Reflecting the Changing Face of the Jewish Community

Written by Behrman House Staff, 21 of August, 2017
Show Us How YOU are Jewish

Community thrives on diversity. The Jewish community includes diversity of all kinds -- geography, opinion, religious practice, ability, family makeup, race, and more. All of these differences make the community stronger, more exciting, and more creative.  

We recognize how important it is for Jewish children and families to see images of this diversity - themselves - reflected in print materials, especially as they are creating and building their personal Jewish identities. Even young children listening to storybooks spend the vast majority of time looking at the pictures, research shows. 

In all our materials - whether they are educational, storybooks, or books for adults - Behrman House strives to include images that mirror the changing face of the Jewish community, as well as images can be interpreted in multiple ways, depending on your lens. 

For example, in the Sh'ma journal from the Hebrew in Harmony curriculum, an image of two men (see image on left) could be viewed as fathers with their children in a playgroup or a two-father family. 

The diversity of Jewish families, which include single-parent families and same-sex couples, are also reflected on our pages. Here are some examples from Jewish Holidays, Jewish Values and The Jewish Home. 


Our student materials, such as the journal Min Ha'aretz: Making Meaning from Our Food and How It's Made: Torah Scroll include children of various races, such as Asian, Hispanic, African American, South Asian, for example, engaging in everyday as well as specifically Jewish activities.  

And our choice of images also seeks to reflect strengths of adults and children with diverse abilities—in the Avot V'imahot journal from Hebrew in Harmony, (below), or an image of an older man in a wheelchair (shown in Jewish Holidays, Jewish Values, above) who is clearly not the one being helped 

For more images reflecting the diversity of the Jewish community, check out Humans of Judaism.