About Our Books
Regardless of your Jewish spiritual background, these books for children and adults by Sholom Morgan provide an organized and detailed approach to a Jewish lifestyle, and comprehensive instructions for practical Jewish living.
Every page contains a great wealth of inspiring, meaningful and timeless lessons. You would have to read several books to get the same amount of information found in just one volume.
In this series are four outstanding books about Judaism. Each book targets a specific age group. Three of the books are about the ‘mitzvoth,’ Biblical commandments.
One book is for adults, another is for high school students and the third for elementary school students. The fourth book is about the Jewish holidays and is intended for children, although adults like it, too.
Comprehension exercises and fun activities are included with each book. These fully-illustrated books provide an inspirational, in-depth and hands-on exploration of the ritual and social aspects of the Jewish faith.
The books are intended to be read and used by individuals, families, Jewish institutions, JCC’s, libraries, Jewish schools, classrooms, synagogues, temples, junior congregations, afternoon Hebrew schools, and any locations where Jews congregate.
“Your rewards await you!”
I have been a Jewish studies educator for more than 50 years. In that span I have taught Jewish subjects to children of all ages as well as adults.
My students thrill at my ability to engage them in every Jewish subject we study. I am noted for my creativity and expertise in Jewish practice.
One fine day I was looking for books on the laws & customs of Judaism as well as one about the Jewish holidays. After an extensive search, I was unable to find a book explaining the mitzvot (Biblical commandments) or a book about the Jewish holidays in one set.
Sure, there were several books available which discussed various mitzvot. And a book might explain the holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, another might explain Chanuka, etc. But I was unable to find a book that explains the mitzvot or that explains the Jewish holidays in one book.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Having studied in Jewish schools , using my skills as a journalist , doing extensive research , using my teaching experience and skills, and unable to locate books I could use in my classes, I decided to take action.
I am the proud author of four well-written and inspiring books for children and adults which discuss the rituals and social aspects of Judaism as well as the Jewish holidays. Each book was carefully researched and checked for accuracy by prominent rabbis. The books are intended not only for educators but for Jewish families, Jewish houses of worship, junior congregations, JCC’s, libraries, and any institution where Jews assemble.
I am eternally grateful to God for giving me the strength and wisdom to successfully combine my passions for writing, teaching and studying Jewish subjects into books which enable readers to identify and practice their 3,300-year-old faith.
An initiative to help children get enrolled in Yeshiva
This is Sholom Morgan. I hope you are well.
For thousands of years, Jews have been known as “the people of the Book.” Hashem (G-d) is quoted in His Torah as commanding Jews to study His Torah and perform the mitzvot (Biblical commandments) in it. Despite years of persecution, oppression and dispersion, the common bond that has kept Jews all over the world united is their shared belief in the Torah and its dictates. Every time a Jew studies the Torah and performs mitzvot, he continues the chain of Jewish tradition that extends to the giving of the Torah by Hashem to the Jews more than 3,300 years ago. This is why Jews are characterized as “the people of the Book.” That Book is, of course, the Torah.
A method had to be developed to facilitate the study of the Torah to masses of Jews. It so happens that it was developed at a crucial time in the history of the Jewish people in Israel shortly before the destruction of the Second Bait Hamikdash (Temple).
The Talmud (Baba Batra 21a) tells the story of Yehoshua ben Gamla (Hebrew: יהושע בן גמלא). He was a Jewish high priest in about 64-65 CE. “Rabbi Yehuda said in the name of Rab: The name of that man is to be blessed, Yehoshua ben Gamla. Were it not for him the Torah would have been forgotten from Israel.”
If a child had a father, the Talmud reports, his father taught him the Torah. But if the child had no father, the child did not study at all. So a law was passed that teachers of children be appointed in Jerusalem. Still, if a child had a father, he would take his child to Jerusalem to have him taught. But if a child had no father, he would not study. So another law was passed that teachers be appointed in each town and that boys should begin to enter school at age 16 or 17.
They did so. However, if the teacher punished them, they would rebel and leave the school. So Yehoshua ben Gamla ordained that teachers of young children should be appointed in each district and each town, and that children should begin school at the age of six or seven.
Yehoshua ben Gamla is thus credited with being the founder of the “yeshiva” (Jewish day school) movement.
It is highly unlikely that Jewish parents in the era of Yehoshua ben Gamla paid large sums of money for tuition so their children could study. Unfortunately, that is not the case today. Orthodox yeshivot (Jewish day schools) needs vast sums of money to educate children. Among the reasons are two sets of staff (Judaic and secular); the high cost of kosher food; and the costs normally associated with schools such as utilities, support staff, etc.
The high cost of tuition continues to prevent many parents from enrolling their children in Orthodox yeshivot. Scholarships are available at some Orthodox yeshivot but not nearly enough money is raised to enable all parents who so desire to send their children to a yeshiva.
You can help. Torah Educational Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit (EIN 59-3806038). Its mission is to award grants to parents to enroll their children in yeshivot. The money raised will be used for this purpose. Parents need only provide proof of financial need to qualify. All donations are tax-deductible.
Please help this very worthy cause. And while you are on this website, check out the books authored by Sholom Morgan as well as the many other interesting features!
Parsha for all ages
Nearly every Shabat (Saturday) morning, a parsha – section of the Torah — is read in the synagogue as part of the Shacharit (morning) prayer. Each parsha has a name. A parsha may discuss Jewish laws and customs, or it may contain the history of the Jewish people, or both! You can read about the parshiyot (plural of parsha) in all versions of Have You been Jewish Today? by Sholom Morgan.
I have created questions about the content of each parsha. Some parshiyot have many questions, others only a few. They are all designed to be interesting and informative. The questions are below.
The answer to each question is provided in CAPITAL LETTERS after each question, and many questions are designed to segue to the next one. The questions I have created have been used for many years, and can be used by anyone, small children as well as adults. They capture much of the content of each parsha.
Feel free to print as many parshiyot as you wish.
FOR ADULTS: If you are a parent and your children are enrolled in a Jewish school, you could ask them the questions on Shabat (which is from Friday night to Saturday night) while eating one of the Shabat meals or after the meal. This assumes, of course, that your child(ren)s’ teachers have taught the contents of the parsha which, in many Jewish schools, begins in kindergarten or first grade.
If your child(ren) do not attend a Jewish school, read the adult edition of Have You been Jewish Today? to discover why attending one is important.
If you are unfamiliar with the contents of each parsha, it is important that you learn it! Children who see their parents learning the parshiyot are more likely to imitate their behavior.
You may want to make a game of the questions, e.g., your child(ren) stand in a line next to each other. The child who answers a question correctly takes a step forward. The child who has moved the furthest wins whatever coveted prize you want to offer (e.g., sweets). With your creative ability, you can no doubt invent many games to make answering the questions fun! And by the way, the parsha experience is enhanced when children of two or more families participate in answering the questions.
FOR OLDER CHILDREN: If you have learned the contents of the parsha, you should have no difficulty answering the questions. If you haven’t learned the contents, although the questions provide much information about the content of each parsha, you are nevertheless strongly encouraged to learn each parsha.
Please feel free to download and print as many parshiyot as you wish and encourage others to do likewise. There is no charge. Since the contents of the parshiyot are the same every year, feel free to keep the parshiyot you print for future use.
Your feedback on the questions (and anything else related to the website or its contents) is greatly appreciated!
Available to you are 18 trivia tests for your fun and enjoyment!
Each test contains 15 questions. You will have 30 minutes to complete each test. This time limit gives you about two minutes to look up the answers you don’t know. (You will, however, know some answers.)
Note that if you don’t complete a test within 30 minutes, you will be unable to retake the test.
The subject matter is everything! Trivia test questions may change periodically.
To participate, you must purchase at least one set of books or at least one T-shirt. You may take three (3) tests for each t-shirt you purchase. Purchasing any set of books entitles you to take five (5) tests.
To take the trivia tests, simply email me at info@ HaveYouBeenJewishToday.com or use the contact form on this website.
Trivia test numbers are 83-100. Tell me which test number(s) you want and I’ll send you the codes. You may request any number(s) you want. I will send you the code(s) based on your purchase(s). You need not take the tests in order.
Good Luck and have fun!
EXPLANATION OF COJO FOR ADULTS AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Would you like a fun challenge? Then welcome to the COJO program, online tests that assess your basic knowledge of Judaism. If you succeed in completing the entire series of tests, you will earn a Certificate of Jewish Observance (COJO)! There is also an optional series of fun trivia tests. Here’s what you do to participate in the COJO program.
1. You must purchase either the adult or the high school textbooks.
2. Refer to the charts below. The one for adults begins on page 2, the one for high school on page 6. They are divided into volumes (1 and 2), parts, and the chapters where the answers may be found. Some tests have only a few questions, others have many. You will have 30 minutes to complete each test. If you don’t complete a test within 30 minutes, you will be unable to log on again to finish it. If you know the material well, you should easily complete each one within the time limit.
3. Next, read the volume and the part you want to take the test on. It is highly recommended that you read the entire part as you probably won’t be able to answer all the questions correctly without reading the text first. Although the tests are “open book,” bear in mind that if you are not familiar with the contents of the chapter for which you are taking the test, and you rely on looking up all the answers as you take the test, you will probably be unable to finish most tests in the allotted time. Be thoroughly familiar with the contents of each section before you take the test!
4. It is recommended that you take the tests in order.
5. Some questions test your vocabulary. For example, your test may ask you questions about the vocabulary words associated with the laws and customs of a Jewish holiday. However, you would still need to read the text to learn the details of what you should do to observe it properly.
6. To take a test, simply complete the quick Tests Request Form here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and write “test” in the subject line and also include the test number. Each one begins with 0. I will send you a test code with instructions. When you enter this code, you will be directed to the test you request.
7. Be sure to read each test question carefully.
8. Textbook tests 001-041 are for adults; tests 042-82 are for high school students.
9. HINTS: When answering a “look for the true statement(s)” exercise, write a check next to the true statements. Then follow the directions on the exercise.
10. Send your completed test to me. It will be graded and returned to you. After you successfully complete all the parts, you will be sent the beautiful, suitable-for-framing Certificate of Jewish Observance.
Here are the tests for adults and high school students as well as their divisions. “Test #” and “part” refer to the number and part of each test. “Chapters” refer to the chapters where you can locate the answers to the exercises. “Content” refers to the subjects covered on the test. Adult tests begin here. High school tests begin on page 6. Any test may contain questions about subjects not listed on the charts. However, the answers to all questions can be found in the chapters provided on the charts.
Click any COJO test below that interests you to learn its contents.”
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