Leah Braunstein Levy, author of the newly published children’s book, The Waiting Wall, kicked off Jewish Book Month at the Jewish Educational Center Yeshiva in Elizabeth on Nov. 18.
The book — her first — is about the Kotel, a simple, sweet account of what the ancient wall in Jerusalem represents for the Jewish people. As she explained to the children at the yeshiva, it was inspired by what she told her three-year-old son, Yonatan, when the family visited the Kotel, the Western Wall, two years ago.
Braunstein Levy, the mother of four, lived in West Orange for 10 years and now lives in Plainview, NY.
Addressing first the early childhood students and then the students in first through sixth grades, she delivered two key messages: There are wonderful books written specially for Jewish children, and — though it takes hard work and lots of luck to get published — writing can be great fun.
The children looked a bit skeptical about that latter idea, until she asked who had ideas for stories. So many hands shot up — with suggestions that ranged from jewelry heists to library tales — she couldn’t hear them all.
The month-long reading campaign includes reading challenges and weekly activities, complete with prizes for those who read the most.