New York, N.Y. 10013
Tel. (212) 925-9067
Fax: (212) 343-2553
Keeping Jewish Heritage Alive Through Literature
Jewish Heritage is one of the world’s oldest and most active organizations dedicated to enriching the literary bookshelf with works of literature related to Jewish history and culture.
By partnering with archives to bring unpublished works to a broad readership and supporting contemporary authors Jewish Heritage has helped bring to light many books of great literary and historical significance.

Black Grass

Golem of Auschwitz Read by Robert Zukerman

Book the Author
Full houses, strong audience appreciation has resulted from dramatic readings of the stories and conversations with the author. Click on the links below to see how Black Grass and Other Stories
have been presented as short fictions in response to the Holocaust. Holocaust Story: "Black Grass" Read by Norma Fire
"The Golem of Auschwitz" Read by Robert Zukerman

And on the following link for a conversation with the author, Bernard Otterman, on the origins of the stories, and for a reading of the title story. As presented on June 5, 2008, 6:30pm, at the Center for Jewish History,
New York City.
Holocaust Author Bernard Otterman Discusses His Book with Alan Adelson

The International Initiative in the Literature of the HolocaustIn 1999, under establishing grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Lowe II Foundation and the Strochlitz Foundation, Jewish Heritage launched an intensified effort to bring the most worthy memoirs written by Holocaust survivors to publication. Mentors working under Jewish Heritage’s auspices have assisted hundreds of authors, most of them Holocaust survivors, to bring their books to the light of print.

The project emphasizes cross-generational assistance which puts professionally accomplished young writers and editors to work assisting authors from the heroic generation which brought Jewish culture to America. Our mentors work with authors to organize, edit and complete book-length memoirs documenting the Jewish immigrant experience and Jewish culture’s roots in Europe.

Publishing House and Literary Agency
In addition to providing editorial assistance, the Jewish Heritage functions as both a publishing house and a specialized, not-for-profit literary agency, enriching the Jewish bookshelf around the world by bringing significant literary, cultural and historical works to the light of print in the existing literary marketplace.
Jewish Heritage’s recent releases include the very widely acclaimed Regions of the Great Heresy: Bruno Schulz by Jerzy Ficowski, published by WW Norton, Drohobycz, Drohobycz, True Tales from the Holocaust and Life After by Henryk Grynberg, published by Penguin, winner of the 2002 Koret Jewish Book Prize in fiction, and under the project’s own imprint, the Holocaust memoirs, My Shadowlife by Richard Bugajer and Judaism is Indestructible, a Rabbi’s Holocaust Memoir by Isidore Greengrass, as well as the beautiful collection of art reproductions and midrashic interpretations of Scripture, Biblical Visions, by Janet Shafner.

Over the years Jewish Heritage has developed close working relationships with editors at many publishing houses, including Random House, Harcourt Brace, St. Martin's Press, Norton, Viking/Penguin, Oxford University Press, the University of Illinois, the University of Michigan Press, the University of Calgary Press, Southern Illinois University Press, the University of Michigan Press.

Partnering Organizations

Initiative in the 
Special offer for Jewish Magazine Readers: Shipping cost will be refunded during the period Black Grass is appearing in the on-line magazine.  
Bernard Otterman
Black Grass and Other Stories

This collection of short stories inspired by the Holocaust and its aftermath marks the debut of a mature writer with unusual skill and vision. Black Grass will bring the author immediate recognition as a significant new voice in the literature of the Holocaust. And then in literature as a whole.

With the title story, Bernard Otterman turns to the rich tradition of magical realism to respond to the phenomenon of the Holocaust. The blackness that one day begins spreading out of the site of a death camp begins to envelope the world.

The author writes: ¡°As a child survivor, the Holocaust forced itself in the manner of an unwelcome relative into my writings .¡± His stories are set in the ghettos and camps and in the aftermath of the war against the Jews. The collection's dual perspectives, in the past and present, form a unity Dr. Otterman refers to as ¡°the ever - present past.¡±

Mr. Otterman worked patiently for ten years on this short story collection. Several stories have won competitions and have been published in literary magazines and quarterlies . These finely crafted stories provide a riveting , tightly constructed reading experience. While taking his readers into uncharted regions, Otterman's authorial voice is a strong tether throughout, keeping the reader grounded. He writes with the deftness and moral complexity of Chaim Grade and Primo Levi, Ida Fink and Henryk Grynberg. When his imagination takes flight into the surrealistic regions, his work is akin to the crafted conceptual stories of Bruno Schulz and Franz Kafka.

Aline P’Nina Tayar
How Shall We Sing? A Mediterranean Journey Through a Jewish Family

Lament for a vanished civilisation. Sephardic courtship, love, rivalry, fear and hate in exotic settings...Journalism, travel-writing and fiction...   more/buy
Jewish Heritage works very closely with the directors of education, survivor affairs and academic publications at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, with the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and with the Association of Holocaust Organizations and its many member organizations. Since November 2002 Jewish Heritage has co-sponsored a series of prestigious international literary events at the Center for Jewish History.


Alan Adelson
Lodz Ghetto

This searing documentary is composed of letters, poems and notebooks from the sealed-off ghetto in Lodz, Poland, where more than 200,000 Jews were forced by the Nazis into slave labor before deportation to extermination camps.
top of the page