Top 100 Jewish Books

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3. History of the Jews, Heinrich Hirsch Graetz. Can we learn history from…never mind, of course we can, and historiography too.

4. The "Shabbes Goy," Jacob Katz. A thoughtful look at Jewish-Gentile relations in the Middle Ages.

5. Jews in America: Four Centuries of an Uneasy Encounter, Arthur Hertzberg.

6. Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia,Paula Hyman. Examines the role of Jewish women in American life.

7. War Against the Jews, Lucy Davidowicz. Definitive history of the Holocaust.

8. The Making of Modern Zionism: The Intellectual Origins of the Jewish State, Shlomo Avineri. A study of modern Zionist thought.

9. A History of the Jewish People, edited byH. H. Ben-Sasson.

10. Jerusalem: A History of Forty Centuries, Teddy Kollek and Moshe Pearlman. Includes beautiful colorful photographs.


1. A Guide for the Perplexed, Maimonides.

2. The Kuzari, Yehuda HaLevi. A medieval Jewish philosopher contrasts Judaism, Aristotelianism, Christianity, and Islam.

3. Faith and Doubt, Norman Lamm.

4. The Sabbath, Abraham Joshua Heschel. A philosophical and spiritual look at sacred time and Shabbat.

5. Questions Jews Ask, Mordechai M. Kaplan.

6. A Living Covenant, David Hartman.

7. Standing Again At Sinai, Judith Plaskow.

8. When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Harold Kushner.

9. Lonely Man of Faith, Joseph B. Soloveitchik.

10. Not in Heaven: The Nature and Function of Halakha, Eliezer Berkovits.


1. Zohar attributed to R. Shimon bar Yochai.

2. The Ladder, Yehuda Ashlag. A modern, accessible commentary on the Zohar.

3. The Holy Letter (Iggeret Hakodesh) of Nachmanides. Sanctifying eros.

4. Likutei Maharan, Nahman of Bratslav.

5. Collected Sayings (Likkutei Amarim), also known as Tanya, Shneur Zalman of Lyady.

6. To Heal the Soul: The Spiritual Journal of a Chasidic Rebbe, Kalonymus K. Shapira, translated by Yehoshua Starrett.

7. 13 Petaled Rose, Adin Steinsaltz .

8. The Book of Words, Lawrence Kushner.

9. A Call to the Infinite, Aryeh Kaplan.

10. The Religious Thought of Hasidism, edited by Norman Lamm.


1. The Chosen, Chaim Potok.

2. Exodus, Leon Uris.

3. As a Driven Leaf, Milton Steinberg.

4. Night, Elie Weisel.

5. Inside, Outside, Herman Wouk.

6. Jephte's daughter, Naomi Ragen.

7. The Love of Elspeth Baker, Myron Kaufmann.

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Rabbi Miriam Spitzer is the Judaic Studies Curriculum Coordinator and School Rabbi at the South Area Solomon Schechter Day School in Stoughton, Mass.