J.S. Margot (b. 1967) is a highly respected journalist and freelance writer based in Antwerp. Her mother language is Dutch. An award-winning contributor to leading national newspapers De Standaard and De Morgen, she has also written five novels and lectures regularly in both the Netherlands and Belgium. In 2017, she was awarded the E. du Perronprijs and the Prize for the best Religious book from the VUKPP for Mazel Tov, which was also highly acclaimed in the Dutch and Belgian press. Mazel Tov has been translated into German, French, Polish, Czech and Hungarian and won the Best Book Award in Poland; it is her first book to be translated into English.
Mazel Tov: The Story of My Extraordinary Friendship with an Orthodox Jewish Family
When 20-year-old student J. S. Margot took a tutoring job, little did she know it would open up an entire world.
In the family’s Orthodox Jewish household she would encounter endless rules – ‘never come on a Friday, never shake hands with a man’ – and quirks she had not seen before: tiny tubes on the doorposts, separate fridges for meat and dairy products. Her initial response was puzzlement and occasionally anger, but as she taught the children and fiercely debated with the family, she also began to learn from them.
Mazel Tov is a heartwarming, provocative, and disarmingly honest memoir of clashing cultures and unusual friendships, and of how, where adults build walls, sometimes only children can dissolve them.