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Press Release - God in the Wilderness by Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 8, 2008
CONTACT: Kelli Daniel
212.782.9390
kdaniel@randomhouse.com
Download PDF version     Download Press Release (Word version)
 
“Lovely.... a privilege to read.” - Laurie David, Producer of Academy Award winner, An Inconvenient Truth

God in the Wilderness

Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great
Outdoors with the Adventure Rabbi

 
by Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold

“The variety of personal stories, tales of travel with various Adventure Rabbi groups and contemporary alternative biblical outcomes make for a book that is easily digestible, but at the same time worth savoring.” — Publisher's Weekly Starred Review
 
“A tremendous read for anyone who wants to get closer to the earth.”
— Adam Werbach, former President of Sierra Club
 

God in the Wilderness by Rabbi Jamie Korngold - Adventure RabbiIn 2001, Rabbi Jamie Korngold created the ground-breaking Adventure Rabbi program to help others learn how time spent outdoors can help them recapture their lost spirituality and reconnect with the wisdom of Judaism. By leading hundreds of people on exciting and unconventional adventure trips such as Shabbat skiing and Rosh Hashanah hiking, Korngold demonstrates how the the divine needn’t be found in a temple or church but comes most alive in the outdoors.

Now, in GOD IN THE WILDERNESS: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors with the Adventure Rabbi (Doubleday; Paperback; $11.95; On Sale April 8, 2008), Rabbi Korngold unveils the rich traditions and lessons that God taught our ancestors in the wilderness. As she so passionately proclaims in this, her first book:
“When our biblical ancestors wanted to reach God, they did not go to church or synagogue. Rather, they climbed mountains, sought out streams, or sat beneath majestic palms. Along with the sacred texts they passed on to us, this relationship with the outdoors is also our birthright.”

In GOD IN THE WILDERNESS, Korngold reveals that connecting with the divine in the outdoors allows us to see the burning bushes that are obscured by our restless minds. While our culture tells us to fill the spiritual void by consuming more, Korngold declares that the best way of rekindling the divine connection is to go where God is able to be heard and where we can reclaim the lessons of the scriptures and awaken our inner spirituality.

Examining the spiritual lessons we lost when religion moved indoors, Rabbi Korngold reveals timeless truths in chapters such as Cultivate the Patience to See Burning Bushes, Take the First Step, the Sea May Part, and Stop Trying So Hard! Even God Isn't Perfect. Small enough to fit in a backpack, this compact book of wisdom will become a staple companion on any journey to spiritual fulfillment.

 

Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold - Author of God in the WildernessABOUT THE AUTHOR:

RABBI JAMIE KORNGOLD is a Reform Jewish Rabbi. She started the Adventure Rabbi program in 2001and has become nationally known for her pioneering work integrating spirituality and the outdoors. She was ordained at Hebrew Union College, and lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and two daughters.

 
For more information, please contact Kelli Daniel, Associate Publicist at Doubleday Religion, at 212.782.9390; kdaniel@randomhouse.com
 
GOD IN THE WILDERNESS
Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors
with the Adventure Rabbi

by Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold

Published by Doubleday; April 8, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-385-52049-2/$11.95/Trade Paperback

 

Publishers Weekly Starred Review:

Rabbi Korngold revels in nature, and she seeks to share that joy as founder of the Adventure Rabbi program to help people reconnect to Judaism via the great outdoors. She has also discovered a way—call it a language, a spirit, an essence—with which to express the simplicity of a back-to-basics spirituality. Balancing an in-depth knowledge of scripture with a wry sense of humor and a compassion for nature, Korngold reminds us of "the nooks and crannies of the natural world" and says that "we must seek them out, soak them in and care for them." The variety of personal stories, tales of travel with various Adventure Rabbi groups and contemporary alternative biblical outcomes—what if Moses had been too busy texting to notice the burning bush?—make for a book that is easily digestible but at the same time worth savoring. Purposely sized to fit easily into a backpack or pocket, the call to return to the wild—or at least your local city park—is ever-present. While certainly aimed at adventuresome readers, the book's message, filled with depictions of fire, water, earth and sky, simultaneously encourages individual exploration and communal responsibility. (Apr. 8)

Publishers Weekly Religion Bookline Feature:

Jamie Korngold: "Adventure Rabbi" Leads People into God's Country by Marcia Z. Nelson

From ski bum to rabbi has made one interesting journey, spiritually and literally, for Jamie Korngold, author of the forthcoming God in the Wilderness: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors with the Adventure Rabbi (Three Leaves/Doubleday, April; starred review in this issue). A Reform rabbi, Korngold began the Adventure Rabbi program in 2001 as a way of uniting her love of the outdoors with outreach to those American Jews who were more likely to be outside a synagogue than in one. The Adventure Rabbi program, which has brought Shabbat services and scripture study to ski slopes and mountain meadows, was the next logical leap of faith for a woman whose eclectic resume includes a cross-country bicycle trip when she was a teenager, a summer job as an outdoor musician in Sapporo, Japan, and fourth place in a national telemark mogul skiing championship. "It started out as my little dream," said Korngold, who lives in the Rocky Mountain foothills of Boulder, Colo., with her husband and two children, one of whom is an infant. "I sometimes feel like I just jumped in front of the parade."

In her book, Korngold argues that religion began outdoors. The Bible is filled with stories of divine encounter and worship in the wilderness. Her book draws lessons from those stories as well as her own experience as an endurance athlete. She wrote it during a summer, when her schedule includes leading regular outdoor hikes. "Each of the chapters got discussed on hikes," she said. "It all got field tested." The book is itself small, so it can be tucked into a backpack.

Korngold's platform includes the growing Adventure Rabbi community, which is virtual but also real, taking the form of small groups of people in various cities interested in Judaism and the outdoors. People make both spiritual and social connections, finding like-minded others. A group in New York began in 2006. "There are so many people hungry for this type of learning and community," Korngold said. God in the Wilderness publishes April 8, shortly before Korngold leads a Passover retreat for a seder meal in the desert outside Moab, Utah. "We already have 165 people signed up with 30 people on the waiting list," she said.

 

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Learn more about Rabbi Korngold's next book, The God Upgrade (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2011)