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The Spirituality of Welcoming

A practical guide for envisioning and transforming your synagogue into a powerful new congregation of welcoming, learning and healing. “The new synagogue we envision is a spiritual center for all those who set foot inside it. It is a kehillah kedoshah, a sacred community, where relationships are paramount, where worship is engaging, where everyone is learning, where repair of the world is a moral imperative, where healing is offered, where personal and institutional transformation are embraced. The times are ripe for this spiritual call.” from the Introduction So often we want our congregations to be more more compelling, more member-focused, more spiritual and yet more useful for our daily lives. Through reflection, examples, tips and exercises and incorporating the fruits of Synagogue 2000 (now Synagogue 3000), a groundbreaking decade-long program investigating the challenges facing modern synagogues this inspiring handbook both establishes a sound foundation for why a deep hospitality is crucial for the survival of today’s spiritual communities, and dives into the practical hands-on how of turning your congregation into a place of invitation and openness that includes: Prayer that is engaging, uplifting and spiritually moving Institutional deepening that is possible because of an openness to change Study that engages adults and families, as well as children Good deeds the work of social justice as a commitment of each and every member An ambience of welcome that creates a culture of warmth and outreach Healing that offers comfort and support at times of illness and loss … and much more.”

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The Exegetical Imagination

Exegesis–interpretation and explanation of sacred texts–is the quintessence of rabbinic thought. Through such means and methods, the written words of Hebrew Scripture have been extended since antiquity, and given new voices for new times. In this lucid and often poetic book, Michael Fishbane delineates the connections between biblical interpretation and Jewish religious thought.

How can a canon be open to new meanings, given that it is believed to be immutable? Fishbane discusses the nature and rationale of this interpretative process in a series of studies on ancient Jewish speculative theology. Focusing on questions often pondered in Midrash, he shows how religious ideas are generated or justified by exegesis. He also explores the role exegesis plays in liturgy and ritual. A striking example is the transfer of speculative interpretations into meditation in prayer. Cultivation of the ability to perceive many implicit meanings in a text or religious practice can become a way of living–as Fishbane shows in explaining how such notions as joy or spiritual meditations on death can be idealized and the ideal transmitted through theological interpretation. The Exegetical Imagination is a collection of interrelated essays that together offer new and profound understanding of scriptural interpretation and its central role in Judaism.

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2015 Writer’s Market

The most trusted guide to getting published!

Want to get published and paid for your writing? Let the 2015 Writer’s Market guide you through the process with thousands of publishing opportunities for writers, including listings for book publishers, consumer and trade magazines, contests and awards, and literary agents. These listings include contact and submission information to help writers get their work published.

Beyond the listings, you’ll find all-new editorial material devoted to the business and promotion of writing, including advice on pitching to agents and editors, managing your freelance business, and building a readership. This edition also includes the ever popular–and updated–pay-rate chart, plus dozens of articles and essays like these:Kate Meadows, freelance writer and editor, shares seven habits of financially savvy writers.Carol Tice, professional writer, teaches you how to build your writing career with social media.Dana W. Todd, public relations professional, explains how to successfully pitch you and your work like a PR pro. You also gain access to:Lists of professional writing organizationsSample query lettersA free digital download of Writer’s Yearbook featuring the 100 Best Markets Finally, NEW TO THIS YEAR’S EDITION is an exclusive webinar "How to Find More Success Freelancing," taught by Robert Lee Brewer, editor of Writer’s Market. It takes a lot more than flawless writing to be a freelance writer. This hour-long webinar will help you to increase your chances of success. You’ll learn the current freelance landscape, how to find freelance opportunities, how to secure assignments, negotiating strategies, and more. Whether the goal is to publish a book, write a magazine article, or freelance for local businesses, this webinar is for writers looking to find more success with their freelancing and ultimately make more money.

"Every writer needs a toolbox filled with craft, a drop of talent, and hope. Successful writers know they must add the Writer’s Market. You should too." -Barbara O’Neal, author of The All You Can Dream Buffet, 7-time RITA award-winner, and RWA Hall of Fame member

"The business of writing is unnecessarily intimidating. Editors want good writing, so why can it be so hard to get published. Writer’s Market helps make sense of that big question, offering the kind of straight-shooting advice writers needs. I bought my first copy over a decade ago and still feel grateful that I was able to send my first submissions without embarrassing myself. Writer’s Market is an invaluable tool that I find myself recommending again and again." -Erica Wright, author of the novel The Red Chameleon and poetry collection Instructions for Killing the Jackal, as well as Senior Editor for Guernica Magazine

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The Essential Kabbalah

A translation of the Kabbalah for the layperson includes a compact presentation of each primary text and features a practical analysis and vital historical information that offer insight into the various aspects of Jewish mysticism.

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Four Centuries of Jewish Women’s Spirituality

Much has changed for Jewish women since the first edition of Four Centuries of Jewish Women’s Spirituality appeared in 1992. Associations of Jewish women—academic, religious, secular—have proliferated, making the women’s voices heard. In collecting material for this completely revised edition, the editors drew upon sources that express the diversity of Jewish women, mainly from 1560 to the present. They sought material by Jewish women of different ages, sexual orientations, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds, and nationalities. Reflecting a wide variety of literary genres, sources include spiritual works (sermons, addresses, ritual blessing, prayers) as well as letters, sisterhood minutes, and committee reports that also express the spiritual concerns of their authors. Writings by women rabbis and contemporary Orthodox women, along with documents from Latin America, bring the volume up to date.

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Torah and Dharma

“In Torah and Dharma: Jewish Seekers in Eastern Religions, psychologist Dr. Judith Linzer explores the phenomenon of Jews seeking spiritual fulfillment in Eastern religions, particularly Buddhism.” “Written with the intention of encouraging unity and understanding amongst all Jews, Torah and Dharma will allow those who are not seeking meaning outside of traditional Judaism to better understand those who are, and it will provide comfort and inspiration to those embarking on a spiritual quest of their own.”–BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

God in Search of Man

Abraham Joshua Heschel was one of the most revered religious leaders of the 20th century, and God in Search of Man and its companion volume, Man Is Not Alone, two of his most important books, are classics of modern Jewish theology. God in Search of Man combines scholarship with lucidity, reverence, and compassion as Dr. Heschel discusses not man’s search for God but God’s for man–the notion of a Chosen People, an idea which, he writes, “signifies not a quality inherent in the people but a relationship between the people and God.” It is an extraordinary description of the nature of Biblical thought, and how that thought becomes faith.

The Jewish Religion

How do Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism differ? Is caviar kosher? Who was Maimonides? What is current Jewish thought on Jesus, sex, abortion, feminism, and capital punishment? Spanning from biblical times to the present, The Jewish Religion offers a goldmine of information on Jewish belief and practice, wisdom and culture, history and tradition.
Sweeping in scope and based on impeccable scholarship, this volume’s 750 alphabetical entries range from Aaron to Zweifel to illuminate virtually every facet of the Jewish heritage. For example, the book explains Halakhah and Aggadah, the legal and non-legal sides of Jewish thought; traces the development of the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Movements; discusses Haskalah (the Jewish Enlightenment) and Hasidism; and explores the differences between the Spanish traditions of the Sephardim and the German traditions of the Ashkenazim. It examines the great philosophical questions underlying the Jewish faith; carefully examines Zionism, with its tension between religion and nationalism and its profound implications for the present and the future of Israel; and serves as a marvelous companion to Jewish religious and philosophical literature. Readers will find entries on all the books of the Old Testament–with compelling descriptions of the patriarchs, prophets, and law givers–on the oral and written Torah, on the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmud, and on the Kabbalah. Jacobs examines all the great Jewish thinkers–from Rashi, Akiba, and Judah the Prince, to Maimonides, Spinoza, and Martin Buber–and he describes the thought of the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, father of the Reform movement, and Theodore Herzl, the originator of modern Zionism. Finally, the book is filled with information on popular customs, rituals, and religious services, covering all the major holidays, providing guidance on prayer and liturgy, and explaining the dietary laws in detail. It even offers step-by-step instructions for conducting the Passover Seder, preparing matzoh, kindling the Hannukah lights, building a sukkah, and much, much more.
Here then is a matchless guide to Jewish religion, history, culture, and thought and a valuable repository of knowledge for both Jews and non-Jews alike.

Jews, God, and Videotape

Engaging media has been an ongoing issue for American Jews, as it has been for other religious communities in the United States, for several generations. Jews, God, and Videotape is a pioneering examination of the impact of new communications technologies and media practices on the religious life of American Jewry over the past century. Shandler’s examples range from early recordings of cantorial music to Hasidic outreach on the Internet. In between he explores mid-twentieth-century ecumenical radio and television broadcasting, video documentation of life cycle rituals, museum displays and tourist practices as means for engaging the Holocaust as a moral touchstone, and the role of mass-produced material culture in Jews’ responses to the American celebration of Christmas.

Shandler argues that the impact of these and other media on American Judaism is varied and extensive: they have challenged the role of clergy and transformed the nature of ritual; facilitated innovations in religious practice and scholarship, as well as efforts to maintain traditional observance and teachings; created venues for outreach, both to enhance relationships with non-Jewish neighbors and to promote greater religiosity among Jews; even redefined the notion of what might constitute a Jewish religious community or spiritual experience. As Jews, God, and Videotape demonstrates, American Jews’ experiences are emblematic of how religious communities’ engagements with new media have become central to defining religiosity in the modern age.