Richard Nagler and Isaac Bashevis Singer, My Love Affair with Miami Beach (Simon & Schuster, 1991)
Nagler's photographs surprise and startle students: could old Jews really be so attractive? Bashevis Singer's commentary beguiles them (and fools them as well). The combination is powerful and always an unexpected hit. (Though the book is out-of- print, inexpensive, used copies can be found.)
Riv-Ellen Prell, Fighting to Become Americans: Assimilation and the Trouble between Jewish Women and Jewish Men (Beacon, 2000)
Prell provokes and engages, complicating the history of Jewish immigration to the United States and challenging students' assumptions.
Michael Staub, Torn at the Roots: The Crisis of Liberalism in Postwar America (Columbia University Press, 2004)
Staub introduces students to their parents and grandparents' complex Jewish American world, encouraging them to choose sides in historic political debates.