Memories of a Jewish Childhood

by Harriet Ottenstein


Memories of a Jewish Childhood is a unique book. It is an American story, detailing an almost exclusively Jewish neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey during the 1950’s. Although the neighborhood becomes a Jewish haven for arriving survivors, this is not a Holocaust book. Rather it addresses the impact of those stories told behind closed doors and their influence on the identities of Jewish children who grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust.

This book reveals a life that most Americans have never experienced, becoming a window into Ashkenazi Jewish life and assimilation. The book is touching and terrifying, but with quite a few laughs as well. People from Newark, both Christians and Jews will find many nostalgic memories of the era. It is a readable documentary/memoir of a time and place that shaped so many lives. This book belongs in every Jewish home and especially in the homes of the people who lived in Newark. Teachers in public schools have requested the book for classroom discussions. Jewish Day school and Sunday schools have found a touching, poignant and understandable aid to their curriculums.

Readers have shared that they “could not put the book down” and came away with much to consider and much to remember. Memories of a Jewish Childhood is a slim little volume that packs profound messages . . . a must read for people who want to feel, laugh and cry, but most of all learn.

The book is available on Amazon and Kindle


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