Educational Resources

<-- Back to list

Introduction to Judaism

David Blatner and Tim Falcon, Judaism for Dummies. New York : Hungry Minds, 2001.
This book is a comprehensive overview of everything from keeping kosher to New Age Judaism. A wonderful user friendly guide to Judaism—and it even includes cartoons! Recommended by Pat from Pennsylvania, who wrote: “I've read many books over my 18 year journey to Judaism but this one, written by an Orthodox rabbi, is the clearest, easiest to read & FUNNIEST book I've ever read on the basics of Judaism. It makes Judaism very accessible and easy to get a basic hold on through the concise explanations.”

Howard Cooper and Anita Diamant, Living a Jewish Life: Jewish Traditions, Customs and Values for Today's Famlies. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.
A down-to-earth guide for creating a Jewish life with a focus on the entire family. It covers the span of religious denominations as it presents the how and why of forming a meaningful experience for families.

Neil Gillman, The Jewish Approach to God: A Brief Introduction for Christians. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2003.
This book presents various Jewish beliefs and ideas about God in a way specifically designed for Christians.

Blu Greenberg
. How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985.
This book offers a guide to celebrating the holidays and living a Jewish life from a tradititional (Orthodox) perspective. It contains information on topics that readers will find useful in constructing a Jewish life for their entire family. An excellent reference guide.
(recommended by Leah from Georgia)

Ronald Isaacs and Kerry Olitzky. The Complete How-To Handbook for Jewish Living. Jersey City, NJ: KTAV Publishing House, 2004.
This book provides an easy-access step-by-step guide to Jewish rituals, prayer, and customs. It also offers resources for those who are interested in further study. (recommended by Leah from Georgia)

Francine Klagsbrun, Jewish Days: A Book of Jewish Life and Culture Around the Year. Noonday Press, 1998.
Explanations of Jewish holidays and ritual, including relevant stories and legends; illustrated by Mark Podwal.

Kerry Olitzky and Daniel Judson . Jewish Ritual: A Brief Introduction for Christians. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2004.
A brief explanation of Jewish ritual intended for the Christian reader. An excellent resource if you find Jewish rituals complicated---such as saying blessings, wearing tefillin (prayer boxes), or wearing head coverings---and would like to see how they relate to Christian customs.

Simcha Kling and Carl M. Perkins. Embracing Judaism. The Rabbinical Assembly, 1999.
This book is an excellent and thorough introduction to Judaism, presenting Jewish hitory, culture, beliefs, holidays and traditions with calrity and accessibility. The book is often recommended to prospective Jews-by-Choice, but it is good introductory reading for anyone interested in learning more about Judaism. (Recommended by Elana from Boston)

Lawrence Kushner, Jewish Spirituality: A Brief Introduction for Christians. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2001.
Rabbi Kushner reviews various concepts on Jewish spirituality and how Jews have developed relationships with God over time. He also explains what Jewish spirituality shares with Christian spirituality.

Lois Sussman Shenker, Welcome to the Family! Opening Doors to the Jewish Experience. While Cloud Press, 2001
Address issues and information in a warm, welcoming manner, interspersing peronal family stories with the basics of the Jewish experience.

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin , Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things To Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History. New York : William Morrow and Company Inc, 2001.
According to Leah “This is the ULTIMATE overview of Jewish history, culture, traditions and knowledge- it's the book our Rabbi uses with converts, but it's great for anyone interested in knowing more about the history of the Jewish people and Israel.” If you want to learn more about Jewish religion and culture this is an excellent place to begin. (recommended by Leah from Georgia)