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Older Kids / Young Adult:
Jewish Life and Jewish Ethics

Most books have been linked to, but in situations when Amazon didn't carry them, certain items were linked to other booksellers instead.

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.

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

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

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
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

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

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

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

Menorahs, Mezuzas, and Other Jewish Symbols
For over 3,000 years, the lives and customs of the Jewish people have been shpaped 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. Evocative drawings capture their uniqueness and beauty.

Description from Publisher

The origins and current usage of a wide variety of Jewish symbols used in worship and in daily life are covered in descriptions ranging from a few sentences to several pages. An attractively designed book, useful as a quick reference source.

Description from Horn Book

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

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

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 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

(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

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

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

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

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

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

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