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Israel Books


If you wish to purchase any of these books, click on either the title or the book cover to be directed to Amazon.com. As a warning, I have put up pictures of the book covers to give you somewhat an idea of the style of each book (I know, I know. "Don't judge a book by its cover") so the pages may load slowly, depending on the speed of your internet connection.

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For biographies of individuals associated with the history of Israel (Golda Meir, Theodor Herzl, etc.), go to the Biographies

General Jewish History & Nonfiction | Biblical Era | European History (Excluding the Holocaust) | Immigration & The American Experience | Holocaust | Israel
A Kid's Catalog of Israel
A Kid's Catalog of Israel
Mixed up about Israel: This book, newly revised, will tell you about the land and the people who live in it. You can try some Israeli crafts, and play some Israeli games. And you can learn about Israeli customs and history and read Israeli stories.

Our Land of Israel

By Chaya M. Burstein




Teachers Guide Also Available
Chaya Burstein's newest book leads fourth to sixth graders on a top-to-bottom tour of modern Israel. Students explore Eretz Yisrael through the eyes of Sam, a twelve-year-old who lives on a mountaintop; Mohammed, an Arab boy from Jerusalem; Uriah, a student; Meirav, a girl who loves to hike and explore Israel's hills and valleys; and others. Burstein's charming illustrations, lively games, entertaining puzzles, and "minipedia" of essential information make the journey great fun.

Chapters include: Jerusalem * The Galilee * The Negev Desert * Haifa and Tel Aviv * How Israel Was Born and How It Grew * Being Jewish in the Holy Land * Israel's Cities * Country Life * Arabs in Israel * Going to School * Israel's Army of Citizens.

Description from Publisher

Friends Indeed :
The Special Relationship of Israel and the United States
The history of these nations has been intertwined since Israel became a state in May 1948. As in many political friendships between powerful countries, the relationship has not always been a smooth one. Finkelstein succeeds in chronicling the drama and emotional upheaval in Israel's short history and its unique ties to the U.S. In a clear, articulate style, the author holds readers' attention from Israel's conception to Benjamin Netanyahu's election as prime minister. An introductory chapter provides background on the origins of the state while others are devoted to significant dates in Israel's history. Incorporated throughout are fascinating anecdotes, including an incident involving Frank Sinatra. A sprinkling of black-and-white photographs enhances the narrative. There is an excellent time line and a complete index. Most collections will benefit from this readable account.

Description from School Library Journal

With its principles of religious freedom, the U.S. was a beacon toward which persecuted Jews from all over the world set their course. But even in the U.S., anti-Semitism loomed, causing such influential American Jews as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis to listen to and support Theodor Herzl when he agitated for a Jewish homeland, where Jews, "no matter how assimilated or patriotic," would not be viewed as strangers. Yet a Jewish state might never have been realized without the backing of President Harry Truman, whose ear was turned to the needs of the Jewish people by his former business partner and long-time friend, Eddie Jacobson. The story behind that influential friendship as well as inside perspectives on the relationships between subsequent American administrations, their Jewish-American constituency, and the state of Israel comprise this focused history. Libraries with large Jewish collections and strong demand for U.S.-Middle East coverage will find this readable treatment a beneficial addition.

Description from Booklist

Israel
By Kristin Thoennes
Travel to faraway places with the turn of a page! Young readers grow in cultural understanding as they observe similarities and differences of featured countries' landscapes, geography, economics and cultures. Teaching social studies through vibrant photographs and fascinating information, this beautiful collection of books is a must-have for any library or bookshelf. It's a perfect resource for report writing and teaching units on countries. This book discusses the history, landscape, people, animals, food, sports, and culture of Israel.

Description from Publisher

Letters Home from Israel
Experience Israel through the eyes of a young traveler! Includes photos and sections on Jerusalem, Jews and Judaism, Bar Mitzvah and Passover, Muslims, Christians, daily life, Bethlehem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa and Nazareth, River Jordan and the Galilee, Dead Sea and Masada, and Qumran and Dead Sea Scrolls.

Description from Publisher

I Live in Israel :
A Text and Activity Book

By Max Frankel and Judy Hoffman
A classroom tour of Israel as seen through the eyes of boys and girls who live there. The friendly first-person voices of the fictional Israeli youngsters lead your students on a grand tour. Stops include: King Solomon's Jerusalem and the children who lived there then, Modern-day Haifa and Safed and the children who live there now, Snorkeling in the Red Sea and why we call it "Red", A community in the Negev that uses solar energy, An ancient tunnel in Jerusalem, And much more.

Stops include:
  • King Solomon's Jerusalem--and the children who lived there them
  • Modern-day Haifa and Safed--and the children who live there now
  • Snorkeling in the Red Sea--and why we call it "Red"
  • A community in the Negev that uses solar energy
  • An ancient tunnel in Jerusalem
  • And much more


Word games, puzzles, maps, mazes, and dozens of other activities engage children's imaginations, making their visit come alive.

Description from Publisher

Children of Israel

By Laurie Grossman
Enter the real lives of children who live in Israel....

Climb through Roman ruins with Yoni, partake in Rawan's Ramadan feast, ride bikes with Shmuel through Jerusalem's Old City and track ibex, wild goats that scale desert cliffs, with Elinor.

This book is a colorful introduction to the wide array of cultures and religions in Israel with profiles of children and families throughout the country. Author and photographer Laurie Grossman illustrates the country's rich history and geographical diversity through breathtaking photographs and compelling text, after spending much time getting to know the children and their lives.

Discover this complex country through the eyes of its children

Description from Publisher

This attractive title in the Carolrhoda series "The World's Children" describes Israel from the perspective of different cultural groups. The lifestyle of Ori, who lives in Holon outside of Tel Aviv and wears a key to his apartment around his neck, can be compared to Tadela, an Ethiopian Jew, who lives in a caravanim, a trailer park for new immigrants. Rawan, an Arab Israeli girl celebrates the holiday of Ramadan with her family in Tsur Bahar, while Abba, an Orthodox boy, poses proudly in front of his family's Torah library in Jerusalem. Ethnic foods, such as "hom-homs," the Sephardic dish of fried dough dipped in honey, are described in mouth-watering detail. Each double-page spread is accompanied by large full-color, captioned photographs. The text flows in a smooth narrative, beginning with four pages of historical background that acknowledges Israel as an ancient homeland of the Jews. Holocaust survivors are mentioned as a large group who found refuge in Israel after World War II. While there are no bold subheadings for quick reference, an index leads readers to specific information. Students should enjoy this book as both an informative read and a rich resource for assignments.

Description from Children's Literature

Masada
Masada shall not fall again! Both a rallying cry for modern-day Israel and an inspiration to the world, the siege of Masada took place in the first century C.E., when a small group of Jewish rebels defended their lives and their freedom against the overwhelming might of Rome. With his meticulously researched, event-filled text and illustrations that capture the great desert fortress then and now. Neil Waldman dramatizes the ancient story behind the ruins of Masada and the contemporary efforts by archaeologists to uncover its secrets.

Description from Publisher

Built by King Herod during the first century B.C.E. as a stronghold to protect himself and his followers from the Romans, the fortress of Masada still stands on top of a steep plateau in the Judean wilderness. Waldman has written a concise account of the escape to Masada of a group of Jewish Zealots and of their valiant stand against the massive, well-equipped Roman legions of the emperor Vespasian. The standoff ended in 71 C.E. when the Roman army forced slaves to build a huge ramp of earth and rocks, pulled an enormous assault tower into position, and overpowered the last remnant of Jewish civilization in the Middle East. The narrative is based on the detailed firsthand account recorded by Josephus Flavius, a young Jewish leader who swore allegiance to the Romans in order to stay alive. Waldman dramatizes the story by adding dialogue-a tactic that gives a fictional quality to the otherwise carefully researched text. Descriptions of the rediscovery and excavation of the site are also included. Dramatic illustrations and two large maps, all in charcoal shades of acrylic and india ink, show realistic scenes, many of them painted from photos, relief sculptures, and artifacts found during the excavation of Masada. This is the only available account for young people of the Roman wars against the Jews of Jerusalem and Masada.

Description from School Library Journal

Israel

By Donald J. Zeigler

Welcome to Israel!

By Lilly Rivlin
Reading Welcome to Israel!, children meet Israeli kids their own age, who show them Israel from Tiberias to Eilat and teach them about Israel's history, geography, politics, and culture. Children also see the day-to-day lives of their new Israeli friends, who write e-mails in Hebrew and go hiking in the footsteps of their biblical ancestors.

Welcome to Israel! presents the miracle of the Jewish state with a sense of wonder, humor, and pizzazz. It introduces students to Israel's history; geography; and political, commercial, and cultural life. Israel's struggle to coexist peacefully with its neighbors is presented in a thoughtful and age-appropriate way. The book also tells kids about Israelis their own age: what they do for fun, their favorite sports and foods, and what their schools are like.

Creative and interactive features of Welcome to Israel! keep children fascinated by the wonders of Israel. These engaging elements include probing questions that stimulate critical thinking, map-reading activities that teach Israel's geography, key Hebrew words with English translation, and discussions of Jewish values. Full-color photos, maps, and whimsical illustrations make the excitement of Israel come alive. Biblical quotations deepen the book's historical and spiritual perspectives. Welcome to Israel inspires love of Israel!

Description from Publisher

A Young Persons History of Israel

By David Bamberger
How can we explain the enduring pull of Eretz Yisrael? Or communicate the unbreakable bond between the land and Jewish people around the world? Making Israel meaningful to young people growing up in the Diaspora today is a challenge.

This book meets that challenge.

Here is the story of the Jewish people and their homeland, from the biblical period through statehood in 1948, all the way to the Camp David accords and later agreements with neighboring Arab states. This volume, enriched by over 100 photographs, demonstrates the importance of Israel to Jews around the world as a symbol, a refuge, and a homeland.

Topics include: the Land of Israel during the time of Abraham, life under Roman and Muslim rule, the birth of Zionism, the founding of the State of Israel and the War of Independence, Israel today (the only democracy in the Middle East), and profiles of those who shaped Israeli history, from the Maccabees to Yitzhak Rabin

Description from Publisher

The Promised Land: The Birth of the Jewish People

By Neil Waldman
Long ago in a part of the world once known as Mesopotamia, a nomadic tribesman led his people through the wilderness in search of a mystical land called Canaan. This journey would change the course of human history. For in the quest to find Canaan lies the origin of the Jewish people. Since that time, entire civilizations have flourished and vanished, along with their religions. Only one people has survived the tumult of the centuries--the Jews. What accounts for their remarkable survival? Some believe it is a strong cultural identity. Others believe it is the Torah, the Five Books of Moses that have guided Jewish life through the ages. Neil Waldman offers another explanation: God's promise of a rich, new land for the descendants of Abraham. It is the promise of Israel that has fed the souls and fired the imaginations of Jews since ancient times. In this heartfelt book, Neil Waldman tells the story of the Jewish people from their arrival in Canaan to the exodus from Egypt. His paintings capture emotional scenes of Jewish life in the ancient world and in Europe. He shows how generation upon generation of Jews, in the face of profound crisis, have drawn strength from God's promise of a land flowing with milk and honey. The key to the Jewish people's survival is found in the story of their birth.

Description from Publisher

The Golden City : Jerusalem's 3,000 Years
It doesn't seem possible to condense 3,000 years of history into 32 pages, but Waldman does a creditable job and provides some beautiful artwork as well. Beginning with Moses, Waldman moves quickly to David's designation of Jerusalem as his capital. David's son, Solomon, made Jerusalem a showplace, but eventually the Babylonians overran the city and the first Jewish Diaspora occurred. Later, the Jews returned and rebuilt the city, which has remained their home. In the centuries that followed, Jerusalem was a holy city for Muslims as well as Christians. Rather surprisingly, Waldman gives only several sentences to the recent strife in the city, and one has the feeling that he's steering clear of controversy throughout. Still, this does give children an idea of the importance of this religious capital, and they will be taken with the evocative watercolor-and-colored-pencil artwork that captures both the physicality of an ancient city alive in its stones and the dreaminess of a place filled with centuries of longing.

Description from Booklist

Israel
(Enchantment of the World Series)
Describes the geography, plants and animals, history, economy, language, religions, culture, and people of Israel, a young nation celebrating its fiftieth birthday in 1998.

Jerusalem 3000 :
Kids Discover the City of Gold!
This book takes children on a magical artifact hunt through the ancient capital city of Israel--Jerusalem--in this, its 3,000th year. Each important site is shown as it is, and as it was, in colorful detail. Hidden in every bustling scene are important relics that must be located.

Description from Publisher

Intended as a souvenir book for the Jerusalem 3000 festivities in Israel, this is an interesting, authentic history of the city as revealed through archaeological research. Paris describes the conquering and occupation of this hill city from the Jebusite Period (1300-1004 B.C.E.) through 11 more rulers to the present. An illustrated timeline clearly shows a typical man from each period and possibly subtle changes in the stonework of the background. Each double-page spread recapitulates the chronological history and development of a section of Jerusalem. ``Did you know?'' bubbles provide esoteric facts. Panoramic double-spread paintings of the area in antiquity and at the present time alternate with text pages.

Description from School Library Journal

O, Jerusalem :
Voices of a Sacred City

By Jane Yolen
In her poetry, Yolen captures the feelings all three of these religions have toward the city, and Thompson brings them to life in his exquisite paintings. The poems thoughtfully explore moments of history and myth: the life of young David and his effect on the Jewish people, the meditations of the angels as they watch pilgrims make their way to Jerusalem to honor Allah, and the hope and horror that are sealed in the city's stones. Each double-page spread has a poem and a bit of narrative that tells about the history from which the poem springs. But it is Thompson's pictures that really call to you. He manages a sensitivity and beauty that is equally strong in each picture, whether he is drawing a panoramic view of the city at dawn or a single one of its stones. A book that will linger in your memory.

Description from Booklist

People at Odds: Israel and the Arab World by Heather Lehr Wagner
Outlines the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict over the founding of the state of Israel, from 1948 to 2001.

Description from Publisher

Daily Life in Ancient and Modern Jerusalem

By Diane Slavik
Jerusalem developed into a powerful trade center and became one of the world's holiest cities, home to Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Travel back through time to discover the city that was once the heart of the Jewish kingdom. Rebuilt time and again, Jerusalem has flourished as the heart of ancient Israel, while modern-day Jerusalem is still a vital, prosperous, but war-torn city.

Description from Publisher

Slavik's excellent text takes a complicated topic and makes it not only understandable but also interesting. Part of the Cities through Time series, the book begins with a brief introduction to Jerusalem, then walks readers through the city's long, varied history. The author starts with the ancient town of Shalem, which may have been settled by Canaanite nomads, and describes what life was like then and later, in 1,000 B.C., when the city became a trade center. Chapters are divided into sections--ancient history, Greek and Roman times, the Ottoman era, modern Jerusalem, etc. Each section has several entries, and the clear, crisp writing moves readers along, supplying an overview of the city's importance and details of life during the time. The illustrations are a mix of solid if unexciting original art and well-chosen color and black-and-white photos and historical etchings. A time line and a short bibliography round out this useful offering.

Description from Booklist

Children of Israel

By Laurie Grossman
Enter the real lives of children who live in Israel.... Climb through Roman ruins with Yoni, partake in Rawan's Ramadan feast, ride bikes with Shmuel through Jerusalem's Old City and track ibex, wild goats that scale desert cliffs, with Elinor.

This book is a colorful introduction to the wide array of cultures and religions in Israel with profiles of children and families throughout the country. Author and photographer Laurie Grossman illustrates the country's rich history and geographical diversity through breathtaking photographs and compelling text, after spending much time getting to know the children and their lives. Discover this complex country through the eyes of its children.

Description from Publisher

This attractive title in the Carolrhoda series "The World's Children" describes Israel from the perspective of different cultural groups. The lifestyle of Ori, who lives in Holon outside of Tel Aviv and wears a key to his apartment around his neck, can be compared to Tadela, an Ethiopian Jew, who lives in a caravanim, a trailer park for new immigrants. Rawan, an Arab Israeli girl celebrates the holiday of Ramadan with her family in Tsur Bahar, while Abba, an Orthodox boy, poses proudly in front of his family's Torah library in Jerusalem. Ethnic foods, such as "hom-homs," the Sephardic dish of fried dough dipped in honey, are described in mouth-watering detail. Each double-page spread is accompanied by large full-color, captioned photographs. The text flows in a smooth narrative, beginning with four pages of historical background that acknowledges Israel as an ancient homeland of the Jews. Holocaust survivors are mentioned as a large group who found refuge in Israel after World War II. While there are no bold subheadings for quick reference, an index leads readers to specific information. Students should enjoy this book as both an informative read and a rich resource for assignments.

Description from Children's Literature

Israel
(Globe-Trotters Club)

By Marcia S. Gresko
Israel introduces readers to this culturally rich country. From the rocky Negev Desert to the sparkling Sea of Galilee, the world of Israel is brought to life through easily accessible text and stunning photographs. Because Israel warmly welcomes people from around the world, the people combine many different national traditions. Explore the beautiful land that has become one of the world's most famous countries.

Description from Publisher

Israel
(Major World Nations)

By Mary Jane Cahill
Surveys the history, topography, people, and culture of Israel, with emphasis on its current economy, industry, and place in the political world.

Description from Publisher

This formulaic study provides basic information concerning the country's history, government, people, and culture. While undeniably informative, the encyclopedia-style prose and bland black-and-white photos probably will relegate this volume mainly to report-writing students. The book contains an insert of postcard-quality color plates, a fact sheet, and a map.

Description from Horn Book

Take Me to the Holy Land:
A Youngster's Tour of Eretz Yisrael

By Tsivi Yanofsky
“Someday my little children will want to go to Eretz Yisrael. What would I show them and how would I explain its history to them?”

Mrs. Tsivia Yanofsky asked herself that question and decided to share her answers with the rest of us in this beautiful book. It is a very special kind of travelogue. In it, she visits numerous places, from the Kosel Hamaaravi to Maayan Elisha, and tells her children about them. Some history, some facts, some Midrashim, some interesting tidbits, some personal feelings - all made unusually appealing and interesting with the help of strikingly beautiful full-color photographs.

Description from Publisher

The Creation of Israel

By Linda Jacobs Altman
In 1947, the State of Israel was carved out of the ancient land of Palestine. Created as a homeland for the Jews fleeing war and persecution in Europe, Israel is viewed as a sanctuary by its inhabitants and an aberration by its Arab neighbors.

The Creation of Israel provides a historical overview of the treatment of Jews and discusses the role of various individuals and specific events in leading to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

Description from Publisher

Israel :
The Land

(Lands, Peoples & Cultures)
Readers will enjoy reading about this ancient land, its unique landscape, and modern personality. A section on archaeology describes great discoveries.

Description from Publisher

Israel :
The People

(Lands, Peoples & Cultures)
The importance of religion, school, work, and the family to Jews, Muslims, and Bedouin are explained using lively photos and text.

Description from Publisher

Israel :
The Culture

(Lands, Peoples & Cultures)
Millions of people throughout the world look to Israel as a center of faith. This book celebrates Israel's art, music, dance, literature, and clothing.

Description from Publisher

Life on an Israeli Kibbutz
A well-researched summary of the history and development of the kibbutz. Altman traces its roots in the yearnings of a persecuted people in pogrom-ridden Russia to the sophistication of today's communities and enterprises, including the social, psychological, and educational results of kibbutz philosophy and living. Although divided into six brief chapters and subdivided into paragraphs with topical headings, this well-organized investigation is replete with anecdotes and quotes from books by such well-known sociologists, journalists, and psychologists as Melford E. Spiro, David Shipler, and Bruno Bettelheim. Black-and-white photographs illustrate the text. The book will provide new insights even for those who diligently follow Israeli events, for as peace is accomplished, new information about the past comes forward.

Description from School Library Journal

Altman covers the history, development, and politics of kibbutzim, including firsthand accounts of their founders and residents. Also discussed are relations with Arab neighbors and changes in the kibbutz system today. The text is informative and well written, and the notes and list of sources are helpful.

Description from Horn Book

Jerusalem Mosaic:
Young Voices from the Holy City

By I. E. Mozeson
Beyond folktales and Bible stories, there are few books for YAs about the people of the Middle East. These 36 lively monologues, based on interviews with teenagers living in Jerusalem today, include a wide range of contemporary voices, Jew and Arab, Muslem and Christian. Whether moderate or fanatic, naive or sophisticated, they speak loudly and clearly. Nearly all of them love their city and wouldn't want to live anywhere else. They are candid and passionate about politics, family, religion, love, work, and war. Except for a brief historical overview, the authors offer no analysis. A few lines of introduction to each speaker would have been helpful, especially since the arrangement is simply alphabetical by first name. However, the very randomness of the order dramatizes the differences and connections among these people who live so closely together. Readers will see the diversity not only between ethnic groups, but also within each group; the closer you get, the more individuals defy stereotype. In many ways, the religious Muslims, Jews, and Christians have more in common with one another than with the atheists of their own ethnic groups. One Jewish speaker rants against the Orthodox Jews and Muslems ("This G-d thing certainly makes the Arabs crazy, too. What the hell do they want?"). Then a religious Jew speaks about his way of life (including his arranged marriage at 16) and about his belief that "secular culture is the Hitler of our time." The monologues lend themselves to reader's theater and are sure to spark lively debate.

Description from Booklist

West Bank/Gaza Strip

By Rebecca Stefoff
The West Bank and Gaza Strip, both of which lie within the borders of the modern state of Israel, have been a subject of controversy for more than four decades. Palestinians feel that Israel should relinquish this part of their land, while the people of Israel feel this would leave them open to attack. There is some hope this volatile situation can be resolved.

Description from Publisher

Israel
(Countries and Cultures)

By Tracey Boraas
Countries and Cultures books explore each nation in detail, including its climate, landforms, wildlife, history, government, economics, people, and traditions. Additional features include maps, sidebars explaining the country's money and national symbols (including the flag and seal), a time line of history, and even a traditional recipe. Come discover the world!

Description from Publisher

Israel
(True BooksGeography: Countries)
Surveys the history, government, people, culture, and economy of Israel.

Jerusalem and the Holy Land: Chronicles from National Geographic

By Fred L. Israel
Articles from National Geographic present an account of Muslim village life, the travel impressions of a British historian, and a description of the Passover celebration of a small group of Orthodox Jews known as Samaritans.

Description from Publisher

Plays of Israel Reborn

(Grades 3-5)

By L. E. McCullough
Twelve original plays drawn from the flowering of Jewish culture during the Diaspora and the modern rebirth of Judaism worldwide—tales of Hasidic wit and wisdom, Midrash and Haggadah stories, legends of the Kaballah, Sephardic and Ashkenazic and more.

Description from Publisher

A worthwhile addition. These 12 plays explore the history and culture of the Jewish people during the Diaspora, beginning with their expulsion from the ancient land of Israel and culminating in the declaration of the modern Jewish state in 1948. They draw from a wide variety of Judaic sources, including the Kaballah, Midrash, holiday stories, folktales, and actual historical events. Several plays combine thematically similar elements gleaned from legend and lore; for example, "Nitwits and Numskulls: Outwitting the Oppressor" weaves together three different tales that celebrate the cleverness of the Jews in surviving social and political oppression. A few of the selections focus on important individuals such as the Baal Shem Tov and Theodor Herzl. Clearly written staging, casting, and costuming instructions accompany each play; in addition, the majority include a musical score consisting of one or more songs, mostly traditional Yiddish and Hebrew tunes but a few written by the author. Humor abounds, particularly in those plays that draw on Jewish folklore. However, the ones that depict historical moments are predictably more somber in tone, and occasionally seem too long to hold the interest of the intended audience. In addition, a few of the selections suffer from a repetitive format that quickly loses its luster. Still, the author encourages those producing these plays to use whatever creative means they have available to make them their own, and provides a worthy foundation toward that end.

Description from School Library Journal

Welcome to Israel

By Meredith Costain
In this unique series format, a child introduces his or her home country. This title offers readers a glimpse of everyday life in Israel, including what their schools, families, homes, cities, festivals, native foods, sports, and leisure activities are like. This book also features a guide to common phrases and numbers in their native language, a map, a regional recipe, activities important to their native culture, and a fact file of vital statistics about their country.

Description from Publisher

Israel in Pictures

By Steve Feinstein
Historically connected to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Israel excites many opinions. A nation since 1948, Israel has been at war for much of its 40-year history. This book introduces readers to the problems Israel faces as well as to its many achievements.

Description from Publisher

The Dead Sea Scrolls

By Ilene Cooper
It's hard to know which is more amazing--that the artifacts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls survived for 2,000 years, or that their reported discovery, reassembly, and translation were accomplished despite the hurdles created by war-torn countries and the uncooperative acts of competing scientists. Cooper (Buddy Love, 1995, etc.) establishes both a timeline and a relative order to the chaotic events surrounding the story of the scrolls' discovery. As the story goes, they were found hidden in a cave by two Bedouin shepherd boys. Their tribe sold the scrolls to several different dealers, and also swept up scraps of the crumbling scrolls from the cave floors: This made the work of the scholars who studied the scrolls extremely tedious and frustrating. Some of the scholars became overzealous and refused to allow others access to the parts they were working on. The finding of the scrolls took place in 1947, but it wasn't until the 1990s that many of the texts became available publicly. Cooper unravels this tangled knot of information, jumping between ancient and more recent historical references, letting readers know when there are conflicting facts, and providing back matter that further reveals the complications of this archaeological enigma.

Description from Kirkus Reviews

In a clear, accessible text, Cooper relates the dramatic story of a Bedouin shepherd's chance discovery, the struggle by scientists and scholars to purchase the scrolls, the painstaking methods used to piece together the thousands of scroll fragments, and the current technology being used to analyze the documents. Photorealistic illustrations accompany this careful unearthing of an important episode in the field of archaeology.

Description from Horn Book

Menachem Begin

By Virginia Brackett
Israel’s most well-known leader, Menachem Begin was a fierce defender of the new nation. He longed for the united Israel of ancient times, and fought for more than 30 years for that vision. He was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his role in reaching the Camp David Accord with Anwar Sadat, and is seen by many as a man of vision.

Description from Publisher

Klal Yisrael :
Our Jewish Community

By Ann Ricki Hurwitz
Prepare your students to become active participants in the Jewish community with this hands-on introduction to the widely scattered communities of the Jewish world. This combined text and activity book brings to life the entire spectrum of the Jewish community.

From the earliest Jewish roots in colonial America to recent efforts to bring Soviet Jews to Israel, from the local home for the aged to national Jewish organizations and Israeli institutions and agencies, Klal Yisrael is a record of Jewish outreach.

Description from Publisher

Bar & Bat Mitzvah in Israel :
The Ultimate Family Sourcebook

By Judith Isaacson
This is The Sourcebook for families of any Jewish denomination who are interested in celebrating a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in Israel. This well organized and easy to read book includes information on:
  • finding a rabbi to lead and coordinate the event,
  • resources for children with special needs,
  • celebrating in ancient and modern synagogues, national parks, and kibbutzim
  • museum receptions,
  • theme events,
  • weekday and Shabbat ceremonies,
  • rustic or elegant affairs all over the country. Unique features include:
  • Torah Tie-In Adventures which connects Torah readings with fun and interesting adventures in Israel and
  • Tikkun Olam: Mitzvot to Prepare at home and Perform in Israel.

    English Speaking Reliable Contacts are listed as well as Web Sites, E Mail addresses and Fax Numbers. This information will enable a family to plan the celebration via a home computer and fax machine!

    Description from Publisher

  • The Ancient Hebrews

    By Kenny Mann
    Good-quality full-color photographs, reproductions, drawings, and maps combine with lucid texts to create informative and attractive research sources on ancient cultures. The Ancient Hebrews discusses the social and religious history of the Jewish people and its influence on modern Judaism, and touches on the relationship between present-day Israel and Arab countries. Sidebars provide additional information on the language, literature, law, and beliefs of Israeli society. Helpful glossaries and time lines are also included. Eye-catching, useful titles for collections needing historical material about the Middle East

    Description from School Library Journal

    Jerusalem

    By Deborah Kent

    Myriam Mendilow: Mother of Jerusalem

    Do Not Forsake Me when I Grow Old
    An inspiring book whose subject can be a role model for us all. Educated in Palestine and France, Mendilow taught in the Alliance Schools for many years. After her marriage, she learned English and eventually taught it in the Hebrew University where her husband was a professor and administrator. Upon returning to Jerusalem, she became aware of the poor, elderly Jews from Eastern countries who sat idly around the marketplace, and decided to open a club/workshop where they could regain their dignity and earn some money. She later tackled other problems of the elderly poor, fighting for health, dental, and foot-care clinics. She also originated the "Meals on Wheels'' program. What is particularly appealing about this book is that it shows what can be done through dedication and devotion at a grassroots level to change a disastrous social situation. There are also interesting descriptions of life in pre-state Israel. The writing is conversational and anecdotal. Abundant, good-quality black-and-white photographs appear throughout.

    Description from School Library Journal

    Israel ... in Pictures By Stephen C. Feinstein
    Historically connected to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Israel excites many opinions. A nation since 1948, Israel has been at war for much of its 40-year history. This book introduces readers to the problems Israel faces as well as to its many achievements.

    Description from Publisher

    The Munich Olympics

    By Hal Marcovitz
    The world watched in horror as Palestinian terrorists invaded the Olympic Village. These deadly events forever changed the atmosphere in which the Games are played.

    Provides an account of the terrorist attacks against Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic games, profiling some of the individuals involved and exploring the political and historical reasons for the acts.

    Description from Publisher

    Story of Reb Yosef Chaim
    Recounts the stories of everyday people, some famous and some unknown, who lived in Jerusalem during the last hundred years.

    Israel
    (Food and Festivals Series)

    By Ronne Randall
    Describes how different kinds of food common in various regions of Israel are grown and prepared and the part foods play during Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, and a Bar Mitzvah. Includes recipes.

    Description from Publisher

    Israel : An Illustrated History

    By Daniel J. Schroeter
    Historic photos, archival documents, and art reproductions, together with excerpts from primary sources, enrich this attractive volume, which authoritatively plumbs Israel's long history. The initial section traces the ancient Israelites from the prebiblical times of the eleventh century BCE to the rise of Islam in the seventh century CE. The second chapter picks up the account of Palestine for the next 1,300 years, a time of Muslim rule. Other chapters explore the rise of Zionism and the persistent conflicts between Jews and Arabs over the land, as well as the British influence in the strategic, ever-volatile area. The role of Palestinian Jews during World War II, the declaration of the modern state of Israel in 1948, and the crises and achievements of the nation during its first 50 years occupy the concluding chapters. Fascinating sidebars of information--e.g., about the Mossad, Israel's internal security service; the ingathering of Ethiopian Jews; the Zionist philanthropy of Baron Edmond de Rothschild -- help Schroeter compress telling details in his comprehensive coverage. His insights into modern Israeli life are abundant and honestly address the social and economic tensions and the pressing security concerns of the culturally diverse nation. This up-to-date, significant history will bolster library collections.

    Description from Booklist

    Basic Judaism for Young People :
    Israel

    By Naomi Pasachoff
    Use concepts to teach history, stories to teach morality, heroes to teach values. The teachers and sages of the past mastered this teaching strategy--and it is as appropriate today as it was in talmudic times. The Basic Judaism series weaves together history, belief, ritual, halachah, and tradition to convey the richly textured fabric of Jewish life. This encyclopedic course can be taught in discrete units; includes photographs and artwork.

    Contents include: Eretz Yisrael, Klal Yisrael, Yerushalayim, Tzionut, Aliyah, Tzedakah, Bet Knesset, Pikuah, and Nefesh

    Description from Publisher

    Teddy Kollek,
    Builder of Jerusalem
    After only one year in office, Teddy Kollek was growing bored being mayor of Jerusalem; then the 1967 Six Day War brought him monumental challenges. The war resulted in the reunification of the ancient city, and Kollek became mayor not only of the newer, Jewish portion of Jerusalem but also of the old city with its Arab residents and Christian, Muslem, and Jewish holy places. Rabinovich conveys the persuasive and personal leadership style and the unwavering dedication that earned Kollek respect as he oversaw Jerusalem's reconstruction. Renowned for his 28-year tenure as Jerusalem's mayor, he led a productive and full life prior to taking office. How he came to be a pioneer in Palestine, his work as a secret agent for the Jewish Agency--the unofficial government of the Jewish people in Palestine -- helping European Jews escape Nazi clutches, and his job procuring weapons for the new state of Israel make fast and fascinating reading. With generously, if sometimes disjointedly, interspersed anecdotes of behind-the-scenes incidents and insights into Kollek's personality and character, this biography will fill a gap in contemporary Israeli history collections.

    Description from Booklist

    Yoni Netanyahu :
    Commando at Entebbe

    (JPS Young Biography Series.)
    Few rescue missions have succeeded like "Operation Thunderbolt," the Israeli plan led by Yoni Netanyahu on July 4, 1976, to rescue 105 hijacked Jewish passengers held captive in Uganda's Entebbe Airport. In this gripping biography, Devra Newberger Speregen introduces young readers to one of Israel's bravest soldiers, offering a dramatic portrait of the young man who came to embody Judaism's highest values through his commitment to Israel and the Jewish people.

    Description from Publisher

    Shalom, Haver : Goodbye, Friend
    In this compassionate testimonial to the late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Sofer opens an avenue for youngsters to work through their shock, anger, and grief at his assassination. Recognizing first that we can say good-bye to a friend by remembering him, Sofer displays family photos of Rabin as a boy with his family, as a young man playing soccer and hiking with friends, and as a reluctant but able soldier for Israel. Once past the painful remembering, Sofer urges readers to continue Rabin's work for peace, "because in Hebrew shalom means both good-bye and peace." High-quality photographs are displayed artistically on attractive, uncluttered pages with Sofer's thoughtful and succinct text, which appears, appropriately, in Hebrew as well as in English. Bringing to mind the human being--the grandfather--who was the murdered prime minister, Sofer brings history home to children while sensitizing them to the fact that world leaders are people, too. An exceptional, dignified, and tender memorial.

    Description from Booklist

    Jerusalem and the Holy Land :
    Chronicles from National Geographic
    Articles from National Geographic present an account of Muslim village life, the travel impressions of a British historian, and a description of the Passover celebration of a small group of Orthodox Jews known as Samaritans.

    Description from Publisher

    If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem

    By Bernard Wolf
    Distinguished photojournalist Bernard Wolf turns his perceptive eye on Jerusalem, the most holy city in the world. The result is this stunning portrait of the glorious, sacred, but strife-torn place. Broad in its scope, the book includes history, archaeology, and religion as well as a tour of the most striking sights. Bernard Wolf's gorgeous photographs of the landmarks and the inhabitants show us the glory of the city and the humanity of the people. While the photos glow with the intensity of the desert sun, Wolf's discussion of the problems there brings into sharp focus the pressures on Jerusalem and its nation. Provocative, insightful, and beautiful, this book is a must-have for those interested in the Middle East and all for whom this spot is holy.

    Description from Publisher

    Wolf turns his sharp photographer's eye on the eternal city of Jerusalem and brings it alive for readers. Starting with the origins of Jerusalem, Wolf follows the city through its rises and falls, and examines the religions that have fought over it, loved it, and died to keep it their own. The ancient history part of the text is long but involving; Wolf has a knack for focusing on just the details that will capture children's imaginations. His wonderfully crisp photographs (which include pictures of a model of Herod's city on display in Jerusalem) expand the text, though sometimes captions might have been helpful. The historical section branches off into a discussion of the three religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, that hold Jerusalem sacred, and in a balanced way discusses the problems these groups have had living together. Pictures of street scenes show that, despite the controversies, life goes on. An involving photo essay.

    Description from Booklist

    Israel :
    The Founding of a Modern Nation

    By Maida Silverman
    Silverman cuts through the ages, highlighting with simplicity and passion the tumultuous history of the Jewish people. Because Israel's foundation is grounded in 3,000 years of Jewish history, Silverman begins with God's promise to Abraham that "his descendants would become a great and holy nation." She then recaps the successive conquerings, dispersals, and returns of the Jewish people to Zion, their homeland, noting that always a small, devoted community of Jews managed to survive and remain. In more recent centuries, as government fostered persecution of Jews in Russia and Europe intensified, Zionists strove to join their people in their historic homeland to build a safe haven for all Jews. Silverman offers such dramatic anecdotes as Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai's feigning death in order to sneak out of the besieged Jerusalem and meet with the Roman general Vespasian to strike the deal that saved Judaism in 70 C.E. A time line of important events in Israel's history from 1948 until the present is included. An admirably written, much needed, dynamic history.

    Description from Booklist

    The Enemy Has a Face:
    The Seeds of Peace Experience

    By John Wallach
    Every summer since 1993, the woods of Maine have witnessed a remarkable attempt to plant the idea of peace in the hearts and minds of the next generation of Middle East leaders. For three weeks, 300 Arab and Israeli teenagers leave behind the violence and hatred ingrained in their homelands to meet their “enemies” face to face. At times it’s an emotionally wrenching process, but it can produce surprising friendships and an enduring belief in coexistence.

    Seeds of Peace makes the most of the adaptability and enthusiasm of youth, creating a secure environment in which teenagers—supported by trained counselors—can dare to argue with and play alongside one another, to challenge preconceptions, and to envisage a peaceful Middle East. The author vividly describes the camp experience and follows the youngsters’ return home, where despite criticism from friends and families many of them continue to promote Arab-Israeli coexistence.

    This highly engaging and accessible account of peacemaking in action also includes photographs and feature boxes that help bring alive the complex issues involved.

    Description from Publisher

    My People:
    Abba Eban's History of the Jews
    Volume 2: From the Eighteenth Century to Our Own Time

    Adapted by David Bamberger
    The Jewish people's spirit and place in world history since 1776. Chronicles the Jewish experience in the American and French revolutions, through the birth of Zionism and the devastation of the Holocaust, and into today's world. Also includes the struggle for Israeli independence as Eban lived it.

    Description from Publisher

    Volume 1 Also Available

    Kingdoms and Empires : The Rise, Fall, and Rescue of the Jewish Nation
    Kingdoms and Empires tells the story of the Jewish exiles, from their capture by the Egyptians to their rescue by Moses. Brief stories of the Israelites from the time of King Solomon to the rule of Antiochus IV in Palestine and the ensuing Jewish rebellion. Children are given a broad understanding of the unusual role the Jews have had on history in this biblically sound resource.

    Description from Publisher

    The Ancient World of the Bible
    Supplemented with information about ancient Middle Eastern customs, lifestyle, food, and possessions, familiar stories from the Hebrew Bible provide a history of the Israelites, from the creation of Adam and Eve to the rebuilding of Jerusalem in 400 B.C.E. Despite the cluttered layout of the text, illustrations, and captions, readers will find much valuable information.

    Description from Horn Book

    Theodor Herzl :
    Architect of a Nation
    Characterizing Herzl as a driven visionary who gave his life to his dream of a Jewish homeland, Finkelstein presents young readers with a portrait of a man they won't soon forget. The author shows how this young and talented journalist and playwright, raised by assimilated Hungarian-Jewish parents, became a fervent Zionist as he witnessed savage Russian pogroms, pervasive Austrian anti-Semitism, and the Dreyfuss Affair in France. Finkelstein clearly documents Herzl's arduous up-and-down struggle to convince the world of the need for a Jewish state and the toll exacted on his family and his own energies. Relying on primary sources and an acute sense of the historical forces which influenced Herzl, the author focuses on the ideas that he gave to the Zionist movement and on the grand diplomacy and political maneuvering to which he devoted his life. Herzl's unfulfilled family life is only sketchily drawn, although valuable black-and-white photographs of his childhood and family fill in some of the gaps. The book sheds valuable light on a man whose short, eventful life set into motion forces which helped create and shape the state of Israel.

    From School Library Journal

    General Jewish History & Nonfiction | Biblical Era | European History (Excluding the Holocaust) | Immigration & The American Experience | Holocaust | Israel







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