Executive Editor Stream

Off the Shelf: Major life changes by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The two memoirs seemed to have little in common at first glance. Yet, underlying the authors’ very different lives is a similar theme: the need to adjust to a major life change. In “Becoming Eve: My Journey From Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgendered Woman” (Seal Press), Abby Chava Stei…

In My Own Words: Rediscovering music of the past by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Without her voice, I don’t know if I would have made it through high school. That’s not totally accurate: it was both her music and lyrics combined with that awesome voice that made it possible. But I do remember the very first time I heard her sing. I bought her album after looking at i…

Off the Shelf: Outsiders of the shtetl by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

An idealized view of the shtetl used to exist in the American mind – a wonderful place, filled with happy, observant Jews who lived joyous Jewish lives. Over the past several decades, scholars have been disputing that view, showing that shtetl life was more complex and far from perfect. A …

Off the Shelf: Women’s roles and history by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Ever wonder what would happen if characters from different novels were to meet? In the case of those featured in this review, there would be arguments about the role women should play in public and private life. However, that is not their only purpose: the authors also portray Jewish life in…

In My Own Words: Anger by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

There is an enormous amount of anger boiling across the United States. Some people are angry at what they see as restrictions on their rights to act, think or behave as they wish. Others are angry because they don’t believe they have the same protection under the law due to their skin colo…