Recommended Reading


  • Barry W. Holtz, ed., Back to the Sources:  Reading the Classic Jewish Texts
  • Joseph Telushkin, Jewish Literacy


Chumash and Tanakh

  • Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary, David L. Lieber, Jules Harlow, eds. (published by the Rabbinical Assembly and USCJ)
  • The Chumash: The Stone Edition, Nosson Scherman, ed. (published by Artscroll)
  • The Jewish Study Bible, Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, Michael Fishbane, eds.
  • JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh

Commentaries and Midrashim on Torah

  • The Torah with Rashi’s Commentary, The Sapirstein Edition (Artscroll 5 volumes)
  • Louis Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews (Jewish Publication Society) (two volumes)
  • Nechama Leibowitz, Studies (7 volumes)
  • Torah Gems (3 volumes) (a collection of Hasidic commentaries)
  • Arthur Green, The Language of Truth – The Torah Commentary of the Sefat Emet (Hasidic)
  • The JPS Torah Commentary (5 volumes)

Commentaries on Particular Books or Portions of Torah

  • Avivah Zornberg, Genesis:  Tthe Beginning of Desire
  • Avivah Zornberg, Exodus:  The Particulars of Rapture – Reflections on Exodus
  • S.Y. Agnon, Present at Sinai (a collection of commentaries in connection with the revelation of Torah at Sinai)
  • Robert Alter, The Book of Psalms – A Translation with Commentary

Contemporary Books on the Nature of Torah

  • Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative
  • Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Poetry
  • Richard Elliot Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible?
  • James Kugel, How to Read the Bible
  • Joseph Telushkin, Biblical Literacy – The Most Important People, Events and Ideas of the Hebrew Bible


Talmud Study

  • Talmud Bavli, Schottenstein Edition (English translation of the Talmud) (published by Artscroll, 73 volumes)
  • The Talmud, The Steinsaltz Edition (English or Hebrew translation of the Talmud) (not all volumes available)
  • Adin Steinsaltz, The Talmud – Reference Guide
  • Adin Steinsaltz, The Essential Talmud
  • Strack & Stemberger, Introduction. to the Talmud and Midrash

Rabbinic Thought and Aggadah

  • Hayim Nahman Bialik and Yehoshua Hana Ravnitzky, eds., The Book of Legends: Sefer Ha-Aggadah: Legends from the Talmud and Midrash, (tr. William G. Braude)
  • Jeffrey Rubenstein, Rabbinic Stories
  • Jeffrey Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories:  Narrative Art, Composition and Culture
  • Abraham Joshua Heschel, Heavenly Torah (tr. Gordon Tucker)
  • Ari Elon, From Jerusalem to the Edge of Heaven


Prayer Books

  • Siddur Sim Shalom for Shabbat and Festivals (published by the Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism)
  • Siddur Sim Shalom for Weekdays (published by the Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism)
  • Complete ArtScroll Siddur
  • Machzor Lev Shalem (published by the Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism)

Commentaries on the Prayer Book and Structure of Services

  • Lawrence Hoffman, My People’s Prayerbook (multiple volumes)
  • Reuven Hammer, Or Hadash – A Commentary on Sim Shalom for Shabbat and Festivals (published by the Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism)
  • Reuven Hammer, Entering Jewish Prayer: A Guide to Personal Devotion and the Worship Service

The Nature of Prayer

  • Arthur Green and Barry Holtz, Your Word is Fire – The Hasidic Masters on Contemplative Prayer
  • Abraham Joshua Heschel, Quest for God
  • Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Worship of the Heart
  • Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath
  • Francine Klagsbrun, The Fourth Commandment – Remember the Sabbath Day

Overview of Holy Days

  • Irving Greenberg, The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays
  • Michael Strassfeld, The Jewish Holidays

High Holy Days

  • S.Y. Agnon, Days of Awe
  • Reuven Hammer, Entering the High Holy Days


  • Passover Haggadah – The Feast of Freedom (published by the Rabbinical Assembly)
  • Lawrence Hoffman and David Arnow, eds., My People’s Passover Haggadah (2 volumes)
  • Philip Goodman, The Passover Anthology
  • Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Festival of Freedom – Essays on Pesach and the Haggadah
  • Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Tara Mohr, Catherine Spector, eds., The Women’s Seder Sourcebook

[Note:  There are a wealth of wonderful haggadot available, and new ones are published each year.  We recommend a visit to West Side Judaica before Pesah.]


  • Arthur Green, Seek My Face – A Jewish Mystical Theology
  • David Hartman, A Heart of Many Rooms
  • David Hartman, A Living Covenant
  • Abraham Joshua Heschel, Between God and Man
  • Abraham Joshua Heschel, God in Search of Man
  • Abraham Joshua Heschel, I Asked for Wonder
  • Mordecai Kaplan, Judaism as a Civilization
  • Isidore Twersky, A Maimonides Reader
  • Joseph B. Soloveitchik, The Lonely Man of Faith
  • Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Halakhkic Man
  • Cohen/Mendes-Flohr, Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought
  • Elliot Dorff, Knowing God


  • Rela Geffen, Celebration and Renewal
  • Debra Orenstein, Lifecycles (2 vols)
  • Michael Strassfeld, The First Jewish Catalog
  • Anita Diamont, The New Jewish Wedding
  • Anita Diamont, The New Jewish Baby Book
  • Wendy Mogel, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee – Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children
  • Jeffrey Salkin, Putting God on the Guest List – How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah
  • Ronnie Friedland and Edmund Case, The Guide to Jewish Interfaith Family Life
  • Simkha Weintraub, Healing of Soul, Healing of Body
  • Kerry Olitzky, Grief in Our Seasons
  • Jack Riemer, ed., Jewish Insights on Death and Mourning
  • Maurice Lamm, The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning (guide to practice; Orthodox)


  • Arthur Green, A Guide to the Zohar
  • Tishby, The Wisdom of the Zohar
  • Daniel Matt, Pritzker Zohar (several volumes)
  • Daniel Matt, The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism
  • Adin Steinsaltz, The Thirteen Petalled Rose
  • Arthur Green, Seek My Face – A Jewish Mystical Theology
  • Arthur Green, These Are the Words – A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life


  • Norman Lamm, ed., The Religious Thought of Hasidism: Text and Commentary
  • Martin Buber, The Way of Man
  • Martin Buber, Ten Rungs
  • Martin Buber, Tales of the Hasidim


  • Elliot Dorff and Louis E. Newman, eds., Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality: A Reader
  • Ira Stone, A Responsible Life:  The Spiritual Path of Mussar
  • Joseph Telushkin, A Code of Jewish Ethics
  • Joseph Telushkin, Words that Hurt, Words that Heal
  • Joseph Telushkin, The Book of Jewish Values:  The Day to Day Guide to Ethical Living


  • Isaac Klein, A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice
  • Ronald Eisenberg, The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions


Primary Documents

  • Jacob Rader Marcus, The Jew in the Medieval World: A Source Book: 315–1791
  • Paul Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz, eds., The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History

Understanding Jewish History

  • H.H. Ben Sasson, A History of the Jewish People
  • Shaye Cohen, From the Maccabees to the Mishnah
  • Jonathan Sarna, American Judaism: A History
  • David Ellenson, After Emancipation

Israel & Zionism

  • Reuven Hammer, The Jerusalem Anthology: A Literary Guide
  • Arthur Hertzberg, Arthur, The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader
  • Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel (2 volumes)