Levy says this book was inspired by a letter Julia Child wrote her 17 years ago, suggesting that she write a ""high-class book on Jewish cooking."" An American raised on Eastern European Jewish fare, married to an Israeli, and well traveled in Europe (she has written a series of cookbooks with the umbrella title Fresh From France--none reviewed), she also credits a Jewish sister-in-law from India for yet another ethnic mix--so the international approach comes naturally. The recipes are prefaced by profiles of the two major Jewish cuisines, Ashkenazic and Sephardic, and their major subcategories; and they're arranged first by Jewish holiday, then conventionally by course, with the different styles (including Israeli ""new cuisine"") intermixed throughout. This makes for interesting variety and encourages browsers of any background to incorporate some new ideas into their own traditional meals. Levy also introduces different ways with well-known standards. Her Israeli mother-in-law, for one simple example, soaks but does not boil the dried chickpeas she puts in falafels. Both festive and everyday, but never formidable or fussy, Levy's recipes are ""high class"" in their fidelity to fresh ingredients, traditional standards, and contemporary taste.