Arthur’s Bio

I’m a book person. I’ve been a book person all my life.

I began to collect books when I was 15. My personal library has grown to over 5000 books.

I earned a Master of Library Science degree from Florida State University in 1972 and was inducted as a member of Beta Phi Mu, the international library and information science honor society.

I worked for a large public library for two years before leaving to pursue my interest in writing and publishing.

As a publisher I served as editor-in-chief at Jason Aronson, where I published over 650 books of Jewish interest by a broad range of authors.

I’ve been a Judaica consultant to John Wiley Publishers. I’ve been a senior editor for Behrman House Publishers. I publish specialized books under my own imprint, “Arthur Kurzweil Books”.

From 1984 to 2001, I was editor-in-chief of the Jewish Book Club, the most successful Jewish bookseller in America before the internet.

As a writer, I have written many articles for newspapers and magazines including New York MagazineMomentThe Washington Post, and LI Newsday.

I have also written several books including two titles in the well-known “For Dummies” series, Torah for Dummies and Kabbalah for Dummies, with translations in French and Dutch.

I am the author of From Generation to Generation: How to Trace You Jewish Genealogy as well as My Generations: A Course in Jewish Family History. I am also a recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

Since 1980 my spiritual mentor has been Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, during which time I wrote two books connected with the Rabbi. One, a memoir of my relationship with Rabbi Steinsaltz called On the Road with Rabbi Steinsaltz: 25 Years of Pre-Dawn Car Tips, Mind Blowing Encounters, and Inspiring Conversations with a Man of Wisdom, the other, Pebbles of Wisdom from Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.

My interest in books is connected with another interest of mine: illusions. I have a personal library of over 500 books on magic tricks, illusions and related topics. I am a member of the Society of American Magicians of which Harry Houdini was president in 1917, and I’ve been a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians for a few decades.

-Arthur Kurzweil