People seeking a basic introduction to Jewish ritual and practice will find it in the new edition of The Jewish Home by Rabbi Daniel Syme. First published in 1988, it explains the major holidays and life-cycle events from a Reform Jewish perspective. Using a question/answer format, Rabbi Syme discusses Shabbat, the High Holidays, Pesach, Purim, and Shavuot as well as lesser-known holidays such as Lag BaOmer, Tu BiSh’vat, and Tishah B’Av. He also covers naming children, brit milah, weddings, divorces, funerals and mourning, and rites of passage (bar/bat mitzvah, confirmation). Black-and-white photographs supplement the text and a brief bibliography of other works published by URJ Press offers further information. This is a useful resource for libraries in Reform congregations. It is also a good source for the home and for public libraries in need of basic material about Judaism.
Barbara M. Bibel is a librarian at the Oakland Public Library in Oakland, CA; and at Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley, CA.