When it comes to raising kids, there’s a slew of parenting books you could choose from. However, when it comes to raising Jewish kids, sometimes it can feel hard to get inspiring advice.
If you’re lucky, you may have an awesome Jewish community to fall back on when you need some guidance. But sometimes you want an expert opinion, especially from someone who doesn’t know you and all your baggage. (And while it may be true that your mom is usually right, it’s OK to want other opinions, too.)
We’ve got you. Based upon our readers’ recommendations, here are some of the best Jewish parenting books around:
This perennial favorite bills itself as a “practical, inspiring new roadmap for raising self-reliant, ethical, and compassionate children.” It’s a great tool, as it offers advice for common parenting problems and situations through the lens of Jewish teachings, including from the Torah and Talmud. Mogel is a clinical psychologist, so she really knows her stuff.
Mogel’s follow-up to her super-successful book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Timeless Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Child, is geared toward those navigating those oh-so-pleasant teen years. Here, psychologist Mogel offers practical advice on “teenage narcissism,” “when to step in and when to step back,” and, our favorite, “living graciously with rudeness.” Rabbi Harold Kushner called the book “a treasury of common sense for anyone dealing with adolescents.”
3. Nurture the Wow: Finding Spirituality in the Frustration, Boredom, Tears, Poop, Desperation, Wonder, and Radical Amazement of Parenting – Danya Ruttenberg
This book, written by rabbi and Kveller writer and Danya Ruttenberg, is not your typical advice book; it’s and more about looking at parenting as a spiritual journey. (It’s billed as “more a parenthood book, not a parenting book.”) The Chicago Tribune called it a “a wise book [whose] ideas keep stirring after the last page is turned.”
4. The New Jewish Baby Book – Anita Diamant
If you want to incorporate Judaism and Jewish tradition into your baby’s life from day one, then this book is for you. The introduction says it all: “Drawn from the wealth of mythic, historic, religious, culinary, and literary traditions that surround the arrival of a new Jewish baby.” Bonus: There is a special section for interfaith families.
What are some parenting books you love? Tell us in the comments below.