Although she grew up following some holiday rituals, Pogrebin realized how little she knew about their foundational purpose and current relevance. She wanted to understand what had kept these holidays alive and vibrant, in some cases for thousands of years. Her curiosity led her to embark on an entire year of intensive research, observation, and writing about the milestones on the Jewish calendar. My Jewish Year travels through this calendar's signposts with candor, humor, and a trove of information, capturing the arc of Jewish observance through the eyes of a relatable, wandering--and wondering--Jew. The chapters are interspersed with brief reflections from prominent rabbis and Jewish thinkers. If you're seeking an accessible, digestible roadmap for Jewish life or a fresh exploration of what you've mastered, you'll be educated, entertained, and inspired by Pogrebin's unusual journey--and by My Jewish Year.
My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew
In addition to My Jewish Year, Abigail Pogrebin is the author of Stars of David; Prominent Jews Talk about Being Jewish, One and the Same, and Showstopper. She was also an Emmy-nominated producer for Mike Wallace at 60 Minutes, and before that a producer for Bill Moyers at PBS. She served as President of Central Synagogue from 2015-2018.
“Lively, funny, and honest…a relatable, immersive experience” - New York Times “To understand the Jewish calendar, Abigail Pogrebin immersed herself in its rhythms and rituals for a full 12 months. Her riveting account of this experience serves as a lively introduction to Judaism’s holidays and fast days and opens a window on how Judaism is actually lived in 21st-century America.” - Jonathan D. Sarna, Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University; author of American Judaism: A History “A superb point-of-entry volume for anyone who wants to bring Jewish holidays into their lives, and a great refresher course for veterans who need their holidays re-energized. Pogrebin’s style is engaging, and her insights are deep.” - Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Rebbe and Jewish Literacy “In My Jewish Year, Abigail Pogrebin takes on the holiday cycle with a keen mind, an open heart, and a generous sense of humor. This is the perfect gift for anyone thinking about moving up another rung on the ladder of Jewish observance—or for exploring the tradition for the first time.” - Joshua Malina, actor in Scandal and The West Wing “[Her] candid exploration of Judaism via 18 core holidays is not only informative but also extremely relatable, for Jews and non-Jews alike. Her journey to locate modern-day meaning in these religious traditions—some of which are thousands of years old—is both relevant and soulful.” - Lauren Bush Lauren, Founder and CEO, FEED Projects “Abigail Pogrebin’s journey through the Jewish year is honest, illuminating, entertaining, and incredibly brave. She is willing to go deep into a complex religious culture to find out if and how it has meaning for her, and in so doing, lights the way for the rest of us. Even if you read every word of her project in the Forward—as I did—you will find new material and so many fresh, surprising insights in this remarkable book.” - Jane Eisner, Editor-in-Chief, Forward