I can’t think of any book in my young adulthood that had more impact on my life than The Jewish Catalog. Known as a “do-it-yourself kit,” the book made Judaism feel relevant, meaningful, inspiring and fun.
When it was released in 1973, I was a typical early 70’s teenager, concerned about my family, friends and social justice. When I stumbled across the book, it intrigued me. To look through it now, it totally fits that time in our history. In fact, one person who saw it in my office said “That’s a great book! It’s very hippie-ish.”
One section, titled A Practical Guide to Hebrew Calligraphy, reinforced my love for the scribal arts, something I had been dabbling with since I was 12 years old. It was written by Jay Greenspan (z”l) and David Moss (brother of our very own Meredith Moss Levinson). I was fortunate to study privately with Jay in the early 80’s. And you can only imagine my excitement when I moved to Dayton and met Meredith Moss Levinson, and eventually David!
The Jewish Catalog made Judaism feel “groovy” and accessible to everyone. Throughout its pages, the book provided a modern twist on Judaism in its traditional sense. And I loved the deeper connection it provided for me.
Sadly, Richard Siegel (z”l), who was an editor and helped compile information for the book, passed away last week. When I read the article about his passing, I was incredibly sad. However, I was heartened to know his amazing talent and vision will resonate with people, like myself, for generations to come. If you have not perused the book, I encourage to you to do so!
The Jewish Catalog helped bring life and joy to Judaism. At our Annual Meeting on August 15th, guest speaker Archie Gottesman will share will us how she is creating a grassroots movement in Judaism that shares some of the same elements of accessibility, meaning and spirituality as the catalog did 45 years ago.
In addition, we will install a new president, JCC and JFS board members, honor local community members and unveil Jewish Dayton Dreams Big into the Future ~ The Big Reveal of the Big Ideas. You can click here for more information.
We hope you join us for this incredible evening!
To receive Cathy’s WHIM in your inbox each week, click here.