SpringSummer Holidays

Celebrating the Jewish Year: The Spring and Summer Holidays Passover, Shavuot, The Omer, Tisha, B'Av

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

JPS’s holiday books take us through the joys, spirit, and meaning of the seasons. 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, Nehama Leibowitz, Irving Greenberg, 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. Some of 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.


2009 National Jewish Book Award Winner, Jewish Family Literature


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 explains customs in simple terms accessible to readers of all backgrounds, including gentiles and Jews alike.

– Midwest Book Review

Reading “Celebrating the Jewish Year” is a great way to prepare for the holidays; it would also make an excellent text for a classroom or discussion groups. Those interested in the Jewish holidays will want to add it to their collection.

– Off The Shelf

The last installment in Paul Steinberg’s “Celebrating” series is, like the others, a rich resource for understanding the Jewish holidays and laws.

– Hadassah Magazine

Helpful and informative as well as pleasurable reading, the book’s mixture of styles ranges from popular, reasoned, conceptual, to more scholarly.

– Jewish Book World

Steinberg provided yet another intelligent and accessible volume to his series Celebrating The Jewish Year. What he’s done is quite remarkable; he addresses the needs of various readers, from Jews just beginning to experience Jewish ritual, to those who are already knowledgeable, but want to experiment with new practices and reflect on a range of Jewish texts, from classic rabbinic sources to contemporary reflections on spirituality.

– Dr. Carol K. Ingall, Dr. Bernard Heller Professor of Jewish Education, The Jewish Theological Seminary

…an excellent addition not only to a Jewish library, but any religious library interesting in seeing the link between the seasons and the holidays that surrounded them in Jewish tradition.

– Sacramento Book Review

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