Author author: new books by Bay Area writers

Sheldon Lewis, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, imparts his wisdom and shares his world-view in his new book, “Bridging Word and World: Seeking Jewish Wisdom for Perplexing Modern Issues.”

A collection of sermons, essays, op-eds and other writings he has penned over the last 50 years, the book addresses a wide range of topics — especially peacemaking and social justice.

“My career has witnessed so many dramatic challenges, changes and steps forward and backward,” he writes in the introduction. “I was often caught up in these compelling issues like the war in Vietnam, rescue of Soviet Jewry, protest against ongoing war-making, addressing the huge gaps between the wealthy and the very poor. … I often needed first and foremost to examine my own positions, to stretch myself often painfully to change, and then to speak out to others.”

Lewis retired from Kol Emeth in 2006 after serving the congregation for 33 years; prior to that he was a chaplain in the Vietnam War. He studied under Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

“I am a product of the ’60s, and Heschel was a powerful model for me,” Lewis told J. in a 2006 interview. “I just drank him in.”

Lewis will hold a book launch at 7:15 p.m. Monday, May 9 at Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Ave., Palo Alto.

“Bridging Word and World” by Sheldon Lewis (189 pages, Hadassa Word Press)


Haunting images of war that meld past with present can be found in graphic artist and photographer Carrie Zeidman’s “Ghosts.”

The seeds for her book were planted when Zeidman and her husband visited concentration camps in Poland in 2008, viewing monuments and ruins. Struck by the tragedy of so many lives cut short, the Cupertino resident sought out photos from the Holocaust. Combining them with images taken from her personal travels and using creative digital image-making, she composed pictures that can be seen as both sad and somewhat hopeful. Chapters of “Ghost” cover the Revolutionary War, Civil War and both World Wars.

“Ghosts” by Carrie Zeidman (71 pages, Swiss Creek Publications)