Discussion Forums - Judaism Book Recommendations

Topic: Conversion

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Subject: Conversion
Date Posted: 9/28/2009 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 12
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Hi Everyone

I am planning on converting to Judaism and I was wondering if anyone could reccomend any books for me to help me with the process.  I have already ordered Basic Judaism.  Thanks your help

Date Posted: 9/29/2009 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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I would have to recommend The Jewish Book of Why.

Date Posted: 9/29/2009 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 12
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Thanks I added it to my wish list

Date Posted: 10/2/2009 12:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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I would recommend "This Is My God" by Herman Wouk.

Date Posted: 10/2/2009 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 12
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Thanks found it and ordered it

Date Posted: 10/2/2009 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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And welcome to this forum!

Date Posted: 10/2/2009 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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I also welcome you to this forum Danielle.

Subject: Books
Date Posted: 10/3/2009 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 9/12/2008
Posts: 26
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Danielle,

These are some of the books recommended to me:

Living a Jewish Life - Anita Diamant

How to Live a Jewish Life: the Jewish Home Advisor - Alfred J. Kolatch

Gateway to Judaism: The What, How and Why of Jewish Life - Rabbi Mordechai Becher

Sacred Celebrations: A Jewish Holiday Handbook - Ronald Isaacs & Kerry Olitzky

First Steps in Hebrew Prayer for the Very Beginner - Dr Danny Ben-Gigi

and at least one good history of Judaism - my recommendation would be:

Jewish Literacy - Rabbi Joseph Telushkin - (this is the best for anyone - converting or not!)

Good Luck with your journey!!!!

Date Posted: 10/3/2009 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 12
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Thanks for all the book ideas Lynn, I have some credits coming soon so I will have to look for them.   And P.E. and Cheryl thanks a bunch

Date Posted: 10/8/2009 6:29 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2009
Posts: 37
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Danielle,

I strongly second Telushkin's book (any of his books are wonderful but Jewish Literacy is a must-have) and Anita Diamant's book.

Depending on how you're considering practicing I might also suggest How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household by Blu Greenberg (for an Orthodox or Conservative conversion you would find this book helpful) or Jewish Living by Mark Washofsky for a Reform conversion.

I also enjoyed reading To Life: A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking by Harold Kushner with my husband when he underwent conversion. 

I recommend To Pray As a Jew by Hayim Halevy Donin.  This book is a guide to the siddur, and is very useful, though it is geared towards understanding an Orthodox service.  It's really a very useful book and I recommend it highly.

~Cheri

*I recommend you download some prayers, blessings and zemirot to your iPod and listen to them when you have time so that you can learn them and be familiar with them.  Choose tunes that resemble those used at the services you attend.  We literally have hundreds of them and they were immensely helpful when my husband wanted to memorize the service and blessings.  Be well!

Date Posted: 10/8/2009 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 12
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Cheri thank you very much for all that info.  I will look up the books you suggested and the ipod stuff I never knew about that's awesome thank you so much

Date Posted: 10/14/2009 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2006
Posts: 1
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I think it depends on what type of Judaism you will be practicing. Some books are not recommended for certain sects. I am in the process of an orthodox conversion

so if you are  going that route here are a bunch of books

To Be a Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life 

by Hayim Donin- Basic Books

On Judaism: Conversations on Being Jewish
by Emanuel Feldman-  Shaar Press; 2 nd edition

The Book of Our Heritage: The Jewish Year and Its Days of Significance
by Eliyahu Ki Tov, Dovid Landesman, Nachman Bulman- Feldheim; Expanded edition

Sabbath: a Guide to Its Understanding and Observation
by Dayan Dr. I. Grunfeld- Feldheim, Phillip Inc

 Sabbath, day of Eternity
by Aryeh Kaplan

The Shabbos Kitchen
by Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen- Artscroll Halacha Series

The Shabbos Home

By Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen-Artscroll Halacha Series

Daughter of Israel (for Women)
by Rabbi Dr. Kalman Kahana- Feldheim Pub

Strive for Truth
by Rabbi Eliyahu E. DESSLER (Author), Aryeh Carmell (Translator)- Philipp Feldheim Inc

Path of the Just: Mesilath Yesharim (first chapter)

by Moses Luzzato- Feldheim Pub

Avraham Ben Avraham
by S. Schachnowitz- Feldheim Pub

 Concise Book of Mitzvoth

Chafetz Chayim

 Shaarei Halacha

by Rabbi Ze’ev Greenwald- Feldheim Pub

Gateway to Judaism

by Rabbi Becher

The Laws of Berachos

by B. Forst- Mesoral Series

The Laws of Kashrus

by Rabbi Wagshall

The New Practical Guide to Kashruth

by Rabbi S. Wagschal

A Guide for the Jewish Woman and Girl

by Rabbi Dov Eisenberg

Artscroll Siddur

Artscroll Chumash

 also...whatever Rabbi is helping you with your conversion should be recommending books for you to read. 

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2009
Posts: 1
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Congratulations on this exciting time.  My conversion was completed in August, and I hope you will find the process rewarding.  I also recommend To Be A Jew and Jewish Literacy, as well as Being Jewish by Ari Goldman.  More entertaining books were My Jesus Year (an Orthodox rabbi's son spends a year at Christian churches- I found the commonalities betwen the religions interesting) and the Rabbi Small mystery series.

Date Posted: 11/12/2009 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 12
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I wanted to thank you all for your recommendations I met with the Rabbi this week and he was very impressed with how much I have already read so thanks a bunch.  Looks like I will be starting class soon I am very excited and of course thanks again

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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Danielle, keep us posted!

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 12
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will do = )

Date Posted: 11/18/2009 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/7/2008
Posts: 10
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I agree with all who listed Rabbi Telushkin's books, they are all wonderful.

Rabbi Donin's "To Be a Jew" is excellent, it's written for orthodox Jews but very well written and appropriate for all denominations 

Subject: update
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 12
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Well I am now doing my classes with my Rabbi and I already read one of the books he wanted to me to read so another big thanks guys.  Now going to start learning about the Holidays and some more basic Jewish info with a book the Rabbi gave me and one I found through my library.  So your updated lol and thanks again for the book ideas they have all been a big help

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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Thanks for the update.  Glad to hear things are going well.

Subject: Coversion
Date Posted: 7/6/2010 12:54 AM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2008
Posts: 27
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I am also going to be starting conversion classes -for Reform Judism - and I am SOoooooooooooooooooo Excited.

I am grateful to you all for this list of books.

Thanks

Sammi

Date Posted: 7/15/2010 1:26 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
Posts: 1,001
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Mazel Tov Samantha!!

Date Posted: 2/3/2015 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2007
Posts: 426
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I converted a few years ago, I have a list of books to suggest, some of which have already been posted.  I am also writing a book as well.

So it really depends on what you are looking for in a book.  The Teluskin really are very good but most of the books specifically for converts are lacking what I needed to know.