I’ve been involved in synagogue life for at least twenty years. I just ended a two-year term as president of a Reform Congregation, therefore it’s no surprise that I eagerly delved into The Rabbi Finds Her Way (2019) by Robert Schoen with Catherine deCuir. Set in a large Reform congregation in California, this book is a delight. It reads like the memoir of a young Rabbi, but it is actually fiction written by a writer/ musician and a cantorial soloist.
Each of the characters including the Senior Rabbi, the Executive Director and the new congregant are fleshed out folks who I would love to share a Shabbat meal with. The reader is given insight into the main character, Rabbi Pearl, which begins with her childhood friendship with a trauma victim. We also meet the Rabbi as an adult as she deals with gender issues, finding out way too much about the sexual life of those she is pastorally visiting, and the financial indiscretions of a long-time temple employee.
This book is light, humorous, and a quick read. Is it based on the truth? That’s a topic for discussion. This book will be my book group choice for my own congregation’s first co-ed book group. So here is my first question: Why were Solomon P. Solomon and his wife Mrs. Solomon a part of this story? Perhaps just to add additional humor or was there something more? Read the book then leave your thoughts in the blog comments or if you’re a Congregation Gates of Heaven member sign up for the book discussion. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this book!