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Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen (Author)
Rabbi Kerry Olitzky (Author) See More

Heroes with Chutzpah

Heroes with Chutzpah

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Ben Yehuda Press
7 X 10 in
210 pg

8 - 14 (Interest age, years)

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A young teenager who spoke out for gun control in front of tens of thousands.

An Israeli street artist who painted an ancient city with modern images.

A biotechnologist who led the quest for a Covid vaccine.

In Heroes with Chutzpah, readers will meet 101 Jewish changemakers from the recent past and present, who challenged the status quo in the arts, sciences, social justice, sports and politics. Each one-page biography is accompanied by an original digital portrait. This children's book about Jewish heroes is inspiring and fun.

Heroes with Chutzpah captures the diversity of the global Jewish community, showcasing Jews of different racial backgrounds, gender and sexual identities, and religious orientations from secular to Orthodox. Instead of focusing exclusively on icons, we included an eclectic mix of both lesser-known and renowned personalities with engaging, inspiring, and meaningful stories that will resonate with children of all backgrounds.

Heroes with Chutzpah is written especially with readers ages 8 to 14 in mind. The biographies are short, just a page for each one, and the illustrations are compelling. It makes the perfect gift for B'nai Mitzvah, birthdays and Hanukkah!

In a non-graphic way, the biographies delve into topics that require a bit of maturity, for example, the Holocaust and gender and sexual identity. While younger readers could enjoy the stories, they may wish to read them with a parent or other adult. All of the heroes identify as Jewish and Judaism is a key component of many stories, but not all stories. It is appropriate for Jewish young people and for curious readers of different faith traditions.

“Representation matters. The Jewish role models featured in this book help kids visualize what is possible. Meet some of the bold changemakers who emerged from the margins.”
—Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue, NYC

“In a time where so many in our community are feeling alone and vulnerable, it is important for us to show children and the younger generation that we are strong and resilient and that they are not alone. Kids will read the stories and be inspired and motivated to be the best that they can be.”
—Rep. Alma Hernandez, Arizona State House

“Who knows which idealistic child will see themselves in a Jewish hero and themselves make a transformational impact? Countless young readers of this inspiring, age-appropriate book!”
—Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center

“In these pages we meet the Jews that changed the world. What better inspiration to young people who can place their identity within the larger panoply of Jewish experience while also learning that there are no limits to what one may accomplish. The book is timely, important and really fun.”
—Ted Deutsch, former Congressman

“Simply stunning. You would want this book on your coffee table, though the stories will take the express lane to your soul.”

—Rabbi Jeff Salkin

Rabbi Kerry Olitzky Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen
Author Bio

Deborah Bodin Cohen is rabbi of Beth Chai in Bethesda, MD, and an editor at Behrman House. She is the author of many children's books including An Invitation to Passover, the Sisters Z, the Engineer Ari series , Lilith's Ark and Nachshon Who Was Afraid to Swim. Her books have received numerous honors, including a National Jewish Book award, Sydney Taylor honor designations and the Sugarman prize. She lives in Rockville, MD, with her husband David and three children.

Rabbi Kerry Olitzky is the author of over 75 books and hundreds of articles in a variety of fields, including the popular new picture book, Where’s the Potty on this Ark?