Celebrating the Jewish Year: The Fall Holidays Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot

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  • Paul Steinberg (author)
  • Janet Greenstein Potter (editor)
  • Adam Rhine (illustrator)
  • Abba Kovner (author)
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About the Book

JPS’s holiday books take us through the joys, spirit, and meaning of the seasons. Blending the old and the new, they ground us in the origins and traditions of each holiday and open up to us ways we can add our own expression to these special days. Although synagogue ritual is touched upon, the real focus here is on our personal connections to each holiday and our home observance. View the full Celebrating the Jewish Year series.

As we move from season to season, Paul Steinberg shares with us a rich collection of readings from many of the Jewish greats—Maimonides, Rashi, Nachmanides, Shlomo Carlebach, Marge Piercy, Elie Wiesel, Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Arthur Green, and others—and he guides us in discovering for ourselves the many treasures within each text. The readings teach us about the history of each holiday, as well as its theological, ethical, agricultural, and seasonal importance and interpretation; others give us inspiration and much food for thought. These stories, essays, poems, anecdotes, and rituals help us discover how deeply Jewish traditions are rooted in nature’s yearly cycle, and how beautifully season and spirit are woven together throughout the Jewish year.


Named a 2007 National Jewish Book Award Runner-Up in the category of Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice.


His [Steinberg’s] careful, thorough and reasoned explanations will deepen understanding of each holiday’s history and tradition, allowing celebrations to become, in fact, more celebratory.

– Publishers Weekly

Organized with much thoughtfulness, [the author] includes a richness of materials for each holiday … there’s much good and inspiring writing here.

– The Jewish Week

Those looking for one book to help them understand the fall holiday season would do well to read “Celebrating the Jewish Year.”

– The Reporter

A superb addition to personal, family, school and community library Judaic Studies reference collections, Celebrating the Jewish Year is very highly recommended and informative reading that will help the reader to create a memorable holiday experience for themselves and their loved ones that will be enhanced in both meaning and spirit. 

– Midwest Book Review

This is the kind of book where a reviewer says ‘every family should own one.’ All three volumes will make excellent contributions to the celebrations of our Jewish holidays. 

– Sybil Kaplan, National Jewish Post and Opinion

Paul Steinberg

Rabbi Paul Steinberg is lecturer in Jewish Studies and Education in the Graduate School of Education at American Jewish University. He also serves as associate rabbi and educator at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California. Prior to joining VBS, Rabbi Steinberg served as the Rabbi and Director of Jewish Studies and Hebrew at Levine Academy: A Solomon Schechter School in Dallas, Texas. He holds master’s degrees in both education and rabbinic studies and was ordained from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.

He is the author of Celebrating the Jewish Year (JPS, 2007, 2008) and The Study Guide to Jewish Ethics (JPS, 2003), articles on Hebrew Bible and Jewish education, and a monthly column on the spirit of Jewish holidays and family in the Texas Jewish Post.

Janet Greenstein Potter

Janet Greenstein Potter is the editor of several JPS publications, including the National Jewish Book Award Finalist Wise and Not So WisePraise Her Works, Zayda Was a Cowboy, Sarah’s Journey, and The Kids’ Catalog of Animals and the Earth, a book about the environment and the Jewish tradition.

Adam Rhine

Abba Kovner

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