Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
19,622 (21,544)313952 (4.09)1080
Chaim Potok was born in New York City in 1929. He graduated summa cum laude (with highest honors) from Yeshiva University in 1950, and received an advanced degree from Jewish Theological Seminary in 1954, when he also became an ordained Conservative rabbi. After two years of military service as a chaplain in Korea, Potok married Adena Sarah Mosevitsky in 1958. The couple had three children. Eventually Potok returned to school and received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965. Potok has held a variety of positions within the Jewish community, including directing a camp in Los Angeles, teaching at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles at a Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and working as an editor on various religious publications, Potok's first novel, The Chosen, was published in 1967, and he quickly won acclaim for this best-selling book about tensions within the Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities. This and later books have been both critically and popularly successful. Many of them explore the meaning of Judaism in the modern era, focusing on the conflict between traditional teachings and the pressures of modern life. The Chosen was nominated for a National Book Award in 1967 and made into a successful film in 1982. Its sequel, The Promise (1969) was the winner of an Athenaeum Award. Potok is also the author of a nonfiction volume, Wanderings: Chaim Potok's History of the Jews (1978), as well as several short stories and articles that have been published in both religious and secular magazines. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from The Chosen
… (more)
The Chosen 6,230 copies, 90 reviews
My Name Is Asher Lev 3,969 copies, 74 reviews
The Promise 2,045 copies, 27 reviews
Davita's Harp 1,348 copies, 11 reviews
The Gift of Asher Lev 1,246 copies, 23 reviews
In the Beginning 1,076 copies, 20 reviews
Wanderings: History of the Jews 961 copies, 7 reviews
The Book of Lights 912 copies, 8 reviews
I Am the Clay 484 copies, 7 reviews
The Gates of November 388 copies, 5 reviews
Old Men at Midnight 340 copies, 7 reviews
Zebra and Other Stories 139 copies, 1 review
My First 79 Years (Author) 119 copies, 1 review
I Never Saw Another Butterfly (Foreword, some editions) 699 copies, 13 reviews
Tales of the Hasidim (Foreword, some editions) 527 copies, 3 reviews
As a Driven Leaf (Introduction, some editions) 515 copies, 9 reviews
The Jewish Writer (Contributor) 45 copies
The Chosen [1981 film] (Novel) 18 copies, 3 reviews
Het derde Testament : Joodse verhalen (Contributor, some editions) 6 copies
Chaim Potok - Bzzlletin 235 (Contributor) 2 copies

Top members (works)

Member favorites

20th century (151) adult fiction (59) American (137) American fiction (70) American literature (241) art (226) Brooklyn (99) Chaim Potok (119) classic (74) classics (69) coming of age (198) family (74) fiction (2,830) friendship (116) Hasidism (149) historical fiction (144) history (266) Holocaust (175) Jewish (773) Jewish fiction (208) Jewish History (93) Jewish literature (196) Jews (167) Judaica (244) Judaism (916) literature (417) New York (223) New York City (65) non-fiction (116) novel (568) own (76) poetry (98) read (202) religion (342) Roman (168) to-read (436) unread (65) USA (124) WWII (112) young adult (63)

Chaim Potok has 1 past event. (show)

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Place of death
Cause of death
Places of residence
Awards and honors
Short biography
Disambiguation notice

Member ratings

Average: (4.09)
0.5 3
1 31
1.5 11
2 106
2.5 37
3 567
3.5 149
4 1241
4.5 184
5 1276

Author pictures (2)


(see all 2 author pictures)

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

Chaim Potok is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.


Chaim Potok is composed of 16 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 170,032,244 books! | Top bar: Always visible