Summer reading for Jewish families

Summer is here in all its humid glory (at least in my neck of the woods.) The ceiling fans are on overdrive, we’re gobbling up strawberries and sugar snap peas by the quart, and we’ve hit the local reservoir almost every day this week for late afternoon swims. School’s over for all of us – my husband and I are both teachers – and we haven’t signed the girls up for a single camp. This leaves a lot of time for reading. (Also for relentless begging to play computer games, but that’s another post.) If you’re like me, you might be looking for recommendations of wonderful books to read with your kids. I’m happy to oblige. Especially if it means more free copies for me, hint hint. (That hint was meant for publishers, by the way. Don’t feel the need to buy me books just because you read homeshuling.)

Since this is a Jewish parenting blog (notice I didn’t call it a mommyblog?), most of the books I write about here will be, well, Jew-y. My first recommendation is only a little Jew-y, but it’s a lot wonderful. It came to me from my friends at Lerner Publishing Group. In the interest of full disclosure, they are also the publishers of my first book, and my forthcoming book, The Shabbat Princess

Many Ways.jpg

I fell in love with Many Ways the moment I laid eyes on the cover, with six, gorgeous smiling children, each dressed in the traditional garb of one of six world religions. The book identifies essential similarities shared by these religions in the simplest of terms – “Books tell what their great teachers taught. Symbols remind people of their beliefs;” the photographs illuminate the many and complicated differences. One two page spread shows a Rabbi holding a Torah, a candle lighting ceremony in a Hindu temple, a minister offering communion, a Muslim washing his hands outside of a mosque. and Buddhists clad in white robes seated in meditation. 
There’s very little specific information about any of the religions, save for a brief index in the back. But it’s almost impossible to read through this short book without wanting to learn more about all of the peoples represented in its pages. And why not? After all, you’ve got all summer.
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posted June 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Ohhhh, this looks like something I’d love to add to my collection. This sounds like it would be a great starting point for some studies on other religions plus my kids always get a kick out of recognizing other Jews in books. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll add it to the kids’ wishlists.

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Aliza Garofalo

posted June 27, 2010 at 5:29 pm

And here I am because of Marjorie Ingalls…! I’m glad she mentioned your blog because I’m a Jewish religious school teacher and always looking for tidbits with which to “feed” my class – or “feed” myself!

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