It's a topic that’s so scary it's hard to write on your curriculum. It has teachers shaking in their boots.
Teaching about God. To teenagers.
And though it might be scary for us to teach, it’s also an important part of any young adult’s Jewish education. This book will help your students, and it will calm your teachers.
Judaism’s approach to the Divine is not a black and white matter. Finding belief is not about answering simple yes-or-no questions. God is about asking tough questions, finding that there’s usually more than one “Jewish” answer, and trying to make a choice that fits.
That’s why we asked forty rabbinical students, new voices in Jewish thought, and young Jewish educators to answer some big questions about God. They identify as Conservative, Reform, Renewal, Modern Orthodox, Reconstuctionist, and non-denominational. They’re traditionalists and iconoclasts, activists and authors. This book is a compendium of their answers. Carefully edited and organized to be a text for the Jewish classroom, God: Jewish Choices for Struggling with the Ultimate is a resource for helping every student clarify and expand his or her own beliefs. And it is a resource for 7th-12th grade teachers to talk safely with their students about a tough topic.
Table of Contents
1. Is there a God?
2. Who created God?
3. If there is one God, why are there so many religions?
4. Do we have free will?
5. Does prayer work?
6. Are Jews the “Chosen People”?
7. Is the Bible true?
8. Does God speak to people? Or Why did God stop talking to people?
9. Does God make miracles?
10. How can a good God let bad things happen?
11. Does God care about my behavior?
12. Where do people go when they die?
13. How do I get close to God?
Now Available: Free Teacher Resources
We're pleased to offer the following free resources to teachers. To download, simply click. (All resources are PDF documents viewable on any PC or Mac.)
God: Jewish Choices for Struggling with the Ultimate - Teacher's Introduction
This free teacher's guide introduces the book and helps teachers use it in classroom settings.
Teaching About God
This article by Joel Lurie Grishaver discusses the big pedagogic issues related to teaching about God. It is a must-read for anyone teaching about God, and for any educator, principal, or rabbi considering adding God as a discrete part of their curriculum.