Dream by Dream: The Sto­ry of Rab­bi Isaac May­er Wise

  • Review
By – August 16, 2023

Do you know a child who is feel­ing a lit­tle bit stuck and unin­spired? Put them on your lap or in a cozy chair and start read­ing Dream by Dream. You will both feel encour­aged, and your spir­its, renewed.

This pic­ture book tells the sto­ry of the founder of Reform Judaism, Isaac May­er Wise. A stu­dious boy who pre­ferred books to balls, Wise sac­ri­ficed time with fam­i­ly and friends to fol­low his dream of learn­ing and help­ing oth­ers learn as a rab­bi. After study­ing in his father’s school­house, his grandfather’s vil­lage, and in the larg­er city of Prague, he trav­eled across the Atlantic Ocean to Amer­i­ca, where he even­tu­al­ly cre­at­ed a new form of Judaism. This Judaism was inclu­sive, giv­ing fam­i­lies the oppor­tu­ni­ty to sing and wor­ship togeth­er and allow­ing girls to study the reli­gion. He also pub­lished a Jew­ish news­pa­per to spread his ideas and found­ed a col­lege to edu­cate rab­bis accord­ing to his philosophy.

With ele­gant prose and dreamy illus­tra­tions that dis­play Wise’s hard work and deter­mi­na­tion, this cap­ti­vat­ing tale will inspire young peo­ple to pur­sue their dreams, what­ev­er they may be.

Paula Chaiken has worked in a vari­ety of capac­i­ties in the Jew­ish world — teach­ing in reli­gious school, curat­ing at the Sper­tus Muse­um and fundrais­ing for the Fed­er­a­tion — for more than twen­ty years. She also runs a bou­tique pub­lic rela­tions con­sult­ing firm and enjoys read­ing all sorts of books with her three sons.

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