A Syn­a­gogue Just Like Home

  • Review
By – December 7, 2022

Rab­bi Ruben would be a pop­u­lar com­mu­ni­ty rab­bi in any city or town. He cares deeply about his syn­a­gogue and the peo­ple it serves, and he has a won­der­ful, can-do atti­tude. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the syn­a­gogue is no longer in good con­di­tion; the win­dows are drafty, the floors creak, and the kitchen sink leaks. Cheer­ful Rab­bi Ruben is sure he can fix these prob­lems him­self, using a bit of inge­nu­ity and what­ev­er mate­ri­als are on hand. His excel­lent inten­tions, though, do not work out quite as he hopes. His repairs fail, and the build­ing is still in sham­bles. The mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tion band togeth­er as a com­mu­ni­ty to make the need­ed repairs. Their help­ing, shar­ing, and car­ing have done the trick — and now their syn­a­gogue feels just like home.”

This well-told sto­ry and its col­or­ful, humor­ous illus­tra­tions — which depict indi­vid­u­als with their own per­son­al­i­ties and styles — will sat­is­fy chil­dren on mul­ti­ple lev­els. A Syn­a­gogue Just Like Home is a fun sto­ry that serves as a per­fect exam­ple of coop­er­a­tion. Read­ers emerge with sub­tle lessons, effec­tive­ly taught, about how to be a part of some­thing larg­er than themselves.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

Discussion Questions