Rabbi Debra's Books

Debra currently has three books available: The Lifecycles series is published by Jewish Lights and for sale here or through Jewish Lights Publishing. An earlier work, "From Generation to Generation," is available exclusively here at RabbiDebra.com. (We offer free shipping for all purchases on our website.)

Lifecycles 1: Jewish Women On Life Passages and Personal Milestones
(Jewish Lights Publishing, Softcover - 432 pages, $18.00)

“At last, there is an answer to the oft-asked question: Where can I find a ritual for childbirth / weaning / miscarriage / menopause, etc. Lifecycles 1 is an invaluable resource.” -- Judith Plaskow, author of Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective.

“Extraordinary -- Lifecycles 1 includes some of the most spiritually attuned thinkers in Jewish life today.” -- Joseph Telushkin, author of Jewish Literacy and Jewish Wisdom.

“Rabbi Orenstein's book, which provides both academic enrichment and spiritual nourishing, is an important, well-written, and well-edited work that can only serve to strengthen the entire Jewish people.” -- Jordan Parr, from a review in CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly (Central Conference of American Rabbis).

Lifecycles 2: Jewish Women on Biblical Themes in Contemporary Life
(Jewish Lights Publishing, Softcover - 401 pages, $18.00).
“Lifecycles 2 is an indispensable resource for all people for whom the Hebrew Bible remains a privileged place to meet the Living God.” -- Rosemary Radford Ruether, Claremont School of Theology.

Lifecycles 2 is a marvelous anthology of essays, poetry, text interpretation and challenging insights which provides all readers, male and female alike, with a wealth of material to fortify us on our spiritual journeys.” -- Norman J. Cohen, Provost and Professor of Midrash, Hebrew Union College.

“Both the process and the content are extraordinary and transformative?. I did, and I imagine most people will, emerge richer as a human being.” -- Arthur Waskow, author of Down-to-Earth Judaism and Torah of the Earth: Exploring 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought.

A collection of sermons and Bible commentaries by Rabbi Orenstein and her grandfather, Rabbi Israel Mowshowitz. (NY Board of Rabbis, Hardcover Book - 162 pages, $18.00)

A collection of sermons and Bible commentaries by Rabbi Orenstein and her grandfather, Rabbi Israel Mowshowitz.

In 1990, a granddaughter both broke with tradition and fulfilled it by becoming the first female rabbi among the generations of rabbis in her family. At the same time, a grandfather, himself a rabbi and the son and grandson of rabbis, overcame his resistance to women's participation in religious leadership. As he was dying, they poured over his old sermons, talked Torah, and wrote a book together. The result is From Generation to Generation. This inspiring collection contains short sermons and commentaries on each Torah portion in Genesis and Exodus and on all the Jewish holidays, as well as the last sermon ever given by the grandfather (Israel Mowshowitz) and the first, by the granddaughter (Debra Orenstein).

The late, great Israel Mowshowitz, often called a rabbi's rabbi, was one of the great preachers of his generation. While serving as a pulpit rabbi for more than 50 years, he co-founded Cross Roads Africa (the precursor to the Peace Corps) and the New York Board of Rabbis; built the International Synagogue at JFK airport; marched with Martin Luther King; served in the cabinet of Governor Mario Cuomo; and raised millions of dollars for worthy institutions across the Jewish world.

"This collection of sermons on Biblical portions from Genesis and Exodus as well as sermons from the major festivals of the Jewish year is full of learning, humanity, insight, and wisdom. There is a deceptive simplicity to these messages; they convey profound intellectual and spiritual substance in a gentle and transparent style. This splendid book will be a source of unending delight and inspiration to rabbis and lay students of the Bible as well" -- Rabbi David M. Gordis, President, Hebrew College.

"From Generation To Generation is a book filled with insight and warmth. It beautifully weaves together the sensibilities of woman and man, of young and old. The book is infused with love . . ." -- Rabbi Naomi Levy, author of Talking To God: Personal Prayers for Times of Joy, Sadness, Struggle, and Celebration.

"Should I ever find my faith in Judaism's ongoing vitality beginning to wane, I will return to this volume." -- Rabbi Neil Gillman, Department Chair in Jewish Philosophy, Jewish Theological Seminary.

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