
the suburbs. He discusses the local
events in the context of national and
international issues, and he recalls the
hoods that
were promi-
nent in spe-
cific years.
"There are
so many sto-
ries I learned
as I did my
says Cohen,


A tlistcny

twin J. Cohen

Meet The Authors

Irwin Cohen, the
author of Echoes of

Detroit: A Three
Hundred-Year History,
will introduce Echoes
of Detroit's Jewish
Communities: A History Cohen
(City Vision Publishing;
$29.95/$20 per copy if you order
directly from Cohen at (248) 968-
The new book traces the area's
Jewish population from the early city
settlers of 1760 through the people
based in the suburbs as the new mil-
lennium gets started.
"I think of this as an easy read
because it's all chronological," says
Cohen, who went through back



played for the Tigers. The tale goes
that Greenberg got approval from a
rabbi to work on Rosh Hashanah,
but Cohen was able to document that
it was just not so.
As the book progresses,
the author reminisces
about the businesses and
entertainment venues fre-
quented during various
periods of time. Graphics
show patterns of settle-
"People will not have
to search footnotes to
find the sources for the
information," Cohen
says. 'Attributions are
given within the text."
Suzan Hagstrom also has a true
story to tell, but hers is about a fami-
ly that survived the Holocaust with
some members settling in Michigan.

Sara's Children: The Destruction of
Chmielnik (Sergeant Kirkland's Press;
$20.97) tells about Nathan Garfinkel
and his four sisters, who lived in
Poland and were sub-
jected to atrocities in
the camps and slave
labor centers.
Hagstrom, who is
not Jewish, came
upon the story while
a reporter for the
Orlando Sentinel
which assigned her to
write a piece about
the Holocaust
Memorial Resource
and Education
Center of Central
Florida. She met
volunteer Helen
Greenspun, learned
of her family's bravery and thought
the experiences should be recorded.
As she began working on the book,
the author traveled to Michigan to
interview siblings Nathan Garfinkel,
Regina Garfinkel Muskovitz and
Sonia Garfinkel Nothman.
"Their story was so compelling,"
Hagstrom says. "They found ways to
support each other, and they had
some strokes of luck that helped
them survive."
The author explains how Helen

whose chapters
recall community leaders and every-
day citizens. "I developed greater
respect for the founders of our major
institutions, and I came across many
heart-wrenching accounts of the
times of the Holocaust."
As Oak Parker Cohen was gather-
ing information over three years of
putting together his book, he learned
that there's a continuing myth about
baseball legend Hank Greenberg, who


and Sonia at one time were assigned
to work in a potato mill and were
able to save food for their brother,
who labored in an ammunitions fac-
"One of the reasons I
wanted to write this
book had to do with
recent attention given to
revisionists, people who
would deny the
Holocaust," says
Hagstrom, now living in
California. "In that con-
text especially, this is an
important story to be
Elana Izraeli, who lives
in Rochester, wrote a
book of fact that she presents as a
mystery. What Happens to Our
Prayers? (Fiddler Doubleday; $14.99
in color/$8.99 in black and white)
explores the journeys of the notes
people place in the cracks of the
Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Izraeli, who moved to Michigan 21
years ago after living in Israel,
people at the
Wall, did
some inter-
views with
them and
took the pic-
tures. She
had moved
to the
because her husband was hired to
teach economics at Oakland
"I made several appointments with
people in charge of the Wall, but I
considered the notes themselves very
private," says Izraeli, a teacher-con-
sultant for West Bloomfield Schools.
"It's a study of what happens to
prayers, and I take readers into the
area described in the book. I want
people to see the Wall in its full
Libbie Richman, born in Germany
to Holocaust survivors, expressed her-
self through poetry before moving on
to novels. Let It Be (Serenade
Publishing; $14.95) tells the story of
a fan who saves the life of a singing

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