The Choosing: A Rabbi's Journey from Silent Nights to High Holy Days

The Choosing: A Rabbi's Journey from Silent Nights to High Holy Days

by Andrea Myers
     
 

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A young Lutheran girl grows up on Long Island, New York. She aspires to be a doctor, and is on the fast track to marriage and the conventional happily-ever-after. But, as the Yiddish saying goes, "Man plans, and God laughs." Meet Andrea Myers, whose coming-of-age at Brandeis, conversion to Judaism, and awakening sexual identity make for a rich and well-timed life

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Overview

A young Lutheran girl grows up on Long Island, New York. She aspires to be a doctor, and is on the fast track to marriage and the conventional happily-ever-after. But, as the Yiddish saying goes, "Man plans, and God laughs." Meet Andrea Myers, whose coming-of-age at Brandeis, conversion to Judaism, and awakening sexual identity make for a rich and well-timed life in the rabbinate.

In The Choosing, Myers fuses heartwarming anecdotes with rabbinic insights and generous dollops of humor to describe what it means to survive and flourish on your own terms. Portioned around the cycle of the Jewish year, with stories connected to each of the holidays, Myers draws on her unique path to the rabbinate--leaving behind her Christian upbringing, coming out as a lesbian, discovering Judaism in college, moving to Israel, converting, and returning to New York to become a rabbi, partner, and parent.

Myers relates tales of new beginnings, of reinventing oneself, and finding oneself. Whether it's a Sicilian grandmother attempting to bake hamantaschen on Purim for her Jewish granddaughter, or an American in Jerusalem saving a chicken from slaughter during a Rosh Hashanah ritual, Myers keeps readers entertained as she reflects that spirituality, goodness, and morality can and do take many forms. Readers will enthusiastically embrace stories of doors closing and windows opening, of family and community, of integration and transformation. These captivating narratives will resonate and, in the author's words, "reach across coasts, continents, and generations."

Editorial Reviews

New York Jewish Week

"Rabbi Myers' memoir is joyful, but hers is a hard-won joy, and her brand of Judaism is embracing of all."
Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review

"Filled with wisdom, humor, and the kind of contentment that only comes when an author has found his or her rightful place in the world, The Choosing is one of those books that leaves you feeling odly serene."
Edge Publications

"On a number of levels The Choosing was a fascinating read. The personal studies, interwoven with the search for religious conversion, make the balance of the piece hard to put down. Rabbi Myers' double journey dovetails beautifully to a very poignant, succinct final statement for the reader to reach."
Emeritus Professor of Jewish Philosophy, Jewish Theological Seminary of America - Rabbi Neil Gillman

"How does the daughter of a Sicilian Catholic mother and a German Lutheran father, a lesbian parent of two children, and a convert to Judaism, become a rabbi? Andrea Myers tells you how in this utterly delightful account of her odyssey from Queens and Long Island, through four years at Brandeis, visits to Germany and Oxford and studying in Jerusalem, to her current home in New York. This account of the trials and tribulations of a gutsy young woman with a perceptive eye, a gift for story-telling, and a determination to do whatever has to be done to overcome whatever stands in her way of achieving her dream of becoming a devoted teacher of Judaism. The episodes in this tale structured around the festivals of the Jewish year and incorporating vignettes of her family's growing acceptance of what their daughter has done with her life, are simply a joy to read. More she stands as a paradigm of how a modern young American woman shapes her life experience."
Judy Gold

"My favorite Jewish lesbian used to be me until I read The Choosing. Rabbi Myers's journey from Baptism to rabbinical school is a must read."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813549576
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
04/15/2011
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author


RABBI ANDREA MYERS has shared her unique stories around the world. After receiving her BA in neuroscience from Brandeis University, she studied for two years in Jerusalem, and was ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR), an interdenominational seminary in New York City, where she later joined the faculty and administration and served as the copresident of the Association of Rabbis and Cantors. Rabbi Myers is a member of the New York Board of Rabbis. She currently lives in New York City, and has led congregations from the Rocky Mountains to the Borscht Belt.

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