In each of my books Why Judaism Matters – Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation (New Jersey: Turner Publishing, 2017) and Why Israel [and its Future] Matters – Letters of  a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation (New Jersey: Ben Yehuda Press, 2019) I address core identity issues for Jews of all ages and for non-Jews who want to understand what it means to be a liberal ethical Jew and a lover of Israel in an era when neither is automatic. Each book includes an Afterword by my two sons Daniel (35) and David (30).

I invite you to give them as Hanukah gifts to those you love. They are available on or through the publisher.


“Why Judaism Matters”

“John Rosove does what so many of us have struggled to do, and does it brilliantly: He makes the case for liberal Judaism to his children. As Rosove shows, liberal Judaism is choice-driven, messy, and always evolving, “traditional” in some ways and “radical” in others. It is also optimistic, spiritual, and progressive in both personal and political ethics. Without avoiding the hard stuff, such as intermarriage and Israel, Rabbi Rosove weaves all of these strands together to show the deep satisfactions of living and believing as a liberal Jew. All serious Jews, liberal or otherwise, should read this book.” – Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President Emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism and a regular columnist for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz

”Rabbi Rosove gets it. Here is a religious leader not afraid to tell it like it is, encapsulating for his audience the profound disaffection so many young Jews feel toward their heritage. But instead of letting them walk away, he makes a powerful case for the relevance of tradition in creating meaningful lives. In our technology-saturated, attention-absorbing age, Rosove offers religion-as-reprieve, his fresh vision of a thoroughly modern, politically-engaged and inclusive Judaism.” – Danielle Berrin a columnist and commentator on CNN, MSNBC, The Guardian, British Esquire, The Atlantic, and The Jewish Forward

“Rabbi Rosove has written a wonderful book, a love letter to his children, and through them, to all our children. Prodigiously knowledgeable, exceedingly wise, and refreshingly honest, Rabbi Rosove has described why Judaism matters. It should serve as a touching testament of faith, spanning the generations for generations to come.” – Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, Senior Rabbi of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, New York

“Why Israel Matters”

“Morally unflinching, intellectually courageous, Rabbi John Rosove has provided us with a desperately needed map for how to navigate the growing tensions between progressives and the state of Israel. By calling out Israel when it has done wrong and calling out its critics when they exaggerate Israel’s flaws, Rabbi Rosove echoes the ancient prophets, who criticized their people but always loved and defended them. This thoughtful and passionate book reminds us that commitment to Israel and to social justice are essential components of a healthy Jewish identity.” – Yossi Klein Halevi, Senior Fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem

“Through a series of letters to his sons, Rabbi John Rosove movingly describes his own relationship to the State of Israel and provides advice and a way forward for a new generation to forge its own relationship with the Jewish State. Rosove’s optimism, and his boundless faith in Jewish peoplehood and Jewish values, makes this book an invaluable blueprint for Jews, both in Israel and around the world, to help the Jewish State live up to its founding values of acceptance, pluralism, and democracy and become a true light unto the nations.” – Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center and Chair of Women of the Wall

“Rabbi John Rosove’s letters to his sons are tender and loving, but also gripping and challenging, as he grapples with modern Israel, Jewish identity, relations between Israelis and Diaspora Jews, and perhaps most significantly whether ‘you can maintain your ethical and moral values while at the same time being supporters of the Jewish state despite its flaws and imperfections.’…This book will raise as many questions for Rosove’s sons as it answers; it is a book that many of us wish we had written for our own children.’” Daniel Kurtzer, Former US Ambassador to Israel (2001-2005) and US Ambassador to Egypt (1997-2001), Professor of Middle Eastern Policy Studies, Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

“Rabbi Rosove’s truths reach minds and open hearts. I urge each and every individual who feels in any way connected to the Jewish People, to ponder this powerful assemblage of candid, insightful messages which address the core issues facing Israel as a nation, and as a notion. A must-read!” – Isaac Herzog, Chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel and former opposition Labor party leader in the Israeli Knesset