What is Your Opinion? (2)

December 25, 2009

Cast your vote on the poll to the right, then comment on this post… (leave a comment to be entered into our raffle, see details below.)

Are Today’s Children More or Less Literate Than Their Parents Were at the Same Age?

Brief explanation: Frum education has been evolving constantly for many years. We’ve gone from Talmud Torah in the afternoons, to full time yeshivah. Many yeshivas have gone from off-hours public school teachers to frum women and then to frum men teaching secular studies. Some Yeshivas have done away with the English department altogether. How has this affected literacy in our communities? Meanwhile, the world of frum literature has grown immeasurably. Judaica stores don’t even have room for all of the titles now available that cater to the frum market. Has this raised the level of literacy in a measurable way?


Raffle details:

Submit your answer via the comment section below. The best responses from both sides will be made public and their authors will receive a $50 gift certificate. All respondents will be entered into a weekly raffle for a free book, and a monthly drawing for $100 of books of their choice.


December 23, 2009

Your votes have been counted, and your opinions have been heard.

62% of you were against the idea of putting a hechsher on books, for a variety of reasons: The Israel Book Shop logo is a hechsher of sorts (A.W.) [good job, A.W!]  Books…already feature haskamos (Sara) A book that is perfectly suited to an individual from one background can be confusing to another. (C.L.) We need to trust our adults to make responsible decisions…(Chanie Greenberg)

38% of you voted Yes to a hechsher. Many people suggested alternatives to a hechsher, such as a rating system, or an age recommendation, haskamos, or asking a friend.

Israel Book Shop Publications, in response to all of the opinions posted, plans to ensure that our back cover descriptions be as accurate as possible in portraying the book properly in order for discerning readers to be able to make an informed judgment.

Look out for a new question in the next few days…

The following are the winning answers from each category:


C.D. Urbach Says:

Keep Reading…

A Letter from a Reader

December 15, 2009

I recently visited your blog called The Next Page. First, I want to commend you on your excellent work in publishing wholesome Jewish books for the whole family. As an avid reader, I have watched your company grow over the years and I have been impressed with your choice of publications.

What I want to comment on, and I hope all of your readers take me seriously, is: Mi K’amcha Yisroel!!! When I read through the hundreds of answers you have received to your question “Do Jewish Books Require a Hechsher?”, I am astounded. One after the other after the other, people took the time to try to put into words their thoughts and opinions on a matter of chinuch that is important not only to their children but to themselves…. Without going into the actual question, of which response is right and which is wrong, the mere fact that the response has been so overwhelming, and so passionate, shows us, and shows Hashem that – Your people care! They are interested in doing what’s right for their own neshamos and for the proper upbringing of their children al pi derech haTorah….

Regardless of whether such a rating system will be employed or not, we can all feel a little better in knowing that – WE CARE! Ultimately, what counts in Shamayim, and the real success in Chinuch Habanim, is just that: the fact that one cares, and really tries…..

May we be zoche that the next book that comes out, will be the one commemorating the bias haMashiach, bimheirah b’yameinu Amen!

What is your opinion?

November 17, 2009

Cast your vote on the poll to the right, then comment on this post…

Should Jewish Books Require a “Hechsher” Stamp of Approval Attesting to the “Kashrus” of their Contents or Not?

Brief explanation: Sometimes Jewish books contain material that some readers may find offensive, improper, or non-age-appropriate. There are those who contend that there should be an advisory board reviewing books before publication and deciding whether or not to grant their seal of approval on them. That way, as readers, we could be sure that any book we pick up will meet our standards perfectly. On the other hand, others may argue that as mature and thinking individuals, we should be choosing the literature we want for ourselves and for our children to read; it should not be left up to others to decide for us.