Israel Books

If you wish to purchase any of these books, click on either the title or the book cover to be directed to 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 (Page 1) (Page 2) (Page 3) (Page 4) (Page 5)

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 (Page 1) (Page 2) (Page 3) (Page 4) (Page 5)

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