To inspire the next generation of Jewish leaders, writer Emma Carlson Berne explored what makes and what it takes to be a hero in a new series of children’s booklets.
“The Hero in Me” (Behrman House), released on May 29, tells the stories of famous Jewish figures including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg, human and Jewish rights activist Natan Sharansky, King David, the prophet Isaiah and 16th-century philanthropist Dona Gracia Nasi.
Each booklet, which includes interactive online elements, focuses on a character trait, with biographical sketches of Jewish heroes—one biblical and one historical— whose lives exemplify heroic traits. Also featured in the series are profiles of young people who embody that specific character trait in modern times.
“Storytelling is perhaps the most effective way to convey meaning to children,” David Behrman, president of Behrman House wrote in a statement to the Journal. “These booklets provide bite-size insights into what makes a hero and how our young readers can build those qualities into their own lives.”
The five-book series focuses on courage, kindness, creativity, curiosity and fairness, and is geared toward Jewish fourth and fifth graders.