Rabbi Schonbrun’s Bookshelf

The Rabbi’s Bookshelf



Below are some books that I find useful in my daily Jewish practice. I hope that you find them meaningful as well!


Conservative Judaism


  Conservative Judaism: Our Ancestors to Our Descendants, by Elliot Dorff


Conservative Judaism: The New Century by Neil Gillman


  Taking Hold of Torah, by Arnold Eisen


Tradition Renewed, A History of The Jewish Theological Seminary of American, Volumes 1-2, edited by Jack Wertheimer



Jewish Values and Ethics


  A Code of Jewish Ethics, Volumes 1 & 2 by Joseph Telushkin


  Love Your Neighbor and Yourself: A Jewish Approach to Modern Personal Ethics, by Elliot Dorff


  The Book of Jewish Values, by Joseph Telushkin


  The Way Into Tikkun Olam, by Elliot Dorff


  To Do the Right and the Good: A Jewish Approach to Modern Social Ethics, by Elliot Dorff


Introduction to Judaism


  Choosing Judaism, by Lydia Kukoff


  It’s a Mitzvah!, by Bradley Shavit Artson


  Jewish Literacy, by Joseph Telushkin


  Keeping Kosher: A Diet for the Soul, by Samuel Dresner


  The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism, by Prager and Telushkin


  The Shabbat Seder, Ron Wolfson


To Life: A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking, Harold Kushner


  Why Be Jewish? David Wolpe



Holidays, Life Cycles, and Jewish Living



Bar and Bat Mitzvah



  Danny Siegel’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah Mitzvah Book (A Practical Guide for Changing the World Through Your Simcha), Danny Siegel


  Putting God on the Guest List: How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, Jeffrey Salkin


Tough Questions Jewish Ask: A Young Adults Guide to Building A Jewish Life, Edward Feinstein


  Whose Bar/Bat Mitzvah Is This, Anyway?, Judith Davis



  Celebration and Renewal: Rites of Passage in Judaism, edited by Rella Geffen


  Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss, Nina Beth Cardin


The Comprehensive Dictionary of English and Hebrew First Names, Kolatch


  The Jewish Pregnancy Book, Sandy Falk, M.D., and Rabbi Daniel Judson


  The New Jewish Baby Book: Names, Ceremonies & Customs – A Guide for Today’s Families, Anita Diamant




Death and Loss


  A Time to Mourn, a Time to Comfort: A Guide to Jewish Bereavement, Ron Wolfson


  Consolation: The Spiritual Journey Beyond Grief, Maurice Lamm


  Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times, David Wolpe


Overcoming Life’s Disappointments, Harold Kushner


  To Begin Again: The Journey Toward Comfort, Strength and Faith in Difficult Times, Naomi Levy


When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Harold Kushner




Divorce Is A Mitzvah, Perry Netter


When There Is no Other Alternative, A Spiritual Guide For Jewish Couples Contemplating Divorce, Sanford Seltzer





  A Day Apart: Shabbat at Home, Noam Zachs Zion and Shawn Fields-Meyer


  A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice, Isaac Klein


  The Jewish Holidays: A Guide and Commentary, Michael Strassfeld


  The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays, Irving Greenberg


  The Sabbath, Abraham Joshua Heschel


  The Tapestry of Jewish Time: A Spiritual Guide to Holidays and Life-Cycle Events,  Nina Beth Cardin



Jewish Living


  A Book of Life: Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice, Michael Strassfeld


Life’s Daily Blessings, Kerry Olitzky


  The Rituals & Practices of a Jewish Life: A Handbook for Personal Spiritual Renewal, edited Kerry Olitzky and Daniel Judson





Beyond The Chuppah, A Jewish Guide To Happy Marriages


  The New Jewish Wedding, Anita Diamant





  The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children, Wendy Mogul


How To Be A Jewish Parent, Anita Diamant and Karen Kushner


  Parenting as a Spiritual Journey, Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer


  Parenting Jewish Teens: A Guide for the Perplexed, Joanne Doades


Raising a Mensch, Shelly Kapnek Rosenberg




Introducing My Faith and My Community: The Jewish Outreach Institute Guide for the Christian in a Jewish Interfaith Relationship, Kerry Olitzky


Jewish Holidays: A Brief Introduction for Christians, Kerry Olitzky and Daniel Judson


Making A Successful Jewish Interfaith Marriage: The Jewish Outreach Institute Guide to Opportunities, Challenges, and Resources, Kerry Olitzky and Joan Littman




  Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present,   Michael Oren



Saving Israel, Daniel Gordis



  Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East,   Michael Oren


The Case For Israel, Alan Dershowitz


The Israelis: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land, Donna Rosenthal


The Jewish Connection to Israel, the Promised Land: A Brief Introduction for Christians, Eugene Korn



Social Action


There Shall Be No Needy, Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition, Jill Jacobs


Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Call For Justice, edited by Or Rose, Jo Ellen Green Kaiser and Margie Klein



Spirituality and Mysticism


  A Book of Life: Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice, by Michael Strassfeld


  Climbing Jacob’s Ladder, by Alan Morinis


  Jewish Spiritual Practices, by Yitzhak Buxbaum


Modern Trends In Jewish Mysticism, Gershom Scholem


  Reclaiming Judaism as a Spiritual Practice, by Rabbi Goldie Milgram


  The Way Into Jewish Mystical Tradition, by Lawrence Kushner


  The Jewish Lights Spirituality Handbook, edited by Stuart M. Matlins


The Seven Questions You’re Asked in Heaven: Reviewing and Renewing Your Life on Earth, Ron Wolfson


Yearnings: Embracing The Sacred Messiness of Life: Kula



Tefillah / Prayer



  Entering Jewish Prayer: A Guide to Personal Devotion and the Worship Service, by Reuven Hammer


My People’s Prayer Book Series, Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries- Volumes 1-9, edited by Lawrence Hoffman


Making Prayer Real: Leading Jewish Spiritual voices on Why Prayer is Difficult and What do Do about It, Mike Comins



  Or Hadash: A Commentary on Siddur Sim Shalom for Shabbat and Festivals by Reuven Hammer


Or Hadash: A Commentary on Siddur Sim Shalom for Weekdays by Rueven Hammer



Talking to God: Personal Prayers for times of Joy, Sadness, Struggle, And Celebration




Theology and Jewish Thought



  Healer of Shattered Hearts, David Wolpe


  Jewish Wisdom, Joseph Telushkin


Jewish Theology In Our Time, A new Generation Explores the Foundations and Future of Jewish Belief, Elliot Cosgrove


  Judaism and Modern Man, Will Herberg


  Knowing God: Jewish Journeys to the Unknowable, Elliot Dorff


Sacred Fragments, Neil Gillman


  Searching for Meaning in Midrash, Michael Katz and Gershon Schwartz


  Swimming in the Sea of Talmud, Michael Katz and Gershon Schwartz


Teaching Your Children About God, David Wolpe


  The Way Into Encountering God in Judaism, Neil Gillman


  To Life: A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking, Harold Kushner


  When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Harold Kushner


  Who Needs God, Harold Kushner




Torah Study


  Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary, edited by David Lieber


  How to Read the Bible, Marc Zvi Brettler


The Bedside Torah, Bradley Artson


  The Contemporary Torah: A Gender-Sensitive Adaptation of the JPS Translation, edited by David S. Stein


  The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary, Robert Alter


  The Jewish Study Bible, edited by Adele Berlin, Marc Zvi Brettler and Michael Fishbane


The Modern Men’s Torah Commentary, edited by Jeffrey Salkin



The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, edited by Tamara Cohen and Andrea Weiss



Transformation of Synagogues


Becoming A Congregation of Learners by Isa Aron



Rethinking Synagogues: A New Vocabulary for Congregational Life, Lawrence Hoffman



Synagogues In A Time of Change, Zachary Heller



The Self-Renewing Congregation, Isa Aron



The Spirituality of Welcoming, How To Transform Your Community Into A Sacred Congregation, Ron Wolfson



This House We Build: Lessons for Healthy Synagogues and the People Who Dwell There, Terry Bookman and Bill Kahn