How to Be a Jewish Parent: A Practical Handbook for Family Life

Anita Diamant, Author, Karen Kushner, With Schocken Books Inc $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8052-4170-9
How do you advise anyone how to be a parent? With so many parenting styles and types of families today, the answer is almost necessarily to offer choices. In fact, Diamant, author of several Jewish handbooks and the best-selling novel The Red Tent, and Kushner, a clinical social worker, call their easy-to-read guide ""a book of choices"" whose agenda is ""to raise happy, healthy children by providing a window into Judaism's rich, varied and life-affirming traditions and values."" Sections on making a Jewish home, finding community, celebrating holidays and observing life-cycle rituals from birth to death are chock-full of innovative strategies, practical explanations, age-appropriate suggestions and bibliographies to foster Jewish literacy. The book explores every avenue for enriching Jewish life, from affixing a play mezuzah on a doll's house and having a family joke fest on the joyous Purim holiday to shopping for a synagogue, school or camp. A chapter on conflict acknowledges the tensions that arise between spouses, or between parents and children, based on differing perceptions of ""how to be Jewish and how Jewish to be."" Diamant and Kushner gear their recommendations to the liberal Jewish community. Parents who are just beginning their Jewish journeys as well as those who are already knowledgeable and experienced will benefit from their wise, creative ideas. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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