This year, the Jewish Outreach Institute is partnering with Reboot for its 2011 National Day of Unplugging, which takes place from sundown on Friday, March 4 to sundown on Saturday, March 5. The day is part of Reboot’s ongoing project called the Sabbath Manifesto which seeks to “help people become more aware of their dependence on technology and not to allow it to interfere with the important things in life.” The project reminds us to take a break and enjoy the Sabbath. In order to help people reconnect with Shabbat’s meaning and learn how to celebrate “unplugged,” here are a list of books for the Sabbath, both for you and your children.


Books for Parents

Meredith L. Jacobs, The Modern Jewish Mom’s Guide to Shabbat: Connect and Celebrate – Bring Your Family Together with the Friday Night Meal, Harper Paperbacks, 2007.
Jacobs, a Mothers Circle facilitator, has written an easy-to-read, non-judgmental book that serves as an accessible guide for how to create a meaningful Shabbat for the modern family. The book also includes a section explaining the Torah portion of the week and offering related questions for the dinner table.

Lori Palatnik, Friday Night and Beyond: The Shabbat Experience Step-by-Step, Jacob Aronson Publishers, Inc., 1998.
Along with practical “how-to” instruction, Palatnik’s guide to Shabbat will inspire you to celebrate weekly and create a traditional, meaningful experience for the family.

Ruth Perelson, An Invitation to Shabbat: A Beginner’s Guide to Weekly Celebration, URJ Press, 1997.
This guide explains the “whys” behind the Shabbat rituals and includes sheet music from several Shabbat songs (with transliteration), traditional recipes and a CD recording for learning the prayers and songs.



Ron Wolfson, Shabbat, 2nd Edition: The Family Guide to Preparing for and Welcoming the Sabbath (The Art of Jewish Living Series), Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002.
This book will teach you how to introduce Shabbat into your home, providing tips on how to prepare for each step involved, explanations for the prayers, and advice on how to maintain the interest of your children.




Books For Kids

Michelle Shapiro Abraham, Shabbat Shalom!, URJ Press, 2003.
This book is a great way to introduce the basics of Shabbat to pre-school aged children. It teaches the weekly rituals through rhymes and includes the blessings in Hebrew and English.

Judyth Groner and Madeline Wikler, Thank You, God!: A Jewish Child’s Book of Prayers, Kar-Ben Publishing, 2003.
This beautifully illustrated book will teach your children Jewish values and prayers for daily life, including how to welcome in the Sabbath.



Joyce Klein, The Shabbat Book: A Weekly Guide for the Whole Family, Aviva Bar-Am, 1997.
With its “claymation” art and its explanation of the weekly Torah portion, The Shabbat Book will help your family find meaning in the weekly ritual of Shabbat.

Sylvia A. Rouss , Sammy Spider’s First Shabbat, Kar-Ben Publishing, 1997.
Told from the point of view of a spider watching his family prepare for Shabbat, this book will introduce young children to the concepts associated with the weekly holiday and grab their with the bright mixed-media illustrations.