Rabbi Lawrence Kushner reads from his new novel, "Kabbalah," at HUC-JIR/NY - Thursday, Oct. 26 at 6 pm

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, popular teacher of Jewish mysticism and spirituality, hosts his first public reading and book signing from his newly published first novel, Kabbalah: A Love Story, a delicious blend of romance, humor, mystery, and Kabbalah 101, set in Medieval Spain, North Africa, Poland, and at HUC-JIR New York 

Thursday, October 26, 6:00 PM 

Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
One West 4th street (Between Broadway and Mercer)
New York City 

No reservations necessary / Admission is Free / Photo ID required for entrance / For further information, please call Rabbi Ruth Gais at 212-824-2296 or e-mailrgais@huc.edu 

Subway: N,R to 8th St.,A,C,E,B,D,F,V,S to West 4th St., 6 to Astor Place 

About Kabbalah: A Love Story 

Hidden within the binding of an ancient text that has been passed down through the ages lies the answer to one of the heart's eternal questions. When the text falls into the hands of Rabbi Kalman stern, he has no idea that his lonely life of intellectual pursuits is about to change once he opens the book. Soon afterward, he meets astronomer Isabel Benveniste, a woman of science who stirs his soul as no woman ahs for many years. But Kalman has much to learn before he can unlock his heart and let true love into his life. The key lies in the mysterious document he finds inside the Zohar, the master text of the Kabbalah. 

About Rabbi Lawrence Kushner 

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is the Emanu-El Scholar-in-residence at the Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco. He also serves as Visiting Professor of Jewish Spirituality at the Graduate Theological University in Berkeley. Prior to this, he was Rabbi-in-Residence at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City where he taught spirituality and mysticism and mentored rabbinic students. He presently continues as an adjunct member of the faculty. Before that, he served for 28 years as the rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Kushner is widely regarded as one of the most creative religious writers in America and is highly sought after as a lecturer and teacher. Through his lectures, articles and 15 books (translated into six languages), he has helped shape the present agenda for personal and institutional spiritual renewal. 

He originated the concept of synagogue havurot, family fellowship groups, led his former congregants to publish their own prayerbook, V'tahaer Libenu (Purify Our Hears), which was the first gender-neutral liturgy ever written, and has conducted over 75 kalla week-ends for personal religious growth. He was the first Rabbinic Chairman of Reform Judaism's Commission on Religious Living and has been a commentator on N.P.R.'s All Things Considered. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Cincinnati and was ordained rabbi from the Hebrew Union College in 1969. He and his wife, Karen, have three adult children. 

Critical Acclaim for Kabbalah: A Love Story 

"...A mystical experience in the shape of a novel: a remarkable achievement by master story-teller Lawrence Kushner."
- Anita Diamant, author of The Red Tent and Good Harbor 

"This book manages to be a sweet mystery about mystery, space, time, love, and authorship. It reiterates Kabbalah, and brings the subject to life, not as a scholarly or esoteric pursuit, but as the most immediate and constant human question: "What in the world is going on here...?" I think it is funny, and bizarre, and very very of the moment. I think this one is a gem."
- David Mamet, playwright 

"Like all creative spiritual thinkers, Rabbi Kushner skirts the edge of heresy as he fashions an unusual tale, which blends humor, suspense and the sublime in a contemporary amalgam of magical realism and the traditional religious fable."
- Professor Bernard Horn, author, Facing the Fires: Conversations with A. B. Yehoshua 

"Zohar, the Kabbalah's greatest work, has been called 'a mystical novel.' Now Kushner, a well-known rabbi and writer on Kabbalah has responded to it by writing his own! A whirlwind journey through centuries of Jewish history and levels of the mystic's mind."
- Professor Arthur Green, author and scholar of Jewish Mysticism and founder, Hebrew College Rabbinical School 


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu