MomentBooks Will Release THEODORE BIKEL'S 'THE CITY OF LIGHT' by Aimee Ginsburg Bikel and illustrations by Noah Phillips
"Aimee Ginsburg Bikel's shaping and sharing of her beloved late husband Theo Bikel's tale of what he experienced as a little boy during the rise, and then explosion, of hatred that preceded the Holocaust, is beautiful, painfully powerful, and a great gift. It is particularly meaningful in this time of mushrooming anti-Semitism, hatred and bigotry of every sort, worldwide. Told in the sweet poetic language of a child, and a one-day-to-become iconic actor, poet, folk singer and international activist for social justice, it is a riveting and undeniable tale, made all the more meaningful by the mounting denial of this history that we must tell and retell, lest it be repeated." -PETER YARROW, Peter Paul and MarySimsbury, CT (September 24, 2019) Just in time for Hanukkah 2019, MomentBooks, a new imprint of Mandel Vilar Press, will release THEODORE BIKEL'S 'THE CITY OF LIGHT' by Aimee Ginsburg Bikel and illustrations by Noah Phillips (Trade Hardcover Original; November 5, 2019; $16.95; ISBN 978-1942134619). The book is based on a story commissioned from Theo by Moment Magazine's Editor-in-Chief, Nadine Epstein that was published in the magazine and read aloud on NPR's Hanukkah Lights program in 2014. Now, for the first time, Aimee Ginsburg Bikel, Theo's wife, has expanded the original story into a full-sized book. In THEODORE BIKEL'S 'THE CITY OF LIGHT,' the beloved late actor, singer and activist poignantly recounts moments from his childhood in Vienna, when he experienced and witnessed brutal and violent anti-Semitism as Nazi influence grew-memories that remained with him all his life. Set in Vienna in 1937-1938 during Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria and Kristallnacht, "The Night of Broken Glass," a young Jewish boy sees the shattered windows of Jewish businesses and elderly Jews being spat upon and forced to clean the sidewalks with their coats. Once at home in the city, he is ostracized and beaten.
One night, the boy dreams that his favorite Jewish superhero, Judah Maccabee, has arrived to save Vienna's Jews. But when he awakens, there has been no Maccabean rescue. Years pass, the boy, now an old man, returns to Vienna and finds its Jewish community and Temple have been restored. He looks for the eternal light in the Temple and can't find it. Then suddenly it becomes clear to him: "The light was there all the time; it was in his own heart."
This special book also includes a three-page Yiddish word glossary, a recipe for Honey Cake from Bikel's Grandmother, and sheet music of a little known Hanukkah song, "Little Candle Fires" with a link to websites where you can hear Theo singing this song.A wonderful and inspiring story for readers ages 9 and up, THEODORE BIKEL'S 'THE CITY OF LIGHT' will make a great gift this holiday season.