First Advance Review of New Book

First advance review of  “The Rabbi and the Firefighters, Inspirational Stories for Children”,  to be released in the  fall of 2012 by Apples&Honey Press

“Sylvia Rouss has a beautiful way of handling  delicate issues through her stories, which speak so clearly and directly to children.  This unique combination of stories addresses such diverse topics as cancer, marriage and immigration, and is full of lovable characters who teach Jewish values in a gentle, sometimes humorous way.  Kids will want to read and reread these beautiful stories, and teachers and parents will love to use them to enhance important classroom and life lessons.” From Barb Gelb, a Wexner Graduate Fellow, who has been involved in Jewish education for over 25 years. A mother of three teenagers who grew up loving Sammy Spider, she appreciates the value Jewish books have in shaping Jewish identity.  Barb currently directs the Arts Education and Outreach Program for ArtsMemphis.


A preview of the title story – The Rabbi and the Firefighters

On Sunday morning Rabbi Cohen waited as the last child boarded the bus. When the driver pulled away children opened their windows and shouted, “Shalom Rabbi, todah rabbah.”

The Rabbi smiled and waved back. He headed toward the Camp Tikvah administration building. On the way he breathed in the fresh mountain air. It was fall and pine cones littered the ground around the tall pines which covered the campgrounds. The sound of birds filled the air. This was a place where one could really feel Hashem’s presence the Rabbi thought.

As he passed a row of cabins, Rabbi Cohen noticed a wisp of smoke in the distance. He pulled aside one of the camp caretakers. “What do you think that is?”He asked.

The caretaker shrugged, “Hopefully its smoke coming from someone’s chimney. If not, I’m sure we’ll hear about it before too long.”

The Rabbi agreed that whatever happened, it would be in G-d’s hands. Right now he had to focus on preparations for the next group of campers that would visit Camp Tikvah. An order of food had already been delivered and now only the cabins remained to be cleaned.

The phone rang when he got to his office. It was from the local fire department advising him that a fire had started and if the wind became stronger it might get out of control.