Navon, Emmanuel—The Star and the Scepter: A Diplomatic History of Israel November 2020
The first encompassing book on the diplomatic history of the Jewish people retraces and explains the Jews’ interactions with other nations from the ancient kingdom of Israel to the modern State of Israel.
Greenspoon, Leonard—Jewish Bible Translations: A Comparative History November 2020
The first book to examine Jewish translations of the Bible delves into the historical, cultural, linguistic, and religious context of the translations; differentiates their various principles, styles, and techniques; and enables informed evaluation of individual versions as well as a holistic assessment of Bible translation within Judaism.
Lewy, Guenter—Jews and Germans: Promise, Tragedy, and the Search for Normalcy October 2020t
The only book in English to delve into the history and challenges of the German-Jewish relationship from before the Holocaust through today delves into whether the Weimar Republic years (1918 – 1933) were truly reciprocal for Jews and Germans, and how the complex post-Holocaust relationship has evolved.
Seeskin, Kenneth—Thinking about the Prophets: A Philosopher Reads the Bible (EJ) September 2020
Rethinks the great literary prophets whose ministry ran from the eighth to the sixth centuries BCE— Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Second Isaiah, and Job—examining their often-shocking teachings in light of their times, their influence upon later Western and Jewish thinkers, and their enduring lessons for us.
Tuling, Kari – Thinking About God: Jewish Views (JPS Essential Judaism Series) August 2020
Investigating how Jewish thinkers from biblical to post-modern times have approached such questions as “who (or what) is God?,” “does God have a gender?,” “does God intervene?” and highlighting the interplay between texts over time elucidates contrasting, sophisticated ways to think about God in Jewish tradition.
Koller, Aaron J.— Unbinding Isaac: The Significance of the Akedah for Modern Jewish Thought July 2020
Assembles multiple strands of thought and modern knowledge of ancient human sacrifice to offer an original reading of the Akedah. Unlike some of Israel’s neighbors, who saw human sacrifice as religiously inspiring, the story teaches: an authentically religious act cannot be done through harming another human being.
Siegel, Danny, with Gold, Neal, editor – Radiance: Creative Mitzvah Living (tagline:
The Selected Prose and Poetry of Danny Siegel) May 2020
This first anthology of the most important writings by Danny Siegel, spanning and modernizing fifty years of his insights, intersperses soulful Jewish texts with innovative Mitzvah ideas to rouse individuals and communities to transform our lives, communities, and world.
Ornstein, Dan—Cain v. Abel: A Jewish Courtroom Drama April 2020
Come, take your seat as a juror on the Cain v. Abel trial. The prosecution and defense attorneys (angels from Jewish legend) will soon call Cain, Abel, Sin, Adam, Eve, great commentators of Jewish tradition, and God to the witness stand to unpack the emotional, societal, and spiritual influences underlying the world’s first murder.
Rabin, Elliot The Biblical Hero: Portraits in Nobility and Fallibility March 2020.
Approaching the Bible in an original way—comparing biblical heroes to heroes in world literature—Rabin addresses core biblical questions: What is the Bible telling us about what it means to be a hero? Why do we need such heroes, possibly now more than ever?
Kaplan, Edward – Abraham Joshua Heschel: Mind, Heart, Soul November 2019
In this first one-volume biography of Abraham Joshua Heschel in English, Edward K. Kaplan tells the engrossing, behind-the-scenes story of the life, philosophy, struggles, yearnings, writings, and activism of one of the twentieth-century’s most outstanding Jewish thinkers.
Green, Arthur and Mayse, Ariel Evan A New Hasidism: Roots October 2019
This ground-breaking presentation of Neo-Hasidic philosophy gathers and analyzes the writings of its progenitors: five great twentieth-century European and American Jewish thinkers—Hillel Zeitlin, Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Shlomo Carlebach, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi—along with a young Arthur Green.
Green, Arthur and Mayse, Ariel: A New Hasidism: Branches October 2019
Also breaking new ground in treating Neo-Hasidism as a contemporary approach to Jewish living. Branches begins with two defining credos, then addresses often-challenging issues such as halakhah, leadership, the role of women, and ecology from a Neo-Hasidic perspective.
Medoff, Rafael—The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise,
and the Holocaust September 2019
Reveals new reasons behind the U.S. decision to refuse immigration to nearly 200,000 Jews whose arrival would have been within the limits set by U.S. law, as well as the President’s role in the choice not to bomb the railways to the concentration camps, which might have saved huge numbers of European Jews. While past research has claimed Roosevelt simply neglected to help Jews in his drive to win the war, Medoff uses newly revealed documents to show that far from merely neglecting to help Jews, Roosevelt often took the less politically and militarily advantageous path in an attempt not to help them.
Heschel, Abraham Joshua—In This Hour: Heschel’s Writings in Nazi Germany and London Exile
June 2019 Plotkin, Helen, notes; transl. Stephen Lehmann and Marion Faber; foreword Susannah Heschel
This first English publication of select writings by Abraham Joshua Heschel, written primarily for Berlin Jewry’s official news organ during Heschel’s years in Nazi Germany and London exile, reveal his profound insights at a time of crisis.
Hammer, Reuven—A Year with the Sages (JPS Daily Inspiration) May 2019
In this second volume in the JPS Daily Inspiration Series, Rabbi Hammer’s A Year with the Sages relates the Sages’ profound ideas to individual Torah portions and contemporary life situations.
Reuben, Steven – A Year with Mordecai Kaplan (JPS Daily Inspiration) April 2019
In this first volume in the JPS Daily Inspiration Series, readers will spend a year with the ideas of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan. For each Torah portion, Rabbi Reuben interweaves an idea from the Torah with a quotation from Kaplan, commentary, and a personal anecdote, all contextualizing and illuminating Kaplan’s teachings.
Maxwell, Nancy Kalikow—Typically Jewish March 2019.
In chapters dubbed Worrying, Kvelling, Dying, Noshing, Laughing, Detecting, Dwelling, and Joining, Maxwell embarks on a reflective and humor-filled journey to discover what it means to be “typically Jewish” today in America.
Malka Simkovich– Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Scriptures and Stories That Shaped Early Judaism, November 2018
Exploring the world and writings of the Second Temple period (539 BCE–70 CE), Simkovich delves into the lives, communities, views, religious practices, and significant writings of Second Temple authors, revealing what they wrote and why.
Jeffrey Rubenstein—The Land of Truth: Talmud Tales, Timeless Teachings, November 2018
Talmud scholar Rabbi Jeffrey L. Rubenstein popularizes both well-known and unknown Talmud tales, sheds light on what the stories meant in their original context, and illuminates their relevance for modern readers. The Forward’s had this to say in its Nov 14 glowing review: “This book will be an invaluable resource for pulpit rabbis and Jewish educators in search of texts that will inspire and speak to their congregants and students.”
Amy Scheinerman– The Talmud of Relationships Vol 1 (God, Self, and Family) and Vol 2 (The Jewish Community & Beyond) October 2018
Innovative teacher Rabbi Amy Scheinerman shows how Talmud can facilitate modern relationship building, addressing questions such as “how can I strengthen self-control?,” “how can I bestow appropriate honor on a difficult parent,” “how can I lead others with authority and kindness?”” How can I get along with difficult co-workers?,” “How can I best relate to people in need?”
Carasik, Michael – Commentators’ Bible: Genesis (Commentators’ Bible Series) August 2018 & Commentators’ Bible 5 Volume Set.
Publishers Weekly highlighted it as the second of six Bible commentaries (Hebrews-Revelation first) reviewed in its Nov 12, 2018 column: It “bring(s) to life the voices of medieval Bible commentators in a contemporary English translation annotated for lay readers.”
Rosenstein, Marc – Turning Points in Jewish History (JH) July 2018
Examines the entire span of Jewish history through the lens of thirty pivotal moments in the Jewish people’s experience from biblical times through the present, providing a broad and deep understanding of the Jewish people’s historical experience.
Dorff, Elliot—Modern Conservative Judaism: Evolving Thought and Practice (AJT) June 2018
A Conservative Movement insider’s guide to the evolution of Conservative Jewish thought and practice over the last half century, offering insight into the diverse—and occasionally contentious—thought processes behind the movement’s most important laws, policies, and documents.
Troy, Gil – The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland—Then, Now, Tomorrow (AJT) April 2018
The most comprehensive Zionist collection ever to be published builds on Arthur Hertzberg’s classic The Zionist Idea, showcasing more than 170 visionaries and shedding light on the surprisingly diverse and shared visions for realizing Israel as a democratic Jewish state
Schwartz, Barry—Path of the Prophets: The Ethics-Driven Life March 2018
Expanding our understanding of who is a prophet, Schwartz identifies the prophetic moment in the lives of eighteen biblical characters, imagines their inner thoughts, and challenges each of us to walk the prophetic path.
Steve and Sarah Levy – The JPS Rashi Discussion Commentary January 2018
The less knowledgeable Jew’s first entrée into understanding and reflecting upon the teachings of the great commentator Rashi, through studying his insights into the weekly Torah portion and engaging in ethical conversations elicited by the book’s discussion questions.