“When we really grasp the importance of Jewish literature, we can share it with our children and open their eyes to a world of human triumph,” says Barry Shrage, president of CJP. Recently, we sat down with Barry and asked him a few questions about his favorite topics: Jewish literature and education. Here’s what he had to say.
Why are you passionate about adult Jewish literature? How can it strengthen families?
Everything about Jewish culture, spirituality, learning and history is transmitted through Jewish literature. It’s not just about religion; it’s an important part of our heritage. It represents one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Start learning about Jewish literature now. By taking a class or reading some of the classics, you can begin to engage your children and share these amazing masterpieces with them. It’s really an opportunity to inspire them to want to learn more about their heritage and give them something wonderful to be proud of.
With Passover approaching, do you have a favorite book about holidays to recommend for our readers?
There are so many wonderful books out there that it’s hard to name just one. So I’ll name three:
- “The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays” by Irving Greenberg
- “A Different Night: The Family Participation Haggadah” by David Dishon and Noam Zion
- “New American Haggadah” by Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander
Why is it important for busy parents of young children to engage in Jewish learning?
Jewish education is a glimpse into the beauty of this culture. Ask any adult who has participated in Me’ah, Parenting Through a Jewish Lens or another adult Jewish education course and they’ll tell you they were changed by the experience…that the takeaway was personal, meaningful and relevant. I always encourage parents and young adults to continue with their Jewish education to keep learning and growing.