After six years, three editors, rewrites, more hours of photo research than I ever dreamed possible, and a hefty yet worthy debate over the implications of using the word Shabbos, Shabbat or Sabbath, my children’s book — I Love Jewish Faces — has been published! Two slim copies arrived via plain old USPS but it felt as if they’d been delivered by six white horses drawing a glass carriage.
Holding one’s book for the first time is akin to holding one’s newborn, minus the crazy breathing and the episiotomy. Nothing matches those first few minutes when you savor the text, reading words pulled eons ago from your brain, heart and gut, alive now on the pages — pages beautifully illustrated by someone who understood how to take your vision and make it real.
You are grateful beyond belief — grateful for that moment of inspiration, grateful for the friends and family who listened to you go on and on and still encouraged you, grateful for the editor who believed in you and your story and said when he met you that he couldn’t wait to read your book to his son.
And what is the story of I Love Jewish Faces? What are these ninety-four words and thirty photos about? Two words — Jewish diversity. The Jewish faces in this book are peach and white; they are light brown and dark brown; they come from places as near as New York and as far away as Tunisia. They are brunette and blonde, old and young, brown-eyed, blue-eyed and almond eyed.
I cannot say I set out to write this book out of a burning desire to broadcast a message of Jewish diversity. I can say that when the idea of it nudged me, I knew its message had to get out there — kids adopted from other countries need to see themselves and their families in their Jewish books. The Jewish community needs reminding, too, that Jews come from all “races and places.”
I will be speaking at the Detroit Jewish Book Fair on November 8, in Ann Arbor and at the New Haven Jewish Center in Woodbridge, CT on Nov. 3. Bring your children and grandchildren. Or borrow one for the afternoon. You can read an excerpt from the book by clicking here. Enjoy!
Let me be the first to say mazal tov!
And I will be the first to say thank you to my firstborn, one of my firstest fans and the designer of this beautiful website.
Mazal Tov, Debra. May the book bring more love & acceptance into the world.
We look forward to seeing it.
I guess it’s fitting I’m second to send mass amounts of mazal from one of the many Jewish places.
the latter of your two proud punims.
Thank you, my beautiful second-born punim, taker of wonderful photographs and putter together of smashing and fast selling outfits….
Congratulations, Debra. How thrilling. Can’t wait to see it!
The book is charming and fresh. I can’t wait to buy it for my nieces and nephew for Chanukah. Congratulations!
Congratulations!!!!! I can’t wait to get my hands on a book!!!
Congratulations, Debra! I can only imagine the thrill at seeing your vision, words and photos in print at last! I am so very happy for you and proud of you for another literary accomplishment. Savor it!
How exciriting! Save a copy for us at the JCC Book Fair!
Mazal Tov, Debra. I can’t wait to see your new book.
I am so happy for you and can hardly wait to get a copy for myself and any future grandchildren I have.
Checking JCC websites:
Nov 8 in Oak Park and then to W. Bloomfield
Nov 15th: Ann Arbor
Looking at my schedule to see how I can fit all 3 in. 🙂
OH, Everyone you are all so sweet. Your emails have come in so quickly that I haven’t been able to thank you each. Liz, come to one, or two but all three would be overkill! When there are grandchildren, I’ll inscribe a copy for them.
Illana, Denny, Steve & Joyce,Elissa, Beth, Diana, Thank you all for your enthusiasm and good wishes.
Have been on phone with AT&T for hours, Modem went down. And now to sleep. Thank you all again for
visiting, for writing, and for your friendship and love.
I’m so excited for you! This is wonderful and I can’t wait to buy the book. Terrific idea, beautifully done. Mazel tov!
I just viewed the 14 pages available and can’t wait to get a couple of copies for my grandkids! What a wonderful concept, and beautifully created! Mazal tov!
I’m so happy for you and for everyone who will get to enjoy the fruits of your talent through this book!!!
We are so thrilled with the publication of your book and all its wondeful implications. We arrive home from China on NOv 2 otherwise we would definitely have driven up to Connecticut. Let us know when you hit NJ. I am forwarding your webxite to all my friends with grandchildren. Judy
Mazel Tov Debra! I also see your book in the Reform Judaism magazine, latest issue just received by mail. Your work brings us insight and love!
Thank you Vivian, It’s been a heady two weeks or so. Satisfying to hold the book and I’m eager to share it with as many families as I can reach.