Staff Picks – Tani Bayer

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Every month a different member of our team tells us about some of their favorite titles or gives their recommendations for books that you may have missed, but certainly deserve your attention. Meet the people who make the books you love
and find out which are their favorites.

Tani Bayer is the Art Director at Koren. She has designed thousands of book covers, hundreds of catalogs and ads and oversees most of the graphics that come out of the Koren office. Originally from Teaneck, NJ, Tani made Aliya with her family in 1986. She graduated from Emuna College in graphic design and has been working as a designer for over 23 years (17 at Koren!). She lives in Modiin with her husband and four children and when not designing, in what little free time she has, Tani can be found studying Psychology.

Even she does not judge a book by it’s cover!

The Magerman Edition Koren Children’s Siddur

Available in Nusah Ashekenaz and  Nusah Edot HaMizrah

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As the designer, The Koren Children’s Siddur is very close to my heart but it goes beyond just another book in which I take pride. The Children’s Siddur has allowed me to help my children begin their tefilla journey. Through reflection, connection, and learning, using beautiful illustrations (by Rinat Gilboa) and pointed questions on every page there is an opportunity to connect to the tefilla in a deep and meaningful way. It also allowed me to open up a dialog with them and engage them in thought provoking ideas. It’s the perfect first Siddur!

 

The Gemara Card

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I have to admit, that this Gemara card saved me when I was trying to help my seventh grader study for his first Gemara test. The Gemara card has over 700 terms translated from Aramaic to Hebrew (or English) and is color coded to help locate all its contents in seconds. I was so excited about it that I bought 40 and gave them out at his Bar Mitzva last month, they were snatched up by kids and adults alike. It’s also customizable!

In Her Voice 

by Enya Keshet

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Enya Keshet is an Israeli artist who has created a stunning collection of 28 tefillot for women. The beautifully and colorfully designed tefillot correspond to a woman’s complete life cycle, from the birth of a daughter, a bat mitzva, for a bride, during pregnancy, on parenting, and more. This book is both beautiful and meaningful and is a must have. One of my favorite tefillot is the one for raising children. Both the words and the illustration reflect a deep understanding of what every parent hopes to be for their children, while still accepting our personal fallibilities.

The Torah Encyclopedia of the Animal Kingdom

by Rabbi Natan Slifkin

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My children pore over this book for hours. Rabbi Slifkin, affectionately known as the Zoo Rabbi, is famous for his expertise on the animal kingdom, both real and mythical, of the Tanakh and Talmud. In this book he stunning photographs as well as the fascinating detailed descriptions of the identities of each of the animals found in Tanakh make it a unique and very educational experience for all. It’s the kind of book you want out on your coffee table because it’s beautiful and engages everyone who looks at it.

Torah and Western Thought

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As a modern orthodox Jew this book resonated with me, as it will any thinking person, as it weaves the past with the present. Torah and Western Thought is a collection of essays examining the lives of some of our greatest thinkers from the last century. Looking at figures such as Prof. Nechama Leibowitz, Rav Kook, The Rav and more, this book illustrates how each individual uniquely bridged the worlds of Torah and the West. Torah and Western Thought is not only fascinating and challenging but serves to inspire you to learn from their lives and gives you courage to bridge these worlds too.

On Repentance 

by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

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My annual Elul reading always includes this classic which was republished in English last year. The Rav asks a fundamental question: ‘Can a person change?’ Is one’s personality static or dynamic? What is the relationship between reason and emotion, between sin and suffering, between guilt and growth, past and future, free will and causality and how is one to approach God – with love or fear? On Repentance is an important and sensitive book that includes the Rav’s deep insights into human nature.

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