This small, 6” x 8” book, illustrated with full-page photographs, could be titled, 101 Reasons for Orthodox Families to Visit Israel and Make Aliyah. Although there are pictures of secular activities and typical tourist attractions, the book emphasizes the traditional practices of day-to-day living in the Israeli Orthodox community. For the holidays, an entry for Yom Kippur pictures a boy with payot and kippa holding a chicken, ready to perform the ritual of kapparot. A Passover photograph shows a pot of boiling water on a street, available for koshering silverware for the holiday. A picture of an Israeli kitchen features a dishwasher with a special Shabbat cycle. One chapter highlights kosher foods and wine. Orthodox synagogues, places of study, and home observance are prominent throughout the book. Beyond its Orthodox orientation, the book highlights some basic Jewish values such as donating food to the needy on Shabbat and standing up for the elderly in the bus. The text of this book is directed toward adults, but the pictures are appropriate for children of all ages. Unfortunately, because of the quality of paper used in the book, the photographs lack sharpness and appeal. Ages 8 – adult.
Diane Levin Rauschwerger is librarian for Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills, CA, and has worked as a children’s librarian for the Sunnyvale Public Library. She is the author of a series of children’s picture books, including Dinosaur on Hanukkah, Dinosaur on Passover, and Dinosaur on Shabbat, published by Kar-Ben Publishing.