My son Ariel was a gentle and scholarly rabbinic student. He was a deeply pious young man whose greatest pleasure in life was the study of Torah and Talmud.
But Ariel was most unusual in that he also greatly cared about literature. He adored Jane Austen. The mad shidduch making in Pride and Prejudice brought a big smile to his face – he must have read it five or six times. On Ariel’s bookshelves one can find almost every Young Adult book written by his favorites: Avi, Jane Yolen, Caroline B. Cooney, Bruce Coville, and E.L. Konigsburg. These are authors Ariel greatly admired.
Yet Ariel was deeply concerned that much in contemporary Young Adult literature is nihilistic in nature and reflects the mindset of cynical adults – authors and editors – who are determined to impose their scornful worldview on impressionable children. Ariel urged me to establish a publishing company that would publish Jewish YA literature that was not only appropriate but also spiritually uplifting; work that does not compromise literary quality. After Ariel’s tragic death, my wife Karen and I decided to establish Seraphic Press in order to fulfill Ariel’s dream.
To find out more about Ariel, read the Remembering Ariel archives.