A select list of useful resources for couples building a Jewish home.
The Bedside Torah: Wisdom, Visions, and Dreams, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson and Miriyam Glazer (McGraw-Hill, 2001): Learned, engaging and provocative, this book offers three different commentaries on each of the 50 Torah portions, enlightening you into the Torah's infinite layers of meaning and offering opportunities to discover interpretations of your own. A great resource for Shabbat dinner discussion, it weaves together the insights of ancient rabbis and sages, medieval commentators and philosophers, and modern scholars and religious leaders.
The New Jewish Wedding, Anita Diamant (Scribner, 2001): Anita Diamant, one of the most respected writers of guides to Jewish life, offers step-by-step guidance to planning a wedding ceremony and the party that follows -- from hiring a rabbi and wording the invitation to organizing a processional and hiring a caterer. She also includes a chapter focusing on Jews by Choice, non-Jews, and same-sex couples; essential online resources; examples of ketubot, invitations, and other wedding paraphernalia; and poems and translations of the seven marriage blessings.
Inside Intermarriage: A Christian Partner's Perspective on Raising a Jewish Family, James Keen (URJ Press, 2006): Written by a Christian father who is helping his Jewish wife raise Jewish children. Keen provides practical advice for how to give children a clear Jewish identity while maintaining a comfort level for both parents, and includes perspectives from professionals who work with interfaith families.
From Generation to Generation: A Story of Intermarriage and Jewish Continuity, Jane Larkin (CreateSpace, 2014): A woman’s unexpected entry into an interfaith marriage brings her closer to her roots than she ever imagined in this inspirational true story. Written by Jane Larkin, a Jewish woman who made the difficult decision to marry outside her faith, this fascinating memoir explores an ancient religion in the face of modern times.
The Intermarriage Handbook, Judy Petsonk and Jim Remsen (Arbor House/William Morrow, 1988): A comprehensive, practical self-help book for interfaith couples based on interviews of psychologists, family therapist, sociologists, religious leaders, and couples themselves.
Basic Judaism, Milton Steinberg (A Harvest Book, Harcourt Brace & Co., 1947): A classic work for the Jewish and the non-Jewish reader. A basic introduction to Judaism that explains the basics of the faith in a concise and readable format. Steinberg makes complex theological and philosophical concepts easy to understand and contrasts various Jewish perspectives on ideas.
Jerusalem: A Cookbook, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Ten Speed Press, 2012): Renowned chefs, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi explore the vibrant cuisine of their home city—with its diverse Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. Both men were born in Jerusalem in the same year—Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west. This stunning cookbook offers recipes from their unique cross-cultural perspective, from inventive vegetable dishes to sweet, rich desserts.
Entrée to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora, Tina Wasserman (New York: URJ Press, 2009): A culinary adventure through the Jewish Diaspora, it is as much a history book as it is a cookbook. Wasserman explains how Jews around the world and across the ages adapted local tastes and ingredients to meet the needs of Jewish holidays and dietary laws, creating a rich and diverse menu of flavors and styles.
Interfaithfamily.com: An organization, online resource and network that supports interfaith families and couples exploring Jewish life. Check out the wedding blog and other marriage essays!
Shabbat & Havdalah Blessings: The Union for Reform Judaism has Shabbat and Havdalah blessings available on its website including links to audio/video resources for the melodies.
The FRIDAY App: Each Friday, before sunset, get a reminder that it’s time to slow down. Read a short story, essay or poem and a question to stoke some conversation. “Sunset” your phone into a blissful twilight to help you unplug. Not ready to disconnect? Reawaken it anytime. Your time belongs to you.