Tag Archives: Ann Israel


I am so excited to come to Las Vegas for my upcoming talk, dessert reception, and book signing on July 21st at the JCC of Southern Nevada. For reservations/information on this kick-off event, contact Elizabeth Bricker at 702-794-0090 or email Elizabeth at ebricker@jccsn.org or register here.Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 7.35.30 PM

This is the kick-off event for the exciting 2016 World Championship Mah Jongg Tournament being held at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas from July 22nd – July 24th. The pre-event publicity has been wonderful and I hope all of you coming to the Mah Jongg World Championship will arrive on July 21st and join me at the “J” at 4:30pm.

The World Championship Tournament – where champions come to play – will be held on July 22-24, 2016 and will offer the largest prize purse in American Mah Jongg history with a minimum of $5,000 first place prize…don’t miss this opportunity to take part in Mah Jongg history! Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 7.40.30 PM

To register for the Mah Jongg World Championship, follow this linkScreen Shot 2016-06-23 at 7.50.36 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-23 at 7.54.01 PM

And, on Saturday, July 23rd, enjoy the tournament’s Happy Hour from 5:30 – 6:30pm, which will offer 2 drinks per person and where I will be signing the book, Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game from 5:30 – 6:30pm. Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 7.49.35 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-23 at 7.49.57 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-23 at 7.30.03 PM


I have blogged before about the wonderful Phyllis C in Naples, Florida. She has turned out to be a dear friend to me, even though we have never met in person (but I know we will some day!). Phyllis has been teaching Mah Jongg for many, many years and her students always become her dear, dear friends. She saw I had posted my “Ann Israel Eyeglass Leash” (available from Gehazi Collections) and, before you could blink, she had made dear friends with Sandra from Gehazi Collections! No one can resist Phyllis!

Lola, Lisa, Diane and me

Here is an email – along with the above picture – that Phyllis sent to me and to Sandra at Gehazi Collections:

Here I am all decked out with my Mah Jongg eyeglass holder, along with my new gifts of my Mah Jongg bracelet (Mah Jongg Queen) and beautiful earrings given to me by my student and now dear friend, Diane M, in striped pink shirt.  Pictured are my previous students and now best friends, Lola and Lisa. Mah Jongg has given me so much. If the picture doesn’t show my precious Mah Jongg jewelry too well, I will have to try taking another one soon to truly show it off!!  Can hardly wait to show my class – plus my Mah Jongg friends – my treasures!!  So many wonderful friendships.  And I also have you two!!

Much love and hugs, Phyllis C. (Naples, FL.)  


 Author Event:  Ann Israel – Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game

Sunday, August 30th, 2015 at 1 PM  

7 Library Avenue • Westhampton Beach, NY 11978
Phone: (631) 288-3335 • Fax: (631) 288-5715

Join author Ann Israel for a special presentation of her gorgeous book!

Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game is the first book to fully capture the story of the exotic and exciting game of Mag Jongg, offering an intimate look at the history of the game as well as the visual beauty of the tiles. When authors Ann Israel and Gregg Swain began playing Mah Jongg, they were unaware of the vintage collections that existed not only in the United States but also as far ranging as Africa to New Zealand. Slowly, they started to collect their own sets of Mah Jongg and as their collections grew, so did their appreciation of the history of, and interest in, the game.

Finding few references, Israel and Swain set out to create a book that chronicles the early beginnings of the game and documents Mah Jongg sets from the most basic, made simply of paper, to the most precious materials such as ivory and mother-of-pearl. Recognized and respected scholars and game experts have collaborated with Israel and Swain, contributing important chapters on the game’s history and its pieces as well as technical information on the tiles. Lastly, great collectors from around the globe have shared their incredible sets and memories for the first time in one book for everyone to enjoy.

With hundreds of beautiful new images by renowned photographer Michel Arnaud, and including historical documentation and ephemera, Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game fills the void between the past and today’s game, providing vision, inspiration and resources. Anyone who has ever been intrigued by a Mah Jongg tile will find in these pages visually stunning photographs that will entice them into becoming an enthusiast of the timeless game of Mah Jongg.

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Whether used as a reference or a beautiful keepsake, it’s a very worthy addition to the world of Mah Jongg.” —Ruth Unger, President, National Mah Jongg League

“What a great book … The many international manufacturers, the culture craze, and variations in decorative elements have all been pulled together by Ann Israel and Gregg Swain in a very readable and incredibly well-researched book that not only is chuck-full of useful information but laden with wonderful illustrations. Next time a set comes across my desk, I’ll not only know more about it, but can refer the owner to the definitive source for all Mah Jongg set knowledge.” —Lark Mason, Lark Mason Associates, Antiques Roadshow

“The perfect gift for the mah jongg maven in your life.” —Southern Jewish Life Magazine

Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game will be available for purchase and author signing at the Westhampton Free Library on August 30th thanks to:

  We’re Westhampton Beach’s own independent, locally-owned bookstore, right in the heart of Main Street. We have all the latest titles, from the most talked-about bestsellers to hand-picked favorites, a bustling children’s section, and a staff that knows books inside and out. Stop by anytime to find the perfect book, attend an event with your favorite author, or just to catch up on what’s new in town.

Books & Books Westhampton Beach


130 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, New York 11978 | 631.998.3260      

STORE HOURS | SUN to THU: 10AM – 8PM | FRI & SAT: 10AM – 10PM


You’ve heard me rave about Sandra at Gehazi Collections before and now I have to do it again! Look what she wrote on Twitter:

From Twitter:  She loved it so much that we named it after her. She said SHE was honored, but the truth is that it is WE are honored to know her! Thank you Ann for being such a wonderful fan and supporter.

Item is about 24″ and is dazzling in black and white.

Ann Israel’s Fav Black and White Mahjong Eyeglass Leash

$9.99 USD

  • Handmade item
  • Materials: mahjong, mahjongg, mah jongg, bone beads, Czech glass, seed beads
  • Only ships within United States.
    This shop accepts Etsy Gift Cards
 Ann Israel's Fav Black and White Mahjong Eyeglass Leash

 She loved our black & white  eyeglass leash so much we named it after customer and fan Ann Israel! 

The truth of the matter is that I receive so many compliments on this eyeglass leash. If you need some Mah Jongg accessories, please think of Sandra at Gehazi Collections. And be sure to use this code – GEHAZI2015 – to get 20% off your order through the end of this year!

Thank you, Sandra!!! You are the best!!!


So exciting – our book, Mah Jongg The Art of the Game, is mentioned in this month’s issue of Vanity Fair.

What a thrill!

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 4.00.46 PM

Just a reminder… and a big favor to ask of you – if you have received a copy of our book, Mah Jongg The Art of the Gameplease write a review on Amazon. I can’t begin to tell you how much I would appreciate it!


Gregg and I were interviewed last week about our book by Scott Miller from Mahjong News. I thought you might like to learn a little more about us…

Swain & Israel  <—-Me!

Ann M. Israel and Gregg Swain were after private Western mah jongg collections when they invaded many homes during their search, but they aren’t burglars! They are photo-archeologists, and private homes were their dig! Hidden deep in the dark of basements, closets, and attics all over this world are some of the most amazing mah jongg treasures people might never see; tiles carefully hand carved and painted by artisans long forgotten. Like skillful and patient archeologists, Ann M. Israel and Gregg Swain set out to unearth these lost works of art before they are forgotten forever.

readmore at http://www.mahjongnews.com/en/news/various-news/3391-ladies-invade-homes-in-search-of-of-mah-jongg-sets