Bring me to your town, bookstore, synagogue, women’s center, school, community group, conference, book club to do a READING or a WORKSHOP or both!
In these perilous times — of intense Islamophobia, deportation of immigrants, rising racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia — Hope into Practice is an activist’s call to heal the world. It’s about human liberation, linking personal healing with social justice.
Anchored in Jewish ethical tradition and community-building – and sharing stories from Jewish women and gender-queer folks – it includes themes of racial justice & white privilege, to healing internalized anti-Semitism; from Jewish multiculturalism to human rights in Israel-Palestine; from historical Jewish resistance to persecution to healing ancestral Jewish trauma; from anti-Semitism & Islamophobia to alliance-building.
PRAISE for Hope into Practice
“A wonderful, gutsy, and inspiring book. Penny Rosenwasser takes on the most explosive issues in American Jewish life today—racism and anti-Semitism, victimization and privilege, and Jewish politics around Israel and Palestine–and she does it with a generosity of spirit and a clear head. A vision of a progressive Jewishness for a multicultural 21st century comes through proud and clear.”
“Rosenwasser knows her audience. I felt that she was writing to me and my cohort of young adult, Jewish female community organizers and activists trying to live a principled life in a world rife with contradictions …[The book’s] pages are saturated with Rosenwasser’s brilliant thinking and unwavering love for the Jewish people. I was brought to tears more than once…Hope into Practice is an absolutely inspiring call to action. Because, if not together, how?”
“Hope into Practice…is a book for everyone, even recovering Catholics …Hope floats throughout this book and the question, ‘What could Jewishness be without suffering or victimhood?’ is asked in joy not shame. It is a question for all faith traditions.”
“A powerful tool for today’s Jewish organizers and activists. Hope Into Practice acknowledges that we cannot wait to heal all our wounds before we can act–but cannot wait until our movements are successful before we turn to our healing.”
“When I first read the Table of Contents, I was surprised to feel tears arise: tears of need, hunger, yearning, promise. Penny’s book is filled with wild, truthful, and exuberant voices, you can feel their spirits in their words.”
“This is more than one Jewish woman’s vision and coherence: it is vision and coherence for the whole world’s healing. A few insights or stories from this book can sustain you for an hour, a season, or a lifetime.”
“A stunningly well-researched history of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust…Book and author alike are…well-informed and impressively well-read.”
“The history of anti-Semitism is fascinating. Many personal stories of Jewish women are genuinely instructive and revealing…The writing is both poignant and personal and always to the point.”
“Fills a gap in the Jewish studies scholarship…Based on the bold assumption that communal and individual healing is integral to justice work, Rosenwasser’s multi-disciplinary work is at once a memoir, a Jewish feminist treatise, and an activist guide. Written from a poignant, personal perspective, Hope into Practice allows readers to reflect on their own struggles with Jewish identity, queerness, and ethical commitment in order to imagine a better future. A must-read for all Jewish feminists!”
“The book is brilliant, and is written in the great humanistic spirit of good anthropology.”
“The Jewish women you’ll meet in this book will inspire you, make you laugh, and challenge you to be more fierce. This is a book about liberation from our narrow places and the power to change the world. No matter who you are, you’ll learn something new about being human.”
“I am reading her book right now and started crying one page in. It’s like someone naming things I never had a name for but always experienced.”
“I have never thought of myself as being anti-Semitic or racist. Then I picked up Hope into Practice by Penny Rosenwasser…I never realized how indifferent I have been to anti-Semitism. She makes me want to work a little harder in trying to be the kind of person I want to be.”
“I cried through the whole first part, torn open by the known and unknown histories Rosenwasser exposes. As I continued reading, I was intermittently frozen with tears, nodding and saying yes, and turning to whoever was in the room with me to read paragraphs out loud…I long for Rosenwasser’s discussion of cycles of trauma to be present in mainstream Jewish institutions and community…Jewish women’s lives are the heart of this book…The questions she asks, the possibilities for healing that she offers, and the invitation to engage deeply with our whole selves is a galvanizing opportunity that I hope my community of Jewish women does not miss.”
“Hope into Practice changed my life – mostly by giving me language to finally articulate one of my central experiences of Judaism & Jewishness…I could not feel more grateful to dream together of what real liberation might look like.”
A Few Testimonials from Penny’s Book Talks
“While Penny’s book tells the stories of powerful Jewish women working to make change in their communities, her presentations themselves challenge us to engage with these questions with immediacy and love. Along with the others whose stories are recorded on the pages of her book, Penny exemplifies the activism and passion that inspires those of us working for justice in our communities today.”
“Penny opened a sensitive and profound conversation at our temple. I was hoping to bring an understanding of both privilege and internalized anti-Semitism to my congregation. Penny’s great compassion, vulnerability and insight hit the mark. Kayn Yirbu/May such work increase!”
“Penny’s lecture was a powerful and engaging way for my students to understand the true power of what it means to choose justice. She exposed students to ideas they had not thought of before and enabled them to understand concepts such as internalized oppression through dynamic personal and political stories. My students still reference her lecture in class and in their writing!”