The Arty Semite

Author Blog: Rising to the Top

By Pnina Jacobson and Judy Kempler

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Earlier this week, Pnina Jacobson and Judy Kempler wrote about the aging Jewish community, the Australian Jewish community, and about their decision to self-publish their cookbook One Egg Is A Fortune. Their blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:


Food has always been central to Jewish life – it holds both biblical and historical significance and often reflects our Jewish heritage. One Egg Is A Fortune shows that food is a great equaliser and, while considered a “Jewish” cookbook, appeals to the broader community all over.

That being said, with thousands of books published annually, it’s sometimes difficult to rise to the top. Wikipedia quotes that in 2009 the U.S. alone published 288,355 new titles and editions. There are also a prolific number of cookbooks published with the popularity of cooking TV shows.

Book competitions are a way to promote awareness and sales. As self-publishers we entered some international competitions to increase the potential for a successful product.

And it worked! One Egg Is A Fortune has been recognised on the world stage. It has won 3 awards:

  • Winner at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in the Australia/Pacific fundraising category (Paris, March 2012)
  • A silver medal in the cookbook category in the “World’s Largest Book Awards Contest” for independent authors and publishers in the United States (May 2012)
  • An Indie Excellence Award also in the United States (May 2012)
  • To be among the multi-award Jewish cookbook winners, including Gil Marks, Claudia Roden, Joan Nathan, Ruth Reichl, Marlena Spieler and Faye Levy, is humbling.

    Equally humbling: being acknowledged by our non-Jewish community. Irina Dunn, who runs the Australian Writers Network, wrote:

    “This is without doubt the most beautiful and original recipe book I have ever laid my eyes on…remarkable in its conception, perfect in its production, beautiful in its execution.”

    Zechariah Mehler, a widely published food writer who specializes in kosher cuisine wrote:

    “A buffet of stories and recipes benefit elder care … one of the most innovative cookbooks to be released in the kosher world.”

    We’ll leave you now with a summer recipe:

    Watermelon Salad

    (Serves 8–10)

    1 medium seedless watermelon 1 small white onion, very finely sliced 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped

    Remove the skin and any seeds from the watermelon and cut into 2cm cubes.

    Toss watermelon and onion lightly together in a large bowl and chill well. Sprinkle with fresh mint before serving.


    The Jewish Book Council is a not-for-profit organization devoted to the reading, writing and publishing of Jewish literature. For more Jewish literary blog posts, reviews of Jewish books and book club resources, and to learn about awards and conferences, please visit www.jewishbookcouncil.org.

    MyJewishLearning.com is the leading transdenominational website of Jewish information and education. Visit My Jewish Learning for thousands of articles on Judaism, Jewish holidays, Jewish history and more.


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