Books for Young Adults:

Prayer, Ethics/Morality, and Jewish Life

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 books on this topic geared towards younger children (preschool and elementary school age), go to the Jewish Life Picture Books Page.

Other Pages of Interest:

Easy Reader and Picture Books:
Jewish Children's Books (General) | Jewish Board Books | Biblical Stories for Children | Jewish Holiday Books | Jewish Family Cookbooks | Folktales and Talmudic Stories for Children | Jewish Life Books (Mitzvot, Keeping Kosher, etc.) | Jewish Life Cycle Books | Family Haggadahs | Children's Prayerbooks | Introductory Hebrew Books | Jewish History and Historical Fiction Picture Books | Israel Books

Middle School and YA Books:
Bar Mitzvah Books | Jewish Fiction | Historical Fiction | Torah Study | Prayer and Jewish Life Books | Jewish Holidays | Jewish Biographies | Jewish History Books | Holocaust Books for Teens | Israel Books

Jewish Children's Books | Bar Mitzvah Books | Jewish Parenting Books | Jewish Music for Children | Jewish Children's Videos | Jewish Jewelry

Jewish Kids' Catalog

By Chaya M. Burstein
  • National Jewish Book Award

    Everything a kid wants to know about being Jewish in one volume, this book is a fun-filled, illustrated look at key people and events in Jewish history; at the holidays and customs; at the origins of Jewish names, and much more. This is a book that will be opened again and again to pages filled with the joys of being Jewish.

    Description from Publisher

    The creators of the Jewish Catalog series have created a series perfect for kids. This book does not intend to be read from cover to cover. Instead, it serves as an excellent resource for all kinds of information that kids will want to know about being Jewish. The book covers topics as diverse as the meanings of common Jewish names, how to treat animals, trivia about the Jewish holidays, recipes for traditional Jewish foods, and a Jewish tourism guide. Chaya Burstein has a wonderful knack for picking out the information that will fascinate children and present it in a conversational style that is perfect for older elementary through high school aged children. This book is a must-have for any child's personal library!

    Lori's Description

  • The First Jewish Catalog:
    A Do-It-Yourself Kit

    By Michael Strassfeld
    For anyone who has ever wondered how to make wine, crochet a kippah, locate a Jewish film, start a Jewish library, or bring the Messiah, this exciting collection of far-ranging topics can help any Jew--those steeped in tradition or those just discovering Judaism--to become personally involved in the many aspects of Jewish ritual life, customs, cooking, crafts, and creation.

    When no one else can answer your questions on celebrations, ceremonies, arts and music, travel and education, The First Jewish Catalog has the answer. This must for every Jewish home has been a best-seller for over twenty-five years!

    Description from Publisher

    The Second Jewish Catalog:
    A Do-It-Yourself Kit

    By Michael Strassfeld
    This is a creative, innovative help to those seeking to experience a more fully Jewish life. Illustrated with photographs, drawings, and whimsical observations, and cartoons throughout.

    Description from Publisher

    The Third Jewish Catalog:
    A Do-It-Yourself Kit

    By Sharon & Michael Strassfeld
    Logically arranged, lively, innovative, thoughtful, and provocative, this book reflects the attitudes of a growing number of Jews who are seeking to rediscover Judaism's meaning and significance in their own lives. This, the third book in the best-selling series, focuses on many issues of contemporary Jewry, with articles by leading scholars; contains an index to all three catalogs.

    Description from Publisher
    While Standing on 
One Foot
    While Standing On One Foot :
    Puzzle Stories and Wisdom Tales from the Jewish Tradition

    By Nina Jaffe
    Calling on thousands of years of Jewish folktales, legends, rabbinical stories and literature, the authors show the wit and wisdom that are the cornerstones of the Jewish tradition. Posed as a question, each story turns on a conundrum that young readers can try to solve. The solutions are supplied within the tales.

    from the Publisher

    Eighteen stories testifying to the tradition of quick-thinking mother wit that has saved countless individuals, as well as larger Jewish populations, from harm--like the man who, offered a choice of how he'll be put to death, contemplates briefly and replies that he would like to die of old age. After narrating each story up to its denouement, the authors invite readers to come up with a solution to the seemingly implacable problem before providing the classic answer. Thus, this unusual and appealing collection can be used as a teaching tool offering examples of graceful logic; it's also a fine source for storytellers, and should enjoy wide usage in a variety of venues. Attractive format; Segal's stylized b&w illustrations are at once comic and wonderfully austere.

    from Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 1993

    The 17 brief selections in this book come from many eras and places in Jewish history and geography. Among them are "The Grand Inquistor," set in medieval Spain, in which a vicious inquisitor schemes to trick an innocent rabbi into admitting his (and by extension, all the Jews') guilt for a terrible crime. Others tell how a fox outwitted Leviathan, the powerful sea monster; how the boy who would later become King Solomon outsmarted a surly innkeeper; how a jester avoided dying by choosing the right form of death; and how a barren wife kept her husband through cleverness. Those who have read classical versions know that the originals meander, lack drama, and are dull. They have been adapted here so as to be short enough for memorizing and telling; all have a hero, a villain, a challenge, and a punch-line. Introductions supply background information. Just before revealing the outcome of each tale, the teller pauses, sums up the dilemma, and then asks readers what they would do in the same situation. Excellent for group discussions.

    Description from School Library Journal

    Solomon And the Ant: And Other Jewish Folktales

    By Sheldon Oberman
    An unusually varied and useful collection of 44 folktales ranging from legends involving the ethical dilemmas of King Solomon to stories of the Prophet Elijah to wisdom tales of ancient rabbis to universal stories given a Jewish slant and selections from near-modern times. The inspiration for Obermans retellings stems from many cultures and continents, yet his direct, relatively unadorned language manages to convey the time and atmosphere of each setting. Sometimes reverent, sometimes jocular, each of the stories has something to teach. Oberman appends explanatory notes and source information to each folktale. Penninah Schram, who completed the editing after Obermans death, has augmented the commentaries. Scholars will appreciate the notes indicating folkloric motifs and variants as well as the full bibliography. This is a gold mine for storytellers and educators alike.

    Description from School Library Journal

    Menorahs, Mezuzas, and Other Jewish Symbols by Miriam Chaikin
    For over 3,000 years, the lives and customs of the Jewish people have been shaped by a great variety of experiences, commemorated by symbols of these important beliefs and events. Miriam Chaikin explains the most popular symbols as well as others that are less well known. She discusses the symbols associated with the Jewish Sabbath, symbolic garments, symbols in Jewish worship, symbols of Israel (Menorah, Shield of David), home symbols (Mezuza), symbolic acts (circumcision), number symbols, and holiday symbols. Evocative drawings capture their uniqueness and beauty.

    Description from Publisher

    Chaikin succeeds admirably both in covering the whole range of Jewish symbols and in presenting their underlying ideas with clarity and succinctness, distilling the scholarship (attested to by seven pages of notes and two pages of reference books) into a form easily comprehended by the intended audience. There have been other books about Jewish symbols, but none are of this scope and calibre. The book is divided into nine chapters, each dealing with an aspect of Judaism and/or Jewish culture and the concepts and symbols associated with it. The narrative, while conversational in tone, is interwoven with references from the Bible, Talmud, Midrash, folklore, and history.

    Description from School Library Journal

    Jewish Heroes, Jewish Values: Living Mitzvot in Today's World

    By Barry L. Schwartz
    What makes a Jewish hero?

    Spanning the worlds of sports, science, film, and politics, Jewish Heroes, Jewish Values introduces the Jewish heroes of yesterday and today to those of tomorrow. Students discover how to live Jewish values by reliving some of the most dramatic moments of the twentieth century:
  • Sandy Koufax sits out Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur (Klal Yisrael/Jewish Solidarity)
  • Golda Meir visits the Jews of Communist Russia (Tzionut/Zionism)
  • Abraham Joshua Heschel marches for civil rights with Martin Luther King, Jr. (Tikkun Olam/Healing the World)
  • Hannah Senesh leads a daring rescue mission in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia (Ometz Lev/Courage)
  • Natan and Avital Sharansky fight for religious freedom (Herut/Freedom)
  • Anne Frank courageously struggles against overwhelming odds (Tikvah/Hope)
  • Yonatan Netanyahu leads the raid on Entebbe (Pikuah Nefesh/Saving a Life)
  • Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat sign a historic peace treaty (Shalom/Peace)
  • Steven Spielberg authentically recreates Jewish history (Zikaron/Remembrance)
  • And many more
    Eyewitness accounts capture the immediacy of each climactic event, and the "Jewish Heroes Hall of Fame" shows students how they can fulfill core Jewish values in their own lives. Over 70 photographs illustrate these inspiring portraits of men and women whose commitment to Jewish ideals have made them legends--and heroes.

    Description from Publisher

  • Jewish U: A Contemporary Guide for the Jewish College Student

    By Scott Aaron
    This book is exactly what every Jewish college students needs. You’ve applied. You’ve been accepted. You’ve packed up. And now, finally, off to college you go, leaving your high school days behind, saying goodbye to your parents, your siblings, and your friends. But, something you shouldn’t leave behind is your Judaism.

    Jewish U is a hands-on guide to “living Jewish” on campus. How to observe your first high holidays away from home. How to decide if you should join a fraternity or sorority. How to find the right place to eat during Passover. How to talk to non-Jewish roommates about Judaism. How to find common ground with Jewish students from different backgrounds. How to find a Jewish home for yourself on campus. College is about diversity, offering up countless options, choices that YOU will now have to make on your own. Jewish U: A Contemporary Guide for the Jewish College Student is an invaluable resource for those about to be presented with these myriad choices.

    Alongside the many contemporary resources that he recommends, Scott Aaron incorporates what the Jewish texts have to say about interacting with others, making decisions, and ethical living.

    Description from Publisher

    The Wonder of Becoming You

    By Miriam Grossman, MD
    A sensitive explanation of how a Jewish girl grow up, describing the body's changes, and how Jewish tradition view related matters.

    Description from Publisher

    Listen to the Trees :
    Jews and the Earth
    Listen To The Trees looks to the Torah for its environmental wisdom. Through quotations, sayings and stories, Molly Cone gives young readers an inspiring view of the jewish connection to the natural world. Listen To The Trees presents Torah teachings that have made responsibility for caring for the earth an important part of Judaism from its very beginning. Roy Doty's charming illustrations enhance the value of Listen To The Trees as an informative and engaging book of interest to any young reader with a concern for nature and our environment.

    Description from Midwest Book Review

    Making a Difference: Putting Jewish Spirituality into Action, One Mitzvah at a Time

    By Bradley Shavit Artson & Gila Gevirtz
    Inspire your teens with an action-based view of the Jewish spiritual tradition!

    Based on the best selling book It's a Mitzvah! by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Making a Difference presents both ethical and ritual mitzvot, such as Rodef Shalom, Tzedakah, Kashrut, and Tefillah, as well as practical and creative suggestions on how to observe them. Students study the wisdom of Jewish sacred texts and examine through a Jewish lens who they are, the kind of adults they want to become, and how the mitzvot can help them achieve their goals.

    Each chapter presents a mitzvah and includes the following writing activities:
    • Self-Portrait (exploring the mitzvah in personal terms)
    • You Don't Say! (finding meaning in the wisdom of ancient and modern sages)
    • It's a Dilemma! (responses to real-life situations)
    • Mitzvah Journal (a record of each teen's experience of observing the mitzvah)
    In addition, the book presents the stories of Jewish teens who have made a difference in their communities through mitzvah projects, such as spending a month teaching in Cuba's Jewish community and creating a mural in a children's hospital.

    The book uses the same dynamic graphics and layout that teens respond to in popular magazines and on websites. More than 130 photographs illustrate and enrich the text.

    Description from Publisher

    The Time of Our Lives: A Teen Guide to the Jewish Life Cycle

    By Nina Beth Cardin and Scott Blumenthal
    Is it true that I was born for a reason? Am I really an adult when I become a bat mitzvah? How should I act around someone whose grandmother just died?

    The Time of Our Lives is an unforgettable journey along the path of the Jewish life cycle, as your students have never traveled it before. While exploring how Jewish life cycle events help us mark and celebrate the milestones in our lives, young teens will consider how we each contribute to the modern evolution and enrichment of these celebrations.

    Using teen-friendly narrative, thought-provoking questions and a dynamic, vibrant design, The Time of our Lives serves as a guidebook to the major milestones along the paths of the Jewish life cycle:
    • Historical vignettes and excerpts from sacred texts help students trace the origins of each celebration, while learning how it began and has evolved through the generations.
    • Real-life peer stories show how young teens play an active role in Jewish community celebrations.
    • Family interviews, interactive classroom experiences, and challenging questions encourage students to imagine how they can help develop new celebrations and further enrich our tradition.
    Each chapter of The Time of Our Lives contains the following special features, designed to engage the creativity and curiosity of readers:
    • Fast Forward: Teens reflect on the future as they envision what their own life cycle events will be like: What qualities would I like my children to possess? What will my life be like in twenty years? What would I like to accomplish during my lifetime?
    • Step by Step: Provides a clearly sequenced summary—a how-to manual—of each life cycle event.
    • Be a Give-Your-Best Guest: To-do checklists help readers become gracious guests at the celebrations of friends and family. What can I bring? What should I say?
    • From Generation to Generation: Provides opportunities for families to share memories of past life cycle events and dreams for those to come.
    • What Do You Think?: Thought-provoking questions challenge teens to think critically. What's the best way to celebrate my bar mitzvah? Do I believe that each person has a destined partner?
    • Back to the Sources: Connects modern celebrations to sacred texts and ancient sources.
    • Spark of a New Tradition: Modern customs and practices help young people visualize how they can contribute to new Jewish life cycle events and to modern Jewish life.
    Help your students discover the paths of their own great journey.

    Description from Publisher

    The Great Balancing Act: A High School Ethics Curriculum with Book

    By Michelle Shapiro Abraham
    This latest addition to the UAHC Ethics Curriculum takes age-old ideas and places them within a thoroughly modern context for High School students.

    • Uses writings from the Torah and Talmud to present issues that relate to the everyday lives of Jewish teenagers
    • Includes topics like dealing with parents, school, and friendship
    • Contains curricular material brimming with ideas, activities, questionnaires, and resources
    • Provides adolescents with the tools to assist them in growing up, becoming adults, and beginning to develop their own conception of Judaism
    • Guides High School students in establishing themselves as a Jewish adults and creating lives built on ethics

    Description from Publisher

    You Be the Judge :
    A Collection of Ethical Cases and Jewish Answers
    A judge forbids an expert witness from wearing his kippah in court because it makes him look too credible and it may influence the jury. A fourteen year-old transplant recipient wants to go off his medication and die because the side effects are too painful. American doctors wonder if they can use Nazi medical research gathered by the torturing of Jewish prisoners in order to save the lives of American pilots. The children of Sol Gordon want to violate his dying wishes in order to move his charitable pledge from the recipient he indicated to a recipient they believe is more "ethical."

    Each of these cases is drawn from the headlines. Here are real or realistic ethical problems that are submitted to the test of "Jewish Law" in order to find "the right solution." This book contains more than fifty cases and the Jewish responses to each case. It is perfect for both the dinner table and the classroom. Here is a chance to share values, discuss ethics, and take a first look into the Talmud, the codes, and the wisdom of the Jewish legal process.

    Description from Publisher

    The Time of Our Lives: A Teen Guide to the Jewish Life Cycle

    By Nina Beth Cardin
    Is it true that I was born for a reason? Am I really an adult when I become a bat mitzvah? How should I act around someone whose grandmother just died?

    The Time of Our Lives is an unforgettable journey along the path of the Jewish life cycle, as your students have never traveled it before. While exploring how Jewish life cycle events help us mark and celebrate the milestones in our lives, young teens will consider how we each contribute to the modern evolution and enrichment of these celebrations.

    Using teen-friendly narrative, thought-provoking questions and a dynamic, vibrant design, The Time of our Lives serves as a guidebook to the major milestones along the paths of the Jewish life cycle:
    • Historical vignettes and excerpts from sacred texts help students trace the origins of each celebration, while learning how it began and has evolved through the generations.
    • Real-life peer stories show how young teens play an active role in Jewish community celebrations.
    • Family interviews, interactive classroom experiences, and challenging questions encourage students to imagine how they can help develop new celebrations and further enrich our tradition.

    Description from Publisher

    Choosing to Be Chosen

    By Ellen Frankel
    A fascinating collection of nine stories illustrating the dilemmas and options facing Jewish pre-teens in America today: assimilation, anti-Semitism, Jewish Identity, parental pressure, personal ethics.

    Description from Publisher

    Drugs, Sex, and Integrity:
    What Does Judaism Say
    This book is an excellent learning tool for all readers, especially young adults, encountering Jewish law for the first time. Dilemmas pertaining to alcoholism, sex, integrity, and Jewish religious values are presented. Biblical, Talmudic, and Reform responses are given.

    Description from Publisher

    Where G-d Dwells :
    A Child's History of the Synagogue
    Through beautiful illustrations, fantasy and historical exploration, Where G-d Dwells: A Child's History of the Synagogue presents the results of Dr. Fine’s research on the synagogue. Here is a chance to take your students to Jerusalem and Masada, Dura Europos and Beth Alpha-then back to your own synagogue community!

    Description from Publisher

    Understanding Jewish Holidays and Customs: Historical and Contemporary

    By Sol Scharfstein
    A historical and contemporary overview of customs and ceremonies as practiced by Jews from Biblical times to the present. The author begins with a discussion of the Jewish lunar calendar upon which the holidays are based and then distinguishes between the types of holidays. The Sabbath, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Shavuot, and Sukkot go back to Biblical times and are religious. Passover (also Biblical), Purim, Chanukah, and the more recent Yom Ha-Atzma'ut celebrate historical "victories"-the survival of the Jewish people or Israel's independence. Yom Ha-Shoah memorializes the victims of the Holocaust and Yom Ha-Zikkaron commemorates the soldiers fallen in defense of Israel. Other topics covered include the synagogue and Jewish life-cycle events. Several small, black-and-white and color photographs and reproductions appear in the margins of every page, and each chapter begins with a color illustration. In a clear style and attractive format, this volume offers much information about Jewish traditions.

    Description from School Library Journal

    Kids Speak :
    Children Talk About Themselves

    By Chaim Walder
    A collection of essays written by Jewish children aged 8-11 describing their personal problems, their fears, and their unusual experiences. Through these stories, children will learn to deal with their own problems, or turn to those who can help.

    Description from Publisher

    More Kids Speak :
    Children Talk About Themselves

    By Chaim Walder
    By popular demand, the author has compiled the personal stories and experiences of children who wrote in response to the book, Kids Speak. Provides parents and educators with insights into youngsters' lives, and provides young readers with an outlet for their own feelings.

    Description from Publisher

    Kids Speak 3 :
    Children Talk About Themselves

    By Chaim Walder
    A sequel to Kids Speak and More Kids Speak, chock-full of children's own personal stories. The fears, challenges, and triumphs described by these children make up every child. A must for your kids--and you!

    Description from Publisher

    A Bridge to Prayer :
    The Jewish Worship Workbook

    By Nachama Skolnik Moskowitz

    Volume One:
    G-d, Prayer, and the Shema

    Volume Two:
    The Amidah, Torah Service, and Concluding Prayers
    These books are designed to familiarize young people with the fundamental prayers of our heritage and the order of the Jewish worship service. Young readers can explore the morning and evening services held on Shabbat and weekdays, while gaining an in-depth introduction to various concepts of God, prayer, righteousness, repentance, and redemption. These concepts are immediately reinforced through exercises that accompany the text.

    Description from Publisher

    Explaining Reform Judaism

    By Eugene B. Borowitz Naomi Patz
    An authoritative presentation of the fundamental history, beliefs, and goals of Reform Judaism in one compact volume.

    Description from Publisher

    Alef Bet of Jewish Values :
    Code Words of Jewish Life
    Creatively presenting Judaism's key concepts, this book features four themes that are the foundation of Jewish lifeyJewish identity, G-d and prayer, community values, and personal valuesyand explores each concept through stories, midrashim, and prayers.

    Description from Publisher

    The UAHC Kids Catalog of Jewish Living

    By Chaya M. Burstein
    Living as a Jew doesn't just happen. It takes some doing. The big question is 'doing what?' This book will tell you about Jewish living from a Reform perspective. It includes illustrations, puzzles, activities, biographical profiles, and bibliography.

    Description from Publisher

    To Learn Is to Do :
    A Tikkun Olam Roadmap

    By Sharon D. Halper
    This book combines attractive, humorous black-and-white line drawings with a text-based study of tikkun olam and related mitzvot using Torah, Torah commentary, and other primary sources. Includes Hebrew key words, roots, and phrases related to tikkun olam, and highlights organizations that do the actual everyday work of tikkun olam. To Learn Is To Do provides roadmap of tikkun olam. It teaches students that being Jewish involves both learning and doing and provides practical, realistic ways for students to begin their lifelong connection to ethical living. Thus it enables teachers to make connections between text study and Jewish living.

    To Learn Is To Do can be used as an independent curricular unit, or integrated into Hebrew, text-study, Torah, or tzedakah curricular units. User-friendly accompanying teacher's guide containing suggestions for classroom implementation is also available.

    Description from Publisher

    Mah Tov Series:
    Asot Mishpat (Do Justice)

    By Abraham Shumsky

    Teacher's Guide Also Available
    This series fosters vocabulary growth and grammatical understanding. Through the Mah Tov workbooks (illustrated by Hal Just) students learn vocabulary before reading the stories.

    Description from Publisher

    Living Torah in America :
    Derekh Hatov

    By Rabbi Maurice Lamm
    For traditional Jewish teens, the conflicts between religious observance and the attractions of modern life seem especially sharp. Applying halachah to daily routines, this book suggests how young people can participate in teenage life while living a modern Orthodox life.

    Description from Publisher

    A Topical Bible :
    Biblical Answers to Modern Questions

    By Naomi E. Pasachoff
    Did you know that the moral framework found in the Bible can offer practical guidance to real-life issues confronting today's young people? A Topical Bible uses biblical texts to guide students as they wrestle with real-life social and ethical problems. Each chapter presents a major contemporary issue and examines it through the lens of the Bible. The engaging stories are illustrated with dramatic contemporary photographs and whimsical cartoons. Step-by-step questions guide students through the text and demonstrate its relevance to modern life.

    Contents include Repairing a Damaged Relationship (Jacob's Reconciliation with Esau; Joseph and His Brothers), Accepting Personal Responsibility (The Tree of Knowledge; David and Bathsheba), Questioning Authority (Abraham and the Cities of the Plain; Job), Sexual Equality (The Creation of Humankind; The Daughters of Zelophehad), Identifying with the Suffering of Others (The Awakening of Moses; Esther), Welcoming Change and Challenge (Moses and the Burning Bush; King Saul), and A Time for Action (Crossing the Sea of Reeds; Deborah and the Canaanites)

    Description from Publisher

    The G-d Book:

    A Necessarily Incomplete Look at the Essence of G-d

    By Rabbi Paul Yedwab
    From the author of the best selling, Sex in the Text, comes the perfect "G-d" book for your 7th and 8th graders.

    The G-d Book: A Necessarily Incomplete Look at the Essence of G-d is, according to the text-book author Rabbi Paul Yedwab, "an antidote to premature atheism." This is not a theology textbook: It's a thinking, feeling, and sharing textbook. Each chapter features a "My G-d Diary," in which students can write about their feelings, thoughts, doubts and affirmations about the "Unknowable."

    Description from Publisher

    The Book of the Jewish Life
    Life-cycle ceremonies are the most essential expressions of our Jewish community. For contemporary American Jews they are also among the most creative--and the most diverse--expressions of Jewish life. In order to best represent the wide and interesting variety of what we do and how we do it, the authors of The Book of the Jewish Life and the UAHC Press felt that the liberal Jewish community should have a say in editing this book. In an unprecedented experiment, the basic manuscript of The Book of the Jewish Life was sent to 7,000 educators, rabbis, cantors, and congregational leaders--the core of the liberal movement today--along with a questionnaire asking for comments, critiques, and recomendations. Based on your feedback, the new Book of the Jewish Life is the first text on the Jewish life we actually live today. Illustrated in full color and geared toward intermediate grades, each chapter relates a stage or landmark of life, its traditional practices, and its modern observance. Also included are glossaries of Hebrew terms, blessings, and stories to bring our celebrations to life.

    Description from Publisher

    It's a Mitzvah!: Step-By-Step to Jewish Living

    By Bradley Shavit Artson
    An open door for all of us who want to deepen our Jewish commitment but don't know how or where to begin. From lighting Shabbat candles to spending a night in a homeless shelter, this guide to Jewish living presents simple steps to incorporate the rich tradition of Jewish values into everyday life.

    Each chapter focuses on one mitzvah--both its traditional and contemporary significance--plus ways to put the mitzvah into practice. Addressing ritual-based and social-action mitzvot, this book offers a wealth of opportunities to grow Jewishly.

    • Ahavat Tziyon: Zionism and Israel
    • Bal Tash'hit: Preserving the Earth
    • Bikkur Holim: Visiting the Sick
    • Hakhnasat Orhim: Hospitality
    • Kashrut: The Dietary Laws
    • Kibbud Av va-Em: Honoring Parents
    • Ma'akhil R'evim: Feeding the Hungry
    • Pidyon Sh'vyim: Redeeming the Captives
    • Rodef Shalom: Seeking Peace
    • Shabbat: Day of Rest and Renewal
    • Sh'mirat ha-Lashon: Guarding Your Tongue
    • Talmud Torah: Study and Learning
    • Tefillah: Prayer, Tallit, Tefillin, and Mezuzah
    • Teshuvah: Repentance and Turning
    • Tza'ar Ba'alei Hayyim: Compassion to Animals
    Discovering ways to practice Judaism every day can change our lives. Here is the book to begin the journey

    Description from Publisher

    A guide to Jewish living, this book is the starting point for everyone who wants to increase his or her level of Jewish commitment, but doesn't know where or how to begin. From lighting candles on Shabbat to spending a night in a homeless shelter, this book identifies hundreds of opportunities to transform daily living into Jewish living. Over 100 pictures detail the richness and diversity of Jewish life in action.

    Description from

    (Beliefs & Cultures Series)
    The history of Judaism and its modern customs are detailed in this fully illustrated text. Readers will learn about the persecution of the Jews, both in ancient times and the Holocaust. Traditions and holidays-bar and bat mitzvahs, Passover, etc.

    Description from Publisher

    We Gave the World Moses and Bagels: Art and Wisdom of Jewish Children

    By David Heller
    In describing what it means to be Jewish, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once said that the Jewish people "are the track of God in the wilderness." In We Gave the World Moses and Bagels, children ages four to twelve leave their little footprints as they describe their own uniquely Jewish journeys. A humorous and heart-warming collection of children's quotes and full-color artwork, this book is the perfect gift for all ages, a lively and colorful depiction of what children think it means to be Jewish.

    Description from Publisher

    The Synagogue :
    House of the Jewish People

    By Susan Van Dusen and Rabbi Marc Berkson
    Take a tour through the gathering place of the Jewish people. A synagogue is a holy place for the Jewish people. Help your students feel at home in the synagogue. This introduction covers it all--the synagogue's history; its ritual objects; and how it serves as a house of prayer, a house of study, and a house of meeting.

    1. Where Our Ancestors First Worshipped
    2. The Holy Temple
    3. Synagogues Around the World
    4. The Sanctuary
    5. The Torah
    6. How We Pray
    7. Three Houses in One
    Humor and creativity bring this informative book to life, while activities provide an opportunity for students to review what they have learned and to develop their critical thinking skills.

    Special features include: What Do You Think? (provocative questions to engage students' curiosity and analytical skills ), Did You Know? (sidebars offer an opportunity to explore a point of interest in depth), and In Your Synagogue (students discover the unique qualities of their own synagogue)

    This richly illustrated volume includes pictures of synagogues from around the world. Students will especially enjoy the opportunity to design their own synagogue, with space for the many activities that take place in the house of the Jewish people.

    Description from Publisher

    Let's Talk About Loving: About Love, Sex, Marriage, and Family

    By Dorothy Karp Kripke & Myer S. Kripke
    Discusses, with a Jewish point of view, the different kinds of love--for God, for other people, and, especially and more explicitly, between husbands and wives. Includes chapters on divorce and adoption.

    Description from Publisher

    I Believe: The Thirteen Principles of Faith: A Confirmation Textbook

    By Kerry M. Olitzky & Ronald H. Isaacs
    Based on Maimondies' famous 13 principals of faith will afford teens an opportunity to explore their own personal beliefs as related to a variety of topics.

    Description from Publisher

    After the Rain
    Danny talks to adults and teenagers about how easily one is able to perform tikkun olam...the ability to repair his or her own world wherever and whenever it is needed...and he supplies a list of tools and people to help do the mending.

    Description from Publisher

    Basic Judaism for Young People :

    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: Kedushah, Shema, Teshuvah, Shabbat, Tefillah, Bat/Bat Mitzvah, Brit, and Olam HaBa

    Description from Publisher

    One People:
    A Study in Comparative Judaism
    Describes the similarities and differences among the three branches of Judaism while emphasizing the ties which bind all Jews together as a people. Includes exercises, questions, and activities.

    Description from Publisher

    The Western Wall And Other Jewish Holy Places (Holy Places)

    By Mandy Ross
    An introduction to Judaism which focuses on some significant and holy sites of the religion.

    Description from Publisher

    My Jewish World

    By Robert Thum and Susan Dworski
    An interdisciplinary approach to the religious school curriculum, this is a holiday, life-cycle, and civics text all in one. This introductory volume is the foundation for a lifetime of Jewish involvement.

    Students will find it all here:
    • The rabbi, cantor, and educator--what they do and how we interact with them
    • The synagogue, community center, senior center, and summer camp--why we go and what we do there
    • The Bible, Sefer Torah, mezuzah, and menorah--how we use them and what they mean

    The fundamental building blocks of Jewish life and presented in a lively, inviting, and colorful format. The practical structure combines text, photographs, and activities, allowing the teacher to create consistently successful lessons.

    Description from Publisher

    Teacher's Guide Also Available

    Beginnings in Jewish Philosophy

    By Meyer Levin
    An initiation into the tradition of eternal speculation about G-d and humanity that is at the core of the Jewish spirit. Students confront the really tough questions of Jewish belief and philosophy.

    Description from Publisher

    How Do I Decide?: A Contemporary Jewish Approach to What's Right and What's Wrong

    By Roland Bertram Gittelsohn
    Our Jewish tradition offers unique insights into the problems confronting young people today. This accessible volume uses both personal experience and case studies to address such contemporary issues as substance abuse, suicide, premarital sex, aging, divorce, AIDS, and intermarriage. The Torah, Talmud, and other traditional authorities, along with contemporary Jewish commentators, provide examples to stimulate discussion of each issue.

    Students discover how our Jewish heritage can help us strengthen family relationships and fulfill our communal responsibilities.

    Description from Publisher

    The Many Faces of Judaism: Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Reform

    By Gilbert S. Rosenthal
    An objective comparison of the four branches of Judaism and their historical and theological differences, including their teachings on:
    • G-d, Torah, mitzvot, and prayer
    • The Jewish people
    • The role of women
    • Zionism
    Illustrated with photographs.

    Description from Publisher

    Tikkun Olam: To Speak on Behalf of the World

    By Steven Bayar
    Tzedakah teaching textbook

    Description from Publisher

    Jewish Synagogue
    Why does a Jew wear a Tallit? Where in a synagogue are the Torah scrolls kept? What happens on Shabbat? The children in this book visit a synagogue to help them find out about Judaism and what it means to be Jewish. From the people they talk to and the objects they are shown, the children build up a picture of what Jews believe and how they worship.

    Description from Publisher

    Where G-d Dwells :
    A Child's History of the Synagogue

    By Steven and Leah Bierman Fine
    Through beautiful illustrations, fantasy and historical exploration, Where G-d Dwells: A Child's History of the Synagogue presents the results of Dr. Fine’s research on the synagogue. Here is a chance to take your students to Jerusalem and Masada, Dura Europos and Beth Alpha-then back to your own synagogue community!

    Description from Publisher

    Sex in the Texts

    By Paul Yedwab
    Are you looking for a high school curriculum that brings to life issues directly related to your students? Would you like to help your students improve their text skills? Sex in the Text may be your answer.

    Rabbi Paul Yedwab, author of several books, introduces students to controversial texts and related commentary from our tradition, ranging from B'reishit to other biblical, rabbinic, kabbalistic, and responsa texts. These are the stories and narratives not usually discussed in the classroom. Though it may sometimes be uncomfortable to talk about these texts, this collection make it clear that in its more than 4000-year history, Judaism has had an astonishing breadth in its perceptions on every aspect of our sexual lives. Sex in the Text will enable students to make connections between the texts and their lives and help them learn Jewish perspectives on sexuality, love, and marriage, as well as topics like deception, abortion, adultery, and rape.

    Description from Publisher

    Teacher's Guide Also Available

    One People: A Study in Comparative Judaism

    By Abraham Segal
    Describes the similarities and differences among the three branches of Judaism while emphasizing the ties which bind all Jews together as a people. This textbook-workbook provides teachers with numerous classroom activities. Includes exercises, questions, and activities.

    Description from Publisher

    Making a difference :
    Commandments and Community

    By Rabbi Michal Shekel
    Our Jewish Service Organizations and Mitzvot Throughout our history, wherever Jews set roots, they immediately established Service Organizations for the betterment of their communities. Starting from ancient times to the present, these organizations have provided for the welfare, wellbeing, scholarship, employment, education, burial, health and happiness for the less fortunate. These organizations, , because of their size and funding have undertaken projects and initiated programs that were beyond the scope of any individual. All of their efforts are based on Mitzvot. This excerpt from the Talmud teaches of both type of mitzvot, those between an individual and God, and those between people. "These are the deeds that are timeless, that one enjoys their results in this world and in the world to come: honoring father and mother, deeds of loving kindness, Torah study, welcoming strangers, visiting the sick, welcoming bride and groom, accompanying the dead to the cemetary, praying with sincerity, making peace. The study of Torah is equal to all of them because it leads to them all." Rabbi Shekel has combined the study of the history of Mitzvot with the history and functions of our ancient and modern Service Organizations. The Organizations include the following: ADL, B'nai B'rith, AJC, JPC, JNF, Hadassah, ZOA, AZF, ARZA, MERCAZ, AIPAC, Workmen's Circle, HIAS, Loan Societies, JVS, ORT, MAZON, JCC, YMHA, YWHA, JFS, Bikur Holim, Hevra Kadisha, CAJE, Hillel, BBYO, UJA, Hatzolah, Wexner Foundation, Spielberg Foundation, NFTY, USY, NCSY, Jewish Big Brother/Sister, and many more alphabet soups.

    Description from Publisher

    Repairing My World: The Responsibilities of a Jewish Adult
    (Student Scrapbook)

    By Michelle Shapiro Abraham

    Parent Booklet
    and Leader's Guide Also Available
    For Grade 7

    • Family education
    • Three-session family values curriculum
    • Includes leader's guide and workbooks for parents and students
    • User-friendly packet format is easy for teachers to work with
    • Introduces students and parents to ethics through the concept of tikkun middot-the repair of our moral life
    • Uses text study, stories, discussions, and activities

    • Teaches how to apply Jewish values to one's own life (tikkun middot), family life (tikkun bayit), and communal life (tikkun olam)
    • Enables parents and children to learn together at a critical point in children's Jewish education
    • Helps congregations prepare families for the significance of becoming bar/bat mitzvah
    • Based on the concept that the goal of tikkun is not perfection, but rather balancing the actions in our lives
    • During the program, families create a "scrapbook" that includes all of the work that they complete during the three sessions

    Description from Publisher

    Why Be Different: A Look into Judaism

    By Janice Prager and Arlene Lepoff
    Being Jewish can mean being different from other people. Sometimes it requires upholding values different from those taken for granted in our secular society.

    Adolescents in our religious schools are searching for answers to some troubling questions. Why Be Different? answers them:
    • Does being the Chosen People make us better than other people?
    • Can a "good Jew" question the existence of G-d?
    • How can we believe in G-d when there is so much suffering in the world?
    • Who decides what is right and what is wrong?
    • What is the point of prayer?
    • Is thinking the right thought as important as doing the right thing?
    • Are the Jewish people a nation or a religion?

    Description from Publisher

    Let's Learn About Kosher Food

    By Rabbi Ze'ev Greenwald
    With its endearing and amusing illustrations and its fun format, this book is a winner at teaching about the laws of kashrus. You will be treated to a wealth of information presented in dialogue form as you accompany the 6th grade girls on their preparations for a huge bas mitzvah party.

    Description from Publisher

    For One Another:
    Jewish Organizations that Help Us All

    By Raymond A. Zwerin
    This text helps readers understand the workings of the American Jewish community.

    Description from Publisher
    Hillel Guide to Jewish Life on Campus
    Hillel Guide to Jewish Life on Campus
    As a Jewish student making the important decision about where to go to college, you probably have concerns about Jewish life on campus: Will there be many other Jewish students? Are there active Jewish student organizations? Are there Shabbat services at the local Hillel branch? If there is no Hillel, is there a synagogue nearby? How does the university handle Jewish holidays? Is kosher food available? Is there a Yom Ha'Atzmaut celebration?

    The Hillel Guide to Jewish Life on Campus answers all those questons and more. In addition to its more than 500 college listings, this book includes:
    • Information on overseas and summer programs
    • Details on degree programs in Jewish studies
    • Listings of Hillel centers
    • Reports on how campuses are creating supportive Jewish communities
    • Quotes from many students about their experiences at their schools

    Description from Publisher

    Judaism in Today's World: Student's Book

    By Claire Clinton
    Examining Judaism, this work includes a look at how Jews make moral decisions, what Jews believe about life after death, and what Judaism teaches about human relationships. This text - the third in the "Religion in Focus" series - aims to continue the motivating coverage of the GCSE short course syllabus. The Jewish faith community has been actively involved at each stage in the planning, reviewing and editing of this book.

    Description from Publisher

    Teacher's Resource Guide Also Available

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