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our selections for Weddings, Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Jewish Love and Parenting




LOVE,
WEDDINGS,
DIVORCE
PARENTING, GRANDPARENTING, AND JEWISH ADOPTION
AND BAR/BAT MITZVOT

[book] Putting God on the Guest List
How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child's Bar or Bat Mitzvah
by Jeffrey K. Salkin, William H. LeBeau.

Jewish Lights. Expanded and revised, this book explores the spiritual values in American Jewry's most misunderstood ceremony, the bar or bat mitzvah. Joining explanations, instruction, and inspiration to help parent and child, Salkin offers new insights into bar and bat mitzvah's origins, purpose and future
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[book] Rediscovering Judaism
Bar and Bat Mitzvah for Adults
by Kerry M., Rabbi Olitzky, Ronald H., Rabbi Isaacs
Ktav Publishing House; (September 1, 1997)
Equips Bar/Bat Mitzvah students and their families with important information religious milestone. Click the book cover above to read more.








[book] Bar/Bat Mitzvah Basics: A Practical Family Guide to Coming of Age Together by Cantor Helen Leneman (Editor).
($17 before discount) Paperback - 240 pages (May 1996) Jewish Lights. This practical guide gives families the how-to information they need-not only how to navigate the bar/bat mitvah process, but how to grow as a family through this coming-of-age experience
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[book] Whose Bar/Bat Mitzvah Is This, Anyway?: A Guide for Parents Through a Family Rite of Passage by Judith Davis.
($14 before discount) Paperback - 304 pages (April 1998) St Martins Press. Davis, a family therapist at the University of Massachusetts, looks not just at the child but at the entire family; not just at the bar/bat mitzvah boy ceremony but at the year surrounding it
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Bar Mitzvah by David MAMET.
Little Brown. $27 before discount. April 1999. Boy learns about life from an old man in this allegorical tale from playwright David Mamet. Let's hope the "F" word is used sparsely.



[book] The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage by Rabbi Maurice Lamm
Paperback (December 1992). Highly recommended for those preparing to be married. It covers the wedding and related issues as well as the question of how to know whom to marry.
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[book] The Power of Hope : The One Essential of Life and Love by Rabbi Maurice Lamm
Paperback - 176 pages (July 1997). A guide, full of wisdom and compassion, offers directions that lead to spiritual survival, as an experienced inspirational counselor relates case histories and personal experiences that confirm the power of hope. Click to read more about this book.
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WEDDINGS

Check out
indiebride.com
by Lori Leibovich of Teen People


[book] The New Jewish Wedding by Anita Diamant
Paperback (August 1986) Summit Books. Do you remember when The Times interviewed former Yiddish actor, and Star Trek star, Leonard Nimoy, and on his desk was a copy of this book? This is a complete, authoritative, and indispensable, The New Jewish Wedding provides the couple with options--some new, some old--to create a wedding combining spiritual meaning and joyous celebration. Step-by-step, Diamant guides readers through planning the ceremony and the party that follows--from finding a rabbi and wording the invitations to hiring a caterer.
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[book] Making a Successful Jewish Interfaith Marriage:
The Jewish Outreach Institute Guide to Opportunites, Challenges and Resources
by Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky, and Joan Peterson Littman
November 2002. Jewish Lights. Some say 50% of Jews marry a partner from outside the Jewish faith. This is a guide for any stage of the relationship. It makes no judgements, it dictates no answers. Topics include an Overview; Navigating the Relationship Before Marriage; Conversion; Relating to Parents, Siblings, and Grandparents; Making Decisions About Children; and more. Click to read more.







[book] Fighting For Your Jewish Marriage by Joel Crohn, Howard J. Markman, Susan L. Blumberg, and Janice Levine
Hardcover - 256 pages (July 2000). From the authors of the best-selling Fighting For Your Marriage -- a proven method for confronting the unique issues Jews face as they struggle to achieve stronger, more satisfying marriages. Drawing on traditional Jewish thinkers and texts as well as the widely successful, research-based Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP), this book provides new ways for couples to understand their personal, spiritual, and cultural differences. Each chapter offers case histories and innovative exercises focused on such issues as gender roles, work, raising children, religious practice, and intermarriage. Includes an analysis of how Jewish couples differ from those that are non-jewish, and a section gender analyses that is quite interesting
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[book] Two Jews Can Still Be a Mixed Marriage by Azriela Jaffe
Paperback - 240 pages (March 2000). Helps couples reconcile differences over Judaism in their marriage. Real-life advice covers such situations as whether the newly married couple will keep a kosher home, what happens when one partner become more observant. Two Jews Can Still Be a Mixed Marriage offers couples psychologist-sanctioned and rabbi-sanctioned strategies for resolving emotionally charged conflicts, and creating a balanced and harmonious life together.
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[book] WHY CAN'T I FALL IN LOVE? Creating the Loving Connection You Need to Be Human. A TWELVE STEP PROGRAM.
by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

What? You mean sex and your job are not substitutes for love??
The self promoting friend of Kosher Sex, a reformed Michael Jackson, Uri Geller, and the Rev Al, denounces modern society, commitment phobic singles, and people who are waiting for the best mate. Boteach makes suggestions to get over it and make a love connection.



[book] The Everything Jewish Wedding Book: The Complete Guide to Planning the Ceremony and Celebration-From Traditional to Contemporary--For the Most important day by Helen Latner
Paperback - 288 pages (January 1998) Adams Pub. Written in clear, concise language, and covering Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Sephardic rites, "The Everything Jewish Wedding Book" contains all the information one needs to know to have a wonderful Jewish ceremony and reception--all 100% Kosher.
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[book] Finding Your Bashert: The Essential Guide to Finding the Perfect Mate by Shani Stein
Hardcover (September 1999). Stein, the author of "Survival Guide to Shidduchim" uses her own experiences with shidduch dating to offer helpful fintsand advice to others dating by using matchmakers (shadchanim).
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[book] Fighting For Your Jewish Marriage by Joel Crohn, Howard J. Markman, Susan L. Blumberg, and Janice Levine
Hardcover - 256 pages (July 2000). From the authors of the best-selling Fighting For Your Marriage -- a proven method for confronting the unique issues Jews face as they struggle to achieve stronger, more satisfying marriages. Drawing on traditional Jewish thinkers and texts as well as the widely successful, research-based Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP), this book provides new ways for couples to understand their personal, spiritual, and cultural differences. Each chapter offers case histories and innovative exercises focused on such issues as gender roles, work, raising children, religious practice, and intermarriage. Includes an analysis of how Jewish couples differ from those that are non-jewish, and a section gender analyses that is quite interesting
Click here to order this book from Amazon.com, read more reviews, or to add your own review.



[book cover jewish baby names] Best Baby Names for Jewish Children by Alfred J. Kolatch
Paperback. As it is said, 'a good name is better than fragrant oil (tov shem mi shemen tov)." A straightforward good guide and listings of male and female names, selected from Kolatch's other works which date back to 1948. Includes about 200 unisex names, such as Ari, Avi, Dodi, Ariel, Doron, Lior, Sharon, Tzipor and Zohar. For each listing, Kolatch provides a meaning and a Hebrew equivalent. For example, Larry is Latin and directs the reader to see "Laurence." Laurence's listing states that is is latin meaning 'laurel crown.' The Hebrew equivalent is listed as Kalil. Mario's listing is akin to Marcus, meaning warlike as in "Mars.". The Hebrew equivalent is listed as Mordechai. ZIPORA will direct the reader to TZIPORA, which, when found, states that it is from the Hebrew, meaning "bird." It's Hebrew equivalent is naturally, "Tzipora." Listings for Tzipori (my bird) and Tziporit and Tzipi occur close to Tzipora. George is listed as Greek, meaning farmer; its Hebrew equivalent is listed as Choresh. But there is no listing for Choresh. The book is fine for 98% of readers, but if you are wondering whether you should name your child Gilad with an Aleph or an Ayin, then you need to consult a book with Hebrew characters or a local Hebraist. I would like the book better if it included Hebrew spellings, and if it listed some famous personages for each name listing. For example, the listing for Boaz should mention where he occurs in the stort of Ruth; or Jose should mention the Aramaic speaking rabbis by that name.






DIVORCE

[book cover click here] DIVORCE IS A MITZVAH
Finding Wholeness and Holiness When Your Marriage Dies
By Rabbi Perry Netter
April 2002. Jewish Lights Press. Did you know that Rashi stated that divorce is not a sin or embarrassment. Sometimes divorce is the right thing to do. An inspiring, clear guide for people in crisis and those who interact with them, enlightened by Jewish tradition. Netter shares his own pain and his growth. Click to read more.








PARENTING, GRANDPARENTING, AND ADOPTION

[book] Celebrating Your New Jewish Daughter:
Creating Jewish Ways to Welcome Baby Girls--New and Traditional Ceremonies
by Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Jewish Lights Publishing. 2001. 192 pages.
The introduction opens with, "Mazal Tov, You've Had a Baby Girl!"
Each child comes with your hopes and dreams. Everybody is familiar with a bris, or brit milah circumcision ceremony and in modern times, a festive celebration, for healthy baby boys on their eighth day after birth. But what do you do when you have a daughter? What are they, chopped liver? Since the early 1970's, Jewish parents have been celebrating their daughters in original ways (Ezrat Nashim published the first ceremonies in 1977, and the havurah and renewal movements wrote about theirs dating back to 1973). Debra Nussbaum Cohen, a resident of Park Slope Brooklyn, and mother who has known the joy of birth and the pain of loss, has created this essential guide to new and traditional ceremonies with which to welcome your new daughter to the world, the covenant, and the Jewish people. It's about time. And it will be a welcome addition to your Jewish bookshelf and life. Just consider, what you create today will be a "tradition" for your descendants! Cohen started collecting organic Simchat Bat ceremonies when she was pregnant with her first child. For you Simchat Bat ceremony and celebration, she includes readings, poems, specialized readings for adoptions, blessings, prayers (in Hebrew, English transliterations and translations), history, songs, and rituals. It is an inclusive book that has ceremonies ALSO crafted for adherents to traditional Orthodoxy, traditional Sephardic rite, contemporary rites, contemporary Orthodox, humanism, and modren mikveh rites. Part One consists of about two dozen pages that introduce you to welcoming ceremonies and Jewish tradition, including the idea of covenant, brit milah, the custom of gomel, and that of a new father being called to the Torah to recite blessings, announce the birth, and pray for his wife's recovery. Part Two consists of about four dozen pages on seriously practical considerations for your ceremony. It includes chapters on how to involve your non-Jewish loved ones or spouse, if necessary (through acknowledgement and readings); what to do in cases of adoption and cross-cultural adoption (remember, Moses was an adopted child, and Mordechai was probably an adoptive parent); and gay and lesbian parenthood. Part Three focuses on planning the event, creating programs, sanctifying the space, and deciding when to have the Simchat Bat (eighth day, 30th day, etc.). Part Four contains over 150 pages of sample ceremonies, and hundreds of readings and elements from which you can pick and choose. It includes selections for welcoming, naming, prayers of thanksgiving, parental blessings, acrostics, psalms, readings for relatives and friends, blessings for wine and bread, and rituals for brit nerot (light), brit mikvah (immersion), brit rechitzah (footwashing/handwashing), brit tallit (enfolding her into the covenant), brit kehillah (community), brit melach, and brit havdalah (transitions). The book succeeds so well, one wishes all the babies were girls (or maybe somethings can be borrowed for future boys).




[book] THE BLESSING OF A SKINNED KNEE: Using Jewish Teachings To Raise Self-Reliant Children. By Wendy Mogel
Hardcover - 256 pages (January 2001). Wendy Mogel, a clinical psychologist, uses the Talmud, Torah, and Responsa teachings to offer suggestions on how to build self-reliant Jewish children. With authority, warmth, and humor, clinical psychologist and educator Wendy Mogel distills ancient teachings and contemporary psychological insights into a new roadmap for effective, enlightened parenting in an increasingly speedy, material and competitive age. In the trenches of a typical day, every parent encounters a child afflicted with ingratitude and entitlement. In a world where material abundance abounds, parents want so badly to raise self-disciplined, appreciative, and resourceful children who are not spoiled by the plentitude around them. But how to accomplish this feat? The answer has eluded the best-intentioned mothers and fathers who overprotect, overindulge, and overschedule their children's lives. Dr. Mogel helps parents learn how to turn their children's worst traits into their greatest attributes. Starting with stories of everyday parenting problems and examining them through the lens of the Torah, the Talmud, and important Jewish teachings, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee shows parents how to teach children to honor their parents and to respect others, escape the danger of overvaluing children's need for self-expression so that their kids don't become "little attorneys," accept that their children are both ordinary and unique, and treasure the power and holiness of the present moment. It is Mogel's singular achievement that she makes these teachings relevant for any era and any household of any faith. A unique parenting book, designed for use both in the home and in parenting classes, with an on-line teaching guide to help facilitate its use, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee is both inspiring and effective in the day-to-day challenge of raising self-reliant children.
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[book] How to Be a Jewish Parent: A Practical Handbook for Family Life by Anita Diamant, Karen Kushner (Contributor)
Paperback - 352 pages (September 5, 2000) Schocken. How do you handle the conflicts between spouses on how Jewish to raise your child? Should you affix a mezuzah to my daughter's dollhouse? This is an informative, wise guide on how to raise a healthy, happy, Jewish child in America's open society with Jewish values and traditions. Diamant is the author of THE RED TENT. Kushner is a clinical social worker.
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[book] Mixed Blessings: Overcoming the Stumbling Blocks in an Interfaith Marriage by Paul Cowan, Rachel Cowan
List Price: $13 before 20% discount. Paperback - 275 pages Reprint edition (January 1989) Penguin USA. If you are in a mixed marriage or planning one, this is an excellent resource by the late Paul Cowan and his wife Rachel Cowan, now Rabbi Cowan. While a couple is dating and falling in love, religion usually does not seem a great barrier, but with marriage and children, problems surface. The authors explore the difficulties of such a relationship.
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[book] So Glad We Waited : A Hand-Holding Guide for Over-35 Parents by Lois Nachamie, with Debra Winger
Paperback - 224 pages (June 13, 2000). How do juggle carrer and child rearing? As an older parent with a higher income, do you indulge your toddler? What's the scoop on infertility treatments? Based on Lois Nachamie's class at New York City's 92nd Street YMHA (she had her first child at age 41), this is a wry, no holds barred, frank, and probing guide to mature parenthood. (Tony Randall, are you listening). Click to read more.
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[book] Celebrating Interfaith Marriages : Creating Your Jewish/Christian Ceremony by Devon A. Lerner
Paperback - 256 pages (April 1999) Henry Holt publishers. If you are going to have a mixed ceremony, buy this to understand both traditions.
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[book] Raising Jewish Children: How to Add Wonder and Spirituality to Your Child's Everyday Life by Rabbi Daniel Gordis
Hardcover - 336 pages (September 1999). Rabbi Gordis, author of "God Was Not in The Fire" and "Does The World Need the Jews" offers us this timely book for the Fall 1999. It should be read by any parent that is questing for ways to share our heriatge with one's children. Rabbi Gordis, the dean of the rabbinical school of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, explains how and why Shabbat and various holidays are celebrated and uncovers the insights, the meanings and the morals that can be conveyed to our kids. As the Shema says that we should diligently teach our children as if we are grinding it in like molars (teeth), Gordis is a blacksmith who shows how we can forge a "Jewish identity" through joy and teaching.
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[book] DIM SUM, BAGELS, AND GRITS
by Myra Alperson

FSG, March 2001. Myra adopted a daughter from China. She was single and over 40. Who doesn't know someone at home, work, synagogue, or life who hasn't adopted from China or elsewhere? This is an invaluable handbook and RESOURCE (with listings) for multicultural adoptions and family creation. Read it to prepare for some of the issues you will face (stares, family disapproval, outright racism). Dim Sum, Bagels, and Grits sound different at first, but they are all breakfast foods, and they are all based on a grain. The same holds for families. They may be shaped or sound differently, but they are all based on in this case on kids, who underneath are all the same. I wanted to make sure that I recommended this book today, February 27, 2001. This week, the U.S. Child Citizenship Act takes effect, which makes it much easier to and quicker to provide children adopted from abroad with U.S. citizenship. It is nearly automatic for most children. But I digress, let's discuss Ms Alperson's sourcebook. Each year in the USA, about 15% of all adoptions are of children born outside the USA. (About 20,000 children last year, about 16,000 per year in the past few years, and several hundred thousand over the past 40 years). These parents, grandparents, and children, adopted across what are perceived as racial, ethnic and cultural boundaries, face a harder time than some other adoptions, since there is the added bonus of multiculturalism. Alperson's sourcebook is an excellent guide and a must read for anyone considering adoption or raising a multicultural family. As the adoptive mother of Sadie Zhenzhen Alperson, she speaks from experience. She tells the stories of strangers not thinking that her daughter and she are daughter and mother. She discusses the need to honor both the child's birth heritage and the new family's heritage, and finding mentors and role models (American, Chinese, and Jewish in Alperson's case). Speaking of religion, she also discusses the subject of religious practice and preferences in the new family. (Sadly, you know that some imbecile is going to tell Sadie one day, "funny you don't look Jewish"; hopefully you can protect your child from those relatives who will make them feel that they are in the family as part of some sort of affirmative action program). Speaking of which, a full chapter is devoted to the many forms of prejudice that adoptive families can face. The chapter also includes actual accounts of how other families have responded to prejudice. Alperson gives advice on finding and forming groups where your child can play with children who "look like" them, and what to do if that isn't possible. The sourcebook provides a compendium of resources that can help you create, and strengthen multicultural homes, and it also will help you to understand what it means to be multicultural. Alperson includes interviews with adopted children and experts in the field. The bottom line is (1) read it if your are adopting; (2) read it if you know families facing these issues, (3) read it if you are teaching children from these families, and (4) read it if you minister or lead congregations with multicultural families.






[book] Mingled Roots a Guide for Jewish Grandparents of Interfaith Grandchildren by Levin Sunie
($14) Paperback (December 1991)
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[book] Parenting as a Spiritual Journey by Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer
($17) Paperback - 183 pages (July 1998) Jewish Lights Pub.
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[book] Your Name Is Your Blessing : Names and Their Mystical Meanings by Rabbi Benjamin Blech and Elaine Blech
Hardcover (March 1999). Aronson. A guide to selecting a name for a child or yourself.
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[book] Grandparenthood: One of America's Most Trusted Voices Offers Valuable Insights into a Rewarding and Complex Relationship by Ruth K. Westheimer, Steven Kaplan
List Price: $22 before discount. Hardcover - 256 pages (September 1998) Routledge. One of my favorite books was Dr. Ruth Westheimers autobiography. But now, Dr Ruth is Grandma Ruth. In her latest books, she counsels grandparents on how to bond with their grandkids and how not to come in between their kids and grandkids. She counsels grandparents on playing and maintaining contact, and on how to handle grandkids living in non-traditional environments.
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[book] Adoption and the Jewish Family by Shelley Kapnek Rosenberg
($20 before discount) Paperback - 256 pages (July 1998) Jewish Publication Society.
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[book] And Hannah Wept: Infertility, Adoption, and the Jewish Couple by Michael Gold
($18 before discount) Paperback (December 1994) Jewish Publication Society
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[book] Empty Arms; A Spiritual Companion for Dealing with Infertility and Pregnancy Loss by Rabbi Nina B. Cardin.
($20) Hardcover - 150 pages (October 1998) Jewish Lights. A guide through the pain of childlessness.
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[book] From Mother to Daughter; Thoughts and Advice on Life, Love and Marriage by Joan Rivers
($15 before discount) Hardcover - 100 pages (October 1998) Carol Pub. Corp. Comedian Joan Rivers, has become a succesful businesswoman through her line of jewelry, and has her own show on cable (E!). In this book she gives advice to her daughter Melissa (Rivers) on the eve of her wedding to a horse trainer. Such nachas.
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