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The New Jewish Baby Book
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Diamant's pioneering The Jewish Baby Book (Summit Bks., 1988. o.p.) was a highly practical guide for liberal Jewish parents-to-be and new parents. It concerned choosing traditional and modern Jewish names; ceremonies and celebrations, including birth announcements and the Brit Milah (convenant of circumcision); the issues of infertility and genetic testing; adoption; and recommendations for celebrating the baby's first year in a meaningfully Jewish way. Diamant has now revised and expanded that excellent book to include handouts to copy for ceremonies, a special section for interfaith families, and new ceremonies for girls. Still the only book in its field, this is highly recommended for all libraries serving Jewish patrons.-- Marcia Welsh, Guilford Free Lib., Ct.

While most of the conversation preceding the birth of a baby these days is focused on such physical things as diets and breathing exercises, the almost universal reaction by, and concern of, parents themselves is a sense of wonderment and awe. In this sometimes very parochial book, the author addresses the human need to plan for the spiritual aspects of childbirth. Diamant offers precise guidelines for celebrating initial and fundamental rites of passage. She devotes much space to Jewish names, both biblical and cultural in origin, and explains the religious traditions and/or significance involved in each. Of even greater import to Diamant, however, is the ceremony of the circumcision. Contrary to a belief widely held in recent times, she stresses, circumcision has no basis in health practices. It is, rather, a sanctification of the ancient convenant God made with Abraham. As a reflection of our ceremonies for girls, adoption and interfaith families. (Mar.)

"I've never been religious, but during my pregnancy I had a lot of questions about Jewish traditions ... this book helped me make all the decisions." --Robin Wolaner, founder, Parenting magazine "Lovely.... Does a wonderful job of explaining aspects of traditional Jewish law--meaningful suggestions make tradition relevant to contemporary situations." --American Library Association's Booklist "Weaves together history, traditions, laws and practices, rituals and prayers to form a beautiful tapestry.... A wonderful resource." --Rabbi Joy Levitt (Reconstructionist), associate executive director of programming at the Manhattan JCC "A book that all Jewish parents--no matter how religious--will find fascinating as well as useful. It is a perfect shower or new baby gift." --Pamela Abrams, executive editor, Parents magazine "Skillfully teaches how traditional Jewish ritual enhances life's most sacred moments and stimulates thinking about developing new practices that acknowledge the changing nature of the Jewish family and demonstrate sensitivity to issues of gender and adoption." --Rabbi William H. Lebeau (Conservative), vice chancellor, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America "Gives all of us--experts and novices alike--the ability and confidence to begin our Jewish child rearing on a profound and sacred plane." --Cantor Benjie Ellen Shiller (Reform), professor of cantorial arts, HUC-JIR School of Sacred Music "I've never been religious, but during my pregnancy I had a lot of questions about Jewish traditions ... this book helped me make all the decisions." Robin Wolaner, founder, Parenting magazine "Lovely.... Does a wonderful job of explaining aspects of traditional Jewish law meaningful suggestions make tradition relevant to contemporary situations." American Library Association's Booklist Weaves together history, traditions, laws and practices, rituals and prayers to form a beautiful tapestry.... A wonderful resource. Rabbi Joy Levitt (Reconstructionist), associate executive director of programming at the Manhattan JCC A book that all Jewish parents no matter how religious will find fascinating as well as useful. It is a perfect shower or new baby gift. Pamela Abrams, executive editor, Parents magazine Skillfully teaches how traditional Jewish ritual enhances life s most sacred moments and stimulates thinking about developing new practices that acknowledge the changing nature of the Jewish family and demonstrate sensitivity to issues of gender and adoption. Rabbi William H. Lebeau (Conservative), vice chancellor, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America Gives all of us experts and novices alike the ability and confidence to begin our Jewish child rearing on a profound and sacred plane. Cantor Benjie Ellen Shiller (Reform), professor of cantorial arts, HUC JIR School of Sacred Music "

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