JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary

About the Book

For too many Jewish young people, bar/bat mitzvah has been the beginning of the end of their Jewish journeys. When students perceive the Torah as incomprehensible or irrelevant, many form the false impression that Judaism has nothing to say to them.

Enter the game-changer: The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary shows teens in their own language how Torah addresses the issues in their world. The conversational tone is inviting and dignified, concise and substantial, direct and informative. The narrative summaries, “big” ideas, model divrei Torah, haftarot commentaries, and discussion questions will engage teens in studying the Torah and haftarot, writing divrei Torah, and continuing to learn Torah throughout their lives—making it the book every rabbi, cantor, parent, and tutor will also want to have.

Jewish learning—for young people and adults—will never be the same.


This is a fantastic resource . . . clear, coherent, and easy to understand. It encourages readers to grapple with real issues in the Bible that are relevant to them. It will be incredibly valuable not only to teens preparing to become bar/bat mitzvah but also to adults in navigating, challenging, and connecting to the biblical text.
—Rabbi Danielle G. Eskow, co-founder of
Rabbi Jeff Salkin has enabled b’nai mitzvah to learn and teach Torah with a commentary that is wise, helpful, and brilliantly clear.
—Rabbi David Wolpe, senior rabbi at Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, and author of David, the Divided Heart
This is fantastic! It’s a game-changer for b’nai mitzvah, their parents and teachers. Salkin’s fresh insights remind us how transformative this experience can be.
—Rabbi Aaron Miller, Washington Hebrew Congregation

Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin

Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin serves as the senior rabbi of Temple Solel in Hollywood, Florida. He is the author of Putting God on the Guest List: How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, winner of the 1993 Benjamin Franklin Award for the best religion book published in the United States, and The Gods Are Broken: The Hidden Legacy of Abraham (JPS, 2013) and The JPS B’nai Mitzvah Commentary (JPS, 2017)

Author photo by Steve Remich, Religion News Service

Book Reviews


Read the Introduction and first two Torah portions.

CCAR Review pg 1

CCAR Review pg 2

CCAR Review pg 3

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