Pathfinder for Israel Trip
This pathfinder is a list of resources in print and online that will help adults and children of all ages become acquainted with the history, leaders, places, and culture of Israel, as well as the lives of Israelis of all ages. It includes age-appropriate books, websites, DVDs and other multimedia that will introduce you to both modern Israel and ancient Jewish history. This is just a taste of what we have in our library, and of what’s available on the Internet. Please contact Ann Abrams, Librarian, if you’d like to borrow any of these materials, or if you have any questions about them.
BOOKS FOR ADULTS AND TEENS
Feiler, Bruce S. Walking the Bible : a journey by land through the five books of Moses The story of Bruce Feiler's 10,000-mile trek from Mount Ararat to Mount Nebo, undertaken for reasons he did not understand at the outset and accompanied by a companion who was very nearly a stranger.
Gavron, Daniel. Walking Through Israel.
Daniel Gavron, one of Israel’s best-known journalists, set out to know his country in a way few people ever have—by walking it on foot from end to end.
Gluzman, Michael. Israel : a traveler's literary companion / This is the fourth in a series of collected short fiction depicting contemporary life in a locale popular with tourists (previous volumes are on Costa Rica, Prague, and Vietnam). The editors, travelers and journalists, have selected 16 recent essays grouped under the headings Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Eilat, kibbutz, land, borders, and pilgrimage, all written in Hebrew and translated into English. The authors are mostly Israeli, e.g., Amos Oz ("Thank God for His Daily Blessings," about Jerusalem); David Grossman ("Barta'a," which focuses on the West Bank border), and Ofra Rizenfeld ("What's There and What Isn't," concerning kibbutzim). The pieces reveal a cross section of people in situations tender, sad, angry, and funny. Collectively, the pieces present a view of Israeli life seldom encountered by tourists or other outsiders, as well as suggesting the rich state of creative writing in the country today. A good foreword and preface place the essays in context for the reader. From Library Journal
Hoffman, Lawrence. Israel: A Spiritual Travel Guide.
Combining, in quick reference format, ancient blessings, medieval prayers, biblical references, and modern poetry, it helps today’s pilgrim tap into the deep spiritual meaning of the ancient—and modern—sites of the Holy Land.
Michener, James. The Source. The author sweeps us back through time to the Holy Land, thousands of years ago. By exploring the lives and discoveries of modern archaeologists excavating the site of Tell Makor, Michener vividly re-creates life in and around an ancient city during critical periods of its existence, and traces the profound history of the Jews, including that of the early Hebrews and their persecution, the impact of Christianity on the Jewish world, the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition.
Let's Go Travel Guide: Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Budget travel guide
Rosenthal, Donna. The Israelis: ordinary people in an extraordinary land.
Depending upon the source of the report, Israelis are either portrayed to Americans as stalwart but beleaguered allies in the war against terror or frequently brutal colonizers determined to maintain control over justifiably resentful Palestinians. Of course, both images can be true, and both can be terrible distortions of reality. Rosenthal, a journalist, television news producer, and lecturer at Hebrew University, has written a broad portrait of a people and of individual Israeli citizens that is interesting, compelling, and often surprising. As revealed by Rosenthal, Israel is a vibrant and amazingly diverse nation. Ultra-Orthodox Jews wait for the Messiah and hunt down and abuse "immodestly" dressed women in Jerusalem streets. Nearby, twenty-first-century entrepreneurs break new ground in high-tech industries. Children of Bedouin families strive to carve a niche for themselves in a relentlessly modernizing society, while other Israeli Arabs struggle to define their identity in a Jewish state. This is a refreshing book that humanizes people and helps to counteract news reports that usually stress acts of savage inhumanity. Booklist.
Salkin, Jeffrey (ed.) A Dream of Zion: American Jews Reflect on Why Israel Matters to Them.
What keeps American Jews connected to Israel? How does Israel fit in their sense of what it means to be Jewish and American? This moving collection presents answers from American Jews of many different religious, political, and professional backgrounds.
St. John, Robert. Tongue of the prophets; the life story of Eliezer Ben Yehudah. A very engaging historical novel about the man who practically single-handedly transformed Hebrew from a language of prayer and study to a spoken language.
Alex, building a life : the story of an American who fell defending Israel /
Wolman, Baron. Above the Holy Land: Israel from the Air.
A colorful introduction for those who are anticipating their first trip to the Holy Land.
YOUNG ADULT BOOKS (5TH GRADE AND UP)
Allon, Hagit. The Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
What Daniel really wants is to be a detective, but so far he hasn't been having much luck. That is, not until he is assigned a project on the Dead Sea Scrolls and discovers that there are even bigger mysteries than burglaries and murders.
Feiler, Bruce. Walking the Bible, kids’ version. While in Jerusalem, Feiler, the author of the adult book by the same name, walked across the Middle East, exploring the places where the biblical stories ostensibly took place. He began at the intersection of the Tigeris and Eurphrates rivers, a likely spot for the Garden of Eden, then headed to Turkey to find Noah's Ark; to Ur and Abraham's home; to Egypt, Moses and Joseph's adopted land; and finally to Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. This volume, aimed at young people, has been trimmed considerably, and at times, the cuts seem to have been made with a hacksaw rather than a scalpel, making the version shorter but not always shaped for its intended audience. Still, readers won't be disappointed by the material. Feiler writes in a conversational way that will draw them close, and his significant descriptive abilities will ground familiar stories in reality. Effective black-and-white photographs and evocative line drawings are scattered throughout. Booklist.
Goldreich, Gloria. Lori.
Though her parents claim it will be a broadening experience, a sixteen-year-old New Yorker is uncertain about the merits of spending 18 months with an Israeli family.
Kort, Michael. Yitzhak Rabin: Israel’s Soldier-Statesman.
The story of the growth of a man and the birth of a modern nation
Maltz, Fran. Keeping Faith in the Dust.
Sixteen-year-old Hannah describes the events that lead her family from their home near Dead Sea to the fortress at Masada, where a group of Jews hold out against the Romans for seven years.
Rossel, Seymour. Israel: Covenant People, Covenant Land.
Samuels, Gertrude. B-G: Fighter of Goliaths, the Story of Ben-Gurion.
A biography of the Israeli statesman which is also an account of modern Israel's fight for recognition, independence, and survival.
Sherman, Josepha. Your Travel Guide to Ancient Israel.
Takes readers on a journey back in time in order to experience life in Israel at the time of King Solomon, describing clothing, accommodations, foods, local customs, transportation, a few notable personalities, and more.”
Silverman, Maida. Israel: The Founding of a Modern Nation.
The story of how the nation of Israel came to be is a drama filled with heroes and villains, promises broken and kept, bloody battles and miraculous events. But above all, it is a story about hope.
CHILDREN’S BOOKS (1ST-4TH GRADE)
Adler, David A. A Picture Book of Israel.
An introduction to the history and geography of Israel
Adler, David A. Our Golda: The Story of Golda Meir.
A biography of the Israeli prime minister and world leader, emphasizing her early childhood and youth in Russia and America.
Burstein, Chaya. A Kid’s Catalog of Israel
Examines the history, customs, language, crafts, recipes, geography, and music of Israel.
Carmi, Giora. And Shira Imagined….
A young girl visits Israel and envisions the history of the sites she sees. Fiction, picture book.
Mayers, Florence. ABC, The Alef-Bet Book
Presents the Hebrew alphabet, using each letter to introduce the Israeli and Judaica collections of the Israel Museum.
Paris, Alan. Jerusalem 3000: Kids Discover the City of Gold.
Your guides, Shalom and Tamar, are waiting to lead you along the trail of ancient landmarks that have made Jerusalem the magical, mystical and very real center of Jewish history.
Podwal, Mark. Jerusalem Sky: Stars, Crosses and Crescents. Beautiful illustrations of Jerusalem
Rivlin, Lilly. Welcome to Israel! Illustrations, photographs, maps, and text introduce the history, culture, religions, and peoples of Israel.
Rouss, Sylvia A. Sammy Spider’s First Trip to Israel.
Sammy Spider joins the Shapiro family on a vacation, and he uses his five senses to experience Israel.
Sofer, Barbara. Keeping Israel safe : the Israel Defense Forces /
Taitz, Emily. Israel: A Sacred Land.
Describes the land and people of Israel today and in the past.
Drishat Shalom : Israeli TV on DVD. For teens and adults
Milk, Honey, Chocolate and Falafel.
American Jewish children ask questions about Israel; Israeli children currently living in the Boston area answer. The American children are students in Zivit Davidovitch's 5th grade class at Temple Israel, Boston. Zivit, a film student at Boston University, produced and directed this film.” (VHS) All ages.
Fliegel’s Flight: A Bird’s-Eye View of Jewish History. (DVD) All ages.
The Wonder of Israel.
Topics include: Geography, History, Government, People, Lifestyles, Economy, The Search for peace.” (VHS) Grade 3 and up.
Israel Beyond Our Borders.
The historical significance of Israel can be felt in its other name, the Holy Land, and in sites such as the Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and Al Aqsa Mosque, holy places of three religions. But it is best known as the home of modern Jews, so the old and new exist side by side in places and cities such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, or ruins of several civilizations that have come and gone.... (DVD) Grade 3 and up.
Shalom Sesame: This series of dvds has the cast of Sesame Street and guests giving us a tour of Israel, teaching us Hebrew and about Jewish holidays. Geared for American Jewish children grades 1 and up.
Children of Jerusalem: Asya, Tamar, Ibrahim, Yacoub, Neveen, Gesho, Yehuda.
This is a series of seven documentaries about the lives of Arab and Jewish children in Jerusalem, sometimes focusing on holidays. (VHS). Grades 3 and up.
WEBSITES FOR ALL
Akhlah – Fast Facts about Israel for Kids http://www.akhlah.com/israel/israel_facts.php
Frommer’s Guide to Israel
Up-do-date advice on what to do in Israel
Israeli Embassy’s Kids Website (for young children)
Includes games, pictures and information for young children
Israel For Kids
Fun facts, cool news and games
Official Tourism Site of the Israeli Government
My Jewish Learning’s Israel Articles
Information on Israeli history, politics and culture
New York Times Online Article, In Israel, History with a Whiff of Adventure, May 17th, 2009
Article on traveling with kids in Israel
Travel for Kids
Fun activities to do with kids in Israel
This Pathfinder was a collaboration between Library Interns Jon Cohen and Kim Kennedy, with a little help from Assistant Librarian Marie Cloutier and Librarian Ann Abrams