I’m grateful to Cedar House Audio, producer Lyssa Brown and narrator Susanna Burney for the outstanding audiobook version of The Skeptic and the Rabbi they produced. Their attention to detail, especially in a book with so many Hebrew words and phrases, was of the highest caliber. I couldn’t be happier with it! It’s available through Audible, Libro.FM, Google Play, Kobo, HooplaDigital, Audiobooks.com, and many other platforms. If you get your audiobooks from your local library, please request it. Listen to a clip here:
Judy Offers Up Tips & Insights
at Jerusalem Women’s
This past May, Judy headlined several workshops at the annual Jerusalem Women’s Writers Seminar, presenting her “FUNdamentals of Humor Writing” to a group of over 250 women from across the globe. Judy’s insights and pointers garnered many laughs, with participants scribbling down the many practical tips Judy offered up. Later on that day, Judy led a workshop on “The Art of Persuasive Writing,” a tutorial that analyzed the various elements of a successful opinion essay typically published by today’s high profile media outlets. The workshop’s goal was to help female writers break into this generally male-dominated niche.
Praise for The Skeptic and the Rabbi
“Honesty shines throughout the book, as Gruen refuses to sugarcoat her narrative. She frankly discusses the many real challenges she encountered in her decision to take upon various mitzvot. The memoir is a terrific read for anyone curious about the Torah lifestyle.” – Leah Aharoni, Jewish Action Magazine
“Laugh out loud funny, narrated by a character you quickly come to love. I always wondered if well-written ba’al teshuva memoir could be done. Judy Gruen has shown me how.” – Allison Josephs, founder and director of Jew in the City
“Gruen’s ebullient positivity is a counterweight to religion-as-abuse memoirs… an uplifting spin on an often-misunderstood life choice.” – Library Journal
“For the Jewish reader looking to expand his or her understanding of Torah and Judaism, this book will resonate deeply. This is a book that will stay with you for a very long time. It is food for the soul.” – Amazon reader review
“[A] charming and well-written book that explains a difficult subject with elegance and restraint of style that is admirable. . . This is the kind of thing I would have liked to have passed to relatives and friends who wondered what strange lifestyle I was getting myself into many years ago.” – Amazon reader review
Thanks to my daughter, Yael, I am taking time this summer to finally tackle a project I have been putting off for years: getting my older writing clips sorted, organized, inventoried and digitized. In the old days, I carefully kept all my clips in binders. Well, those binders have been moldering for decades, and while I knew I didn’t want all that paper, I still wanted a record of what I had done.
Like any good organizer, Yael forced me to make decisions about what to keep and what to toss. Using a Google scanner app, she took excellent snaps of most of my old work, and it felt great to throw out one of my fat binders on the road to a digitized record of the early years in my career. It’s also fun to spend time together this way, before she returns to her teaching job in the fall. Yes, that’s my beautiful daughter in this photo, with her husband, Yonah, otherwise known in our house as “my favorite son-in-law.” (I also have three favorite daughters-in-law, fortunately for my three sons!)