My efforts to find a venue for the Berlin book launch of A Place They Called Home had left me frustrated until I met the team at Archetyp Cafe. Owned by a couple of brothers from a German Jewish family, the cafe became our living room for last month’s lively and intimate Sunday afternoon conversation about the “new Jewish return to Germany.” With coffee, home-made cookies, and wine to celebrate the occasion, we delivered our stories into the hands of a warm, receptive, and standing room only audience.
Besides the friends, colleagues, and other Berliners who attended, we were joined by reporters from the BBC and the Jüdische Allgemeine. The BBC’s ‘Heart and Soul’ in depth radio documentary Jewish and Returning to Germany has just been aired and the Jüdische Allgemeine recently published our first German language coverage, Rückkehr nach Berlin. I couldn’t be more pleased with the favorable coverage of the book, including reviews in the Washington Times and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Co-authors Yermi Brenner, Maya Shwayder, and Sylvia Finzi (featured below) easily connected with the audience as they each took the spotlight. We all fielded lots of great questions, Eva Schweitzer (publisher) once again sold all the books she brought along, and Brian Crawford took these amazing photos.
With all the excitement of book launches and press interviews behind me, I’ve taken the first steps on a new project to research restored citizenship for Jewish families from Austria, Lithuania, and other points in Eastern Europe.
To keep things interesting, I’ve also become a volunteer with Rent A Jew, an organization that promotes encounters between Jews and non-Jews in Germany to break down stereotypes and misconceptions. Don’t be fooled by the name, the service is free!