Savour a taste of these books from the Gitlin!

FROM THE ISSUE DESK: Celebrating a Simcha or wish to honour a loved one, donate a book from our “Wish List”.
An inscription will be placed into the book. Contact: or phone 021 462 5088.

THE WAR OF RETURN by ADI SCHWARTZ AND EINAT WILF.  The book begins by examining Israel’s War of Independence from which the refugee issue arose. The authors refute the claim of calculated ethnic cleansing by Israel upon which the Palestinian narrative is based. They argue that the Palestinians demand for a ‘right to return’ has no legal or moral basis and make a plea for the US, the UN, and the EU to recognise this fact.

BESSIE by LINDA KASS. The fictionalised story of Bess Myerson, the first Jewish winner of the Miss America contest in 1945. The author focuses on her upbringing in the Bronx and follows her story culminating in her appearance at Carnegie Hall after serving her year as Miss America. The whirlwind that surrounded her after being crowned was extraordinary as World War II had ended and a post-Holocaust Jewish world was emerging.

WHEN WE WERE BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL by JILLIAN MEDOFF. Cassie Quinn knows three things about life: money cannot buy happiness, family matters most, and that her younger brother Billy was not a rapist. When Billy is arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Cassie races to Manhattan to join forces with her family. As reporters converge outside their Upper East Side landmark building, Cassie vows to do all to save Billy even if it exposes her own darkest secrets.

THE DEAD SISTER by JONATHAN DUNSKY. Auschwitz survivor and private investigator Adam Lapid is asked to investigate the death of a young Arab woman. The case has languished in the hands of the Tel Aviv police who believe it to be an honour killing
as she wanted to marry a Christian. In desperation her brother Ahmed turns to Adam even though they fought on opposite sides of the war. He must use all his skills to find this ruthless killer.

THE BOX WITH THE SUNFLOWER CLASP by RACHEL MELLER. When Rachel’s distant aunt Lisbeth dies, she is left an intricately carved Chinese box with a sunflower clasp containing photographs and letters. This leads Rachel to discover that Lisbeth grew up in elegant Vienna but was forced to flee to Shanghai due to the threat of the Nazi invasion. Set against a background of war in the Far East, this sweeping memoir tells of the Jews of Shanghai.

MY NAME IS BARBRA by BARBRA STREISAND. Barbra shares her life and extraordinary career. From growing up in Brooklyn to appearing in New York nightclubs, performing in Funny Girl and succeeding in every medium over the years that followed. She recounts her early struggles to become an actress turning to singing to earn a living and direction of films. Barbra touches on friendships with stars and politicians as well as her marriage to actor James Brolin.

SOUL MANDATE by LEW GEFFEN. Real estate tycoon Lew Geffen has had an eventful life. After a shaky academic start, his success has led him to socialise with celebrities, including having his 60th birthday on the yacht of Nicholas Cage and selling homes to both Nelson Mandela and Gary Player. His career includes a stint in the Israeli army and being fired from his mother’s estate agent company ‘Aïda’. A candid memoir laced with humour.

THE LITTLE LIAR by MITCH ALBOM. Nico, aged 11, was told by a Nazi officer when he invaded his home in Salonika that he could save his family if he convinced the Jewish residents to board trains going “east”. When Nico sees them loaded into crowded boxcars doomed for Auschwitz he realises the consequences of this lie. Nico was blocked from boarding. Mitch Albom interweaves the stories of Nico, his brother Sebastian and their school friend Fanni who escaped the camps.

Jacob Gitlin Library
Find us on Facebook and Instagram

• Published in the April 2024 issue – Click here to start reading.

• To advertise in the Cape Jewish Chronicle and on this website – kindly contact Lynette Roodt on 021 464 6736 or email For more information and advertising rate card click here.

• Sign up for our newsletter and never miss another issue.

• Please support the Cape Jewish Chronicle with a voluntary Subscription for 2024. For payment info click here.

• Visit our Portal to the Jewish Community to see a list of all the Jewish organisations in Cape Town with links to their websites.

Follow the Cape Jewish Chronicle: Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here