A Boy called Szmulek, a Man named Sam by Rik Arron

B7965 – A Boy called Szmulek, a Man named Sam by Rik Arron

Price: £9.98

ISBN: 978-1-914933-63-9

A true story of courage, love and friendship set against the darkest days of the Second World War.

When author, Rik Arron, stumbled unknowingly into the life of ninety-year-old Holocaust survivor, Sam Gontarz, he didn’t realise that they would go on a journey together into the heart of the ghettos and concentration camps of Nazi Germany.

This journey would change both their lives forevermore; and one that would illuminate some of the worst days in human history with courage, friendship, love, and a powerful message that is needed more than ever in the world today.

Written using transcripts of Sam telling his story to the author, B7965: A Boy called Szmulek: a Man named Sam takes the reader into the depths of the horrors inflicted on the Jewish population of Europe from the acquisition of power in the 1930s to the end of the Second World War.

The book includes details of daily life for many thousands in the Lodz ghetto and then in a number of concentration camps which somehow, Sam survived, including Auschwitz-Birkenau and Mauthausen. The book also includes poignant photographs of Sam and his family providing powerful imagery of life especially in Poland the middle of the twentieth century.

While dealing with dark subject matter, the book is a celebration of survival and spirit when faced with appalling adversity. The book is also essential reading for all those interested in Nazi Germany, the Second World War and European Genocide/Holocaust Studies.

The Telling – One Family; Two Centuries by Daniel Tabor

The Telling – One Family; Two Centuries by Daniel Tabor

Price: £16.98

ISBN: 978-1-914933-34-9

The Telling is a story of European Jewish identity set against the backdrop of the chronicles of one family, going back through history as far as Napoleonic times.

Author, Daniel Tabor, tracks the experiences and changing perceptions of his family as they find themselves having to move locations, often needing to flee oppression but also, to take up new opportunities.

The approach to the writing is based on the time-honoured Jewish tradition of older family members passing on their life stories and insights to younger ones, as one way of keeping the family culture alive.

The book looks back at those who lived many years ago during the nineteenth century in the days when the family was establishing itself in Europe, particularly in the Russian Pale and in Germany. These stories are combined with those of his more recent relatives who travelled in Europe, but also as far away as Israel and Australia, to find safe havens from oppression, or to make better lives for themselves.

How all these changes affected their perceptions of their identity is a central theme running through the book, as are the influence of the places they lived in, and how they remembered their life stories.

The book focuses heavily on the author’s parents, David and Hanna and their individual families. But Daniel Tabor brings in the life stories of other relatives on both sides of his family, too. Overall, the author has brought together the stories of twenty members of his family.

While there are tales of sadness, there are also many tales of joy as the family members set about making the most of their lives, dealing with numerous challenges thrown in their path, displaying perseverance, resilience, courage and determination along the way.

The book is written in an engaging anecdotal style and includes many evocative family testimonies and photos, providing a vivid picture of life in times gone by.

The Telling will appeal to those interested in Jewish history in general, Jewish family histories, the Holocaust, the formation and development of the modern state of Israel, the topic of people migration and also those interested in how others have overcome significant adversity to make a better life for themselves.

The British Campaign for Soviet Jewry 1966-1991: Human Rights and Exit Permits by John Cooper

The British Campaign for Soviet Jewry 1966-1991: Human Rights and Exit Permits by John Cooper

Price: £19.99

ISBN: 978-1-914933-46-2

The British Campaign for Soviet Jewry 1966-1991: Human Rights and Exit Permits is the first full length study of the movement based on primary sources. The book tells the story of one of the three or four most significant events of twentieth century Jewish history. Almost 1.5 million Jews left the Soviet Union mainly for Israel and the United States.

According to Natan Sharansky, the international human rights campaign was the most successful such movement in history. It was one of the principal props of the Soviet dissidents campaigning, and an important factor that led to the humbling of the regime and the eventual disintegration of the Soviet Empire. It was also a rare example of the reversal of an attempt at Cultural Genocide, that the Soviet Union had intended to inflict on its Jewish citizens.

The book attempts to weave the exciting story of the British movement in its international context in a fluent and readable manner. It focusses on its various components – the women and students and the National Council for Soviet Jewry; and differentiating it from its American counterparts, and the Israeli government, which attempted to guide its over-all strategy. While it covers the changing attitude of the British government to human rights from Harold Wilson to Margaret Thatcher, it also details the trials and tribulations of a countless number of Jewish and other dissidents and their supporters overseas. They bravely defied not only Stalin and his successors but the secret police and enabled the mass migration of Soviet Jewry to happen.

Kino & Kinder – A Family’s Journey in the Shadow of the Holocaust by Vivien Sieber

Kino & Kinder – A Family’s Journey in the Shadow of the Holocaust by Vivien Sieber

Price: £17.98

ISBN: 978-1-914933-17-2

Kino and Kinder tells the fascinating, poignant but inspiring story of one family’s survival as the Nazi party’s anti-Semitic policies unfolded through the 1930s, leading to the Anschluss and then, world war.

Author, Vivien Sieber, describes how her grandmother, Paula, her father, Peter and his stepbrother, Erich, grew up in pre-war Austria before the descent into war forced them to flee for their lives alongside many other members of the Central European Jewish community.

To fulfil her obsession with the cinema, the family had purchased the Palast Kino for Paula to run in the heart of cosmopolitan Vienna. However, the rise of the Nazis forced Peter and Erich, to start new lives in the UK, and Paula to abandon her cinema and join them. She then became involved with a hostel for young girls taken out of Europe by the Kindertransport programme.

Set against the backdrop of the holocaust, Kino and Kinder describes how Paula, Peter, Erich and their extended family faced their wartime challenges. These included Peter’s wartime internment; his and Erich’s subsequent military service for the British armed forces and Paula’s time running the hostel. After the war, the challenges continued as they traced the fate of their family members while Paula attempted to regain the ownership of her cinema; Erich forged a career in entertainment; and Peter built a business.

The book provides many wonderful details about life in Vienna, Austria and Central Europe before the Second World War and in post-war London, where the Paula, Peter and Erich continued to live. It also features interesting and informative first-hand accounts by a number of the women who had lived in the wartime hostel as young girls, in which they talk about their lives in the UK after they had been saved by the Kindertransport.

Kino and Kinder is illustrated throughout with many wonderful, evocative and historic photographs.

Dr Vivien Seiber is a retired scientist and lives in Oxford with her husband, Paul. Amongst her interests, she loves pottery. Kino and Kinder is her first book.

Spiritual Illumination in the Modern World-Through the Lens of Torah & Mitzvot by Dr Jeffrey Cummings

Spiritual Illumination in the Modern World-Through the Lens of Torah & Mitzvot by Dr Jeffrey Cummings

Price: £16.95

ISBN: 978-1-914933-24-0

Can we understand G-D and his creation?

What is man’s role in creation?

How does G-D oversee his creations and to what final purpose?

Spiritual Illumination in the Modern World was conceived as a work of Jewish outreach and targeted to help connect those who feel distant from G-D and uninspired by the practices of the religion, regardless of level of observance. For the committed Spiritual Seeker there is a strong emphasis on the Jewish Mystical tradition – the Kabbalah – which has so much to offer in addressing the big questions in life.

The book emphasises the vibrancy and spiritual uplift at the heartbeat of Judaism – the Torah and the Mitzvot. It is written in a distinctly modern idiom by an Orthodox Jewish scientist, without cutting corners or relying on oversimplifications. Notwithstanding, to aid clarity in understanding interspersed throughout are helpful Figures, Graphics, Tables, Visualisations and Summaries. In addition, most Chapters begin with a short recapitulation of the previous chapter in order to instil a sense of continuity and progression. Another feature is that most of the chapters were crafted to be potentially stand-alone self-contained units.

After an Introduction, the work opens by asking the tantalising question: Is Science on the verge of Discovering G-D? followed by addressing perhaps the greatest paradox faced in Jewish Philosophy (Hashkafa): Why did G-D create a physical world populated by a species like mankind, the majority of whom deny His very existence? By adopting visualisations, metaphors and allegories, an ambitious attempt is made to impart insights into the Oneness of the Creator (Hashem, may He be blessed) and His Creations, focussing on the Supernal Worlds, G-D’s Emanations (via the Sephirot) as well as governance of our physical existence. Man, defined as a composite of the physical and Spiritual, is represented as an ongoing conflict of opposing emotional forces – the good inclination versus the evil inclination – the outcome of which has cosmic ramifications. As the book reaches its climax, the focus turns to the Torah and Mitzvot to expose infinite levels of depth, many of which are accessible to man. The final chapter touches on the Torah and Science debate and eschatology, the end of days, our present era. The work completes by offering practical advice towards Spiritual Illumination carefully selected from several of the Great Figures in Jewish thought throughout the ages including: the Rambam, the Arizal, the Ramchal, the Vilna Gaon, the Rebbes of Lubavitch and Rav Kook.

Amazon and Waterstones links coming soon.

The Sermons & Torah Thoughts of Rabbi Irwin Landau by Rabbi Irwin Landau

The Sermons & Torah Thoughts of Rabbi Irwin Landau by Rabbi Irwin Landau.

Price: £19.95

ISBN: 978-1-8380929-4-8

After the death of his father, Rabbi Irwin Landau in 1969, his son David Landau often spoke about his idea of publishing his father’s sermons. Unfortunately, David was unable to achieve this in his lifetime. However, David’s widow Angela and the family were determined to see this through to fruition and for that we must all thank them.

The Rabbi’s sermons combine current affairs, within the context of Jewish life in the United Kingdom, along with the weekly Parashat HaShavuah and the Jewish holidays. This provides a detailed historical record of the matters, both national and international that were of serious concern to British and indeed world Jewry in those days.

It must be remembered that this was a momentous period in Jewish history. The Jewish people were still reeling from the catastrophe of the Shoah, while the fledging State of Israel was at the same time inspiring a miraculous renaissance.

There will be many families today whose forebears were members of the Gladstone Park and Neasden Synagogue in London, where Rabbi Landau was Minister for some twenty-five years. Many of the descendants of celebrants of Barmitzvahs, Weddings and other significant occasions, will be fascinated to learn of the Rabbi’s personal addresses to their forebears on those occasions.

Rabbi Landau’s sermons and Torah insights provide a record of what virtually encapsulated Jewish life in the United Kingdom in the mid-twentieth century and we are fortunate to be able to enjoy them and to allow succeeding generations to appreciate their ever-increasing historical value.

We Are All His Children by Yaakov Yardley

We Are All His Children by Yaakov Yardley

Price: £8.95

ISBN: 978-1-8383868-1-8

Yaakov Yardley’s inspirational book deals with his personal relationship with Hashem and how it has developed to the point that he is able to pass on his Emunah to others. Diagnosed with Asperger syndrome some years ago, he was still determined to go to Israel to study in Yeshiva. In the great tradition of ‘to learn and to teach.’ He now teaches Judaism to others back home in Manchester and assists in therapy sessions.

Mindful Judaism – A Jewish Guide to Beating Stress and Anxiety by Marvin Shaw

Mindful Judaism – A Jewish Guide to Beating Stress and Anxiety by Marvin Shaw


Price: Paperback £12.98

ISBN: 978-1-9997156-4-9

‘Can appearances be deceptive? We naturally like to think that our lives have value and meaning. Yet we often sense that something is missing; a sense that things are not the way they are meant to be. This unique book you now have in your hands can change all that. It focuses on 12 soul-traits taken from Mussar – the ethical side of Judaism – that, when mindfully applied, can transform our lives. Life-enhancing traits such as faith and trust, silence and simplicity, awe and enthusiasm. Mindful Judaism is about taking one moment and one day at a time; living mindfully and appreciating the present in a Jewish context. It’s  about balance. So, whilst we should be patient (see Chapter Ten), we need to get a move on too. Similarly, we require order and structure in our lives (see Chapter Two) – but also creativity and spontaneity. Marvin Shaw’s gentle, non-judgmental toolkit for Mindfulness brings a uniquely Jewish perspective to this puzzle of how to heal, calm and order lives that have gone out of control. Using an eclectic mix of psalms, teachings, visualisation techniques and the framework of the Jewish year, his book has something to offer everyone’ – Maureen Kendler – London School of Jewish Studies Teaching Fellow.

Author Marvin J. Shaw believes in living mindfully. Making the most of each moment, he believes, is integral to leading a fulfilling Torah life. Mindful Judaism – A Jewish Guide to Beating Stress and Anxiety is Marvin’s fifth book encouraging us to live creatively, Jewishly and with passion.

His other books being Modern Day Psalms, Poetry For Health, Kosher Happiness and 10 Days To Change Your Life.

A passionate poet, modern-orthodox Jew and graduate of the Central School of Speech and Drama, Marvin has lectured and taught Jews and non-Jews of all ages and denominations on Judaism, Jewish spirituality and Personal Development.

His mission is to facilitate individuals and groups to discover and realise their unique potential in order to become the very best person they can possibly be.

Tragedy and Triumph by Philip Ginsbury and Raphael Cutler

Tragedy and Triumph by Philip Ginsbury and Raphael Cutler


Price: Paperback £16.95

ISBN: 978-0-9926563-5-5

‘At the entrance to one of the blocks in the Auschwitz museum, prominence is given to the words of the American philosopher George Santayana: ‘The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again’. The patriarchs and prophets of the Bible were the first to see history as the unfolding drama of God and the people of the covenant. In this wonderful new work, Rabbi Philip Ginsbury and Raphael Cutler take us on a journey through Jewish history, its triumphs and tragedies and its astonishing record of survival and rebirth. What makes this work different from others is its emphasis on the love of the land, Israel, and a book, the Torah, which together, sustained a people through some of the worst persecutions in history. This is a thrilling story beautifully narrated and will make all who read it look back in wonder at the vision, hope and longing that lie at the heart of Jewish existence through the generations’ – Lord Sacks, Former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, from his review of the original edition entitled The Phases of Jewish History.

It is on the personalities, many of them great rabbis and sages, that the authors throw particular light, convinced as all readers will be after reading this book that ‘individuals can shape history no less than movements and economic and social factors’. There is much to be learned about those individuals in these pages: of perseverance, of courage, and of faith. This is not only history with a human face, but with a deep understanding of the religious imperatives that sustained a people in exile and enabled them to survive enemies and pressures that brought many other ancient peoples to the dust. It is the story of the triumph of the spirit, as sustained by men of integrity and vision.” From the Foreword by Sir Martin Gilbert to the original edition entitled The Phases of Jewish History.

Honey from the Rock by Raphael Cutler

Honey from the Rock by Raphael Cutler


Price: Paperback £29.95

ISBN: 978-0-9926563-4-8

Raphael Cutler was born in England. His education culminated in a BA from Jew’s College in London and subsequently a Diploma in Architecture from Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University).

In 1973 he immigrated with his family to Israel where he worked in the public sector as a Town Planner. However, he was always a passionate student of history. He quickly came to realise that, whereas architecture comprised the art of dividing space, history comprised the art of dividing time.

After retirement and with this realisation in mind, he co-authored, with Rabbi Philip Ginsbury, a history of the Jewish people now published under the title Tragedy and Triumph. From this developed the idea of a trilogy based upon the people, the land and the religion of Israel.

Honey from the Rock is the second book of the trilogy and illustrates graphically that the history of the Holy Land is far more than a mere description of successive empires. What is paramount is the fact that this land is where the Jewish people has best expressed its religious genius throughout the ages. Thus, in ancient times, the symbiotic relationship between land and people produced the Bible, the foundation stone of Western Civilisation. Similarly, in later periods the Holy Land produced the Mishna, the Midrash, the Jerusalem Talmud, the Masorah and the Shulchan Aruch. All of these were to make a vital contribution to the development of the Oral Law, the counterpart of the Bible.

Every copy of the book is supplied with a new innovation in the form of a Time Scale Measure. This should prove to be an invaluable educational tool to guide the reader into different aspects of the history of the Holy Land which can then be studied in depth in the book itself. The ultimate message of the intended trilogy is thus to stress how Jewish existence can only be ascribed to the unique bond between People, Land and Religion.

‘I highly recommend this book for a place of honour in any Jewish home or school’ – Rabbi Berel Wein

Modern Day Psalms by Marvin Shaw

Modern Day Psalms by Marvin Shaw


Price: Paperback £16.95

ISBN: 978-0-9933714-3-1

What is a modern-day psalm?

Spiritual gel, healing balm.

The unique process outlined within these covers helps us delve deep inside our-self in order to overcome any problems or challenges we may have; its ultimate aim being to facilitate us becoming the best person we can be and to infuse our life with meaning and joy.

Focusing on twelve significant universal themes such as fear and sadness, hope and trust in G-d, this book engages with powerful Jewish spiritual concepts that will bring us to a more fulfilling life.

According to Rabbi Avraham Chaim Feuer, the biblical Psalms (tehillim) ‘bring comfort to the troubled soul.’ Although, not divinely-inspired, like King David’s Psalms, the same is true regarding the scores of Modern-Day Psalms offered in this book.

* Deep and clear analysis of 60 Modern-Day Psalms and 12 Biblical Psalms

* How to write and understand your own Modern-Day Psalm

* 12 powerful Jewish spiritual themes examined through the prism of Modern-Day and Biblical Psalm

* Personal problems tackled and solved by Modern-Day and Biblical Psalms

* How Biblical and Modern-Day Psalms can aid well-being and inner peace

Marvin J Shaw is the author of Poetry For Health, Kosher Happiness and 10 Days To Change Your Life.

A passionate poet and graduate of the Central School of Speech and Drama, Marvin has presented and produced for radio.

A modern-orthodox Jew, he has lectured and taught Jews and non-Jews of all ages and denominations on Judaism, Jewish spirituality and Personal Development. His great passion is to facilitate individuals and groups discover and realise their unique potential – in order to become the very best person they can possibly be.

Marvin Shaw has a passion for Sefer Tehillim, the magnum opus of King David. His witty and effusive style belies his deep connection with the source material. He writes in a lucid style which engenders a love for the Psalms contained therein. His breadth of knowledge in both the holy and the secular is enviable.

‘Be prepared to be inspired and entertained!’ – Rabbi Mashiach Kelaty.

‘Warm, sweet, gentle and good fun too: the beautiful voice of the Psalms made real and relevant’ – Maureen Kendler, Director of Education at Tzedek and teaching fellow at the London School of Jewish Studies.