Welcome to our new Educator’s Bookshelf!

As the People of the Book, it’s no surprise that one of the great joys of our professional community is sharing what we read with each other. We hope you’ll find some of these recommendations inspiring. And if you have something you’d like to recommend to your colleagues, please email jenni@jewishlearning.works. Happy Reading!

We encourage you to show your support for our local, independent bookstore, Afikomen Judaica, by purchasing your books from them. You will find those links below where available.

Dana recommends: Permission to Feel by Dr. Marc Brackett

Dr. Brackett’s book is not only packed full of wisdom on the importance of social emotional learning and very readable, it’s also a critical reminder why taking time to pay attention to our feelings — all of them — is so important. This is a terrific resource for those of us supporting children and families to remain resilient through these difficult times.


Jenni recommends: Tempered Radicals aka Rocking the Boat by Dr. Debra Meyerson

In this piece of work, Dr. Debra Meyerson uses relatable case studies to illustrate how people at all levels of leadership in an organization are able to create change at their workplaces. She articulates strategies that allow leaders to stay true to their core values while celebrating small wins and effecting change. She helps leaders figure out how to much to rock the boat … without tipping it over!


Deb recommends: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi

This is a book that is recommended for both teens and adults. While Stamped is considered a Young Adult book, it speaks to all of us. Jason Reynolds maps out the history of racism in America in a way that is engaging and shocking. While there are numerous books that are calling our attention these days to racism and white supremacy, here is one you can read along with your teen that doesn’t shy away from the hard reality of our racist society. Bonus: This book is available through our Jewish Community Library!


Liora recommends: Burn it Down: Women Writing about Anger edited by Lilly Dancyger

This collection of essays is about women’s expression of anger. While Social Emotional Learning is an important concept, do we really mean all emotions? This book explores anger and the historical complexities between gender and race and what is considered culturally acceptable in terms of the expression of anger. If you are open to reading about the reality of many women’s life experiences as they are impacted by violence, oppression, illness, addiction, and sex, then you will find these personal essays a rare and gratifying read. I found this book offered me an interesting opportunity to ask myself about my own relationship with anger and how the landscape of Social Emotional Learning might benefit from an open conversation about the things that make us burn.


Howard recommends: Loving the Real Israel: An Educational Agenda for Liberal Zionism by Alex Sinclair

I recently returned to this book upon feeling unsettled by one of my own children’s ambivalence towards Israel. Sinclair, who lives in Israel and ran the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Israel education programs for many years, laments that American Jews who are educated with an emphasis on loving Israel unconditionally are often ill-prepared to grapple with the country’s imperfections. Preferring the model of “caring” (a term he borrows from philosopher of education Nel Noddings) to loving, he promotes a “dialogical Zionism” that emphasizes engaging in “complex conversations” as a means of fostering a “connection to Israel that co-exists with an understanding of its complexities.” I don’t necessarily agree with all of his conclusions, but I find myself challenged by them, and that is exactly what I seek in such a book.