• Published by TheGoodNewsNY.org

"The Christmas Mitzvah" Book Tour With Author Jeff Gottesfeld


(New York, NY) - Jeff Gottesfeld is an acclaimed writer whose work has won awards from the American Library Association, the Writers Guild of America, and the National Council for the Social Studies. He brings his new children’s book, The Christmas Mitzvah (Creston Books, September 2021) to your homes for the Hanukkah and Christmas holiday season. Gottesfeld and The Christmas Mitzvah will participate in book signings, interviews, and various school holiday events in the New York tri-state area beginning December 10, 2021.

The book is inspired by the true story of the late Al Rosen of Milwaukee, a fiercely Jewish man who loved Christmas and his Christian neighbors, and volunteered to do on the jobs of ordinary Christians on Christmas Eve so that they could have the holiday with their families. In time, he sparked a movement. Al’s Christmas mitzvahs became local legend, and ended only with his death in 1998.


With outstanding professional reviews at Kirkus, Publishersweekly, School Library Journal, and Hornbook, Gottesfeld’s book is a rare children’s title that is pro-Jewish, pro-Christian, pro-God, and pro-goodness. Kirkus called it, “A heartwarming slice of neighborly love, caring, and sharing.” Agatha’s art is multicultural and diverse, just right for 21st century America.

The Christmas Mitzvah recently topped the “Best of 2021” list of Jewish books for children at Tablet magazine (www.tabletmag.com), which called the book “beautiful (both visually and in terms of its story).” Gottesfeld stresses that Rosen did the jobs not of the rich and famous, but “all the folks easy to dismiss in a world that mistakes wealth for worth.” Rosen never sought fame or acclaim, just the joy of being good to others.

Gottesfeld is Jewish and observant who like Al Rosen loves his Christian neighbors and their beautiful faith. He wrote The Christmas Mitzvah as a perfect night-before-Hanukkah and night-before-Christmas family read-aloud. He has spoken to many school groups about this inspiring story. This, December 2021, Gottesfeld will be in New York and Los Angeles for book events and presentations, as well as Zoom visits to elementary and middle schools around the nation. He is available for media interviews and book events. (For background on the real Al Rosen, see “Milwaukee Mourns a Substitute Samaritan” in the Washington Post, December 25, 1998, shorturl.at/foMZ2).

About the creators:

Jeff Gottesfeld is an acclaimed writer whose work has won awards from the American Library Association, the Writers Guild of America, and the National Council for the Social Studies. His Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Candlewick, 2021) has been named to many 2021 “Best of” Lists, including at Kirkus and School Library Journal. He spoke to a nationwide audience about it at the National Archives before Veteran’s Day. His The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank’s Window was a 2016 New York Times Best Illustrated Book for Children. He has previously written for adult, teen, middle-grade, and picture book audiences. Jeff Gottesfeld is based in Los Angeles.

Michelle Laurentia Agatha was born in Indonesia. She's always had a huge interest in cartoons and illustrated books. Michelle earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California.


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