Jewish Conversion: A Reading List

I was keeping this list in a couple of different posts, but I realized that it might be easier to centralize them on one page, both because it’d be easier to edit and because it’d be easier for everyone to find. So, that said, here’s a list of books I’ve already read, and books I plan to read. Editing will be continuous on this page. Feel free to comment with ideas for more books!

Books I Have Read

  1. Jewish Literacy, by Joseph Telushkin
  2. What is a Jew?, by Morris Kertzer and Lawrence Hoffman
  3. Becoming Jewish (A Handbook for Conversion), by Ronald H. Isaacs
  4. Why Be Jewish?, by David J. Wolpe
  5. The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism, by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin
  6. To Life! by Harold S. Kushner
  7. Living a Jewish Life, by Anita Diamant
  8. The Everything Judaism Book, by Richard Bank (this is not an especially good reference, in my opinion, for converts – it has nothing in it about conversion!)
  9. Choosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for Their Family and Friends, by Anita Diamant (this is an excellent book for converts!)
  10. Read Hebrew in Just 90 Minutes, by Chaim Conway (although this one is here, I don’t recommend it. While the book’s information is solid, the writing style is very poor and hard to read)
  11. Growing Up Jewish: or, Why Is This Book Different from All Other Books? by Moline
  12. How Good Do We Have To Be? by Harold Kushner
  13. When Bad Things Happen To Good People, by Harold Kushner (this is a good book for people who are struggling with G-d)
  14. Mah La’asot: What Should I Do? by Alper and Grishaver
  15. The Book of Jewish Values, by Joseph Telushkin
  16. Embracing the Covenant, by Berkowitz and Moskovitz
  17. The Sabbath, by Abraham Joshua Heschel
  18. Who Needs God, by Harold Kushner
  19. The Basic Beliefs of Judaism, by Lawrence J. Epstein (I strongly recommend this book!)
  20. Essential Judaism by George Robinson
  21. Overcoming Life’s Disappointments, by Harold Kushner

Books I Am Currently Reading

  1. Teach Yourself to Read Hebrew, revised edition, by Simon and Anderson
  2. To Pray As A Jew by Hayim Donin
  3. God Was In This Place, And I, i Did Not Know, by Lawrence Kushner
  4. Judaism: An Introduction, by Oliver Leaman
  5. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl
  6. The Hebrew Primer, דֶרֶךְ בִּינָה, by Ruby G. Strauss (this is the Hebrew book that my Beginning Hebrew class is using)

Books I Plan To Read

  1. Elijah’s Violin, a collection of Jewish fairytales from different parts of the Diaspora
  2. Jewish Folklore, by Nathan Ausubel
  3. The Big Book of Jewish Humor by Moshe Waldoks
  4. The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism, edited by Danya Ruttenberg
  5. Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory by Josef Yerushalmi
  6. Essential Judaism by George Robinson

Other Books That Have Informed My Journey To Judaism

  1. The Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank
  2. In The Presence of Mine Enemies, by Harry Turtledove
  3. I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, by Joanne Greenberg
  4. Just about any kids’ book by Judy Blume
  5. Any book that has a Jewish character in it

This list was last updated on July 14, 2015/27 Tammuz 5775.


3 responses to “Jewish Conversion: A Reading List

  1. Pingback: Just a note: A Conversion Reading List | Wrestling With G-d

  2. yosefb

    What a great list! I would also recommend: Judaism and Christianity, A Contrast by Rabbi Stuart Federow.


  3. FreeTrav

    I mentioned “The Jewish Book of Why” and “The Second Jewish Book of Why” in one of the reading-list posts; I repeat them here so that you have them in one place.


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