Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein is a book that captures the feelings many Jewish children may experience during the Christmas Holidays. Actress Amanda Peet teamed up with Andrea Troyer and co-authored the beautiful story of a little girl named Rachel that is struggling with feeling left out as others around her participate in the celebration of Christmas.
“Andrea and I wrote the book because we weren’t sure what to tell our kids about feeling left out at Christmas time. Originally, we tried to write a book about how awesome Hanukkah is but it sounded desperate,” said Peet.
In an effort to come up with an appealing answer to tell their children and help other Jewish families experiencing similar issues resulted in the dream of Rachel Rosenstein. Peet and Troyer wanted a very Jewish name to take on the role of their story’s main character – thus Rachel Rosenstein.
The story follows Rachel’s valiant efforts and attempts to be a part of Christmas this year. She writes a letter to Santa Clause explaining her cause, pays him a visit at the mall and even decorates her house on Christmas Eve to reflect her desire for the holiday season. She even so thoughtfully leaves the bad in red leftover latkes and thought it’d be quite festive to incorporate a few chocolate chips.
Throughout Rachel’s struggles and desire to be part of the Christmas season, she discovers a better understanding of her culture and identity. Ultimately, she discovers its okay to be different. Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein is the perfect way to introduce young readers to other cultures while still giving them the opportunity to live within the magic that exists in their own life. There is a childlike humor within the text such as, “Dear Santa…I know that you are a fair person and will not mind that I am Jewish. After all so was Jesus, at least on his mother’s side…” If you have children, you believe the sincere honesty behind Rachel’s words because they are exactly what every kid preserves.
Proceeds of the book will go to Seeds of Peace. “Andrea and I wrote the book in Belfast during the height of the Gaza War. When we talk to friends in Belfast about the Troubles they often mention that things didn't get better until they integrated the schools and kids started playing together. The headlines coming out of the Middle East were, and continue to be, heartbreaking,” said Peet. “But young people have the potential to take a different path if they're given the right tools and opportunities. And that's what Seeds of Peace does. They bring together teenagers from across lines of conflict and give them a chance to get to know each other as regular people. In the hopes that these kids will then go home and challenge the status quo.”