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People of the Book

I just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime--and actually, first-in-a-lifetime!--trip to Israel. The trip was courtesy of PJ Library, a fantastic nonprofit run by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that distributes free books with Jewish content every month to children all over the U.S. and in a number of other countries as well. Eighteen children's book authors and artists (a wonderfully talented and generous group) traveled around Israel and were treated to one fantastic experience after another: kayaking on the Dead Sea; star-gazing in the desert; walking on a two-thousand-year-old pilgrimage road under Jerusalem not yet opened to the public; listening to prize-winning Israeli authors; lunch and discussion with Jews who came from Ethiopia. And, possibly my favorite: a behind-the-scenes look at the Dead Sea Scrolls and the restoration process. All told, I have a new appreciation for and understanding of the expression "People of the Book."

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