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MEMOIRS OF A HOPEFUL PESSIMIST: A Life of Activism Through Dialogue
 
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by Debbie Weissman

Published by KTAV and Urim Publications
Hardcover
ISBN 978-965-524-265-2
publication: 2016

For many people, “observant Jew,” “feminist,” and “interfaith pioneer” are not necessarily words they would put together in the same sentence. And yet, in this book by Dr. Debbie Weissman, each is a vitally important aspect of a dynamic and passionate life.
Between 2008 and 2014, Weissman broke new ground by serving two terms as the first Jewish woman president of the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ). On her quest to do interfaith work, she tells about meeting people from other religions and the unique friendships that ensue. Her engaging journey discovers meaning and hope in the life of a pessimist.

PRAISE FOR "MEMOIRS OF A HOPEFUL PESSIMIST:
“I love your book! You have a wonderful story to tell and you tell it with humor, grace, and style. It is also encouraging to know of such people so dedicated to breaking through boundaries and building connections based on our common humanity.”
–Robert Ellsberg, Publisher of Orbis Books

“Rich with deeply honest insights into the personal and professional life of a woman who has made a real difference in the world. Debbie doesn’t have a ringside seat to history; she is in the ring, having created institutions and movements in areas such as women’s education, interfaith relations, Israeli peace initiatives, a new prayer community and much more. And in areas where she did not personally innovate, she weighs in with sensitivity and balanced judgment, a combination sometimes lost in people with as great a passion as hers.”
–Blu Greenberg, author, "On Women and Judaism"

"An engaging memoir of a much-travelled life. Weissman tells of her involvement in many historic movements: Jewish education, Zionism, orthodox feminism, and inter-faith work, as well as the founding of a progressive Orthodox synagogue community in Jerusalem. She describes the development of a religious and political consciousness 'dancing,' as she puts it, between opposite poles of tradition and liberalism. An often wry humor marks her account of the personal and the public dimensions of her career. Both idealistic and pragmatic, her memoir is a fitting testimony to a life of commitment and achievement."
– Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, author, "The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis"

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Debbie Weissman was president of the International Council of Christians and Jews from 2008-2014. After moving to Jerusalem in 1972, Debbie Weissman taught Jewish education and women's studies at the Hebrew University, and was also the director of the Kerem Institute, a teacher training institute for Israeli highschool teachers.