“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 has been a synagogue librarian and Jewish educator for over twenty-five years and has worked at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, IL since 2008, currently serving as the Director of Lifelong Learning. A past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee and past editor of Book Reviews for Children & Teens for the Association of Jewish Libraries News & Reviews, her articles and book reviews appear in numerous publications. She has been a member of the American Library Association’s Sophie Brody Book Award Committee since 2021.