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Jewish Publication Society

Website: http://www.jewishpub.org/

We are the oldest publisher of Jewish books in the United States. Our roots go back to before the Civil War, and our charter to 1888 in Philadelphia. Our legacy includes two acclaimed translations of the Hebrew Bible (the JPS Tanakh), esteemed biblical commentary, and over 120 years of scholarly and popular works of history, philosophy, and literature that have stood the test of time.


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Jewish Publication Society

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20th Century Jewish Religious Thought Cover

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20th Century Jewish Religious Thought

Original Essays on Critical Concepts, Movements, and Beliefs

Edited by Arthur A. Cohen and Paul Mendes-Flohr

JPS is proud to reissue Cohen and Mendes-Flohr’s classic work, perhaps the most important, comprehensive anthology available on 20th century Jewish thought. This outstanding volume presents 140 concise yet authoritative essays by renowned Jewish figures Eugene Borowitz, Emil Fackenheim, Blu Greenberg, Susannah Heschel, Jacob Neusner, Gershom Scholem, Adin Steinsaltz, and many others. They define and reflect upon such central ideas as charity, chosen people, death, family, love, myth, suffering, Torah, tradition and more. With entries from Aesthetics to Zionism, this book provides striking insights into both the Jewish experience and the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Akiva Cover

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Akiva

Life, Legend, Legacy

Reuven Hammer

The legendary Akiva ben Yosef has fascinated Jews for centuries. One of and arguably the most important of the Tannaim, or early Jewish sages, he lived during a crucial era in the development of Judaism as we know it today, and his theology played a major part in the development of Rabbinic Judaism. Reuven Hammer details Akiva’s life as it led to a martyr’s death and delves into the rich legacy Akiva left us.

That legacy played an extraordinarily important role in helping the Jewish people survive difficult challenges and forge a vibrant religious life anew and it continues to influence Jewish law, ethics, and theology even today. Akiva’s contribution to the development of Oral Torah cannot be overestimated, and in this first book written in English about the sage since 1936, Hammer reassesses Akiva’s role from the period before the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE until the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135 CE. He also assesses new findings about the growth of early Judaism, the reasons why Akiva was so outspoken about “Christian Jews,” the influence of Hellenism, the Septuagint, and the canonization of the Hebrew Bible. Ultimately, Hammer shows that Judaism without Akiva would be a very different religion.

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American Jewish Fiction

A JPS Guide

Authored by Josh Lambert

This new volume in the JPS Guides series is a fiction reader’s dream: a guide to 125 remarkable works of fiction. The selection includes a wide range of classic American Jewish novels and story collections, from 1867 to the present, selected by the author in consultation with a panel of literary scholars and book industry professionals. Roth, Mailer, Kellerman, Chabon, Ozick, Heller, and dozens of other celebrated writers are here, with their most notable works. Each entry includes a book summary, with historical context and background on the author. Suggestions for further reading point to other books that match readers’ interests and favorite writers. And the introduction is a fascinating exploration of the history of and important themes in American Jewish Fiction, illustrating how Jewish writing in the U.S. has been in constant dialogue with popular entertainment and intellectual life. Included in this guide are lists of book award winners; recommended anthologies; title, author, and subject indexes; and more.

American Jewish History Cover

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American Jewish History

A JPS Guide

Authored by Norman H. Finkelstein

This JPS Guide chronicles the extraordinary history of American Jewry. Finkelstein tells the dramatic 350-year story of the people and events that shaped the lives of today's American Jews. Divided into six time periods, American Jewish History describes Jewish life from the time of the early settlers, to the period of massive immigration that flooded the cities, to the incredible growth of Jews in positions of influence in business, politics, and the arts. This is a story of a people who affected not only the lives of Jews in the U.S. today, but also the course of American history itself. There are over 70 black and white photographs, maps, and charts and more than 120 feature boxes and biographies throughout, as well as timelines, notes, a bibliography, and index. Finkelstein has made the saga of American Jewry much more than a compilation of historical facts. This is wonderfully stimulating journey--a worthwhile adventure for readers of all ages.

Bar Mitzvah: A History Cover

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Bar Mitzvah: A History

Michael Hilton

The Jewish coming-of-age ceremony of bar mitzvah was first recorded in thirteenth-century France, where it took the form of a simple statement by the father that he was no longer responsible for his thirteen-year-old son. Today, bar mitzvah for boys and bat mitzvah for girls are more popular than at any time in history and are sometimes accompanied by lavish celebrations.

How did bar mitzvah develop over the centuries from an obscure legal ritual into a core component of Judaism? How did it capture the imagination of even non-Jewish youth? Bar Mitzvah is a comprehensive history of the ceremonies and celebrations for both boys and girls. As cultural anthropology informed by rabbinic knowledge, it explores the origins and development of the most important coming-of-age milestone in Judaism. Rabbi Michael Hilton has sought out every reference to bar mitzvah in the Bible, the Talmud, and numerous other Jewish texts spanning several centuries, extracting a fascinating miscellany of information, stories, and commentary.

 

Best Jewish books for Children and Teens Cover

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Best Jewish books for Children and Teens

A JPS Guide

Authored by Linda R. Silver MLS

So many books, so little time! Where do you start? With this book: Linda Silver’s guide to the most notable books for young readers. Here are a top librarian’s picks of the best in writing, illustration, reader appeal, and authentically Jewish content in picture books, fiction and non-fiction, for early childhood through the high school years. You’ll find the classics like K’tonton and the All-of-a-Kind Family books, right on to Terrible Things, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and today’s bestsellers, along with hundreds of others. Chapters are organized by subject and entries within each include a succinct description of the book and author, and Silver’s own insights on what makes it worth reading. There are title, subject, author, and illustrator indexes, title-grouping by reading level, and lists of award winners. A wonderful reference for parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians—and, of course, the kids so dear to them.

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The Bible on Location

Off the Beaten Path in Ancient and Modern Israel

Julie Baretz

In this innovative guidebook Julie Baretz takes readers to twenty-one off-the-beaten-path locations in Israel where Bible stories are said to have happened. At each site she sets the scene by relating the historical context of the event, then follows with the biblical text itself and her own lively commentary. Captivating and complex Bible characters bring the locations to life as they face social, ethical, and spiritual dilemmas not unlike our own today. Baretz’s narratives draw on history, archaeology, academic scholarship, and rabbinic literature for interpretations that enhance the meaning of the biblical events. Each story is told in the voice of Baretz as the tour guide—knowledgeable yet informal and friendly.
 
The Bible on Location traces the chronology and narrative arc of the historical books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The book begins with the Israelites’ arrival in the land of Israel (following the exodus from Egypt and the forty years of wandering) and continues over more than six hundred years, until the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon to their homeland.
 
Baretz’s descriptions are accompanied by colorful maps and photographs that put actual and armchair visitors in the middle of the action. Each location reveals a new episode in the biblical narrative and provides inspiration and commentary that will enhance visits to the various sites.

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The Bible's Many Voices

Michael Carasik

The most common English translations of the Bible often sound like a single, somewhat archaic voice. In fact, the Bible is made up of many separate books composed by multiple writers in a wide range of styles and perspectives. It is, as Michael Carasik demonstrates, not a remote text reserved for churches and synagogues but rather a human document full of history, poetry, politics, theology, and spirituality.
 
Using historic, linguistic, anthropological, and theological sources, Carasik helps us distinguish between the Jewish Bible’s voices—the mythic, the historical, the prophetic, the theological, and the legal. By articulating the differences among these voices, he shows us not just their messages and meanings but also what mattered to the authors. In these contrasts we encounter the Bible anew, as a living work whose many voices tell us about the world out of which the Bible grew—and the world that it created.

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Biblical Women Unbound

Counter-Tales

Authored by Norma Rosen

Rosen gives a new voice to more than a dozen women of the Bible. She imagines and writes the missing chapters of these women's lives in a witty and engaging collection of stories. In addition, she introduces the book with a lively essay about classical Midrash, its relationship to fiction and the imagination, and the possibilities for new midrashim written for and about women.

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A Bride for One Night

Talmud Tales

Ruth Calderon

Ruth Calderon has recently electrified the Jewish world with her teachings of talmudic texts. In this volume, her first to appear in English, she offers a fascinating window into some of the liveliest and most colorful stories in the Talmud. Calderon rewrites talmudic tales as richly imagined fictions, drawing us into the lives of such characters as the woman who risks her life for a sister suspected of adultery; a humble schoolteacher who rescues his village from drought; and a wife who dresses as a prostitute to seduce her pious husband in their garden. Breathing new life into an ancient text, A Bride for One Night offers a surprising and provocative read, both for anyone already intimate with the Talmud and for anyone interested in one of the most influential works of Jewish literature.

 

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