ALMOST A MINYAN by LORI S. KLINE

by LORI S. KLINE

ALMOST A MINYAN
by
LORI S. KLINE
ARTWORK BY SUSAN SIMON
  Genre: Picture Book / Jewish Traditions
Date of Publication: April 5, 2017
Number of Pages: 40
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Will she be the one to take Grandfather’s place?
According to Jewish tradition, a quorum of ten adults is required for public worship. Almost a Minyan traces the story of a young girl whose father and grandfather are regular participants in the town’s minyan – until her beloved Zayde passes on.
Without him, it is even harder for her father to find enough people to make a minyan. Then one day, he brings Zayde’s tefillin to his eldest daughter. A striking new addition to the diverse books movement, Almost a Minyan shares important Hebrew terms and religious concepts through a compelling and beautifully illustrated story for children.

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Why did you write this book? The transmission of Jewish traditions and practices is critical to me, as I believe it bonds our families, one generation to the next, and keeps our Jewish religion both intact and evolving to meet modern day realities. I have always loved engaging with kids as early in life as the toddler years, to instill a love for Judaism through fun with the prayers, stories and song. I firmly believe that the love they develop as youngsters will steer them into loving Judaism as they grow.

 

What was your life like growing up as a female in the Jewish community?

Wow—I grew-up in a very different time with respect to female involvement in the Jewish community. I didn’t harbor any resentment—I accepted my role as “just the way it is.” I loved the Hebrew language, gathering and singing the prayers, celebrating holiday and the weekly Friday night dinners at home with family and friends, and having leadership roles in our, “Jr. Synagogue” services and Youth Group activities. I never questioned that only males had a place on the bimah (stage), could touch or read from the Torah, and/or lead services. I was content to light the candles Friday night and pray from the congregational seats on “Shabbos” (the Sabbath). During my high school years, I attended Camp Ramah in Canada, where I learned to chant from the Torah and when I moved to Austin for college, I learned to lead services. At first, these practices felt very odd—almost heretical. Now they are part of my, “just the way it is,” Jewish lifestyle.

 

What are some day jobs that you have held?  Have any of them impacted your writing? 

During high school, I worked as a United Synagogue Youth adviser for middle school children. I saw children who were connected, and those who were not connected, to their Jewish heritage, and it struck me that many were missing a link to previous generations in their families.  Almost a Minyan allowed me to espouse the importance I place on the transmission of Jewish tradition through family relationships.   As an adult, I worked as a Speech Language Pathologist for over 20 years.  The protagonist in my previous book was a child with strong characteristics of Attention Deficit Disorder and over the years I worked with many such children, who shared stories of their struggles and their comical moments related to this difficult issue.

 

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

My first book, Josiah’s Dreams, is a whimsical tale of a day-dreamer.  This book, Almost a Minyan, is more a coming-of-age, educational book.  I would say that fun with rhyme and playful language dealing with serious issues characterize both books.

 

What is your favorite quote?

Either, “It’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to paint it,” by Steven Wright or, “You are endless potential,” author unknown.

 

What’s your funniest flaw?

I frequently walk into the corners at turns throughout the interior of my home.  Of course I blame my husband for frequently moving the walls.  

PRAISE FOR ALMOST A MINYAN:

“A warmhearted introduction to coming-of-age in a worship community.”

 

Kirkus Reviews
“A story of inclusion, belonging and equality. I loved the modern, egalitarian, and traditional values shared in this meaningful story. This is a wonderful modern story for our children and grandchildren!”
Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray
Congregation Shir Shalom, CT
Founder of the Women Cantors’ Network
“A delightful read for girls and boys alike, this poetic family tale brings a wonderful sentimentality to daily Jewish prayers. Moreover, the beauty of the illustrations contributes additional warmth to this snapshot of Jewish life. A nice addition for all libraries and all ages.”
Rabbi Jimmy Kessler, DHL, DD
Congregation B’nai Israel, Galveston

 

Lori Sales Kline heralds from Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, PA, which hosts a wonderfully rich Jewish community that fueled her love for Jewish tradition, ritual and practice at home and at, “the shul.”  Following her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Texas in Austin, Lori chose to make Austin her home, largely due to the spiritual connection she felt in the close-knit Austin Jewish community.  In her spare time, Lori enjoys camping, celebrating Judaism with her husband and son, and friends. She previously authored the children’s picture book,  Josiah’s Dreams.



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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
One Signed Copy of Almost A Minyan
March 24-April 7, 2017
(U.S. Only)

 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

3/24
Illustration Preview 1
3/25
Review
3/26
Author Interview 1
3/27
Review
3/28
Guest Post
3/29
Promo
3/30
Review
3/31
Illustration Preview 2
4/1
Review
4/2
Author Interview 2
4/3
Review
4/4
Excerpt
4/5
Illustration Preview 3
4/6
Review
4/7
Author Interview 3

 

 

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