Whenever you decide to read a book in May think about reading a book on Jewish heritage. That is to say both their culture and identity are a part of their heritage. Given that May is Jewish-American heritage month these five books will be a great choice to learn more.
Accordingly there are more supporting texts within the Library of Congress and National Archives that speak on their respects and tributes. For more information on this topic please visit the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Scarsdale, NY. In view of Judaism, America appreciates the imprint it has left on society and their history.
1. Coming to Terms with America by Jonathan D. Sarna
By all means this book is a great starting place to explore the correlation between the Jewish and the American. Notably, this book contains fifteen appealing essays written by Jewish historians. Such as, the Jewish resistance to Christian ways. To clarify, having new freedoms brought questions as to whether Judaism would remain the same. Even so, protests broke out and Jewish Scholars disagreed. Although they could never agree, each had choices.
2. The Human Challenge by Rabbi Avraham Edelstein
Similarly, this book mentions personal choice in the Jewish religion. Although Judaism has changed with time the important aspects like; Hannakah, Passover, and Yom Kippur still exist. Certainly the sedar plate to the bitter herbs are just as important, but Rabbi Avraham wants there to be more. In other words, he wants people to work on their thoughts about religion instead. Again this is why the pursuit of knowledge is important to Judaism.
3. Jewish-American Food Culture by Jonathan Deutsch and Rachel D. Saks
Since Jewish-American Heritage month is about their culture and identity an important part is the food. Not only does food have religious symbolance but, it’s a connection to their ancestors, their community, and religion. Also, this book shows how to make the dishes at home as well. Of course, not every dish is well-known but each food does serve a purpose. For example, the unleaven bread exists because it did not have time to rise as they crossed over into the Holy Land.
4. The New American Judaism By Jack Wertheimer
This book has high reviews and has won the National Jewish Book Award in 2018. To summarize, Jack Wertheimer explains how old traditions are faced with new society beliefs. Then because restrictions like gender roles to sexuality face modern thinking traditions change. Therefore not just the Jewish people are affected but the synagogues as well. Given these points, how do they remain Jewish in faith while advancing with current values? For one thing the way they practice religion is different, yet some traditions remain the same.
5. Why Do Jewish?: A Manifesto For 21st Century Jewish Peoplehood by Zack Bodner
Alongside the other books, this one stands out because there is a decline in practicing Jews. Beyond what Judaism stood for, less people are participating and Zack Bodner speaks on why being a Jewish person is important. In essence people face confusion now because they don’t understand how old methods and traditions could apply meaning into their current lives. For the struggles faced being Jewish goes beyond a spiritual life but calls to action a new era of Judaism that will unite against today’s oppression and violence.
Finally, understanding more about different cultures and religions is a stepping stone to eliminating hatred towards others. Thus, Jewish people had an impact on society just as much as other Americans and should continue to grow as a community. After all, Jewish-American heritage continues to evolve in meaning.
To see the other ways we’re celebrating Jewish-American Heritage, click here!
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