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General Judaism

Ariel, David. What Do Jews Believe? The Spiritual Dimensions of Judaism. Schocken Press; 1995. Hardback. Schocken Books; 1996. Paperback: ISBN 0-805210-59-8.
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Blau, Joseph L. Modern Varieties of Judaism. Columbia Univerity Press, New York NY. 1966. Republished 1972. Paperback. ISBN 0-231086-68-7.
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Blech, Benjamin. Understanding Judaism : The Basics of Deed and Creed. Jason Aronson; 1992. Paperback: ISBN 0-876682-91-3.
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Blech, Benjamin; Joel, Richard M. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism (Complete Idiot's Guide) . MacMillan Distribution, 1999. Paperback. 379 pages. ISBN 0-028631-91-9.
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Boteach, Shmuel. An Intelligent Person's Guide to Judaism. Duckworth; 2000. Hardcover. ISBN 0-715628-64-X.
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Cardozo, Nathan Lopes. Judaism on Trial: An Unconventional Discussion about Jews, Judaism. Urim Publications; 2000. Hardcover. 2nd edition. ISBN 9-657108-28-4. [This book attempts to bring clarity to timeless questions relating to the very purpose of our existence while openly confronting such contemporary concerns as the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox divide. It argues that science and anti-religious philosophy are not responsible for the decline of Judaism; rather, it is those who teach Jewish law and custom as a dogmatic creed that make Judaism appear irrelevant to the needs and problems of modern man. He argues that Judaism must reflect deep compassion to recapture the flowing fountain of a glorious tradition.]
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Costa, David Yehuda. Judaism: Questions and Answers from the Internet.; 2000. Electronic. No ISBN. Available at

Dosick, Wayne. Living Judaism: The Complete Guide to Jewish Belief, Tradition and Practice Harper San Francisco. Reprinted June 1998. ISBN 0-060621-79-6. [Written by an originally Reform rabbi who then joined the Conservative movement, and who appreciates Orthodox traditions, this is a unique introduction to Jewish belief and practice. A nice feature is that it discusses the similarities and differences between the movements.]
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Diamant, Anita; and Cooper, Howard. Living a Jewish Life: A Guide for Starting, Learning, Celebrating, and Parenting. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY 10022. 1991. Hardback: Out of Print. Paperback: Reissued 1996, ISBN 0-062734-43-1. 352 pgs. [An introduction to liberal Judaism, or more precisely, the broad range of religious practices of non-Orthodox North American Jews]
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Einstein, Stephen J. and Kukoff, Lydia. Every Person's Guide to Judaism. UAHC Press #142610. 1991. Reprinted 1998. 195 pp. ISBN 0-807404-34-9. [Non-Orthodox. Guide to Judaism that recognizes that study is only the first step to learning and living as a Jew.]
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Friesel, Evyatar. Atlas of Modern Jewish History Oxford University Press. 1990. Out of Print. ISBN 0-195053-93-1. [Contains demographics of the American Jewish population, including employment categories, intermarriage rates, maps, etc.]

Glazer, Nathan; Boorstin, Daniel J. (ed). American Judaism. University of Chicago Press, Chicago IL. 1982. 2nd Revised edition, 1989. 214 pp. ISBN 0-226298-43-4.
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Greenberg, Irving. The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays. Summit Books, New York NY. 1988. Reprinted September 1993, Touchstone Books. Paperback. ISBN 0-671873-03-2.
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Hertzberg, Arthur, ed. and interp.. Judaism: The Key Spiritual Writings of the Jewish Tradition. Simon & Schuster/Touchstone. New York NY. 1991. ISBN 0-671743-77-5 (Hardback) 0-671743-76-7 (Paperback). Out of Print. [Non-Orthodox source]

Isaacs, Ronald H. and Olitzky, Kerry M. The How-To Handbook for Jewish Living. K'tav, Hoboken NJ. 1993. ISBN 0-881252-94-8 (Hardback), 0-881252-90-5 (Paperback)
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Jablon, Shmuel. Jewish Answers. Unknown; 2000. Paperback: ISBN 0-595122-31-0.
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Jacobs, Louis. The Jewish Religion: A Companion. Oxford Univ Press; 1995. Hardcover: ISBN 0-198264-63-1.
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Kaplan, Mordecai;Goldsmith, Emanuel S. (ed); Scult, Mel (ed). Dynamic Judaism: The Essential Writings of Mordecai M. Kaplan. Fordham Univ Pr; 1991. Paperback reprint edition. ISBN 0-823213-10-2.
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Kertzer, Morris N. What Is a Jew?. Collier Books; 1997. Paperback: ISBN 0-684842-98-X.
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Klein, Isaac. A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice. Jewish Theological Seminary of Amer; 1979. Hardcover. ISBN 0-873340-04-3. [Describes Conservative Practice]
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Kolatch, Alfred J. The Jewish Book of Why. Jonathan David Pub; 1981. Hardcover: ISBN 0-824602-56-0.
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Kolatch, Alfred J. The Second Jewish Book of Why. Jonathan David Pub; 1995. Hardcover: ISBN 0-824603-05-2.
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Kushner, Arlene. The Jewish People: A Resource and Reference Book. Self-Published; contact the author at <> to order. [A comprehensive work that touches on subjects such as major texts, basic precepts and practices, contributions of the Jewish people, diversity of the Jewish people, Jews in America, and folklore. It provides basic information on calendar, holidays, kashrut, mourning practices, Talmud and Midrash, action vs. faith, etc. Illustrated. Pluralistic, including both traditional ways and explaining liberal deviations from the tradition. Includes questions.]

Nadler, Leornard and Nadler, Zeace. Living Judaism Around the World: A Brief History of the Peaks and Valleys of Jewish Experience. Pentland Press Inc., 1999. 258 pp. ISBN 1-571970-65-7. [Includes information on Jewish Communities in 23 different countries.]
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Neusner, Jacob. The Way of Torah: An Introduction to Judaism (The Religious Life in History Series). Dickenson Publishing Company, Encino CA. 1974. 6th Edition: Wadsworth Publishing Co, 1997. 275 pp. ISBN 0-534515-68-1. [Not universally accepted, non-Orthodox point of view]
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Neusner, Jacob, ed. Understanding American Judaism. Volume Two: Sectors of American Judaism: Reform, Orthodoxy, Conservativism, and Reconstructionism. Ktav Press, New York. 1975. Reissued June 1982. ISBN 9992865105. [Not universally accepted, non-Orthodox point of view]
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Newman, Y. and Sivan, G. A-Z Illustrated Lexicon of Judaism. World Zionist Organization Torah Education Dept.

Prager, Dennis and Telushkin, Joseph. The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism. Simon & Schuster, New York. 1981. Reprinted 1986. ISBN: 0-671622-61-7.
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Robinson, George. Essential Judaism : A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs & Rituals. Atria Books; (September 2001). ISBN: 0671034812
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Rosenberg, Roy A. The Concise Guide to Judaism : History, Practice, Faith. Meridian Books; 1994. Paperback reprint edition: ISBN 0-452011-36-1.
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Rosenthal, G. Many Faces of Judaism: Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Reform Behrman House, New York. 1979. ISBN: 0-874413-11-7. [Contains a descriptive comparison of Orthodox, Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism. It is intended as a low end high school text and although still good, it is beginning to show its age.]
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Roth, Cecil, Ed. Encyclopedia Judaica. 18 Vols. Keter, Jerusalem. 1972. Reprinted 1994. Coronet Books. ISBN 0-685362-53-1.
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Siegel, Richard and Rheins, Carl. The Jewish Almanac. Bantam Books, New York. 1980. ISBN 0-553340-03-4. Out of print.

Silver, Abba Hillel. Where Judaism Differs: An Inquiry into the Discinctiveness of Judaism. Macmillan, New York. 1956. Out of print. [Reform point of view]

Steinberg, Milton. Basic Judaism. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York. 1947. Reprinted 1986. ISBN 0-156106-98-1. [Conservative]
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Strassfeld, Michael (ed.); Strassfeld, Sharon (ed.); Siegel, Richard (designer). The First Jewish Catalog: A Do-It Yourself Kit. Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia PA. 1973. Reprinted 1989. 320 pp. ISBN 0-827600-42-9. [Catalog 1 covers Symbols of the Home, Kashrut, Candles, Kippah, Tallit, Tefillin, the Shofar, Jewish travel, the Jewish year cycle, Weddings, Tumah and taharah, Death and burial, scribal arts, gematria, music, film, the Jewish press, creating a jewish library, and relationships between man, women, and the community]
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Strassfeld, Sharon (ed); and Strassfeld, Michael (ed.).The Second Jewish Catalog: Sources and Resources. Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia PA. 1976. 400 pp. ISBN 0-827600-84-4. [Catalog 2 covers the life cycle in more depth, aspects of study, synagogue and prayer, and the arts. The Jewish Yellow Pages are out of date, quite likely.]
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Strassfeld, Sharon and Strassfeld, Michael, eds. The Third Jewish Catalog: Creating Community: With a Cumulative Index to All 3 Catalogs. Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia PA. 1980. 416 pp. ISBN 0-827601-83-2. [Catalog 3 covers justice, community, genealogy, dispersion, exile, surroundings, and Israel. It also talks about how to be a mentsh, and includes a cumlutive index to all three catalogs]
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Syme, Daniel B. Jewish Mourning. UAHC Press #388494. ISBN 0-807403-32-6. [Non-Orthodox, but offers both traditional and liberal Jewish attitudes towards death-related issues.]

Telushkin, Joseph. Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History. William Morrow, New York. 1991. 688 pp. ISBN 0-688085-06-7
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Telushkin, Joseph. Biblical Literacy : The Most Important People, Events, and Ideas of the Hebrew Bible. William Morrow & Co; 1997. Hardcover: ISBN 0-688142-97-4.
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Waskow, Arthur. Down-To-Earth Judaism: Food, Money, Sex, and the Rest of Life. William Morrow & Co; 1997. Paperback. 416 pages. ISBN 0-688151-27-2. [Renewal Judaism]
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Wouk, Herman. This is my God: The Jewish Way of Life. Dell, NY. 1959. Reprinted 1992. Little Brown & Co. ISBN 0-316955-14-0.
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[Got Questions?]Our goal is to keep this list useful for its readers. To that end, suggestions of books to add to the list are always welcome. In your suggestion, please be as complete as possible; we need author, title, publisher, publishing date, and ISBN number. We also welcome a one paragraph short summary of why the book is of interest. Please send your suggestions to the FAQ maintainer at

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© (c) 1993-2001 Daniel P. Faigin <>