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Suggested books: Family grief from a Jewish perspective

You may find these and other excellent grief resources for children and adults at your local library or bookstore.

For children

Bubbie, Me and Memories
by Barbara Pomerantz; Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) Press, 1983
This book about the death of a grandparent is out of print. But you may be able to find it at a library or used book store.

A Candle for Grandpa: A Guide to the Jewish Funeral for Children and Parents
by David Techner and Judith Hirt-Manheimer; Urj Press, 1993
An 11 year-old boy recognizes the first anniversary of his grandfather's death. This book is listed for the kindergarten to third grade levels.

Daddy's Chair
by Sandy Lanton; Lanton Haas Press, 2001
Michael comes to terms with Daddy's death during the days of observing Shiva. This book earned the Sydney Taylor award from the Association of Jewish Libraries.

My Grandson Lew
by Charlotte Zolotow; Harper & Row, 1974
Lew remembers Grandfather well after his death. This book is out of print. But you may be able to find it at a library or used bookstore.

Saying Goodbye to Grandpa
Saying Goodbye to Grandma
by Mosha Haleni Spero, PhD; Pitspopany Press, 1997
Written for ages 4 to 8, both books explain the Jewish mourning process and include pages for parents.

Tikun Olam: Fixing the World
Anne Lobock Fenton; Brookline Books, 1997
In this poignant story, a good-natured handyman tries to fix his sick friend.

The Ugly Menorah
by Marissa Moss; Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1996
During the first Hanukkah after her grandfather's death, Rachel comes to value the homemade menorah and its history.

When a Grandparent Dies: A Kid's Own Remembering Workbook for Dealing with Shiva and the Year Beyond
by Nechama Liss-Levinson, PhD; Jewish Lights Publishing, 1995

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For adults

To Comfort the Bereaved: A Guide for Mourners and Those Who Visit Them
by Rabbi Aaron Levine; Jason Aronson, 1994
This guide explains traditions, customs and prayers pertaining to nichum aveilim.

The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought
by Neil Gillman; Jewish Lights Publishing, 1997
A professor of Jewish philosophy with excellent knowledge of history comes down on the side of bodily resurrection.

The Jewish Tradition and Choices at the End of Life: A New Judaic Approach to Illness and Dying
by Lewis D. Solomon; University Press of America, 2001
This book presents a variety of viewpoints, more spiritual than legalistic.

The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning
by Maurice Lamm; Jonathon David Publishers, 2000
Although highly recommended, one reviewer noted it is limited to American Ashkenazi Jewish law and customs.

Mourning and Mitzvah: A Guided Journal for Walking the Mourner's Path Through Grief to Healing
by Anne Brenner; Jewish Lights Publishing, 2001
This journal for walking the mourner's path through grief to healing includes over 60 guided exercises.

The Orphaned Adult
by Marc D. Angel; Insight Books, 1987
The author confronts the death of a parent from a Jewish perspective.

So That Your Values Live On
by Jack Riemer and Nathanial Stampfer; Jewish Lights Publishing, 1991
This collection of ethical wills comes with a primer on how to write one.

Speak to Me: Grief, Love and What Endures
by Marcie Hershman; Beacon Press, 2002
The author shares a personal account of her brother's death.

A Time to Mourn, A Time to Comfort: A Guide to Jewish Bereavement and Comfort
by Dr. Ron Wolfson; Jewish Lights Publishing, 1995
Written from a layperson’s perspective, this guide includes a three-page bibliography.

To Walk in God's Ways: Jewish Pastoral Perspectives on Illness and Bereavement
by Joseph S. Ozarowski; Jason Aronson, 1995

What Happens After I Die? Jewish Views of Life After Death
by Rifat Sonsino, Daniel B. Syme; Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) Press, 1990
This book describes and analyzes six classic Jewish views: nothingness, Sheol, resurrection in an afterlife, immortality of the soul, reincarnation, and immortality through deeds of value.

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Allina Health Grief Resources


Source: Allina Grief Resources

First published: 11/01/1998
Last updated: 03/10/2005

Reviewed by: Judy Young, M Ed, manager of education and bereavement, Allina Hospice & Palliative Care