Canon - List of Volumes

Canon of Jewish Literacy:
Guide for the Thoughtful Jewish Leader
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson

Reference Works

Atlases, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias

  • A Historical Atlas of the Jewish People: From the Time of the Patriarchs to the Present, Eli Barnavi, ed., (New York: Schocken Books, 1992)
  • The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion, R.J. Zwi Werblowsky and Geoffrey Wigoder, eds. in chief (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997)
  • The Jewish Religion: A Companion, Louis Jacobs (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995)
  • Jewish Encyclopedia (accessible online at and Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing; New York: Macmillan, 1972; CD-ROM, Davka).


  • The Jewish Study Bible, Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, Michael Fishbane, eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004)
  • Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary, David L. Lieber, Jules Harlow, eds. (New York: Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, 2001).
  • The Torah: A Modern Commentary, W. Gunther Plaut, ed. (New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1981, 2005).
  • The Chumash: The Stone Edition, Nosson Scherman, ed. (New York: Mesorah, 1993).


  • Siddur Sim Shalom for Shabbat and Festivals (New York: Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, 1998)
  • Siddur Sim Shalom for Weekdays (New York: Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, 2002).
  • Gates of Prayer (New York: Central Conference of American Rabbis, 1975)
  • Kol Haneshamah (Wyncote, PA: Reconstructionist Press, 1994)
  • Complete ArtScroll Siddur, (Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications Ltd, 1984).

Introduction to Judaism

  1. Schwartz, Leo, Great Ages and Ideas of the Jewish People (New York: Modern Library, 1977).

The Bible

  1. Alter, Robert, The Art of Biblical Narrative (New York: Basic Books, 1981) and The Art of Biblical Poetry (New York: Basic Books, 1985).
  2. Friedman, Richard Elliot, Who Wrote the Bible? (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1997).
  3. Levenson, Jon D., Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985).

Rabbinic Judaism

Primary Documents

  1. Talmud Bavli, Schottenstein Edition (Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications); English edition, 73 volumes, begun in 1990, completed in 2005.
  2. Bialik, Hayim Nahman and Yehoshua Hana Ravnitzky, eds., The Book of Legends: Sefer Ha-Aggadah: Legends from the Talmud and Midrash, translated by William G. Braude (New York: Schocken Books, 1992). Ginzberg, Louis, Legends of the Jews (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society); first edition, seven volumes, 1938, translated by Henrietta Szold; new edition, two volumes, 2003, introduction by David Stern).

Understanding Rabbinic Judaism

  1. Hauptman, Judith, Rereading the Rabbis: A Woman’s Voice (Boulder: Westview Press, 1998).
  2. Rubenstein, Jeffrey, Rabbinic Stories (New York: Paulist Press, 2002).
  3. Neusner, Jacob, Invitation to the Talmud: A Teaching Book (New York: Harper & Row, 1984).


Primary Documents

  1. Marcus, Jacob Rader, The Jew in the Medieval World: A Source Book: 315–1791 (Cincinnati: Sinai Press, 1938; Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1999).
  2. Mendes-Flohr, Paul and Jehuda Reinharz, eds., The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980, 1995).

Understanding Jewish History

  1. Ben Sasson, H.H., A History of the Jewish People (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985).
  2. Sarna, Jonathan, American Judaism: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004).

Israel & Zionism

  1. Hammer, Reuven, The Jerusalem Anthology: A Literary Guide (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1995).
  2. Hertzberg, Arthur, The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Herzl Press, 1959; reissued, Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1997).
  3. Sachar, Howard M., A History of Israel (2 volumes), (New York: Knopf, 1996).

Philosophy & Theology

Primary Documents

  1. Frank, Daniel H, Oliver Leaman, and Charles H. Manekin, eds., The Jewish Philosophy Reader (London: Routledge, 2000).

Understanding Jewish Philosophy and Theology

  1. Borowitz, Eugene, Choices in Modern Jewish Thought: A Partisan Guide (West Orange: Behrman House, 1995).

Law, Ethics, and Observance

  1. Berkovits, Eliezer, Not in Heaven: The Nature and Function of Halakha (New York: KTAV, 1983).
  2. Dorff, Elliot N. and Louis E. Newman, eds., Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality: A Reader (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995).
  3. Klein, Isaac, A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1979, 1992).

Spirituality and Mysticism

  1. Jacobs, Louis, The Schocken Book of Jewish Mystical Testimonies (New York: Schocken Books, 1996).
  2. Lamm, Norman, ed., The Religious Thought of Hasidism: Text and Commentary (New York: Yeshiva University Press, 1999).
  3. Matt, Daniel, The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1995).

Prayers and Holy Days

  1. Hammer, Reuven, Entering Jewish Prayer: A Guide to Personal Devotion and the Worship Service (New York: Schocken Books, 1985).
  2. Greenberg, Irving, The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays (New York: Touchstone, 1993).

Women and Gender

  1. Heschel, Susannah, ed., On Being a Jewish Feminist: A Reader (New York: Schocken Books, 1983).
  2. Grossman, Susan and Rivka Haut, eds., Daughters of the King: Women and the Synagogue (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1992).

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