Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Interview With Book Publisher Ilan Greenfield of Gefen Publishing House

On His Newest Book, My Jerusalem

Many could argue that no other city in the world has a more significant history than Jerusalem. Now the capital of Israel, it has been the prize of countless wars. The Holy City has served Jews for 3,000 years and is also where the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ took place, and it is where the Muslim prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven. A new book takes a close look and a unique approach at what Jerusalem means to world leaders, through essays and photographs, capturing the significance of a 50-square mile strip of land on the 50th anniversary of its reunification.

My Jerusalem: The Eternal City (Gefen Publishing, House, cloth, 160 pages, October 1, 2017, $50, ISBN: 9789652299079) is the most important and monumental book that I have published in my 36 years of publishing,” says Ilan Greenfield, the book’s editor and publisher.

Greenfield combined dozens of stirring and insightful essays from those who understand the political, religious, and humanitarian importance of a stable Jerusalem. “As you read the different stories, I hope that you will think of your own Jerusalem story and consider your relationship to this unique and amazing city – and what Jerusalem means to you,” Greenfield says.

My Jerusalem is complemented by the award-winning photographs of Tel Aviv-based photographer Ziv Koren, who has had his work shared in 15 books and at exhibits across the globe, including the Metropolitan Museum of Tokyo, the Memorial Museum in Spain, the War Museum in Croatia, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. His work has been published in Time magazine, Newsweek, The Sunday New bel, Times Magazine, Stern, der Spiegel, Paris Match, Le Figaro, and other prominent publication across the globe.

The list of contributors is impressive. It includes heavyweight politicians, activists, philanthropists, academicians, artists and leaders from Israel and the United States, including:

·         Renowned legal expert Alan M. Dershowitz
·         Preeminent sex therapist, talk show host and Holocaust survivor Dr. Ruth Westheimer
·         Israel’s 10th president, Reuven Rivlin
·         Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu
·         Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat
·         Speaker of Israel Knesset, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein
·         National Defense Emeritus, Anti-Defamation league, Abraham H. Foxman
·         National President of Hadassah, Ellen Hershkin
·         World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder 
·         Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Marvin Hier

Many submissions are from non-Jews, including Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Pastor John Hager, founder and national chairman of Christians United for Israel, and U.S. presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Here is an interview with Greenfield:

1.      Why is it so important that a book celebrating Jerusalem be published during its 50th anniversary of reunification? The importance of this unique album is not the 50th anniversary. The 50th anniversary is the trigger to its inception. The book conveys the yearning of Jews to Jerusalem throughout the past 2,000 years. While reading these personal stories we understand why it is important that Jerusalem stay the capital of Israel for ever as a united city with free access to all religions to their Holy sites.

2.      What surprised you in the contributions that you received for the book? What surprised me the most was the enthusiasm in which all the contributors have responded with. Including our President Reuven Rivlin, Alan Dershowitz, Malcolm Hoenlein, Pastor Hage. Mike Huckabee and Rabbi Sacks – they all were excited to take part in this unique volume and this can be seen in their personal story and connection to Jerusalem.

3.      What were some of the biggest names to provide their personal thoughts about Jerusalem? President Rivlin, Mayor Nir Barkat, and all the rest….

4.      What does Jerusalem mean to you? As a native Tel Avivian I remember the first night I slept in Jerusalem in 1982. I had returned from two years as a Zionist activist in Los Angeles and ecided to try and spend a few days in Jerusalem prior to returning to Tel Aviv. Waking up in the morning and seeing Jerusalem, inhaling Jerusalem – I knew that I am here to stay. Every morning is a unique day starting in this Holy City – yet today a vibrant and modern city as well.

5.      Is there any place on Earth quite like Jerusalem, with a long history of ties to Jews, Christians, and Muslims? The Centrality of Jerusalem is unique among the world. The combination of people in this small city is amazing, surprising and challenging.

6.      How do you feel the book that you published is unique and special so much so that you have stated “it’s the most important and monumental book that I will have published in my 36 years of publishing”?  With every contribution of a personal story that I received I realized that this book is not just another book – this is a monument for our capital – Jerusalem. It is not easy to gather personal stories from these contributors – yet their prompt response made me understand the immense importance of this project. 

7.      What themes get expressed over and over from most of the contributors? The most important theme in my mind is that when Jerusalem was not under Israeli rule – there was no freedom of religion. There was no access and no respect for other religions. Today – Jews, Christians and Muslims can pray in their Holy sites and can practice their religion freely. Before 1967 – this was not the case.

8.      Do you believe we can see lasting peace in Jerusalem? How about in the Middle East? I would like to be realistic. While Peace would be great – I believe the first step we must aspire is to have a no-war situation. We first need to be able to have co-existence – starting with Jerusalem. I am an optimist and I believe peace can be reached with much education and acceptance of others who think differently than we do.  Peace in this region will only be possible with a strong and stable Israel. Israel, a strong and democratic Jewish State, is so far the only stable entity in the region.

9.      Several of your contributors are leading thinkers and activists who are not Jewish.  What does Jerusalem mean to them? Jerusalem has a place in everyone's heart.  This is the City where it all happened and as we see many non-Jews from around the world continue coming as pilgrims to the Holy City. We must enable them to come and perform their religion and we should have 10,000,000 pilgrims in Jerusalem each and every year.

10.  Several of your contributors are American leaders. How does America help support Jerusalem? This is true. We have a scope of American Jewish leaders who have contributed to this album. They represent different streams of Judaism and a variety of political views. They all have in common the fact that Jerusalem must stay the capital of Israel. The United States has always stood alongside Israel and has historically supported the State of Israel. The United States should continue doing so and should move its Embassy to the city which the Israeli Government has declared as the capital of Israel. I believe that by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem the United States will make its most important contribution to reaching Peace in the Middle East.   This move will end speculation regarding the future of Jerusalem as a united city – the Capital of Israel.

Please note My Jerusalem is being promoted by the book publicity that I work for. To see more information, please consult:

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby  

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