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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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Jewish Life in the Middle Ages Cover

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Jewish Life in the Middle Ages

Authored by Israel Abrahams

This classic work of scholarship illustrates the richness, complexity, and fullness of medieval Jewish life. Readers will discover how much was hidden from the inquisitive and often hostile gaze of Christian Europe. Israel Abrahams vividly details the customs, manners, and mores, and delves into the social culture of Jewish life at this time.

Jewish Meaning in a World of Choice Cover

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Jewish Meaning in a World of Choice

Studies in Tradition and Modernity

David Ellenson

Internationally recognized scholar David Ellenson shares twenty-three of his most representative essays, drawing on three decades of scholarship and demonstrating the consistency of the intellectual-religious interests that have animated him throughout his lifetime.

 

These essays center on a description and examination of the complex push and pull between Jewish tradition and Western culture. Ellenson addresses gender equality, women’s rights, conversion, issues relating to who is a Jew, the future of the rabbinate, Jewish day schools, and other emerging trends in American Jewish life. As an outspoken advocate for a strong Israel that is faithful to the democratic and Jewish values that informed its founders, he also writes about religious tolerance and pluralism in the Jewish state.

 

The former president  of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, the primary seminary of the Reform movement, Ellenson is widely respected for his vision of advancing Jewish unity and of preparing leadership for a contemporary Judaism that balances tradition with the demands of a changing world.

 

Scholars and students of Jewish religious thought, ethics, and modern Jewish history will welcome this erudite collection by one of today’s great Jewish leaders.

Jewish Traditions Cover

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Jewish Traditions

A JPS Guide

Authored by Dr. Ronald L. Eisenberg

This is a comprehensive and authoritative resource with ready answers to questions about almost all aspects of Jewish life and practice: life-cycle events, holidays, ritual and prayer, Jewish traditions and customs, and more. Ronald Eisenberg has distilled an immense amount of material from classic and contemporary sources into a single volume, which provides thousands of insights into the origins, history, and current interpretations of a wealth of Jewish traditions and customs. Divided into four sections--Synagogue and Prayers, Sabbaths and Festivals, Life-Cycle Events, and Miscellaneous (a large section that includes such diverse topics as Jewish literature, food, and plants and animals)- this is an encyclopedic reference for anyone who wants easily accessible, accurate information about all things Jewish. Eisenberg writes for a wide, diversified audience, and is respectful of the range of practices and beliefs within today's American Jewish community--from Orthodox to liberal.

Jews and Genes Cover

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Jews and Genes

The Genetic Future in Contemporary Jewish Thought

Elliot N. Dorff

Well aware of Jews having once been the victims of Nazi eugenics policies, many Jews today have an ambivalent attitude toward new genetics and are understandably wary of genetic forms of identity and intervention. At the same time, the Jewish tradition is strongly committed to medical research designed to prevent or cure diseases. Jews and Genes explores this tension against the backdrop of various important developments in genetics and bioethics—new advances in stem cell research; genetic mapping, identity, testing, and intervention; and the role of religion and ethics in shaping public policy.
 
Jews and Genes brings together leaders in their fields, from all walks of Judaism, to explore these most timely and intriguing topics—the intricacies of the genetic code and the wonders of life, along with cutting-edge science and the ethical issues it raises.

The JPS Bible Commentary Cover

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The JPS Bible Commentary

Haftarot

Authored by Michael Fishbane, Ph.D.

The haftarot are an ancient part of Hebrew liturgy. These supplemental readings are excerpted from the Prophets (Nevi'im) and accompany each weekly Sabbath reading from the Torah as well as readings for special Sabbaths and festivals. Noted Bible scholar Michael Fishbane introduces each haftarah with an outline and discussion of how that passage conveys its meaning, and he follows it with observations on how it relates to the Torah portion or special occasion. Individual comments, citing classical rabbinic as well as modern commentators, highlight ambiguities and difficulties in the Hebrew text, which appears in concert with the JPS translation. The haftarot are also put into biblical context by a separate overview of all prophetic books (except Jonah) that are excerpted in the haftarah cycle.

The JPS Bible Commentary Cover

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The JPS Bible Commentary

Ecclesiastes

Authored by Michael V. Fox PhD

The Book of Ecclesiastes is part of the "wisdom literature" of the Bible. It concerns itself with universal philosophical questions, rather than events in the history of Israel and in the Hebrews' covenant with God. Koheleth, the speaker in this book, ruminates on what -- if anything -- has lasting value, and how -- if at all -- God interacts with humankind. Koheleth expresses bewilderment and frustration at life's absurdities and injustices. He grapples with the inequities that pervade the world and the frailty and limitations of human wisdom and righteousness. His awareness of these discomfiting facts coexists with a firm believe in God's rule and God's fundamental justice, and he looks for ways to define a meaningful life in a world where so much is senseless. Ecclesiastes is traditionally read on the Jewish holiday Sukkot, the harvest festival.

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The JPS Commentary on the Haggadah

Historical Introduction, Translation, and Commentary

Authored by Joseph Tabory PhD

The Passover haggadah enjoys an unrivaled place in Jewish culture, both religious and secular. And of all the classic Jewish books, the haggadah is the one most "alive" today. Jews continue to rewrite, revise, and add to its text, recasting it so that it remains relevant to their lives. In this new volume in the JPS Commentary collection, Joseph Tabory, one of the world's leading authorities on the history of the haggadah, traces the development of the seder and the haggadah through the ages. The book features an extended introduction by Tabory, the classic Hebrew haggadah text side by side with its English translation, and Tabory's clear and insightful critical-historical commentary.

The JPS Guide to Jewish Women Cover

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The JPS Guide to Jewish Women

600 B.C.E.to 1900 C.E.

Authored by Sondra Henry, Emily Taitz Ph.D., and Cheryl Tallan

This is an indispensable resource about the role of Jewish women from post-biblical times to the twentieth century. Unique in its approach, it is structured so that each chapter, which is divided into three parts, covers a specific period and geographical area. The first section of the book contains an overview, explaining how historical events affected Jews in general and Jewish women in particular. This is followed by a section of biographical entries of women of the period whose lives are set in their economic, familial, and cultural backgrounds. The third and last part of each chapter, "The World of Jewish Women," is organized by topic and covers women's activities and interests and how Jewish laws concerning women developed and changed. This comprehensive work is an easy-to-use sourcebook, synopsizing rich and diverse resources. By examining history and analyzing the dynamics of Jewish law and custom, it illuminates the circumstances of Jewish women's lives and traces the changes that have occurred throughout the centuries. It casts a new and clear light on Jewish women as individuals and sets women firmly within the context of their own cultural and historical periods. The book contains illustrations, boxed text, extensive endnotes, and indices that list each woman by name. It is ideal for women's groups and study groups as well as students and scholars.

Judaism as a Civilization Cover

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Judaism as a Civilization

Toward a Reconstruction of American-Jewish Life

Authored by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan

Judaism as a Civilization is widely considered the genesis of the Reconstructionist Movement, representing a watershed moment in modern Judaism. In this classic book, Mordecai Kaplan introduced a new way of looking at Judaism: as an evolving religious civilization. His approach required innovation in liturgy and ritual, elimination of obsolete customs, and adjustment in light of prevailing social, political, and cultural conditions. Kaplan felt that all Jews—traditional and liberal, religious and secular—could play a part in this “reconstruction.” Judaism as a Civilization, first published in 1934, remains one of the most original and thought-provoking contributions to modern Jewish thought.

Judaism's Great Debates Cover

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Judaism's Great Debates

Timeless Controversies from Abraham to Herzl

Barry L. Schwartz

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