Educational Sourcebooks

The Youth Department sells a variety of sourcebooks on various educational topics. You can browse through the list below to see all of the titles that are available or click here to view the 2011 USY publications brochure.

Please note: All sourcebooks must be purchased through the Book Services Department. Please do not contact the Youth Department for information on how to purchase any of these books unless you have questions about contact or wish to obtain complimentary lesson plans. You can contact the Book Services Department in any of the following ways:

  • Phone — (646) 519-9222
  • E-mailbooksvc@uscj.org
  • Webwww.uscj.org/booksvc (once there, click on “Browse”, then scroll down and click on “Department of Youth Activities”)

Sourcebooks and Educational Materials Available:

  • NEW Mah Gadlu Ma’asekha: Caring for Creation / Judaism and the Environment — A new sourcebook that examines our responsibility for caring for the environment and ways to make positive changes that care for our world. To receive free lesson plans with order or for further information on how to use this book, contact Amy Dorsch.
  • Love Your Neighbor — A joint project between USY and Jewish Women International, this book uses Jewish texts and activities to discuss different components of building healthy relationships between self, friends and family.
  • Ayin L’Tziyon: Looking Towards Zion — A resource for advocating for Israel as Jews in the Diaspora.
  • Tzedakah: A Time For Change — A guide to the principals of giving tzedakah and how to decide where to donate your money.
  • Choices and Challenges: Living as a Jewish Teen Today — An anthology of selections from USY sourcebooks that address challenges Jewish teens face living in today’s society.
  • Celebrating Israel in Our Lives — Sourcebook that includes important concepts to remain informed about the State of Israel.
  • The Call of Freedom — Sourcebook designed to explore the tension between guaranteeing freedom and living as an observant Jew.
  • Visions of Holiness in the Everyday — Describes beliefs, stories, and rituals relating to Judaism. The publication is laid out in classical rabbinic style, with narrative in the middle of the page and additional thoughts and comments along the sides.
  • Conservative Judaism: Our Ancestors to Our Descendants — An authoritative sourcebook on the origins and philosophy of the Conservative Movement. Topics include: The Development and Structure of Conservative Judaism; Jewish law within the Conservative Movement; The Beliefs of the Conservative Movement. This new edition also takes a look at issues relevant to the future of Conservative Judaism. A teacher’s guide is also available.
  • Celebrating Our Uniqueness — Examines the concept of the Jews as a chosen people. This book looks at the role of Jews and Judaism in the modern world and the overall concept of being Jewish in a non-Jewish world.
  • Who Renews Creation — Using the background of the Jewish pioneers who faced the challenging task of building a true Jewish community based on the central norms and ideals of Rabbinic Judaism in this North Dakota prairie at the beginning of this century, this book teaches how the early Rabbinic teachings can continue to inform our environmental concerns today.
  • We Are Family — This text presents a Jewish perspective on family by illuminating various sources from Biblical and Rabbinic literature on the topic. Topics include dating, divorce, marriage, and intermarriage.
  • Mitzvah Means Commandment — A look into the question of “Why perform mitzvot?”. This book traces the various views, from the Biblical to the philosophical. The book also includes a section on the Conservative Movement’s viewpoints.
  • Jewish Life Cycle — Six units dealing with the reasons behind such rituals as Brit Milah, Simhat Bat, Pidyon HaBen, Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and the rituals surrounding marriage, death, and mourning.
  • The People and Its Land — Deals with the age old attachment of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. The book includes the Biblical, Rabbinic, pre-modern, and modern periods. Also includes a special section about Zionism and the Conservative Movement.
  • Jewish Leadership and Heroism — An analysis of leaders and heroes throughout Jewish History who provide us with an understanding of Jewish values today. Deals with figures from various time periods, leading up to the modern period and the problems of leadership today.
  • When Life is in the Balance — Designed to aid in the evaluation of alternatives in dealing with some of the most difficult decisions about living and dying. Issues such as abortion, suicide, and euthanasia are discussed with sensitivity in the context of Jewish tradition and the wisdom of other cultures.
  • Reclaiming Our Legacy — Encourages the study of Torah (Talmud Torah) by showing similarity with and differences from secular study topics. Topics include: The Riches of Talmud Torah; Torah and Knowledge; Beginning Talmud Torah; Creativity and Talmud Torah.
  • Who Makes People Different — This text presents traditional sources about the disabled (Biblical, Rabbinic, and Halakhic) and examines modern views, theological implications, and current programs.
  • Rejoice with Jerusalem — A volume combining a historical survey of Jerusalem over the ages with an examination of Jerusalem’s meaning to modern Jewry.
  • Higher and Higher — A comprehensive examination of Jewish prayer and the structure of the Siddur, including analysis of individual prayers. A teacher’s guide is also available separately.
  • In God’s Image — A sourcebook and workbook for discussions on sexuality (including a new section discussing HIV), drinking, smoking, drugs, language and profanity, dress and appearance. The discussion is based on Jewish sources, combining traditional Jewish wisdom with modern day relevance. Emphasis is placed upon personal goal setting and decision making.
  • We Are Family — A compilation of Jewish attitudes and practices regarding death. Deals with such issues as illness, euthanasia, and organ transplants. Includes readings for the bereaved family.
  • Symbols of Judaism — These two source and discussion books deal with symbols in the human experience. The first volume covers tefillin, mezuzah, lulav and etrog, and explains calligraphy and scribal arts. The second concentrates on the symbols of the High Holy Days and the laws of the synagogue.
  • Missionary at the Door — Examines issues raised by missionaries, especially in their approaches to Jews, by offering an understanding of their unique position on Judaism.
  • Tzorchei Tzibur: Community and Responsibility — A compilation of texts, activities, and exercises on the theme of human relationships. Attempts to sensitize the reader to such concepts as tzedakah and g’milut hasidim; including hospitality, visiting the sick, respecting the elderly, redeeming captives, treatment of the poor, and honoring the dead.
  • Midrash: The Search for a Contemporary Past — Explains the use of Midrashic method and style. Examples of Midrash, often from the Haggadah, are used throughout the book, both to illustrate the style and to understand the Passover Haggadah.