“Bubbe faces, Zayde faces, brother, sister, friendship faces, faces of all races and places, we are Jewish faces.” Debra Davick has adapted her simple poem from I Love Jewish Faces (URJ Press, 2009), changed the refrain to “We are Jewish faces,” and included more contemporary photographs to demonstrate the diversity of the Jewish community today. The book’s photos of smiling faces of all ages and ethnicities were mostly taken at Jewish day schools across the country and show children hugging stuffed Torahs, blowing shofars, eating matzah, shaking the lulav and etrog, lighting Shabbat candles, and davening. They’re also pictured climbing trees, hula-hooping, reading, writing, and playing musical instruments.
Most of the awkward, forced rhymes that marred the first edition have been changed or removed, making for a much smoother reading. People of diverse races and ages are shown, but including photographs of children with disabilities would have enhanced the book and made it a truly inclusive celebration of all Jewish faces.
Recommended for ages 4 to 8.
Rachel Kamin is the Director of the Joseph and Mae Gray Cultural & Learning Center at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, Illinois. A past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, Rachel is currently the co-editor of Book Reviews for Children & Teens for the Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter. She holds a BA in history from Grinnell College and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Michigan.