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Shire, Michael J.

SHIRE, Michael J.

PERSONAL: Married Marcia Plumb (a rabbi); children: Anya, Micah. Education: Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion, M.A., Ph.D.; Leo Baeck College Centre for Jewish Education, M.A. (rabinical studies).

ADDRESSES: Home—London, England. OfficeLeo Baeck College Centre for Jewish Education, Sternberg Centre for Judaism, 80 East End Rd., London N3 2SY, England. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Ordained rabbi and writer. Leo Baeck College Centre for Jewish Education, London, England, vice principal and director of Rabbinic Programme and Community of Learners Project.

WRITINGS:

(Editor and author of commentary) The Illuminated Haggadah: Featuring Medieval Illuminations from the Haggadah Collection of the British Library, F. Lincoln (London, England), 1998.

L'chaim! Prayers and Blessings for the Home, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2000.

(Editor) The Jewish Prophet: Visionary Words from Moses and Miriam to Henrietta Szold and A.J. Heschel, Jewish Lights Press (Woodstock, VT), 2001.

Mazal tov! The Rituals and Customs of a Jewish Wedding, Stewart, Tabori & Chang (New York, NY), 2002.

SIDELIGHTS: British Rabbi Michael J. Shire is a vice principal of London's Leo Baeck College Centre for Jewish Education and an author and editor of books that celebrate Jewish traditions through the millennia. Shire's The Illuminated Haggadah: Featuring Medieval Illuminations from the Haggadah Collection of the British Library presents the story of Passover through medieval artwork and a Hebrew/English text. In the Jewish Exponent, Naomi Geschwind called the book "glamorous" and suggested that it would serve a discerning segment of the market for religious documents. In the London Guardian, Hilary Macaskill described the work as "gender-inclusive and accessible … an ideal companion to the [Passover] family meal."

Shire has also edited The Jewish Prophet: Visionary Words from Moses and Miriam to Henrietta Szold and A.J. Heschel. In this illustrated book, he expands the definition of "prophet" to include people who have expanded the perception of God from ancient to modern times. "Shire builds a strong case for including people who are not in the Bible," maintained a critic in Publishers Weekly. A contributor to Library Journal commended The Jewish Prophet as "tasteful and far-reaching," concluding that the editor's sensibilities are "high-minded and delicious."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Guardian (London, England), March 31, 1998, Hilary Macaskill, review of The Illuminated Haggadah: Featuring Medieval Illuminations from the Haggadah Collection of the British Library, p. 3.

Jewish Exponent, April 9, 1998, Naomi Geschwind, review of The Illuminated Haggadah, p. 8.

Library Journal, July, 2002, review of The Jewish Prophet: Visionary Words from Moses and Miriam to Henrietta Szold and A.J. Heschel, p. 88.

Publishers Weekly, February 25, 2002, review of The Jewish Prophet, p. 60.

ONLINE

Jewish Lights Publishing Web site, http://www.jewishlights.com/ (May 9, 2002), "Michael J. Shire."

Leo Baeck College Centre for Jewish Education Web site, http://www.lbc-cje.ac.uk/ (April 8, 2005), "Michael J. Shire."

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