New memoir explores life as an American immigrant in Israel and Jewish pluralism
February 7, 2017 – St. Paul, MN – Yotzeret Publishing, which publishes books written from a Jewish perspective with a specialty in those written by women authors, has launched Jessica Fishman’s memoir, Chutzpah & High Heels: The Search for Love and Identity in the Holy Land. Distributed by Itasca Books, Chutzpah & High Heels is available through all major and independent booksellers, as well as for purchase online via Amazon. The ebook version is available through Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, and the Kobo store. As part of the book launch, Fishman will be conducting a book tour in March 2017 throughout American Jewish communities.
With self-deprecating wit, Fishman’s memoir takes the reader through her move and acclimation to Israel. From being an American living in Israel to becoming an Israeli with an American accent, she overcomes many obstacles. However, she meets one obstacle that tests the core of her identity and nearly destroys the very ideology that brought her to Israel. Her memoir explores the importance of Jewish pluralism in Israel. Not just a Jewish story, Fishman’s memoir is a universal story about a young, contemporary woman losing and searching for identity, overcoming heartbreak, and finding her place in the world.
“Jessica tells the story of her struggle for authenticity and belonging with honesty and humor, even as we spiral, intensely, to the core of her being and identity — to her unapologetic, truest self,” Rabbi Susan Silverman, board member of Women of the Wall and author of Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World, said of the book.
“Jessica’s story of aliyah and acceptance is not black and white, but rather portrays Jewish life’s complexities, core values, and the realities facing both Israeli and American Jewish communities,” explains Rabbi Uri Regev, president and CEO of Hiddush, an organization advancing religious freedom and equality in Israel, in the book’s afterword. “Offering us a humorous reminder, and at times biting criticism, of the lack of Jewish pluralism and equality in Israel, Jessica’s story is anchored in a deep love for the State and its people.”
Fishman’s story was first featured in 2010 in Israel’s popular Yediot Aharonot newspaper and then in multiple American Jewish media outlets, when she shared her story about how the Rabbinate’s control over religion impacted her life. After developing the popular Aliyah Survival Blog, an irreverent portrayal of an American immigrant’s first years in Israel, she has written a deeply-personal, witty memoir about the difficulties, absurdities, and excitement of making a home in a new country.
“While exposing so many intimate aspects of my life is a frightening, I am also excited to have this opportunity to share my story with the world,” Jessica Fishman stated. “I was inspired to write Chutzpah and High Heels: The Search for Love and Identity in the Holy Land in order to inspire social change. I hope that it will have an impact.”
“We are delighted to publish Chutzpah & High Heels. The book’s message of Jewish pluralism and equality fits perfectly with Yotzeret Publishing’s mission to reflect Jewish diversity and the under-represented,” says Sheyna Galyan, owner of Yotzeret Publishing. “Chutzpah & High Heels is simultaneously funny and heartbreaking, and holds no punches with its seldom-before-seen snapshot into Israeli culture.”
For additional information regarding the book tour, please visit Jessica’s appearances page.
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About Jessica Fishman Having grown up in a Midwestern Jewish and Zionist family, Jessica Fishman moved to Israel after graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Journalism and Business. She spent her first few years in the country serving in the Israel Defense Forces, learning the Hebrew language, and getting acclimated to the country. Jessica Fishman has written a number of articles about Israel and Zionism and been interviewed in leading Israeli media about her experience as an immigrant in Israel. Her story has been featured in leading Israeli and Jewish media. Find Jessica online at https://jessicafishmanauthor.com/.