Necessary Stories by Haim Watzman: The Book!

A collection of twenty-four of the best of the more than 100 short stories Haim Watzman has published over the last nine years in The Jerusalem Report and here on South Jerusalem .

These stories are about Jewish and, in particular, Israeli life, both today and in the past are funny, meditative, and sad, set in immigrant camps, the army, and in Haim’s own neighborhood in south Jerusalem.

“Haim Watzman has a unique sensitivity to the tiny human corners of Israel, a country that people love to talk about but rarely understand. Those of us who have followed his writing for many years have learned to love his clear prose, his awareness of the connections between people, and his descriptions of the presence of history and religion in their daily lives. These ‘Necessary Stories’ are just that—necessary for anyone trying to wrap their heads around the strange and gripping life of the Jewish state.” — Matti Friedman, author of Pumpkinflowers

“His stories detail the lives of ordinary Israelis, often touching on current events … The dialogue, though written in English, has the distinct feeling of Hebrew speech — that unmistakable combination of impatience and warmth.” — Naomi Zeveloff, Forward (from “The 100-Story Man Hits His Milestone”)

“Watzman knows that every encounter, no matter how fleeting—a conversation in a cemetery with a long-dead Talmudic sage; Felix Mendelssohn’s great aunt scolding the young prodigy; four Jews on a plane discussing the Bible, the Zohar and Wuthering Heights —is a matter of life and death. Necessary Stories is a quietly beautiful work, haunting in places, gently funny in others, written by a graceful, thoughtful, eloquent man who understands that life itself is not enough. One must live to tell the tale.” — from the Introduction by Joseph Skibell, author of My Father’s Guitar

With illustrations by Avi Katz
Cover design by Mizmor Watzman

Available on


Book Depository

Barnes & Noble

At Katamon Books, 45 HaPalmach St., Jerusalem, Tel: 077-506-1311

and other on-line and physical stores.

Support your local independent bookstore by ordering through Indiebound

Next Jerusalem performance of the Necessary Stories Show: Wed. June 7 at 7:30 p.m., at Tmol Shilshom

Small venue—book your tickets in advance!

More on Necessary Stories

Download discussion questions for Necessary Stories

About Writing Necessary Stories, from the ProsenPeople blog

Fiction on a Deadline
April 10, 2017

Talmud as Literature
April 12, 2017

A Picture’s Worth
April 14, 2017

A gallery of Avi Katz’s
illustrations for the stories in the book.

Times of Israel: The IDF is still a base for these two immigrant authors

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