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2017 Summer Reading List from JTFN

Recommended by Laura Schultze, JTFN Communications Associate
A graphic novel, perfect for coloring. All Jewish educators use Pirkei Avot to ask big questions like, "If not now, when?" and what better way to engage with this text but through the beautiful drawings of Jessica Tamar Deutsch. While flipping through the pages, it's as if you're wisked away to another planet. The way she leads us to these teachings is magical, to say the least. As you're breaking from your programs for the summer, be re-inspired by the teachings of Rabbi Hillel, and color your way through this awesome new addition to Pirkei Avot.
Recommended by Alana Hollander, JTFN Program Associate
When we leave the teen philanthropy program space, how can teens continue to have conversations about giving and impart change?  The Power of Half, recounts the story of one family’s journey in giving starting when Hannah, the Salwen’s teen daughter asked why was there such a disparity between what their family had and what others had.  It was this question that ultimately led the Salwen family to sell their house and downsize in order to give half of the money from the sale to charity.  Co-written by father and daughter team, Kevin Salwen and Hannah Salwen, this book exhibits the power of the teen voice within a family and how as a result of her resolve the family completely reframed their thinking about giving. 
Recommended by Briana Holtzman, JTFN Director
Last month, New York Times Columnist and Author Ron Lieber shared a money tip with the Council for Economic Education:  "Your Spending = Your Values". We couldn't agree more that money is a tool and that your spending and giving signals what you care about, what you value. In his book, The Opposite of Spoiled, Ron challenges us to reconsider how we engage young people in the conversation about earning, spending, saving, and giving money.
Recommended by Danielle Segal, JTFN Program Manager
You may be thinking: shoes!? Yes, this seems like a left-field book list choice considering it’s not about philanthropy… or teens… or Judaism! However, there are some wise takeaways when it comes to creating culture, living and working through your values, and the customer service experience. Tony Hsieh is the fearless founder and leader of and explains through this book his process from conception to operations of this values-based online shoe company. Although already 7 years old, this book’s message doesn’t age and it is a quick read! Written in a conversational tone, this is a great example of how we can use tips and tricks from the secular world to influence and help our own work in the Jewish sector.