This updated edition of the classic parenting book combines insights from Jewish tradition with contemporary thinking about how children learn and grow. And it describes the practices, customs, and values that go into creating a Jewish home and raising joyful children within the rich traditions of Judaism.
"Parenting is a wholly human practice, and a holy one." This description of parenting comes from the Preface of How to Be a Jewish Parent by Anita Diamant, with Karen Kushner. At a time when statistics predict continued dilution of Jewish identity, when many "discussions of Jewish parenting seem like a last-ditch effort to preserve an endangered way of life," Diamant and Kushner instead consider parenting to be the project of "raising healthy, joyful human beings within our rich, diverse, life-giving tradition." The first part of the book, "Parents as Teachers," describes how to create Jewish spaces within the home, how to involve children in a Jewish community, and how to teach them about the Jewish calendar. The second part of the book, "Ages and Stages," addresses the particular challenges of raising children in various age groups. And the third section, "Modern Life," speaks to some particularly challenging situations, such as physical, mental, and learning disabilities. Throughout, Diamant and Kushner combine insights from scripture, psychology, education, and everyday experience. Like Diamant's previous books, How to Be a Jewish Parent arrives as the definitive reference in its field. --Michael Joseph Gross