Kirkus Reviews QR Code
JUJITSU RABBI AND THE GODLESS BLONDE by Rebecca Dana

JUJITSU RABBI AND THE GODLESS BLONDE

A True Story

By Rebecca Dana

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-399-15877-3
Publisher: Amy Einhorn/Putnam

Coming-of-age memoir from Newsweek and Daily Beast senior correspondent Dana.

The author, a leggy transplant from Pittsburgh, had snagged a great apartment and a great boyfriend in New York City. She had great hair, great clothes and a great job reporting for Daily Beast. Tina Brown, no less, was her mentor. Her way was lit by Joan Didion, Nora Ephron and, of course, Carrie Bradshaw. Brainy, hip and looking good, all was going according to plan until a spoiled romance ended in a classic breakup. And so our clever princess left the joint Manhattan apartment to share a place in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, land of the orthodox Jewish community of Lubavitch. There was Cosmo, her roommate, a bright rabbi, given to acting not at all like a Jewish, or even a jujitsu, rabbi. What was Rabbi Cosmo doing, after all, chewing on raw bacon or wrestling with a girl? No wonder Dana, deracinated in Brooklyn, became a tad confused. She loved cake and clothes and was in thrall to the gods of glamor. Her Good Book was Vogue. Her High Holy Days took place during Fashion Week; its rituals were celebrated. And yet, with the warm family life and the heartfelt spirit she encountered, there was undeniably something wonderful going on in Crown Heights. Readers will find Dana’s depiction of Lubavitch life quite accessible, despite her frequent use of sparsely translated terms like shidduchtreyf, nudzhing or tznius.

Finding nourishment, kosher-style, clever chick lit expands its usual boundaries.