Words of the Week

“For reasons perhaps better left to speculation elsewhere, Israel-infused kidlit doesn’t appear on as many book lists as it should, in both mainstream and Jewish contexts. But given the current emphasis on diversity and inclusion within both broader cultural discussions and the Jewish-book world itself, stories set in Israel—many of which feature Jews of color, Sephardic and/or Mizrahi Jews, disabled Jews, and more—are particularly worth acknowledgment and amplification. Moreover, the latest data reveal that the plurality of the world’s Jews (6.93 of 15.2 million people) now lives in Israel. Lists that neglect Israel-infused books thus suffer from a dual flaw: They present incomplete pictures of contemporary Jewish life and identity while also foregoing valuable opportunities to enrich important, ongoing conversations.”

Source: my own new article on the Jewish Journal website, “Five Israel-Infused Picture Books for Year-Round Reading.”