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Michael Kaufman

In One Era, Out the Other


Rabbi Aharon Kotler, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, Rabbi Sholom Schwadron, the Satmar Rebbe, the Klausenberger Rebbe, Rabbi Meir Schuster, Rabbi Meir Kahane, Reb Shlomo Carlebach - these are some of the exceptional Jewish luminaries of the last century who come alive in the pages of this richly detailed and engaging memoir by Michael Kaufman. Long active in the American Jewish community, the author crossed paths with many of the leading lights of his generation and participated in some of the seminal events affecting American Jewry during the last eighty years. His life reads like an exhilarating, whirlwind tour of the key places and crucial events that have defined the Jews of North America and Israel: be it the pulsating Williamsburg of old, with its noble and memorable characters; or the unforgettable summer vacation world that was the Catskill Mountains; or the forbidden, Arab-occupied parts of Eretz Yisrael - such as Jerusalem's Old City and the Western Wall - to which he made a clandestine visit on the eve of the Six Day War.

Kaufman's passion for Judaism and for his fellow Jews wherever they may dwell took him to many exotic places around the world - including Morocco and Russia at the height of the Cold War. He ultimately picked up stakes and moved with his family to Israel. There he lived directly opposite the Western Wall, becoming deeply involved in outreach work with American Jewish university students in Israel, and witnessed the dramatic and miracle-filled return home of many who were on the brink of being lost to assimilation.

An inspiring story of a remarkable Jew and an important epoch in Jewish life.